Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review--Well, Books in Review.

Books/Stories Read:  121

Words Written:  Yeah, I was GOING to do this, but I don't feel like going through all the months in review.  Anyway, I did okay, I did poorly, anyway, moving on...

Books Bought:  359

Which amounted to $1,141.95

Books In the Catalog: 1,283

Books Read:  552

Books Unread:  613

Books Not The Kind to Read Cover-to-Cover:  118

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  I do have some duplicate copies of books.  So, the numbers for read and not-read are a little off, by about a book or two each.  Because even if I've only read a book once, but have two copies, I will count both as read.  Likewise, if I have two copies of a book I have not read, they are both marked unread, so, take about 2 or 3 off each one.  The following math takes the not-read-duplicates into account.

610 books, proper, to read.

610 books / 12 months = 50.8 books/month

610 / 24 = 25.4 books/month

Hey look, MATH.

One year?  Heh, dream on.  Two years?  Doable.  Difficult, but doable, granted I completely stopped buying books and just read what I had.  Nope, not gonna happen.  Still.

For 2015, I will read as many books and write as many words as my life allows.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.

Also, I'm gonna go through my library again, and get rid of some books too.  We'll see, we'll see.

For now, I gotta finish straightening up my room and finding spots for the books for now.  And all that.

Happy New Year.

May your upcoming year be filled with books and words and love and laughter.

December in Review -- Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up

Books/Stories Read:  15

Books on the Currently Reading Shelf:  12

Approximate Word Count:  5,519

Yeah, I should be trying to finish all these books with bookmarks.  Nope, I'm rearranging my room.  So, it's a safe bet, I can go ahead and do all of this.

  • Light My Fire by G. A. Aiken, paranormal romance/smut, 4 stars
    • Celyn the Charming's book.  This is the first time I've ever had to wait for an Aiken.  Worth waiting for.  DRAGON KIN!!!
  • Finding Miss McFarland by Vivienne Lorett, historical romance, 4 stars
    • This one tied in with the other two really well.  Will she become a brand name?  Maybe.  Decent.  Good finish.
  • Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford, YA/LGBT, 4 stars
    • Look at me, reading LGBT interest.  Anyway, it's a good book for teenagers.  I'm past that stage where I like teen smartasses, Holden Caulfield types, but it's a good book.  Suicide, depression, the problems that come with being gay, the whole nine yards.  If you can see past your bigotry, read it.  If you want to read a story about a bunch of children in the psych ward in a hospital, read it.  Read it, read it, read it.  I read it in a night.
  • Tempting Mr. Weatherstone by Vivienne Lorett, historical romance, 4 stars
    • The prequel to the Wallflower Weddings.  Oh my gosh, it was a novella and still had an awesome blow-up.  Good, good.
  • Kiss of Christmas Magic anthology, paranormal romance/smut
    • "Caribou's Gift" by Eve Langlais, 3 stars
      •  Cute little paranormal romance.  Caribou.  The guy was a caribou.  Who knew the words to "Let it Go" from Frozen.  Makes me want to read the other books in this series.
    • "Hunted Holiday" by Mandy Roth, 2 stars
      • Fluff.  Vampire fluff.  That is all.  IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIE!
    • "Lost in Winter" by Viola Rivard, 3 stars
      • Bears.  I love me some bear shifters.  Pretty decent.
    • "Kissed by Temptation" by Deeanna Chase, 3 stars
      • I want to read more books by this author.  I had one on Kindle that I've had forever, but clearly I need to read more of hers.  Sex witch.  With an incubus.  And pretty impressive, overall.
    •   "Bear Witness" by Michele Bardsley, 3 stars
    • "Christmas to Bear" by Carina Wilder, 3 stars
 
  • The Naked Gentleman by Sally Mackenzie, historical romance, 3 stars
  • Two characters that had been a long time coming.  Pretty okay.

  • Dresden Files:  War Cry by Jim Butcher, graphic novel, 4 stars
    • DRESDEN.  RAMIREZ!  Of course, it was amazing.

  • The Game Plan by R. L. Mathewson, contemporary erotic romance, 4 stars
    • Neighbor from Hell!  She's getting better as she goes along.

  •  The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, classic fantasy, 4 stars
    • Yeah, yeah, I'm just now reading it.  I endeavor to read more classics.  Whatever.  Thorin and Fili and Kili all died.  What the hell?  Anyway, moving on...

  • Something from the Nightside by Simon Green, urban fantasy, 4 stars
    • Took me way longer than it should have, and scarred me for life toward the end.  I already have 1-4, and some other odds and ends through the series.  I'm continuing.



Friday, December 19, 2014

I Lived



In my opinion, a song’s value is based on how relatable it is.  Kinda.  I mean, I like a lot of love songs, but I have nobody to think about.  I listen to a lot of country, about people who do a lot of things I don’t do, but I still listen to it, and say it’s realistic and stuff.

I like Rich Mullins’ music because very often I’ve felt similar things in my stumbling faith.  I like prodigal songs, and I think that’s telling.  I like songs that talk about doubts and yearning and begging for forgiveness.  But that’s a post for another day.

Ed Sheeran is one of those singers that’s hit and miss.  On one hand, he’s really good.  On the other, when he sings about his actual career, the relatability gets lost in it.  Yes, we’ve all felt like that, but we don’t all go on tour.

I got into OneRepublic because I liked the song that played in The Sorceror’s Apprentice.  I got into Ed Sheeran the same way.  I liked the song that played at the end of The Desolation of Smaug and had to look the singer up.

One Republic’s Native album was on sale one day, and some of their other stuff, and I figured, well, I like “Counting Stars” and I like OneRepublic, so why not?

“I Lived” is playing on the radio.  Not on my radio.  I have the album, I don’t need a radio, but it’s a single and it plays on the radio.  No, I haven’t seen any of their videos.

It makes me wanna do things.  There’s a lot of things I’ve never done.  It makes me wish I had a more adventurous spirit and that I took more chances.  I’ve never been in love.  I’ve never visited outside the country.  I’ve never been out of the South, actually.  I’ve never been bungee jumping or gone on a mission trip.  I’ve never broken anything.  When I look at my life thus far, I haven’t done much.  Read a lot of books, wrote a few of my own.  I’ve gone to concerts and road trips.  I’m hoping to graduate with my bachelor’s in May.

I’m young, I think.  I haven’t had much oppurtunity.  I won’t always be so busy.  Or so I hope.  I also hope I don’t put it off so long that my life passes me by and soon it’s too late.

At the end of my life, I wanna say

I, I, I
I did it all
I, I, I
I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
Yeah with every broken bone
I swear I lived

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holy Rollin'

We visited some old friends in their new church today.  When I say old friends, I mean, old, old, OLD friends.  Like, when we first moved to Mississippi old.

They're missionaries at heart.  Good, godly, people.  They want to reach the lost and shine light in the darkness.  All that.

Good, good, good people.  God's best.

So, we found this little old church in the middle o' nowhere where they are preaching.  The singing was good, the message good too.

When we were going to their church a long time ago, I was still in elementary school.

My fingers were covered in warts, like over a hundred.  I am not exaggerating.  I counted them.  That was my morbid little hobby in those days, counting how many warts I had on my fingers.  For the longest time it was at a little over 60, but before it was all over I had over a hundred.  At a women's retreat, my mother was told to have my hands prayed over.  When she got back, my hands got prayed over, and slowly my warts went away.

So, today, I was wearing an over sized sweater with sleeves that covered my hands.  I like stuff that covers my hands.  I don't know if that's leftover from those days as a child when I would just always cover my hands so the warts didn't show, or if I just like stuff that covers my hands for the heck of it.  Hey, there's leftover sleeves, let me tuck my hands in them.

The pastor's wife checked my hands.  She pulled my sleeves back and asked me if I remembered when they were covered in warts and how they were prayed over and taken away.

I don't talk about it a lot.  Part of it is because, well, it's a weird story.  A little girl's hands were covered in warts and now I don't have anymore because of prayer.  I don't want to be seen as a holy roller, someone you can't talk to because I'm too religious.  Another part of it is that I just don't think about it that much, I was a little kid.  As an adult, albeit a young one, it really wasn't a big deal.  I mean, I was self-conscious about it and it bothered me, but it's not like I had cancer or anything.  In the grand scheme of things, it sounds like a really minor problem.  There are kids out there starving and I'm worried about a bunch of skin problems.  I feel like I was a silly child.

It's not the kind of story you tell at testimony time, at least, I don't.  The point of this story, I think, is that God cares about the little things too.  If it bothers you, it bothers Him. 

It's the only miracle I've ever had happen to me.  Largely, I come from a blessed background.  No poverty, no one close to me has ever had cancer or died.  I mean, sure, there have been deaths in the family, but no one I really grieved for, except, perhaps Maw Trudy, which is a story for another day. 

There are bigger problems out there.  It's the closest thing to a miracle I've ever witnessed, period.  I hear a lot of stories, but that's the only one I've ever seen, personally.

After church, we the family started reminiscing.  "Do you remember..." 

As a twenty-something with very little idea of what she believes, if she believes anymore, and wondering if any of it's true or not, it was nice to visit with these people.  No matter what I believe, these people do believe.  They have seen miracles.  They believe in "it was a God thing."  It's real to them.

Whether or not God still wants anything to do with me, or vice versa, God is working in these people's lives.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November in Review

Books Read: 3

Books on the Currently Reading Shelf on Goodreads: 13 (but I have more that I have bookmarks in that I didn't mark on Goodreads.

Approximate Word Count: ~7,508

 
It was a busy month, k?


Book List:


  • The Escape by Mary Balogh, historical romance, 5 stars
    • Book 3 of the Survivors' Club.  Very, very, very good.  I expect no less.
  • Winning Miss Wakefield by Vivienne Loret, historical romance, 4 stars
    • Pretty decent.  Liked the characters.
  • Confessions at Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro, historical romance, 3 stars
    • I didn't like it as much as the first one, but it was okay.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October in Review

Books Read: 10

Books on the Currently Reading Shelf on Goodreads: 13 (but I have more that I have bookmarks in that I didn't mark on Goodreads.

Approximate Word Count: ~11,363

 
Woo-hoo, improvements.  I think I did okay.  I read a little and wrote a little.


Book List:


  • Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher, graphic novel, 5 stars
    • DRESDEN
  • Checkmate by R. L. Mathewson, contemporary erotic romance, 3 stars
    • I'm surprised I even finished this book.  That guy made me so mad...  But he pulled through in the end.
  • Burning Alive by Shannon K. Butcher, paranormal romance, 3 stars
    • This series has been advertised in the back of the Dresden Files, and it was at the Book Bag.  I wasn't wowed by it, but it was good enough to make me want to read the rest of the series, and since I already got them, you know...

Naked Nobility by Sally MacKenzie, historical romance
  • The Naked Duke, 3 stars
  • The Naked Baron, 4 stars
  • The Naked Marquis, 3 stars
  • The Naked Earl, 3 stars
    • Not great literature, but, I mean, I obviously read a bunch of them.  They're funny and ridiculous.  Good for the quick and fun.
  • The Curly Girl Handbook, by Lorraine Massey, nonfiction, 4 stars
    • A celebration of curly hair, some curly confessions, really good for the curly girls out there!
  • Daring Miss Danvers by Vivienne Loret, historical romance, 3 stars
    • A series that was cheap for Kindle and I bought the whole series, wasn't terribly impressed, but it was still pretty decent, gonna read the rest of them 'cause I got them anyway.
  • The Fatal Tree by Stephen R. Lawhead, contemporary fantasy/sci-fi, 4 stars
    • Favorite author release.  It wasn't as strong as the earlier books in the series, but it was a conclusion that didn't end wrong.  It ended the way it had to, like any other SRL book.  He doesn't waste time wrapping it all up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September in Review

Books Read: 10

Books on the Currently Reading Shelf on Goodreads: 13 (but I have more that I have bookmarks in that I didn't mark on Goodreads.

Approximate Word Count: ~3134

I've had some improvements. Summer is apparently, a rough time for me. Well, it's been a rough year. But I hit a reading stride a little better, and I did write today, and I might write a little more later.


Book List:


  • Playing for Keeps, by R. L. Mathewson, erotic romance, 3 stars
    • Funny. Just, funny.
 
  • Hunting Season, by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal erotica, 4 stars
    • Vikings, Crows, Goddesses, Gods, just a lot of mythology, and your usual Laurenston faire. Fun stuff.
       
  • Seeing Eye Mate, by Annmarie McKenna, paranormal erotica, 3 stars 
    • Interesting.
       
  • Checkmate, by Annmarie McKenna, paranormal erotica, 3 stars
     
  • Kiss of the Goblin Prince, by Shona Husk, paranormal romance, 4 stars 
    • I adored Dai. This was the sequel to The Goblin King. Really Good Book. Angsty hero, angsty widowed heroine. Good stuff, good stuff.
       
  • Moonshine, by Rob Thurman, urban fantasy, 4 stars 
    • Another Cal Leandros. I'm working on book 3 now.
       
  • The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After, by Julia Quinn, historical romance, 3 stars
    • I wasn't terribly impressed. I didn't care for the Bridgertons all that much, and happily ever after is kinda boring. Still, it's always nice to see that these characters are still crazy about each other after so many years have passed.
       
  • The Suitor, by Mary Balogh, historical romance, 3 stars 
    • Cute. This goes along with the Survivors series. The hero runs away when his family selects a bride for him. The would-be-not-a-bride is the star, along with her sweetheart. Aww-worthy.
       
  • Perfection, by R. L. Mathewson, erotic romance, 4 stars 
    • Sequel to Playing for Keeps. Really cute.
       
  • More than This, by Shannyn Schroeder, contemporary romance, 4 stars
    • First book in a series.  It was pretty good.  Nice guy hero, unhappy-with-her-life heroine.


Monday, September 1, 2014

August in Review

Books Read:  5  Books on the Currently Reading Shelf on Goodreads:  14 (but I have more that I have bookmarks in that I didn't mark on Goodreads.   Approximate Word Count: ~1500 --if that many
 
Bad month.  Really, really, really bad month.  My birthday ended it on a high note.  The good thing about keeping track of this, however, is that I'm seeing where my reading and writing cycles go.  I have a general idea, but now I can track it better.
 
Book List:


  • Hexed, by Kevin Hearne, urban fantasy, 4 stars
    • Good second book, continuing the series.
  • Pack Challenge, by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal erotica, 4 stars
  • Go Fetch!, by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal erotica, 4 stars
  • Here Kitty Kitty!, by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal erotica, 5 stars
    •  Together, all three books are the Magnus Pack series.  Laurenston stays true to form, and geez, I'm addicted.
    • Here Kitty Kitty!'s hero is my favorite.  Nik doesn't own a TV.  He reads.  And offers to let Angelina borrow his books so she can read too.  Be still, my heart.
  • You've Got Male, by Elizabeth Bevarly, contemporary romance, 2 stars
    • Eh.  There was no blow-up.  And I guess I just didn't like it that much.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pretty Words

I am tired.  I am lonely.

I can't do this anymore.

I'm not the hallelujah Christian I once was.

I'm not the honest Brennan Manning fan anymore either.

I've been reading my old posts, reflecting on my life.  I grew up in church, under parents who were, not exactly legalistic but strict and a little intolerant.  I've talked about the reckless, raging fury that they call the love of God.  The miracle of creation.

Words, by me because someone else had words I had liked,  Other people's words.  The experiences and wonderful stories of other people.  Just a bunch of pretty words.

It's occurred to me that I don't have those stories or experiences.

I'm tired of praying to a God I'm not sure is listening anymore.  I'm tired of feeling rejected, being told I'm strange and that I need help. I'm tired of constantly being told how not right I am, like I'm somehow defective.  I'm tired of going to church when most of the time I don't get anything out of it.  I'm tired of my mother pointing out that I wouldn't hesitate to get up early and go to a bookstore but that I balk at going to church.

I don't like going to church.  I like going to bookstores because I get something out of them, and nobody makes fun of me there or thinks I'm weird.  It's the only place, besides perhaps my bedroom, that I feel like I belong.

Everybody wants to be accepted.  Even those of us who know we are different.  I can't even get that much out of Christianity.  Out of Christ.  Those life-changing experiences, hearing God talk, feeling "led" to do something.  People that talk about a close and personal relationship with God, or when they felt love pour through them.  No idea what that's like.  

I know what pretty words feel like.  I know what it's like to be moved by a song, and to sentimentalize something, but it's a mockery compared to what I've heard others talk about.

So, I'm not saying Christianity is a bad religion, or that it doesn't work.  I'm saying it's not working for me.  I'm tired or murmuring ignored prayers and feeling empty.

I'm hurting and lonely and generally disappointed with myself, my life,  just everything.  And I can't get that peace that surpasses all understanding.

I'm tired.  I'm just so tired.  I want a break.  I want something else.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July in Review

Books Read:  7  
Books on the Currently Reading Shelf on Goodreads:  13 (but I have more that I have bookmarks in that I didn't mark on Goodreads.  
Approximate Word Count: ~14,178
 
Writing improved a little, reading not at all.  Hey, I've been doing work and school and all this other crap and I'm bad at time management...
 
Book List:
  • Kiss of Fire, by Deborah Cooke, paranormal romance, 4 stars

o   PNR that ISN'T erotica.  And DRAGONS.

  • Lord of Scoundrels, by Loretta Chase, historical romance, 4 stars

o  SEE HERE.

  • Carrie, by Stephen King, horror, 4 stars

o   I read it in a night.  1) I am scarred for life.  2)  I wish I had telekinesis.  3)  I really like the name Carietta, like a good name for a kid someday. If only the story wasn't a tragedy.
4) By any other author, some of it might be annoying. Well, the narrative, excerpts, interviews, etc WERE annoying. However, you do not question the King. You. Do. Not. Question. The. King.

  • Just the Way You Are, by Christina Dodd, contemporary romance, 4 stars

o   Christina Dodd isn't one of my brand names, but I like to read her from time-to-time.

  • The Black Prism, by Brent Weeks, fantasy, 5 stars

o   I like Brent Weeks' NIGHT ANGEL trilogy, and finally started on the LIGHTBRINGER trilogy.  Wasn't disappointed.

  • Hounded, by Kevin Hearne, urban fantasy, 5 stars

o   Sexy 2100-year-old wiseass Irish Druid who runs a bookshop.  An occult bookshop.  Mayhem and awesome snark ensue.  Review calls the author and main charrie, Atticus O'Sullivan, the respective heirs to Butcher and Dresden.  NO ONE WILL EVER REPLACE BUTCHER AND DRESDEN.  However, if you absolutely adore Dresden, you will like this series, and will tide you over till the next book comes out.

  • Jim Henson's Labyrinth:  The Movie Novelization by A. C. H. Smith, movie novel, 3 stars

o   Interesting.  It was a lot more detailed than the movie (obviously).  I read a review once that there was ONE LINE from Jareth that supposed to make him look like a completely different character.  Whatever it was, I missed it.


Re-Reads - The Mane Squeeze, Bite Me, and Wolf With Benefits.  DON'T JUDGE ME, OKAY?

Oh, and I got paid today.  And passed bookstores and bought other stuff, and now I've spent all my spending money and I need serious help with this financial thing.  I'm bad with money.  Really, really bad.  Like, I have no self control in a bookstore, but all my bills are paid/will be paid because I DO set aside bill money, but still, maybe I need to buy a book about finances and read it, and apply it...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review, Sort of, On The Ragamuffin Movie



Father’s Day weekend, I bought Ragamuffin, a film based on the life of, you guessed it, Rich Mullins.

It’s been sitting on my desk ever since. 

I’ve had writer’s block, been doing some productive reading, and keeping my head afloat school-wise.  I work six days this week.

So, my life kinda sucks right now.

I tried to write today, but I don’t know what story to work on, or what to write for those stories.  I put on the Rich Mullins, just to soothe myself a little, and eventually, just gave up and lay down.  If I can’t be productive, I may as well be comfortable, and bury my face in a warm blanket and call it a day.

I don’t consider myself a Christian much anymore.  I believe in God, and by extension Jesus—you can’t grow up in a Judeo-Christian worldview home and completely abandon everything you’ve been taught.  Or, 

I can’t anyway.  I’m INFP (that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it! O.o)

I got The Itch.  The last time I got The Itch, I read Carrie.  Loved it, by the way.  Well, I don’t know if I loved it, but I will certainly never forget it and may re-read it someday.  I appreciate it, I guess you could say.  But I digress.

It’s been Itching.  Like sometimes a book will say, “Jadi, Jadi, read me, read me,” for a few days or so until I’m Ready For It, and this movie has just been kind of whispering, “Soon.  Soon.”

Today, I decided, “Today’s the day.”

I’m well aware of how crazy this sounds.

So I popped it in my computer (I got rid of my TV and DVD player), and sat down to watch it.

It wasn’t really what I expected.  They left out snippets of “The Jesus Record.”  Just a little snippet of him at the piano playing one of those songs, and not “Be With You”—which is a great song, but still—would have been cool.  And something about Canticles of the Plains and there was a lot of stuff I wanted to see but they didn’t put in the film.

Beside the point. 

I watched it because while I was listening to the music, I was reminded of how soothing Rich Mullins’s voice is.  How soothing the music is.  Some people don’t like it, well, a lot of people don’t like it, but I always did.  I don’t know why.

Lacey told me one time it was because of his dramatic death, and I’m a writer, so I like dramatic stuff.  Her words, not mine.

Um, I was six when I got into Rich  Mullins, and I don’t know if I had a flair for the dramatic yet.  I remember liking the idea of someone giving their life to God, and let’s face it, the fact the guy was dead did have some sort of impact on my six-year-old self.  Pity of a child perhaps for a dead person?  Maybe.   I do remember feeling sorry for someone that gave their life to God, and then dying the way he did.

The other thing I remember is that Ray Boltz was Mom’s favorite.  Carmen was my sister’s favorite.  Rich Mullins needed to be someone’s favorite.  Might as well have been mine.

As I got a little older, I found some of his other albums. My mother and sister still prefer Songs, but I think my favorite album is probably The World as Best as I Remember It, Volume 2.    My favorite song is “Elijah,” which is on the first album, Songs, and on any greatest hits album; and a close second being, “Growing Young,” which is on The World as Best as I Remember It, Volume 2. 

It’s an interesting film.  Not bad for something that was probably low budget.  Makes me want to revisit The Ragamuffin Gospel and read all those Brennan Manning books I have in my Scribd library.  Nobody ever got through to me like Brennan Manning, or could make me cry/tear up.  I doubt I would even bother contemplating the notion of Jesus if not for Manning.  I loved the bits with him in it, and I was heartbroken when I heard he’d died.  But moving on...

I didn’t want to watch it at first.  I was a Rich Mullins fan and why were they just now waiting to make this movie and what if it isn’t any good, what if it ruins my image of him...?

Anyway, I told myself again and again I wouldn’t bother with it.  But then I started looking in WalMart and saw it, and bought it on impulse.  It was there, and why not?

I want someone I know to watch it, so I can talk about it with them.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Book Review: Lord of Scoundrels, by Loretta Chase

5948657Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

4 stars
Goodreads synopsis:

DETERMINED LADY

Tough-minded Jessica Trent's sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when Dain's reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction ...

LORD OF SCOUNDRELS

Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him ... and then forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can't wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place --- and in some amorous position, And if that means marriage, so be it! --- though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof ... and steel his heart to the sensuous, headstrong lady's considerable charms.


Yes, it's an old book.  Yes, it's HISTORICAL ROMANCE CANON.

I read a Chase book last year.  Turns out, it was part of the Scoundrels series.  This book is book three.  Anyway, we'll ignore the glaring error of me not reading books in order.

Dain is angsty, and very much still a little boy inside a grown man's body.  The psychology student in me screamed, "Therapy!"

The hopeless romantic whispered, "He needs a good dose of old-fashioned lovin'."

He wants to do better.  He also doesn't want to get hurt.  He's trying.  He's scared.  There's a lot going on there.  At first, I didn't know how I would respond to him, but in the end, I really liked him.  He's the character that had a lot of room to grow, and actually did grow.

I adored Jess Trent.  She is your typical bluestocking spinster who neither needs nor wants a man.  And she shoots Dain.  She.  Shoots.  Him.

SHE.  SHOOTS.  HIM.

Served the b-tard right for walking away after being caught with her.  He then marries her because he's the only man big and mean enough to handle her.  He also has a major crush on her.  Aww.

Anyway, it's a good book, and I can understand why it's canon.  Because, it's always on a best-of romance list.  Always.

I love when I read a book that's a BIG DEAL, and it is actually a BIG DEAL.

Monday, June 30, 2014

June In Review

Books Read:  9
Books on the Currently Reading Shelf on Goodreads:13
Days I Wrote Productively: 2
Approximate Word Count: ~3,ooo

Okay, so this was a crappy month.  I did manage 9 books/stories.  I didn't manage much writing, and there's nothing to show for it.

In my defense, I am back in school, I had a 5-week course, that I take my final for this week.  I can't go back and fix June.  I can only strive to do better in July.

Book List:

  • Bite Me, by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance/smut, 5 stars
o   I freaking loved Vic Barinov.  He and Lock MacRyrie are now my para-fi-crushes.
  • “Miss Congeniality” from the Anthology When He Was Bad, By Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance/smut, 5 stars
o   It says it’s part of the Magnus Pack series, but I read it anyway.  It was about one of the characters in the Pride series.
  • Skin Game, by Jim Butcher, urban fantasy, 5 stars
o   Well, duh, it gets 5 stars.  It’s a freaking Jim Butcher.  It’s also the only non-romance fiction book I read during this month.  But it was awesome, as always.
  • “My Kind of Town” from the Anthology Sun, Sand, Sex, by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance/smut (obviously), 4 stars
o   In The Mane Event, a snaggle-toothed hybrid is mentioned.  This story is about her brother.  It’s a cute story.  And witches!
  • The True INFP, nonfiction, 4 stars
o   I’m an INFP.  It was on Scribd.  Why not?
  • The Proposal, by Mary Balogh, historical romance, 4 stars
o   First book in the Survivors’ series.  As always, Mary Balogh’s books don’t run in the normal way of romances, but it’s still pretty good.
  • The Arrangement by Mary Balogh, historical romance, 5 stars
o   Second book in the Survivor’s series.  I loved Vincent Hunt, Viscount Darleigh, and his heroine, Sophia Fry.  He’s blind.  Completely, with no hope of getting his sight back.  She has low self-esteem and thinks she’s ugly.  He doesn’t like that.  Oh, and there’s the whole unhappy home before she agrees to marry him...
  • Beyond Heaving Bosoms:  The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance by Saran Wendell & Candy Tan, romance-related non-fiction, 5 stars
o   A wonderful celebration of the romance genre!  Seriously.  Romance books lead the sales of all book sales.  Most readers are college educated and have money.  And they spend their money on books.  Romance rules.  It’s an awesome book.  Seriously.
  • Eternal Hunter by Cynthia Eden, paranormal romance/smut, 3 stars
o   Cynthia Eden is often grouped with Shelly Laurenston.  A lot of times in those anthologies, there would be a Cynthia Eden story.  I was curious...and wasn’t really impressed.  It was a functional romance, with good characters, and a good plot.  I guess the big thing was that it wasn’t funny, and I didn’t like the writing style.