I’m doing a swap, where I exchange my reading list for March with other people. It’s on Swap Bot, which is home to a great number of interesting swaps. You should check it out.
Anyway, the swap I’m in is an electronic swap, so I thought I’d kill 2 birds with one stone for it: post to my neglected blog, and complete the requirements of the swap. So, here’s my reading list for March.
Novel Shortcuts – Laura Whitcomb
I want to write books, especially young adult novels, and so I’ve managed to get my hands on just about every writing book I can. This was one of those books.
It’s… okay. Not great, but okay.
One of my biggest problems with the book is that she thinks you need to use all these things to make you book interesting. One of those things is a plot device. But to her, a plot device is like starting every chapter with a quote, or writing in diary format. They’re more gimmicks than devices.
She also talks about something called the crosshairs moment. I’m still not sure what it is. It’s either plot points, or the climax of your novel, but she’s not clear.
Shortcut to a Scene is the only chapter that I really liked in the book. I have a lot of trouble mapping out scenes, and plots, to be honest, so I found it useful. Now, I just need to try it.
HDU – India Lee
I don’t remember how this ended up on my reading list. But, somehow it did, and I read it over a couple of days. And it’s not too bad. It’s not a great book, but a lot of the books out there today aren’t great, so there’s worse things to spend your $3 on.
The story follows Amanda as she hatches the plan in Merit, Missouri and goes to New York City to be with Liam, and learn what it’s like to be famous. Also along for the ride is her friend Ian, another HDU moderator. Amanda leanrs pretty quickly that things aren’t as simple as they seem. She learns to navigate what’s expected of her, versus what she thinks she should do, and it’s interesting.
One thing that I didn’t like is that Amanda meets Liam through HDU, and moderates the site, but as the novel progresses, HDU is mostly forgotten, except for a few brief excerpts. I realize the novel isn’t about the people on the site discovering Amanda’s dating Liam, but I would have liked to see it featured more.
The Last Dragonlord – Joanne Bertin
I read this book in college, and I loved it. It’s a little clunky in places, but it was the first time I’d read a book about were animals that I really, really liked. I don’t mind were animals, but sometimes I lose interest. Not with this book. I love th econcept that every Dragonlord is born with a half dragon, half human soul, and that soul is split in two, so that every Dragonlord has what’s essentially a soulmate. Linden’s problem is he’s 600 years old, and has no soultwin (their soulmates). And no one’s felt another Dragonlord being born in years, so they’re convinced he’s the last of their kind.
You can guess where the book goes, for most parts, so it won’t keep you guessing, but it’s an enjoyable read anyway.
Dragon and Phoenix – Joanne Bertin
This is the second of three books in the Dragonlords series, and while I haven’t read the third (it was published last year), I’ve read this one and the first one multiple times. I don’t like this one nearly as well. There’s two stories being told: the story of Linden and company headed to Jehanglan to look for a possibly imprisoned Dragonlord, and the story of Shei-Luin and her rise from no one concubine to empress of Jehanglan. Also thrown in there for good measure is the story of another guy, whose name I have forgotten.
Too many story lines, and the story takes too long to get going. However, I read it again because I wanted to remember everything before I dove into Bard’s Oath, which I have downloaded, but haven’t read yet.
The Boss – Abigail Barnette
This is a free serial, meaning it comes out twice a month as a free download. It’s an erotic novel, so if you don’t want graphic sex descriptions stay away. However, if you like erotic novels, or you liked 50 Shades of Grey, you might want to check this out.
I’m on the Street Team for The Boss, which means it’s my “job” to talk about the book online. I’m posting it here not just because it’s my “job” but also because I’m reading it, and I like it. Sophie is fun. Neil is interesting.
And the book is well written. Sure, you get it in 15-20 page installments, but Abigail Barnette really writes well, and it’s not just all sex, all the time. And, unlike 50 Shades, Sophie and Neil are fully fleshed out characters, with flaws and quirks and interesting things. And they’re adult enough to know what they’re getting into, unlike a certain Ana Steele who’s plied with wine and told she can’t make decisions.
If this sounds like your cup of tea, the first 9 chapters are available for free, either read online, or as pdf downloads here.