“The Mermaid’s Sister” by Carrie Anne Noble Review

Disclaimer: I listened to the audiobook version of this book.

The Mermaid's SisterThe Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say about this book? A lot really. I absolutely loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it!

You know how we always read stories where the main character is the chosen one, the magical one, or the one all the adventures are about? I was interested in this story for the very thing it’s not.

Auntie, the guardian of two young teenagers, tells the story a hundred times – perhaps more – for they love to hear it. She raised two girls from babes. The first arrived in a conch shell. The second was delivered to her doorstep by a stork. When Maren starts becoming a mermaid, it is up to her sister Clara, the stork’s delivery, and their childhood friend, O’Neill, to take her to the ocean where she belongs.

Clara is an ordinary girl in a lot of ways – beyond her odd stork-ish beginnings. She loves her family, loves a boy she realizes loves her sister and hates herself for her jealousy and her love, and she doesn’t believe in herself. She isn’t brave. She isn’t as beautiful as Maren. She fully believes she might become a stork, as her sister is becoming a mermaid. She is full of doubt and modesty, but beyond that, she is a loving and caring soul. She’ll do anything to save her sister. She’ll doubt herself along the way, but she will do everything humanly possible to see her sister returned to the sea.

That’s one of the things I loved about this book. Maren was a mermaid, a fantastical creature. O’Neill and his father, Scarf, were traveling people who sold their wares and told fantastical stories and played a bit of magic or tricks. Auntie was a healer with a bit of fae blood and able to cure anyone of any ailment they had. It was Clara who was the most ordinary of them all, unless you want to count her friendship with their pet wyvern, Ausbert. So many times, the main character is someone who is magical themselves, and it was so refreshing to have someone who wasn’t as fantastical as those around them – and still managed to find a way to use their skills to keep themselves out of trouble.

And trouble did indeed find them as they journeyed from the mountainside in their attempt to return Maren to the sea from which she came. Who wouldn’t expect trouble when one travels with a mermaid? Again, these troubles were – in their own way – magical and odd, and Clara was still the most ordinary among the people surrounding her.

I loved that there was no real love triangle. There was the possibility of such, but Clara’s feelings were always clear, even if she did try to deny the way she felt about one of them as she believed (with all her heart) that he belonged to someone else. She never led either boy on, and it was fantastic because it allowed us to see more of her personality. Her loyalty to her friends and her sister and her own feelings was amazing. No one could sway her in her emotions. She hid them from some, mainly the young man she had feelings for, but when the other young man tried to draw her out, tried to turn her affections toward him, she spurned him, and she spurned him hard. It was amazing.

There was so much faith and love and promises and magic and music and stories in this tale. It was, by all rights, a magical piece of storytelling that I can’t wait to read again.

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“Self-Editing on a Penny” by Ashlyn Forge Review

Disclaimer: I listened to the audiobook version of this book.

Self-Editing On A Penny: A Comprehensive GuideSelf-Editing On A Penny: A Comprehensive Guide by Ashlyn Forge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this book, but only because I was listening to the audio book rather than reading a physical or Ebook copy. Note to self: grammar and editing books are not as good in audio book format. I will be re-reading this book at some point to see how each compares.

There were several good tips in this book, like several other editing books I’ve read before, and didn’t offer a lot of new information about the editing process I didn’t already know. However, the way the information was delivered had a bit of comedy, and there were several examples to showcase the author’s viewpoint. It was extremely well-done in that sense.

This is a quick book to read, and great for writer’s who are new to the editing process. Even if you aren’t new to editing, there are some decent tips that are perfect for a refresher course as you go through the editing process (like I’m about to do).

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“Beastly Bones” by William Ritter Review

Disclaimer: I listened to the audiobook version of this book.

Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)Beastly Bones by William Ritter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had forgotten how much I loved this series, but I was once again reminded as I listened to this audio book. I absolutely LOVE this series.

This book takes place shortly after the events of “Jackaby” and Jackaby and Miss Rook have a new case that pulls them into Rook’s preferred profession of paleontology. As someone who wanted to be a paleontologist the first time she watched “Jurassic Park”, I fell in love with the story. There were creatures that mimic their prey and take on the body and shape of the creature they eat. There were missing dinosaur bones (that may or may not) be a dinosaur at all. There were mysterious strangers with odd auras. It was a conglomeration of events that all built upon one another and it was amazing.

Once more, I listened to the audio book (as I did the first), and I loved it in this form. The first reason is that they seem to be written in a way as to be accounts of events after they have already happened. Once more a chapter was left out and noted as well. “The contents of [insert chapter] have been removed from the record…” This isn’t an exact quote, but the gist of what is mentioned, and I smiled when I heard it because I had forgotten that the same was done with the first book until I heard it once more. It’s an odd thing to occur in a book, but it works for this series, and I love that it was once more included (and I hope to see it in future books).

All-in-all, this is a great read. I love the characters. I love the relationship Abigail Rook has with Jackaby, her boss, and how he’s awkward (he doesn’t think he is, but he is a strange man) but there are no romantic feelings between the two. It’s refreshing because in a lot of what I read these days there is a romance between co-workers, and it’s nice to see that there’s NO relationship beyond that of work-related between the two main characters of this series.

That said, there is a bit of a budding romance between Miss Rook and the Charlie, the cop we met in the first book, but it’s slow and (again) awkward, and not the emphasis of the book. The main focus is on the mystery and the case, and I loved that the romance did not take the forefront.

There are a lot of new characters in this book, but I was pleasantly surprised and reminiscent with seeing some of the same characters from the first book appear as well. It was like greeting an old friend, and I loved it.

Can you tell I loved this book?

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My Bookish Valentine Blog Hop: A Book with a Heart of a Cover

A BOOKISH BLOG HOP.png

0000HelloDragonlings!

I’m participating in another blog hop, but this time, it’s Valentine’s Day themed! Once you read this post, check out some of the others listed below. Enjoy!

Name a book with a heart on the cover.

Honestly, the first book that comes to mind is probably not the typical idea for this. The reason? It has a heart on the cover, an anatomical one. It’s called Hearts & Other Body Parts by Ira Bloom, and is a YA paranormal romance book following the romances of three high school sisters who also happen to be witches.

JoLinsdellJo Linsdell

I’m going to pick The Defrosting of Charlotte Small by Annabel Giles. I love this cover. This was a book I picked up based solely on the cover, and it didn’t disappoint. You can watch my video review of the book here:

About the book: Single mother Charlotte Small’s life is falling apart…After flattening a friend’s dog, carelessly losing not one job but three, and waving her daughter off to spend Christmas overseas, Charlotte hits the wall. Years of suppressed heartbreak and disappointment overwhelm her and the fine thread of sanity finally snaps. Consequently, having thrown the entire contents of her house onto the street, she’s found by the police, lying on her back under a Christmas tree with an empty bottle of Port and a half-eaten lump of Stilton. Charlotte needs to claw her way back from the brink and start again. But can she build a bigger, brighter, and better existence this time around? The Defrosting of Charlotte Small is wonderfully observed and genuinely funny, mining the glorious seam of black humour that is fast becoming Annabel Giles’ trademark.

Casia SchreyerCasia Schreyer

The first one that sprang to mind was Taking Flight: An Intimate Journal of Self-Awareness by Marianne Curtis. There’s a few special things about this book – first, it’s a follow up to her best-selling memoir Finding Gloria and second, she’s just released the cover of this brand new project. The expected release date is May 1, 2018.

HeartCovers

My Bookish Valentine Pinterest

7th: Jo Linsdell
8th: Virginia Jennings
9th: Casia Schreyer
10th: Casia Schreyer
11th: Skye Hegyes
12th: Skye Hegyes
13th: William James
14th: Virginia Jennings

0000ThanksDragonlings!

My Bookish Valentine Blog Hop: Your Fictional Crush

A BOOKISH BLOG HOP.png

0000HelloDragonlings!

I’m participating in another blog hop, but this time, it’s Valentine’s Day themed! Once you read this post, check out some of the others listed below. Enjoy!

Who is your fictional crush?

Oh! This is a tough one. Well, I think my first fictional crush was actually with a horse, as I fell in love with Black from The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, but since then, my love has shifted to the devilishly dark and handsome man known as Tarik from Legend by Jude Deveraux.

JoLinsdellJo Linsdell

This is a tough one. Given the amount of books I’ve read, there are loads of characters I could put as the answer to this one. I’m going to go with one that always comes to mind though… Mr. Darcy. What’s not to like about Mr. Darcy? So what if he’s a bit socially awkward. I imagine him with that refined look from Regency Era England. So romantic! He’s wants the perfect partner and is not interested in settling for less. He’s rich too, which although is a very shallow reason, means he could take good care of me. Oh and we could drink tea together… I’m a Brit. I love proper English tea 😉

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V.L. Jennings

I guess I’m going first… I’ll confess… My fictional crushes are Almanzo Wilder (Little House on The Prairie)- he knows how to romance a girl! And Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables)- he knows how to wait on a girl- all while still playfully getting on her nerves 😉

My Bookish Valentine Pinterest

7th: Jo Linsdell
8th: Virginia Jennings
9th: Casia Schreyer
10th: Casia Schreyer
11th: Skye Hegyes
12th: Skye Hegyes
13th: William James
14th: Virginia Jennings

0000ThanksDragonlings!

Joust by Mercedes Lackey

Friday Feature

Joust by Mercedes Lackey

National best-selling fantasy author Mercedes Lackey creates a vivid, dynamic fusion of the cultures of ancient Egypt and legendary Atlantis with the most exciting and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined. The first book in this thrilling new series introduces us to a young slave who dreams of becoming a jouster-one of the few warriors who can actually ride a flying dragon. And so, in secret, he begins to raise his own dragon…

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the acclaimed author of over fifty novels and many works of short fiction. In her “spare” time she is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. Mercedes lives in Oklahoma with her husband and frequent collaborator, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots.

Disclaimer: All images pulled from Goodreads and Amazon.

Fruits Basket Volume 1 by Natsuki Takaya

Friday Feature

Fruits Basket Volume 1 by Natsuki Takaya

A family with an ancient curse…

And the girl who will change their lives forever…

Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home. Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she’s introduced to the Sohma’s world of magical curses and family secrets.

About the Author

Natsuki Takaya (高屋 奈月 Takaya Natsuki, real name Naka Hatake) is the penname of a Japanese manga artist best-known for creating the series Fruits Basket. She was born on July 7, 1973; (Tanabata). Takaya is left-handed and once revealed that she wanted to be a mangaka since first grade, when her sister started drawing.

She was born in Shizuoka, Japan, but was raised in Tokyo, where she made her debut in 1992. She enjoys video games such as the Final Fantasy series or Sakura Wars, or working on her different manga series, such as Fruits Basket, which is the second best-selling shōjo manga ever in Japan, and the top selling shōjo manga in North America. Fruits Basket has also been adapted into a twenty-six-episode anime series.

In 2001, Takaya received a Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo manga for Fruits Basket.

According to Takaya (in a sidebar of a Fruits Basket manga volume), she enjoys drawing girls (girly ones) more than she does boys. Takaya also enjoys electronics and music, but dislikes talking about herself. Also revealed in a sidebar of Fruits Basket, Takaya broke her drawing arm (left) after Fruits Basket volume six was published. She had to go into surgery, and as a result, had put Fruits Basket on a brief hiatus. Takaya made a full recovery, but complains that her handwriting had gotten uglier, due to the surgery. During her hospital stay, she gained an interest in baseball.

Disclaimer: All images pulled from Goodreads and Amazon.