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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

Book Review: New Erotica for Feminists by Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor and Carrie Wittmer

I get catcalled on the street by a construction worker. He says that he can see that I’m smart because I have enormous books.

FINALLY – someone understands what women *really* want!

This brilliant tongue-in-cheek collection of women’s “fantasies” is marvelous – wry, clever, biting, and unfortunately all too close to home… The authors are the brains behind The Belladonna, a brilliant blog/collection of essays and articles self-described as “comedy and satire by women, for everyone.” If you haven’t visited it, you should – the writing is excellent, the humor ascerbic, and the voice clarion-clear in its indictment of any- and everything that has been going wrong with and in the world for some time now. The book started out as a series of ironic and silly riffs on what women would write as their own erotica – fantasies of a world with equal pay, respect, and responsibility. It turned serious and poignant (as such things often do, unfortunately, when they realized the disconnect that so often exists between what we want (deserve?) and what we get… The book was born out of all of those realizations, and is a marvel as a result.
Continue reading Book Review: New Erotica for Feminists by Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor and Carrie Wittmer

Book Review: The 53rd Card by Virginia Weiss


I don’t know how else to start. Wow. This book was an incredible ride, full of unexpected delights and horrifying moments and a smattering of jaw-dropping, head-scratching moments where I had no idea which end was up – and I mean that in the best possible way.

It’s the tale of a frightened, timid, horribly agoraphobic young woman who inadvertently summons the Devil. Sounds intriguing right there, but there’s so much more to this story, and much of it defies description (without spoilers). The writing is gorgeous – lush and evocative yet also papercut-sharp in its concise analysis of the human mind/soul/heart. The characters are brilliantly devised, full of quirks and foibles and heartbreaking decisions (and non-decisions) that shape their individual lives but also the world around them. There is philosophy and religion and spirituality and humanism galore, and it’s all interspersed with a narrative that is engaging and believably unbelievable and that kept me engaged throughout. Continue reading Book Review: The 53rd Card by Virginia Weiss

Book Spotlight: Once Upon a Christmas by Christina George

We have a new feature – book spotlights. I work with a fantastic publicist – Penny Sansevieri at Author Marketing Experts – who will occasionally share information and bonus content about upcoming titles. This one is coming out in time for Christmas. Penny describes it as a sweet love story, so if that’s what you’re looking for, for yourself or as a gift, I suggest you check it out!

Book synopsis
Is it ever too late for happily ever after…?

Callahan is one of the hottest guys to move into Harper’s Corner in a long time, partly because he’s also a complete mystery.

He keeps to himself and leads a quiet life, rumors swirl around that he used to be in the military…but no one knows where he came from, or what brought him to their small town.

When Stevie’s parents have a health crisis, she’s forced to take leave from her very New York existence: including a high-powered job at a big publishing house and explosive sex life with her wealthy, handsome and appropriately pretentious boyfriend, to step in and ensure the preservation of the family’s longstanding bookstore. Continue reading Book Spotlight: Once Upon a Christmas by Christina George

Book Review: Fatal Legislation by Ellen Butler

This is the second book in the Karina Cardinal series, and it was just as much of a rollicking ride as the first… KC, as she’s known to her friends, is a delightful protagonist – strong, sassy, and clever, she never fails to find trouble and then doggedly pursue it (even when it’s decidedly unwise for her to do so) until the mystery is resolved. I enjoy her escapades, although often have to suspend disbelief a fair bit while I do. I know more than a little about her world – I too am an attorney and have worked in health care policy/government/lobbying, and so am quite familiar with the universe in which her (mis)adventures take her. I find myself questioning her decisions every now and again – not because they’re implausible but because they imply a decided lack of interest in her own safety (mental, physical, psychological)… She makes choices that I think most rational women in her position often would not – but they don’t detract from the story, rather they are often the kick-start that brings the action on, and in fiction that makes them the correct choices to my mind. Continue reading Book Review: Fatal Legislation by Ellen Butler

Book Review: Liars’ Paradox by Taylor Stevens

Finally, an utterly original concept underpinning an action story! I loved Jack and Jill – the unfolding of their back-, front- and future-stories was managed with an action-level and pacing that I found not only utterly engaging but also surprisingly clever. I must admit I didn’t expect to like this one as much as I did. Don’t misunderstand – I was looking forward to it, but assumed it’d feel like every other “pair on the run, don’t trust anyone” story. Instead I found a tale with unexpectedly interesting characters, unusual spins on the espionage concept, take-no-prisoners action, and an engaging plot that definitely left me hungry for more. Continue reading Book Review: Liars’ Paradox by Taylor Stevens



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