I know many of you have been dealing with extreme weather, so I almost feel bad mentioning this, but last Saturday, we lost power for pretty much the entire day. I must be getting old, because dealing with that pretty much exhausted me for getting anything normal done on Sunday. So once again, we're looking at a two-week soup.
In other personal news, I've been cramming for a professional certification exam, so some of my usual Twitter, blog-browsing, and reading time has been occupied with flash cards and practice quizzes. What have I missed?
Soup Dish: book people are talking about...
✽My favorite thing from recent happenings: Smart Bitch Sarah acquires Romance Novel Barbie and Ken. An epic photojournal you just cannot miss.
✽#Hashtags in your #blogpost titles? Never even occurred to me. Some pros and cons by super-star blogger Parajunkee
✽I thought this was an interesting article about how significant your marketing/packaging choices can affect your sales. Yay math!
Over at Wonkomance, Ruthie Knox talks about what is "okay" in romance and what isn't:
It is the readers, we are told, who don’t want small penises or capacious vaginas or expired condoms or crying heroes or functional humans who have been sexually assaulted and are not healed by magical sex. But I am a reader, too, and I want all of these things. I want everything. I want, as a baseline, fiction that is about humans.I'm a little bit divided in my thoughts about this. Yes, I think there is room for less soft-focus in romance. But I do think there is a fantasy element, and I'm not sure I want the pore-magnifying realism of an HDTV close-up, either.
✽I find the discussion around copyright rules and how they benefit authors and the public, and how they are evolving to be fascinating. This latest development though, seems pretty clearly a play by Disney. I'm not sure how I feel about copyrights expiring when they are clearly still in heavy use... then again, this mainly benefits corporations, which I don't think does very much to inspire creativity.
✽Phyl is one of my original and most loyal readers -- so I'm super happy to see her popping up in my feed again lately, talking about reading challenges.
What I'm reading
I've been awfully "meh" about my recent reading... which means it really might be me. So, grain of salt, and all that.
✽I recently finished up Sandra Antonelli's A Basic Renovation, a full length contemporary featuring a forty-something professional house-flipping heroine. To be honest, I wanted to like this more. I liked the heroine, but the hero's character was kind of muddled and there were times when I really just didn't want them to be together. I should do a review. I have Some Things to Say.
✽I still haven't finished Sarah MacLean's One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. I'm just finding the heroine too, well, ridiculous, and it doesn't seem to be getting better.
✽I also read The Dom Project, after seeing some interesting buzz on Twitter and my RSS feed. And it was OK, but fell a little short of expectations. The thing I think is most interesting is that despite a focus on BDSM in the premise, it felt more like a romance and less like an erotic romance to me. The heat level was high, but not too high for a contemporary romance, IMO. Although the premise was locked into exploring BDSM, the real conflict to the relationship was pure-vanilla emotional stuff. There is a lot to like about this book, but the characters just fell a little flat, especially the heroine.
✽On the upside, I just started MacRieve by Kresley Cole and I'm gobbling that one up. Fabulous stuff.
Outlander Watch... Och.
I am surely not the most dedicated Outlander fan out there; I only read any of the books once and I cannot recite quotes or even sigh much over specific favorite scenes. The original book though was an extraordinary reading experience as a whole, and I am really enjoying the buzz around the Starz production, due to begin airing this summer. So I thought I'd use this space to throw a few tidbits in, since the beer-tasting has gotten a bit-- well, I don't want to say stale, because that's sort of a bad pun, but it's more or less accurate.
✽An Interview with Diana Gabaldon: "They Want to Lick Him."
✽And if you didn't want to lick him before, you might, after watching this-- bearing in mind that "Sassenach" is Jamie's pet name for Claire...
Mmmm, those eyes. Time for a re-read, I think.