19 Sep
“Rogue’s Pawn” by Jeffe Kennedy

“Rogue’s Pawn” by Jeffe Kennedy

  Rogue’s Pawn is the first in a trilogy of fantasy erotica novels by Jeffe Kennedy.  The story begins when Jennifer walks out of her life and through a portal to fairyland.  This seems to be a theme in the books I’ve been reading lately (see The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic for a much tamer alternative).  When Jennifer arrives, she finds that her thoughts and desires are translated into reality.  Because she has no mental control, she ends up putting herself in danger and almost dies.  The fae are impressed by her power, but they also realize that […]

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17 Sep
“Six-Gun Snow White” by Catherynne Valente

“Six-Gun Snow White” by Catherynne Valente

  Six-Gun Snow White combines the mythos of the Wild West with the familiar story of Snow White, crafting a poignant story of what it’s like to be an outsider.  The story begins when Mr. H., a silver baron, coerces a Native American woman named Gun Who Sings to be his wife.  Gun Who Sings doesn’t conform to the white man’s way of life, and dies soon after bearing a child.  The girl has a lonely childhood, running wild in the gilded cage of the estate while learning how to shoot and play cards.  Then one day Mr. H. remarries.  […]

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15 Sep
The Book Blogger’s Guide to Managing ARCs

The Book Blogger’s Guide to Managing ARCs

What is an ARC? ARC is short for Advanced Reader Copy.  Publishers send out ARCs and galley proofs to booksellers, librarians, and reviewers in the months leading up to a book’s publication date in order to generate buzz about the book before its release.  Other publishers will send out finished copies of a book in the weeks leading up to the release date as a way to generate even more publicity. Should I accept ARCs? This is an individual choice that every book blogger has to make.  Some bloggers prefer to stay away from ARCs because they don’t want to […]

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13 Sep
Recipe: Pork Cube Steak with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce

Recipe: Pork Cube Steak with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce

This recipe for pork cube steak with a mushroom red wine sauce is a twist on my grandmother’s Swiss steak recipe. While shopping at Giant a few days ago, I found some ridiculously cheap pork cube steaks.  A package of two cost $1.16, which is pretty much unheard of when buying any kind of meat in the DC area.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do with pork cube steaks, but at that price, I figured that I could afford to experiment.  My grandmother used to make Swiss steak using pounded beef, so I used her recipe as a starting […]

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12 Sep
“The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic” by Emily Croy Barker

“The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic” by Emily Croy Barker

  Nora Fischer fails at life.  Her thesis is at a standstill because she can’t apply herself enough to write anything worthwhile.  Her boyfriend visits her, only to reveal that he’s getting married to another woman.  Everything’s falling apart, and Nora isn’t quite sure what to do with herself or how to react. One day, Nora goes wandering into the woods and accidentally stumbles through a portal into another world.  There she meets Ilissa, a fae creature who promises a life filled with glamor and decadence.  Nora quite literally drinks the kool-aid, at which point she falls under Ilisa’s spell.  […]

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10 Sep
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New Acquisitions: 9/10/14

New Acquisitions is a feature where I talk about recent books that I’ve purchased, borrowed, won, and/or received for review consideration. All book descriptions are taken from Goodreads. Review Copies: Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier I’ve been hearing wonderful things about Juliet Marillier for years now, and was incredibly excited to be offered a review copy of her upcoming novel. In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, […]

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08 Sep
“Storm Siren” by Mary Weber

“Storm Siren” by Mary Weber

  Storm Siren by Mary Weber is the story of a young girl who must learn to control her powers to save her kingdom. Female elementals aren’t supposed to exist, but Nym is the exception to the rule.  When Nym gets angry, she calls down storms that kill people.  It’s something that she can’t control.  After her parents died, Nym was made a slave, and the story opens as she’s about to be sold for the 15th time.  Her former owners had a tendency to get struck by lightning, which should serve as a warning as to why you shouldn’t […]

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05 Sep
“The Weirdness” by Jeremy Bushnell

“The Weirdness” by Jeremy Bushnell

  The Weirdness by Jeremy Bushnell is by far one of the most bizarre books that I’ve ever read.  The protagonist, Billy Ridgeway, is a fuck-up.  He’s given up on his dreams of being a writer and settled for a life where he (barely) scrapes out a living working at a New York City deli.  He has no drive, no ambition, and no energy to turn his life around.  One night Billy gets drunk and high at the same time and passes out on his couch.  He wakes up to discover that the devil is making him coffee and wants […]

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03 Sep
“The Book of the Crowman” by Joseph D’Lacey

“The Book of the Crowman” by Joseph D’Lacey

  The Book of the Crowman is the second book in Joseph D’Lacey’s Black Dawn series, an ecological post-apocalyptic horror story about what happens when mankind stops respecting the Earth and the land itself begins to fight back. The story is told from the perspectives of two different characters, representing both the future and the past.  Megan is a young girl (around the age of puberty) who is training to be a Keeper.  Keepers are responsible for protecting the balance between the people and the land, and for remembering the forces that almost destroyed the world.  Megan’s journeys are mostly […]

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01 Sep
R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge

The summer is swiftly ending and turning into fall.  The nights are getting cooler, the cicadas are chirping, and the grocery store shelves are stocked with pumpkin beers. It’s time for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge that’s hosted each year by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings.  The challenge runs from September 1-October 31.  Now, challenge is a bit of a misnomer, because Carl’s challenges aren’t about seeing how much you can read, but rather to gather people together to read books centered around a specific theme.  For the RIP challenge, this means reading books that fit within the mystery/gothic/horror/dark fantasy/thriller/supernatural […]

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