Wednesday, August 23, 2017

'A Discovery of Witches' Is Coming to TV (and Other Reasons I'm Happy Today)

One of my favorite books in the history of time, A Discovery of Witches, is becoming a TV series, as reported by Entertainment Weekly


Matthew Goode, who appeared in The Imitation Game* with Benedict Cumberbatch, will play my fictional boyfriend, vampire-scientist Matthew Clairmont. 

Badass witch heroine and mother of dragon (technically, firedrake) Diana Bishop is to be played by Teresa Palmer, the Australian actress I thought was very good in Warm Bodies

Quite nice. Another favorite getting a TV adaptation is Robert Galbraith's (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling's) The Cuckoo's Calling


It looks like Cormoran Strike - another of my fictional boyfriends, although I truly want him and Robin to get together - got a bit of an adaptational attractiveness upgrade, but no matter. Holliday Grainger looks like she'll be an absolutely perfect Robin Ellacot. 

Elarica Johnson, who made a brief but notable appearance in the film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is playing Lula Landry. I still like to imagine that Lula is dating Fred Weasley in the afterlife. 

Grainger is also set to play the lover of Anna Paquin's character in Tell It to the Bees, a novel written by Fiona Shaw. Shaw did a stint on True Blood with Paquin, playing the lead witch of a coven, but is perhaps more famous for playing Harry Potter's witchcraft-phobic Aunt Petunia. 

"Telling the bees" is an ancient folkloric custom. 

Also adapted for TV was Charlaine Harris's Midnight, Texas series. I'm missing it because I don't have cable, but my parents are watching it. Maybe some day they'll put it on Netflix. 


*Which I never finished watching because sad LGBT+ history makes me sad. 

Recently Watched: Much Ado About Nothing at Notre Dame on Sunday, then my second viewing of Twelfth Night, with my niece this time, also at Notre Dame but on Monday. 

Currently Listening To: Wil Wheaton reading the audio book of Ready Player One.
 
Currently Reading

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood #BookReview

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an amazing book, hard to read but hard to put down. The narrator, Offred (her real name may be June, as semi-confirmed by the author), could be almost any woman in American society, and with the flaming crap show of a presidency we have going on right now and the unholy alliance between the ultra-corporatist Republicans and the gullible, ultra-religious conservative Republicans, the United States turning into Gilead seems more realistic than at any other time in my life.

Edgar Allan Poe's Raven was correct: Nevermore will there be a balm in Gilead. The Christian theocracy is murderous and reduces women to their bodies in a horrifying but realistic way. In the introduction, Atwood explains that everything that happens in the book has been done by a human society in the past - they've just never been synthesized like this.

Although Offred is the most relatable and likeable of protagonists, trapped in a situation in which she is only minimally complicit, and that by necessity, the best part of the book may be the "historical notes" at the end. In the coda, a team of academics who seem to be mainly Canadian First Nations folks in Nunavit are looking back on Gileadean society and analyzing how this division of Caucasian/Western civilization went so badly. (Hint: religious fundamentalism, racism, abuse of power, environmental abuse. Sound like anyone we know?)

I am a white people (as is the author), but I still like the idea that in the future, South Asians and First Nations people will have put white people in our place and will be studying us like we're extinct in the way that white Americans condescendingly refer to indigenous Americans in the present. Turnabout is fair play, as they say.

What happens to Offred is left deliberately ambiguous, but I'm an optimist and I would like to think that she made it to England and successfully gave birth to a healthy child, thanks to Nick helping her get to the Underground Femaleroad. I'd like to think that Nick and Luke are alive, too.

But I think Moira may actually be my favorite character. I haven't watched the TV show yet but I hope Moira is the character Ms. Samira Wiley (formerly of Orange is the New Black) is portraying. (But for some reason I keep picturing her looking like Ilana Glazer.) I respect Moira's defiance and refusal to accept her non-personhood.

Keep reading. Keep resisting. Keep playing Scrabble and knowing the meaning of obscure and difficult words. Knowledge is power. If you understood the messages of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World, read this book and remember it.

I borrowed this book from a family member and was not obligated in any way to review it.



View all my reviews on Goodreads

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nonfiction: 'Waiting for the Punch' by Marc Maron

Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF PodcastWaiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast by Marc Maron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d never heard Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, but I read parts of this book because I was interested in a lot of the people he interviewed on his show about universal topics like relationships, mental health, and sexuality.

I skipped some of the interview subjects whose names I didn’t know or whom I didn’t think were quite as interesting, but the ones I read had a lot of good, insightful things to say. Some of the interviewees whose wisdom I gleaned from this book included:

Ali Wong
Anna Kendrick
Barack Obama
Carl Reiner
Carrie Brownstein
Chelsea Peretti
Dan Savage
Dave Foley
Elizabeth Banks
Judy Greer
Kevin Hart
Leslie Jones
Margaret Cho
Mel Brooks
Melissa Etheridge
Michael Keaton (talking about Tim Burton, Batman, and Beetlejuice)
Natasha Lyonne
Penn Jillette
Robin Williams
RuPaul Charles
Sarah Silverman
Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Patrick Stewart
Wanda Sykes

Some of these folks are real gems of human beings. They have a lot of worthwhile things to say. Some of these things are very funny, some are poignant, some are both. All of these people are smart people capable of articulating a coherent thought, which is shockingly refreshing in this era of idiocracy.

P.S. Congratulations, Chelsea Peretti, on the healthy birth of your son Beaumont Peele.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

'Hag-Seed' by Margaret Atwood

Hag-SeedHag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is the first Margaret Atwood book I've ever read; I know she's enjoying a bit of a resurgence in popularity because her novel The Handmaid's Tale was made into a miniseries. I need to get around to reading that soon, too.

But in the meantime, it happens that I read Shakespeare's The Tempest last summer in anticipation of seeing the play performed at the University of Notre Dame. I was thus familiar enough with the play to make reading this a worthwhile experience. (I'm a big Shakespeare nerd anyway, and I love retellings.)

The novel itself is briskly paced and humorous with a lovable protagonist. Felix has suffered the tragic early death of his own little Miranda, but he imagines her so clearly she appears as a spirit-like character, a combination Miranda/Ariel in his own personal tempest.

Much of the novel is set in a prison. In her acknowledgments, Atwood mentions Orange Is the New Black as part of the long tradition of prison literature. I've been watching the series based on Piper Kerman's book (I just finished Season 5), and I appreciate how the Kerman, the book, and subsequently the series have brought attention to the abuse of prison inmates and the good work it's done in helping to humanize non-violent convicted persons. With that background, it's easy to get inside the heads of the prison characters in the novel. Some of the products of their imaginations are very rough around the edges, but Atwood is careful to root the grittiness in their experiences.

Atwood includes a summary of The Tempest in the book, so even if you haven't seen the play staged you can brush up before diving into the novel. But all the allusions - including the chapter headings - will make more sense if you've at least seen a movie version. (The acknowledgments also mention Julie Taymor's movie, which I highly recommend seeing. I still consider Russell Brand the ultimate Trinculo.)

I received this book from BloggingForBooks.com in exchange for a fair and honest review.



View all my reviews on Goodreads

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

5 Corporate Scandals

Oops! I accidentally got carried away while working on a freelance writing project and wrote way over my projected word count about corporate scandals. So please, enjoy this short list of awful things done in the name of capitalism.

If you are horrified and fascinated by these events, perhaps you would like to browse this blog's history tag.

1. Ford Pinto (1978). Ford made its Pinto models between 1971 and 1980. In 1971, Ford recalled 20,000 of its Pintos because of reports of vapors from the fuel tank leaking into the back of the car through the carburetor. In two legal cases, Ford was accused of producing a car it knew was unsafe, particularly in low-speed rear-end collisions. Three deaths and four incidents of serious injury were reported 1971-1974.

https://www.amazon.com/Was-Ford-Pinto-Death-Trap-ebook/dp/B017OFMRQI/
In 1978, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration ruled that the design of Ford’s fuel tank was defective. In 1980 the state of Indiana charged the Ford corporation with murder after three teenage girls were killed in one accident involving a Pinto, but the company was found not guilty.

2. Union Carbide (1984). The chemical manufacturer’s pesticide plant in Bhopal, India was so poorly maintained it caused the largest industrial disaster in history. The accidental release of methyl isocyanate caused the immediate suffocation deaths of more than 2,000 people, injuries in more than 50,000 people, and an additional gas-related death toll of perhaps another 8,000 people. Although the Indian government charged Union Carbide executives with homicide, the company claimed it was not under Indian jurisdiction and these officials did not appear in court to face these charges.

https://www.amazon.com/Five-Past-Midnight-Bhopal-Industrial/dp/0446530883/
3. Lincoln Savings and Loan (1989). The Lincoln S&L had been a respected financial institution since it was opened in Los Angeles in 1925. Its management ran the institution conservatively and made a modest profit.

When Charles Keating purchased Lincoln S&L in February 1984, Keating increased the company’s profits five-fold by taking on riskier and riskier investments. As a result, the parent company was forced to declare bankruptcy and 21,000 investors, many of them elderly, lost their savings.

4. Firestone Natural Rubber Company (1990). Firestone Tire and Rubber Company opened this natural rubber plantation in Liberia in 1926. Leased from the Liberian government, the plantation was the largest of its kind in the world. Human rights groups have documented numerous worker complaints about conditions in the plantation, ranging from accusations of child labor violations to modern-day slavery.

Civil war broke out in Liberia in 1990, and a resistance group took over the Firestone plantation. Although all the details of the what happened on the plantation at that time are unclear, what is known is that warlord Charles Taylor made Firestone Natural Rubber Company his base of operations and that Taylor was convicted in international criminal court for war crimes.

5. Halliburton (2010). Founded in 1919, the Halliburton Company is among the world’s largest oil field service companies. It has been involved in numerous scandals over the years, from accusations of illegal trading with the enemy when a subsidiary opened an office in Tehran to charges of obstructing an investigation by deleting data related to the Deep Water Horizon oil rig explosion of 2010. Halliburton was found to be jointly responsible, along with BP and another oil company, of negligent practices that caused the deaths of 11 employees and the discharge of 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

'Geekerella' by Ashley Poston Book Review

GeekerellaGeekerella by Ashley Poston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'Geekerella' is a sweet, fun, charming retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. Its heroine, Elle, bonded with her late father through the sci-fi television series 'Starfield.' Its prince is Darien Freeman, an actor on a soapish evening drama series recently cast as 'Starfield's Prince Carmindor in a movie reboot.

Elle is not initially happy with this casting decision. A nice twist is that part of the book is written from her point of view and part is written from Darien's. I don't think I've ever read a "Cinderella" version that gives us the prince's POV before.

Darien and Elle correspond via text without knowing who the other person is in real life. They fall in love through each other's words and their shared love of 'Starfield.' In a way, they become Carmindor and the fictional TV series' heroine, Princess Amara. There's a wicked stepmother and a lost shoe, but this retelling is contemporary and fresh enough to make it all seem new.

An important detail about this book is that it has a Cosplay Ball, and at that ball, a Dean Winchester and a Castiel are a dancing couple. (Okay, maybe that's only an important detail if you're a Destiel shipper.)

I'm more of a fanfiction writer than a cosplayer, so I didn't quite identify with Elle as much as I did with Cath Avery in Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. Still, this is in 'Fangirl's wheelhouse, and fans of Rowell's geeky romance should enjoy this romantic geeky retelling.

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and was not obligated in any way to review it.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Friday, May 12, 2017

'Democracy In Black' #Nonfiction #Politics

Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American SoulDemocracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is excellent at describing what the problem is, but a bit lacking in practical solutions on how to solve the problem. Professor Glaude isn't responsible for single-handedly solving the race problems in the U.S.A., of course, but I did think that at the beginning of the book he said that he would focus on what could be done other than more preaching to the choir.

The #1 problem, as summed up in this book, is that white Americans fundamentally need to change the way we view African-Americans before anything will truly change. Professor Glaude then goes on to describe how contemporary African-American politics, including the presidency of Former President Obama, exacerbate rather than deal with the problem. Namely, the Black Left is too worried about placating and catering to white ideas of what an African-American politician should be to be considered "acceptable."

The result is that the Democratic Party counts on the support of the African-American voting block without actually creating policies that do anything to make Black life in America any better. It's a huge frustration, quite disheartening, and a problem that grass-roots activism is going to have to work really, REALLY hard to make a dent in.

I received a paperback copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair, honest review.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Sunday, April 23, 2017

'When God Made You' #childrensbook by Matthew Paul Turner and David Catrow

When God Made YouWhen God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beautifully written and beautifully illustrated picture book with words by Matthew Paul Turner and images by David Catrow. The star of the book is an unnamed little girl who appears to be about four years old. She's a girl of African descent with an adorable little face and beautiful natural hair in braids.

I knew I was going to love the illustrations when I opened the cover and saw the abstract, rainbow-hued "squiggle" artwork on the inside. On the first story page, a cat of perhaps Siamese persuasion is making a very cat-like face on one side of our heroine, and a fluffy little dog is looking very curiously at her story book on her other side. Her baby sister plays contentedly on the floor. It's a charming illustration in watercolors and a few lines of black ink.

The story introduces children to the concept of being created as a unique creation in God's image. It would be a nice lesson for a young children's Sunday school class, for a religious or home-school kindergarten or preschool class, or for a bedtime story. The illustrations get increasingly whimsical.

Overall, this book is an absolute joy.

I received a copy of this book from BloggingForBooks.com in exchange for writing this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Buy my copy on eBay



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

4 Great Travel Books for 2017



4. Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Colin Dickey’s haunted travelogue Ghostland roams New York, New England, the Midwest, the South, the Southeast, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Coast in search for ghost-ridden homes, businesses, cemeteries, asylums, and prisons. Whether or not you believe in life after death, Dickey explains, the folklore connected to certain geographical locations often tells us more about the anxieties of the living than it does about the concerns of the dead. I'm fascinated by Dickey’s analysis and by his conclusion that the public’s interest in ghost stories is keeping alive the important work of historical preservation.

3. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton

Starting with the premise that with identical chains of store franchises in every village and hamlet across the land, America is no longer a place that holds any mystery, the authors of Atlas Obscura began by wondering what they could do to reclaim some of the world’s lost wonder, starting in their Manhattan backyards. They were amazed to find more weird, obscure, bizarre and - well, amazing places had been right under their noses. Around the world, the authors found wherever you go, something weird is going on just out of the public eye.

2. Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London by Lauren Elkin

Virginia Woolf called it “Street Haunting,” and the French poet Charles Baudelaire termed it flânerie: the art of inhabiting the crowd of a city street. In Flâneuse, Lauren Elkin writes specifically of what it means to inhabit the street crowd, a traditionally male-dominated public space, while inhabiting a female body. With keen and often cutting powers of observation that would have made Woolf proud, Elkin shares with us the kind of woman-on-the-street experiences men might miss.

1. The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them by Thomas Swick

Thomas Swick is a seasoned travel writer who’s seen more than 60 countries, and in The Joys of Travels he names the seven joys of travel by name. Like a modern-day Canterbury Tales, each joy has a corresponding tale full of humor and insight.

Monday, March 13, 2017

8 Great Quotes From Literature

[Guest Post] It is not uncommon for some phrase to be memorized out of the whole book of our favorites. It was so catchy, so memorable or simply was in the fullness of time. Users of a popular social network gathered together just some out of those, which are the most popular ones. Here are the eight quotes on the top of the list:

“That's the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and WORTH the doing.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451


“No”, he said quickly. “Never. Stay friends? Try to grow a small rose garden on the ashes of broken feelings? No, this will never work for you and me. It happens only after small affairs and it looks fake. Love should not be spoiled by friendship. The end is the end.”
― Erich Maria Remarque, Arch of Triumph


“I don`t care what you think about me. I don`t think about you at all.”
― Henri Gidel, Coco Chanel


“I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves...”
― Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Grey


“I won`t think of it now. I will think of it tomorrow.”
― Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind


“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


“I don`t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender In The Night


“That is the most difficult thing of all. It is far more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself correctly, then you are truly a man of wisdom.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


About the Author: Melisa Marzett is a young lady who nevertheless has gone through many books, met lots of people, and can come up with an opinion on anything, really. Working for bigpaperwriter.com at this time, she is eager to write more and more. She has passion for writing and it would be delightful to her to get to know more. She is never tired of what she does and will gladly accept a challenge to write a guest post whatever the topic would be.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

EBook Discounts and Specials for #ReadAnEBookWeek 2017 - March 5-11

FREE for Read an Ebook Week 2017


Use code RAE75 to get The Erotica Anthology free through March 11, 2017 at Smashwords.


"Josephine Baker in Berlin" is also FREE through March 11th.

50% Off Through March 11



You Add the Rainbow Adult Coloring Book is only $1.37. Download and print your favorite coloring sheets as many times as you like! So easy and fun!


Cut is down to $1.50 with discount code RAE50.


Beltane, the first novel in the Pagan Spirits romance trilogy, is also down to just $1.50.


"Oliver's Good Night Kiss" is on sale for only $1.50 this week. 


75% Off


Eminent Domain is actually 75% off - down to just one dollar!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

In a Different Key: The Story of #Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker

In a Different Key: The Story of AutismIn a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy good writing about science topics, and I'm especially interested in books that explore the scientific and social history of medical conditions. This book hit all the right notes with me. It explored the topic of autism from the first modern diagnosis onward, then went back and looked at what could be historical examples of individuals with undiagnosed autism.

Lest you think this book is nothing but dry scientific facts, however, please note that the authors have done an excellent job of humanizing the condition of autism. In the final analysis, this is the story of people, from young Donald Triplett (actually he's going to turn 84 this year, but when we meet him in the book, his mother is pregnant with him) to the famous Temple Grandin.


We meet parents of children with autism, the good, the bad, and the ugly. (And I do mean ugly - there's a case of a parent who murdered his autistic child in a misguided act of "mercy killing.")

This is a fascinating read, and more importantly, it's a reminder that autistic and "neurotypical" people alike can work together to improve education and quality of life for children and adults with autism.



View all my reviews on Goodreads

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

'Toys For Boys' by K.D. Grace - Release Blitz! @KD_Grace


Out Now! - Toys for Boys by K D Grace (@kd_grace)

When I wrote Toys for Boys, I had already been playing around with placing myself in the story as writer, as scribe. Because I’d walked the Wainwright Coast to Coast, and because I remembered those days when all I wanted at the end of the day was to be warm and dry and asleep in my bed, I already had common ground with Doc and Will and their trials. Writers are always voyeurs to some extent. Certainly we’re always people watchers. And quite often we feel like we’re doing little more than reporting our characters’ stories as they whisper them in our ear. When that happens, it’s always amazing, the unexpected directions a story can take. 

I wanted to bring that experience of the characters telling their story to the forefront of Toys for Boys and make it a literal part of the story – sort of share with the reader what we writers experience with our characters on a daily basis. I was very lucky because Will and Doc were more than happy to share. 



High tech meets low tech in a wilderness adventure that sizzles.

Toys for Boys Blurb:

Alpha nerd Will Charles teams up with Caridoc ‘Doc’ Jones in a coast to coast walk across England reviewing outdoor gift suggestions for the Christmas edition of Toys for Boys—an online magazine dedicated to the latest gadgets to tickle a man’s fancy. Will is recording their adventures with the latest smart phone technology. Doc is reviewing the latest outdoor gear. The two quickly discover the great outdoors provides even better toys for boys, toys best shared al fresco, toys that, in spite of Will’s great camera work, will never be reviewed in Toys for Boys.

Note: Toys for Boys has been previously published as part of the Brit Boys: With Toys boxed set.


Buy Toys for Boys Here:

Universal Amazon link: http://mybook.to/toysforboys
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2jPjrN2 
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2kmFbRg 

 Toys for Boys – Hard Going -- Excerpt:

After the traditional dipping of their boots in the Irish Sea and choosing a stone to toss into the North Sea at walk’s end—all of which Will fucking Charles insisted on videoing, all of which Doc would have skipped in favour of a quick start, they were finally on their way. Doc was more than pleasantly surprised at Will’s pace, long, sure strides in well-used walking boots convinced him that Will should take the lead. It didn’t take him long to doubt the wisdom of that choice. The mist had closed in enough to limit the view over the red cliffs out to sea, but the view of Will’s arse in the well-worn walking shorts only scant steps in front of Doc on a steep incline more than made up for it. 

For an instant Doc fought an overwhelming urge to reach out and grab a handful. His cock twitched, his foot slipped, and suddenly the groping fantasy became a reality as his outstretched hand landed on a tightly contracted buttock in his flailing efforts to balance himself. A glancing touch became more of a grope just as Will lost his footing and slid back against him. 

“Whoa, mate! You all right?” In a lightning-fast move, Will turned and grabbed Doc by the arm to keep him from going down. “Mud’s a bitch,” he said, then turned and walked on, leaving Doc breathless and on the verge of a stiffy, struggling not to contemplate the movement of muscle beneath thin shorts and the certainty that there was nothing beneath those but... well, muscle. Yup, no matter what the weather, this was going to be a very hard walk. 

In spite of the late start they’d set a good pace, but as the day wore on, the rain worsened and an icy breeze blew in from the north. When Doc suggested they not stop for lunch, but press on to Ennerdale Bridge, Will had offered a nod and a smile. Then he reached into his jacket, pulled out two energy bars, handed one to Doc, and they slogged on. Two energy bars and an eternity later, the weather had worsened to the point that standing up was becoming a problem, let alone walking, and still they pressed on. 

About K D Grace/Grace Marshall

Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, and a proud member of The Brit Babes, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about? 

When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She loves mythology. She enjoys spending time in the gym – right now she’s having a mad affair with a pair of kettle bells. She loves to read, watch birds and do anything that gets her outdoors.

KD has erotica published with Totally Bound, SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Sweetmeats Press, and others.

K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, To Rome with Lust, and The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available. 

K D Grace also writes hot romance as Grace Marshall. An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis, The Exhibition, Interviewing Wade are all available. 

Find K D Here:

Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services.



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

#Nonfiction #Inspiration 'There Are No Overachievers' by Brian D. Biro


There Are No Overachievers: Seizing Your Windows of Opportunity to Do More Than You Thought PossibleThere Are No Overachievers: Seizing Your Windows of Opportunity to Do More Than You Thought Possible by Brian D Biro

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brian D. Biro must be fascinating to listen to as a public speaker, because even in writing he held my rapt attention. I read the first 112 pages of this book straight through while I waited for my car to be serviced.

I was inspired by the way Biro was constantly on the lookout for "Windows of Opportunity" (WOOs). These are opportunities to help others live up to their full potential, to be present in the moment, to be more loving, to make the most out of life with our friends and families. I loved the positive outlook of this short but sweet book and the way success was defined, not by money and fame, but by sharing in moments of transcendence with others.

One of the lessons I learned from this book was to have an attitude to "Maybe I can..." instead of assuming that something was impossible. I plan to re-read this book every year, if not every 6 months, for a fresh burst of inspiration.

I received this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest review. I was not otherwise compensated.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 15



"...God and the Devil were married." Athena spins her wildly unorthodox theology to the Pastor as he prepares for the next Sunday's sermon. But something is terribly wrong with Barbara Jean. Then, Travis and Monica struggle in the aftermath of their tragedy. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 14



As Chapter 20 ends, Diana has to have a serious talk with Brigid. Chapter 21 brings us up to Thanksgiving 1999. Travis and Monica want to spend a restful holiday with her parents, but their baby may not be able to wait.


Monday, January 30, 2017

#Thriller Review: 'The Chemist' by Stephenie Meyer

The ChemistThe Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the best book Stephenie Meyer has written so far. I really enjoyed the Twilight series, and I liked most of The Host (although I thought it was quite a bit longer than it needed to be). I know her writing isn't perfect (no one's is), but she is still getting better.

For me, the best thing about Stephenie Meyer's writing is the way she understands those deep moments of connection between two human beings. In the Twilight books, she made me recall the experience of being in love for the first time as a teenager. In The Host, she drew a beautiful portrait of a connection that crossed worlds and species in the romance between Ian and Wanderer.


In this book, the character we generally know as Alex (not her real name) doesn't have any close attachments to anyone in her life. She learns to, through a difficult and painful process. Daniel starts out as the war criminal she's chosen - through an unlikely set of circumstances - to torture for information.

Oh yes, Alex is a difficult women. Meyer doesn't let us go easy on her or warm up to her quickly, but that's okay. This is a suspense novel taking place in the world of elite and highly-trained agents. Elite agents aren't people-people, and Alex is no exception. Getting us to invest emotionally in these characters is difficult, because they are difficult and complex characters.

Meyer pulls it off. Near the end, the unthinkable happens, and it's a heart-wrenching moment.

In the meantime, this is an absolute page-turner. Compared to the slow build of The Host, this book reads lightning-quick. Alex's life is in constant danger, and as a reader I constantly had to know what she was going to do next.

What Meyer can still improve upon is the way she writes relationships between women. This improves a bit toward the end of the novel, when she part-way humanizes a character who had previously been portrayed as Alex's rival. Still, there's the rivalry and the implication that the woman's beauty and sexuality are somehow negatives. Alex also has a few judgmental moments directed at random strangers. But the overall quality of Meyer's writing is moving in the right direction.

Even if you're not necessarily a fan of Meyer based on her previous books, if you're a devourer of suspense and willing to suspend some disbelief at the more unlikely aspects of thriller novels, you should find this enjoyable.

FYI, this may be a tough read if you love dogs. There are dogs, and those dogs are in peril.

I purchased this hardcover book at my local Barnes and Noble. I was not obligated in any way to review it.

The Host book review

The Host movie review

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 13



** Adults Only. ** In this episode, Diana wants Tim to spend the night with her, but Brigid interrupts their tryst with a crisis of her own making.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 12



Brigid and Fred share a romantic moment when Fred attempts to climb in through Brigid's bedroom window. A new challenge comes between them, though. Diana and Tim go on their third date. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 11



In Episode 11, the Halloween bonfire comes to a close. Tim and Diana's date is interrupted when he runs into his former partner, and she learns some surprising new stories about him. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

'Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies' by J.K. Rowling


I started reading this short book in December. It took me a while to get back to reading this one because I knew the Remus Lupin chapter was going to be a heartbreaker. It is. So is the back story of Professor Minerva McGonagall, who lost both of the loves of her life. She's also more badass than we realized.

J.K. Rowling named Minerva McGonagall after the Roman goddess of wisdom + William Topaz McGonagall, remembered for being a terrible Victorian poet. He wrote a terrible poem about the Tay Bridge Disaster, which I knew about from  Scientific Blunders: A Brief History of How Wrong Scientists Can Sometimes Be by Robert M. Youngson. It's a book I have read and enjoyed for many years.


H, H + DH was kind of a sad book, but I enjoyed it because it gave us some more back story of some of our favorite characters. The Sybill Trelawney chapter was a little short, and it didn't have a lot of new information. But I've now read 2 of the 3 Pottermore story collections, and I'm excited to read the third one.

Here is my review of Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide.

Here is a review from Reading Lark.

I purchased this book on Pottermore and was not obligated in any way to review it.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 10



Episode 10 brings us to the story of Tim's police-involved shooting. I wrote this episode, and even I find it upsetting.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 9



Episode 9 presents a historical flashback in the tale of Brigid and Diana's ancestor, An. Born in a small Chinese farming village around 1880, An was tricked into leaving her home as a teenager, and ended her life in the notorious role of pirate. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 8



Barbara Jean confronts Edward about the rumors she's heard about him as the congregation prepares to protest the annual Halloween bonfire.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 7



Episode 7 opens with an intimate encounter between Fred and Brigid. Darius prepares to work security at the Halloween bonfire, and Barbara Jean reconsiders her future with Edward.

Monday, January 9, 2017

#Nonfiction Review: 'Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art' by Madeleine L'Engle

This book will be useful and instructive to all kinds of artists, from writers to visual artists to theater performers to musicians. Although it does discuss faith, and particularly Madeleine L'Engle's Christian faith, faith is not necessary to read and get something positive out of this book.


I'm a writer who wouldn't consider herself a Christian, although I was raised in the Roman Catholic church and have attended the Episcopal church as an adult. Madeleine L'Engle states in this book that she likes to call herself Christian and not particular denomination. However, she does mention the Book of Common Prayer, and I know from her other writings that the church she attended was also Episcopal. (For those of you outside the U.S., that's our version of the Anglican Church/Church of England. We split from the Crown during the American Revolution, but we're still part of the Anglican Communion.) Personally, I also find a lot of beauty and meaning in the Book of Common Prayer, but if you don't, that doesn't mean you won't enjoy this book.

Like many readers, I came to know of Madeleine L'Engle through reading A Wrinkle in Time as a child. I carried on with some of the sequels much more recently, and I found them to be quite wonderful too. I have enough appreciation for L'Engle as an artist to understand that she knows quite a bit about art and how art is done.

That's not to say that I entirely agree with everything she writes in this book. I find her lecture on why it's perfectly okay to use "man" to mean "human being" to be terribly old-fashioned and anti-feminist. No, Ms. L'Engle, we don't want the male gender to be the "default" setting for human being, thus reinforcing the idea that man is human and woman is "other." I don't know if she ever read Germaine Greer or Simone de Beauvoir, but she should have.

I will give her a little bit of leeway since she originally wrote this in 1980. Sadly, L'Engle passed away in 2007, so there's no possibility of asking her now.

Overall, though, this book gave me much more to love than to quarrel with. It serves as an antidote to the kind of misplaced piety that would try to separate artists from our art and to squeeze art into too-tiny, too-narrow boxes it no longer wishes to fit inside.

I received this book from BloggingForBooks.com in exchange for a fair and honest review, which represents my own honest opinion.

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 6



In Episode 6, Brigid waits for Fred while Fred goes to church and makes confession. Maybe it isn't a good idea for Leander and Brigid to be home alone together.




Saturday, January 7, 2017

Story Time with Erin O'Riordan: CUT Episode 5



Story Time is back! In the fifth episode from 'Cut' by Erin O'Riordan and Tit Elingtin, Leander takes Fred to meet his connection...in a coven of Satanists in the middle of performing a ritual.