Author: Holly

Free Book Giveaway – Historical Romance

Posted August 13, 2007 by Holly in Giveaways, Reviews | 1 Comment

Who doesn’t love free books, right? This is a limited time offer, so send your email quick. Who knows, you may just end up loving it. 🙂

________________________

We want to introduce readers to the awesome talent of author Kathryn
Fairfax, so for a limited time, we’re giving a free copy of her historical
romance (e-book version), THE LODESTONE, to anyone who sends an e-mail,
with Free Book in the subject line. Send your request to:
ckeel@tantalizingtales.com.

There are some steamy scenes in this book but primarily it’s a historical
romance set in 1830s England. You can read an excerpt by going to
www.tantalizingtales.com. Here are just two of the terrific reviews it has
received:

“This compelling story is filled with depth, and rich detail of 1800s
England, bringing to life the society intrigues of that time. Using
realistic dialogue and mannerisms, all the characters are expertly brought
to life. I highly recommend this exciting and endearing story to those who
love historical romances.” Rating: 5 Cups
—Kelley, Coffee Time Romance

“The Lodestone is the best I’ve ever read, bar none. I couldn’t put it
down. The author drew me in with warm, compelling characters and kept me
turning pages with a fast-paced, richly layered plot. I love the way she
weaves history in by involving her feminist heroine in the social issues
of her day. Kathryn Fairfax can flat-out write!”
Peggy Webb, multi-published author.


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I Miss The Good Old Days….

Posted August 9, 2007 by Holly in Discussions | 11 Comments


…when the whole purpose of reviewing a book was because you loved it so much (or hated it so much) you wanted feedback from other lovers (haters). There was discussion and debate, but no wild forays into personal territory. I could say, “Seriously? You liked that?” and no one cared, because we were all meeting with the common goal in mind to just…talk about books.

I started reading romance years ago and I was very blessed to meet some wonderful people in online communities (including my two blogging sisters here at Book Binge) who loved the genre as much as I did. Their joy, like my own, at discovering a new-to-me author was contagious and before long, my reading horizon’s had expanded and grown so much my tiny collection of keepers soared into the thousands.

We argued about our favorite characters and plot devices. We SQUEEEED at the top of our lungs when we found a new book that was TO DIE FOR. We pimped new authors and books and whatever else came to mind.

But more than that, we connected with each other. Don’t misunderstand me, I’ve enjoyed getting to know a lot of you here in Blogland. I love that I’ve made new friends and found other readers who love the same things I do -or hate the things I love, or love the things I hate – but rather than discussing books, we seem to just add our thoughts about them and leave it at that.

Yes, some of the more popular sites, such as Dear Author and Smart Bitches, seem to have livelier discussions, but even they aren’t as appealing as the ones I used to involve myself in were.

So what happened? When did I go from reading 2-3 books a day to reading 2-3 a month. When did my focus shift from sharing the books I loved (and hated) with other women who would potentially love them too, to something…less?

I guess we can blame real life for having the audacity to barge in on our reading time but is that really the problem? I’m no busier now than I was before but I don’t have the same desire that I do to read as I did when the upcoming monthly discussions would begin on whatever BB we were posting at. I remember the days when I wanted to get the books read (no matter how many times I’ve read the book) so that I was prepared for any discussion topics that would arise.

I remember the games we would play day in and day out and the good times we had just by dissecting books and gushing like crazy over this plot and that ending and fighting over the heroes and just having fun with the stories and characters.

All of it was done in good fun and we don’t do that anymore…our question is why?

What happened to us?


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Review: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Posted August 7, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 52 Comments

Review: Eclipse by Stephenie MeyerReviewer: Holly
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight #3
Also in this series: Eclipse, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Breaking Dawn, Twilight, Twilight, Twilight

Publication Date: August 7th 2007
Genres: Young Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Love & Romance
Pages: 640
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Readers captivated by Twilight and New Moon will eagerly devour Eclipse, the much anticipated third book in Stephenie Meyer's riveting vampire love saga.

As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob --- knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

This is the much anticipated continuing first person story of Bella Swan, a 17-year-old girl who moved to Forks, Washington and fell in love with vampire Edward Cullen.

Graduation is fast approaching for Bella, and with it, her deadline for becoming a vampire. She’s still on the outs with Jacob Black and she’s starting to have second thoughts about being changed. Not to mention there are a spree of murders taking place in Seattle and Victoria, the crazed vampire who’s been after Bella since Twilight, is still haunting Bella’s dreams.

I’ve never been one for self-denial. I mean, I figure, you can lie to your friends, you can lie to your family, but ultimately, you cannot lie to yourself. Bella Swan takes “lying to yourself” to a whole new level in this book. So much that I was seriously tempted to stop reading.

Side Note: There will be spoilers included in my review. There’s no way around it for me. If you are the type of person who doesn’t want to know before you read it yourself, please don’t read any further. :End Side Note

Once again we follow Bella’s thoughts as she tries to deal with becoming a vampire, her overwhelming love for Edward, her constant worry for her family, and her despair at the gulf between her and Jacob.

I think my biggest problem with this novel is the way Bella constantly deludes herself. It started almost in the beginning. Alice has a vision at lunch while sitting with Bella and Edward. Bella is curious and wants to know what the vision was, but neither Edward nor Alice will tell her. Edward then railroads her into going to visit her mom for the weekend in AZ, and then lies to Bella about the vision, telling her it was something much different than what it really is.

Prior to Edward telling her, Bella is sure she knows what the vision was about – Victoria – and has worked herself up into a nice fit of semi-panic. But when Edward tells her it was something inconsequential, she goes, “Oh. Good” and for the next 300 or so pages, she thinks to herself, “I’m just blowing this out of proportion again, just like I did with Alice’s vision”. She even does this after she finds out the truth of the vision and why Edward insisted she leave town for the weekend.

And that was the continuing trend throughout the book. She was in constant self-denial and always wanting to play the martyr. She finally makes amends with Jacob – who we know is totally in love with her – and she spends as much time with him as she can. But while she constantly thinks to herself, “I’m hurting him” she doesn’t back away, and she doesn’t make an effort to ease the pain he feels over her relationship with Edward.

I also had a very, very hard time with her developing relationship with Jacob. She finally agrees to marry Edward and then shortly after realizes she’s IN love with Jacob. Yes, I said IN LOVE with him. Although she loves Edward more, she could envision a life with Jacob. A comfortable, human life. She tells Jacob all of this and then says, “but I’m going to stay with Edward”. She even kisses him at one point (Jacob, I mean). Who does that? Naturally Edward found out right away because he can read Jacob’s mind, but rather than being upset with Bella he tells her he understood her reasons, that Jacob doesn’t fight fair, and that he loves her no matter what. Which, of course, just made Bella feel even worse.

At one point, I thought this was going to turn into another Love Triangle series, and I was sorely disappointed. I’m still not entirely sure that won’t happen.

Eventually they (Bella, Edward and Alice) figure out that Victoria is creating her own little army of “Newborns” – vampires who have just been created and don’t have any control over themselves but have tremendous power – with the intention of bringing them to Forks to wipe out the Cullens and kill Bella. They begin preparing to fight them, but Jasper, who has experience fighting Newborns, doesn’t think they’ll be able to win the fight, as they’re all sadly outnumbered.

Until the werewolves get involved. Jacob and the rest of the gang from La Push agree to fight with the Cullens to save Bella. I have to say, despite how annoyed I was with the book in general and Bella in particular, that was pretty cool. Seeing the Vamps and Weres working together was great. Although I still say Bella isn’t worth it.

Perhaps I’m not making much sense, or my frustration with the book is overshadowing the actual review of this book, but this is how I felt whilst reading..frustrated. And angry. And annoyed.

There were some good things. We find out more about Rosalie and Jasper and how they became Vampires. Learning about their pasts was very interesting. We found out more about the werewolves, too, and how they came to be and the legends they pass down. Of course, it was from these legends that Bella gets the idea into her head to sacrifice herself so everyone else can live, but at least it doesn’t happen that way.

The fight scenes were cool, even though we saw them all from Bella’s POV. And there’s an extremely unguarded moment when Jacob and Edward are talking about Bella with each other – when they think she’s asleep – that really touched me. Seeing where they both come from in regards to her..well, it was very sweet and touching. I could really feel the love they both have for her, although I am truly baffled by it. I’d just want to smack her myself, but that’s just me.

I think, overall, I expected Bella to get stronger and more independent. To find herself, I suppose. And instead she seemed to get more co-dependent and more self-serving. She was just plain selfish, assuming the world revolves around her and only thinking of herself, never of the other people in her life.

The Epilogue was very well done, however. It’s written from Jacob’s POV and I found it to be very insightful. If SM writes Midnight Sun -Twilight from Edward’s POV – or anything from Jacob’s POV, I’d scoop them up in a heartbeat.

Anyway, despite my issues – and there were many – with the overall story and Bella, SM’s writing still drew me in. She obviously has the talent and drive it takes to produce a constant page turner, and for that alone I cannot rate this in the “terrible” range.

3.0 out of 5

I honestly don’t know how I feel about continuing on with the series. Prior to reading this one, I was excited to read more about Bella and the Cullens and Jacob. Now? I’m not sure I want to see where this train wreck leads us. Although, I will probably buy the next installment. What can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment.

*I was going to include links in this post to SM’s site and etc, but it appears to be down. If I remember, I’ll update it later.

Edited to correct a mistake. I said Esme and Jasper told their stories, but it was in fact Rosalie and Jasper. I apologize

three-stars


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Was She Always This TSTL?

Posted August 3, 2007 by Holly in Discussions | 4 Comments


I’m almost finished with Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer. I think I have less than 70 pages left to go (unfortunately I’ve had some personal things going on lately that have really cut into my reading time) and I’m starting to wonder..was Bella ALWAYS this Stupid?

I remember being slightly annoyed with her in Twilight, but overall loving her “voice” and being totally wrapped up in the story.

I also remember being slightly annoyed with her in New Moon, what with her constant angst and over usage of Jacob Black’s feelings for her. But in the end, I felt she was slightly redeemed and I even somewhat applauded her reasons for refusing Edward’s marriage proposal..hmm, or what I thought her reasons for refusing were.

But here I am, almost finished with Eclipse, a novel I’ve been waiting far too long for and I find myself wondering…what did I miss in Twilight and New Moon? Did I block her stupidity because the story was so well crafted? Was I so obsessed with Edward and the other Cullen’s I completely disregarded Bella’s annoying inner monologues?

How did I miss all that?

*headdesk*

*More on this in my review, coming Sunday or Monday


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