See above for the blog subject reference, especially if you're not into Tull.
You'd think with my being blocked in by frozen tundra I got a lot of reading and writing done. Heh. Frozen tundra meant no school for an entire week, which meant people in the house, the TV on, people hovering and yap yap yap. I managed to hen peck a few paragraphs here and there, enough to finish The Sweetest Dare (FF), which may clock in at 30k words after the next round of self-edits before I pass it along. Next up is to finish Dare's Destiny (FF), now sitting at 13k (but I anticipate huge cuts before it gets better).
I did read, though, when I wasn't sweating through a cold. I liked Seth Grahame-Smith's The Last American Vampire (ARe / AMZ / BN / KOBO). From my real-life GR account:
The Last American Vampire takes up from where Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ends, but I don't think it's necessary to have read the first book prior to this. There are references to the first book, but LAV takes the reader in a different direction. Where Lincoln basically covered the years of the president's youth and administration, LAV is a more ambitious work and spans the post-Civil War to nearly the present day, with the possibility of a third book if that's how you interpret the ending.
Henry Sturges is a vampire created during the first English settlement of the New World, and his life is a "Forrest Gump"-style panorama of adventures, in that he connects with many of the noted people in their respective eras. We find a few of history's greatest mysteries and tragedies are actually attributed to vampire involvement.
I liked ALVH, but I think I enjoyed this book more because with the expanded time gaps there's more to do. When you discover Henry's prime nemesis it's rather clever how that ties into specific events. It's a horror in the gory sense, though. Some very bloody scenes.
I liked this story, but I feel it falls short of lovelovelove. This is the story of a writer named Violet who deftly skewers with movie reviews but in real life is a marshmallow. Through some comedic bungling at the Algonquin she comes into possession of a guestbook tied to Mrs. Parker's ghost, who becomes a confident and mentor. It sounds like an awesome fantasy, and as much as Violet admires Mrs. Parker she seems reluctant to follow the woman's forthright advice throughout the book. Without spoiling the entire story, I'll just say that Mrs. Parker seems to benefit another character more.
I wanted to flip over this, and while I liked it I get the feeling Meister held back in her development of Mrs. Parker. Then again, she's always struck me as a very difficult type to pin down. Meister mentions in the acknowledgements that the plethora of Jane Austen-character books inspired her to write a Mrs. Parker novel because there are few, if any. I wonder if the reason it hadn't been done until was because nobody felt certain how to get the character done correctly.
I'll have more read to share this week, as soon as I'm done with the writing and editing.