77. Blooming Murder – Jean Hager (Cozy mystery)
The author really wanted to write the start of a nice cozy mystery series set in a bed and breakfast where all the rooms are themed after types of orchids, but in all honesty, it fell flat. The mystery wasn’t bad, as far as mysteries go, but the characters were cardboard cut outs, following their designated roles woodenly and you never really got to like anyone. The romance seemed forced as well, making it a fast read but not one where I will be looking for book 2.
78. Crescent Moon – Lori Handeland (Paranormal Romance)
Another issue in the Night Creature series with a really decent main female and male lead, and a plot that you really can follow easily with a twist that actually caught me in the end. I really like this series, but am a bit worried that the author is moving from nicely written plots and well defined characters where there is some sex without it being the focus to, well, semi soft core porn.
79. The Callahan Touch – Spider Robinson (SF-ish)
Have you read any of these books anywhere? GET THEM, READ THEM, and keep a light in your heart that somewhere out there the Place exists, and that you will find it.
80. Callahan’s Legacy – Spider Robinson (SF-ish)
No really—go find TIME TRAVELERS STRICTLY CASH and read it. They’re short stories; easy and light to read. You’ll laugh a lot. Then maybe even cry a lot. Then you’ll grok why folks who READ these books love them.
81. Callahan’s Con – Spider Robinson (SF-ish)
BIG FAT SPOILER WARNING
This might be the one and only book of the series I had issues with. No really. I get it; the series had to end, Spider had to move on, shit was hitting the fan in his life and he wanted to put these folks to bed. But DAMNIT, WHY THE FUCK DID HE KILL DOC? And WHY **that** way. I mean, he twisted himself into pretzel shaped assholes to save Jake’s wife when logically SHE died, but then to off the one character I loved so deeply that when I read the end of this book I sobbed for twenty minutes? It was cheap, and I feel a bit used, to be honest. If Jake’s wife had died as well, I’d feel less betrayed—but that was almost as if Spider was a bit too attached to those toons, and that they were the avatars of himself, Jeannie, and his daughter… and if that was the trust, shame on him. Sometimes the good guy dies… and the good GAL too…
82. Push – Sapphire (fiction)
Yes, this is a powerful, angry raw book, and yeah, it really needs to be read, but by the end I felt rather numb about it all. Precious was totally unlikeable, unlike the way they’re portraying her in the upcoming movie, and I liked that—I liked the fact that she wasn’t this hard outer coated softie that we’d love and defend mentally by the end of the book; you defended her because it was the right thing to do. She had been so royally abused by reality that you WANT her to win something by the end, and even if it is a tiny phyrric victory, it is a victory. But at the same time, it all got to be too much—as if the author felt that what had happened to her in the past just was not enough horror, and HERE, take several shovels more. It got unbelievable, almost – you were waiting for something like a car to explode while she walked by and burning her, or hell, a 747 to fall from the sky on her head, maiming her. In a way, it lessened the impact of what WAS happening to her and how she dealt with it.
83. Midnight Moon – Lori Handeland (Paranormal Romance)
Yes, this is yet another Night Creatures novel, and it really shows a change in both writing style and in the general set up of the series. No longer are we really concerned solely with the Jager Suchers, but instead with paranormal creatures and their defeat by the hands of powerful men and women who happen to fall in love and have way way WAY too much sex all over the place. I will say I really enjoyed the plot—set in Hati, with a voodouin priestess searching for a master to teach her how to raise the dead in a way that will let them retain the life that had before for reasons she will tell no one. Yes, she is working, indirectly for the Jager Suchers, but the plot is all about her, her powers, the man she is attracted to, and all the crap that they go through. Oh and sex. Did I mention sex? Because there is LOTS of it. SEX SEX SEX. When they’re not doing it, they are thinking about doing it, or wondering why they want to do it with each other all the time. The ending was a bit of a “meh” as well, adding something that was totally not necessary and something that cheapened it all a wee bit. Not the sex, the plot. The sex remains constant.
84. Rising Moon – Lori Handeland (Paranormal Romance)
Oh look, a werewolf… or a ghost… and a missing sister who of course goes to New Orleans, which is the paranormal apex of the universe. But never mind all that, just let’s concentrate on the important thing. Yes, you got it. SEX. Woo hoo! More sex than you can deal with, unless you are in a prison and far from any relief of any sort. And not just sex but lusting, and self doubt for wanting sex with certain others and even a blind sexy jazzman who enthralls the world with his plaything—yep, Yanni watch out! There is a plot, but it sucks, and I am have much more fun making snark at the book than I did reading it so let me alone here. Don’t read this one; you will NOT have missed a thing and trees will thank you. Unless of course you need to read about sex. But there are other books in the series that might entertain you along the sexy way.
85. Hidden Moon – Lori Handeland (Paranormal Romance)
Sometimes I wonder why I need to read the entirety of a series; in this case I know it was in the hopes it would return to the well written series it was before it became the sex series it is now. This one is with an immortal gypsy and his magical band of rom, people who die in nasty throat-ripped-out ways, a corrupt politician who forced sex on his girlfriend who is now a mayor of a small southern town, a snarky powerful female Sherriff who was once the new mayors bff. And yes, before you wonder, there is sex. Steamy, lusty, tension filled sexy moments where a woman overcomes being raped by a guy she loved and trusted by simply the sight of a stunning shirtless soaking wet gypsy studmuffin who is not just gentle and kind and loving, but is powerful in body and spirit too… and has magic! No, really, do not disbelieve in the sexy magic or tinkerbell will… err… um, ignore that. The book was not too long, there were some neat ideas that went nowhere, the characters were actually kinda neat, but mostly, there was sexual tension, gore and sex.
86. The Christmas Secret – Donna VanLiere (Romance)
A sticky sweet and adorable Christmas themed romance story that offends no one and charms you as you read it. Even cynicism vanishes when you read a tale told by an author who really BELIEVES in the goodness and magic of Christmas as VanLiere seems to do; yes, she makes snotloads of money doing so, but hell, the book made me tear up at the end and I can be as curmudgeonly as they come. In short, I could care less that she is raking in the cash as long as she writes the way she does.
87. Thunder Moon – Lori Handeland (Paranormal Romance)
Native American mythology, male and female leads that are strong and yet needing to find Twu Wuv, nasty evil doings of a paranormal nature and yes, sex. Yep, we’re back here in the Night Creatures universe for the final time as the publisher pulled the plug. Probably a publisher with a low sex drive, I’m thinking. Or perhaps one, like me, who wanted to shake the person that told this author to forgo plot and a good story for the kama sutra. Whatever. The series is over, the man and woman have sex everywhere—EVEN IN AN ICE COLD RIVER and in the end, the female lead saves the day along with the help of her now devoted and loving male better half. And I no longer have to write these snarky commentaries so everyone is happy.
88. Through Harsh Winters – Akemi Kikumura (nonfiction)
An amazing memoir of a woman telling her anthropologist daughter Akemi the story of her life as an immigrant from Japan, living with a husband and her 13 children, undergoing deprivation, overwhelming work, sorrows, physical and emotional pain through the years up to current time. I cannot say enough about this book and how fascinating it was to read—I only wish it had been longer!
89. Historic Haunted America – Michael Norman and Beth Short (nonfiction)
From coast to coast, and Canada thrown in—a book filled with the amusing and creepy things that haunt building and people from the 1700’s to the present. It was a lovely read for October, and I’m keeping a copy for those times I need a wee bit of creepy to share, or for when I’m planning a trip and want to see if there is somewhere spooky nearby!
90. Creative Correspondence – Michael and Judy Jacobs (nonfiction)
I read this book and one other when I need a kick in the heinder to get my paper art started. There are so many neat small ideas, templates, and comments throughout that after reading the book I yearn to stay up and mess with paper, ink, glue and more all night!
91. Caught By Love – Barbara Cartland (romance)
This is one of the older of the Grande Dame of Regency Romance Fiction’s novels. It is sweet, there is a small plot, and the man and woman end up blissfully married. Cotton Candy fluff at it’s finest.
92. Riding to the Moon – Barbara Cartland (romance)
Another bit of fun fluff that took me under 2 hours total to read.
93. Diona and the Dalmatian – Barbara Cartland (romance)
This book is more of the same romantic fluff that takes no time to read but is nice for an afternoon’s reading.