Tuesday, June 21, 2011:
Fan letter to author Nalini Singh
Dear Ms. Singh,
I know you are a very popular author these days, with not just one but two amazing series available to your readers, and you probably get tons of letters and emails very similar to mine, but I would have to say they are well-deserved accolades. These days, with constant changes in technology and our attention spans getting shorter and shorter, it's more difficult to capture the imagination and even harder to hold onto it. In fact, as I told you myself when I met you at the Lori Foster get-together, I didn't even like "Slave To Sensation" the first time I read it, but something compelled me to go back and give it another try. And that is why I'm writing this fan letter to you today; because despite my initial lack of engagement, somehow I felt I was really missing out on something, and now I'm devouring each book like it was the most decadent and sinful candy ever created.
And I love it! Lately life has been relentlessly kicking my ass, so to have this amazing outlet to escape to and fall in love with is such a welcome relief. I feel like when I enter the Psy/Changeling world, I am free of all the demands and criticisms and yes even the loneliness I've been experiencing lately. I let myself imagine being enveloped in the sensual embrace of a sexy Changeling eager for skin privileges. I pretend I have the intelligence and boldness and strength to go up against even the coldest Psy. Nalini, you created this absorbing, wondrous world, and I thank you very much for that. I've experienced hours of reading pleasure by delving into your world and letting it wash over me. It awakens my joy of reading again, something I'd lost for a little while, and it makes me very happy to have found my way back to books. The pressures of adulthood and responsiblity can be heavy burdens, but losing my desire to read is perhaps one of my deepest regrets. Yet with your books, I've found it again, and it grounds me. Makes me feel like I have a safe haven to turn to on those occasions when life overwhelms me. That is very rewarding.
I know after meeting you, you mentioned there is a definite ending to the series, and that saddens me, although I understand the "why" behind it. Everything eventually comes to a conclusion, and while I don't want to think about it, when it eventually does happen, I will be glad for the chance to read this series and have experienced all the joy and sadness and love you infused into it. I comprehend the need for closure, so I will be happy that I got to go through it with all the other readers who loved this series so much. One of the worst things that could ever happen is to have a series "jump the shark", because that takes away from the enjoyment that was originally felt in reading it.
Now I cannot end this letter without saying what an extreme pleasure it was to meet you and spend a few moments talking books with you. You are a lovely, gracious, intelligent woman and so easy to chat with. I felt completely at ease in your presence, even while in the back of my mind I'm thinking "OMG this is Nalini Singh! Squee!!!" Despite never getting a break and constantly having readers approach you, you were patient and sweet and wonderful. It was definitely one of this reader's highlights.
And thank you ever so much for sharing your colorful and vivid imagination. If someone ever asked which paranormal series they absolutely must read, without hesitation I would mention the Psy/Changeling books. It includes all the elements of a truly memorable journey that all readers should be able to experience at some point. What I love about it is that there is not one element I skip over. I enjoy every aspect of the series, from the chilling Psys to the hot and sensual Changelings; from the bravest heroine to the most evil villain. None of it bores me, and I savor every word. That, my dear, is a reader's delight. Muchos gracias :)
Labels: fan letter, Nalini Singh
Tuesday, April 26, 2011:
Sorry everyone, I've been dealing with some issues and I apologize for the delay. The winner of a copy of Eternal Rider is....
Thank you all for your patience. Tynga, I will email you for deets.
Eventually the blog will get back on track. Bear with me :)
Friday, April 15, 2011:
Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione & a giveaway
They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.
Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can't-or won't-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman's safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara's life.
Things are not looking good. A seal of one of the 4 Horsemen has been broken, rendering the keeper of said seal evil and it's only a matter of time before another seal is also destroyed, which will bring on the Apocalypse. Ares, though part demon himself, has no desire to see that happen, and along with his other siblings, seek to keep anyone - or anything - from breaking his, a agrimortus which is bringing protected by a fallen angel. Only evil has other plans, and the seal is not safe. The fallen angel manages to transfer it to another, a human. Only humans cannot sustain it for very long, and end up dying. Ares and the other Horsemen must find a way to keep the seal safe, even if it means dealing with a human....
Cara Thornhart cannot believe the crazy things that have been happening to her. Angels and demons and other "supernatural" beings are trying to kill her, only this is not some cheesy horror movie; this is her life. Reluctantly joining forces with a moody, bossy yet extremely hot Horseman, Cara tries to stay alive so as not to trigger the end of the world. It's a huge responsibility for someone who has never known such beings truly existed outside of a book. All she did was just save this dog with really bad breath....
Ares and Cara are racing against the clock, trying to find a fallen angel who can more adequately protect Ares' seal while fighting the immense attraction that exists between them. Now is not the time to be diving between the sheets, not when the world's about to explode into battle. Ares is used to not feeling anything for anyone. His goal is to win wars by any means possible, and showing tenderness towards another is a sign of weakness. Cara has a secret that has kept people from getting to close to her, even her loved ones. Yet together they forge a bond that soon cannot be broken....
This book kept my attention right from the start. I happen to be fascinated by biblical stories, and the signaling of the end of the world tends to fascinate me for some morbid reason. In the hands of a skilled author such as Larissa Ione, it's quite a wild and intense ride.
Ares is your typical warrior: fearless, strong, and removed emotionally from others. His unusual response to Cara, a mere human woman who holds the key to salvation, baffles and frustrates him. His goal is to keep the world from ending, and he doesn't have time, nor the desire, to care for another. Cara has always felt separated from others, even her own family. She's not used to trusting another, but she must trust Ares to keep her safe, even if he is a huge, irritating jerk.
I enjoyed their dynamic, the fact that they confound each other. Their awakening feelings amidst such chaos is rewarding to watch, and gives them both something to fight for. I liked how Larissa added an edge of danger to Cara's and Ares' desire for each other. There was a strong and believable element of violence that enhanced their attraction, and was - whew! - undeniably hot. And it worked. I felt their desperation and need, and it was a palpable, breathing thing.
Cara's ability and unique affinity for animals added an intriguing element to the storyline. I love animals, so this was fun to see how it was worked into the story.
I found the creative history of the Four Horseman fascinating and ripe with possibilities for the future stories. Larissa left us with so many nuggets of "what if" that I cannot wait to discover just what they might be. I also loved that we got to re-visit with beloved characters from the Demonica series. I get attached to characters, so seeing the again was a treat.
I don't wish to give anything away here, and I cannot do a better job of expressing the awesomeness of this book as some of the other bloggers have so eloquently done, but suffice it to say, you will be on the edge of your seat reading this book. Even when you know what's going to happen, you can't help but hold your breath and curse Larissa for tying you in wonderful, emotional knots. Dread and hope war with each other, and you're utterly engaged in this story. I'm really excited to read the next thrilling installment of this brand-new series.
Rating: **** out of *****
I am haing a contest for a copy of Eternal Rider that will end at 6pm CST on Sunday, April 17th. All you have to do is answer the following question:
What would you do if it was your last day on earth?
Labels: contest, Larissa Ione
Tuesday, March 29, 2011:
Hello! I missed you guys! And my blog. I can't believe I've ignored you for so long. Okay, yes I can. I've been in a selfish mood and really haven't felt like making an effort. But that is done. I am tired of being sad about things I cannot control. Not to say I won't relapse from time to time, but there are other things, fun things to get excited about. So I will. Let's see, what's been going on:
- Weight: I have lost a total of 13 pounds since December. I keep wondering why not more, since I sweat my ass off at the gym 4-6 times a week and eat fairly healthy and drink a gallon of water a day. It's muscle, isn't it??? But as long as it stays off, I should be content, right?
- Job: I now work in downtown Chicago. Weird, because I never wanted to commute. Still don't, not really, but so far it's been rather fun. I am so looking forward to nicer weather and exploring the city more. And meeting some new people.
- Makeover! Okay, I haven't had one, but I intend to. Now that I'm working on being kinda cute, I need to look the part. I plan on going on a shopping spree and totally, okay partially, change how I look. I would love to get purple streaks in my hair, but I don't think my employer would be too thrilled with that though ;p
- Attitude: I'm getting one! I have been a mopey rag for far too long, and now I'm ready to be "me" again. Not to say that I didn't learn something while I was dealing with some personal stuff, because I sure did. And sometimes being proven right isn't all it's cracked up to be. But whatever. The main thing is not to lose yourself or to try to change for any other reason than you want to. I tend to be a people pleaser and really, it's not worth it most of the time. So time to get my bitch on.
- Books: I'm reading again. Go me! Finished Anne Rice's Beauty trilogy, which was dark, BDSM'y, yet whimsical. The last book draaagged for me, but overall, not a bad series.
- Music: obsessed with Silversun Pickup's Panic Switch. "Waitng and fading and floating away". Right now those words sum up some feelings I've had.
And now it's time to enjoy life again! Got a lot going on in the next few weeks. Meeting new friends for the first time in person, reading some great books, touring the seamier side of Chicago ;)
What's going on in YOUR world?
Tuesday, March 08, 2011:
Northwestern U's Fucksawgate: a supporter's perspective
One of the things I like to do at this blog is to talk about subjects that interest me, whether they are popular or not. Especially if it deals with women's issues. This would definitely fall under that category. And I think there are tmes when it's vitally important to speak up, even if it's about a topic even your closest friends will disapprove of. This may be one of those times. For those of you who have known me for years, especially as a reader/blogger in the romance community, you know what I am really all about, and I should hope you keep an open mind yourself and share your thoughts if you are familiar with this issue. Thank you.
Many of you may have heard about the recent event that took place on February 21st at Northwestern University as part of a human sexuality class that has many people up in arms. Having been following the story closely myself for a few reasons, I can't help but feel dismayed at the outrage and negative feedback this has generated.
I first heard about this story on Twitter from local people I follow, some of whom are actually friends of those involved in the demonstration. And because it was a local story, I started reading the articles and watching the news stories being broadcast. And it became extremely evident that the media was on some sort of witch hunt, with their accusations of lewd live sex acts and deviancy and vulgar behavior. For those not fully informed, it wouldn't have seemed wrong to join in the witch hunt. But that's when I saw this WTTW interview and realized just how far off the mark most of the major media is. Instead of taking this opportunity to educate readers and viewers about the real intent behind he demonstration, it's become a rant about some kind of perverted act of exhibitionism, most specifically aimed at those active in the kink community.
The thing is, we're all adults, or at least we should be acting like it. And one of the things you do when you are an adult is to find out the truth, perhaps do a little research, and not go off on a tangent after the first blurb you read or see. Because these days, I don't know about you, I really don't trust most of what I see on television. Even once respected news programs have become sensationalized and money-hungry gossip rags who talk more about Charlie Sheen and #tigerblood than they do about the real problems we face in our country.
What bothered me about the Northwestern story is the references being made to "porn", and the fact that many people are disturbed by the fact that the four individuals that participated in the demonstration are involved in Chicago's kink community. True, the word "kink" drums up all kinds of lurid images of weird, unnatural, scary sexual acts that make people feel uncomfortable at best, but usually generate a stronger - more negative - reaction. I won't lie. I do get that. Believe me, I have had my own strong thoughts on the subject over the last several months, but I've also educated myself quite a bit since then and discovered that truly, the majority of us are kinky on some level, whether it's something they've known all their lives or ahem it's a more recent discovery. And my belief is, as long as you are being smart, safe, using protection and not involving kids, animals or doing anything truly nonconsensual, I don't care if you wear an actual monkey suit when you do it (truly, no FurCon pun intended).
I mean really, would it have truly made a significant difference if the demonstrators had been dressed in their best church attire while preaching the gospel and insisting this is God's will? That would be rather hypocritical (although damn funny!) Besides, some of the kinky people I do know are extremely intelligent, interesting, successful, more opened-minded and accepting of others, the kind of people I actually want to meet, and you'd be fortunate to count them as your friends. And guess what? They really are just like anybody else, so let's stop focusing on their sex lives and focus more on the message that this demonstration was actually trying to send: one that was about celebrating female sexuality and dispelling some myths about female orgasm that are very alive and thriving today. Hell, as a woman I thought it was fantastic that this demonstration took place. And we all have something to learn, whether we're 19 or 39 or 99. I say bring it on.
Now I understand and respect that most people don't want to broadcast their sex lives and talk about explicit details with their closest friends much less in an open forum of several hundred people, but this class was built around the principles of sharing ideas, engaging in frank discussions and looking all all areas of sexuality, from swingers to BDSM to the sexual practices of different cultures, and the intent was to open up people's minds and prove to them that there are ways women can enjoy orgasms that they may have never thought were possible before. I'm all for that! It's a learning experience for men just as much as for women, and I am proud of the students, and anyone else, who supports the demonstrators because they know that the intention was not to shed a bad light on the university in any way. In fact I believe the reason this even was brought to the attention of the media was due to the complaints of students and parents that weren't even in attendance and had no idea what was going on. Shame on them for turning what was supposed to be an educational, positive experience into an embarrassing and out of control game of "telephone". At this point, I shouldn't be surprised anymore how the media tends to turn topics like this into an eye-rolling Beavis & Butthead spectacle.
So I did send messages of support to two of the individuals involved, and quickly received replies back from both of them. I mention this because I wanted to share that they were both gracious and lovely, and more interested in educating others about sex and having open dialogue with other like-minded individuals than they were in making a name for for themselves and creating scandals. The last I'd read, some of them may be in serious danger of losing their jobs due to the way this whole situation has just gotten so widespread. I think that's a shame because THEY. DID. NOTHING. WRONG. But once again, the media and small-minded people are attacking, out for blood. I am ashamed of living in a country where sensationalism is more important than the truth. Go back to watching fucked-up Charlie Sheen, people. I for one would rather find out more about those G-spot orgasms.
Some related links:
Neil Steinberg's comments
Jim Marcus' rebuttal
And be sure to check out Sunny Megatron's website for updated posts and information about the now infamous "Fucksawgate".
Thursday, March 03, 2011:
Cover alert: Animal Attraction from Jill Shalvis
Out October 1!
Labels: bookcovers, Jill Shalvis
Tuesday, March 01, 2011:
Release Day & upcoming signings: A Lot Like Love by Julie James
The FBI wants her cooperation.
As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city’s top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there’s only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother’s release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.
Agent McCall just wants her.
As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This “date” with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment—one they’re both determined to pull off even if they can’t be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick’s investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they’re a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more. . .
Thursday, March 10, 6:00-9:00pm
BOOK SIGNING AND WINE TASTING AT WINESTYLES
Join Julie for a book signing at the wine shop that inspired A Lot Like Love and a complimentary wine tasting
1433 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
Sunday, March 13, 3:00-5:00pm
BOOK SIGNING WITH AUTHOR BETH KERY
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
1441 West Webster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
*90 minute free parking in lot
Labels: booksignings, Julie James
Monday, February 14, 2011:
For those of you who are not a fan of Valentine's Day, or who just think Jensen Ackles is incredibly hot, today is the 2nd annual DEAN DAY!!!! Intense eyes and that sexy mouth. What woman could resist????
He might be a little rough around the edges, and completely off his rocker at times, but the love he has for his family, most notably his brother Sammy, makes him all the more irresistible.
Here he is, scruffy and cleaned up. Dangerous combination....
Can never have too many Dean pics...and really, what more do you need that a visual of a really hot sexy guy to make your day???
Such a good-looking guy, no matter what he's wearing....
I am so freakin' sad this is the last season of SUPERNATURAL! It's been an incredible road trip these last 6 years with Dean and Sammy, the sadness, the death, the fun, the sexiness, the emotion, the betrayals, the reunions, the lips, the violence, and that awesome car....
I heart you Dean!!!!
Go to JoJo's Bookcorner to check out Dean at these other places too!
Labels: Dean Day, Jensen Ackles, Valentine's Day
Tuesday, February 08, 2011:
Coming soon: Dean Day!!!! (2/14)