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.