Books I had to read in school and liked


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.

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


Check out the other authors at Long and Short Reviews.


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. 


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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Books I Loved and Never Wrote Reviews For


This week’s challenge was a tough one. (Check out the others on Long and Short Reviews) I’ve written lots of reviews over the years for various sites and I am fairly consistent about leaving reviews on my kindle books as soon as I finish them. I know how much it means to the authors and how much it helps. I don’t leave reviews of DNF books or books I hated. If I write a review, it’s because I loved something and want to share.

There are a few books I read before the easy e-book age that I feel deserve more credit.

Barbara Neely’s Blanche series was out of print for a while; they are now readily available as downloads and worth every cent. I read the series, which is about a Black maid who solves crimes. It’s grittier than a cozy mystery, but not crime or noir. Blanche is insightful, intelligent, and a narrator that is easy to admire. I loved these books and I encourage fans of mystery to give it a try.


Liz William’s is a beautiful writer. I love her style and her creative mix of science fiction/fantasy/ surreal. Her books aren’t easy but every page is a treat. Banner of Souls is about technology that gets energy from the realm of the dead. And there is a famous warrior from Mars who uses the technology. 


Just read it. It will make sense then. 

I mention this one mainly because I got this book as a Christmas gift some years ago. I love The Dark Crystal and the artwork. I am looking forward to Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance later this month. This is a truly beautiful book and just looking at the sketches and ideas and images that go into Froud’s deep creativity are astounding. 


This was another Christmas gift. I loved Trisha Biggar’s designs. I enjoyed reading about how see thinks through her ideas as well as how she chooses the fabrics and motifs. 


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I’ve been out and about for the summer visiting family. And steady at work on my writing. I hope everyone is around for the Long and Short Reviews Anniversary party. Two of my books will be featured along with lots of other great ones.


Favorite Quotes from Books


This week’s post from Long and Short Reviews is…Favorite Quotes from Books.


“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

“I don’t much care where –”

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” 

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

“Nothing belongs to us. Everything is something that is rented out. Our very heads are filled with rented ideas passed on from one generation to the next.” 

Thomas Ligotti, Teatro Grottesco

“The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.” 

George Orwell, 1984

“When your rage is choking you, it is best to say nothing.” 

Octavia E. Butler, Fledgling

“So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You’d better rearrange your beliefs, then. Because you certainly can’t rearrange the universe.” 

Isaac Asimov, Nightfall

“Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been fate. People are always a little confused about this, as they are in the case of miracles. When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that’s a miracle. But of course if someone is killed by a freak chain of events — the oil spilled just there, the safety fence broken just there — that must also be a miracle. Just because it’s not nice doesn’t mean it’s not miraculous.” 

Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times

Coming Soon: Terran Temptation

I have a new release coming soon with Changeling Press. This is my first SFR/Futuristic romance. Cover art by Angela Knight. And thanks to my wonderful editor Kira Stone.


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?

Fictional Worlds I’d Love to Visit


This week’s topic: Fictional Worlds I’d love to visit

I am a fan of the craziness of Alice and Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass so it’s always fascinated me. The book version, the Disney film version, and the live action version with Carol Channing as the White Queen.  (1984) There is also a fairly decent 1995 TV version too. I remember it from when I was young back in the days of video tapes and I rewatched it until the tape wore out. I also enjoy books (romances!) that play around with  the Alice in Wonderland world.


I have been rewatching Babylon 5 recently and it makes me realize how much I like that world. I wouldn’t mind finding accommodations on Babylon station; maybe even a trip to the Minbari homeworld if I were invited. 


There are a lot of urban fantasy worlds I’d like to live in. I devoured urban fantasy and paranormal romances and it’s still a healthy portion of my entertainment. One of my favorites was the Elfhome series by Wen Spencer. I’ve never been to Pittsburgh-but her Pittsburgh with a half of the Elf world on it is fantastic. I love this series and I love the way it combines real world with a well-developed Elf world.

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Books that should be made into movies


This week’s blogging topic…Books that should be made into movies.  Check out some other authors at Long and Short Reviews.


I read The Priory of the Orange Tree primarily because I wanted a fantasy novel that was in one volume. I don’t have the time to commit to multi-volume, multi-year sagas all the time, but I do love high fantasy. This one turned out to be even better than expected. With contrasting European, Central Asian, and East Asian influences. Well-developed characters. Dragons. I think it would look great in movie form.

I am clearly an Octavia Butler fan. I’ve heard rumors that her Parable series was being optioned for TV/Movie, but those things come and go. I actually thing the Patternist series is a better choice. It begins with an immortal who selectively breeds humans in his seed villages and ends with a Patternmaster who can control humans through thought. It’s one of the best takes on telepathy I’ve seen used and I really enjoyed the series. 

I first became a Thomas Ligotti fan after reading “My Case for Retributive Action” in an anthology. Since then, I’ve become a devoted fan of his work. He’s a short story writer, but I think his Teatro Grottesco collection would work well together because the stories follow the same theme of a nameless, faceless corporation, the Quine Corporation. Once again, I’ve heard tales of adaptations but nothing else. His dark, beautifully written horror in the hands of the right director could be wonderful. It’s be a great Netflix binge. 

Humorous Book Titles


This week’s blogging challenge is Humorous Book Titles. I chose a few of the oddest that I found.


I wonder what this says about the future of our species and what is happening to our planet. I think I do know the difference between an abandoned Costco cart and and abandoned Sam’s Club. Does it distinguish between a Walmart and a Target?


Well, something speaks through my cats but I don’t think it’s God. 


There are times when you need to really think through your title more.


What genre is it? Who is the target audience? What is going on here?


Today’s youth use smartphones so much that this may someday be a classic study.


I know a fair bit about Genghis Khan, but next to nothing about dentistry. Now I have a chance to learn it all in one book. 

Anyone out there with some great choices for odd books? Feel free to leave them in the comments.


Favorite Book Covers and Why


This week I’m back to blogging with the Long and Short reviews challenge. Check out some of the other bloggers by following the link.

There are a lot of book covers that I like for a variety of reasons. I love hardcover books, old books, those fancy, expensive art books too. And because I am an SF fantasy fan, I occasionally buy books featuring the art or costume design of a favored franchise. For this post, I decided to pick a genre: historical romance.

I love history. I think what I love about historical romance covers, admittedly, is the clothes. There is just something about long flowing dresses that look so beautiful on a cover. So I picked a few.


 I’ve been reading Beverly Jenkins novels for a long time. Her contemporaries are good; but my love is for her historical romances. She writes deep complex characters and had so much information about African American history. Love them. 



Alyssa Cole writes multicultural romance across the board. Contemporary, historical, paranormal, IR/MC romances, LGBT romances. 



PJ Dean writes SF romance, but also historical romance.  I particularly loved this one and she has so much original research about African American history in the early Americas and Native American history.


Piper  Huguley writes inspirational romances. A few historical and some contemporaries.


Vanessa Riley. This hadn’t been on my radar but it’s a regency. Regency romance has never been my thing, but I’m willing to expand my horizons.


Roslyn Hardy Holcomb  and Lisa G. Riley have a series which is historical paranormal, The Eshu Chronicles. 


And here’s another Beverly Jenkins just because her covers are always lovely.