Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge #6

PopSugar 2016 book challenge #6. A book translated to English.

This book has been on my TBR list for a while. I just needed a kick in the pants to get started. Nothing like a little reading competition to get me motivated. 

So, on to the book.

BLURB: With humor, rage, and confessional detail, Virginie Despentes—in her own words, "more King Kong than Kate Moss"—delivers a highly charged account of women's lives today. She explodes common attitudes about sex and gender, and shows how modern beauty myths are ripe for rebelling against. Using her own experiences of rape, prostitution, and working in the porn industry as a jumping-off point, she creates a new space for all those who can't or won't obey the rules.

King Kong Theoryby Published April 1st 2010 by The Feminist Press at CUNY
ISBN: 1558616578
RATING: 2 stars

It was interesting but ultimately disappointing. This is more of a rant based on the author's own personal experiences. It could have used some broader insight.
If I got to talk to the author at a party I would walk away thinking, Wow! What a fascinating person but as a book, well, there’s just not enough there there. 

This is not a boring read and it’s certainly a quick read, being so short but I would have liked more substance. (I also recognize that I may have gotten more out of the book if I was better-versed in french feminism.)

Despite my two star rating, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it. I think it could be a gateway to more substantial feminist works. But for those already through the gate, the book has no real revelations.

Rating: 2 stars
Where'd I Get It: Christmas present from my sister

Challenge Accepted!

I'm taking part in the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2016 with a few friends over at Goodreads. I thought it would be a good way to get myself out of my comfort zone and maybe class up my reading act. It's a pretty good list. One I think I'll have fun with. Because reading should be fun. Reading is fun. Everyone should read more.

1. A book based on a fairy tale

2. A National Book Award nominee
3. A YA bestseller
4. A book you haven’t read since high school 
5. A book set in your home state (or country)
6. A book translated to English King Kong Theory
7. A romance set in the future
8. A book set in Europe
9. A book that’s under 150 pages
10. A New York Times bestseller
11. A book that’s becoming a movie in 2016 (either shot or released)
12. A book recommended by any person, reviewer, or service, who doesn't know your taste in books or by someone you just met
13. A non-fiction book you learn something new from (include self-help)
14. A book you can finish in a day
15. A book written by a celebrity i.e. a person of eminence, distinction, or note. Interpret that however you desire.
16. A memoir
17. A book at least 100 years older than you
18. A book that’s more than 600 pages
19. A book from Oprah’s Book Club
20. A science fiction novel
21. A book recommended by a family member or friend 
22. A graphic novel
23. A book published in 2016
24. A book with a protagonist that has your occupation The Queen's Head
25. A book that takes place during summer
26. A book and its prequel
27. A murder mystery
28. A book written by a comedian
29. A dystopian novel
30. A book with a blue cover Lightning Bug
31. A book of poetry
32. The first book you see in a bookstore (can be a 2nd hand bookstore, or an online bookstore)
33. A classic from the 20th century
34. A borrowed book (from a library, a family member, a kindle loan etc)
35. A biography
36. A book about a road trip 
37. A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with
38. A satirical book
39. A book that takes place on an island
40. A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Heads Up! A Josh Lanyon Sale!

This weekend only, Josh Lanyon has six of his e-novellas available for $.99.  

The titles available are:
A Vintage Affair
Cards on the Table
The Dark Horse
Out of the Blue
Blood Red Butterfly
The Darkling Thrush

They can be found at Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks, & Amazon.
The sale will end sometime on Sunday so if you haven't checked out Lanyon before, now is your chance.  (I've listed the books in order of my own preference.  YMMV)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Totally Cool Hot ManLove

So, I've been reading quite a few m/m romance books of late.  

Delving into a new genre is always a tricky thing.  There is  a lot of crap out there.  Separating the wheat from the chaff is challenging.  I've read some bad books - I mean, really bad - and these are books that come highly rated.  No matter how much research I do, no matter how many articulate reviews I seek out, I still end up reading books, that IMO, have no business being published.  And not because of the content, but because of the lack of craft in the storytelling.

And let me just take a moment here to qualify, this is not unique to the M/M romance genre.  There are a lot of poorly written books in every genre.  Its just that M/M romance is still a fairly small genre who's readership, while not large, is voracious in their need for more and more dirty boy action.  Supply has not caught up with demand.  The paranormal genre went through a similar thing back in its early days.  There were a lot of mediocre books that got published to feed the growing readership.  As one of those paranormal readers, I can tell you I read many a so-so book because I loved the genre and it was better than nothing.  I kinda feel that this is were M/M romance is at. 

That being said,  I've also read some m/m romances that were terrific.  Heart-wrenching, panty-dripping terrific.  And I thought I'd share some of my favorites for anyone looking for some recs.  If your already familiar with the m/m romance genre, most of these recs won't come as a surprise.  But if you are looking for a place to start, I wholeheartedly recommend the following.

Josh Lanyon - The Adrien English series Love, love love this series.  Lanyon is one of the best in the genre.  I found some of the mysteries a little MURDER SHE WROTE-ish but the ups & downs of the romance between bookseller Adrien & closeted cop Jake more than made up for my quibbles.

James Buchanan - Deputy Joe series  Really well written series about Mormon, closeted cop Joe & ex-con Kabe.  Probably my favorite M/M series and that's saying something because Lanyon is hard to beat.  Also some serious BDSM here that deepens as the relationship does.  Its seriously hot but always feels character driven and not just there for titillation.  (Not that there is anything wrong with that).

K.A. Mitchell - Bad Boyfriend  A really fun, sexy romance with a Daddy/brat thing going on. This is the second book in the series but you don't need to read the first in order to enjoy it. 

Anne Tenino - Whitetail Rock  This is a free novella that I would have been happy to pay for.  "Nikhil “Nik” Larson is a snarky, dark-skinned adoptee from India who grew up in the Whitest Town in America. Back to visit his parents Nik meets Trooper Jurgen Dammerung, a blond, butch motorcycle cop who’s so hot he leaves a con trail wherever he goes."
Check this one out and then go on to read To Stupid To Live.  Tenino is one of my authors to watch.

Ok.  This seems like a good start with the recs.  Give them a try.  And let me know what you think.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Quick & Dirty Reviews: 2 from my Can't Wait To Read List

One of the problems I've been having with my book blog has been the amount of time it takes to keep up with it.  Working six days a week doesn't leave me with much extra time.  I can either work on my blog or read books but it is difficult to find the time to do both.  I need to read in order to have something to blog about but blogging consistently makes it difficult to find time to read.  Ya see my dilemma?  So, I've been spending a bit of time just reading, attempting to whittle down my TBR pile.  I've managed to read quite a few books including the two reviewed below - both of which were on my can't-wait-to-read list.  Were they worth it?  Read on and see.

Riveted  (Iron Seas, #3) by Meljean Brook
As far as I am concerned, no one writes a better steampunk tale than Meljean Brook.  Her world building is phenomenal and so intricate that, at times, it is hard to keep track of.  Her books are nuanced and complex plus her characters always feel emotionally real.  In the third volume of Brook's Iron Seas series, we meet completely new characters to the series and are taken to the unusual setting of Iceland.  Annika, the heroine, has left her hidden village to seek out her missing older sister.  While considered timid by those she grew up with, out in the real world, Annika has come into her own as an engineer for an airship, developing a quiet strength and capable courage to deal with the dangerous situations she sometimes finds herself in.  The hero is David, a naturalist who is journeying to Iceland to study the island's volcanoes.  Injured in a catastrophic accident as a youth, David lost an eye, his hand, and a leg but this being a steampunk world, they have all been replaced with mechanical prosthetics.  While artificial limbs are not uncommon in this world, David's have made him somewhat of an outsider.  Watching these two characters come together, learning to trust each other, plus the unique setting and action-adventure, made for an enjoyable read.  Brooks has a way with writing main characters that are fully realized, three dimensional people.  It's one of her strengths as a writer.  This strength doesn't carry all the way through to the villain, unfortunately, who ends up being a batshit crazy bwahahaha type with daddy issues.  Still, the action was exciting and the romance sweet.  This is another solid entry to a fantastic - and I mean fantastic - series.  I'm a bit in awe at how good of a writer Meljean Brook is and I thoroughly recommend the previous books in this series as well as The Guardians  series.
Where'd I Get It: Pre-ordered and paid for with my own damn money.

God Save the Queen (The Immortal Engine, #1) by Kate Locke
I was surprised on receiving this book to discover that is was a hard cover as I was expecting a paperback.  It's not much bigger than a paperback, though and it kind of reminds me of the Nancy Drew books I read as a kid.  (Size-wise, not story-wise.)  I also was under the impression that it was a steampunk fantasy but except for some Victorian fashions, its really more of an urban fantasy.  That's fine, though.  I still enjoyed it.   It was a fun, easy read.  I liked the conceit of the world.  It is set in London during the 175th year of the reign of Her Ensanguined Majesty Queen Victoria, the undead matriarch and the Aristocracy is made up of vampires and werewolves.  In this world, technology and magic live side by side.  The heroine, Xandra, is a half-blood, the result of her vampire daddy doing the nasty with a human.  As a member of the elite Royal Guard, she is charged with protecting the Aristocracy.  When her younger sister goes missing, Xandra sets out to find her and ends up uncovering a vast conspiracy There are some super ideas in this story that I found engaging.   Since it's set in Britain, the class systems is a big deal.  Vamps and Weres hold all the power while humans and half-bloods are second class citizens.  So... there are a lot of issues to explore there. Plus they all hate the goblins - one of the few things that unites the different groups.  I also enjoyed the family dynamic between Xandra, her two sisters and her brother.  I've read so many urban fantasies where the heroine is a rebel, a loner, y'know the  I'm-not-like-other-guys-Dottie type; It was nice to see siblings interact with one another in a completely sibling way with the petty squabbles, the family reliance and all the other stuff that binds family together.  I wasn't as keen on the romance.  I wish there had been more complexity to that relationship.  It seemed so easy, too straight forward, especially considering everyone else had secrets to hide and hidden motives.  I kept expecting there to be more there than meets the eye... but there wasn't.  As a first book in a series, God Save the Queen also fell into the info-dump trap that is often hard to avoid.  But, y'know what?  I still enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.  Especially after the way this one ended.  The writing isn't the most complex - the book could easily be marketed as YA - but it was a fun, brain-candy read,
Where'd I Get It:  received via Paperbackswap.com

Monday, August 6, 2012

It's About Time - Book Pimpin!

It's been such a long time since I've book pimped that a chunk of books on my Upcoming list have already been released.  I figured that maybe it was time I posted another Pimpin post.  Below are some of the books I am excited to check out in the next few months. I absolutely cannot wait to read Spirit's End by Rachel Aaron.  I love this series and am expecting a thrilling conclusion.  The Bornikova book also sounds real promising.  Influenced by The Firm and Anita Blake? - hopefully, that means influenced by both series' strengths and gives us a savvy, action-packed, thriller with twists and crafty turns as opposed to merely a supernatural lawyer fuck-fest.  Anyway, these are all auto-reads for me.  Check 'em out.  See what catches your eye.

This Case Is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova
What happens when The Firm meets Anita Blake? You get the Halls of Power—our modern world, but twisted. Law, finance, the military, and politics are under the sway of long-lived vampires, werewolves, and the elven Alfar. Humans make the best of rule by “the Spooks,” and contend among themselves to affiliate with the powers-that-be, in order to avoid becoming their prey. Very loyal humans are rewarded with power over other women and men. Very lucky humans are selected to join the vampires, werewolves, and elves—or, on occasion, to live at the Seelie Court.
Linnet Ellery is the offspring of an affluent Connecticut family dating back to Colonial times. Fresh out of law school, she’s beginning her career in a powerful New York “white fang” law firm. She has high hopes of eventually making partner. 
But strange things keep happening to her. In a workplace where some humans will eventually achieve immense power and centuries of extra lifespan, office politics can be vicious beyond belief. After some initial missteps, she finds herself sidelined and assigned to unpromising cases. Then, for no reason she can see, she becomes the target of repeated, apparently random violent attacks, escaping injury each time through increasingly improbable circumstances. However, there’s apparently more to Linnet Ellery than a little old-money human privilege. More than even she knows. And as she comes to understand this, she’s going to shake up the system like you wouldn’t believe….
Drops September 4th 2012 

Howl For It by Shelly Laurenston, Cynthia Eden
They hunger for your pleasure. They growl for your touch. And in these sizzling stories by New York Times bestselling author Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden, these sexy wolf shapeshifters are lust at first bite. . .
"Like A Wolf With A Bone" by Shelly Laurenston
Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn't be happier when the most-feared member of the South's rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there's nothing like an oh-so-big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts--and have her surrender however and whenever she wants. . .

"Wed Or Dead" by Cynthia Eden
Gage Ryder knew his human bride had a wild side. But spending their honeymoon night on the run from hunters out to finish him and his pack is sure not the kind of fun he was looking forward to. No problem--Gage will do whatever it takes to lay bare Kayla's secrets and find the truth. If he can keep from being captured by his own seductive game. . .

Drops August 28th 2012 

Spirit's End (the Legend of Eli Monpress, #5) by Rachel Aaron
Eli Monpress is clever, he's determined, and he's in way over his head.
First rule of thievery: don't be a hero. When Eli broke the rules and saved the Council Kingdoms, he thought he knew the price, but resuming his place as the Shepherdess's favorite isn't as simple as bowing his head. Now that she has her darling back, Benehime is setting in motion a plan that could destroy everything she was created to protect, and even Eli's charm might not be enough to stop her. But Eli Monpress always has a plan, and with disaster rapidly approaching, he's pulling in every favor he can think of to make it work, including the grudging help of the Spirit Court's new Rector, Miranda Lyonette.
ut with the world in panic, the demon stirring, and the Lord of Storms back on the hunt, it's going to take more than luck and charm to pull Eli through this time. He's going to have to break a few more rules and work with some old enemies if he's going to survive.
Drops November 20, 2012

Steel's Edge (The Edge, #4) by Ilona Andrews
The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is a fairy tale—and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny… 
Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. But even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain. After her marriage crumbles, she flees to the Edge to build a new home for herself. Until Richard Mar is brought to her for treatment, and Charlotte’s life is turned upside down once again. 
Richard is a swordsman without peer, future head of his large and rambunctious Edger clan—and he’s on a clandestine quest to wipe out slavers trafficking humans in the Weird. So when his presence leads his very dangerous enemies to Charlotte, she vows to help Richard destroy them. The slavers’ operation, however, goes deeper than Richard knows, and even working together, Charlotte and Richard may not survive...
Drops November 27, 2012

Angel's Ink (The Asylum's Tales, #1) by Jocelynn Drake
The series is firmly settled in the urban fantasy genre, set in what I like to call an open world (ie, everyone knows about all the other races and has for a really long time, allowing everyone to live side-by-side in a relative, occasionally strained, harmony.) Some of the races that you meet in this series include, but are not limited to: humans, elves, trolls, dwarves, pixies, werewolves, vampires, ogres, minotaurs, incubus, faeries, goblins, and many many more that are fighting to get their time on the page. 
At the center of this mess is Gage Powell, a tattoo artist who owns a parlor in a sketchy little neighborhood in Low Town called Asylum. In a world that is naturally filled with magic, it only makes sense that many of the non-magic folk (like humans) could use an edge. In this world, tattoo artists aren't just tattoo artists. They are also licensed potion stirrers. For the right price, they can help you get an edge. Need courage, love, or luck? A tattoo artist can stir a potion to be placed in the ink of a tattoo that can help you achieve those things. 
Unfortunately, Gage has a secret that keeps coming back to haunt him despite his attempts to keep his head down and his nose somewhat clean. Lucky for him, he had a pair of employees that help him out. The first is Bronx -- a patient troll who manages to keep a level head and his sense of humor when things get bad. The second is Trixie -- a elf who is pretending to be a human because she's got her own problems, but she still manages to make time to give Gage a hand when he needs it.
Drops October 16, 2012

Shadow's Claim (Immortals After Dark: The Dacians, #1) by Kresley Cole
He won’t be denied
Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people, striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains. 
She’s bound to another
Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she’s lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure. 
A battle for her body and soul
ven if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever-pitch....
Drops November 20, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

Urban Fantasy is a funny thing.  By its very name, it should have a contemporary city setting but there are a lot of books termed urban fantasy that have nothing to do with cities at all.  Take The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams. The heroine spent much of the book being held captive in various isolated locations.  I never had the sense that she was even near a city, let alone in one.  There's also a certain tone urban fantasies have that was missing from this story.  This book felt more like a classic fantasy that was occurring in present day.  This is not a criticism of the book, by the way.  Merely an observation but if anything, I would categorize The Shadow Reader as Contemporary Fantasy.

The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams
(McKenzie Lewis, #1)
GENRE: Contemporary Fantasy
ISBN: 1937007014 
ISBN13: 9781937007010
Published October 25th 2011 by Ace
Blurb: There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.
Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.
A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.
But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

There were several aspects about this book I liked.  I enjoyed the politics – the rebels against the realm storyline, while not new, was suitably entertaining, there was some nice action sequences and the two male leads were recognizable but enjoyable beefcake-y types.  Kyol is all honor-bound and restrained while Aren is volatile, bad boy danger.  Clich├ęd, yes… but still effective.  And shadow reading is a new and inventive ability that captured my imagination.  I only wish the heroine got to use her ability more often instead of spending most of her time as a damsel-in-distress.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

BEA 2012 Recap-ish

So, BEA. 
I keep attempting to write a recap of my time spent roaming the Javitts but I find I don’t have very much to say.  It was just like last year – crowded, stuffy, exhausting and fun.  I wasn’t able to spend the full amount of time there.  I had to leave at 11:30am on Wednesday to get to my matinee but despite that (and despite not being very organized), I still managed to get a lot out of the event.  I was able to touch base with the one publicist I have had some dealings with and I got to do a little networking with some other bloggers.   I also discovered that there are a lot of unannounced giveaways that happen first thing in the morning, which is how I snagged an ARC of The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon & Clare, #1), by Lilith Saintcrow -  on my must-read-this-summer list.  I have high hopes for this one.  

My goal at BEA was to not be a greedy pete.  I wanted to only take books that I would definitely read and that fit the scope of my blog.  It's hard not to get sucked into the whole book feeding frenzy.  Really hard.  There are piles of books just sitting there!  And they want to come home with me.  

Anyway, I wanted to highlight some of the books I received.  These are promising books to keep an eye out for and the books I am looking forward to reading.  Some of them have already been released, while others will be dropping later this year.  
I guess you could call it the k reads Buzz List.    

Redshirts by John Scalzi
Blurb: Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship "Intrepid," flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It's a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship's Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn't be better...until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship's captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expendedon avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues' understanding of what the starship "Intrepid "really is...and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives
Published 6/5/12

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2) by Catherynne M. Valente
Blurb: September returns to Fairyland to reunite with A-Through-L, Saturday, and Gleam, and to confront her shadow-self, who has become the queen of Fairyland-Below, the upside-down world beneath the Fairyland of the first novel, filled with creatures of water and shadow, tales of ancient Fairyland before the human world was born, and not a few hungry buffins, blind birds of ice and moonlight. The yearly revels of Fairyland-Below climax in a mysterious rite September must avert or else lose her shadow forever.
Drops 10/7/12

Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica by D.L. King
Blurb: The Victorians wrote some of the best and most enduring erotica. For such a tightly-laced age, people spent a lot of time thinking about things carnal. Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, et al enthralled us with their visions of new possibilities. The rich and slightly decadent visuals of the steam age lend themselves perfectly to the new carnality of post-punk era. And, of course, what is repressed will be even more exciting once the corset is unlaced. Steampunk, even without sex, is erotic; with sex, it’s over-the-top hot. A widowed lady engineer invents a small device that can store the energy from sexual frustration and convert it to electricity to help power a home. Teresa Noelle Roberts shows us what it can do, confronted with sexual fulfillment. What volume of steampunk would be complete without a tale of sailing ships and the men who sail them? If your taste runs to sexy pirates in space, Poe Von Page will delight you with the mutinous crew of the Danika Blue and their new captain.
Then there’s the very special room on the top floor in the House of the Sable Locks, a brothel where sexually discriminating men go to have their fantasies fulfilled. Even if a man daren’t put those fantasies into words, Elizabeth Schechter’s “Succubus” will give the madam all the information she needs with which to make her clients happy. There are brothels, flying machines, steam-powered conveyances, manor houses, spiritualist societies. The following stories afford intelligently written, beautifully crafted glimpses into other worlds, where the Carnal Machines won’t fail to seduce you, get you wet or make you hard so, lie back, relax; a happy ending is guaranteed.
Published 4/12/11

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Day at the Book Blog UNCON & the BEA Blogger Conference

Hey!  Guess what I did last Monday?
I went to the Book Blog UNCON and the BEA Blogger Conference!

I had registered for BBC back in early February.  The registration process blew (You can read my bitchfest here.), and when the schedule was released, I was underwhelmed;  it seemed more of a publishing industry event than something geared towards the actual process of blogging.  So when Jeff over at The Reading Ape proposed an "unconference" for book bloggers, I was intrigued.  I have been blogging for over a year but I feel like I’m still figuring it out.  The UNCON sounded like more my speed.  But, I wasn’t ready to walk away from BBC completely.  I went last year and found it informative.  There was always a chance I’d get something out of it this year.  Since the BBC morning events were a big snoozefest, I decided to hedge my bets and split the day between the two.

On Monday I got up at an ungodly hour and headed over to The Center for Fiction, the site of the UNCON.  I was a little nervous because unlike BBC, the UNCON is participant driven with a loose form structure.  Topics would be determined by the participants at the top of the day so I wasn't sure what to expect.  (Plus, I am NOT a morning person.  Coherent conversation before the crack of noon?  I wasn’t sure I could manage that.)  I needn’t have worried.  It ended up being a stimulating morning. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: Harvest of Dreams by Merrie Destefano

Ok.  First things first.  The cover of this book is just terrible.  Terrible.  It does not accurately reflect the type of story inside at all.  Look at it.  Look!  Wouldn't you expect this to be about one of those kickass urban fantasy heroines, who beats the crap out of the baddies and sexes it up with the dude on the cover?  Does the woman on this cover look like she is a divorced mom with a 9 year-old son, who's life is falling apart?  This is a typical urban fantasy cover but this is not an urban fantasy.  Instead it's a lyrical, darkly magical tale that feels almost like a fairytale.   

Feast by Merrie Destefano
(Harvest of Dreams, #1
ISBN 0061990825 
ISBN13: 9780061990823
Published June 28th 2011 by Harper Voyager
Blurb: Madeline MacFadden ("Mad Mac" to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she's always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.
But Maddie doesn't remember the dark parts -- and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area's terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the Harvest. . . the time to feast.
Once again Maddie's dreams -- and her soul -- are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during Harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hey! Look Who's Back!

So, my two week hiatus turned into a month.  I was feeling overwhelmed by... everything, actually.  I realized that I was either working or working on the blog and barely finding time to read.  I need to read.  It calms my brain, it reduces my stress, plus, there's the entertainment factor.  I couldn't do anything about the job so it was the blog that got reduced.

It was really a terrible time for me to take a break, what with BEA just around the corner, but, boy, was it necessary.  And I got to read... a lot.  Not as much as I used to - working 6 days a week really puts a crimp in my reading time - but, still, more than I had been.  Here's what I discovered:
Sometimes, I stick with a series out of habit.  I keep reading because I read all the previous books, not because I can't wait to find out what happens next.  So, I took stock of my teetering TBR pile.  I ended up culling several series from my reading list.  Not because they were bad but because they were only fine... and because I won't miss them.
I'm over the zombie apocalypse.  If a book has zombies in it, I'm gonna take a pass.  No matter how great the buzz is.  I have read some terrific zombie books in the past year ( and I cannot wait to read Blackout by Mira Grant), but its not my favorite genre and a little goes a long, long way.  
Dystopian stories are depressing.  Although I've read some that I just absolutely loved, cumulatively, they pushed me into a real reading funk.  And that's unacceptable.  (Thank god for Shelly Laurenston.  Her books were a welcome antidote.)  So I'm gonna be choosier when it comes to the genre.
Just because a YA book gets great reviews and has the fangirls squeeing, doesn't mean I need to read it.  I'm not a fan of the YA genre.  Nothing against it, its just not what I am interested in reading.  I have a small stack of YA books that have been sitting on the shelf for almost a year.  Each is supposed to be great, each is one of the hottest books in the genre and I can't bring myself to pick any of them up because I just don't care.  So, I am going to pass them on, unread and not acquire any new ones.  (Except for the Penryn & the End of Days series which is awesome.)    
So, that's where I'm at.  Trying to maximize my reading pleasure in a minimal amount of time.  We'll see how it goes.