Ramble & Review: Charmed by Various

As a treat for myself on my Thirtieth Birthday I took the half-an-hour journey into Newcastle to a fancy café / bagel shop for breakfast, then to the only old school comic book store still around (Graphic Action Comics: 572 Hunter St, Newcastle West NSW 2302). The next closest shop would be in Sydney, a two-and-a-half-hour trip. Obviously, I can buy them online, but that is beside the point! If you want to walk into a shop and buy comics and you live in the Hunter, Lake Mac or Newcastle’s surrounding suburbs you must take the journey to Newcastle. I call it a journey as they’ve stopped the train running, so you either must fight for a spot on an overcrowded bus or drive in and do laps until you find a car park. I drove. I hate buses. I’ll do trains no worries, but not buses.

While browsing (this took well over an hour much to my husband’s disdain) I saw an ad for a Charmed Comic re-boot coming in march. I found this amusing as I was in the middle of rewatching the entire TV series, so I pre-ordered it. I sat down and watched the entire TV series when I first got the collection back in 2008 and being stuck on the couch feeding Ethan at all hours seemed like a good enough reason for a rewatch.

Once I got home I started googling the comic series, as before that fateful trip to town I hadn’t realised there had ever been one. Oops and I call myself a Charmed Fan, shame on me. I found it available in collected volumes on amazon (kindle) and promptly began reading.

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Charmed: Season 9, Volume 1 (Charmed Comic Series collects issues 0-5) by Paul Ruditis, Constance M. Burge

Charmed Season 9 picks up where the TV show left off With the source of all evil defeated, The Charmed Ones, three witches destined to be the most powerful force for good our world has ever known, have embraced a new life. One of new family, friends, and a future without the constant battle between good and evil… or so they think.

Paperback, 176 pages. Published February 15th 2011 by Zenescope.

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Charmed: Season 9, Volume 2 (Charmed Comic Series collects issues 6-12) by Paul Ruditis, Constance M. Burge, Raven Gregory, Dave Hoover

The girls are back in town! Season 9 of Charmed continues in the pages of this graphic novel from Zenescope. Follow along everyone’s favorite trio of witches as Paige, Phoebe, and Piper continue their adventures from the hit TV series.

Paperback, 184 pages. Published September 20th 2011 by Zenescope.

My Thoughts: Zenescope has managed to move the girls to the comic medium quite well. Reading the comics I felt like I was still watching the show. The comic’s time line has moved forward slightly from the 8th TV season. I loved seeing Chris and Wyatt (Piper’s boys) a little bit older and seeing the other two sisters with children also. The family dynamic is still strong, with Granddad Victor on babysitting duties as the hubbies jump in to help in the dramatic last battle of Season 9 volume 2. The hubbies may be joining the battles some of the time now, but it’s still very much a magical woman in charge vibe. A must for fans of the show.

At the end of issue twelve we are left with a Prue size cliff-hanger thanks to a conversation between Patty and Cole – which forced me to go and buy volume 3 and realise I’m probably going to want to read all the Zenescope comics before I read my pre-ordered Dynamite first issue. DAMN IT!

For those who don’t know: The Charmed TV show spanned Eight Seasons and aired from 1998 -2006. It focused on three sister witches kicking bad guy ass and finding love. It was all about girl power, sisterhood, doing what is right and staying true to one’s self. Heaps of action was had; the demon killing kind and men wrangling kind, with plenty of eye candy for both the male and female viewers. The Charmed Comic series by Zenescope print run lasted from 2010 to 2016. Season 9 as they called it came out as 24 issues between June 2010 and November 2012 and Season 10 came out as 20 issues between October 2014 and September 2016. Dynamite now owns the rights to CHARMED and will be releasing its first Comic on the 8th March 2017.

Charmed #1 by [Schultz, Erica]

Dynamite is proud to present a brand-new Charmed story by writer Erica Schultz (Swords of Sorrow: Black Sparrow & Lady Zorro, Revenge) and artist Maria Sanapo (Grimm, DC Comics Bombshells) that will CHARM returning fans and new alike! Based on the popular WB television series that ran from 1998 to 2006. CHARMED, like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, had a cult following due to its supernatural fantasy storylines and strong female characters. Our debut series follows the characters played by Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Rose McGowan as they balance adult life with a new demon threat.

CHARMED #1: A dark force has set its sights on the art world of San Francisco and the only ones who can stop it are Phoebe, Paige, and Piper! Balancing work, witchcraft, and a life is never easy, and the Charmed Ones are stretched too thin. Meanwhile, a demon in the Underworld rallies the troops with a plan to take out the Charmed Ones forever.

Mini Reviews: The Duff & Lucy’s Chance

25076514The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. GOODREADS.

My Thoughts:  This book impressed me. I was expecting the overused and abused trope of the ugly nobody gets the hot jerk etc. And OK it was there, but there were some truly beautiful girl power, love thy self, don’t judge others moments in this book.
The main character of Bianca was easily likable as were her two besties. Experiencing them navigate boys, high school hierarchy and family drama was actually quite entertaining and heart warming.
Keplinger’s writing flowed smoothly and I can actually see myself re-reading this book again if i’m ever in need of a quick fun feel good pick me up. I gave it FOUR what a pleasant surprise STARS.

Also: I watched the movie adaptation straight after the finishing the book, in which they changed so much the story was barely recognizable. Sadly I felt that they left out all the girl power friendship moments that actually made the book worthwhile! 😦

21969488Lucy’s Chance (Red Rock Ranch #1) by Brittney Joy

Sixteen year old Lucy Rose is spending her first summer away from home and she has two things on her mind: an abandoned, violent horse and a blue-eyed cowboy. Only neither is hers. Lucy has never attracted much attention from boys, but she can’t seem to ignore her blue-eyed co-worker, Casey Parker. A true cowboy, Lucy is fascinated by his gentle way with the horses at Red Rock Ranch. However, she is very aware that Taylor Johnson, rodeo queen extraordinaire, already has her spurs in him. And, there’s no crossing Taylor. . . . Not until a mysterious horse appears on the ranch and pushes Lucy and Casey together. The two are willing to do anything to save the black gelding that doesn’t want a thing to do with them or the human race. But, every step forward with the broken animal makes Lucy fall harder – for him and for Casey. GOODREADS.
 
My Thoughts: An enjoyable read filled with wonderful horsey goodness 🙂 Perfect for any young horse lover. The writing was sweet and easy to read. The story had a nice balance of action riding scenes, a young girl out to prove herself, developing young love and an adorable horse getting a second chance at a better life. I gave it FOUR warm and fuzzy STARS.

Review: Adulthood Is a Myth by Sarah Andersen

25855506Adulthood Is a Myth: A “Sarah’s Scribbles” Collection by Sarah Andersen

Are you a special snowflake?

Do you enjoy networking to advance your career?

Is adulthood an exciting new challenge for which you feel fully prepared?

Ugh. Please go away.

This book is for the rest of us. These comic document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas, and wondering when, exactly, this adulthood thing begins. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life. Goodreads – BooktopiaBookdepository

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Oh Sarah Anderson how I love you, your Instagram account always puts a smile on my face and so did this humorous and adorable collection of fantastic comic strips! And the cover is furry! 🙂

Sarah just about touches on everything there is to touch on in life and this book would be a great addition to every woman’s pick-me-up-crappy-day-solutions collection.

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Seriously I’m not going to say anything else. If you don’t believe me go check out her Instagram.

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Review: Race Girl by Leigh Hutton

IMG_4324Fresh on the heels of Michelle Payne’s historic Melbourne Cup win, comes a blockbuster Australian story about a Queensland girl and the ‘race that stops a nation’ . . .

Tully Athens has always dreamed of following in the footsteps of her hero Michelle Payne. Of living up to the Athens name and becoming the third generation of women from her family to rule the track. But Tully’s never been sure she’s got the nerve, and when her mother is killed in a horse racing accident, her whole world is shattered.

Six months later, in the heat of a Queensland summer, sixteen-year-old Tully is ready to face her fears. But getting back in the saddle leads to a whole lot more than she bargained for, with an out of control crush on the boy from their rival thoroughbred farm – the gorgeous but cocky larrikin Brandon Weston – and a forgotten filly with stardom in her eyes . . .

When faced with the most difficult decision of her life, will Tully choose to train and race her new filly in Melbourne? Or will she sacrifice it all to fight for love on the land that feeds her soul?

It’s only when tragedy rips everything from her that Tully finds a strength and courage she never knew she had, in this action-packed novel of passion, adventure and determination.

RACE GIRL is the highly anticipated third book in The Go Girls Chronicles – bestselling stories of gutsy girls in action sports, by Leigh Hutton!

*A PORTION OF EVERY #RaceGirl book sold goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, and to horse-welfare charity, Equine Action Qld*

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MY THOUGHTS:  First up, Thank you very much to Leigh for the review copy :-).

Leigh has a knack for making you feel like you are there amongst it, in the middle of the action with her characters. The on track descriptions in this book are brilliant – you really do feel as if you are riding the horses – I could give five stars just for the Race Scenes. You find yourself tearing through the words, like a horse tearing up the turf as it thunders down the track.

We meet Tully Athens out on her family’s farm in rural Queensland. After the tragic death of Tully’s mother in a horse racing accident the family’s farm has fallen on hard times and is wasting away. I found Tully immediately likeable. The then Fifteen-year-old is struggling to cope with her mother’s death. She is afraid to get back on a horse after the accident, but her soul is missing riding as much as it is missing her mother. After finally getting the courage to mount up again she finds herself riding, then racing side by side with a mysterious “hot” boy who can really ride. The fun begins when she finds out the stranger is in fact Brandon Weston the son of her families biggest rival. Ah forbidden love my favorite.

This the third installment of the Go Girl Chronicles doesn’t disappoint, as with the previous two books we get; drama, action, romance, a strong female protagonist, beautiful horses, studly men, lessons learnt, dreams followed and inner strength found.

There are even nods to Jump Girl, Rev Girl and next up, Surf Girl – cracked me up, especially when Clover pops up in the same hospital room as Tully.

We go on to see Tully develop into a loving and caring, yet strong and determined young woman of eighteen. We see her fight for the things she loves and make her mark on the world.

There is a lot of story crammed into this book, but Leigh has managed to keep it all fast paced and flowing well. I only wish we could have got to spend more time seeing Brandon and Tully’s love develop.

The last quarter of this book is a whirl wind of twists and turns and fast racing – I can’t say much more then that without giving the best parts away *imagine me doing a cheeky wink here*.

Three cheers and FIVE STARS for Race Girl Tully.

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It’s hard to be the new girl, but it’s even harder being the new girl who races dirt bikes…
Ever since her parents forced her to move from Canada to Silvertown, Colorado, Clover Kassedy hasn’t fit in. So how do you deal when everyone hates you?
Focusing all her energy on racing her motorcycle did it for a while, but now that Clover’s managed to find a bestie and a boyfriend, the pressure on the sixteen-year-old is worse than ever.
She’s determined to get to the World Championships, where she could finally meet her idol – an Australian, the World Champion – and have a shot at becoming a professional dirt bike racer. But with her super-competitive dad, workaholic mother and relentless bullies at races and at high school, Clover is struggling to make her dreams a reality.
Will it be her scheming ex-best-friend who shatters her world? Or will she let her ‘perfect’ boyfriend – the guy who has finally made her feel like she belongs in their school and their town – stop her from becoming an international racing star?

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SHOW JUMPING IS AN EXTREME SPORT WITH A DRESS CODE, ONE THIS GIRL DOESN’T FOLLOW . . .

Imagine being dumped by your mother as a newborn and shifted between foster homes your entire childhood. Imagine being taken in and offered hope for your future by a kind, loving show jumping socialite.

Imagine falling in love with some of the most gorgeous horses in the world, and making a life in the thrilling and glamorous sport of international show jumping.

Now imagine it all being taken away.

Ebony Scott Harris is painfully close to making her dreams a reality when the only mother she has ever known mysteriously dies. She’s forced from their home to live with the gold-digging aunt, who takes her in only to ride the prized show jumpers she claims are now hers.

Teetering on the edge of a hopeless depression, Ebony is saved by the discovery of a forgotten horse nearly starved to death, and an unlikely partnership with a handsome stranger, whom she must learn to trust if she is to uncover the truth about her mother’s death and reclaim her home.

But with the evil aunt selling her best and beloved horse, a maniacal ex-coach out for revenge and more savage competitors than she can count, Ebony has a lot more at stake than proving the truth, saving her horses and jumping for gold at the World Equestrian Games . . .

JUMP GIRL is a young adult crossover novel that is clean enough for a 12+ reader and real and relatable enough for any women’s fiction fan.

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LEIGH’S LINKS > >

Website | Goodreads | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Booktopia | Book Depository | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

555A5965Leigh Hutton is a former Courier-Mail journalist, dirt bike racer and horse show jumper. Leigh was born in Canada and lives on rural property in southeast Queensland, Australia, with her husband and three young children. When she isn’t writing, managing the relocation and restoration of historic ‘Queenslander’ homes, wrangling the kids or swilling coffee, she loves to read, watch smart TV and movies, ride her motorbike and daydream about gorgeous horses. Her family spell racehorses at their property and making friends with each one is also a favourite pastime of Leigh and her children. Leigh is especially passionate about promoting the growing number of girls and women in all action and equestrian sports, and is thrilled to be drawing on her experiences to bring you the exciting novels of The Go Girls Chronicles . . .

BATGIRL: ‘The New 52’ DC Comic Book Series

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Synopsis mk3

The daughter of Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, Barbara Gordon was raised in Gotham City, knowing firsthand the dangers inherent in living there. A classic overachiever and determined student, she struck out on her own as Batgirl in an attempt to help both Batman and her father in their mission to protect the citizens of Gotham. Quickly reined in by Batman and trained to be a more effective hero. Batgirl became a valued member of his team along with the first Robin, Dick Grayson. Tragically, Barbara’s life was forever altered when the joker shot her while she was in her civilian identity, while he was attacking her father. She was paralyzed from the waist down, and it seemed as if her time as Batgirl has been ended permanently. But Barbara did not give up. Working herself to the absolute limits of her physical and mental abilities, in time she regained the ability to walk. Taking things a step further, she made the daring choice to retrain herself and return to patrolling Gotham City as Batgirl.

My Thoughts mk3

I’d forgotten Batgirl was Commissioner Gordon’s Daughter, so that was a nice surprise.

I like Batgirl; she has a cool motorbike that can ride up walls then para-shoot back down, oh and she’s a strong, independent female kicking bad guys asses.

I started this whole thing backwards; the first Batgirl comic I read was #39, then going on to read #39’s story continuation in Secret Origins #10. I decided at this point that I really should stop and start at the beginning.

I’m still getting used to how short comic books feel – they end and I just want to keep reading.

So let’s start at the beginning:

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Batgirl #0: in this Issue we get to see the First time Barbara puts on the cape and becomes Batgirl. We get a glimpse at her first year as a crime fighting vigilante. I really enjoyed this prequel issue setting up what I am sure to be an action packed and entertaining series. I’m looking forward to following Barbara Gordon through this series. I can definitely see myself becoming addicted to Batgirl’s world, which my husband is not too happy about lol.

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REV GIRL by Leigh Hutton

REV GIRL (The Go Girls Chronicles, #1) by Leigh Hutton

Wow I truly loved this book. Flat out Five stars. Now I’ve got the hard task of explaining to you all how truly awesome this book is and making you fall in love with it so you’ll go out and buy it.

Here it goes >>

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Inspired by a true story

It’s hard to be the new girl, but it’s even harder being the new girl who races dirt bikes . . .

Ever since her parents forced her to move from Canada to Silvertown, Colorado, Clover Kassedy hasn’t fit in. So how do you deal when everyone hates you?

Focusing all her energy on racing her motorcycle did it for a while, but now that Clover’s managed to find a bestie and a boyfriend, the pressure on the sixteen-year-old is worse than ever.

She’s determined to get to the World Championships, where she could finally meet her idol – an Australian, the World Champion – and have a shot at becoming a professional dirt bike racer. But with her super- competitive dad, workaholic mother and relentless bullies at races and at high school, Clover is struggling to make her dreams a reality.

Will it be her scheming ex-best-friend who shatters her world? Or will she let her ‘perfect’ boyfriend – the guy who has finally made her feel like she belongs in their school and their town – stop her from becoming an international racing star?

My Thoughts:          

I loved it. The way Leigh explains the thoughts and feelings Clover goes through during races you can tell that she has been there and done it. It feels real. The story is full of passion and excitement, a real page turner. You can’t help but fall in love with Clover and want her to succeed on her journey.

There are laugh out loud lines throughout the book.

Ernie and Shazza’s dad, John Watson, hit it off like a pair of escaped convicts who just stumbled upon a burlesque bar.

Girls all around her were dropping like Louis Vuitton handbags at a ‘$50 for Everything Sale’.

And there are some truly beautiful inspiring lines as well.

Being dead isn’t just lying in the dirt, your eyes rolled back in your head. You die inside when you give up on what you truly love. On yourself. Find who you are and hold onto it.

I love the in-depth speech Clover gave in the story. It was heartfelt and true. It resonated with me down to my core. I wish that at seventeen I’d known myself as well as Clover comes to. It took me twenty six years and postnatal depression after the birth of my son for me to find myself, to love myself, to have the courage to start working towards my dreams, as I am now.

I think it should be mandatory for teenage girls to read this story. There is something every one of them can relate to, regardless if they’re not into Motor Bikes or Extreme Sports. Being a teenager is hard and it sucks, but unless you can learn to love yourself life just gets harder.

This book has everything; Romance, Action Adventure and tones of Girl Power.

I love that Leigh has managed through this book to teach us a lesson about pride, power, love, loss, peer pressure, friendship, bullying and life changing decisions and have us ENJOY IT!

A brilliant start to what I’m sure will be a brilliant series.

And now from Leigh’s website www.leighuttonbooks.com a bit about the Go Girl Chronicles:go girls

 

The Go Girls Chronicles

An exciting new blockbuster series for the reader craving action, adventure and romance, these empowering coming of age novels will entertain, inspire and tug at the heartstrings. Stories are set among the worlds of horse show jumping, motocross, surfing, racing cars, snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX, rodeo riding and more . . .

REV GIRL, out May 24th, 2014!

JUMP GIRL, coming early-2015!

SURF GIRL, to follow . . .