Labor Day Weekend

Monday night, and I’m getting ready to head back to work bright and early tomorrow morning. I figured I would share what has occupied my time this holiday weekend. Maybe you did some of these same things!

Friday night, I met my friend Dawn at the movies. We saw the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I’ve read the books and was curious about the movie. I had some concerns going into it: I wasn’t sure about some of the actors picked to play the roles. I was totally psyched about Simon, but the rest… Needless to say, I really enjoyed it. The actors pulled it off wonderfully. I think the screenplay did the book justice and kept things moving. Lots of action and great special effects. I definitely recommend seeing it. A solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, Cathy and I headed to Reston, Virginia. We stayed at the Hyatt and had fun shopping at the stores in the Reston Town Center. I confess that Athleta was my favorite. We even checked out some classic Porsches that were on display. That evening we headed to Wolf Trap for the Sound of Music Sing-A-Long. It was a blast but really hot and humid. We left at intermission. I didn’t enjoy feeling like a sardine with little leg room and hard seats.  Continue reading “Labor Day Weekend”

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What Really Happened in Peru

What_Really_Happened_in_PeruAfter reading the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, I fell in love with warlock Magnus Bane. When I saw she had some Kindle short stories available about Magnus, I jumped at the chance to read one.

The first of the Bane Chronicles is titled What Really Happened in Peru. It is co-authored by Ms. Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan.

I hate to say don’t waste your money, but well… it wasn’t good. The first issue was the formatting. Two different fonts. Then there were gaps in the text (I got lost as to what was happening) and then in other parts, when I would turn the Kindle page, the previous text would be repeated at the top of the next page. Annoying.

While I did laugh out loud while reading this, it was more because it was so ridiculous than anything else. The Magnus in these stories (to me) was not the same Magnus who was in the Mortal Instruments series. He was flippant, almost spacey. There was very little mention of Downworlders and mundanes. This was definitely not what I was expecting.

**SPOILER** What really happened in Peru – other than Magnus having all sorts of adventures? The last line of the story is

To this day, whatever it is that actually got him banned from Peru is – and perhaps must always remain – a mystery.

Seriously. That is the ending line. ‘Nuff said.

2.5 stars out of 5

City of Fallen Angels

City_of_Fallen_AngelsMy thoughts on City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare.

I have to say that this book was a pleasant surprise for me. Normally I like the earlier books in a series better, but so far, this is my favorite Mortal Instruments book. I’m not sure if it is because the gang is coming into their own, getting more comfortable with who they are or not. I liked, too, that we got to learn a lot more about Simon in this one. (And yes, Raphael is still an ass!)

Simon, for instance, is “seeing” both Maia and Isabelle. The Daylighter who wants so much to return to being a human has a very human problem. Deciding between the two of them, or in Simon’s case just making sure they aren’t invited to the same events. Simon also had a first in his book. He drank from a living, breathing person. Granted, he didn’t do it well and Kyle had to save the day, but he had his first taste of fresh blood and experienced the high that came with it. He is definitely a lot more “grown up” than he was in the earlier books.

Alec. (I’m tackling the easier characters first!) I was very disappointed at the start that he and Magnus were touring Europe. I shouldn’t have worried that they would lacking in this read; he and his man were largely involved in the second half of the book. And oh were they funny at times. Magnus has been there and done that (girl, guy,…), and it has poor Alec so jealous. The resolution is so endearing. Just about brought me to tears. Go Magnus – way to say the right thing at the right time!

Yay! Jocelyn and Luke are preparing for a wedding. I really like Luke. I’m happy that things are at long last working out for him. Being a former shadowhunter turned werewolf has given him lots of perspective. I hope Simon continues to lean on Like when he needs help. I’m also assuming the wedding will happen in the next book, maybe?

Jace and Clary. What a mess. Maybe I should say roller coaster. One minute Isabelle is telling them to get a room and the next Jace is avoiding Clary because of his dreams. Well, horrible nightmares are a better way to describe them. Everyone around them can see the love they have for each other, but do they recognize it? I was so happy when Jace finally confessed to Clary what had been troubling him. Secrets don’t always stay secret…at least not in the world of shadowhunters.

About the ending…definitely a twist I hadn’t expected. Not sure I like what happened with Jace. I’m curious to see how it is resolved in the next book. Also, I’m wondering if and when Clary will make use of the Seelie Queen’s gift. Additionally, are there good times ahead for Maia and Jordan?? Hmm, it will be interesting…

City of Lost Souls is book #5 in the series. Looks like I need to stop by the bookstore in the next day or so.

5 out of 5 stars

Mish-Mash

In my quest to avoid post-pasta dinner sleepiness, I’m going to blog. And hopefully complete this before my battery dies since I neglected to charge my laptop prior to use. Oops!

This blog post is going to be a hodgepodge of what’s up with me of late. Hope you don’t mind – I will be including reading and wCity of Glassriting so never fear!!

First day of spring: a bust. ‘Nuff said there. (I won’t mention the snow flurries they are calling for overnight.)

Singing: had rehearsal last night. Have dress rehearsal Friday night. Concert Saturday. Yes, I’m scared. We are performing Bach’s Magnificat. Tough!!

Reading: hooked on the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Love the gang – Clary, Jace, Alec, and Simon. I must say Simon is much cooler now that he has become a vamp. I’m 300ish pages into the third book, City of Glass. I rated City of Bones (book #1) 4 stars and City of Ashes (book #2) 4.5 stars. Whoo hoo! Despite all of that happiness, can someone please tell me if Magnus and Alec get together?? wink wink

Writing: check out my interview with Georgia and Jonathan from Wild Horses. http://bookstogonow.blogspot.com/2013/03/character-interview-for-book-wild.html I’ve also recently finished a flash fiction piece titled Hidden Memories. I hope to submit it this weekend. Yay!

Book Shopping: (saved the best for last) I purchased book #4 in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Fallen Angels. I got the new Mercedes Thompson book, Frost Burned. Maya Bank’s latest in the KGI series, Shades of Gray, made it into the pile. Edge of Dawn, the newest release in the Midnight Breed series, was in there, too. Hmm….what else am I missing? Can you tell it has been a while since I’ve been to a bookstore (to buy actual paper copy books and not Kindle ebooks)???

If you don’t think that’s enough, next weekend I hope to format my first self-published release. Stay tuned for details on that!

Note to self: Google Chrome and WordPress don’t get along very well when dealing with images.