Graphic Novel Review: Skip*Beat! Volume 25 by Yoshiki Nakamura

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Holy Cow!  Sometimes I just have to get that off my chest.  The 25th volume of Skip*Beat! ROCKED!  The drama was cranked up when Sho made a surprise appearance during the filming of Kyoko and Ren’s TV show and WOW!  He really knows how to stir up trouble.  And best yet, how to get under Kyoko’s skin.  Jealous when he thought that she was hung up on Reino, a rival singer, Sho wanted to make sure Kyoko knew what she was missing.  Delivering a huge bouquet brimming with all the things he thought she’d love, he throws down the gauntlet.   He’ll not be overshadowed by the Beagle or by smarmy Ren, either!

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Review: Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I decided to read Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? because Abi’s a kickboxer, and the movie set setting sounded interesting.  I really enjoyed the beginning of the book, but Abi’s lack of common sense derailed some of my enjoyment later on.  The ending was satisfying, but the middle stretch did test my resolve.  The story would have worked better for me if Abi had been 16 instead of 18, because she acted so immature.  Part of that is because of her speech impediment, which made her family and her friends want to take the lead and help her over life’s little hurdles.  It quickly got annoying when she continually craved their help and feedback, or when she blamed everyone but herself for the messes she found herself in.

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Graphic Novel Review: Skip*Beat! Volumes 22 and 23

I’ve been in a manga kind of a mood recently.  I’ve been reading some new series that caught my attention, as well as trying to catch up on some of my favorites that I’ve fallen behind on.  Skip*Beat! is one of those.  Kyoko is a fun protagonist; she’s a good girl who had her heart stomped on by the guy she loved, and now she’s out for revenge.  Sho is an up and coming celebrity, and in order to get back at him, Kyoko is determined to become more popular than he is.  When she’s in a rage, she’s possessed by her anger, which causes dramatic, and usually, hilarious results.

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Interview with Sabrina Darby, Author of The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe

Sabrina Darby is the author of The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe.  I enjoyed this quirky read, and was delighted when Sabrina agreed to answer some of my questions.  Check out what she has to say:

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Sabrina Darby] From my bio:  I’ve been reading romance since the age of seven and learned my best vocabulary (dulcet, diaphanous, and turgid) from them!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe?

[Sabrina Darby] This story was so much fun to write because the premise is basically a mom hiring a mistress for her son.

The official blurb is:

Wanted:

A beautiful young woman—preferably one with no connections, who won’t ask too many questions—to spend two weeks in the North of England with an obstinate, aloof, and utterly handsome man.

Must love dogs, fixing up crumbling castles, and gorgeous and complicated war heroes who may or may not be hiding hearts of gold under their gruff exteriors.

Must not, under any circumstances, fall in love . . .

Simpering misses need not apply.

You can find an excerpt at http://www.scribd.com/doc/100422106/The-Short-and-Fascinating-Tale-of-Angelina-Whitcombe-by-Sabrina-Darby

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Sabrina Darby] This story actually started as a blog post on TheBallroomBlog.com, where I was playing with some of the common story elements in historical romance: wounded, war-scarred hero, meddling mother, castle, etc.  It grew into a series of posts and then into a novella.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Angelina?

[Sabrina Darby] Ambitious, Determined, Unconventional

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things John would never have in his pocket?

[Sabrina Darby] This is a hard one.  John’s definitely the sort of guy who might collect random things if he thought they could be put to good use. Of course, he’s also very neat, so there would be nothing in his pocket by the end of the day. I do think, by the time the story happens, he would likely never have a gun in his pocket.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Angelina had a theme song, what would it be?

[Sabrina Darby] Just prior to meeting John, I’d say her theme song is the Dar Williams version of Comfortably Numb. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Sabrina Darby] Another good question, and hard to pick just a few since there is no doubt that I’m influenced by all of the amazing artists who have come before me. However, for now, I’d say Ani DiFranco, Carole Maso and Magritte.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Sabrina Darby] Something to write with, something to write on, and a latte. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Sabrina Darby] If we’re talking romance, then I’d have to say the last Sarah MacLean book that I read. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Sabrina Darby] I can’t remember because I’ve been reading voraciously for as long as I can remember. However, books like Harriet the Spy definitely contributed to my love for writing. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Sabrina Darby] In the past, I used to love ballroom dancing and karate. These days, I like going to museums (Los Angeles has some of the best!), traveling and spending time with my husband, family and friends.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Sabrina Darby] I love when I get to interact with readers! You can find me online at SabrinaDarby.com, twitter.com/SabrinaDarby, facebook.com/sabrinadarbyromance or at TheBallroomBlog.com.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below. Available in print and digital (digital is only .99!!)