Tuesday, October 25, 2016

More October Books ...

I could not pre-order these because they're self published and did not offer that option. That, and Courtney Milan is practically notorious for not having a firm release date.  :-) First up is:

1.  Keepsake (True North Book 3)
     Author: Sarina Bowen
     Publisher: Rennie Road Books
     Released: October 25, 2016
     Price: $3.99

There's a first time for everything.

Lark Wainright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.

When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.

Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.

Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.

Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he's good for much more than farm labor.

I'm reading this one now. Been waiting for Zach's story. I like everything about his series, the setting (Vermont), the people, the writing. I close the book(s) with a happy sigh because some very nice people have found a very nice ending and I love it when a plan comes together.  

2.  Hold Me (Cyclone Book 2)
     Author: Courtney Milan
     Publisher:  Self Published
     Released:  October 25, 2016
     Price:  $4.99

Jay na Thalang is a demanding, driven genius. He doesn’t know how to stop or even slow down. The instant he lays eyes on Maria Lopez, he knows that she is a sexy distraction he can’t afford. He’s done his best to keep her at arm’s length, and he’s succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Maria has always been cautious. Now that her once-tiny, apocalypse-centered blog is hitting the mainstream, she’s even more careful about preserving her online anonymity. She hasn’t sent so much as a picture to the commenter she’s interacted with for eighteen months—not even after emails, hour-long chats, and a friendship that is slowly turning into more. Maybe one day, they’ll meet and see what happens.

But unbeknownst to them both, Jay is Maria’s commenter. They’ve already met. They already hate each other. And two determined enemies are about to discover that they’ve been secretly falling in love…

Lots of interesting things about this book, am anxious to see if Milan brings it off. If I remember correctly (from Trade Me), there is a transgender heroine and I admit I'm curious about the logistics of it all. This is out of my life experience and although I've learned a lot since the advent of the internet (I'll turn 70 in February O.o), I'm not familiar with this segment of Romance. Looking forward to reading.  

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Found Another Book *blush*

So, this one sounds interesting and even better - Lori might like it!

Love Literary Style  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Carolyn's Books for November

Rather a short list for the month of November, but they are all standouts.  :-)

1.  Archangel's Heart
     Author: Nalini Singh
     Publisher: Penguin
     Release: November 1, 2016
     Price: $7.99

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.
Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…
Nothing will ever be the same again.

I love this series and, with this book, it's back to Elena and Raphael. While I like reading about Raphael's Seven and their stories, Elena and Raphael are my favorites. They're both so strong and yet so vulnerable. I like how they both grow from book to book, Raphael learning to be more human, Elena discovering her strengths, both of them loving each other. *Sigh*

2.  Someone to Love (A Westcott Novel)
     Author: Mary Balogh
     Publisher: Penguin
     Release: November 8, 2016
     Price: $7.99

The New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kisslaunches a new series with the death of an earl and the revelation of a scandalous secret...
Humphrey Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had...
Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…
Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.

It will be interesting to see how Ms Balogh pulls this one off. You've got some "iffy" tropes here - guardian/not-quite-ward; ligitimate? heir in an orphanage - anxious to discover why. Mary Balogh seldom disappoints so looking forward to this one.

3.  Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane Book 11)
     Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
     Publisher: Hachette Book Group
     Release: November 29, 2016
     Price: $7.99

IN THE ARMS OF DANGERBold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king's secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley-and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.


Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she's the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation . . . 


When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be-before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?

I usually don't like the "female in male disguise" troup, but Alf has been a character in most all of these books so I'm dying to learn her story. Hopefully, it won't disappoint. 

And that's it. Only three for the month of November. But they are top of the line, IMHO :-) . I'll probably happen across more in the intervening days, it always seems to be so, lol.

Happy reading.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Please Read

This is a long article but well worth the read. I post it with hope in my heart and to show that nurture can be overcome.

Megan's Journey

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Best Birthday Ever

I might have faced a day of unemployment the week following my birthday, but on my birthday I got the best gift my overflowing heart could desire.

My cousin Debbie emailed me.

To try and explain: Debbie was my first Carolyn
Seriously, we grew up together and she was my best friend. She was the one that I first wrote with (way back when we were writing fan fics before fan fics existed). We shared crushes, fantasies, plans and dreams.

The first poem I ever had published was about her.

We were as tight as could be and then she went to college and my family got funky and somehow we stopped communicating and before you know it... a lifetime has happened but the love still pulses in the heart.

I thought of her a lot, always imagining what her life was. (I was wrong on every count.) She thought of me too and found this blog. She learned about my life, my daughter, Carolyn.  And finally, on my birthday (5 days after hers because we were always close like that), she wrote me. And when I saw her name in my email, I ugly cried because I was so damned happy.

We've been catching up. We have so much shared history that there are things nobody else would understand our laughter and passion. And in some places we're strangers because so many years have happened separately.

I'm so happy she put out her hand.

And I learned something too. Because there was a little part of me that was reluctant because I don't have lots of close friends and I was a little afraid of gaining one might mean losing one. But it's not like that at all. And it never has to be.

I'm so lucky. I have a bunch of women who span my life and know me and like me and who fill my heart with love and laughter and happiness. We share each others highs and lows and we have each others backs.

I feel so freaking lucky. And a serious thank you to all of you who stick with Carolyn and I in reading this blog and/or buying the book (if there were any recent to buy) and just being here whether silent or not. All of you are amazing and we're grateful that you've joined us in whatever way you have.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

This Happened

So my dream job took a few twists and turns and although the job itself remained possibly the most enjoyable job I've ever had, the business decisions going on were becoming rather mind boggling. And since I felt that there was no question I would never get a raise but my responsibilities were guaranteed to grow, it was time to look elsewhere.

I went on one job interview on Wednesday morning last week. Answered one Craigslist ad the night before and a follow up email Wednesday morning.

Went to work Wednesday and did my job. Got a phone call Wednesday night from Craigslist ad employer and we did phone interview.

On Thursday was at  work and the COO invites herself to lunch with me and tells me that the entire business will probably be closing and what do I plan to do? I tell her that I am interviewing.

(Assumption: either she told the boss I was looking elsewhere or the people I interviewed called for a reference.)

End of day Thursday: boss tells me that I am laid off effective immediately. The business is failing and he knows that I'm unhappy and seeking other employment so I'm out.

(Note: I was surprisingly unmoved. I was shocked but didn't feel crushing disappointment or anger or much of anything. It was emotionally bland.)

Friday I get offered a new job.

Old boss breaks the law and is not paying me my final pay in a timely manner. Not a surprise.

Sunday at the beach run into ex-coworker who informs me that she is being told to cover my duties on top of her own and she doesn't have any idea what she's doing. She cries.

So this is how I feel: it was hard talking to the boss and asking to be paid what I'm worth and be acknowledged for my worth. Something he was completely unable to do. Not because I'm not worth it but because he truly doesn't care about others. And his inability to work with me once that was on the table finally came down to him letting me go for no other reason than I kept saying I deserved to be treated right.

I feel like this is what so many women are feeling. We demand we have voices and the response is to close the door and refuse to acknowledge our existence. Once we speak out for ourselves we become a threat and a nuisance and we must be gone.

I'm sad. But I know this was just the tip of my own tiny iceberg of sexism and unfair repercussions for being a woman with a voice. It's just ... hard. That's all I can say.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Time For the Menfolk to Take a Breather

Last night's debate was really eye-opening and classic misogyny played right out for America. Beyond not apologizing to America for ever suggesting sexual assault was okay, Trump threatened Hillary, tried to throw Bill under the bus (when did he start running for president?) and he continued his physical demeaning ways as well as upped it.

Look at the pictures, folks. He stood behind her. He got in her space. He interrupted. And he threatened to jail her even though she has never been found guilty of any crimes.

I watched the debate with my jaw agape because I felt menaced. I felt like I was watching a man trying to break a woman. I felt his threat. I felt the physical difference between the two. He was breathing down her neck and he was breathing down mine.

Women understand men. We have to. From a young age we have men acting inappropriately toward us. We see behavior we aren't old enough to comprehend. We're touched at young ages, we're accosted with words, with unfriendly hands and suggestions we are shamed by.

We learn men because not learning what body language tells us, not learning what is okay and what is menacing could get us raped, could get us dead. My father was a predator and he started my education. I've been grabbed in public by strangers, I've been talked to as a piece of meat. I've been devalued all my life and I know what a threat looks like. Donald Trump acted like a threat last night and I actually felt fear. I felt like Hillary was being threatened with actual violence and it scared me.

This morning I'm shaky and teary. Some of it is what I saw. If you want to talk triggers, Trump played into a lot of mine.

If Donald Trump becomes president (and I really don't think he can), women need to coalition and gather their support together. Donald Trump hates women. Donald Trump is a predator. And we'll have the beginning of the worst fight of our lives.