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review 2017-09-29 04:31
Splinterpoint by Regina St. Claire
Splinterpoint - Regina St. Claire

This book is C-wA_A-a-Z-YY!

Feels like Times Square, honestly :D 

 

~~~

The sheer amount of cultural references is mind-boggling.
Praetor Judy made it into this book :)

 

 

 

And I kept comparing Kol'daar to Cass (no actual mention of Supernatural, darn it!) - a bad-ass when he wants to be, but cute and adorable and kind and sometimes clueless. 

 

 

Metaaaaaahlll!!!



Yes, Ozzy made it, too! And the Dove! 



And, damn, talking about Mr. Crowley on that album!



Anyway, the story was heading for full 11 stars when things started going south around the last 20%, or after the Final Battle to be precise. Maybe during it's final half-hour, too. That's when the author quit crazy and spontaneous, turned on a drone and started explaining and over-explaining and then ex-plai-ning-to-death and then some just to drive the final nail in. 

After the report filing at the gingerbread castle I skimmed through the rest of the pages. The story got sappy and it dragged out for more than it had to. 

In the end I was left feeling a bit unbalanced. The badassery turned to sap, the unpredictable and unexplained turned into dissecting everything under a microscope. I really didn't care about the Song or Music Magic or how Nunzio's disability worked.

 

 

ALSO - The Burrito Incident. Someone specifically targeted Nunzio. Why? Never explained.

So, I am cutting 6.5 stars off for all the un- and over-explained instances and giving this book 4.5 stars.

 

Recommended :D

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review 2017-08-17 04:51
Damned If You Do by Marie Sexton
Damned If You Do - Marie Sexton,Kelly Martin,Digitally Imagined

Seth is a healer, but with every person healed, he himself is getting closer to death. Knowing what healing in the long run entitles, he decides to break free before it's too late. "Not so fast, brother!" says handsome black man Zed with his James Earl Jones's voice, and makes Seth stay, rending him unable to leave the circus revival.

Abaddon is a soul collector. The Hell he lives in, tho I am sure hellishly horrible, sounds pretty amusing and sometimes funny. He is buried in paperwork and is under pressure to collect souls.

MCs meet, they fall in love, they suffer, they cry, they offer all kinds of sacrifices to save the other and, I don't believe this is much of a spoiler, they live to be together. All the usual works. 

Now, angels, hippy revivals, devils, soul collectors don't entice me in any way. I read this book for a challenge in which I needed a book with a devil, and only because it's Marie Sexton so I knew it would be as good as I could get. On the whole, it was 3 star-ish for me. Once again, it's me, not the book.

BUT! Just like Abaddon found a bright soul in Bible Belt, I found a bright couple of lines in this not-my-fav-trope book.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick did if for me. I am bumping my rating up to 4. 'Cause PATS! 'Cause BRADY! =) This wasn't just bright, this was brilliant! :D And funny :)



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review 2017-08-17 04:30
Deep Magic (Deep Magic #1) by Gillian St. Kevern
Deep Magic - Gillian St. Kevern

The ending seemed as tangled as Dewy's hair at one point, and was dealt with it the same way - cut short. But on the whole - pure magic. I loved it to pieces :) 
And yeah, Vegemite... @.@  lol

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review 2017-02-27 00:43
Alien Refuge (World of Kalquor #7) by Tracy St. John Review
Alien Refuge (Clans of Kalquor) by Tracy St. John (2013-03-12) - Tracy St. John

All Iris Jenson wants is a safe place to raise her autistic six-year-old Thomas. She thinks she’s found it on Haven, an Earther colony located within the Kalquorian Empire’s borders. Making a fresh start under the watchful eyes of Earth’s former enemy has its challenges, but it also possesses opportunities to live free of fear, something Iris hasn’t had in a long time. Love is an added surprise when Haven’s governor Dramok Ospar and his clanmates Nobek Jol and Imdiko Rivek enter the young widow's life.

Trouble is brewing on Haven Colony, however. Insurgent Earthers want to free themselves of Kalquor’s influence, and Kalquor itself is on the brink of a revolt, led by the shadowy figure known only as the Basma. Then a violent ghost from Iris’ past reappears and threatens to snatch Thomas from those who love him. Ospar’s clan races against time to save Haven from a bloody rebellion and Thomas from the grasp of a monster.

Mild BDSM, including anal play/intercourse, bondage, Dom/sub play, forced seduction, and multiple sexual partners (m/f/m/m).

 

 

Review

With this series, the plot arc for the whole series often interferes with what are really tender (albeit erotic) love stories.

 

If the book was more nuanced about the villains and the cultural issues and spent more time on the romance and the cultural world building, I would likely adore this series.

I tend to like it.

 

The heroine has been abused and is raising her son with autism on a colony world sponsored by the Aliens Earth was at war with just a few years ago.

 

All the parts with the begining of education and therapy for her son and the falling in love with the child for the heroes of this book are wonderful.

 

The falling in love with the heroine is nice as well. Especially the parts with the clergy hero. Well, the warrior hero is pretty sweet too.

 

Why when these men are bisexual don't we get sexy times with each other? Sad about that in terms of really looking at a bisexual (at least for the males) poly culture.

 

All the other stuff is a lot of drama and I get a little sick of the zealotry and and hate and wish the series would settle into the two culture assimilating instead of the continued clash.

 

So, I will keep reading and enjoying and being annoyed at the same time.

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text 2016-08-31 16:23
How We Write Clergy
(originally published by Elsa Cook on her blogPUBLISHED ON August 24, 2016


I am a character in a book.


I learned of this news from a Facebook message. A member of the community had written a book and he wanted to know if it was alright to name the church in the book. That wasn’t my call anymore. I was no longer the pastor there, except that I was in the book.

 

While I was still in ministry in that place, I had had coffee with Ned Hayes many times. He was someone who came to worship on occasion. It was always clear to me that he was seeking something. He was incredibly well read. He’d read all kinds of theology and had even gone to seminary but there was still something he was looking for. I did not know in the middle of writing another book and that I would end up being a character. Of course, I said yes. By all means, print it. Publish it! I can’t wait to read how those cups of coffee and mornings in church translate into a character like Pastor Ilsa.

 

See what he did there? He changed the name by one letter. No doubt he was trying to avoid the connection to Disney’s Frozen that I cannot quite escape. Smart move. I borrowed a copy from my goddaughter and started to read at the pool.

 

14045951_1068662506550170_8991399356609680619_n.jpg

 

Eagle Tree is the story of a boy growing up in Olympia. He is a boy that is somewhere on the spectrum of autism and it is his voice that leads the reader through the journey of saving this tree in the LBA Woods. When I lived in Olympia, there were signs all over town to save this particular park. This is the fictional story of how that park is saved from the hands of developers by this boy named March who sometimes goes to church at the United Churches of Olympia. Church is a confusing place for March. It is a place where the pastor tells strange stories that are true, but not factually true.

 

This is how Pastor Ilsa is introduced. His mother drags him to church and March offers this narration:

Ilsa says she likes to talk about God because she cannot
entirely understand God, but that is not how I feel at all.
I need to understand things all the way down to the root
.

 

Though Ned denies it, this could have been a note he jotted down while we were having coffee. This is totally something I would say. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I did say something exactly like this. There are, however, other things that don’t line up about me. It is fiction, after all. Pastor Ilsa is married to a professor at the local college by the name of Pierre. His name sounds equally exotic to my husband’s name but their careers are totally different. Ilsa was also a botanist before she came into ministry. There was some kind of accident that shifted her focus. Again, this is not me but makes for a good character. Most surprising to me: Ilsa is old. He husband has grey in his beard. This is not a young pastor.

 

For this, I am admittedly sad. Clergy are so often imagined to be sage and wise because of their many years. It somehow makes them approachable.

 

I’m not complaining. Not exactly. I’m just interested in how we write clergy. I’m interested in how clergy are portrayed in the media. Consider AMC’s Preacher for example. This is nothing like the pastor that Ned Hayes writes.

 

Ned portrays someone far less of a bad ass, though she is a police chaplain which I thought was pretty cool. Maybe because Ned isn’t worried about ratings or sensationalism that television seems to require or maybe because he sees that there is something that good that does happen in church. And he thinks that clergy are a part of that.

 

The pastor he writes is approachable and caring. She has an incredible bond with March. She is able to get on his level and welcome him as a full child of God. I can only pray that I do this every day in my ministry, then and now. It is really what I hope not just for clergy but for all Christians.

 

Ultimately, this is not a book about Christians or even clergy. It’s a book about connections. It’s a book about how we relate to each other and how we relate to the world around us. No matter what separates and divides, we can come together to do good. We can change the world around us. We can make a difference.

 

I am not in the least bit surprised that this is Ned’s heart or that he still sometimes worships with this brave group of people in Olympia that shares the same hope.

 

Source: cookingwithelsa.org/2016/08/24/how-we-write-clergy
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