Page Before Beauty: September and October Reads

This is what happens when I forget to do a September solo post. You get a book list longer than my arm! And I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t shout out to the books that stood out a little extra in this stellar roundup. Menagerie by Rachel Vincent might just be one of my favorites of this year, and I think 2016 is going to be the Year of Beverly Jenkins. Forbidden is everything you could want out of a historical romance. (Also, anything by Alyssa Cole is awesome. But I’m probably a little biased.)

ForbiddenMixed Signals by Alyssa Cole (new adult contemporary romance, post-apocalyptic)
Mind Games by Laura K. Curtis (out 11/17, romantic suspense, e-book)
Harlot by Victoria Dahl (historical erotic romance, e-novella)
Maverick Sheriff by Delores Fossen (category-length romantic suspense)
Hold Me Close by Megan Hart (out 11/24, erotic romance)
Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins (out 1/26, historical romance)
Jefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh Lanyon (new adult LGBT contemporary, e-book)
A Lily Among Thorns by Rose Lerner (historical romance, e-book)
Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker (erotic BDSM romance, e-novella)
Murder on the Last Frontier by Cathy Pegau (out 11/24, historical mystery)
MenagerieSharing Space by Nina Perez (contemporary romance)
Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn (young adult horror, romance)
The Lover’s Knot by Erin Satie (historical romance)
The Lady Taken: Part Four by Vivienne Thorne (historical erotic romance, e-serial)
The Lady Taken: Part Five  by Vivienne Thorne (historical erotic romance, e-serial)
Menagerie by Rachel Vincent (sci-fi/fantasy, paranormal)
So Sweet by Rebekah Weatherspoon (erotic romance, e-novella)

Backlist adventures: Best Kept Secrets by Sandra Brown

Wake Me Up When October Ends

You know how there are some dates and days that are tainted? Like when your gaze lingers on a digital display as the numbers blink “9:11” and you instinctively shudder? For me, that’s Tuesdays. For me, that’s all of October.

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it?” – Anne of Green Gables, Lucy M. Montgomery

No, it wouldn’t. Because I’d like to scrub Octobers from my memory. I’d like to forget a Tuesday morning phone call and a shaking voice — choked sobs from a throat I always knew as stoic and strong — and a plane ticket booked blindly and a car taken numbly. I’d like to forget that flight, where I fought not to lose it and a well-dressed lady complained about sitting next to two people of color when she’d paid for the extra-legroom seat. I guess it didn’t occur to her that we’d paid for our seats, too. That, for me, it was the only one available as I frantically checked the airlines…as I still hoped Dad’s heart attack was mild and not fatal.

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Book at That: August Reads

I feel like I got my reading groove back in August, or at least picked a lot of fun and/or interesting books! :D.

GirlFromtheWellThe Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco (young adult, horror)
Anything But Broken by Joelle Knox (new adult contemporary romance)
Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren (out 9/15, new adult erotic romance)
Vengeful in Love by Nadia Lee (contemporary romance)
This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak (contemporary romance)
Never Been Kissed by Molly O’Keefe (contemporary romance)
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (out 9/22, science fiction novella, review for H&H to come)
The Queen by Tiffany Reisz (out 10/27, erotic BDSM romance, last in a series)

Backlist adventures: I finally read the gut-wrenching SFF/speculative fiction classic Kindred by Octavia Butler. I highly recommend it…but, obvious warning is obvious, it’s not a light read. I also picked up and enjoyed Death’s Hand by SM Reine, a 2012 urban fantasy series-starter, and Tasha L. Harrison’s 2011 erotic romance The Lust Diaries: In Her Closet.

Page Fighting: June and July Reads

Yes, this is a pretty sad showing of new/newish books for two months’ worth of reading. :/ The summer was a bit rough!

LadyBeGoodDuranA Blossom of Bright Light by Suzanne Chazin (out 10/27, mystery/thriller)
The Girl Next Door by Amy Jo Cousins (contemporary romance)
When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare (out 8/25, historical romance)
Lady Be Good by Meredith Duran (historical romance)
Break Your Heart by Rhonda Helms (new adult contemporary romance)
Crosstown Crush by Cara McKenna (out 9/1, erotic romance)
Drive it Deep by Cara McKenna (contemporary romance, e-novella)
Iced by Karen Marie Moning (urban fantasy)
To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain (historical romance)
Vicious by V.E. Schwab (sci-fi, urban fantasy)

Backlist adventures: I finally got around to Lisa Kleypas’ Dreaming of You and It Happened One Autumn.

2015 Emmy Snubs and Flubs: The More Things Change…

The many faces of Maslany

The many faces of Maslany

Award nominations are always a crap shoot. As someone who’s been involved in several smaller-scale award slates, I can testify to how complicated and idiosyncratic the process can be. But all of my knowledge—and the world-weary acceptance of a long-time TV and movie fan— doesn’t help when the Emmy and Oscar ballots come out and some stellar performances get overlooked for tired always-haves.

The 2015 Primetime Emmy nominations were announced today and the list saw some joyous inclusions — like Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, who plays several distinct clones with a mind-blowing talent and Taraji P. Henson, overlooked and underused on CBS’ Person of Interest and a force to be reckoned with on FOX’s Empire as Cookie Lyon.

Praise Cookie.

Praise Cookie.

I am beyond thrilled for Tatiana, Taraji and How to Get Away With Murder‘s Viola Davis. But the status quo hasn’t really changed. Where are the nominations for Orphan Black and Empire as shows? The latter brought in unprecedented numbers and had viewers riveted. Was Mad Men sincerely better this year? The Academy continues to rely on the Homeland/Modern Family/whatever-we-did-last-year model of nominations. We again see premium cable and Netflix cleaning up, without any recognition some of the year’s most breath-taking performances on network and basic.


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Page Against the Machine: April and May Reads

Thanks to some bumps and bruises and the recovery time therein, basically ALL I did during April and May was read. Here’s what made an impact on me besides the sidewalk. ;)

GravePhantomsOne Week in Hawaii by Alexis Anne, Audra North, Julia Kelly & Alexandra Haughton (contemporary romance anthology, e-book)
Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett (paranormal historical romance)
The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen (new adult contemporary romance, e-book)
Working With Heat by Anne Calhoun (erotic romance, e-book)
The Professional by Kresley Cole (erotic BDSM romance)
Night of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper (paranormal historical romance)
TakingtheHeatTaking the Heat by Victoria Dahl (out 7/28, contemporary romance)
The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior by Megan Frampton (historical romance)
New Avengers: Breakout by Alisa Kwitney (comic book tie-in/romantic suspense)
Satisfaction by Sarah Mayberry (erotic romance, e-book)
Hunted Warrior by Lindsey Piper (paranormal romance/urban fantasy)
Glutton for Pleasure by Alisha Rai (erotic romance, ménage/poly, e-book)
ServingPleasure_LargeServing Pleasure by Alisha Rai (out 6/16, erotic romance, e-book)
The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz (gothic romance, e-novella)
The Orphan Pearl by Erin Satie (historical romance, e-book)
Never Loved by Charlotte Stein (out 6/23, new adult contemporary romance, e-book)
Busted by Shiloh Walker (contemporary romance)
Sated by Rebekah Weatherspoon (erotic BDSM romance, e-book)

And last, but not least, I did a tour through Amy Jo Cousins’ Harlequin backlist, checking out At Your Service, Calling His Bluff and When the Lights Go Down.