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Jana (Toronto, Canada)

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Mona Lisa Darkening
Mona Lisa Darkening
by Sunny
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.99
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars please read a chapter of this first before buying it, Jan. 8 2009
I am going to admit that I have a serious problem with the author Sunny -- one I have never had with any other author before, even other really bad authors. I have not read this book. I will NEVER read this book. Please see my reviews on her other two books that I did mistakenly order and read.

Money does not grow on trees people, don't throw it away on the undeserving peons of this world -- people like Sunny with ZERO talent who are merely connected enough to get their garbage published.

Just say no.

Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML
Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML
by Elisabeth Robson
Edition: Paperback
58 used & new from CDN$ 7.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is still the best rescource for a complete beginner, Oct. 28 2008
We're almost in 2009, and this title is still the BEST resource for the total novice to standards-based (X)HTML and CSS.

Ive been involved in web design for almost two years now, and this was the first book I picked up on the subject, and lucky for me, I made the right choice, because this title set me off into the often complex world of (XHTML) and CSS the right way -- no outdated HTML practices here from way back in the day.

The most refreshing thing is the simplicity of how they achieve this. The book assumes you know NOTHING -- and even though you personally may know some things, the lack of assumptions, really forces you to take things from the ground up. One. Step. At. A. Time. And their enforcing of the W3C standard and of accessibility is also admirable, as by the end, you too will be a fan.

In the beginning I was put off a tad by the "cutsyness" of it, and wondered if I was actually going to come out the end ABLE to do anything; but as it turned out -- I was. By the end of this book you will understand things better, but you will be able to apply what you've learned right away to your own projects.

Pointers: (what worked for me)
-- Start working on your own projects right away. Work on your own stuff as you're going through the book and learning new things. It will help the material stick. And it will show you how real-world design can be, even if on a minimal level.

-- Work through this book daily, or every other day, otherwise nothing is likely to stick and you will be frustrated and have to go back to the beginning.

-- Read the blogs of well-known and respected designers to gain a deeper insight into the web and design.

-- Pick up two good reference books, one for CSS, one for HTML. Strictly reference books, as you will need them.

-- Pick up an intermediate/advanced book on CSS, like Beginning CSS Web Development: From Novice to Professional to learn more advanced CSS not covered in this book.

Finally: take your time and do things right. As long as you're working through this book on a regular basis, there is no need to rush.

On the Prowl
On the Prowl
by Patricia Briggs
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
93 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars mixed, June 24 2008
This gets three stars because the author "Sunny" is a freakin' HACK.

"Alpha and Omega", the first story by Patricia was great. I've never read her novels, but I may just give them a shot.

"Buying Trouble" by Karen Chance was my favourite -- very evocative prose.

"Inhuman" by Eileen Wilks was decent, though not my favourite.

To the reviewer below me -- you're a moron. clearly you cannot read to begin with else you would have known off the bat that this was a short story collection -- what with the names of four different people in large typeface on the front cover and all. Stupid.

Lucinda Darkly
Lucinda Darkly
by Sunny
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars please give me back my money and the time out of my life I wasted, June 24 2008
This review is from: Lucinda Darkly (Paperback)
I mistakenly ordered this along with Sunny's "Mona Lisa Awakening" under some misguided notion tht I had found a fresh new dark erotic fantasy author. Well, I was wrong. So very wrong. As I mentioned in my review for Mona Lisa Awakening, this "novel" reads like bad fanfiction. They both do. Granted, I never made it through Lucinda Darkly, bcause it just got so unbelievably bad that I couldn't put myself through the horror of it.

The writing is atrocious -- ATROCIOUS. The grammar is, uh, expiramental. The characters are unbelievable. The erotica is wooden and not remotely sexy -- oh and by the way, Sunny, characters doing each other within a page of their first meeting really kills any possibility of supense.

Turns out Sunny is married to a famous author which explains how this drivel got published in the first page. I guess it wasn't a deal with Satan after all -- though that's probably where the good reviews this garbage is getting are coming from.

Mona Lisa Awakening
Mona Lisa Awakening
by Sunny
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 7.12
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars save your money, June 24 2008
This is worse than reading fanfiction authored by teenaged girls fueled by hormones and ecstacy. I don't know what deal with the devil "Sunny" signed -- but I want in.

Female Submission
Female Submission
by Claudia Varrin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.90
16 used & new from CDN$ 13.30

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very silly, Jan. 20 2008
This review is from: Female Submission (Paperback)
I was expecting an honest and erotic account of Claudia's story as she delves into the submissive side of her personality, but instead was forced to endure pages and pages of bad writing and purple prose.

Her relationship with her first dom falls apart, yet we're never told why. I actually had to reread several sections to see if I missed somethig -- but alas, no, it's merely been left out of the novel, or glossed over I suppose I should say. And probably because of something that Claudia herself did -- though heaven forbid her massive ego admits to it! Her ego and blatant narcasism fairly scream out at you from the page.

She describes herself as beautiful and desirable while constantly putting down every other woman who seems to not like her, as they are of course jealous. Every man and woman want her. Every woman seems to pale in comparison to her -- physically and character wise, yet looking at her picture on the back cover really shoots her supposed beauty straight into Hell. All this tells me is that she's a massively insecure and confused woman who can supposedly orgasm multiple times with very little prodding -- yeah right!

And even more annpoying then her personality, though I suppose this is an extension of her stupidity, is her use of British slang, such as "quim" to describe the female anatomy. That kind of posturing, much like Madonna's fake British accent, is friggen annoying. You're American -- my condolences and all -- but just stop already.

The Story of O this is NOT so save your money and look elsewhere.

Deerskin
Deerskin
by Robin McKinley
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
67 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings, Dec 11 2007
This review is from: Deerskin (Mass Market Paperback)
I think my true rating for this novel hovers somewhere between 3 and 4, and to be honest, having just finished this book -- I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it.

Some points:

-- In the begining, I really enjoyed the somewhat vague voice of Lissar as it seemed to fit well with the fairy tale elements of the novel, but by the end I found it frustrating, as despite the very detailed descriptions of pain, sorrow, misery, etc. we were given, I never felt as though I actually got to know anything about her.

-- Why did her physical healing seemingly take an insanely long amount of time? Months? Years? She really spends five years in the mountains??? Why does it seem only like one winter before spring arrives and Lissar ventures from her hut again?

-- I like my villains fully developed. The father was not. In the end as she confronts him -- it's very dissapointing. I would have liked a greater insight into his mind.

-- I really wish that Ash had been made a male dog instead, because I couldn't distinguish in many sentences whether Lissar or Ash were being refferred to!

-- The writing is quite beautiful and intelligent and suprisingly free of cliches, especially considering this is a fantasy novel -- but it could have done with some more careful editing because many sentences are rather clunky and confusing.

-- As Lissar is an only child and the princess and heir of a vast and rich kingdom, I find it hard to believe that either her parents or court would have actually neglected her to the point that they did.

-- Her journey of self-discovery and healing is the essential part of this novel, but did it have to be so LONG and REPETITIVE?

-- The romance was dissapointing. Very, very dissapointing. Many others have commented on this as well -- but I just had to restate it.

Regardless, I did enjoy the story, but it will not become one of my favourites and as such, I think it will be a very long time before I reread it.

Sebastian
Sebastian
by Anne Bishop
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.99
73 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why?, Dec 7 2007
This review is from: Sebastian (Mass Market Paperback)
Why was this written? Why was actually picked up for publication? Why was this sent out into stores with such horrible amd choppy edting?

I'm a huge fan of the Black Jewels Trilogy, sure they have their problems -- repetiveness and cliches namely -- but they're fun and suspenseful reads, a break from reality and more serious works of fiction. But Sebastien? The whole novel seems so contrived and rushed and just utterly ridiculous.

Bishop seems to have a serious problem with putting every single one of her female characters in horribly abusive homes where either rape, or attempted rape, finally drives them out. Every. Single. Caracter. Jaenelle, Marian, Lynnea, Surreal. Having a troubled past does NOT an interesting or complex character make -- characterization does! Give me characters who's actions and words make me sympathize with them, not just the fact that daddy tried to "put it in" one night and mommy hates them and no one understands them and blah blah blah. That type of of angst might work beter on the YA audience, but these novels are not aimed at young adults but *Adults* who don't buy into this type of misery so easily.

Sebastien and Lynnea suffer immensly from a lack of any redeeming qualities that would make anyone truly sympathize with them. Sebastien, a half-incubus and alleged bad-boy, does little more then drink coffee and brood constantly over how bored he is by life. Lynnea, a vapidly naive hick, suddenly appears, and we're to believe that she's the answer? The romance between them is so unbelievable and forced -- and for the love of God can Bishop write romance without inclding utterly trivial nonense to keep her characters appart? Sebastien keeps away from Lynnea because he fears he's "too dark"? Um, yeah. Whatever.

The lack of erotica or sensuality that made the Black Jewels so engrossing is also comletely lacking here, yet this is marketed as erotic fiction? For whom exactly? Christian youth groups?

And one last complaint, in a list of many: Phallic Delights! Bishop seems to find this inclusion so very clever -- so very, very VERY clever that the reader is subjected to descriptions of this tasty treat every five pages or so. Not a single meal or visit to the local tavern can be complete without describing to us what Phallic Delights are.

So. Very Sad. All of it.

This had such unbelievable potential, and it was dashed to nothing. I think Bishp must have been under intense publishing deadlines (or intense delusions of grandeur after success of the Black Jewels) but there is no excuse for this sloppy piece of trash being published.

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