Bark's Book Nonsense

I read the good, the awful & all of the "meh" in the middle. I'll read most any horror, romance & M/M novel that comes my way.  

Update: Woodland Knits by Stephanie Dosen

Woodland Knits: over 20 enchanting patterns - Stephanie Dosen

Note: I'll be updating this review occasionally as I knit up patterns from the book.


There are some absolutely beautiful and charming projects in this book but there's some strange stuff too.  But that's always the case with books like these, isn't it? I can't wait to make the fringed duster, the legwarmers, the gypsy petticoat, seedpod purse and the wishing scarf but I might have to pass on the antler hat and the dragon watcher's hood (seriously it's just a hood, it's cute but where's the rest of it?!). Some of these projects would be gorgeous for photos and costume parties or jaunts through the woods if you're looking for fairies while picking berries but I can't see them being worn daily and I'm too lazy to put that much work into something that my kid will only wear once or twice. There are enough projects in this book that I'm dying to knit up to make the cost of the book a bargain but I'm a bit strange style wise so you need to keep that in mind. I like fringe and flowy, nature inspired styles and this book has plenty of that. Your best bet is going to (but you'll need to sign up - it's free - feel free to friend me!) and checking out all of the patterns before purchasing. You can also check out the designers website at Tiny Owl Knits.


I'll write more and post some pictures of the projects when I knit up a few and have access to a real computer. 


UPDATE Sept 2015:


I'm finally getting around to knitting something from this quirky little book. I started knitting up the "juniper wishing scarf" with some doubled up cotton yarn but have since switched to a chunky acrylic because the cotton/needle size was hurting my hands. This is how far I got before ripping it out. It's a super easy cable repeat so I can get it done while watching tv and not feel like I'm wasting so much time :)




This is what it may look like when I've finished. Would you wear it?




Here's mine, finally finished! This sucker is heavy. If I were ever to knit it again, I'd pick a lighter yarn. It's nice and toasty warm and it's FREEZING here today, so I'm pretty happy with it. It was super easy to knit?






Tomorrow Never Knows by Jamie Craig

Tomorrow Never Knows - Jamie Craig

GR Cleanup Read February 2011.


Don't read the blurb, it gives away way too much that should remain a surprise.

This was an intriguing, danger-filled futuristic romance with plenty of pain and angst from the hero but I'm not a danger-girl and most of the action driven plot just didn't thrill me. The first sex scene threw me and I had great kinky expectations but in the end it just fizzled into vanilla pudding with a splash of spanking. Ah well, I'm sure many will enjoy it because it is well written and moves at a good clip and, really, who can resist a physically and emotionally wounded hero?

By the Book by Scarlett Parrish

By the Book - Scarlett Parrish

GR Cleanup Read February 2011


There is no denying this book is hot and Daniel F. Cross irresistible but as much as I enjoyed the sexy bits (and there are many) and the chemistry between Reece and Daniel there are other things that bothered me. I feel almost sad now that it's all over. I don't always need things tidied up in a pretty little bow but the ending to this felt unfinished and unresolved and left too much open to my admittedly glass is half empty imagination. It's a hard one to rate. It could've been a five, the writing was involving, the characters came alive, but things happen that I will not reveal that just hurt my heart.

Blacque/Bleu by Belinda McBride

Blacque/Bleu - Belinda McBride

GR Cleanup Read February 2011


This book was fabulous. I, for a change, have no complaints. The paranormal aspects were a living part of the story, the closeted werewolf hero and the sexy, tormented vampire hero magical together. The secondary characters weren't lost in the shuffle either, they were well developed and added to the story. I'll definitely be looking for more from this author in the future.

Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone

Addicted - Charlotte Featherstone

GR Cleanup Read February 2011


Lindsay and Anais grew up together and were the best of friends. Now grown, Lindsay desires his friend Anais and wishes to make her his but he is unsure if she shares his feelings. In the meantime, he’s been spending his time in opium dens, biding his time in drug fueled dreams where he imagines Anais naked and wanting him and only him. When he finally makes his move and the two declare their love, Lindsay makes a dumbass mistake that will forever change the course of their lives. After losing the trust of his beloved, things go into a downward spiral for both of them. Without the love of Anais, Lindsay gets lost in opium and becomes a full blown addict. He is torn by his two loves and may not be strong enough to choose one over the other and now Anais harbors a secret that is too painful for her ever to reveal.

Lindsay is a sensitive, loving, beautiful, f-ing mess. He can’t survive without Anais, he’s needy and weak, and completely lacks self-control. His opium hazed dreams almost intoxicate the reader and glorify his drug use for much of the book. He’s a very different sort of “hero”. He’s also remorseful, guilt-ridden and in so much pain you can’t help but hold out hope that the love of Anais will “fix” him. In reality, this situation is anything but romantic but here it’s compelling and though Lindsay and Anais are both imperfect I never felt either of them were anything but genuinely in love with each other. That’s what made their situation all the more painful.

This story is devastating its portrayal of an addictive personality and the havoc it wreaks not only on Lindsay but on those who love him most. It’s a grueling, often heart-breaking read and written with a lush beauty that drew me in and kept me breathless until the end. I can’t recommend it highly enough for those looking for something different, something sensual with very sharp edges.

In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

In the Miso Soup - Ralph McCarthy, Ryƫ Murakami

Kenji is a young guy who makes his money by giving visitors of a certain umm, ilk, shall we say, tours of Tokyo’s sex industry. His latest client is a chubby American named Frank. Frank wants to see all the sights and have all the sex, all of which is nothing unusual, but Kenji quickly realizes there is something a bit “off” about dead-eyed Frank. And it’s probably not a coincidence that dead bodies start turning up as soon as Frank comes to visit . . .


Night one is slightly strange but when Kenji finds what he thinks is a piece of flesh (arggg!) on his property, he knows it came from that weirdo Frank. But he’s promised him three evenings and, hell, a buck is a buck, right?


Sounds pretty interesting, doesn’t it? I mean, how could you go wrong with seedy sex clubs and a serial killer on the loose? How could that story possibly bore even the most jaded of readers nearly to death? But for some reason things went wrong. The first half was deadly dull. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen. Frank, who claims to be missing a bit of his brain (lobotomy, perhaps?), stares into space for eternities and Kenji mostly muses to himself on the state of people in the sex trade industry and worries about being late to visit his girlfriend. They club hop and have a few tedious conversations and Kenji muses on the reasons why wealthy young girls decide to become “compensated dates”. Things get vaguely exciting when Kenji finds that itty bitty ominous patch of flesh but that’s the only intriguing thing that happened for pages on end. I also felt disconnected from the prose and the characters and, I cannot lie, I pretty much sleepwalked through many of the pages. When the action finally started, it woke me up with its shocking detail but then it all became an exercise in frustration because it sucked all of the potential thrill and mystery straight out of the story. I really think that chapter should’ve been nearer to the end of the book. Also none of the questions about character motivation I had while reading (and, oh boy, did I have many) were answered and that annoyed me more than words can say.


Basically I never felt any sense of dread or fear or anxiety or anything but a little bit of boredom for nearly the entire novel. I’m glad it was short because, meh, it was so disappointing. Most everyone likes this book except for me. I’m beginning to think I need to give up reading and pick up a new hobby.


If you’re interested in reading a book about the desperation and darkest corners of Tokyo I’d recommend reading Out by Natsuo Kirino instead of this one.

A Rose is a Rose by Jet Mykles

A Rose is a Rose - Jet Mykles

GR Cleanup Read February 2011


This was a super sweet confection about the love that blooms between a beautiful androgynous drama queen and a staid, quiet, building superintendent who soothes and feeds him when he's a weepy mess. Le Sigh. I loved both characters who fit together so well despite their many differences. Nothing deep but worth a read. 

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Evermore - Alyson Noel

GR Cleanup Read March 2011


Sixteen year old Ever (yes, so sorry that’s not a typo) lost her family, her dog, her home and her popularity in a tragic accident. When she awakens she has the ability to read thoughts and see auras. This is not a good thing for Ever and it turns her into a “freak”. Now living with her wealthy, absent aunt, she shuns people and hides her beauty behind ugly hoodies and big sunglasses.

One gloomy day a new boy arrives at the school where she is now one of the misfit freaky kids. For some reason she’s chosen to befriend a gothy bitch and a disinterested in anything but himself boy named Miles instead of the bitchy, self-involved popular kids she used to consider her BFF’s. This new kid, Damen, is all smoldering good looks and is interested in MissHoodie and she can’t read his thoughts! Ahhh, blessed silence replaces the voices in her head whenever he is near.

Here I stop to let the feelings of Deja freaking Vu wash over me and lament the loss of originality in the YA world.

The rest of the book follows Ever and Damen around as he keeps her in the dark about his dark and mysterious past and generally acts all dark and mysterious but because he’s sexysuperhot they fall into an obsessive dysfunctional crazy sort of love. He must really know how to work the smolder because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out when or why they were in love or how he jumped straight from wooing to almost getting her out of her panties in a blink. He was a BORING character and no amount of movie star looks is fixing that when I can’t see him! She ain’t no prize either, for that matter. She’s moody and spoiled and acts like a real nut when he finally tells her the truth about himself. I could forgive the moody, hell her family was dead, but the author didn’t work that angle to any real emotional effect. The deaths were used as a means to get her to where she is, living with an aunt who conveniently works 168 hours a week so she can hook up with Damen. I should know, I lost a parent at thirteen and life was an emotional hell for a very long time. In this book, I felt none of the pain and torment that invades every pore of your being when something so earth shattering happens. Thus, many of Ever’s thoughts were distasteful and shallow to me. All she did was whine about unimportant shit and fret about Damen. Sure she could still talk to her little ghostie sister so I guess that made all the pain go away? To me it was all a bit lazy and not at all clever.

So yeah I freely admit I’m biased but I did finish the book and it didn’t get better for me. I don’t care how much woo-woo or adventure or paranormal twisties an author throws in, if I find the characters tedious and completely lacking in emotion it’s a fail. Ever is a fail.

Maverick Men: The True Story Behind the Videos

Maverick Men: The True Story Behind the Videos - Anthony DiFiore, Cole Maverick, Hunter

GR Cleanup Read March 2011


This was a fun filled true life romance about two normal men, one working as a realtor, the other at a restaurant, who fall in love and then realize their jobs are keeping them from seeing each other. Cole discovers XTube and being a bit of an exhibitionist decides to upload his own video. He loves the response and talks Hunter into joining him. From there the two become famous amateur porn stars and are able to quit their jobs, maintain their lifestyle and spend all of their time together. This story was hot, raw, over-the-top fun and just an all around great read. Complications ensue (of course) when they start adding thirds to their videos but through everything they remain devoted to one another.


Last time I checked, they're even still together after all this time!

#GiveaBook November 16 - December 24

Reblogged from Constantly Moving the Bookmark:

I received a little blurb about this in an email this morning so I checked out the Penguin Random House Give-a-Book website and thought this was an awesome promotion to get books into the hands of children all over.  You can read all about the program HERE but in a nutshell it amounts to using #GiveaBook on Twitter or Facebook.  Penguin Random House in partnership with First Book and First Book Canada will donate one book each time #GiveaBook is used up to a maximum of 35,000 books.


According to their website "the #GiveaBook applies to any type of book giving, whether as a gift to friend or family member or a donation to a charity book drive such as Angel Trees, library donation boxes and individual bookstore collection drives."

We are a book community and many of us avail ourselves of ARC's, Netgalley books, books directly from authors and Amazon or Kobo freebies.  I know, for myself, that saves me a ton of $$ every year.


If everyone (who was comfortable with it and able) from BL gifted one book to a friend, family member or charity drive and tweeted/Facebooked it using #GiveaBook think of the number books that would be donated! I know I gift books to people at Christmas time and I know almost every mall has a drop box for unwrapped gifts to be distributed by various charities to underprivileged children.  I have purchased a children's book or two as well as a small toy and donated.  I have every intention of doing it again this year, so this program does not ask me to spend any money I wouldn't ordinarily spend anyway. Just a simple tweet using #GiveaBook and a book gets placed in another child's hand.


Seems like a good deal to me! If you are comfortable with the idea ... participate!




Legalities and details (from #GiveaBook website)


Donation Period: Penguin Random House will donate one book for each use of the hashtag, #GiveaBook, on Facebook and Twitter (see below for details) between 12:01 AM EST on November 16, 2015 and 11:59 PM EST on December 24, 2015. Any use of the hashtag after December 24 is encouraged, but will not trigger a donation to First Book from Penguin Random House.
Donation Limit: Penguin Random House will donate one book for each use of the hashtag during the Donation Period up to 35,000 books. If the Donation Limit has been reached before December 25, 2015, Penguin Random House will notify users on social media.
Donation Eligibility: The #GiveaBook hashtag may be used on any social media platform. However, only those uses of the hashtag on Facebook and Twitter (see below for details) will trigger a donation from Penguin Random House to First Book. Any use of the hashtag on platforms other than Facebook and Twitter is encouraged, but will not trigger a donation from Penguin Random House.
Facebook Action Requirements: Only original Facebook posts using the hashtag, #Giveabook, will trigger a donation from Penguin Random House.Limit one post per account per day. Any other actions, including but not limited to shares, likes, and comments will not trigger a donation from Penguin Random House.
Twitter Action Requirements: Only original tweets and quote tweets (those tweets that embed an existing tweet and include new original material) using the hashtag, #Giveabook, will trigger a donation from Penguin Random House.Limit one tweet per account per day. Any other action, including but not limited to verbatim retweets and likes will not trigger a donation from Penguin Random House.
Penguin Random House is the sole sponsor of the #Giveabook campaign, which is no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.
Reblogged from Obsidian Blue:

Price Drop!

Second Hand - Heidi Cullinan, Marie Sexton

99 Cents @ Amazon US.  Look at the puppy and just try to resit :)


Paul Hannon moved to Tucker Springs for his girlfriend, but she’s left him with a house he can’t afford and a pantry full of useless gadgets. All Paul wants is to get back to normal, even if he's not sure what that is anymore. When he wanders into Tucker Pawn for a gift to win her back, he meets El Rozal, pawn shop owner and all-around cynic.

El Rozal doesn’t do relationships, especially not with clueless straight boys still pining for their ex. El may make his living dealing in castoffs, but that doesn't apply to men. Still, when Paul starts clearing out his old life, pawning kitchen equipment he never wanted in the first place, El is drawn to Paul in spite of himself.

Paul and El have nothing in common except a past full of disappointments. There's no reason to believe the two of them could fit, but in El’s line of work, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. When it comes to love, El and Paul may learn that secondhand doesn't mean second best.

(Publisher's note: This novel is part of the Tucker Springs series, which do not need to be read in order.)

Freebie over @ Amazon US

Ophelia - Kevin Wallis

Char loved it so I probably will too :)


Find it HERE!

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy (audio review)

Dumplin' - Julie Murphy

Dumplin’ sounds like a sweet little nickname when one is five but no teen wants to be called a lump of dough by their mom in front of their cruel peers.

Willowdean has the unfortunate luck of having a clueless mom who does just that and can’t seem to figure out why her “Dumplin’” is so moody. Ah, the dramatic life of a teen.

Willow has bigger problems than her nickname though. Her beloved aunt Lucy has recently died (due in part to obesity), leaving her alone with only her grief and her former beauty queen mom who not so subtly urges Willow to lose weight. Constantly. Mom is worried Wilow will end up like Lucy. Mom’s world revolves around the pageant and Willow, a self-proclaimed fat girl, has no interest in such things. But as the story goes along, things happen that shake up her self-confidence (and if you guessed those “things” were a boy, I’m sad to say you are right). So between the flagging self-confidence and discovering something about her last aunt Lucy that saddens her, she impulsively decides to enter the pageant and enlists a bunch of misfits into joining her.

Sounds kind of fun, right? And sometimes it is but mostly it’s not.

Much stuff and many things happen but none of them are earth-shattering, nor are they nail biting. If you’re looking for a lot of action this isn’t your book. This is a very “slice of life”, character orientated story. That’s my favorite kind of thing so I enjoyed it right away and the narrator was great, she voiced Willow as a teen and it didn’t sound fake. I thought, finally, a book was going to live up to its hype for me! But then Willow started driving me CRAZY and there were many times when I didn’t like her very much.

Let me explain. Willow is happy in her skin when the story begins. She’s a big girl and she is okay with that. She has a beautiful, thin best friend but because Willow is so confident, their physical differences never come between them. I was loving that story and I really enjoyed Willow’s outlook on life but then, alas, Bo happens and things start to devolve. He’s her crush and her co-worker and has a butt as juicy as a peach. He’s also gorgeous, slightly mysterious and apparently enjoys kissing her. But only in private. Uh oh. Willow is smart enough to see where this is heading (or at least thinks she is) and dumps him without explanation and then pines away for him while leading on another boy.

Her best friends says It best when she states, “You’re a shitty friend Will.”

It’s here that the more unsavory bits of Willow’s personality start to take center stage and show their ugly faces too much and the book loses a lot of its charm. Willow doesn’t always say things out loud but she most definitely skinny and fat shames, she’s jealous, self-centered, judgmental , insecure and apologetically mean to her supportive best friend, to her mom, to Bo and especially to a sweet boy named Mitch (yeah, it’s a love triangle, shoot me now). Willow’s a teen and full of mood swings and ugly thoughts about her peers. I get it. We all have our undesirable moments but Willow had far too many of them for me. I thought she’d be above some of that shit and be a better heroine. Instead she’s just like all the rest. What could’ve been a meaningful read with a strong, unique heroine turned into just another ho-hum young adult novel. It does have its good points; it’s readable, funny, sweet and savage and real and there are some good messages there amongst all of the muck but I was hoping for something new. Something different. Something fearless. And I didn’t get it.





The Painted Darkness by Brian James Freeman

The Painted Darkness - Brian James Freeman

GR Cleanup Read in March 2011


Listening to this courtesy of the "Pod of Horror" podcast. It tells the tale of a small boy who suffered some sort of unspeakable scare during a snowstorm that he has blocked out of his mind. He has been painting away the darkness ever since and it seems to be starting to seep into his day to day life. The story switches back and forth between the time when he was that 5 year old boy and the current day when he's struggling to keep his old boiler fed and maintained. Very creepy read that reminded me a wee bit of early Stephen King minus the long-windedness.

Breathe by Sloan Parker

Breathe - Sloan Parker

GR Cleanup Read March 2011


OMG the angst. I'm an angst loving girl but there is a limit and this book reached it.

Basically there's a lot of this:


"I love you, I need you but I will ruin your life and I don't deserve a man as kind as you. I must push you away and then a moment later, pull you back in. I can't resist. Your touches make me feel again but I don't deserve them. I deserve to wallow in a pool of self-pity and drink myself to death. I must leave you alone. You're better off that way. Wait, I need you back. Get those hot lips over here!"

Arrrrggh, my heart just exploded. I can't take it. These two guys have a life filled to the brim with melodrama. They're good guys, they're hot together, they're truly lovely people but they can't past their grief and guilt. It was so emotionally wrenching I don't know how I got through it all but I did. I recommend only to those with an inhuman tolerance for drama.

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A Bed of Spices by Barbara Samuel
Woodland Knits: over 20 enchanting patterns by Stephanie Dosen