Sorry this post is so long guys! There was just so much I had to tell you! Please, feel free to skip around. I’d be so happy and surprised if anyone actually made it through everything LOL. Even though I can’t link these to send you right to the spot you want in the post (damn WordPress.com), for the sake of laziness, here’s a List of Contents:
- Hello to another week!
- Last Week’s Reviews
- What’s Up This Week
- Dominique Frost Visits!
- My Birthday Post — Baking Cakes!
- Love Has No Boundaries reviews
- This Week’s Reviews
- Laura’s New Blog!
- Blog Updates
- Coming Soon!
- This Week’s Releases I Like
- Lou Harper Week! (June 22-28)
- Announcement! Next Author Week Profile
Well, how has everyone been this week? TAR is in a bit of a flux — besides this being a busy month as TAR’s one year anniversary, we’re in the downtime between two big events. Kate McMurray Week went off really well. I really loved reading all of Kate’s books that I hadn’t before and the interview was fun for both of us. She’s a really great lady! Next up is Lou Harper Week, starting on June 22. I’ve read about 75% of her backlist now (much more prepared than I was for Kate’s!) and I’m really enjoying sharing my reviews with you. Lou is a rather new author for me, or at least one of those authors I’ve always known of but still hadn’t read anything by. So many of her books have made me laugh!
Otherwise, not a whole hell of a lot has been going on. Summer has firmly settled in here and we’ve been riding daily highs around the 100 degree mark. It had to come sometime, but the heat is almost unbearable to me. I even get sick when it gets around 100-105 (though we’ve been known to have days up to 115-120!). I get dizzy and sick to my stomach and I start feeling shivery. All are symptoms of heat sickness, if not worse going further into heat stroke.
One of these days I’ll never have to spend a summer in Oklahoma again…
Well, I’ll get to the updates, announcements, and info about this week. I hope everyone has a good one!
This Week’s Wrapup
Here are last week’s reviews:
Fear, Hope and Bread Pudding (Coda #7) by Marie Sexton – Really Liked It
Cairo Curse (Vampire’s Lair #2) by Geoffrey Knight – Pretty Good
Bully for You (2013 DSP Daily Dose) by Catt Ford – Really Liked It
Herbal Remedy by Megan Derr – Pretty Good
Beach Remedy by Sasha L Miller – Pretty Good
Tats of Honor by Vona Logan – Not Feelin’ It
Finding Master Right by LA Witt – Pretty Good
A Shot at Forgiveness (2013 DSP Daily Dose) by Cardeno C – Pretty Good
Running Away from Sunshine (2013 DSP Daily Dose) by Gwynn Marssen – So So
Riding the Board (2013 DSP Daily Dose) by Cate Ashwood – Really Liked It
Outcast by Alex Douglas – Pretty Good
Coming Up This Week – June 16-22
Dominique Frost is stopping by on Tuesday the 18th as part of the Big Gay Wedding Tour to talk about her new release (on that day) from Loose Id, The Bitter Rednesses of Love. That is such a great title! **The cover on the left is from a previous novel by this author. Loose Id hasn’t release the cover pic for Bitter… yet.
Gina A Rogers was really sweet to offer us an ebook to give away tomorrow with Sadonna’s review of Say Everything. Part of MLR’s Mixtape releases, these stories will take you back in time 🙂 The 80s! Be sure to visit tomorrow to comment for a win of this short story. The offer closes on Friday, June 21, so get in there early so you don’t miss your chance!
Open Giveaways! The giveaway of the two Paranormal Days stories by Megan Derr and Sasha L Miller, Beach Remedy and Herbal Remedy, is open until Tuesday, June 18. And be sure to check out Sasha’s guest post if you missed it — her interesting take on writing vampires 🙂 Comment there to win.
Thursday, June 20th is my birthday 🙂 I have a special post for you that day, which is my recipe for a perfect white cake and it’s what I make for birthdays (including my own!) every year. While I love it just as it is, it is rather a plain cake (though no cake of mine is plain!). Let’s just say that it’s a really good base recipe. It’s my Perfect Cake and you can customize it in a million ways. Trust me, you need this recipe. Because not only is it different from every other white cake I’ve made (in taste, texture, and technique), but you can make it into any cake you want with just a little improvisation and your favorite flavors.
And last, Saturday is going to be my first “Best of Love Has No Boundaries” review post, where I review a few of my favorites of the stories already posted in the Goodread’s M/M Romance Group’s Love Has No Boundaries event. I’m really looking forward to this, but choosing just a few from the tons of really good stories that have been posted so far is going to be difficult! But.. it’s a challenge I’m totally ready for 😉
Here is what we’re planning to review this week:
Everyone, please follow The Tipsy Bibliophile! My good friend, Laura (at Goodreads: Lauraadriana), one of the ladies (with Laddie) at The LL’s Word has opened her own/solo WordPress blog. Her reviews are wonderful and her first (of Harper Fox’s new Brothers of the Wild North Sea) as The Tipsy Reader is up 🙂 I guarantee you’ll enjoy her reviews!
She might just poach all of you loyal readers from me 😦
Ha! … loyal readers… :-\
In blog update news: I’m still planning on moving the blog… eventually… if I can ever figure out how to do it and have some time. But, while I’m waiting and figuring all of that out, I’m trying to make TAR’s current home a bit more hospitable.
First up, I’m finishing creating the tabs and drop-down menu at the top of the screen. In particular, I’m first organizing the reviews so that you can browse instead of having to use the search bar to find a past review. Right now, I’ve finished the Author Name page, which you can find through this link, or by hovering over the Reviews link at the top of your page and then clicking on Author Name (the drop down menu if you hover on Author Name gives you a list to search by last names in groups, i.e. “Authors A-C”). The Author Name page gives you a list of all the authors that have been reviewed or guest posted on The Armchair Reader since it’s inception a year ago and links to every post they’re tagged in. It is also alphabetized by their last name first, which I always find is easier, because last names of authors tend to stick in my mind better 🙂
Next up, I’ll be updating the browsing options by publisher, major genres and events.
This week’s releases I’m excited about:
Lou Harper Week is next week (June 22-28)! I’ll be interviewing Lou and reviewing her whole backlist, which has been fun, I tell you. I love her writing. I’m also reviewing her new book, coming out next week (June 25), called Dead Man and the Restless Spirits, about Denton, the secondary character from Spirit Sanguine that has a thing for Gabe and can see ghosts. It’s a good read, so make sure to check it out, regardless whether you have read Spirit Sanguine or not — it stands on it’s own very well.
Kate McMurray Week!
I’ve been remiss in not announcing this earlier, but I’ll get to why I’ve been absent a lot from the blog later. Right now, I want to officially announce that next week is Kate McMurray Week! I’ve always been a fan of Kate’s books and meeting her and getting to know her a bit at GRL Albuquerque was wonderful. Since last fall I’ve been reading and reviewing a few authors’ backlists. I started with Mary Calmes and Amy Lane, both of whom have gigantic backlists that are taking me a while to get through. But when I decided that I’d like to do Kate’s backlist as well, it made more sense for me to do it all at once. When I talked to Kate and she told me that she had a new release coming in early June (Save the Date from Loose Id), I knew that was the perfect time to do it.
So! Every day next week is going to have at least one review of one of Kate McMurray’s books, and then on Thursday Kate herself will visit for an interview and to talk about her new release! Be sure to check that out because not only will be be completely awesome on it’s own, but Kate is giving away a copy of Save the Date to a commenter on the interview.
Here’s the review schedule (all normal reviews will resume the next week – June 10):
*All reviews will be by me!
Across the East River Bridge
Show and Tell
In Hot Pursuit
Save the Date
Kindling Fire with Snow
Kate McMurray Interview
Out in the Field
The Boy Next Door
A Walk in the Dark
On the Stoop
In December My Heart’s Full of Spring
Lead Us Not
What’s Been Goin’ On
Life has been a total mess lately. Thank you to everyone who sent me messages of well wishes and asked if I was okay when they heard about the recent severe outbreak of tornadoes in Oklahoma. I’ve been lucky, where I am, but many, many, many people haven’t been. And just having it a few hours away, or just minutes away in the last few days, really affected me. This has been a bit of a turbulent spring anyway, even though I tend to get quite disorganized in spring. I’m not sure what it is really, but it always happens and starts every March. I think when March rolls around I start to realize how monotonous the past 4 or 5 months have been and my routine and pattern gets all messed up. I know that those of you who read the blog regularly (and thank you!) will have noticed that the past few months have been rather off and on. One week I’ll have two reviews posted a day and be very vigilant and productive, then I’ll go several weeks without being able to review anything at all. Or, god forbid, read at all! For shame 😦
But, back to what’s been going on lately. I doubt that any of you could have missed the news about Moore, Oklahoma being hit by an eF5 tornado on Monday, May 20th. It’s quite surreal watching it. When Moore was hit by another eF5 tornado on May 2, 1999 I visited the day after and saw exactly what that kind of tornado can do. It’s haunting. Something that destructive… it’s just terrible. Usually once or twice a year we get these warnings of a severe tornado outbreak coming. It’s a bit like the movie Twister (oh Helen Hunt) if you’ve seen it. For a few days beforehand it just seems to grow and grow and grow until you know it’s all going to break out and go to hell. We’ve now had two of those events this year, just a week apart (today was the last day of the second event, and it was BUSY). So being aware that something will probably happen, watching the news all day just to keep an eye and make sure a tornado isn’t anywhere near me, then watching it all happen live. It was terrible and I will admit that it sent me in to a bit of a depression all last week, and I was having lots of anxiety. (It probably didn’t help, by the way, that I was re-reading Falls Chance Ranch and those books could very easily send you into a depression if you identify with Dale too much, no matter how much I love them!). So the last few weeks have been a mash up of stuff.
Like, it was storming tonight on my way home from the grocery store. There I was, in flip flops (will I ever learn?) carrying two twelve packs of soda and running up the driveway to get away from the lightning, which was getting intense. Bad move, Cole! I had a total wipeout. As soon as I hit the slick concrete in my garage I went sliding, my arms pinwheeling all the way making a totally campy screech 😉 I abandoned the soda, which promptly fell on my foot and I went splat on the concrete — face first. But, despite the levity… I totally fucked my wrist, which I think might have a mild sprain and I look like I’ve gone 5 rounds with Mike Tyson. Okay, I’m not that bad. But I’m sporting some pretty narly bruises — shins, ribs and one on my cheek.
I feel just like the old man in the meme.
In related storm news: I found an AWESOME iPhone app for tracking storms. Okay, time to divulge. I’m not sure I’ve even told my internet besties this. But… I always wanted to be a meteorologist/storm chaser “when I grew up”. I was obsessed with storms and my mom would almost have to tie me down when I was a kid because I’d run out in the street to get a better view of them (rather like Riley! Sorry, another Falls Chance Ranch reference). It’s only really been since my mid-twenties that I started, like everyone, to get a real idea of my own mortality and what that meant and I have a much healthier respect for severe storms and tornadoes now. In fact, I find I get rather anxious when these things break out like in the last few weeks, which is probably a healthier take on the whole thing! But, for any of you who are as interested in meteorology as I am, this app is really awesome because you have access to all kinds of different radar, wind shear/velocity, storm tracks and warnings and base readings. I know, total geek! The app is called RadarScope.
Here’s a video of the recent tornadoes. Besides the one that hit Moore, OK on the 20th, another one hit Broken Arrow (a suburb of Tulsa I’m rather familiar with and is closer to my home). And yesterday’s horrible tornado outbreak and floods, once again in Oklahoma City and causing more casualties. A tornado even hit Moore, AGAIN. But this video is just, incredible. And totally terrifying!
So, I have become obsessed with Beecher’s cheese. Specifically, their cheese called Marco Polo. It’s so yummy and it has pepper all throughout. I’m a pepper fiend. I put insane amounts of black pepper on just about everything I eat (fresh ground only of course!), so this cheese is perfect for me. I can’t stop eating it though! And it’s not like it’s exactly cheap either. In the past month, I’ve probably eaten 3 pounds *cringe*.
Still, if you have a somewhat decent cheese counter anywhere in a store near you (or you live in Seattle or NYC where they have stores), go out and try some of this please! I like just eating it sliced on water crackers, but I’m already envisioning the stupendous mac ‘n cheese I can make with it. A little bit of fig preserves are good with it too.
The Month of June & One Year Anniversary!
Today is the start of June, and that means that The Armchair Reader has been in business now for one year! I’m not really doing anything big to commemorate the occasion. It’s my birthday month too so I don’t want to be TOO stressed out to enjoy it. But, it is special. And so besides Kate McMurray Week, I’m also planning a Lou Harper Week, for June 23-29! Lou is also going to do an interview with me, and talk about her upcoming self-published spinoff book Dead Man and the Restless Spirits, all about Denton whom we first met in Spirit Sanguine. Just like with Kate McMurray’s books next week, I also plan on reading and reviewing Lou’s whole backlist in the same way. So for that last week of June, the focus will all be on Lou Harper 😉
In other news, there are lots of stuff in the works for late summer and autumn. One of my favorite authors, Carole Cummings, is teaming up with J Tullos Hennig for a series of guest posts about writing and fantasy. I’m really excited about this!
There are several other things in the works, and I invite you to email me (armchairreader[dot]coleriann[at]gmail[dot]com) if you have an idea for a guest post or a series that you’d like to contribute. I love to have all of you and, as you might have seen from the plethora of guest posts in March and April, I love the diversity that all of you brought to the blog. I hope that some of you would like to return 🙂
Thank you for letting me take up a bit of your time this Saturday. Please remember to visit next week for Kate McMurray week and I hope you enjoy the reviews and the interview!
So long! and watch out for tornadoes…