Friday, March 16, 2018

The Shape of Water

Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab's classified secret -- a mysterious, scaled creature from South America that lives in a water tank. As Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.
 Lori: I was walking into our local movie theater to watch a fashion show and this movie was letting out. A woman, also waiting for the fashion show, greeted a couple who were leaving the movie. "How did you like it?" she asked. "It was wonderful," the woman part of the couple replied while her male companion answered, "It was okay for another one of those angry woman movies."

I knew I needed to see it when I heard angry woman movie.

Now I have to tell you how terribly disappointed I am to say, this was not an angry woman's movie at all. What it was, from start to finish, was a disjointed mess that never reached any of its many potentials.

It could have been a beauty and the beast type movie since there was a romance between a woman and a monster but well, it wasn't.

It could have been erotic because there was sex between a woman and a monster but well, it wasn't.

It could have been social commentary with the racism, homophobia and and sexism scattered throughout the movie but it wasn't any of those things either.

It could have been high camp with the movie musical sub-theme  running throughout but you guessed it: nope.

The story simply put: mute woman falls in love with fish man. Straight, white men are evil. Russian scientist is good guy but bad also because he's Russian. Black people are convenient as secondary characters and straight, black men are not good either (the only black men are the husband of Eliza's friend who is lazy and a coward and the men at work who moved the camera from the loading dock so they can smoke and avoid working) (yep, racist much?)

I really can't comprehend how this movie won an Oscar. It sincerely had no shape, no depth and no reason.

Carolyn, what did you think?

Carolyn:  I bought this movie with remnants of The Swamp Creature drifting around in my brain.  But I thought, 'this is 2018, this will be a much more sophisticated movie'. But alas - it wasn't.

It was all very basic. The bad guys were really, really bad. The good guys were very good. The monster was noisy. Everyone was cardboard. The entire tale was a good example of an author doing that godlike thing that authors do to patch up a plot, can't think of the word. But that's how it seemed to me, especially the ending, which God forbid I should spoil.

I suggest you read R. Lee Smith's Last Hour of Gann if you want an example of a great lizard hero with good depth of character. Of course, he talked, not bubbled.  ;-)

And I have to agree with Lori: don't know why this garnered an Oscar(s). Was it a technical Oscar?

Lori: It won Best Picture which makes no sense since it should win Razzies, not accolades.

I wonder if it won because it was a feminist film and Hollywood is all up in the Me, Too movement. Nothing else really explains this mess.

And the fish man wasn't even hot. *sigh*

Please someone, disagree in the comments so I can understand why anyone liked this hot mess.

Friday, March 2, 2018


This is my newest passion.

A year ago, after I started Weight Watchers, I also started doing mild exercise which was usually walking. One of the places I've enjoyed walking is what we call the 'jungle road' which is on the right side of the road a farm and then an abandoned tree cutting enterprise and on the left hand side is, well, jungle.

There's wild pigs in them thar jungly places and they occasionally dart into the road and get hit by cars. Carcasses are left at the side of the road and the small critters eat them clean. And that's where I've found skulls.

I love skulls.

So of course I brought a skull or two or ten home and cleaned them up and played with them. And the more I played the happier I became until I realized that I love doing this. Only problem is nobody can have ten skulls hanging around a small bedroom with the desire to have even more to play with.

So I opened an Etsy shop.

No sales so far but plenty of views and lots of fun. I'm planning to have even more fun with it as time goes on.

Plan on updates  ;)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Carolyn's March Pre-Orders

This is going to be an expensive month for me, but it's worth it. And, after all, I don't have anything going for me but reading, so I don't feel too guilty about it. :-) 

I believe I've spoken before about how my most favorite authors have been so successful that they now command hardback prices and, well, you know how that works. The actual HB book may cost between $20-$30 but unfortunately the ebook reflects that price. $12-$15 for an ebook. Yeah.

There aren't many authors I'll buy during their HB season: Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop and Simone St. James are a few if not most of them and they all have releases in March. Others will have to wait until paperback prices kick in and are reflected in the ebook pricing.

Seems a damn shame a person has to keep a ledger to keep track of what books can be bought when.  Sheesh!

Here we go then. It's a very talented month!

1.  Book: Burn Bright
    Author: Patricia Briggs
    Publisher: Penguin Group
    Releases:  March 6, 2018
    Price:  $13.99

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok's pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf--but can't stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills--his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker--to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn...

Love Patricia Briggs; love both her series. Long may she write. Don't particularly care for that cover, though.  

2.  Book: Lake Silence
     Author: Anne Bishop
     Publisher: Penguin Group
     Releases: March 5, 2018
     Price: $13.99

In this thrilling and suspenseful fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, an inn owner and her shape-shifting lodger find themselves enmeshed in danger and dark secrets.

Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others--vampires, shape-shifters, and even deadlier paranormal beings. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget....

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns such as Vicki's don't have any distance from the Others, the dominant predators who rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what is out there watching you.
Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe--one of the shape-shifting Others--discovers a murdered man, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, ancient forces are roused by the disturbance in their domain. They have rules that must not be broken--and all the destructive powers of nature at their command. 

Another great writer. Love her world of the Others and looking forward to more stories. BTW, really like this cover.  :-)

3.  Book: The Wolf Lord
     Author: Anne Aguirre
     Publisher: Self Published
     Releases: March 14, 2018
     Price: $2.99

Roguish. Reckless. Unreliable.

Raff Pineda has a certain reputation among the Animari. He’s the one to call if there’s a party starting, not the man to rely on when all hell breaks loose. Though he’s nominally the leader of the Pine Ridge pack, he defers to his second on the tough calls. Raff prefers to live fast and hard and keep his heart hidden, but a certain Eldritch princess won’t fall for his usual tricks, and their contract political marriage may be anything but convenient.

Ambitious. Elegant. Isolated.

Princess Thalia Talfayen may not have been raised by a witch in a tower, but she’s spent the last few decades locked up for a failed insurrection. Plotting and scheming come naturally to her; personal connections do not. Since she’s come this far in her unstoppable quest to claim the silver throne, she won’t hesitate to do whatever it takes to unite her people, even if that means giving herself to the big bad wolf…

I believe this is the third book of the Ars Numina series. This series is not your usual shapeshifter stuff. Like the world building, very realistic. 

4.  Book: The Broken Girls
     Author: Simone St. James
     Publisher: Penguin Group
     Releases: March 20, 2018
     Price: 12.99

Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants—the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming—until one of them mysteriously disappears... 

Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past—and a voice that won't be silenced...

Been following this author since her debut with "The Haunting of Mattie Clare". She is a true storyteller. 


I don't suppose many will want to buy at these prices but I hope you'll write the titles down somewhere and check them out when the pricing changes or they have a sale. Good writers, good stories - can't ask for more.  :-)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Friday Fiction Fantasy "Boy" Friend: His Road Home by Anna Richland

It would truly help if my memory was in better working order. Seems like I forget a book almost as soon as I read it.

So, I was looking through the book collections on my Fire and came across Anna Richland's His Road Home. Once it was again brought to my attention, I remembered this book fondly; I've reread it several times. It's not a long book but you get a lot of bang for your buck (so to speak).

May I introduce my interpretation of SSG Reynaldo Cruz, medic in the 5th Special Forces Group, US Army.

When the book opens, Rey's performing simple dentistry on a village elder in Afghanistan, who is so grateful that he offers Rey his daughter in marriage. It would be very iffy to turn this offer down and once Rey recovers he tells the elder that he has a fiancee and he must regretfully decline this most wonderful gift. But the elder wants to see a picture of this woman and Rey is up shit creek because he's got nada.

He searches photos from his old high school on the internet and decides on a classmate of his older sister. What can it hurt? She'll never know. No one will ever know, only an old Afghani.

Uh ...

Wait a minute ...

Yeah, famous last words.

Grace Kim finds out she's engaged from calls from her friends, family and her boss. Yeah, Rey had printed out her picture and it was found on him when he came into contact with an IED and ends up a bilateral amputee and with expressive aphasia. Grace goes to Washington DC (she's from Seattle) to find out WTF??

And that is when the story really begins; I won't say more because - spoilers.  :-)

This is a gem of a book and Rey is a gem of a hero. I fell in book love with him because he doesn't moan and groan; he hunkers down and gets with the program to overcome his injuries. He has to learn a new way to live and he wants Grace to be part of it. He is a true hero and just about the most loveable man I've ever read about.

This is also a road story, as Grace accompanies Rey back home, driving across country in Rey's classic old car. Reading how they both adjust to Rey's injuries is inspiring and I like that there's no overwhelming lust making them jump each other's bones. This could be termed a slow burn romance, I guess, since Grace went on a cruise counting fish (she works at the National Marine Fisheries Service) while Rey was in rehab and then there was the long car trip. And they had some adventures along the way.

I highly recommend this book. It's not a long book but it's packed with feels and with people you'd like to know.

And the hero is a true hero.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday Fiction Fantasy Boyfriend

Motorcycle Man. By Kristin Ashley.

The book that launched her career, bought her a house and made a million women weak in the knees for a bossy, bearded motorcycle hunk with a heart of gold.

Tack originally was a turn-off for me. I hated the bossiness, the ownership. But Carolyn asked me to read it again and pay attention to Tack's story: his sister's death, his kids, his trying to bring the MC to a less criminal standing.

Tack and Chaos MC remain illegal (nobody wants a bad boy who isn't bad) but he becomes the hero of many dreams. He would kill for those he loves. And he's a great lover, a real family man and a book boyfriend worth having.

Trying to find a picture to embody Tack was almost impossible until I suddenly thought of Sam Elliott. Older, hot, laconic, on a motorcycle. Sam Elliott is the kind of man that you know makes sure his lover orgasms first, can whip up pancakes on a Sunday morning and would whoop the ass of anyone who messed with those he loves.

Thursday, February 1, 2018


It's all about the love you find in your life. Husbands, children and friends.

When we leave this earth what we leave behind is how we touched people's hearts and lives.

I don't love easily and I rarely remain in love.

I love you Carolyn. Always will.

Happy Birthday.

Looking forward to another year of friendship, blogging and you.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Fantasy Fiction Fella Friday

This has been a hard one. I couldn't find a picture that fit the image carried in my mind and heart. I googled noses, I googled Italian noses; also big noses and Roman noses. Not very much luck. However the ones below came the closest (most of them, heh). 

May I introduce Sebastian Leslie Guy de Ath Ballister, Marquess of Dain, better known as The Lord of Scoundrels.

Don't even know who this guy is but he's handsome and looks historical, although Dain didn't wear chain mail. (Is that the guy that was in the Mummy movie?)

Now, this guy below has the body type I imagine for Dain. I just need Lea to color his hair for me, lol. Also, his nose isn't big enough.

See, that's the fascinating thing about this book: Dain thinks (thanks to his father) that he's monstrous, with a huge nose and big hands. Everything about him is too big and he hates himself and engages in self-destructive behavior in an effort to show he doesn't care, not at all. It's why he's so upset when the heroine, Jessica, calls him sensitive. Anyway, just pretend Chris is a brunette.
I don't know if multiple pics is what Lori had in mind, but I have a couple more. They're not big enough but they have the right coloring. And I know who one of them is! It's  Pierce Brosnan! Don't know the other guy. Unfortunately.

Still, this should give you some idea of Dain's attractiveness. 

In some ways he's still a little boy; he does bad things to give the finger to society and to show he doesn't care. But he does. And despite himself, he is fascinated with Jessica, who has no fear of him and cannot be intimidated. Their mantra is: "I should like to see you try!"

So, that's it. I did think of putting up a Carlos pic, but although he's the right coloring, he's just not tough enough looking.

I'm not sure just how many of these Fridays I can squeeze out, so we'll see. Lori might be on her own with this one, lol. 

Don't you just love good looking men??

(Gonna go ahead and post this 'cause it's Friday somewhere and my memory ... well, less said about that the better.)