Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Monthly Archives: February 2010

Recently I was digging through by box of books labeled “F” and came across an old favorite author, Joann Ferguson.  Ferguson has had a few adventures of her own in addition to writing them, including a stint as an Army quartermaster officer where she was the first and only woman in her unit. She still enjoys traveling to the locations of her books and learning all about those places and people. Researching her novels is part of the fun. Whether it’s ghosts, calling cards, how to fire an antique gun, or traveling to a world that exists only in her imagination, she pays a great deal of attention to the details that delight her reader. She’s even learned a bit of Russian, Arabic, Welsh, and a lot of Regency slang.

Her work has been honored with award nominations from Pearl, ROMY, Romantic Times, Rom/Con, and Affaire de Coeur magazine. Amazon Books chose her novels to showcase. And Romance Writers of America bestowed the two ARTemis Awards for Jo Ann’s Zebra Regencies: The Counterfeit Count and A Christmas Bride.

All of the books I have read by Ferguson have been published by Zebra, their Regency line. (Let me just say I sad I am that they are no longer publishing the regencies!) I just re-read The Convenient Arrangement, however, my favorite are the Priscilla Flanders Mystery Series.  While doing research for this posting I found that she is continuing the story line with a different publisher and I am SOO excited to read it!

When Zebra stopped publishing I did a search for many of my favorite authors and wasn’t able to find them, I guess I needed to give them a little more time to find  new publishers.  I will be searching out more of them and letting you, my readers, know who and where they are.

The books by Ferguson published under the Zebra label all rate as a 1 or 2 but I haven’t read any of her newer works, so if you are relying on my rating system, just be aware.  I will update this post once I have read her newer works.

She also writes historical and paranormal fiction under the name Jocelyn Kelley, but I have not read any of these novels and can’t provide you with a rating.  That being said, I have always  enjoyed Ferguson’s characters, especially the logical thinking  of her heroines (how often does the heroine of a story end up in trouble because she is stupid?!). I am very excited to have found her again and will be reading (and posting) on her books in the future.

Rating: 1 or 2

Joann Ferguson

Jocelyn Kelley

Fantastic Fiction

If you are like me, you are counting pennies and watching every expenditure.  That doesn’t mean I have stopped purchasing books (let’s be real here, I would probably cut back on my eating habits before I would stop buying books) but I have cut back the amount of books that I buy and I have to really think about which books I want instead of just buying every thing. One of the largest concerns my husband had (okay, THE largest concern he had) with me getting a Kindle was my ability to purchase books at any time without having to pull out a credit card and even think twice about it.  Surprisingly, I have not put us into bankruptcy with my out-of-control book addiction.  I have just gotten smarter with how I get my Kindle books and I thought I would share some of they ways I get my books with you.

There are really two ways I get my free books, and trust me I have a lot. (I have approximately 175 books on my Kindle and I have only purchased 20 of those.) First, any book that is public domain is free thanks to the efforts of Project Gutenburg, for those of you unfamiliar with Project Gutenburg, it is a project fueled by volunteers whose efforts have converted over 100,000 books whose copyrights have expired. Many of my favorite books are old enough to be copyright free (can we say Pride and Prejudice anyone?!) and a lot of books that I want/should read are available. (Alice In Wonderland is next on the list because of the new movie coming out.) These are free and can be found at either Project Gutenburg or on Amazon.com.

Second, the Amazon.com best sellers list.  I received my Kindle in June of last year, since that I time I have realized that a lot of authors/publishers will do the initial release of the book as free so a lot of people will “purchase” (even though it is free) so that the book makes it into the 100 bestseller list, then the publisher will change the price.  I have gotten most of my free books because I check the Bestseller list at least once a day. Realize that you will get some great books and you will get some not so great books.  Also, be careful about some of the romance novels as they can get pretty graphic so I try to read the reviews that have already been posted.

I love my Kindle and just thought I would share some of the ways I have found it to be cost effect.

[amazon-product]B0015T963C[/amazon-product]

Taming Lord Renwick by Jeanne Savery was a recent reread for me.  It is a Regency Period Romance novel published under the Zebra Regency label. Eustacia is the daughter of a Vicar who as passed away, leaving her in a precarious financial situation and in the care of her stepmother. Her stepmother, liking the finer things in life, has found the perfect husband for Eustacia, Mr. Weaver, a fat, elderly, smelly man.  As Eustacia and her step-mother are discussing (okay, the step-mother is telling Eustacia) the marriage plans, Lord Renwick and his aunt, Lady Blackburn, can’t help overhearing the stepmother’s strident tones and Eustacia’s quietly whispered “no”.  Lord Renwick, known as Jason to his friends, makes a comment to Lady Blackburn about how he likes the sound of Eustacia’s voice before he leaves for bed.  Lady Blackburn, willing to do anything for her nephew, interferes and whisks Euastacia off to stay at Tiger’s Lair, Jason’s ancestral home.

Jason having returned from India nearly a year before the incident at the Inn is nearly blind from a hunting accident where he saved the life of a prince, leaving him needing the assistance of those around him for just about everything.  Jason has retreated into his house and his shell, believing that because he can’t see he is not a full man and unable to function with others.  Jason’s only friend is the white tiger Sahib that returned with him and acts as his guide and protector.  Eustacia breezes into the Tiger’s Lair like a quiet whirlwind, upsetting the status quo and allowing Jason to realize that he is really not that limited after all.  Just when things start to heat up between Jason and Eustacia the prince arrives with his entourage to learn English ways, unfortunately the 10 year old prince is there against his will and things start to get interesting.

This is a book is a part of a series about a group of boys who grew up together but all returned from the war and India with their battle scars.  I like the book because Eustacia is the quietly determined heroine, who doesn’t believe she herself is worth much but sees the value in others, I also like how she is able to be understanding about some of the motives of the other characters.  Sahib is also a great addition to the story, how ofter do you read about a white tiger seeing eye dog?! He terrorizes the servants, make everyone to comes to visit Jason nervous and eventually saves the day, in more ways than one.  I also like that the hero has self-doubts and an impairment. (I mean really, was everyone in Regency Period England beautiful and perfect! I don’t think so!) I recommend the entire series and now need to go dig through my other books to find the rest of the books so I can reread them as well.

Rating: 2

Author: Jeanne Savery

Publisher: Zebra Regency Romance

ISBN: 0821764470

Length: 256 pages

Release date: December 1999

Format: Paperback

[amazon-product]0821764470[/amazon-product]

Do you have books you can’t seem to finish? I do.  They languish on my pile, mocking me for not finishing them and yet I can’t quite make myself move them from my reading pile.  I keep telling myself that I will finish it, just later.  Of course, later never comes and before I know it there is a stack of four or five books with bookmarks mocking me and making me for guilty for not reading them.  I used to have an unwritten rule that I had to read at least 40 pages but lately I can’t seem to make myself even read that many. In some ways I feel life is too short and there are too many books that I want to read to force myself to read something I’m not really enjoying but, I have to admit that sometimes, after I reach the 40 pages point, I really get sucked into the book and it turns out to be a fabulous read. I feel very torn about the entire thing. Do you have a set standard number of pages you will read before giving up the book for a lost cause or are you better than me and finish every book you start?

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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