HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing
When Did Tattooed Heroes Become All The Rage?

I feel like every contemporary I pick up has a tattooed hero now. When did this shit start? I don’t even mean the odd ink here and there, these heroes are almost defined by their tattoos and I’m left wondering when unmarked skin became old fashioned?



What Are Your First Thoughts About This Couple?

Click to enlarge.

Yes, they’re married…

Put Your Hands Up If You're A Non-White Woman/Man...

I assume that the majority of our readers here are white, (default race and all that) but I’m curious to see how many of you guys out there aren’t actually white. I’ve been doing some research for some race related posts, but it occurred to me that it would be almost pointless if I don’t have enough women of colour to balance shit out.

Anyway, if you can be arsed, let me know what your heritage is. If there are enough women of colour (Asian/Indian/Black/Latin etc) reading the blog, then I’ll probably proceed with the posts, if not, I’ll just abandon the idea altogether.

Don’t all shout at once people!

Give Them The Same Hair Colour?

This is Lana Parilla from Once Upon A Time:

This is Megan Hilty from Smash.

Tell me I’m not the only person who sees the resemblance?

Ok, here’s an interview with Lana Parilla (and Josh Dallas):

And Megan Hilty on Ellen:

Surely they were separated at birth? Admittedly, Lana Parilla is a tad older…

Woah, Is That Skin There?

Woah, Is That Skin There?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Posted in: random musings

What is up with his trousers?

Can I just say, these two egomaniacs totally deserve each other…

Can Silicone-Enhanced Breasts Ever Be OK For A Romance Heroine?

It hasn’t passed my attention that within romance, enhanced breasts are usually hung on the ‘bitchy other woman’, as if somehow having silicone implants automatically makes her a bad person. This has started to annoy me a little bit. I don’t know, it just seems a tad judgemental.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the heroine had breast implants just out of vanity. I guess it’s not a romantic notion, and let’ face it, no woman wants to read about a hero who’s had his pee-pee surgically enhanced, but I sure am tired of lazy authors giving implants to The Other Woman Who’s Hot For The Hero, in order to confirm her status as a whorish bitch.

Any of you guys read a book where the heroine had a boob job for non-health related reasons?

I don’t mean the blog, I mean the actual www.likesbooks.com site.

Once upon a time, I used to go there fairly often to read reviews etc, but these days, I tend to look for reviews at Dear Author first.

I used to love the At The Back Fence weekly column, which was done away with ages ago. I’m sure their readership is still as strong as it ever was, but I must admit, I miss Laurie Gold’s presence. Whether you loved or hated Laurie, her management of the site was pretty awesome. I think I miss the controversy. There never seems to be anything of note happening over there these days. Or should I say, I’m not hearing about them, which is very unusual.

I wonder if the owners themselves feel as passionate about the site as they once did?

Every time I go onto a review site the books being reviewed are historicals, what’s up with that?

Listen, there was a time when the only historicals I could read were American Westerns, I’ve moved on from those days, but I still don’t get the obsession for most of you guys. I confess I love, love, love period dramas on TV, but reading regency books, or any other historicals has always been a struggle for me.

So what’s the big attraction for you lot? Is it the clothes, the whole young women and their seasons thing? The ton? The Dukes and Duchesses? What?

What gives y’all?

What Do You Think of This List?

Saturday, March 17, 2012
Posted in: book talk, random musings

I like looking at books that members of Goodreads have read, mostly because I’m nosy, but also because I’m always on the look-out to see if there are any books that sound interesting.

I came across a GR member who’d read the following books:

The Broker, John Grisham
The Shining, Stephen King
The Rainmaker, John Grisham
The Runaway Jury, John Grisham
A Time to Kill, John Grisham (a fan I think)
My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult
The Help, Kathryn Stockett
The Hunger Games
The Firm, John Grisham
Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
National Velvet, Enid Bagnold
Marley & Me, John Grogan
Secret, Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks
One For The Money, Janet Evanovich
The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger
Confessions of A Shopaholic, Sophie Kinsella

No reviews for any of the above, just her five-star ratings.

When you look at that list, what comes to mind? What do you think of the list?

I’ve read just four of the books listed here, how many have you guys read?

I’ve never been that convinced about the above claim, but this comment from an author a writer nicknamed Arch at Goodreads prompted me to explore the question again:

Mercedes, write your stories. As a writer, I never write for anyone but myself. At the end of the day, you are the only one that suppose to be comfortable and like your story, no one else. If a person like your type of storytelling, then that’s them.

Seriously, as an author do you first and foremost write for yourself, then hope like hell that somebody out there loves your work?

I imagine that for an unpublished writer, this may be the case, but is it as true, once you build a fan base, especially for writers like JR Ward who have extremely vocal fans?

Wasn’t there a question of her writing one of the BDB books in a certain way because of how outspoken her “Cellies” were?

So my question to authors, do you write just for you, regardless of reviews, fan views etc, or do you get pulled into writing books that you think your fans will approve of, and/or books that fit with current trends?

Is it a new phenomenon?

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks, random musings

Personally, I don’t think humans as a species can change quickly enough to make the overwhelming sense of entitlement I see all the time a new thing, but I wonder if the degree (that overwhelming part) is encouraged by the sheer numbers of people, the immediacy of social media, and the relatively sudden change from prosperity to frugality in such a large percentage of the population.¹

Over at Dear Author, Jane talked about amazon reducing the benefits of a discount program for new mothers–and having said mothers mounting a protest.

Here’s the thing, though: this is a FREE program, offered voluntarily by amazon. No one is forced to take advantage of it, and amazon is definitely not obliged to offer it. Just like their free shipping on orders over $25.00.

Just like many franchises’ rewards programs. (more…)

So How Did We Get Here?

Monday, January 23, 2012
Posted in: random musings

This is a debate that gets tackled in our house regularly. Did we get here by way of that mystical bloke who lives in the sky, who sees fit to let babies get raped and murdered, or did we spawn from bacteria, which eventually evolved?

If we were monkeys, how did the first monkey get here?

I know that there are a million theories, but I find that this morning, I’m fairly fascinated by the subject.

Anyway, what do you guys think?

Conflicted--is it cowardice, or picking my battles?

Via the awesome Jessica at Read React Review, I found myself reading this (sadly) incredibly accurate and so very well written post about oft used responses to misogyny in all its many and varied forms of expression.

In this particular case, the outrage comes from some utterly vile and threatening comments made to a 15yo girl who dared post a picture of herself holding Carl Sagan’s A Demon Haunted World on a subforum at reddit. (Nota bene: I’ve never read reddit and I have no clue how it operates.) Greta Christina quoted some of the worst offenders–I won’t, though I’ll tell you that if I were related to the girl in question I would have contacted the police over more than a few of them.

The thread that follows Greta Christina’s post is incredible–over 700 comments and counting. I have, as of right now, read less than 300 of those, and find myself more and more conflicted.

For example (more…)

I’m currently reading Rebecca York’s Bedroom Therapy (For some reason I have two copies of the book so I thought I should probably finally make a start on reading it.) and it features a hero who was married previously. The marriage didn’t work out and he got divorced, blah, blah, blah.

I find that I’m not so keen on the fact that he’s been married before. I might have mentioned this before, but I’m pretty sure I don’t like contemps where the male protagonist has been married before. I’m not actually sure why though?

It may be because it flies to close to real life where so many people are on their second marriages, or perhaps it’s because I don’t like the thought that the male protagonist has been in love with another woman before he meets the heroine?

I honestly don’t know why it bothers me so much. Does anybody have any other possible explanations?

Which Reader Software Do You Prefer?

Monday, April 4, 2011
Posted in: random musings

Random question for those people who don’t yet have an e-book reader, which e-book reader software do you prefer out of the following?

Microsoft (LIT) Reader
Adobe Reader
Mobipocket Reader

I’m quite partial to the MS Reader due to the Read Aloud function. I wish my Sony PRS could read to me…

I recommended The Time Traveller’s Wife (Sorry, I can’t bear to spell Traveller the way Niffenegger spelt it) to a tweeter the other day, and of course I told her how amazing it was. As it happens, she’d already tried reading it, and just couldn’t get into it.

I know exactly what she means. The first 100 pages or so of the book were incredibly dull, and I recall starting TTTW, and leaving it for months, for this very reason. Had I not persevered with it, I would have missed out on the most amazing book. I think I must have gone to the doctors or somewhere else where I was forced to read more of the book.

My way of handling slow burner books these days is to skim read at least 50% of said book. I call this my Fifty Per Cent Skim Read Rule. This way, if the book still sucks by the time I’m halfway through it, I can then throw it onto the DNF pile, knowing that I gave it my best shot.

How do you deal with your potential DNF books?

A long time ago, I saw this video over at Meljean Brook’s awesome blog:

So, help me decide: does the sound at the end means a parachute opens or… ?



After six months of not writing one single solitary review, it seems a flood is coming. I would apologize for the glut but… nah, ‘sall good 😉

Anyway, a recent author’s response to my usual courtesy email (“My review of your novel [title] has been posted here [link]”) included something along the lines of “I like your reviews because I can tell you actually read the book.”

Picture me blinking in incomprehension.

Seriously? People out there write reviews without reading the material they are reviewing?

People other than Harriet Klausner, that is *cough*

On another note–but somewhat related–I’ve been mulling a variation of “if you can’t say something nice…” This one is called “For the life of me I can’t understand why harping on the negative and not the positives”. (more…)

I find it interesting how people have such widely different reactions to the same things.

As I mentioned in my review of Parker’s Price, sometimes I understand where people are coming from, but others… well, other times, I’m just flummoxed.

This is what happened: I posted the just revealed cover for Ann Aguirre’s upcoming YA debut, the awesome Razorland (yes, it’s awesome–it sucks that I won’t be able to review it, since I beta read it, but it is absolutely awesome)… Anyway, I posted the cover to a forum I contribute to and got a “what a terrible cover!” in reply.


Seriously? (more…)

I’m finding blogging to be a chore these days. I really am.

I always swore to myself that I’d quit when blogging started feeling like hard work. It feels like hard work.

Even keeping up with other blogs feels like hard work these days. I’m reading fewer romance books than I ever have before and I have no interest in anything that’s going on in RomLand. In short, I just can’t be arsed.

This blog turned five in April, and somehow I managed to miss such a milestone. Or should that be millstone?

Of course work is crazy at the moment, but I also find that I want to spend more time actually being with TTG, rather than worrying about what to write on my blog. Also, it’s summer, which means that I should make hay while the sun shines.

I’m not going to quit blogging, but I sure feel like doing so. I wonder if I’m just having one of those days…