Monday, January 20, 2020

Strange Love by Ann Aguirre

Zylar of Kith B’alak is desperate for a mate. Beryl of Earth is not. In fact, all Beryl wants is to finish her community service, get her bills paid and maybe have a life. What she doesn’t expect is an alien abduction, a talking dog and a deep bond with some of the weirdest creatures you’ll ever read about. 
Strange Love by Ann Aguirre is a book of such sweetness, humor, and even some heat (Zylar is an alien, and an insectoid one at that) (so trust me when I say that the sex was weird but really cool). I mean, seriously, this woman wrote one of my most hated books of 2019 (The Third Mrs. Durst) and now one of my most favorite books of 2020.
Reasons to love this book:
1.       Beryl is abducted because of a mistake. Zylar was aiming for someone else.
2.       Beryl’s dog Snaps is abducted too and because of a communication chip, he can communicate. (And when he screws up and says “I’m a bad dog” I admit there was a little sniffle.)
3.       The bad guy, Ryzvan was a bad guy but not a cartoon character bad guy. Although I would have loved a little more comeuppance for him, he worked as a bad guy.
4.       Zylar is an insectoid alien with self-confidence issues. Beryl gives him confidence and he gives Beryl a universe.
There is so much good stuff in this book. I had a quibble in one or two places but they were small. 
And the way the society on this planet is laid out, there were issues that could be addressed by others in further books if Ms. Aguirre chooses to continue writing in this world. Such as, the mating “dance” that takes place on Kith B’alak is like a game of Survivor but not winning means dying. And if your intended chooses, she can choose another to mate with (or be “nest guardian” to) and like Zylar has faced before in other ‘Choosing’, he could be left alone and face a future as a working drone with no chances of happiness.
This book was wonderful. Read it. Read it now. It’s a 10 out of 10 and a hoot as well as a holler.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Two Old Farts in 2020

Happy New Year Blog Family. We're excited to start this new year and change things up a little.

The first thing we want to announce is that the blog family is expanding. We've reached out to people we respect and whose voices compliment our thoughts and this blog and have invited them to guest post and be an old fart (small letters, not capital Old Farts because Carolyn and I are the oldest, and although I promised to never mention it, Carolyn is the fartiest).

So we'll be excited for you to meet some of our new friends and contributors.

We're also exploring starting some video blogging and Carolyn has promised to video her first tattoo session for the blog.

We'll be having a psychic visiting soon so that should be an eye opening experience.

And rumor has it that there might be a lawsuit in the future but that will be Carolyn suing me for 15+ years of besmirching her character (since I have no character this could get interesting).

So hap-hap-happy new year and here's to an exciting and productive 2020 with more content, more fun and a fuck load more naps.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Carolyn's January Books

So, I appear to have pre-ordered more books for January 2020 than I realized. And about a month ago, I pruned my pre-orders so Lord only knows what it looked like before!

More than half the fun of pre-ordering is having a book pop into your Kindle with a "Surprise, surprise!" It's a good feeling and usually they're good reads (IMO). 

Anyway, here goes.


1.  Title: Wedding at the Riverview Inn
     Author: Molly O'Keefe
     Publisher: self published (I think)
     Releases: January 6, 2020
     Price: $3.99

An emotional tale of a magical inn, a wedding gone terribly wrong and a woman searching for a second chance.

Alice has hit rock bottom. Once a Michelin-starred chef, she is now drowning in debt, working the line at a chain restaurant and drinking too much. The last person she ever expected to come knocking with a job offer and a fresh start is her ex-husband, Gabe.

Gabe built The Riverview Inn with his dad and brother. Now, the grand lodge in the Catskill Mountains is nearly ready for the opening event—a society wedding for 500 guests.

The only thing missing is a chef. That’s where Alice comes in.

The deal Gabe offers Alice is too good to pass up: help him get through this wedding and he’ll get her out of debt.

But nothing is simple at The Riverview and soon she’s dealing with a bridezilla, pink swans, a series of mysterious letters and a teenage delinquent. Through it all, one thing is clear—her feelings for Gabe burn as bright as they always have.


When the wedding is over, will Alice walk away for good? Or will The Riverview work its magic on Alice and Gabe?




I love just about anything Molly O'Keefe writes. I am more comfortable with this particular pen name but M. O'Keefe writes keepers too and I just skim what I don't want.


2.  Title: A Fake Girlfriend for Chinese New Year
     Author: Jackie Lau
     Publisher: self published
     Releases: January 7, 2020
     Price: $2.99

After his family’s matchmaking extravaganza at Thanksgiving, high school teacher Zach Wong is terrified of what his parents might do for Chinese New Year. Surely they’ll try to set him up yet again, especially now that his older brothers are in relationships. Zach, however, has no interest in dating, not since his fiancĂ©e left him.

The solution? Find a fake girlfriend to avoid his parents’ matchmaking.

Jo MacGregor, the town dentist, is the obvious choice. They both live in Mosquito Bay and have been friends for years, ever since they bonded over broken engagements. A few kisses and dates around town, and everyone will believe they’re in a relationship. No problem.

Except their fake relationship is starting to feel more and more real…




I don't think I've read this author before, so this is a nice price point to check her out.


3.  Title: Sweep with Me
     Author: Ilona Andrews
     Publisher: self published
     Releases: January 14,2020
     Price: $3.99

There’s no place like home for the holidays…especially at Innkeeper Dina DeMille’s bed and breakfast, which welcomes guests who are literally out of this world!




That's not much of a blurb, but those familiar with the Andrews and this particular series, know they'll get a rip roaring story.The holiday is not an earthly one and so - anything goes!


4.  Title: Strange Love: An Alien Abduction Romance 
     Author: Ann Aguirre
     Publisher: self published
     Releases: January 15, 2020
     Price: $2.99

 He's awkward. He's adorable. He's alien as hell.
Zylar of Kith B'alak is a four-time loser in the annual Choosing. If he fails to find a nest guardian this time, he'll lose his chance to have a mate for all time. Desperation drives him to try a matching service but due to a freak solar flare and a severely malfunctioning ship AI, things go way off course. This 'human being' is not the Tiralan match he was looking for.

She's frazzled. She's fierce. She's from St. Louis.
Beryl Bowman's mother always said she'd never get married. She should have added a rider about the husband being human. Who would have ever thought that working at the Sunshine Angel daycare center would offer such interstellar prestige? She doesn't know what the hell's going on, but a new life awaits on Barath Colony, where she can have any alien bachelor she wants.

They agree to join the Choosing together, but love is about to get seriously strange.




Ann has been putting two chapters monthly in her newsletter, so I'm able to tell you this story is a hoot. Not terribly deep but with likeable characters, no tentacles and lots of laughs (especially the dog!). I can definitely recommend it and I do. Lol.


5.  Title: Headliners
     Author: Lucy Parker
     Publisher: Carina Press
     Releases: January 20, 2022
     Price: $4.99 (ebook)

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.


For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

This book is approximately 96,000 words





I have read every one of Lucy Parker's books and have liked every single one. Even her prickliest characters are likeable and certainly a bunch of fun. This is book 5 in the London Celebrities series. A fun series indeed!


6.  Title: Stars Beyond
     Author: S K Dunstall
     Publisher: Penguin
     Releases: January 21, 2020
     Price: $9.99

The crew of Another Road are back, closer than ever to the biggest score in the galaxy. . . if they can stay a step ahead of the Justice Department agents and Company men tracking them.

An engineer with a fondness for weapons. A captain with no memory. An obsessive genemodder who loves to tinker. Meet the crew of Another Road.

Josune, Roystan, and Nika have escaped the company thugs trying to kill them. They've gotten a new spaceship to replace The Road (after it was blown up underneath them). And their new ship is armed to the teeth with dangerous weapons, courtesy of Josune. All that's left to do before they head out to find the legendary lode of transurides is to restore Roystan's memory. To do that, they need to collect the genemod machine Nika has ordered.

But first, they have to shake off the Justice Department agent and the Companies tracking them.

It should be easy. They've done it before. What could possibly go wrong?




This is the second book in the Stars Uncharted Series and this is the author(s) who wrote the Linesman series. It's a good, old fashioned space opera with lots of interesting characters and plenty of plot. I'll have to reread the first book 'cause my memory is not exactly up to par these days.  


7.  Title: Heartland
     Author: Sarina Bowen
     Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing
     Releases: January 28, 2020
     Price: $3.99


An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.


Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.
But I know better than to confess.
Now that we’re both in college together, I’m seeing a new side of him. College Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me.
Until the night I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.
But the cool morning light shows me how badly I’ve endangered our friendship. And I don’t know if anything will be the same again.




I don't know why I like Sarina Bowen's writing/stories so much. Usually her characters are younger than any grandchildren I might have. But, so it is. I especially like her Ivy Years series and they are sooo young in that. *shrug*

Anyway, this is book 7 of the True North series and Dylan is the youngest son of the Shipley family; I think they've run out of siblings, maybe. This is probably not the place to start with this series altho' hopefully this book will be able to stand alone.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Carolyn's December Book

Long, long ago I used to share my pre-orders with the hope that someone would find a book they'd like. And now that we're starting a new year, I hope to return to this tradition.

Unfortunately, December is almost over. But there's one book that's due out the 31st that I'd like to share with you.  (And it will give me some practice too.)


1.  Title: Risk It All
     Author: Katie Ruggle
     Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca  
     Release Date: December 31, 2019
     Price: $6.15

     

     
Five bounty-hunting sisters
Deep in the heart of the Rockies
Fighting to save each other
...and the men who steal their hearts
Cara Pax never wanted to be a bounty hunter. She's happy to leave chasing criminals and tackling skips to her sisters. But if she wants her dreams of escaping the family business to come true, she's got one last job to finish... Only problem is, she doesn't think her bounty is guilty.
Henry Kavenski is a man with innocence to prove. When he realizes that Cara believes him, he'll do anything to keep her out of harm's way. Escaping criminals and dodging cops might not be the best time to fall in love, but Henry and Cara won't give up, not when there's a chance at a new life ahead—if they can survive the fall.

I quite enjoyed the first book, In Her Sights, So I'm hoping this one will hit the spot too. It's getting harder and harder to find a book to suit me; I read the first few pages, maybe the first chapter or two, and just lose interest. 
New Year's resolution (and I don't usually make them): find my reading mojo!!!!

So ....

The cover was changed for the novel Bittersweet, Book 1 of the True North series.  



So which one do you like? And which one do you think was replaced?

Will tell you my thoughts when everyone has posted.  (Someone please post.)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Today

Aloha Blog Ohana!!

In the midst of impeachment and daily revelations of just how corrupt this administration is, my brother was indignant that anyone would think there was a good reason not to support the Orange Menace. "Even with everything he's been doing?" I asked in disbelief.

"What has he done?" my bro countered. "He's been the most abused president in history. He came into office with everybody against him."

So there you have it folks: the man who bragged about grabbing pussies, cheating on every wife, who has been accused of rape, partying with Jeffrey Epstein and is apparently running a money laundering business from the Oval Office is deeply misunderstood and under supported.

Poor, poor little orange man.

Anyway...Mollie is coming home for Christmas!! So fucking happy about this, I can't contain my joy.I now get to start buying gifts for her and planning some fun.

This is a very happy Mama here.

I'm moved into my bigger bedroom and it is so much bigger. I love it. I especially love having a closet where I can arrange my clothes and see them.

I've discovered CBD. It's basically hemp and can be used as a salve, in supplements, oil and various things. I freaking love the salve. A little on my knees in the morning and I swear to all that is holy, my knee pain disappears. It's a Thanksgiving miracle. (No exaggeration, this stuff is really that amazing. I'm also taking a supplement but I'm not sure if it's doing anything besides making me yawn uncontrollably for about an hour and a half every day.)

I bought purple and lavender paint today so shelves and hardware will be painted this weekend. Once I get shelves on the wall (as well as art) then my room will be complete. So excited!!

I'm reading more Talia Hibbert books. I like her voice and I like her characters. I finally got some books I ordered like forever ago (self-help by Brene Brown and feminism literature by Roxane Gay and another author whose name I can't think of right now... ) so I'll be reading those next.

Anyway, I'm currently a very happy camper. Stress at work but it's manageable and felt by everyone, family is all currently healthy and I can momentarily breathe about finances.

So how are all of you out there doing? Chime in. I really want to know what's going on.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Carolyn

Have a blurb! 
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?
  • Enjoy a drunken night out.
  • Ride a motorcycle.
  • Go camping.
  • Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
  • Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
  • And... do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.
Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.
But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…


I don't particularly care for cartoon covers, but have one anyway.



Well, the heroine covers a lot of ground: she's plus sized; she's Black; she has a chronic disease, fibromyalgia; and all of this has given her certain ways to cope, ways that alienate her from her peers.But, ya know, I'm sorta hero-centric and I gotta tell you this hero met all my needs even if the description of his hair did remind me of my son (please don't judge).

Lori:

This was an excellent book. I've had a hard time with romance lately because it's too much insta-lust or H/h's with problems that could be solved easily with a little honesty.

Chloe's issue isn't small. She's in chronic pain and there's no easy cure. Quite the opposite and the kind of pain she's in makes it hard for her to sustain a friendship, much less a romantic relationship.

Red, a wonderful hero, also has his issue. He was in an abusive relationship (emotionally and physically) with a woman which has left him scared and scarred. His attraction to Chloe is fraught with his inability to see her as she is instead of as his ex was.

There's a lot to unpack but from my reading I just loved how well Chloe's medical condition was central to everything. I've been fighting a lot of pain myself recently and sometimes I find that I make choices not to do certain things, not to partake in pleasures because I'm afraid of how I'll physically feel afterward.

I felt for Chloe. I was so tied into her story and felt so much how easy it is to disappear into the sofa with the mess around her, having so much to do and so little ability to do it. 

And when Red came into Chloe's life, when he really came into her life, he never judged her for her difficulties. Red tried to make things doable. He tried to keep her pain in mind. And he lusted for her with so much passion, the pages almost burned with it.

To tell you how much I liked this book: I read the sex scenes.

Carolyn

LMAO! 

I've been blessed to be without a whole lot of physical pain in my life, but the way Chloe dealt with hers sounded logical and totally realistic. It was also realistic how Red slowly - emphasis on slowly - drew her out of her shell and made her life more joyful. It made me joyful too.

But most of all, it was the writing that spoke to me. Unfortunately it didn't occur to me to highlight notes until later in the book but here are a few examples.

* Old people always had hankies. They hid them on their bodies like ninjas with throwing stars.

* Tiny drips of rain spattered the lenses of her glasses, beaded on the flyaways frizzing from her hair, slicked her skin until she gleamed under the streetlights like a jewel.

* ...wearing a suit so sharp, it should be kept away from infants and waterbeds.

* ...it would be murder on her lower back. She sternly informed her nipples of these pertinent facts, but they gestured rudely at her and continued to tingle like a pair of slutty batteries.

I wish, oh I wish!

Lori, this writer has never really disappointed me. Her heroines are interesting, and while some might call them 'well off the beaten track', I say they're true to life; this author casts her nets wide and her characters are never cookie cutter people.

I think you'd also like the first book of hers that I read, "A Girl Like Her". Worth a try anyway, yes?

Lori:

This was my first book written by Talia Hibbert but it certainly isn't going to be my last. Thank you so much Carolyn, for pushing me to read this. 

It's hard to find a book that connects on every level but this one really did. I felt like Red did when meeting Chloe but the more I got to know her the more I wanted to know her. 

This was a delight from first page to last. Highly recommend.