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review 2018-09-15 22:05
A Discovery of Witches / Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

 

I read this to fill the Spellbound square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo Card.

I know there is a fandom out there for this particular flavour of Paranormal Romance, but I am not among them. I guess that life experience shapes these tastes and mine have shaped me to reject being a fragile flower type of woman and to abhor bossy, controlling men. Diana is my nightmare as a main character, someone who thinks she is strong but in reality is always tired, hungry, injured, pale and otherwise needy. 

I also had issues with the vampires. They are a pretty namby-pamby kind of vamp--able to eat food, sometimes sleep, and exist happily by hunting deer. Essentially, they are humans with cold skin and long life expectancy. They spend an awful lot of time snarling and growling, but Matthew "purrs" rather a lot. I don't even have an idea of what that would sound like.

Then there's Matthew specifically, who's supposed to be over 1000 years old, but still acts like an adolescent. He's moody and angry for no apparent reason, full of secret sources of angst. And he's met everyone--Christopher Marlowe was his pal, Shakespeare signed a book for him, he corresponded with Charles Darwin. It's like all those folks who go for regression hypnosis and emerge thinking they are reincarnated Robert the Bruce or Cleopatra, never a pig farmer from Finland.

On top of all that, there's the relationship between Diana and Matthew. Once she decides he's the one, she keeps inviting him to bed and being astonished when he turns her down. Science says that she can't get pregnant because they are different species, but Matthew always has some lame excuse. There's some ancient covenant that forbids interspecies relationships or his mother wouldn't approve (!) or they've got all the time in the world, on and on. I don't know about other women, but if a man turned me down that often, I wouldn't be hanging around for further humiliation. Then, all of a sudden, Matthew kisses her and declares his love in front of his mother. Poof, they're married now. (That reminded me so much of a scene in Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels where Sookie is persuaded to take some object & present it to Eric Northman, and poof! They're married) Despite this official marriage, he still won't consummate the relationship. 

Can vampires suffer erectile dysfunction? 

It's 579 pages long and they still haven't done the deed.

(spoiler show)

 



This is like a cross between the Mayfair Witches of Rice, Outlander by Gabaldon, and Twilight. It reminds me strongly of the work of Christine Feehan and Kresley Cole, two authors that I now avoid. Fans of these franchises will no doubt enjoy this book more than I did. Govern yourselves accordingly.

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text 2018-09-13 21:33
TBR Thursday
Parable of the Sower - Octavia E. Butler
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys - Jay Kristoff,Carrie Ryan,McCormick Templeton,Stefan Bachmann,Cat Winters,April Genevieve Tucholke,A.G. Howard,Megan Shepherd,Leigh Bardugo,Kendare Blake,Marie Lu,Nova Ren Suma,Kami Garcia

 

How nice to have only 3 books (out of 10) with hard & fast due dates!  I've been waiting most of the year for Parable of the Sower--the library just recently added a second copy to their holdings, or I would probably be waiting until sometime next year!

 

A Discovery of Witches actually arrived way to early for Halloween Bingo, so I threw it back and it has now landed on my reading docket for the second time.  This time I intend to read it and enjoy it!

 

I've already made a start on Slasher Girls & Monster Boys.  It's a book of short fiction, so perfect for coffee breaks at work.  So far, two stories in, the tales are certainly dark, but not something that would freak me out to read after dark.  They're really good--if any one is reading this for Halloween Bingo, I think you (and I) have a treat ahead of us.

 

The weather has been dreary today--all grey skies and looming chances of precipitation.  When I got to work this morning, there were traces of snow around the edge of the parking lot.  It seems awfully early, but this is Canada and we know that winter is coming! 

 

Enjoy the Halloween reading, folks!

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text 2018-09-10 06:57
Enhanced Bublish delivers the same results - none
Three months ago, I responded to a free offer from Bublish to use their “e-book Author and Discovery Platform” for two weeks.
 
Bublish claims they can help you “promote your work and build your brand” with, among other things, “book bubbles,” excerpts of your work shared across social networks. These bubbles also allow you to share “the story behind the story,” similar to a director’s rough cut which Bublish claims “is a powerful way to build social proof with readers.”
 
I already had a Bublish experience shortly after it was launched a few years ago. I quit using the platform then because despite encouraging numbers regarding bubble views, profile views and conversions there were no sales.
 
When I logged in I was surprised to see previous bubbles for my novels Forest, and The Big Picture still on the site.
 
Since I was launching Cold-Blooded, Book 2 of the Mattie Saunders Series, that’s what I began promoting, but after a month, and still having free access to the site, I decided to repost the bubbles from The Big Picture.
 
Bublish provides a daily update of social metrics for the past 90 days on a member’s dashboard. I’ve just completed my current 90 day run posting almost every day and here are the results:
 
Bubble Views - 4891; Profile Views - 47; Conversions (which retailers users are visiting from your bubbles) - 161
 
Sorry to pop their bubble but again my use of Bublish did not result in a single sale, and neither did it generate any additional activity such as page views on Smashwords or visits to my author website over the three month period.
 
Today’s enhanced Bublish costs $99.00 a year or $9.99 a month. For a paid subscription you receive the opportunity to upload unlimited books, an author profile, social metrics, e-pub creator, exclusive programs (deals from their corporate partners) premium resources (tutorials, videos, etc.). You can also sign up as an Emerging Author and upload one book and post unlimited book bubbles free.
 
With the exception of posting unlimited books on Bublish, you can get everything else Bublish offers from other sites free.
 
The only benefit I gleaned from Bublish then and now, was condensing scenes into author insights (bubbles). It really hones your focus.
 
Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.
 
https://www.bublish.com/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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text 2018-08-30 01:08
Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery
Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery - Russell Freedman

I only picked up this book because it's on a list I'm trying to complete. I am not a fan of the Roosevelts, and I'm not a fan of this book. I'm sorry, but it's disingenuous at the least to write a book about Eleanor Roosevelt that covers her life during WWII but makes zero mention of Japanese internment. I read ~75 pages to get a feel for the tone, skimmed ahead to see how WWII was dealt with and then nope-ed out of the rest of the book. 

 

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review 2018-08-10 16:36
Teaching responsibility
One Step at a Time - Aharon, Sara Y.,Bryn Pennetti

The following book was kindly sent to me by the author, Sara Y. Aharon, who requested a review. This book will be published on September 1, 2018 and you can check out the author's website or Amazon for more information on purchasing the book.

 

One Step at a Time by Sara Y. Aharon is a picture book which teaches children the value of perseverance and personal growth. Emma is a little girl who loves butterflies so it's lucky that her classroom has one for a pet. However, Emma gets so excited about playing with Belle the Butterfly that she accidentally sets her free. What should she do? Can she ever face her teacher and classmates again?  One Step at a Time demonstrates the advantages of accepting responsibility even when it's uncomfortable (especially then) and how being brave doesn't necessarily mean that you are totally confident that things will go your way. It's a gentle way to visually display the significance of doing the right thing even when you may be afraid. As this is self-published, I think there are a few things that could be done to set it apart and give it a chance against some of its mainstream contemporaries. Adding questions to test comprehension at the back of the book (nothing too daunting) would give the message that this would be a great teaching supplement. Perhaps including a link back to the author's website where additional information about metamorphosis and free downloadable butterfly coloring sheets are available would sweeten the pot even further. [A/N: I give these suggestions based on my own experience reading children's books and recommending them to the parents and teachers in my community. These are definitely hot ticket additions to any book and would make a great selling point. ;-)] It's a cute little story that has a good message. 7/10

 

What's Up Next: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice by Katherine J. Chen

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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