Subscription/Access Policy: Whatever goes/whatever you feel comfortable with, but please no under 18's.
Fannish Interests: The X-Files
I like to post about: Mulder and Scully and how they are the OTP, occasional personal stuff.
About Me/Other Info: If you Google my name, you will see I have written erotica not related to fandom, penned a movie script, and graduated from HS (lol) I'm queer in some way, still figuring out the specifics, and I'm a liberal. No trumpsters, sexists/racists/homophobes please. As long as you are a nice person I'll be nice back. :)
Last weekend, I house-sat for my aunt and uncle, which meant AC for a few days! *cheers* Naturally, it started to cool down outside just when I finally got access to the air conditioning. I'm home now, but I was able to enjoy it for a few days at least. It's so much easier to accomplish things when you're not hot and tired all the time.
So, after my previous post, I actually did go to the fair on Saturday and had a lovely time.( Read more... )
I also signed up for the hp_creatures fest, so hopefully I can get started on that. I will be in Oregon Thursday through Saturday for unpleasant personal reasons, but I'd like to get started before then. I have until October, but it is better that I use my time wisely, especially before school starts and consumes me. I need all the help that I can get when it comes to actually sitting down and writing anything that's over ~500 words. At least it's a pairing that I feel relatively comfortable with.
I'm supposed to go to a HP trivia night tonight at 7:30; my life is so interesting now. XD;
I still haven't heard back one way or another about the job I interviewed for last Thursday. I told myself I'd email them today to ask but then didn't because just the thought of doing so made my also in prickly and my stomach clench. My anxiety is still on a hair trigger right now. They can tell me later why I didn't get the job, if they want, but I don't expect to get much useful feedback from these kinds of things so I won't mind if they don't.
Todsy I idly tweeted that I follow so many linguists that I'm starting to be jealous I'm not one. Andrew took this and ran with it, researching what kind of student loans/grants I could get and whether local universities have linguistics courses on clearing. He's even set me up a UCAS account, bless him. It's always bugged me that I never finished my degree, and that I was doing the wrong degree, and at the wrong time. But none of that has ever made me feel like I can do anything about it before, so I don't know what's feeling so different now. A little part of me is really loving the possibility, though.
Hamburg was nice; I met with a professor whose research interests me, and he gave me some advice on things to look at (including some translation theory, even) and wanted to hear more about my research in the future, because it's an interesting topic. (So I know one place I'm going to send my exposé once it exists, even if the prospect of living in Hamburg doesn't fill me with glee.)
Dresden was AMAZING. I really liked it there, and the Altstadt was beautiful, even if half of everything was under construction. I took day trips to Leipzig, Bautzen, and Pirna, and Ben and I went to Saxon Switzerland, which is a place I could definitely go back and spend a week in a cute vacation rental or hotel and go hiking and work on a novel. But there isn't a university for me there, because the TU doesn't have anything that matches my research interests.
Berlin was, as usual, great. I got to see kriski and dirtyzucchini and kriski gave me a copy of her poetry collection, which I am excited to read. I flipped through and the one about the woman at the knitting group punched me in the stomach. Good job! I can't wait to share these with my classmates.
I also got to see some parts of Berlin I'd never made it to before, because I didn't have to go to the obligatory tourist sites. I didn't even set foot on the Museum Island!
I have all my photos up on GPhotos; let me know if you want the link (or if you have a GPhotos/gmail you want me to share it with). They are sorted by city but otherwise unlabeled. That's a huge project...
I learned that you don't have to live in the same city you are doing a PhD in, if you are doing a solo promotion and don't have to meet f2f with your advisor very often, which means that theoretically I could live in Berlin while promovieren in Hamburg and go there every other week or whatever. And that your student ID is valid at all the libraries in all the universities :O
I just don't know which city Ben would have better luck finding a job in. Both have a lot of tech/software stuff, but they're both also full of young jobseekers who are more the type (ie cheap labor) startups want. So idk. But any decision is at least 2 years off, because I won't finish here until May 2019 (that's the target) and I doubt I'll finish my thesis and immediately want to write the exposé for winter admission (October). Summer admission (March/April) might be better, even though I'll probably have to turn it in around October anyway.
... yeah, I kind of fell into a really cool dissertation idea, so...
I'm going back to Georgia on the 2nd, so I have another week here. I'll start packing up at the end of this week or the weekend. Mostly I just have to put my clothes into suitcases and streamline a lot of loose crap floating around.
Oh, and I'm going to a roller derby boot camp, so I might join a roller derby team. (My academic schedule may prevent me from participating much this semester, but we shall see.)
In a way I'm kind of used to not sleeping properly and most of my coping methods work most of the time. This is a special circumstance. I know I'm stressed and anxious, I don't deal with change and I'm not sleeping right because of it. I probably won't sleep right for weeks, if not months, because of it. I do have a prescription for sleeping pills if I need them and I hate them but I might have to rely on them for a while.
Too much of a lack of sleep makes all the other shit even harder to deal with... and as with vicious circles round and round we go.
S is also struggling to sleep properly because of the cast on her leg. She's not napping so much during the day either because she's not taking so many painkilers. S is not used to not getting enough sleep and she's getting really grouchy with it. She's also making herself wired by drinking caffeine to wake herself up but isn't doing anything to work off the energy... and so she can't sleep.
I feel really bad for her. She's has never had insomnia. She's seen me dealing with it for years and she told me that now she's experienced it just a little and has a vague idea of just some of what I go through, she told me she doesn't know how I cope. She made me cry when she cuddled me and said she was proud of me for keeping fighting through the darkness.
I feel really bad for J actually. He's got both of us suffering with sleep deprivation and being tired and irritable. How he doesn't yell at us when we're both being bitches I don't know. He just shrugs and says he knows he don't mean it, and he also said to me there'd be no point and that it would resolve anything. That man is a saint.
I probably had a point when I sat down and started to write but that was about 15 minutes ago now and I don't actually remember anymore. I'm tired, like the kind of tired where if I close my eyes too long I might actually go to sleep so I might crawl into bed. Even if all I do is nap for a few hours and I'm wide awake again after, I think that would be better than sitting here for 2 hours until 'bedtime'. I know I'm supposed to 'maintain regular sleep patterns' but I think in the current situation, sleeping when tired is more important.
By now, I imagine most of my fellow geeks are aware that when Peter Capaldi leaves Doctor Who in the coming Christmas special, he’ll be replaced by Jodie Whittaker. Naturally, not everyone was happy about the next Doctor being…gasp…a woman.
As the conversation progressed, I started to see more people suggesting the backlash wasn’t a thing. All they were seeing was people complaining about the backlash, as opposed to anyone actually being unhappy about a woman playing the Doctor. The whole thing was people getting angry over nothing, and feeding on each other’s anger.
Now Steven Moffat himself has joined in to proclaim, “There has been so many press articles about a backlash among the Doctor Who fandom about casting a female Doctor. There has been no backlash at all. The story of the moment is that the notionally conservative Doctor Who fandom has utterly embraced that change completely.”
Oddly, most of the people I’ve seen saying the backlash is imaginary, made-up, and/or blown completely out of proportion, have been men. Perhaps — and I’m just guessing here — because it’s easier for men to overlook sexism? Misogyny doesn’t directly affect us, so we’re less likely to notice it?
It’s like white people denying racism, straight people denying the hatred and intolerance of homosexuality, and so on. Just because we don’t see it — perhaps because we choose not to look, or perhaps because we’ve never learned to look — doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
For all those who share Moffat’s confusion, here are just a few examples of the ignorant, sexist, hateful, and sometimes flat-out batshit responses to Whittaker taking over as the Doctor.
“The replacement of male with female is meant to erase femininity. In point of fact, and no matter what anyone thinks or wishes, readers and viewers have a different emotional relationship to female characters as male. This does not mean, obviously, that females cannot be protagonists or cannot be leaders. It means mothers cannot be fathers and queens cannot be kings.
“…I have been a fan of Dr Who since age seven, when Tom Baker was the Doctor. I have tolerated years of public service announcements in favor of sexual deviance that pepper the show. But this is too much to tolerate.
“The BBC has finally done what The Master, the Daleks and the Cybermen have failed to do. They killed off the Doctor.”
Twitter also has plenty of comments like this fellow’s woeful lament, “And again the PC brigade get their way. R.I.P Doctor Who” (Source)
British tabloid and shit-filled dumpster fire The Sun responded to the announcement by publishing nude photos of Judie Whittaker.
But remember everyone, it’s not about sexism!
“It’s a woman. That’s it, Doctor Who is ruined. Like I said, I’m not sexist, I just don’t think it’s a good idea.” –Mark S.W.
Now, folks might argue that the majority of Doctor Who fans are excited about the Doctor being a woman. (Though there’s a very real and valid frustration that we’re on our fourteenth doctor and the character has still been exclusively white.) Others will say some of the negative comments are coming from trolls just looking to get a reaction, or that of course Daily Mail readers are being horrid about Whittaker’s casting.
You might be right. That doesn’t change the fact that the negativity exists. It’s not one or two isolated assholes. It’s a real and significant thing, and it’s closely tied to the kind of harassment and disdain and hatred and other forms of sexism women deal with every day. Sexism that men so often don’t see. Sexism we respond to by telling women they’re overreacting, or they’re just imagining things, or that if they’d just stop talking about it the problem would somehow magically go away.
I get it. You’re tired of hearing people complain about sexism. Gosh, can you imagine how tiring it must be when you’re constantly on the receiving end of that sexism. Constantly being told you shouldn’t be allowed to play the same kinds of roles. Constantly being told your only worth comes from your body. Constantly being told your inclusion is some kind of public service announcement. Constantly having your accomplishments belittled as “PC pandering.”
Look, I wish we didn’t have folks like Wright rolling around with his head up his ass every time his Straight White Manliness feels threatened by a cartoon or a TV show or whatever else he’s scared of this week, but we do. Pretending otherwise not only turns a blind eye to the pervasiveness of sexism and other forms of bigotry, it also means turning your back on those who are directly targeted by that intolerance every day.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
I hadn’t really planned on writing two books at once this summer. Originally, my goal was to just work on Challenges of Honor. But I had about 15k words in on Klone’s Folly, and since I wanted to have it as a short novel to shop around to various presses…I decided that perhaps it was different enough from Challenges that I could work on Klone as a break from Challenges. Klone has also suffered from being put aside for other projects and I simply wanted to get the dang thing off of the hard drive and out into the world, whether as a submission project or a self-publication project. If I clear it off of the schedule, then I can get to more projects on the list.
I also wanted to find out if it was possible for me to do this sort of writing multi-tasking.
So after about a month of doing this, I’m finding the results to be…interesting. As I anticipated, when I hit a writing wall in one book, switching to the other gets me another 500-1000 words before I’m done for the day. Working on two books doesn’t seem to negatively impact my overall writing totals–I’m averaging about 2x the amount of work on Challenges that I am in Klone, but am roughly at about the same point in the book in both places. I’m shooting for a rough draft of about 60k-80k with Klone and about 90k-100k with Challenges.
Meanwhile, I am finding that yes, with two different types of books, it is possible for me to multi-task like this. Klone is a first person POV, somewhat of an urban fantasy in a rural setting. My current quick summary is that it is Frankenstein’s Monster meets Jane Eyre in contemporary NE Oregon with Sasquatch and other supernaturals and music festivals (though the opening is the only music festival piece so far; I may need to throw another one in). I’ve been going back and forth as to whether it slides into a romance, and I think it might, which would lead to the music festival reprise. My main character Reeni has just revealed herself to be a fire elemental. Hijinks ensue.
Challenges is straightforward epic fantasy, with two third person leads who are strong females with kids–and dealing with Gods, magic gone awry, a dying strong female elder, and all sorts of slight-of-hand political games involving the Gods, an ambitious colonial empire that wants to recapture a rebel colony, and all sorts of stuff. I’m writing a lot of active female leads, not so many men. Hey, it’s a self-pub project–part of my Goddess’s Honor series–and a direct sequel to Pledges of Honor. There is a market for it, albeit not a huge one. My Goddess’s Honor books and short stories keep selling at a decent rate, which makes me happy.
Both books seem to be nourishing each other. I hit the wall on one, and find that winding down with the other book seems to free up my mind to work on the first book reasonably well the next day. It also appears to be less mentally fatiguing than devoting the same amount of time and word count to just one book. Most typically, I’ll get in about 2k on Challenges, then swap over to Klone and get in 500-1000 words for the day without flogging myself along. The switch also seems to work well for summer writing, where I might be breaking up my writing day to do horse things or other outdoor stuff early on in the day, then writing during the heat of the day. I’m also finding it easier to write after dark and later into the evening.
But most of all, I don’t feel as hammered as I would if I were working on both books.
Interestingly, too, both books have seriously jumped the rails with regard to my detailed outlines. In a good way, as I’m throwing in more complications and shoring up plot holes in the process.
Will I do it again? Well, I have other, older projects that need to be dusted off. Now that I’ve finished the Netwalk Sequence, I need to get to these other ideas that have been sitting around. At last count I had about 9 book-level projects I wanted to work on. I don’t know if this concept will work on two books that I’m starting from scratch as it really helped that I was picking up on Klone after I’d gotten some work done on it already.
But that may be the next adventure of a hybrid writer.
Mirrored from Peak Amygdala.
Three Sweet Nothings
This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by Nerdalisque. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Erotic Romance category.
Five years ago, we’d been together and on fire, but the flames burned us both. Now she’s back in my life and is all my wildest fantasies in the flesh.
I want her. The desire is too powerful to argue against, but I’m not interested in what we had. This is an arrangement about pleasure and finding out who we are behind closed doors. There won’t be talk of love or any sweet nothings whispered by either of us.
This time, I’ll control the heat between us and make sure neither of our hearts get too close to the flames.
Here is Nerdalisque's review:
Three Sweet Nothings opens with Kyle getting himself off to a memory of his ex, Ruby (because she’s SO much better than porn). Specifically, he’s recalling a time when he and drunk Ruby fooled around with another girl. This has been his go-to image for five years since their ugly breakup. And based on this single memory, Kyle is absolutely certain that “a filthy freak hid behind that deceptive, good girl front.” (Yes, Ruby’s curious about kink, but thinks her interest is “dirty” and “wrong.”)
Lo and behold, Kyle and Ruby, both lawyers, end up on opposite sides of a high-profile divorce case. She’s still angry with him, and crashes a New Year’s Eve party to confront him. They go off to the hotel’s rooftop pool to talk. Turns out, if they had just used their words five years ago, they wouldn’t have wasted all that energy hating each other. So, Ruby – who’s just “slammed” some wine (#drinking again) – decides to kiss Kyle. Like you do. And (surprise), they end up (fully clothed) in the pool having rough sex and the best orgasms EVER!!!
A few days later, wannabe Dom Kyle contacts Ruby and uses sex to manipulate her into signing a contract agreeing to a purely sexual relationship – no love, no emotions. Because that always works. The rest of the book is them having various kinds of porny sex in various places with various props and even another couple (*gasp*). Then there’s another misunderstanding because they fail to use their words again. But, twue wuv prevails and there’s an HEA. Sort of.
(BTW, there may have been some character growth, but honestly, I didn’t care enough to pay that close attention.)
This book didn’t work for me for a number of reasons. First, it’s written in alternating first-person POV. Not only does that make it all tell, not show, but I didn’t like the characters’ voices. For example, Ruby, at one of her meetings with Kyle, thinks: “A handshake? For real? I gave his dick a handshake with my vagina just a week ago.” Ew.
Second, Kyle, is a conceited, manipulative alpha-hole with a big red flag in his history. In the five years post-Ruby, he’s had a relationship with one woman – his boss. When he tried some do-it-yourself bondage with her, she freaked out about his “stupid fetish.” She wanted a commitment, and when he turned her down, she black-balled him. Kyle then did something to retaliate (just what isn’t spelled out) that was bad enough that she paid him “hush money,” and he left the city. Um, what? Worst of all, he won’t tell Ruby the whole story. And that is just one example of a third, and major, problem – their lack of honesty. Both of them enter into the sex-only partnership because they want to make the other fall (back) in love with them. That’s especially ironic because the only contract clause Ruby insists on adding is “Total honesty between partners.”
I could go on and on about other problems. They forego using condoms based only on each other’s word that they’re clean. Kyle uses his finger for “full-out [anal] fucking” without any lube. There’s some laughable writing: “violated with frigid winter air,” “the song of my approaching orgasm” (#lolololol). An offensive overuse of ellipses, e.g., “It was . . . erotic” (#facepalm) “She unleased [sic] all these . . . feelings.” (#lmfao) Like so many other things in this book, it was . . . annoying.
So let’s get to the sex. Kyle’s idea of being dominant is doing what he wants all the time – because, of course, he knows what Ruby needs (not “likes,” but needs). For example, when they’re in the pool – their first time together after not speaking for five years – he spanks her in a way he calls “aggressive and backed by a dark desire to punish.” Wow. That’s not healthy. Granted, Ruby apparently likes it, because she tells him to do it again, but he did NOT have her consent.
Again, shortly after Ruby has specifically said, “No thank you. I’m not interested in your partnership offer,” this happens:
I was spun around before I understood what was happening.
My hands flew out and I braced myself on the desktop as he bent me over with a shove. “What are you –“
He was faster than lightning. The sides of my skirt were jerked up over my hips . . .
I tried to right myself and push the skirt down, but . . . his open palm smacked hard against my ass.
I just . . . No. She was trying to stop him. And just because his fingers and dick are magic, and she ends up having an orgasm, that doesn’t make it okay.
If two people have spent five years hating each other, even if they still have pants feelings, they shouldn’t play at D/s. Especially if they haven’t communicated beyond filling out a checklist of things they’d like to try. (Kyle: “Dear God, please check anal.” #eyeroll) (BTW, Kyle lies when he fills his list out.) Supposedly Kyle gets a crash course from an experienced Dom, but it happens off the page. Since Ruby is conflicted about her desires, wouldn’t it have been good for her to talk to a sub? Maybe then she’d have known that the moment before someone penetrates you anally isn’t actually when you should decide on your safe word.
Obviously, this book didn’t work for me. I would have DNF’d it if I hadn’t signed up to review it. (I kind of did anyway, because I skimmed the last few chapters.) But I paid enough attention to identify its problems, some of which – issues of consent, the depiction of a “dominant” male – were really troubling.
I have to give it . . . an F.
Three Sweet Nothings by Nikki Sloane received a B- in a previous RITA Reader Challenge Review.
Today’s delayed recap is brought to you by Fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia: because pain doesn’t care that you have shit to do.
I actually slept though The Bachelorette last night, but I’ve got it DVR’d and I’m home today with a giant-ass coffee and muscle relaxers.
You think me recapping while drunk was interesting–just wait till the meds kick in.
We’re down to three men: Eric, Bryan and Peter. Last week Rachel met everyone’s family, Dean went through the pain of meeting his estranged father on camera after two years separation, and then Rachel let him go.
Last week was pretty fucking depressing.
I’m hoping this week is full of WTFery because I’ll be honest, this season has been kind of a downer.
Now, on with the show!
It’s time for the remaining dudes to meet Rachel’s family. Her sister is eight months pregnant so they are meeting in her hometown of Dallas, rather than the usual practice of flying to an exotic locale.
First up is Peter, who has definitely been more reserved than the other dudes. I personally think Rachel likes him best, but he’s more closed off emotionally than Eric or Bryan. Peter and Rachel shop for a baby gift for her sister and a present for her nephew Allister.
The best part is when Peter picks something out and Rachel gives him the “Um, no” eyes. He’s smart enough to defer to her choice. Good man.
Baby clothes are so friggin adorable you guys. I don’t want kids but I could shop for baby stuff all day long. I’m probably one more muscle relaxer away from knitting Dewey a little baby sweater and hat.
Anyway, before they meet her family, Peter pulls her aside and tells Rachel that’s he falling in love with her.
While speaking with Rachel’s mom, Kathy, Peter admits that he’s not sure he’s ready to propose yet because he and Rachel have basically only spent a few weeks together. He still wants to pursue a relationship with her, but he doesn’t know if he would feel right proposing at the end of the show.
While on the one hand I think this is a totally reasonable approach to their relationship, it’s also not what the show is about, so it’s kind of weird to see him say that. The dudes know when they sign up that the show ends with a proposal (usually).
You aren’t following the process–er, journey–Peter! The Rose God will not pleased! Chris Harrison just sat up in his coffin filled with rose petals, his eyes blazing in fury.
Kathy actually likes Peter’s answer, though. She does tell him that she hopes he takes their dating very seriously, though.
Then in what is literally the best shot of the night, we cut away to Rachel and little Allister playing with her dog, Copper.
Copper is a noble floof and I love him.
At one point Peter sits on the floor and colors with Allister and my remaining ovary explodes.
The next day it’s Eric’s turn to meet the Lindsays. Eric admits that he’s never been in love and is last serious relationship was two years ago. Rachel’s sister, Constance, is skeptical that Eric is ready for marriage.
Eric tells Constance that he loves Rachel unconditionally, but isn’t in love yet.
Later Eric asks Kathy if he can have her blessing to propose to Rachel.
But…wait? You just said you weren’t in love yet!
Kathy gives him her blessing anyway.
Lastly it’s Bryan’s turn. Rachel takes him to brunch with a couple of her girlfriends then on to meet her family.
Almost immediately Bryan tells them that his mom is the most important woman in life, which is not all concerning… Like how is that the first thing you say to new people!? “Hi, I’m Bryan and I love my mom more than anybody else.” Cue the Starbucks barista trying to write that all on a cup.
Kathy asks who would get his priority, his wife or his mom. Bryan kind of stumbles during his answer and it’s clear Kathy isn’t impressed.
Right away there’s some tension between Bryan and Rachel’s family. He’s charming, but in a superficial way. They ask him some pretty direct questions, and when they are skeptical of his answers (like when he says he knew Rachel was the one after just a week), Bryan freaks out and leaves the dinner table.
Rachel is irritated that her family seems to be questioning Bryan more intensely than they did Eric or Peter.
Bryan tells Constance that he already loves the family and she’s like, “dude, it’s been an hour.”
Bryan apparently loves everything immediately. But not as much as his mom.
Despite all that, Kathy does give Bryan her blessing to propose to Rachel.
So just to recap: we’ve gone from Peter who isn’t sure of his feelings and is playing this close to the vest, to Eric who has never been in love, to Bryan who loves everyone within five minutes of knowing them.
Anyway, the family stuff is over and we can move on to the best part of the episode–Fantasy Suites. This is when Chris Harrison gives the contestants a hand written letter inviting them to sleep with each other.
I did not make that up. It’s a thing that happens.
So they all fly to La Rioja, Spain. We get a shot of Rachel sipping wine THAT SHE DOES NOT FINISH BEFORE LEAVING HER TABLE. Rachel! We never leave a wine behind! Not ever!
The first date goes to Eric. They take a helicopter to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe where they sip champagne. Later they have dinner, and Eric tells Rachel he’s in love with her.
They open the handwritten Invitation to Bone from Chris Harrison and head over to the Fantasy Suite. There are a lot of candles in the Fantasy Suite. A LOT. I wonder if some unpaid intern has to go around re-lighting the damn things.
After a commercial break we get the token “morning after” scene where the camera pans to an unmade bed, thereby making sure everyone knows the smexing happened. Then Rachel kisses Eric goodbye so she can go on a date with one of the other dudes and probably sleep with him.
I can’t get over how awkward that must be.
“Great job with the sex! I’m going to go have more of it with people who aren’t you. See you Tuesday!”
The next date is with Peter. They go to a vineyard where they actually finish their wine this time. Once again Peter tells her he’s not ready to propose.
This seems like a pretty important conversation, but they are interrupted by a little girl bringing Rachel flowers. I assume Peter planned the whole thing.
“She’s asking about commitment! Operation Shirley Temple is a go! I repeat, Operation Shirley Temple is a go!”
He doesn’t get off that easily, though. Over dinner Rachel tells Peter that she didn’t sign up for the show in order to find a boyfriend, she’s looking for a husband. Peter tells her that he considers engagement as seriously as marriage–he wants to be 100% certain he’s ready to be married before he gets engaged.
Rachel is more okay with their engagement still being a “getting to know each other” stage of their relationship.
The episode ends with Rachel tearing up. She feels like they aren’t at the same place and she says, “Tonight, for the first time ever, I’m thinking Peter and I might not work out.”
Then we get the dramatic TO BE CONTINUED
Do you think Peter can come back from this? Are you still watching?
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You can make headers and images for social media and promotional graphics, plus it includes a Facebook 20% text checker to make sure what you make will fly with the FB lords.
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Let Us Dream
Let Us Dream by Alyssa Cole is 99c! This was Redheadedgirl’s favorite story in the Daughters of a Nation anthology. It’s also nominated for a RITA® this year in the Romance Novella category. Ppyajunebug wrote a guest review for our Reader Challenge and here’s what she had to say:
Cole is one of the few authors on my instabuy list – I will buy anything she writes, regardless of genre, pairing, or length. She writes interesting, fully-realized characters with an eye towards how society shapes their experiences and personalities. “Let Us Dream” is no exception to that rule and I, and everyone else who reads it, should be thankful for that.
*This novella originally appeared in Daughters of A Nation: A Black Suffragette Historical Romance Anthology*
After spending half her life pretending to be something she’s not, performance is second nature for cabaret owner Bertha Hines. With the election drawing near and women’s voting rights on the ballot, Bertha decides to use her persuasive skills to push the men of New York City in the right direction.
Chef Amir Chowdhury jumped ship in New York to get a taste of the American Dream, only to discover he’s an unwanted ingredient. When ornery Amir reluctantly takes a job at The Cashmere, he thinks he’s hit the bottom of the barrel; however, working at the club reignites his dream of being a force for change. His boss, Bertha, ignites something else in him.
Bertha and Amir clash from the start, but her knowledge of politics and his knowledge of dance force them into a detente that fans the flames of latent desire. But Bertha has the vice squad on her tail, and news from home may end Amir’s dream before it comes to fruition. With their pasts and futures stacked against them, can Amir and Bertha hold on to their growing love?
Waking the Bear
Waking the Bear by Kerry Adrienne is 99c! This is a Kindle Daily Deal and the second book, Pursuing the Bear, is a 99c KDD as well. Readers loved the park ranger/bear shifter hero, but others found the dialogue a bit…corny. Trigger warning as well, as the heroine is rebuilding her life following an abusive relationship. It has a 3.7-star rating on Goodreads.
Sexy shifter passion is awakened when two unlikely lovers are challenged by secrets, danger and an unstoppable need to claim one’s mate…
For human Amy Francis, the secluded cabin in Deep Creek is the haven she needs to map out a fresh new start. She never expected her heart to be reawakened by a distraction like Griff Martin, commanding yet gentle, too ferociously sensual to ignore. It’s clear that patrolling the forest is more than a job to Griff—it’s a means of survival. But what Amy doesn’t realize is she’s reawakened the beast within him.
Griff’s dormant hunger is stirred by this intoxicating woman…and threatened by the secret she must never learn. Duty-bound to defend his bear clan against an avenging pride of lion shifters, Griff’s entire world is upended when he meets Amy. His animal need to claim his mate has taken hold, but that very desire could seal her fate as an unwitting pawn in battle.
Now, as a shifter war looms, Griff must decide between letting Amy go or following his most carnal instincts. To have her would change his life…but risk everything he knows and was born to protect.
RECOMMENDED: Madame X by Jasinda Wilder is $2.99! I read this book and while it’s not quite a romance, I really enjoyed it. It’s a unique, dark, and twisted start to a trilogy. I gave it a B+:
Madame X isn’t going to be for everyone…. It’s written in first person. It does end on a cliffhanger. It deals with abuse (trigger warning) – physically, financially, and psychologically. There’s no HEA in this book as it’s an ongoing series following the same heroine. And there are also themes of infidelity.
But, if you’re still with me, it’s also one of the most unique books I’ve read in a while. It sucked me in and broke my heart. The next book cannot come soon enough.
Madame X invites you to test the limits of control in this provocative new
novel from New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder.
My name is Madame X.
I’m the best at what I do.
And you’d do well to follow my rules…
Hired to transform the uncultured, inept sons of the wealthy and powerful into decisive, confident men, Madame X is a master of the art of control. With a single glance she can cut you down to nothing, or make you feel like a king.
But there is only one man who can claim her body—and her soul.
Undone time and again by his exquisite dominance, X craves and fears his desire in equal measure. And while she longs for a different path, X has never known anything or anyone else—until now…
The Invisible Library
RECOMMENDED: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman is $2.99! This is a fantasy novel that Carrie really enjoyed. She graded it a B+:
While I genuinely loved the characters and concepts of the book, it’s played strictly for fun adventure. This isn’t a philosophical book. There’s some character development, but it’s not huge. It’s basically just an excuse to have smart people fight cyborg alligators in a ballroom and werewolves in a museum. Luckily during the week that I read this book I was stressed out so it was just what I needed. It’s smart, well-written fluff and I ate it up with a spoon. I am avidly waiting for the sequel.
Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author.
One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction…
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.
London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.
Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself…
This HaBO is from E.D., who has been searching for this book for at least a decade:
I’ve been looking for this book for over 10 years.
All I remember is:
- The cover had a swan I think, not sure if it was part of the cover or a publishers logo.
- I know the characters wore corsets and lace up petticoats, but I’m not sure about the time frame of the book just that it was set in the past. Pre-1900s I think.
- The main character has freckles and at one point is using some sort of cucumber cream when she falls from the barn loft right in front of the main guy.
- She’s kind of tomboyish, and the dress she’s wearing when she’s with the main guy to visit someone is too big for her. The person they visit points it out and says the dress is ugly, might have been yellow in color.
- The guy is kind of mean/rude to her at first and sees her as a bother.
- Something about horses. I think the guy rides them and she wants to, but since she’s a girl she isn’t allowed.
- They end up in a compromising situation so they have to get married, but they were set up by his and her family.
- After she thinks they have sex for the first time, she wonders why she isn’t walking funny, like she’s seen the mares do after they are mounted by a male.
- She ends up pregnant, and they both are very in love.
- Near the end, I think she’s sitting cross legged on the bed pregnant and naked with her long hair covering her breasts, and her husband thinks she’s beautiful.
That’s a lot of detail! Someone knows this book.
I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.
Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.
"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.
(My right ear is the void, apparently.)
(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)
And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.
You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.
I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.
I guess maybe it does.
I had plans to get a lot of work done on Monday, but after doing some of it in the morning, I went out at lunchtime to run a couple of errands, noticed there was a Lugia raid in Cabin John Park, and spent the next hour bonding with strangers from GroupMe and Discord while we waited for enough people to arrive to battle said Pokemon, which we defeated, and I caught!
So yes, I had a very grownup afternoon. Angela came over when she got off work, I showed off my Thor and playbills, and we ended up getting Lebanese Taverna and watching the musical episode of Once Upon a Time because she hadn't seen it and it remains the best thing they did over the course of the past four years, especially the Charmings.
We watched the beginning of the Orioles game with Adam (poor Wilson Ramos!), then Will: The Velvet Goldmine Episode (I'm sure it has another title but that's how I'll remember it -- Marlowe's coat!), then the Orphan Black we missed (I can never decide whether I feel sorry for Rachel or want her to die). Some more Chihuly from the New York Botanical Garden exhibit:
( NYBG Chihuly )
- rereading the Toby Daye books
- lots of new nonfiction books
- coffee, meds, food I know is okay, sunlight, naps, all the things that help me feel functional
- shiny objects like metal washers that are just there waiting for someone to pick them up and polish them and make treasures
- a partner who loves me and pets me when I just want to lie there and be a flat cat
Slight case of brainweasels and fwump: ( Read more... )