My Book Rating System

My book rating system is based on 5 stars. The book must be rated at least 3 stars for a review.

3 Stars: Good story, good plot, good writing.

4 Stars: I was wowed, but something about the story fell short of perfection.

5 Stars: I was either drooling, on the edge of my seat, or falling in love.

If you would like me to review your book, please contact me at

Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Review: Hollowland, by Amanda Hocking

Amanda Hocking

My rating: 4 stars

The quarantine Remy is staying in is being over-run by zombies. When she tries to find her 8 year old 'sick' brother, she finds he's been evacuated from the medical facility to another quarantine. Remy strikes out on her own, tailed by a couple of friends, to find her brother. It's extremely important to Remy that she find her brother, since she promised to protect him after their parents died.

This book is full of energy and excitement and action. The characters are portrayed well, the plot runs along without any hitches, and the setting is well-drawn and easy to imagine.

Remy is a strong character; she knows what she wants to and she doesn't get all squeamish when she has to do some of the things she does. She wants to be tougher than she really is deep inside, and despite not wanting to make friends and allies...she does. And, she's funny, with many a witty remark that I found quite clever.

The one weakness I found in the book was that there was no chemistry between Remy and the love interest (I'm not saying who it is, because I didn't figure it out right away). And maybe that's the problem; it was hard to figure out who the love interest was initially because of the lack of chemistry.

Despite that, I thought it was a good read, and plan to keep reading the series.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In the Hot Seat with author Christine Anderson

Today, author Christine Anderson is taking a turn in the hot seat. Christine Anderson is the author of Life of the Party. This is a gritty, raw look at a teenager who spirals into addiction. It's an intense, realistic look at what addiction is all about.

About the book (taken from Goodreads): Seventeen-year-old Mackenzie Taylor can't wait to be free; free from high school, the shadow of her perfect older sister, and her disapproving parents. The rebellious party girl has a perfect accomplice in best friend Riley, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who scores them drugs, booze and under-age entry into the only club in town. But then everything changes. A traumatized Riley suddenly decides to give up the party life, and a wide-eyed Mackenzie meets Grey Lewis, a broodingly talented, gorgeous older man she falls instantly in love with. Though Riley warns her to stay away, the aspiring rock star's body and ample drug supply are too tempting for her to resist. Previously inseparable, Riley and Mackenzie go their separate ways.

When summer hits, Mackenzie has new friends, a new apartment and new drugs to mask the pain of Riley's absence. And of course, she has Grey. But despite the fierce, consuming passion they share, the mysterious bad-boy always leaves her guessing. Is Grey really a good guy? Or was Riley right about him all along? Mackenzie's in too deep to care. Unable to curb her mounting addictions, before long the lust-for-life teen totally loses control. She forgets Riley, forgets life, forgets everything but Grey and their next hit. 

But luckily for Mackenzie...Riley has never forgotten about her.
Sounds intense! Now, on to the hot seat!

Dale: Tell us a little about Mackenzie.

Christine: Mackenzie is really smart and talented, but embittered by feelings of inferiority, she gives up and starts rebelling. She's young and naive. She tries to seem bad-ass, but deep down she's a really good person who desperately wants to feel loved--even if the people/things that give her that feeling aren't good for her. 

Dale: OK, now tell us something about Mackenzie that we *don't* know...something that's not in the book.

Christine: Riley was the one that introduced Mackenzie to weed, and at first she didn't like it. It made her feel slow and stupid. But when Riley started spending more time with his pot-smoking friends than her, she made herself keep doing it. And before long, she loved it. 

Dale: Where do you get your inspiration to write?

Christine: God inspires me every day. I always hope my writing will send a positive message to whoever reads it, and maybe help someone with the same struggles I faced before I knew Him.  

Dale: What's the first book you read that made you catch your breath? 
Christine: Meridon, by Phillipa Gregory. That book is so brilliant, even if you don't read the first two in the Wideacre series. By the end I was white-knuckling the pages.

Dale: If your book was to become a movie...a. What would the theme song be? 

The Familiar Taste of Poison, by Halestorm. Or Nothing Special by Ill Scarlett

b. Who would play Mackenzie?

Sarah Hyland

(Dale: She's a cute little pip, huh?)

c. Who would play Riley?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt

d. Who would play Grey?

Mark Salling...with blue eyes of course.

(Dale: Having read the book, these are great choices!)

Dale: When you write, are you a plotter or a pantser?

Christine: A bit of both. I don't write anything down, but I picture all the major scenes in my head first and figure out the basic plot. Then, as I write, the story tends to take on a life of it's own, so a lot of it changes on a whim. I work out the plot kinks as I go and do a LOT of re-writing. 

Dale: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

Christine: I love to write, it's always been a hobby/passion of mine. After I had my first baby, I definitely became more serious about it. If writing was my full time would be a dream come true. 

Dale: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what music do you listen to? 

Christine: Yes! I have to! When writing Life of the Party I listened to the same 30 songs over and over again. They helped me get into the setting and mood--heavier music, like Avenged Sevenfold and Rise Against.

Dale: Is there a little of yourself in any of your characters? If so, who?

Christine: Most definitely. I had a lot in common with Mackenzie when I was a teenager. 

Dale: Hot seat questions:
a. Beach or mountains?

Beach...with mountains. Like Hawaii!

b. Summer or winter?

Summer! Summer! Summer!

c. White or dark chocolate?


d. Coffee or tea?


e. Favorite TV show?

I don't watch a lot of tv, but Arrested Development is probably the most hilarious, cleverly written show I've ever seen. 

f. Favorite color?

A dark, tealy blue. And red. 

g. Favorite food?

Probably pancakes, with whipped cream and maple syrup. Or pasta. And cheese. 

h. Cats or dogs?


i. What was the last thing you ate?

Apple Toaster was delicious. 

j. Morning person or night owl?

Night owl, I don't actually wake up until about 8:00 at night.

Thanks Christine for joining us today! If you want to check out Christine's book, you can stalk her at the usual places...

Book Giveaway of What Kills Me

Author Wynne Channing is giving away 3 e-copies of her book, What Kills Me.

Check out her interview, and enter to win! The book looks awesome...and love the cover.

About the book: An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race. So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive. How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: Fix by Force, by Jason Warne

Fix by Force
Jason Warne

Spencer is entering senior year in high school. A loner, an outcast, and an athlete, he never quite fits matter how hard he tries. He's always searching for ways to fix himself. And Zach--who is everything that Spencer wishes he could be--especially has it in for him, Spencer has one goal his senior year: lay low and graduate.

Yeah, like *that's* gonna happen!

Rating: 4 Stars

This cover is so right for this story.

This book is not an action-packed, on-the-edge-of-your-seat action thriller. It's an introspective look at a bullied loner's downward spiral into aggression and addiction. It highlights the lengths some kids will go to to fix themselves so that they can fit in with the crowd.

This story takes an in-depth look at how one teenager, Spencer, views his life, his family, and himself. He carries the emotional baggage from childhood through adolescence, seeing only what he thinks everyone else must see. No matter how hard he tries to fix himself, the image in the mirror never changes. It takes a series of traumatic events before Spencer can shatter that image and see what's been reflecting back at him all along.

I did sense a little author intrusion toward the end, a 'this is a life lesson' kind of thing, but that by no means detracts from the over-all story. This is a pretty dynamic read, and one that I recommend to readers of all agges.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Review: Crescendo, by Becca Fitzpatrick

Becca Fitzpatrick

Rating: 4

The 2nd installment in the Hush, Hush series, we find Nora and Patch taking his new angel status in stride. But things don't stay rosy for long. In fact, it doesn't take long until things head south, way down south, so far south it tears Nora and Patch apart. But Rixon and Vee are there for Nora, big-time. And someone from Nora's past knocks on her door.

The book starts on a happy note, but doesn't stay that way for long. Patch is unchanging, it seems. But Nora, hmmm, I don't know what to say. She seemed clingy, over-dramatic, and quick to jealous fits. She's everything that I don't like in women. There were times when I was like, "Patch! Dump her! She's baggage!"

The plot was good, but it was over-shadowed by my increasing annoyance with Nora. Unfortunately, if it weren't for Nora, I'd give this book 5 stars, but instead it drops to a 4. Otherwise very, very good book; great plot, great writing and, other than Nora, great characters.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In the Hot Seat! YA Author David D. Carroll

Hello pretties! Today I'm excited to have young adult author David D. Carroll sitting in the hot seat. David has penned a sweet young adult fantasy, Princess Nenji.

Princess Nenji

Nenji lives a quiet life, but with a longing for adventure. Barely considered royalty, her life is uprooted when the Dragon King sets out to eliminate the threat of the Lorac Family revealed by prophecy. Nenji has to learn quickly about magic, politics, and herself as she takes on the roles of young lady, witch, and queen.

And, he has a new book coming out soon, Dani and the Dragon.

Coming of age isn't easy for a homeless orphan girl. But when Mages, Kings, and Dragons all want to control her destiny, she must uncover her past to find her future.

Coming soon to an eReader near you!

Anyhoo, more about David's books later. Let's get him in the hot seat!

Dale: Tell us a little about Nenji and her adventures.   

     David: Nenji grew up on a farm, far from the large city of Lorac. Ever since the death of her father, five years prior, Nenji's mother has been drilling her on everything from calligraphy to proper balance, and how to use the right silverware. But being an adventurous 14 year old, she prefers spending time in the woods. 

     Several mages have attempted to meet with her, and she would love to meet with them, but her mother refuses. When a talking rooster arrives with an invitation to a clandestine meeting with a mage, how could she resist?

     Nenji finds herself thrust into a great adventure, meeting monsters, dragons, kings, and other talking animals. She must learn why the Dragon King is hunting the royal family, and more importantly, how to stop him. 

Dale: OK, now tell us something about Nenji that we *don't* know...something that's not in the book.

   David: Nenji isn't the typical fantasy adventure princess. She's a bit overweight, has no desire to take the throne, and still mourns the loss of her father.

Dale:  Where do you get your inspiration to write?

     David: The best inspiration comes from God, and I strive to seek Him out. Magic and fantasy adventures have always intrigued me, and I have written them from a young age. I have quite an imagination, and a gift for prose. These characters feel so alive for me, they almost wrote the novel themselves.

Dale: What's the first book you read that made you catch your breath?

     David: Terry Brooks: Magic Kingdom for Sale. Terry has a fantastic way of finding a new slant on the fantasy world. He makes his characters and his world come alive in my mind.

Dale: If you had a super-power, what would it be?
     David: If I could choose my super power, I would choose flight. That is why I gave it to Princess Nenji. To fly over the tops of the trees, or soar through the skies... As long as there isn't a dragon chasing me.

Dale: If you were an animal, what would it be...and why?

     David: A Dragon. I have been fascinated with dragons since I was very young. This is one of the fantastical creatures which spans the globe. There are cultures in every corner of the globe who have some form of dragon in their mythology. They are extremely powerful, often arrogant, and occasionally benevolent.

Dale: If your book was to become a movie...

a. What would the theme song be?

    David: I Believe I Could Fly by R. Kelly

b. Who would play Nenji?

    David: If it is made soon, Dakota Fanning would make a good Nenji. She has shown her range of acting skills includes both the cute and the vicious. She would need both to play the character right.

(Dale: I couldn't agree more!)

Dale: When you write, are you a plotter or a pantser?

     David: I haven't heard the term 'pantser' before, so I assume you mean fly by the seat of your pants. I do plot outlines, create rich characters to fill the roles necessary, and let the characters show me where changes in the plot are necessary.

(Dale: Yes, that's exactly what I mean!)

Dale: Where is your favorite place to write?

     David: At my desk, in a room with no interruptions, and just a little music.

Dale: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what music do you listen to?

     David: Hahaha. I just answered that. To really get into the writing mood, I turn on They Might Be Giants on random play.

Dale: What creative process do you use to create your worlds?

     David: For Princess Nenji, I spent several years reading and studying how different books portray magic, how it is used, how it is explained, and how it is controlled. From there, I developed my own form of magic, drawing on elements from many others. Then I needed to add in a rich backstory with major events a few years ago, a few thousand years ago, and tens of thousands of years ago. Each major event plays a significant role in the shape of the world and the political climate my characters live in.

Dale: Is there a little of yourself in any of your characters? If so, who?

    David: There is a little bit of myself in every character I write. Otherwise, how could I understand them? We all have a dark side, and at times, mine is pitch black. I have long dreamed of flying, and I question authority when it doesn't make sense. Each of these things is expanded or exaggerated to become a major character trait in at least one character.

Dale:  If Nenji was to come to our world, today, what would her reaction be?

     David: She would be amazed by the level of technology, and even more amazed when she learns very few people in our world can control magic. 

Dale: Hot seat questions:

a. Beach or mountains?  Beach for short trips, mountains for long ones.
b. Summer or winter?  Summer, definitely. 
c. White or dark chocolate? Both, depending on mood.
d. Coffee or tea?  Root Beer
e. Favorite TV show?  Eureka, followed closely by Once Upon a Time
f. Favorite color? Green
g. Favorite food? Prime Rib
h. Cats or dogs? Both
i. What was the last thing you ate? Blueberry Cheesecake
j. Morning person or night owl? Usually Morning, sometimes both

David, I'm so glad you could sit in the hot seat today. It's been great getting to know more about you, and Nenji.

If you want to see more of David's works, and get your hands on Princess Nenji, hop on over to these links:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review: Shadow Demons, by Sarra Cannon

Shadow Demons
Sarra Cannon

This is Book 4 in the Peachville High Demons series. Harper is a powerful, albeit newbie, witch. She will lead the Peachville coven when she comes of age. The problem is that Harper disagrees with how the method the witches use to get the most powerful juice...basically, harnessing demons. This is especially hard for Harper since her boyfriend, Jackson, is a demon.

Jackson is an incredibly sexy character. I love Jackson, and he doesn't fail me in this installment. Harper is true to character; she's real and down-to-earth and is one of those characters that you root for right from the start. In Book 4, we're still rooting for her. I was surprised to see that there is another book after this one; for some reason, I thought the series was ending with Book 4...I'm happy to see another book and look forward to reading it.

If you've been following this series--and if you haven't, you should--you'll find in this book we see more behind the scenes with the coven. It may look pretty and manicured on the outside, but on the inside it's full of back-stabbing politics and power-hungry, greedy evil-doers.

My biggest complaint with this book is that it's been a while since I read Book 3, and the author didn't do enough to remind me of where we left off in the plot, who some of the minor characters are, and vague references to events in Book 3 that seemed incredibly important, but I couldn't remember. I almost considered putting the book down and re-reading Book 3 to get myself up to speed, and vetoed that idea and plowed through, with the hopes that continued reading would jar my memory. It didn't.

Overall, though, I still liked the book immensely, but is one of those series that you're better off reading straight through.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pic of the Week

It's been a while since I posted some of Cassie's pictures, but that doesn't mean she hasn't been busy with her camera! Here are a few I especially like. I hope you enjoy them!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In the Hot Seat: Author L.S. Murphy

Welcome to the hot seat!

Sitting in the hot seat today is author L.S. Murphy.
Her debut novel, Reaper, is coming out in January of 2013, and it looks *hot*.

 I'm excited to read this upcoming novel, and loved learning a little more about the author.

About Reaper (taken from Goodreads):
There's no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body. She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill. It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.

Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably. Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic. Maybe ... just maybe ... that’s okay.

It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.


Looks good, right? I think so. Now, on to learn more behind the scenes with L.S. Murphy.

Dale: Tell us a little about Quincy.

Murphy: Quincy loves her life. She’s popular, pretty, and everyone wants to be her friend.

Dale: OK, now tell us something about Quincy that we *don't* know...something that's not in the book.

Murphy: Quincy had to wear glasses as a toddler because she had a lazy eye. God forbid she wears them now!

Dale: Where do you get your inspiration to write?

Murphy: Inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes it’s a prompt. Sometimes it’s an image. Sometimes it’s something I overhear. It could come from anywhere and usually does.

Dale: What's the first book you read that made you catch your breath?

Murphy: It wasn’t a book actually. The first thing I read that made me stop and think was “Harrison Beregeron” by Kurt Vonnegut in eighth grade. It’s a beautiful story that will tear your heart out and stomp on it before putting it back inside. Love, love, love it. The first book was Slaughterhouse Five also by Kurt Vonnegut. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was about that book that changed me, but it did. I finished it feeling like the world was so much more than what I knew. The first YA book, because this was the real turning point in my life, was Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas. After I read that, I knew that I was going to write YA.

Dale: If you had a super-power, what would it be?

Murphy: Shapeshifter. Then I could be anything and everything I wanted.

Dale: If you were an animal, what would it be...and why?

Murphy: Oh, I’d totally be a cat. My cats are spoiled rotten.

(Dale: Mine, too!)
Dale: If your book was to become a movie...

a. What would the theme song be? Leave Out All the Rest by Linkin Park
b. Who would play Quincy? Tough one… Amanda Seyfried if she was younger or Meaghan Jette Martin.

c. Who would play Ben? Well, he’s not an actor, but Billie Jo Armstrong from Green Day. Of course he’s way too old too. J Ethan Peck would be a great Ben.
(Dale: Yeah, cute couple, dontcha think?)

Dale: When you write, are you a plotter or a pantser?

Murphy: I’m becoming more of a plotter these days. Reaper was outlined, but I didn’t stick to it at all. I like knowing where I’m going. If the characters take me somewhere else, then so be it.

Dale: Where is your favorite place to write?

Murphy: I can write just about anywhere, which annoys my husband. He built me an office in our basement and I’m spending more time there now.

Dale: Hot seat questions...

a. Beach or mountains? Mountains
b. Summer or winter? Winter. I love snow and cold.
c. White or dark chocolate? Neither. I'm a vanilla kinda gal.
d. Coffee or tea? Coffee and LOTS of it
e. Favorite TV show? Psych is the best show on TV. James Roday and Dule Hill deserve Emmys.
f. Favorite color? Depends on the day. Today would be red. Yesterday was black.
g. Favorite food? Tomato soup
h. Cats or dogs? I have 3 cats and 1 dog, so that’s not a question I can really answer. J
i. What was the last thing you ate? Sandwich from Chick-fil-A
j. Morning person or night owl? I’m a morning person. I get up around 4am-430am during the week. On the weekends, sleeping in would be 7am. 

Thanks L.S. Murphy for taking the hot seat today. I've enjoyed visiting with you, and remember little pretties, the Reaper is coming soon! Mark your calendars for January 2013.

More information about L.S. Murphy, and where you can stalk her:
Bio: L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a  menagerie of pets. Her debut novel, Reaper, will be released in January 2013 through J. Taylor Publishing.
She is a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the
St. Louis Writer’s Guild.
Repped by Julia A. Weber of  J. A. Weber Literaturagentur.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Book Review: Sweet Evil, by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil
Wendy Higgins

Sixteen-year-old Anna is raised by her aunt, steers clear of booze and drugs, and is your all-round, average good girl. Except she feels an undercurrent, a need, to be bad. And she has special powers, too. She sees things that other people don't...she sees people's auras. And then she meets Kaiden, and her life changes forever.

This book rocks. Three words says it all. This book is like the YA version of Lords of the Underworld, full of sexy bad boys, lots of tension and romance and fraught with vices and temptation.

Here's what to love:
1. Engaging, likeable characters.
2. Suspenseful plot.
3. Bad boys that are deliciously bad, yet vulnerable.
4. How Anna comes to terms with who and what she is.
5. How the delicate line is drawn between being evil and doing good.
6. How, like real life, life doesn't always have a happily ever after.

I liked the ending, but there was just something a little abrupt about it. I think what I disliked most was the cover. Do I care? Nah, still giving this book a 5 star review!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Hop on over to Mesa's blog...she is hosting a 500 follower give-away, and she has some terrific books up for grabs. Ends July 30th, so there's still time...but don't be late!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Funnies!

I've had a really, really long day...Mostly connected to *not* being connected! It took a nearly the whole day, but I finally got internet connection again.

So, I know I need a laugh! Hope you can work up a chuckle or 2 tonight by reading some...

Animal Jokes!

Psychic Frogs
Recently, the Psychic Hotline and Psychic Friends Network have launched hotlines for frogs. Here is the story of one frog and his discussion with his psychic.

A frog telephones the Psychic Hotline and is told, "You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you."

The frog says, "This is great! Will I meet her at a party, or what?"

"No," says the psychic. "Next semester in her biology class."

Chess Playing Dogs
A man went to visit a friend and was amazed to find him playing chess with his dog. He watched the game in astonishment for a while. "I can hardly believe my eyes!" he exclaimed. "That's the smartest dog I've ever seen."

"Nah, he's not so smart," the friend replied. "I've beaten him three games out of five."

Snarky Parrot
Mrs. Peterson phoned the repairman because her dishwasher quit working. He couldn't accommodate her with an "after-hours" appointment and since she had to go to work, she told him, "I'll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dish washer, leave the bill on the counter, and I'll mail you a check. By the way, I have a large rotweiler inside named Killer; he won't bother you. I also have a parrot, and whatever you do, do not talk to the bird!"

Well, sure enough the dog, Killer, totally ignored the repairman, but the whole time he was there, the parrot cursed, yelled, screamed, and about drove him nuts.

As he was ready to leave, he couldn't resist saying, "You stupid bird, why don't you shut up!"

To which the bird replied, "Killer, get him!!!"

See Spot Spin
A blind man with a seeing eye dog at his side walks into a grocery store. The man walks to the middle of the store, picks up the dog by the tail, and starts swinging the dog around in circles over his head.

The store manager, who has seen all this, thinks this is quite strange. So, he decides to find out what's going on. The store manager approaches the blind man swinging the dog and says, "Pardon me. May I help you with something."

The blind man says, "No thanks. I'm just looking around."

Dog Fight
A man walks into a bar one day and asks, "Does anyone here own that rottweiler outside?"

"Yeah, I do!" a biker says, standing up. "What about it?"

"Well, I think my chihuahua just killed him..."

"What are you talkin' about?!" the biker says, disbelievingly. "How could your little runt kill my rottweiler?"

"Well, it seems he got stuck in your dog's throat!"

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's Next?

OK, so it's a new month, and it's time to figure out what I'm going to read this month. Technically, I have Hollowland on this month's read again, since I didn't get to it in June. I think I over-reached last month with the number of books on my shelf!

So, as usual, I like to mix some indies with traditionally published novels. And since I'm on vacation for two, whole, wonderful weeks, I'm hoping to get a jump start on my July shelf. Already finished Hollowland, so there you go.

Check out my July reading list. If you have any insight into the 'chosen', let me know!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tell Me Something Tuesday

A friend of mine, Cambria Hebert, has this little meme going on on her Tuesday blogs. Here's the scoop:
Tell Me Something Tuesday is where I ask you something and you tell me the answer!! It’s as simple as that and I thought it would be a great way for all of us bloggers to get to know one another! So this is how it works: I post a question here on my blog and then i give my answer. I invite all the bloggers to take the question and post it on their blog with their answer and we can hop around and see what everyone says! If you are a blogger don’t forget to leave your link at the bottom of this post! If you aren’t a blogger – that’s okay too!! Leave your answer in the comments section!

This is my first time taking part, but the thing to do is to hop from one blog to another and checking out people's answers. It should be fun, and a little different, and I'm in for trying anything once! You have to go to Cambria's blog to tour the answers, though.

So this week's question is: At what point do you think a series has gone on too long? How long should a series be?

For me, the series should end when the story should end, so I think the answer is different from series to series. If I love the series, I don't want it to end. If the series is dried out and stale, time to throw in the pencil and call it a wrap. The trick is to end on top. You don't want the series to get to the stale point; it should end in a way that is good for the story and the characters and satisfying to the readers. If it goes on too long, the readers are going to (a) complain, (b) beg the author to please put an end to it, or (c) just stop picking up the books.

Nothing is worse than a series that's being stretched out for monetary or marketing reasons. Should Twilight have had 4 books to that series? Heck no. Was 7 Harry Potter books too much? Heck no. I'm not saying I was gung ho on that last book (too long), but it was the right way to end the series, and each book was a year in Harry's life and furthered the story, so there was a point.

The Lords of the Underworld series is in the 2 digit numbers...and I've yet to get tired of it because each book focuses on a different character...each book is in its own way unique and fresh.

Book Review: Missing Mandy, by Shirley S. Simon

Missing Mandy
Shirley S. Simon

Danny is an artist who moves to a very small town after a divorce. He's haunted by an apparition of a girl, a lovely girl, that he doesn't realize is more ghost than first. Who is she? And how can he help her?

This is a relatively short book, and the concept is a good one. The mystery of the girl is one that the reader wants to hang on until the end to find out how it all ends, because all is not as it seems. While the plot was simple and straight-forward, I liked the characters and the setting.

The execution leaves a bit to be desired. For me, I found the dialogue stiff, formal, and unrealistic. There is a lot of description of mundane daily activity, especially in the first half of the book. It takes a long while to set up and get to the heart of the story.

The pacing was off. While the beginning moved too slow, the ending wrapped up too quickly! The whole climatic ending, which I could have enjoyed for pages and pages, was wrapped up in summary form, like a witness recalling events of a crime to the police.

The other issue I had with the book was the punctuation...especially the misplaced commas. Commas were placed where there shouldn't have been any, and missing where they were needed. It caused a little bit of re-reading sentences on my part to get the right inflections.

With some editing, this could be a very good story.