Quick Review: Healing Touch

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Newly released on Friday, Missy Welsh’s sci-fi novel Healing Touch, was an incredible read!

When Captain Noah O’Keefe and his crew get lost in space, the ship is captured by an alien race–the snake-like Tevian.  Tortured for information about his Human weapons, Noah wishes he could just die and end it all.  That is, until Vivek Korraay, an Aguadite healer, tends Noah’s wounds and helps him escape. Before they get free from the cells, though, Noah convinces Vivek to rescue another inmate, the child-like Bendel.

From there, the three need to get off the planet and allow Vivek to pass on sensitive information that may help prevent more war in the universe.

The story is very immersive.  The two point-of-view characters–Noah and Vivek–are each clearly defined.  In Vivek’s POV, it’s easy to see his way of thinking is different.  His responses, actions, and dialogue all reflect his alien mindset.  This really drew me in as a reader, making the world and races realistic and enticing.  And Noah, who is thrust into the middle of this situation, tries to act brave and strong, but we see how he struggles internally.

The relationship between the two is also endearing. Though Noah initially relies on Vivek to help him escape, the two quickly move past captor and savior and onto equal footing. They are a well suited match, despite the difference in their races. Each gives and receives in equal measure, which was a refreshing quality to have in the novel.

The quick pace of the story never let up.  It had me reading eagerly, moving through the novel as fast as possible.  The characters, worlds, and the alien races were all so interesting.  I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

5/5

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Quick Review: Alcatraz vs the Scrivener’s Bones

Continuing on the Alcatraz series, we have Alcatraz vs the Scrivener’s Bones.

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While the first story in the series was fun, lighthearted, hilarious, it was not too deep on plot.  The infiltration of the library–and Alcatraz learning about his lineage–took up most of the narrative.  That’s not a bad thing at all.  In fact, for the introductory book, it was perfect.  Giving some details but only hinting at others.

The second is when things get a bit more complex.  More of the Smedry family comes into play, and with them, the sudden quest to find Alcatraz’s lost father.

The humor is still there, possibly even better than the first novel.  But the added depth of character–of Alcatraz, Bastille, and the Smedry family–really make this book engaging.  The hidden plot lines, the intrigue of the Talents and their role in the world make the reader crave the next book.

One of the best parts, though also very tragic, is when Alcatraz does succeed in finding his father.  The abandoned child is finally reunited with his dad.  To see Attica hardly glance at Alcatraz is heartbreaking.  While so, so sad, I love the theme that sometimes families are fucked up.  That disappointment is part of real life.  It added a dash of reality to the crazy hi-jinks.

Sanderson is such an amazing author.  His writing abilities are so diverse, giving this childish and silly account of the world in one novel and the rich, details of dozens of societies in the Stormlight Archive.  Even building on Robert Jordan’s established world almost flawlessly.  I have yet to find a Sanderson book I haven’t enjoyed.  Though this series about Alcatraz and his Talent may be my favorite of the bunch (it’s a close call between this and Legion).  It’s so underrated and definitely needs to be given a chance by his devoted fans and fantasy readers alike.

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“Flight” Release

flight-fbbanner2-groupI’m so pleased to say that my first work is published!

New today is “Flight,” an anthology of 110 LGBTQ speculative flash fiction stories, brought to you by Mischief Corner Books.  The anthology comes from Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest, where authors are able to interpret the year’s theme as they see fit.  It features all sorts of characters, from aliens and AIs, to angels.

Though a printed version will be available soon, currently the eBook is on sale from any of these retailers:

 

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My contribution is titled “The Aviary” and is featured in the Paranormal section of the anthology.

Happy reading!

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Quick Review: Alcatraz Vs the Evil Librarians

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Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors.  He’s a juggernaut in the fantasy genre, with his incredible Mistborn series and his epic Stormlight Archive series, as well as the final three novels of The Wheel of Time series.  In my eyes, the man can do no wrong.

In 2007, Sanderson released the first novel of a five part series, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians.  In my opinion, this series is his most underrated work.  I wish more of his fans would give them a try.  They are worth reading, multiple times.

On that same note, the last book in the series, The Dark Talent, was released last week.  I picked up a copy and was eager to devour the story and finally see the ending!  However, once I sat down to get started, I couldn’t recall a lot of the details from the earlier novels.  And though Alcatraz did a brief recap in the introduction, I decided to take the opportunity to give the whole series a reread.

The setup is fictional non-fiction, with the author, Alcatraz Smedry releasing his autobiography.  But, Alcatraz is unable to freely print his words, so he disguises his adventure as a fantasy novel.

So starts the crazy antics of this world and the unlikely hero.

The world where accident-prone Alcatraz lives is run by Librarians–an evil cult that controls the world through misinformation.  On his thirteenth birthday, the orphaned Alcatraz is suddenly gifted with his inheritance: a bag of sand.  The next day, the inheritance is stolen, and his long-lost grandfather shows up to help him get the sands back.

During the adventure, Alcatraz learns that his family–the Smedries–all have special Talents, and that they are famous in the Free Kingdoms, the areas not controlled by the Librarians.  Alcatraz’s unusual habit for breaking things is really a manifestation of his Smedry Talent.  His grandfather, Leavenworth Smedry, has the Talent for arriving late to things.  The Smedry family uses these abilities in unique and interesting ways, which makes them a blessing rather than a curse (for example, Grandpa Smedry can arrive late to bullets).

Along with two cousins–Quentin and Sing–and a thirteen-year-old female Crystin Knight named Bastille, the group has to sneak into the downtown Library, the central base for the Librarians who stole Alcatraz’s inheritance.

The thing that stands out most in this novel is the humor.  I often feel Sanderson tries too hard to get funny dialogue into his stories, and it can seem forced.  Here, it flows naturally.  Alcatraz, the narrator, is nineteen and looking back on his childhood.  This adds a lot of hilarious comments–mostly Alcatraz poking fun at the readers, or himself.  There’s also a ton of randomness, like throwing the word “rutabaga” into the narrative for no reason.  Sanderson also has fun with typical fantasy tropes, with Alcatraz pointing out how ridiculous some of them are.

I laughed so hard, even on the reread of this book.

The plot is a simplistic heist, but the setting and the characters drive this story.  And with the end, Alcatraz suddenly realizes  he’s not as alone as  he thinks.  It has the perfect conclusion, which leaves the reader begging for the next in the series.

Again, this book is near-perfect.  It’s goofy, silly, and oddly touching.  One of Sanderson’s bests, and that’s saying a lot considering how amazing his other novels are!

5/5

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Wide Open Spaces Blog Tour

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AVAILABLE NOW

WIDE OPEN SPACES
States of Love – Wyoming

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

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Dreamspinner Press

Amazon: USCAAUUKDE

All Romance

Blurb

Devon fled Wyoming as soon as he turned eighteen, leaving behind his high school love, Levi. After six years in the big city, Devon returns to his hometown. Not much has changed, except that Levi is no longer in the closet. He’s also single and living his dream—managing the local wild horse population. Both of them are very interested in picking up where they left off, but Devon is no more ready to reveal his orientation than he was as a teenager.

No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Excerpt

Devon sank down on his couch as exhaustion swamped him. Most of it was from moving in, but the change in elevation didn’t help. He’d gotten used to being closer to sea level, so going back to the dry air at over six thousand feet was going to take some getting used to.

Bloody noses had become the norm while he stayed with Blake. Devon didn’t want to deal with them repeatedly and considered getting a humidifier until he managed to acclimate.

He looked around his living room. Boxes were scattered everywhere, and he should be unpacking, but he was too tired. At least he hadn’t had to carry everything in himself. Blake, Travis, and Seth were waiting for him when he pulled into the apartment complex. They shrugged off his objections and insisted they had nothing better to do. Devon appreciated it, but he wasn’t comfortable around them anymore. He managed to be a proper host, but damn, he was glad they left after a couple beers each. They made noise about getting together again soon, but Devon had used getting settled in as an excuse to keep from committing to anything.

He stood and wandered into his small kitchen. He didn’t bother opening the fridge or any of the cupboards. He knew they were empty. His stomach growled, reminding him he hadn’t eaten for a while. Devon dug his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door. He’d get something to eat and then maybe stop at the store to pick up a few staples. Paper plates, sandwich fixings, some chips, and he’d be good for a couple of days. At least it would give him time to get a few things—like pots and pans—unpacked. Then he could do a full grocery shop.

An hour later he was comfortably full from a greasy burger, fries, and a shake. He’d never eaten a lot of fast food, but he had few other options. He headed to Walmart, determined to stick to his list of sandwich stuff and maybe some eggs. Surely he could dig out some pans before the food expired. He headed to the chips first and scanned for the familiar bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. They were his all-time favorite, though he also knew he’d want something else after a day or two. So he grabbed a couple of other bags and headed for the eggs and then the freezer aisle.

Sandwiches and chips would get old fast. He found some frozen breakfast sandwiches he could microwave, tossed them in the cart, and moved on. Frozen lasagna quickly joined the few other items in his cart, followed by some potpies, a few TV dinners, and a bag of chimichangas. So what if he wasn’t sticking to his mental list?

He was more focused on getting groceries for the next few days than on the people around him.

“Devon.”

He froze when a familiar voice spoke his name. He closed his eyes briefly, ducked his head, and steeled himself. He knew it would happen eventually, when he found out Levi still lived there. He thought he’d have more time to prepare. He swallowed—hard—and turned to face the man who had at one time meant everything to him. The man he’d risked being found out for. He lifted his head and gazed into the moss-colored eyes.

“Levi.”

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About the Author

Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties. Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal. When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of Admin, Blog Coordinator, and Anthology Coordinator.

Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works.

When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts. When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.

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Quick Review: Fallow

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Where to start when talking about Jordan L. Hawk?  I adore everything about her novels, from her ability to tell a character’s point of view so well, to her development of such sensational settings.  She is a master storyteller.

Fallow is the latest novel in the Whyborne and Griffin series.  In it, our heroes realize that something sinister may be occurring in Griffin’s hometown of Fallow.  Despite being kicked out of the town in disgrace, he still has a desire to save it and its citizens—more specifically, his mother—from the dangers that threaten.  With the help of Christine and Iskandar, the four set off for Fallow.  Once there, they quickly discover that there is a plot, and that the perpetrators aim to spread their corruption all the way to Widdershins!

Honestly, this story was too short!  I want to spend more time with these characters, and while the story and plot were wrapped up by the end, I still hungered for it to keep going.  Hawk does an amazing job of speaking through a character’s voice.  The point of view switches between Whyborne and Griffin, all in first person.  This can be tricky to do correctly, but Hawk pulls it off flawlessly.  You can always tell which character’s point of view we’re in because of how different these two men see the world and each other.

It was also nice to see more of Griffin’s background.  So much of who he is was shaped by his time in Fallow, and by the people there.  For a brief moment, it even seems he might reconcile with his family.   But in the end, he sees that Whyborne, Christine, and Iskandar are the family he’s chosen, and that is able to heal a bit of the hurt inside him.

I’m already looking forward to the next in the series because I never want to be away from these characters for too long.

5/5

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Year in Yaoi: Junjou Romantica Volume 1

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I am very biased as far as Junjou Romantica is concerned.  It was the very first yaoi anime I was introduced to, so it holds a special sort of nostalgia.  There are some themes within the series (anime and manga) that people don’t care for.  I can understand that.  I’m not going to say their views are wrong or misguided.  Everyone sees things differently.  I’m going to talk about what I like and don’t like about the series; it isn’t necessarily what others like or don’t like.

Just my two cents before we get started.

Junjou Romantica is a romantic comedy yaoi written by Shungiki Nakamura.  It does have a “mature” rating and includes sexual scenes and situations (one of the reasons I love it!).  The manga is much more details in these aspects than the anime.  Just saying.

The story starts with Misaki Takahashi, a high school senior nearly set to take his college entrance exams.  Since Misaki is a bit low on the pre-tests, his brother, Takahiro, suggests that his best friend–esteemed novelist Akihiko Usami–tutor Misaki.  At the first tutoring session, Misaki discovers that Akihiko (whom has the nickname Usagi) is also the author of several boys-love novels, and they use Takahiro as the love interest.  This revelation causes some friction between Misaki, who thinks his brother is being used, and Usagi, who only uses the writings to act out fantasies he’s unable to perform in real life.

This is when it get iffy.  Misaki tells Usagi to leave his brother alone, and that any other guy would suffice for his affection.  Usagi sees that as an invitation.  The resulting scene is sketchy in its definition of consent.  Either way, this adds to the rocky relationship these two share.  They put that aside, though, and focus on getting ready for the college entrance exam.

Misaki quickly improves under Usagi’s teaching.  During their time together, Misaki is able to understand that Usagi’s love for Takahiro is unrequited, and he sees the pity and sadness Usagi has.  An admiration forms in Misaki, and he starts to look forward to seeing his sensei.

That is, until Takahiro tells them both he’s decided to get married.  Usagi, used to putting Takahiro’s feelings first, congratulates them and says he’s so happy.  Misaki, on the other hand, can’t fathom how his brother could fail to notice Usagi’s feelings of love.  He’s heartbroken, for Usagi’s sake.

The scene between Misaki and Usagi after the announcement is what cements this story and the characters in my heart.  It’s so touching, so heart wrenching, so beautiful.  Misaki, filled to the brim with sympathy for Usagi, cries at the unfairness of it all.  Usagi, baffled that this kid ten years his junior was able to see his true feelings, allows himself to break down and cry.  They hold each other in the snow.  Misaki thinks about how special Usagi is, and how wonderful it would be if Usagi could love him instead.

That’s the end of the first act.  To me, this is perfection.  I love everything about the characters, their dynamics, their flaws, their interactions.  Misaki is so sweet and innocent; his feelings for Usagi are so overpowering that they scare him.  Usagi is driven and forceful, and yet he’s terrified he’ll lose Misaki in the same way he lost Takahiro.  Both approach the relationship from different angles, and it causes a lot of drama and confusion (and humor).

The second act picks up with Misaki living with Usagi.  Takahiro had a sudden transfer for his job, so Usagi volunteered to let Misaki live with him for his four years of college.  Again, the line of consent blurs.  The reader is aware that Misaki loves Usagi deeply.  Usagi assumes Misaki loves him (as Usagi is very egotistical and selfish).  Still, Misaki does put up some resistance to Usagi’s advances, mostly because he’s afraid Usagi is using him as a substitute for his brother.

It gets worse when Misaki makes a friend at school.  Usagi can’t stand the idea of any other man getting close to Misaki.  Misaki finally breaks down, yelling at Usagi that he won’t be a substitute–Misaki can’t see how Usagi could get over loving Takahiro so quickly.  Usagi confesses that as soon as Misaki cried on his behalf, his heart was swayed.  He’s loved Misaki ever since.  And he won’t sit by and let someone he loves be taken away again.

Deep inside these two, there is a beautiful relationship.  Their communication–or lack there of–is often the catalyst for the drama that ensues.  Since this is a romantic comedy, not a romantic drama, it’s best to take the conflicts lightly.  It’s easy to get frustrated at them when they don’t say what they mean, but it’s all for the sake of the laugh when things ultimately wind up in chaos.

That’s basically how the manga continues.  Misaki misunderstands something, Usagi gets jealous, they fight and make up.  But there are still some amazingly touching scenes with these two characters, and I adore every moment they have together.

That concludes act two.  The third act switches gears.  The author, Shungiku Nakamura, gives each of the series’ pairings a nickname.  The relationship between Misaki and Usagi is called “Romantica.”  The next couple featured is “Egoist.”  The next few acts are “Egoist Act 1” and “Egoist Act 2.”

“Egoist” features Usagi’s best friend growing up, Hiroki Kamijou.  Kamijou has had feeling for Usagi for most of his life, and was unable to accept Usagi’s love for Takahiro.  Unlike Usagi who was able to think only of Takahiro’s happiness over his own, Kamijou turned bitter and full of self pity.  He convinces Usagi to sleep with him blindfolded, enabling Usagi to iamgine he is actually with Takahiro.  The situation basically ruins their freindship–Usagi thinking he’s soiled Takahiro’s image in his mind, Kamijou devastated that Usagi wasn’t able to develop feelings for him.

On the day when Kamijou realizes he’s lost Usagi forever, he runs into a mysterious man at the park.  The young man is Nowaki Kusama, an orphan, who falls in love with Kamijou on the spot.  In order to spend more time together, Nowaki begs Kamijou to tutor him so he can get into college (a reoccurring theme in the series).  Nowaki is able to piece together why Kamijou was so unhappy that day in the park, he realizes that Kamijou loves Usagi.

When Usagi stops by to visit one day, Nowaki flies into a fit or rage, saying that Kamijou was his now.  The two have a bit of a scuffle and Nowaki confesses how he’s loved Kamijou from first sight.  The two have sex and Kamijou is filled with new emotions, ones he’d never thought he’d feel for someone other than Usagi.

Act two picks up with “Egoist” as Kamijou spies on Nowaki at work.  Kamijou is very shy with his feelings–which is typical of the uke of the couple–so he doesn’t want Nowaki to realize how deeply he’s fallen in love.

While spying, Kamijou runs into Usagi, and the two are able to interact like a normal friends.  Kamijou is kind of shocked how his heart has moved on.  Of course, Nowaki sees them together, and instead of explaining the innocence behind the encounter, Kamijou flees the scene.

Later, he tries to call Nowaki, but there’s no answer.  When Nowaki finally comes around, they sit in awkward silence.  Finally, Kamijou confesses to just running into Usagi by accident and that there are no longer romantic feelings between them.  Nowaki says he is confused because he’s noticed that Kamijou spies on him at work.  Kamijou freaks out, totally embarrassed.  Nowaki asks if that means Kamijou really does care.  Kamijou says he does.

Once again, the break down of communication is the cause of all the drama.  This romantic entanglement is very similar to that between Usagi and Misaki.  Because of that, this couple is less appealing to me.  Later, they bloom a bit more and develop in a slightly different direction, so there is a redeeming factor in their relationship.

That ends act four.  Before the manga ends, there’s a small “Romantica Act 2.5” where Misaki is suffering from a slight fever.  This is a flashback, back before Misaki  has moved in with Usagi, but after Takahiro married his wife.  Misaki is alone and sick when Usagi comes to check on him.  Ready to drop off the fruit basket and leave, Usagi is suddenly made aware that Misaki is looking for apartments.  He offers for Misaki to come and live with him.  Misaki doesn’t want to be a bother.  Usagi insists he never would have brought it up if he didn’t want it.

This is sweet because you get to see more about the death of Misaki’s parents and how much that has wounded him.  Usagi seems to instinctively see how lonely Misaki is.  This is the first time within the story where you see Usagi do something kind and considerate.  He only seems to do those types of things in regard to Misaki.  He doesn’t give a damn about anyone else.

The concludes the first volume of Junjou Romantica.  It’s a great start to a wonderful series and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys yaoi!

 

 

 

 

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Quick Review: Blow Down

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Blow Down, by J.L. Merrow, is the fourth book in the Plumber’s Mate series.

In this installment, plumber Tom Pilanski and his fiance, private investigator Phil Morrison, are still dealing with the idea of their wedding.  But before that even happens, shouldn’t they move in together?  Tom seems to be dragging his feet on both subjects.

On top of that, Tom’s supernatural ability to find hidden things is getting noticed by the community.  Now he’s getting calls to come use his “psychic” powers for clients.

During a church event, Tom gets stuck doing a demonstration of water dowsing—the only way he can seem to explain his gift to other people.  During the demo, he discovers a dead body.  Once again, Tom’s in the spotlight and the murderer may have Tom on their list next.

I love these two very much.  As the series has progressed, their relationship has evolved.  In this installment, Tom’s apparent cold feet gives a stumbling block to the couple.  But, working it out is what these guys do.  And they do it so well.

Since their relationship is on pretty solid ground, the boys act a lot more lovey-dovey in this story.  Merrow does a fantastic job with that.  Tom and Phil are cute and sweet and all-around  perfect.  I immensely enjoyed their interaction in that regard.

Other plots, which encompasses most of the novel, are still intriguing.  The murder, of course, takes center stage, but there’s also Tom’s dealings with his biological father, dealing with Phil’s family, and Tom coming to terms with his ability being common knowledge.

Like the rest in this series, Tom steals the show.  He is funny and lighthearted, despite all the bad that seems to happen around him.  Merrow’s prose is quick and entertaining.  It’s a great read all around!

5/5

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Mori Girl Fashion

I’m no where near being a fashionista.  I like to look cute, but I never put much effort toward that goal.  My whole wardrobe is made of maxi skirts and solid colored shirts.  I very rarely stray from this look.

However, I’ve always been a fan of the boho look made popular by places like Free People.  Did I mention I also don’t like spending money on clothes?  While the outfits they have available online or in-stores are stunning, they can’t possibly be worth that price!

Just this past week, the mori girl fashion lifestyle came to my attention (through the geeky EPBOT blog).  I’d seen several mori girl pieces, but didn’t realize it was a movement.  Urban Dictionary states that a mori girl’s fashion style is “loose, light and airy, layered with warm, bulky sweaters and scarves and tough boots for navigating the wilderness. The style utilizes pale colors, like oatmeal, light pink, light greens and browns, as well as rich gem tones like sapphire and ruby. Crocheted and knitted items accessorize the look.”

 

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Like this beautiful outfit from Sarah Clemens Clothing on Etsy

 

I must say, I absolutely love this look!  It fits my definition of style and comfort.

So, I’m going to make this my summer mission: complete a mori girl wardrobe.

This is incredibly daunting for me.  As I said, I have very little fashion sense.  I have no idea which colors/patterns/fabrics go well with each other.  I can see a look and admire it, but it’s hard for me to mimic that myself.

Still, I’m up for the challenge!  I’m ready to push myself and make my mind think about fashion in a new way.

For my first effort, I found the very first skirt I had made myself (probably seven years ago).  I paired it with a black maxi skirt, a bright red cami, a plain black shirt, and a knit cardigan.  Not the best example of the mori girl look, but at least it was something.

 

Another problem with this idea?  My body type.  It’s not made for layers and loose fitting garments.  But those can be gotten around by adding belts, or so I’ve read.  Or maybe try slightly tighter tops.  I don’t know.  I’ll find out.

My game plan is to do this simply and cheaply.  First thing is to check out thrift stores and see if I can acquire any skirts and shirts that way.  I also have plans to sew my own.  I purchased some knits and gauze fabrics from a fabric warehouse this past weekend.  I intend to turn them into… something.  My sewing has improved in the past seven years, but it’s still not something to brag about.

At least I’ve got something to go on.  We’ll see how this works out.

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Quick Review: Calamity

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Calamity was the third and final novel in Brandon Sanderson‘s The Reckoners series.  Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors.  I’ve adored everything I’ve read by him–and I’ve read almost everything he’s published.

Calamity was a great conclusion to the story.  The main character, David Charleston, was so likable and sweet, I just fell in love with him.  And his budding relationship with Megan was so well done and believable.  One particular element I really enjoyed about their interactions was how they had to trust one another.  They were fighting for their lives, and instead of being overly protective and insisting the other shouldn’t fight, they accepted the danger and ran with it.  They both knew there was a chance either could die.  But the risk was necessary for humanity to survive.

To me, this was refreshing because a lot of times–especially in a romantic context–we see a character try to coddle or protect their love interest.  Now, feeling fear for that love interest’s life is not the same as keeping them from that danger.  You can not want them to go and still let them go.  In this way, Megan and David encouraged one another and pushed each other onto their greatest potential.

Sanderson’s humor was also on point for this book.  I feel he has a tendency to overdo the wit of his characters.  This was very much the case in Elantris and even The Way of Kings.  I feel he’s better when he does clever/situational humor–like this series, and the two Legion novellas–instead of trying to make his characters have the sharpest tongues.

One thing that felt lacking was the other characters’ development.  Sanderson went very far out of his way to make the side characters quirky–a Southerner who claims to be Scottish, an African-American French-Canadian–that they seemed unrealistic.  Before starting the third book, I remembered David, Megan, and Prof.  I needed to read a few chapters before the personalities of the others came back to me.  To me, this showed how I wasn’t invested in any of the side characters.  They could have been switched out with a million other personality possibilities and the story would have continued without incident.  Their whole purpose was to be a side character.  And with David taking center stage anyway, it was hard to care about them.

I’ve seen a lot of negativity regarding the ending.  And while I agree that it was quickly resolved, the ending made sense within the context of the story and its world.  Not everything has to be completed with explosions and huge battles.  Sometimes words and deeds can be small and almost insignificant and still have a lasting impact.

All in all, I loved this novel and the conclusion to the series.  Sanderson recently announced a spin-off series set in a parallel of this world due out in 2018.  I’m looking forward to returning here as many times as Sanderson is willing to take me!

Rating 5/5

 

 

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