Monday, May 30, 2011

Henry Miller & Anais Nin

Happy Memorial Day to all y'all.
We're going with a personal post again today and here's why:
I almost always read books by female authors. I don't feel bad about this because males have an extreme advantage in the publishing industry based on nothing but the fact that they have a certain something between their legs.
When I started this blog I decided in order to have a little balance I would write about a book written by a man once a month. In April I wrote about crazy, funny Tom Robbins. This is the last blog day in May for me & I haven't written about a male authored book.
I was at BAM so I thought, I'll reread Henry Miller. I bought the Tropic of Cancer & the Tropic of Capricorn. I'm 45 pages into the Tropic of Cancer and having to force myself to read it. Where's the sense in that? I read these books years ago and I remember liking them. I can even see why I liked them at the time. They just don't do anything for me right now.
So I decided not to waste any more time reading them just so I can have a post for today. I could find truths in them but I would have to say some not so complimentary things as well and it's just not necessary.
It's possible that the most interesting thing about Henry Miller FOR ME was his relationship with Anais Nin. Their relationship spawned a book and a lovely movie named Henry and June. (June being Henry's wife.)
Wikipedia says this about the plot summary for Henry and June:
"At the end of 1931, Nin finds herself dissatisfied with being a timid, faithful wife to her banker husband, Hugh Parker Guiler. Nin and her husband contemplate the possibility of opening their relationship, and determine that it would threaten their marriage. However when Anais meets June Miller, she is magnetically drawn to her and perceives June to be the most beautiful and charismatic woman she has ever met. Nin pursues an extremely intense, ambiguous, sexually charged friendship with her. When June leaves, Nin becomes involved with Henry, and begins an uninhibited sexual and emotional affair with him, which prompts an intellectual and sensual awakening. A friendship is formed between the two that was maintained throughout both artist's lives."

After reading a book titled The Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts I began to examine my own beliefs about things, including what constituted true sexual morality for me*. Anais Nin taught me a lot about being true to the sexual person and the writer I want to be. I'm sure Henry has a lot to offer as well, I just don't have the patience for it right now.

I recently reread another book that I wanted to post on. That blog post goes up on Wednesday. It was a book I've reread many a time. This time I had a completely different reaction and learned something about myself.

Do you reread books? Does your reaction to them change from read to read?

Now I think I'll put all other reading material aside and go for fun! I picked up Stephanie Bond's latest Baby, Drive South. I guarantee I'll be happily reading in no time flat.

*The only immoral thing in sexual relationships for me is if any of the participants aren't consenting adults.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jonesing, pondering and brimming.

Hey all y’all -

If you came here jonesing* for something to add to your TBR list and you haven’t read Monday May 23rd post about The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe, blog post entitled ‘A yes, a journey, millions of butterflies, JOY’ read that instead. Or if you missed Wednesday May 11 about Bridget Asher’s wonderful book, The Pretend Wife, blog post entitled ‘New insight about why I don't feel at home; thanks to Bridget Asher,’ go there.

(*yes, I’m old enough to say jonesing)

Anyone still here?

So, my grandkids are growing and developing personalities that I like. They’re chock full of funniness and brimming with good ideas. My thirteen year old granddaughter recently gave me a great idea. In Hungry Ghosts, the dead mother ghost died of lung cancer. As a ghost, she looks like a person only white air instead of flesh. My granddaughter suggested that I make her black diseased lungs visible. Isn’t that brilliant and spooky? I’m going to do that.

I’m heading for a few days out of my element, y’all. I’m going to another part of Kentucky to take care of a sick aunt while all the other aunts and the one uncle (on that side) attend a wedding. I’m hoping it will be one of those trips that jar things loose and enhance my writing.

And at the place where I’m heading there is a pool in the back yard. I can do my pool walk / jog daily without going to the gym. Yay!

I didn’t realize before I started blogging, that bloggers are a community. There is a community that comes with being a regular commenter on a blog, true. But there is also community amongst bloggers. I have my cyber cronies listed and everytime one of them puts up a new blog, it comes up on my blog and I can go visit with them and have a conversation amongst the commenters. And vice versa. It’s lovely.

Well, that’s all for now. There is a yummy piece of fudge calling my name.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Romance Novel: The Butterfly's Daughter, Author: Mary Alice Monroe

A yes, a journey, millions of butterflies, JOY!

“And her story would begin with the word yes!” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

“Her grandmother told her that sometimes she had to listen with her heart rather than her mind. She listened now and in that miraculous instant, Luz knew what she had to do. For once she would silence her doubt and ignore her shivers of fear.
For once, she would be brave and say yes!” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

Luz says yes to following the migratory flight of the Monarch butterfly to the oyamel fir forest in Mexico where they overwinter. I’ve planned such a trip myself more than once. One day, I’ll say yes.

“All myths and legends are nothing more than stories. Tales told by shamans, priests, mothers, and fathers since the beginning of time to try to explain universal truths.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

These stories need to grow and change just like humankind. People have trouble letting go of them, though, even when they are no longer working.

“I am old enough to know I do not have all the answers. But I know this. Impulsive is not the same as courage. True courage comes from the heart. Tu corazon. Sometimes, it takes more courage not to jump and to stand strong. When each of us looks into the fire, we must decide for ourselves whether to jump.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

I was born to live an examined life. I’ve tried to stop examining before. It just doesn’t work for me. What about you?

“It takes great courage to go into the darkness, to face your demons. Yet, it’s not so much courage that keeps me going. It’s more a fear of falling back into the darkness.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

I’ve been at the edge of that abyss and jumped in more than once. Sometimes it’s either jump or die on the precipice. And yes, fear of being in that scary dark place of BEFORE is what keeps me going usually.

“The milkweed that monarch caterpillars eat contains toxins called cardenolides. It is a poison stored in the adult monarch’s abdomen and acts as a form of defense from would-be predators. The brilliant colors of monarch butterflies and caterpillars advertise their toxicity.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

I think that this is so awesome. A system of protection has evolved for the little butterfly. Protection from all predators, except mankind, that is. Milkweed, an essential for Monarch’s, is threatened or endangered all across the USA. This is due largely to habitat infringement by human beings.

Touching thought alert:
“Abuela had told her many times that a monarch butterfly was the soul of the recently departed.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

“It was the way it was with grief. One moment she was fine, and the next, a comment, a thought, something trivial would waft by to spark a memory and grief would surge.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

I remember this from when my dad died in 2006.

Very important theory alert:
“How do the great-great-grandchildren of the butterflies find the over wintering sites each year? Is it instinct? Genetic memory? The mother-daughter cell? How their homing system works is one of the many unanswered questions in the butterfly world.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

“There’s no map handed down, no powwow to discuss the plan. Just knowledge, instinct stored deep that guides the butterfly north. That’s the mother-daughter cells at work.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

I believe in cell memory. I was a practicing Wiccan for a while. When I discovered Wicca it was like coming home. I did some research and discovered my ancestry is 7/8 ths Celtic. I remember dancing around balefires on moors on moonlit nights as if I had done it yesterday. (BTW I’ve never been to a moor at all, certainly not in moonlight, and certainly not yesterday.)

“Mi hija, all your life there will be those who will seek to hurt you by planting the evil of mean words and cruelty in your heart. Those words are like parasites. They have the power to destroy all that is beautiful in you. IF YOU LET THEM.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

Powerlessness, envy and fear are things that come readily to mind that cause people to act like this. It took me years to learn not to give them my power and let them hurt or stop me. There is an activist saying - ‘Those of you who think it can’t be done need to get out of the way of those of us who are doing it.’

“I’ve been chasing butterflies for ten years and one thing I’ve learned is that what we call coincidence is more expected than unexpected. Many scientists and theologians believe that everything that occurs can be related to a prior cause or association.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

Cause and effect explains most things. Sometimes things happen for no rhyme or reason, though.

“Life isn’t a series of random events at all, but rather an expression of a deeper order. When you looked back at them all, Luz thought, they made perfect sense, like chapters in a story.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

It’s amazing how you can look back on things and write a narrative that turns seemingly random events into a cohesive story.

“See how people smile when they see a butterfly? They can’t help themselves. Butterflies are joy with wings.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

They definitely make me smile.

“Abuela used to just smile at me in that wise-woman way she had and tell me kindness was like the sun and the rain. If you were miserly with it, your world would wither up.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

I’ve certainly seen that to be true. Kindness seems to attract kindness.

“My mother used to tell me that we make our own luck.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

This also proves true. Luck is usually a result of my having made wise choices.

“Abuela used to say that a person’s sadness was like a well. Nobody knew how deep it went.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

I’ve met people like this. ‘Drinking a cup of sorrow’ people used to say.

“She knew that on sunny days after a rain, butterflies gathered around the edges of mud puddles to sip salts and minerals from the soil. It was called puddling, but Luz rarely saw it.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

I’ve seen butterflies do this on occasion. I love knowing why and what it’s called.

“Abuela always said a weak sauce is like a weak man--no good for a strong woman.” The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

And isn’t it just to bad that one can’t spice up a weak man and make him strong the way you can do with a weak sauce?

If you haven’t guessed, IMHO this is a very special book. It’s not a romance. It’s women’s fiction with a journey both real and emotional. There’s a lovely HFN (happily for now) ending.

An ‘ofrenda’ is referred to frequently. An ofrenda is an offering for the returning spirits of dead family members or ancestors. It is constructed on El Dia De Los Muertos, the day of the dead, November first. It’s a Mexican tradition.

Monroe also refers to Lady Bird Johnson and her wildflowers. From the website ‘Lady Bird Johnson Final Tribute (http://ladybirdjohnsontribute.org/index.htm);

“She inspired the passage of the Beautification Act of 1965...which cemented environmentalism as a top priority in the United States.”

“Today, Lady Bird Johnson’s legacy lives on in the millions of blooms planted in the nation’s capital, in the sweeping banks of wildflowers lining U.S. highways, and in the charm of Austin’s revitalized Town Lake.”

There is a bit of Mexican food talked about. As a former resident of New Mexico I have a definite fondness for Mexican food. One recipe they talked about was chilaquiles. They sounded delicious.

I urge you to read this wonderful book.

I’ll be busy trying this recipe: http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/hcchilaquiles.htm

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hints, distance and rising creeks

I have not prepared my usual blog post with quotes from a great book, etc.

I have read 2 great books;

One was The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate. You may recall that I blogged about her wonderful book The Love Goddesses Cooking School. She commented on that post about how much she appreciated what I had said about her book. And offered to send me a signed copy of The Secret of Joy. I received that signed copy and read it. It's really wonderful book also. At some point I will blog about it.

The other book shall remain nameless for now as I will blog about it quite soon. I will give you a small hint, though:


I don't have a good excuse for not putting up my usual blog. The truth is that I'm going through a few days where I feel disconnected. Not entirely present. I'm going through the motions but in the back of my mind where I can't get at it, my brain is processing something.

Does that ever happen to you?

I don't believe in god but sometimes I'm still tempted to use the phrases that my dad used to use. Like this one. On Friday I will return god willin & the creek don't rise.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Non-Fiction: Ghost A Day, Author: Maureen Wood, Ron Kolek

“Terrifying Tidbit:
Batteries are often drained in haunted locations. Paranormal investigators believe that spirits consume the batteries’ energy to manifest.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

This is certainly the book for ghost lovers. It has 365 ghost stories that are 2 or 3 paragraphs long. One could read it daily like a meditation book. And throughout the book are “Terrifying Tidbits” like this one:

“Terrifying Tidbit:
Spectral evidence is a form of evidence based on dreams or visions that was used during the Salem witch trials to convict the accused. When it was declared invalid, no more witches were convicted.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

It is terrifying to think that one could be burned at the stake based on someone’s dreams or visions.

Some of the tidbits are more interesting than terrifying - like this one -

“Terrifying Tidbit:
Clover is a plant used as a protection against witchcraft and fairy enchantments. The ‘lucky’ few to find a four leaf clover, it was believed, were given the ability to recognize evil.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

Nice to know where the lucky four leaf clover idea might have come from.

“Terrifying Tidbit:
Animals are thought to be sensitive to paranormal activity, which is why they can often be seen staring intently off into the distance.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

All I can say to that is - well, duh! Humans appear to be one of the most oblivious animals.

“Terrifying Tidbit:
Smudging is a ceremony in which a bundle of herbs, most commonly sage, cedar and sweetgrass, is burned to drive out a negative energy or entity from entering a space.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

And it smells good, too.

This one is just plain BIZARRE -

“Terrifying Tidbit:
The late president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, wrote four romance novels - some written by himself, others by ghostwriters.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

Do you suppose he followed the rules and gave his readers an HEA?

And here’s a couple of ten dollar words that might prove useful -

“Terrifying Tidbit:
If you’re afraid to be in total darkness you’re said to have lygophobia.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

“Terrifying Tidbit:
If you are afraid of ghosts you are said to have phasomophobia.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)


I’m not usually interested in ghosts. I checked this book out of the library as part of my research for the modern gothic romance novel I’m serializing here on this blog. (Hungry Ghosts; a new installment appears every Friday.)

Surprisingly the book is very entertaining and informative. There is a chilling ghost story concerning the late David Carradine.

And there are the “Terrifying Tidbits.” I haven’t even given you the best or most terrifying ones as I plan to use those in my novel.

What are some truly weird books you’ve read?

If you write, how do you research and how much?

At the moment that I’m writing this, I’m still trying to find the damn house these people and ghosts in my novel will live in. Talk about your research nightmare!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Romance Novel: The Pretend Wife Author: Bridget Asher

“But you know how every once in a while, you’ll come across someone and you feel at ease with him. A lot of the time it’s someone you know you’ll never see again -- a person in line with you in customs, in a waiting room at an insurance office, a waitress -- and in one unguarded moment, one of you admits in some way that the world is full of shit, and the other agrees.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

This is one of many reasons why I don’t feel at home here where I live now. Because when I lived in New Mexico, and when I lived in California and when I lived in Rhode Island, this happened a lot. Now if someone starts talking to me I count the sentences until god, jesus or church are mentioned. It’s never been more than five. Seriously. These days the only times I get moments like this where I’m in agreement with someone about how the world is full of shit, is online. Thanks Bill Gates, etal for cyber space.


“If you believe that some people are lucky, you have to believe that others are doomed.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

I don’t believe either of those. Things happen. Random things. Good things and bad things. One control I have is to stay aware and alert. That way if a door opens that I can walk through and make something happen that I want to happen, I don’t miss the opportunity.

“If you let fear make your decisions for you, fear will make good decisions -- but only for it’s own sake, not for yours.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

Fear-based decisions keep me from making changes necessary to my continued growth and happiness.

“…complicated things often prefer to masquerade as simple things at first.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

Like writing a novel. You have an idea. You enjoy writing. You are told by others that they enjoy reading what you write. So you decide to write a novel. Simple, right? Except, no. Not simple. Turning points and protagonist anomalies and publishing world in chaos and the sheer amount of time spent writing makes it complicated. Not simple.

Delightful author voice alert:
“There was a lull then, and I let it lull there, lullingly.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher
This is not a lone instance of sentences that make you laugh inside. The book is full of them.

“…memory cannot exist without something to refer to. You remember something because it hooks to some earlier experience.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

I remember the joys of the sun shining because I used to experience it nine days out of ten when I lived in other parts of the country.

“He would never have been able to comprehend how to divvy up love and dispense it in the correct dosages. He would have poured it on, if I’d let him -- too much, too much, too much.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

Well that’s different than most people where it’s more like -- not enough, not enough, not enough.

(BTW the character arcs away from not appreciating this love.)

“Being friends with women has always been hard for me. I’ve never been good at negotiating the sudden undertow of conversations, how a conversation among women can become so unwieldy, how in such quiet tones, there’s so much freight being walloped around. Women have super human strength in refined dialogue and I always fell for the sucker punches.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

I love this insight into her character and the vivid way she words it.

I’ve always been challenged in the women friends department. I’m also guilty of envy when I’m exposed to women who have been friends for years. My problem comes more along the lines of differing values and interests and having moved around a lot.

“A marriage is a conversation that’s supposed to last a lifetime.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

I can see that happening.

“What you want is for someone to recognize a loss -- to simply say he’s sorry. Nothing more.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

It sounds so easy. But it’s not. It’s very hard to express sympathy and leave it at that. We don’t want people to be unhappy or sad. So our instinct is to fix them. It makes me angry when someone doesn’t let me feel my feelings or worse - invalidates them. I try really hard to overcome the instinct to fix someone else. Hell, I can’t even fix myself. Who am I to try and fix you?

Bridget Asher is also Juliana Baggot. Recently Lucy March let her takeover her blog to talk about Asher’s  new book, The Provence Cure For the Brokenhearted. To read what she had to say go here: http://lucymarch.com/?p=5746

In The Pretend Wife, she makes a weather reference that is new to me; a gustnado. According to wikipedia; “A gustnado is a specific type of short-lived, low-level rotating cloud that can form in a severe thunderstorm.” If you like weather phenomenon, check them out. Fascinating but scary.

She also refers to a philosopher; Heidegger. Here’s a famous Martin Heidegger quote: “Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one. “

Musical reference to The Smiths. Here they are doing There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INgXzChwipY

I like all y’all but I still don’t want to die from being hit by a double-decker bus even if we die together. Forgive me for that, okay?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Romance Novel: The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Author: Sarah Addison Allen

From The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen: 

“I’m homesick all the time,” she said, still not looking at him. “I just don’t know where home is. There’s this promise of happiness out there. I know it. I even feel it sometimes. But it’s like chasing the moon—just when I think I have it, it disappears into the horizon. I grieve and try to move on, but then the damn thing comes back the next night, giving me hope of catching it all over again.”

I have fought this feeling all my life. The feeling of never really belonging anywhere. The closest I came to feeling like I belonged somewhere was living in Albuquerque, NM. When the time came to move on, I fought it for a full year. I had been so happy there once. That last year, though, was a constant struggle and it was a relief to finally let go and move on.

I’m here and it doesn’t feel like home forever. It does feel like home for now cause my grandkids are here. What I’ll do when they mature I’m not sure.

“The last year of his and Stella’s marriage, he’d started leaving a fine black dust on everything he’d touched, proof of his black heart, Stella claimed. When she discovered the black dust on other women—sprinkled on the backs of their calves when they wore shorts on summer days, and behind their ears when they wore their hair up—Stella had finally kicked him out.”
 

I love the unusual concept of this and the way she has worded it.

“She always said that fashion should never be a factor in determining someone’s self-worth.”

And she was right.

“How we see the world changes all the time. It all depends on our mood.”

And how tired I am.

“Don’t wait for the world to change, Emily, her mother used to say to her, sometimes in a frustrated voice. Change it yourself.”

Which reminds me of song lyrics I hate by someone who usually writes song lyrics I like.

“So we keep on waiting, waiting for the world to change.” John Mayer. John honey, get a clue. The world is not going to change if everyone just waits. You need to be the change you want to see in the world. (Ghandi-speak) Especially someone as visible as you.

OT - although this is my blog so how can it be off topic? Another song lyric I can not tolerate. I want to throw something every time I hear it.

“Hike up your skirt a little more and show your world to me.” Hey Dave Matthews, do you know how insulting that is? What’s under my skirt might be important but it is far from being my world!

She also made a reference in the book that I had to check out; Gothic revival pointed-arch windows - here they are:






I heard rumors that this one wasn’t as good as her others but I disagree. I thoroughly enjoyed and as you can see, I found a wealth of truths in it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Clarified, rewritten version of Breaking My Own Rules post...

After reading Barb N's comment on the original post I put up for today, I rewrote that post with quotes from her comment.

I won’t be quoting or singing some author’s praises today. Why not? Because I’m reading a series of books that is disappointing to me and I don’t want to trash an author’s work. For the purposes of clarity we’ll call her Author D for disappointment.

First of all, do you agree with that sentiment - not trashing an author’s work? I do. And I don’t. And I do.

I do because I want to be respectful and err on the side of goodness. I don’t because if word of mouth sells books, then shouldn’t word of mouth kill bad books? And I do because what’s bad writing for me maybe just what you needed.

So why am I reading a whole series of books if they are disappointing me? Because I started reading them unfortunately and there is a character couple that I love.

And why don’t I like the series? A number of reasons; Author D sells them as romance genre but there isn’t an HEA after each book; she needs a better editor (as opposed to a yes person who lets her ramble on for 6, 7 or 800 pages, half of which I don’t read); because I don’t trust Author D.

Isn’t that a weird statement - I don’t trust this author? I never really thought in terms of that before. But now 7 books later and this author has shown that she is capable of doing truly horrible things to these characters I love and I don’t trust her to overcome her damn ego and produce an HEA for them.

Are there authors you don’t trust in this way? You don’t have to name names.

Barb N commented:

“I'll name names-- like Stephanie Plum, who after 16? 17? how many? books, is still waffling back and forth between the same two guys.”

When I originally wrote this post I debated putting an Evanovich disclaimer in. I knew I would get this. I love the Plum series. Can’t wait until June to read Smoking Seventeen.

Here’s why Evanovich is different than Author D - because she doesn’t set up the same level of EXPECTATION so I’m not DISAPPOINTED. Evanovich doesn’t claim that the Plum series are romance novels. She calls them sexy mysteries. Which they are. And she wrote a book called How I Write that tells very candidly the formula she uses for writing them (though she doesn’t call it a formula). She starts by finding a crime. Mystery series.

She also deliberately doesn’t arc her characters. Although I think it could be argued that Ranger arcs. I sit down to a Plum book and I know I’m going to read a funny story with lots of sexual innuendo and outrageous stunts like a million cars exploding. I have no EXPECTATIONS beyond that. So I’m not DISAPPOINTED.

Now I’m going to say something really controversial. Anyone who’s read all the Plum books and thinks Stephanie hasn’t chosen a man is not paying attention. In sixteen books there is only one book that doesn’t end with Stephanie and Joe. That is the book that ends with Stephanie in a pile of bodies with Sally Sweet. Get a clue. Stephanie has chosen to be a cupcake. She just hasn’t made it official or given up her babe moments. That’s okay with me. And unless there is a major announcement on Evanovich’s part about an upcoming decision, anyone EXPECTING Stephanie to make it official is going to be DISAPPOINTED.

So why does Author D think she’s above the rules of her chosen genre? If she wants to write romance one of the rules is - cough up an HEA at the end of the book. In a series that would mean at the end of each book.

Barb N says:

“You know, I'm OK with a HFN (happy for now) as opposed to a HEA (happily ever after). Fortune Quilt which I just finished last week, has an HFN ending, and it was good.”

I’m okay with an HFN also unless I’m reading something sold as a romance novel, in which case I’ve been lead to expect an HEA. I loved the Fortune Quilt. I was very surprised when I looked up the genre and it was ‘contemporary romance.’ I always thought most of Lani’s books were women’s fiction. I’m still not disappointed in that book but I’m glad I didn’t read it EXPECTING a romance novel.

I once read a different author, who I’ve stopped reading for similar reasons, JUSTIFY no HEA in a romance novel. She didn’t write HEA’s because not everyone gets a happy ending. Duh. But guess what? That’s reality and reality is non-fiction. If I wanted reality I’d read non-fiction.

What about you? How important is an HEA to you? Do you pay attention to whether a book is categorized correctly or not?

Over in Julieland http://urthalun.com/, in a post called 'Seasonal Variety', the card today is about disappointment. Author D disappointed me and now I don’t trust her. She made beautiful characters whom I love and then she has so far refused them the HEA I have a right to expect since she’s calling the books romance novels.

So until she’s written that final book in the series and I know for certain she has given my favorite characters their due, you won’t see Author D’s books, or name, mentioned here.

Now if you want to e-mail me (jasm_n7@hotmail.com) I’ll be glad to give you her name and discuss her with you.

Barb N thanks for the comment that helped me further clarify my thoughts!

Breaking my own rules...

I won’t be quoting or singing some author’s praises today. Why not? Because I’m reading a series of books that is disappointing to me and I don’t want to trash an author’s work.

First of all, do you agree with that sentiment - not trashing an author’s work? I do. And I don’t. And I do.
I do because I want to be respectful and err on the side of goodness. I don’t because if word of mouth sells books, then shouldn’t word of mouth kill bad books. And I do because what’s bad writing for me maybe just what you needed.

So why am I reading a whole series of books if they are disappointing me? Because I started reading them unfortunately and there is a character couple that I love.

And why don’t I like the series? A number of reasons; she calls them romance genre but there isn’t a HEA after each book; she needs a better editor (as opposed to a yes person who lets her ramble on for 6, 7 or 800 pages, half of which I don’t read); because I don’t trust this author.

Isn’t that a weird statement - I don’t trust this author? I never really thought in terms of that before. But now 7 books later and this author has shown that she is capable of doing truly horrible things to these characters I love and I don’t trust her to overcome her damn ego and produce a HEA for them.

Are there authors you don’t trust in this way? You don’t have to name names.

Also, why does she think she’s above the rules of her chosen genre? If she wants to write romance one of the rules is - cough up a HEA at the end of the book. In a series that would mean at the end of each book.

I once read a different author who I’ve stopped reading for similar reasons, justify no HEA in a romance novel. She didn’t write HEA’s because not everyone gets a happy ending. Duh. But guess what, that’s reality and reality is non-fiction. If I wanted reality I’d read non-fiction.

What about you? How important is a HEA to you? Do you pay attention to whether a book is categorized  correctly or not?

Over in Julieland the card today is about disappointment. This author disappointed me and now I don’t trust her. She made beautiful characters whom I love and then she has so far refused them the HEA I have a right to expect since she’s calling the books romance novels.

So until she’s written that final book in the series and I know for certain she has given my favorite characters their due, you won’t see her books here.

Now if you want to e-mail me (jasm_n7@hotmail.com) I’ll be glad to give you her name and discuss her with you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Romance Novel: The Devil's Waltz, Author: Anne Stuart, Romance Suspense Novel: Fire and Ice, Author: Anne Stuart, Paranormal Futuristic Romance Novel: Raziel: The Fallen, Author: Kristina Douglas

She can write in the past - (historical romance novels):

“A solitary life and an unhealthy taste in literature were bound to produce fantasies that were quite improper.”

Ain’t that the truth? I'm living proof of that statement.

The protagonist, the Honorable Annelise Kempton from The Devil’s Waltz by Anne Stuart was very proper except she liked to read scandalous romance novels; like the novels written by Anne Stuart.

“Behave yourself. It belonged to your aunt.” (Annelise)
“And looking at you in it makes me feel positively incestuous.” (Christian Montcalm aka the devil.)

Snappy repartee like that is one of the things that make Anne’s books worth reading.

Another is clever things like this:

He calls her his dragon and sends her snapdragons like this one:


She calls him Priapus, who was a fertility god. Statues like this one depict him with a large, permanent erection:
Hubba hubba!!!!

She can write in the present - (contemporary romance novels):

From the Ice series by Anne Stuart; describing Reno, my favorite character who is in three of the books and is the hero in Fire and Ice:

“Of course he had to have a Harley, as well, completing the perfect bad-boy image. With the tattooed teardrops on his high cheekbones, and spiky waist-length, flame-colored hair and his long, leather-clad legs and pointy-toed cowboy boots, he was almost irresistible, despite his manners.”

From Ice Storm:

“He loved her mouth, the cold things it could say, the hot things it could do.”

Also Ice Storm mentions the music of Dragon Ash. Go here on you tube to watch them perform Viva La Revolucion live;  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEH6gUk8GKI

There are five Ice books:
1-Black Ice
2-Cold As Ice
3-Ice Blue
4-Ice Storm
5-Fire and Ice

But is dazzling us in the past and amazing us in the present enough for her? No! She changes her name to Kristina Douglas and stuns us in the future with her future paranormal romance series - The Fallen.

So far Raziel: The Fallen is out. Next will be Demon: The Fallen out on 5/31/11.

A shelf full of historical romances, contemporary romances and futuristic paranormal romances; surely that covers all of the talents of Anne Stuart aka Kristina Douglas aka Krissie, right?

Not quite. She also quilts. You can bid on one of her quilts as part of Brenda Novak’s fund raising efforts to fight diabetes if you go here: http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/Bidding.taf?_function=detail&Auction_uid1=2178883

Anne Stuart, affectionately known to her chosen sisters (Jenny Crusie and Lani Rich) as “Krissie’ is a woman of many talents.

If I bid on her quilt and won, I could snuggle under her quilt and read one of her books and I’d be a happy woman.

What would make you a happy woman? Or a happy man?