Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Soup - August 18

Sunday Soup is... a little of this, a little of that, not too much work, and hopefully a tasty result.

Soup Dish:  book people are talking about...
Chuck reminds writers of the 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration rule of writing.

Discoverability problem? What problem? (I think I love this blog). While it's a funny article, I think that she frames the problem incorrectly -- I'm not sure "discoverability" has EVER been a problem for readers, but has always been a concern for publishers. Now that readers are abandoning brick and mortar in droves, the discoverability (or what 20th-century throwbacks might call "marketing" or "publicity") standard solutions need to change, and change fast. So there is a problem, for some people.

The topic of "e vs. p" for reading and reviewing seems like truly a moving target as more people buy into e-reading. I remember thinking a few years back that I'd never switch... but I did. And I love it.

I've always said I don't have guilty pleasures, because I mostly just enjoy my pleasures {heh}, but I might be developing a slight addiction to Buzzfeed list-style articles. And this one is tailor-made for book bloggers: Buzzfeed's 17 problems for book lovers  

What I'm reading ... I've been doing SO much reading! and slacking so hard on reviewing. Plus I'm totally behind on my favorites.
Biting Bad, by Chloe Neill. Excellent read, consistent quality with the series thus far. I noticed a few editing issues in the Kindle edition, notably some homonym abuse and a missing space between the first two words of EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER. Every one. Er, ahem. Great story though.

Magic Rises, by Ilona Andrews.  I'm sure it says something strange about me that I found the sexual tension between Kate and Hugh to be the most compelling thing about this book.  It was delicious. I also liked the new bits to the worldbuilding, having to do with the European take on the magical chaos, and really loved the twist at the very end with a minor character.

Hajar's Hidden Legacy, by Maisey Yates. I'm working on a feature about sheikh/harem romances, and I have pretty much never read a contemporary one. I was actually kind of surprised to learn just a couple years ago that there is a HUGE subgenre devoted to modern-day sheikhs. Given that Yates and I are Twitter buddies, and I loved her billionaire contemp a few weeks ago, I picked this one. It was an entirely competent romance, good characters, nicely angsty... but I wasn't really feeling the sheikh vibe.  It really seemed like any rich powerful job description could have fit. IDK, perhaps modern ones (with no harem element) just don't do it for me...

I also read Untamed, by Anna Cowan, and oh, I really just loved it so much.  Jessica of The Hypeless Romantic called it polarizing, and the most divisive romance of the year.  I wasn't sure I'd like it, not being keen on the idea of a cross-dressing hero, but I was absolutely skewered by the character of the duke.  He's complicated and tremendously sensual; he can be cruel and he wields power ruthlessly and carelessly.  He reminded me a little of John Malkovich's character in Dangerous Liasons --repulsive and compelling all at once. I'm hoping to articulate a review before too long but whatever the flaws of the book, that character is worth it all.

I snuck in a novella by Loretta Chase, The Sandalwood Princess. This story harks back to older "globe-trotter" romances with an exotic, almost magical thread courtesy of several generations of Anglo-Indian romance and backstory. Twitter is alive these days with discussion of characters of color, and how romance often takes the easy way out with half-and-half characters -- which this totally is. So if that bugs you, this story is kind of screaming with it. And I'd say that the trademark Chase humor is a little lower key here, it didn't really stand out. But Chase's storytelling chops are in fine form and I enjoyed the twisty plot and the unusual heroine.

And finally, I'm still trying to get through Wicked Loving Lies by Rosemary Rogers.  Really not liking this hero very much and have stalled out. This is a problem, because I haven't got to the harem yet! Dang! Also, I may have misplaced my copy of the book. #ReaderProblems.

On Tap... what soup isn't a little better with a slosh or two?
Seattle is having the most amazing summer. We've had umpteen days in a row in the low 80s and it's just been about ideal. Hot summer days means fruity beer for me. I've been liking Sam Adams' Summer Ale, with a little bit of a lemon essence, and the Cherry Wheat (an all-time favorite) is back in stores now. But the best thing I've had lately is Fearless Peaches and Cream Ale. It's local-ish, and sadly not available in bottles. Yum.

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's All About The Dress: Twitter Party for Jade Lee

All Dressed Up...

I think-- whether you're a "girly girl" or not, whether you love fashion or not-- it's hard not to love the topic of wedding dresses. Whether they're slinky or poufy, elegant or beachy, traditional or outré, they are the very fabric (see what I did there?) of our romantic fantasies.

Jade Lee's latest release, is titled What the Bride Wore, and to celebrate, Sourcebooks is hosting a hashtag party tomorrow, August 6, all day. Tweet a photo of your wedding dress with the hashtag #WhatTheBrideWore to be eligible for hourly prizes.  Follow the hashtag and @SourcebooksCasa for retweets of the best ones. I plan to follow just because I love looking at wedding dresses. What did you wear?

This hot new series is set in a daring, high-energy Regency world where deep longings, secret scandals, and the competition for social stature are all set against the glittering weddings of the season. Grant Benton, Earl of Crowle, finally has the funds he always pretended to have, and what he wants now is a woman. That woman is Lady Irene Knopp, who spends her days helping debutantes plan their weddings. A recent widow, Irene longs for love again, but she’s afraid to risk her heart, especially to the notorious Earl.


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