Thursday, October 23, 2008

Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

“Agnes and the Hitman - A Novel” by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

This is not the first time that this pair has attempted to co-author a novel. Their first novel together “Don’t Look Down” left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth and I was tempted to pass “Agnes and the Hitman” by, but since I do so love the works of Jennifer Crusie I decided to give them another try; and I’m very happy that I did. This is a funny and sexy, mystery/contemporary romance novel, written in a way that brings to my mind the screw-ball comedy movies of the 1930‘s, perhaps something along the lines of a Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn film.
There are two separate yet intertwined stories at play here, one that involves Agnes Crandall, the house she has bought with her fiancĂ©, her penchant for hitting people with here cookware, their fledgling catering business, a wedding and her dog named Rhett. The second part of the story revolves around the “hitman” Shane, “no last name, just Shane” who is brought in by Agnes’s pal Joey to watch out for her, an old Mob crime and the government. So many secrets and lies, so much feminine back stabbing and more secrets and lies, all mesh to make this one of the funniest and mysterious mysteries of this genre.

The book is one of the few that proves that collaboration between two authors can and do work out very well. I can’t wait to see what other books this team comes up with.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe - Various Authors

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe by Various Authors (Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Keri Arthur, Carrie Vaughn, J A Konrath etc.)If you're looking for the perfect way to find some new authors to read or just looking for some stories by your old time favorites, then this is going to be a 'howling' good book to read this holiday season. Every story has a holiday theme and every story is populated by werewolves; except for J A Konraths comedic tale which is populated by not only werewolves, but a were-boar, were-tortoise and a were-coral an Evil Were Hunting Santa Claus and a religious figure named Bob.Charlaine Harris' Sookie short story, was a lovely addition but in no way do I see it as a necessary read to go along with the series, Carrie Vaughn's addition takes place right before her third Kitty book. A number of authors that I would never have thought to try this type of story, have stepped up to bat, hit home runs and did an excellent job of it too. Most notably Dana Stabenow: the author of 16 "Kate Shugak Mysteries".Add this to your Christmas Wish list or run out and buy this and be prepared to be delighted as the werewolves take on Christmas in their very own ways.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Up For Renewal" by Cathy Alter

“Up For Renewal” by Cathy Alter
At the age of 37, Cathy takes a good long look at the mess her life had become and realized that something needed to be done…and pronto. One day while in a book store, she stands in front of a wall of magazines and realizes that perhaps the solution to her problems may lie within the pages of these glossies. After all, doesn’t these women’s magazine promise us the world, a better butt, less wrinkles and finding our true love? So Cathy decides to take her journey one step at a time using the self-help articles as a template. For the next year Cathy will change just one thing a month.
What I expected of this book, is not what I got. I figured that this would be yet another in a long line of narcissistic looks into someone’s over-privileged life. That is not what we get. We get year of insights into Ms Alter’s real life, and see how she learns some valuable lessons. We get the pleasure of seeing Cathy grow, learn to love those around her, learn to love herself, conquer her demons, find true love and peace.
I really enjoyed this book. I truly forgot that I wasn’t reading a fictional account of someone’s life. I loved the monthly format and lesson plan with each chapter. I cried with her, laughed with her, was aghast for her, I learned from her.
I’ll end on this note, with a quote form Up For Renewal - “I realize that you can’t solve life’s mysteries with the right pair of shoes or the perfect shade of lipstick,” I acknowledged. “But at least I tried.” Amen Sister

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"A Wallflower Christmas" by Lisa Kleypas

If you are looking to please a historical romance lover on your Christmas list, look no further than this delightful book. this is the seventh book in the Wallflower series.

It's everything a romance should be at this time of the year; light, romantic, sexy and hopeful.

Rafe Bowman has come to London to marry. He is a rake; a wealthy American Industrialist looking to do his duty to his demanding and stubborn father by coming to England to meet Natalie Blandford, the "wife" that has been picked for him. The problem with this scenario though, is that he meets his intendeds companion, Hannah Appleton first and becomes smitten.
Unfortunately Miss Appleton doesn't see Rake as either the perfect suitor for her charge nor does she realize that she has fallen in love with him herself until nearly too late.


And, well, with this being the Christmas season, all dreams are possible.
I have never read any of the Wallflower series; the only books of Ms Kleypas I've read are her contemporary romances, and since I love those Ithought I'd give this a whirl. I'm thrilled I did and I will now be buying the rest of the series.

"Any Given Doomsday" by Lori Handeland

Any Given Doomsday" by Lori Handeland (Release Date Nov 4th)Lori opens the new Series "The Phoenix Chronicles" by introducing us to Elizabeth Phoenix; ex-Milwaukee cop, psychic and as we soon find out so, so much more. Elizabeth is very much like you and me, ( paraphrased from back cover) "she's lost her partner, job, a man - but she keeps going on." And that say just about everything that you'll need to know about this book. "She keeps going on." We soon find out that the end of the world as we know it is soon coming; and through a variety of things that happen to Elizabeth, she will be the only one to stop it. Lori has set up this world wonderfully, her characters are vividly drawn and perfect, you either sympathize with them, love them , dislike them, or even hate them...Lori knew what she was doing when she wrote them.A fast paced read, filled with many questions. But unlike some authors, Lori actually take the time to give us enough answers that we never feel frustrated or cheated and leaves just enough unanswered questions to keep us wanting more. Though the characters could certainly bemoan the hand that fate has dealt them, they don't. This makes for a very refreshing read, and may I also mention that Elizabeth is reminiscent to Jessie McQuade, the female lead from "Blue Moon". She's tough, sharp, wise cracking, and funny as hell.Ms Handeland makes a point of mentioning Laurell K Hamilton and wanting to write urban fantasy. Well I'm here to tell you that Lori has outdone herself, let me explain: When Liz gained a new power from sex magic (yes that's how she gains new powers), she does get a bit upset with the new status quo. She had never wanted any power to start with and had hoped there was a way to get rid of it...(sound familiar to you yet? Does Ms Hamilton's character Richard come to mind?) but this from her mentor/sex magic partner Sawyer, brought it into context for her - "Did it occur to you that if you don't follow your destiny, if you become the normal woman you think you wish to be, the world you wish to be normal in will no longer exist?" And with this one simple deep thought and phrase Liz accepts who and what she is. I wish Ms Hamilton would take a page from Ms Handleland and realize that her characters need to learn this lesson.I encourage you to read this first book in this new and exciting series. I know I will be waiting with bated breath for the next installment "Doomsday Can Wait", to be released in May of 2009.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Gods Behaving Badly Marie Phillips
While this novel is certainly not the worst I've read lately, it is a close second. I very nearly gave up by the middle of the book and even that stretched my ‘patience’ limits to the max.
The premise starts out very interesting; God’s are being forced to live the lives of mundane, because of their lack of power. And while I can certainly try to understand the ennui of an immortal living in a mortal world, I could not seem to enjoy the cruelties of for example Apollo changing someone into a tree for refusing him a sex act…or the never ending sex scenes that I’m sure were being used as either analogies or metaphors, but I couldn’t decide which applied here. Perhaps sometimes a cigar is just a cigar?
The ending was trite and predictable and moralistic.
I shall certainly pass on a second novel if Ms Phillips ever writes another. I actually paid for my copy and if I had bought it at a local bookstore I would have returned it and begged for my money back. Don’t waste your cash, there are too many good novels that are light and humorous and well written, about Gods to have to resort to this.
But if you insist on trying it, the at least wait for it to come out in paperback

I've Taken The Plunge and I'm Not Talkin' Nestea

Yes, I've finally put my pen where my big mouth is and I've started writing. *sigh* It's a dirty job but someone has to do it. Especially when it comes time to writing erotica or "Chick Porn" (my word and nobody can take it from me ! LOL!).
I'm so fed up with what I've been reading lately. Some authors fight too much to give us a story and the story is good, but the sex is bad, or they fight to give us good sex and the story is bad. I swear Mainstream Erotic Fiction killed the erotica business. I'm never going to strive to have a mainstream audience (please shoot me if I do try) I just want to make women who may not be getting all of what they deserve in their lives a little imaginative pleasure and some real good ideas for the next time they are with the man of their dreams.

Now as far as research goes..hooya!!!!!! I have never seen so many ways that a man can have his dangly bits pierced and see them I did. I think I may have drooled a lot on my keyboard too. I'm not sure about the drooling bit, but I DO know that my jaw went slack! If anyone were to look at my browsing history, well lets just say that I will not have a pristine and virginal reputation anymore! *snort, like I really ever did...*

I've ranted about it before and I'll rant again - maybe some women want their men to be in love with other men, and to be the after thought, not me. Because that's what I've been told about these stories. The M/M sex is there because the men love each other. Well good for them I say. There needs to be more books for homosexual readers to indulge their fantasies. But why must this be at the expense of the women that come into the story? Morgan Hawke is a great one for doing this. You think your getting a fabulous menage a trois story, but what you are really getting is two hot men who love each other but just happen to want a woman for when they are bored, or need something a little different. (JMHO) Don't women value themselves anymore?


I don't know maybe I'm just being a cranky pants about this...I like M/M in moderation, but not at the expense of the woman.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"It Only Takes a Moment" by Mary Jane Clark

“It Only Takes A Moment” by Mary Jane Clark


Eliza Blake, is a very a successful anchor at a top rated morning News show. She thinks that she has seen the worst that man can do to man, until one day her young daughter and housekeeper are abducted. Now the horrors that Eliza has faced from the outside looking in, during her career has become personal. Very personal. We, as the audience are treated to a behind the scenes look at what happens to a TV personality when their lives fall apart and we get to view it in brutal living color with a wide screen and high definition.
This is a fast paced book about the four most critical days of abduction. It’s tightly written with short, well paced chapters. Great characters, that are well written and for the most part, believable; if a little stereotypical. The red herrings alone add to the enjoyment of this novel and keeps you guessing as to who-dun-it right up to near the bitter end.
I enjoyed “It Only Takes a Moment” so much, that I will be purchasing several more of Ms Clark’s novels earlier .

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Freaky Thought for Today

Most of the people who are members of Books & Chat, read most of the same books. Like calls to like it's said! Some were waiting with bated breath for Stephanie Meyers book "Breaking Dawn", the conclusion to her YA series. I know from watching the news, that she seemed to be nearly as popular as J. K. Rowlings was with her "Harry Potter" books . For many this month, another long awaited book was "Acheron", by Sherrilyn Kenyon, and this is the one that I am now reading.

So the spooky thought I just now had is, that while I'm reading this book, there are thousands of other people at the very same moment reading the same exact book as I am. They may even be on the same exact page as me.

So I wonder; just what the next big book will be that will have the readers putting aside their daily grind and sitting happily reading while Rome and dinner burns???

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

An Early Reviewers Rant

A Terrifying Tale of a New On-Line Marketing Manager Fiasco - or "How I Learned to Hold My Temper and Save My breath at the Same Time..."by The Deranged Book-a-Holic

Pull up a comfy chair, the beverage of your choice and grab a cigarette, I know I will be partaking.
I going to relate to you this horrific saga of books ordered and books never sent, e-mails ignored and what happens to my hair when uber frustrated. Sit back relax and remember to breathhhhhhhh.

Once upon a time, dear readers, there was a little book and chat forum called Book & Chat. You may have heard about them. They were lovingly run and cared for by the most beauteous Dianne, the self - proclaimed Book Goddess.
At one time, Dianne was approached by the Friendly Giantess known as Carper Hollins,(name of Giantess changed so my lawyer won't stroke out) Online Marketing Manager. The Giantess had been sent a review that the fair Goddess Dianne had done in praise of one of the Giantesses authors. The Giantess decided that she liked the Books & Chat forum and the fact that there would be so many people willing to read so many books and post reviews in so many different places. AND IT WAS ALL GOOD.

Then a terrible and horrible thing happened...the lovely Giantess was promoted...and another took her place. An Ogre who (will remain un-named due to my lawyer being a pain in the ass about things like this.) This vile, thoughtless , e-mail not replying Ogre, knew not his job.

Dianne gave him time to settle in and to learn his job *roll eyes here since, if he got promoted he should have already known what the job entailed*...time went by. Then more time went by... The Ogre seemed to have an aversion to e-mail, Dianne would send him her selections the Ogre would not acknowledge the list. Dianne would wait in her chamber with her nose pressed against the window awaiting the handsome Be-Knighted Sir UPS man. Alas, package failed to arrive in a timely manner. Then one day Ogre sent the beauteous Dianne the list of July and August selections, claiming this would speed things up. The lovely Dianne was thrilled...finally her reviewers could actually get the books reviewed on time (since this is supposed to be EARLY reviews).

Days passed, weeks passed, years seemed to have passed, e-mails sent, succinct little missives inquiring as to what had befallen the wonderful books we were all awaiting to review. Finally July passed...Dianne sent one more e-mail. And Low... she beheld a miracle.*insert a brief thought of Dianne in a dead faint here* A reply was sent to her inquiry! *doing happy Snoopy dance that the wait was behind up.

That was 2 frickin' weeks ago...it is now August 5th. I sent another memo on Monday, once AGAIN explaining that the books haven't arrived. I've also yet again explained that once I get the books I have to repack them and send them to the reviewers. *sigh* no reply from the Horrid and Nasty book- hating Ogre.

This is not rocket science!


What will the Horrible and Nasty Ogre have in store for our Lovely and Fair Goddess Dianne next month?





Monday, August 4, 2008

Pop-Corn Book Pick of the Week (So Far)

The Accidental Demon Slayer - By Angie Fox (Paranormal Romance)

On the day that Lizzie Brown turns thirty, a monumental day for any woman - some very, very odd things happen. Her Harley riding Grandmother (whom Lizzie has never met) shows up, Lizzie slays a Demon who appears on her toilet, her Grandmother who is also a witch, starts throwing spells around, her dog starts talking, and that's just for starters.

Naturally no paranormal romance is with out it's sexy, broody, male...enter Dimitri Kallinikos, a shape-shifting Griffin. Of course he needs something from the worlds newest Demon slayer, Lizzie. How does he go about getting what he wants? Well; lie for starters and if that's not working - seduce her!



The above was paraphrased from the back cover of the book, because I couldn't have said it better myself *grin*!

Now this book is filled with comedy, red-herrings, misunderstandings, violence in the shape of a group of Harley driving, AARP card carrying witches and lust.
Humerous, action driven plot with a thouroughly satisfying ending that will be a great addition to your beach or pool side reading for the end of the summer.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How Many Books Do You Read in a Week?

Do you know that when I am asked this question, invariably, people are aghast when I give a true answer? I read on the average 7 -10 books in a good week. It almost makes me ashamed to be able to lay claim to the fact that I have the time, leisure, financial backing and the ability to read as much as I do. And no; before you start wondering - I DO NOT speed read. I do like to review books, although I am not very good at it, since I don't follow any 'set rules of reviewing'. I genuinely base my reviews on what I like and I try to "speak" in my reviews as if I were trying to urge a friend to read the book. Of course I also let everyone know in no uncertain terms when I dislike a book...uhm... or hate a book.



I am very lucky - my Book Chat forum was chosen by William Morrow to be an on-line site for review of their books; and through them I can without guilt, read all sorts of books I wouldn't normally choose for myself.

I also have several friends that are aspiring authors that have me beta reading and critiquing their books...I love them because it gives me another outlet for my addiction.


But one of the reasons why I can read so many books each week, is that I'm kind of picky about what I'm reading. I DO love all manner of genres and sub-genres, but I read for pure pleasure. Aren't we lucky that so many authors take the time to research their subjects so well that we can learn something from nearly every type of book? I also rely on word of mouth on my forum. If one of the posters had found a new author that they love, inevitably I will love them too. Now the biggest reason that I can read so much so quickly is that not all books need a lot of time to be savored. Some books are just 'good' and will be forgotten about in a couple of months. Pop-corn reads as it were! They just don't leave a lasting impression, then there are the books and authors that you would just about die if they never wrote again...these are the chocolate truffles of the book world. Their words go straight to your hips and are a bitch to get rid of! These are the books you read over and over savoring every morsel, every word, every thought...you discuss these with fellow book lovers until you've wrung every drop of pleasure out of them. *sigh*
Alas these authors are few and far between. These are some of the reasons why I can read so much so fast


So pull up a comfy chair, grab a beverage, and tell me...just how many books a week do you read? I'm sure you wish it were more! Where there is a will there is a way.



Can't afford to buy all that you want to read, but you hate borrowing. You'd rather own your books? Check out PaperBackSwap. Get rid of some of your books that you'll never read again. Don't have any? Then go to a tag sale and buy all the books you can find that are in very good condition and use them to swap for something you've always wanted to try.



Join a site like Books & Chat, become a member in good standing, and take advantage of their trade and swap areas a well as their library.



Read more - live longer...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

8 Little Days *sigh*

Well it's just 8 little days until that dreaded day. You know the one I mean; the one where you have to be bright and smiling all day just because you've gotten another damn year older. I've already had people spill the beans as to my gifts, so they aren't a surprise. As a matter of fact I can't remember the last time I DID get a surprise. I think I'm just too predictable.

By the way; if you've read my post from earlier in the week, I'd like to mention that I'm still sitting here perched gently and gingerly on a very soft pillow. *snicker* You know, I had a bikini wax done once by professionals, you would have thought I had learned something with that experience...but nooooo I learned nothing except that I didn't want to pay someone the big bucks for ripping out my nether tresses and examining my personal lady bits. It's bad enough when the GYN stakes his claim down there. Maybe I'd feel more comfortable if I had someone who routinely went where no man has gone, at least for the last few years *grin*.


Embarrassing moments in history - I was reminded today of one or two of the most embarrassing moments I have ever had. Two specific moments stand out for me. One a few years ago, when I was wearing fake fingernails managed to get glue on my eyeball. Well that was certainly a thrill. My poor dad had to pick me up and drive me to the emergency walk in care place.

Another incident was a number of years ago when I was working for Waldenbooks in the auditing department at the headquarters. I heard the alarm clock and leaped out of bed,; I immediately fell; heard a noise, got up and did my morning routine. I still went to work proudly wearing a new pair of high heel sandals I ended up an hour later in ER. The noise I had heard at home, was my ankle bone snapping. Now try putting a spin on that story so people won't think you're a nut cake!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Going Out On A Limb

The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance - by 25 different authors - Edited by Trisha Telep

If you've never indulged your curiosity with the paranormal romance genre; and more specifically, Vampire Romance, I strongly urge you to pick up this book. A multitude of writers all writing about a multitude of Vampires. Gothic, Erotic, Humorous, Contemporary, Historical...you name the style , it will be in here.

This is an easy way to get your toes wet in this sub-genre of romantic fiction and might even make you a convert and wish for your own Knight With Shining Fangs.

Come to the dark side...come follow me to this wonderful place filled with blood, immortality and fabulous lovers.

A Tale of Two Menge a Trois (???)

Two author's; two distinct styles of writing and only one gets it right. Now; of course, I'm not an expert of a Menage a Trois, (I can dream about being the center of a manwich though!) but if I'm going to read Erotica and suspend my disbelief for a while and enjoy the experience, I want a female protagonist written as a smart,decisive, mature minded woman who knows what she likes and isn't afraid to go out and get it.

Why do some Erotica authors still think that they have to take this sort of subject matter and write about it the old fashioned "bodice ripper" way? Hasn't the "forced seduction" gone the way of the Dodo yet? A I've stated in other posts Erotica has gone mainstream, that means it's OK to get down and dirty, as it were. Stop with the angst that the characters feel while going for the gusto.

OK enough with the bodice ripper diatribe...(a pet peeve of mine!)

Two mainstream Erotica authors come to mind; Emma Holly (Menage, Cooking Up a Storm, Strange Attractions etc.) and Lora Leigh (Wicked Pleasure, Forbidden Pleasure, Marly's Choice etc.) In my opinion Ms Holly does it the mature way while Ms Leigh is fumbling in the dark trying to come up with plots and stories that just don't work with her style of writing about very unusual sex.


Now Ms. Leigh got her start in true Erotica, and is trying her hand at a more mainstream type of book. I think she is having a hard time finding a way balance plot to sex. Ms. Holly, on the other hand; has no trouble finding a balance of plot and sex.

Ok enough is enough. I'm even starting to annoy and confuse myself with this post. Too much going on today. If I were making a good point I'd keep on writing, but it appears to me that I am only beating a very dead horse and rambling on about bullshit. Suffice to say that erotica was never meant to be anything more than porn for women and mainstream fiction/romance is just that and should have stayed that way. I don't think the merge worked for all concerned.

One last bitch for today I swear - what's up with the man on man crap in our books lately? Have we gotten to be as bad as men? Or are more gay guys reading our books LOL!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Do's and Do Not's of the Week

Some of the things that I've learned in the last few days: Do NOT stand in front of an open window when the whole house exhaust fan is on, and try to sprinkle flour on anything. You just will find yourself and all surrounding areas covered in in a dusting of flour, and someone may try to saute you. Plus you just have to clean the mess from the entire entire kitchen. Cats will NOT lick up flour from the floor, but they do like to run and roll in it.

Do NOT argue about alimony with a pack of men...they will grind you into a womanly pulp and then spit out your tender bits. Also, be careful when having the same argument with the women who hang around with these men. They tend to have very large brass balls, and will do anything to prove you are an idiot for thinking alimony is still needed in this country. They seek approval from these Neanderthals.

Men do NOT find it amusing in the least; when their ex-spouse decides to have a sex change. They will not understand that this person is still the same person inside but just has different plumbing.

"You'll know you are in love when you are willing to give up chocolate forever to be with that person for even an hour."

People hate hearing things like this quote; so DO make sure you are speaking to another romantic when you mention this quote. Otherwise you'll just be an idiot for feeling like this. Who the hell knew that romance and wishing you had some in your life, was the root of all evil? Lord, it must be wonderful to be so secure in yourself that you don't ever need to make a sacrifice or even a compromise for love. It's either that or your mate is an idiot not worth loving. *snort*

Do NOT - NOT - NOT try to give yourself a bikini wax at home. And if you don't heed my warning, at least make sure you wear panties while trying to manage this torture, or you will find yourself with an unwanted Brazilian wax job. No good will come of it, I guarantee it. If you aren't careful you will also find yourself peeing through a straw, much like a Eunuch...I speak from experience.(I'm sitting here, very gingerly on a pillow at the moment) As a matter of fact,even going to a salon for a full wax isn't a wonderful day at Disney...let the "drapes" match the "carpet" and leave the bare "floors" to infants and pre-teens.
Which makes me wonder why men like to see their women with no pubic hair, does it give them the feeling of 'having' the forbidden fruit of pre-pubescence?

I'll leave with a question...why do men have such excellent body images of themselves and women think their bodies mostly suck???

How does a man parade around in public, pasty white, hairy fore and aft, big boobed, bald, pot-bellied with plumbers crack and skinny knobby legs and a tiny package; as you will plainly know if they are wearing tighy whities or a Speedo in public --- yes, my neighbor does wear his under-wear to get his newspaper in the morning (I've since switched to the afternoon edition) and think they are sex on a stick???

On that gruesome note I bid you all a goodnight! Want to borrow my Brain Brillo???

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Terrible Waste of a Perfectly Good Tree

Happy Hour of the Damned -- by Mark Henry
Briefly this book is about our poor little newbie zombie Amanda Feral - rich, snobby, a fashionista to the max with a vocabulary like a long shoreman, a socialite with no conscience, the morals of a dog and clothes like a hooker but done in haute couture (think Betsy from MaryJanice Davidsons series, but even younger, meaner, and with a worse mouth). I've actually I've met long-shoreman that swear less and with much less color than Amanda and her "friends" do. Turned against her knowledge into a zombie, the book opens without our knowing just what happened to her. We are soon thrust into a "mystery" (and I use that term loosely) and then we are treated to a lengthy detailed description of how she was turned. Make-up to cover her very new complexion being foremost on her mind. Also we are treated to some really interesting prose about how zombies eat and it ain't pretty! Think jaws unhinging and faces being ripped through and eaten off..
Amanda's mystery starts with a text message on her phone from a friend, a succubus. Just one word "help". That gets the ball rolling. Sort of. We don't really see Amanda working too hard, until the final quarter of the book, to find her friend.
This book is [i]not [/i]anything we've never read before, that is if you've actually spent any time reading Urban Fantasy at all (again think Betsy From MJ Davidson) . There are many claims of it being fresh and new (see reviews at Amazon.com and the fact that most (all) of the early reviews are from newish authors. If you consider that the only thing I can see as being new, is the authors attempt at humor by using foot notes, then you have something new and fresh. Frankly I found the use to be annoying, it kept pulling me out of the story (what story there was) and I felt that this attempt at humor did more bad than good. I might have been more willing to over look the fact that Mr Henry seems to have an anus fixation, and a disturbing knowledge of haute couture.
This book is another book, that may not know what it wants to be when it grows up and perhaps FRESH is the new term for books that try too hard to cross too many genres at once and in my opinion fail.
This book should be classified as Chick Lit/Urban Dark Fantasy/Horror/Mystery. But alas, I'm afraid there is no such thing...yet.
If you are in the the age bracket of 13 -2o, you may find that this is what you've been looking for. A book about zombies and other creatures of the night (and day) that prey upon the humans of the world. A book that speaks in your language, with the slang of a new (old, read it you'll see what I mean) generation. This book is getting amazing reviews on Amazon...Anything that gets another generation to read and off the computer is a good thing.
The only reason why I'm not slamming this book against the wall is that I may just be too mature for it. Like I said, if you are in a certain age bracket you may find this wildly funny and super duper fresh. Then again, I find so many of my youthful friends have very good taste and intelligence.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Simple Words

Three little words...I love you. I wish more people let those that matter hear those words more often. There are all kinds of love; the love you feel for your kids, parents, lover, spouse, friends. Yet do we really say the words enough, or do we just feel that the other person knows what's in our heart?

Since my Dad died last year, I've been taking care of my mother. I've always been closer to her than I was to my Dad, but when his end was nearing, even when he was still having his 'healthy' days, I made sure to say the words. I'm glad I did, because he died with both of us knowing how I felt.

Today, out of the blue my Mom says to me "I love you" before we got off the phone. It made me smile and lightened my day. I mean; let's face it, I'm an adult and I know she loves me, but it's sure nice to hear it said out loud. Tell someone right now how you feel. In truth, you may never have another chance because life just happens whether we want it to or not.

So do you want to "Swallow Darkness"?? and other perverted thoughts

The newest book in Laurell K Hamiltons's series is called Swallowing Darkness *snort* - here are the titles for the beginning:

A Kiss of Shadows (2000)
A Caress of Twilight (2002)
Seduced by Moonlight (2004)
A Stroke of Midnight (2005)
Mistral's Kiss (2006)
A Lick of Frost (2007)
Swallowing Darkness (Nov 2008)

So does anyone see a trend here? Or is it just my perverted mind? Kiss, Caress, Seduce, Stroke, Kiss, Lick, Swallow...so what the hell comes next (oops - no pun intended!) Gargle with Listerine, have a cigarette and a glass of Zinfandel?? Clever little minx is our Ms. Hamilton. No one can ever mistake these books for anything more than they are. Oh, don't get me wrong; I'm totally hooked on this series, and there is an interesting story line, but going by these names do you actually think most people are looking for a plot when they pick up these books?

So speaking of sex ----Sex and the mainstream book - Has "porn for women" otherwise known as Erotica, gone the way of the Dodo bird? I remember the days that if I wanted a little sexual spice (more than could be found in a romance) in my reading, I would have to down-load an e-book from a "kinky" publisher to my e-reader. My shame knew no bounds and I felt somewhat 'dirty' for liking books like this. It fascinated me to know that sexy books wasn't just for men any more.
Now really 'dirty' sex has gone mainstream. I don't think I've seen a 'kink' that hasn't been written about and pushed on to the masses by very legitimate and normally conservative publishers . I love seeing how these conservative publishers now have subsidiaries for their "porn" er....Erotica *snicker*.

So, has really erotic sex in novels become boring now that it's a perfectly normal, legitimate genre? Do authors feel the need to pepper their books with badly written, very uncreative or overly-creative sex scenes, (think multiple partners, chains, whips, candle wax...think four and five-somes...why not just add a dog and some battery operated toys and be done with it?) just to hit both mainstream fiction, romance, AND the sub-genre of erotica. In this readers opinion - yes it IS getting boring to come across these totally out in left field scenes. Why does an author think it's good writing to stick sex in in a scene where the hero and heroine are running for their lives? Literally.

Gah...I long for the days when woman's porn was sold by very few houses and it was good because you knew you were buying and reading a book to be titillated, not for the plot. Plot was an added bonus.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Tomatos Are Popping and other random stuff

Older women and younger men... what in Gods name does a (for example) 40 year old woman want with a man 20 years younger than her? The sex can't possibly be good unless she is into being very dominant, or really, really into teaching. Perhaps the conversation is very stimulating? For that matter what the hell CAN they talk about?

Color me perplexed.

Hey I had a scare last month with my cholesterol...it was in the "stroke" range. I went on Lipitor and voila it came down from 285 to 181. Yipee.

What's all the hoopla over a title like this -"My tomatoes are popping out!!!" Apparently 'tomato' is a euphemism even I have never heard of for breasts! Who knew?

Sarcasm - is it the lowest form of humor or are puns even lower. Frankly, gentle sarcasm is amusing, but only if you really have an idea what will or will not set off someone. Me? I'm a little thin skinned; but I love it when people I know fairly well do it to me. Makes me feel like they love me.

I was speaking to a male via PM's and we had a very good conversation going for about a week (nothing naughty, I swear LOL!!! of course I do have an interesting story about being naughty with another writer - who knew I had it in me???LOL)...I sent the last PM with a few more questions and comments ---never got another missive. Was it rude or is this common behavior? Should I feel concerned that I did something wrong, or was he just an ass hat? I hate guilt. Actually I think he saw my posted picture and freaked. *snicker*

Another PM issue - if you are a member of a large internet community (a forum, a writers board etc) you'll know what I'm talking about.
This one really took the cake. In a reply to a PM I was told that it wasn't worth talking to me via PM's since he got no post count for it. Another ass hat for sure.

In conclusion...the world is filled with "ass hats" *sigh*

Sunday, June 1, 2008

REVIEW

Stolen Innocence - by Elissa Wall with Lisa PulitzerEllissa Wall was brought up in the bosom of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints and at fourteen was forced to marry her older first cousin, and repeatedly raped throughout her 3 year marriage. This is Elissa's story. But it's also a glimpse into the workings of a way of life that many of us would find chilling, yet was perfectly normal for Elissa and her many siblings. We learn how plural marriages work (and at times may even work well for the people who have learned nothing else but this way of life) and how they shouldn't work, we learn how on the whim of one man, a Sister Mother and her children can be taken away; with no explanation, from her husband and given to another man deemed more worthy. We learn how one man used his so-called, influence with God, to force families to shun their own children, sell their business and properties, to live in fear. And, this is also the story of the rise and fall of that very influential, very manipulative man; a man named Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed Prophet of the FLDS. This is a heart breaking story of Elissa's struggle to be the perfect daughter, student, person. We see her struggles even at a very young age to "stay sweet", a common phrase used when you are shattering inside, but can't let it show - and what happens when someone finally breaks her spirit. This is also an example to all women that they can overcome, be brave and even learn to grow from the horrors they may have been forced to endure. One thing that disturbed me is that in this book, we never learn whether or not any of the women actually loved/love their husbands or if their husbands loved/love them and this lack begs the question - when one is never shown a loving relationship between man and wife, when spousal relationships are more like business deals, then how did Elissa know that she would never come to love her husband? I would have like to have seen this addressed.It's remarkable and repulsive to learn that practices such as this go on in our progressive country. These are things we think/pray only happen in third world countries.This is an excellent, timely, eye opening read and should be a 'must' read for anyone interested in issues involving women in our country during this century.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Expectations from Fans

I finished what I consider, a travesty of a book last night...after 16 books the love affair is over. I don't know if she Laurell K Hamilton) can redeem herself with the next book. If it's a book that features a secondary character, then no.

Can it be time for her to wrap up the series and go on to a new one where none of her fans , or at least the fans that have been with her longer, have no expectations of what the series characters should be like?

Is it unfair to an author for his/her fans have expectations? Should an author listen when a majority of their fans base seems to be expressing some sort of dissatisfacttion? Should an author even visit their own fan forum to see which way the wind blows? LKH has a forum that is supposedly "fair" to both sides, but it is more of a "squee girl" suck up site now.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

REVIEW

Blue Smoke and Murder - by Elizabeth Lowell (on sale May 27th in hardcover)Meet Jillian "Jill" Breck. A white-water river guide, ex-Fundamentalist Mormon, artist, new owner to 13 un-signed paintings by a famous Western genre artist, and the woman who once saved the life of the son of two of St Kilda Consulting's premier operators. They now owe her...and it's time for Jill to collect. You see, Jill just had her vehicle totally vandalized, one of the questionable paintings shredded and a death threat issued.Meet Zach Balfour a part-time consultant for St. Kilda and ready to finish a long awaited vacation. With his expertise in gathering information and analyzing it, he isn't so happy to learn that he is needed to cut short his plans to "baby-sit" Jill. Until he meets her and realizes that this in NOT just another babysitting job. Jill is an earthy, smart, woman who is used to looking out for herself. She can guide people through the tumbling rapids of the Colorado river and discuss Zach's favorite topic. But now people are setting fires and shooting at her.This fast paced, action driven, very well researched, romantic suspense/ thriller takes us deep into the world of very high priced Western genre art and the people who perpetuate millions of dollars in art fraud each year. While some may say that Ms Lowell over-emphasizes the technical part of painting, collecting art, and the manner in which one may perpetuate a fraud...I found it to be highly interesting; both in learning about the Western genre Masters, of painting and the technical side of collecting. Ms Lowell does a very fine job combining these issues with a wonderfully fast paced cat and mouse game with Jill's life at stake and a blossoming romance between Jill and Zach that never seems to stretch credibility. Jill and Zach, along with the secondary and tertiary characters are very well drawn, well fleshed and believable. The situations that Ms Lowell puts Zach and Jill in never make me need to fight for the suspension of disbeliefI loved this book right from the very first chapter until the nail biting conclusion, and have already ordered the other 2 books in the St Kilda's series. I certainly hope we hear more about these men and women of St. Kilda's.I added this link for the members of B&C because I thought that this showed how well researched Ms Lowell books are: http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/bestseller-eliabeth-lowell-illuminates-shadowy-world-art-fraud/

So Blood Noir came out today and...

I couldn't wait to get my greedy hands on it. I haven't finished it yet, but what I have read makes me say WTF?????

I've always defended her by saying that she was inventing a new genre, a trailblazer if you will. A bit of something for everyone - horror/paranormal/mystery/erotica. But with over half of the book under my belt I think one of the genres she has added (much to my amazement and disgust) seems to be Chick Lit.

Did she really NEED to spend the first 4 chapters discussing, planning and THEN having sex???? Had I read just this much in the storenot knowing that there MUST be more to the story I would have bypassed it as bad erotic fiction.

Well I'm off to finish it and to surf the 'net to see what her fans, the squee girls and the Anti-Anita people are saying tonight.