Saturday, January 25, 2014

cowboy romance, take two.

Haven season 4, with Emily Rose.  I was really happy to see Colin Ferguson because I love him, but it turns out I'm not so sure about how I feel about him (spoiler!) as a bad guy.  I'm also concerned about where they will be taking the show in the next season.  They really need to wrap it up before it gets really bad.

A Copper Mountain Christmas by Jane Porter, Katherine Garbera, and Melissa McClone.  This titles goes with the other cowboy romance I just read.  Cowboy romance + Christmas stories turns out to be too much for me; each story is like a Hallmark movie on chocolate-covered steroids... or, perhaps, estrogen tablets, I'm not sure which.
Anywho, my observations:
1.  Christmas at Copper Mountain: definitely the best of the three in this set, if a fair number of typo-type errors.
2.  A Cowboy for Christmas: minor, distracting errors throughout-- mostly missing commas or section where dialogue was obviously changed but someone's response wasn't edited to match.  This story lays it on awfully thick with the Christmas stuff.  I know that's sort of the point, but whereas the first story used the weather and the characters to set up the right feel, we know where this is going because the narration mentions a "Christmas miracle" every other page or so.
3.  Home for Christmas: inconsistent use of commas-- pick a style and stick with it.
note: messy smeared-ink sort of print smudges throughout chapters 2 and 3.
scores: pretty much the same.

The Molina Curse by Charles L. Fields.  First, it's obvious from just the first few pages that this is part of a series, and the author does nothing to help the reader remember (or catch up) to the story so far.  The blurb on the back is actually a pretty fair representation of everything that goes wrong with this book:

The Molina Curse is the sequel to Tainted Dish and the fifth book in the Charles Stone Travel/Mystery/Thriller series.  The protagonist faces several assassination attempts and a life threatening encounter in Australia's Outback.  His dog, Daisy is reintroduced along with characters from previous stories.  The reader will be reminded of our country's history through walks on Boston's Freedom Trail.  The Molina Curse provides tantalizing moments "Down Under", as well as aboard a cruise ship from Sydney to New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji and Hawaii. A love affair is tested and Charles Stone's life is in peril throughout until the curse is lifted by complying with mysterious forces within the Vatican.  Stone's final act of involvement with the dark side of the Papacy is one of the most bizarre in all works of fiction.  Unfortunately The Molina Curse ends on a sad tragic note.
I really wish I were exaggerating this, but I'm not, not even a little bit.  There are so many terrible editing errors, formatting errors (there's an upside-down apostrophe!), and could we get a few commas here?  You'd think they're made of gold, the author is so stingy with them.
The conversation is absolutely horrid-- completely stiff and canned, with the characters saying each other's names every other line.

Little Joe by Michael E. Glasscock III.  I was dubious that an author who feels the need to put this name on the front might have some sort of complex, or was maybe trying to make up for something.  This is actually a really great book, well-written if slow-moving, that will likely be popular among people who were young during World War II (like the main character); it may get some popularity as a book-group book.
My only criticism is that in the second part of the book, there is some jumping around in time.  For example, chapter 20 goes through August, but chapter 21 begins July 3rd.  This is not how the first part of the book was set-up and it feels sort of messy.
I actually thought about scoring this book some 10s.  It's certainly in the top 10.

Tomorrow Comes: An Emma Story by Donna Mebane.
Why is the subtitle An Emma Story?  Are there other Emma Stories, loosely connected?  This isn't clear.
Why is the dialogue italicized instead of being in quotes?!  Look what you made me do, using two punctuations at a time. This actually made it impossible for me to read any where near smoothly-- we have conventions for a reason!
There is no action in this book.  The writing is allowing the reader to very slowly get to know all the characters.  While I like getting to understand and get inside each of the main characters, 1) this was slow even for me, and 2) this is in no way going to capture or hold reader's in the target audience.
overall score: 3.

The Condor Song by Darryl Nyznyk.
  • some commas would be nice.
  • how many people are we going to meet for this story?  At least one per chapter for quite a while, and half of them are already dead!
  • terrible overuse of ellipses.
  • the parts that are meant to be suspenseful aren't: the writer is deliberately not sharing information in an effort to create suspense rather than letting the story carry the reader along.
overall score: 4.

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