Wednesday, May 28, 2008
If you have experienced this phenomenon, then you have experienced a Good Book. This is the book that you will remember after the final page has been turned. Once finished, this book will find a permanent place upon your bookshelf, never to be given away or sold to a UBS. You will reread this book in an attempt to recapture the magic of that first time. And if it lives up to the wonder of your memory, then it is not just a Good Book, it is a Truly Wonderful Book.
Being capable of reading quickly is a blessing and a curse. Your TBR pile will "shrink" (or at least not grow) at a faster rate. You can quickly move on after a less than fabulous book choice. You are able to plow through an author's backlist to completely immerse yourself in their writing. There are drawbacks, however. When a person is capable to reading 3-7 books a week, stories begin to blur together. Through the sheer quantity of books you read in a month, the reader can begin to get burned out on a particular genre or author, the condensed quantity of novels underlining a sameness or formula you might otherwise have overlooked.
Then along comes one of those Good Books that make you simultaneously want to read faster so that you can find out all the secrets the book is hiding, and want to slow down to savor each turn of phrase. This is when you ask yourself if it is more important to finish your entire TRB pile or to slowly focus on only the best of the bunch.
I suffer from an on-again-off-again reading ennui. I become burned on on Historicals or Contemporaries. I float around, unsure what to read next. Nothing seems to satisfy my reading palette. I had a yen for something a bit darker after reading All Through the Night and The Lost Duke of Wyndham. From my TBR pile I pulled Rachel Vincent's Stray. I... just can't get into it. I'm trying. I really am. I just can not connect with the heroine. She is unfocused, does not know what she wants in life (other than escape from her family), and apparently has every male werecat panting after her. Eh. I had to put it down. I still wanted my dark story. I was worried that I would not be able to connect with any book. This has happened. I have had to force my way through the ennui. It can be painful.
Then it happened. I became haunted. Rhage is following me around at school. He sits there in the corner of my room, gazing at me with his teal eyes. "What are you doing? Why aren't you curled up with my story? I am trapped in Mary's house. Don't you want to know how I will get out, how I will keep her safe? Don't you want to read what is certain to be a meltingly hot love scene?" I look at him, trying to give him my most stern teacher look. "This is highly inappropriate. I have young children in here. Impressionable minds and all that." He just gives me a burning look. Damn. I am well and truly hooked into the crack that is BDB. Why did I think it would not be my flavor of fun? That it caught me unaware makes it all the worse. Ms. Ward has ensnared me with her men. I am haunted. And I am loving it.
Now I must go home and find out how he gets out from behind Mary's couch. This craziness must end. Seriously, Rhage can not follow me to school again tomorrow. How do you explain to your principal that the gorgeously huge man in the back of your classroom is a vampire from a Truly Wonderful Book? Do you think she will believe me if I tell her he is a student observer from the local college?
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
It’s Christmastime in Boston, and this year the silver bells will be wedding bells as FBI agent Jules Cassidy ties the knot with the man of his dreams, Hollywood heartthrob Robin Chadwick. The pair plan a quiet, intimate ceremony, to be witnessed by family and close friends from the FBI, SEAL Team Sixteen, and Troubleshooters, Incorporated, including Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke. But the holiday season brings more to the happy couple than they expect. A waterfall coming through their kitchen ceiling, a bat colony in the attic, old family tensions…even an international incident can’t dampen their spirits. But add to that a parade of unexpected guests, including a reporter looking for a scoop, an ex-lover hell-bent on causing trouble, and a dangerous stalker, and suddenly the wedding is poised to unravel in chaos. But nothing will stop Jules and Robin from getting their happy ending, because along with a guest list featuring the most elite counterterrorism force in the world, they have their own secret weapon - true love.
Monday, May 26, 2008
We have reached the final installment of the Battle Royale! It is down to three heroes, each wonderful for their own reasons. I must say I was surprised by the outcome. I am crying tears of sadness over the loss of Stan. Then again, I have him in my DIK hut, so I guess only you all have lost him. And what is with the Kenny/Max upset??!!??! ehem... anyhow.
So here they are, the final three:
Tom Paoletti vs. Ken "Wildcard" Karmody vs. Sam Starrett
Who will you pick?
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Voting for this round of the Battle Royale ends tomorrow!
No one has entered my contest :( I'm so sad. Brockmann's boys are feeling no love. Come on! You still have about five days to develop your ode to Alphas.
Now I need to go read All Through the Night.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Alright, now for the contest. This will be the first ever book contest on What Women Read. You know you want to be part of this historic occasion! I mean, come on, hot heroes and a free book? What is not to love? Interested? Here are the details:
What to do: Write an ode to your favorite Brockmann hero. Can't choose just one? Why then, write and ode to the wonderous Ms. Brockmann, herself! Entertain me please. Work is... stressful. I can use the laugh.
When to do it: By this time next Tuesday night (May 27th)
What you get: A paperback copy of the Brockmann book of your choice. Wooo! Free book!
Why to do it: Because it is fun! Also, this fine gentleman says you should...
Gawd! Hmm... could this be Sam? Perhaps Cosmo? Wildcard? Jenk? Guh!
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The competition was fierce. Some heroes won by a landslide, others squeaked in a last minute victory (thank god!) So now we move on to round 2. All these men are a bot battle scarred, but that is how we love them. As you peruse the new match ups I will be in my hut comforting the losers ;)
Round 2 match ups:
Stan Wolchonok vs. Tom Paoletti vs. Ric Alvarado
Ken "Wildcard" Karmody vs. Max Bhagat
Jules Cassidy vs. Sam Starrett
Oh! The pain!!! That last match up is going to kill me! I think the losers may need to comfort me.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Yup, I bought books.
You all would be proud. I think I picked up some books that you have rec'ed. What did I purchase? Well...
1) Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
It is the book for my book club this month (deadline May 23rd!!!), yet I realized that somewhere along the line, after I had read it, I must have lent out the book. And it is gone!!! This is why I am very selective about what books I lend out and who I give them to. Oy.
2) Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Everyone has said such fabulous things about it I felt it was a must. This nay be one of my next reads. It just sounds so... intriguing.
3) Stray by Rachel Vincent
This has been on my list for a while. I may read this next. Looks fun.
4) The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks
Dude, a vampire fashion designer? For real? Yes!
5) Awaken Darkly by Gena Showalter
I have heard her name bandied about. I thought she may be worth checking out. (Especially since it was the 5th, free book.)
Yay! Now off to find the rum and enjoy the DIK!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal romance
After hemming and hawing over whether or not to take a chance on another vampire series and risk walking into a LHK-type disaster (sorry gals, I loved the first few but just couldn't make it past book 5), I finally bit the bullet and bought Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. I had heard so much buzz about these books. The BDB has more than a few rabid fans ::ehem::ripmybodice::ehem:: I figured what was I to lose if I just buy the first book. What could I lose? My sanity, that's what! Oh Wrath! How you haunt my dreams. Rhage, Butch, V, Z... I long to read your HEA! I have to admit, I was completely sucked in by these big badass vamps. Wrath and his feelings of worthlessness. Rhage and his inner torment. V and Butch... BroTP!!! And Z. Damn, he is nasty. I want to hate him, but his singing voice and those tiny, subtle signs of respect. You know there is something special beneath all that vitriol.
Ms. Ward has taken a familiar theme (vampires) and has given it an interesting twist. Vampires are not made, they are born. Yet, when they are born they are fully human. It is not until they are approximately 25 years old that they "Transition". Translation: vampire puberty. Oh baby, this is not pretty. Poor Beth does not realize her life is about to change. Her mother died after giving birth and her father purposely stayed away to allow Beth to live a "normal" life. You see, as a half-vampire, half-human offspring there was a chance that Beth would never go through the Transition. Darius wanted to give his daughter a chance to live life ignorant of the darker, dangerous vampire world in case she never changed. Luck was not on his side. Beth was about to Transition and Darius' life was about to explode. Literally.
Enter Wrath, blind vampire king. He is one badass, motherf***er. He is not just a warrior, he is the head honcho, ass kickin', death dealing, take no prisoners warrior. Even the other vamps are a little afeared of him. He does not want the responsibility of helping Beth transition, but Darius was the closest thing he had to family. Taking care of Beth was the last thing Darius had asked of Wrath before he went boom. So wrath tracks down Beth at her apartment. Yup. She is going to transition soon. He can smell it. When he enters her apartment to introduce himself for real... holy hawt sex, Vampman! The chemistry between the H&h is steamy. Day-um!
Putting the hot sex aside (if I must) I really enjoyed this story. Ms. Ward did a solid job of building her world in this first book. The relationships between the different members of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is established. The big bad villain is sufficiently creepy. So often, vampire hunters are portrayed as either good guys or misguided/ignorant humans. Not so in the BDB world. These vamp hunters, lessers, are the baddies. Big time. The lessers are men who have long had violent, even homicidal, tendencies. They have given up their souls (put in ceramic jars) so that they may remain ageless and sexless, hunting down vamps for the pure joy of the kill. Here's the thing, Ms. Ward's vampires DO NOT BITE HUMANS. They must drink the blood of thier own kind to survive. They do not prey on humans. Why kill them? See? Lessers are eeeeeevil!
So often I have heard these books referred to as the "BDB crack". Oh yes, it is.
Hello, my name is Shannon, and I am a BDB addict.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Sam Starrett (duh!)
The Battle continues today with four more pairs of men facing off to see who will reign supreme as the ultimate Brockmann hero. Cast your votes ladies and gentlemen (if any gentlemen actually read this here blog), for you shall help determine the winner.
Who will it be?
Jimmy Nash (Flashpoint) or Ken "Wildcard" Karmody (Out of Control)
Max Bhagat (Breaking Point) or Mark "Jenk" Jenkins (Into the Storm)
Jules Cassidy (Force of Nature) or Cosmo Richter (Hot Target)
Stan Wolchonok (Over the Edge) or Mike Muldoon (Into the Night)
Friday, May 9, 2008
So on this day I am asking for a gift that only you all can give me: recommendations.
On my birthday tell me please, what are the top 3-5 books that you think I should read during the next year of my life?
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I am one of the crew of crazy women stranded on a lovely desert island with a huge library of books. We can't live on coconuts, rum and books, alone! So now we are populating our island with hot, sexy men. Each gal gets to choose seven heroes. We have to be polite ::coughcough:: and take turns. Once a hero is chosen, he is no longer available. Currently my hut harem includes Sam Donovan of Mr. Perfect and Sam Starrett of (what else?) the Troubleshooter series. How could I create my harem without Brockmann Boys? There are actually a few more of her boys that I am considering. They are just.... yum! This is hard, though! How do you narrow down your list to only seven men? There are so many fabulous heroes out there. I tell you, DIK is hard.
Interested in checking out our island population? The next (3rd) round is going to commence shortly over on lisabea's site. That is, if she ever wakes up and gets posting.
Hey LB!!! Wake up!!!! ::Shakes her hut until palm fronds begin to fall upon her rum soaked head:: :D
Monday, May 5, 2008
Also on the topic of zero resistance, but having nothing to do with books, I am eating pizza. This may not be a big deal to most of you. For me this is a BIG FREAKIN' DEAL! Due to an auto-immune issue, I am on a gluten free diet. It is not a big deal most of the time since I love to cook, but pizza is something I don't often get to eat. I have to make my own crust and it is rarely the same as my fav Chicago pizza places. Well, a lovely person recently told me about a local restaurant that is now offering their pizza gluten free. I am too tired and lazy to cook tonight (and my kitchen has surpassed dirty and is now a toxic waste dump). I called up Marcello's and ordered a GF pizza. The verdict. OMFG!!!! Amazing. Not just amazing gluten free pizza, but just damn amazing pizza. Wow. ::sigh::
Pizza and Wrath. This looks to be a good evening.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
The Plan: Genius physics professor Dr, Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby.
The Target: Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars' legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving.
The Explosion: A brilliant, lonely woman who dreams only of motherhood . . . A take no-prisoners tough guy who'll settle for nothing less than surrender . . . Can passion and physical attraction propel two strong-willed yet vulnerable people to a totally unexpected love?
Abilene thinks it a mean joke when her brother signs her up as a contestant for a new reality show called Dancing with the Rednecks until she hears about the $50,000 grand prize. That kind of money would really help her Kentucky family out. Why, there might even be a little left over to finance her own dream, not that she minds waitressing. Tall and gangly, Abliene has two big left feet, and she's more than a bit intimidated by her tall, dark, and brooding celebrity dance partner. Rio Martin isn't happy about being involved in a spoof. He was hoping his appearance would be good publicity for his chain of dance studios. So the two do not get off on a good foot, but Rio is not immune to the leggy blonde who is too naive to realize she's a beauty. It's her spunky, down-home personality, though, that wins him, and the reader, over in McLane's comical and poignant modern-day rags-to-riches romance.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Help me cast the Boys of Brockmann during the month of May. I have not found enough men to represent every BofB, so if you stumble across an example of manliness that you feel truly embodies one of our heroes, please let me know.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Grady Morant, aka. Jones vs. Tom Paoletti
Robin Chadwick vs. Ric Alvarado
Huh, OK maybe this battle is not as tough as future battles. If you love any of these men make sure you clicky-click on the polls!
I the interest of time (I don't want this showdown lasting until August!), I have added one more pair for the BofB face off. I know you will all be interested in voting for this one.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
**More fireworks light up the sky as they perform a 21 gun salute. (Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Please be happy to see me!)**
Next we have the sassy, the strong, the intrepid. The heroines: Kelly, Gina, Jane, Terri, Allysa.
This bevy of fantastic femininity is followed by a contingent of WWII veterans dressed proudly in their old uniforms. The stories of these brave men and women makes our hearts swell with pride.
Then we see it. The float carrying our guest of honor. The women who breathed life into this cavalry of characters, Suzanne Brockmann. There she sits upon her throne, clad in jeans and a t-shirt that proudly states "I ate dinner with Joss Whedon!" (Lucky bitch!) Despite our burning jealousy, we still love her. We cheer her on, ready to kick off...
That's right, an entire month devoted to the men of Team 16 and the Troubleshooters. How are we going to devote an entire month to Brockmann? Well, let me count the ways:
1) The book club title for May is... Unsung Hero.
Haven't read a Brockmann book? Now is your chance to start. Are you an avid Brockmannaholic? Reread and remind yourself of how this devotion began. Go to you bookshelf, TBR pile, library, Amazon, or local book store and pick up a copy of this book. On May 23rd I will open up discussion for Tom and Kelly's story. Come along, join us! You know you want to.
2) Name that SEAL/Troubleshooter
This is the mancandy portion of the month. I shall spend countless hours scouring the Internet for photographs of men that have that certain something, that strong sexiness inherent in the Boys of Brockmann (BofB). I will post said photos and let you decide. Which hero is he? Which BofB does each specimen embody? (I know it will be a strenuous job searching through photos of beautiful men, but a girl does what one must.)
3) The Boys of Brockmann Battle Royale
Which hero shall reign supreme? I shall be posting a poll each week pitting one hero against another. So as not to play favorites, I will draw the names from a hat to chose the opponents. It is up to you to cast your vote and make sure your favorite hero is not cast off the island. In the end, only one man will remain standing. At which time I will be dragging him off to my lair to have my wicked way with him....er, I mean, we can all cheer or lament over the winner.
4) I am going to keep this a secret. I have not gotten the details ironed out just yet.
So let the festivities begin! The first showdown in the Battle Royale will be posted tomorrow. Each Friday a new battle shall commence. Cast your votes, let you voice be heard. Which hero will reign supreme?
My month long celebration of all things manly is starting today. Hopefully it will kick start my reading habits. I will post the details this evening once I leave school (such a bad teacher posting about romance from my classroom!) Here are a few more clues as to the focus of this festival of fantasticness.
Terminology and locations you would encounter along with our Alpha hotties:
Who/what do you think we are going to be celebrating?