Saturday, May 21, 2016

April and May Eye Report

It's been awhile since I've done a report post so it feels like there's a lot to say. Sorry for the long post.

Before I get started, if you're in the market for book cover artwork, my writing buddy Marion Sipe is having a 25% off sale. Check out her Facebook page to see some of her work.

And while we're on writing, after the last post regarding my project pile, I decided to dive into editing short stories. Violets, written from your V word suggestions during April, has been polished up and sent out into submissions. I'm currently mulling how to fix Tickle, a sci-fi short that's been sitting in my editing pile for a couple years now after some editorial feedback. Aaaand, pondering cover art for Sahmara, the fantasy novel I intend to self publish at some point this summer. I'm also having my first meeting tomorrow with the editor I'll be working with on The Narvan series.

Now then, back April and most of May and all the things my eyeballs read and watched.

On the watching front:
Helix: As much as I wanted to stay awake for the CDC and Immortals duking it out, Billy Campbell's whispery raspy voice puts me to sleep. When I was able to stay awake, I found this show creepy, disturbing (particularly the second season), and outfitted with just enough twists to keep things interesting. I was disappointed to find out there wouldn't be a third season.

The White Queen: I stumbled across this by chance and thought, 'hey, this sounds like a familiar title'. Well yeah, the book has been sitting on top of one of my TBR piles for about a year now. Duh. I knew I was in for goodness because: Phillipa Gregory. Again, I was disappointed the series didn't continue, but the show did a wonderful job of making history interesting. If only history was written as fictionalized romance in school, I would have paid a lot more attention. Now I guess I better get on reading the book. Oh, but there are so many books in my stacks.

Daredevil: We danced around whether to give this a try or not so soon after Jessica Jones, which we did like, but never quite fell in love with. And well, this seemed very similar as far a setting and superhero and plot. Loved the first season, with all the action, and trying to balance the day job with late night crime fighting and you know, being blind. The second season, while still pretty good, got really predictable. As in there would always be that one bad guy that survived just long enough for DD to ask him who had done this to him (because it was him). Always. To the point we started placing bets on which guy would be in the brink of death but still helpfully talking. But, for a superhero series, it had decent character depth and I'll be waiting for the third season. Punisher, meh. Every time I saw him, I kept saying to myself, hey, it's Shane, still being an asshole just like on Walking Dead. And Electra, also not a huge fan. While I did like that she wanted to be good, but was evil...but was good... and I lost track, her character generally lacked the depth I was looking for.

The Ranch: Totally going off what I normally sit down to, my husband suggested we give something funny a try. I hate laugh tracks. Just throwing that out there. But I like funny, and the show slowly grew on me. While a lot of the humor felt like Ashton Kutcher & Danny Masterson rehashing their roles on That '70s Show, but all grown up and as the sons of a cattle rancher, I did enjoy the relationship with their father and his odd relationship with their mother. A couple scenes where even touching.  

Not to mention Game of Thrones! So far I feel quite good about where this season is going. In fact, I'm downright happy with it. Which means someone is probably going to die and piss me off again.

I'm also watching Fear the Walking Dead, but I'm not sure why anymore. At this point in the series, I'm over the interest I had in seeing out the zombie outbreak occurred and how civilization broke down. I'm mostly hoping that the entire cast gets eaten and the show ends. Other than Salazar and Strand, they're all so busy being stupid, it's amazing they haven't become a main course yet. I take back everything I've ever said about TWD's Carl wandering off like a idiot. These kids, they're morons. And they're older. There's no excuse for any of them to act as irresponsibly as they are in these situations. I want to support the Walking Dead universe, I do, but my tolerance for stupid has been reached.

I started my reading rush with Sherrilyn Kenyon, because it gets my eyes warmed up and my brain in reading mode. After pouring through Fantasy Lover and The Guardian, I was ready to branch out into something beyond paranormal romance.

Next up was Hunter by Mercedes Lackey. I've read, well, a shelf worth of her books, though it's been a long, long time. So when this turned up on the top of my daughter's stack of books she brought home from her book club, I grabbed it out of curiosity. Would I still enjoy her writing? Tons of world building here and an interesting point of view in the girl main character that goes a smidge too third wall for my taste, yet it was an enjoyable foray into YA fantasy, and I'm looking forward to the next book.

Then I tried to get into a cyberpunk novel, but after a couple days of attempting to get to a point where the story grabbed me, there came a point where I had to admit that it just wasn't working for me, despite that I've enjoyed other novels by this author before. I may hang on to it and try again in a few months when I'm in a different mindset.

Next on my stack was Karen Marie Moning's The Highlander's Touch. I spent an enjoyable day of reading your typical portal romance and delivered reliably the quality experience I've come to expect from this author when I'm in the mood for a little highlander flavor. And while I was at it, a couple weeks later, discovered I had another book from the same series so I flew through Spell of the Highlander as well. I do enjoy her plucky heroines and their humor. And now I find myself thinking in the Scottish tone she uses in her books. Guess I better read something else to wash the Scot away.

Ever have one of those nights when you should go to sleep, but instead grab a book, and then realize you've read it before, but you stay up half the night and read it again anyway? Yeah, I did that. I think I've gone through all the Sherrilyn Kenyon in all my stacks now. Maybe. I haven't checked my writing room stack and I probably shouldn't. Devil May Cry was just as enjoyable the second time around.

Next up was Christine Feehan's Dark Storm. Which wasn't in any of my stacks, but was at the book store on sale while I was there doing a job. Damn you sale racks. I need to get out of my paranormal romance rut. But I did appreciate that this book, while one of the Carpathian Novels, was a bit different than her usual formula. I like different.

Okay so the next book I read will not be paranormal romance. Really. And I need to stay out of the bookstore.


  1. Hi Jean - you've certainly let your eyeballs wander! Then well done on submitting Violets - that's a clever idea to weave the stories via the A-Z ... and now good luck to settling the others down into submissions ... cheers Hilary

  2. Did I tell you my mom used to work with Sherrilyn Kenyon? They were good friends for a while. It was right before she left her job to become a full-time author (although she was already published, just not a huge success). She came to our local RWA chapter conference and I got to hang out with her along with my mom (who was a member, too) and it was so weird--people kept looking at her like she was this HUGE celebrity. She's so down to earth. I've never read any of her books, so I didn't see her that way...but like most celebrities, she'd rather people just talk to her like she's one of them than put her on a pedestal. That always makes people uncomfortable!

    1. That's awesome! I love to hear that authors I enjoy are regular down to earth people. It makes me enjoy their work even more.


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