Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I had a very nice surprise today after a tough rejection on my full ms from a very cool, very kind agent (ah, the life and times of an aspiring author).  But anywho, Sinn over at Sinnful Books has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award!!!  How awesome is that?  If I could, I'd give her 10 ninja throwing stars in honor of her kindness and perfect timing J  Thanks so much Sinn, and if you ever need a pick-me-up, let me know.  I owe you one ;)

Now onto the requirements I must fulfill to get the award: 1) Write seven random facts about yourself and 2) Nominate five other bloggers for the award.  So, the seven things is going to be easy peasy, but picking 5 out of the spectacular batch of bloggers I've found??  Now, that's a toughy.

7 Random Things About Me:

1) I love period dramas!!! (Mr. Thornton is my main regency crush, but I'd take Darcy if he knocked on my door.  Wouldn't say no to Wentworth either, for that matter J)
2) My number one, all-time, favorite favorite sports team is Duke.  I'm usually all about the underdogs, but…oh well.  Go Blue Devils!!
3) I was born and raised in the South but have been told by several people that I have absolutely no discernible accent.  But that's probably just b/c most of them had never seen me angry lol.
4) Harry Potter rocks, and I'm seriously hoping/praying that David Yates doesn't screw up this last movie
5) My favorite color is Tiffany Blue (very hoity-toity I know; though, I've never owned a piece of jewelry from the store.  A ninja can dream, right?)
6) I used to dream of being one of Janet Jackson's back-up dancers…but I'm certain I'm not the only twenty-something to claim that one
7) I have no idea what I want to do with my life, which scares me daily.  But I'm working on it J

And here are 5 Versatile Bloggers you simply must check out:

1) Parajunkee at Parajunkee's View (need I say more? ;))
2) Evie at Paromantasy (a very cool chick with a very cool blog about all things fangy, furry and fantastical)
3) Sinn at Sinnful Books (she's got a beautiful blog, poses thoughtful questions and posts great reviews)
4) Colleen at Metro Girl Writes (great poetry and an all-around awesome lady)
5) Sarah at Falen Formulates Fiction (another great woman/writer with interesting posts and thoughts on the publishing process)

Well, that's it!  Hope you all take a peek at these great blogs, and thank you again Sinn for the nomination.  Made my day J

Ninja Girl

Monday, May 30, 2011

NINJA AUNT REVIEW: WILD RIDE by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

Today, we have a special guest.  She's cooler than I'll ever be, reads more (and faster) than I do, and she agreed to do this post for me--only after I promised to draw her a cool ninja pic ;)  Without further ado, I give you...the first book review by Ninja Aunt!!! (And yes, she really IS my aunt and a real person...and possibly a ninja on her nights off (note: I actually have 2 kick-ass aunts and 1 very kiss-ass mom.  Love you ladies!)).

So, my first post and I'm not sure what to do: I've never reviewed a book before, beyond a 'liked it' or 'that sucked.'  But here goes nothing (the things Ninja Aunt does for Ninja Girl…)

If I see a Jennifer Crusie book, I'm pretty much gonna buy it.   I'm a Crusie fan and when I found my first Crusie/Mayer collaboration Agnes and the Hitman the fun continued.  So when I purchased their latest Wild Ride I was hoping for more of the same and then some.  And, although it's no Agnes it's still a roller-coaster of a ride.

Mary Alice Brannigan, a member of the crazy Brannigan family, has been hired to restore Dreamland Amusement Park to its former glory.  Known as 'Batty Brannigan' as a young girl and 'demon spawn' by her mom, Mab (to all who know her now) is a loner who loves the solitary of repairing the rides and bringing them back to life with color, preferring the company of park attractions to people.  But Mab is unaware the park is a prison for the five Untouchables, powerful demons including Kharos (a devil), his wife Vanth, and Fufluns, a former god turned demon who thrives on happiness.  And when Mab is knocked down and then helped up by FunFun--the iron-wooden clown statute from the front gate--things start to get strange.  Strange being relative of course.   Convinced by the park owner that she hallucinated the clown attack, Mab continues her work on the renovation.   But the bizarre is just beginning and something's just not quite right - including her new lover, Joe.   With Halloween around the corner, clown footprints to track and demons on the loose, Mab is called to become a member of the Guardia - the keepers of the park who ensure the demons do not escape - and the wild ride begins.  

The cast of characters includes Glenda (the sorceress), Delpha and Frankie (the seer and her faithful black crow), Gus (the keeper), Young Fred (the trickster) and Ethan (the hunter and Glenda's son).   Add to the mix Kharos (devil), Vanth (demon lover), Tura (demon-murderer of anyone who cheats), Slevan (demon demon), and Fufluns (demon of joy) and you can't go wrong.

I enjoyed this book: it was straight forward with some good laughs.  Being attacked by a metal clown that knows your name - funny (visualize)! And I liked the odd sense of family:  like all of us each character had their own quirk, but there was a sense of belonging that brought a smile to my face.  I giggled through it and read it quickly because I really wanted to know how it would end.  But I sort of knew how it would end so I think I really just wanted to know if I was right.  And I was. 

Dragon roller-coasters, fortune-telling machines, tunnels of love, demons, lovers, clowns and ice-cream: all in all, this was one ride I enjoyed.  (but for an even better Crusie-Mayer laugh check out Agnes and the Hitman--it's really good!)

Ninja Aunt

Friday, May 27, 2011


Hi everyone!  Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and today's feature is Louise from Book Bliss.  You should go check out her site.  Besides being beautiful to look at, she's got some great reviews and giveaways!!

Here's this week's question:

Q. How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

Okay, so I love, love, love to read...but I'm kinda slow :/  When I'm reading a book I'm not into, it's slow going b/c every page feels like pulling teeth.  On the other hand, when I'm reading something I love, I tend to slow it down and savor each scene, never wanting it to end.  So, my answer is probably small compared to everyone else's.  I read about 2 books every week (depending on length and level of interest), and I read them in hard copy.  Don't own an e-reader yet, not really planning to get one.  There's nothing like a real live book...and I've got too many beautiful bookmarks that need a home :)

I look forward to meeting more of you and hopping over to your blogs!!!

Ninja Girl

Thursday, May 26, 2011

ROT AND RUIN by Jonathan Maberry

For me, this book had everything going against it from the get.  Now I don't like to think of myself as a judgmental reader, but like anyone I have preconceptions.  Things I've learned about my tastes in books, the things I like and the things I don't.

Here are a few in the Don't Like category:

1) Books written from the male POV.  (King Dork was a notable exception.  Almost made me pee myself--multiple times--from laughing so hard)  I don't know why I tend to stay away from these books, but it's true.

2) Dystopian/post-apocalyptic/the-end-is-nigh novels.  I know, I know, I hear the collective *GASP* from all the fans out there.  It's really hot right now, but I must be missing something.  I've heard a lot about the Hunger Games--one of my students actually strenuously recommended it to me--but I've yet to pick up the books.  With the upcoming movie, I'm still debating whether I want to read them first or just go see the movie and not risk investing so much time in another depressing, evil wins, the good guys all die ending.

3) Zombies.  What can I say, they kinda creep me out...

So why'd I read it then?  Why buy the book (hardcover mind you) if it had so many of my turn offs?

Answer: This interview by the author Jonathan Maberry.

The way he spoke about his book, the tone he used, the emotional content, was so different from your typical male He-Man POV that I just had to take a look.

And I'm sooooo glad that I did J

I can't say it any better than Maberry did, but here's a short summary.  Contrary to what you may think, Rot and Ruin is much more than another zombie book.  It's the story of fifteen-year-old Benny Imura, an annoying, selfish kid whose recent birthday forces him to make a decision: Find a job or lose his meal ticket.  Benny looks for the easy way out, but when that plan fails, he reluctantly turns to his last resort.  His brother, Tom Imura, acclaimed zombie hunter, agrees to take him on as an apprentice and teach Benny the family business.

Benny can't wait to kill himself some zoms...but things change after his first visit to the Rot and Ruin.  His world is turned upside down by what he sees there, and something shifts inside him.  Hard truths and new life lessons push Benny headfirst over the cliff into adulthood, and the annoying, selfish kid vanishes.  By the end of the novel, Benny Imura becomes something more, someone better, an MC with heart, smarts, and bravery to spare.

I have to admit that I did fall a little bit in love with this one.  It's one of those books I won't forget.  Maberry gave me a bratty teenage boy and turned him into someone I could really like and root for in the end.  He gave me romance worthy of the best female authors I've read.  He even managed to turn the zombies into the victims, a new outlook which I hadn't expected.

This book was tops.  End of.  If I was you, I'd go out and get it.  Nothing left to say J

Ninja Girl

Monday, May 23, 2011


Trying something different today!  There's a meme over at Mindful Musings called Movie Cast Monday, and since I love movies and books (this series in particular), I decided to do a post of my own in that vein.  I'm calling it Casting Call, simply b/c like most writers, I do love me some alliteration J

So as the title says, today's Casting Call is all about Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels.  In the past, Evanovich stated that she thought the studios were missing out.  Stephanie and her eccentric band of misfits would kill in the box office similar to how they'd made a killing on the bestsellers lists for years.  I couldn't agree more.  I wanted to see this series made into live-action ever since I discovered Miss Plum.

But my cast definitely would've been different than the official line up.  You can see the vid below for details.

Katherine Heigl is just not my Stephanie.  Maybe she'll do great and I'm just worried for nothing, but in all her roles Heigl is just…Heigl.  Her characters all read similarly on screen, and Stephanie Plum has her own quirky sense of humor.  I'll be curious to see if she can pull it off.

Then there's Morelli (*sigh*) and Ranger (*double sigh*), Stephanie's two love interests.  I don't even know where to begin.  Morelli was supposed to look boyishly charming (or at least he did in my head) not angry/serial killer-ish like the guy playing him.  And let's not forget, ITALIAN.

Oh, and then there's Ranger…  My lovely, lovely Ranger.  What have they done to you???  Ranger is not supposed to look like that.  I'm sorry.  The guy playing him is simply too small, too unassuming, too…NOT him.

As you can see, I have strong opinions on the matter, but I wonder what you all think.  Is this your dream cast?  Do you think they could've done better?  Any suggestions?  I'd love to hear your thoughts J

Ninja Girl

Friday, May 20, 2011


What drew me at first was the title--and all the implications attached.  Rarely does a book say so much with just the title.  Emblazoned on Jana Oliver's debut were four little words that completely capture the essence of the novel.

The Demon Trapper's Daughter

My first thought was: Okay, female lead defined by/living in the shadow of her parent(s).  What I wanted to know next was, is this a good or bad shadow?  Did her parent's rep give her something to live up to or something to live down?  After reading the back cover, I got my answer and was fully convinced I had to get this book.

Paul Blackthorne is a heavy hitter among demon trappers, a full-on legend in his field.  He's revered by his peers and feared by the demons he's so adept at capturing.  Too bad his daughter, Riley, can't say the same.

She botches her very first job, a level one demon capture gone horribly--and embarrassingly--wrong.  It's on youtube just minutes after the incident, and now Riley has to face The Guild and the possibility of losing her trapping license.  Worse, the guy who once set her young pulse pounding, the one who broke her heart years ago with his indifference, witnesses her walk of shame.  Covered in demon piss, sporting a limp, bad hair, and a bruised ego, Denver Beck is the last person Riley wants to see.  Beck, her long-ago crush and father's apprentice, is a sarcastic Southern boy with down-home charm, killer looks, and a smart mouth.  The Trappers Guild doesn't like him much more than they like Riley…but he's a male.

And in The Guild--a true blue, no-girls-allowed-all-boys club--that makes all the difference.

I love the fact that against all odds Riley goes for it.  She wants to be a trapper, so she does it.  No apologies, no feeling sorry for herself.  She had great voice, believable sarcasm, humor and just the right dose of vulnerability.  Plus, she was totally kick ass, which I love in a heroine--especially one as young as Riley.  Demons, angels, trappers, a mounting conflict and a developed, enthralling world that is at one recognizable and fresh, this book had everything I look for in a good read.  I dug the love triangle set-up…though, for me, it was no contest.  Bad boy Beck vs. the saintly Simon?  I'd choose Beck any day ;)  For me, the sequel, Soul Thief, can't come out soon enough!

Happy reading,
Ninja Girl

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Welcome #FF Peeps!!!

Okay, so as usual, I'm late to the party (was watching the season finale of The Mentalist.  Great ending, curious to see where they'll go next.  Also, Patrick Jane is a total hottie!)  Let's call it fashionably late, shall we? :)

Q. It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them...

My answers:
1. I'm kind of an insomniac.
2. I teach young kids how to pop their booties (aka I'm a dance instructor and teach Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, and Contemporary to up and coming youngsters :)
3. I LOVE Asian dramas!  (Especially Boys Over Flowers, Nodame Cantabile, Coffee Prince...I could go on but we'd be here all night)
4. The first two followers of my blog are related to me (sad, I know.  But I love those women more than I love chocolate!  Now, that's a lot of love right there)
5. In my junior year, I entered our high school pageant and was voted Miss Congeniality.  Watch out Sandra Bullock, here I come!

*Bonus: I'm writing my third book now, but I'm afraid to share the title for fear that someone will steal it.  Man...we ninjas don't trust easily, do we?
Anyway, welcome to my blog Follow Friday peeps!  Please, feel free to post here and introduce yourself, check out a review, look around.  I'll be visiting your blogs soon!!!

Thanks again Parajunkee for featuring me!  As I'm sure you know, you are freakin' awesome lady, and I'm proud to be a Junkee :)

Ninja Girl

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Loved it, but...

Well, here's the problem: J.R. Ward is one of my favorite authors.  BDB is one of my favorite series, so I expect A LOT whenever a new book comes out.  Lover Unleashed was good--really good--but it just didn't live up to some of my favorites in the series.

Lover Unleased is the story of Payne, V's sister, and Dr. Manuel Manello, aka Manny.  It picks up where Lover Mine left off.  Payne is brought to the brotherhood compound, paralyzed, and the still-very-much-human Manny is called in.  He's her last and best hope of getting well, and his sensual treatments stir up more than just healing.  As usual, Ward delivers the goods, a great love story, hot love scenes, and a deepening understanding of each of the characters.  Notably missing was the conflict, the dire stakes that I always expect to see in one of Ward's tales.  Where was the antagonist?  What happened to the threat of the Lessening Society?  Why didn't I ever feel truly anxious about Payne or Manny's safety?  I definitely worried about V and Butch...   But this could've just as easily have been Vishous's story.

I will confess that V's book, Lover Unbound, wasn't my favorite (really it was close to last in my view, mostly b/c of a craptastically implausible ending.  No really, it was bad.  Slam the cover closed, throw the book across the room, screaming in my head bad).  Seriously though, why was V the only brother to get the shaft?  Why should he be the only one cheated out of H.E.A.?  I tell you it just wasn't right!  But then again, maybe that's why Ward did such a bang-up job of continuing their story here.  Finally, finally, V and Doc Jane get it together and find the closure I'd been hoping for.  That was good to see, but I think it took the focus away from Payne and Manny.

That same thing happened to Phury in Lover Enshrined (my least favorite in the series.  I was so disappointed...I can't...I really...I still can't talk about it).  I know that I shouldn't compare the books, but how can you not??  Phury and Cormia's love was totally outshined by some of the other character arcs just like Payne and Manny's.

And in saying, I will add that this was not the story I wanted to read next.  It was not the story that left me salivating, literally squirming in my seat, wanting more at the end of Lover Mine.  That honor went to a different couple, and to end this post I only have one thing to say.

If Blay and Qhuinn don't end up together, like truly and completely, wiping-tears-from-my-eyes-because-I'm-so-freakin'-happy-that-Ward-did-the-right-thing-and-wasn't-afraid-to-let-them-end-up-together-simply-because-it-was-a-brother/brother-love-match, I will be one very unhappy ninja.

Blay and Qhuinn Forever <3 <3 <3