Archives

Broken laptops make writing hard

Last night my laptop refused to plug in. It’s currently at a shop, and I have every finger and toe crossed that it will be an easy fix. ATM I’m borrowing my daughter’s laptop, but it’s a kid laptop and doesn’t have word or any of the things I’m used to. It also doesn’t have an obvious way for me to get pictures to use in my posts, which is a problem when reviewing books.

For today, this is my post. Depending on what the repair shop says, I’ll either have an eta on getting my laptop repaired or I’ll know that I’m buying a new one.

No new post today

Hi all

My chronic pain condition has been a problem yesterday and today. If I can I’ll post tomorrow to make up for missing today, otherwise we’ll be back Wednesday.

Welcome Back

I don’t know how to properly apologize for not doing anything with this blog for three years. Life happens, including procedures on my back that put me in a wheelchair for months and an international move back to the US. Work happens, including writing, selling, and seeing my first book published, more short stories, writing my second book, and planning my third.

But.

I’m back and I don’t plan on going anywhere. I’ve been reviewing books on my professional website, delilahnight.com,but I’ve stuck to my genre of romance, and the truth is that I read widely and would like to review widely as well. After meeting some book reviewers at a conference I was at this past weekend, I thought that what makes sense is for me to do reviews on both DN and here. I’ll do a lot of cross-posting, in part because readers here may like romances, and readers there may like other genres. Romance will get posted there first, then here a week later, and vice versa unless one of the two sites becomes much more popular than the other. I will also be giving books away, but plan to do that from this website.

I also want to return to Snarking Nostalgic. But with three websites/blogs to maintain, I’m not sure if I can do one a week. They take so much longer to write than regular reviews, and while worth it, I have to be realistic about how much spare time I really do have.

So, shamless self plug today, ARC of Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire review tomorrow.

Firstly, I have written a book, called Capturing the Moment, a contemporary set in Cambodia, inspired by a vacation I took there.

You never forget your first love…

Meg and RJ were passionately in love. But that was six years and a broken engagement ago.

Meg has only one day in Siem Reap, Cambodia, before she must leave for her sister’s wedding in Bali. She fulfills her dream of taking a photograph of the sun rising behind Angkor Wat, one of the oldest temples in the world. But her joy is short-lived when she turns around to see RJ standing behind her.

RJ threw himself into work after Meg ended their relationship. He’s built a successful business, but it’s a hollow victory. He’s come to Siem Reap to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving. But first he has to convince her to spend the day with him.

Meg is as physically attracted to RJ as she ever was. Maybe the secret to finally getting over him is a one day only, no strings attached fling.

Can RJ win Meg back, or will she love him and leave him?

If you would like a copy of the book in exchange for a review, leave me a message whether you want an e-book or a physical copy. It is erotic romance, so make sure that you like explicit sex.

Secondly, I have short stories in over a dozen anthologies between the ones in print and the ones I’m contracted for. See if any of them appeal to you, here. Depending on the book, I may or may not be able to get you a copy. Certainly I can get you anything published by Jayhenge–Other Days, Intrepid Horizons, or Myths Monsters Mutations. All of these are SFF primarily and non are erotica. All the other anthologies are either erotic romance or erotica.

Finally, welcome back. I hope you stick around. I plan to.

Review Policies

Since I’m planning on using this blog more seriously, I want to be clear what a review means and what I am open to reviewing.

Review Policies

I have read thousands of books. This year, I’ve read more than 80 books so far, listen to an audiobook per month or more, and read with both of my children. Depending on the book, I can easily read through two to four books in a week.

If a book is an ARC, I will review it regardless of what rating I think it deserves. If you are an author who is giving me their book directly, I will make you a promise only to review it if it merits 3* or higher. If it is a book I am choosing to review on my own, it’s likely to be a 4/5* because I liked it and want you to read it, too. Snarking Nostalgic books won’t receive a star rating unless I really really really love or hate it.

5*—I adore this book and you need to read it NOW. If I read an ARC, I’d buy the book regardless. Otherwise I own the book, and I consider it to be a book worth owning a physical copy of, rather than just an e-book. The plot, characters, setting, etc all work together and you will be completely immersed in the book, and was irritated that I had to put this book down. I definitely stayed up too late to read it. I will reread this book multiple times.

4*—I really liked this book, and you probably will, too. I own or would own a copy, but not necessarily a physical copy. I will probably reread, but not frequently. I didn’t mind putting the book down, but looked forward to picking it up again. I was immersed, but not so much that the outside world faded away.

3*—I liked this book, but will not likely reread it. It was enjoyable, but nothing about the plot/characters/dialog/etc stood out as spectacular.

2*—I probably didn’t like the book, but I don’t hate it.

1*—I hate this book.

 

Genres I like

Fiction—Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Women’s Fiction, YA. I am not interested in faith based fiction, literary fiction, or poetry.

Non-Fiction—Memoirs, Travelogues. I enjoy non-fiction that dissects pop culture, especially things like Harry Potter and the Whedonverse.

Children’s Lit–Pretty much anything that isn’t religious, I’m open to reading, likely with my children (born in 2008/2011). I’m a certified teacher for grades 1-6, so while I’m not in the classroom I am capable of evaluating literature based on that.

 

Inquiries should be sent to delilahnight at gmail dot com

Because I read more than I can possibly review, you can also be my friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

10 Book Challenge

I was challenged to share the 10 books that have most affected me as a reader on Facebook by my friends J and P.  I then spent at least the last few weeks paralyzed every time I tried to compile the list because it’s SO hard to do.

Keep in mind that this list could change over the course of an hour, much less over a day or a week, but here we go–In no particular order, 10 books that profoundly changed my life.  The links will take you the goodreads page for each book.  I’m going to cheat and use a lot of series to count as a single book

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 3.16.18 PM#1–Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey

I have already done a blog post specifically about Magic’s Pawn and how profoundly it affected me.  The short recap, though, is that Vanyel was the first gay person I ever met, and in knowing him I became a better person, and I was better equipped to deal come to terms with my own queerness (I’m bisexual).  The importance of that can’t be overstated, and I only wish that I could tell Brian–the clerk at my local Waldenbook’s who handed it to me–how much I appreciate his bringing Vanyel into my life.  I reread this (and then usually the other two Last Herald-Mage books) every year or two.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 12.48.27 am#2 Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone With the Wind makes this list because it was the first super long book I ever read.  There are very valid critiques of the book, including a dangerous romanticizing of the antebellum South.  When I think about Gone With the Wind, I think about how I have viewed Scarlett over the years each time I reread it.  When I first read it, at 11-ish years old, I thought Scarlett at 16 was amazing and headstrong.  I then reread it every 3-5 years.  Most recently I read it around the age of 30, and I thought Scarlett was an idiot teenager and a pretty horrible adult.  In rereading this book, I have watched myself grow up and mature.  My understanding both of the actual setting of the book and the context of the time in which Mitchell wrote it have grown as well, and that allows me a more nuanced read of the book each time I’ve read it.

While I’m not sure I will read it again, or how many years will pass before I do, it stands as one of the important books from my transition from child to teen to adult.

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 5.54.50 PM#3–The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin (link is to book #1)

Considering I’m re-reading and snarking these books, I don’t their inclusion will come as any surprise.  The BSC books were the first series I felt passionate about.  They were the first books whose release I awaited with rabid desire, and that I devoured on the day I bought them because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT.  I’ve felt this way about many book series over the years since, but they were the first and while I mock them, I do so from a place of deep, deep love.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 1.03.17 am#5–The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce (link is to book #1)

I’ve always been a fan of fantasy, but even as a young reader I noticed a certain lack of estrogen when it came to heroes and adventurers.  Alanna changed all of that for me.  A girl who disguised herself as a boy to earn her shield, does so, comes out as a woman and faces a lot of misogyny, AND who has sexual agency (having three sexual partners over 4 books–off screen because it’s YA, but still) was a revelation for me.  Not only could women star in fantasy novels, they could do so as complex and rich characters.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 1.11.04 am

Tamora Pierce is an amazing author.  She’s also incredibly gracious–when a writer for XOJane wrote an article about (among other things) meeting Tamora Pierce, I had to comment on it.  And Tamora Pierce commented back!  (She actually engaged with almost everyone on the comment thread, which is just so awesome of her.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 1.18.45 am#6–Fraud by David Rakoff

My first acquaintance with David Rakoff wasn’t on paper, it was through the NPR show “This American Life,” to which he regularly contributed.  I loved the stories he told there so much, I went out and bought Fraud (and eventually his other books).  Rakoff is a masterful storyteller and his essays, whether on the page or the radio often made me think as well as laugh.  Sometimes they made me sob, much as the last essay in Fraud does.  Listening to him and reading his work has made me a better storyteller.

“I used to bank here, but that was long, long ago” is about Rakoff’s early battle with Hodgkin’s disease which, when it came back years later, killed him.  You can here him tell that story here, or read a transcript of that episode of TAL, including the essay here.  I strongly encourage you to listen to him tell it.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 1.27.44 am#7-Pandora’s Box 2 by Black Lace books

The was the first (second?) erotica title I ever read.  It my introduction to any number of fetishes that helped me unlock my sexuality.  Given that I’m now a professional erotica author, I’m sure it had some impact on me professionally as well, in setting the bar far above my crappy online erotic fanfic.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 1.34.40 am#8 Man from Mundania by Piers Anthony (and Xanth books 1-20)

The Xanth books by Piers Anthony make this list because of their bad puns.  Anthony would have his characters walk by some seashells and the eyes of the shell would SEE them.  I started reading these around 9/10 years old and the fact that I got the puns in an “adult” book–although really they’d be better classified as YA at best, they were shelved with the adult sci-fi/fantasy books.  They made me feel smart because I got the puns, and in a way made me fall in love with words.  I’d always loved reading, but the Xanth books with their puns and later the Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun which used massive vocabulary words made me love words and language.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 1.41.20 am#9–Phantom by Susan Kay

I was already an Andrew Lloyd Webber Phantom of the Opera fangirl (or phangirl as we’re known) when I found this in my local library. Kay’s extension of the Phantom character to a full life story (and a far more satisfactory ending) is just awesome.  This is one of my favorite books, period.  It makes the list because it’s okay to be an obsessive nerdy fangirl.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 1.46.33 am10–Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz

This books looks at how the Civil War lives in on in the modern American South.  My BA is in history, and the intersection of history and memory is very interesting to me.  The reason it makes the list is that it highlights some fairly odd/disturbing aspects of this living history within Southern Culture but never makes it a cartoonish representation that you can then disregard.  Horwitz brings humanity to his subjects and shows them as fairly complicated people, not caricatures.  It’s also an incredibly readable book for a layperson.  One of the reason I didn’t pursue history at the PhD level was that I hated the level of depersonalization I had to do to write about history.  Horwitz isn’t a historian, he’s a journalist, and that impacts the flavor of the book in a positive way.  (Which is not to say that historians don’t write good books, it’s just that it wasn’t how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.)

So there you have it…for this second anyway.

If you want to play, consider yourself tagged.  If you blog it, please link in the comments.

I’m an official Goodreads Author

If you’ve read my bio, you know that I am an erotica author.  I’m currently in three anthologies, with another due to be published in November 2014.  I have some other acceptances that I can’t specifically mention because I haven’t gotten the ok from the editor yet, as well as a story out for submission.  I’m working on a novel and a non-erotic short story at the moment.

Erotica isn’t for every reader, but if you’re interested in my erotica reviews, or want to ask me questions about writing/submitting/publishing, friend me/become a fan on my goodreads author page.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 1.31.13 am

I also maintain a personal goodreads page, which is where I review and rate all the books I’m reading.  If you want to see what I’m reading that isn’t erotica, friend me there.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 1.32.46 am

Next week–Remember Me by Christopher Pike (aka why I was terrified to inject myself with insulin)

And Tango makes a banned book

I’m crossposting this from my expat blog because the subject of book banning is worth addressing more than once.

Expat Bostonians

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 9.23.08 pm

Dear parents who challenge this book

I too, am a parent.  I too have had my children bring over books that I am not comfortable with them reading at their current ages.  The difference between you and I is that I tell my children to put the book back because it’s not right for our family,  while you choose to tell ALL children that they may not read the book.  Your family’s “just right” books don’t trump mine.

You argue that it is oppositional to your faith.  I would counter that all religious texts are oppositional to mine.  Yet I am not asking the library to remove children’s Bibles because they have no place in my faith.  Your faith does not trump mine.

You say that this book promotes a “homosexual agenda.”

  • Firstly I am curious what you think a homosexual agenda is.  I’ll let you in on a non-secret–I’m…

View original post 902 more words