Monday, August 31, 2015

Read Along Notice - Ryker by Sawyer Bennett starting 9/8/15

Hop on over to Sawyer Bennett's Never Ending Party.  Here - I'll be helpful and give you a quick link to Facebook :

Once you get there, you'll need to join the group.  Nice bunch of people and hockey lovers. There may be a few football fans too.

Now, you need a copy of Ryker.  I can help you with that:


P.S. Isn't the cover just drool worthy?  I mean if you are into smoldering eyes with decent upper body.

You know I love virtual group book reading and will be taking part in this one.  I've already read Ryker and have my review on Goodreads.  With all read alongs, I'll be re-reading along with all the participants.  I'm always excited to hear how others feel about characters, interactions, and all that good stuff that goes along with sharing a great read.

I'll let you know this by far is my favorite in the Cold Fury series.  Why?  It's the Heroine.

I LOVE a Strong Woman.  

I guess you could say I have a minor girl crush on Gray. She is by far my favorite Sawyer Bennett female character to date.  See, I left that open to change my mind later.

Never participated in a virtual book read.  They are super easy.  You post comments to the chapters as you can.  Read and comment on others. Find out how they felt about same thing you read.  Want to know the reading schedule?  Well, here it is:

Since you've been good to reach the end of this blog post and to show my appreciation making it this far, I'll be gifting an eBook copy of Ryker (via Amazon) to a lucky commenter below.  Just say "I'm IN for the read along" .  I'll choose a winner on 9/7/15 9pm PST via

Amazon, Google or Facebook are not affiliated with this giveaway. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ode to my Mentor: Reading Non-Fiction

As it's apparent from my blog, I love fiction.  I get lost in the stories. Reading is an outlet from the everyday stresses of life.  However, I try to get in non-fiction reading in once a week.  Why?   Because a very wise man asked me to.


I decided to have my mid-life crisis early. What did I do for it? Why I went back to school to earn a Bachelor's degree.  This program was at a private university designed for working adults. The best part of the program was the Dean taught the last semester.  He had an untraditional approach, but it worked.  He had us read - ALOT.  And it was all non-fiction.  See, he knew as adults we escape into media: movies, books, TV, etc.  But, he didn't want us to stop growing.  He felt we never stopped having the capacity to learn new ideas or take a different point of view to consider.  Upon graduation, he asked us to continue our weekly dive into non-fiction.  Whether it be blog posts, magazine articles or books.  Just read, just keep learning.  So, I do just that.  

I found an author, Patrick Lencioni,  who really appeals to me.  He writes business process and leadership books.  I believe that his appeal is the style of writing - fables.  This feels and reads like fiction.  I can get 'lost' in the story while learning.  Which brings me to my other favorite non-fiction, biographies and historical books.  

Favorite subject for my entire secondary education was history.  What was the appeal?  I read a history book like a novel.  I got 'lost' in the stories told over and over.  They were fact.  I learned.  But, it never felt like learning.  You may be surprised I didn't say English.  As you can tell from my blog, proper writing isn't my strong point.  And having to write a well formed paper on what I read, well, let's say - not my best work.  However, history books were something I could grasp, read and absorb. 

I encourage you to do the same.  There is someone out there with knowledge on a subject that you may have never considered.  You may read it and it cements your view instead. You may learn about where you grew up or where you want to go on vacation.  The point is: expand your world.  Still get lost in fiction, but give your brain fuel too.


Do you read non-fiction?  If so, what types? Do you have a favorite blog or magazine?  Please join in the conversation in the comments below. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What is the difference between Erotica and Romance? My Personal Definition

One conversation that L, my BBF (Best Book Friend), and I were having was on how I had rated a novel on Goodreads.  Not sure how this conversation morphed into a difference between erotica and contemporary romance -

Me: "Personally, my definition differs from mainstream."
L:"How so?" 
Me: "I think it'll be a blog post."
Here is my definition is a nutshell -

  • Erotica: That's a book with main story line is a sexual encounter 
  • Romance: That's a book with two characters who's end result is a Happily Ever After
Still not sure where I am driving the discussion?  Let me give you two main stream books to describe how I see the difference.
  • Think Erotica as  - Jenna Jameson's "Sugar"
  • Think Romance as - Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight"

Are we closer to understanding my definition now?  Personally, I have no clue how Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. assign literature to the different labels or genres, but they do.  And, I don't agree.  What seems to be the opinion of JQ Public is any romance novel with sex in it is erotica.  

Ah, nope.  Don’t believe me? Kristan Higgins seems to have a similar thought as “It's not the sex!"

Let me share this with you:  A 2006 article in USA Today said 95% American have premarital sex.  So, at this point, I pretty much believe any characters in my romance novels that become involved are going to have sex.  Now, you may wish the author not to give you a blow by blow description of every touch, movement or act.  That’s fine because that is what Nora Roberts is for.  But just because the book has sex in it does not make it erotica to me.  The sexual encounter may be erotic, as it’s sexually stimulating in parts, but the overall story arc is the personal relationship or the romance.  Got it?  If I classify as erotica, the story line has not a thing to do with the relationship; it’s strictly about the sex.  

Now, I have read serials where the entire serial shelf has changed over each book.  The characters grew thus the story became more about the relationship and less about the sex.  I have a perfect illustration of a recent Goodreads review I posted.  I will be up front:  this story is about same sex relationship.  Not your thing to read?  I’m not telling you read the books although you should and Amazon links are provided.  I using this as an example to point to my reviews here and my erotica versus romance percentages below for the serial, Up-Ending Tad.

Loser Takes It All =       100% Erotica  
Test of Endurance =       90 % Erotica / 10% Romance
Sideline Submission =   80% Erotica / 20% Romance
Prized Possession =      50% Erotica/ 50 % Romance
Bringing It Home  =       15% Erotica/ 85% Romance 

As you can see, my view of the story changed as it progressed.  I can also use examples from my two favorite authors, Sawyer Bennett’s Wicked Fall and Nicole Edwards’ Never Say Never.  Whoa, there were several pages of very sexually stimulating scenes in each book.  Kink, public, same gender or you name it sex can be in the book.  The novel's sole purpose was not to describe a sexual encounter or two.   Again, these books were about the journey of the relationship of the characters to an eventual HEA.  If you didn’t go to the link to Kristan Higgins article, here it is again. I’m not alone. 

This horse has been beaten.  You may not agree with me.  That is okay.  It’s personal preference.  You may go with the Oxford Dictionary definition.  Just don’t comment on my Goodreads reviews you disagree with my shelving of the book.  My bookcases, my labels.

I’ve given you my opinion.  Where is the line you draw when defining a piece of literature as erotica or romance? Does sex versus no sex weigh on the decision?  Please join in the conversation in the comments below.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fan Girl Activated: San Francisco Golden Gate Author Event August 8 2015


Over 30 authors in one place in my favorite California city.  Nadine Colling of Hook Me Up Book Blog  was our host for the day.  It was every West Coast Fangirls dream and more.  Nadine put together an impressive line up of Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Suspense, Erotica and Contemporary Romance novelists.  Oh and one cover model.

Here's a peek into what the event looked like:

If you haven't had the opportunity to attend an Author Event, search on Facebook.  There is most likely one coming near you within driving distance.  Not only do you get to have your Fangirl moment with author's you've read, you get to meet new authors and learn about their novels direct rather than an Amazon blurb.  Plus all the other fans you get to talk books, learn about author's fan pages, etc.  Do not be intimidated by going alone or overthinking it.  Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.  My personal limit is one book/item per author to sign unless I am purchasing from the table as gifts for book friends.  Every book you own to sign for a particular author I think is a bit overwhelming for the author and the fans waiting their turn.  I brought an iPad cover to have authors sign.  It made sense as all my books have a home there. 

Normally, I would go to an Author Event by myself.  However, we decided to make a mini vacation of it and Husband attended with me.  He was awesome <3 !  He carried everything, waited in line for me, got me water, and wore his name tag proudly. 

Yes, I've professed that I am a HUGE Sawyer Bennett fan.  I went immediately, do not stop, right in line.  I've 'met' Sawyer in the virtual world via her fan group: Sawyer Bennett's Never Ending Party
Holy Crap! I'm hugging Sawyer!

Yes, I hugged her big! Visit her Amazon author page:

Sawyer's table with her #1 fan helping
Hmm, who was next up to stalk?  J.A. Huss. If you haven't read her, she is dark, suspenseful, and a wicked twisted mind. 3-2-1 was a WOW for me! If that's your reading type, Amazon author page:

Queen of *gasp*

The event was constantly a hum.  Attendees were polite and everyone was having a good time.  Even in Jennifer Armentrout's long line. Why? Drew Leighty of course.

Event View
Event View 

Jennifer and Drew's long line ;)
When it was my turn, oh yeah, I was going to be getting that picture with the cover model of The Return. Find it and her other books at her Amazon author page:

Drew signing my book
Group pic- Man, they had to be tired by now.

Other authors who are new to me but growing to love:

Mary Ting/M Clarke

Gretchen De La O  

Katy Regnery 
JC Emery
Erika Van Eck 


A little bit about each of these 'new to me' authors:
  • Mary Ting/M. Clarke Author Page . As Mary Ting she writes Fantasy, Paranormal Teen. Huge supporter of literacy via Magic Johnston Foundation.  Writing as M.Clarke is her Contemporary Romance offerings. 
  • Gretchen De La O Author Page Young Adult and New Adult Romance - think forbidden romance.
  • Katy Regnery Author Page Modern Fairytale Romance books you'll love. 
  • JC Emery Author Page  New Adult romance
  • Erika Van Eck Author Page New Adult romance

Now, some know authors to me and links to their Amazon author pages:
Laurelin Paige
Lauren Blakely  

JS Cooper

As much as I wanted to get more pictures and all the signatures, I had my very patient guest with me. We had this hill to walk back up that we came down to attend the event.

After dropping off our stuff, I had the opportunity to connect with Sawyer Bennett and Bethany from HEA Bookshelf.  I love social media and all the connections it can afford.  But, nothing is like finally meeting someone you interact with virtually.

I was very impressed by the diversity of the 'Romance' genre represented.  Everything from teen to adult, paranormal to suspense and anything in between.

If you are interested in checking out these author's works, I've included links to their Amazon author page where I could.  Apologies now for broken links or misspellings.

So, have I got your appetite whet to attend an author event?  Do you live in the Pacific Northwest?  Good news, I can tell you when the next SFGGAE will be held.  Here is the link to keep track of authors who will attend and when tickets are available:
San Francisco Golden Gate Author Event

I hope to see you there!!