Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saturday Steals: Free or pretty darn good deals!

Every Saturday I will feature free books and other darn good deals. They are STEALS!

Free Kindle Book: The Haunted House A True Ghost Story by Walter Hubbell

During the years 1878-1879 in Nova Scotia, Canada a haunting took place known as the Amherst Mystery. Walter Hubbell visited during the summer of 1879. He gives first- hand accounts of the poltergeist activities he witnessed. The haunting primarily surrounded home owners niece, Esther Cox. The first half of the book is a bit slow, Hubbell gives details of the family’s everday life. I suppose in an attempt to show normality. If you just want the spooky it may be a trudge. But the remainder of the book is astonishing in the attempts to communicate with the ghost. Some of the reports exceed believability. This book was released in 1888 and was a blockbuster for the time.

Another Kindle Freebie: Familiar Quotations. I say, why not? It is free.

I’m in no Mood for Love by Rachel Gibson only $0.99 for Kindle today. Who isn’t in the mood for love and laughs?

  Only $699 for a 50 inch. Hurry.

Halloween Food! Time to plan for ghosts and goblins. Free.
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I say:"Compelling, intense and important. Heartbreaking, haunting and hopeful."
“I hope you're ready, because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you're listening to these tapes, you're one of the reasons why.”
This book is about suicide. How one character reaches the point that she kills herself and how both her death and the message she leaves impact and haunt another character. Jay Asher has written a compelling, intense and important work.

This is a dark novel about a dark subject. Do not take the subject or the book lightly. I recommend this read before my review, for many reasons, and ask whether you read the review or not – Please read the book. Please think about the topic.

Clay Jensen is a good kid. He receives a package of 7 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker.  Hannah was a beautiful, fragile girl and Clay had a crush on her. Hannah killed herself, committed suicide two weeks before.

Hannah’s voices tells Clay, “I hope you're ready, because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you're listening to these tapes, you're one of the reasons why.”

On each side of the tape Hannah narrates to the listener her thirteen reasons why she killed herself.  If the person is sent the tapes and his listening to them, they are one of the reasons. This is not a suicide note but an explanation.

Clay is horrified and distraught that he is a reason for her death. He listens to each tape as he walks throughout day and night following Hannah’s own path as she recorded them, a voyeuristic tour of events that created the snowball leading to her suicide.

Clay experiences fear, frustration and guilt as he becomes obsessed wondering what he did, how Hannah came to this point and how could her death have been prevented.
“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own."
The first reason in the start of Hannah’s downward spiral is the story of how she meets a boy named Justin and her first kiss. New in town her innocent interlude with Justin starts rumors.

Intentional and unintentional acts of others impact Hannah as her ability to cope is fractured and broken. Some of Hannah’s reasons are due to acts of violence, others the impact of having not acted.

The suspense builds even though the reader already knows the ending. The experience of all the missed opportunities and thirteen of the reasons a delicate girl with a tenuous grasp on life both emotionally and mentally.
"Everything. . . affects everything."
Told in a unique dual narration that Asher skillfully weaves together both Hannah’s thoughts and actions fueling the escalation of despair, depression and hopelessness along with Clay’s anguish and misery as he listens.

This book is a young adult book and a big part of the message is intended for the young reader. I hope the message is conveyed and understood, as I believe it is, that actions, careless or not impact others.

As an adult I enjoyed, though the term seems strange given the subject) this novel. I thought the book was well written and I highly recommend reading if for no other reason that everyone needs a reminder to be kind and careful. I read the book with obsession, the suspense and grief so gripping I was compelled to read.

It occurs to me that the author at some points fails to show Hannah’s emotional despair and loss of hope. But then when she is recording her tapes she has in fact already made her decision. The last tape is her final grasp for help and hope.

Before I wrote my review, I did research and read other reviews. This book made me cry and devastated me. I know how as survivor of a loved one’s act of suicide.  The issue is important and not to be mistreated.

I do not think the author mistreated the subject in his book. Some negative reviews are justified in the evaluation of the writing. But other negative reviews are written by people that not only did not grasp what the book said and intended, they also failed to understand that suicide is a result of how the person sees their life. That suicide is not just a result of an act of violence or PTSD.

Suicide is an emotional and mental crisis.

Symptoms of suicide are even mentioned in the book and while not thorough as this is not a text-book, they are accurate. One symptom is asking about, talking about, and even mentioning suicide.  Which Hannah does early in the book. Also, change in character or personality and acting is a risky or destructive manner, again Hannah clearly exhibits these signs.

One reviewer, “It was hard to sympathize with her because it seemed like she created these situations for herself. She willingly made stupid decisions… purposely did them anyway against her better judgment.” This review/reader obviously missed the point of the risky and destructive behavior.

I read a review by a teacher that said yes these type of petty cruel things happen but as some other reviews said (paraphrasing) they do not think these are good enough reasons.  The point is that people are affected differently and their reasons are theirs alone. And we don’t know why or how someone is impacted.

Quotes from the book:
“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.”

“But you can't get away from yourself. You can't decide not to see yourself anymore. You can't decide to turn off the noise in your head.”

Suicide is not isolated to young people, though they are the more vulnerable. To learn more and help prevent suicide:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MLK Speech, Enduring, Historic and a Call to Action to & for Humanity

MLK Speech, Enduring, Historic and a Call to Action to Humanity and for Humanity

Martin Luther King gave a speech 50 years ago today, August 28, 1963.  It is difficult to believe that 150 years later our society still suffers divides and discrimination for all creatures on this earth, regardless of race or species. I say this as a believer in civil rights and animal rights.

Below is a speech of such magnitude that the basic tenets hold true for all humanity, yesterday, today and in the future. 

The force and strength of the message is due to both the writing and delivery. His delivery as a great orator and preacher enhanced the power of his message. King prepared a speech that through the structure Anaphora, a rhetorical device of repeating of a sequence of words at the beginning of each sentence, gave not just emphasis but powerful delivery that resonates as our zeitgeist.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. 
One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.
And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men -- yes, black men as well as white men -- would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. 
We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. 

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. 

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. 
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. 
Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. 
Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 1963 is not an end but a beginning. Those who hoped that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. 

There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. 
Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. 

We cannot walk alone.As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" 

We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. 

We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. 

We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.
We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "for whites only."

We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my friends -- so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi -- from every mountainside.

Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring -- when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children -- black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics -- will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

"Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Teaser Meme

Teaser Tuesdays is weekly bookish meme. I have decided to participate for the same reason I review books and read must read / top X # book lists - exposure to new genres and books.  These books do not have to be just released. In fact in many ways I prefer the older titles.

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two 'teaser' sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • Take care not to include spoilers.
  • Share the title and other so that other participants can add to their TBR lists.

In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan

"In short, if human consciousness was the time-sensitive entity she believed it was, this device could be called a time machine - although that would be a clumsy, inexact way of describing it. It would meld the latest discoveries in physics with the latest discoveries about biology - a connection that very few scientists, with the exclusion of James Watson, ventured to consider."

Review: Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Sophie Foster is a twelve year old prodigy. Younger than anyone in her class, her mind is constantly buffeted with the thoughts of others due to her telepathic ability, Sophie is a misfit. Then she learns she is not human, she is an elf.

An elf searching for Sophie sends his son to earth to bring her to the Elvin world. Sophie expects to return to her family and she is concerned about the strange fires in her city. A young elf named Fitz brings her to meet his father Alden.

Alden convinces Sophie that she does not belong with humans, her place is in the elf world. She learns that the elves have shut their world away from humanity. Places like Atlantis and Shangri-la exist, they are the lost cities. The human world is forbidden. Sophie agrees to remain and learn on the condition that her family will never know she existed for she does not want them to feel pain and is concerned for her family’s safety.

Sophie is brought by Alden before the elves council. They discover she has a stronger telepathic ability than any elf. She is sent to the best school and is given to the care of foster family. Young Sophie makes friends with a boy named Dex and develops a crush on Fitz. She struggles in school but sometimes she knows things she should not know, secrets buried in her brain.

Is Sophie a tool of the Black Swan, a group of exiled elves, or are they protecting her. The mystery of why she was hidden on earth and her hidden knowledge involve her in a dangerous game. Someone is setting deadly fires on earth and clues are being left for her to discover.

The author has created a sweet protagonist with a strong sense of right. Messenger does an admirable job of complex world building and introduction of characters. Readers only know what Sophie knows and learns. She is naïve by both her age and he newness to the elvin society. We are never certain which character can be trusted or their motivation.

Keeper of the Lost Cities is targeted to middle grade readers, ages 8 and up. The story is strong enough to engage adults. The writing does not talk down to the reader. I am not around readers this book is targeted for but they will be drawn into this world and the world of books. The dialogue is well done and young readers will connect with the characters.

I enjoyed the book and found the ending acceptable knowing this is the first in a series. I hope the author can adequately explain and bring resolution to the mystery of the Black Swan. I recommend this book to all readers that enjoy fantasy. The second book, Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities) will be released October 1, 2013.

Product Details, Series: Keeper of the Lost Cities (Book 1)

Age Range: 8 and up
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Aladdin (August 6, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1442445947 • ISBN-13: 978-1442445949
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Writing Tools: Jungian Archetypes

As discussed in previous post Writing Tools: Archetypes archetypal analysis is a strong tool for the writer.  As readers recognize and respond to ideas, patterns and symbols that are universal to them.

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung submitted that archetypes were part of a collective unconscious.

He believed archetypes were primordial or ingrained in our understanding and universal.
His two primary categories of archetypes are characters and situations/symbols.

Unlike the authors of  Heroes and Heroines: 16 Master Archetypes, Jungian archetypes focus of a more limited set of characters and situations or symbols.

While The Hero's Journey of Joseph Campbell and Chris Volger have specific steps that must be taken, Jung see archetypical situation.


1.    The Hero
2.    The Outcast
3.    The Scapegoat
4.    The Star-crossed Lovers
5.    The Shrew


1.    The Task
2.    The Quest
3.    The Loss of Innocence
4.    The Initiation
5.    Water – A better term might be Rebirth. Jung believed Water is a symbol of rebirth of life.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Writing: Archetypes

Research: Better Writing through Social Anthropology and Psychology

The use of myths and archetypes helps the writer create complex, believable characters and tell stories that echoes of the human psyche. The value in using archetypal characters in fiction is that the a majority of people  unconsciously recognize the archetype and the character's motivations.

"The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers" by Christopher Vogler, inspired by Joseph Campbell, "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" reveals the hero’s journey by identifying 12 steps seen in myths. The journey is a narrative archetype where the protagonist must overcome increasingly difficult obstacles before reaching the goal. Vogler identifies major character archetypes:

Volger Major Character Archetypes
The Hero

In "Archetypal Patterns in Poetry: Psychological Studies of Imagination", Maud Bodkin compared Jungian archetypes to poetry.

 Among the archetypal patterns:
·         The Oedipus complex .
·         The Rebirth archetype.
·         The Archetype of Heaven and Hell.
·         The Images of the Devil, the Hero, and God.
"Heroes and Heroines: 16 Master Archetypes," by Caro LeFever, Tami Cowden and Sue Viders is an exceptional resource for the writer. The authors define 8 male and 8 female archetypes.

The Eight Male Archetypes:

Archetype Name – Male
The Chief
The Bad Boy
The Charmer
The Lost Soul
The Professor
The Swashbuckler
The Best Friend
The Warrior

The Eight Female Archetypes:
Archetype Name – Female
The Boss
The Seductress
The Spunky Kid
The Free Spirit
The Waif
The Librarian
The Crusader
The Nurturer

Upcoming Blogs:  
 Defining the male archetypes and identifying a character from film or fiction for each category.

Wait! There is more on the Blog Horizon for Writers.

Sixteen Villain Archetypes
Jungian Archetypes
Volger’s Archetypes and the Hero’s Journey.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Writing: The Perfect Hero and Heroine.

The Perfect Hero and Heroine

“That’s not very heroic,” is an ongoing comment during critique or in contest judging. But the hero hasn’t tortured animals or kidnapped anyone. He isn’t unheroic. He just has certain traits that need to be plucked like a stray eyebrow lash or a challenge that will bring out his best attributes.

Does the perfect hero mean our male protagonist is flawless? Must he embody all the attributes of the ideal alpha male to make the readers love him?

So, I ask, should our heroes be perfect?

Going against the prevailing philosophy, I say “no” and no again. How boring.

I want to see growth (character arc). Though larger than life and facing extraordinary circumstances, I need to see a semblance of a real person on the page. At the start of a book with a hero that is the embodiment of all that is good, noble and sexy, I’m bored. I can’t relate. Why? For me this epitome of heroism is not an archetype but a stereotype. And of course it follows that the man or women is physical perfection with varying shades of hair, eye and skin color. Gag me (old term and still appropriate).

This doesn’t mean the protagonist should have a disgusting habit or committed a grievous sin. If the main character is controlling or curses or doesn’t go to church… will the reader through your novel across the room in disgust?

I agree wholeheartedly that some unheroic actions or characteristics are unpalatable if not taboo. I don’t want to see the hero pick his nose. I don’t want him to have committed a grievous sin. Many years ago on the recommendation of a friend, I read the start of a series and never finished the first book. The ‘hero’ raped someone. I asked my friend why in the hell would I like this book? Her answer was as the series progresses, he must make redemption. Sorry, he was not redeemable in my eyes. Rape or murder is not an accident. And while this character was not repentant initially (though that wouldn’t have made me like him or care about him either.) His change of attitude made no difference to me. He wasn’t a hero, he was scum.

Therefore it appears that some sins are unforgivable but less than heroic traits are acceptable, in my view. That is why I like Beauty and The Beast. The story was not just about looking past the physical, The Beast wasn’t very heroic at the start of the story. Another example that comes to mind is Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake. The heroine isn’t always likable, she is prejudiced and unyielding. But as Anita grows she learns to become more accepting. She grows as a person. She’s still tough.

Vicki Pettersson’s Joanna Archer, from
The Sign of Zodiac series, has both Shadow and Light sides. She seeks revenge and makes poor decisions. But this is a heroine to embrace as she learns and grows. Rachel Caine’s Joanne Baldwin of the Weather Warden series is vain. This heroine sets out to use a djinn to take the Demon Mark (a parasite) from her. She thinks of the djinn as things, not people. But as she learns, her heroism rises to the top.

These are my examples of the less than heroic but infinitely more appealing, entertaining and intriguing heroic characters. Must our hero or heroine have only heroic personas? I’d like to know what you think.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review Interruptus of 8 Pending Reviews

Yesterday I experienced a serious case of 'review interruptus'.

I have 8 books to review. And I pulled the books and e-reader to my laptop.  Word Document open and ready.  When I turned on the e-reader I glanced at the books in my queue.

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James caught my eye. With a click I opened the book and that is when the case of  'review interruptus' started.  And is ongoing.

I simply must finish reading this book! I can tell you the writing is beautiful and flawless. The story compelling. No wonder Ms .St. James has won two RITA awards, Best First Novel and in the category Novel with Strong Romantic Elements.

Warning, I will try to take interruptus medicine and write my reviews but the author has a second book, An Inquiry into Love and Death that is calling to me.

Pending reviews:
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities, Shannon Messenger
  • The 5 books in the Grim Reaper series by Darynda Jones
  • Time Thief  & Time Crossed (novella)by Katie MacAllister
  • Grave Minder & Guns for the Dead (short story) by Melissa Marr
  • When you Went Away by Michael Barron
  • Warm Bodies by Issac Marion
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic & The Crazy Old Lady Revenge by Katherine Valentine
Wait that is more than 8, if I count the novella and short story I have 15 !

Monday, August 19, 2013

Review: Unsure about Undead and Unsure

Undead and Unsure by Mary Janice Davidson. Book 11 in the Undead Queen Betsy series.

Yes I am Unsure about how to review Undead and Unsure. I love Queen Betsy, I really do. Along with her yummy man Sinclair. I think the author is witty, talented and has a great agent. Of all the series written by MJD I appreciate the werewolf books and can't stand her mermaid books, love Betsy books.

In preparation of this release I re-read all ten Betsy books. The read didn't take long. MJD is funny, snarky and great with internal monologue. The reading is fast and fun, light and enjoyable. Her books are not plot heavy. The stories have a simple plot and are filled in with Betsy's unique view and thought process.

Undead and Unwed is the introduction to the Betsy series. On her 30th birthday Betsy Taylor loses her job, her party plans are spoiled, gets hit by a car and is killed. She wakes up in the morgue, realizes she is a vampire, tries to kill herself, rescues someone else from killing themselves and goes home.

Her mother and best friend are elated, the local vampire population - not so much. But vampires Eric Sinclair and Tina believe she is the foretold vampire queen because she isn't burned by a cross and can go to church. They want Betsy to put an end to the reign of Vampire King Nostro, read kill, and rule.

Betsy isn't having any of it but of course that is exactly what ends up happening. Oh and now Sinclair is her consort for the next 1000 years. Fun.

And book 2 Undead and Unemployed continues the fun. Betsy gets a job selling shoes at the mall. Someone tries to kill her. Sinclair rushes to the rescue because he loves her and Betsy lives on because she is the all-powerful vampire queen.

But her last release, Undead and Unstable used a terrible 'trope of going back in time and changing the past so the future is what it is, or was. I didn't and don't care for this storyline arc. Undead and Unsure started off (after the now familiar pages of acknowledgements where the author mainly pats herself on the back and add a few pages to the book) with Sinclair talking baby talk -terrible, yucky baby talk- to puppies. Not in character and repellent, that is not our familiar sexy hero.

As in some of the other books another character jumps in and tells the story for a chapter or so. That irritates me. In this case the character is Sinclair which is good and bad if you can get past the earlier baby talk crap.

If I was not a fan I would have stopped reading. The first half of the book is unnecessary internal dialogue to turn a short story into a book. After reading above you may wonder why you should read the book. If you are a fan, plow through because the last 1/3 or 1/4 of the book is worthwhile.

If you haven't read the books, this is not the place to start. Start with Undead and Unwed and enjoy! The first two books can stand on their own. But don't jump on the Undead series trolley in the middle of the series.

Remember, I love Queen Betsy and the series but don't start here, this is a bit of challenge to wade through to get to the good stuff even for a fan.

For a complete list of Queen Betsy books click this link: Widgets