Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Friday, March 27, 2020

Tsundoku no more Day #7

I’m an omnivorous reader, but romantic suspense and urban fantasy are two of my favorite genres. I snapped this book up, intending to read it right away but something (probably actual work) intervened.

13 (Tallent & Lowery Book 1) by Amy Lignor

Downloaded February 18, 2014

“Tallent” is Leah Tallent, a starchy research librarian (an homage to the author’s librarian mother) who really hates dealing with library tours, especially ones like the rowdy group currently touring the Heaven & Hell exhibit (“a literary celebration of both sides of humanity”). Gareth Lowery is a handsome,. bronze-headed, green-eyed teacher who is not at all what he seems to be. And though he’s quite taken with redheaded Leah, his motives for being in the library are mysterious and intriguing.

We KNOW from the subtitle that these two are going to get together (probably in more than one way, if you know what I mean) but from the first page, the third person/dual POV book is engaging. It delivers and fans of books like Katherine Neville’s Eight and Discovery of Witches will be entertained. (Some reviewers have compared her books to Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. I’m not one to scoff at that. Like everyone else on the planet, I read Da Vinci Code when it first came out and enjoyed it thoroughly.) I’ll definitely be reading more of the books (particularly the next one which has a Shakespeare connection).

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Tsundoku no more Day #6

I was still living in Los Angeles when I downloaded this book and I can tell from the date I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. The city I’d lived in since I was 22 was becoming meaner and more expensive by the day and I was having a hard time staying afloat. I was balancing a crushing day job schedule with writing and a lot of time, if the choice came down to writing or sleeping, sleeping won.

200 Motivational and Inspirational Quotes that Will Inspire Your Success compiled by Kathy Collins

Downloaded August 21, 2015

Interestingly, this book is now “out of print,” but you can access Collins’ own quotes all over the internet. They seem pithy enough but back then? I’m not sure they would have raised me out of my funk.

Tsundoko no more Day #5

My father was in the army and I lived in France as a child. I’ve been trying to polish up my French skills ever since.

1000 French Verb in Context by Alex Forero

Downloaded January 17, 2016

I’m a big fan of the website A French Word a Day because Kristi Espinasse always introduces the words or phrases in context and that way they’re easier to remember.  In a way, this is a less interactive Duolingo approach to learning the language. You learn the verb. You use it in a sentence and you move on. Do I have the discipline to do that for a hundred days? Je ne sais pas, but it’s not like I can use the excuse that I don’t have the time.

Rezso is back!

Last year, I wrote a one-off novella for a boxed set called Guardians. It was meant to be about shifters (mostly werewolves), but since I can't ever just write something simple, I came up with a new kind of origin story about a character who's a shifter. The boxed set didn't sell that well (are people tired of werewolves?) but the stand-alone novella has been a surprise hit with my readers. (Thank  you all!)

The sequel is going to be out this spring--next month if I can manage it, by May for sure. I'm having an enormous blast writing it, and I hope that will translate into enjoyment for those who read it. And here's the cover!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

tsundoku no more Day #4

Reading about food calms me sometimes and the day I downloaded this recipe book, I was STRESSED. You might wonder how I can remember a random day almost five years ago, but there are two reasons—one, it would have been my father’s 94th birthday and I was missing him; and two—our landlord had just told us he wanted his mother to move into the home we’d been renting and if we could get out by the 8th, he’d give us all our deposit back. My best friend had found a new place for us in another city and he was already gone, leaving me to finish up the packing as he handled logistics on the other end. But after I downloaded this, I ended up going to sleep instead of reading.

100 Easy Recipes in Jars by Bonnie Scott

Downloaded December 7, 2015

The recipes run the gamut from cookies to soups and beverages (including the ubiquitous “Russian tea” recipe that includes Tang). About half the book is taken up with directions on how to fill your jars and decorate them afterwards, and there are some smart tips for dealing with super-fine ingredients so the presentation of the jars looks sharp. These are great for DIY gifts, especially if you include a baked batch of the same cookies so your gift recipient knows that they’ll be able to make the same tasty treats themselves.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tsundoku no more Day #3

I know why I downloaded this book. I love urban fantasy and it was Halloween.

100 Days in Deadland (Deadlands Saga Book 1) byRachel Aukes

Downloaded to Kindle October 31, 2013

The blurb: “100 Days in Deadland is set in near-future Midwest America decimated by a zombie plague. In this truly unique story, our heroine— I Cash, an office worker and weekend pilot—is forced on a journey through hell that echoes the one Dante took in the “Inferno,” the world-renowned first poem in Dante Alighieri’s epic medieval tale, The Divine Comedy. In both tales, there are nine circles of hell that must be survived, and the thirty-four cantos of the “Inferno” are reflected in the thirty-four chapters of 100 Days in Deadland...reimagined zombie apocalypse style.”

This is a first-person story that starts out with a BANG, and doesn’t let up. Aukes’ style is readable, action-packed, and enjoyable, so it’s no surprise to find out that she’s a bestselling author (and a Wattpad star!) The setting is refreshingly different and her heroine, Cash, is extremely relatable and likable. I’ll definitely be reading more of Aukes’ work. (She’s got a new post-apocalyptic bounty hunter trilogy coming out next month and a science fiction novel coming this summer.)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Tsundoku no more Day #2

I used to be a food writer, so I read cookbooks for fun, not just to discover new recipes.

100 Casseroles and Main Dish Recipes by Chris Carraveau and Ann Carriveau

Downloaded to Kindle November 10, 2014

The subtitle of the book informs the reader/cook that the recipes were gleaned from church and community fundraising cookbooks. My mother and grandmother had a whole collection of those spiral-bound books and they always seemed to be a mixed bag. Many of the recipes started out with opening a can of soup, and a lot of them seemed to be ingredient by ingredient replicas of commonly available recipes found in similar cookbook. The authors here seem to have just cherry-picked recipes from their own collection.

I was disappointed there wasn’t any commentary between the recipes. (I like reading about how authors got a recipe from their Great-Aunt Edna who was a terrible cook but had one signature dish that was fantastic, or how the original recipe was invented to work around war-time rationing and Depression-era financial woes and yet still turned out to be a family favorite.)

The formatting of the book is funky (it looks like it was just shoveled into a file without regard to how it would look) and some of the titles and recipes are repeated, but if you enjoy “retro food” heavy on the meat and dairy products, there are a lot of comfort food recipes here, especially those involving ground beef, noodles and cheese. Chances are, though, you already have these recipes in your kitchen, hand-written in faded ink on food-stained index cards with a cheery greeting like, “From Kate’s Kitchen.”