30 Apr 2013
in Book Reviews, Books, Contemporary fiction, eBooks, Fantasy, Historical, Less Than Three Press, Loose id, M/M Fiction, No Boundaries Press, Riptide Publishing, samhain press, Science Fiction, Shifters, Silver Publishing, Supernatural, Uncategorized, Vampires
Tags: Abigail Roux, AM Arthur, Andrea Speed, Andrew Grey, Eden Winters, Elin Gregory, established gay couples, gay mages, gay soldiers, Hurri Cosmo, Jay Kirkpatrick, John Inman, JP Bowie, Karenna Colcroft, Kendall McKenna, Kim Fielding, lovers reunited, Lucius Parhelion, m/m contemporary fiction, m/m contemporary romance, m/m erotic romance, m/m fantasy, m/m fiction, m/m fiction series, m/m historical fiction, m/m historical romance, m/m science fiction, m/m short stories, Megan Derr, Sarah Black, TJ Klune, Willa Okati
Unbelievably, today is the last day in April and the start of something new for Scattered Thoughts. I am going to post a summary of each months books reviews on the last day of the month. Hopefully, this will make it easy to find a new book to read, a book review you might have missed or a book you just might want to reconsider. It also helps me gather my Scattered Thoughts when it comes to the year’s Best of in December.
It was a very good month, with some remarkable stories from new authors and beloved writers and everyone in between. Trust me, there really is something for everyone here this month:
April 2013 Review Summary
5 Star Rating:
Collusion by Eden Winters
On The Lee Shore by Elin Gregory
The General and the Horse-Lord by Sarah Black
Touch & Geaux by Abigail Roux
4 to 4.75 Star Rating:
A Beautiful Disaster by Willa Okati (4.25)
Brute by Kim Fielding (4.5)
Fire For Effect by Kendall McKenna (4.5)
Freedom by Jay Kirkpatrick (4.75)
Into This River I Drown by TJ Klune (4.5)
Josh of the Damned, Triple Feature #2, The Final Checkout
by Andrea Speed (4.25)
Loving Hector by John Inman (4.25)
Masked Riders by Lucius Parhelion (4.5)
The Fight Within by Andrew Grey (4.5)
The Good Fight by Andrew Grey (4.75)
Unearthing Cole by A.M. Arthur (4.25)
3 to 3.75 Star Rating:
Highland Vampire Vengeance by J.P. Bowie (3.75)
Love You Like A Romance Novel by Megan Derr (3.5)
Sensei by Karenna Colcroft (3)
2 to 2.75 Star Rating:
The Astral Mage by Hurri Cosmo (2.75)
01 Jan 2013
in Book Reviews, Books, Contemporary fiction, eBooks, Fantasy, Historical, Less Than Three Press, Loose id, M/M Fiction, No Boundaries Press, Riptide Publishing, samhain press, Science Fiction, Shifters, Supernatural, Uncategorized, Vampires
Tags: Abigail Roux, Amelia C. Gormley, Amy Lane, Andrea Speed, Andrew Grey, Anne Tenino, Ariel Tachna, Astrid Amara, BA Tortuga, Cardeno C, Carole Cummings, charlie cochrane, Dreamspinner Press, Ethan Day, gay fiction, gay stories, GLBTQ fiction, Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane, Isabelle Rowan, James Buchanan, JL Langley, Joel Skelton, Josephine Myles, Kate Steele, Katey Hawthorne, Laura Baumbach, Lynn Lorenz, m/m contemporary fiction, m/m fantasy, m/m fiction, m/m romance, m/m science fiction, m/m series, Marguerite Labbe, Mary Calmes, MLR Press, Nicole Kimberling, Piper J. Vaughn, Poppy Denison, RC Cooper, RJ Scott, Rodney Ross, Sarah Black, Scattered Thoughts Book Wishes for 2013, Shira Anthony, SJ Frost, TJ Klune, Willa Okati
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Book Wishes for 2013:
While everyone has been busy making New Year’s resolutions, I have been thinking about what I would wish for 2013 in books. Turns out I have quite a few wishes, some I would like to share in hopes they reach an author’s ear or more…..
❋I wish that 2013 brings a new book from JL Langley, this one to feature Sterling and Rhys, her wolf shifters…boy have we been waiting for their story.
❋I wish that 2013 brings another book in the Knitting series from Amy Lane *cough Jeremy cough*
❋I wish that 2013 brings Roan, Dylan, Holden, and the rest back with a fervor because Andrea Speed is killing me with anticipation over what the virus is going to do to Roan next.
❋I wish that Josh Lanyon is relaxed and happy from his sabbatical and ready to unleash some new books on his adoring fans.
❋I wish that I finally have time to start and finish JP Barnaby‘s Lost Boy series.
❋I wish that when authors are describing human eyes, the term “orb” doesn’t even come to mind as a word choice. Really, people, you are making me mental with this one. No more “his adoring blue orbs”. Do you hear how dumb that sounds? Magical orbs, alien orbs, fine. Human orbs, no. Emphatically, unwaveringly, absolutely no. See my Vocabulary Gone Bad series.
❋Ditto man tits.
❋I wish to that Abigail Roux doesn’t hurt Ty and Zane too badly in her next Cut & Run series, but that probably won’t happen.
❋I wish to see fewer instances of “instalove”, more measured steps towards a romantic relationship.
❋I wish that 2013 brings new stories about the Roughstock gang (BA Tortuga) and see Sam further along in his recovery.
❋I wish that Mary Calmes gives us another story in her werepanther universe and Domin Thorne and Yuri, really love those two.
❋I wish that I start taking my time reading books I have been waiting for instead of rushing through them (and then having to start over). Patience, I need more patience.
❋I wish that when authors put their characters through hell (rape, savage attacks etc), there is no instant recovery without any effects from the abuse. If you are going to go there, then at least make what happens to these people realistic all the way through. No brutal multiple rapes and then joyful snowmobiling through the countryside. This makes me crazy too.
❋I wish that Andrew Grey is as prolific as he was in 2012. I need more Range stories and Taste of Love series.
❋I wish that 2013 let’s me finish and write the rest of the reviews for Charlie Cochrane‘s outstanding Cambridge Fellows series, really I have no good excuse for this one, time just got away from me.
❋I wish that RJ Scott continues to write in her Sanctuary series, love those boys and TJ Klune brings back more bad poetry from the Kid as well as the Kid himself.
❋I wish to see less rushed endings and more complete backstories.
❋My wish for Sarah Black is for the Pacific Northwest to be as big a muse as the American southwest has been in the past.
❋I wish for more great m/m science fiction.
❋I wish for more in the Wick universe from Megan Derr.
❋I wish for anything new from Laura Baumbach.
❋I wish to see Tucker Springs explode with stories from many of my favorite authors (Marie Sexton, Heidi Cullinan and LA Witt).
❋I wish for more of the Bellingham Mysteries from Nicole Kimberling and Bellski stories from Astrid Amara.
❋I wish that 2013 let’s me discover more new authors I can’t live without. Thank you, 2012 for RC Cooper, Amelia C. Gormley, Rodney Ross, Shira Anthony, Poppy Denison, Marguerite Labbe, Joel Skelton, Katey Hawthorne, Piper J. Vaughn, Cardeno C, Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane to name the ones that jump into my fogged brain this morning.
❋I wish to thank those authors whose stories I have been reading for sometimes for the continued enjoyment and hours of escape you have given me and so many other readers…..Ariel Tachna, Ethan Day, Anne Tenino, James Buchanan, SJ Frost, Josephine Myles, Willa Okati, Carole Cummings, Isabelle Rowan, Kate Steele, Lynn Lorenz, and so many others (again fogged brain from late night and Redskins game).
❋And a final wish for 2013 is for people to remember and rediscover the wonderful Home series by William Neale, an author who will truly be missed.
So that’s it, all my pathetic brain can spew out today. I am sure there is much more trying to battle their way forward but they will have to wait. A shout out to all the couples in Maryland that starting getting married at 12:01am this morning. Congratulations and a Happy New Year. I will be leaving you all with a picture of Kirby in his New Year’s finest, please note the black leis, a nice touch don’t you think to go with his tiara?
30 Dec 2012
in Book Reviews, Books, Contemporary fiction, eBooks, Fantasy, Less Than Three Press, Loose id, M/M Fiction, No Boundaries Press, Shifters, Supernatural, Uncategorized
Tags: 2012 New Years Even resolutions, Bayou series, Cover Up, Dreamspinner Advent 2012 Stories "Evergreen", Dreamspinner Advent Stories 2012, gay wolf shifters, GLBTQ fiction, KC Burns, Lynn Lorenz, m/m contempor, m/m contemporary fiction, m/m romance, m/m short stories, Marguerite Labbe, Megan Derr, shifters, Wick series, wolf shifter
Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and the official end to 2012. There have been plenty of highs and lows, especially lows that I am ready to let 2012 go and not mourn the loss. But 2012 also brought me some lovely new friends, especially in our DC Metro Area M/M Romance group, my blog turned one year old and of course, Kirby found his way to our household to liven things up even further.
Today is the Redskins versus the Cowboys game (tonight actually) so this will be short and sweet. Yes, I know I said I was going to give them up, but then RGIII arrived, my backbone noodled out, so I am once more a rabid followers, sigh.
This is what our week ahead looks like:
Monday, Dec. 31st: Frostwick by Megan Derr
Tuesday, Jan. 1st: Scattered Thoughts New Year Wishes
Wed., Jan 2nd: Cover Up by KC Burn
Thursday, Jan 3rd: Final Look at Dreamspinner Press Advent Stories
Friday, Jan 4th: Bayou Loop by Lynn Lorenz
Saturday, Jan 5th: All I Want Is You by Marguerite Labbe
Thank you all for reading and commenting. I hope you will stay with me in 2013. Happy New Year from Kirby and myself and the rest of the terriers!
29 Dec 2012
in Book Reviews, Books, Contemporary fiction, eBooks, Fantasy, Historical, Less Than Three Press, Loose id, M/M Fiction, No Boundaries Press, Riptide Publishing, Science Fiction, Shifters, Silver Publishing, Supernatural, Uncategorized
Tags: A Token of Time, Amy Lane, Andrea Speed Infected series, Anne Cain, artist Paul Richmond, best of 2012 eBook cover designs, Cardeno C, Catt Ford, cover design, eBook cover, eBook cover designs, Ethan Day, Jan Suzukawa, Josh of the Damned Triple Feature, LC Chase, London Burdon, Mary Calmes, PL Nunn, Posh Gosh, principles of cover design, Reese Dante, Scattered Thoughts Best Book Covers of 2012, Sidecar, Turkey in the Snow, Wake Me Up Inside, Winterheart Designs
Once again its time to talk book covers and book cover design. I have talked previously about my favorite covers from childhood and how the mere sight of a great cover in the window of a bookstore would draw me in like the scent of cheese to a mouse. If the cover is the magnet the publisher and author uses to attract readers, there are certain principles of design that used to be taken into consideration to make that cover the one that grabs peoples attention, that yells look at me, that makes them want to know what that book is about.
For printed books, the designer has to look at several things such as book size, typographic palette (how blocks of text are located on a cover), book covers, book spines and fonts. With respect to eBooks, spines aren’t relevant, nor is book size, at least how it is normally used in the publisher world. It’s not the actual physical size that matters here with eBooks but that readers are often looking at a smaller graphic when choosing eBooks. So now smaller has to make an even greater impact. All the other design elements remain the same. Book covers, whether for print or electronic books, must be compelling enough to make the reader to choose that book, to persuade the customer that what is inside is fascinating, marvelous stuff.
Another rule is that the book cover should match the book it is being designed for. Whether the design is simple or rich in detail, elegant or street tough, uses a cover model or an illustration, there should be no disconnect between the subject matter inside and out. I can’t tell you how many times I thought nice cover but what does it have to do with the subject of the book? And it if is a book series, then all the covers should be similar enough to brand each book a part of a series, one glance tells you who the author is and what series you are reading (ex. Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series with a singular object on the cover). A great book cover makes you anticipate, endows you with a need to discover.
On every review I write I also mention the covers and the cover artists. There are always some cover artists who continue to turn out one enticing cover after another, there are some artists you can identify just by looking at the style of the design or paintings on the cover (Paul Richmond, Posh Gosh). And then this year saw a new artist or two whose cover reached out with it’s compelling designs and emotional overtones. This year also saw a trend towards retro illustrations and design which I loved and others whose richness in color and detail left me gasping in delight. It was hard to narrow the covers down as there were so many worthy of mention, so I did break it down into a few categories.
So here they are, Scattered Thoughts Best Covers of 2012(with apologies in advance for the formatting problems):
On the Trail to Moonlight Gulch by Shelter Somerset/Artist Anne Cain
The Mystery of Ruby Lode by Scotty Cade / Artist Reese Dante
The Celestial by Barry Brennessel/ Artist Winterheart Designs
Acrobat by Mary Calmes/ Artist Anne Cain
Mine by Mary Calmes/Artist Anne Cain
Mourning Heaven by Amy Lane/Artist Paul Richmond
Sidecar by Amy Lane/Artist Shoshana Appavu
Time Gone By by Jan Suzukawa/Artist Anne Cain
Turkey in the Snow by Amy Lane/Artist Catt Ford
Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C/Artist Reese Dante
The Ronin and The Fox by Cornelia Grey/Artist Nathie
A Token of Time by Ethan Day/Artist Winterheart Design
Science Fiction Novels:
Burn by TJ Klune/Artist Catt Ford
Josh of the Damned, Triple Feature by Andrea Speed/Artist LC Chase
Riot Boy by Katey Hawthorne/Artist P.L. Nunn
Infected Series by Andrea Speed/ Artist Anne Cain
Knitting series by Amy Lane/Artist Catt Ford
Leopard’s Spots series by Bailey Bradford/Artist Posh Gosh
Lost Gods by Megan Derr/Artist London Burdon
There were so many others I wished to include and I know you have your favorites too. Write and let me know who you feel should have been on that list (King Perry, Fallout to name a few that came close). Check out the individual reviews to see the covers in greater detail and read about the books they so beautifully covered!
17 Dec 2012
in Book Reviews, Books, Contemporary fiction, eBooks, Historical, Less Than Three Press, Loose id, M/M Fiction, No Boundaries Press, samhain press, Science Fiction, Shifters, Silver Publishing, Supernatural, Uncategorized, Vampires
Tags: Abigail Roux, Amerlia C. Gormley, Amy Lane, Andrea Speed, Andrew Grey, Animal Magnetism anthology, Anne Barwell, Anne Tenino, Ariel Tachna, B, BA Tortuga, Barry Brennessel, Bella Leone, Best Gay Fiction of 2012, Carden C, charlie cochrane, Dani Alexander, Dreamspinner Press, est M/M Fiction of 2012, Ethan Day, GLBTQ fiction, Harper Fox, Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane, Infected series, Katey Hawthorne, Kim Fielding, Lashings of Sauce anthology, Love Lane Books, m/m contemporary romance, m/m historical fiction, m/m romance, m/m science fiction, m/m supernatural fiction, Making Contact, Marguerite Labbe, Mary Calmes, Megan Derr, RC Cooper, Riptide Publishing, RJ Scott, Rodney Ross, Sarah Black, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best Books of 2012, Scotty Cade, Shira Anthony, Tere Michaels, Three Fates Anthology, TJ Klune, Val Kovalin, William Neale, Xavier Axelson
What a spectacular year for great books in every genre from historical to fantasy! I have read so many wonderful books and series this year that it is hard to even begin to narrow down the list, although I have tried. What makes a book great for me? So many things, that it needs its own list.
The books I listed here are ones that moved me to tears and made me laugh out loud, they took me to places I have never been to see sights fantastic, miraculous, and awe inspiring. I have watched dragons soar and seen twin suns set over alien worlds. Through these wonderful authors I have met people who continue to stay with me through the power of their stories and the connectedness that I feel with each of the characters I have read about. Sometimes the books have taught me something about myself and how I looked at others or just gave me a deeper appreciation for my fellow beings.
I have grieved with men who have lost their soul mates, been with them as they worked through the trauma and loss, and celebrated as they moved forward with their lives. I watched men fall in love, whether it be with shifters, wizards, or just a man they met on the side of the road. Love lost, love found or lovers rediscovering the best about each other…that seems to know no boundaries as far as who you are and what world you inhabit. It doesn’t even matter whether the story is set in the past or goes far into the future. The authors and books listed here are ones that I cherish and return to often to visit with them once more. If you haven’t already read them, I hope you will add them to your list of must reads, as they are surely mine.
Oh, and by the way, this list is not complete. There are some wonderful books still to be released in the last two weeks of December, and there are some that I just missed from my own reviews. So look to see a revised list after the first of the year. Really there is something for everyone here. Happy reading!
Best Historical Book:
All Lessons Learned by Charlie Cochrane (Best Series) review coming in 2013
The Celestial by Barry Brennessel
The Mystery of Ruby Lode by Scotty Cade
Best Short Story
Eight Days by Cardeno C
Fair Puckled by Bella Leone
Lily by Xavier Axelson
Leather Work and Lonely Cowboys, a Roughstock story, by BA Tortuga
Too Careful by Half, a Roughstock story, BA Tortuga
Best Contemporary Romance – Standalone
Fall Into the Sun by Val Kovalin
Marathon Cowboys by Sarah Black
Fallout by Ariel Tachna
Good Bones by Kim Fielding
Legend of the Apache Kid by Sarah Black
Mine by Mary Calmes
Play It Again, Charlie by RC CooperScrap Metal by Harper Fox
Sidecar by Amy Lane
The Cool Part of His Pillow by Rodney Ross
Best Novels – Part of a Series
A Foreign Range by Andrew Grey
Acceleration by Amelia C. Gormley
But My Boyfriend Is by KA Mitchell
Chase the Stars by Ariel Tachna
Cherish, Faith, Love & Devotion 4 by Tere Michaels
Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino
Full Circle by RJ Scott
Hope by William Neale
Inherit the Sky by Ariel Tachna (Best Series)
Second Hand, a Tucker Springs story by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton
Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux (Best Series)
The Journal of Sanctuary One by RJ Scott
The Melody Thief by Shira Anthony (also Best Series)
Who We Are by TJ Klune
Best First Novels
The Cool Park of His Pillow by Rodney Ross
Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander
Inertia by Amelia C. Gormley (Best Series)
Best Supernatural Book:
A Token of Time by Ethan Day
Crucible of Fate by Mary Calmes (Best Series)
Druid Stone by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
Ghosts in the Wind by Marguerite Labbe
Hawaiian Gothic by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
Infected: Life After Death by Andrea Speed (Best Series)
Riot Boy by Katey Hawthorne
The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux
Science Fiction Books:
Emerald Fire by A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder
The Trust by Shira Anthony
Best Fantasy Books:
Black Magic by Megan Derr
Burning Bright by Megan Derr (Lost Gods series)
Chaos (Lost Gods series) by Megan Derr
Magic’s Muse by Anne Barwell
Poison by Megan Derr (Lost Gods series)
Treasure by Megan Derr (Lost Gods series)
Best Series – new books this year:
A Change of Heart series by Mary Calmes (supernatural)
Blue Notes series by Shira Anthony (contemporary)
Cambridge Fellows series by Charlie Cochrane (historical)
Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux (and Madeleine Urban) (Contemporary)
Faith, Love & Devotion series by Tere Michaels (contemporary)
Infected Series by Andrea Speed (supernatural)
Knitting series by Amy Lane (contemporary)
Lost Gods by Megan Derr (Fantasy)
Sanctuary series by RJ Scott (contemporary)
Sci Regency series by JL Langley (science fiction)
So Many Great Series, here are more of my favorites:
A Matter of Time series by Mary Calmes (contemporary)
Jewel Bonds series by Megan Derr (fantasy)
Superpowered Love series by Katey Hawthorne
Wick series by Megan Derr
Lashings of Sauce
I know that many books are missing but I just did not get to them this year, including JP Barnaby’s Little Boy Lost series, Andrew Grey’s Range series, and so many more. Look for them in 2013. Do you have a favorite I should know about? Write me and let me know.
25 Nov 2012
in Book Reviews, Books, Contemporary fiction, eBooks, Fantasy, Favorite Recipes, Less Than Three Press, Loose id, M/M Fiction, No Boundaries Press, Recipes, Science Fiction, Shifters, Uncategorized
Tags: Amy Lane, Andrew Grey, Gay Holiday Stories, GLBTQ fiction, KC Burn, Left Over Turkey Recipes, m/m contemporary romance, m/m fantasy fiction, m/m fiction, m/m fiction series, m/m science fiction, m/m short Holiday stories, m/m short stories, m/m supernatural fiction, Megan Derr, Taste of Love series, Tere Michaels, Week Ahead in Reviews
Thanksgiving is over, the leftovers have been divvied out to family and friends, and the thought of cooking at the moment leaves me a little numb. On top of everything, I ended up the next day in an emergency care after hours clinic for a fever, sore throat and massive ear aches. So yeah, there’s that too that seems to go with the holidays.
Still the memories of family and good times are warm even if the leftover turkey isn’t and it leaves me plenty of time to read, review and knit a scarf or two as presents for the nieces. The cold weather here in Maryland is bitter, the bird feeders stocked to the brim, and the terriers are snug in their (meaning my) bed. If you need some books to fill your eStockings, here are some I definitely recommend:
Monday 11/26: Mourning Heaven by Amy Lane
Tuesday 11/27: A Slice of Love (Taste of Love #4) by Andrew Grey
Wednesday 1128: Cherish (Faith, Love, & Devotion, #4) by Tere Michaels
Thursday 11/29: Spice ‘n’ Solice by KC Burn
Friday 11/30: Black Magic by Megan Derr
Saturday 12/1 Holiday Stories
Dad’s Leftover Turkey Pot Pie (from allrecipes.com)
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
2 cups frozen peas and carrots
2 cups frozen green beans
1 cup sliced celery
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/3 cups milk
4 cups cubed cooked turkey meat – light
and dark meat mixed
4 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. Place the peas and carrots, green beans, and celery into a saucepan; cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer over medium-low heat until the celery is tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the vegetables in a colander set in the sink, and set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2/3 cup of flour, salt, black pepper, celery seed, onion powder, and Italian seasoning; slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens. Remove from heat; stir the cooked vegetables and turkey meat into the filling until well combined.
4. Fit 2 pie crusts into the bottom of 2 9-inch pie dishes. Spoon half the filling into each pie crust, then top each pie with another crust. Pinch and roll the top and bottom crusts together at the edge of each pie to seal, and cut several small slits into the top of the pies with a sharp knife to release steam.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until the crusts are golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. If the crusts are browning too quickly, cover the pies with aluminum foil after about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
05 Aug 2012
in Book Reviews, Books, Contemporary fiction, eBooks, Fantasy, Favorite Recipes, Historical, Less Than Three Press, M/M Fiction, No Boundaries Press, Recipes, Riptide Publishing, samhain press, Science Fiction, Shifters, Silver Publishing, Supernatural, Uncategorized, Vampires
Tags: Ava March, bisexual fiction, Brook Street: Thief, Carina Press, contemporary romance, Georgie Leigh, GLBTQ fiction, Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane, M. A. Church, m/m novels, Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael, Olympics, Pimm's Cup, Priceless, Serena Yates, short stories, Suicide Point, The Druid Stone, The Florist
It’s August, it’s hot and dry here in Maryland. Normal right? Well, except for the 100 degree days, but the dryness? That’s becoming typical too. We are down about 8 inches here from our normal rainfall, but compared to some of the other states now experiencing record drought conditions, that is nothing. As we hear of farmers and ranchers selling off stock they can’t feed and the Mississippi is down 20 ft in places, along with Lake Michigan recording a water temperature in the 90′s, I think Maryland is getting off easy comparatively speaking. But we will feel it, make no doubt about it. Higher food prices, higher costs in transportation, we are all woven together. A small ripple here becomes a tidal wave there.
So I would like to think that the Olympics in Great Britain are generating tidal waves of good feelings that are crashing upon the shores of many nations. I love watching athletes from all over the world competing and (mostly, what was with those badminton teams?) giving it their best. Did you see that rower from Niger? Never been in a boat, never rowed before, came in dead last and grinned like crazy! And then there is Michael Phelps putting on a show of remarkable physical ability, great team spirit and a happiness that I will remember for some time to come. So many wonderful moments this week from the women competing whether it was gymnastics, swimming, Judo, weightlifting, or women in head scarves running like the wind. I am just glued to my set and don’t see that changing until the very last whistle is blown and the torch goes out. How about you? Are you watching?
So this is what I have been reading in between watching the Olympics:
Monday: The Druid Stone by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
Tuesday: When Forever May Not Be Long Enough by Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael
Wednesday: The Florist by Serena Yates
Thursday: Priceless by M.A. Church
Friday: Suicide Point by Georgie Leigh
Saturday: Brook Street: Thief by Ava March
Now on to this Sunday’s Feature Cocktail. In a nod to the British Olympics, here is the recipe for a Pimm’s Cup. This recipe is for one drink. Make as many as you like!
Pimm’s Cup Ingredients:
About 1 cup ice cubes
1/4 cup (2 ounces) Pimm’s No. 1
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) ginger beer or ginger ale
1 cucumber slice
1 sprig fresh mint (5 to 6 leaves)
Fill highball glass with ice. Add Pimm’s, then top with ginger beer, garnish with cucumber slice and mint sprig, and serve.
Now I am off to watch the Olympics and finish Megan Derr’s Poison, the 4th book in the Lost Gods series.
21 Jul 2012
in Book Reviews, Books, Contemporary fiction, eBooks, Historical, Loose id, M/M Fiction, No Boundaries Press, Riptide Publishing, samhain press, Science Fiction, Shifters, Silver Publishing, Supernatural, Uncategorized, Vampires
Tags: Abigail Roux, Adrien English series, Andrea Speed, Bellingham Mysteries, Bond of the Maleri series, book series, Cambrige Fellows, Carol Lynne, Cattle Valley, charlie cochrane, childhood books, childhood reading habits, contemporary series, Cut & Run series, Darkever series, Dragonriders of Pern, eBooks, eReaders, Heaven Sent series, Jet Mykles, JL Langley, Josh Lanyon, Kate Steele, Katey Hawthorne, Lost Gods series, Megan Derr, mystery series, Nancy Drew, Nicole Kimberling, RJ Scott, science fiction series, Stieg Larsson, Superpowered Loved
It’s no secret that I love books and always have. From my earliest memories of listening to someone read to me then transitioning to being old enough to pick up a book myself to while away the time. When I was younger, my family moved around every couple of years or more as my father’s job was to evaluate school systems. While not a hardship, it’s not conducive to the young who find it hard to leave friends and special places behind again and again. As I got older and the moving proved more stressful, I turned to books for companionship. Books, never far from me from birth (a given with parents as educators), became my constant companions. They became my escape from reality, an acceptable form of “invisible friend”, my Harvey. I was lucky in that one of my uncles, a great uncle really, worked at Charles Scribner’s & Sons. Uncle Wade sent us boxes of books of all types and genres, most of which were too old for me (Frank Yerby, really?) and that created its own special allure, to be old enough to read all those books! A new goal and easily fed addiction formed early in life – I was seven by then.
Have I said that books fascinate me? It was always just a matter of minutes before I lost myself in an author’s special universe. Their characters jumped to life on their pages waving swords or crawling through tunnels, the places they created became worlds whose paths I wished to tread and on whose seas I wished to voyage. Don’t you remember picking up a book and starting to read, and thinking please, please, never let it end? That was me, out in the woods or under a blanket in bed, book in hand, eyes shut tight and wishing with all my might for a magic wand and horses with wings.
With some books, just one book is sufficient to satisfy your need for the world the author created. You read it and are happy to have visited there. They were great hosts, told you a marvelous story and fed you a meal that left you full if not completely replenished. When it came time to take your leave,you wished those characters well and felt that while you have enjoyed the visit other destinations were calling and you must be off. My Friend Flicka was one. Treasure Island was another. So was Old Yeller, Dahlgren and National Velvet and hoards of nameless books of my youth. But then there are those books whose characters became friends or heros, the worlds they lived in were places I yearned to go, each and every element necessary and magical to me at the time. Those stories had multiple books called a series! From the mundane to the mystical, I gobbled up series with all the ardor and fervor of a zealot.
For me a series meant never having to leave your favorite characters behind or the universe they inhabited. After you finished one story, you could look forward to a new adventure, a new challenge or a new journey taken with the same beloved people/beings you met in the first book. Sometimes the characters stayed the same, they lived in their old house, had the same friends and stayed the same age. I am thinking Nancy Drew here with Beth, George and Ned. And sometimes the characters grew up like those in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. But whatever the shape the narrative took, I knew that I would be visiting a familiar place but with unknown consequences. Oh the anticipation, the agony, the time I spent daydreaming about what was to come next for my heros (of all genders and species).
Whether it was L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz books or Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings , book series have been my affordable addiction. Not possible to own a herd of horses in a suburban backyard? Let’s substitute dragons for horses and scarf up Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. My parents inform me that we are southbound, going to visit the relatives again this summer. My first reaction? OK, second reaction? Hide all of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover books in my suitcase to pull out at the cousins first suggestion to Dippity Do my hair and head out to the Dairy Queen. Series after series, genre after genre, my addiction grew and my bookshelves groaned.
Has my addiction to series dwindled as I have aged? Not on your life! Don’t look at me like that! I know you have been there along with me. Haven’t you ever reached the end of a book that has kept you mesmerized from word one and wanted to scream out ‘Noooooooo, I don’t want it to end”? Or had the characters in the latest book you were reading seem so real that the last sentence of the epilogue left you feeling bereft? Or maybe the world that came alive in between the pages was so vivid that you could smell the alien air and feel the magic in the landscape? It still happens to me at 2 or 3 am in the morning (just like always) when I come to the end of a gripping saga I started earlier that day and never put down. I scramble to get back to the pages in front and then in the back to see what else the author has written. If stymied, and who wouldn’t be at that time of the morning, I turn on the computer (ok this part is new) and check for updates at their publishers or websites, never mind the dogs glaring at me because I have disturbed their sleep. And when my search turns up that the book is a part of a series? Well, let’s just say I give the ol’ Rebel Yell a run for its money and make my Celtic ancestors proud!
Some of my favorite series? Hard to separate them out as I have so many in different genre’s. Mystery authors make it easy for me. Love you Martha Grimes and Inspector Jury, same to you, P.D. James and Inspector Adam Dalgliesh, and on right to up Sarah Paretsky and her female private eye, V I Warshawski and Stieg Larsson and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Once a mystery author creates a character, a series is sure to follow. Authors of the supernatural and fantasy are much the same. Look at Laurell K Hamilton and Anita Blake. Hit List is the 20th Anita Blake novel. Or Terry Pratchett and his Disc World series that is comprised of 33 novels. That could be a little daunting if not for the treasure that is Disc world.
Sooooo, where was I? Oh yes, my love for book series. Today with the advent of eReaders and ePublishing, the novel and book series has never been more popular. Especially with my m/m fiction, I have so many favorite series that I hardly know where to start. Perhaps I will start with a series I began my m/m journey with. That would be Carol Lynne’s Cattle Valley series, still going strong today at book no. 27. I love Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English series and Kate Steele’s Bond of the Maleri books. Can’t go wrong there. I would wave Jet Mykles Heaven Sent series at you, can’t miss those! Or JL Langley’s With or Without series with her wolf shifters that are so hot and memorable. So many that I need to start a list. And just look at the books I have reviewed lately. Some of my must read series are among them: Cut and Run from Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux (now just written by Roux), Infected by Andrea Speed (I groan just thinking about Roan – snicker), the Lost Gods series by Megan Derr, the Cambridge Fellows books by Charlie Cochrane, Katey Hawthorne’s Superpowered Love series and so many more. I feel like one of those people at an awards show with a never ending list. I could go on and on and on while a guy in the wings gives me the signal to shut up.
So here I am all these years later and nothing has changed. OK, yes some things have changed. Sheesh! You think you would let a girl get by with some things…but my love of books and a series of books? Never. A great series still fills me with excitement and the expectation of wonderful surprises just on the horizon. I look forward to each new twist and turn the author can think up and that I never saw coming. I can’t wait for the paths unexplored and the roads not yet taken by characters I love on worlds new and known. And that is why a series makes my heart sing.
Small list of my favorite series in no particular order and yes I know I left a lot out. Please send us your favorites:
M/M Series (3 or more books):
Promised Rock series by Amy Lane
Lost Gods series by Megan Derr (fantasy)
Conquest series (rockers) by S. J. Frost
Heaven Sent by Jet Mykles (rockers)
Adrien English Mystery series by Josh Lanyon contemporary
Cut and Run by Urban and Roux, now just Abigall Roux – contemporary
Infected series by Andrea Speed (science fiction)
Sanctuary series by RJ Scott action/adventure
Faith, Love, and Devotion series by Tere Michaels contemporary
St. Nachos series by Z.A. Maxfield contemporary
Cattle Valley by Carol Lynne cowboys contemporary
With or Without series (shifters) by JL Langley
Sci Regency series by JL Langley
Cambridge Fellows series by Charlie Cochrane
A Matter of Time series by Mary Calmes
Warder series by Mary Calmes
Home series by TC Chase
Superpowered Love series by Katey Hawthorne
and all the series I have written about this week, Infected, Cambridge Fellows, Lost Gods, Dance with the Devil, The Sanctuary series…..
Bellingham Mysteries series by Nicole Kimberling - last day to make a comment and be entered into the book giveaway contest for Primal Red.