Why don’t I put a book review on my book review site?

What a novel (no pun intended) idea. I’ve read a lot of really good books lately. I’ve read a lot of really bad ones lately too. I’ve added my wit and wisdom to reviewing them at my Goodreads page, but I don’t know why I didn’t think I should put those bad boys over here too.

Although I should probably make a note that every book I’ve read does not appear at Goodreads either. Sad really.artemis

In the last few months, I’ve read all four of the Smythe-Smith Quartet series from Julia Quinn as well as the entire Rokesbys series (to date that is), Fanny Hill, The Princess Diarist, both The Martian and Artemis by Andy Weir, and The Man in the High Castle. I liked Artemis so much, not only did I use an Audible credit to buy it, I listened to the whole book in a single day then bought the eBook so that I could read it again. I need to decide what order I want to put my reviews in and space them out a little, but yeah, ya’ll need to read Artemis.

I’ve devoured other media recently too. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon is better than Marvelous. I binged most of that in a single night making it really hard to get up and go to work the next morning even though my commute only consisted of navigating a kitty traffic jam in the living room as I passed through to pick up a Diet Coke in the kitchen. I’ve watched The Newsroom start to finish at least twice in the last year. If there was a documentary on Netflix I didn’t watch it was because I was sick that one time and missed it. I’m still cycling through all the Sherlock seasons regularly and every once in a while I start my Doctor Who marathon with Rose Tyler, but I usually only get about halfway through Amy Pond before I have to do something else necessitating another restart. I’ve toyed with starting with the original Doctor. God knows my husband has every episode that exists since the beginning of time so I could do it even if BBC has taken all their shows off Netflix and Amazon to start their own service.mrsmaisel

I’m all caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Jessica Jones. I’m still struggling with Daredevil and haven’t started any of the other Netflix Marvel series. I struggled to watch The Inhumans too, painful as it was. Short review – there weren’t any heroes to root for. Every main character was equally bad. Not Marvel’s proudest moment. Don’t get me started on the last half season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I think the only way I could watch it was because at least it wasn’t as bad as The Inhumans. Disney had to break into the Smurf’s makeup room to film all those Kree. Ugh. I hear good things are coming though so I will fangirl onward.

I’ve been adding things to my VUDU library a lot lately. I’ve got all the Harry Potters (including Fantastic Beasts, thanks, honey) and about half the Marvel Cinematic Universe (movies that is). I’ve got Wonder Woman because it was fricken awesome. All the new Star Treks were a must have so got ’em. I’ve also got a couple of the X-Men, but since there is no continuity I don’t watch them much. Rogue One and The Force Awakens are the only Star Wars I have. I need to do something about that. Can’t wait for Artemis to be made into a movie so that I can add it to my copy of The Martian.

I’ve been out of the house a little bit too lately (other than my hospital mini-vacay). Most recently was my trip to the cinema today to see Black Panther. It was good. I’ll add it to VUDU as soon as I can. It wasn’t my favorite, but I haven’t been super excited about any of the recent Marvel movies. I loved the Deadpool trailer that accompanied the movie. It was very funny and had a Toy Story shout out (hint: Look at the bottoms of toy Cable’s and toy Deadpool’s foot). The Solo trailer and the trailer for Antman and The Wasp along with Deadpool have me saving my shiny rocks for May through July when a metric ton of good movies will be hitting a theater near me. I may just camp at the theater all summer.

I just went to search for the Deadpool trailer. The movie is listed as “The Untitled Deadpool Sequel Meet Cable” and the following is the synopsis at movieinsider.com:

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

If I could make stuff like this up, I wouldn’t be writing here for free.

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Hey, don’t I know you from somewhere?

Okay so, when we left our heroine (me not the drug), she was worried about her job, worried about her health, terrified of not having enough shiny rocks to pay for all the cat toys required by her feline overlords, and thinking of going back to school. Here’s what happened in roughly chronological order:

The best 2 minutes EVAR

The Moon passed in front of the Sun and I cried. Some clouds did too and there was a foul ball net in the way, but yeah! We watched the eclipse in the Nashville Sounds stadium in downtown Nashville, TN.

We had a great time on our Space Themed Vacation. It took 16 hours to drive through traffic from Nashville to Daytona Beach, but we made it. We did make a stop though.

Moon Pie General Store

Who watches an eclipse then heads through Chattanooga on their way to NASA without stopping at the Moon Pie General Store?

The next morning we were up with the sun to go to NASA.

Mom is that you?

That smudge in the upper left hand corner proves that I was not adopted. I am my mother’s daughter so that is my finger intruding into the beautiful view from our hotel balcony.

We didn’t linger over the sunrise long because the Space Port awaited us!

It's coming right for us!!

Yes, this is the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Yes, I cried. I also cried like the biggest girl geek in the world at several other stops on our space tour. Before you ask, Jake, yes, they took out the batteries so we couldn’t fly it either.

We went to Jackie Robinson Field and saw the Cincinnati Reds farm team play. It was a beautiful old stadium and luckily the hurricane that followed a couple of days after we left didn’t cause as much damage as they thought it would.

We saw an Atlanta Braves game in their new stadium. I waited in line for 4 innings for an ice cream. I was not impressed.

We drove home then a week later, we drove to Cleveland. Back in March, I decided it would be fun to see an Indians game. The season hadn’t started yet and while they’d been to the World Series recently, their VIP Club tickets were only $55 each! Our outfield seats at a Reds games cost more than that! Baltimore was playing and Ron was an Orioles fan. It was a bit awkward after paying for a week long vacation, but we thought it would be fun and we could squeeze in a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Then the baseball season started. May turned to June. June turned to July. August was well it was right there after July. By September, Cleveland Indians tickets were hundreds (note the s at the end) for the tickets so high up they offered oxygen tanks to fans. Which game did we see? The one they broke the record for the most games won in a row in a single season. I had a video, but alas WordPress free sites don’t have video support.

I’m going to fast forward a bit in my story telling at this point because no one wants to hear what else we did on our summer vacation. That was the end of summer anyway so you aren’t missing much.

I got back to work after going hoarse singing repeated renditions of “Cleveland Rocks”. I finished up that pesky audit non-profit organizations are forced to complete every year. As predicted, as soon as my usefulness for that task ended, so did my job. They gave me the option of staying an employee at half my hours which would make me ineligible to receive unemployment benefits. They gave me until November 1 at full time. Yeah, no.

A friend told me about a site where there were all kinds of jobs listed. I also called Elwood Staffing (if you’ve been playing the home game, these are the people who oops forgot to move my health insurance to their new company and didn’t seem to be in a big hurry to get it done until I threatened to sue them after a couple of ER visits weren’t covered). I updated my info and reminded them I’m litigious. No jobs were forthcoming from that angle. Turns out that site my friend told me about was all I needed.

I got the first job I applied for there. Not only did I get the first job I applied for, I got the job of my dreams. No, I’m not a writer typing away in my home office/guest room. I’m a bookkeeper in my home office/no longer a guest room! I got a job with a company that is 100% virtual doing the job I’m good at. I have health benefits! I get paid more! I work in pajama bottoms and fuzzy slippers Every. Single. Day. I have to wear nice shirts because I have a lot of meetings that are in virtual conference rooms with cameras, but everyone else in those virtual meetings are also in nice shirts, pajama bottoms, and fuzzy slippers! Hell they even sent me a pair of fuzzy slippers with the company logo on them to wear to work!

It wasn’t the easiest job to get, but I got it 2 weeks after finding out my old job was no longer an option. I squeezed in every single doctor’s visit and filled every single prescription then put in my two weeks notice. I was scared and I had lost some of my confidence because I’d never been laid off before, but off I went two weeks before my November 1 deadline.

I stopped commuting in mid October. By mid November, I wasn’t dizzy anymore so didn’t need those meds anymore. My joints stopped swelling so I didn’t need those meds anymore either. I was still crazy so I kept those meds and Fibromyalgia doesn’t turn loose once it has you, but one by one almost all the other health issues I was suffering from slowly faded away. I was literally allergic to my last job. I don’t mean literally in the popular culture definition, but Merriam-Webster, Funk & Wagnall love child definition of literally. My office made me so sick I met my maximum out of pocket in April last year. Literally allergic to my job. I am lucky to have left before I got any worse.

My new medical insurance went into effect on January 1. I was getting all cocky thinking I would barely go to the silly old doctor now that I’d chucked my walking cane in the closet. January 28, I thought I had a super weird strain of the stomach flu. I was sort of pukey and had some pain in my stomach that would have meant singing the Pepto Bismo commercial any other case of the stomach flu. I realized about 9pm that maybe I didn’t have the stomach flu. I went to the hospital. After pumping me full of morphine, that hospital put me in an ambulance and took me to another hospital where they took out my appendix. Thank you, new job and new medical insurance. Couldn’t have done it without you.

I’m still not writing except for this little missive here. I tried NaNoWriMo, but with the aforementioned confidence destruction and learning a new job I didn’t get far. My husband made me an editor at his site which led me here after fixing a post of his.

I spend 9-10 hours a day sitting in my office on the computer so when I’m done with work, I tend to shut everything down. I don’t even check Facebook anymore. I know! The horror! Still, maybe there’s hope for me yet. Tax season is over for my job tax work and I finished my parents return today and my son’s last week.

Don’t tell anyone else in my family or Tax Season II: The Wrath of Oscar Meyer will start with me sitting at peoples’ kitchen tables typing in more W2s than you can shake a stick at.

For free because that’s what families are for, right? No. No I don’t think so. Kim? Who’s Kim? My name is Esmerelda. I am a professional cat walker. Taxes? What are those? Parlez-vous Francais?

Here we go again

cropped-love-of-books.jpgI have signed up (and paid) for a writing class that starts this Friday.

I have requested an invoice from Romance Writers of America to reinstate my membership.

We’re talking to our landlord about buying the house we live in.

I may be looking for a new job and wouldn’t it be great if it was one I could work at from home like, oh I don’t know, writing?

I know. Pipe dream, but I would like for my second job to be tapping away on my keyboard in my house with its tiny office/guest room in my stretch pants and Bad Wolf tee shirt.

I’ve had some pretty serious health issues lately and with the state of the healthcare system in this country fluctuating daily, I don’t know that I’ll be able to get insurance if I’m self-employed. Staying at my current job may not be an option since every day a new wrinkle in the finances makes it look like there isn’t going to be an office to go to much longer. My boss quit instead of stay and clean up the mess he made. Since he was pulling in the big bucks, he can afford to not have a job at all for a loooooong time. We had a bunch of people apply and even offered the job to a few people, but they could see the writing on the wall and politely declined.

As for me, I’m hanging on by my fingernails. All the work that was dumped on me is slowly but surely being re-distributed to other people who have more functions than just answering the phone and paying the bills. If I were the boss, I would say the person in my position can be the first person to go should letting go of people become necessary.

So, what’s the plan? Hang on as long as they’ll pay me then hope there’s a job out there? Apply for a new job and jump ship at the first chance I get? Keep my head down and wait? Go on vacation, take writing classes, and look at community college for something new that will pay me what I need to get paid while letting me work from home? Yup. That one.

Medical billing and coding is probably the way for me to go. A nine month course that I can hopefully finish before the bottom falls out. Paying for it, a new house, utilities, groceries, insurance, cat toys, etc. probably can’t be done on unemployment, but what if I can put more content up on Smashwords and Amazon? I haven’t listed anything new for sale since 2015 and I’m still getting a couple of dollars a quarter in royalties. Just think if I’d been putting something up every month in those intervening years? Still not enough to pay for college out of pocket (no more student loans for me, ma!), but that scratching post with the rotating dangles or a month’s supply of mint chocolate chip would be in reach I’m sure.

Medical insurance is the big scary monster in all this, but I think we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Happier news is vacation is coming up! There’s an eclipse on August 21 I’m not going to miss! I booked the hotel in January thank goodness because hotels in the path of totality are either sold out or cost almost as much as our monthly house payment for a two night stay in a Motel 6. We’ll leave the bedbugs and pubic hairs in the bedding along with the light on for $900, ya’ll. No thanks.

After watching the moon’s shadow cross in front of the sun for two and a half minutes, we’ll head down to the beach and NASA for a couple of days before going out to not one, but two ballgames then heading home. The Daytona Tortugas play in Jackie Robinson Field where some guy broke the racial barrier and became the first African American to play on a major league baseball team. I wonder if the name of the field gives a clue to whom it might be. Hmm. Jackie Robinson was a great ballplayer and I can’t wait to see the place where he made his debut. We’re going to stop to see the new park in Atlanta too on the way back.

Anyone with plans on breaking into my house while we’re away, we have a security system (owner is an ex-cop who insists) and a house-sitter but we are poor so it’s not worth the jail time. Trust me. Anyone who wants to come over and clean is welcome though. I’ll even bring you back a turtle.

I can’t wait. It’s almost the only thing keeping me going at this point. I don’t know what I’ll have to look forward to once it’s past.

Shame

Forgive me, interwebs, it’s been over 4 years since my last post. I haven’t reviewed any books. More damningly, I haven’t written any books. What have I been doing? You know like stuff and crap.

This is going to be a short post because I’m writing in my bathtub on my Galaxy Tab and the autocorrect doesn’t like words like damn (it auto corrected that to darn) and it cannot accept that I don’t want to type the word duck as often as it thinks I do.

Couple of big things – huge really – I left my job of 16 years and I got married. My kids moved out, then the dog moved out, then I moved out with the new hubby and the  cats. One of the cats has gone walk about which is a bit stressful. There have been a couple of sightings but that was a few days ago. He’ll come home when he’s ready.

Weirdest thing is I got a library card. I mean  it’s weird I didn’t have one already. I’ve read some books. I got my first late fee a few weeks ago so it’s just like old times.

I’ll expound more later. Right now I’m getting pruney and autocorrect is possible good me off. (No, autocorrect is not possible good ugh)

Red Review at last!

What a gorgeous cover!Red
Kate Kinsey
eKensington
September 6, 2012

Truly, madly…deadly

Detective Tom Hanson has a string of grotesquely mutilated bodies on his hands and no answers—aside from the fact that the victims were members of an underground sex club catering to singular erotic tastes. Tastes the long, lean detective has sampled himself in the arms of his former lover, a fiery redhead who offered the most erotic, irresistible sex he’d ever encountered. Until the night she’d begged for the one thing he couldn’t give, and he lost her forever.

Gina Larsen is the only one who can guide Hanson through the fringe world of dark fantasy and desire that lies hidden deep beneath the Bible Belt. Lured into her lair by a quest for justice, Hanson discovers his hunger for Gina has only grown stronger and deeper…beyond the edge of control. Soon he’s shedding his last inhibitions in the search for answers, but the more she draws him into her erotic web, the less he can distinguish between passion and duty, pleasure and pain…good and evil.

~Amazon

Short review: Mind. Blowing.

Longer review: Let me start out by saying that I grew up sneaking my older brother’s John Grishams and lying to the librarian saying that my parents said I could check out Nelson DeMille when I was 10. I read this book while having a Castle marathon. I LOVE murder mysteries. That said, I’ve read so many murder mysteries, I can usual figure out the killer by chapter three at the latest. Not this book. I was well into 78% done before I started saying no way is that person the killer to myself. I barely guessed it before the delectable Hanson figured it out. It was that good a mystery.

But hey, isn’t this supposed to be a BDSM erotic novel a la 50 Shades of Vanilla Grey? Never fear, it was both and more. The aforementioned fanfic was written by someone who watched a few videos and read a book while typing on her phone. This novel was written by someone who lives the life of a submissive (and has a full grasp of spelling, grammar, and syntax along with a top-notch editor). She is part of the community and she knows what really is acceptable and what is just abuse wrapped in a silk tie. This is not “mommy porn”. This is The Life as it really is with a tantalizing mystery woven inside and around it.

The beginning is poetic and true. The first chapter is short and ends in heartbreak, but the characters are so well developed in such a short span the heartbreak is shared. I can’t say enough about how well written and detailed this book is in a tight 85,000 words.

The crime scenes are brutal and explicit as are the sex scenes. If you’re squeamish, this isn’t the book for you. If you love a good mystery and know real kink when you see it, dive right in! A+
Legal stuff: I received this book from NetGalley and eKinsington. I am not being paid for this review.

Oh Boy

Image credit to iconzicons at Livejournal

No, I didn’t get my book review up yesterday. I haven’t finished the book yet. Why? Because it is sooooooo good. It’s a very naughty murder mystery and I’m only putting it down for a few minutes to apologize to all of you who’ve been watching and waiting for my usual Saturday review.

I’m reading Red by Kate Kinsey and it deserves to be savored. When I finish it, you’ll be the first to know.

Season for Surrender Review

Season for Surrender

Season for Surrender
Theresa Romain
Kensington Publishing
October 2, 2012

Honor Among Rogues

Alexander Edgware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation–for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party–and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible–he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector.

Mischief Among Misses

Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring.

-Amazon

Short Review: I liked it.

Extended review: I really liked it. No, really. The only thing I didn’t like was the petulant villain and duh, that’s what you’re supposed to feel about the villain. There were a couple of times I had to go back and read again because no way did that just happen only to find out that it did. The only suspension of disbelief I had was Xavier and Louisa being left alone for so long so often. I also wondered more than once why Xavier didn’t pound his cousin Lockwood into itsy bitsy bits, but the book would have been over pretty quickly if he’d listened to me when I yelled out “hit him already.” Seriously, I talked to a book. That doesn’t happen often.

The characters (even the villain) were intelligent and believable. The verbal sparring was sharp. All the words meant what the author meant them to mean. It was a hardship to put it down and go back to work after lunch. I know, when isn’t it a hardship to go back to work, but it was the book this time. It was a nice escape.

If you like Julia Quinn, you will love this book. I’m definitely going to look for more from this author! A+

Legal stuff: I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from NetGalley and Kensington. I am not being paid for this review.