Books I’ve Recommended and Why

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For this post I’m going to focus  on books I’ve talked to other artists and creatives about. I am fortunate to have many friends who are writers, screenwriters, comic writers, comedians, and visual artists. So these are books I’ve collected over the years that I always felt were inspiring and I like to mention in conversation. 

The Addams Family Evilution

I’m and Addams friends and my cousin is too. This is an interesting book that looks at the beginnings of the Addams family and traces how the characters developed into what we are familiar with today. Mortician Addams is my idol. 

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Picture This: A Near Sighted Monkey Book/ Lynda Barry

This was recommend to me by a stand-up comedian friend and then I recommended it to another friend of mine who specializes in mixed media art. It’s good for anyone really. Partly autobiographical, it also has creative exercises that get you thinking a lot about your own personal experiences and the emotions that go into your work. 

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Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons/ Leonard Malkin

And older book now (1987) but still a great one covering the early days of animated cartoons and the great studios. I used to take film classes many years ago and I wore out my first copy. I later told another film student about it. Still love it. 

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I’ll be blogging at Coffee Time Romance on Thursday. I’ll be doing two giveaways! Feel

free to stop by.

 

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Things that scare me

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Clowns

I have always been afraid of clowns. Even as a child, I found their make-up macabre. Needless to say, I will never go to see IT.

Roaches

A few weeks ago, I woke up, went to the front door; and found a snake curled up inside my house. I managed to regain my composure and get rid of it. I wasn’t truly scared. But if I wake up in the middle of the night and a cockroach skitters across the floor I will scream the house down. I know it’s out of proportion to the actual threat, but even pictures of cockroaches disgust me. 

Elevators

I have a fear of being trapped in an elevator. The worst feeling is getting in an elevator and suddenly the alarm goes off because you have too many passengers. I always have a moment of panic that I’ll be trapped inside as it plunges down to the basement floor. 

Abandoned cars

 Every know and then, you’ll come across and abandoned vehicle, grass overgrown, tire missing and for some reason I also imagine something horrible happened. More than likely, it was just old and left to rot, but I can’t help but feel like it’s haunted.

Creepy music boxes 

I am both intrigued and creeped out by music boxes. There is a music box museum that my husband and I visit sometimes. It also has a variety of restored organ grinders and the like. One of my favorite pastimes is to listen to haunted music boxes on youtube.

I’m guest at  Kate Hill’s Halloween blog. There are many authors features, as well as some giveaways and an excerpt from my futuristic romance TERRAN TEMPTATION. Halloween is almost here. 

Books I read on someone’s recommendation

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This was a tricky one, because most books I read are via word of mouth. Others readers and friends who I have similar interests with mention books on their blog or on FB, and I check it out for myself. 99% of all the books I read are recommended.

I decided to point out a few blogs I go to for recommendations instead. Long and Short Reviews which runs this blog hop and has reviewed one of my books has a variety of genres. So I want to thank them and point them out.

Musings of a Romance Junkie is a go to site for those interested in multicultural and IR romances. I read it regularly, and a lot of my romance reads come via this blog.

Fantasy Book Critic, which is the place to go when I feel like I want to dive back into the fantasy genre. This is a genre I go hot and cold with, but when I find a series I like I stick to it.

Science Fiction and other Suspect Ruminations is one of my favorite blogs in general and a must-read. If you like classic SF, classic cover art, unique paperback treasures this is a wonderful resource.

I don’t have a go to mystery blog yet, but Aymee’s Nerdy Reader Girl is moving up on my list.

 

What I’d Want on a Deserted Island

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A helicopter so I could fly off if it?  Transporter technology? Heck, I just want that anyway.

My glasses- so I don’t end up like Mr. Bemis in the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last.”  Actually if I were on a deserted island I’d probably just assume that I was on a Twilight Zone episode and spend most of my time trying to figure out if I were part of an alien exhibit; or really a robot; or I was suddenly going to start disappearing. Once I felt reasonably confident that none of those things were true, I’d work on surviving. 

For physical survival: 

Water filter tablets. 

A Swiss army knife. (I’ve never had one but it sounds like a good thing to have)

 Some matches and/or a lighter.

 A ham radio. (I’m going to assume the smartphone would be rendered useless rather quickly) 

A blanket. 

Bufferin.  

Dr. Bronner’s soap. 

A wheelbarrow. 

A jacket. 

A box of oatmeal. 

An iron skillet. (useful for cooking and hitting something over the head with it.)

 A bag of taco flavored Doritos. (OK. I don’t need those to survive, but I need some comfort food)

For mental survival:

A picture of my husband and daughter.

A box of mystery novels.

Some pens.

A notebook. (because I don’t know how to survive without pen and paper. If nothing else, I’d write memos such as “what to forage today” or “insects I think I can eat” or “oatmeal recipes).

Any other suggestions? Leave them in the comments.

Author’s I wish more people knew about

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I picked a few authors that I hadn’t heard of until I stumbled upon their books. Maybe I was just out of the loop.  I read their books, enjoyed them, and thought…Why hadn’t I heard of you? Where have you been all my reading life?

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Attica Locke came up in one of those amazon suggested links that I generally ignore but on one flight of fancy decided to check it out. I’m very glad I did. She writes tough, gritty mysteries with lots of historical background. This one covers a lot of the late sixties/early seventies racial politics and social upheaval. The characters are rich, complex, and totally engrossing.

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I stumbled across this book on a bin dedicated to ESL readers practicing English. I sometimes like a cozy mystery-I can’t do hardboiled all the time. This one was fun and better than I expected. The great part about cozies is having a quirky cast of characters along for the ride and this series does it well. Plus a ghost and time slips. It could be a goofy mess, but it’s not. 

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This one I found at the library and fell in love with the series. I have a soft spot for westerns. My father was an avid watcher of westerns-Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, The Big Valley. I used to read a lot of western paperbacks in high school. If the title alone doesn’t peak your interest-it’s really good. I’m so glad I found this series.

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Plenty of people know David Gann. I was just out of the loop. I read The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. Then decided to read The Lost City of Z. Next on my TBR is Killers of the Flower Moon.

Any other suggestions, please leave in the comments. 

Books I Keep Meaning to Read(But Haven’t)

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I have many, many books on my TBR. Some I get to quickly. Others only on vacations.  I decided to pick a few series that I’ve heard about and still intend to get to. One of these days….

The Three Body Problem Cixin Liu

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I have this book. I will read this book. It’s one of those that I just haven’t had the time since I’ve purchased it to concentrate on it.

The Calculating Stars    Mary Robinette Kowai

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This has been recommended to me by lots of friends. It does look to be up my alley. I’m adding the series to my Christmas list. I might even get actual physical books.

The Hyperion Series Dan Simmons

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This series it at my local library. I’ve seen it, but what really peaked my interest was watching a Youtube show which covers lots of SF universes.

Doctor Sleep Stephen King

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I don’t read a lot of Stephen King because I scare easily. But, I have a love of  The Shining in books and movie forms. I should probably read it before the movie comes out.

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse) James S.A. Corey

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I’m really enjoying the Expanse on Amazon Prime. I’m considered the audiobook because I’ve heard good things about it.

Any other suggestions?

 

LSR Anniversary: Terran Temptation

My futuristic romance TERRAN TEMPTATION is featured as part of Long and Short Reviews Anniversary Blogfest. You are most welcome to stop by, find lots of great books and writers, and win some prizes.

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Dr. Annalisha Montague has earned a glowing reputation as a Terran scientist. She has also attracted the attention of two men, a senator who wants her for her bloodline and a Terran commander who wants her heart and soul. Will she choose to honor her bloodline or her heart?

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“Reviewing Fiction One Happy Ever After at a Time”

Books I had to read in school and liked

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I read a lot in school. I was kind of awkward and bullied in junior high school so I lived in the library. Before school, after school, during lunch I went to the library. I can’t remember books I had to read in class-I remember filling out lots of those reader charts and getting gold stars. But the ones I remember in detail were those high school reading list books. These are a few that I actually liked. 

Animal Farm/ George Orwell

This was one of the first works I read in which I learned about how fiction can be used as an allegory for real world events. I always read quite a bit, but my sense of reading wasn’t that broad. Or, not so I noticed.  I remember some of my classmates didn’t get it, but I love it and immediately read…

1984/George Orwell which is still a book I read from time to time and quote now and then. 

The Canterbury Tales/Chaucer

Pilgrimages!! I think I liked this mainly because it was so old and  I liked learning about old English. The more ancient, the better. It makes it close to mythology and I love mythology. Plus, we got to dress up in medieval costumes. Beowulf was pretty good too, now that I think of it. 

Turn of the Screw/ Henry James

Gothic horror. My love began here. There is a movie called The Others with Nicole Kidman more or less based on it. Worth the watch. 

Macbeth/William Shakespeare

My favorite Shakespeare play with King Lear running a close second.  It was way better than Romeo and Juliet-but for some reason teachers were always convinced that students would love it. I always found it a bit silly; even if I have a deeper appreciation of it now. Macbeth was more up my ally-witches, murder, paranoia. Good stuff.

The Bluest Eye/ Toni Morrison

I read this one in my senior year. And I read it again and again.  At the time I went to high school, books by black authors were still rare. My parents had a library of books and I read lots of non-fiction and history about African American heritage. James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Ralph Ellison, The Autobiography of Malcolm X-I read from my parents collection.  The Bluest Eye remains my favorite Toni Morrison book. She is a legend and she is missed. 

LSR Anniversary: Raw Materials

My M/M romance RAW MATERIALS is featured as part of Long and Short Reviews Blogfest. Stop by for more books and the chance to win prizes.
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Graham Warren is a vet, an adventurer, and man who dresses his own way and lives by his own rules. He’s suddenly inherited his own company, and attends a RAW Materials conference to change his personal image, but nothing seems to be working.

Edward Vincent has looks, style, and attitude. He runs RAW, the private coaching and personal enhancement empire targeting wealthy corporate clients. Edward Vincent believes anyone can completely transform to someone entirely different. After all, he’s done it himself.

When Edward Vincent offers Graham Warren some very personalized coaching, he can’t resist. After all, he’s drawn to Edward Vincent and knows there must be secrets behind those cryptic glances and finely pressed suits.

Can both of these men leave personal motivation behind to find the motivation to love each other?

 

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“Reviewing Fiction One Happy Ever After at a Time”

What I Read When I’m Not Feeling Well

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Check out the other authors at Long and Short Reviews.

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When I am under the weather or generally out of sorts,  I  want some hot tea and a book to read. Books make me feel better. And honestly, when I’m sick, the television always seems to loud and too bright. Books are just right.

The Discworld Series has always been one of my favorites. I have too many Discworld books to count and too many characters to love: Granny Weatherwax is my idol. My favorite Discworld book of all Interesting Times. I’ve read that book so often, it’s falling apart now and it kept together by a rubber band. I need to buy a new copy, I know. Other favorites…The Fifth Elephant and Going Postal. 

Long ago, when I worked in Tokyo, I had a tiny apartment and no television so I read a lot of books. This was one of the best times of my life and I should probably resume my no TV life. Which, I kind of have. I haven’t watched network shows in years. Any, I was a big fan of the Ed McBain 87th Precinct series and the Robert Parker novels. When the workday ended on a Friday, I’d get a new Ed McBain, Robert Parker, or Sue Grafton. All of those writers are gone now, and I kind of miss those days when I was single and had time to do nothing but read all weekend. 

I first became aware of  Changeling Press through the anthologies. Full disclosure: I write for them now. But back in the day, before I even had an e-reader, I used to get their paperback anthologies. They were one of the few places I knew of then that had erotic romances with aliens and what not. My go to beach reads. 

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In the realm of audiobooks I love the Blake’s 7 audio dramas put out by Big Finish. I have quite a few of their audiobooks which often includes cast members. Gareth Thomas (Blake), Jacquelin Pierce (Servalan) and Paul Darrow (Avon) are gone now, so I have to admit, listening to their voices now makes me tear up a bit. 

And don’t forget:

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