Books and whatever I feel like talking about.  

2015 Reading Challenges..(yes I know it's the middle of February) also a very long post.

To get through my usual slumps I usually put a bunch of titles in a jar and pick one. One of my co-workers noticed me cutting paper and throwing it into a jar. Naturally, he asked why and I explained the reading slump and solution. USUALLY people say oh thats interesting and move along. This guy proceeds to assist me in the process and then suggests ways to improve the selection process. What follows is the end result:


O.P. ’s Awesome F***ing Rules for Reading Challenge 2015- Gamer edition!


You have 8 title slots to choose from at a time and titles cannot be chosen by participant. 


There are bonuses and penalties mixed among the entries. If chosen, bonuses may be used or banked for later. Penalties apply immediately.


Breaking Dawn Phenomenon - If the Breaking Dawn slip is chosen, the participant may replace it with another book within the jar. That book takes on the Breaking Dawn attributes and if chosen will be replaced with another book, etc. BDP is not affected by Phoenix Rising. 


The Reaping - If a title selected is not currently published, it may be replaced by another book but the unpublished title must be exiled to the Dead Title Jar.


Phoenix Rising- Can be used to redraw another title or to revive a dead title (limit 6 per challenge)


The Boo-Boo Sticker- A reaped title can be revived only if a non-fiction book is read.


The Burn Notice- If a book is DNF’d, another title is discarded from the jar chosen at random (NJ’s Clause)





Breaking Dawn Phenomenon- Breaking Dawn somehow ended up on a list I was using (thanks Goodreads). I was going to toss it out but O.P decided it could be used. Since I have already read BD, I could reread it or choose another book instead. However, that replaced book's slip would go back into the jar as the new BD and if chosen I would have to reread or replace it and the new book would be the BD and so on and so forth. 



The idea of this challenge is to read as many titles as I can in the year. So having to reread titles takes up time and available slots. Since I can only work with 8 at a time having one of those slots filled by a reread would be problematic.


The Reaping and Phoenix Rising- Any of the chosen 8 titles can be reaped or removed from a slot however it no longer is available to read during this challenge and goes to the Dead title jar. It can be revived if a Phoneix rising bonus is drawn and placed back in the jar to be reselected. A Phoenix Rising bonus can also be used to swap a title with no additional penalty or can be banked for later use. 


Rationalization- this is useful in instances when a title drawn is not yet published and won't be for quite a while. Once a title is drawn it occupies a slot and having an unreadable title is even worse than having a reread title. 


The Boo Boo Sticker- My daughter calls Band-aids Boo-Boo stickers. Band-aids are temporary fixes for Boo-Boos. The Boo Boo sticker clause will temporarily revive a dead title if a non fiction book is read.  Once the NF book is complete, the title can go back into the jar for re-selection. 


Rationalization: Since there are a limited amount of Phoenix Rising bonuses available, this helps solve the problem of titles in the Dead title jar. It also forces me to read more non-fiction which is something I'm always trying to do. A bit of self-improvement so to speak.


The Burn Notice- Sometimes we have books that we thought were going to be great but turn out not to be. Once upon a time, I used to read all books to completion. Then the fairy tale ended and I realized it was ok to not finish a book I wasn't enjoying. I call it The DNFakening (DNF Awakening). This is a penalty. It forces me to think carefully about whether or not I truly can't stand the book or if it is just a minor part that I disagree with and would miss out on an otherwise decent read. DNFing a book causes me to sacrifice another title, a chance to find a new good read in this challenge. This almost happened with Mating Instinct...and I think it speaks for itself



And there you have it. My reading challenge for the year which will be monitored by my dear co-workers. And they are keeping track and holding me accountable.





Mating Instinct not really feeling it

Mating Instinct - Katie Reus

This one wasn't working for me and normally I wouldn't have wasted my time but I'm reading this for a challenge that has very specific rules. Am I crazy for following these rules? Probably. But that's what makes it fun! 


Characters: Katrina Saburova and Jayce Kazan.  


Kat: I know that horrible things happened to Kat in Book Two of this series. It was awful and should never happen to anyone. I know this. But I was having a hard time feeling sorry for her. I needed her to get off the poor me train and was ok with her transfer to revenge express as long as it was conducted by her Alpha Conner and Jayce. I was constantly worried that something bad would happen to the pack (especially pregnant December) because of her actions. It made me not really want to finish reading this book because Kat was quickly pulling into the TSTL depot.



Her issues with Jayce also had my teeth on edge but it was probably because of the previous behavioral problem. I honestly can't talk about her relationship issues with Jayce....speaking of



Jayce: Lone wolf bad ass dude.Barely keeping the beast contained. Alpha Male Poster boy.


Very cavemanish...Woman mine Ugh.   Jayce fell flat for me as a character. Not alot of depth. I was hoping for more back story on him after all it is his love story.


Things I liked: APL guys get theirs.



Leila the teenage hacker shifter.



Vivian the feline shifter:




Fletcher escaped with his pregnant mate. I really had my fingers crossed on that and am grateful to Kat for her help with that situation

(for details)



Things I didn't like: I didn't like the disconnect with the Armstrong-Cordova pack...In the previous two books you got pack family life what it means to be part of the pack. Thinking about it now, it's probably one of the reasons I didn't like Kat because of her subconscious rejection of her pack, its rules and members. Even though Kat is a pack member it didn't feel like the pack was even there or a part of the story. It felt like Kat had moved to another town and a few of the pack members had come to visit or something. 


 Overall: It was ok but I wouldn't give it a solid ok. 1.5 would be my rating for the main characters but I am upping it for supporting character pinch hitters. I may continue with the series but am undecided at this point. 


If you are not one of those people who feel compelled to complete a series...I would recommend books 1 and 2. 

The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin...not a complete waste of time

The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin

I found this author through a review by Khan about it's sequel (which also made me want to watch The Curse of the Golden Flower). So me being me can't knowingly start a series in the middle, got a hold of the first book the Lotus Palace. 


It had a very slow start up until the halfway mark, it picked up a little and then everything happened all at once. The story follows Yue-Ying, a former prostitute turned servant to the Pingkang Li's most popular courtesan, and her relationship with Lord Bai Huang a playboy scholar and Lotus Palace frequent customer.  It is definitely a Cinderella type of story in its most basic form. Rich guy+Poor Girl=HEA. But add a little murder, greed, and court intrigue to the mix and you've got a solid story. 


The Outcasts by Kathleen Kent- some thoughts

The Outcasts - Kathleen Kent

I am giving this read a 3 star overall rating only because when I closed the book I had no unsatisfactory feelings.


I was originally drawn to this title because of the cover. I really wanted to know whether a gun was a necessary accessory for that particular dress. Then I read the synopsis...pirate gold, Texas Rangers, 19th century houses of ill-repute...all the makings of an intriguing adventure story.


Well, I struggled through the beginning it was soooo slow. There was alot of information being dropped like a trail of bread crumbs. However, I wouldn't go so far as to call it an "info dump". The story is told from 2 view points Nate and Lucinda alternating chapter to chapter, which can be a little confusing and stilted. At first I was expecting some kind of romance to blossom between the two but then was trying to figure out when their paths would even cross. It wasn't until just past the half way mark that things started to pick up pace. Pieces started connecting and all the clues in the beginning finally began to make sense. The further I read, more revelations occurred, and the stronger my desire to know what happens in the end grew. Definitely glad I stuck it out. 




My Response to Joanne Harris #HaleNo- actually my reaction to Literary Ames

Because I can't add the response I want to with just text. 




How I feel after reading this post:






How I feel after I read most every post:








What I would do if I ever met you randomly on the street:






Ok that  last one may have crossed a line....


Still I'm just very publicly saying that I will read anything you post.  You could have "Hodor" post and I would devour that.  





Reblogged from Literary Ames

Saturday fun



Magic breaks our heroine ...

Magic Breaks - Ilona Andrews

I'm only going to give this book 2.5 stars. I love Ilona Andrews  but am disappointed with their latest offering in the Kate Daniels series. Usually I enjoy my excursions into Kate's world but there was nothing really outstanding about this installment. The main plot conflict was a huge let-down for me. I didn't like this Kate at all. In my mind I was asking her






Disappointing elements:


Kate,  Deus Ex Machina Curran Style, and the  ending. 


Something else that bothered me is that it seemed like the book switched genres on me. We were plodding along at a steady UF pace and then hung a hard right at PNR avenue. I was like:




What I did like:


Desandra loved her in this book. Definitely a new favorite side character. Her Attitude is like






Right now I feel like



when it comes to long running series. It seems I always get to a point where I have to make a decision 



and after choosing I end up asking:





***in a slump***












Magic Breaks - Ilona Andrews

 I raised my foot and deliberately stomped on the bridge. “This is my foot. I put it down. Deal with it.”


Ha Ha Ha Ha Kate you so funny.


Reading progress update: I've read 125 out of 311 pages.

Jaws - Peter Benchley

I'm not really liking this book. It's not as good as the movie I can tell you that much.



I drank, I slew, I loved every word in this book

Drink, Slay, Love - Sarah Beth Durst

If you want a review discussing plot points and character development... keep on scrolling down the feed. This is purely the expression of my feelings regarding this wonderful book. There will be gifs. You've been warned.





This book was awesome!





Sarah Beth Durst...


 for writing this book!




It's official Unicorns make everything better.




I loved Pearl. I would want to be friends with Pearl. 






 Evan was everything I have been wanting to see in a male lead






There should be more like there more like this? 





Me every time I read this...

Something Wonderful - Judith McNaught

Jordan jerked his hands away as if they'd been scorched. "You're a girl!"


"I can't help it!" Alexandra flung back, stung by the sharp accusation in his voice.



First Rule of Scoundrels: do not risk what you can not afford to lose

A Rogue by Any Other Name - Sarah MacLean

I started this book awhile back (you may recall a post about vingt-et-un) and had to set it aside because of some issues in the prologue. But I went back to it the other day because I had forgotten the issue enough that it didn't annoy me as much. The rest of the book did not disappoint. Truly I think I am getting to like Sarah MacLean and her style. I'm not totally committed yet but so far I don't hate her.
Penelope Marbury is quite enjoyable as a character. I like her pluck. She isn't about to sit back and take whatever is thrown at her. She was known for being a perfect proper lady but soon discovered that shit was boring.


Though her marriage to the scoundrel Bourne is one of convenience, Penelope wants more. She wants excitement...adventure 

Bourne, a partner/owner of The Fallen Angel the most infamous gambling den in Underground London is in the business of revenge. Reminds me of someone...  


There isn't anything outstanding about him. He's just like every other brooding lord with a colorful past that does crappy things to the one he loves but secretly has a kind heart. MacLean's female characters are more likable than her male characters because they are not boring. The male characters are no different in my opinion from any of the other HR novels going back to Mr. "I'm the original HR hero" Darcy. The exception for MacLean is the third book in this series where neither of the MC are likable to me. Otherwise a solid enjoyable read. 

Not sure how I feel about this review and would like to hear your thoughts

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932: A Novel - Francine Prose

I'm currently reading this book and I was curious what others thought about it. So I grabbed my salt and headed to goodreads to have a looksee when I found this review:


I'm curious to see how you guys would react if you stumbled on to this. I'll share my thoughts after seeing yours.

Forgot to post my thoughts for this one....what does that tell you

The Mage in Black - Jaye Wells

It wasn't as good as the first. I may still be grudging about the apple issue and so it's sucked a little of the enthusiasm I had. Truths: I know I read this but I don't remember what all happened. She meets her sister...things happened...there was a girl demon.....she Drunk in Loves (I was going to put up a Beyonce gif but I kind of want to keep it PG) with that one vampire club owner... and the end which I won't say for those that may be thinking about reading it. 


That sums it up and I have nothing more to add.




Thoughts on Love with a Scandalous Lord

Love With a Scandalous Lord - Lorraine Heath

Another Lorraine Heath offering that is a solid 2.5 for me. I recently discovered her and have found her writing resonates with me. I like that her series are connected and that they are not too long. Oftentimes I find that I relate better to minor characters and wish that I had a chance to know more about them, so I am quite happy that Ms. Heath connects her series making the minor characters major players a new series.


This book features Lydia and Rhys. As a heroine, Lydia is just Mary Sue lite. She is sweet and innocent but she has hutzpah. She dreams of the gilt and glitter of London and a life away from boring Texas. I think for all her study of etiquette and wanting to live by the rules of English society, she sure tosses it aside when it suits her, toeing the line as much as she does. Rhys is your typical brooding lord with a dark past and a heart of gold. He says things like "It's because I love that I won't marry you" and the displays that kind of self-sacrificing love that makes you want to slap him for being stupid. If I'm being honest their love story was like the third or fourth cup of tea using the same tea bag from the first cup...very weak. Not much in the smut department but again not always a bad thing. I wasn't overly interested but wasn't completely uninterested. I wouldn't go so far to give it a "meh" though. 






 I want one of these for some reason.

Currently reading

Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation
Judith Mackrell
A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin
Anna Dressed in Blood
Kendare Blake
The Iron Wyrm Affair
Lilith Saintcrow
Progress: 40/323 pages
This Song Will Save Your Life
Leila Sales
Read the Printed Word!