Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top Ten Books of 2011

2011 was an excellent year for romance, urban fantasy and erotica.  Ebooks were hitting an even stride and I finally got an ereader which solidified my book mania.  So even with my fanfiction hiatus, I was able to compile a suitable list of favorite reads this year.

 I start with an unexpected frontrunner for me.  I had never heard of Selena Kitt until I got my ereader and found one of her novellas for free on the nook.  I was hooked and then picked up this little gem, which on first glance I thought would read like the worst blend between babysitter porn and erotica, but it didn't.  The dialogue was lively, the story had a good premise and it was the start of a beautiful relationship between myself and the wonderful Ms. Kitt.
 There's not much that I can say about Shelly Laurenston's books that doesn't sound like extreme fangirling.  I've loved her books since I picked up the first one, to the point where I own them in both dead tree and digital.  I anxiously await each new story and devour them multiple times and B-cubed was a particular favorite because it starred Dee Ann Smith, my favorite of the many cousins of Bobby Ray Smith.  Needless, to say I'm already in countdown until Bear Meets Girl is released.  Until, I've got the previous 6 books in the series to keep me occupied...for now.
 I said it before and I'll say it again...I'll never look at the word lubricous the same way again...or a plum for that matter.  In what was one of the best erotic retellings of a myth that I've ever read, Nadia Lee had the nerve to give this gem away for free for Valentine's Day.  If you missed it, I feel sorry for you, but feel free to go put down your .99 and pick it up.  Worth your time and money that's for sure.
 So in late-April, early-May something was amiss in the force.  A not so new author was stirring up the universe with a new series...and it starred some Dragon and had some chick in it.  Lemming that I am, I followed the crowd and was swept up in the storm that was Dragos and Pia.  I read the book, then I reread it...and I reread it again.  Then I dogeared the pages and I was this close to getting out the sparkle pens (cause that's how I roll), before I came to my senses and bought the digital...So this joined the ranks of paper and digital purchase.  Love the series and can't wait to reread them again.
 Saw this one in my bookstore and couldn't figure out why it was in hardcover.  New author, never heard of her and yet she rated a hardcover?  Okay, I'm intrigued.  After reading the first frenetic pages I realized why the publishers just didn't even bother with coaxing people in with paperback.  This series didn't need it.  Any character who names her lady bits: Danger & Will Robinson and Beam Me Up & Scotty, gets an automatic add into my TBR Mountain.
 Two words: Soulless Thundertwat.

Nuff said.
What do a werewolf and a yoga hippy have in common?
Absolutely nothing, but it's never been written so well as when Molly Harper did it in this book.  I wasn't sure what I would be in form when I picked this one up in my bookstore, but it was different from what I was used to and yet familiar in the same way.  I'm a sucker for a funny punchline in the middle of a sex scene, so having the heroine tell the hero that she'll put her very flexible foot behind his head and having him drool in response rates this pretty high on my to be read o-meter.
Okay, this time, one word:


Lauren Dane is on this list twice because no matter what's going on or what I'm in the middle of reading (except for NR, nothing stops that train), I will always set them aside to be completed after I have inhaled the words she's put on the page. 
 This book gave me gooseflesh...goosebumps are too tame.  This one is another book that fell into the high reread ticker (3 times) and that was before I even sat down to write the review!  I've seen some authors torture their heroes and heroines before, but this was probably the first time I was truly worried that I wouldn't get my HEA.  Books that bring forth that kind of emotion should be treasured...and this one definitely was.

The series of books that I have dubbed The Holman Collection by Deanna Lee have been delighting me for years.  I wondered when she would get around to giving my favorite eye candy someone to play with.  She kept Connor on his toes with Lauren, and she even gave the reader an eyeful of the previous characters as they showed up on the pages (this is something I'm happy to see more and more authors doing).  I rang the reread bell for this one 4 times this year and will probably ring it again when she announces the next story in the set.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

#31DDD - Homestretch

I can almost feel this ending, but its been fun while its lasted.  Here's my attempt to catchup!

Day 21: if you could only eat 3 things for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

There are few foods that I like enough that I could nosh on them daily, but if I had to make my list of only 3, this is what they would be: grits, blueberries and kimchi.  I know its an odd mix, but they have given me some of my best memories.  Grits remind me of my childhood and my mother making breakfast, blueberries remind me of my discovery of my foodie nature and kimchi reminds me of one of my best friends who opened my eyes to an entire nationality of food that is both awesome and tasty in each bite.  So my mother, the Food Network and author, Nadia Lee get credit for my addictions to these three things.  Not to shabby in my opinion.

Day 22: what were you doing five minutes ago? what would you prefer to have been doing instead?

When I'm on vacation, the hardest decision I plan to make is what I'm wearing and what I plan to eat.  Anything that takes more brain power than that is not going to get any notice.  So, since I'm on vacation, I've utilized a great portion of that time with the internet and any subsidies thereof.  So five minutes ago, I was on my computer in my new favorite internet cafe, Coffeesmith and there's nothing I would have rather been doing...this is my nirvana, coffee by my side, computer in front of me and the whole internet to explore.  One day I'll reach the end, but today is not that day.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

#31DDD - Do you have any unusual family traditions? What are they?

This holiday season brings one tradition to mind. 

I don't have a tree.  And for that matter neither does my mother.  Years ago, when she finally got rid of our artificial tree that had been in the family for over 30 years, she decided that she wasn't going to get another one.  My sister and I were grown and the whole purpose of a tree was for the children to have something to dive under and get their presents...she was over it.  And by proximity so was I.

When I moved to Northern VA, I didn't bother getting a tree because I pretty much felt the same.  So after almost 10 years of not having a tree, I still have the holiday spirit, but that bit of green that takes up space in my living room...totally unnecessary in my world view.

Thanks Ma!

#31DDD - Best story about NYC, real or made up

I love NYC...if for no other reason than its not VA. 

My favorite story includes two of my fellow #31DDD compatriots; Serena and Scarlet.

There was a trip, an apartment, some Scottish booze and someone tried to climb the Wall Street bull...that's all I'm going to say.