30 November 2009

In Death Challenge: Promises In Death

Earlier this month, the lovely Christine from Happily Ever After set up the In Death Challenge. The basic idea of the challenge is to read one In Death book (JD Robb) per month.

At the time the challenge was made, I was two and a half books away from being 'up to date' with the series and was just about to start reading Promises In Death. So, the creation of the In Death Challenge was perfect timing IMHO *grin*

I'm not going to review Promises In Death. It has been done before and by reviewers far superior to me *grin* But I wanted to share with you my thoughts and my favourite paragraph. A paragraph that...spoke to me. I don't think this post contains spoilers per say...but it is plot-related...to this book and previous books, so those of you who haven't read many of the In Death books may want to put a blindfold on.

I haven't read an In Death book for almost a year, so it was nice to re-immerse myself in Eve's world. One thing that struck me while reading Promises In Death was how far Eve has come compared with where she was when we first met her in Naked In Death. (And I now have a hankering to re-read Naked in Death just to remind myself of where Eve was at.) Eve was a loner...now she has Roarke....and Peabody...she has family. That really hit home for me in this book. Now, on to my favourite paragraph:

'And the mirror turns so you wonder next about your own blood. What passes from father to daughter.'

'I know I'm not like her. But it's another question.'

'Here's an answer. Three fathers - hers, mine, yours - and three products of that blood, so to speak. And all of us have done what we've done with it. Maybe because of it. You know you're not like her, you're sure of that much . I know you. I'm sure you never could have been.'

So, have you read any of the In Death books and, if so, who is your favourite secondary character? I say secondary rather than primary so I don't receive comments with the same answer - Roarke - throughout *grin* Me? I love Charles...

28 November 2009

Thoughts on New Moon (The Movie)

Earlier today I went to see New Moon with my friend Meredith Shayne. Where to start? Overall, I enjoyed the movie, with the exception of the vampire-only scenes. And Edward just...doesn't appeal, so. even after reading the first two books and seeing the movie interpretations of said books, I can't understand why Bella wants Edward over Jacob. My first comment to Meredith once the movie had finished consisted of:
 
'Bella is an utter, utter idiot.'
 
Or words to that effect *grin* And while I was chatting to Meredith I came to an interesting conclusion. The werewolves refer to the vampires as 'The Cold Ones'. The Cullens live in a modern house, with minimal decor. They are always immaculately dressed and...even when they are together they stand apart. Take Bella's birthday party for example or, at the end of the movie, the scene where Bella is asking the Cullens to vote on whether or not she should be Changed. The Cullens stand as couples, not as a family...or at least that is how it appears. They are...restrained, and although that could be a product of what they are, this restraint is visible in so many facets of their lives.
 
This is a complete contrast IMO to the werewolves. Completely aside from the fact that werewolves have a higher body temperature than humans, Bella rather interestingly refers to Jacob as 'warm' (which I completely agree with IMO *grin*). The small scene in Sam (the Alpha werewolf) & Emily's kitchen shows us a wooden interior (which I always see as warm), with bright decor and the werewolves all bantering while sitting down together to eat. They just come across as a bright, boisterous family...so unlike the sophisticated Cullens. I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself very well. *thinks* There's such a...disparity between the vampires and the werewolves...and for me, the warmth demonstrated by the werewolves is....seductive. I would far rather be with them (even if such a situation is far out of my comfort zone) than with 'The Cold Ones' (maybe because the latter reflects my family too much for my liking). And that is why I find Bella's decision so puzzling. Well, that and the fact that Jacob is way more yummy that Mr Sparkly Vampire! And yes, I know Edward is 'her mate', but... *shrugs*
 
Then again, maybe all of the above is the result of my overactive imagination. For those of you who have read the book/seen the movie - what do you think? Am I reading too much into what I saw?
 
And will I be reading the next book? Yes, and definitely before Eclipse is released on the big screen. I'd rather get to it sooner than later as I've been hearing rumours about certain happenings in tents...and am intrigued *grin*

26 November 2009

M/M Meme

The spectacular (I hope that was a good word to utilize for you Kris?) Kris from Kris 'n' Good Books created a meme based around m/m books and I was tagged by the lovely Mandi from Smexy Books to participate.

I have a confession. I have actually been dithering about posting my answers to this meme... Why? Well, the third question of the meme asks whether I am 'out' as a reader...and posting this meme pretty much answers that question in the affirmative. The dithering is because I worry about exposing something personal about myself...not literally but figuratively... However, the name of this blog is Walkabout, and the reason why I started this blog was to help me learn to express myself...and not be afraid when doing so! So *deep breath* here are my answers to the meme:
Rules:

1. Answer all the questions below in either the comments here or post it on your own site. If you post it on your own site you have to come back and give the link here so I/Kris can mosey on over and see if you have a sticky beak.

2. You have to tag two other people once your done and pester them relentlessly until they do the meme too.

3. Instead of a meme image thing you have to post a cookie, preferably a twofer. It is an m/m meme after all. ;)
Questions:

1. How long have you been reading GLBTQ fiction?
About 1 year...I think.

2. What was the first book you read in this genre?
I honestly thought I couldn't remember...and then it came to me! The first book in this genre that I read was Mind F*ck (Manna Francis). What an amazing story! I'm hoping to purchase the fifth book in this series shortly. (I guess that tells you I like this author :)

3. Are you 'out' as a reader?
Ah, I am now *grin* Actually, apart from online, I think I'm out with only *counts* five people.

4. eBooks, print or both?
I prefer print books, but that is because I currently have to read eBooks on my computer, which isn't how it should be IMO.

5. Do you buy direct from publishers or from secondary sellers?
The few books I have bought (and that number seems to be increasing :) I have mainly purchased from secondary sellers.

6. Prove you're a Book Slut. How many books would you say you buy a week?
Ahhh...none. Although I have bought two books this month - one print book and one eBook. Honestly, I very rarely buy books (I all but live at my local library), but that may change when I purchase my multi-task device (AKA the iTouch).

7. Are you a cover, blurb or excerpt buyer?
Blurb and excerpt...I'm a cautious purchaser of book, so I want to minimize the risk (of buying a dud) as much as possible by doing a lot of research. And yes, that means it takes me ages to buy anything *grin*

8. Yeah, you read reviews, but do you actually take notice of them?
It depends on who the reviewer is and how fairly their review the book. I don't want a gushy review, I want an honest review.

9. Who's your fave publisher?
I don't have one.

10. What about authors? Your top two only!!
Hmmmm. Ginn Hale - I adored Wicked Gentleman. And Manna Francis. Oh, and Sean Michael. I know, that's three...did I say I could count? And, before you all start pointing out all the amazing authors I have mentioned, I should point out that I haven't read many m/m books...yet... And yes, feel free to point me in the right direction *grin*

11. Is there a sub-genre you particularly dis/like?
No. If the characters are good, I'm there.

12. Short or long?
Long. Novellas leave me wanting...more *grin*

13. Anything turn you off about m/m or is all just glorious smut to you?
There are certain things I'm not a fan of, but I'm not spilling the beans!

14. Finish this sentence. You know it's m/m twu wuv when...
He turns gay for you. Sorry, couldn't resist :)

15. What trope or theme are you heartily sick of in m/m romance?
Nothing as yet.... It's early days!

16. If you could choose any 3 characters for a m/m/m who would they be?
Hmmm. This is hard. There are so many characters I don't know yet. Who should I be considering?

17. What new GLBTQ release are you most hanging out for right now?
Strange Fortune (Josh Lanyon). I read Mandi's review - fantasy plus m/m romance = I can't wait!

18. What GLBTQ book has completely blown you away this year?
Bent (Sean Michael). It just...resonated.

19. What do you think we'll see more of in m/m romance in 2010?
I've just started dipping my toes into this genre, so I've barely scratched the surface of what is available. So, your guess is no doubt better than mine *grin*

20. Don't you agree that author Josh Lanyon should kill off arsehole character Jake Riordan?
Jake who? *grin* I'm kidding. I've heard of the Adrian English books...now I just have to read them!

Tagging? No one....but feel free to tag yourself *grin* Oh, and a cookie. Most of my cookies I have obtained via Kris!

22 November 2009

You Told Me So

To those of you who told me what a wonderful book Grimspace was, who suggested, cajoled and/or pleaded with me to read it:

You were right, I was wrong!

So, feel free to say I told you so!

I finished reading Grimspace on the weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have to admit to not being a fan of the first person, so the jerky beginning took a little time to get used too. But a friend mentioned that Jax's...psyche was reflected in the sentence structure...and so it was. I could relate to Jax - she compartmentalizes...as do I.
...I'm so broken. Never realized how fragmented I've become until this moment. I'm a mirror where someone sunk his fist, a thousand tiny images refracted from that fissure, and none of them complete.
There were so beautiful descriptions in this book. Of the Corp:
One of them wanted to know if I could describe the smell of burning human flesh. The Corp is full of those types, who in another time would've been chopping up their neighbours and burying them beneath their porch. Now they receive specialized certifications and go to work inside our heads.
Of the relationship between a Jumper and a pilot:
Imagine for a moment - lover and brother and guardian and partner and - ...Perfect trust, perfect symbiosis; there comes a time when words aren't necessary any more.
I love the Jumper premise, and I hope that I learn more about what makes them tick as the series progresses. And yes, if that wasn't enough of a hint I'll come out and say it *grin* I'll be reading the second book!

And I just loved this paragraph:
For the first time I grasp that bending doesn't necessarily mean weakness. Defiance doesn't always equate to strength.
I wish more heroines came to this realization *grin*

Oh, and question: I can't find the page, but...are all Jumpers female?

20 November 2009

Progress

Earlier this month I (hopefully politely :) asked you to participate in a poll to determine the colour of the front bezel of my new computer. Thank you very much to those of you who voted or who informed me offline of your preferences. Well, the votes have been tallied and the winning colour is:

Plum Purple!

(Over 55% of the votes were for Plum Purple.) This morning, I finally ordered my new computer - I am beyond excited! My current computer (much as I love it) is a relic of the dark ages...and I want to be able to play online. Anyway, you will hopefully be pleased to know that the colour of my front bezel (I wonder who made up that word? It's just....weird) will be...plum purple! Hopefully (yes, I know I'm overusing that word today) the new computer will arrive in a couple of weeks and then I just have to organize broadband (I'm not sure what term is used outside NZ for fast speed internet connections). So, fingers crossed, I'll be racing through the internet by Christmas! *happy dance*

The other progress I've made is on a more personal front. The (family) stress I've been experiencing over the past several years has manifested itself gastrically. The short version is, my stomach has been trying to eat itself. I know, it's a zombie plot waiting to happen *grin* My GP (general practioner) suggested I see a nutritionist, so off I went. While my focus was stopping my GIT (gastrointestinal tract) from attempting to star in a Hollywood movie, I did mention that I would like to lose weight (as stress ---> unhealthy diet ---> GULP!). So, since the beginning of August I have been (mostly) adhering to a healthy eating plan. (I say mostly because the amazing thing about this plan, and my nutritionist is that both are flexible, so I have indulged on occasion. The hardest thing was giving up Coca Cola for 3 weeks; at least now I am allowed...hmmm..I am allowing myself...two cans per week.) And, as of the beginning of this month I have lost 8.5 kg (18.7 lb). I'm currently still on the healthy eating plan as I'm not at the goal I set myself (and before you ask, yes, the goal is realistic). I have curves (even with a slight bone structure)...and I'm working on liking them *grin* And one of these days I'll find my favourite photo of me so you can put a name to a face.

18 November 2009

Shalador's Lady (Anne Bishop): Excerpt

Earlier this year, I posted on the cover and summary for Shalador's Lady (Anne Bishop). Thanks to the lovely Kerry (for the heads up), I am happy to say that for those of us who have no willpower, the excerpt has been posted!

And the anticipated publication date is 02 March 2010...so only 3 and 1/2 months to go...

16 November 2009

Alternate Endings

Today I stopped in at my local library and picked up When Shadows Fade, the fifth and final book in Colleen Gleason's Gardella Vampire Chronicles:
Directly descended from the very first vampire hunter in the Gardella family, Victoria knows she must continue the lineage so humanity will have protectors against the undead. While Sebastian Vioget appears to be both the perfect warrior and lover to ensure the Gardella Legacy, Victoria cannot forget Max Pesaro - the former slayer still haunted by the vampire queen Lilith's obsession with him. But it is Lilith's obsession that may save all of humanity. Demons, enemies of both mortals and the undead, have found their way to Earth. To defeat them, vampires and slayers must work side by side. But Lilith wants Max in return for her cooperation - a small price for the world, but too high a price for Victoria.
Those of you who have read, or indeed heard of, this series, know that at its heart there is a love triangle between Victoria, Sebastian and Max. (Note, this post is not going anywhere near love triangles *grin*) Now, even though I haven't read this book I have a fair idea who Victoria ends up with (and no, I didn't peak). Unfortunately, I think Victoria's choice for Victoria is the opposite of orannia's choice for Victoria *grin* And that got me to thinking - even though I respect the author immensely for an amazing series and I am looking forward to reading this final installment, part of wishes that the choice Victoria makes is a different one...

So, I'm wondering, am I the only one who wants an alternate ending to a book? And...is it disrespectful to the author for me to want an alternate ending?

08 November 2009

Does (TBR) Size Matter?

I have a confession. *covers face with hands* My official TBR list (which is my library hold list) is currently sitting on 97 books. Earlier this month it was at 99 books and I was too...embarrassed...to place a hold on another book and thus hit three digits. (And yes, I know that no one but me would know the official number.) So, I have a piece of paper next to my computer that lists 'potential' TBR books! In my defense, some of the books listed on the (in)famous piece of paper aren't on the library catalogue yet, so this way I won't 'forget' about them. However, some of the books are on the catalogue but I can't place a hold on them as they would all appear at once! Hence the piece of paper *grin*

I'm not sure why I have this issue with the number 100...and so I was wondering if anyone else worried about the number of books on their TBR list/pile/tower. And, if so, do you hide books from your official TBR list/pile/tower because you are too embarrassed about how big it has become or are you proud of the number?

07 November 2009

DNS

Invariably, amongst all the books that we read, one...or two (or occasionally more *grin* because they do seem to travel in packs, or is that just me?) will not be finished. They are thus labelled 'Did Not Finish' or DNF books. But what about those books that we don't even start? And no, I'm not talking about the books that we never even pick up but those that we pick up with the intention of reading. Those books that have been languishing on our TBR list/piles/towers for what feels like forever, but when we finally get around to reading them...and pick them up to do just that...they don't appeal. I've labelled these 'Did Not Start' or DNS books.

And that leads me to something else - book guilt. Earlier this week, the lovely Stacy from Stacy's Place wrote a fascinating post entitled Living With Reading Envy. And I freely admit to reading envy. Not with regard to ARCs, because I am always in awe of the amazing reviews generated and I know I could not replicate them (quality wise and in a timely manner). More in the sheer number of books that various bloggers seem to read within a month. And while replying to Stacy's post it got me to thinking of reading guilt... A perfect example for me is Heir to Sevenwaters (Juliet Mariller). After reading the review by the incomparable Thea from The Book Smugglers in November 2008 (yes, 2008!), I added it to my TBR list. And there it languished until just recently. And I feel incredibly guilty about all the wonderful books languishing on my TBR list that I want to read...

So, do you come across DNS books and do you experience book guilt?

05 November 2009

Poll: The Colour of Technology

Earlier this week my friend and I sat down to discuss my new computer. One of the reasons for the delay is that he was (very kindly) trying to find a way to utilize various components from my grandfather's computer in the build. Unfortunately, that isn't cost-effective, so we're going with Plan B - a customized computer from Dell. And before you all ask, no, I am not buying a laptop...I don't want to check my emails in bed *grin*

One of the many things I have to decide on is the colour of the front bezel...there are eight to choose from! What happened to any colour as long as it's black? So, I thought this would be a good time for a poll. What colour should I pick for the front bezel of my computer? I look forward to your thoughts and thank you in advance for voting!

02 November 2009

Archangel's Kiss (Nalini Singh)

Archangel's Kiss is the second book in Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series. It is also the sequel to Angels' Blood. (Note: spoilers for Angels' Blood below):
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control—even when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority… They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…
You can read the excerpt here! The book is scheduled to be released in February 2010!

So, who else apart from me can't wait to read this?

Edited to add: Nalini has posted the unedited first chapter for Bonds of Justice (Max's story), to her blog!

01 November 2009

Books 2009: October Update

Total to date: 68 books (10 books this month)

The 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge total to date: 43 books (4 books this month)

A list of all the books I've read to date (from 01 January 2007) can be found at Library Thing.

Favourite books of the month?

* Heir to Sevewaters (Juliet Marillier)
 
* To Ride Hell's Chasm (Janny Wurts)

Books I 'did not finish':

* Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (Alison Goodman)
Currently reading: Bloodhound (Tamora Pierce)

And the books I'm most looking forward to reading next month?

* Blaze of Memory (Nalini Singh)

* Grimspace (Ann Aguirre) [Yes, azteclady and Aymless, I will finally read Grimspace!]

What did you read last month?