Tag Archives: SL Wendy

“Tempted” by Molly O’Keefe

18 Feb

TemptedI’m late, I’m late, for a very important date…¹

So this month’s TBR Challenge is ‘series catchup.’

Which is usually embarrassing, because these days there are very few, if any, series I follow, so it’s not easy to be behind on any.

Or it wouldn’t be, if it weren’t for the awful, terrible, no-good, apotheosis of a reading slump of 2015.

Which, looking for the silver lining here, means that this year I did have at least one title in a series languishing in the (digital) TBR pile.

So, yay! (and very much so, because I loved this one!)

(Edited to add: a trigger warning for suicide of a secondary character, on the page.)

“Tempted,” by Molly O’Keefe.

This is the second (and hopefully not the last) in Ms O’Keefe’s Into the Wild series, about sisters Melody and Anne, and their lives in Colorado in the late 1860s. Here, have a blurb:

Denver, 1869

Annie Denoe has fought hard for her independence. She has a new life and new freedom as the assistant to a doctor, and though she risks both propriety and her safety, she is determined to be happy in a life on her own.

Steven Baywood is trying to rebuild his shattered life, even though the ghosts of his harrowing stay in Andersonville prison still haunt him. He craves Annie and her quiet strength, but he can’t give her the love she deserves. When a tragedy changes everything for Annie, can Steven find peace with his past in order to give Annie a future?

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A Morbid Taste for Bones, by Ellis Peters

20 Jan

A Morbid Taste for BonesA few months ago, I don’t remember exactly how or where (though I am pretty sure it was during the many discussions of the puppies and the Hugos), it was brought to my attention that the author of the Brother Cadfael novels was, in fact, a woman.

On impulse, the next time I happened to visit the one remaining used bookstore within fifty miles, I bought over half a dozen of the Cadfael Chronicles, thinking it was about time I read at least one of the books that helped popularize historical mysteries.

Unfortunately, by then I was suffering form the most horrific reading slump known to woman, and so the books have been languishing in the many peaks and ridges of ye olde TBR Cordillera.

Until Saturday.

On Saturday, I grabbed the first title and didn’t let go until I was done.

So here it is, my first TBR Challenge review of 2016.¹

A Morbid Taste for Bones, by Ellis Peters

I am not exactly sure how I had managed to keep myself innocent of all things Brother Cadfael. I mean, I knew that there was a television series, apparently very good, but that was pretty much it.

Now, I’m kicking myself over and over–what. an. idiot! I’ve been, not reading these novels!

Here’s the blurb, from my battered paper copy:
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This is what an exclusionary society looks like.

8 Aug

(This post has been edited to add more links

for further reading as I become aware of them;

there is a second edit to address my inaccurate reporting

of the ending of a book I have not read)

This rant, which has been percolating in my brain and heart since the morning after the Ritas were handed down,¹ is brought to you by the inclusion of the book For Such a Time, by Kate Breslin, into the list of finalists for RWA’s Rita Awards.

Why would that be a problem? you may ask. Well, a couple of reasons, which have been thoroughly discussed in several places, but let us start with a quick summary, shall we?

The novel, set during WWII, is about a blue-eyed, blonde Jewish young woman–described as Jewess in the actual blurb, I kid you not–who is ‘rescued’ from Dachau’s concentration camp by the SS officer in charge of Theresienstadt concentration camp, and how they fall in love. The book ends with the Jewish protagonist’s faith being healed by the Bible (New Testament included), and with the SS officer having been redeemed by the power of (Christian) love.

Chew on that for a second, if you would.

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Libraries: the last bastions of equality

4 Jun

(This was originally posted on June 3rd 2015 to the General Literature Discussion subforum of MyMedia)

In late April, National Geographic posted a photographic essay on the homeless patrons of some of California’s busiest urban libraries. Both the essay and the photographs are wonderful, and illustrative of a truly diverse segment of the population of the United States.

However, it is the comments that really got to me. Well, most of the comments. Such as:
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Well, then, that’s a hell of a note.

5 May

Yet another rant, yet another what the fuck moment chez aztec.

On Sunday, Wendy posted her feelings about the current state of the romance blogging community.

On Monday, Sunita posted her reaction to that post.

Below are my responses to both blog posts, in the order I posted them.

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The grandmother of all plot twists!

25 Mar

Second update: I’m eating some of my words.

Update: I’m closing comments and mulling a few things before I post something else–probably tomorrow morning. To find out why, read this as the Passive Voice.

*

If you read Dear Author regularly, this is not news for you.

If you don’t…well, prepare to go down the rabbit hole. (This is freaking long, even for me.)

Jane Litte, reader, reviewer and ‘mean girl’ extraordinaire, also happens to be a self published and traditionally published author of a number of books (all written in about two and a half years, apparently, some with another fairly well known author, Jessica Clare), who has enough success to put the whole “(something or other) best seller” under her author name–Jen Frederick.

Here’s my comment on that post (minus the editing error (i.e., “to all those people” *headdesk*)
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Lord of Scoundrels, by Loretta Chase

18 Feb

Lord of Scoundrels 2I cannot believe I waited so long to read this book.

I have owned a print copy for over a decade, and yet I’ve avoided reading it, afraid I would not like it, let alone love it, the way most romance readers do. And then where would I be? The outcast in the cold, the one person who didn’t appreciate the wonderful thing that Lord of Scoundrels is.

But this year I’m determined to trim the insurmountable and imposing print TBR Mountain Range, and with this month’s TBR Challenge being something recommended to me–and honestly, who hasn’t recommended Lord of Scoundrels within my hearing/reading?–I decided to bite the bullet.

I could kick myself senseless–why, why, why, did I wait this long?

With a hat tip to SLWendy, to Carolyn and to Lori, and so many other romance readers, here’s my review.

Lord of Scoundrels, by Loretta Chase

Before anything else, allow me to point out that this book was first released in 1994. Many people think of romances written in the nineties as texts full of purple prose, with stuttering, virginal heroines who toss their heads a lot while being pretty much useless. And for historical romances, just dress the TSTL-blonde-horror-movie heroine in a corset, yet have her behave the same, and you are set.

I cannot begin to tell you how gloriously not like that, in any respect, Jessica Trent is. She is the complete opposite of the airhead-ninny Regency miss. Jessica knows what she wants for her future, and as the novel starts she has been taking steps to achieve it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s the blurb, from my print copy:
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