Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Monthly Archives: August 2010

Oxford English Dictionary has announced that it ‘will not be printed again’ with their site getting more than two million hits a month the next major edition is expected to appear only in electronic form, read the entire article here.

Alyxandra Harvey has posted the two covers for her next Drake Chronicles novel, Out for Blood, which one do you like better?

Austenprose has posted a sneak peak of the latest edition of Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine, the official magazine of Jane Austen Centre, Bath. She provides a look at the BBC’s new series The Secret Diaries of Anne Lister, a Georgian drama.

Have you looked at Pocket After Dark? It is the new online community by Simon & Schuster that has community discussions, free reads, free previews and notifications of new releases. Authors located there include Sabrina Jeffries,
Judith McNaught, Fern Michaels and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

The Misadventures of Super Librarian has put together a list librarians in romance novels that you should check out.

Interviews:

Violet Haberdasher, author of Knightly Academy, at La Femme Readers.

Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobsen, authors of The Familiars, at Literaturely Speaking.

Eloisa James, author of A Kiss at Midnight, at Romantic Crush Junkies.

Heidi R. Kling, author of Sea, at Confessions of a Bookaholic.

Giveaways:

Peace, Love and Reviews by Pat is back after her hiatus is giving away alot of great stuff including giftcards and several books including Mockingjay, contest ends September 31st.

Library of Clean Reads is giving away a $60 CSN gift certificate, contest ends September 13th.

Smart Bitches Trashy Books is giving away a bed, yes you read the right, a Tempurpedic bed, contest ends September 2nd.

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The Huffington Post has posted the nine best science fiction YA novels besides Mockingjay. I have to agree with A Wrinkle in Time, The Giver and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, check it out and let me know which books you would add to the list.

Entertainment Weekly’s Blog EW’s Shelf-life has posted a great article about the different attitude taken by “literary critics’ towards novels written by men about family relationships and the same types of books written by women.  Jodi Picoult’s twittering started the latest round of discussion regarding ‘chick lit.’

A Girl Reads brought to my attention that Google states there 129, 864, 880, what constitutes a book you ask? Read the article here.

Okay, did you read the book then watch the movie? What did you think? There are books and movies that I know I love (Pride and Prejudice) and then there are ones that I forget how much I like them until I am reading/watching them again.  Jane Eyre is one of the latter for me; it is only when I am immersed in the story that I remember how much I love it.  The version of the film I am talking about is the 2006 BBC miniseries.

Gothic Elements

We can’t discuss Jane Eyre without talking about the Gothic elements that are spread throughout the entire story.  It starts with the visit of the ghost of Jane’s uncle in the ‘red room’, frightening her to the point that she tears her hands up beating on the door. I have to admit, that act alone made me despise the aunt–even before she turns Jane over to the horrible school–and I struggled to reconcile with Jane for forgiving her aunt in the end and helping her aunt when no one else would (but then, I am not nearly as forgiving as Jane is).

Other Gothic elements include the crazy wife in the tower who comes out to try and kill everyone else and the weather as a sympathetic reflection of the Jane’s emotions.  When Jane and Mr. Rochester meet it is a misty dreary day where everything is obscured and in turmoil.  As the summer progresses and their relationship develops, the summer turns pleasant, and when Jane leaves and is left on the moors, the weather again becomes dreary.  Do you love the Gothic elements or think they are a trifle over done?

Houseparty

Mr. Rochester, after getting to know Jane and obviously being attracted to her, brings a party of guests to the house most of whom don’t treat Jane very well. Why do you think he did that? I have a couple of theories, let me know what you think.

One theory, he could have brought the house party, especially Blanche Ingram, in an attempt to remind himself of the world he resides in. Also, as a way to show Jane in a bad light, she is not a social creature, she doesn’t understand the manipulations that Mr. Rochester plays upon those around him who seek him out for his money, and because Jane isn’t pretty–whereas most of the women in the house party are like butterflies (beautiful without much substance who flutter about)–he brought them to remind himself of the beautiful women available to him.

My second theory is that Mr. Rochester brought them to the house in an attempt to justify spending more time with Jane. If he had the guests at the house he wouldn’t feel so guilty about spending time with her and enjoying her company.  Also, bringing the vain shallow women who were only after his money into the house showed how very different Jane is in temperament and ideals.  What do you think, is one theory better than the other or do you have your own theory?

Wedding

When I first read this book in my teens, I cried when the wedding was interrupted and it was revealed that Mr. Rochester was already married.  My heart broke for both Jane and Mr. Rochester and I was so mad at Richard Mason for interrupting the wedding after Jane and Mr. Rochester worked so hard to save his life after his crazy sister attacked him.  Do you think he should have kept quiet after helping to trick Rochester into marrying his crazy sister in the first place? Or did he do the right thing because Rochester was married?

Money vs. Family & Character

One recurring theme is money vs. character and money vs. family.  From the beginning of the story Jane is forced to do without both, the only relatives she knows force her to attend a horrible school where she is abused and starved. Mr. Rochester repeatedly mentions how handsome he is because of the money he has. Finally, Jane is left an inheritance by an uncle she never met and instead of keeping all of it for herself she shares it equally with her River cousins.  This is one of my favorite themes of the book, the value of family and how most people don’t appreciate it because they have never had to do without those bonds.

Mr. Rochester

Mr. Rochester is one of the most complex males in literary fiction (at least in my opinion). He is charming and charismatic while at the same time being selfish and arrogant.  One minute I want to beat him for the way to treats those around him and in the next hold him and promise to love him forever.  Obviously he is incredibly cynical because of the greedy people who flutter around him and because of the marriage he was tricked into making by his own family members.  As a result of the manipulation he endured, he sees no problem with manipulating those around him. I think he does try to be the bigger man in the beginning of his relationship with Jane, treating her well and finally offering her marriage because he loves her and he wants to be loved in return.  I think his baser nature gets the better of him when he tries to convince Jane to run away with him and pretend to be his sister, as if that relationship would remain the platonic one he described for very long. However, for all his faults I still love him and sigh in happiness when he finally gets his Jane back. I would love to read the story from his point of view, all we get is Jane’s. How does he feel when his Jane leaves him, what does he do and how does he adjust after losing everything?

My last question, do you think that Mr. Rochester had to be humbled with his house burning to the ground, his wife dying with him unable to save her and him being permanently injured to be able to have a happy and long time relationship with Jane or do you think he could have been happy with Jane with everything except the wife intact? Or do you think it was just punishment for him to have to suffer without Jane, lost in the dark by himself, for the pain he caused to Jane?

I love this story and am very glad I got to enjoy it with a critical eye, too many times I tend to just enjoy any story without analyzing it but half the greatness of this story is in analyzing it’s many layers and elements. When the 2011 version is released we will have to do a comparison to see which we like better.

Holly realized something was wrong when she noticed that everyone at her new job bought the same brand of pineapple flavored soda on the same day. In Mind-Blown by Michele Hart Holly and her immediate boss, the sexy Jon Paige, start to realize all the employees buying the same soda on the same day is just the first sign that nothing is quite what it seems at the medical billing complex where they both work. As Holly and Jon work together to get the bottom of what exactly the employees are being used for and exactly what mind-altering techniques the company is using against them, their very lives become at risk.

Raising a daughter has taught Holly not to get close to any man that is in a position of authority above her but as she and Jon work to unravel the mystery surrounding their job she can’t help noticing what a great guy he is and how she is tempted to let down the walls that she has erected around her heart.   Jon knows that Holly is everything that he is looking for in a partner; funny, smart, courageous and a great kisser but he is afraid that she will never let him into her heart.  When the chance comes to influence Holly to let down her walls using the mind-altering techniques they are trying to stop, Jon can’t resist but will the knowledge of his manipulation ruin whatever chance they had as a couple.

Mind-Blown is a sci-fi thriller that kept me guessing until the very end. The idea of a corporation influencing the minds of its employees and preying upon their need for an income was upsetting and believable.  Jon and Holly’s relationship progressed at a believable rate and I enjoyed the give and take between the characters.  I also really liked the scene where Jon convinces Holly to dress provocatively to distract the security guards while he broke into the company.  The novel did seem to drag a bit in places, where the characters seemed to be rehashing the same material and facts over and over again.  Other than that it was a good read and enjoyable.

You can read an excerpt here.

Rating:

Title: Mind-Blown

Author: Michele Hart

Format: ebook

Page Nos.: 215

Publisher: Siren-Brookstrand Inc.

Available for purchase: Brookstrand

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from the author but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

There have been several postings that I have seen lately about the importance of pen names.  Many authors choose a pen name for a variety of reasons but Angela James at Carina Press had me giggling from the first question “Does it sound like a porn star?”  Terry Kate over at Romance in the Backseat also discussed this very important issue, historically many authors have used pen names.

I just saw the cover for Karen Hawkins re-release of Much Ado About Marriage and I have to admit I love it, there is something about a sexy man in a great coat. (Can I hear a woot! woot! for Hugh Jackman in Kate and Leopold?!) The other two covers that caught my eye (yes I am like a raven, the shinies make me want) are The Lord’s Forced Bride by Anny Herries, I love the detail on her dress, and The Border Vixen by Bertrice Small, who doesn’t love a woman with a sword?!

Interviews:

Teresa Medeiros, author of The Devil Wears Plaid, at Romantic Crush Junkies.

Susanna Fraser, author of The Sergeant’s Lady at Carina Press.

Susan Mallory, author of Finding Perfect at The Romance Book Club.

Tawny Weber’s latest Hero, star of Riding the Waves at Romance University.

Kat Martin, author of The Necklace Trilogy at The Lovestruck Novice.

Giveaways:

Battle of the Sexies all this month over at Book Faery.

The Season of Romance is giving away more eGalleys, so if you like ebooks check out the three she is giving away.

The Fiction Vixen is giving away two, that’s right TWO, copies of Mockingjay, contest ends Sept. 6th.

The Bibliophilic Book Blog is also giving away two copies of Mockingjay, contest ends Sept. 15th.

Author Kate Allen from Historical Romance UK is giving away three copies of her novel, Krakow Waltz, set in Poland on goodreads.com, contest ends August 31st.

Cindy’s Love of Books is celebrating her blogiversary, congrats to her!

A Girl Reads A Book is giving away a $40 gift card to CSN Stores.

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Congrats to Jackie at Literary Escapism on the birth of her new son! She is the first blogger I have met who has posted a Baby Pool on her site. :)

Literary Agent Andrew Wylie caused a stir last month when he announced he would be publishing a back-list of books in ebook format.  (Wylie represents such authors as John Updike and Oliver Sach.) This caused Random House to be upset to the point that they announced they wouldn’t be doing business with him anymore.  Daily Finance is reporting that Wylie and the CEO of Random House have reached an agreement to publish the eBooks. Publishers Weekly also has an article on this issue.  I have a feeling as more publishers/authors move to get their back-lists published in eBook format we are going to see more contention/discussion as to who owns what rights to which books.

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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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