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One Thing About Pamela Clare's, Unlawful Contact...

Loved the book, loved the heroine, loved the hero, and most of all, loved, loved loved the plot.  Hero sentenced to life in prison for murder,  having already served six years?  I knew this would be a different sort of romance.

Anyway, I’m not going to post a full review, because quite frankly I can’t be arsed, but I have to say one thing.  This heroine (who’s a savvy, smart journalist) would not have gone into a drug store (she was hiding out with the hero, who was on the run at the time)  knowing that she would be spotted by surveillance cameras, and bought the morning after pill.  She just wouldn’t.

That’s all I have to say on the book itself, but isn’t it flipping annoying when authors make their heroines/heroes do things that don’t gel with the their character arcs?

Here’s the blurb from Pamela Clare’s website:

Taken hostage by a convicted murderer while reporting at a prison, Sophie Alton has no idea that the man holding the gun to her head is the bad boy who was her first love in high school. Condemned to life without parole, Marc Hunter finds himself with no choice but to break out of prison after his younger sister disappears with her baby.

Though he regrets what he has to put Sophie through, he can’t let anything get in the way of his stopping the corrupt officials who are set on destroying what’s left of his family. But being near Sophie rekindles memories for both of them. As the passion between them heats up, so does the conspiracy to put both of them in their graves.

You can buy Unlawful Contact from Amazon.com here, and from Amazon UK here.

This despot has been allowed to murder thousands of Zimbabweans for years, under the nose of The West, with no retribution. He’s an evil megalomaniacal dictator who needs a bullet in his head.

He lost the first round of elections, but refused to give up power, and due to his expert intimidation tactics, managed to scare off Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the only opposition to his reign. Tsvangirai bowed out of the run-off elections because he feared that the violence would escalate even more. In all honesty, I can’t really blame him, but somebody needs to stand up to this evil man.

On Friday, Mugabe held the run-off elections, unopposed, where supporters of the opposition party were allegedly forced to vote. He of course won, and will probably stay in power until he dies.

He’s been responsible for so many bad things that have happened in Zimbabwe, and it just feels wrong that he has been allowed to rule in such a tyrannical manner over the last thirty years.

I feel that it’s time for the UN to intervene.

The guys over at Pickled Cupid, created this video, inspired by The International Order of Narcissistic Psycho Authors Against Karen Scott. You know who you are. Enjoy.

I especially liked the pussycat with the machine gun. Hilarious.

Warning: Rant Ahead.

Most of you will not have a clue as to what I am talking about, nor will you care, but I felt it was a post I wanted in my archives.

As a black person, I can listen to any genre of music, and I mean any. I love Barbra Streisand, Maria Callas, Take That, Amy Winehouse, Kanye West, Don Williams, Scissor Sisters, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Snow Patrol, Otis Redding, Fifty Cent, Dolly Parton (Oh how I love thee Dolly), Celine Dion, Coldplay, Whitney, The Arctic Monkeys, Mariah, Doris Day, Bob Marley, Shania Twain,  Bon Jovi, Travis, Jim Reeves, Madonna, Coldplay, and the list goes on.

Why? Because all of the above artists are/were musicians, and I love music. Of course I have my favourite genres, those artists whose albums I will always buy, because I love their work so much, but I can literally listen to anything.

I pride myself on my slightly eclectic taste in music, because I think it’s healthy to be able to appreciate different music genres.

Now I can listen to Jay-Z, but I’ve never really been a fan of his music, with the exception of a few of his collaborations. When I heard that he’d been asked to headline at Glastonbury this year, my first thought was, Jesus, he’s brave.


Because Glastonbury is traditionally a rock festival, usually attended by a mostly-white audience.

In the past, the festival has boasted acts such as, The Arctic Monkeys, Chemical Brothers, Paul McCartney, Oasis, Rod Stewart, Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay etc, and nary a rapper amongst them. This year however, Michael Eavis, the show’s producer, and owner of the farm that the festival takes place on, decided to take a risk and invite Jay-Z. Well, there was such an outcry that one would have thought that he’d just invited Robert Mugabe to take part in the festivities.

Basically, the predominantly white attendees complained that they didn’t want a rapper/hip-hop artist infiltrating their traditionally whiter than white festival. Lots of people swore that if he was kept on as the main act, they would not be attending the festival this year. Ticket sales were slow, and only just sold out at the last minute. Noel Gallagher, the song-writing half of the band, Oasis, came out and denounced the decision to include Jay Z, saying that hip-hop had no place at Glastonbury.

Anyway, after all the controversy and the hulabaloo, I tuned in to watch Jay-Z’s performance last night at Glasto.

I knew he was going to have a good night when he came on stage miming to Oasis’ mega hit, Wonderwall. The crowd really appreciated this and sang along with him. He then segued into 99 Problems, and his performance truly began. He cleverly worked the crowd, and gave the performance possibly of his life. Just the kind of big fuck-you that Noel Gallagher and his small-minded posse deserved.

Music is music is music, and whether you’d rather listen to Wonderwall or 99 Problems, is just a matter of personal taste. No genre should be excluded in a festival officially entitled, Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts.

‘Performing arts’ doesn’t mean, only white, guitar-based rock bands allowed.

Rant over.

Memory in Death, by J.D. Robb

Last night I finished reading a rather dark book—romance with heavy urban fantasy elements—and this morning I felt the need to decompress a bit by re-reading a favorite. A quick perusal of the bookshelves yielded Memory in Death. This is the 22nd stand-alone installment of J.D. Robb/Nora RobertsIn Death series (there are three, no, four by now, novellas in different anthologies, and a two-in-one deal in Remember When), which are futuristic romance/police procedural/mystery novels.

Here’s the front flap blurb from the hardcover edition:

Eve Dallas is one tough cop. She can deal with a holiday reveler in a red suit who plunges thirty-seven stories and gives new meaning to the term “sidewalk Santa.” She can take on purse snatchers, drug dealers, and worse. But when Trudy Lombard—a seemingly ordinary middle-aged lady—shows up at the station, it’s all Eve can do to hold it together. Instantly, she is plunged back to the days when she was a vulnerable, traumatized young girl—and trapped in foster care with the twisted woman who now sits smiling in front of her.

Trudy claims she came all the way to New York just to see how Eve was doing. But Eve’s fiercely protective husband, Roarke, suspects otherwise—and his suspicion proves correct when Trudy, rebuffed by Eve, shows up at his office, demanding money in exchange for keeping the ugly details of Eve’s childhood a secret. Using every ounce of willpower he has to restrain himself, he shows her the door—and makes it clear that she’d be wise to get out of the city and never bother them again.

Eve and Roarke will be satisfied if Trudy Lombard just heads back to Texas. Somebody else, though, wants her dead—and just a few days later, she’s found on the floor of her hotel room, a mess of faded bruises and fresh blood. A cop to the core, Eve is determined to solve the case, if only for the sake of Trudy’s bereaved son. Unfortunately, Eve was not the only one who suffered at this woman’s hands—and she and Roarke will follow a circuitous and dangerous path to find out who turned the victimizer into a victim.

With one teeeensie exception, this blurb summarizes the first few chapters rather well. It still gives a bit too much away for my taste (I am violently allergic to spoilers).

This far along in the series, some of the books are better able to stand alone than others. To my mind this one, more than other books in the series, focuses a bit more on Eve’s past, her present growth as a person, and her personal relationships with those around her than on the crime, so I wouldn’t recommend it as a starting point for readers who are new to these books. (more…)

So, does anybody know why Madris DePasture (NCP Owner) felt the need to post the names of all the authors whose rights have reverted back to them?  I’m thinking that this was a directive from a legal source, but I cannot fathom out why, seeing as I’ve never seen anything similar at any of the other e-pubs.

Here’s the gist of what’s been written on the NCP site:

Notice of Breach of Contract and Intention to Resolve

In as much as author Shalon Stewart aka Sydney Somers has refused to honor her obligations to this company regarding completion of her novels Howl for Me and One Dark Knight. And, in as much as New Concepts Publishing has invested money in art, editing, and promotion of these two books as well as other considerations and Ms. Shalon Stewart having been informed of this circumstance has stated the intention of not completing the projects, New Concepts Publishing has taken such steps as they deem appropriate to resolve this situation.

Notice of reversion of rights

To whom it may concern, this is to serve as notification of the reversion of rights to Janet Luchinger, aka Lauren Agony/Janet Springer regarding novels previously contracted with New Concepts Publishing and sold through our website as well as through our distributors, webwide, and various independent bookstores under the titles of A Hitman for Hannah and Loverboy. Although both novels appeared together in the print version, Naughty Men, and New Concepts Publishing reserves the right to dispose of the returns due to the substantial monetary investment the company has paid for these books in print, all other rights have reverted to Janet Luchinger as well as future print rights of both or either book so long as it is understood that New Concepts Publishing will continue to sell Naughty Men until we have recovered our investment in these print versions of A Hitman for Hannah and Loverboy. We acknowledge that the author, Janet Luchinger, is entitled to any royalties that accrue from the sale of these print books. We further maintain that no royalties will be due to the author in the event that we are unable to sell the remainders and/or are forced to sell them below our cost, or give the books away as promotional items.

Madris DePasture
New Concepts Publishing

Notice of reversion of rights
To whom it may concern, this is to serve as notification of the reversion of rights to Ellen Ashman aka Ellen Ashe regarding novels previously contracted with New Concepts Publishing and sold through our website as well as through our distributors, webwide, and various independent bookstores under the titles of Love Not Forgotten, Lady Outlaws, Midnight Tryst, The Mountain Man, A Mistress for Marcos, Merlin’s Eye, and the Sorcerer’s Mark. Although the novel The Sorcerer’s Mark appeared in print version, and New Concepts Publishing reserves the right to dispose of the returns due to the substantial monetary investment the company has paid for these books in print, all other rights have reverted to Ellen Ashman as well as future print rights of the book so long as it is understood that New Concepts Publishing will continue to sell The Sorcerer’s Mark until we have recovered our investment in the print versions of The Sorcerer’s Mark. We acknowledge that the author, Ellen Ashman, is entitled to any royalties that accrue from the sale of these print books. We further maintain that no royalties will be due to the author in the event that we are unable to sell the remainders and/or are forced to sell them below our cost, or give the books away as promotional items.

Madris DePasture
New Concepts Publishing

Notice of reversion of rights
To whom it may concern, this is to serve as notification of the reversion of rights to Tracey Ranson regarding novels previously contracted with New Concepts Publishing and sold through our website as well as through our distributors, webwide, and various independent bookstores under the titles of The Conqueror, The Warlord’s Woman, Caribbean Splendor, and The Unforgiven: Raphael.

Madris DePasture
New Concepts Publishing

Notice of reversion of rights
To whom it may concern, this is to serve as notification of the reversion of rights to Louise Crawford regarding novels previously contracted with New Concepts Publishing and sold through our website as well as through our distributors, webwide, and various independent bookstores under the titles of Rhiannon and Spirit Heart.

Madris DePasture
New Concepts Publishing

There are a couple of authors on there that I know for sure have been dying to get away from the madness that is NCP, but what of the others?

For anybody with any inside information, you can e-mail me at hairylemony @ gmail . com, and as usual, total confidentiality guaranteed.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

BELLEVUE, OH — Police say a man was arrested after admitting to, and being caught on DVD having sex with his picnic table repeatedly.
Investigators say they received a tip that Art Price Jr., 40, of 146 Brinker St. in Bellevue was having sex with a picnic table while outside on the deck. The incidents occurred between January and March 2008.

Police say on March 13, the tipster dropped off three DVDs which showed Price in the act. On four occasions, Price is seen naked and masturbating in the rear room near the open doorway; he then comes out to the deck. He tilts the metal round picnic table on its side and lays up against it and has sexual intercourse with the table. Afterwards he cleans the table and the deck.

Police say the the incidents occurred close to Ridge Elementary School.

Well, at least he cleaned the table afterwards. Hygiene is very important you know.

What a dickhead.

Via Monica’s blog.

Racism In Romance: "I hate to say it, but I think AA romance is niche reading."

December Quinn has a racism in romance post over on her blog, which I found interesting, if not earth shattering.

That is until I came across this comment by an anonymous poster:

I know that AA romance is out there, but I just don’t have an interest. It’s too far outside my cultural comfort zone. I’m a white person, so in my head I visualize hot white guy. So why would I go purchase an AA romance? I wouldn’t.

It’s a bit of a “No she didn’t!” comment, but at least she was honest.

She also says that she has a black friend who prefers AA romance to be shelved separately.

I’m not so sure if I believe she has a black friend.

Her comments about AA romance being outside her cultural comfort zone is very revealing methinks. (I guess being friends with a black person allegedly doesn’t count) Basically, she thinks that black people in love are different to white people in love, a theory which is strengthened with this comment:

You are assuming that shelving is what is causing AA romance to have less sales. I don’t think that is the case. I hate to say it, but I think AA romance is niche reading. Seems ridiculous, but it’s true.

She seriously wrote that.

I suspect that her feelings on the subject aren’t a one-off. I suspect that lots of romance readers feel exactly like she does, they just wouldn’t ever admit it in public.

Sad isn’t it?

Bewitched, by Sandra Schwab

This is the second book by Ms Schwab that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It most definitely won’t be the last.

Like Castle of the Wolf, Bewitched is very much a romance. Like Castle of the Wolf, it is also something more, something else, something different. We could, perhaps, paraphrase a reader’s expression *waving to Bev(QB)*, and say that this book is historical urban fantasy, for, while it is set in 1820, and respects all the historical conventions of the time as well as those of historical romance, it also invites the reader to suspend her disbelief and believe in magic, both white and black.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Sweet passion…
After a magical mishap that turned her uncle’s house blue, Miss Amelia Bourne was stripped of her powers and sent to London in order to be introduced into polite society—and to find a suitable husband. Handsome, rakish Sebastian “Fox” Stapleton was all that and more. He was her true love.
Wasn’t he?
… or the bitter taste of deceit
At Rawdon Park, the country estate of the Stapletons, Amy began to wonder. Several inexplicable events suggested that one sip of punch had changed her life forever—that this love, this lust, was nothing but an illusion. She and Fox were pawns in some mysterious game, and black magic had followed them out of Town. Without her powers, would she be strong enough to battle those dark forces and win? And would she be able to claim her heart’s true desire? Magic potion or no, what she felt for Fox was a spell that could never be broken.

When Fox and Amy first meet, there are no fireworks—unless a certain distaste for each other’s company can be called that. They don’t see anything redeeming in each other, and as far as it goes, they don’t seem to have any commonality in conversation, upbringing, or interests. If left to their own devices, it’s unlikely two such personalities would have seen beyond the masks to the people inside.

But they are not left to their own devices, for vengeance and magic conspire to bind them together, and reason threatens to tear them apart. From a relatively slow start, the story picks up, and I was left racing ahead, anxious to know what would happen, what comes next. (more…)

I got this from Ellen Ashe’s blog:

“Subject: [flirtingwithpassionnewsletter] Important Notice!!!!!

New Concepts Publishing has recently released a story that has my name on it. I did not finish writing HOWL FOR ME. I have no idea who the two other authors are on the cover on what their involvement in this project is. It was not an anthology. I wrote three chapters of a proposal for a full length novel a year and a half ago and that was ALL that NCP ever received from me. HOWL FROM ME as it is being released from NCP is not a story that I wrote and completed and I encourage my readers not to purchase the book expecting this to be a release from me. I’ll have more details on this frustrating situation in my next newsletter. If you have already purchased the book under the assumption it was a complete story from me, I encourage you to complain to NCP.


Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up.

I recently bought Deirdre Savoy’s Body of Lies from Amazon, due to a great review over on Angela’s (Black Romance Reader) blog.

What pissed me off though, is that when I put the title in the search bar, I had to scroll down quite a long way, before I found Body of Lies.

These are some of the titles that were listed before Savoy’s book on Amazon UK:

Body of Lies by David Ignatius
Your Body Doesn’t Lie By John Diamond
The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting, byAlice Miller and Andrew Jenkins

Once I’d spotted Savoy’s book, it came up slightly higher in my searches, but it still wasn’t in the number one spot.

I then decided to to the same searches on Amazon.com, here were some of the books that came before Body of Lies:

House of Lies, By David Ignatius
Body of Lies By David Ignatius
Body of Lies By Iris Johansen
Your Body Doesn’t Lie, by John Diamond
Your Body Doesn’t Lie By Michio Kushy
Secertes, Lies, Betrayals, The Body/Mind Connection By Maggie Scarf
My Body Lies Over The Ocean, By J.S. Borthwick

Savoy’s book was actually last on the Amazon page, even though I’d put in the exact name of her book.

Anyway, the moral of this post? Try not land your book with a title that guarantees that it will get lost amongst other book titles. Steven King can use as many crappy titles as he likes and his books will always be at the top, but if you’re an author languishing in mid-list mediocrity, then the title of your book is very important methinks.

I know that authors don’t always have a choice in these things, but the same applies to whoever makes the ultimate decision whether it be editor or author.

(or, the Black Dagger Brotherhood phenomenon)

Reader beware: spoilers up to the sixth book peppered willy-nilly throughout, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, please don’t keep on reading. Thank you.

And with that taken care of, let’s dive in.

This here is not a review, and please note that I’m not trying to bash JR Ward—nor complaining about where I want her to take the series or what I want her to write or anything remotely like that.

No, really, that’s not it.

It’s more like a rambling wondering as to why and how this series is still so successful—and there is no doubt it is successful. Not only is it selling like crazy (just count the number of reviews up in the blogosphere) but it definitely engenders strong emotions in the vast majority of its readers (check out the many threads discussing the series).

I don’t know if I can shed any light on the matter, but that won’t stop me from trying. (It never has, really.)

Personally, I am a firm believer that, you either drank the Kool-Aid and will remain addicted—either as a guilty pleasure or as a rabid fan—for a good long while; or you didn’t, and therefore are unable to understand what the big deal is.

Me, I’m still addicted, albeit reluctantly.

Bottom line, though, what is it that makes this series so addictive? (more…)

This is actually directed at authors, rather than readers, but any readers who want to chime in, can do so.

I’ve heard from certain publishers that during romance book conferences, e-book authors often feel inferior to their print counterparts, because print authors/publishers don’t consider e-bookers to be ‘real’ authors. I wonder how true that is?

I’ve also heard several authors defend their e-book author status, by saying that they’d choose e-books over print anyday, because they have greater freedom in terms of their work, they can write outside the box, yadda yadda yadda.

Is that really the general consensus?

Whenever an e-book author gets a contract with Kensington or any of the big NY houses, there’s this level of excitement, and a general feeling from the author that, yes, they finally made it, despite already having written multiple books for trhe likes of Samhain or Elloras Cave.

Let’s face it, when was the last time Lora Leigh had an e-book out? And she got her start in e-books.

So my my question to the e-book authors is this: If you had a choice between writing for a house like Elloras Cave or Samhain Publishing and writing for an NY house like Kensington, who would you choose? Honestly?

Which would Lora Leigh have chosen back in the day, had she been given the choice then?

E-Books Piracy (Or why do I care?)

Sunday, June 22, 2008
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

(This post originally appeared in Shiloh Walker’s blog)

To keep this on track, please note that I am not talking about Creative Commons or other ways of freely sharing work—simply because those involve author’s choice. That is not what I want to address here.

Piracy and filesharing automatically remove the author from the equation; the decision to share and to download pirated work is made by the original perpetrator and by every person out there willing to ‘get a free copy’ illegally.

As I see the issue of piracy, there are two main aspects, the ethical and the practical.

Ethically speaking, piracy is wrong. Period. No gray areas here, no apologies that cut it. The person who downloads ‘free’ copies of pirated items is stealing those copies, and cheating the creator of the work out of their due royalties.

You can’t afford to buy the books? Use the library, borrow from a friend, or do without. (more…)

In front of reporters no less.

If TTG ever called me such a vile name, I’d knee him in the bollocks and punch him in the nose.

What a lot of people want to know, is why this hasn’t made the news? Can you imagine the furore (English spelling, leave it alone), if the media found out that Obama had called his wife a c*nt in public?

Dark Thirst, by Sara Reinke

First book in the Brethren series by Ms Reinke, this is a very dark novel—vampires as a species ARE very much the villains here. It feels to me more like an urban fantasy than a romance, not because there is no romantic relationship—there definitely is a romance between the two main characters—but because there are questions raised by the world building that aren’t answered in this book.

Here’s the blurb:

Dark Secrets

When Brandon Noble and Angelina Jones first met, he was an awkward teenager harboring a crush on his tutor’s sister. Five years later, Angelina is a streetwise cop who’s sure she’s seen it all, until Brandon comes back into her life—lean, handsome, possessing a strange, powerful allure… and a terrifying secret.

Dark Desires

Brandon is one of the Brethren, an ancient clan of ruthless vampires. Like other Brethren families, the Nobles have accumulated great wealth and prestige, never marrying outside their kin, never leaving the isolated Kentucky farmlands where they live, undetected, among their prey. Horrified by his birthright, Brandon shunned the ritual of the first kill, earning the Brethren’s lasting wrath. But the exhilarating passion he and Angelina share rouses the primitive impulses he has tried so hard to deny. And even if Brandon can protect Angelina from his enemies, can he save her from his own dark thirst?

The prologue sets the tone of the story. Brandon has tried to escape the cult-like compound where the Brethren live, by applying to a specialized college. Brandon was born healthy but was attacked during a robbery, which left him deaf and mute. Because of his physical imperfections, he has been despised and abused by most of his family and the other Brethren since the attack, and when his Grandfather discovers Brandon’s plan to escape, he is beaten and both his hands broken—leaving him completely isolated and helpless for months.

The novel itself starts a bit over a year later, after Brandon’s hands have healed and he has finally escaped. He reaches out to the only outsider who ever helped him and lived, his erstwhile tutor in sign language, Jackson Jones. Only Jackson is out of town and his sister Angelina is taking care of his prized plants. Just a few hours after these two meet again, Brandon’s past, and his nature, catch up with him. Thus starts a race against time and family, which will lead both Lina and Brandon to discover things they couldn’t have imagined. (more…)

No Country For Old Men AKA WTF?

Friday, June 20, 2008
Posted in: Karen does films

Yeah, so TTG made me watch this film the other night. It was ok, but man, it was VIOLENT.

I watched it because I rather like Tommy Lee Jones. His films are usually hits with me.

It’s not that NCFOM was bad exactly, but I went through the entire film thinking, what the fuck?

And the ending? Absolute crock of shite.

Javier Bardem totally deserved his Oscar though, he totally scared the shit out of me. He had serial killer written all over him.

Anybody else seen it?

Lover Enshrined, by J. R. Ward

Is anyone tired of seeing reviews for this one all over the place? Well, tough luck, it’s my turn and I’m not forfeiting it, so there!


(Besides, this one is going to be much more superficial than most of my other reviews, so it’s not as if you’ll learn anything interesting here.)

Lover Enshrined is the sixth installment in Ms Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. While the first five installments are mostly paranormal romance, this novel seems to take this universe in a slightly different direction, more into the urban fantasy saga with romantic elements subgenre.

To begin, trying to get into the series by starting with this book would not be a good idea. While the first three books (Dark Lover, Lover Eternal and Lover Awakened) can be read out of order with minimal gaps, and focus on the romance between each main couple, the next three are increasingly more dependent on the overall arc to make sense. There is also much more detail in the world building to keep track of.

If you have read the first five books, follow me down the rabbit hole…

This is the back cover blurb:

In this “frighteningly addictive” paranormal romance saga, there’s a war raging between vampires and their slayers. Here are the stories of a secret band of brothers like no other—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now a dutiful twin must choose between two lives…

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his First Mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love…

Going by the blurb, one would think that this novel focuses mainly on the romantic relationship between Phury and Cormia. That’s not really how it is, though. The novel has a much wider scope than the romance.

There are something like… six? seven? different plots running through the book. Three, no, four of these are overarching plotlines—John Matthew and his sidekicks Blaylock and Quihn; Tohrment’s fate; Rehvenge, Xhex and the whole sympath bit; the Lessening Society, the Omega, and the war. Then we have a few other secondary plots started in Lover Unbound, the previous novel: Bella’s pregnancy, Layla dealing with John Matthew’s rejection, oh, and the Scribe Virgin dealing with Payne—her daughter, Vishous’ twin.

On top of that, we discover in the prologue that time is not fixed in this universe, and near the end of the novel we also learn that apparently the BDB’s Pantheon is not closed of but has some sort of *ahem* relationship with Judeo Christian religious traditions.** (more…)

Since my birthday, when TTG awesomely bought me a personal trainer as a prezzie (I had asked for a treadmill, but the trainer is way easier on the eyes) I’ve been trying to live a healthier life.

Over the Christmas period, I’d put on a few pounds, and I have to say, I’m not overly comfortable with excess pounds on my body. So in March, I decided that enough was enough, and with the help of a few well-timed gifts from TTG, (including my very cute pink NIKE rucksack, and matching water bottle) I decided to start my journey towards A, a thinner waistline, and B, a more healthier way of living.

I was always a sporty person, but I found that because I hadn’t been regularly for such a long time, the gym was kicking my ass. The only bit I was enjoying was the 30 lengths in the swimming pool that my regime demanded, but I kept on with it.

Anyway, three months and many lost pounds later, my body is smokin’ hot again, if I may say so myself. *g*

I put myself on a clothing ration whilst my arse, and my waistline was growing, because I didn’t want to get comfortable with the excess weight. I didn’t allow myself to buy any designer gear (OK I cheated once or twice, but that’s all) so Next, and Marks and Spencers, and Wallis became my by best friends. Seriously, Marks and Spencers clothes have improved by leaps and bounds. For you Brits out there, check out the Autograph range.

Anyway, on Saturday, TTG and I attended a gala/charity event, (I bid on a Cristiano Ronaldo shirt which had all the players signatures on it, but the bidding went up to £2500 ($5k) and as much as I love United, there was no way I was parting with that kind of money) and for the first time in ages, I was able to wear a dress that revealed some skin. TTG thought I looked hot, but more importantly, I thought I looked hot, and a good night was had by all.

It seems like such a small victory I know, but I’d gotten into so many bad habits, like skipping breakfast, then eating late at night (Sometimes my real life is ridiculously hectic) that having the discipline to stick to the healthier regime, even though my daytime life hasn’t changed one iota, seems like a huge achievement to me.

Anyway, what’s been your greatest personal achievement this year?