jadedmusings: (Ming Ming Sewious)
I had a bit of good luck with money this month, and for the first time in a long time, I opted to treat myself to a major purchase for an early Christmas/Yule/birthday present (and still have some set aside for the kiddo's Christmas). So, I got a new Kindle Fire HD from Amazon.

It's gorgeous. I had considered the new Nook as Amazon has done some things in the past that made me leery, but for the same price for the Kindle, I got twice as much storage (16 GB versus 8 GB for the Nook), plus a camera and other neat stuff. I splurged and got the two-year extended warranty, which will allow me to replace my Kindle up to three times should I be really unlucky (better to have it and not need it...).

Anyway, I can now read ebooks, and a friend already tipped me off to a website that compiles a list of cheap and free ebooks daily, so that's a good start. Plus, I don't have to worry about cluttering my already too-crowded bookshelves and I get instant gratification and don't have to wait for them to be delivered. My only regret thus far is that I didn't spring for the stylus (I'm correcting that oversight after having the fun of clicking on wrong links constantly).

Soooo....website, ebook recommendations? Apps. OMG, I can use actual Apps now, which means I probably won't.
jadedmusings: (ATLA - Chibi :D)

To which my response was, "I have to wait until April?!" And yes, it is indeed Michael Stackpole. I can't wait!

Now back to my water-less existence (going to turn it back on this afternoon) and my sore throat and slightly runny nose.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Tony New Slashfic)
Anyone know anything about Michael Stackpole, specifically his ability to write a tie-in novel? He might be the one writing the Vol'jin novel as he was announced to have been working on a new WoW novel back in July.

If you do know anything about him, do you feel yay, meh, or "OH FUCK NO" about his writing? He's got ties to Star Wars and Battletech, so that gives me a little hope. I'd really like to see Vol'jin's novel not be written by Knaak, and while Golden is better, it'd still be nice to see some fresh(er) talent take a chance.
jadedmusings: (ATLA - Chibi :D)
So, Blizz did an Ask Me Anything on Reddit today for World of Warcraft. You may or may not have heard a girlish squeal when I checked out Wowhead's coverage of the questions.

How many novels are planned to be released over this expansion?

I'm glad you enjoyed the novel! Golden is a fantastic author who works very closely with us to do justice to the franchise.

If you're getting psyched about the storyline, I think you'll love the next novel which focuses on Vol'jin. Have you played the troll 1-10 intro experience? Vol'jin flat-out tells Garrosh he doesn't trust him and he'll stab him in the back the moment he sees an opportunity. The novel carries his story forward and really meshes in with the events of patch 5.1.

One of our ongoing goals is to make sure that the games and novels compliment each other, and that major lore events don't happen in the novels without some kind of representation in-game. This is a huge challenge for us!! But I think we're getting better at it.



Please, please, please don't let it be Knaack writing it. Golden is better than him. Pleeeeease don't fuck this up. D:

Of course, even if it's Knaack, I'll be buying the damn book because he's my favorite racial leader for one of my favorite races. I'm that much of a fangirl.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Jimmy Geekalicious)
I finished Tides of War today. It was slightly better than Twilight of the Aspects, but only marginally so.

Sigh. [Here there be spoilers.] )
jadedmusings: (ATLA - Aang c'mon!)
I plan to read it while camping Magria/Ankha/Ban'tholos in Hyjal.

Yes, I'm going to be totally torturing myself twice over. I'm a masochist.

EDIT: I meant TIDES OF WAR, though I wouldn't mind a book all about the Throne of Tides instance.
jadedmusings: (Supernatural - Dean iz confused)
I feel compelled to read Tides of War, the newest WoW book which focuses on Jaina Proudmoore and details what happens to Theramore. From the perspective a mostly-Horde RP'er, the snippets I've been catching here and there are of major interest to me, especially some of Garrosh's actions in the book. Lore-wise, it'd be nice to have a reference at hand so I know some of what's happened and is about to happen, especially as it'll impact my RP.

But I remember how much I hated Twilight of the Aspects, which wasn't that horrible compared to other books I've read, but that's like saying having my wisdom teeth taken out was a little less bad than when I had my tonsilectomy. And then I read the sample chapter on Amazon.

Ugh, the writing is terrible, even to the point where I swear we had two different perspectives in the same paragraph. But some (likely masochistic) part of me is thinking I should read it because, omg, the RP and the lore and all the wonderful things I can use for Folami (who has never been overly fond of Garrosh to start with).

...but it looks so bad.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Gibbs Headslap)
Dear Laurell K. Hamilton,

I may be sexually frustrated, but it's not because I read your books and become jealous of what I read. In fact, I just finished Micah last night and I can say with confidence that the two chapters of sex was some of the most ridiculous, cringe-worthy "erotica" I have read in a long time. And I used to peruse sites like Nifty and Literotica for my smut and I liked it. (In my defense, I was young and a little sheltered.)

As a sexually liberated woman who believes all women should fuck whoever they want when they want, please understand when I say, "SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU ARE NOT HELPING! SIT DOWN AND LISTEN TO WHAT WE'RE ACTUALLY SAYING!"

The problem is not that Anita is a woman. The problem is not that Anita fucks a lot of men. The problem is that your writing post Obsidian Butterfly, well, sucks. The sex is boring at best and laughingly bad at worst.

The people who criticize your writing have reasons for it. I don't mind sex in my books. In fact, I love sex in my books...when it's written well. Once upon a time, you were great at writing horror and making me want to sleep with a night light. Now, you're a joke and when I say I'm reading all the Anita Blake books, the words "I might be a masochist" quickly follow.

Please, go to Home Depot, buy yourself some lumber and use it to build a bridge so you can get over yourself.


jadedmusings: (ATLA - Toph Rocks Fall)
When last I wrote about the Anita Blake series, I was in the middle of Narcissus in Chains and my only complaint was the use of soap as a vaginal lubricant. Since then I've read Cerulean Sins and Incubus Dreams (which I just finished today), and I have so many things to say now.

Narcissus in Chains, despite the implications of the title, was not heavy on sex. There was more sex than there had been in previous Anita Blake books, but it was still about par for the course. Many fans seem to think this is the book when the series fell apart, but I disagree. In my opinion, Cerulean Sins was where the series went off the rails, and in Incubus Dreams the series goes off the rails, over a steep cliff, crashes into the jagged rocks on the bottom, and then somehow manages to continue limping along while never losing its massive erection (because we all know the only good penis is a massive one).

Cerulean Sins saw more sex than any other book, but my problem with Sins was that the plot was all over the place. It felt disjointed, confusing in parts, and here's where I saw Anita from mild Mary Sue to full blown My Immortal levels of special snowflake. Still, I foolishly believed that if this was where fans became disappointed, it couldn't be that bad. There are still nine books published after Sins, so really, how bad could it be? I really ought to know better than to ask stupid questions.

Incubus Dreams is bad, 722 pages (in this edition) of bad. There's no other way to put it. The editing is horrible, many of the sex scenes (and there are many of them) are incredibly unsexy, the plot is barely there like Nathaniel's thong, and to top it all off there's one part that's a heaping pile of rape apologist bullshit. I wish I were kidding.

Lack of editing. )

Too much (boring) sex. )

Richard is a giant douchebag rapist, and Anita blames the victim. )

And in spite of this, I'm enough of a masochist to finisht this series because, damnit, I'm in it for the long haul. I will, however, have a palate cleanser between this book and the next. Maybe two or three because, damn, this was torture.
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Yes that's porn)
I've been reading Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. The book has been engaging, the plot moves at a good pace, and apart from some eye-rolling at the gender stereotyping when it comes to the Confessors (women are maternal, ergo they're always compassionate and empathetic; men are biologically incapable of learning these traits and are always power hungry and prone to abusing their power) and a lot of fantasy cliches (including the straight-up Gollum rip-off), I've been enjoying it.

And then...suddenly, femme domme leather S&M! Not. Even. Kidding.

If you've read the book, you should know I'm referring to the Mord-Sith. I am being totally serious when I say I nearly threw the book across the room and stopped reading entirely. The thing is, I would have been okay with it if there'd been any sort of warning that it was coming. Before this, any mentions of torture and abuse happened off-screen, or they were covered with a few sentences that weren't just descriptive enough to get the point across without being explicit. Then, Richard was captured by Deena--excuse me, Mistress Deena, and we are treated to roughly forty pages (not an exaggeration) of Richard being tortured brutally both physically and psychologically, and from their first "lesson," it's quite obvious Deena is a sadist and is getting off on Richard's pain. We're all but told, "Deena is getting wetter each time she makes Richard scream." The only good thing I can say about the scenes is that we at least got a fade to black before the actual sex (because of course, Richard is so awesome that Deena wants to make him her "mate").

Truthfully, it felt like I was an unwilling participant in Goodkind's sexual fantasy, and it left me feeling vaguely nauseous and horrified. When I wasn't revolted from the sudden left turn into Kinky Town, I was rolling my eyes at Deena's over-the-top characterization. Cliche doesn't begin to describe what she is. And to be brutally honest, I could probably find better written S&M with less cartoonish dommes on Literotica (and I have in the past).

I forced myself to keep reading, to get through it, and then got pissed off all over again at how this "conflict" is resolved. Richard gets to learn how to master the Sword of Truth, and then he has to kill Deena (which, she actually wants him to because, you know, it's the only way to truly "save" her since she's so "broken"). Of all the ways for him to figure out that particular mystery, we had to suffer through all those pages of descriptive sadistic torture. Other than that, this whole scenario serves no purpose to help the plot. Well, okay, a half-assed way to get Richard and Darken Rahl in the same room, too. And then, Richard simply walks out of D'Hara after killing Deena and another dominatrix Mord-Sith who helped Deena torture him.

When Sam was talking about his favorite characters and aspects of the series, he mentioned the Mord-Sith. Given that it was Sam, I was thinking I'd encounter an elite assassin group, or some other super bad-ass soldiers who strike fear into the hearts of everyone just by mentioning their name. This was totally not what I expected. At all. (Sam, sweetie, I love you, but I am giving you the side-eye so hard over this.)

I am going to finish the book. I'm less than 100 pages from the end. At this time, I'm not sure if I'll read the second book. I might give it a shot. As I said, up until the Mord-Sith, it wasn't terrible, and I was actually mostly enjoying it.

(And if anyone wants to accuse me of being prudish, or try to say I don't "get kink," I'm warning you in advance, I am going to point and laugh and mock you publicly here on my journal.)
jadedmusings: (Supernatural - Worst Date Ever (Bobby's)
I'm reading Narcissus in Chains because I am committed to getting through all the Anita Blake novels. I am told this is the book where it really goes off the rails and rolls into not-as-sexy-as-it-thinks town, but for now it's a pretty "normal" Anita Blake book, with just a bit more sex than there's been in previous books. It's not horrible and some of it has been, if not hot, then at least pleasurable to read. (Note: I am only 200 pages in and not even half-way through the 630 pages. I expect this to change. And I do know it will get worse.)

But of course, there's one thing I must comment on.

Dear Mrs. Hamilton,

Bath soap/body wash is NOT an adequate form of lubrication! That shit burns like a mother fucker, not to mention it can dry out pretty quickly and, you know, not really lubricate. I'm not even going to try and wonder whether or not said soap was anti-bacterial and why, if it was, that it's a bad thing to introduce to the vaginal environment.

I'm all for whatever floats your boat and suspension of disbelief, but lubrication requires a bit more realism for this reader.

A Reluctant Fan of your Work,

jadedmusings: (NCIS - Tim Doubts Your Sincerity)
First, the good: Kiddo is officially out of school for the holidays. Hooray!

The ranting: Started sneezing this morning and have been having random sneezing fits throughout the day. Usually this is a sign that I am headed for a head cold, right when I don't need it. Not only is Mom coming up here Sunday and we have to clean the house, I'm also supposed to be meeting Sam's maternal grandparents for the first time. Great first impression, huh? "Hi, nice to meet you. Pardon me while I blow my nose and try not to cough all over you and the food."

Oh, and did I mention I'm making my mother's semi-famous corn and string bean casserole, my grandmother's no-bake pumpkin pie, and candied yams? I really, really, really hope the sneezing has been some sort of fluke.

And I'm just grumpy after dealing with jerks in LFR (hey, asshats, rp is not "gay," though it is pretty damned fabulous) in WoW and then having guildies forget to invite me to the second half of Dragon Soul. I'll probably run it by myself tomorrow and just hope I don't have to deal with too many jerks. Didn't help that the first part of it I lagged horribly because, apparently, even when a download is capped, WoW doesn't like ANYTHING to be using bandwidth. (Strangely enough, it's fine with someone running another MMO--Sam was playing CoH--but downloads? To paraphrase Little John from BBC's Robin Hood "Downloads it does not like!")

Anyway, I bought two new books, found some Nag Champa incense at the Asheville Mall today (I've been out for months), and some lavender oil on the cheap. Santa, however, was a no go. Kiddo didn't really want to go because he reasoned he'd already sent Santa an email and got a response, so why repeat what the man already knows? (That, and I suspect he's been feeling more and more self conscious about talking to strangers lately.) We were going to insist he do it anyway, but $21 was the cheapest picture package and that plus the probably half-hour to hour wait in line was so not going to be worth it.

Also, the kiddo got Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz today (seasonally appropriate, I know), which I'm eager to read to him because, holy cow, nostalgia like whoa. I used to own all three and read them over and over and over. The first time my third grade teacher read "The Thing" to us, it terrified me so much I had to get Mom to reassure me that night. And then...I wanted more.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Jimmy Geekalicious)
So, I'm reading Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur. It's the first book in a new series that's a follow-up to her Riley Jensen, Guardian series (which I've mentioned quite a bit before). It's paranomral romance with werewolves, vampires, shifters (different from weres), and even ancient beings mistaken often for angels that are anything but angels.

Some things in it are disappointing. For example, despite being half-werewolf, Risa can't transform into a wolf. Of course there's a very good reason for this (namely that her other half isn't human and comes with its own set of uber benefits). I guess my mind is still in werewolf mode after several books focused on Riley who was half-werewolf and half-vampire (a dhampir). However, when I say it's disapppinting, I mean disappointing in the sense that I was expecting chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and instead I got chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I'm going to be a little put out, but I'm still going to eat that cake because it's damn tasty. (Great, I've gone and made myself hungry.)

Anyway, the book is great and I'm speeding along, grateful that book two is already due out this month or next. Arthur's writing has improved like most writers improve over time, not that she was ever bad to begin with. She still has the issue with seeming to pick a single favorite adjective and using it repeatedly. (In one of Riley's books it was kaledeiscope; in this one it's economical, usually when referring to how the male characters Risa finds interesting move.) That's probably just a personal quirk of mine that I pick up on these things.

There's some things that are mildly irritating. Riley had a gay twin-brother, Risa has a lesbian roommate (a horse shifter). Naturally, Risa is all about men like Riley was. I mean, part of me feels like Rhoan's and now Ilianna's sexuality are token, though Ilianna at least has to struggle with her family possibly not accepting her as she is. Granted, the portrayal I've seen is overall positive despite a couple of cringe-worthy incidents in the earlier Riley books with regard to non-heterosexual women, and there hasn't been any nonsense along the lines of anyone exhibiting homophobic behavior and having it be excused because, hey they have gay friends, ones they share a living space with, even! But the sexuality is never really explored and just seems to be there. "Look at me be inclusive," while not being all that inclusive. This isn't a complaint so much as an observation, and I admit my take on it might differ from others. I also realize the possible vast majority of Arthur's audience are straight women who wouldn't care for books that focus on non-heterosexual relationships. Whereas I would personally love to see more lesbian/bisexual women who have fulfilling relationships as main characters rather than supporting characters.

But again, so far I'm happy with what I'm reading. I had issues with Quinn as a hero (and still think Riley forgave him way too easily for things he did), and I'm hoping the heroes we're seeing in this series will avoid being assholes, or at least avoid being assholes who violate boundaries that should never be violated (Oh yes, Quinn, I'm still looking at you, sir. That sexy Irish lilt of yours will do you no good here, sir.).

Anyway, I'm just rambling at this point. Gonna go lie down and read some more while snuggling Sam before he has to go to work.
jadedmusings: (Ming Ming Sewious)
So, how many books does James Patterson have this year? I mean, are there some he's not making television commercials for?

(No, I haven't read any of Patterson's work, it just seems like he has a new book on TV every other month.)
jadedmusings: (Ming Ming Sewious)
So I checked out the author's website for his novel. I know it's a man not because there's a picture of him on the website or because his name is Michael. No, the "story overview" page told me he was male, and I'm not referring to the three(!) animated ads for "Desktop Strippers" either. Dude, I know your novel is self-published, but even self-published authors ought to have at least a thin veneer of professionalism, particularly if you're trying to entice women like me into reading your not-a-vampire-novel vampire novel. (No, that's how it's described, only I make it funny.)

Anyway, the Story Overview page includes pictures from Google image searches of half-naked women among a couple of gruesome images of a mutilated head and a corpse in an advanced state of decomposition. And then there's the overview itself. Reading between the lines I get, "I've never had a meaningful relationship with a woman because I can't think of them as anything other than a place to put my dick."

Weak snarking under here. )

I'm not sure whether I should laugh or weep over the fact that this novel is 130,000+ words.

I'm done. Just done. Go check it out if you like. (And if you read the reviews page, note how many people are from the same town and how all of them are from the Southeast. Family and friends praising your work? Nah, I totally believe this guy is that brilliant of a writer. Yeeeeeah.)
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Gibbs Headslap)
Pro-tip: Following me on Twitter isn't terribly likely to get me to read your self-published novel. I follow writers because I happen to enjoy writing and want to some day put that talent (if you can call it that) to use. The authors I follow happen to be authors whose works I admire and enjoy thoroughly (Keri Arthur, Steven Brust, Neil Gaiman, Stacia Kane, etc.). None of them followed me first. In fact, none of them follow me back and that's okay because I know they're busy people (though I am prone to squealing like a fangirl anytime I get a response).

Furthermore, if you include excerpts from your novel, might I suggest links to actual passages rather than single Twitter-length lines? Then again, I'm not sure how you can improve upon "Not a wine rack. His swine rack. Ol' Bert likes to get jiggy with a piggy." Shakespeare would weep at the beauty contained within those 140 characters. (Not really.)

Other lines I'm reading on your feed:

My face met the window with a sick thunk and I felt important bones shatter.
The fist withdrew with a ghastly, slurping sound like twisted gristle expelled from a turkey baster.
And the sound of wet slurping just below my ear ripped a primal scream from my fractured core...

Also, a vampire novel titled Juice? Not sure if want. (No, I'm pretty much decided this is in my DO NOT WANT file.)

...and I clicked on your link and you have a sound file embedded in your webpage. What is this, 1998?

Okay, Okay, I just started looking over this guy's website. Lawls! This will need its own post.

ETA: A new line was posted just now. "I scratched my crotch and noticed the SUV next to me. A gorgeous female eyed me with a sly smirk." Oh, baby! Nothing gets me hotter than a man inappropriately scratching himself in public next to his SUV! I'm getting the vapors!
jadedmusings: (Supernatural - Castiel pass the ammuniti)
Because I live under a rock, I'm only just now getting around to reading Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. I've heard good things about the Mercy Thompson series and figured I'd give it a shot since it has werewolves (and vampires), and I did need something totally different while I give myself a breather from reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series (I've read the first two thus far).

The writing is good and the plot is interesting despite not making me white knuckle the book and putting me on the edge of my seat. But of course, there's something that's bugging me and it's something I see in a lot of paranormals with werewolves, and that's this excusing of bad behavior on the part of the males.

Look, I get that werewolves aren't technically supposed to be humans. In most books about them, they might start out as human and are then transformed, but the end result is that they are other, no longer 100% human. Most retain some sense of their humanity and make a point of interacting with humans, or are at least forced to live alongside humans and exist in their world peacefully. So, with that in mind, can we please stop using biology to excuse horrible misogynistic, sexist, and violent behavior?

In Moon Called, Mercy remarks that un-mated females are lower than males (and so far, it's only hetereosexual couples I've seen mentioned). Always. A female werewolf can only gain rank by pairing up with a male who has power. She remarks that even though she isn't in Adam's (the Alpha of her region) pack, he talks down to her and expects her to act submissive (i.e. no direct eye contact). Mercy does this to avoid getting harmed because, well, werewolves just can't help it. It's in their biology to be violent and dominant, and gee, doesn't this sound familiar?

Perhaps a werewolf would have more biologically-based reasons to respond with violence to a perceived slight, and perhaps the females of their wild cousins are supposedly always submissive when not paired up*, but for fuck's sake they're still at least partially human and show they can control their beast so they're not out running on rampages. You've even mentioned this several times that with a strong dominant/Alpha around, they're under control. So why do the males get the same pass we give men in real life. "Oh, it's just their testosterone makes them that way! They can't help but be aggressive!"

Bull. Fucking. Shit. Stop excusing bad behavior. Maybe male werewolves are assholes because, well, they're being assholes. We don't need to excuse it. If you'd just said, "They're jerks and I don't want the hassle of a confrontation," I'd be fine with it. At least then you'd still be calling it what it was and not excusing what should be inexcusable behavior.

Yes, I get that it's fantasy/fiction, but that's why I think I should expect to escape the crap I deal with in real life. And your mileage may vary.

* = And I don't believe this is true. Also what's not true are the whole notion of alphas and betas in wolf packs. More research is proving what we've thought of captive wolf behavior is not reflective of wild wolf. ...I'm not making sense there, am I? Colds suck.
jadedmusings: (Ming Ming Sewious)
So we ordered some Scholastic books for the kiddo through the school and they arrived today, much to his excitement. (NOT the dilemma.)

One of the things we ordered was a three-book collection of E.B. White novels. The dilemma is that I remember reading Charlotte's Web in second grade (same age as the kiddo) and I thought I might read it to him.

How am I ever going to get through it without bawling at the end and possibly freaking the kiddo out?

(Totally not a serious post.)

The other two books in that collection are The Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little.

On the plus side, I managed to convince him to get Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar, a book I read repeatedly as a child. I predict much giggling.


Sep. 6th, 2011 08:33 am
jadedmusings: (Supernatural - Sam doubts that)
After the uproar DAJanuary's review of the self-published Spoil of War caused, guest reviewer Dhympna, a medieval historian, was invited by Sunita to read the book and grade it. The result was the book being ripped to shreds on its so-called historical accuracy, and that's without getting into the rape. Of course I expect Phoenix Sullivan's fans and sockpuppets to come out in droves again to defend this "masterpiece" and tell the reviewers they simply don't know what they're talking about.

One thing that annoyed me is that Sullivan was apparently comparing her work to Mists of Avalon, which is asinine to a severe degree.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Jimmy Geekalicious)
Not only will our friend and the king of Stormwind (and my heart) Varian Wrynn be getting his own novel soon, but said novel will also be released as an audiobook. Richard Knaak's Wolfheart will not just be released as a novel, but also as a recording with special effects, in-game sounds and narration. The novel is scheduled to be released this September 13 and the audiobook is expected not long after. [Link]

Now, I don't buy audio books, mostly because I know I'd tune it out and never get the story, but an audio book with in-game sounds? This sounds (ha!) like a big gimmick meant only to appeal to the huge nerds fans and serves no purpose other than being, well, a gimmick. Maybe I'm being silly because it's a World of Warcraft novel, but it seems to me that while you certainly want to appeal to fans of the game(s) new and old, it's also good business to appeal to other people who might be potential new subscribers, or at least book buyers. Plus, you're not playing the game when you listen to an audio book, and after you've heard the same sounds over and over again while playing, I'm not so keen on listening to it while I'm trying to hear a story.

Of course, it doesn't really matter to someone who is not going to be buying this book. I've read an excerpt provided a few weeks back and it put me off reading any of Knaak's work. I think after two paragraphs my Gary Stu meter pegged out an exploded. It was seriously that bad.


jadedmusings: (Default)
Wrathful and Unrepentant Jade

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