Friday, February 24, 2017

February Book Haul

This month was a little light on the book buying for me, with good reason. Actually, several reasons. I spent so much last month on books; I've not been reading a lot (though it's not been too shabby); I spent most of the first two weeks mired in Dragon Age 2 and not even thinking about books.

So, what I've bought this month...

A Seditious Affair by K.J. Charles
Once Upon a Wager by Julie LeMense
Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones

(Funny, three romance novels all bought the day after valentines.)

I also have two books on order and they should get here before the end of the month.

Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

And then for my birthday - after my mother was awesome and asked me for a list of what I wanted for my birthday! - I got:

Champion of the Rose by Andrea K. Host
Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan
A Vanishing Glow by Alexis Radcliff

Have you read any of these books?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Today's My Birthday - So Here's a Tag to Get to Know me a Little Better

As you might have guessed, today is my birthday. I'd been thinking and thinking about a special post to do for today - and instead of my other main ideas that just seemed like too typical (like a list of favorite books) or too chore-like (a list of things I want to do/read before I turn another year older) I decided to let all of you get to know a little more about me.

What is your middle name?
Marie. I used to want it to be Maria, but now I'm actually pretty happy with it. (And Amy Maria just sounds odd!)

What was your favorite subject at school?
Science. Before math got strange (what is Algebra even?) I liked it too. Same with language before diagramming a sentence cropped up. I also liked history if it covered things from over a thousand years ago. But science was my true love all through school.

What is your favorite drink?
Cream soda. (I especially adore Zevia brand soda because it's sugar free and doesn't have any of those nasty chemical sweeteners that grow third eyes onto worms.)

What is your favorite song at the moment?

Fire Escape by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
I honestly have loved everything I've heard of his so far and...I think...this might be my favorite to date.

What is your favorite food?
Curry. And wontons. And pizza.

Favorite book of all time?
I...don't actually have one. The books I used to call my favorites just don't do it for me anymore. My current favorite book though is An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows. I am obsessed with that book. Oh, and Martha Wells Books of the Raksura series. Those are awesome too.
Favorite Color?
Green. And grey. And blue. And black.

Do you have any pets?
Not currently. This is the first time in my life since I was about five that I've not had at least a dog. But, you know, it's kind of nice not having to be responsible for an animal.

Favorite holiday?
Halloween. Without a doubt. I love the spooky-ness and the atmosphere. October is also my favorite month and fall is my favorite season.

Are you married?
Nope. Never plan to get married, either.

Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?
Never. In fact, in my memory, I know of no time that I was even a hundred miles away from where I now live. (My family moved across three states when I was less than a year old, but since then, we've never lived further than a mile from where I do right now.) There's plenty of places I'd like to go, but I think I'm probably too much of a homebody for it to ever happen.

Do you speak any other language?
I'm definitely not fluent in anything but English - and sometimes not even that - but I know a little Japanese and can usually roughly translate written French. Otherwise, I wouldn't starve in Mexico. Or Germany.

How many siblings do you have?
Two, a brother and a sister, both older.

When was the last time you cried?
You know, I don't remember. I remember the circumstances; I was reading something and I was already a little emotional, but whatever it was just totally set me off. I'm not usually a crier though.

Favorite Movie?
Pacific Rim. And Guardians of the Galaxy. But mostly Pacific Rim.

Favorite TV show?
It's currently Babylon 5. I say currently because it's been ages since I've rewatched any of the show and...I've noticed that my tastes have changed and that the stuff that I could mostly ignore before leaves me impatient and complaining now. But I think it'll probably stay Babylon 5.

PC or Mac?
PC. Never owned a Mac, but there's just so many things that don't run on them from what I've heard.
Can you cook?

Yup - and I'm pretty good at it too, if I do say so myself. I like cooking more than baking, to be honest, because I like being able to sample as I cook and add more if the food needs it.

I actually liked these questions and totally tag anyone that's interested. Now, I'd say I'm off to eat cake, but I'd have to make it myself because I've got that whole gluten free thing going on and I simply don't have the energy for it. Maybe I'll eat one of those Daiya gluten free/dairy free cheesecakes. Those are awesome.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Top Ten Books I Liked More Than I Expected

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Shockingly enough, I actually decided to talk about the good things today. I get to talk about those wonderful surprises where I wasn't fully convinced about a book before I started reading it.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Thoughts on Het & Gay Romances (and Begging for Lesbian Suggestions)

Towards the end of last year, I got totally hooked on M/M romances. Now, I mean there are some that are just as terrible and horrific as some of the M/F romances I've read - and I would assume, the F/F romances but I've not read enough of them yet to really feel that I can comment.

Now I probably read more gay romances than straight and I got to thinking about why that is. It's not what I originally thought - or probably what you're thinking. It isn't even the fact that there seems to be a lower number of creepy-ass alphaholes in these books. (Though there totally is less.)

It's the switch in dynamics.

Most straight romances follow a character template of super-masculine guy that just oozes testosterone everywhere he goes and a more demure woman. Demure is a good word for it especially in historicals. In contemporary (and possibly fantasy) inexperience would be a better word. There's a lot of blushing on her part, usually.

(I'm certainly not saying always, because there are some authors that write straight romance that I would follow anywhere because they don't follow this pattern.) Then they hate each other but then they gradually realize this is just unresolved sexual tension.

However, what I've found in gay romances haven't been like this at all. Usually both guys are somewhat experienced. (I mean, after all, a man's not a virgin! Unless he sometimes is…) And, even if he's not that experienced, there's a good deal less blushing.

Sometimes it's best friends having a natural progression to lovers, other times it's enemies to lovers, but most of the ones I've read and loved, it's more of an acquaintances to almost-friends to lovers.

And then there's the fact that so many straight romances are unequal. I mean, even now in this day and age, sexism is still a thing. Until it's not anymore, it's always going to reflect that in books. But I've read a lot of 'romance' novels where the guy coddles the girl. There's so many things she 'can't' do because - well, he loves her and doesn't want her to get hurt so he'll take care of her.

But, in a gay romance, the guys work together. (At least, the good ones. Novels, I mean - but guys, too.) There's more a feel of equality and that they truly rely on each other. I love that. I love the couples (any combination) that stand beside each other in support.

Sadly, this is something that isn't very common in straight romances - but if it was? I'd love them. So much.

Your thoughts? Do you read M/M or gay romances? Or F/F or lesbian romances? (because if you read them, I so want suggestions!) Do you read straight romances? Have you noticed any of this? Or am I totally hallucinating? (Don't answer that.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Top Ten Least Favorite Romance Tropes

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

It is only now that I wished I kept track of what tropes showed up in my romance novels. But, then again, I don't read a lot of romances, so I'm not sure I could even come up with ten that all use the same trope. So, I decided to be typical and all down on romance like usual and do a list of my least favorite romance-y tropes.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Five Favorite Couples from Romance Novels

Surprising myself more than a little, I find myself actually wanting to talk about my favorite couples from romance novels. That's a little unexpected, especially if you know me, but lately I've read some really great couples. (I almost made this favorite romance novels, but this list is a little different than that one would be.) So, in celebration of Valentines Day tomorrow, here's my five current favorite couples from romance novels!

Issac & Laurent
Empty Net by Avon Gale

This is definitely my favorite in the series so far and I just adore both these guys so much and they are wonderful and complicated together.

Joanna & Diana
Pembroke Park by Michelle Martin

Both these women are such fun apart and when they're together, there's a lot of quick wit and lots of great conversations.

Rakel & Farrin
Heart of Ice & Sacrifice
by K.M. Shea

I love both these characters so much - like a crazy amount - and I adore the fact that they actually start out as enemies for very good reasons.

Jack & Oliver
The Soldier's Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian

I don't often say that the couple in a romance are perfect for each other - but these two guys are. (Partially because no one else would put up with them.)

Thalia & Gabriel
Warrior by Zoe Archer

While I like both characters, it's the dynamics of this relationship that makes me love it. Both are very strong, independent characters and it's great seeing them rely on each other.

Now, beyond the great romance, I genuinely liked all these books (came close to loved and obsessed over for a few of them) and would totally recommend them to anyone! What are some of your favorite romances.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Review: An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows

An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows
Series: The Manifold Worlds #1
Genre: Fantasy/LGBT+
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When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.

There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex’Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.

Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens. Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic.

Can one girl – an accidental worldwalker – really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?