[Book Review] Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

Once upon a time, I wasn’t the nicest of people. I wasn’t a part of the Let People Enjoy Things movement. So I wrongly looked down upon romance novels and those who chose to read them. A friend of mine told me about Jewels of the Sun in those dark, unenlightened days, and recommended it highly. So I read it on a whim and discovered that it was a romance novel with a hidden fantasy element. I was so enamored with it that I read the two followup novels, Tears of the Moon and Heart of the Sea immediately afterwards. I would go on to read almost a dozen or Roberts’s other fantasy-romance novels, with great enjoyment. I was still a little bit snarky about the romance genre, and I acknowledge that I was wrong. I know better now, and even if I’m not an avid romance reader, I do enjoy them from time to time.

Cut because I love you Continue reading

[Book Review] Rivers of London: Body Work and Night Witch

I return! I was too busy being sick to string together enough sentences for any blog entries last week, other than my review of That Ain’t Witchcraft for Speculative Chic. I really loved that book, and I can’t wait for the next one. It’s going to be a long year. It might be time for an end-to-end reread of the InCryptid series. In the meantime, I’m still working my way through Rivers of London! I have reached the graphic novel portion of the series.

My friend Lane, when she reviewed this series for Speculative Chic, mentioned that she didn’t read the graphic novels, and it felt like there were some weird gaps in continuity. So I treated myself to all of the currently existing graphic novels in the series, and dug up a reading order that included them within the novels’ timeline, and hopped in. This is partially because events that happened in Body Work and Black Mould are referenced in The Hanging Tree, and I wanted to find out what happened, especially given that Sahra Guleed (who is awesome) was involved.

Short reviews, maybe a few spoilers Continue reading

The Cold Medicine Diaries: Once Upon a Time

I have been felled by  some sort of cold. I feel as if this is becoming a monthly phenomenon, and frankly, I’m bored with it. I always get especially whimsical in the brain pan when this happens. I attribute it to a mixture of lack of sleep and the cocktail of cold medication that I gobble down each day to attempt to keep the symptoms at bay. Things get…interesting.

It was under this particular set of circumstances that I decided it was time to watch Once Upon a Time. I’d never watched the show, but one of my fellow contributors over at Speculative Chic wrote a post about season 7. In the process of editing and formatting the post, I watched a few minutes of the first episode of S7 out of curiosity. I also did a bit of research, and even though I’ve been spoiled on a few things, I’m still on board to watch.

I have so many thoughts. And not all of them were inspired by the frightening quantity of chemicals that are coursing through my veins right now. Continue reading

Book Review: Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

After the last installment of the Rivers of London series, I was chomping at the bit to get to Foxglove Summer. If you’ve read the book, or my spoilery review, you know why. Unfortunately for me, the massive, twisty not-quite cliffhanger isn’t addressed very thoroughly in this volume. That’s fine; it was still a great read, and I’m still exceedingly satisfied with my reading experience and this series as a whole.

Let me just say right now: you can’t really read and enjoy these books unless you read them in order. Too much either won’t make sense or will have little to no impact upon you as a reader if you aren’t already familiar with what’s going on. Aaronovitch expects you to keep up and unforgivingly gives very little in the way of plot/character rehashing.

A lot of ongoing series have a volume or two that takes our primary protagonist out of their primary setting. The author picks them up and plunks them down somewhere entirely new. This was the first of such books in this series. I’ve found that this type of book can be hit or miss for me. If it occurs in the proper place in the series, it generally works well. If the writer tries to do it too soon, for me, it doesn’t go over well. A series that I love with all of my heart and soul did this in the second volume. That, to me, was entirely too soon. We’d just started getting to know the heroine and knew next to nothing about her world and the way that things worked, then we’re whisked away to what was (at the time) an insignificant place to deal with insignificant things. Now I understand the reasoning behind this alternative setting, but I still think that it could have come a little later in the series and had the same overall impact. Plus, I feel like the book would be better received and enjoyed by new readers to the series. Anyway.

Some spoilers. I don’t ruin too much for you, because I’m a nice person. Continue reading

Happy Valentines Day!

I didn’t plan to update today, but thought better of it. It is, as of this writing, Valentine’s Day! Yay! It’s a great day, whether you’re single or attached. Why? Let me ‘splain.

It’s a holiday devoted to love, chocolate, and sexy time. What’s not to like? Sure, you may be sitting at your computer, scowling and thinking that I’m wrong, and that’s your right. What I want to point out is this: being bitter doesn’t make anything better for YOU. It doesn’t change a damned thing in the world. All it does is make you feel miserable. If that’s what you want to do to yourself, by all means! Have at it! But don’t inflict your bitterness upon the rest of the world. Let people enjoy things. (This has become something of a mantra for me in recent years, and it applies to SO MANY THINGS.)

Trimmed for ease in scrolling and to hide the positivity from those who aren’t in the mood to see it. Because I love you. (See what I did there?) Continue reading

Writing: When Inspiration Hits

It’s weird, isn’t it? You read something in the news, or see something on TV that makes that particular part of your brain light up in excitement and curiosity. Maybe you listen to a song that suddenly unlocks a brand new room in your imagination. Something that caught my eye recently: a heartbreaking illness that affects the children of asylum-seekers, known as resignation syndrome. It’s quite sad, but mysterious at the same time. However, I know enough about my own writing to know that I’m not ready to explore this in fiction just yet. But I’ve been saving links in my research folder for the day when the story is ready to come out of the oven. Right now, it’s still just mise en place, waiting for me to come into the kitchen and start turning it into something new.

Another recent inspiration? A certain music video from a certain band. I’m not going to call it fanfiction, because I’ve taken the thing that caught my eye and twisted it inside out, dyed it a new color, and added plenty of rhinestones. The finished product won’t have much, if anything, to do with the video that sparked that first bit of inspiration with me, but should this project ever see the light of day, I’ll be sure to acknowledge that I couldn’t have found my way without that first nudge.

Before you ask, no, I’m not going to name the artist or the song. The project has already gone far beyond what inspired it, and I’m not one to talk about ongoing projects in a public space (at least, not at this time). I’ve only recently worked up the courage to start discussing my fiction with my husband, and we’ve been together for over eleven years. He’s amazingly supportive, and I’m fortunate to have a captive audience sounding board to bounce ideas off of. It’s still tough for me. I’m trying to draw my terrified, shivering creative self out into the light, but it’s a process. I’m afraid to spook her back into hiding if I push too hard.

In the meantime, I’m just going to keep working on this new project as long as I’m still having fun. And reader, I am having SO MUCH FUN. I think I’d sort of lost the joy of creating for a while. I’m so glad to have it back, even as I’m worried that it’s can disappear again with no warning.

Book Review: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Okay, Aaronovitch. You’ve got me. I was already on board with this series, finding Peter to be a likeable and humorous narrator, and quite enjoying the other characters a great deal as well, but this?

This one might have broken me just a bit. I can’t even find an appropriate “mind blown” GIF to insert here, because…just…damn.

I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to discuss this book without going into spoiler territory, so I’ll see what I can do to avoid them until at all necessary. Fear not, I will mark them very clearly so that you know when to stop reading.

There will eventually be spoilers. Continue reading