Twitter, Pinterest, and How I Decide to Review a Book

S. L. Saboviec on Twitter S. L. Saboviec on Pinterest

I’m deviating for a blog post from my reviews because 1) I’m behind on reading because I’ve been so exhausted from my first trimester that I was too tired to open a book and read and 2) because I feel compelled to give some opinions on social media. That’s right. I’m going to say stuff that thousands of people have already said, only in my own words and emphatically. Hold onto your hats, people.

Oh, yes, I’m in my second trimester now (17w4d when this blog post goes up), so my energy is coming back. Thank you for asking.

Because I liberally post links to my Twitter and Pinterest profiles all over my blog, I assume that some authors who are requesting reviews click on the links and follow me. That is more the impetus for the post, but there’s nothing like beating around the bush in an introduction, is there? So I wanted to share my rationale for following or not following people, mostly because I want you to understand that you following me or not following me or me following you or not following you has nothing to do with whether or not I accept reviewing your book.

As I have said on multiple occasions, I only accept a small percentage of the review requests I get. It’s not because I’m a princess (or maybe it is; I guess you can judge that). It’s because I really don’t have much time to devote to reading, though I love it. I’ve accepted some books and not enjoyed them, not because they weren’t good, but because they weren’t for me. So I’ve honed my process: Every review request I receive gets a perusal of the summary and first chapter of the book. Assuming you’re polite, are asking about a genre I’m interested in, address me as though I’m not on a mass email list (even “Proprietor of Magic & Mayhem Book Review Blog” is better than “Dear Reviewer,” by the way), and follow my review request guidelines, summary and first chapter are the only criteria I use to decide if I’m going to review it or not. This should not be a surprise, since I make it pretty clear in my Review Policy.

When I decide to follow you on Twitter, it’s because I’ve decided you seem interesting. Maybe you tweet pictures of your cat or funny things you think of throughout the day or interesting articles or heart-wrenching bite-sized stories about your struggles writing or links once in awhile to goofy articles. What you do NOT do is one or more of the following things on this non-inclusive list:

  • Tweet a link to buy your book / artwork / etsy store every hour.
  • Tweet quotes from your book every hour.
  • Tweet quotes from Mark Twain and the Dalai Lama every hour. (I follow the Dalai Lama myself. I don’t need your quotes from him.)
  • Tell me every time you got a five-star review on amazon. Note: “Top 100 Amazon Reviewer gave my book 5 star, AWESOME!” is cool. If you do it, like, one time. Because that’s an announcement. Not spam.
  • Retweet other people’s boring-ass articles about … yawn.
  • Never talk to anyone. (Someone who joined Twitter last week is OK. Someone with 10k followers … What’s up with you, Little Miss Thang?)
  • Only tweet @’s that go like this: “Thanks so much for following me.” “Bless you, I like your name, too.” “Awesome, thanks for the follow; would you be interested in reading my book?” I don’t understand how people think this is acceptable social interaction, especially when it’s a run of 25 tweets at once.
  • List of tweets includes a once a day status update brought to you by everyone’s favorite spam factory,
  • Tweet #writingtip/#pubtips. I know that this is probably not on many people’s pet peeve lists, but seriously, I can’t handle it. 99% of the time, it’s exceedingly generic and condescending. I don’t follow Stephen King, but if I did and he tweeted writing tips, I’d probably unfollow him.
  • After I follow you, you send me a DM with a link to or request for following you elsewhere (mainly FaceBook). I will let “Hi, hope we can become friends!” pass, usually, but that’s really lame and not the greatest first impression. (50 DKP minus for any DM that includes “brought to you by justunfollow”: See above.)

Basically, as long as you don’t act like a robot, but instead post stuff about your opinions on life–i.e. making you seem like you have a personality–then I’ll probably follow you. What is most surprising to me is the sheer number of people that use Twitter like a spammy bulletin board. Hootsuite was a great invention, but so was the gun. Let’s use both of them wisely, people.

Since I’m perpetually behind on book review requests, if I follow you, you shouldn’t take that to assume I’m going to review your book. (I hate to create false hope. I WILL CRUSH YOUR DREAMS INSTEAD! Just kidding. No, wait, that’s probably true.) It just means that you seemed like an interesting person to follow. And maybe we can be friends. But I still might not have time for your book unless we become super-extra best friends.

Pinterest is a different animal. I have a very specific curated set of boards (which have been neglected because of the baby. Yes, I will blame everything on the baby now). If your Pinterest boards don’t fall into those categories (angels, demons, fantasy, the color red, books/reading, and interesting/exotic places), I won’t follow them. I will follow individuals boards, I try to look at every person who follows me, and I usually follow back if your boards are within my sphere of interest. The same stuff I just said about Twitter applies here, except that I’m more behind on following people on Pinterest usually than I am on Twitter.

One final note about Twitter and Pinterest: While I try to tweet a link to my review of your book a few times the week I post it and pin it on my blog’s Pinterest board, I don’t always do that in a timely manner. This also has nothing to do with you. For some reason, I keep forgetting to set up the auto-tweets in HootSuite. It’s a terrible excuse, but just know that if you don’t get tweeted/pinned right away, it’s me, not you. (It’s the baby.)

So, now that you know all that about me, have you added my forthcoming release, Guarding Angel, to your Goodreads to-be-read list? You can also find me on Twitter and Pinterest. See you around!

Stories from beyond and Guarding Angel Cover Reveal

I’m very excited today to be able to share the cover of my book, Guarding Angel, coming April 28, 2014. Many book bloggers are sharing in my excitement today, so check some of them out (at the bottom of the post). But first, to commemorate this occasion, I wanted to invite my readers to share in some stories with brushes from beyond this life.

What do I mean precisely?

Have you ever had contact with a loved one who has died? Or have you ever been seeking something out and felt an answer from your guardian angel or spirit guide? Maybe God Him- or Herself? Have you ever seen a ghost? I will share a couple of stories, and I invite you to share yours in the comments below.

My Grandmother Says Goodbye

My first story happened directly to me. Although I’m absolutely certain that I had contact with my grandmother soon after she died, but you might not quite believe it–I’ll leave it up to you.

When I was 15 years old, my paternal grandmother had a stroke and went into a coma. We lived three states away, so unfortunately, it had been awhile since we’d seen her. My parents, brother, and I packed up the car a few days before Christmas and headed to Ohio. I was able to visit her in her room, but she was on life support and it didn’t feel like she was really there.

The other aunts and uncle came from out of town to say goodbye. On Christmas Eve, in the early morning, her children all gathered in her room to carry out her living will. They took her off the ventilator, and in a few short moments, she passed away.

This wasn’t something they wanted the kids experiencing, so I was at home, still asleep, since it was so early morning and I was, after, all, a teenager. Right before I awoke, I had a dream that Grandma came to me: We talked about her life and my life, everything that had happened and lots of things that were going to happen. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of peace about the rest of my life, but I can’t remember any of the specifics. At one point, I recall her saying she had to go, that she couldn’t stay. I begged her not to leave, but she disappeared, and I ran through a strange dreamscape looking for her. But she was gone–I couldn’t “feel” her there any more.

My mom was shaking me awake as I searched for Grandma. I opened my eyes. “Grandma’s gone, isn’t she?” Mom looked surprised and nodded. I said, “She visited me before she left.”

I don’t know for sure that she did or didn’t. Maybe it was my overactive imagination making this up, since I knew what was happening that morning. But I really felt her there, and I honestly believe that she did, indeed, stop by before she went into the afterlife. If only I could remember all the secrets she’d divulged about my upcoming life before she left …

My Uncle Comforts My Dad

My second story happened to my dad last year. He has four sisters but only one brother, and they were fairly close despite not living near one another. Unfortunately, Uncle Lanny had a clot that moved into his brain at the beginning of April, and he died within seconds.

Right before the visitation, Dad was getting out of his car when his pocket starting making noise. At first he thought his phone was ringing, but when he pulled it out, he saw that iTunes had started. “El Paso” by Marty Robbins–one of his and Uncle Lanny’s favorite songs–was playing. The last time he’d played that particular song was when they’d visited months before.

Was it Uncle Lanny, comforting Dad, who was quite distraught over his brother’s death at a relatively young age and only the beginning of his retirement? Or did the phone somehow happen to pocket dial a song that hadn’t been played for months and months? I, and my dad, like to think that it was Uncle Lanny’s way of saying goodbye.

What about you? Do you have any stories of contact with the “other side?” I want to hear about them in the comments.

Guarding Angel Cover Reveal

Now … The moment I, at least, I don’t know about the rest of you!, have been waiting for. I wrote Guarding Angel because I believe in something beyond this life. It started with a question: What if angels, just like humans, have personalities and struggles? What if they’re more than just silent watchers but have friends and lovers and decisions to make? Thus Enael, my main character, was born.

This cover was created by the fabulous Regina Wamba of MaeIDesign. As soon as I saw her work, I knew I had to have her. She did an amazing job, so if you just like gazing at beautiful fantasy/paranormal romance book covers like I do, take a gander through her portfolio on her website and Pinterest.

Here it is, Enael and her struggles, all summed up in one beautiful piece of cover art:

FallenRedemption-ebooksmgoodreads-badge-add-plusAbout Guarding Angel (Fallen Redemption #1):

Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating—she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.

When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.

Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world—-and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?

Thank you to all the bloggers who helped me share the news of my cover:

Leave me comments to let me know what you think! Then find me on Twitter and Pinterest. If you’re a book reviewer and would like a review copy of Guarding Angel, send an email to or leave a comment with contact info. eBook ARC Copies will be available at the beginning of March, and Guarding Angel will go on sale April 28, 2014 at several online retailers.

Coming Soon: Guarding Angel Cover Reveal

Guarding Angel Promo

I’m very excited to announce that the cover design for my upcoming book, Guarding Angel (Fallen Redemption #1), is finished! The talented and wonderful Regina Wamba of Mae I Design created it for me. She did a fabulous job, and if I don’t stop talking about it, I might just convince myself I can’t wait until the cover reveal date to share it.

If you’re a blogger, on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Twitter, or any other social media and are interested in taking part in the cover reveal day of Tues., Feb. 18th, leave a comment with your contact info or email me at and let me know how you’d like to participate.

I have something special (and interactive!) planned for the blog on the day of cover reveal, since of course, I can’t just have a cover reveal. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back here!

Guarding Angel (Fallen Redemption #1):

Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating—-she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.

When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse still, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.

Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world—-and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?

Find me on Twitter and Pinterest.

2013: Year In Review

Because this blog is about book reviews, I thought about doing a “my favorite books of 2013” post. However, because this blog is about book reviews, you don’t get to know much about me. Sure, you get to hear my soapbox rants, but you don’t actually get to know the person behind this somewhat-of-a-facade that I have for the internet. So I figured that rather than jumping right back into book reviews, I’d give you a glimpse into my life.

January 2013

I finish the first draft of Guarding Angel. It is then called Fallen Redemption, the name I ultimately chose for the series. The book goes out to friends and family. I start agonizing over my query letter.

I work on contract for a large Canadian bank as a foreign exchange platform IT project manager. This means I’m only there for a defined period of time (rather than full-time, which is indefinite), so I begin looking for a new job starting in March. I find something, and I’m all ready to start 2013 with a new opportunity.

February 2013

I get feedback from friends and family. I’m overwhelmed for awhile. I revise, revise, revise, and then find some CP’s who are writers. I continue to agonize over my query letter.

My contract at the old position finishes. The contract I had lined up to start in March falls through. I frantically start looking for something else, since I shut down all job search networking mid-month.

March 2013

I get some CP feedback. It’s more specific than the non-writing friends and family feedback and helps me immensely. I spend too much time on the Absolute Write forums, learning all the things and posting four thousand query letter drafts.

The job search goes slowly. My uncle dies unexpectedly and I go to Ohio for his funeral. My dad takes it hard, so he comes home with me and we sit on the couch watching Star Trek reruns and talking politics (for as long as I don’t get mad at how conservative he is versus how liberal I am). It is nice.

April 2013

I revise some more, get some more feedback, get lost in drafting, get too close to my manuscript, hate my query letter.

I get a lot of recruiter calls, but every time it seems like a lead is materializing, the position is shut down or filled internally. I get antsy. After all, no work means no money.

May 2013

I put the final touches on Guarding Angel. On May 20, 2013, the 7th anniversary of my engagement to my husband, I send out my first query letter, even though I still hate it.

A job finally comes through. On May 21, 2013, the 3rd anniversary of my brother’s wedding, I start a full-time position (meaning, no end date but pays less) at another large, Canadian bank. This time I’m in Information Security.

June and July 2013

No bites. I start a book with the working title The Exorcist’s Assistant. It’s urban fantasy instead of fantasy, so I feel like I’m cheating without having to do tons of world building. I plot and do character sketches like crazy before starting. I revise my Guarding Angel query letter four thousand more times and continue to send it out.

I get settled in at work. I make some work friends. Things start to feel normal.

August 2013

I get feedback from an agent that states the market is saturated with angel books. I start considering self-publishing. I think long and hard about it, since I have this nagging, snobbish feeling that self-pubbed books aren’t as high quality as trade published books. I stop querying, wondering if my query letter is to blame, even though it’s had roughly eight thousand revisions.

On August 19, 2013, I find out that I’m pregnant. My due date is April 28, 2014.

September 2013

I decide to self-publish. I choose a pen name so that my IT PM internet persona doesn’t interfere with my author persona. I create a project plan. (Remember, I’m a project manager.) I do lots of research. I decide to get a copy editor and proofreader. After all, I’m not going to add to the low quality stuff on the marketplace.

On September 23, 2013, I have a miscarriage. It is the most difficult thing I’ve gone through in my life. I stop writing.

October 2013

Mid-month, I force myself to begin revisions on Exorcist’s Assistant. I get some “final” (is it ever final?) CP feedback on Guarding Angel. I decide that if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right. I hire developmental editor Jessica Swift and finish my final final revisions of Guarding Angel.

I heal. I work. I eat healthy and take iron supplements. I find solace in my husband and family and friends. The doctor informs me that miscarriages happen in an estimated 20% of pregnancies and that I shouldn’t worry. I worry. (Actually, that should be a sentence in every single month of every single year of my life.) I get lots of support and find out that more people than I ever imagined have gone through what I did.

November 2013

I send off Guarding Angel to Jessica. I am full of neurosis about what is or may be wrong. I fully plot Reaping Angel (Fallen Redemption #2) and start plotting Warring Angel (Fallen Redemption #3). I decide to wait until I write Reaping to finish the plot of Warring, so I go back to Exorcist’s Assistant revisions.

My first bout of PMS (sorry, men) is awful because my hormones are out of whack. I cry a lot. My husband is supportive and doesn’t tell me to stop being crazy. I love him a more for it.

December 2013

I send off Exorcist’s Assistant to the second round of CP’s. I read a lot. I get my edited manuscript from Jessica and try not to feel overwhelmed by yet another round of edits to Guarding Angel. I am excited for next year, when I’m going to publish my first book.

On December 25, 2013, I discover I’m pregnant. I spend most of the time trying not to think about the last miscarriage. But now that I’ve been through it, I know that I’m strong enough to handle it.

What will be will be.

2014 is going to be a great year.

Find me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Review: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov

Title: The Gods Themselves
Author: Isaac Asimov
Genre(s): Adult Science Fiction
How To Purchase: Kindle | Kobo | Paperback (Amazon)

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

In the twenty-second century Earth obtains limitless, free energy from a source science little understands: an exchange between Earth and a parallel universe, using a process devised by the aliens. But even free energy has a price. The transference process itself will eventually lead to the destruction of Earth’s Sun—and of Earth itself.

Only a few know the terrifying truth—an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun. They know the truth—but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy—but who will believe? These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to Earth’s survival

Isaac Asimov was a prolific sci-fi writing genius. I can’t comprehend writing the number of books that he wrote, and The Gods Themselves is, by far, my favorite. I reread it every few years and fall in love with it all over.

The interesting thing about this book is that of its three parts, I’m not that keen on the first and the last. The middle part is where the books shines, yet I read it fully every time, finding new insights I didn’t see before.

The book begins on earth, where an incompetent fool accidentally discovers a new source of energy–one that seems limitless and free. I love this setup because *dons cynicism hat* that’s how things happen in the real world *removes cynicism hat*.

The second part of the book–the part that makes it shine–takes us to the parallel universe that feeds Earth the free energy. The thrust of the overarching story is why TANSTAAFL, but the brilliance of the story comes from the interplay of a family of aliens who discover the implications of their species’ interaction with the humans.

The family group consists of three different genders of this race, each of whom plays an important role in supporting the family and birthing the next generation. Mr. Asimov’s character development and exploration of this little family’s heart-wrenching journey is brilliant. It brings tears to my eyes. It makes me want to throw the book across the room because we get so few pages of Dua, Odeen, and Tritt.

The last third of the book wraps up the overarching storyline but always leaves me a tad cold. I miss my little triad, and want to to put them all in my pocket and let them live there forever.

If you’d like to see how an amazing science fiction novel is written, I recommend this book. I give it six stars for how amazing it is but have to subtract one for the ending. The middle story is the epitome of a five star read.

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Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel ShriverTitle: We Need To Talk About Kevin
Author: Lionel Shriver
Genre(s): Adult Contemporary
How To Purchase: Kindle |

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The gripping international bestseller about motherhood gone awry.

Eva never really wanted to be a mother – and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

OK, OK, this is the second popular book I’ve reviewed that isn’t speculative fiction, but its bizarre premise made me have to read it. I’m so glad I did.

This is the story of the aftermath of a school shooting as told by the shooter’s mother. If that doesn’t make you want to read the book, nothing I’m going to say will change your mind. But I’m still going to tell you this is a must-read. It will make you think, it will make you question your assumptions, and it will make you cry. Before reading one word, the story promises to be difficult because it’s about one of the least remembered victims of a horrific tragedy.

We Need To Talk About Kevin takes us through Eva Khatchadourian’s journey to make sense of what happened. She starts before Kevin is born, agonizing over her and her husband’s decision to have children. She describes Kevin’s childhood years in detail and through the lens of the horrific thing he did. She ascribes a certain adult intelligence to him even as a toddler, calling into question her reliability as a narrator while simultaneously forcing us to see that evil glint in his eye.

Ms. Shriver does an amazing job shining a light into the nooks and crannies of Eva’s life, both past and present. This morally ambiguous picture forces the reader to confront whether Eva is the victim of her son or Kevin is the victim of his mother. Eva describes their lives and her own worries and fears, but leaves much unsaid, much for the reader to draw his or her own conclusions about. I both loved and hated Eva throughout the book, sometimes at the same time.

And I’m not kidding when I say I bawled at the ending.

Although this is not my usual fare, this book so moved me that it goes into my “top books of all time” category. It’s touching and difficult, ugly and beautiful. It makes me question motherhood–what I assumed and things I never thought about. It’s something I recommend everyone should read.

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Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
Author: E.L. James
Genre(s): Adult Erotic Romance
How To Purchase: Paperback (Amazon) | Kindle (Amazon) |

My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

Guys, I’m not going to lie. I hated Fifty Shades of Grey. Hated it so much that I’m reviewing it even though it’s not speculative fiction. It took me over six months to slog through this error-ridden, barely believable farce of a novel, and the only reason I finished was because I don’t like giving up on things. Even the novel’s cover makes the blood in the base of my spine simmer.

I started the book during the swirl of hype, and I’m glad, in a way, that I read it. I’m glad, in the same way that I’m glad that I saw the first half hour of the remake of Evil Dead, which is to say that I’m content it’s over, I never have to experience it again, and I don’t have to finish the rest of it.

Where do I begin?

The writer in me is annoyed at the grammatical errors (which I’m sure were fixed in recent editions by someone the author threw money at with her now untold piles of cash), repetitive use of words, and poorly constructed plot, which ended in a wholly unnecessary and mundane cliffhanger. Am I jealous of E.L. James’ success? If you mean, “Do you have a wee bit of trouble understanding why pop culture embraced this book instead of more substantial work, such as your own?” the answer is yes. Do I want to be jealous? No. But I’m not going to sit here and rip this book to shreds while pretending I’m not irked at its popularity.

The intelligent person in me is scratching her head at the annoying use of not one, but two imaginary voices in the main character’s head, her “oh, wow, I’ve never seen a penis or a whip before!” naivete, and her obsession with a guy she only just met. I’m not a teenager any more, but even when I was, I had heard of BDSM. Good Lord, Anastasia, do you not go on the interwebs beyond checking your email for Mr. Grey’s love notes?

Finally, the feminist in me is appalled at the popularity of this novel. Is this what women really want? A good-looking billionaire who can buy them crap, take them on helicopter rides, order them around, and lift them out of their ho-hum lives? The premise itself sickens me. I’m completely over romances where an obvious, built-in disparity of status exists: where the woman is at a disadvantage because of her social situation and the man is at an advantage because, well, women authors are still writing that we all need to be “saved.” At least Elizabeth and Jane in Pride and Prejudice had no other choice in life but to marry into money.

The one thing I applaud is that this novel’s success has brought erotica into the limelight. I’m bored with Western culture’s Victorian-era morals regarding sex, especially the disparity between women who have sex and men who have sex. The erotic scenes were well-written, which begs the question: Why were the rest of the novel’s plot and actions scenes so thin?

I wish Ms. James success in her future writing endeavors and hope that she uses her time to craft something that is worthy of her fame. I see potential. I just don’t see why everyone else loves this novel so freakin’ much.

Tell me what you thought of Fifty Shades of Grey. Am I being too harsh?

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Update 10/19: If you’d love to hate FSOG some more, here are links to a couple more in-depth analyses:

Give me more! I love them.


Review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams

Title: The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre(s): Adult Science Fiction Humor
How To Purchase: Kindle (Amazon)

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five classic novels from Douglas Adams’s beloved Hitchiker series.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Facing annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat.

Life, the Universe and Everything
The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky– so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Back on Earth, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription conspires to thrust him back to reality. So to speak.

Mostly Harmless
Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself?

If I were stranded on a deserted island, and I had the choice of only one book, the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy would be it. Never mind that it consists of five books. It comes in one binding, and therefore it’s a book! (Also, I don’t know what sort of sadistic cretin would require me to be stranded on a desert island with only one book, but these things rarely make sense.)

My introduction to HHGTTG was at a library book sale in my hometown in junior high or high school. Something about that goofy-looking green smiley face with its tongue sticking out called to me. It actually didn’t seem like my kind of book–I liked more serious fare–but hey, it was cheap. I’m so glad I picked it up (and I’m still a little peeved that my library got rid of it).

My favorite, by far, is the second book, Restaurant at the End of the Universe. The absurdity of a cow bred to beg the diners to choose which part of its body to eat for dinner is both macabre and hilarious. Lest you be offended, as our hero Arthur Dent was, don’t have the salad: The cow knows a number of lettuce heads that would be upset with your choice. It’s asking you to eat it! Eat the cow!

Though the plot meanders and sometimes outright makes no sense, Douglas Adams wove a brilliantly created world throughout his ridiculousness. His writing is snappy, his character dialog is quick-witted, and his ideas are fabulous. After all, I’m still trying to learn to fly by throwing myself at the ground and missing.

C’mon, you guys–what’s your favorite part of HHGTTG? Is it Marvin? I love a depressed robot. Is it the sentient pot of petunias? That kills me. Is it how Zaphod Beeblebrox is so hip, he has trouble seeing over his pelvis? I laughed hysterically when I read that part.

Douglas Adams was a genius. May he rest in peace.

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And just who am I?

About a year ago, I happened upon a thought that had been rattling around in my head for years. “When I retire,” I thought, “I’m going to read and write all the time.” Never mind that I’m a mere 32 years old. Never mind that retirement is more years away than graduating college–or even high school. Never mind that putting off the two things that I’ve loved since I was a child was ridiculous. “I’ll write in my twilight years. No need to worry about it now,” is what I’d been telling myself for almost ten years.

When the thought slid into the light of my consciousness, I was shocked. I realized I had been denying myself something that was an essential part of me.

I used to devour books. In elementary school, I’d go to the library and wander the aisles. I’d take a stack of books to the librarian and, barely as tall as the counter, hand over my library card with a smile. I’d carry a book wherever I went. I’d read on the bus, at the dinner table (until my mother would force me to put it away), under the covers at night. And then, something in my little heart shifted, and I wanted to create something. So I wrote short stories and essays and finally, my crowning achievement, a book.

That book is tucked away in a dusty corner of my hard drive. I’ve not had the courage to pull it out again. But it’s compelled me to recapture that same feeling I had as a child.

So a year ago, I started to write and read again. And revise and learn and grow. And laugh and cry and love what I was doing.

I’ve rediscovered the joy that I had a child, a joy which I’m sure many of you share.

I’m sure that, like many things, this blog will change and grow as I do. But for now, I’m planning to blog book reviews. I have met many wonderful writers on Twitter and on the Absolute Write forums, and I want to help them and those like them spread their heart’s creations. I hope that this blog will help me meet more great people, find more awesome stories to read, and help me spread the stories I love–both mine and those I’ve stumbled upon.

My first love is science fiction and fantasy. Although I’ll review some Young Adult and New Adult books, I’m at a time in my life where I appreciate Adult stories more. I wanted to say “Adult themes,” but that doesn’t have the right connotation. I read some romance and erotica, but I like the stories that focus on growth, hard choices, and difficult life events that happen to us as we get older. I’m a sucker for dark stories. I love psychological horror, but I can’t do the gory kind. I love flawed heroes. I love “bad or worse” decisions. I love beautifully developed worlds. Hard science as a complement to a well-told sci-fi story makes me heart go pitter-patter.

I’ll warn you: I’m tough. I don’t give five stars very often, and only when the book changed something about my own world. I’m crazy about grammar. In this day and age, I believe a polished story is worth its weight in gold.

In summary, I hope this blog adds something to my life and to yours.

So tell me: What books do you want me to review?

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