Some Thoughts on Qhuinn and Blay, The BDB, and JR Ward

Lover at LastOkay. One more post and then I`m gone for a week.

So.

Lover At Last by J.R. Ward.

Qhuinn and Blay.

At last.

(Only for them would I pay $16 for an ebook.)

And a whole lot of other characters.

Whew, was this book full of characters. It was getting a little crowded by the end. But I was okay with that, strangely enough. Mostly because it meant there was less about the Lessers. The Omega is probably my least favorite villain. Like ever. I skim those parts. But some interesting characters were introduced. More Xcor. Who intrigues me. She has me wondering how she’s going to make this Xcor and Layla thing work. And Assail. Who also intrigues me. Sola has potential. The others? Not so much. Why? Because it’s all about the Brothers for me.

Obviously.

Because meaty female roles are thin to the ground in this series.

So why do I read it? Because J.R. Ward is a great storyteller! This community of brothers would die for each other, true. She draws you into their world. Because of characters like Zsadist, my favorite brother. And things like Wrath’s speech to the Glymera. The dialogue. Xhex. Because she gave Qhuinn and Blay their own story. J.R. Ward didn`t disappoint. They’re together. As they should be. Hopefully because this is mainstream romantic fiction, it will bring us one step closer to the day it won’t be a big deal that they’re a same sex couple. It will just be.

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Too Heavy To Hold

glass half full“A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!”  –  Author Unknown

Life is like that sometimes — To Heavy To Hold. Anxious thoughts about anything, if held long enough will weigh more than our arms can carry. We need to put the glass down.

And take a break. See you all in a couple of weeks. I’m off to refresh the well of inspiration and rejoice in an Easter week of reflection and family frivolity.

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A Kind Of Review Of a Book I Loved!

2013 Feb and Mar 058Tonight is book club! What would I do without my monthly Sanity Seekers get together? Especially with this winter’s crazy weather. Half the roads around my city are closed and they’re not recommending travel on the other half.

Spring where art thou?

Thank goodness for great books. And our March selection (thank you, Jodi) was indeed one of those great reads. Before I Go To Sleep is S.J. Watson‘s debut novel.

Before I go to sleepChristine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle- aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.

But it’s the phone call from a Dr. Nash, a neurologist who claims to be working with Christine without her husband’s knowledge, that directs her to her journal, hidden in the back of her closet. For the past few weeks, Christine has been recording her daily activities—tearful mornings with Ben, sessions with Dr. Nash, flashes of scenes from her former life—and rereading past entries, relearning the facts of her life as retold by the husband she is completely dependent upon. As the entries build up, Christine asks many questions. What was life like before the accident? Why did she and Ben never have a child? What has happened to Christine’s best friend? And what exactly was the horrific accident that caused such a profound loss of memory?

Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more un- believable it seems.

This book was lent to me and handed over with a less than stellar recommendation. As in I didn’t like this book but here you go, enjoy. That’s the great thing about book club. The varied opinions. Because this psychological thriller drew me in from the very first page. I could not put it down. The writing is deceptively simple and direct. And Watson had me guessing until the very end. My mind did back flips trying to figure out who the bad guy was. You wouldn’t believe one of the scenarios I came up with. You become that desperate to figure it out. And that was part of the appeal. The guessing. The wondering. You know it’s bad. Very, very bad. As her paranoia ebbs and flows, so does yours.

95% of the books we read for book club are literary fiction. My personal reading is 98% HEA. It evens out. But I was thrilled to read a book with a strong plot that was descriptive in a way that wasn’t fanciful but practical. The last couple of books we’ve read have been very descriptive. And that’s wonderful. But sometimes a tree is just a tree.

What’s also interesting is the story on how this book came to be written. For any writer who’s considered a creative course or retreat to add focus you might be inspired by Watson’s story.

I can’t remember the last time I didn’t simply snatch minutes here and there to read a few pages but settled in for an afternoon and immersed myself in a book. Thanks for a great read SJ Watson. You took my mind off winter in epic storytelling fashion.

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” Jorge Luis Borges

 

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Don’t Be Such a Girl

“Now, should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course. But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.”  Jessica Valenti, The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women

Because the words “Don’t be such a girl.” are the gravest of insults.

“Equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who’s confronted with it. We need equality. Kinda now.”  Joss Whedon

Because it’s the second decade of the 21st century.

“I want a Zero Tolerance policy on All The Patriarchal Bullshit.” Caitlin Moran, How To Be a Woman

Because…

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What Women Want

100I found a flyer in the mailbox yesterday advertising this weekend’s What Women Want Expo. Kind of like a trade show with booths showcasing different products and services. I didn’t see anything extraordinary that would tempt me to spend the money for a ticket, but it did get me thinking.

What do woman want? I’m sure the gambit of answers is as varied as there are women on this planet. Maybe even beyond. We all wish the universal hopes of peace, health and happiness, for ourselves and our sisters, indeed everyone! We want to do good in the world, raise our children to be responsible, caring adults, and all other host of noble wants. Find a partner for example.

Just what do women want in a relationship? According to Harlequin’s 2012 Romance Report we want a sense of humor, a killer smile, and an accent. That’s right, we want Hugh Jackman! I can’t disagree.

Deal breakers in relationships? Too needy, too dependent of cellphone, too many FB photos with ex, and my personal favorite – the grammatically challenged.

But the most shocking thing? The top resource for romance advice is Cosmo.

Really?

The others were equally scary. You’ll have to check those out on your own.

But what about the little things that make each of us unique? What do we want that’s fun and inspiring and makes us smile. I love hats. The bigger, the floppier the better. I envy the Queen her hat maker. You might not.

Here are five other off the top of my head things I want:

  • I would like to have a pajama party in the library. We could call it Sleeping Among the Stacks. There’d be snacks.
  • I want to remember words like PIQUE, JUKEBOX, ULU, and ZU and finally win a Scrabble game.
  • I want a really, really great women’s magazine without a singular focus like fashion or food or Oprah.
  • I want to find a kickass recipe for gluten-free pizza crust.
  • I would love to take a cooking class with my girlfriends.

Not so complicated but they’d make me smile. How about you? What do you want?

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Waiting for Spring

Everything melted,
rained, unraveled,
became, grew wings,
attempted flight,
flopped, tried again,
succeeded.
Just another day.

From The Persistence of Yellow by Monique Duval

As I wait for spring…

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Because of Something Margaret Atwood Retweeted

Sometimes you read something that moves you and your first instinct is to share it with others. And sometimes you hesitate to share the incredible thing you just read. And then I thought those feelings of hesitation are the reasons I must share.

Sam Ambreem

She’s a ranter not a writer.

He Said (TW)

After all, people have a right to make up their own minds.

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200 Years of Pride and Prejudice

pride and prejudic

 

“I must confess that I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know.” Jane Austen

 

 

 

I can certainly relate to her to her feelings. Rejections of beloved characters suck. You can spin them anyway you please, but they’re still hard to swallow. Having said that I have a confession to make. I’ve never read Jane Austen. I’ve tried (not very hard) and given up (too lazy to continue). I’ve plans to change this lack. The long anticipated months of July and August will see me toting around a copy of Pride and Prejudice. After my adventures of reading Jane Eyre last summer I’m encourage to give another classic a go. And 2013 is the 200th anniversary of it’s publication.

200 hundred years of Lizzie Bennet.

“Only the deepest love will persuade me into matrimony, which is why I will end up an old maid.” Lizzie Bennet, Pride and Prejudice

200 hundred years of Mr. Darcy.

“She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.” Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

While I may not have read the book I’m familiar with the story having watched the 2005 movie version many times. You know, on those days when you need to experience some time travel to get you through the day. Usually shared with obscene amounts of chocolate and balanced by cups of hot tea. But last night I watched a live theater adaption by Christina Calvit and directed by Marti Maraden. Done in the round at the Globe Theatre here in Regina, it was an ambitious undertaking. Very few props, as is the tradition, the insightful costuming helped tell the story and give a sense of place and time in Regency England. It was a delightful mix of veteran actors and graduates of the most recent Globe Theatre Actor Conservatory program. An enchanting combination of experience and innocence.

After being mocked during a recent suppertime conversation about the man to woman ratio in films and tv, it was refreshing to sit and enjoy a story showcasing women with men playing generally supporting roles. Pick a drama, count the female roles versus male roles. Of my favorites, H5O – three males cops, one female. Sherlock – One female Sherlock in training, the rest males (unless they’re a victim). NCIS (either one) – three male agents, one female. Longmire – One sheriff, two male deputies, one female deputy. The Vampire Dairies – Elana caught between two brothers.

But I digress.

Her stories are love stories. And relevant today. We still struggle to understand each other. She gifted her characters with the courage to choose happiness. We still search for it. No matter your gender.

Have you read Pride and Prejudice? Seen the movie? The play? Care to give an opinion?

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