Category Archives: Sarah Wendell

Notes on Not-Reviewed Books: April 2014

I never read a book twice. It has only one chance. And my brain’s not good at retaining information – even with my favourite books I struggle to remember the characters’ names.

These are the books I read in April that I didn’t review because I couldn’t be stuffed. Let’s see if they’re memorable.

Stacia Kane’s Be a Sex-Writing Strumpet: Everything in this book was originally published on the author’s blog. Be a Sex-Writing Strumpet does NOT contain new material. It is simply copied-and-pasted, formatted, printed, and bound. Which is a shame, because it needs a light copyedit, and maybe a content editor for when the author goes off on tangents. Also says stuff like, “On Monday I’ll be talking about…” which needs to be edited out. Also mentions that she hoped to have a guest post (which in book format I guess would be a chapter) on BDSM, but she “ran out of time”. As far as I know, all the content is still on her blog, so don’t bother buying this. Support the author by purchasing her other books instead, because this isn’t worth it. As for the content itself, I disagree with some of it, but as the author says, this is just how she writes, and others should feel free to do whatever works for them. 3 stars

Sarah Wendell’s Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels: Nowhere near as entertaining as Beyond Heaving Bosoms. Less laughs, and more…well, I think this is strictly for romance fans, to have their opinion reflected, because I doubt this will change non-believers’ minds. The only thing I got out of it was the piece about men holding women’s purses in the waiting rooms of cancer centres while the ladies have treatment. THAT is romantic, but that was from a real life article, and NOT in a romance novel, so… Yeah, this book didn’t work for me. (I still haven’t figured out how to answer the “favourite dictator” question.) 3 stars

Jeannie Holmes’s Flying is Faster: Short story in The Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance anthology. A rarity: a story in which I actually WANT the characters to hook up. (It’s a romance anthology, so they do.) Reminds me of Avatar, in a good way. 4 stars

Karen Mahoney’s The Spirit Jar: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Stars vampire Moth. I just couldn’t focus on this; same for Moth’s novel (Falling to Ash). 3 stars

Justine Musk’s Lost: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. This author’s so amazing at enlivening her settings. 4 stars

Becca Fitzpatrick’s Dungeons of Langeais: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Historical France; character named Chauncey. That’s it: I’ve got nothing. 2 stars

Caitlin Kittredge’s Behind the Red Door: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Yeah, the lead character’s kind of stupid at first, but she wises up in the end. Delightfully creepy. 4 stars

Carrie Ryan’s Hare Moon: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Great setting, but I lost focus at times, and then didn’t understand what/why. 3 stars

Rachel Vincent’s Fearless: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Sabine’s always fun to read, and the setting and plot are quality stuff. Must finish reading Soul Screamers series! 4 stars

Daniel Marks’s Vermillion: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. Interesting world, but I don’t understand the whole falling-through-a-crack-from-Purgatory-into-the-real-world thing. Also, a lot of slut-shaming. 3 stars

Maggie Stiefvater’s The Hounds of Ulster: Short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology. I did not expect the twist. Or maybe it wasn’t a twist at all, and I was ignorant until it was made obvious in the end. Either way, a great story that even acknowledges how pretentious musicians can be. 4 stars

Rachel Vincent’s Hunt: Short story in the Chicks Kick Butt anthology. Must finish reading Shifters series! Not only is she a top novelist, but the author’s also fabulous at the short form, too. 4 stars

Jackson Pearce’s Purity: The reviews are mixed, and rightfully so – at times I really enjoyed it; others I got angry. The tone is pretty spot-on – had it been all serious or all fluffy, it wouldn’t have worked. Shelby’s kind of annoying, though, and downright rude when she steals her aunt’s car. And – SPOILER ALERT! – Continue reading

January Through June 2011 Reads – Star Ratings

Books I read in January through June this year. Separated into star ratings, then listed by order in which I read them. All up at GoodReads. Some reviews here on my WordPress. Does not include books that I didn’t finish, because I’ve deleted them from my catalogue, and likely my memory.

Let me know if you decide to read or not to read them, based on my ratings. Because yes, I am that egocentric 😉

5 STARS: Rage (Jackie Morse Kessler), American Vampire (Jennifer Armintrout), Project 17 (Laurie Faria Stolarz), The Gathering (Kelley Armstrong), The Repossession Mambo/Repo Men (Eric Garcia), Moongazer (Marianne Mancusi), Wither (Lauren DeStefano), Girl Hero (Carrie Jones)

4 STARS: Outside In (Maria V. Snyder), Stocking Full of Coal (Amanda Feral), The Walled Garden (Michele Lang), The Shadow Runners (Liz Maverick), The Vespertine (Saundra Mitchell), Linger (Maggie Stiefvater), Dark Life (Kat Falls), Demonized (Naomi Clark), The Reckoning (Kelley Armstrong), Midnight Alley (Rachel Caine), Feast of Fools (Rachel Caine), Lord of Misrule (Rachel Caine), Carpe Corpus (Rachel Caine), Fade Out (Rachel Caine), Coming Home (P. D. Martin), Kiss of Death (Rachel Caine), XVI (Julia Karr), Ghost Town (Rachel Caine), The Girl in the Steel Corset (Kady Cross), Matched (Ally Condie), Uninvited (Amanda Marrone), The Bradbury Report (Steven Polansky), Uninvited (Justine Musk), Exile (Rebecca Lim), Helper12 (Jack Blaine), Darkness Becomes Her (Kelly Keaton)

3 STARS: Jealousy (Lili St. Crow), Among the Betrayed (Margaret Peterson Haddix), Among the Barons (Margaret Peterson Haddix), Becoming (Kelley Armstrong), Shadow Days (Andrea Cremer), Day of Fire (Kathleen Nance), Dreaming Anastasia (Joy Preble), Things Bogans Like, Beyond Heaving Bosoms (Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan), Fugitives (Alexander Gordon Smith), The Power of Two (Patti O’Shea), Coming Undone (Lauren Dane), In the Arms of Stone Angels (Jordan Dane), The Iron Witch (Karen Mahoney), Damaged (Yolanda Sfetsos), Falling Freestyle (Vivian Arend), Jeweled (Anya Bast), Thyla (Kate Gordon), It Takes a Village Idiot and I Married One (Alex Borstein & Cherry Chevapravatdumrong), Burn Bright (Marianne de Pierres), A Touch Mortal (Leah Clifford), Night and Chaos (Naomi Clark), Savage Transformation (Lexxie Couper), The Official Illustrated Guide (Stephenie Meyer), Exit Strategy (Kelley Armstrong), Made to Be Broken (Kelley Armstrong), You Are So Undead to Me (Stacey Jay), Hereafter (Tara Hudson), Relentless (Lauren Dane), The Scarlet Empress (Susan Grant), Close Encounters (Katherine Allred), Perfect Cover (Jennifer Lynn Barnes), Killer Spirit (Jennifer Lynn Barnes), West End (Laura Van Wormer), Moon Sworn (Keri Arthur)

2 STARS: Defiance (Lili St. Crow)

10 New Covers: Caine, Cremer, Fitzpatrick, Meding, Rusch, Stiefvater, Vincent & Wendell

Continue reading

[REVIEW] Beyond Heaving Bosoms – Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan

Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan
Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels
Simon & Schuster Fireside (US & CA: 14th April 2009; AU: 5th June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

I can handle some of the sub-genres, but as a whole romance doesn’t work for me. Not just because of the books, but also because of some of its Special Snowflake fans who like to play victim about how the romance genre is persecuted, or prejudiced against, or whatever. And thus they get so defensive. CHILLAX, PEOPLE!

I like the Smart Bitches, Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan, because unlike a lot of romance bloggers they don’t absolutely fangirl over every romance book they read. They’re quite forthcoming when they don’t like characters or their motives, or the author’s purple prose, etc. These ladies are awesome because they don’t act so precious.

That said, this book is probably strictly for romance fans to celebrate with their fellow kin. But for non-fans, there’s plenty of comic fodder. I don’t really care for the “why we love it” bits, but the snark is brilliant. And the best of it comes when discussing paranormals. Never encountered “hemipenes” before? There are example books on page 113.

Personally, I’m looking for more great novels in the m/m or f/m/m sub-genre (pages 114-115): For a variety of reasons, many romance readers love romances wherein the protagonists are both men. If you can recommend some great ones published by the major print publishers, please do!

Thursday Thirteen: May 14 – Music

Actually only came up with 12 songs I’m rather enjoying of late, in alphabetical order of artist. Unless my alphabet skills are screwy, which they may very well be.

1. Alan Brough Interviews Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan. ABC put the audio online today.

2. Lily Allen – Not Fair

3. Eskimo Joe – Foreign Land

4. Evermore – Hey Boys and Girls (Truth of the World, Part 2)

5. Franz Ferdinand – No You Girls

6. Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone

7. Kasabian – Fire

8. Lady Gaga – Lovegame

9. Daniel Merriweather – Change
Embedding disabled by request

10. Peaches – Talk to Me

11. The Presets – If I Know You

12. Tiga – Shoes

13. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero