Archive | September 2014

Dear Ellora’s Cave, Go Fuck Yourself or Boycotting Ellora’s Cave

Dear Ellora’s Cave,

Go Fuck Yourself.

Sincerely,

A Reader who will never buy your company’s products ever again

Sunday night I was casually surfing the internet when I discovered my favorite book blogger, Dear Author, was being sued. By Ellora’s Cave owner and author Tina Engler (AKA Jaid Black).

Over this blog post: The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave. I have copied portions of the post below, hoping to spread this info as much as possible. Please go to Dear Author for the full article.

Basically, Tina Engler is pissed off that Dear Author called her, her business practices, crazy actions and bullying behavior on the carpet. And Tina Engler responded with a lawsuit. A SLAPP (Strategic lawsuit against public participation) lawsuit. And Ohio (where Tina filed) does not have an anti-SLAPP law.

Everyone knows Tina Engler’s end game: she wants to shut people up. And the best way to do that is to scare people. Well, Tina, I just have to say FUCK YOU. Yes, I’m upset and a little scared that even posting this could get me sued. But you know what? I refuse to allow Tina Engler’s bullying tactics to work on me.

Author Courtney Milan has started publicly tweeting and commenting about Ellora’s Cave and Tina Engler’s actions – using the hashtag #notchilled – showing that although Tina Engler wants to chill our speech via her SLAPP lawsuit, it will not be chilled. I don’t tweet so my contribution is this blog post. And my boycott of all Ellora’s Cave published works. I will not post any reviews of any works published by Ellora’s Cave/Jasmine Jade Enterprises nor will I buy their books.

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Review: Cat’s First Kiss (Forgotten Goddesses #2.5) by Stephanie Julian

Cat's First Kiss

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A short visit with Cat

Since taking on the powers of the Etruscan Goddess of the Moon, Catene’s life has been upended. Her parents don’t know how to help her. And Tivr, Etruscan God of the Moon, has seemingly deserted her. Amazing what a first kiss can do.

This story takes place after HOW TO WORSHIP A GODDESS and before GODDESS IN THE MIDDLE

 

 

This is a short (very short!) interlude in the Forgotten Goddesses series. I purchased this one myself as it was not available via Scribd.

I was not too happy about this short. I was expecting short but I wasn’t expecting what I got: 14 pages and atrocious formatting.

Cat’s First Kiss takes place after How to Worship a Goddess where Cat takes over the mantle of Goddess of the Moon. During How to Worship a Goddess the reader learns that Cat is destined to become the new Goddess of the Moon as well as the fated mate of the God of the Moon (Lucy’s son from How to Worship a Goddess). During that book the reader also learns that Tivr was avoiding Cat because she was so young and he is a couple hundred years older. Of course, none of this was explained to Cat. She was simply hurt that someone she loved so much was actively avoiding her.

The story is a total of about 14 pages. My book was so badly formatted that it shows up as 130+ pages: there was about 1 paragraph per page. 😦 The constant need to flip pages made me want more story. Which I did not get.

Other things I did not get in this story: any real discussion between Tivr and Cat. No, let me back track that a bit. NO real discussion between Tivr and Cat. He asks her to forgive him for being an ass, they kiss and it was over. That’s it. So yeah, I was expecting at least a little more – especially with all the loose ends left dangling around from How to Worship a Goddess.

Another thing I want to rant about: the cover. OMFG. I am so sick to death of this same freaking couple on every freaking NA romance that has ever NA’d (the books Easy, Reckless, the entire Devoured series, Walking Disaster, etc). Enough! The guy on the cover is turning into the Fabio of NA romance. And it’s driving me batty.

Review: Ciara’s Song by Andre Norton

Ciara's Song

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The wonders and adventures of Andre Norton’s “Witch World” saga have thrilled millions. Now comes a new chronicle about the hidden realms of the Witch World.

Ciara of Elmsgarth is only a small girl when the edict is issued by the Duke of Kars: KILL ALL WITH WITCH BLOOD, AND TAKE ALL THEY OWN.

A greedy mob murders her family, but Ciara is protected by the powerful Lord Tarnoor and his son, Trovagh. Safe in the isolated, siege-proof citadel of Aiskeep, Ciara and Trovagh grow, marry, and raise children.

Then the folly that grips Karsten worsens. Bigotry and corruption lead to crime, civil strife, war, and poverty — and the rise of an evil sorcerer, a black mage on a vendetta to destroy all Ciara has, and everyone she holds dear.

I love this book and the sequel The Duke’s Ballad.

This is one of the few books in Andre Norton’s Witch World series that I feel allow for new reader explanations. It’s also an unusual Fantasy book by today’s standards: It’s mostly a stand-alone, it follows the lives of three generations but it’s under 300 pages. This is one of the strengths of Ciara’s Song, in my opinion.
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Wine: Dreamfish Sauvignon Blanc (White)

dreamfish

“Racy passionfruit, tangerine and gooseberry flavours are graceful and elegant, with a lovely, alive mouth feel and a medium body. A zingy acidity adds to the elegance, and the flavours echo on the finish.”

The bright, fresh, beautiful balance of the Dreamfish Sauvignon Blanc combined with its zippy acidity and fruit make it the perfect companion for countless vegetables, herbs, fish and chicken concoctions. Where to begin? At this incredible price, you don’t have to choose; try all of your options… The Dreamfish is a lovely, refreshing aperitif on its own, or with a big bowl of just-made guacamole. Because it works so well with herbs and herb sauces, a terrific vegetarian option is linguine with pesto. This Sauvignon Blanc is great at showcasing pure ingredients; we love it with a simply grilled fresh swordfish steak. This Dreamfish’s bright, clean nature allows it to counter cream and butter brilliantly. Whip up some creamy, garlic-smashed potatoes to that end, and serve them with an indulgent platter of fried chicken. Delicious. If you’re ordering in, Pad Thai is great with the juicy side of the wine, and its citrus fruit notes. And finally, the bone dry palate of this wine makes it a natural with many cheeses. Open another bottle and serve it with a delicious American Catskill goat cheese for the finale of the meal. It boasts a beautiful fresh flavor which is enhanced by the soft, luscious rind, making it ideal for this Dreamfish. You’ll want to get out your big summer sipping glasses for this phenomenally delicious value, winelovers!!

Well, it wasn’t my favorite. I struggle with whites and I always prefer a sweeter flavor with less acidity than I received with this Sauvignon Blanc. I can’t say for sure if it’s me or if it was the wine. Blancs and pinots (and Zinfandels!) have never resonated with me. I just haven’t been able to teach myself to enjoy dry wines.

The Dreamfish was certainly bright and it had a slightly fruity taste with a serious bite (to me). I didn’t pair the Dreamfish with anything, just a nice night on the deck with hubby.

My husband really enjoyed the Dreamfish (a lot more than I) so I will purchase this again – maybe I can develop a taste for it.

Random Recipes: Open Faced Crab Melt

So hubby comes to me a few weeks ago and drops a bombshell: He wants to go Paleo. O_O

I was shocked…and a little dismayed. I know a bit more about the Paleo diet than hubby: I heard about it when I became serious about working out. It’s often touted as a great diet among Crossfitters, too. What caused my dismay, however, is the fact that I looooooove me some starch. I love potatoes and pasta, bread and cake, pie and biscuits. And Italian food!!!! I love this stuff. And Paleo is the opposite of the stuff I love. But I will try and go Paleo with hubby – at least until the starch/carb craving gets to me and I go running down the street while stuffing my mouth full of Butter Rum Pound Cake (BTW, Rum booze is a no-no when Paleo).

So. We’ve been advised to toss all foods that are forbidden in our new diet. And that ain’t happening, lol. I don’t know who does stuff like that but people like me can’t throw away money. So we will eat what we have and just work on not replenishing the “bad foods.”

Which brings me to this recipe. It’s not Paleo but it’s my start. I’ve halved the bread and lightened up the mayo. It certainly works well for my “lightened up” lunches. And it’s tasty!
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Review: Enticed (Pregnancy & Passion, #1) by Maya Banks

Enticed

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Bryony Morgan has come to New York for answers–and she won’t accept a brush-off from the father of her unborn child. She fell for wealthy hotelier Rafael de Luca when he courted her for her beachfront real estate. Then he disappeared. That’s because a crash has left Rafe with selective amnesia. But how could he ever forget a combustible beauty like Bryony? His solution to their stalemate: return to the island where they met, and relive the unforgettable nights in question–until he remembers everything….

“Top Pick! […] An extraordinarily moving romance with wonderfully charismatic protagonists.”
–RT Book Reviews on The Tycoon’s Secret Affair

ENTICED was originally published as Enticed by His Forgotten Lover

 
Enticed is the first category romance that I have read by Maya Banks. Strangely enough, Maya Banks wrote the very first menage book that I read. I guess you can say that she helped to break me into reading erotica. So when I saw Maya Banks’ name on a HQN category romance, I had to grab it.

Enticed is – at first glance – a pretty typical Harlequin Presents story: ruthless business tycoon hero and innocent, financially needy heroine. At first glance.

The biggest differences – to me – was the general lack of angst, lack of conflict and the hero’s grovelling. Which greatly changed the tone of the book for me.

Enticed begins with the hero, Luca, at a public event and suffering from amnesia. He sees a woman glaring at him so he goes to speak to her and she informs him that not only had the two been in a relationship but that he’s going to be a father. The rest of the majority of the book revolves around Luca and Bryony trying to recover Luca’s memory.

There is very little angst in Enticed until the end of the book. There is little to no conflict in the book. I have to admit that the lack of angst and conflict really…made the book slow and boring for me. I was never emotionally invested in Enticed and I can barely remember the MCs names.

Although I found Enticed boring and slow, Maya Banks’s writing is still very polished and a pleasure to read.

Review: How to Worship a Goddess (Forgotten Goddesses #2) by Stephanie Julian

WorshipAGoddes

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WHAT SHE’S ALWAYS WANTED, AND SHE UNLEASHES HIM LIKE A FORCE OF NATURE…
Lucy was once the beloved Goddess of the Moon, and she could have any man she wanted. But these days, the goddesses of the Etruscan pantheon are all but forgotten. The only rituals she enjoys now are the local hockey games, where one ferociously handsome player still inflames her divine blood…

Brandon Stevenson is one hundred percent focused on the game, until he looks up and sees a celestial beauty sitting in the third row. A man could surely fall hard for a distraction like that…

 

 
How to Worship a Goddess is the seventh book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the second book in the Forgotten Goddesses series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $10.09. Stephanie Julian is a new to me (NTM) author that I discovered using the Scribd recommendation engine.

I really enjoyed this second entry into the Forgotten Goddesses series. I liked both the hero and the heroine and that the problems facing the couple were more related to their relationship than the outside pressure of the same god (Charun) who harassed Tessa in What a Goddess Wants.

Sadly, How to Worship a Goddess has a similar issue to What a Goddess Wants: the really problematic meet-cute. Brandon, the hero, has noticed Lucy (heroine and season ticket holder) at his hockey games for a long time, fantasizing about her. One day he decides he’s going to meet her so he goes to the ticket office and begs her address from her customer file. Let’s just start by saying that this is hella wrong. It turns out that Lucy used a fake address for her season ticket application…so Brandon manages to to locate her by digging around: he eventually finds a deed in her name with no address but he finds the latitude and longitude degrees and plugs them into his GPS. And he just shows up.
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