Review: The Hundredth Queen

Book Review: The Hundredth Queen, Book 1

Author: Emily R. King

Kalinda is an orphan, hoping to pass her trials and stay at the temple and train forever. Unfortunately in her world, benefactors of the temple can come select girls at any time to join their households as servants, as concubines, or as wives. Kalinda is sickly and repeatedly told she is ugly, so she figures her only chance at leaving the temple is as a servant. But when she is chosen to leave, it is as a wife to the rajah. His 100th wife. This is important because the 100th wife has religious significance and the cruel rajah plans to use his marriage to force the other wives and concubines to fight for his favor and win his approval. Such a fight is always to the death.

This book was free as a member of Amazon prime and I was excited because they never have genre fiction. Unfortunately, I was left only confused and unsatisfied. Kalinda is about to be forced into marriage with a cruel man she just met. She’s been raised in a virtual convent. You’d expect there to be some lesbian relationships, even if it’s only hints. But there’s nothing like that. You’d expect her to have some questions about physical relationships with a man, about sex, about, let’s spell it out, rape. There’s not much mention of that either. Her best friend is also forced into marriage with a man against her will and she’s beaten. That gets slight mention, but the sexual assault that the reader knows must be going on? Nothing.

Kalinda is such a special snowflake in this that Captain Deven, her bodyguard, falls in love with her at first sight, and she’s reckless enough to be seen talking to him intimately all the time. Then she’s surprised when he’s caught and punished. The only reason I finished this book is because I was curious about the magical aspect, and that wound up being a little confusing. I will admit that I was sick when I read it, so it might have made more sense and I  might have enjoyed it more on another day. But then again, I might have been more critical, so who can say. All I know is that I wouldn’t recommend it. I got it free and I would have been grumpy if I had paid for it. 2/5 stars.

Contest Winner!

And the winner of the contest is —-

Crystal Gregg! Crystal, you need to contact me by this Saturday with your mailing address so I can mail out your prize.  Just a reminder, here’s what she won:

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick

The Big Burn by Timothy Egan

Land on Fire by Gary Ferguson

City Mouse by Stacey Lender

and a custom book bag! Plus a couple of surprise goodies thrown in there! You can email me your address at cbohn69 at gmail dot com. Congratulations to the winners and stay tuned for the next contest. I’m thinking paperbacks next time maybe or another book bag? I don’t know yet.

(Image not my own)

 

Book Sins

I hate to single out books for hate, so I thought of a a way to do it without getting too nasty. You could still figure it out if you try, and if you really want to know, you could send me a private message and I’ll tell you, but I’m not trying to single out anyone for unfair criticism here. After all, it’s just my opinion. But there are some things that really bugged me about these books and I think it’s fair to warn you if you’re planning to read them.

  • A, S D by M K – cozy mystery. Tried too hard. Why do cozies do this? They remind me of the kids at school who want to be liked so much that they wear the latest fashion, attach themselves to the coolest crowd, and try to fool everyone into thinking that they belong. If you have to try that hard, you’re not cool. Your humor either works, or it doesn’t, and desperation is not helping.
  • TWWBK by KC – biography. Speculation. Look, either it’s biography or it’s fiction, but quit trying to be both. If you don’t have the sources to back up your guess work, just write it as historical fiction. Don’t try to sell it as non-fiction. You’re just irritating your readers.
  • A&TFK by SP – YA romance. General grump here. I think I was the wrong audience, but hey, tell your characters to quit whining already. You’re in Paris. That’s not too bad. Enjoy it already.
  • F by MRC – could you be more depressing? a druggie kills a kid and goes to prison? Why did I read this? My fault here, I should have expected it to be bleak.
  • Y by CK – thriller. This book does nothing by glorify stalking. It is disturbing and horrible. Why is this rated so highly? And why are some readers defending him? He’s a stalker, abusive, and a murderer. There’s no defense.

Those were my 1 star reads of the year. I may end up with more. Did you guess any of them? All of them? Some weren’t too hard.

Write Everyday, Even If You Hate It

I have a hard time with this. We have a LOT of people in our house and only one computer. I have a tablet, but some days I don’t get any computer time until late at night. By then, I’m not very creative. I need to find a way to write every day any way I can. I’m still working on it.

A Writer's Path

Pen

For the last three weeks, I was forced to write everyday in order to complete a presentation for an English symposium and to complete my creative writing portfolio for a public reading (each are requirements of my major and emphasis). The problem initially was my lack of enthusiasm. I have, in the past, written not based on routine or discipline, but because I like writing and I enjoy it immensely.

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10 Things About Me

1991Picture of me 1991, just after we got married. Notice our awesome newlywed furniture!

I needed some things to write about, and I always like lists, so how about a list about me? Feel free to ask me questions; maybe next time I’ll answer those questions too!

  1. Favorite food: Chicken scalloppine – yummiest thing ever
  2. Favorite cuisine: either Tex-Mex or Italian
  3. Favorite author: Terry Pratchett
  4. Place I’d like to visit: Oh, so many! Top of the list right now, I’d have to put New Zealand. It sounds beautiful and friendly.
  5. Bad habit: picking my lip. Anxious habit that I can’t seem to help.
  6. Ever gotten a ticket? Yes, for speeding. I like to go fast!
  7. Cool thing not many people have done: I got to pet a lion cub at the St. Louis Zoo. It was members night and they were letting him meet a few kids.
  8. Longest book you ever read? Don Quixote
  9. Least favorite book? Wuthering Heights
  10. First concert you went to? Buck Owens, age 2

So there’s a few interesting things about me. I hope that was fun. Let me know if you have any other questions for me.

Red Herrings: How To Keep Your Readers Guessing [Mystery Month]

I found this really helpful

Rachel Poli

What’s your favorite part about reading a mystery novel?

You want to try to solve the case, right? You want to help the detective, telepathically communicate with the characters and figure things out, yes?

Yeah, me too. That’s why red herrings are so important because it allows the reader to not figure things out.

Or… You know, get them stuck for a little while.

Red Herrings: How To Keep Your Readers Guessing [Mystery Month]What are Red Herrings?

Red herrings is a something that appears to be a clue, but it’s not. It’s fake and it’s just there to throw the characters off the hot trail. It allows the characters and readers alike to go in different directions as they frustratingly try to solve the mystery.

Red herrings can be in the form of anything:

1. An innocent character – An innocent bystander can have motive and reason to go about the crime allowing your detective to suspect him of…

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Tips to Help You Concentrate While Writing

Got this from I Suck at Writing – I found it helpful. I hope you do too.

Novelty Revisions

Are you an easily distracted writer? I could make this post very short and sweet and tell you to get off the internet and just write already, but that doesn’t always solve your problem. I’ve greatly improved my ability to concentrate over the past few months, which has made me much more productive and satisfied with my work. Here are a few strategies that might help you focus and get more writing done.

Write in intervals

You’re going to get distracted — sometimes, there’s no way to avoid it. If you’re having trouble getting into a flow state, it might be better to use your inability to focus to your advantage. Try writing for 30 minutes straight without looking away from your screen. Set a timer so you don’t have to keep glancing at the time. Once 30 minutes hits, one of two things will happen. You’ll either stop writing…

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