Monday, January 23, 2012


I just had the intense joy of not having a math semester test! This is the first year I can remember when I don't have any math homework, assignments, or tests. Of course, physics more than makes up for that, but whatever...

I have another booksigning at Lakewood Barnes & Noble on February 11 from 2-6pm. Does anyone know for the absolute record if booksigning is one word or two? It shows up in red on my word documents, but my computer's dictionary is so tiny I had to add the word "draught," so I'm just not sure.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Wicked and the Just

When I attended the Pacific Northwest Book Publishers Association fall trade show, I picked up an advance review copy of The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats.  It is being published in April, but can be pre-ordered on Amazon (see my Favorites at left for a link).

Anyone who enjoys Welsh and English history would enjoy The Wicked and the Just. Cecily longs to return home to Edgeley Hall, but due to her uncle’s marriage that seems an impossible dream. Instead she and her father move to Carnarvon, a fortress in Wales. Gwenhwyfar (apparently pronounced like Guinevere,) a Welsh serf girl, used to dream of being the Lady of the House and Caernarvon, but now she must wait on Cecily. And outside Caernarvon’s walls, trouble is brewing with the Welsh who are not as defeated as imagined.

This was an interesting read, showing the lives of two totally different people. The author did an excellent job switching from perspective to perspective, and also at portraying emotions. When I was reading from Cecily’s perspective, I felt as ignorant as she was of the rising Welsh, and when reading from Gwenhwyfar’s viewpoint I could feel all the tension in Wales. I found most of the characters endearing. The only thing I didn’t like was how Gwenhwyfar considered vengeance to be justice, and how she beat Cecily because she herself was beaten during her work, even though Cecily had never done more than mouth off to her. That was offset, however, when Gwenhwyfar's brother pointed out to her that “justice is not vengeance.” All in all a good book, one that made me think good and hard about some things.  Recommended for Young Adult readers.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cool Word of the Week Contest - Solatium

2012 is getting started, and I am restarting the Cool Word of the Week Contest (CWOWC)!  Except this one is kind of a week-and-a-half contest, since the deadline for the first one of the year is January 14, 2012. 

Anyway, the person who uses the CWOWC in the most creative way wins a free eBook copy of Darkwoods.  Send your entries to and put "CWOWC" in the subject line.  I need to receive the entry by noon on Saturday, January 14, 2012.

This week's Cool word of the Week is:   solatium [soh-ley-shee-uhm]

It means "something given in compensation for inconvenience, loss, or injury."

Here's a sample:  "When Zuryzel's brother lost his favorite belt, she gave him a hug, but it wasn't much of a solatium."

So, see how creative you can be and email your entry to me at by noon on January 14, 2012.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Iron King

One amazing book I got for Christmas is The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa. In the story, Meghan Chase, an ordinary girl suffering from severe unpopularity at her high school, gets pulled into the Nevernever and an adventure she could never have dreamed of. Her half-brother is kidnapped by faeries, and she determines to set out after him, only to be met by a thousand and one surprises. Along the way, she learns that her best friend is a legend with a sad secret, and that she is really the daughter of a faery. She also meets the son of her father's oldest enemy, a cold, bitter man with a dark past and a vow of vengeance. In order to free her brother, she makes a bargain with him that she's sure will be the end of her.

Like I said, this book was amazing. There are so many books today where the main character is detestable; fortunately, this was not one of them. Meghan is a girl with honor, courage, and compassion, someone I liked almost instantly. The supporting characters were entertaining as well, in particular Robin Goodfellow (also known as Puck!) who is able to make almost anyone laugh. Perhaps he was put in purely as a foil for Prince Ash of Winter, and the author does an exemplary job of making Ash an Ice Prince through and through. To wrap it up, Grimalkin, the cait sith king of sarcasm, adds wit and satire to the book. An enjoyable read that no one who likes fantasy and romance will be able to put down.