Book Review: Enchanted, Inc.

Enchanted, Inc. (Enchanted, Inc., #1)Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So much missed potential here. I like the premise, but the execution was bland and plodding.

The main characters were underdeveloped and plenty of secondary characters were given too much time on the page and then abandoned entirely.

There were too many name brand current pop-cultural references, dooming the story to a limited shelf-life.

And I must admit that I am wholeheartedly sick of first person narratives. I didn’t want to be in Katie’s head, because there just wasn’t a whole lot going on in there.

**SPOILERS BELOW**
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It’s What’s for Dinner

Hey guys, I don’t normally post this sort of thing-what-I-ate article, but this turned out really well, so I had to share.

beef and sweet potatoes

Beef & Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds stew beef, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • diced onion to taste
  • coconut oil/butter
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 and 1/2 cups beef stock or bouillon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Preparation:

Place sweet potato cubes in the Crock Pot, cover in stock and set on high.
Mix flour with spices and cocoa powder.
Toss stew beef with the flour mixture, coating each piece.
Heat butter/oil (I used a tablespoon of both) in a large skillet; brown coated beef and onion.
Put beef and onions on top of sweet potatoes.
Cover and cook high for one hour, then reduce to low for 2 hours -or- cook on low 4 to 6 hours, (or until the sweet potatoes are soft, or you just too hungry to wait anymore.)

Serve with biscuits. Feeds four.

Fantasy, Epic, Now please

paizo__monk_by_freshpaint-d4nxjx3Hey guys!

Okay, here’s the deal. I loves me some epic fantasy. But as I get older, I become pickier about what I read. Faults I was able to overlook in younger days, now stab me right in the eyes. For example, while I once enjoyed the works of Mercedes Lackey, her works now feel unbalanced to me. Yes, there is both good and evil, but the depiction of each has always struck me as rather stark. The good people are a little too perfect and the bad a are little too screwed up. (The exception being By the Sword, which is still a favorite.)

A couple authors I have read and enjoyed in this vein are: Robin McKinley, Lois McMaster-Bujold, and of course, my friend, Rachel Hartman.

And yes, while there are times when I go the opposite direction, and revel in reading some things that are little more than the literary answer to deep-fried lard on a stick, those times/books are a rare indulgence.

My next step is to read Chantress, by Amy Butler Greenfield. (I’ve been told the books are good, despite the horrible, sugar-princess covers and marketing.)

servants_to_the_crown_by_denmanrooke-d6n147s

What I’m hoping for after that, dear readers, is recommendations. I want fantasy, the epic variety. I want heroes of any/every stripe, not just the strong-jawed, white, hetero-male. But by the same token, I don’t want stories that read as little more than progressive agenda-tracts with a fantasy coat of paint, either. Think: Lord of the Rings, but with more women and people of color.

So, what’cha got?

 

 

The artwork featured in this post is from artists on deviantART:

Paizo- Monkby FreShPAiNt
Servants to the Crown by DenmanRooke

 

And so, it continues…

The long, often bitter, yet seemingly undying battle over geek sexism continues. As I watch, largely from the outside these days, I can’t help but marvel at those participants who don’t seem to understand that, on the Internet, everyone can hear you scream, (shout, rant, froth at the mouth…).

I’m not going to retrace what is already well-worn territory here, nor will I recount the numerous times I personally have been attacked online for daring to inhabit the geekosphere with both ovaries and an opinion.

Today, I’m just putting this out there for you all to form your own opinions, while I sit in the corner, banging my head on the desk.

giphy

 

Perfect gif of perfectness via giphy.com.

I Published a Thing

posey_cover_smlHey guys!

So, I’ve been busy of late. Working the day job, writing one of those articles I promised recently, and publishing a book.

Yes, I really did publish a book. No, not the traditional way, with an agent and a big publishing company, but the digital way, with an editor, Amazon and a whole lot of elbow grease. It’s nothing fancy, just a selection of poetry that I’ve written over the last fifteen (or so) years. It’s part of a much larger writing/publishing project I’ve set for myself. The next phase will be a collection of the Advice to Young Writers essays from this very blog.

After that, well, I’ve got this long-form bit of prose kicking around my hard drive that I’m hoping to one day show you all. Eventually.

In any case, if you’re interested in phase one, the poetry book, you can find it here. If you don’t have a Kindle, that’s okay. There’s an app for that.

Not Dead, Hibernating.

Just 10 More Minutes...

Just 10 More Minutes…

Hey guys,

Yes, I know it’s been awhile and that (thanks to my day job) some of you despair that I will ever return to post again. Despair not!

The long, cold winter will not last forever and neither will this job. Because it’s temporary. No, seriously, it’s just a seasonal gig.That’s not to say I won’t have another day job when this one is done, (rent don’t pay itself after all) but I won’t have one quite as… intense.

In the mean time, I am thinking of you all, and planning articles for the day when the sun returns and it’s time again to rise and shine.

Until then, have a lovely Holiday Season.