Friday, November 28, 2014

TGIF: Time to Read PT. III - The Search For Spock

Warning: book spoilers below.

I am full of food and by virtue of working today (even eTailers have a Black Friday) I'm missing out on being pushed and shoved in a mall. I spent my Thanksgiving alternating between eating and reading. It's something I hope everybody can do on a holiday. We all work hard, and we deserve it.

A few self-serving plugs first: All Romance's annual #AREBLAST sale is back. A Different Class is 50% off one day only there.  All my Phaze titles there are 35% off. You can also shop and get 35% off my eBooks and print books by using the code BLACK at checkout. I don't know what other sales are happening elsewhere. Kobo is having a sale. There's a chance some of my stuff is marked down, but who knows?

Unfortunately, the short I submitted for a certain anthology was rejected, but it's okay. I received good feedback, and I agree with their assessment that it wasn't romantic enough. I believe for my next WIP I will focus more on intimacy than the money shot. I think I've forgotten how to do that over the years, when erotica was huge. Not to say that hot sex is not good, but there must be a balance, and clearly I'm toppling. I intend to see my next anthology submission through (that one called for erotica, not necessarily romance), and after that I will take the R and retool it into a longer work built off one of my current releases.


Just Finished

The Immortals by Michael Korda - At long last, I'm a step closer to completing the Sideboob Hour Reading Challenge, now a year old. Yeah, these books take time, and to be honest I had expected more boob in a book like The Immortals. I don't have to tell you what it's about - I mean, just look at the cover. I can't explain my fascination with Marilyn fiction; just this year I read The Blonde by Anna Godberson (a similar story) but I didn't enjoy that one as much as Korda's book. Godberson twisted the JFK/Marilyn legend to introduce Soviet involvement and to portray MM as a spy. Immortals is flat out Hollywood and gossip and the Mafia - James Ellroy lite.

There's sex in the book, most of it summarized, but you definitely know at least Kennedy men have a reason to grin silly. The story switches POV to suit the story's progression, with the only first person view belonging to the fictional David Lehman, a PR expert supposedly with many clients in different industries, yet he only seems to work for Joe Kennedy, Sr. and his boys. He's kind of like Nick Carraway in Gatsby, always around and witnessing everything. He's the fixer, arranging meetings and liaisons and tête-à-têtes and...well, you get it. Immortals covers the era from the mid-50s (Marilyn films Seven Year Itch and is married to DiMaggio) to her death in 1962. Korda doesn't stray too far from the standard picture of Marilyn, presenting her as perpetually drinking, drugging, and befuddled. The Kennedys are horny yet cold, ambitious yet at the same time tired of paying the price of power. Toward the end you genuinely feel sorry for the lady.

I think the only things I didn't like about the book were the ending and how Korda downplayed Monroe's relationship with Frank Sinatra. The story doesn't really end until all three are gone, and there are scenes where villainous forces plot JFK's assassination. Korda could at least have seen the readers through that. Anyway, I've read so many Marilyn books that make her story look boring - this one kept me up at night. Three 1/2 stars.


Now Reading

Normal by Graeme Cameron - Kind of a mesh of Hannibal and The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. It's a MIRA offering, but not like one from them I've read before.


Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno - Still plugging away at this one. Trying to get back to it ASAP.


Stripped Bare by Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin - Gay BDSM romance novella. About halfway finished, shouldn't take too long to finish.


Last year I set the goal to read 125 books. Thinking of upping the ante for 2015, but 150 might seem like too many. Maybe play it safe and even it to 130.

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