897 Following

Debbie's Spurts

Just an avid reader. Mostly SF/Fantasy, some hobbies, paranormal, urban fantasy and lighter, fluffier things.


Currently reading

Raising Innocence
Shannon Mayer
Progress: 100 %
Beyond the Empire
K.B. Wagers
Heritage by Sean Brock (2014-10-21)
Sean Brock
100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know: Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Fabulous Dishes to Get You Everything You Want in Life
Cindi Leive
Susan Dennard
Progress: 100 %
Kill the Queen
Jennifer Estep
Progress: 99 %

Favorite Book Quotes

"Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake"— Lois McMaster Bujold







A Utah woman reported a sexual assault — but ended up facing a criminal charge herself for asking the state to pay for her rape kit

Source: http://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/11/11/utah-woman-reported

I made this tweet today.


I almost never use Twitter other than during Deweys 24 Hour Readathon.  But #HaleNo is worth a look.

May I recommend to anyone thinking of buying this ...

Kathleen Hale Is a Crazy Stalker - Kathleen  Hale

...the money better spent as a donation at http://victimsofcrime.org/about-us/support-our-work 


Help with stalking:  http://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center/stalking-information 

Source: http://victimsofcrime.org/about-us/support-our-work

*sigh* #HALENO

Kathleen Hale Is a Crazy Stalker - Kathleen  Hale

I don't have the words.


Author related to a big five publisher now publishing the tale of successfully stalking a goodreads reviewer.  Well defended by the publisher in previous instances and previous bland, badly written tomes I disliked even before all the drama.  No way I'd feel any different about this one and no way do I want to add to her profit.  $23 for hardcover sounds like trying to grab the money quickly in case any legal troubles or blowback happen.


If unfamiliar with the criminal history -- 


Yes, I know. Possible Streisand effect and increased visibility by posting about this.  But, past experience says KH will blow up around the blogosphere anyway.  She's big on friction marketing plus usually has an extraordinary amount of marketing from the publisher..

[UPDATE: EPIC FAIL] I'm experimenting adding new books...

...in a very roundabout way of:  Opening new release on fictfact calendar to go to amazon page to use the widget to shelve to goodreads.  Then importing the goodreads file (I'm no longer tracking or reviewing books on goodreads so no harm to my book catalogue there).


It takes a while for booklikes to import th goodreads file so I'll see over next couple of days how that works.  I'm sure it will pull in without covers.

New Partner: BookLikes Welcomes Kobo!

We’re happy to announce that Kobo books are available on BookLikes.


Kobo is the book source of over 3.5 million titles. It’s passion for books is visible in company's name which is an anagram of "book".


We’re extremely happy to partnership with Kobo and that we can share one of the largest e-book catalogue in the world with book lovers on BookLikes.

To add Kobo books to your book search box, go to Settings/Search, tick Kobo and Save. Now you’re all set to discover awesome e-books and shelve them on your BookLikes Shelf.

Reblogged from BookLikes

My Opinion: Beta Reader versus Reviewer

Both are obligated to respect copyrights.  


Beta Readers, paid or unpaid, are responsible for providing feedback and editing as agreed on drafts of books not yet published to retail sites.  Authors and publisher can ask for very specific things.  Feedback directly to author, not to review sites.


Consumer reviewers (aka customers and readers) are obligated to respect copyright by legally obtaining the book and not pirating it.  Period.  There is no contract.  Not responsible to review every new edition or to remove their review of edition read because author puts out a new edition.  Not responsible for proving their qualifications (qualification = they legally got the published book), reading the book, reviewing the book or anything else.


Paid or Professional Reviewers can also be asked for specific marketing terms, deadlines, specific venues for the review, editing feedback and any number of things -- within website's or publication's set policies.  Obligated to follow the agreement/contract.  On Amazon, paid review in editorial section only; not permitted in with customer reviews.  On other consumer review sites governed by U.S. law, FTC requires all incentives be disclosed in the review.  Not obligated to review every new edition for free unless specified in contract.


Unless book description notes the customer is purchasing a draft for purpose of author getting editorial feedback , customer on retail site won't know the difference between a completely published book and a published draft of a book still needing editing anyway (well, once begin reading may notice needs editing but not known at time of purchase).


To the customer on a retail site --  publishing a book on a retail site is publishing a book for retail sales/downloads.  It's not to pay the author to then provide free editing.  It's not a Kickstarter fundraiser for the author to get paid so they can afford editing and other costs of doing business including cover art.  Customers see books in a retail site's product catalog and have no way of knowing -- unless noted in book description -- author thinks they are contracting to provide anything.  It literally looks like any other book for retail sale/download.  Many readers don't even notice the publsher name or aren't necessarily familiar enough with all the imprints to know if traditional or self-publshed (and Amazon increasingly puts publisher and ISBN further away from the product page buy buttons where not always going to scroll that far).


Unlikely to see buying your book worthy of criminal charges, loss of followers no longer trusting them  or loss of site account by agreeing to author's review requirement that are against site or U.S. law such as "don't say you got the book for free" or "don't say you got book on condition of only giving a five star review"... I think it's seriously unrealistic of an author of a likely under $10 or even free book to even ask a customer to risk anything beyond their reading time, certainly not potential FTC fines.


Personally, I don't bother reading reviews on the sites that require a minimum 4-star rating and positive comments only.  Those stop being opinions if too restricted.  Seriously, if you can only give it a ★★★★☆ or ★★★★★ that's no way a fve star/unit scale, it's a two unit scale, possibly something like one thumbs up and two thumbs up or ★☆ and ★★; not 4 or 5 of anything.

Review of "About a Dragon" (Dragon Kin, #2) by G. A. Aiken (aka Shelly Laurensten)

About a Dragon - G.A. Aiken

Overall, a quick fun read with snarky, spunky heroine. Tried too hard for the spunkiness or humor in parts; bit too much dwelling on male sex organs.

With the exception of the male love interest, I liked the characters and was glad to see how the new queen was getting along. I just never warmed up to Briec. He was an arrogant dick start to finish and even the good things he did -- like rescuing her from an angry mob -- were in expectation of gratitude or reward. Instantly adapting to sort of stepfatherhood towards the end came out of the blue and out of character.

I'm sure I would have enjoyed this much more if I could have warmed up to the male lead in the paranormal romance.

Review of "Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues" (White Trash Zombie, #2) by Diana Rowland

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - Diana Rowland

This one was mixed for me.


I could have done with more of Angeil being Angel and just learning to deal with being a zombie while trying to get her life and relationships together. With a huge dose of zaniness and humor.


Instead, for too much of it, I got weighty conspiracy, political and mobster. Including bad guys abducting then somewhat graphically torturing her physically and emotionally.

Which *poof* now over and right back to regular life.


Hopefully rest of series lets up on murky conspiracies and factions. I have little patience for that (probably why I dislike thrillers and most mysteries).


I still like Angel and still enjoy the writing. And I do want to know what happens to Angel next. I was expecting a much funnier book.

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone's New Year has been happy and the new year continues to go well.


I actually did finish my reading challenge but did not finish cataloging and reviewing my reads.


Presumably marking finished and nudging the read date back to 2018 will still count them when I get around to it this week.


I'm not really making any reading or any other New Year's resolution other than hoping to finish some things started this winter.  

Review of "Night Pleasures" (Dark-Hunter, #1) by Sherilyn Kenyon

Night Pleasures  - Sherrilyn Kenyon

I'm glad I read Ash's book prior this one. It probably changed my reaction to his appearances and the whole origins of the Dark Hunters thing. More depth, maybe; not that this series or book is more deep than the usual PNR books.


Which isn't a criticism. Just that it is fairly typical of the genre that each book centers on a couple, pretty much if not completely outright fated mates. In this one, it was immortal-centuries-old-Kyrian-Greek-Prince-during-Roman-invasions-turned-DarkHunter and



I liked Kyrian and Amanda. So, liked their story. Neither was an asshat or TSTL. Fairly explicit (maybe even skim-worthy explicit sex), but no dubious consent or some supernatural whatsit compulsion factor. Without being too spoiler-y, I really liked that the conclusion didn't require one of them to act totally out of character. Not really an in-line-with-internal-logic of the series explanation of the villain, though.


As much as I enjoyed this one, the preview of Talon's story at back of the ebook I read makes the next book sound way more interesting.

Review of "Blood Games" (Chicagoland Vampires, #10) by Chloe Neill

Blood Games (Chicagoland Vampires, #10) - Chloe Neill

This one immediately went backward. I mean, Merit was surprised at being a sentinel with bodyguard duties for Ethan. As if that wasn't how it had been in the previous nine books. And Ethan in turn backtracked to keep her out of knowing what he was getting blackmail notes about -- seriously, angst'ing that Merit might know he'd known people and did stuff over his centuries of living. Blech, relationship angst.


It was still Chicagoland Vampires and still a good read.


The end of book nine had Ethan challenging Darius for control of the vampire governing council. Darius did come to Chicago but there was a plot twist to that, for me, wimped that up even if an opportunity to introduce new characters.

Darius was possessed into embezzling money and ignoring all else; when freed by Ethan and Merit resigned setting stage for another battle that included more new people.

(show spoiler)


Actually, we saw little of familiar characters other than the vampire house. So light on the shifters. Mallory is back on track and seemingly accepted. Jeff and Fallon still ongoing.



I think I would have enjoyed this more if less "new" was introduced. It missed the intensity of previous books. The big showdown with their former government everything was building to ... well, spoiler to detail but suffice to say I felt cheated.

Review of "Wild Things" (Chicagoland Vampires, #9) by Chloe Neil

Wild Things  - Chloe Neill

And the storyline returns to Chicago and the Cardogen House of Vampires. Whew! I'm glad because disliked the road tripping, soul searching and relationship angst of a few of the previous books. This ninth entry in the series, I truly enjoyed.


Again, they are dealing with Chicago and House politics. This time with possibly firmer alliances, the European government in some chaos with an interesting plot twist, some familiar characters get a cameo and one of them an illegitimate child ... everything just makes sense and comes back to the story arc I enjoyed back in the earlier books.


No actual cliffhanger (in fact, most plot points tied up nicely), but clearly there's more to come. And I am certainly planning on reading more in series. Heck, far from angst-y crap, Ethan is even publicly acknowledging the romance now.

Review of Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock, #12) by Faith Hunter

Dark Queen - Faith Hunter

As much as I was loathe to see this series end, I was really anticipating what most of my reviewing friends found a fit ending to the series.   [Update, possibly not the end as a book Shattered Bonds shows in places as #13 to be published Dec. 2019]

Jane and the bunch are still great to read about and still well-written. But, nope, I don't think this ended the series well. I mean for 11 books previously we've been building up to the visit by the older more powerful European vampires -- that storyline just fizzled with lots of posturing and playground-y antics with security measures by known characters good or bad as plot convenient without a lot of internal logic.

Yes, caught up with lots of the players. Some of whom got a satisfactory finish.

But, also introduced way too much "new" to be in the last book of the series (presumably to hint at a happier future).

I'm all for character growth and would be disappointed if no one changed over the course of a series. I like Jane and Bruiser together. But, Bruiser kind of disappeared for me to be replaced by super-duper-sappy-wish-fulfillment boyfriend. Leo also disappeared for me a bit plus maybe softened too much.

I think I was expecting much grittier stuff from the big bad visit. I mulled over this review a bit to see if too colored by the fact I didn't want this to be the last book, but after letting things digest I am overall still disappointed in how it ended the series.

Review of "Reap the Wind" (Cassie Palmer #7) by Karen Chance

Reap the Wind: A Cassie Palmer Novel - Karen Chance

Ack! Yes, I enjoyed the read (well not the opening flubbing about in time travel interrupted by other Pythia and yet more bad guys that went on too long). If I didn't like the book while reading it, I'd have rated much lower for the simple fact it's pretty much all filler. A lot of recycled filler at that as Cassie is still trying to

locate Pritkin before the curse with his demon dad along supposedly with the antidote.

(show spoiler)


Yes, okay, towards an end chapter she did seem to have toughened up a bit and gotten more aware with less patience for everyone using her. Which is kinda like the bits in the previous books.


Unlike some other reviewers, I wouldn't consider it a cliffhanger ending; just a "nothing" new sort of thing. Again, read like a filler with the big buildups anticlimactic or still to come. I'm not invested in any of her love/lust interests because I don't see any of them as good relationships. I'd be happier with the romance, though, if she took more control and either made an effort to get a healthier relationship with Micea or ditched it.

As a story, not worthy of 3 stars. As characters I enjoy reading about, what to know what happens next and written in a way that engages me ... *sigh* I know it's the 7th in the series but I was hoping to have moved past what the past couple of books have rambled on about.


With the exception of one character's parentage, I don't think there's even anything in this volume to put under a spoiler tag if anyone has read the past few books.

Have old ereaders thanks to Santa?

Please think  of the senior centers or seniors in  your own life where they  may have had to downsize losing physical books or have trouble  getting to bookstores and libraries.  Or just seniors no longer reading as much because now needing larger print.  Ereaders can be a blessing.


Before donating, look in device menus for a "deregister" option or use device's website.  (For kindle, that's under your account, content and devices https://www.amazon.com/hz/mycd/myx#/home/devices/1 .)


With Oasis and other kindles, never let amazon customer service convince you "it's a goner so trade in for new one" until you first drain battery yourself, recharge and try again.