The Visitor

Amanda Stevens is one of my favorite authors. March 29, her new book in the Graveyard Queen series, The Visitor,  is due for release. Because of devastating circumstances, it has been a long time between books. So I’m re-reading the first three books in the series before the release date.

 

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The main character, Amelia Gray, is a graveyard restorer in the South, mostly the Charleston area. The ambiance of the series is creepy, charming, mysterious, filled with Southern well-mannered gentility, laced with suspense and Spanish moss, with an underlying core of something rotten. Very evocative of  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. At the heart, this series is a Gothic era ghost story set in present day. Also, think of Turn of the Screw or  Woman in Black.

For maximum effect, I turn out the lights and read on my Kindle Paperwhite. I love the downlight feature!

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Trials of a serial reader

I’ll admit it. I read a lot of what is often called “trash” — romance novels, paranormal romance, cozy mysteries and chick lit. You know, the basic escapism fare. My life is real enough; I don’t want to read about someone else’s drama.

For my escapism tastes, I blame Jane Austen, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. I also blame my paternal grandmother and my favorite bands, including but not limited to: Kings of Leon, matchbox 20, Maroon 5 … Hey, gotta blame someone, right?

I fell in love with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy at a young age; ergo I love reading romance novels. Because I must like the characters if I’m going to bother reading, I am likely to read a series if the author has written a series. I don’t heart permanent goodbyes, even if the people are fictional. If Pride and Prejudice had been a series of books, I would have read them all.

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Sugar Jamison

I usually avoid books that have “BBW” in the description or genre. Think plague.

For some reason, I when I read the blurb for Sugar Jamison’s Dangerous Curves Ahead, I did not go screaming in the opposite direction.In fact, I downloaded it to Vishous.

Dangerous Curves Ahead

After I slogged through the very tedious romance (yeah, not an adjective I usually use for romance) If You Only Knew, I wasn’t sure I was ready for another chick lit read for a long, looooooong while. I skimmed and skipped through the last half of the book and still ran into the same phrases again and again. The final reveal of the deep, dark secret was such a small detail next to the best friend’s secret. And frankly, even I haven’t met guys that are nearly as dim-witted about relationships and women as the two men in that book. But I digress.

It was the middle of the night and I needed something to read to help me get back to sleep. I looked through my To Be Read and saw the title, clicked on the description, and thought, “Oh hell, why not?” I found out why not.

In response to a snarky aunt of an ex, skinny, holier-than-thou, I-have-a-weight-loss-center, judgemental bitch, Ellis gave this response as to why she was buying a Black and White cookie: “Ellis shook her head sadly. ‘I ate fifteen boxes of cookies the last time I robbed a Girl Scout. And then I gained three pounds. And then I got arrested and then they forced me to do all that community service and let me tell you, my big ass does not look good in neon orange.’ ”

All Hail Sugar Jamison! I think this woman has just become a new shero of mine.

Now, my snarky, skinny, holier-than-thou, über-critical, judgemental bitch is simply one of the many voices in my head, harping at me night and day, telling me I’m not good enough because I’m plus-size. She nags at me, then my self-destruct voice says any good habits and life-style changes I attempt are going to fail. Miss Bitch starts her tirade, and Miss Self-Doubt tells me I can’t, so forget it. I then throw my hands in the air, just chucking the idea of losing weight and getting fit.

Maybe this time, Miss Mouth can use Ellis’s line? In just a few short pages, Jamison is making me finally understand that not every woman has to be a size 0 to be happy. Not every woman needs to be the perfect model. Not every man needs a sweet little lady. Some men aren’t afraid of curves and some men like sassy women. In fiction, at least.

A very good start. Let’s see if the rest of the book keeps up.

Fifth Grave Past the Light

Fifth Grave

I am so excited! Today a new book in the Charley Davidson series, “Fifth Grave Past the Light,” came out and was nicely delivered to my Kindle at a little past midnight. I managed to stave off the compulsion to start reading until about 3:00 AM. Yay, me! That is a testament to my willpower.

I was only able to read about three chapters before I had to go back to sleep for a couple of hours. I had to work today. I really should have taken a vacation day so I could just read.

I’m hoping to get more reading in this evening after supper. Depends on the cats and their needs. All cats have needs, no doubt about that, but sometimes by boy Pyewacket is needier than most. I might use duct tape as a disciplinary tool with men but not with cats. I just have to practice patience and use my selective hearing.

I had a bit of a dilemma the day before Fifth Grave came out. I finished the books in the Graveyard Queen series and had one day to go. I didn’t want to start another book because I would have to drop it 1/2 way though. Wait even a day to read Fifth Grave? Seriously? Not in this reality!

I ended up reading a bunch of samples I had on my Kindle.Amazon sending samples is a wonderful idea Love it, Amazon. Many thanks!

After reading, I moved the sample into a “To Buy” collection, a “Maybe” collection or deleted the it altogether. Two birds, one stone and all that. I read the samples I’ve been meaning to, cleared out some of the Kindle dead wood and I didn’t delay my date with Charley and Reyes. I win!

So I’m off to get dinner dins and then it’s Charley, Reyes, Vishous and me for the rest of the night.

Kitties, you are welcomed to join me, but shhh! Mommy’s reading!

TBR and Sookie, Sookie Sookie

So many books; so little time. My TBR pile is getting larger and larger. Knowing there are plenty in the TBR makes me very happy.

Knowing my favorite authors have great reads coming to my DTR (Dying To Read) pile makes me ecstatic. Soon Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones is coming out. I read the first chapter. I want more and I want it now.

I am also looking forward to Entwined in You by Sylvia Day, Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Possession by J. R. Ward, A Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate Carlisle, Black Heart by Christina Henry, and Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. This only the barest few that I have pre-ordered for my Kindle. I will pre-order Death and the Girl He Loves and Sixth Grave — both by Darynda Jones — as soon as they are available for Kindle pre-order. There will be another Black Dagger Brotherhood book somewhere along the line. Thank god for my Kindle. I don’t have room in my condo for all the books.

I am currently reading — and have just about completed — the newest and last Sookie Stackhouse book. I don’t usually write a review before finishing, but I have serious doubts that I will make it to the final chapter. If I don’t write the review now, I might never get the chance. This from a person who has just recently realized she doesn’t have to finish a book just because she started it.

There are reports of people being so upset about this book that Charlaine Harris is receiving death threats. Seriously, people, get a grip. It’s bad — but not THAT bad. It is a work of fiction, after all. Take a step back and breathe.

WARNING: This is a spoiler alert. Not much of one, but I was accidentally spoiled and I don’t want to do the same to someone else.

Here’s the bit of a spoiler

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Alrighty then. You were warned.

Charlaine Harris kept saying that we had not yet met Sookie’s HEA. Well, either she lied or Ms. Harris decided she didn’t want to invest the time creating a new character and backstory because we have, indeed, met the HEA.

Maybe if the author hadn’t drawn in every single character still existing from the previous  12 books, she would not have felt so overwhelmed and would have been able to keep her word. What a convoluted mishmash! Storylines from all over the damned place. Even the devil makes an appearance. Really? The devil? Does anyone honestly think that was necessary? There is every other supernatural being in creation and yet that wasn’t enough. The line into theology just had to be crossed as well. Sure, when every other plot trick has been used and abused, there’s nowhere else to go but to angels and demons.

I thought True Blood was getting outlandish in their plotlines, but they have nothing on Dead Ever After. At last True Blood has humor along with the over-the-top writing, blood, guts and schlock. That’s more than I can say for book 13 of The Southern Vampire Mysteries. I understand there is a follow-up compendium that tells what happens to all the characters ever mentioned. According to the teaser “This coda provides the answers to your lingering questions—including details of Sookie’s own happily-ever-after…” The problem is, I don’t know if I care enough about the answers to bother reading the Last, last book.