Maybe because we never have enough of it. Maybe because I've been working a second job at night, a 6-week gig, and I'm exhausted! No time to even go on-line, let alone write...or promote. I promise there will be a new post on Saturday. Another Round Robin, where a group of authors all post on the same topic and link to each others' blogs. Until then, I'm off to slave away at my jobs for more money to pay the bills. Sigh...
What series are you a fool for? That you can reread over and over and over again and will always buy the next book no matter how mental the author goes-or how strange the characters become?
Okay now this is a hard one for me. I've become so disillusioned by my old favs.
Vampire books by Ann Rice: Oh how I used to look forward to every new release! A fan since my college days, I count Lestat as one of my most influential books. Alas, somewhere along the line you lost my interest. You were always too wordy, giving way more details about the flora and fauna of New Orleans than I ever wanted to know. Were you paid by the word? That didn't used to bother me. But the stories got too repetitive, and I'm not sure if I'm going to dip a toe back in when the highly touted new book comes out. And sad to say, I never like the Taltos books, though I own all of them...in hardcover.
Anita Black and Merry Gentry books by Laurell Hamilton: These hardcovers take up an entire shelf in our living room, but I don't even dust them anymore. Whereas once I longed to be Anita, now I'm not sure I have enough orifices for all of the men she must have in her bed multiple times a day. I get that she's got a female sex demon living partly in her, but come on! Why all of these extremely hot, alpha males are willing to share, exposing themselves (ahem) to each other all of the time as they fight over who gets to stick what in where, gives me a headache with the suspension of belief that has to go on! And Merry? You lost me at the book that dealt only with Frost, that had absolutely no plot and no point to it except my husband thought he was pleasing me when he shelled out almost $30 for it! Either start another series, or take a rest if the plot lines are getting so hard to produce!
Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris: Sorry, for me the magic was gone by the 4th book, though my daughter devoured all of them through to the end, plus she watches True Blood on her laptop. It was hard enough to slog through the totally unattractive and boring Vampire Bill romance, but when the totally hot vampire Erik also told Sookie she was "the best he'd ever had", when she was a virgin before her first guy Bill, who couldn't even practice kissing guys for fear she'd hear their thoughts? Sorry, I like a little more realism, even in romances with the undead who theoretically shouldn't even be able to perform since they have no blood circulation.
Mary Janice Davison's Undead and Un-whatever books: God! How I loved these when I first found them! I bought every one I could find and even picked up a few of your stand-alones and books in other series. But no one had the same snark as your undead queen of the vamps. I absolutely loved her! By about the 7th book, when she was living in domestic paradise with the king, I started to get a bit antsy. Not so fresh and new anymore. Sigh...I wish I could feel that same thrill again!
Notice a pattern here? I think most series' run out of steam by about book 6 or 7. Though I'm on book 12, the last one of the Cirque Du Freak books by Darren Shan, that a student told me I had to read and he was right! Yup, vampires again, but no romance. And the series has a definite end, so readers know there's no way there could be any more sequels. Nice.
About the only exception I make to this rule is the Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey. I loved all of them, including the "side-line" ones about the Harpers, and I enjoy them every time I reread them.
Any suggestions for a new series I should try?
And might I add, thanks, Rachel of Parajunkee for this fun exercise in determination. I've been working both jobs all week, so trying to come home late to write these blogs, then I try to get on-line to post either before I got to my day job, or in-between the jobs. I've never done this many postings in so little time. And though I've had fun, I'm tired...very, very tired. If I do this again, I'll probably wait for the summer, when I won't have 2 jobs to contend with. That's when I do most of my work on my books also. So thanks for reading along, those who did!
And if you want to try my take on vampires, I've got a 2-book series that I promise not to write any sequels to! Those voices don't talk in my head anymore.
The tropes you love but have a hard time admitting to other book lovers.
If you knew me back when I was in high school or college you'd have guessed I was the gal most likely to never get married or have kids. So naturally the tropes you'd have expected me to love would be those with independent strong women who take their pleasure where they will, and never allow any one man to consume their emotions.
Sometimes I wonder where that rebel gal went. I guess that's why I've got so many tattoos. Instead I'm married going on 30 years and have raised 4 kids to adulthood. So what trope do I love? The independent woman who meets a man she can't live without. They have scads of great, hot sex, then decide that's a nice way to live, so they get married. Babies happen. Traditional. Vanilla.
When I tell people I'm an author, they're interested until I tell them I write romance. Then eyebrows raise and they snigger, insinuating that I must write stuff like that book-that-must-not-be-named. When I tell them there's no beatings or subjugation of the females in my books, they usually change the subject. Not only do I not want men who beat women, I also prefer what gets referred to as beta-males, the kind of men who love their mother and treat everyone with respect. Men who love to cuddle babies. Sigh...
I guess I'm embarrassed to tell anyone the kinds of books I like. Because not only do I read them, I write them. I sure hope I'm not the only one who prefers men without whips and women without flogging scars. And only one man at a time. And if they are shifters, sex only while in human form, please.
Okay, now I'm going upstairs to drink some warm milk with vanilla.
What do you consider are serious problems in your reading life, but other non-readers will just think you are mental if you speak them out-loud?
Heh...heh. Well, there's always the fact that I work a couple of jobs, so I don't nearly have enough time to read in my day! This, despite carrying books with me when I go to my jobs so I can read during breaks, lunches, etc. I also have about 5 or 6 books all around my house, in various rooms, near the chairs I sit in when I'm in that room. That way, where-ever I am, there's a book calling to me to sit down and read!
And there's the matter of shelf space. When husband and I moved in together many moons ago, he started with grumbling about how many books I had that he had to help carry to move me. I patiently explained that when you're involved with an English major, that's to be expected. Every time we moved, he made me give away more books. But he was always baffled that I'd give bags and boxes of them away to the various book sales, like the Spring AAUW sale, or the one held by our local library in the fall...then the shelves would still be groaning under the weight. See he always forgets that if I know about the sale, I'm gonna sneak in there just to have a peak...
And don't suggest I get an e-reader, because I own a Kindle that's loaded with books I win at various blogs, or buy to read on vacation. Otherwise we'd have to build an addition to the house for my TBR pile!
Any kindred souls out there?
Today's challenge: Books you've read that have changed you mentally.
Wow. Okay, let's start with: Shakespeare, since I was still in grade school when I worked my way through most (I disliked some of the history plays) of his plays in a huge book my parents had on the living room shelf. I worked my way through most of their Encyclopedia Brittanica books too, but they were just factual. Old Will taught me how to hold the reader's interest. I wanted to know how adults thought, what they valued, and I learned a whole lot by reading all of those royalty plays (crowns), comedies (clowns) and tragedies (corpses).
At various times in my college days I was enthralled with Jean Paul Sartre's No Exit, for his Existentialism, and George Bernard Shaw for his plays full of insights on human nature. At that time I also began reading Anne Rice's vampire books, and the one that has stuck with me the longest is Lestat. When Lestat brings his elderly mother across, he's horrified that she wants to head off alone into the woods, but she points out to him that for the first time ever, she doesn't have to fear what any man could do to her, so she's going to live her life HER way from now on. A wet dream for most women, no? But before she leaves they discuss what immortality means. If you live forever, would you improve, to become a better person? Or would you just become more of what you were like in your mortal days? So if you were a pompous jerk, would you grow to be a better humanitarian, or become an even bigger pompous jerk?
Then there are the various books by Desmond Morris, the zoologist who writes about man as a species, as if he was an alien studying us. The Naked Ape is his first, followed by The Human Zoo, with Intimacy next. All of these books examine human behavior in minutia, and I love the insights I've felt as I read them. In the same vein, The Ape That Spoke by John McCrone talks about memory. He explains it as a series of threads that link what we know to what we're seeing and allow us to make sense of our surroundings. He also says memory is based on words, which I've said for years--that's why we don't remember our own babyhood...we didn't have words yet to tie the images in our heads.
The most recent book I've read that changed my thinking is Static, by L.A.Witt. This book won the EPIC award for Sci-Fi in 2013. It makes you question gender and love on a most basic level. I laughed in some parts and cried in others. The book became a part of me so much that I'm still thinking about its ideas months after reading it, and I gave copies to friends/relatives as gifts to share it with them and support the author.
What about you? What books have changed you mentally?
Fun phrases and sayings you've picked up from books.
1-When I was in college majoring in English, one of my roommates used to skip doing her homework in favor of devouring endless Harlequin Romances. I used to tease her, telling her they were like cotton candy for her mind, and she'd never learn anything useful from them. She asked me if I knew what the word magnanimous meant. I knew it had something to do with big, but she gave me a definition and said she learned it from the most recent Harlequin she'd read. Enough said. I stopped teasing her and she kept on reading, but was magnanimous about not reminding me that I was a literary snob.
2-The very first romance novel I ever read was The Sheik, by E.M.Hull, a tattered, dog-eared copy published in the 30s, that had been passed around by Mom and my aunts, and is part of what I kept when Mom passed on. Not much actual sex, but has the immortal line spoken by The Sheik when the woman asks him what he intends to do to her. He laughs at her innocence and replies, "Mon dieu! Are you not woman enough to know?" That was the hottest thing I'd ever read when I was 12!
3-One of husband's favorite authors is the humorist Christopher Moore who crafts zany tales starring men that refer to themselves as beta males. That's when I realized I'd married one, and I write romances starring them.
4-One more: recently one son has been leading me through his collection of Kurt Vonnegut novels, and I love the line from Cat's Cradle, "No cat, no cradle." He uses it to talk about when people are bullshitting you and you know they are because you're just like a kid who thinks an adult is nuts when they tell him they're showing him how to use string to make a cat's cradle (remember those string tricks? Or am I showing my age?)...anyway the kid could plainly see there was no cat and no cradle. Politicians do this all of the time, pointing to things they've accomplished, while we can plainly see they've done nothing to justify their huge salaries from our taxes.
How about you? Any favorite phrases you've picked up from books?
Today's challenge: What do you consider the most heinous crimes committed to books or book readers?
That's an easy one. Speaking as an author, it's one word: piracy.
Yes, I know books can be expensive, especially if you're a voracious reader like me. That's what library cards are for! But if you insist on collecting books, even eBooks, please pay for them. Or become a book blogger/reviewer and get authors to send you e-copies of their books in return for your saying a few words about them.
See the thing is, many authors DO NOT MAKE MONEY from being published. I can't say that strongly enough. I work 2 other jobs, leaving me little time to promote, let alone write. And I LOVE to write!
When Google-alert sends me info about someone asking for one of my books on a piracy site, I wanna e-mail and ask them why they're insulting my books like that. I have one book as a free download on Smashwords so everyone can have a try to see if they like my style of erotic romance. I often participate in contests run by various sites and loops that offer free eBooks or even autographed paperbacks that I have to pay for, then pay the postage to send to the winners. But I do all of that to encourage people to see if they like my books. But you want them all for free? Is that supposed to be some kind of compliment? Because to me and my books it feels like an insult.
Please, if you like my reading style and you want to read my books, spend a few sheckels and help me pay for my website. Or contact me privately with your tale of woe, and maybe I'll have a copy of what you want to read lying around and I'll send it to you. But don't insult my books and me by stealing them. Thanks.
Today's Challenge: What characters do you secretly loathe? But don't like admitting because they are so popular?
Funny you should ask. I just blogged about how much I despise alpha heroes, even though they are so uber-popular, especially in erotic romances! The-I know-better-than-you-so shut-up-and-let-me-run-your life kind of heroes? Bleah.
But the other heroes I just can't get are the billionaires. I mean, how many are there, really, in the world? And of those, some are too young, some are too old, and a few are women. Most of them are born into their money, so they travel in different circles from the rest of us. Hemingway stole a conversation that Fitzgerald once had in front of him, with a literary critic. Fitzpatrick said, "The rich are different from the rest of us", and she replied, "Yes. They have more money". But Hemingway thought it sounded better if he gave himself that great punch line. But the point is they don't ONLY have more money. They are raised to think differently. Never having to work a day in your life gives you damn little empathy for people who worry if the bills will be paid, or if they will be able to eat today on what they make at their multiple minimum-wage jobs. Your life is totally separated from the concerns of us little people, and you have to be careful not to let your disdain slip out in public lest your PR people have to work overtime.
So the fantasy that such a man, with the entire world as his playground, will fall for Jane Nobody, the mousy secretary with low self-esteem, even if she is the only virgin he's ever met, is more of a stretch for me in belief than thinking that vampires and shifters really walk amongst us. It won't be his family's snobbishness that will ruin their torrid affair...it will be his, inbred into him from the time of his first breath. And like in most Fitzgerald books, when the poor person falls for a rich person, it can only end in disaster for the poor person. The rich person will be insulated from any pain by his money and his social status.
So now you know what kinds of books to never ask me to review, amIright?
The Challenge for today is to relate what was the most foolish act you ever committed for a book.
When I was about 12, I was curious as hell about sex and wanted to find out whatever I could in my favorite resource: books. My parents didn't censor what I read, but my Mom's tattered The Sheik and Sons of the Sheik, both by E.M Hull, while racy, didn't have any of the "juicy stuff" I was looking for, just a lot of innuendo that made you have to think it up yourself. Hard to do when you're a 12-year old virgin.
So when the book The Godfather came out, and I heard my parents talking about it with my aunts and uncles, I knew I had to read it. I didn't tell my mom what I was going to do, but I got it out of the library. I snuck it into my bedroom and when I woke up on a Saturday, I started reading before I even got out of bed. I was enthralled by the violent imagery and the graphic sex scenes. I boldly brought it to the breakfast table and continued reading. My mom raised her eyebrows and asked me if I needed her to explain anything, because she had seen how far into the book I was. I shook my head and kept reading. I read until lunchtime, then brought the book with me and read while I ate. I read until dinner, then did the same thing. I read after dinner. I got ready for bed and took the book into bed with me. I kept reading by flashlight under my covers, until I finally finished it at about 3 in the morning. That was the longest book I'd ever read up until then, and even now I can't believe I read continuously for that long. But I did and I loved every minute of it! Books were more real to me than my boring childhood existence sometimes, and even more important to me than having friends.
One of the blogs I visit regularly is this one, where books are reviewed and passions are discussed in both an intelligent and usually humorous way. So when I saw this challenge I started to play along, even though I'm not a book blogger...hey, occasionally I do book reviews! That counts right?
Anyway there's a challenge for each of the first 11 days in April. Today's challenge:
Be a fool for books: Why I like books more than people.
So my responses were that romance books always have a happy ending. The heroine you identify with always gets to marry the hot, sexy man and endless hours of pleasuring each other ensues. How many people do you know who have this kind of experience?
Also, in the kinds of romance books I like to read and write, good things don't happen to bad people, and bad things don't happen to good people.
That randomness of life sometimes gets me really down.
And I need to add that in the sci-fi books that I love to read intelligent ideas and themes abound. Good sci-fi looks at the way things are now and extrapolates to what might be. Most come up with dystopic views of the future. In my only paranormal books, about the Mayan Vampire Aliens, I imagine a utopic view, with humans choosing to pursue education and making choices that benefit the human race, not just their own bank accounts. What a concept, huh? Don't meet many people like that, do you?
How about you? Are you a fool for books?