Tarnished Gold by V. C. Andrews

Tarnished Gold (Landry, #5)Tarnished Gold by V.C. Andrews

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok so I’m reading slightly out of order again, but the last two books in the Landry series don’t follow Ruby’s storyline. This one follows Gabriel, her mother, the other one follows Pearl, her daughter.

Actually, I’m quite glad that the author chose to do a prequel book later, rather than sooner, because it gives the story more interest. Gabriel’s story really isn’t that interesting, but it is a bit more so because we already know about her daughter’s story. Hints about Gabriel’s upbringing are in the first three books so it’s nice to have things come full circle.

However, it’s not a need to read book. You can still enjoy Ruby’s journey without this one. However it does fill in the gaps about Gabriel’s life and the life Grandmere Catherine and Grandpere Jack had before Ruby came along.

All in all it’s a nice addition to the series.

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All That Glitters by V. C. Andrews

All That Glitters (Landry, #3)All That Glitters by V.C. Andrews

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

All I can think about after reading this book is all the death that has occurred in this series so far. I have been reading them in order, just so we’re all on the same page. So far the death count (just in the book timeline) is seven. Seven.

Basically Ruby’s family is dead.

It leaves me wondering where this series is going as there are two more books in the series and there aren’t that many characters left to kill off. At this point it seems that all the family drama is gone since there is no more family anymore!

I’m interested in the next book because of this turn of events…

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How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card

How to Write Science Fiction and FantasyHow to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Orson Scott Card is a sci-fi writer of some renown, Ender’s Game anyone? (I still need to read it, but I’ve heard of it.) And he wrote a book on writing speculative fiction. You could really apply it to writing in general, but there are a few chapters specifically on the genre of speculative fiction.

He discusses the origins of the genre, before delving in further to what defines the genre. What is the difference between fantasy and science fiction? Is there even a difference? Well, a very broad definition is if the world doesn’t look or function like ours it’s speculative. I also liked the chapter on putting together ideas. The process of writing, advice for those who want to write, and general advice for getting published.

It took me a couple of tries to finish this book. It is packed with information. It is a bit outdated as it was written in the 1990s, pre-internet era, so it doesn’t touch on ebooks at all, but I would still say it is worth reading for any serious writer. He talks about beta readers (and training them!), how to put ideas together and formulate a story, things that don’t change no matter what. If you read sci-fi or fantasy, this is a must read.

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The 6th Target by James Patterson

The 6th Target (Women's Murder Club, #6)The 6th Target by James Patterson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As the sixth book in this The Women’s Murder Club series, I’m beginning to see a bit of a pattern, but the plots are different enough to keep the book moving and not boring. I could have read this book in a day should I have wanted to. It kept my attention.

I don’t like that every other book or so one of the women gets shot/injured to the point where one has died and the others were in the hospital. I get that injuring your main characters makes for more dramatic plot points, but as this is a very long running series for Patterson, let’s cool it just a bit please?

On the other hand, I did enjoy the trials presented, Yuki’s character development, and Claire’s character development. What I didn’t like? Lindsay is suffering from hot woman syndrome “everybody wants me”. Yuck. Let’s cool that a bit too (and maybe it will happen in the next book!). The story left a bit of a cliff hanger, which isn’t an integral part of the book plot, but could affect the series as a whole. Interesting.

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Pearl in the Mist by V.C. Andrews

Pearl in the MistPearl in the Mist by V.C. Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having read the first book in this series, plus Flowers in the Attic, I really should have seen what was coming in this book. It was even foreshadowed, but I didn’t and that is actually a good thing because it meant this book is well written.

So for some context, there was an event I DID see coming, V.C. Andrews is a master at creating drama and I knew something had to happen, which it did. This was also foreshadowed but I picked up on this one.

The other event, which is actually a series of events due to cause and effect, I didn’t see coming, though I can see where it might be going in the next book. I’ll give a little bit of a hint, not a spoiler per say (I dislike spoilers), but given that V.C. Andrews’ books all deal with generational controversy and drama (really wish I had another word for that) I completely and utterly missed it and I feel a bit of an idiot for it (I’m laughing at myself now, it’s ok).

I already have the rest of the series, am interested to see where it goes as there are three more books, and I have some idea on the next book, but the other two I haven’t a clue (though I could throw out some random guesses as many of Andrews’ books deal with incest).

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Age of Night: Books 1 – 3 by May Sage

Age of Night: Books 1-3Age of Night: Books 1-3 by May Sage

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a three “book” set from a series that has many more “books”. I say “books” because these actually read are more like short stories from their length and word count. I like the plot ideas, the characters, and the genre, but I don’t like the resolutions.

The resolutions are rushed, glossed over, and to a certain point, a “miracle”. The first book ended very quickly, the build up was created over a few chapters, the ending took up a page. The second book had an outside source swoop in and save them in a page, the third book, we showed up afterwards.

I like the rest of the book, but the endings are far too rushed. The pacing isn’t constant. It bothers me as a reader, and as a writer. The story could be so much better!

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Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying UpSpark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondō

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this book as a companion to the first. First of all the practical knowledge here is just outstanding. She’s right, no one really teaches you how to fold clothes, no one really teaches you how to tidy or store items away properly. Marie Kondo does in this terrific book.

The attention to detail and simple diagrams she uses to explain her processes make everything easy to understand, and after a few false starts, even I picked them up fairly quickly. I must admit it is taking some time to implement some of these techniques but (maybe TMI?) my underwear drawer has never looked better!

I do recommend reading Marie Kondo’s books back to back. It will make more sense, flesh out some questions you may be having, and give you some tips and tricks to carry on tidying.

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