Comic Talk: Hawkeye My Life as a Weapon

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Title: Hawkeye My Life as a Weapon
Artists/Writers Matt Fraction, David Aja (Illustrations), Javier Pulido (Illustrations), Alan Davis (Illustrator)
Published: March 13, 2013
Publisher: Marvel

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
The breakout star of this summer’s blockbuster Avengers film, Clint Barton – aka the self-made hero Hawkeye – fights for justice! With ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he’s out to prove himself as one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! SHIELD recruits Clint to intercept a packet of incriminating evidence – before he becomes the most wanted man in the world. You won’t believe what is on The Tape! What is the Vagabond Code? Matt Fraction pens a Hawkeye thriller that spans the globe…and the darkest parts of Hawkeye’s mind. Barton and Bishop mean double the Hawkeye and double the trouble…and stealing from the rich never looked so good.

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I’ve come to accept that I’m a DC girl. I’ve tried to claim that I enjoy both for a little while now, but frankly I favor DC titles over Marvel. That’s okay though, because while I favor DC I still read Marvel and enjoy them. Fraction’s Hawkeye is literally gold. One of my friends had been telling me for months to pick up Fraction’s Hawkeye and I kept putting it off and finding other things to read. Another one of my friends picked it up when we were in the comic book shop, bought it, read it and then slipped it into the pile of trades we were swapping. I stared at it, glowered at it, picked it up and fell in love.

I get it now. My Life as a Weapon has some amazing art. The characters are well drawn, distinguishable and what I found really interesting is the tonal focus in each arc. The trade starts heavy with blues and purples then moves to sepia tones, then in the final arc it’s full of vibrant primary colors (red and yellow to be more specific) which really makes the story even more dynamic. The writing is brilliant. Clint says what everyone is thinking, drinks coffee directly from the carafe of the coffee pot, bemoans inanimate objects and what I like most of all, doesn’t take himself seriously. Kate Bishop is a thing of beauty and I love her and Clint’s interactions and relationship. Her character is written strong and stands on her own against adversaries and Clint’s presence in a scene. What I like even more is the respect that they have for each other.

My Life as a Weapon features three stories that wrap up within the volume, so there’s no cliff hanger. There is a short fourth story featuring Kate when she was with the Young Avengers and how she and Clint first met. This story also maintains the beautiful art and rich color saturation and great story telling as the other three main stories.

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Beautiful artwork, great story telling and amazing characters. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.

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This is exactly why you need to read this title if you haven’t already.

Focal Point Chapter 1 Part 1

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Welcome to Wednesday Briefs which is a feature on my blog where I share a piece of flash fiction for you, and link you to some other amazing authors.

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I dropped my backpack into the chair across from me. The café was crowded, noisy and I claimed the last table in the back corner, wedged between the wall and a column it was the perfect place to work uninterrupted. My laptop took a few minutes to power up; it was in desperate need of a few updates. I couldn’t afford to get a new one, and there was no point in asking my mom to help me out. She worked hard enough to keep food on the table without worrying about whether my electronics were going to make it.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday!

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It’s that time again, for the weekly top ten countdown. This week’s topic is top ten resolutions for 2016 (be it bookish or otherwise). As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Broke and Bookish

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kasa_zpsdf6a064a I resolve to finish the projects I start, and the ones that I have laying around that are “one day I’ll…” projects. I have a list of projects to get completed and I want to have it all checked off by the end of the year.

kasa_zpsdf6a064a To create and gift 12 creative/crafty gifts in 12 months to 12 different people. I really love crafting projects and I love giving gifts so I thought I would combine the two.

kasa_zpsdf6a064aTo properly update, upkeep and maintain this blog. I really enjoy blogging and the friends I’ve made–but as you can see I’ve let things slide, which really upsets me.

kasa_zpsdf6a064aFinish and publish (either through self publishing or a publishing house) my writing projects. Yes these are different from the projects mentioned above, and I need to get them done rather than just talking about it and thinking about it.

kasa_zpsdf6a064aRead more, judge less. I’ve missed out on some really amazing books because I judged the hype, or the author. I’m going to really work on that this year and read things that I want to read without judging them or others.

kasa_zpsdf6a064a To complete a 5k fun run each month.

kasa_zpsdf6a064aContinue on my current path to a healthier me.

kasa_zpsdf6a064a Set aside one day a week for self care where I unplug, avoid anything with a screen and just relax and unwind.

kasa_zpsdf6a064a To say no. I take on too many tasks, too many activities and I really struggled a lot last year getting burned out and not taking care of myself. I resolve to stop, think and really take into consideration if I can do something before saying yes.

kasa_zpsdf6a064aSurround myself with the people who help me be the best possible me I can be.

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Those are my resolutions. Feel free to share yours in the comments and link to your Top Ten Tuesday post!

Book Blitz: Naturally Yours by Adele Downs

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Title – NATURALLY YOURS
Author – Adele Downs
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Publication Date – October 7th, 2014
Length (Pages/# Words) – 26,000 Words
Publisher – Boroughs Publishing Group

Synopsis
Who will save the man that saves the world?
Paramedic Mickey Kendall hasn’t slept a full night since his return from Iraq. He rescues victims by day and protects the innocent after dark. Mickey doesn’t do it for glory; he wants absolution, not admiration. He lives by the rule: No personal contact after a rescue. That code meets the ultimate test when Mickey saves a child’s life on a roadside and declines the parents’ invitation to dinner at their upscale restaurant.

Master chef Amanda Greer lives by the principle that delicious food and good company build bridges. When she learns Mickey has refused her partners’ hospitality, she persuades him to change his mind. On the night the handsome paramedic visits her restaurant, Amanda joins him at his table, and their unexpected chemistry leads to a passionate kiss.

In Amanda’s arms, Mickey finds relief from the stressors that haunt him, but resists falling in love. When Amanda challenges him to confront his demons and accept the love she offers, Mickey arrives at a crossroad. The war-weary paramedic must face a different kind of battle to claim the woman who reignites his passion for living and revives his wounded heart.

Buy links:
BUY & TBR LINKS
Amazon Kindle Link – http://goo.gl/q0MXs5
Goodreads Link – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23295209-naturally-yours?ac=1

Author Links:

Adele Downs writes contemporary romance inside the office of her rural Pennsylvania home. She is a former journalist, published in newspapers and magazines inside the USA, UK, and Caribbean.

Adele is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter where she serves as a past-president. She has written several articles for RWR magazine (Romance Writers Report), the trade journal of Romance Writers of America, and has presented workshops for writers.

When Adele isn’t working on her current project, she can be found riding in her convertible or reading a book on the nearest beach.

FOLLOW LINKS
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Adele-Downs/e/B00G1RRS60
Website/Blog – https://adeledowns.wordpress.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authoradeledowns
Twitter – @Adele_Downs https://twitter.com/Adele_Downs
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/adeledowns

Read more for an excerpt:

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2015 in bullet form.

I’ve always been a sucker for those ‘Year in Review’ blog posts or magazine articles. I thought I’d share my 2015 year in review as my first post for 2016. Feel free to share highlights of your year in the comments below.

*2015 marked my second year as a Girl Scout leader, and my first year as ‘Cookie Manager’. That was an experience.

*I was published in Lurking in the Deep anthology put out by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly.

*I participated in #OTSPsecretsister and met a lot of really amazing bloggers and people.

*Spent the weekend at the ocean with a great group of girlfriends and had a blast exploring a new to us beach.

*I went to Emerald City Comicon with a great group of friends, and had a ‘true’ con experience complete with cosplay for the first time and having way too much fun at panels.

*I lost 27lbs

*Went apple picking with some friends on the other side of the state and brought back nearly two hundred pounds of apples. We were still using them up until Christmas Eve.

*2015 was my third year as a ML for Pierce County during November for NaNoWriMo.

*I completed three 5k fun runs with friends.

*Went on two road trips to two amazing concerts. Garth Brooks in Portland, and Papa Roach/Fiver Finger Death Punch in Everett.

2015 was a lot of fun and full of adventures. I’m really looking forward to 2016.

Manga Review: Drug & Drop v. 1

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Title: Drug & Drop volume 1
Author/Artist: Clamp
Published: February 1st 2013
Publisher: Dark Horse.

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
The first Legal Drug series went on hiatus in 2003. Drug & Drop will again follow the lead characters Kazahaya Kudo and Rikuo Himura. The new manga will reveal Kazahaya and Rikuo’s pasts as well as the background of Green Drug, the mysterious drugstore where they work.

Kazahaya awakens from a disturbing dream of the sister he had to part from, Kei—covered in blood and clutching close to her. If it’s a case of seeing spirits three’s one young man Kazahaya and Rikuo can go to for advice…

picadillypink Drug & Drop is the continuation of Legal Drug a trilogy put out by Clamp in 2000. I was so excited when I saw that this was finally available in the states, as Clamp is one of my favorite manga circles. The art is beautiful with amazing backgrounds and even more beautiful characters. This picks up right after the events of the last volume of Legal Drug. We’re thrown right into the action and a continuing story line. As it is Clamp you need to pay attention to details and wording because it hints at things to come.

I love the ‘guest’ character who shows up this volume. I love him in his own series, and I’m really hoping that he shows up more throughout Drug & Drop. I’m trying to avoid spoilers, because Clamp is so convoluted and intertwined. I cannot talk about the art enough, it is beautiful. Their line work is flawless, and their characters are all so beautiful and memorable. The story telling is great, as this volume ended on a cliff hanger (I need to go pick up the next volume asap!)

Overall: pink4 Start with Legal Drug, otherwise you’ll be totally lost. Thankfully, it’s not out of print, you can get all three in an omnibus on Amazon or any bookseller. Beautiful art, great story. Can’t wait to read more.

Book Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Title: The Replacement
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Published: 2010
Publisher: Razor Bill

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

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I wanted to like this story, the concept is one that I haven’t seen a lot of, and the fey/changelings are something that interest me. However, I just could not get into this book at all. There are so many questions left unanswered, and everything is mysterious, nothing gets explained and all of the characters seem to know what’s going on, but there aren’t any resolutions or forward movement.

Mackie is one of the biggest problems for me. He’s vague and a bundle of walking contradictions. His changeling status makes it so he can’t handle loud noises, yet his favorite place to be is in the pit of a rock show? Or on stage with the band. He can’t touch metal, but he drinks beer from a can. The author spends so much time making him so different from everyone else, and then doubles back and breaks her own character rules. I really couldn’t get behind his voice, or his actions–or really bring myself to care what was happening to him. He’s got a crush on Tate (who is her own bundle of off putting characteristics) and yet he wants to hang out/make out/score with the hot/slutty girl of the school.

Also, can we stop with the slutty characters? You can have sexual characters, just please no slut shaming in books. It really is off putting, and shows no respect for the characters themselves. It distances me even further from this story, because this particular character was only referred to by how hot she was/how easy she was. I did like Emma–she was a character that seemed so fleshed out compared to the others. She had motivation and drive and distinction from everyone else in the story.

I’m not out to trash this book, or anyone who enjoyed it. I couldn’t get into it. There were moments that showed promise, but then something completely removed me from the story. The concept is neat, and something that we don’t see a lot of in the book world. I just wanted more from it.

Overall: pink2 Skip this. It’s frustrating and disjointed.