Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Play by Kylie Scott

I didn't know erotica could be like this. Light and funny and heart wrenching, all at the same time. Welcome to Play, the second book in the Stage Dive series.

Malcolm Ericson is drummer and peacemaker for the group Stage Dive. He is also the clown, which is a good cover for his worries and the one great heartbreak he's forced to endure.

Our heroine, Anne Rollins, meets Mal at a party thrown by her neighbor's old roommate and her husband, another member of the band. Mal's feeling no pain and zeroes in on Anne, much to her confusion.

"Honestly, this whole monogamy thing. It takes so much getting used to, man." Mal set the distinctly cranky brunette away from him, the muscles in his arms flexing. He deposited her gently back down onto the floor. "Apologies. I'm sure you're very nice and all but my heart beats only for Anne."

Mal threw himself at my feet. I scuttled back in my chair in surprise.

"Forgive me, Anne! I didn't mean to stray."

Anne, whose roommate has absconded with the couch along with owing 2-3 months rent will lose her apartment, until she comes home from work one day and finds she has a new roommate, namely one Malcolm Ericson, and a new couch.

From this point on, I laughed my ass off at these two 'different' lovers. Romeo and Juliet they ain't. And while seemingly self absorbed, overbearing alpha heroes make me grit my teeth, I had no problem with Mal. I'm not even sure he's an alpha.

I'm a sucker for a sense of humor from anyone.

There's a deep, dark secret Mal is hiding which turns out to be not such a secret, but it still breaks his heart. Anne is there for him.

I cannot say how much I admire Anne. She not only puts up with all Mal's shit, she becomes his rock, the foundation of his life. It was a pure pleasure watching it happen.

Oh! This is what the cover looks like:

I totally loved this book. The erotica wasn't overwhelming and ... it was joyful. I can't say it any better than that. Mal was an unusual hero for this genre, but he captured my heart along with Anne's.

The first book in the series is Lick, David's story; the third book is Lead, Jimmy's story. And OMG, Lead just might be better than Play! Jimmy is so broken and we get to follow him as he overcomes his past and finds love in his present and future. *sigh*  The fourth book, Deep, Ben's story, is due out March 31, 2015.

Amazon Link

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hawaiian Christmas

Christmas in Hawaii. A first time with more family, more fun and more misunderstandings.

I just started my new job but the patients were generous and gifted us all with a lot of fruit. A lot of fruit.

I made two banana  breads using different recipes. My first banana breads from scratch.

But then there were so many lemons (we have a lemon tree also) and I wanted to use them in baking. So I made lemon cookies. I altered the recipe for more lemon flavor (thank goodness), They were easy and delicious.

Lemon Cookies

1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar

 Cream together and add

1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Juice and zest of two lemons
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a dash of salt
3 cups flour

Bake in rounded teaspoons at 350.


Merry Christmas Everyone from Lori and Carolyn

Friday, December 19, 2014

Happier Holidays

So I'm finally working. Talk about a huge relief. It was starting to feel like it would never happen and then it happened. A job I had interviewed for and not gotten called and I started the next day. (They hired someone local who didn't work out so they decided to let the commuting girl do it instead.)

Anyway, it's a Christmas gift to be able to go to work every day, talk to people and be productive. And make money. I especially like the making money part. And coming right before Christmas was perfect timing so I can afford to spoil my child a little.

I plan to write more about my job because it's fascinating to work in an environment I know so well (front desk of a doctor's office) but in Hawaii with all the strangeness and foibles of the people. I've only been there three days but so far:

I brought home three batches of bananas someone gave from their banana tree. And three avocados.

In three days we've had more walk-ins than I've experienced in my entire working life. No joke, people are so casual with appointment days and times they almost don't exist.

The patients take care of the doctor. This is the coolest thing ever. One patient is a professional masseuse and she gives him a message during his lunch hour (not daily... when she feels he needs it). Another brought food. Another is making him smoothies to detoxify him.

It's a super busy office and they do things differently than I've ever seen. So I'm going to have to learn to work more Hawaiian style. That should be fun.

As a side note: I have LOSING HOPE available free at Amazon and next week will be offering another title. Just a little Christmas gift to anyone interested.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


I'm employed and things are a world happier now. However the commute is sucking the life out of me and I'm exhausted.

So have a free novel on Amazon and we'll talk later.

(Question: my computer has a key that doesn't work. Can you guess which letter it is?)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Nothing's Happening

Seriously, life is bland, boring and unmemorable.

Not reading, not writing. Started a story but it seemed to have too many lesbian overtones that ceased and desisted. Not cooking because my SIL is trying to see how many places she can put lime and start an anti-citrus crusade.

Still watching Gilmore Girls. Holiday shopping all done. Still unemployed.

Mollie and I in our Gilmore inspired life did stop and look at Christmas plans as decided by family and agreed that it wasn't what we wanted. So we're not doing. The family will be having Christmas dinner with the SIL's BFF while Mollie and I will do a spaghetti and meatball dinner at home just the two of us. With New York cheesecake for dessert.

I think we'll enjoy the time together more than being with non-family and trying to pretend we fit in.

Every book I'm starting is losing my interest quickly. I think I'll just be waiting for a magic realism book to show up.

Otherwise, nothing else to say. Hope everyone is experiencing some holiday madness of the fun kind.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Living La Vida Gilmore

The Gilmore Girls is on Netflix and I'm binge watching. It's a great show, almost like a romance novel appearing on the screen in front of you. I love it an embarrassing amount.

I told Mollie we should try to live like we're a TV show: witty repartee, adventures, enjoying ourselves. Of course in TV, everything is settled within an hour, good people always win in the end and depth is often missing. Still, recognizing that one is not on TV but living as such can still make life more fun.

And it's a lot easier to live that way when trying to just get along.

So last night we went to the Waimea Christmas parade. It was mostly a lot of large trucks decorated with lights but still...  It was local and something we wanted to experience. We got there almost an hour and a half early and it was already crowded. We found a place to park the car and then to park our asses.

It rained.

We sat in the rain for hours, one hour of it watching a parade. It was a soft rain but constant and by the end, we were soaked to the skin, shivering and mildly miserable. What would the Gilmore Girls do in that situation? We went to Tex's Drive-In and had hot chocolate and french fries. We talked to the people around us who also were soaked and happy. It was nice.

I intend to write more about life among the Gilmores later but right now I'll share some parade photos.

My favorite, Santa in an outhouse.
 Most of the parade was large trucks like this one decorated.
 This car was adorbs.
 And our roller derby girls were skating in the parade. Love me a holiday parade with roller derby babes.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Taylor Swift

I'm an unabashed Swiftie.

My daughter and I just recently discovered Tay-Tay (okay, we're really big fans) and oh my goodness, we completely found her at the right time.

Taylor is like a feminist icon. She's completely in control of her career, she's talented as crazy and she's reached a place in her life where she doesn't give a shit what people say about her, and in some cases, she's right back in their faces mocking them.

This video, Blank Space, is fabulous. She mocks the stories about her and then later in the video plays the crazy card. She brings a light to the cray-cray behavior she's accused of and totally owns it.. She makes crazy look good.

And she's all about empowering her fans. Mollie and I were reading some of her quotes and they were awesome. She calls herself a feminist, she says women need to learn how to be alone in order to be with others, she faces her critics and she's what she should all aspire to be.

She's just so awesome.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Writing Tics

It seems like just about every book I've read lately has the heroine biting or nibbling her lower lip. I can't say I've ever seen this habitually in RL. I've seen people catch their upper or lower lip between their teeth if they're in a quandary, but not very often. It's just not done often, especially if you're wearing makeup.

The think is, once you've seen it in a book, then it seems to happen every other page, or at least once a chapter. All I can think is that the heroine's lip must be very sore and raw and red.

Not a good look.

There also seems to be more whispering these days. Even the heroes have gotten into the habit. Couples have whole conversations in whispers. Very disconcerting. And what's the big secret anyway? They're usually alone, probably having or planning to have sex, and there's no one around to hear.

It might be meant to denote intimacy. But, if carried on too long, it gets me all upset. One day, one character is going to tell the other: "Would you repeat that? I couldn't hear you."


I know there are more tics but these are the real biggies for me and I can't think of any others right now. But as soon as I start reading again, I'll come across one, sure as shooting.

How about you? Are there writer's tics that tick you off?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I'm Grateful

Happy Thanksgiving.

The turkey is cooked and cooling down before slicing. The sides are made. The pies look amazing. And despite all the hardships this year has brought I'm thankful.

I'm thankful that I have a friend like Carolyn who would move heaven or the other place to help out those she loves.

I'm thankful to Lea who always says yes and laughs and dares me.

I'm thankful to the friends we made through blogging: especially AZ and Willa.

I'm thankful to the authors who have enthralled me, pissed me off, engaged me and enraged me.

I'm thankful to our community.

I'm thankful to Dear Author as a reader who has met new books and as a writer who got her first professional review.

I'm thankful to a community of strangers for reading, writing and sharing themselves.

I'm thankful for another year with nmy daughter and the promise of more to come.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving (Almost)

Today's the day before Thanksgiving and it's Mollie and my first holiday with family in um... about nine years. And she's thirteen years old.

We're going to my SIL's best friend's house but we're bring the bulk of the food (and the bulk of the people). Besides my bro, his wife, me and my kid we also have my nephew Kyle (26 y/o, funny and damned good looking). Then there's our hostess Cindy and her BF, and another friend of theirs and her grown daughter.

My SIL Myrna is a mini-Martha (Stewart, that is) and so this holiday is a big deal for her. She's brining two turkeys and we'll be chopping and slicing and julienning most of today.

I've been slowly adjusting to being the beta female of the house and letting Myrna be alpha. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't have a beta personality but there's no way that two alpha women can share a home. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's proving to be very hard.

But I'm really excited about the upcoming holidays. I'm thrilled beyond thrilled that we're going to have people to share this with. We have a second Thanksgiving planned for Friday so it can be family only, including Myrna's mother who has functioning dementia (she can't stop talking about the Catholic church and crazy shiz).

I told my brother he's become a half-assed Mormon with his sister-wives... he did it wrong by having a sister and a wife. **snort**

But we're all slowly adjusting. And this holiday season looks to be wonderful because we can finally celebrate with more people we love and make it more special.

And I started writing a fan fic. Something small and fun to start to enjoy the process more. Go me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Refinding The Joy

So nanowrimo done did me in. Again. But it opened a door for me that I'm cautiously peering through and wondering about. I realized that I don't generally like writing anymore.

So I decided to quit. But that's the cautious part because I don't know what that means.

I do know that writing for publication is done right now. It doesn't mean forever but I think (I know) that I'm taking a year off from writing for publication. Maybe forever. I don't know.

Writing because I love to write... now that's another story.

I've always written. Well, at least, since 7th grade, age 13. So 43 years I've written. (Yup, not joking about this old fart stuff.) It used to be poetry, short stories. Then poetry only. Occasionally an attempt at a novel that died 70 pages in. Then fan fiction (love those Divo boys!). And then publication.

On my birthday I released a novella, Surviving America's Sweetheart which got reviewed at Dear Author. A good review and truly one of the best moments of my life. It was great and I saw my little story sell about 60 copies altogether and that was the end of that and I began to wonder if that was the best it got?

And I'm still wondering that.

Then today Carolyn and I had one of those conversations talking about an old story and we started to what if, our way of plotting something out. And we laughed and came up with crazy ideas and it was so much fun and so much of what we used to do.

I realized that having fun with writing got replaced with writing to please an audience. I used to write to please me and Carolyn.

So for the next year I'm writing to please me and Carolyn. After that.... we'll see.

The blog is staying right here and we both intend to keep talking about romance and other stuff. We might even start talking more about writing.

We'll see.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Imperfections of Age

I've been in a real reading slump. Nothing new is appealing to me. So I've been re-reading some oldies but goodies ... at least I thought they were.

It was the Born In trilogy by Nora Roberts.

Please do not mistake this for a review. This is me lamenting the fact that these books did not affect me as they did when I first read them.

This sucks.

I didn't like any of the heroines this time round. Born in Fire Maggy was a bitch,  Icy Brianna was a doormat and Shameful Shannon was almost deliberately obtuse. I did learn something about blowing glass (Maggie), but recipes were not included in the perfect house(not a)wife's book. And how convenient two of the sisters are talented enough artistically to have international showings (Shannon didn't have to suffer for her art at all; her brother-in-law set everything up.)

I loved two of the heroes, Rogan and especially Gray. Gray was a pure delight in book three and it wasn't even his book, lol.

I don't think I'm happy with Nora anymore; her characters (especially the females) are pattern cards for each other and the plots always sound too familiar. Her writing quirks now irritate me and yet, I still buy her. Because, hell, I might miss something!

Okay, maybe I should taper off slowly. I won't buy the mystical trilogies anymore, since they irritate me the most ... and yet I bought the third book of her latest (Blood Magick) and I don't even have the second one! I ended up skimming most of it. Didn't like that heroine either.  *sigh*

Oh, I'm so weak.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bill (the Swill) Cosby

Of course he did it. He has a long history of sexual abuse. He has a long history of cheating on his wife. He has an illegitimate daughter. Why is this suddenly coming as a surprise to people or something to fight about?

These stories have been around since the 80s. There's nothing new here folks. In fact, Cosby settled a claim  out of court with a victim. Why would he pay a woman he didn't rape? What's that? He wouldn't. Duh.

This isn't racism. This isn't false accusations. Nobody is trying to destroy his career. He already did that himself.

And the reason all these stories are coming out now is because the world is changed enough that women telling the truth don't end their careers or have to prove their innocence. In this world we live in, we accept that women rarely make false rape claims and no one with two brain cells to rub together would think there was some sort of positive cache in being a victim.

Yeah, right.

Because with all these women telling similar stories, women who aren't trying to do anything but tell their stories and support one another, there's always someone who will try and victimize the victim.

Way to go American men.

**  I want to add a comment about George Will saying being raped is a coveted status for women on college campuses. Some men out there might think he knows what he's talking about and I want to speak out as a sexual assault survivor.

Anyone who reads anything I write knows that my daughter is the light of my life. I love her with all my heart, I love her beyond how I've ever loved anyone. So I've asked myself if I could have a life without having been sexually assaulted and therefore possibly never becoming this child's mother, would I want that life?

Fuck yes.

George Will, you're a disgusting human being. I pray no one you ever love goes through the delight of a rape status change, you pathetic piece of shit.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Some Random Shit

We have a gang of wild turkeys roaming the neighborhood. Have actually been woken up by them underneath my bedroom window, gobbling. And they walk down the road like they own it.

Other day I was driving and I saw them on the front lawn of a neighbor's house, all hanging out but one all puffed up with feathers open and on display.

Ah, romance.

My Kindle Fire died. Pain. Suffering. Heartache.

Actually, I blame the Millie Criswell books. They downloaded on my sweet Lucifer and then his fire went out.

I fucking hate you, Millie Criswell.

Other news: the DC Universe is alive and well on television and Mollie and I are loving it. Arrow, Flash and Gotham. And there's a Teen Titan live action in the works. Can you say squee?

And still on point with nano. Lea finished already (the bitch) but I plan on crossing that finish line. And my nephew, the graphic designer, is being put to work making a book cover. I expect some ripped bodices or I ain't using it.

Speaking of the nephew, he wanted me to read him a sex scene I wrote so I got out The Bodice Rippers and did. I believe he may be gay now...

His kisses transported her to the glorious days of her youth when she always felt free and excitable. Days she would ride her horse Jeremiah for hours on end, reveling in the feeling of her crotch rocking hard on the saddle. Nobody understood her obsession with that horse but the saddleboy was often seen sniffing the saddles so maybe he understood after all.

And don't forget...

"Please don't," Hermoine gasped looking at the hair that curled darkly on his chest, his shoulders, his upper arms and down to the knuckles of all his fingers including the extra one, "please don't kiss me until I can't speak, please don't manhandle my love mounds and then throw me on the bed ravaging me until I squeak with pleasure and climax for a full six minutes, my love tunnel tight and taut and moist against your raging manhood."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Proof that arrogance and stupidity are not limited to romancelandia ...

Texas Suit

Millie Criswell

So yesterday I had a bunch of Harlequin books download on my Fire, five of them chick lit by Millie Criswell. (I vaguely remember pre-ordering them, all for $0.).

God, they're bad.

I like chick-lit and will put up with a lot but oh my gawd, these are bad. I mean, in the first page there's so much info-dump that you think, 'aha, I now know everything'. Except somehow she manages to info-dump on every single page.

Every conversation is an info-dump.

No actions are considered. They just happen with an info dump to explain them.

And the conversations!!  Okay, I'm a conversation snob. Characters need to sound the way people actually talk. Nobody talks the way these characters do. Which by the way, always contains more info-dumping.

Did I mention that everything she writes is an info-dump? Yeah? I didn't think so.

Ha! I'm going to delete them all off my sweet little Fire (named Lucifer) (cause I roll that way). And if I ever see another Millie Criswell book, I'll run the other way. I promise.

Otherwise I might get dumped on.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Singing Frogs

Today I was driving from my home in Honoka'a to Waimea, about a fifteen minute drive. Waimea has the big grocery stores and I was doing some shopping. Along the way I saw a cowboy, on a horse, rounding cattle into a pen.

I saw goats eating grass along a hillside.

Lots more cows and horses in pastures. And I thought I should write about this. After all I'm a city girl who's now living in the country. But wat would I write about forst? And the answer was immediate: the singing frogs.

We have these small frogs who are apparently new to the island (they try and try to keep control but sometimes you can't plan...  We have them everywhere here. I'll try to get a picture later but they're only about two inches long and just little frogs. But when the sun comes down they sing. And I don't mean they croak, I mean they sing. Their sound is almost birdsong, it's like a trilling whistle. And they're loud.

Our very first night here, we arrived at the house and I immediately asked, "What kind of bird is that?" Never heard of a bird singing in the dark. But it was my first hearing of the frogs.

Despite living in the "country", it's rarely quiet here. We have a lot of dogs always barking (and one that bays constantly). There's someone's radio down the street and occasional traffic. But later in the evening, there are times when everything goes still and I can lie in bed and listen to the frogs.

Sometimes I whistle back and if there's one by the window, my whistle will make it go silent for a moment. I've done it a few times, tried to answer it's song with my own.

It's really something. Singing frogs. I know they annoy a lot of people but I think they're wonderful. And I love the music they share.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews, Part Two

Carolyn loved it and I've discovered recently how good Ilona Andrews is... and this book is phenomenal!

Carolyn said she's hero-centric and Mad Rogan is her kind of hero. Well I'm heroine-centric and Nevada is my cup of tea. Easily motivated by her need to protect her family, a woman capable of killing because it needs to be done and feeling remorse later... dang, she's good.


I was won over by the hero of this book. He's obviously damaged and although Nevada calls him a psychopath, I don't think he is. He has a complicated history with his family (the world has magic and powerful magical families 'Houses' create progeny over a need to develop the magical line further) and of course, he's a killer. His magic is huge and completely destructive.

Mad Rogan kills and suffers no remorse. But he isn't without feeling. And his attraction to Nevada is much more than just the desire to slake that Nevada thinks it is.

I did have one problem with the story and that was in the sex-y stuff. The H/h don't have sex and there's only three kisses in the book (I believe). But Mad's power is so strong that he can telekinesis-touch a woman sexually and he does it to Nevada without her permission. I disliked that. It wasn't rape but it was wrong. Bringing a woman to orgasm the second time you kiss her just to prove you the man was sleazy. It made me uncomfortable.

But that was my only issue. I loved the story telling, the world building and I adored the characters.

Is Book Two here yet?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Requires Hate? No, It's Plentiful


The above link is fascinating reading. Apparently a woman who we knew as Requires Hate left a bloody path on the interwebs in calling people out as racist, privileged and bad writers. She was/is a nasty piece of business. She swung through the romance community briefly and did a bit of damage (not as much as she did elsewhere, thankfully).

I was aware of her because she sent people to this blog at one point after Carolyn had commented on a First Page on Dear Author. Ms. Hate took umbrage at Carolyn's comment and called her out on her blog with a link to our blog. It increased traffic and I saw it in the stats but it made no difference since nobody who came found anything to get enraged about.

It fascinated me to read the blog post because the kind of random hatred Ms. Hate spewed isn't all that unusual anymore.

This Story Is A Lie

This story is making the rounds about a KFC in England banning alcohol wipes for their customers because it offends Islamists. Now, the truth is that one customer asked for wipes and one store employee said they don't carry them (in fact, the store does carry them as all KFC stores do) and it became this viral lie that sweeping the interwebs.

The comments I read basically had so much venomous commentary that I felt sick. So much hate for people of a different culture that most of the commenters would kill all people who are Islamic, no matter what. The absolute rage of the people was terrifying.

I'm not on Twitter but I am on Facebook and my feed is getting smaller and smaller as I block more people. The amount of hate is beginning to wear me down. The hate for anyone who is 'other', whether the president of the United States or someone who dares to not be Christian.

Requires Hate is a perfect example of what the internet is becoming. And for those of us who don't require hate to get through our lives, it's becoming a scarier landscape every day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews


#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand-new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire . . .

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile situation. Nevada isn't sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she's kidnapped by Connor "Mad" Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run and wanting to surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan's after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she's getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

This is a new series for the Andrews and it's going to be a good one, IMO.

The controversial characterization of the hero I would imagine will be slowly sorted throughout the three books, because it certainly isn't resolved in the book. I'm talking, of course, about the emotional journey the two protagonists are forced to take; the misconceptions the heroine has about the hero and how she will change him. There are no other cliffhangers in this book, and there is evidence in the climatic final scene that Nevada is definitely having an effect on Rogan.

The writing, of course, is wonderful; I've yet to read an Andrews novel that is poorly written. I love the the humor and the action. But what they do best is characterization. Their characters have depth and slowly grow and change over the course of the book(s). This is how it is with the Kate Daniels series and I expect it will be no different with this trilogy. I'm looking forward to Rogan becoming the man he was meant to be.

There's a lot of broohaha about the name Mad Rogan, which I don't understand. Nobody made a big broohaha over Meljean Brook's character Mad Machen in Here There Be Monsters. I think of Mad Rogan as a personality compressed into an inner sanctum, which he's fortified with layers of steely indifference . He's never been loved and only his power is wanted by others, never the man. He prefers to be called Mad. It's a protection, a bulwark against the terrible things he's had to do and the feelings he has about his past.

I'm a confessed hero-centric reader and Mad Rogan is my cup of tea. Can't wait for the next book.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Nano Time Again

November, the month of leaves falling, turkeys cooking and writers obsessing with word counts. National Novel Writing Month, aka, nanowrimo (nano for short).

Now Lea, our dear friends, nano's every November and wins. She writes more than the allotted word count and is damned brilliant and I hate her.

The first nano I did, I wrote the rough draft of Sugar B's back In Town. that was a good nano. I haven't completed one since. But every year I start with plans and hopes and a heart full of bitter despair. ha!

I've never finished one since the very first.

But I'm doing it again. I'm rewriting a novel I've started a million times called Three Pines. It's magic realism, romance, cooking and gardening. It's all the things I love and I've yet to complete a full draft.

I'm starting anew and it's again a completely different story from any of the other drafts. This year I'm determined to finish.

Send chocolate. I'm going back in.

Friday, October 31, 2014


I'm having a crap week.

But beyond that, or maybe it's a part of that, I'm kind of bothered by a video that's making the rounds on social media of a woman walking through New York silently and the men who comment on her looks. The video is getting a lot of flack for having only black and hispanic men shown which is a true criticism, but not to take away the message of the video and that's that women cannot be expected to be treated as true human beings now or ever. They are property and as far as the masculine gaze goes, will always be property.

It's a disturbing video.

There's the man who walks next to her for 5minutes. Talk about terrifying. The men who tell her to acknowledge them (because a man commenting on your looks deserves to be acknowledged). They look her over like she's a piece of meat.

There are men out there who defend these men. "How can you meet the woman of your dreams if they act all uppity and won't acknowledge you? Men are the ones putting themselves on the line there."

Whiny shitheels.

A woman walking down the street who doesn't know you and is living her life, isn't the woman of your dreams. She's a person in her own right, living her life and she deserves the respect of being left alone to do it. She doesn't owe you shit. (Same thing with the friend zone. If you're in the friend zone it means she thinks you're her friend. It doesn't mean you deserve a chance with her. And if you think you're in the friend zone and it's a bad thing, you're a lousy friend and probably a privledged asshole.)

I have had a stranger, in the middle of the day on a downtown street, grab my breasts. On a bus on the way to work a man took my hand and placed in on his crotch. I had a man in an elevator engage me in polite conversation and then end it by saying "you have nice tits".

Tell me again that a stranger might be my beloved if I just give him a chance to engage with me. No fucking way. 

This video makes me slightly ill. Because any one of those men can take it a step further. A woman never knows even when walking down a busy street if she's going to be safe. And these men prove again and again that she isn't.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Understanding a Bad Review : An Author's Note

It's the dreaded one star review. That's the thing that makes some authors go batshit. Hell, apparently a three star review can do the same thing.

Authors are so special, aren't we?

Well, I'm not. I've got some stories out there with one and two star reviews. I have one review :  They Hated Me  that has to be one of the best reviews evah (yes, I'm Sami Summers and I wrote that wonderful story).

Isn't that a great review? And the comments cracked me up. Also, there were plenty of one stars on Goodreads for all my titles and Amazon has one or two also. What does that mean to me as an author? It means someone bothered to read the book and comment. That's all it means.

Some people aren't going to like what you write. It doesn't mean you failed and it doesn't mean they're wrong. It means that nothing is beloved by everyone. Hell, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott has 27 one star reviews.  (If Little Women has 27 one star reviews, how the fuckety fuck does any author think they're not going to get some also?)

I learned a long time ago while in college that your work needs to stand by itself and get ripped. There's nothing like a college creative writing class critiquing something you think is wonderful to help you lose your ego.

And that's all it is. Ego.We hate being told we aren't perfect but seriously, we aren't.

To Kill a Mockingbird has 111 one star reviews.
Pride and Prejudice has 43 one star reviews.
The Old Man and the Sea has 72 one star reviews.

Seriously Miss Author, you think you're better than that?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mea Culpa

I cannot tell you how guilty I feel for ever buying a Deborah Smith book.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

#HaleNo: Blogger Blackout

Apparently from today until Monday, bloggers are ceasing reviews and discussing our love of reading and the romance community.

We're joining with them because honestly, it's easy to forget why we're all in this and why we care.

And I'll begin with my little story:

I've always been a voracious reader but it was mostly literary fiction. Loved that shizz. Still do. Give me a beautifully written book and I puddle on the floor in a gooey mess.

But I also loved to buy Harlequins from Goodwill... a bag of them for about $5 and I could finish them off quickly and sometimes sigh. Sometimes get really annoyed because the heroines always seemed so damned weak. I hate really young heroines. Hate really innocent heroines. And a lot of the books I was reading had young, innocent heroines. So I had a great love/hate thing going on with the books.

And then somewhere I read a review for Absolutely Positively by Jayne Ann Krentz. I don't remember but since she was a Seattle author and I lived in Seattle, it was probably a local review. And I bought the book.

Ms. Krentz doesn't write innocent schoolgirls who need saving. Her heroes were alphas but her heroines were too. They worked together and saved each other. And I fell in love.

I read everything she wrote and hunted down her entire backlist (except the historicals because I just wasn't interesting in that genre). It might have ended there too except I was in a bookstore looking for anything else Krentz and somehow saw Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. I picked it up and read the blurb. Decided to try it.

My life changed forever.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hitler tries to self publish Mein Kampf: by Colin Falconer

Passing the Word

Janet of DA has always seemed so cerebral, an intelligentsia, if you will. I like this impassioned woman much better.

Lori:  I'm adding this here and not in the comments because I want to make sure it's seen.

I'm pissed off. Seriously seriously pissed off.

Reading the comments on DA and the number of women saying that they're afraid, that they've quit leaving bad reviews, that they're thinking of stopping blogging, it infuriates me. I liken it to someone getting raped at a bar so now no women will go to bars or drink or wear pretty clothes because I don't want it to happen to me.

Nobody can promise you safety. But nobody can promise you won't get hit by a falling meteorite when you leave your house today. But you can't live your life like that and you can't make choices out of fear alone.

And if you like to drink, go to a bar. If you like to review books honestly, review books honestly.

Demand safety.

If you like a bar but you know a rape happened in its parking lot, then ask the management to have a bouncer walk you to your car. If they won't, then go to a bar that will.

Harper Teen says they won't guarantee your privacy if you accept an arc for review? Don't review Harper Teen. But guess what? Random House will so give Random House your business. (Making a point, I have no idea what RH does).

The Guardian thinks its okay to publish a stalker opinion piece? Cancel your subscription. Ask others to cancel theirs. Let The Guardian know and move on.

Demand safety.

Don't hide. Speak up. Demand safety.

Everytime a blogger stops blogging or someone deletes a negative review in fear, the StGRB group gets their wings. We don't want that to happen.

Demand your safety.

Don't give up.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our Promise To You

With all the crazy out there and batshit authors, name calling, crazy-ass lawsuits... I think it's time Carolyn and I make a pledge to our readers.

1. We will never stalk you. Unless you're Dwayne Johnson. Then we will.

2. You can say shitty things about our books. So can we. In fact, we'll probably beat you to it.

3. We won't stop DNFing, giving crap reviews and being the foul mouthed mean girls we are. Why? We want to. And we earned it. You don't get this many grey hairs and wrinkles without earning something. For us, it's being who we are.

4. We will never support anyone who thinks it's okay to argue with a reviewer, to call a blog or blogger mean girls, or who thinks it's okay to dox someone. Seriously, you support doxxing, we will be nasty ass bitches and piss all over you.

5. We won't always agree with other women blogging/reviewing/being nasty-ass bitches but we'll support their right to do so. Just cause you don't like the tone or language, well... fuck you. Nobody needs your permission to be who they are. Including us.

6. If the STGRB likes you, we probably won't. If they hate you, we're probably fans.

7. Did I mention you can say shitty things about our writing and we just won't care? Seriously. You should see what they said about one of my first pages on Dear Author awhile back. Eviscerated my writing. After I ate a bucket of chicken and drank a liter of vodka I just laughed it off.

8. Did I mention not stalking, doxxing, or being special snowflakes. Seriously.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Selling

Found my book Surviving America's Sweetheart on pirating sites. Sent Takedown notices and of course, they're not taken down.

It's so frustrating.

On a separate note, I try to publish my books on four sites: Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and Kobo. It's interesting to note that B&N has the best sales of novels, Amazon has the best sales of the 99cent titles. And nothing sells on Kobo or Smashwords. Nothing.

I'm not choosing to go Amazon only but I can't see a reason to keep trying to sell on other platforms besides the main two when nobody buys.

I used to sell on All Romance but they make it too hard. They keep shutting down the account and demand updates that are impossible to access. So I stopped bothering.

Any reasons to publish beyond the 2? Love to know if there's a reason to bother.

Friday, October 17, 2014

This Week in a Glance (A Ragey Glance)

Oh where to begin...

We're expecting a tropical storm to hit our little island. My daughter's school is closed so it can operate as a civil defense center. Mollie's happy about it. Oh well.

Otherwise we're prepared. We have bottled water, oil for lamps, food and charged Kindles. We're ready to go.


This is driving me crazy. Now admittedly, I'm living with a Republican right wingnut who parrots everything Fox News says with a certain maniacal glee, but this Ebola shit is driving me batshit.

How many people have died from Ebola in the US this year? One. How many people are infected currently? Two. Both nurses who cared for the Liberian man who died in Texas.

So where the fuck is this horrible outbreak us US citizens need to fear? Still have a better chance of dying from domestic violence or AIDs than Ebola.

Please media, leave your fear mongering at home where it belongs.

And those special ass-wipes who want to close the country to Africans and/or blame Obama for Ebola: you just keep telling yourself that you're not a racist. Cause honey, you're the only one who believes it.

John Grisham

Oh dear God.... did he really? Really?

So according to best selling author John Grisham the jails are full of white 60 year old men who are locked up because they got drunk one night and accidentally looked at child porn on the internet and that bad, bad FBI caught them.

That's akin to "it wasn't rape, I just fell into a naked brutalized woman who wanted it".

Do you know how much child porn I've seen on the internet? None. Have I looked at porn on the internet? Yes.

One can't stumble onto child porn because it's illegal. You got to go searching. And Mr. Grisham's friend who got arrested (oh yeah, it's personal) (and yeah,60 year old lawyer who might have been drinking) did in fact choose to go onto a website that specifically said it was 16 year old girls.

Not a stumble. That was jumping in with both feet.

There was more too. According to Grisham looking at 16 year old girls being sexually assaulted (yeah, they're 16 and it's assault no matter what any old, white guys say) isn't as bad as say looking at young boys. See, that would be a crime. But 16 year old girls in porn isn't a crime.

They probably knew early on they wanted this for a career. Maybe we should applaud their go-get-em. Or maybe Mr. Grisham should never sell another book again as long as he lives, the sucking waste of humanity that he is.

And on a personal front

I have a job interview in 4 hours and I'm hoping not to get caught in the beginning of the storm on the way home.

My living situation is thus: my daughter and I moved in with my brother and his wife because they invited us a long time ago and my life wasn't working the way I wanted it to and I thought being with family and being back on the island might be the right thing.

Being back on the island is good for my soul. Everything costs more, the salaries are lower and I haven't been able to find work yet. But I see the ocean every day and we live in horse and cattle country and there's a happiness I can't express. In that sense, I'm home.

But one of the reasons we were invited is that SIL's mother lives her and she's almost full dementia and she needs to be in a home. But if she goes into a home, they lose a money source. So it turns out they were looking at the bottom line when we were invited cause they wanted someone to help pay for their home.

So right now there's a crazy woman in the middle of the house who never shuts up while ranting about the catholic church, dead nuns, the fact that she has no heartbeat and my SIL has stolen her life.

My daughter pretty much hides in the bedroom a lot because she doesn't want to deal with crazy lady who will focus on her if she sits in the living room. I hide because I live with republican wingnuts.

Life is fucking weird. And don't buy John Grisham books.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh

I don't read much erotica, although sometimes I wonder if most of romance is now erotica. However there are degrees and in my little world, Nalini Singh's new contemporary series is erotica.

I've always contended that everyone has their own touch of OCD and I reckon mine is collecting all the books in a particular series. I already had Rock Addiction and even though I didn't care for the insta-lust or pages and pages of graphic sex, when the next one, Rock Courtship, released, I bought it albeit not on release day.

Authors should celebrate people like me.

It was the blurb that decided me, that and the promo informed me it would be an unusual courtship. So here we go.

What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band's publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn't date clients--or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she's not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn't know is that David is a one-woman man...and he's madly in love with her. David's determined to prove he's worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea's about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

You might call the hero, David, an anomaly. I'm sure there's lots of women out there who would agree. He's a rock star that tried the groupie scene early on and didn't care for it so he stopped. He's a one man woman and he found his woman and he's been true to her although she won't give him a chance. I'm a little tired of heroines tarring every man with the same brush ("my heart was broken and I'll never trust again, get away from me, kind, handsome honest, sexy man") but I liked the way Singh handled this.

They memo'd each other. David could out spin the PR artist, lol.

This was a novella, so although there was sex it didn't completely overwhelm me. I'm sorry to say, it all starts to sound the same after awhile. This book was just the right size for the story and, unlike Rock Addiction they don't have sex until well into the book, 'cause they're too busy memo-ing.

And this story was about family, another reason I really liked it. We spend time with David's family and Thea's family which I loved. The problem near the end, which in a novel would have been drawn out for chapters and chapters, was efficiently taken care of and there were no big misunderstandings to keep the lovers apart while they agonized for pages and pages and PAGES!! (God, I hate that!)

Anyway, I do recommend this little book. I loved the hero, loved him. The heroine was good too, once she got over her hangups. Lori, try this one and see what you think.

The next book in the series is to be a full length novel, or so I understand and I'll be dithering again. To get or not to get ... arrgghh!


Lori: Nope. Although it was easier to read, it was still too erotic by half. And even if they didn't have sex till a third of the way through, they did it like rabbits the minute it started.

And I truly dislike the entire I can only express myself if my dick is inside you. These people couldn't talk while wearing underwear.

Sorry. Disliked it. Less than the first book but plenty.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ranty McRant Has Come to Town

So this is a personal ranty post...

I moved to Hawaii at the end of August. I had sent resumes out previously and had calls from people, I was feeling really hopeful that the job market here might be welcoming.

Oh my freaking God... this is a horror story.

First of all, there's the Hawaiian time thing going on. Example: I applied for one job which called me for an interview three weeks later. At the interview they said that they haven't had a receptionist for months and they're hoping to hire someone by November. You know, a month away.

Oh dear God.

Then there's the hospital. Had multiple job openings. I applied online and got a call when I was in Seattle. Manager said she loved my resume and I knew the computer system they used. Got to Hawaii and there's still multiple jobs. I email. Nothing. I call. Nothing. I go down twice and nothing.

All the jobs are now filled. I didn't even get an interview.

And of course my favorite thing wherever you go: at the end of the interview the promise that they'll contact and let you know what happened. They don't.

I'm getting so crazy frustrated. I've interviewed for jobs I could do in my sleep and no response. I send resumes and no response. I got an email from one place that said my resume and interview were incredible.... but they offered the job to someone else.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Reaper's Stand by Joanna Wylde

Carolyn: I've been waiting for Picnic's story, it seems like forever. Picnic is hawt, just the right age, and has a softer center than I expected. See, what happened ... well, let me put up the blurb first.

As Reapers Motorcycle Club president, Reese "Picnic" Hayes has
given his entire life to the club. After losing his wife, he knew he'd
never love another woman. And with two daughters to raise and a
club to manage, that was just fine with him.

These days, Reese keeps his
relationships free and easy--he definitely doesn't want to waste his time on a glorified cleaning lady like London Armstrong

Too bad he's completely obsessed with her.

Besides running her own business, London's got her junkie cousin's
daughter to look after--a more reckless than average eighteen-year-old.
Sure she's attracted to the Reapers' president, but she's not stupid.
Reese Hayes is a criminal and a thug. But when her young cousin gets
caught up with a ruthless drug cartel, Reese might be the only man who
can help her. Now London has to make the hardest decision of her
life--how far will she go to save her family?

Yeah, London has to make a decision. That's the whole crux of the story for me and I don't agree with what she decided. Totally don't agree, to the point it's affected my whole perception of the book, which up until then I'd been enjoying immensely.

Lori:  I just finished the book maybe like 10 minutes ago and let me say that this book did not work for me at all. Not at all.


To begin, I wanted Picnic's story. He's older, is a widower with two grown daughters and the president of the Reapers. It should have been a great story. Instead, his "heroine" is a woman with big breasts. Seriously. His attraction to her from the beginning is that she has large breasts he wants to fuck.

I was moderately repulsed.

But they get involved and in no time at all, London, the big bazoomed lady, is in a HUGE family crisis where her only way out is to betray the MC... and then to kill Picnic. Which isn't much of a spoiler since the book begins with that scene.

Could London have told Picnic what was happening and would he have been able to fix it? Why, yes. Yes she could have told him and yes, he would have rescued the damsel in distress and won the day. So why didn't she?

No damned reason at all.

That's right. For no reason at all, London decides that killing the man she's fucking who is the powerful president of a motorcycle club and could solve all her problems makes more sense than talking to him.

She's not just TSTL, she's too stupid to be readable.

Carolyn:  Totally agree with you, Lori. Haven't seen anything written about this in the reviews I've read. Seen stuff about almost non-consensual sex, but not murdering THE MAN YOU MIGHT LOVE! Not a spoiler, happens in the prologue. She pulled the damn trigger, ya'll. Now my next opinion may be a spoiler:


As far as she knew, the gun was loaded with real bullets. She pulled the trigger, fully intending to kill him, and like Lori, I'm going "tell him, tell him - he can fix it!' Even London thought Picnic might be able to fix it but she just wouldn't take the chance, No, she'd rather MURDER THE MAN SHE MIGHT LOVE! Yes, her cousin was in Cartel hands, but did she really think ... but, of course, she wasn't thinking because she was TSTL.

I cannot tell you how disgusted I am with her.  But, even worse, this book has a HEA, so y'all know what that means, right? Yeah. I can't imagine how he could ever trust her again.


I am so disappointed in this book, so disappointed. Lori gives it a D. I'll give it a C, because the writing was good and hey, it was Picnic.

But man, oh man ...

Check Out Az

Her Hands My Hands

You've probably already met AztecLady but if you haven't, go do so. She's totally on the ball and up to date with the EC/DA lawsuit... she has the best screencaps about the craziness and on top of that, she reviews books too.

We likey her a lot.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre

Ann Aguirre is a good writer, there's no question about it. This is book #2 of her 2B trilogy and a stand-alone. It has a lead named Lauren who has returned home to Sharon, Nebraska after flunking out of college and her always crush/love, Rob who is her best friend's brother and her always love.

Lauren has crippling social anxiety which was a huge part of her falling apart at college as she used alcohol and acting-out to cover up. Which led to some horrendous decisions. And Rob, well, he's movie star gorgeous, an accomplished carpenter and construction guy but not a genius. Which apparently everybody who has ever met him likes to let him know that his flame is dim. His color is muted. His B-I-N-G-O is missing the O.

Anyway, Lauren recognizes that Rob isn't book smart but he's brilliant in other ways. A fact which nobody else seems to understand because they all treat him like a drooling neanderthal (something that made no sense to me at all).

So Lauren and Rob crush on each other, finally get together, split up and then have a HEA. It was readable and everything but... well, the book just missed so much with me.

I constantly felt like the story was written not with a huge desire to tell a love story but rather with a desire to make a point. Lauren hooked up a bit in college and she's unashamed. There's nothing wrong with female sexuality no matter how it plays, she states a few times.

Rob is perfect except for his astonishing low IQ (which we never see evidence of except when he doesn't know the meaning of a couple of words, words that many people wouldn't know the meaning of) but he's understanding of Lauren's issues and he just... um, isn't realistic at all.

But more than anything it's about Lauren's growth and her multitude of messages. So really good writing that emotionally was connected to getting messages across rather than the story it was telling.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Defense Fund

A defense fund has been set up to help finance DearAuthor and Jane Litte in their fight against Ellora's Cave. Lori and I have donated and I hope readers of our blog will also. This is a free speech fight and will affect everyone in and out of Romancelandia.

Almost $30,000 has been raised already, just today.

DA Defense Fund

Just read this blog (thanks A.L. for the link) and wanted to link it too:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shopping Trip

Went over to The Passive Voice after Lori's post and thought this aspect merited reposting. Courtney Milan reminded us that SM Book Obessions is keeping a list (with links!) of non-EC books written by EC authors.

I'm not sure I can buy everyone; I'm not much into erotica. But I'm eyeing some Karen Stivali books. They sound like even if they are erotica, they have a good storyline and a plot! I find plots essential. ;-)

Everyone should do some shopping. Yeah.

More EC Madness

The Passive Voice

Jaid Black/Tina Engler just couldn't help herself. (Oh the crazy, it hurts, it hurts!!)

Anyway, read the Passive Voice post. See Jaid/Tina mock Courtney Milan by calling her a cookie. See Jaid/Tina come up with a conspiracy theory. See Jaid/Tina claim everybody got paid (even all those haters).

See the crazy for yourself.

Then get an aspirin. You'll need it.

Thanks to Has at Bookpushers for the link.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

You Can Help Jane and Dear Author

Jane needs statements from Ellora's Cave authors/editors about non-payment to help her case. If you've missed royalties or payments contact her at

Also, anything online that's been written by others about EC and their problems... send her links.

She's on the righteous path, my friends. And we're with her!

Monday, September 29, 2014

An Old Farts Take on Ellora's Cave

We're coming late to the party but seriously, is there any reasonable reaction to what's going on? Ellora's Cave, publishing house of what their founder and CEO calls 'clit lit' is suing Jane Litte of Dear Author for her blog post The Curious Case of Ellora's Cave.

Jane blogged about E.C.'s current business predicament involving the lay-off of editors and cover artists, dropping sales (which EC themselves have addressed) and unpaid royalties, something authors have been complaining about for perhaps the last year.

This is Jaid Black/Tina Engler:

So Jaid was asked about authors being unpaid and this was her response:

 What about the dwindling sales, Jaid?

What about the threats  against the authors who speak out about non-payments and mismanagement?
What about the shopping sprees and property buying you've bragged about on Facebook while author's go unpaid?
And more than anything Jaid, why are you suing Jane for blogging about it?


You Go, Ms Milan

I ♥ Courtney Milan.

That is all.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Someone got a great review! 

Congratulations Lori!  ♥

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Scattered E-publisher Thoughts

I have a question I haven't seen addressed. It might have been, I just haven't seen it. Perhaps I should ask over at DA or SBTB, but I'm more comfortable in this setting and you never know, someone might answer.

EC isn't the only epublisher to go into meltdown. It's happened to others with just as much scandal and you can be sure it'll happen again. Unfortunately I don't remember their names, a hazard of being a small, dishonest epub, but Absolute Write will have them.

Here's the thing. I've never heard of any legal sequellae because of epub skulduggery. The epubs just go away. No one is arrested for fraud or stealing or bad business practices or anything.

See, my observation is epubs seem to attract crazies who want quick money, or just a lot money period and get it by starting their own publishing house. They'll milk the cow for awhile, do everything they can to keep the left hand from knowing what the right hand is doing such as threatening authors and playing fast and loose with money. Then, after squeezing everything they can from every person they control, they'll declare bankruptcy and slink off into the night. Or start another epub a couple of years later.

Was it Barnum who said there's a sucker born every minute? Well, there's a writer yearning to be published born almost as often and unfortunately many of them are shark bait. If there's anything I've learned from all this, it's BEWARE! Double and triple check your research and read that contract carefully. (Of course contracts don't always matter to a dicey epub, so sign at your own risk. I think it safe to say most epub authors would not choose to sue over a contract dispute because principles can be so expensive!)

I do want to say that the epub who accepted my manuscripts, Lyrical Press, and edited and published them, was a joy to work with. I was lucky because I did no research at all. At all! Beginner's luck. Lyrical is now with Kensington and I wish them well.

So, was anyone ever arrested or is all this perfectly legal?

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

The first book I read of SAAs was garden Spells, and it instantly became one of my favorite ever books. I love magic realism and don't find a lot of it in American authors and even less of it done well. Garden Spells was magic realism done brilliantly.

Her other books have been enjoyable but didn't have the same emotional resonance for me and I assumed that SAA would be a one book wonder for me, which was fine. I wouldn't stop reading but I'd never again feel that same deep bond to any of her books.

Lost Lake changed everything.

It's a story of Kate, who lost her husband, and her daughter Devin, reconnecting to Kate's Aunt Eby, to the summer Kate turned 12 at Eby's cabin at Lost Lake and to her own self a year after the death of her husband. It's the story of the people who come to Lost Lake every summer because there's something there they need (love, friendship, fresh chances).

It's breathtaking.

This was the book that came out of Sarah Addison Allen's life after breast cancer (she's been 2 years in remission). This is writing that rooted deep in my heart and eked tears from my eyes as my breath caught.

Unlike other books, the magic is just as prevalent but this time it isn't cutesy or overpowering. Not everybody contains magic but it runs along the bottom of the lake (an alligator with his own history), it runs in Kate and Eby and their line of women who lose their husbands...

There was an ache of loss in the book but even more, there was hope and belief in the future. It isn't romance although romance is important. More than that it's a book about women coming back to life, back to themselves and back to each other. The women are the story and they ebb and flow into each other creating something brilliant.

It was brilliant. I'm going to read it again and again. I hope you might also.

Carrying on with the Striesand Effect

Friday, September 26, 2014

Deacon by Kristen Ashley

Go away if you don't like spoilers.

So Deacon is a big, handsome brute who we've kind of met before in the KA world and his story is like a return to the KA I know and love (at least for 90% of the book).

The heroine is Cassie and she's smart, capable, not a ditz and thankfully isn't all about big hair and make-up. Cassie owns and operates some cabins in the woods (heh) and she works her ass off trying to make them work. Deacon rents Cabin 11 every now and then for a number of years. He doesn't talk to Cassie, he isn't friendly but he keeps coming.

Then for a Christmas he lowers his guard a little when he shows up and all the cabins are rented and he stays with Cassie in her house and they get friendly. Not sexy, friendly.

Then later it gets sexytimes.

So this is very KA the way I like her. Deacon has secrets and Cassie slowly uncovers parts. Deacon, per KA, is an anti-hero because he breaks the law but like all of KA's heroes he doesn't really do bad things. He's an outlaw with a moral code.

So there's a big misunderstanding and then a big reconciliation and honestly, it's a good 90% of a read until the misunderstanding/break-up. Because at that point Cassie gives Deacon a thumb drive with a song on it that expresses her feelings. We don't know the lyrics to the song because KA didn't get authorization to share so if you want to know this important part of the story then you have to go to You Tube or something to look it up.

That annoys me.

Annoys me further when Deacon responds by doing the same damn thing with another song.

Ms Ashley... when you write a book, it makes sense you might want to have the characters say what they feel with their own words instead of forcing your readers to either stop reading your book to go find a song or not bother and not know something important that's being communicated.

I really hated that. Plus I didn't care for the damned songs when I heard 'em so it made the book seem maybe a little less than it was.


So the end of the book after Cassie and Deacon get into a little bondage play goes to this really weird place of matching butt plugs and Deacon liking getting his ass reamed by Cassie and his big butt plug.

Let me say this again: our big, bad, hulking hero likes to get butt fucked by his woman.

Yeah, barf.

So I'd recommend the first 90% of the book. But after the big misunderstanding and Cassie brings out the butt plug: STOP READING! Really.

You'll thank me later.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Surviving America's Sweetheart

My new book is available for pre-order on Amazon.


What would happen if the Bachelorette found herself in the Hunger Games?

Riley Davenport has it all. She’s America’s Sweetheart, the lucky woman seeking her true love from a pool of twenty-five handsome bachelors. All she has to do is survive.

The odds are stacked against her. With Lucifer and God trying to one-up each other using reality television as their new battleground, Riley must fight murderous demons, boring angels and jaded TV hosts for her happily ever after.

As long as the hot tub isn’t filled with molten lava, she might have a fighting chance. If she doesn’t lose her life, she might lose her heart.

It was a First Page on Dear Author:

First Page; Surviving America's Sweetheart


it releases on my birthday. On Amazon. On B&N. On Smashwords. On Kobo.

But only Amazon has a pre-order.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh

Carolyn: So I bought this book, Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh. I love her psy-changeling books. She's a really great writer. And who can resist a contemporary with a sexy rock star?

Lori: Not you apparently. Have you read it yet? Because I tried it, especially after you've been telling me to read her.

Carolyn: Well I was telling you to read her series.

Lori: Now you're going to get specific?

Carolyn: It takes you about two years to read something I suggest. Then you read something different.

Lori: Notice how we're fighting to avoid reviewing this book?

Carolyn: Well most of romancelandia seemed to love the book.

Lori: Maybe we live on the outskirts of romancelandia. Or we live on romanceislandia. I did NOT like it. Hell, I couldn't get past the first chapters, it was so ridiculous and sex times as to be uninteresting.

Carolyn:  I'm not a big fan of insta-lust either. And these characters were at it so much I expected them to get bladder infections.

Lori: Heh. I might use that.

Carolyn: Bless your heart. Although I did like the secondary characters and their stories. Did you?

Lori: Didn't get far enough in the book to see any. Once Mr. Hottie banged the virgin librarian a million times the first night after not exchanging a single word with her previous to telling her he wanted to bang her, I needed an Advil.

And I most definitely did not want to read a story where a man thinks a hard dick means love and a virgin librarian thinks her first time with a stranger against a wall is perfectly okay. Not for me.

Carolyn: When did we get old?

Lori: When we lost interest in sex for sexs' sake?

Carolyn: Try her other series. Not as much sexy times and you'll like it, I promise.

Lori: Okay, okay. By the way, I have this weird hair growing on my chin...

Carolyn: Let me get the tweezers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NEW RELEASE!!! Losing Hope by Lori Green

Whoever said three times a charm wasn't counting on Hunter and Laci. Twice married and twice divorced, getting involved a third time would be the greatest folly of their lives. But Hunter is determined to prove to Laci that he can be her Price Charming while Laci just wants to start her own business and maybe adopt a cat. 

They have a hard history behind them but happily ever after doesn't care about what was, only about what can be. And with Laci's brother creating his own chaos, her friends going crazy for her ex and all the Ben and Jerry's she can buy, Laci might finally discover her happiness.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Night's Honor by Thea Harrison

I love Thea Harrison.

She's a definite autobuy for me and I await each book with impatience. Night's Honor was no exception.

It started out fine. The characterization was excellent and the plot was heating up. Tess was growing and changing and losing her fear (that was the main emphasis of the book) and Xavier was quietly falling in love.

Perhaps my problem with this book was that the conflict was mostly internal. There was one big scene where the bad guys ambush our heroes and that was it. The book sort of petered out after that. In fact, I couldn't believe it was finished when I got to the end. It was like the author couldn't decide whether to write a full length novel or a novella.

Frankly it felt like half a book. Okay, maybe three quarters. I was dissatisfied at the end and therefore in my lowly humble opinion (mlho) this book is not as good as Kinked or Oracle Moon or even Dragon Bound.

I did like the characters, but the storyline left me wanting more. Of course a Thea Harrison book is way above many others, so I can't complain too much. If I gave out stars, I would have to give this one four out of five.

Now I sit and wait (somewhat impatiently because tempus does fugit, you know) for her next one.