Ten Books That Define Me (Us)

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Imagine that you could introduce yourself to someone by showing them your bookshelf. What ten books would you put on that shelf that would give people a glimpse into who you are? They might not be all your favorites, but books that resonated with you in some fashion.

The Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week was supposed to be about series you wanted to start. Er, that doesn’t work too well for us since we can’t think of a single series we want to start. So we chose to gleefully derail the train for this week, and instead do something else. But, as usual, Broke and Bookish is responsible for bringing you the topics every week. They can’t help if it if we occasionally don’t listen well.

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

These are the Ten Books That Define Me (Lilyn)

Book cover for Stone Cold BastardsThe Book: Stone Cold Bastards by Jake Bible

The Reason: The violence tempered with humor that pervades the book. I am not someone who screams and shouts when I get upset, but I do have a violent streak that’s only tempered with some very dark humor at times.

The Review.






Book cover for The Johnson ProjectThe Book: The Johnson Project by Maggie Spence

The Reason: The logical way the family in the book handle the responsibility of their cure for humanity appeals. Appeals so much. This amount of common sense makes me happy.

The Review.






Book cover for The Mammoth HuntersThe Book: The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel

The Reason: This is two-fold. The first is Ayla herself. She’s intelligent yet naive. She has trouble grasping social cues and often wants to just do the thing that it makes sense to her to do. I identify strongly with Ayla. The second is the rich detail that Auel uses to paint her pre-history world. Though I am not one that loves the thick fantasy books, I love sinking into one of these books and living in that pre-history world which is so believable.







The Book: House of Robots by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

The Reason: Because House of Robots appeals to my inner child on a massive level. This series is pretty much perfect in my opinion.







Book cover for Naked in DeathThe Book: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

The Reason: Eve and her inability to grasp why the hell humans act so…human. (Are you sensing a theme here?) She’s a complete hardass that’s tormented by her past, and it would be much easier if people just did the logical thing (and also didn’t try to kill each other.) Plus, she’s got a violent streak. Oh, and there’s Roarke, who is pretty much the definition of “Let us engage in act of coitus! Multiple times!” for me.







Book cover for Just One Damned Thing After AnotherThe Book: Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

The Reason: I’m pretty sure Markum is my spirit animal. Beyond that, the unbridled enthusiasm that Max brings to anything she’s fascinated with, the absolute clumsiness she exhibits, and the snark that slips out of her mouth on an every-other-word basis. If there was anyone that came closest to being me in book form – it’s Max. With a side of Markum.

The Review.






Book cover for MagoniaThe Book: Magonia by Mariah Devanah Headley

The Reason: My daughter. Reading this book will make you understand how love and pain and life and the threat of death can all twine together so closely its almost impossible to tell one from the other.

The Review.







Book cover for Damocles by S.G. Redling - 10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by WomenThe Book: Damocles by S.G. Redding

The Reason: Because it captures one of the primary reasons I love science fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a good military sci-fi, and a good sci-fi horror fic or flick can never go wrong. However, Damocles is all about the wonder and the possibilities in meeting an alien race. It’s gorgeous and touching and imaginative and… perfect.

The Review.






Book cover for The MartianThe Book: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Reason: Watney’s snark coupled with his inability to give up. That’s it in a nutshell. Mostly his snark, though.

The Review.







Book cover for Apocalypse CowThe Book: Apocalypse Cow

The Reason: The puns, the horny cows, it’s all there. If you don’t at least snicker looking at the cover for this book, then I’m afraid we simply don’t stand a chance of being friends.

The Re-Moo Review.






Book cover for Knight of a Trillion Stars

The Book: Knight of a Trillion Stars

The Reason: Because it’s proof that I’m female? Nah, this one gets included just because its my favorite book, and I think that even if I can’t ‘identify’ with it or anything like that, the fact that it is my favorite does mean it deserves a place on this list. As long as whomever is looking at my shelf keeps in mind that it’s the only romance book on here. So, y’know, pulling the mooshy-gooshy with me has a slim chance of ever actually working. And I mainly like this book for the *-ahem-*. Well, it’s not for the exquisite plot, I’ll tell you that much. Not exactly a Catcher in the Rye type novel, yeah? Heh.

The Review.




Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

These are the Ten Books That Define Me (GracieKat)

The Book: Complete Collection of H.P. Lovecraft – H.P. Lovecraft

Reason: This should surprise exactly no one that knows me but I love the Cthulhu Mythos. I love most of the stories that don’t even have anything to do with the actual Mythos (except the Dream Cycle, I just can’t get into those). After getting tired of D. Seuss and Goodnight Moon I started reading Lovecraft to him. Worked like a charm. Plus, I find the deep ocean terrifying. Who knows what could be lurking down there?







The Book: Shock Rock – edited by Jeff Gelb

Reason: I love horror, I love music and I love short stories. Put them all together and hot damn!









The Book: Out of Tune – edited by Jonathan Maberry

Reason: Ok, this might seem like a bit of a repeat but hear me out. Shock Rock is more about modern music while Out of Tune is based more on folklore and balladry, which is the root of all modern music. Plus, people who talk about modern music being violent and filled with sex have obviously never encountered a murder ballad or raunchy tavern song.









The Book: A Pleasing Terror – M.R. James

Reason: I love classic horror and a lot of the stories are either completely dark or humorous. James has a knack for keeping his stories can be extremely dark or have slight touches of a dry humour to them that I enjoy very much. I don’t mind a bit of lap-stick comedy now and then but in general I prefer dry, caustic humour that can scorch as easily as it can make you laugh.










 The Book: The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction – Dorothy Scarborough

Reason: I like reading about the history of things. Well, I’ll qualify that. I like learning the history of things I really like. At the end I was making a list of all the stories I wanted to look for. If anyone else has any more that they know of I’d love to hear them because I’ve read all of mine several times.









 The Book: Mansfield Park – Jane Austen

Reason: I really love Jane Austen and the reason I chose Mansfield Park in particular is because it gets dumped on so much. The heroine isn’t bright and sparkly and witty. She’s quiet, very timid and shy. I can certainly relate. Before I was the dazzling personage you see before you I was very shy with no confidence at all. I like Fanny a lot. Even though she is all of those things listed she also has an inner strength that I find endearing. She doesn’t cave in to peer pressure and does not bow to pressure to marry someone she is not in love with.









 The Book: 365 Silver Screams – Bryan Senn

Reason: I love movies. A lot.  If you were to look at my movie shelves that’s almost the only kind of movie I have. I have been falling behind a bit in my movies but I’m very  stuck in my routines and I’m very adverse to change so I like to re-watch things a lot. Which brings me to another thing I love…









 The Book: Silent Hill 2 –  Sadamu Yamashita

Reason: I love video games and of all the different types or genres I love survival horror. They usually have unique stories to them. My first foray into the genre was the Silent Hill series. Silent Hill 3 as a matter of fact. Of them all I love Silent Hill 2 the best. It’s filled with intriguing characters, great music, symbolism and one hell of a twist at the end. I won’t mention it here, suffice it to say that it was the first game to make my jaw hit the floor in shock. If you’re curious, the second game to make me do that was the end of Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly.  Thus, my obsession with horror games had begun.








 The Book: Dracula – Bram Stoker

Reason: This is one of the first horror novels I ever read and as such it holds a very dear place in my heart. It also got me hooked on vampires. Throughout my teen years I devoured a ton of vampire books, movies and more. I’m not really sure why Dracula has been pegged as the start of the ‘sexy’ vampire (personally, I think Anne Rice holds that dubious distinction). If you really listen to the descriptions he does not sound sexy. At all. Distinguished at times, perhaps but sexy? C’mon! He has stinky breath and hairy palms. And we all know what that means. Don’t even get me started on the movie: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Or, by all means ask, just be prepared for a rant a mile long.







 The Book: The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides

Reason: I generally don’t stray too far from my horror zone but when I do I prefer off-beat, somewhat darker titles. It’s a book that has no real conclusion or closure. It’s a bit different in that you know the end from the very beginning but are wondering what happens along the way. There is a ‘captive princesses’ theme with the neighborhood male teens fancying themselves the knights in shining armour. I’m not really sure what genre this book is in. If I had to choose one it would probably be of the avoidable tragedy dramatic variety. It’s also told in a distantly obsessive way that’s interesting to me.

June 2016 Wrap Up: Books & Movies Reviewed

June 2016 Wrap Up

Books I’ve Read

(again, in the interest of space, kids books are not listed. Also, covers and synopses are from Goodreads.)


Patient ZeroWhen you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills… and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good, and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It’s bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance…

SinfoniaNelleke Reitsma is one of the world’s top lutenists and guitar players. She is very good because she has had 350 years to practice.

Sinfonia: First Notes on the Lute records her life, beginning with her entrance into the world of the undying through friendship with Izaak, a mysterious young man who only comes out at night; and, eventually, her crossing over into that world. Leaving her native Netherlands for England, she finds herself embroiled in a fight to save the vampire community of London from destruction. She encounters Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth, and, using her connections to government and the theater, uncovers the last followers of an ancient religion that possesses power capable of destroying Nelleke and the coven of vampires to which she belongs. It is up to her to stop them.


Dead of Night ReviewA prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave. But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects. Before he could be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang…but a bite.

The Suffering ReviewSeventeen-year-old Tark knows what it is to be powerless. But Okiku changed that. A restless spirit who ended life as a victim and started death as an avenger, she’s groomed Tark to destroy the wicked. But when darkness pulls them deep into Aokigahara, known as Japan’s suicide forest, Okiku’s justice becomes blurred, and Tark is the one who will pay the price…

Fire GirlNo such thing as fate or magic—16-year-old Samantha wouldn’t be caught dead wishing upon a star. But when she stumbles upon a crime scene resembling her worst nightmares, something inside her comes undone. A mysterious guy, who’s as handsome as he’s weird, shows up at her side. And her summer break becomes suddenly a whole lot more interesting. So interesting, it tears her life apart.

Daniel, 17-year-old wolf-shifter and known to make bad choices, is forced to protect Samantha who’s a witch denial of her powers. To him, the only good witch is a dead one. Cursing his unnatural attraction to her, he balances love, hate and danger as he tries to save the life of one clueless witch.

Zoo ReviewAll over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the impending violence becomes terrifyingly clear.

With the help of ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it’s too late. The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide.

The Johnson Project ReviewIn 2017 every woman on the planet is barren. No more babies. No more human race unless someone can cure the virus and jump start the population. Priorities change drastically as people realize they are the last generation on earth. Renowned fertility specialist, Ted Johnson, comes up with a cure but he’s not so sure he wants to go back to the old reproductive ways. His family initiates The Johnson Project in order to weed out potentially bad parents so that all future children are born to loving and prepared mommies and daddies. Interested applicants have to qualify and prove they are fit to raise a child. The project practically guarantees a brighter future for everyone, except, of course, those who don’t make the cut.


Bob ReviewAfter 27 years as a newspaper man, Peter Anderson’s career is slipping away, at least it was, until he stumbled upon the story of a lifetime. Sent to do a fluff piece about lights in the night sky over Arizona, he discovers far more than he ever expected when he comes upon a mysterious young woman held prisoner in a basement. After helping her to escape, she disappears before he can learn the truth about who she is or where she came from. His search for her leads him back to the lights in the sky and leaves him with more questions than answers. The only thing he knows for certain . . . the only thing he can count on are the two words offered repeatedly by his friend and guide . . . “IS BELT.”

The Private SectorThe world of corporate greed runs rampant after the government’s dissolution has left police, fire, and all other services once handled by the public sector in the hands of privatized businesses and wealthy investors.

With the class divide ever widening, debtor prisons for the lower and middle classes overflowing, disease ravaging the country, and resources running dry, the streets have become a battleground for those who would fight against the elite’s corrupt system, against a world spiraling into ruin, against the devastating impact of a society ruled by The Private Sector.

Prometheus AscendingWhat do you do when a terrible accident shatters your body, all but takes your voice from you and removes most of your face, leaving you confined to a specially adapted room with what remains of your face hidden behind a mask? All this, and yet your excellent mental faculties fully intact? If you are William John Baltimore, founder of the information network called SOURCE, accepting your fate is not an option.

Enter Professor Sir James Robert Carvel, eminent Cryo Neurosurgeon, who has often voiced his opinion, privately, that the human brain can be transplanted. In the course of time, along with his equally eminent ‘Team’ of Professors; Richard Beckler, Anthony Morrow and Ernst Kraser, Carvel begins begin planning what came to be known as ‘The Carvel Experiment’; the transplanting of Baltimore’s brain into a healthy donor body. Dateline August, 1985.

Ash Review (Asher Benson #1)9 AM EST: A senator shoots himself on national television.

10:32 AM EST: An entire floor of government agents leap to their death from their office building.

12:57 PM EST: All the police officers inside a station murder each other.

And the day has just begun.

Lieutenant Asher Benson left Iraq with a traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and a Purple Heart. His doctors warned that the symptoms would be life altering. They had no idea. As his body healed, the thoughts of those around him began to echo through Ash’s mind, stretching the boundaries of his sanity.

Five years later, Ash is drowning the voices with copious amounts of booze and self-loathing.

When unidentified intelligence agents abduct him in broad daylight, Ash is thrust into a world of espionage and assassinations. A unique terrorist is operating on U.S. soil, and the government needs Ash, and the malady that has plagued him for half a decade, to find the killer.

Sandman SlimLife sucks and then you die. Or, if you’re James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Los Angeles.

Now Stark’s back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than you’d expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future.

Resurrection sucks. Saving the world is worse.

Devour ReviewIT LURKS
Deep beneath the ice of the Arctic Circle, something has awakened. A primordial creature frozen in time, it is the oldest, largest, most efficient predator that nature has ever produced. And it is ravenously hungry…

Thirty-five miles off the Massachussetts coast, a small research ship is attacked. All but one of its crew is killed by the massive serpentine horror that rises from the sea. The creature likes this human prey. The chewy outer hide. The tender saltiness within. And it wants more…

Responding to a distress signal, fishing-boat captain Brian Hawkins arrives in time to save the ship’s last survivor. But the nightmare is just beginning. A casino cruise ship carrying high-stakes passengers—and a top-secret cargo—becomes the creature’s bloodsoaked hunting ground. Desperate but determined, Hawkins goes after the biggest catch of the century.

Harmonic ResonanceThe whole world waits for the gates of Hell to open; at least half of them wait on their knees, praying for it to be quick, praying to a god not even the dead can say exists.

I have done all I can to prepare. All I can do now is wait with the rest. I don’t know if anyone will make it through, or if anyone will ever listen to this recording. I’m sure everyone’s version of events will be different, but the end will most likely be the same for us all. They are everywhere now, strange variations of the basic demonic form—horns, talons, and teeth. They too are waiting for the transition, the next convergence.

My name is Emily. I am twenty-three years old, and I will probably not make it to twenty-four. I don’t know what I’m hoping to achieve with this recording, if anything, but I have no one left to talk to, so you’ll have to do.

One Who SawOriginally published on Christmas in 1931 and widely regarded as A.M. Burrage’s masterpiece, “One Who Saw” tells the story of a wrtier enchanted by a spectre of a weeping woman. His obsession builds until her ghostly hand falls from her face and he, in horror, becomes “one who sees.”

Books that I’m Currently Reading

Tau Zero | Analogue | Flood | Throne of Glass | Fringe Runner

Tau Zero Review Analogue Flood Throne of Glass Fringe Runner

Books (and movies) I reviewed in June 2016 – Title links take you to the reviews.

Movies: The Cell (2016) | The Conjuring 2 | The Legend of Wasco | Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies

Adult Books: Sandman Slim | Bob | Devour | BSI | The Private Sector | Beyond the Horizon | This Shattered Land | One Who Saw | Prometheus Ascending | Harmonic Resonance | The Last Day of Captain Lincoln | Genesis Girl | Alien Contact for Idiots | Devon’s Blade | 3 Gates of the Dead | Exodus | Fallow Ground | Giovanni Goes to Med School | Child of the Dead | In the After |

Kids Books (Full reviews only): Nothing Left to Ooze | Animal Planet Animal Atlas | Forest Secrets | Yobgorgle | If You Were Me… Renaissance Italy | Newfangled Fairy Tales | Animal Planet Wild Animals | Animal Planet Farm Animals |

Guest Posts: 

“The Horror of Being Human: Why Psychological Thrillers Terrify Us” by Christa Wojciechowski

What’s the Thought Process in Developing a Sci-Fi / Horror Story?” by Clive Riddle

Writing Fantasy for Kids” by Margaret Dilloway

Top Ten Tuesday:

Reasons to Set Your Kid Free in the Library | 10 Best Reads of 2016 (so far) | Most Anticipated Horror Novel Releases | Why I Love to Read Sci-Fi & Horror




Kids’ Corner: Funny Doings – Bookworm BeastMode

I’m proud to announce Miss L has graduated up a step in the bookworm-in-training process. She has now entered BookWorm BeastMode.

Her father wasn’t thinking and accidentally dog-eared a page in the library book he was reading to her last night. Uh-oh.

After he was, shall we say, thoroughly scolded, she came to me with tears in her eyes.

“Mommy…” sniffle “Mommy. You wouldn’t… you just wouldn’t believe what Daddy did, Mommy?”  She shakes her head slowly, sadly.

“What did he do?”

“He..”her voice lowers and she leans in to whisper conspiratorially “He bent a library book page!”

My eyes widen. “Really?”

“Yeah…” She walks over to the chest beside her bed, and picks up the book. “D’you… D’you want to see?”

At this point, I’m thinking Sweet Baby Jesus, Child, accidents happen. I’m not going to hold a wake for the desecrated page. “No, not really.”

“But, Mommy… he bent a library book page! You don’t… you don’t DO THAT.” cue dramatic pause. “You would NEVER do that, Mommy.”

It was literally all I could do not to crack up laughing, because her father is definitely the one who takes much better care of books in the house. I’m a dog-earing, spine-cracking fiend (though not with library books), who doesn’t mind if her books have a well-loved appearance.



This WWWeek in Books: So, you can tell I’m sleeping more…

WWW is from Sam over at Taking on a World of Words, and this is also combination post as This Week in Books by Lipsyy is essentially the same thing. Covers link to Goodreads unless otherwise specified.

I’m definitely sleeping more, because I’m not near my usual number of books read by this point.

What I’m Reading This Week




Progress: 45% | Opinion So Far: Interesting enough. Reminds me a bit of that Syfy show The Expanse. |How’d I get it? Author-given copy for review. | Format: E-book | Check me out on Goodreads. 


Night Things: Dracula versus Frankenstein



Progress: 10% | Opinion So Far: Dude, this had better be as awesome as its already shaping up to be. I will be ticked if its not! | How’d I get it? Author-given copy for review. | Format: E-book | Check me out on Goodreads.

**No progress since last week**


Swarm (Book #1)



Progress: 10% | Opinion So Far: Mehhh. | How’d I get it? Kindle Promo | Format: E-book | Check me out on Goodreads



Chewy Noh and the March of Death


Progress: 20% | Opinion So Far: Darker than the second Chewy Noh, but no opinion either way as of yet. | How’d I get it? Copy from author for review. | Format: Paperback | Check me out on Goodreads. 





What I’ve Read This Week

Saturn Run Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2) Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Shutter Outbreak! Plagues That Changed History


What’s Up Next?

Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Epidemics The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus Carter & Lovecraft

What about you? What’s been going on in YOUR week?

Lookie what I got! Lookie what I got!


I’m already on Chapter 9 of The Immortals and IT. IS. GOOD!!

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This WWWeek in Books: Dracula Vs. Frankenstein, baby!

WWW is from Sam over at Taking on a World of Words, and this is also combination post as This Week in Books by Lipsyy is essentially the same thing. Covers link to Goodreads unless otherwise specified.

What I’m Currently Reading


Saturn Run



Progress: 75% | Opinion So Far: Well-written hard scifi with memorable characters narrated by someone with some a great voice. I’m in love. | How’d I get it? Library | Format: Audiobook CD | Check me out on Goodreads. 






Progress: 15% | Opinion So Far: Interesting enough. Reminds me a bit of that Syfy show The Expanse. | How’d I get it? Author-given copy for review. | Format: E-book | Check me out on Goodreads. 




Night Things: Dracula versus Frankenstein



Progress: 10% | Opinion So Far: Dude, this had better be as awesome as its already shaping up to be. I will be ticked if its not! | How’d I get it? Author-given copy for review. | Format: E-book | Check me out on Goodreads.



What I’ve Read This Week

The Witch With The Glitch Rushed  Thirteen Chairs

Sky High  Blackout  Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase (Promotionally Priced)

Ellie's Best Beach Vacation Ever (The Amazing Adventures of Ellie The Elephant #4)  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter #1)


What’s Up Next?

Chewy Noh and the March of Death After Oil Wave Mandate SYLO (The SYLO Chronicles, #1)  Bad Luck




This WWWeek in Books: From Harry Potter to The Hatching

WWW is from Sam over at Taking on a World of Words, and this is also combination post as This Week in Books by Lipsyy is essentially the same thing. Covers link to Goodreads unless otherwise specified.

What I’m Currently Reading

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase (Promotionally Priced)


Progress: 25% | Opinion So Far: Interesting. Hard to believe this is a kids book! I actually didn’t realize it was until I looked it up on Goodreads. | How’d I get it? Library | Format: e-book | Check me out on Goodreads.





Saturn Run


Progress: 55% | Opinion So Far: Well-written hard scifi with memorable characters narrated by someone with some serious voice talent. I’m in love. | How’d I get it? Library | Format: Audiobook CD | Check me out on Goodreads. 




Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter #1)



Progress: 50% | Opinion So Far: Its like visiting an old friend, except now I’m old enough to realize exactly how much Harry’s life actually sucked! First time reading it with Miss L, and she loooooooves it. | How’d I get it? Library | Format: Hardback | Check me out on Goodreads. 



The Night Circus



Progress: 20% | Opinion So Far: To be honest, I probably will DNF this one. Its just not that interesting. | How’d I get it? Library | Format: e-book | Check me out on Goodreads.




The Hatching



Progress: 60% | Opinion So Far: Gross and mildly entertaining. Really hoping the last part of the book rocks it. | How’d I get it? Netgalley ARC | Format: e-book | Check me out on Goodreads. 






What I’ve Read This Week

The Laptev Virus Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia Nyctophobia Ellie Goes Back To School  (The Amazing Adventures of Ellie The Elephant #3) The Thirteenth Child One Creepy Street: Annica's Broom Women Who Broke the Rules: Coretta Scott King  Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)


What’s Up Next?

Sky High  Chewy Noh and the March of Death After Oil Wave Mandate

SYLO (The SYLO Chronicles, #1)  Bad Luck  Thirteen Chairs

Monthly Wrap-Up: January 2016

Doing things a bit differently this time. Separated the reads into two categories. Over 150+ pages, under 150+ pages. (Pics linked to Amazon.)

Over 150+ pages

Under 150+ pages

Experiment 26: Science Meet Madness

Horror Releases of January 2016


Side note: Do you know how ridiculously hard it is to find horror books released? I trolled through this big list of publishers, went to all the sites I could find..and ultimately sorting on Amazon like this proved to be the easiest way to do it!


Discussion Time (1/29): Why must there be smoochies?

Seriously, what’s the deal with this? Why do so many writers think that we absolutely must have romance in our reads? It drives me nuts in so many cases, because its just not necessary. Like Angelfall, by Susan Ee. That would have been an excellent top-rated read… except that it contains the start of this thing between Penryn and Raffe, which was completely unnecessary.

I’m sorry, but angels came to earth to destroy crap. Killed billions of people. He initially treats her like crap and is vastly superior on a physical sense to her. Now, he could (and does seem to) develop a grudging respect for her that should have stayed right there! Whereas right from the beginning she’s in this love/hate thing. Ee does a good job of dancing around it, and not letting it develop into a big thing, but…but why does it even have to be a thing to begin with? Why do we have to have romances in our books?

(I’m not deliberately picking on Angelfall. I do like the fact that it at least seems to be a slow build romance. Its just the most recent example of it I’ve read.)

What kind of message are we sending? Oh, yes, girls can be strong, have common sense, and be able to do lots on their own…but that’s not enough. There has to be at least ONE love interest, and preferably two. Wwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhyyyy? Why is this a thing? Especially in young adult books. Why do we need to write it in constantly that unless you’re gaga for a guy and he’s gaga for you – your story is incomplete? These characters are in their teens/twenties! At that age, I barely knew if I liked boys or girls or both! Heck, I was more obsessing over the latest singer’s abs and then dealing with college than I was worrying about finding my happily ever after!

I was talking to my friend, and between the two of us we could only come with one book that contained a male and a female main character where there wasn’t some sort of undercurrent going on, and that was one I just recently read!

Now, I know somewhere along the lines I’ve read a couple other books where it wasn’t all lovebirds and such, but its so much rarer than it should be. There’s a main male character and a main female character and they’re friends. That’s it. That’s all you get from them is …they’re friends. They work fantastically well together, they tease and respect each other, and there’s not even a hint of the need for smoochies! And you know what? This was a fantastic book! Valentine (the girl) kicks butt. She saves the day on more than one occasion. She even rescues the guy (Paul). She also forms a relationship with his kid. Not because she wants to get in his pants, but because she realizes the kid (who spends most of the book hospitalized) is lonely and needs a friend. Great book.

In one of my other favorite books, there’s definitely a romance in it – but my favorite relationship? Its not the romance one. Its the one between the cop and her (male) mentor. They rag each other, care for each other, will go to the wall for each other …and there is not, nor has there ever been, a hint of romance there.

So, yeah, when you’re reading the Young Adult books especially, have you ever taken a step back to wonder why we feel the need to put romance in everything? I’m not saying its a bad thing to have it in there, but its in basically every bloody book!  How many books have you read where the first thing you talked about in your review was the romance? the love triangle? If you took that portion of things out of the book, would they be different? Would you like them more or less?

Talk to me!