Guest of the Month Club #3 – Dita from A Lazy Squirrel’s Reading Guide

I’ve recently joined the Guest of the Month Club hosted by Emily Reads Everything. Once a month, I host a fellow blogging friend right here for your enjoyment. This month, help me welcome Dita!

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This Week’s Five!!!

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Whew, this week sure did feel like a long one. Here are five good things from the week:

  1. Crazy cold to hot weather this week, but we sure enjoyed it!
  2. My son is doing very well at the sight-word flash cards we’ve been practicing with.
  3. Our fence has been repaired.
  4. Because of a combination sale and coupon, I got 4 nail polishes from ULTA for $2! I find this quite satisfying.
  5. I went to visit my parents today. It was nice to get to laze about at their house and watch the dogs and my son play.

So, how was your week?

This Week’s Five!!!

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Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of This Week’s Five, where I share five positive things from the week. But first, I’d like to know how in the world another week has already passed us by…

  1. I have written 4500 words this week! Sure, that may not sound like a lot, and it may be all I’ve written for the year, but it feels good. This is a project that started leaking into my mind and taking form for the past 7 years or so. That means it’s a good thing finally getting it organized and written out, I hope.
  2. I was lucky enough to get a review copy of Birth of an American Gigolo by Deek Rhew. Check out my review here.
  3. I’ve been having a lot of fun looking at what’s on my library’s Overdrive.
  4. I get to go to the bookstore today.
  5. We made it to the weekend.

So, how was your week?

Review – Birth of an American Gigolo by Deek Rhew

I’ve been following Deek and his wife Erin on Twitter for a while now (they’re so cute, if you aren’t following them, please remedy that immediately), so when an opportunity came up to review his debut, Birth of an American Gigolo, you can bet I jumped on that! So yes, I received a free e-copy of Birth in exchange for an honest review.

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An old party girl turned domestic diva, infuriated by her husband’s cheating–and his holier-than-thou, tree-hugging, no-tits and no-hips girlfriend–inflicts her wrath by training a local boy in the fine art of seduction. She and her new boy toy turned love god, start a gigolo business as a distraction for the neglected and mistreated housewives of Alabaster Cove. (Goodreads)

On the story scale, I give Birth a solid 4 stars. As far as technical choices go, I give Birth 3 stars. I guess that averages out to 3.5, but since the technical choices are more personal than something about the story itself, my final rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

I thought the story was fun and inventive. While I in no way support the idea of cheating, whether the other person in the relationship is doing so or not, I still enjoyed this book–what good are books if we can’t explore another world while reading them?

By turns I found Birth funny, steamy, and frustrating (in a good way). The story flowed well and was entertaining, it certainly kept me reading.

On some level I felt like I identified with Lindsey. Hold on, before you get any ideas, let me explain. When the story starts, Lindsey is already frustrated with her cheating husband. Every thought she has about his assistant–the other guilty half of his extramarital trysts–is laden with all the ways she feels about Cindy. I mean, when I’m already fed up or frustrated with something, don’t I add all those adjectives, too? So, yeah, I identified with how Lindsey was feeling and enjoyed the way her thoughts were presented.

I really like how instead of Dios being naturally smart or suave, he had to be taught–it made for some funny moments.

Lindsey seems to have all her bases covered, and I have to wonder at some point if it will all crash and burn.

A problem I had (minor spoilers, click and drag to display): Angel. She works in a grocery store. She has very limited amounts of money. HOW THE HELL DID SHE GO TO THE MALL AND BUY A NEW WARDROBE WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE!? Or, without shown consequences, I guess.

So why would I want to give 3 stars based on technical things? For the most part, the story is told in 3rd person limited POV, but there are little breaks with that which show the thoughts of the character, but they aren’t really set off in any way. These tripped me up the first few times I encountered them but got used to it as I read. Also, the story was told solely from Lindsey’s POV for the first half of the story. That far into the book, a POV change was jolting, especially since no precedent had been set earlier. That being said, these things were not off-putting enough to keep me from finishing the story, and won’t prevent me from reading more when it comes out.

I was certainly entertained by this story and look forward to reading more from Deek.

 

Top Ten Tuesday -Recent Additions to the TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books Recently Added to my To Be Read List

  1. Thorn by Insitar Khanini
  2. Rooms by Lauren Oliver
  3. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
  4. Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos
  5. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
  6. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  7. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
  8. Jackaby by William Ritter
  9. Amulet, Vol 1., The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
  10. Hello? by Liza Weimer

What about you? What are some of your most recent additions? Do you have a TTT post? Link it below!

 

This Week’s Five!!!

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Hey you guys. I know this week has seen the loss of some great people, but it is in the hard times that I think it’s most important to remember that there is good in the world. So here are five things from this week that brought a smile to my face:sadie

  1. If you follow me on Twitter, you may already know, but before Christmas our family adopted a Morkie puppy. I’ve grown ridiculously fond of this little furball and even with the messes I’ve had to clean up, she still brings a smile to my face.
  2. I successfully made a new recipe, Honey Sesame Chicken, and it was really yummy.
  3. Coffee has been exceptionally satisfying this week.
  4. The weather has been beautiful this week, resulting in much time spent outdoors.
  5. I have been working on migrating my various WIPs into Scrivener. I’m really enjoying the potential for organization it offers, and I’m very much looking forward to getting to work on them!

So, how was your week? Anything good among the chaos to report?

Resource Review – Elements of Style

Elements of Style
by William Strunk and E.B. White

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Why I picked it up: This book actually is listed as a recommended resource in The Copyeditor’s Handbook, and I’d been curious ever since I heard of it. I finally made an excuse to buy it (it’s inexpensive, but if you don’t know already, I’m fairly spend-conscious) and I’m really glad I did. I purchased the paperback copy, because when it comes to reference books, I like to be able to flip back and forth easily.

Elements of Style gets straight to the point. It is a nice reminder–or introduction, depending on who you are–of the rules of writing in the English language. It deals with punctuation, clarity, concision, and effective sentences, among other things.

Once the examples were introduced as the incorrect/less-preferable on the left, and the correct/more-preferable on the right, I felt like sometimes I needed a reminder as to which was which, especially if I took a break in reading it for a while. I could have used some more examples and more thorough explaining of the existing ones.

Elements of Style is not the be-all-end-all definitive guide to the English language, and certainly not a guide on how to write fiction, but it is definitely a good resource to have on hand.  As a guide, Strunk and White may have some views on writing that not everyone agrees  on, but the basics are there for the easy taking.

 

Have you ever used this resource? What others do you suggest?

Review – Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

I picked up Hit from my library’s Overdrive. I like to browse and when I saw this, the premise looked interesting and I realized this is an author I follow on Twitter, so bonus reason to read it (I’ve never read any of her works before).

 

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No one reads the fine print.The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that it was bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy’s list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own. Since yarn bombing is the only anarchy in Patsy’s past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren’t strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy’s list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

An absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality that is eerily just steps away from ours—Hit is a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish. (Goodreads)

I give Hit 3 of 5 stars! It was good (better than just-ok, but not quite terrific).

Patsy, the main character, has become an assassin for Valor Savings in order to save her and her mom’s lives. She leads a pretty boring, conservative life. She keeps her head down, works hard in school and at her after-school job, and her only real hobby is knitting/yarnbombing. Her only flaw seems to be that she’s too responsible–and that she seems to stop using her brain so much once a boy comes into the picture. I relate pretty well to be a too-responsible teenager, that’s how I was, but I never quite synced-up with Patsy. There’s also no way that I think she could have carried out her mission without the help of Wyatt, which is kind of annoying.

Wyatt’s brother Max is the last name on Patsy’s list, but he helps her out anyways, knowing what she has to do. And, of course, they have an undeniable attraction and trust for one another.

I kind of felt like the characters fell a little flat. Patsy could have used a(nother?) flaw, and Wyatt, although he has a dark past, doesn’t seem all that interesting at the time the book is taking place.

There were some times when I caught myself thinking the timelines didn’t work out for what was going on, but I may have just not been paying close enough attention.

Also, the story is told in first-person, present-tense point of view. This in itself was not a problem, but it’s not my personal favorite to read.

I’m really interested in what is going on in the rest of the world, about the silent war that is being waged, but I didn’t get any answers, and I may not ever, because I’m not sure if I will pick up the next in the series when it comes out. I liked the story ok, but it isn’t one of my favorites.

Have you read, or do you plan on reading, Hit by Delilah Dawson?