I’ll give you two guesses to see if you know the answer to this question… what is a writer’s worst enemy?
Well, I suppose it could be all sorts of things like not having enough time to write, a writing muse who decides to take an extended vacation, or here’s a goodie… the computer is broken and every pencil, pen, and blank piece of paper has mysteriously disappeared. Lol… okay so maybe that last one was a bit of a stretch (or maybe not — but I’m pleading the fifth on that one).
But no, it’s none of those things.
4 out of 5 stars
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
Available in Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback
Ever wondered how the gods of Olympus would act if they were thrown into modern society? Look no further, because Gods Behaving Badly answers this question in grand form. Be ready to laugh and appalled by the ungodly things these godly beings do.
Artemis is fed up with her twin brother Apollo’s holier-than-thou and over the top attitude, and his new job as a TV psychic doesn’t help matters any. Not to mention Aphrodite’s shameless sexual escapades and part time job as a telephone sex operator are especially hard to bear for the goddess of chastity.
As also the goddess of hunting, Artemis longs for the good old days when her and her godly relatives were respected and revered, and she was allowed to keep her beloved hunting dogs. But now space is at a premium as many of the gods now live crammed together in a much-too-small London town house. Artemis’s dreaming of better times only makes things more bitter as a battle of wills breaks out between Aphrodite and Apollo.
As battle wages, the new house cleaner Alice becomes swept up into the fray. Just an average human with an average friend named Neil who harbors a more than average crush for Alice. And these two ordinary people find themselves donning the cloaks of heroism in order to save the day.
While the description and writing style isn’t the greatest, this story more than makes up for it in clever wit and hilarious situations that would make Aphrodite blush — well maybe not. But the unfolding of the story is certainly enough to awake a feeling of greatness and awe as the story finally reaches its perfect conclusion.
I truly enjoyed tagging along on Alice’s and Neil’s epic journey and awaking, and I am positive you will too.
4 out of 5 stars
The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu
Available on Kindle and in Paperback
I sooooo wanted to give this book five stars, but the slow middle of the book just wouldn’t allow me to do it. Don’t get me wrong, this book is freaking awesome! The author had me from page one as we see Roen and Jill three years after The Lives of Tao and things are completely different. In fact, I’m quite shocked at how different things are and I just wanted to read to figure out how things got so messed up in the three years since we saw Roen, Tao, and Jill.
The incredible character arcs are heart tugging as a clearer picture unfolds of the missing three years as the story progresses. The Prophus may have won the battle, but the Gengix are determined to win the war and Earth to boot. Things get dark and deep fast as the Gengix’s plan unfolds. Roen and Tao make huge sacrifices in an attempt to stop the catastrophic plan.
Ever read a piece of writing that drove you nuts, because it kept using the word it? Now sometimes it can come in handy. Really it can, but a lot of times it can be overused to the point of being annoying. And sometimes it just leaves the reader wondering exactly what you meant by “it”. It’s one of those words you avoid using if at all possible.
A technique I use to spot all the “its” and determine if each one should stay or go the way of all bad writing is to ask myself some simple questions…
- Do I really need this “it” here?
- Can I use another word to describe the “it” better?
- And last but certainly not least, can the reader understand what “it” truly means?
After asking these questions, I usually find myself changing the “it” to another word or phrase, and yep
it the text definitely reads better, and it the message is that much clearer.
5 out of 5 stars
The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu
Available on Kindle and in Paperback
I never even heard of this book or author before picking up the Lives of Tao, so I had no idea what to expect. But this book was on the list to read for my book club, so I purchased it and started to read. And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
The first chapter was a little confusing until I figured out what was going on (that there was actually a sentient being inside the character’s head that was talking to him and the guy wasn’t just plain bonkers), but by chapter two Wesley Chu had me anxiously awaiting to see what happened next.
Enter Roen Tan an over-weight, out-of-shape slob with no real prospects beyond his life of video games, frozen pizzas, and the occasional party night with his roommate. Just a boring, unexceptional life… that is until Roen starts hearing a voice talking inside his head and it’s definitely not his own. And things just get weirder from there (but in a really good way). And so a story of humor and razor edge danger unfolds as Roen learns to adjust to this new unexpected change in his life.
Ever say this to yourself? Damn if I do. In fact, I had a rather nasty episode with this kind of thinking not too long ago that left me quite depressed and I was a hair-breath away from just trashing my entire novel. And I mean deleting it off my hard drive and making the four drafts and two years of hard work just disappear. Gone… just like that. Yeah, it was not a good day.
Thankfully, I resisted the urge and closed my computer and walked away instead. I would have really hated myself later if I’d actually gone through with it. And it’s a sad thing to admit… that wasn’t the first day I felt like that.
It comes and goes. There are times where I’m writing and I feel like I’m Steven King or J.K. Rowling and my stuff is super awesome! And then there are days where I feel like a fifth grader can do better than the crap I put out. Writing is nothing, if not an emotional roller coaster. Somedays I even wonder why I do it, but most days I’m smart enough to realize that without my writing — whether it be good, bad, or somewhere in between — I wouldn’t have nearly as a fulfilling life.
4 out of 5 stars
A dirty Job by Christopher Moore
Available in paperback and Kindle
Yep, death has a new name and it goes by Death Merchant. Charlie unwittingly becomes one of the secret collectors after the devastating death of his wife. Only Charlie has no idea what a Death Merchant is or why he keeps seeing things glow red, why the shadows seem to be stalking him, or why it seems everyone he meets dies.
Left alone to raise his new-born daughter and manage his small business, things only get worse as an average “beta male” Charlie Asher gets deeper and deeper into the bizarreness of his new job of collecting souls. He must contend with vengeful sewer harpies that mock him at every turn and his own ignorance in a race to save the fate of the world and death itself.