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BarkLessWagMore

B&B (do it for the crumpets)

Reading the good, the awful & all of the "meh" in the middle. I'll read most any horror, romance, erotica & M/M novel that comes my way but that doesn't mean I'll like it!

Currently reading

We Need to Talk About Kevin
Lionel Shriver
Removed
S.J. Pajonas
Demons, Dolls, & Milkshakes
Nelson W. Pyles, Nelson Pyles
Slave Girl
Lisa Cach
Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great
Lindsay S. Nixon
The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks' Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Progress: 5 %
The Silver Chain
Primula Bond

I am terrified and terribly excited at the same time. Anyone else?

Shadowland by Alyson Noel (The Immortals #3)

Shadowland: The Immortals - Alyson Noel

Still cleaning up my database one old review at a time.

 

I’ve given this series three tries now. That’s three tries too many and two more than usual. I have been disappointed for the final time. I Am Done. Done with the stagnant, shallow, and (in Ever’s case) stubbornly dense characters. Done with the New Age nattering on about energy fields and Wicca 101 lessons. Done with the endless faux sexual tension and the strung out destined to be together soul-mate crap. 

I should probably have some wine and chocolate and calm the hell down but I need to get this review over and done so I can move on and purge it from my memory which fortunately for me (in this case) isn’t very good anyway.

If you haven’t read the previous books in the series they are Evermore and Blue Moon and you really haven’t missed much. I’ll do a super quick synopsis to spare you from the unnecessarily long brain melting info. dump that goes on in the first few chapters of Shadowland. Ever is a pretty blonde cheerleader type who lost her entire family in an accident. But don’t fret because she doesn’t. She’s too busy mooning over dreamy guys. In Evermore she was made an immortal by drinking “immortal juice” given to her by her perfect, gorgeous, immortal boyfriend and soul mate Damen. They want to have sex (oh so very bad) but can’t touch because braniac Ever trusted a villain named Roman in Blue Moon and now her body fluids are toxic to Damen. They can’t kiss or bump any naked naughty bits or do anything else unless fully covered and there’s really no fun in that now, is there? They can’t even hold hands because Ever might get all clammy and sweat on him causing his ultimate fiery demise. Ahhh, the tragedy! So there you go. 

In Shadowland, they attempt to find an antidote so they can finally “be together” (euphemism courtesy of the author, I would’ve used much naughtier terms), Ever doesn’t listen (again) and gets herself into further trouble and then a new character named Jude (who is gorgeous and dreadlocked and gets Ever all a-flutter, shameless hussy that she is) is introduced because what the world needs now is another lame love triangle.

If I sound a mite sarcastic I’m sorry but I’m beyond irritated by these shallow and dimension-less characters. I had all three of these books on my Ipod and kept reading them hoping desperately that things would improve. But Damen is still totally amazing and crapping out white tulips and we are continually brutalized with Ever’s endless descriptions of his physical perfection. At one point she even waxes poetic about his “perfect rubber flip flop shod feet”. I Kid You Not. Oh and Haven is still a royal beeyatch while Ever continues to be Ever. No one grows at all in these books and it makes me crazy. 

But the worst fault here is that Shadowland blathers on for chapters without anything much of any excitement, importance or plot advancement happening. I could deal with this if I were enjoying even one of the characters but they continually disappointed and frustrated me with their perfection, self-centeredness or outright stupidity. And then the bit about Haven becoming . . . well, I won’t go there and spoil things for you in case you’re still wanting to read it.

I realize I’m rambling but this series is just not a good one, if you’re asking me. It’s not interesting, the characters are mostly jerks who I can’t work up any sympathy for and it’s not one I can recommend at all. I’m stopping here even though I think I still have two more of these books on my Ipod. I’ve already wasted too much time and if someone tells me they get better I am sticking my fingers in my ears and refusing to listen. Which is what I wish I had done with these audiobooks!

Freebie!

The Man Who Became Frankenstein's Monster - Robert Daicy

I love, love, love carny stories and noticed this one is FREE (for Kindle) when perusing my Amazon wishlist today. Happy Monday to me!

 

New York, 1926‒Anyone can make a good life for themselves if they are just willing to work hard for it. William Barker is such a man. He has a good job, a nice house, a son named James, and a marriage he is trying desperately to hold together. A tragic accident takes this life away and William finds himself alone in his house with terrible mental and physical scars that are a constant reminder of what happened. 


With no one willing to employ a man with such visible and disturbing scars, William is lost and has no answers for how to live his life. That is when he meets the man who will change that life forever, Roland Skelton, the owner of Skelton’s Spectacular Traveling Carnival. Where others saw a man to be shunned, Roland sees a man he may be able to help. 


Roland convinces William to join the Carnival as the headliner of the ten-in-one. With the name ‘Frankenstein’s Monster,’ William is a hit with the paying audience and finds that being onstage is a release from his pain and guilt. In time, William realizes that those he works with understand him better than he could have hoped. 


While working at the carnival, William finds a new happiness, an enemy, purpose, and even love. The Man Who Became Frankenstein’s Monster is a moving novel about a man who rises above adversity set against the backdrop of the golden age of the carnival. 

I Feel So Special Today!

 

Just found this in my email with the subject "Your Amazon Review Paid Off"

Just 99 Cents for Amazon Reviewers!

Creating community is about sharing an honest opinion on the great and not-so-great literary works of our time. We appreciate you taking the time to share an opinion on Amazon that may have helped a fellow avid reader decide on whether to snatch a new title during a sale or shelve it until winter (next winter). 

As our way of showing appreciation, we're sending notice to a select few of Amazon's best reviewers with an amazing offer of NOT A CHANCE IN HELL AM I KEEPING IN THE LINK featuring National Book Award Winner DELETING AUTHOR WHO MAY BE AN INNOCENT. This collection of Prize-winning short stories recaptures the imagination and spirit of the short story. It's perfect for summer reading in a hammock or at the beach.

Rediscover the joy of the short story and grab this great little title for just 99 cents on Kindle--but hurry, it's for a limited time only.

 

 

 ****

 

So, just out of curiosity I clicked the link and it's .99 for EVERYBODY with a Kindle and FREE for those with Unlimited. Now I'm feeling so special and appreciated I can hardly contain myself! 

Biters : The Reborn (Double Down #1) by Harry Shannon & Brett Talley

Biters - The Reborn - Harry Shannon, Brett J. Talley

Oh look. Instead of nonsense I have actually written a review.

 

This novel contains two novellas that are not connected in any way except for the fact that they both take place many years after a world changing event occurs.

 

First up is Harry Shannon’s Biters. Now I’m not going to lie, I had some problems with Biters. If you loved Biters you might not want to read my words.  Many people are forgiving sorts but I’m afraid I’m not.  So when the protagonist utters the following I find it hard to go on and/or to care about anything he does pretty much thereafter.

“She was working him good now, sitting there on the seat all cute and begging. She knew how to charm a man out of his shirt, just like every other bitch he’d ever known.”

 

 

 

What’d he just say?  I realize he’s living in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse and he’s all hardened up and manly man and has scars on his soul but I don’t think that’s an excuse for having such a horrible attitude towards all female kind. Guys can be bitches too but I don’t despise them all for a horrible few. Sorry, it had to be said. I was hoping he’d have some sort of turnaround and I could get over my distaste but it really didn’t happen.

 

Can’t he more like this guy? (This one's for you Char. Okay and for me too!)

 

 

I mean, would it kill a guy to show a little kindness in his thoughts?

 

Perhaps it would. What do I know? I haven’t exactly suffered through a zombie apocalypse and been betrayed by bitches of any gender. What I do know is that I did not like Buck Ryan and that’s a problem seeing as he’s the lead character here. Honestly, I did not like any of the human characters. Not a one. They’re all jerks. They all deserve to have their brains eaten by zombies or to be extruded through a meat grinder to feed the poor homeless doggies wandering the landscape. Had that happened I might be a little happier.

 

I admit that I skimmed a little on the way to the end because I just didn’t want to spend any more time with these people. It isn’t really a zombie story and it definitely wasn’t a story meant for the likes of me.  It’s more a story of betrayal that reminded me a bit of the old Tales from the Crypt comics and that’s all I have to say about it. You may love it. I see lots of people did. So don’t listen to me.

 

I give it 2.5 stars only because of Dog . Dog was awesome.

 

The other story is The Reborn by Brett J. Talley. Now this one here hooked me immediately. It opens with a shocking and brutal scene that stunned me. I didn’t think it would go there but it did. I had to keep reading and didn’t stop until I finished.

 

“It is the late summer of 2050, seventeen years after the end of the Great War, and twenty-five years after A-Day.”

 

The world is now very different than the one we all live in. Crime has become nearly extinct, so much so that police officers have little to do and are getting laid off.  But underneath the false sense of utopia there is a dark undercurrent of betrayal, corruption and brutality that may be pure evil.

 

Marcus just lost his job with the police force and is approached by a man who offers him a sweet new position with a top secret organization. He’s kind of desperate and accepts without asking too many questions. What “The Shepherds” do and why they do it are revealed in bits and pieces throughout the story. I’m not going to give it away but trust me it’s harsh and horrifying and it’s awful and by the time Marcus figures it all out he’s in too deep to bow out easily.

 

This story is action packed. Now I’m not an action fangirl by any means but unlike the previous story I was interested to see what would happen to Marcus. Marcus had compassion and questioned the system and that’s why I kept on reading.  The concept was chilling and creative and I enjoyed it immensely despite all of the action and war talk.  4.5 stars  

 

*The FCC (or is it the FTC? My brain is not working) makes me declare that I received this copy from the author. I hope he doesn't regret it. 

This kitten is hired!

 

 

Mini update: Henry successfully lost his nuts (poor darling) and was adopted before his picture even hit the website! Yay for Henry and yay for my curtains and lamps. We miss his sweet side but I'm not gonna lie, that little ginger had the devil in him too! I hope he lives a long and happy life - even without nuts.

 

I got lazy on vacation and stopped my exercise routine and kicked the hell out of my back by getting out of the car. Pathetic, I know. Now I'm gimping around like I'm 110 and really just want to be put out of my misery. Can't read, can't sit, can't do much of anything but curl up on the floor with the dogs. Serves me right  for being a lazy ass for a week. 

 

My life is joyous. Hope yours is too!

 

Sorry for dropping off the planet but I had to break away from the internet to recharge for a few days. This is the view from the House of 7 Gables in Salem, Ma. Gorgeous, right?

 

If you're ever in the area you need to check out Flying Saucer Pizza whose mascot is an alien pug named Charlie. The decor is scifi geeky and the pizza is amazing. Even my vegan kid had options.  I haven't read or listened to a thing all week and it feels kind of good to unclutter my head for a few days. Now it's back to my regularly scheduled life. Hope you're all taking some time to enjoy summer. 

Shadowland by Alyson Noel (The Immortals Book 3)

Shadowland (The Immortals, Book 3) - Alyson Noël

I’ve given this series three tries now. That’s three tries too many and two more than usual. I have been disappointed for the final time. I Am Done. Done with the stagnant, shallow, and (in Ever’s case) stubbornly dense characters. Done with the New Age nattering on about energy fields and Wicca 101 lessons. Done with the endless faux sexual tension and the strung out destined to be together soul-mate crap.

I should probably have some wine and chocolate and calm the hell down but I need to get this review over and done so I can move on and purge it from my memory which fortunately for me (in this case) isn’t very good anyway.

If you haven’t read the previous books in the series they are Evermore and Blue Moon and you really haven’t missed much. I’ll do a super quick synopsis to spare you from the unnecessarily long brain melting info. dump that goes on in the first few chapters of Shadowland. Ever is a pretty blonde cheerleader type who lost her entire family in an accident. But don’t fret because she doesn’t. She’s too busy mooning over dreamy guys. In Evermore she was made an immortal by drinking “immortal juice” given to her by her perfect, gorgeous, immortal boyfriend and soul mate Damen. They want to have sex (oh so very bad) but can’t touch because braniac Ever trusted a villain named Roman in Blue Moon and now her body fluids are toxic to Damen. They can’t kiss or bump any naked naughty bits or do anything else unless fully covered and there’s really no fun in that now, is there? They can’t even hold hands because Ever might get all clammy and sweat on him causing his ultimate fiery demise. Ahhh, the tragedy! So there you go.

In Shadowland, they attempt to find an antidote so they can finally “be together” (euphemism courtesy of the author, I would’ve used much naughtier terms), Ever doesn’t listen (again) and gets herself into further trouble and then a new character named Jude (who is gorgeous and dreadlocked and gets Ever all a-flutter, shameless hussy that she is) is introduced because what the world needs now is another lame love triangle.

If I sound a mite sarcastic I’m sorry but I’m beyond irritated by these shallow and dimension-less characters. I had all three of these books on my Ipod and kept reading them hoping desperately that things would improve. But Damen is still totally amazing and crapping out white tulips and we are continually brutalized with Ever’s endless descriptions of his physical perfection. At one point she even waxes poetic about his “perfect rubber flip flop shod feet”. I Kid You Not. Oh and Haven is still a royal beeyatch while Ever continues to be Ever. No one grows at all in these books and it makes me crazy.

But the worst fault here is that Shadowland blathers on for chapters without anything much of any excitement, importance or plot advancement happening. I could deal with this if I were enjoying even one of the characters but they continually disappointed and frustrated me with their perfection, self-centeredness or outright stupidity. And then the bit about Haven becoming . . . well, I won’t go there and spoil things for you in case you’re still wanting to read it.

I realize I’m rambling but this series is just not a good one, if you’re asking me. It’s not interesting, the characters are mostly jerks who I can’t work up any sympathy for and it’s not one I can recommend at all. I’m stopping here even though I think I still have two more of these books on my Ipod. I’ve already wasted too much time and if someone tells me they get better I am sticking my fingers in my ears and refusing to listen! Which is what I wish I had done with these audiobooks!

Nut Bags Anyone?

I get the strangest emails. I was just asked to review something via email with this title:

Previous messageNext messageBack to messages

Request for Nut Bag Review‏

 

Well, that's one way to stand out in the crowd. Of course I had to open it because every girl needs a "nut bag". Am I right?

 

It wasn't the product I was expecting but something totally acceptable and usable and kind of funnier: A "Nut Milk Bag"! (Sorry, I'm really not a 12 year old boy)

 

You know you want one too.   Actually it's for making nut milk . . . from tree nuts, you pervs and I'm probably going to try it out.  Last week I received shot glasses with boobies on them! What on earth shall I do with those?!

 

 

What's the strangest review request you've ever received?

The Collector by Nora Roberts

The Collector - Nora Roberts

Well, I had all kinds of things to say about this book but I was too lazy to take many notes and a week has passed and now there’s nothing much left that stuck with me. If I had to choose a book that defines a three star read for me this one would be right up there.  It’s not awful, it flows nice and stuff, but it’s not earth-shatteringly fantastic either and that’s a shame.  I wish all books were earth-shatteringly fantastic. I didn’t laugh and I didn’t cry and I was only vaguely entertained but that’s nothing new. If you’re stuck in a car, stuck picking up doggie doo in the yard or forced to cook dinner every night of the week, I’d say this audiobook is a good way to help keep your mind off of those mind-numbing tasks but if you’re anything like me you probably won’t remember any of it once you start the next book. Or maybe you’ll love it and I’m an idiot. Who can say?

 

Here’s the gist. The heroine is a writer of YA and also housesits and spends her time peeping into the homes of the neighbors with her binoculars. She says this is to get insight into personalities or some such but I’m not buying it. She’s just nosey and I’m just jealous because she gets paid for this. Hey, how do I get this gig? Anyway, her peeping backfires when she witnesses a murder and it puts her smack in the middle of some nefarious goings-on having to do with a Faberge egg and a psychotic killer. Don’t worry though she also meets the love of her life because of this so it’s all good.


They have some spark but I never see it. They have some sex but it’s boring to me. They declare themselves falling in love but I’m not feeling it and now I can’t even remember any of it. True story.


There are a lot of amazing books out there and there are a lot of crappy ones. This one falls right in the middle.

Stylin' in my cone and feeling fine!
Stylin' in my cone and feeling fine!
This new bed? Comfy as hell and all mine. Go ahead, try and take it!
This new bed? Comfy as hell and all mine. Go ahead, try and take it!

Hey BL friends. Since I have absolutely nothing to contribute to the book world today because I have been a complete reading slug  I will share with you my oh-so-adorable (if I do say so myself) pets. 

 

Regularly scheduled book sarcasm will return later in the week, if I can get my act together.

 

 

A PSA:

*I'm reblogging this post because it could've been my post. The post I am too lazy to write. Just add in some brutal, psycho horror, more reads on the explicit side and too much cussing and you have me :) *

 

Since I posted a romance review, and promptly lost a follower, I thought it only fair to warn you:

 

I READ AND REVIEW PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING.

 

Yes ma'am and sir, I'm a very eclectic reader. You'll see reviews of everything from children's books to erotica. I skip around from book to book, reading whatever strikes my fancy at the moment, and then I come to share it with you. I'm not in the habit of cussing very often. I try to keep my reviews on the tame side. Still, I have no problem with reading/reviewing books containing sex scenes. 

 

I can promise you that I'm always honest, that I do my best not to write spoilers in reviews, and that I'll always break down exactly how I feel about a book. So if you, too, are an eclectic reader? Welcome! If you're the reader who is just waiting for a Fantasy or Romance review? Welcome! No matter who you are, if you love reading, you're my kind of follower. Thanks for giving me a chance to add some new books to your reading list :). I look forward to sharing in the love of books!

Reblogged from Jessica (HDB)

The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart-Thornton

The Ill-Made Mute - Cecilia Dart-Thornton

I read this awhile ago and am still fixing/updating my GR reviews one by one.

 

DNF because, shit, it’s boring

I have had a brand new paperback copy of The Ill Made Mute sitting in my pile of to be read books ever since I first bought it on a word of mouth recommendation back in 2001 or so. I probably should’ve read it then because now I have no patience for the tediously descriptive, wandering plot that comprises this story. That’s what happens when you realize you’re getting older and there are just not enough hours in the day to read boring books.

I’ll state up front that I tried to listen to this as an unabridged audiobook because I have faced the fact that I’ll never read all of the books in my pile in this lifetime. This may be part of the problem (but I really don’t think so). The narrator, a lovely woman no doubt, had such a sleep inducing, calming voice that listening to her read was like listening to a fairytale-like lullaby and I was nearly lulled to sleep from the very beginning. That coupled with the fact that after the initial scene, which was interesting enough to hook me, the book meandered on endlessly with nothing much at all happening for hours on end.

It begins when an adolescent falls into a dangerous plant that wipes its memory, makes it unable to speak and disfigures it horribly. I will say “it” not to be a big un-PC-meanie but because the unfortunate creature is disfigured so horribly the gender is no longer definable. It awakens to find a brutish crone hovering about and caring for its basic needs. The crone yells at and puts it to work when it recovers. Because of its ugliness the mute is forced to remain hidden behind a cloak and is rarely allowed to venture where others might see it. But the mute disobeys and sneaks out and thus begins the world’s most overly described adventure where every damn person it stumbles across just so happens to be a long winded spinner of tedious tales.

Now this all might have been tolerable if I didn’t feel distanced from every character who walks into the book and especially the eavesdropping mute who is the main character! I felt completely disconnected from him/her/it and thus the story was just insufferable to read and I gave up a little more than halfway. At one point the mute stows away on a ship and I had flashbacks of suffering through The Old Man and the Sea for class. Fortunately I didn’t have to finish The Ill-Made Mute to graduate, the perks of pleasure reading, and I’m calling it a day. I have the other two books in this series on audio as well but I’m not into self-torture this week and am going to delete them from my Ipod.

Shall I punch you in the face now or later?

Biters - The Reborn - Harry Shannon, Brett J. Talley
I'm trying really hard here to give this story Biters by Harry Shannon a chance but when our not so charming protagonist spouts out this gem I just can't go on.
 
“She was working him good now, sitting there on the seat all cute and begging. She knew how to charm a man out of his shirt, just like every other bitch he’d ever known.”
 

 

I love you Felix. You always know just what to say.

A FINAL ACT OF CRUELTY Half Off Major Perk Sale!

From right-freakin'- now until Friday, August 1st, I'm hosting a Half Off Major Perk Sale! The following Indiegogo Perks will be reduced by 50% for the next five days! If you've eyeballing the top three most expensive perks, now is the time to snatch them up at one helluva steep discount!

 

$250 Reduced to $150: Signed bookmark, trade paperback versions of CRUELTY: EPISODES ONE - FIVE and A FINAL ACT OF CRUELTY (Signed Limited Editions), and a piece of original artwork featuring Cruelty, signed by the artist, Linton Bowers, and author, Edward Lorn. Only one copy in existence. And your name in the acknowledgment section at the end of the book!

 

$500 Reduced to $250: Signed bookmark, a signed and personalized hardcover copy of CRUELTY: THE COMPLETE NOVEL (Deluxe Limited Edition) upon its release in the summer of 2015, and a signed copy of the original completed manuscript! And your name in the acknowledgment section at the end of the book.

 

$1,000 Reduced to $500: Signed bookmark, free Edward Lorn ebooks for life (back catalog and future releases), CRUELTY: A COMPLETE NOVEL (Signed Deluxe Edition in Hardcover), both trade paperbacks, early access to A FINAL ACT OF CRUELTY (you will be allowed to read the book two weeks before release), and your very own Edward Lorn short story. Pitch me your best idea and characters, and I'll do all the rest. The final version will be formatted and sent to you in electronic and audio book editions!

 

If we reach our goal before August 1st, I have a very special treat for everyone who helped to make that milestone happen. 

 

To everyone who's already donated, I extend my deepest heartfelt appreciation. You're all amazing people, and I'm glad to know each and every one of you. 

 

Thank you,

 

E.

 

A FINAL ACT OF CRUELTY'S INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

Reblogged from E.
Come closer, I dare you!
Come closer, I dare you!
He done did it to himself!
He done did it to himself!
Ouchie!
Ouchie!
Aren't I the cutest?
Aren't I the cutest?

Hello from Crazytown. Sorry I've been missing. Here's a pic of the little hellcat Henry in all his crazed glory to make up for it. He's broken a lamp and ripped two tapestries from the wall but otherwise he's a joy.

 

I'm getting by on caffeine and nervous energy because the past week has been filled with a houseful of sick pets. It started with the cats, all four of them, and then went through the dogs who all had a nasty stomach bug. That was fun.   Then my poor Buddy had a dental and giant cyst removal. All was healing up just fine and then I had to leave the house for a few hours and came back to the horrific sight you see in the third pic. Soooo the cone of shame it is!  

 

I'm off to read a page before slipping into a sleep coma. I hope you're all reading something fabulous and if you have any tips for helping with the new gray hairs and bags under my eyes that I've acquired this weekend please feel free to share them!