About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Revealing Insights

Mommies Behaving Badly
Roz Bailey
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Kensington (September 1, 2007)
Rated: 3 stars of 5 Possible

Some signs are hard to ignore... others you don't see until it's too late...and some guide you right where you need to be.

Ruby takes her stolen car as a sign that she and her family need to move away from the hustle and bustle of New York city. At first she finds it difficult to get to know her new neigbors and her husband is constantly away on business. If it wasn't for her new friend Ariel, another transplanted New Yorker, Ruby would be about ready to give it all up. And then life takes an unexpected turn, leaving Ruby and her children in a far-from-familiar place.

By turns witty and insightful, Roz Bailey's novel is chock full of adventure as she copes with first the move from New York, and then with the ups-and-downs of her new life and new-found fame when she publishes her new novel, which her agent is excited about but her old publisher wants nothing to do with.

Never a dull moment passes while reading this story that takes an honest (if at times, all too revealing) look at marriage and family.

Recommended for readers of chick lit ages 16 and up.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Magical Adventure

Don't Hex with Texas
by Shanna Swendson
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 29, 2008)
Rated: 4 stars of 5 possible

Don't Hex with Texas
probably would have gotten a 5 except the first three or four chapters felt forced to me. I don't know if the writing could have taken some revision or if that part of the story just didn't work well. The interest was there, it just seemed too odd somehow to fit with the rest of the book.

The first few pages of Don't Hex with Texas hooked my interest so I couldn't put the book down, despite the awkward feeling of the story I had in those pages and a couple chapters beyond. I was just too swept up in Katie Chandler's adventure to care much about that awkwardness; maybe I wouldn't have had that feeling If I had read the first three books in the series ahead of this.

Coming into the series in the 4th book could put the reader at a disadvantage, but I thought Don't Hex With Texas stands alone well. The characters are well developed, there's enough fantasy to the story to keep it interesting for me, and some romance is thrown in to the mix. In all, Don't Hex With Texas is a blend of madcap comedy and all-around fun that I can recommend to anyone 12 and up.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Choose to be a Vampire - or not

Sucks to Be Me
The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (Maybe)

by Kimberly Pauley
Hardcover: 294 pages
Publisher: Mirrorstone (August 26, 2008)
Rating: 5 stars of 5 possible

Well, now that the Sucks to Be Me Launch Party is over, and I've had a chance to read the book, I'll have to say, my only regret is that it had to end... Who would have known that a vampire story doesn't have to be scary?

Yes, Sucks to Be Me is a vampire story, but nothing like you've ever read before... so throw all your old notions and pre-conceived ideas about vampires out the window because that's not what you'll find in Kim's new book. What you will find is a barrel of fun... vampire style. Kim started with a list of the myths and legends about vampires, tossed away the obvious ones, and had some fun with the rest. For instance, What if you could choose to be a vampire or not? Do Vampires have a code of ethics?

Mina Hamilton is a typical teen with a best friend and all the usual worries about hot boys, prom night, and keeping secrets. Humans aren't supposed to know about vampires, but Mina has known about her parents for many years, and now she needs to make the choice. The only thing is, she can't tell her best friend about any of the strange things happening... and those things get stranger by the minute.

Mirrorstone has done an awesome job in producing this novel. The cute litte vampire bat on the back cover, the pages of Mina's notes and lists that she writes while she's trying to make her life-changing decision, those Myth versus Truth snippets at the head of each chapter, all add to the appeal of this book, while Mina's sweet voice and personality captivate the reader and make you want to know how it all turns out in the end. Well, you'll just have to read the book.

Recommended for readers age 12 and up who are in search of adventure and a little something different for their reading enjoyment.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dramatic, Fast-moving and Deep

Peace I Ask of Thee, Oh River
Lyda Phillips
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (August, 2005)
Paperback: 120 pages
Rating: 5 stars of 5 possible

Peace I Ask of Thee, Oh River is the story of a troubled girl, Tiffin who attends summer camp. While at camp, Tiffin makes life miserable for all concerned. One camp counselor, El Campbell, realizes that there must be a cause for Tiffin's disruptive behavior and depression. In her attempts to get to the bottom of the trouble, El uncovers the facts about the death of the girl's younger sister, who drowned a year or so earlier. Some of the other girls think Tiffin killed her sister. In reaching out to Tiffin, El discovers some things about herself as well.

By turns captivating and nerve-wracking, Peace I Ask of Thee, Oh River addresses some compelling issues. On the one hand, the novel masquerades as a coming of age story about some high school graduates having their first job as camp counselors in the summer before college and dealing with teen issues of sex, drugs and alcohol. On the other hand, it also deals with deeper issues such as suicide, sibling grief, guilt, anger, rejection, abnormal behavior, denial, and bullying, which the author handles in an expert fashion.

In particular, Tiffin's family provoked me since they were in denial of the child's need for serious help, dismissing her behavioral problems as "minor" and rejecting her by placing her in summer camp for six weeks while they went on the campaign trail.

Peace I Ask of Thee, Oh River certainly deals with some very interesting questions. While the reading level is suitable for ages 9 thru 12, the subject matter does handle some mature themes that may not be appropriate for this younger age group. Recommended for ages 15 and up if you like fast-moving, dramatic, thought provoking novels dealing with real issues and depicting real characters that you can care about.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Adventure and Violence

by Harry Harrison
Hardcover: 456 pages
Publisher: Benbella Books
Rated: 4 stars of 5 possible

The classic science fiction trilogy is reprinted together with a short story from the same universe. Deathworld 1 (1960), Deathworld 2 (1964), and Deathworld 3 (1968) represent formulaic science fiction in which the set of main characters battle for their lives on three separate but quite deadly worlds. The object of their adventures is always survival. The obstacles that Jason dinAlt (a gambler and scoundrel) and his friends overcome are different in each story, yet the components of each feel very much the same, only employed in different settings.

My first reading of these novels, when I was a teen, happened at a time when I had only recently discovered science fiction. I read them then because my school library had them all. I found them to be worthwhile entertainment. I chose to read these stories again many years later to see if, as sometimes happens, my opinion of the entertainment value had changed over the years. Now, I find that the first novel is a little better written than the sequels, though if you like this sort of story, you should at least read the sequels once. They're a fun and interesting way to spend an evening or two.

A Deathworld short story, "The Mothballed Spaceship" is included in my copy of this classic Science Fiction omnibus, and I was excited, at first, to discover that there was something new to me. My excitement quickly evaporated as I read through the first page or two of the story; dull and forgettable are the kindest things I can say about the short story, which should never have been published. It feels unfinished, as if "The Mothballed Spaceship" were the seed of a fourth Deathworld novel that was never fully developed - but for good reason. There's really not much about the story that's interesting enough to develop further.

I couldn't help but care for Jason, scoundrel though he may be...he's lovable in his own way, and his girlfriend, Meta, is just awesome...in fact, I'm just a little bit jealous of her capabilities. That said, Deathworld isn't for everyone. There's major violence involved and the fights get bloody at times. Recommended for ages 16 and up if you don't mind some violence in your entertainment, and of course if you like Science Fiction.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Escape From Reality

Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Books 1985
Rating: 5 stars of 5 possible

Ender's Game
was first published in August 1977 as a novelette in Analog magazine. Card later expanded that short story into a full-length book, which is now his best known novel. Ender's Game is a vision of the future in which gifted children are used to fight in an adult war against alien invaders. It will challenge your assumptions of reality.

While written with YA readers in mind, Ender's Game can be enjoyed by readers of any age from 12 on up. The book is clearly Science Fiction yet is not so technical that it can't be understood easily. There's enough room to imgaine yourself in Ender's world - which makes this a wonderful escape from the pressures of everyday life. At the end of the story, most readers are hungry for more, which the author has provided. This was the first but is most definitely not the last novel starring Ender and his friends.

If you like Science Fiction, this is clearly a book you should read.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For Your Writer's Muse

The Writer's Retreat Kit:
A Guide for Creative Exploration and Personal Expression
By Judy Reeves
Publisher: New World Library; Boxed edition (April 10, 2005)
Paperback: 144 pages/Card Deck: 25 cards
Rating: 4 stars of 5 possible.

Despite its resemblance to The Creative Writer's Kit, this kit's contents are quite different. The book has only a few pages in the back for notes rather than a significant portion of pages devoted to writing practice; however, it contains a wealth of information on creating and managing a writer's retreat based on one of twenty themes and several possibilities within each theme.

The bulk of the cards - 20 of them - contain a total of over 400 new and powerful writing prompts, (something here for every writer) while a handful of the cards provide suggestions for entering, managing and leaving your retreat. Each retreat section contains exercises and tips to get writers and artists started and keep them going.

This kit makes the perfect gift for a would-be or practicing writer...or a great treat for yourself. I recommend it for any writer - even when you don't know what you want to write about. There is sure to be something in this kit to trigger your muse, no matter what style of writing you prefer. Can be used alone or in conjunction with other books or kits featuring work by Judy Reeves.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Vampire Hunters

Once Bitten, Twice Shy
By Jennifer Rardin
Publisher: Orbit (October, 2007)
Paperback: 312 pages
Rating: 5 stars of 5 possible

Action, adventure, romance and suspense are all tucked neatly into one package that's just the beginning of a not-to-be-missed series featuring Jaz Parks; a sometimes sassy, sometimes witty gal who works for the CIA. She's got an unusual talent - sensing the presence of vampires. This talent makes her the highly desired partner of a most unusual assassin. I'll let Jaz tell you about him.

"My boss is Vayl, born in Romania in 1744. Died there too, at the hand of his vampire wife, Liliana. But that's ancient history. For the moment Vayl works for the C.I.A. doing what he does best--assassination. And I help. You could say I'm an Assistant Assassin. But then I'd have to kick your..." (Rardin, 2007)

Written in a lively, friendly style, this fast-paced novel is a gripper and a page-turner. The savvy reader will soon catch on that Jaz is hiding her vulnerablity behind that tough-as-nails exterior personna she displays to the world around her and doesn't want to admit that she's human... or is she? Hints are dropped that something which happened in this gal's past might have changed her.

Romances aren't usually my thing but the sub-category of paranormals is wide open, uncharted reading territory for me. I have a favorable impression though from reading this sample offering, which I recommend to those 16 and up seeking something different than the usual romantic suspense novel.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Beautifully Haunting

For One More Day
By Mitch Albom
Publisher: Hyperion (September 26, 2006)
Hardcover: 208 pages
Rating: 4 stars of 5 possible

For One More Day is a beautiful, haunting novel about the family we love and the chances we miss. It is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that lasts a lifetime and beyond. The novel explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one?

Alright. I will admit For One More Day isn't the type of novel I would be likely to purchase for myself. This was one of my Christmas gifts in 2007. I decided to give it a fair chance, since one can always stop reading if the book isn't to his or her taste. Surprise! I was hooked from the first page, and after a chapter or two, putting it aside for sleep was difficult, not picking it up again was never an option... I HAD to find out what happened.

The novel is slim, but provides a mountain of food for thought. It brings one to a new appreciation of his or her own family members along with a reminder not to take anyone for granted. Unlike Charles "Chick" Benetto (the story's main character), we only get one life and one chance to appreciate those we love, though we may wish otherwise. I know I do.

The author brings out all the emotional impact and the turmoil that the main character feels, making the reader also feel as if he or she were that character or someone closely related. Recommended reading for those 18 and up who may be looking for something more than a quick and easy read. This book deserves thought and consideration of the issues it addresses.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Magical Romance

A Distant Magic
By Mary Jo Putney
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (July 17, 2007)
Rating: 3 stars of 5 possible

Jean Macrae’s family is one of the most prominent clans of Guardians, humans whose magical powers come from nature, but Jean considers her skills modest at best. She has never been able to summon the intense, earth-altering ability that has marked the most talented Guardians, and she is content without the adventure that such skill brings . . . until the day she is confronted by a handsome stranger whose magic imprisons her on his pirate ship.

This is a blend of fantasy and romance, but not quite my cup of tea. The novel is slow-paced and seems to drag on forever before it gets to the conclusion. Perhaps it would have been better if I read the previous two books prior to beginning this one, but then again, perhaps not. What comes before doesn't always boost a weak ending.

While parts of the story made me want to continue reading through to the end, I also found parts of the story almost too slow-paced for my tastes. Fortunately the good parts were spread about in just the right places... All-in-all, I'd say this trilogy would probably be better off as a single novel, but condensed somewhat from the length of the three individual books.

Recommended: Adults 18 and up, but only if you like slow-reading romances. There's not nearly enough fantasy here for die-hard fantasy fans like me.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Believe Impossible Things

Cover image used with permission of the author.
Diary of a Teenage Faërie Princess
by C.B. Smith
Trade Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Raging Squirrel Press
Rating: 4 stars of 5 possible

Jaynie Morrison is a sixteen-year-old girl with an insatiable need for adventure. She satisfies this desire by causing all manner of random mischief, making her material nuisance number one. But with her seventeenth birthday imminent, a snag in her material world arrives - random magical happenings.

Her father once claimed that her mother was a Faërie Queen, who vanished shortly after Jaynie turned three. Jaynie wonders if her father is telling the truth. She wonders if her mother really vanished after all. But mostly she is confused and wonders if her mother's Faërie magic is causing the magical happenings that have invaded her world. In Diary of a Teenage Faërie Princess, Jaynie sets out to answer these questions.

This novel starts off slow, with a description of the cosmos and the creation of planet earth that does nothing for the main story. The entire first chapter could be cut with no harm to, and indeed, with possible improvement of the story. The next few chapters provide a basis for the character of Jaynie with some outrageousness about her shoes and some monkeys that make absoutely no sense... but they are kinda fun chapters at that... still, a condensation of this material to about half the words and only one chapter would move the story along a bit better... Don't let the slow beginning stop you from finishing this enjoyable story, which picks up a bit when Jaynie begins the search for her mother and the answers to her questions. It's well worth the time spent reading.

Over all, Diary of a Teenage Faërie Princess is a fun read for those who like their fantasy chock full of adventure with a few abusrdities tucked in for good measure. Parts of the adventure in Sörmlandia remind me of The White Queen, from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll saying “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Believing impossible things is good for the imagination and brings out the creative side of humans... we should all get more practice in such beliefs.

Recommended for Fantasy readers ages 14 and up who are looking for a good adventure and a fairly quick read.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sucks To Be Me Launch Party (Now Over)

Sucks to Be Me
The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (Maybe)
by Kimberly Pauley
Sucks to Be Me Launch Party
Hardcover: 294 pages
Publisher: Mirrorstone (August 26, 2008)

Hey, Ya'all!  My good friend, Kimberly Pauley just published her new book, Sucks to Be Me. Sure, it's a vampire story, but nothing like you've ever read before... so throw all your old notions and pre-conceived ideas about vampires out the window because that's not what you'll find in Kim's new book. What I'm sure you will find, is a barrel of fun... vampire style.

Like the snail I can sometimes be, I haven't read Sucks to Be Me yet, but at least I do have a copy in my possession.  It looks like Sucks to Be Me is next on my to be read list, and there WILL be a review here someday... hopefully soon.  In the meantime, why not join the party on Kim's website. There are tons of cool prizes to be had by some lucky grand prize winner, and there are other, smaller prizes too that you can enter to win. 

What you need to know:
September 11th will be the final entry day for the grand prize pack. The grand prize contest closes on September 21st.

So yeah, why are ya'all hangin' out here with me when Kim has something much better going on at her place?  Oh, and, if you're still here reading this... you can get an extra entry into the drawing for that big prize package Kim is giving away... just tell her you read my blog and point back to this entry. Now, on with ya! Click the link to Kim's site at the top of this entry and join the fun!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Timeless Love Story

Cover image courtesy of medelgado.com
The First Sandcastle: A Novel
by M. E. Delgado
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Barrio City Press (March 2, 2008)
Rating: 4 stars of 5 possible

The First Sandcastle is a coming of age story about a young man growing up in a dysfunctional family. The main character, Marlo Clemente, attempts to reconcile the love he feels for his mother and the warped view of life taught by his father... that women are evil.

Marlo's art and his friends provide solace from everyday home life. When one of Marlo's friends (Danny) falls in love with a girl who uses Danny for her own purposes and then crushes his hopes and dreams, this only reinforces what Marlo has learned from his father.

How Marlo deals with the further confusion that sets in when he meets a girl he feels is unlike others is a captivating story that gives the reader a lot to think about. The peer pressure of growing up, and the issues a normal teen must deal with, along with the not-quite-separate issues that evolve from the family's dysfunctional relationships among themselves and others are deeply felt by the reader. The timeless feel and the steady pacing of this story should provide a basis for a wide audience, though I have the feeling that it is also the ideal YA novel.

Mr. Delgado builds the highly emotional story to a dramatic climax and makes the reader feel every minute of Marlo's pain when he discovers that he's just as his girlfriend's mother says: "exactly like all the other boys". Marlo's relationship with his own mother improves and she helps him realize that we are all human and fallible.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Disappointment Is The Word

The Essential Writer's Notebook:
A step-By-Step Guide to Better Writing

Natalie Goldberg
Publisher: Peter Pauper Press (July 2001)
Spiral-bound: 160 pages
Rating: 1 star of 5 possible

Much of the content of this book is merely blank lined pages that would best serve my purposes if those blank pages were not interrupted by so much art and having the writing prompts appear scattered throughout, in what I am certain are going to turn out to be the wrong places much of the time. As with the writing prompts, the author's paintings are scattered throughout the book, inhibiting the usefulness of the volume.

As an educational tool, this book is lacking much due to the content being so scattered; as a writer's journal or writing exercise book, it is only so-so for the same reason. Since there is no way to predict how much a writer will put out based on one prompt, I would rather have seen a section at the front devoted to the prompts, and a second section (maybe at the back) devoted to the paintings, making them easier both to find and to use as prompts. Another point concerning the paintings... well, they can best be described as eclectic, and though they might serve as prompts to some writers, to me they are so much wasted paper. This writer's painting style just does not fit my taste in art.

Since the book is wire-bound inside a cover that hides the wires (nice looking, I'll admit), I can't even take the darned thing apart to reorganize the paintings as I would prefer to have them. If I had seen this at a traditional bookstore, where I could have examined the book prior to purchasing it, I probably would not have made the purchase. This book is very much not recommended to anyone, with the possible exception of rabid fans of the author who MUST have every book with her name on the cover and who happen to also like the author's painting style.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The End Of A Tale

The Book of Merlyn
T.H. White
Publisher: Ace (September 15, 1987)
Paperback: 193 pages
Rating: 2 stars of 5 possible

After the author's death, a nearly complete 5th volume to this epic was discovered among his papers. That volume was published separately as The Book of Merlyn. This magical account of King Arthur's last night on earth spent weeks on the New York Times best-seller list following its publication in 1977. Even in addressing the profound issues of war and peace, The Book of Merlyn retains the life and sparkle for which White is known. The tale brings Arthur full circle, an ending, White wrote, that "will turn my completed epic into a perfect fruit, 'rounded off and bright and done.'"

While The Book of Merlyn contributes a closing chapter to the saga of The Once And Future King, I found it to be less interesting than the first four volumes. Some of the content had been previously published with The Sword In The Stone yet seems out of place in the first volume despite fitting in with the theme of Arthur's education. The out-of-place feeling is explained by the preface in The Book of Merlyn when we learn that some of the content we read earlier rightfully belongs in this last chapter, where it was repeated because that content was originally written for The Book of Merlyn. With that previously misplaced content, the last chapter of the saga is readable and comprensible as well as more enjoyable. Arthur's education is the most interesting part of The Once and Future King. If The Book of Merlyn had been stripped of those parts rightfully belonging there because of their inclusion in the earlier part of the story, that last chapter would not be worth reading.


The saga almost seems complete without this last chapter, which doesn't stand by itself very well. One can't help but wonder if this part of the saga may have been better left undiscovered in the author's effects after his death. If you really want to know the end of the story, go ahead and read this volume. Continuity is better if you read The Book of Merlyn immediately after you finish The Once and Future King. Just don't expect great things to happen in this last part of the longer tale; the best parts occurred much earlier.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Artistic Endeavors

Discovering Drawing
Second Edition, Student Textbook
Reading Level: 9th - 12th grade
Ted Rose and Sallye Mahan-Cox
Publisher: Davis Publications (April 30, 2006)
Hardcover: 230 pages
Rating: 5 stars of 5 possible.

Discovering Drawing contains an impressive array of art history and examples. Famous artists such as Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Rembrandt, Picasso, Michelangelo, and others are represented here along with contemporary artists, art instructors, and students. The concepts and terminology are well explained. There is a glossary in the back, which comes in handy for someone like me who can't remember where the term was introduced. On top of all this, there is a seemingly endless variety of drawing assignments from quick sketchbook material to more lavish and intense studio drawing assignments in a vast array of techniques with which the beginning artist can experiment and more advanced artists can have some fun.

Each chapter covers a few main objectives. Take chapter three, for instance. While the chapter covers basic shapes, observation and composition, there are several ways these topics are presented so that the student will more fully understand the concepts. Important points are highlighted in small sections labeled "Note It". If I were using a borrowed copy of this text book, many of the points in the "Note It" sections would be added to my notebook, as they are well worth remembering. Then there are the little sections labeled "Try It". These are usually quick sketchbook exercises and can be valuable sketching experience gained in a short time. Additionally, there are sections in each chapter labeled "For Your Sketchbook", "Studio Experience", "For Your Portfolio", and more. Discussion topics and - surprisingly - writing exercises are also presented in the text.

One feature of this book stands out because it is not something I have seen in many text books. Near the end of each chapter, there is an assessment rubric, giving the student a means to assess his or her own progress based on the studio assignment for that chapter. This is one of my favorite features of the text because, while working on any assignment and immediately afterwards, I nearly always have persistent questions on how well I have met the objectives of the assignment. Using the assessment rubrics in this book, those questions are answered, providing the student a measure of peace so that he or she can continue to the next assignment, confident that the objectives of the previous assignment have been mastered.

The true test of a text book is to use it for the intended purpose and see how well the book fits that purpose. I have done some reading and attempted a few of the drawing exercises of various complexities. The drawing assignments are varied and interesting, providing a foray into a variety of media to give the art student valuable experience. Over the last couple of years, I've invested money in a variety of art instruction books which vary in quality from practically worthless to exceptional; yet, even the better volumes on my shelves are far more limited in scope than this text. If I had known about this book before I started, I might not have purchased most of the others... or maybe even none of them. I am completely amazed at the comprehensiveness and compactness of this book.

Recommended: This is the book to purchase for all 9th - 12th grade art classes where the instructor is looking for quality instructional materials. I find it worth mentioning that the publisher also offers a variety of ancillary materials that schools using this book might consider purchasing to broaden the scope of this excellent art program. Additionally, this book is also highly recommended for those studying art on their own.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Stimulate Your Muse

A Creative Writer's Kit:
A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life
Judy Reeves
Publisher: New World Library; Boxed edition (August, 2003)
Paperback: 144 pages/Card Deck:  25 cards
Rating: 4 stars of 5 possible

The deck of cards and small amount of text in the book are the essence of A Writer's Book of Days by the same author; including the all-valuable writing prompts; yet this kit is more compact (suitable for traveling) and includes space in the paperback volume for your journal entries. Pack this kit and your favorite pen or pencil for your next trip out of town and see what I mean.

While the 5 X 7 inch cards can be a bit unwieldy depending on how you might use them, they are also convenient in their own way. You can refer to important points on one or more cards without needing to flip through the book... which you may want to have open to a past or current writing exercise at the same time. Having space in the book for your writing exercises eliminates the need to carry a separate notebook; Weight reduction of the baggage is always a good thing.

Recommended for creative writers age 10 and up.