Eclectic, cross-genre mood reader (but of late, mostly erotica, romance & para/UF—including m/m & ménage). At times, the realities of life & work tend to dictate how UNreal a world I choose for an escape.
Fair warning: I may walk like a lady but I cuss like a salty sailor. ^.~
“Mother, just like the last fifty-five thousand times you’ve mentioned it, I have no intention of getting married and having a family. You’re just going to have to content yourself with the grandchildren you already have.”
Lance had heard humans talk about the tenacity of Jewish mothers. He didn’t know any, but he’d be surprised if they could hold a candle to the relentless herding instinct of a quickened mother who was descended on both sides from border collies.
LOOOOOOL... I know *exactly* how this feels :)
More comments may come whenever GR decides to load for me & let me log in)
*** April 2015 series pick-up***
Great to re-visit this series again after putting it on hold for a stretch (of course, I had to do a quick re-read). Unlike most series, Ashley established 2 different series ‘locale’ (Austin, TX and Las Vegas, NV) and after the first initial books, I wanted to wait to see which book was set in which Shiftertown so that I could read those back-to-back, even tho there are cross-references amongst the various books.
In Mate Bond (book #7), Ashley introduces yet another Shiftertown, this time in North Carolina. Very interesting storyline incorporating some fae shenanigans, as well as new twist on the mate bond―namely, the alpha pair inexplicably don’t have it despite being very devoted to each other after mating (‘for convenience’) 15yrs ago. This latest addition to the Shifters Unbound series looked to a 5-star winner up until the very end...
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*** April 2015 series read***
Having finally tried out narrator Amanda Ronconi after much urging from certain friends, I decided to listen to this series as much as possible―made easier by fact that Audible advised me that I already had 2 via Audible freebies that I never logged in. *smh*
Anyhoo, fantabulous decision! (if I do say so myself ^.~) TBT, I always need some time in the begining to get used to the sound of Ronconi’s voice but IMHO, her voice acting makes the books even better. (Frex, I giggled-cackled my way thru Driving Mr. Dead whilst working in my backyard.) Definitely recommend folks try via audio, if possible.
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*** March 2015 reads***
Yes, I read yet another series out of order―specifically, books #4-6, and then back to #1. Chalk it up to cranky book fussies (or female’s prerogative) partly due to #1’s basic storyline. ;-)
Started this one shortly after release but got put on backburner. Then went to read a Delicious book & got reminded of it due to note re: series.
So tried again via audio but egads, Lucy Rivers's narrating style is NFM. IDK if she's trying to emulate slower pace of West Coast or what, but for this chick, it's waaaaay tooooo sloooooow.
So, ditching audio & going back to DTB. IDK, maybe I'll just skip this altogether & just hit the Delicious book?
Conceded defeat & ditched. This far in, I shouldn't still be at loss re: certain 'background' things. And b/c of how initial chapters evolved, I'm not feeling the romance/connection. Which totally bums me out b/c I so wanted to love this one―had looked forward to Adrian's HEA, enjoyed having 'reunion/update' re: the other Bronw siblings & extended family and... *sigh* :(
Mebbe I'll go back & finish one day to appease my anal side. But right now, too twitchy to deal with constant/repetitive internal monologues and JFC, this is a hot mess―the writing, storytelling, pacing, etc. Think that my brain is too tight right now b/c it keeps picking up certain things which takes me out of the story.
FWIW re: audio, I thought the narrator (Lucy Rivers) had a good voice but her pacing was too slow for me. IDK if she was trying to mimic slower pace of West Coast/Pacific NW but to my ears, it ranged from desultory to pace used to read to toddlers―and unfortunately, didn't vary much for different scenes/emotions. (I should NOT be bored by a Lauren Dane sex scene!)
IDK how I'll end up rating this book but I don't recall being as conflicted yet...absorbed? confused? about the MCs & this type of storyline since Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas. Huge upside = well-written, so straight-forward, fast read for me. May stay up late to finish b/c need to know if suspicions re: certain plot points are correct. :)
IIRC, below is recap of Jaid Black (aka Tina Engler/Ellora's Cave founder) weighing in on the relationship betn Thomas Jefferson & slave Sally Hemings? *no words*
My tiny contribution: Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: A Brief Account
Sally Hemings controversy...
Here Trout points out that Black says that Jefferson went to France to marry Hemings.
The second link is to the screen cap of Black's claim. The statement that he couldn't marry her so he went to France to do so indicates that he fled the racism of the US to marry his one true love. Um, wrong.
I didn't want to get into this, but the fact that it's already hurt so many authors, authors who aren't buying into this bullshit romance story between Jefferson and Hemings is pissing me off. Black? Is wrong. Flat out wrong.
Here's my response to Trout's blog:
"Black is wrong. Jefferson didn’t go to France to marry Hemings. In fact, she wasn’t even one of the original slaves that he brought along.
“Around the time that he returned to Paris, Jefferson was reunited with his ten- year old daughter Polly, who had been brought to Europe via London in the care of a teenage slave named Sally Hemings. ”
Hemings wasn’t brought because Jefferson loved her so much, or felt romantic towards her. In fact, he fell hard for someone else during one of his times in France.
“Whether consummated or not, it is clear that while in Paris Jefferson developed a romantic attachment to Maria Cosway, a young English painter raised in Italy, and fully possessed of the characteristic Mediterranean charms. ”
She was married – unhappily, but committed to her marriage. Jefferson is described as broken hearted over her. And even then? He doesn’t bring Hemings over to console him.
When the slaves finally learned they could petition for freedom in France, they did. Hell, the only reason he didn’t lose Sally seems to be this:
“After some hard convincing, Jefferson was able to avert the loss of two of his finest slaves, and the Hemings siblings returned to Monticello with him. Many have speculated that this was accomplished by means of a bargain involving the eventual emancipation of various members of the Hemings family.”
She apparently loved him so much that, to all appearances, the only reason she chose to stay a slave with him is that he /used her family/ as bargaining chips. Ah, well, if that isn’t love on his part, I don’t know what is. /sarcasm.
All quotes from the SparkNotes site, by the way: Link to SparkNotes as source.
But the contention that he went to France /to/ marry her is flat out wrong. He didn’t go to France because, yay, he could marry Hemings. He went there because job. And the France time? Seems like Hemings wanted her freedom and to stay there without him. I guess that sorta disproves the tru wuv theory, too. She wanted to be free; he found a way to emotionally blackmail her into staying with him, as a slave.
But, yeah, I can see how some people could misconstrue this as a romance story. *shakes head*"
And also, the contention by others that the author is black so this can't be racist? Wrong. And a lot of PoC were offended by this, probably because, y'know, racism. There's a lot of internal isms: sexism, racism, etc, etc.
And I still can't type PoC without thinking Pirates of the Caribbean. (True story: I knew of the term people of color before I first saw the abbreviation. But I suck at guessing what new to me abbreviations are, so I was like what do pirates/movies have to do with these issues until I googled and went, oh, that makes sense.)
PS - I am going to tack all of Jenny's books onto this post. She called out a lot of bullshit, and I want to support her, not the book she's talking about, or anyone who sides with those who believe this book was in any way okay. I'm also eyeing Such Sweet Sorrow.
Keeping to latest determination to get back on BL, I've been trying to figure out changes, new functions, etc. Have sinking feeling that it’s gonna be a somewhat slow & labourious task b/c for one thing, noticed that some personal HTML are now...changed? Frex, why are quotes all centered? And text w/in spoiler tags in bold? *sigh* So much for hitting ground running via old cheat sheet :(
I also spent waaaaaay too much time checking & off-loading 200+ followers for various reasons. Don't wanna be mean or offend anyone (and I assume that most are the result of BL's automatic 25 (or whatever) followings upon initial account creation) but I really don't want or need non-readers, lurkers, or obvious young'uns following me :)
Bottom line, this means that instead of back-tracking & doing mini-posts on most of my 2015 reads, I'm only gonna do quick notes here for posterity & then move on. My short TBR is quickly becoming not-so-short & fair growling at this point!
Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks [2013 HR (MMP/audio) ★★★½]
Rules for a Proper Governess by Jennifer Ashley [2014 HR (MMP/audio) ★★★★]
Stone Cold by David Baldacci [2007 Suspense/Political Thriller ★★★]
Highly unusual for me but I jumped in mid-series by reading this book (Camel Club #3). And par for course, Murphy's Law promptly kicked in. Technically, one can read this in vacuum & still enjoy it but it's not a true ‘stand-alone’ b/c one storyline (centered on Annabelle) is a continuation of what occurred in book #2. Needless to say, I was a bit lost whenever the book shifted to that subplot.
So what do I do? Yup, backtracked to beginning and read The Camel Club (★★★), tried but couldn't get into The Collectors (figures, right?), so jumped over #4 and read Hell's Corner (★★★★). Shame that I didn't stop then; after some thought, reversed back to #4, Divine Justice (★★).
I should note that I first tried audio format for most of the above. Unfortunately, Ron McLarty's narration didn't work for me. My overall/lingering impression re: aborted listens was that he sounded fatigued, which isn't the best for suspense/mystery. :(
Re-blogging Batgrl’s in-progress commentary re: ‘Without Lying Down’, an interesting bio/NF re: Frances Marion, b/c (1) I’m not one to re-invent the wheel, and (2) frankly, I can’t remember any other way to get this into feed.
I know I'm enjoying a book when I have the urge to tell someone "oh this bit, check this out, isn't this fun?!" Plus this quote gives you an idea of Marion being a normal woman, as well as understanding how women think differently. Neat story all round.
Backstory: Marion is on her third husband (she's in her 20s), and totally in love and happy - they both have careers in film, they both love each other's intelligence, all the good stuff. But she has eyes, and this sense of humor. (Never fear, she's not the type to have an affair - that's not where this goes. Her current husband, Fred Thomson, is a former Olympic calibre athlete/Presbyterian army chaplain turned cowboy star. Yes, his biography is just as interesting as that sounds.)
Marion is working for Goldwyn on the 1926 film The Winning of Barbara Worth. (Ebook here!) Goldwyn's secretary asks Marion to see if she can't put in a good word for the secretary's boyfriend, as he's trying to get one of the parts in the film. (Also backstory: Hopper has been a friend of Marion's for years. Which is how she knows Marion's reaction in this story.)
“At six foot four, with brown hair and chiseled if irregular features, the young man appealed to Frances immediately. Hedda Hopper claimed that he was so “her type” of man that when Frances first saw him standing against the wall of the studio building, “she gave him a second look and as she went through the door, even risked a third.”
[The actor boyfriend had sent a screentest for the part but the male execs didn’t think much of it.]
...Frances concluded it was because male stars still tended to be “pretty boys”; the director and producer didn’t think women would be attracted to what she was the first to admit was a “gaunt, slow moving self conscious young man.” But knowing how both she and Sam’s secretary reacted to him, Frances suggested organizing a screening of his and other actors’ tests in front of a group of female office workers at the studio. The immediate response from their collective libido proved that the two women were not alone and Frank Cooper, changing his first name to Gary so that he would not be confused with another actor with the same name, was hired at fifty dollars a week.
...Yet when she viewed the daily rushes, Frances suddenly realized they had a problem on their hands.
“This guy is going to steal the picture,” Frances announced to King and Goldwyn after watching Gary Cooper’s dramatic portrayal of an exhausted man collapsing.“
While Cooper had a somewhat awkward time learning to act, he had improved so quickly (and took to direction so well) that Marion had to write him out of a later scene or he would have been mistaken for the hero of the film. And of course Cooper went on to become a major star quickly after that. Goldwyn was mocked by the industry for not giving him the salary raise Cooper asked for - Paramount snapped him up days later.
I did have to eyeroll at the concept of two men being so completely sure they knew what type of man all women would and wouldn't find attractive. (Not to mention that Marion had to get backup responses - but the way she chose to do this was brilliant - using women already working for the studio.) Again, this sort of thing didn't end in the 1900s - and it works for all genders really. We've all heard varions of (mix the genders as you will, or substitute your own): "Wait, women/men like him/her?! Why?! Ugh, not attractive at all."
Rachel Ann Nunes has a new attorney and is proceeding with her case against plagiarist, Tiffanie Rushton. Trials are expensive so here is the link to her GoFundMe. Help send a message that the book community will not stand for neither the plagiarism nor the attacks Rushton directed towards Nunes after she was found out. Read the timeline here.
I hadn’t had much luck w/ audiobooks in recent years so was thrilled to discover Moira Quirk, narrator for the Darkest London series by Kristen Callihan. Then a kind soul in a certain HR group mentioned that Ms. Quirk also narrated Elizabeth Hoyt’s Prince Trilogy. It had been a while since I read that series so figured to kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone by doing a re-read via audio.
I remember liking ‘The Raven Prince’ well enough (after all, I continued to read the subsequent books) so the story itself would probably fall around 3-3.5. IMO, it's still one of the better Beauty & Beast storylines, with sympathetic main characters & a varied cast of likeable secondary characters. Altho certain things didn't ring true for the Georgian period, I tried to overlook most by repeating the mantra 'country life is more informal'. And last but certainly not least, the sexual content of this book was much franker/more explicit than I remembered. *grins*
However, I ended up *loving* ‘The Raven Prince’ due to Ms. Quirk’s narration. Granted, I don’t have as many ABs ‘under my belt’ as some of my friends but IMHO, the term ‘voice actor’ truly does apply to Ms. Quirk. She is simply fantastic at breathing life into both general narrative and dialogue, as well as maintaining sufficient tonal differences to make dialogue easily discernible, especially amongst several characters. IDK why but her diction & cadence/inflection suit my ears perfectly.
To the ever-lasting bafflement/frustration of TPB in publishing, I suppose that opinions & preferences re: AB narrators are probably just as personal & quirky as those for books in general. Having made serious efforts in recent months to incorporate ABs into my reads, I’ve come to realise that I prefer narrators w/ natural inflection and somewhat normal talking speed. (Frex, Davina Porter is another fabulous narrator but Good Lord, it would’ve taken me months to re-read the Outlander series via audio. The books are long enough but tack on audio format + her narration speed? Alas, ’twas the unfortunate kiss of death for me.) And yes, I may have a minor bias towards UK-accented English. :)
Have never read Hoyt’s Prince Trilogy or it’s been a while since you read it? If you haven't listened to any of Ms. Quirk's voice works, I strongly recommend that you give ‘The Raven Prince’ a go via audio.
GENRE: PNR; Steampunk
LENGTH: 432 (MMP pgs)
HEAT LEVEL (content): sexy-hot (m/f vanilla; frank but not overly explicit/extended)
PUBLISHER/pub date: Forever (GCP/Hachette); August 2014
SERIES INFO (timeline): Darkest London #5 (@ 1yr after end of #4)
FORMAT (source): MMP (own); Audio (borrow)
Still captivated by the narrating skills of Moira Quirk, I barely touched my DTB copy & continued with this series via audio. Thus, 4-star rating is influenced by my listening experience. If I were to rate the story on its own, it would be more 3-3.5 stars.
Overall, I did enjoy this installment of the Darkest London series but it fell a bit flat, especially after a 5-star reading (listening) of the previous book, Shadowdance. Unlike in earlier books, I found some diversions from the main storyline to be more disruptive than necessary. And plot-wise, there were more than a few weak and/or unaddressed points (some due to minor instances of deus ex machina). This resulted in a vague feeling of dissatisfaction with the dénouement of both the action/mystery and the romance. And the final (tiny) nail in coffin was a personal pet peeve: even with certain open items, the epilogue dealt with the next book/couple, as opposed to wrapping up things re: Will and Holly. :/
Nonetheless, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book (and entire series) to PNR/steampunk fans. And despite loss of some momentum re: series, I already got & listened to the next book, Soulbound, which was released on 24-Feb-2015.
Oh man, why can't I listen faster?! LOL/*smh*
This series continues to progress in strong fashion, with this book #5 picking up @ 1yr after book #4, ‘Shadowdance’. I’ve been too busy reading this series to pause for anything other than quick posts on GR or verbal chit-chat IRL, so may post an abbreviated ‘series in review’ soon. Unless *cough* waylaid due to reading ‘Soulbound’, #6 which is due out today :)
In meantime, here’s a tidbit from ‘Evernight’... Be well, everyone!
“I’m going to…” She cleared her throat. “I shall rub you down, thoroughly concentrating on each area. Hopefully, it will slow the progress of the metal more effectively than simply putting my hand upon your chest.”
A slow, wide grin pulled at his lips. “Let me see if I have this correctly,” he said, struggling not to crow, “you are going to rub your hands all over my body…”—she narrowed her eyes in distaste, which only made his grin reach epic proportions—“slowly and thoroughly—”
“Really, Mr. Thorne.”
“While my part in it is to lie here and take it?” His cheeks ached from smiling. “Is that the plan?”
By the time she’d finished with him, with a little encouraging pat and a request that he rest quiet like a good lad, there was no point in denying it: Holly Evernight would be the death of him.
“How digital technology is destroying your mind”
Pretty provocative, no? That’s the title of a Feb 13, 2015, article/book review in The Washington Post re: Mind Change by Susan Greenfield (Random House, Jan 2015).
And then there’s this: In “Mind Change,” neuroscientist, entrepreneur and British politician Susan Greenfield argues that our technologies are not only addictive — they are an existential threat.
Yikes―an existential threat?! Frankly, IDK if I should be intrigued or scared by what may be revealed inside the pages of this book. So proceed at your own risk. :)
EXCERPT UNDER SPOILER
Living in Manhattan and working at Virago, one of the most successful women’s magazines in the nation is a dream come true for Lindsay Pinke. After five years of being overworked and underpaid in the research department, she’s finally noticed by Colette Duarte, the provocative executive editor of the magazine. She offers Lindsay the coveted role as her personal assistant, but first she must prove she’s worthy of the position. Lindsay must interview Victoria Nox, the elusive and extremely private CEO of Nox Media Holdings. If Lindsay succeeds, Colette promises her great things for her publishing career. If Lindsay fails, her chance as a respected writer will be cut short.
A chance meeting with Victoria at a high class function puts into motion a series of events that leaves Lindsay blindsided by her strong physical reaction to the magnetic but foreboding woman. When Lindsay unwittingly falls into Victoria’s world of dark temptations and complex entanglements, she leans the shocking truth Victoria hides about Colette that rocks Lindsay to her very core.
Now that Lindsay has become a balm on Victoria’s soul, is she strong enough to help Victoria confront her shameful past, and stop one woman’s sick games once and for all?
(Riverdale Avenue Books. https://ktgrnt.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/50-shades-of-pink/)