Book Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless Book Review PicGenre: Steampunk, Supernatural, Romance

Publisher/Date Published: Orbit/2009

Summary (from Goodreads):

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.

First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire–and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Why I Chose It/First Impressions:

This book has been on my to-read list forever. It was probably originally put there around the time I was much more… passionate about vampires and werewolves and any book that promised some sort of supernatural romance. You know, around that time. Anyway, I finally cycled back to the books I put on my list ages ago and decided to pick this one back up because I needed a bit of escapism, something light and fun, before delving into books with heavier topics. And I figured if anything’s going to be classified as escapism, it’s probably going to be the book about vampires and werewolves and fighting and tension and kissing or whatever. And did I get what I sought out here? Well… there was a lot of kissing.

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March Wrap-Up

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We’ve survived another month! Woohoo! One day, I swear I’m going to stop starting these wrap up posts with a declaration of how surprised I am that I made it through yet another month continuously blogging. But I’m still so psyched and happy with myself for even having the discipline to keep up this blog for now three (three!!) months in a row that I’m just going to ride out this joy.

Usually, for me, March is a killer of inspiration and creativity and the will to do much other than just sit around and wait for March to be over. And while it was still partially like that, my fight to make it not entirely so was a little more successful than it has been in the past. So without further ado, let’s get started talking about how March went for this…

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You’ve Got Your Idea, Now What?: How To Make It From Idea to Writing

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A common question often asked of writers is some form of where they get their ideas. And I suppose it makes sense. When you read a book you find mind-blowingly good, it only seems natural to want to know how the author got their idea and what inspired it. But here’s the thing: as a writer, I’ve often found it tedious and pretty useless to list off where I get my ideas because the real and honest answer is this: everywhere.

Sometimes it’ll be from a line in a book, an imagined alternate ending to a movie, a set of lyrics from a song I really like. It might come to me from an overheard conversation, an imagined history for a person I see on the train, a suggestion from a friend. Sometimes, if I stare out my window long enough, an idea will come to me, if sleep doesn’t first. But what I’m really trying to say is ideas come from everywhere, but particularly from unique experiences, and just knowing where or how someone got their idea might not make it any easier for you to find your own.

If you intend to write a story, I think the better question to ask when it comes to ideas is how you grow an idea as opposed to letting it die a slow and painful death. Ideas can come easily (if you’re really looking) and manifest in the strangest of places, but I think it’s harder to know what to do with them once you have them. So this post is for those who need a bit of direction once you’ve got an idea that you want to see turn into something more.

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5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Feel Bad About Buying More Books

This past weekend, I went to this giant book sale where all books were either $1 for paperbacks or $2 for hardcovers. Needless to say, I went a little crazy.

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I went both Saturday and Sunday and scored these beauties. All these books for $26.  Twenty. Six. Dollars. I was out of my mind giddy, smiling the whole time I was at the event. I sorted through all the stacks multiple times. I chose most of the books blindly (as opposed to checking ratings and reviews  on goodreads like I usually do). I bought them, came home, laid them out before me, smiled, caressed the covers and relished in the new books I’d brought into my life, dreaming of the day I’d finally be able to read them (damn, I have a lot of books I need to read…).

And then I was hit with a feeling. An unusual and strange feeling of… guilt, actually. I wondered to myself: do I need to tone it down? Am I buying too many books? I don’t even have enough shelves for these books to sit on. I daily stare at a stack of them lying on the floor in my writing room. Should I perhaps read the multitudes of unread books I already have before I buy more? What the hell am I doing? Should I cut this out?

No sooner had the questions begun, than did I have an answer for them: Hell no. I will NOT apologize for loving and err… maybe having a little lack of control when it comes to buying books. I’m not addicted to buying books. Addiction is much more complicated than that. But I do love books, and they make me better when I read more of them. So I’m not going to put a cap on how many books I buy as long as I have the means to buy them (particularly if I’m getting a great deal on them in the meantime).

Because I’m me  and my love of lists is as embarrassing as it is real, I’ve decided to create a one to even further justify and examine the reasons I don’t feel guilty or regret buying more books. So if you also can’t seem to walk into a bookstore without leaving with a new treasure (or two… or three), this post is to affirm you in your decision making. Keep on keeping on.

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4 Things I Regret After Traveling

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My poor, neglected camera.

When I first started this blog, I had every intention of dedicating part of it to travel. It’s in the tagline, it’s in my bio, and it’s even got a sad little empty page up at the very top supposed to link to all the travel posts I’ve ever made (zero, up until now). But this aspect of the blog has been neglected for years. And it’s not like I’ve been neglecting it because I haven’t traveled. In fact, I’ve been around quite a bit. From Italy to Ireland to New Orleans and more. I’ve decided it’s finally time to bring this part of my blog alive.

So naturally, the first travel post I’m making is about things I regret after I travel. Great way  to start, am I right?  I’m hoping this doesn’t seem negative. I’m really making this in hopes that the next time I travel, I can look this over and remind myself ahead of time what I may regret, therefore helping me make better decisions during my travel and enriching the experience as much as possible. And hey, isn’t that what we’re all trying to do?

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

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February Wrap-Up

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And here we are again! Another month and…I haven’t kicked this blog into a ditch to die a sad and lonely death yet? Well, that’s unusual. Usually February is a hard month for me to keep up with blog-wise because of birthday and Valentines Day planning in the first half and then general seasonal mood swings in the latter half. But since I know that’s what typically happens to me in February, I made sure I was relatively prepared, and did my best to throw myself into my writing to combat it. It turned out all right-ish.

Now let’s get down to the specifics.

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Seven Tips For Easing Back Into Writing After A Long Hiatus

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I have a very strong dislike of writing hiatuses.

Partially because they interrupt the flow of writing, and partially because it feels like pulling teeth when trying to get back into writing after them. Of course, this may be different if you’re the type of person that takes an intentional break that refreshes you and leaves you feeling ready to conquer the world with your words when you declare the hiatus over. But my hiatuses are always unintentional, brought on by me shrugging off the need to write to the next day. Then the next. And then the next and the next until I can’t remember the last time I even sat down to write. And then when I do force myself to give it a go again, it almost feels as if I completely forgot how to write at all.

I know I’m not the only one who has trouble starting up again, and since this has (sadly) become such a regular part of my life, I’ve finally managed to devise some strategies to get me from feeling like a baby who was just given a pencil and told to write a dissertation to an actual adult human who knows how to construct a sentence with as little difficulty (read: crying) as possible. I hope that if you’re struggling to  get back into writing regularly and are needing a little kick in the pants that some of these tips might benefit you.

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