Monday, January 31, 2011

sbd check in

what ho! A week has passed. Did you miss me? I missed me, a lot. I blame the weather. and since I've decided that all talk about the 71 inches of snow (and the 12 more coming this week) is over-rated, how about a nice sbd to go on with?

I've read a couple of kick-ass supernatural heroine books and I've decided they're not my favorite fluff genre. I like Patricia Briggs's heroines but mostly because kick-ass is a secondary characteristic. They have personalities that consist of more than snark and sass and bring-it-on-itude. Plus they might like sex but it's not one of the main weapons in their arsenals.

I enjoy Kim Harrison's books but that's despite the fact that her heroine is definitely a primary kick-asser, not because of it.

This annoyance arose because I started another book a couple of days ago, this one is about a weather warden. Ill Wind--from a bigggggg series. The fact that I didn't get into the story isn't really the author's fault. It's an audiobook (Audible is having a sale of first of series books, btw. I pay the 10 a year fee and grab books when they have this sort of thing)

For some reason when I pushed play, the book started with part two. I listened to most of the second half of the book before I realized it. Talk about in media res. I'm still not crazy about the book because the heroine is major kick asser (also not the author's fault that I'd OD'd on them) and because she imagines all the males in it are panting after her and of course they are because this is her book. All the males. Every single one. It would be one thing if she was a incubus or succubus, or whatever (and chances are I wouldn't be reading the book because, enough is more than enough) but she controls the weather, for god's sake. Also her obsession with her car got old. Even Briggs's Mercy, a mechanic, is less dull about cars.

And what is it with the first person? Must KA heroines all be presented in first person?

So now I need a good book with a reluctant coward of a heroine. She gets the job done, of course, but considers running and hiding as well.

Actually I need to get to work on my own stuff.

I have the last of the Ruth Downie books to read but I'm going slow on it. For one thing, it's a real book and there's all this flipping through pages to find my place and I have to find reading glasses. So . . . antique.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Never mind

Remember that huffy list I drew up last week of ten tired trends? I just read a steampunk that was wonderful fun. I hope the trend lasts long enough for this to get published and be a big success.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bragging moment for our latest m/m

I've read this review a couple of times already because it made my day.

"It’s an exciting and robust tale with mouth-watering intrigue, political machinations, witty banter and some fizzlingly sensuous sex scenes and like The Gentleman and the Rogue (which if you haven’t read why the hell not?) I can’t recommend it highly enough. I want to take away these ladies’ pens until they promise they write nothing else but gay historicals. I just wish I could get a set of theirs in print. -"-Erastes

And there was another nice review from Dear Author a couple of weeks ago. I might have linked to it already, but why not again? Yes. Let's bask for a few minutes, shall we?

" . .I really enjoyed the voice of this story, loved the characters, enjoyed the historical setting, and the unusual German nationality of one of the characters.. . . . While I enjoyed your previous two historical collaborations, this one was by far and away the best of them." -- Sarah

These reviews are especially nice because the first few reviews were "eh, all right but not as good as Gentleman and Rogue." Wait. Never mind that bit. This post is pure yay, without a trace of discontent or fretfulness.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

10 trends that can go away, thanks

Reading that Medicus book was pleasant because I discovered a grand, new place to visit, which made me think hey, yo, how about some new stuff in the fluffy reading world? Enough with the very familiar. And I started in on an internal rant about how I'm tarred, tarred, tarred of reading this stuff. Internal for a minute and a half before I came here to share with my reader (hi, reader!).

Mind you, if authors who've done this stuff before want to keep on writing this stuff, that's fine with me. If Patricia Briggs or Kim Harrison wants to keep writing werewolves and vampires, I'll keep buying their books. It's just that new work by new people? I want new from you people. I mean it. All you editors that say you want fresh new voices: mean it.

I want fewer of these books:

1. YA dystopia
2. Vampires, especially the kind who wear black and have no sense of humor. I've been saying this one for years but everyone's been ignoring me.
3. Gods and goddesses or other ancient myth types showing up in modern garb.
4. Steampunk.
5. Erotica with a plot based solely on sexx (especially sexx that is necessary for the survival of a character. It's as annoying as soul mates. Where's the choice factor in that? huh?)
6. Erotica with more than a few people in the sack at once.
7. Erotica with shapeshifters in their shifted shape. Then again, I just finished sort of writing one of those, but not really. Okay, yes, I am a hypocrite.
8. Erotica with siblings. Ew
9. Erotica with tentacles and/or spikey penii. I've only read a couple but that's more than enough. I suppose that goes with #7 except spikey boy bits get their own category.
10. Historical romances set in Regency England that involve dukes (not ducks as it came out at first) earls or any other sort of nobility. And I'm a fan of the genre.

The good news for anyone who writes any of the above is that I have no power over anything. In fact, I was whining about the proliferation of vamps JUST BEFORE TWILIGHT HIT THE MARKET. So it could be said that anything I moan about is going to get bigger and stay huge.

Keep in mind that I am tired of snow.

sbd Medicus

Oh, boy! Another new series! And I'm in love. The main character is my favorite kind of guy. He's smart, means well, isn't entirely successful because he is basically a pushover. He has an edge of pompousness and catches it in himself. In other words, he's human.

What more could you want? Ruth Downie creates something Pratchettish in that we get a world that is entirely different but basically the same as ours. Instead of the disk world, this is Roman Britain. The main character is a doctor with the Roman occupiers and he worries about the same sorts of things we do, too much work, too much debt, how to deal with an errant slave (almost the same sorts of things). The secondary characters are fun as well. His roommate, "the good-looking doctor," is a hoot. The sort-of-love interest is the slave, who is mysterious and practical, but not as wonderful as I'd hoped --so far. She's got potential.

Also there is a murder mystery that the main character is not responsible for solving (as he tells anyone who asks him how the investigation is going). I had sort of guessed at perpetrator, but that's good. Sort of guessing means there are real clues and not the usual false trails. I love the world building and I'm just as glad I don't know doodly about that time/place because I'm sure I'd have had to have those moments of discord that pull you out of the story. Bad enough I notice story structure etc when I just want to read, read, read.

The first book was free (I don't think it is any more.) The second, that I've already bought, is 99 cents. The rest. . . . oh well. It's just money.

Oh, freebie kindle books, you've done it again, you gateway to sloth. Led me to another long path of avoiding work. But until I realize I've wasted my life on reading instead of work, at least I have that Hah! aha! feeling when you stumble across a book that works for you.

And speaking of books...I also bought SEP's latest. It was good, I enjoyed it. Gulped it down in one sitting. No one does hate/love bickering better. But if you asked me what the book was about, I'd probably give back a plot that's an amalgam of SEPs: hate that's love that's fire-y passion (placid, warm love is a big no-no in her world.), a town full of despicable characters who turn out to be just fine people. Not her fault -- mine. That's what glomming does to a person.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Someone to Cherish

Ta da!

It took me long enough, huh? There were too many good choices. And then I found more good titles had slipped into the spam due to an overenthusiastic email filter :

Something Innocent

Callie's Scandalous Luck

Cutter's Innocent Miss

Sorry, Lonie.

Thanks for your help, everyone!

Monday, January 10, 2011

not really SBD

Linda thinks Someone to Cherish as a title and that seems pretty good to me. I'll wait an hour or so and see if it still sticks.

I've been doing another big glom with Robert Crais and that seems to be the way I do reading these days. A big old glom and then feeling as if I'd overeaten. Moderation is out the window when it comes to reading. nom nom nom nom erp.

And now I'm listening to a Patricia Briggs -- one I've listened to before. What a rerun of a life.

So after a big Crais push, who should I read? I tried a Jim Butcher Dresden files book, but it didn't do much for me. It's a real pity because my middle guy loves those books, which means they're all over the place.

I didn't adore the latest Carla Kelly, which was jarring. It had moments that were too silly or coincidental, which coming from me, is a strange complaint. Maybe because I don't think of her as that kind of writer. I'd write a full report, but I'm so full of Crais that I can barely recall the Kelly. I do recall thinking the Admiral didn't seem as decisive or wise as we're told he is.

Friday, January 07, 2011

the circle of liiiiiiiiiiife

I was offered a $5 gift certificate from Amazon for retweeting some ad.

I retweeted, used my $5, and got a $20 gift certificate from Roku.

So I used it.

And when I plugged in the Roku I was offered a $5 gift certificate from Amazon. Maybe I'll use it, but I'm a bit wary.

This could keep going for a while before I run out of money.

Speaking of using the Roku -- whatever you hear about how bad Troll 2 is? Is not an exaggeration. That movie is that bad and worse. Also. There is snow, at last.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Drum Rolllllllllllllllllllll

Okay, I have the entries. I still don't have a title because I'm still staring at them.

Here's what I do know -- everyone who entered is a better Editorial Assistant than I am.
You guys rock.

Any favorites?

Somebody to Watch Over Me
Beloved Defender
His to Cherish
Callie's Champion
Somebody Perfect
Someone to Cherish
Her Knight in Blue
Saving Callie
Cutter's Innocence
Cutter's Woman
Protect and Defend
His Sweet Temptress
Tempting Innocence
Sheltering Callie
Somebody for Callie
Hookers under Gaslight

Michelle wondered if there was a way to keep "Ratcatcher" in the title...

The Innocent and the Ratcatcher (she adds "not exactly Kathleen Woodiwiss, you know?" Heh.)
The Ratcatcher's Woman
The Ratcatcher's Kiss
The Potential Urge (I love it, Darcy. But I think I'd save that for a literary novel. Or a self-help ten-step book about working to your potential)

Callie's Ratcatcher
His Naive Temptress
Dangerous Naivete
Innocent Temptation

Her Protector
Cutter's Mistress
Callie's Knight

I forgot Heather's!
Somebody to Hire
Somebody to Arrest
Somebody to Get Jiggy Wit
' *****

edited to add: I forgot Jenny's! It's a good one, too.

The Guardian's Desire

I got some of these in emails and I hope I managed to capture and recopy them all, but if I forgot yours, let me know.

. . . oh, and the blurb Joanne wrote. I'll mix it up with mine.

Officer Cutter thought he’d seen everything until he is assigned to raid a brothel and he meets Callie, a young lady. Impressed by her authentic innocence, a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Cutter saves her from jail by branding her a witness. When the brothel’s owner dies under suspicious circumstances, Callie is called back to testify. An event that ruins her reputation, leaving her without a dreadful job and a place to live. Once again Cutter helps her, offering a position under his own roof. Despite their different origins, with both being alone in 1884 New York, Cutter feels the needs to protect Callie, even from himself - but who will save him from her?

Kimberly, I promise I'll send you the title tomorrow.

And the winner of the randomly selected**
gift certificate to Amazon.

IRENE PETERSON! (She entered via email. I guess I'll have to email her and tell her she's won)


** "Linda, I need you to pick a number between 1-20."
"Eight. Why?"
"It's for my contest."
"You have a contest?"

I swear, when the person you write with 2x a week doesn't have a clue, then you KNOW you need to do a better job of promo.

***** I giggle like a loon every time I read that one.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


I have to keep THE CONTEST ON THE TOP!

also I have to report that the durian outside in the composting bin is still intact. Scary, scary fruit.

the opposite of regret

Oh, come on. I've read another whiny blog and am having an hissy fit response.

The best thing -- the VERY best thing about not succeeding in a traditional sense (making big bucks etc, becoming famous, writing a best seller, finding True Love) -- is that at a certain point, you are released from expectations. The word potential is no longer used in your presence, and admit it -- that is a hell of an annoying word.

Once you're a failure, you are released from society's notice. Henceforth you get control and are allowed to set your own versions of success. Do not shy from this task of reassigning success to something you shall control. Hey, no one else wants it.

Erase all left-over disappointment, for this is a useless bit of baggage and drags you down to the standards and expectations that no longer apply (probably never did but what the hell--you tried anyway) You will unpack those old expectations, examine each bit -- maybe hold a ceremony to empty it all. I suggest something destructive because that is satisfying. Then hey! Then fling that outdated ersatz Louis Vuitton over the edge of the nearest dumpster. Okay, speaking of failure -- that metaphor is over. No more baggage. And this is a fine goal right there, bucko.

Define your own success.

It's scary and usually not easy (or even possible) to find the words or vision. Even more of a nuisance: You'll note that practically no one else sees or cares about your success. But, yo, so what? You do. You'll know. Turn up that end-of-movie music! You get that rush, the great sigh of relief, the moment of triumph when you stand at the top of the steps admiring the view. You're the one who's beaten the odds (or not, that's fine too) but hey, you'll have the relish of newly defined success.

The credits roll, it's the end of the day and you get the slow smile, the tip of the head to acknowledge the silent applause from heaven, the happy spin in the middle of a meadow, or your kitchen, where ever it hits you. Do it again, tomorrow.

You get to build/define or break down the boundaries you'll leap. You get to define your pleasures too. For someone else it might be getting to that spa in Arizona. For you, it's getting out the door of your house at least twice in a week. Who's to say which person has a greater sense of satisfaction at taking that trip? Comparisons are odious, but still....I make them because shit, I can't seem to stop.

Stop looking around at everyone else for the answers or the pats on the back. Okay, maybe stop looking for answers at all. Shut up and do. Or if you can't do, write. And if you can't write, sing. And if you can't sing or write or tap dance or learn Spanish....Don't give up. That's a fine goal, right there. You live. That's worth a standing ovation. Give it to yourself.