#BookReview: Plundering the Prince (Claimed by the Gay Dragon #1) by Dick Rier

1 out of 5 Stars

Thief tries to steal from a prince, falls in love with a dragon instead.

Editorial issues. Repetition of words too many times and too close together. Even if it is a dragon Shifter story, there doesn’t seem to be much imagination.

May #WrapUp

CLTBRChallenge15 and GoodReads Book Challenge Progress- 21 of 65 and 30 of 65 books read. I really need to start reading books from my TBR pile again! But I have the next Night School preordered and an ARC of RSVP From Heaven to read as well. I am a failure at diving into my long list of TBR.

May books:

Night School: Resistance

Pines non-CLTBR

Wayward non-CLTBR

The Last Town non-CLTBR

Spearwood Academy Vol 6 non-CLTBR

Spearwood Academy Vol 7 non-CLTBR

My Camp NanoWrimo book, #LoveandDrugs has been sent off to a Beta Reader (no word back yet). If there is anyone interested in Beta Reading it, I would happily send you a copy for honest feedback!

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I continued #Musical Monday Reviews and will continue them into May. Sanctuary Edits is still open for new clients. Sadly I think my guest post author has backed out, but if anyone else would like to step up send me a message and we can talk. Any topic you would like, I don’t mind. Also still taking author interviews!

As you saw there have been some posts from my creative writing class and I’ll continue to post them. I have also posted my poems and there may be more in the future…I’m not sure as I don’t write them that often.

My Book Facts

The hardest book To read:

The hardest book for me to read, is actually a series. The Sleeping Beauty series by Ann Rice. That series puts 50 Shades of Gray to shame and I was able to drag myself through the first book but didn’t make it halfway through the second before I called it quits.

A book I haven’t read yet but should have:

I have my own religious issues. I have made it my mission to read the bible, and have started it but keep putting it off. It is one book I feel I should read and should have read a long time ago.

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Books I hated having to read in school, but I loved once I grew up:

Can’t say I have any of these yet. I have done well staying away from books I hated in school. That list would include two books: Lord of the Flies and To Kill A Mockingbird. I do not have any plans to reread these.

A book I should have read sooner:

Aside from the Bible, I would have to go with Lolita. Very interesting and wish I had read it when I was younger, give me a chance to love it longer than the 5 years and counting.

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Books I read at least once a year:

I don’t usually read a certain book once a year. If the mood strikes for a certain reread, then I will but it doesn’t usually happen yearly. However, I have read the 50 Shades series once a year for two or three years now.

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Books I should never have read:

That again goes to the Sleeping Beauty series. It just freaked me out and I cannot look at Disney’s Sleeping Beauty the same way.

My favorite books as a child:

The Dear America Series. Diaries from girls of different time periods expressing what their lives were like. I loved every one I could get my hands on. Another favorite was Love from Your Friend, Hannah by Mindy Warshaw Skolsky about a girl writing to FDR and becoming a penpal with him. I ended up writing a letter to Former President Clinton and George W. Bush. With all of my moving around I’m not sure what happened to the letter from Clinton, but I do still have GWB’s as well as a picture of him and his wife that was sent along with it.

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Series that should have went further:

Harry Potter. A series that brought the world together could go one to fill in little details about Harry’s life after the War. How did everyone cope? Did they all get over it or are some still haunted? The ending J.K. provided was nice but so much could still be done.

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Books that should not have been made into movies:

Twilight probably shouldn’t have been made into movies. While I loved the books and was overjoyed when the movies did come out, I think a lot was not transferred to the big screen and they kind of turned four good books into a bit of a mockery. Still love both the books and movies but hate comparing the two. I prefer to judge them separately.

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Books that sucked me in:

Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades…pretty much any book I find, I get sucked into at some point. Even if I end up not liking it.

How about you? Did you have a book that was hard to read, or one you read over-and-over again? I would love to hear what your book facts are. Let me know!

April #WrapUp

CLTBRChallenge15 and GoodReads Book Challenge Progress- 20 of 65 and 24 of 65 books read.

April Books:

Spearwood Academy Vol 3

Spearwood Academy Vol 4

Spearwood Academy Vol 5

Murderous Little Darlings: Non-TBR

Night School: Genesis

Night School: Legacy

Night School: Fracture

In other news, my Camp NaNoWriMo was somewhat of a failure and kind of not. I wrote 23,892 words out of a goal of 30,000. So I failed to make my goal but came very close to finishing. Can’t wait to see what I can do in July!

I continued #Musical Monday Reviews and will continue them into May. Sanctuary Edits is working with a second author already and still open for new clients. I also announced Guest Posts this month, but have not heard back from the one who contacted me yet. I am opening that spot up to anyone who would be interested, any topic you would like. Classes are going ok but I have just been out of it the last two weeks. I was really sick one day and haven’t caught up yet. Iit’s been a lazy, feel like “blah” last two weeks. I hope it gets better.

Let’s have a good May!

#Musical Monday Review: Mulan

Overview: Ancient China is under attack and Mulan’s already battle worn father is drafted into the army again. Foregoing her duty to marry a man of great honor, she cuts her hair, dons her father’s armor and with the help of her ancestral guardian, she joins the army. Under the name Ping, she trains to become a warrior and defeat the Hun’s. Once her captain is certain the troops are ready, they set out to meet his father and instead find a burning village and his father dead. Following the Hun’s path, there is an epic battle where Mulan saves the day. However, she is struck in the chest and her secret is out. Her ruse is one punishable by death, but as she saved her captain’s life, he spares hers and leaves her on the mountain. Not quite as dead as they seem, the Hun’s pop out of the deep snow and head for the capital. Mulan observes this and heads off to warn her friends. They do not believe her, because she is a woman and are attacked. The emperor is taken hostage as everyone is sealed out of the palace. Using skills taught in training, Mulan gussies up the boys as concubines and sneaks in. Underestimating them, the guards are quickly disarmed and the emperor is saved. Mulan kills the leader of the huns and brings great honor to her family.

Opinion: This is the second Disney movie where the girl doesn’t have to be rescued by the man. In 1995, the first Disney Princess movie to do this was Pocahontas (Mulan came out three years later), before this girls were being taught that they had to be rescued by a man in order to survive. Mulan taught us that we could be just as strong and independent as men. Mulan also teaches us that no matter what the laws are, you should always do what is right. Her father was slightly disabled and would not survive another war, but because he had no son the honor of fighting was on him. Mulan felt it was right to take his place, but that would never had been allowed in this time period.

Favorite song is “Make a Man” where Shang is singing about making men out of the worthless boys he was sent to train.

“Honor to Us All” gives great insight to the time period and what the expectations were of women.

Sanctuary Edits

Have a book that needs editing? Want to make sure all the kinks are worked out before publication? Here at Sanctuary Edits, we will read through your book looking for any and all typos. We will double check to make sure everything sounds smooth and inform you of any issues spotted.

In addition to our editing services, we will also have an honest review ready for you upon publication. The review will be posted to Books and More, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr and Amazon (or Smashwords depending on where you publish). We will also include an Author Spotlight Interview on the Books and More blog. We can also put together a release post highlighting your book the day it is released.

At Sanctuary Edits, we do Substantive Editing and Copy Editing. Substantive Editing is problem solving and overall clarity or accuracy.
Copy Editing, is where we look at spelling, grammar, punctuation and word usage. Prices are $50-100 per manuscript. Price varies depending on size. Short story would be less than an epic novel.

#BookReview: Spearwood Academy Vol 3 by A.S. Oren 5/5 Stars

Overview: Avalon and her friends have escaped from Spearwood Academy and made their way to New York to fix her warped mind. Agnita the Sea Witch uncovers that this is not the first time her mind has been warped, but is able to undo the damage. Avalon is back to normal, sort of. Her transformation is now different and filled with different pain. Being warned by a loyal servant from the school, the gang takes the night to rest and move on in the early morning to Avalon’s parents’ place.

Opinion: Yay! We are starting to get answers, not many but still, about who Avalon is and who started the curse. We also get a glimpse into why people are after and warping her mind. Though with the few answers we get, more questions pop up. I am so glad I found this series. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Recommend: Yes

#Book Review: Spearwood Academy Volume 2 By: A.S Oren 4/5 Stars

Overview: Avalon and friends have survived their tests and been given a gypsy crystal that can help Avvi control help shifting. The Ancients, are growing weary of her slow progress and force a member of the council to brainwash her to forget her old life and remember he is her father. Her friends are now on a quest to fix her.

Opinion: The fun continues. It is as great as the first one, but this one begins to show plot holes…or they are plot holes because not all has been explained yet. The ending was cool as they were fighting the guardians of the mountain.

Recommend: Yes.

#Book Review: Spearwood Academy (Volume 1 Episodes 1-5) By A.S. Oren 5/5 Stars

Overview: Avalon is a 15 year old girl with a big secret…she transforms into a dragon at night. She was left outside of a barn one morning and found by her adopted father Edgar. He was scared at first, but loved her and took care of her until her 15th birthday when he felt she was ready to attend a special boarding school for others like her. On her first day she makes an enemy of two boys and four male friends. For a previous wallflower she starts to become a leader as she goes through a survival test and battles another dragon.

Opinion: My first dragon-shifter book. Honestly loved it. It is fast paced, but seems a bit slow in the beginning as we are getting to know her and her home life. For instance it takes a few pages to figure out Avalon is a girl. It may seem obvious by the name, but I also think the name could be used for either a boy or a girl. Then everything picks up once she gets on a plane that can travel through time zones in minutes. Once at school, we are hit with more and more questions that drive you nuts, as there are no answers yet.

Recommend: Yes

#Musical Monday Review #3: Shrek the Musical

Overview: Shrek is an ogre that just wants to live alone in his swamp. Lord Farquaad, is lord of Duloc and wants to be King, but in order to do so he needs to marry a princess. He also has issues with people who are different than him, and sends all the fairytale creatures to live in Shrek’s swamp. Princess Fiona, is his choice, the only problem (he knows about) is that she lives in a tower guarded by a fearsome dragon. In exchange for the deed to his swamp, Shrek is roped into finding the princess and bringing her home. With a talking Donkey along for the trip, Shrek rescues Fiona and heads back for Duloc. Along the way Shrek and Fiona start to fall in love, despite their obvious differences, but Fiona has a secret that keeps them stopping and making camp for the night. Trying to hide her secret, Donkey finds it out, and urges her to tell Shrek. She refuses, says some nasty things that Shrek overhears, and believes she is talking about him. Instead of professing her love, as he was about to do, he runs off and brings Lord Farquaad to her in the forest. The wedding begins, Shrek comes to his senses, wedding is crashed by him and other fairytale creatures and in the end true love prevails.

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Opinion: I must confess, Shrek movies are a guilty pleasure of mine in general. Throw a wonderful cast, and great music and of course I’m hooked! The musical really highlights the fact that real life isn’t always as perfect or pretty like fairy tales. Sometimes it is ugly, smelly, confusing, or down right mean. Prince Charming doesn’t have to be handsome and wealthy, as long as you make each other happy and want to share your lives together it doesn’t matter what you or they look like.

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The musical also supports the message that no matter how different you are, you should always be you. My favorite song would have to be “Let Your Freak Flag Wave.” The fairy tale creatures sing about being yourself and never being ashamed.

As you see from the video, it is a staged production, but it is still wonderful. I think that stage productions add a quality to the shows that make them more magical. Take the Pied Piper song, it would be a bit odd if small rats magically (without a fairy-godmother present) became big and started tapping on a movie version. On stage it works perfectly.

While the lessons it portrays are pretty heavy, the show is light and will keep you in stitches throughout the whole show. If you love the movies and are skeptical, the musical stays pretty much on the same path but of course somethings were added or taken away or done differently. Depending on how well it would or would not work for the stage. Plus we get to see insights into how Shrek came to live in his swamp, which is a bit heartbreaking, and we get to see Fiona through the years. We see her at three different stages in her life as she grows up in the tower waiting to be rescued. The lyrics are hilarious and the music is beautiful. We don’t get to see the band, but we can see the head of the conductor through the floor, I think it is poor placement but it works.