Sunshine and Ruby

Thanks so much to Genny, author of “Musings of a Stay-at-Home-Mom” for the nod with the Sunshine Award!!  Really, it’s a way for all of us bloggers to share our sites with others.  So, I will give nods to a few others below (and will state the Rules at the bottom).  Meantime, to comply, here are the 10 questions about me (and I didn’t write these questions, I stole them from others that I saw, but thought they were the best in a large group!):

1. Vampire or Werewolves?  Vampires, naturally.  Because I have yet to find a book series about wolves as awesome as The Brotherhood, a tv show about wolves as awesome as True Blood or a movie about wolves as awesome as Once Bitten!

2. Favorite Movie?  Harvey starring Jimmy Stewart.  I know, it’s a throwback.  But if you haven’t seen it, please do.  It’s about a man with an imaginary friend that is a big giant white rabbit.  Naturally, his relatives try to lock him up in the looney-bin, but they don’t succeed.  It’s wonderful!

3. Favorite Book Series?  Harry Potter.  ‘Nuff said.

4. Favorite Athletic Activity?  Tie between soccer an Tang Soo Do Marital Arts.

5.  Favorite Cartoon Character? Winnie the Pooh, of course!  But I totally dig the little green aliens that worship the Claw from Toy Story!

6. Twizzlers or Red Vines?  Twizzlers.  Those yummy red pieces of heaven…  mmmmm.

7. Favorite Beer?  Guinness.  But it really does taste better in Ireland.  Can’t figure out why!

8. Star Wars or Star Trek? Stark Trek, Mr. Spock, Capt. Picard, Data… of course BSG and the whole frakkin crew there are pretty awesome too!

9. Best Vacation Ever?  That’s hard to answer, since I have been lucky to go on a few really kick A$$ ones lately.  Hawaii was beautiful, Ireland amazing, and there are no words to do justice to the Galapagos Islands.

10. Favorite Song?  Currently, The Airborne Toxic Event’s Sometime Around Midnight.  But my favorite song constantly changes and is totally a matter of my then current mood.

And, while I am not sure I have 10 blogs I can nominate, I will certainly nominate those I find enjoyable:

Rainy of the Dark

Hallie Chandler

lovelylittlesmalltowngirl

Elizabeth Waldie

Books to Infinity and Beyond

So, now the rules to this little nomination:

If you’ve reached this post as one of my nominees for The Sunshine Award, please see below:

• Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
• Answer 10 questions about yourself.  Use these or create your own.
• Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers.
• Link your nominees to this post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
• Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

And, since the title was Sunshine and Rubies, we need the Rubies part since the Sunshine part is over!  And since this is a book related blog, I must say that I have a page now for the first in the Edlestein Trilogy, Ruby Red by Kirsten Gier.

So, there is a line of men and a line of women who can time travel.  And there’s a machine, called the chronograph can help regulate the traveling, which manifests when about 16 and requires the person to travel for the rest of their lives.  Charlotte has trained all her life for the traveling but turns out her cousin, Gwyneth, is the one with the traveling gene.  And Gwyneth is thrust into a world she isn’t prepared for, times she isn’t prepared to explore, and has to help with some grand plan but she is warned by her mother that it might not be the right thing to do even though the secret society that her family has lived with and on the fringe of because of their traveling ability, the Lodge, believes it.  Gwyneth begins to travel with Gideon, a fellow traveler, and they are supposed to set things right – or as right as the Count Saint-Germain wants them.  But is that really what is right?

The pace of the book was world-class sprinting pace.  Time traveling stories are a challenge for me.  And I didn’t realize that would be the main driver in the plot here.  But, the story and the mystery was strong enough that the time traveling didn’t overpower things.  And there is still a whole lot of mystery to be solved.  It is currently, for now at least, noted that this is the first in a trilogy.  All three have been published in German (wishing I could read Deutsch right now, because I don’t want to wait until October to get Sapphire Blue) so the story is presumably finished.  Unless these take the Moral Instruments or Immortal series paths to doom and turn into a train wreck of extended series beyond what was originally planned.

There seems to be a decent base built for both a budding romance between Gwyneth and Gideon, as well as the plot twists and turns that are presumably coming.  Although I am not sure the author has grasped the ability to be subtle with foreshadowing.  If I were the editor, the first 4 or so chapters would have been 1 – since we knew from almost page one that Charlotte wasn’t going to be the traveler.  It seemed to give, what turned out to be a fast paced book, a really slow start.  And it lowered my expectations of the plot and what the author might be able to pull off.  Then again, maybe that’s why the second part of the book was more enjoyable – I expected less.

It was also clear from the beginning that this installment was a teaser – all set up for what’s (hopefully) coming in books 2 and 3.  I know with a series you have to start somewhere, and we need to be introduced to the world, the characters and the rules of what ever para/super-natural phenomenon that we are dealing with, but for a book that set up so much plot, it would have been nice to get a little more character development as part of that set up.  Instead, Gideon really dislikes Gwyneth and is all about Charlotte and then all of a sudden on the third (or so) meeting is kissing Gwyneth?  A little too fast, without enough interaction or development of any relationship or tension between the characters.

And then, there’s the fact that there was no ending to speak of.  Except all of a sudden in the middle of a chase scene, the book ends.  I HATE THAT!!!! Most stories – even ones where there are not stories within stories (e.g., Harry Potter) have a natural point where a break between books isn’t quite so abrupt.  But books that are split into multiples just for the sake of being a series…. grrrrrrr!!!!!  Some might argue that this particular point was a natural break in the story, but if so, then I don’t think there should be an epilogue – not when there is another coming.  I don’t like Epilogues in books in a series (with a few exceptions) that are not the last in the series.  If there’s the need for an Epilogue in one of the earlier installments, then the book didn’t end in the right place.  It’s just my opinion.

Readers looking for the next Clary/Jace, Bella/Edward, Luce/Daniel love story won’t be satisfied here.  At least not with the first book.  This isn’t about the love between the two travelers but about the mystery and the traveling with the potential for a little romance thrown in.  The next book/two books might change that, but for now, this is more about the action and the time traveling than the undying love across lifetimes.  And that’s ok with me.  Too many of latter have become clones of one another or have turned into awful attempts to take completed stories and stretch them into too many more installments and the stories have then been ruined.

On the positive side, I am looking forward to the continuation of the plot.  The mystery of the chronograph and the Count’s plans is enough to make me eager for the next installment.  I just hope that the translation of the third doesn’t take too long – because I really want to see how this ends!

And I will end with this little plea to the publisher:  get a better cover for the second installment.  The first cover here in the US was eye catching and screamed “Pick Me UP!!!!”  and the one on amazon.com for Sapphire Blue – just another picture of a girl in an old fashioned dress.  There’s not much appealing about it, and if I hadn’t read the first, the cover wouldn’t make me pick up the second.  (Yes, I am totally a judge what book to buy based on its cover kinda gal!)

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