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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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review 2016-06-09 04:51
Dreaming of Fire by J.J. Cassidy
Dreaming of Fire - J.J. Cassidy

I cannot say the chemistry between the MCs is perfect, I felt very little of it, considering the boys are destined for each other. I cannot claim each twist and turn to be unpredictable and non-cliche. But the writing is incredible, the world is rich and mythology quite interesting. Most important part, I want more. Much more. In the end I am rounding my rating up to 5 stars.

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review 2016-01-30 04:54
In Despair (Princes of the Blood #3) by Megan Derr
In Despair - Megan Derr

This particular order of the series didn't work for me, unfortunately. I wish I read it backwards.

*

THIS IS NOT A REVIEW!
These are just my feels. They are so strong that I have an urge to spill them for all to see:

The two teenage boys, the MCs, Korin, 15 and Telme, 16, cried through the entire book until the very end where they are what ...40+? I almost had a breakdown myself just out of the sheer frustration, and boy was I mad when my kids stole the last 10 sheets of paper out of my printer! My evil plan had failed :(



But if you don't mind the teenage drama and buckets of tears, this book might be OK for you.
I would have easily given it 4 stars, but I am sorry, I just can't :/ 3 stars, but I will up it to 3.5 on Leafmarks and Booklikes.

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review 2016-01-16 01:05
With Pride by Megan Derr
With Pride - Megan Derr

This is much better than book one and I am giving a solid 4.
Weird thing, tho, the books go back in time. If I knew I would have read #3 first. I felt lost reading "Of Last Resort" :(

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