April 2016’s Reading List

While I no longer review or rate books I read, I’ve still had people ask me what books I’ve read, and liked or didn’t like about them. I decided that it might be fun to post what I’ve read in a monthly post with a sentence or two beside some on books on what I liked or didn’t like about a book if I think it might benefit others.

This month I didn’t have a lot of time to read other authors’ books. I’ve been reading through and editing My Lord Hades, An Angel in Tartarus, and Love is Blind to correct editing mistakes and prep them for their relaunch. I also needed to read through The Rebel’s Bride to figure out where I veered off course and Escaping Hell so I could start the rewrite of it in May.

Hopefully, I’ll get around to reading more of my To-Be Read Pile this next month. 😀

On a Barbarian World: The Phoenix Adventures by Anne Hacket

About the book: When an independent deep-space scout crash-lands on an unknown alien world, the last thing she expects is to find herself claimed by

Aurina Phoenix spends most of her time zooming through uncharted space and gathering intel for her family’s deep-space convoy, but her life takes an unexpected detour when a meteor shower brings down her ship. She finds herself on a barren, low-tech planet inhabited by dangerous beasts…and lands in the arms of a brawny barbarian warlord.

Markarian warrior Kavon Mal Dor is known for his skill in battle. He lives to protect his clan…and to avenge the murder of his father. Every move he makes is part of his grand plan for revenge, including finding a legendary sword and marrying a warlord’s daughter. But when a beautiful skyflyer crashes into his world, she is the one thing he never counted on.

Fighting their incendiary attraction, Aurina and Kavon make a deal: she’ll help him find the sword and in return, he’ll give her the emergency beacon she needs to get home. But as the search for the sword plunges them into a dangerous adventure they find themselves consumed by a powerful passion and questioning everything they’ve ever wanted.

My thoughts on the book: I loved the premise of an independent female pilot meeting a barbarian warrior and the ensuing clash between them. The trouble that Aurina gets herself into while on the strange planet had me laughing. There were times that I wanted to smack the characters upside the head for stupidity but on the whole the problems were understood and easy to forgive.

Among Galactic Ruins: The Phoenix Adventures by Anne Hacket

About the book: When astro-archeologist and museum curator Dr. Lexa Carter discovers a secret map to a lost old Earth treasure–a priceless Fabergé egg–she’s excited at the prospect of a treasure hunt to the dangerous desert planet of Zerzura. What she’s not so happy about is being saddled with a bodyguard–the museum’s mysterious new head of security, Damon Malik.

After many dangerous years as a galactic spy, Damon Malik just wanted a quiet job where no one tried to kill him. Instead of easy work in a museum full of artifacts, he finds himself on a backwater planet babysitting the most infuriating woman he’s ever met.

She thinks he’s arrogant. He thinks she’s a trouble-magnet. But among the desert sands and ruins, adventure led by a young, brash treasure hunter named Dathan Phoenix, takes a deadly turn. As it becomes clear that someone doesn’t want them to find the treasure, Lexa and Damon will have to trust each other just to survive.

My thoughts on the book: I really, really liked Damon character, more and more throughout the book. Lexa wasn’t my favorite character, but she was well paired with Damon. I disliked some of the main characters reaction to things. They seemed more forced for the sake of plot then how the characters should be acting.

Writing into the Dark: How to Write a Novel without an Outline by Dean Wesley Smith

About the book: In this WMG Writer’s Guide, Dean takes you step-by-step through the process of writing without an outline and explains why not having an outline boosts your creative voice and keeps you more interested in your writing.

Want to enjoy your writing more and entertain yourself? Then toss away your outline and Write into the Dark.

My thoughts on the book: I stumbled upon this one because of Dean’s blog and decided to give it a whirl. Even though I doubt I’ll every be one of those writers who writes into the dark, I found some of the information insightful and possibly helpful. Who knows I might try writing into the dark and surprise myself.

Happy reading,

What books are you reading?

My Take on Why Romance and Erotic Romance is More than Porn

There seems to be this misconception in our world that people need to be beautiful to be perfect. That the good guys always win or wear white hats. That the cheerleaders should go with the football/basketball players or be brainless.

The same type of misconceptions are found in writing. Like fiction isn’t true literature and everything that isn’t considered literature isn’t worth reading. That writer’s wear tweed coats, smoke, and/or drink (I so want a tweed coat right now! It would look awe-some over that white corset I bought the other day! Nope. Scratch that. I think a velvet suit coat would look better.).

That romance, erotic romance, and erotica is nothing but porn. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the argument on why romance and erotica are or are not porn. The problem most people get stuck on is the sex in the story.

When you focus on the sex you miss the books theme and the lessons they teach that are only enhanced by the relationship and the sex, whether it is: love will find away, compromises are sometimes need in relationships, nobody is perfect (even mates you have no choice screwing), even the most unloveable people are sometimes worth loving, you’ll always have a second chance at love, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, just because you’re not perfect doesn’t mean that you won’t find love, couples are allowed to fight and disagree, beauty isn’t everything, danger makes people sexual charged, no one is perfect, every relationship has its ups and downs, or love can conquer most things and if not team work will. See what I mean?

So here is my break-down of each category.

Romance – couple falls in love and has sex. The focus of romance is on the relationship between the couple and the obstacles they have to overcome, not so much on the sexual aspect although that can play a big part. A HEA or happily-ever-after is required.

Erotic Romance – couple may have sex before they fall in love, then again they might not. An erotic romance is a highly explicit story with more blunt sexual terms, but at its core the erotic romance is still a romance, usually centering around a sexual conflict and their relationship. A HEA (Happily-Ever-After) or HFN (Happy-For-Now) is required.

Erotica – they have sex and things happen. The erotic story has a theme and a story line that usually surrounds a sexual situation. The situations and sex scenes in the story may be graphic and controversial. A HEA (Happily-Ever-After) or HFN (Happy-For-Now) is not required.

Porn – This is just sex. The story line is only to get you from one sex scene to the next, which happen frequently and with little purpose other than to have sex. A HEA (Happily-Ever-After) or HFN (Happy-For-Now) is not required.

Romance and erotic romance is more than just sex, it’s romance, albeit sometimes not a very realistic romance. And that is by no means the end of the list, just the ones off the top of my head. Sex in a romance is just the added bonus. For some people it can even be a learning experience. FYI How-to manuals are soo dry. ;)

I’d love to hear your opinions. Even if you disagree with me.