I just finished reading 'Monster in My Closet' by R. L. Naquin. I really liked this book. It was a great concept! The sample read well, so for 99 cents on Kindle, I figured I'd give it a whirl.
SYNOPSIS (from Amazon)
I stopped believing in monsters long ago. But I knew I wasn't imagining things when I found one in my kitchen baking muffins. I'd seen him before: lurking in my closet, scaring the crap out of my five-year-old self. Turns out that was a misunderstanding, and now Maurice needs a place to stay. How could I say no?
After all, I've always been a magnet for the emotionally needy, and not just in my work as a wedding planner. Being able to sense the feelings of others can be a major pain. Don't get me wrong, I like helping people--and non-people. But this ability has turned me into a gourmet feast for an incubus, a demon that feeds off emotional energy. Now, brides are dropping dead all over town, and my home has become a safe house for the supernatural. I must learn to focus my powers and defeat the demon before he snacks on another innocent woman and comes looking for the main course...
Now I have to say right now that this is not one for the kiddies. The main character is dealing with an incubus, and that's not PG-13 stuff (in my opinion, of course). However, I believe the author deals with the concept very well, NOT engaging in overly graphic, gratuitous sex scenes. There is some, but it's done as tastefully as one can do such a thing. I mean, after all, what's sexy about a skeevy perv-demon. Dude, you can be all Mister-I'm-Satan's-Gift-to-Women all you want to, but mess with my sleep and I will cut you! You don't screw around with a girl's nap time. Nuh uh, pal!
But I digress. Zoey was likeable and funny, and the cast of kooky fairy tale characters was delightful. I do have to add that I caught on to the ending CHAPTERS before the main character did, but as I've said before, I do that. And it really didn't detract from the story at all. Because of demands on time, I bounced back and forth between the e-book and the Audible version (which is quite well done, by the way, narrated beautifully by Rebecca Gibel), and I found that I enjoyed both versions equally. Hey, for 99 cents it's an light, entertaining read, and in a few short minutes I'll be forking out a bit of my leftover Christmas gift card dinero to buy me a sequel or two.
Happy reading all, and look out for the bogey man. He'll make you muffins!
I was rooting around amongst my shelves and various piles of books the other day, looking for my piano books. I not great at playing, but I am enthusiastic, and practice makes... well, better if not perfect. Anyway, when I eventually unearthed a stack of music, stuck in between the books was a small pile of the letters you see below.
Back in 2002, I went to talk to a 6th Grade class at Maplewood Elementary in Edmonds, WA about writing the fantasy genre. A colleague got me the 'gig'; it was her son's class. It's kind of weird to think I've been working on 'The Mage Sister' for that long, but it is a fact.
I can't tell you how nervous I was! I was terrified, and they were only 12 years old! I struggled through the first part, telling them about writing fantasy, and about suspension of disbelief, and how you can support that in fantasy by introducing elements that anyone can relate to. I didn't know that's what you call it then, and that's probably just as well. It was probably too technical for a group of 6th graders. I handed out a long list of favorite fantasy books - old and new. And then I talked about my book. I showed them my picture board and talked about how part of my process is to draw portraits of my characters. I was shaking in my shoes the whole time.
Then they started asking me questions. That was the part I loved! They were so into it! They weren't like talking to adults, who expect things to make sense, to be logical, to be realistic. 12 year olds just go with it, and they wanted to engage in the world that I had built. It was one of the best experiences ever, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Then, several days later, my colleague brought me a large envelope containing the letters and a couple of pictures she had taken during my talk. Yeah, I cried like a baby. Especially when I read the one signed 'Your first fans'.
It has been a very long journey since then. Those kids are no longer 12 years old, in fact, if my math is correct, they have graduated from school a long time ago and are all somewhere in their early-ish 20's (Yikes!). They probably don't even remember the time in 6th grade that lady came to talk about her book. But I will remember that day forever. It was the first time I really felt like a writer, the day I fully embraced it.
This was totally a guilty pleasure. 'Fat Vampire', a novella by Johnny B. Truant, is not my usual reading fare, but seeing as it was free (and still is on Nook and Kindle, if you want to check it out), I thought I'd step out of my comfort zone and give it a whirl.
Reginald Baskin is overweight. He works at a treadmill company where his co-workers are buff buffoons who constantly torment him. New IT guy Maurice is kind of odd -he's a weird Goth kid who carries a sword! But since he doesn't treat Reginald like the office joke, Reginald befriends him. Unfortunately, Maurice isn't just strange - he's a two thousand-year-old vampire.
When Reginald is attacked by some of Maurice's fellow vampires, Maurice decides to save Reginald's life by turning him. Reginald wakes up to discover he's become the most out-of-shape vampire ever, and the state of being a vampire will make it impossible to change... for all eternity.
As Reginald struggles to get the hang of being a fat vampire - too slow to catch a meal, and mocked by potential prey - he and Maurice are summoned before the Vampire Council. Maurice is in trouble for making an unauthorized vampire, and Reginald is in trouble for being the unauthorized vampire. Can his life possibly get any worse? Why, yes! Yes, it can.
I generally don't do vampires, but once in a while I push myself to read something I normally wouldn't, trying to push my boundaries and find new realms of reading to enjoy. This was one of those books. It was free and I thought, what the heck! It sounded funny.
It was funny, fresh and quick. It moved at an excellent pace and I should have gone to bed much earlier than I did, but I just had to keep reading to find out how on earth they were going to get out that mess. You don't have to be a fat vampire (or even a fat human) to relate to Reginald. If you've ever been bullied, teased or just felt out of place, you'll understand. And I really liked the way the author compensated for the character's lack of physical beauty with inner beauty and intelligence. He wasn't just a big loser, he had redeeming qualities.
It was a bit more violent than I would normally read - this one's not for the little 'uns. There was little bit of somewhat creative torture and lots of blood (Helloooo, vampire book - of course there's gonna be blood!). However, on the whole, the gore factor still wasn't really bad - just a bit of squeamy eew, but the pay-off was totally worth it!
Hey, check out Johnny B. Truant's 'Fat Vampire' for a fun, light read! It won't cost you a dime. There are six books in the series, and I plan to read them all, even though I'll have to plunk down some dinero to do it. I rate 'Fat Vampire' six and a half pizzas, a bucket of chicken and a box of ho-hos.
Mostly loony, generally harmless. Writer & professional smarty pants. Owned by an exasperated spaniel.