Armchair BEA: Wrapping It Up

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Last year, even though I helped organize Armchair BEA, I was working and felt like I couldn’t participate as much as I wanted. This year, I wasn’t sure how much I’d participate. I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed. After my difficulties with blogging the last couple of years, I didn’t want to inadvertently cause myself a set back! Maybe that was the right way to approach Armchair BEA or it’s a sign that I have my blogging mojo back, but I REALLY enjoyed this year’s event.

I ended up posting a lot more than I thought I would and attended 4 Twitter parties. I even managed to visit quite a few participants.

If you missed my posts this week, here they are:

I really enjoyed the topic of choice, not just writing my own but reading what other bloggers chose to discuss. There was so much variety. Really, go check out Friday’s link up.

The downside to Armchair BEA is that I didn’t get any reading done! I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

Logo: Amber from Shelf Notes

10 Things Book Blogging Has In Common With Orphan Black

Since this is the last day of Armchair BEA and we can write anything we want, I got a little silly. I hope you enjoy this!

BOOK BLOGGING

Have you been watching Orphan Black? Those who have will know exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you need to watch this show! It’s on the Space Channel here in Canada, BBC America in the States. Binge watch it now! It’s about clones, but it’s a mystery and a thriller. It has heart and an amazing cast, which is almost just one person. Several women (Tatiana Maslany) learn that they’ve been a part of a scientific experiment, a cloning experiment. They only find each other when someone starts killing the clones.

Since I’m obsessed with this show, I think about it a lot and I’ve discovered that Orphan Black has some things in common with book blogging.

Small audience, awesome fans.

Orphan Black is not a huge show, yet. It’s got a lot of critical buzz, but not big ratings (though the audience doubled the premiere of season 2). It has some seriously devoted fans though. Do you know they have a whole Tumblr full of gifs and fan art? Fans are members of the Clone Club, which includes Orlando Jones. Now I don’t know for sure but Orlando Jones is not a fan of my blog (you never know!). What I’m telling you is just because the audience of your blog may be small, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a devoted fan base. You probably have a reliable group of people who visit, comment on, and tweet your posts. They are your own Clone Club.

No two clones are alike.

orphan-black-feature

Source

Sure, they’re clones, but they all have separate personalities. Even though one actress plays all the roles of the clones, it’s easy to tell them apart. It’s the same with book blogs. We might all be blogging about books, sometimes we review the same books, but no two blogs are alike. We each have our own voice.

Diverse cast.

Even though one actress plays many roles, even within those roles is diversity. Cosima, a brilliant scientist, has a girlfriend, who may or may not be evil. Felix is Sarah’s gay foster brother. Art, the cop who just wants to know the truth, is a minority. Oh yeah, and then there’s Vic the dick.

Within the book blogging community, there are many niches: young adult, romance, fantasy, everything else! You can find opinions on just about any book you are looking for.

The Ladies kick ass!

The clones are tough. They are in fight or flight mode. They’re in danger, but know how to defend themselves. Then there is the mysterious Mrs S (Maria Doyle Kennedy). You do not want to mess with Mrs S.

mrs s

Every year VIDA releases statistical data on the abysmal state of women reviewers and female authors being reviewed in major publications. Bloggers help to make up the difference. A vast number of book bloggers are women. Okay, we’re not the New York Times, but our voices are loud. We review more books than those publications, and not just the best sellers or the critically acclaimed. We’re also pushing for more representation for female authors within the industry by the discussions we have online.

Hey, there are guys too!

So, the actresses are great, but there are superb performances by the men. Besides Felix and Art, there’s Hot Paul, Dr Leekie, and the new guy, Cal. Yes, there are men book blogging too, in all niches.

“This is my biology, this is my decision.”

cosima

One thing that is reiterated throughout the series is how the clones are individuals. They make decisions for their own good first. Cosima decided to work for Dyad, Sarah decided to run. Bloggers are independent. There are blogging tutorials and how-to guides available but every blogger runs their blog their own way. Not everyone reviews ARCs, or the latest releases. Some people don’t even post “reviews.” We bristle at being told how to do things on our blogs. My blog, my rules.

“We’re better when we’re together.”

Even though the clones go their own way, when it comes to solving problems, four heads are better than one. The same can be said of blogging. Events like Armchair BEA, and Bloggiesta bring bloggers together to discuss ideas and solve blogging issues. Together our voices are more likely to be heard and effect change.

There will be blood (not literally, unless you get a paper cut).

Crazy stuff happens on this show. Alison hot glued her husband’s chest.Ouch! She had her reasons. Every episode someone gets hurt. I’m not saying book blogging is violent but at times things can get hairy. There are disagreements and drama. Feelings get hurt. Those things generally blow over quickly. On the other hand, your blog maybe so quiet sometimes you want to hit your head off a wall! You put your blood, sweat, and tears into a post only to have no one comment. It can be frustrating.

Don’t count anyone out.

So, it seems like someone is done, or someone has fallen so low they’re never getting back up. Next episode, everything changes!

helena

Personally, I had a bad couple of blogging years. I lost my mojo. I couldn’t read. I couldn’t blog. Blogging was such a part of my life that even then, I couldn’t give up all altogether. I reviewed sporadically. I stopped accepting pitches and only read what I really wanted. I wondered if I’d ever get back to blogging. Then, recently, out of the blue, I wanted to blog again. I wanted to read everything! I had this sudden burst of blogging energy. I was revived! Refreshed! Resurrected! If you ever have a dry spell or writer’s block, hang in there. It doesn’t last forever.

Both are awesome!

This is the best show on TV right now! Book bloggers are the best on the internet!

alison

Gifs via Tumblr.

Law and Order: Lady Audley’s Secret Readalong Unit: Part 5

audley readalong

SPOILERS, OBVIOUSLY!

Things are heating up! Hahaha. You’ll see what I mean.

Robert puts on his thinking cap and tries to make the connection between Lucy Graham and Helen Talboys. He starts with Mr Dawson, her former employer, and works back. Guess who he finds? The “dying” governess, Mrs Vincent, who is surprise-surprise not dying and hasn’t communicated with Lucy in years. How many years? Oh, she can’t remember. But Tonks can! TONKS?! Who is Tonks? Tonks is the roommate(???) of Mrs Vincent and she remembers EVERYTHING. Seriously, everything. She knows exactly when Lucy arrived. She also has some old box of Lucy’s with an old label on it. The label tells Robert nothing but underneath that label is another label. What does it say?

Annoyingly we don’t find out right away. Robert follows the Talboys’ trail to Wintersea, Yorkshire, where they first lived. This leads him to a Mrs Barkham, who just happens to have an old letter from The Captain. Why do people keep letters? Even stranger is how The Captain gives the lady his daughter’s “I’m running away” letter. WHY? In it is this sentence: “You know the secret which is the key to my life.”

secret

Oh, yes. The Secret.

Robert returns to Audley Court and he and Lucy take a spin on the lime walk. Braddon harps on the well so much I thought for sure Robert was about to meet George’s corpse. He confronts Lucy with an I Know What You Did Last September, but she is a cool customer. Even though he now has proof that Lucy is Helen. The label: Helen Talboys. She looses her cool for a moment and threatens to kiiiiiiiiiilllll him but she see another way she can be rid of Robert. By having him declared mad!

Robert was getting on my nerves with his sexist shit. First, he thinks Miss Tonks is a cruel woman to other women because she never trusted Lucy. And how like a woman to turn on a pretty woman. Even though HE suspects her of murder! Maybe Tonks was just good at smelling a rat.

Then he goes on and on about the cruelty of women and Eve and evil and blah! Here I feel sorry for Lucy. It makes me livid to hear men complain about women when they created the world. The women are just trying to live within the perimeters they’re given and when they do, they’re judged for it. Robert goes on about Poor George. Poor George who abandoned his wife and child, leaving them with a drunk, and no money. She couldn’t divorce him, or declare him dead so that she could move on with her life. She was stuck where she was until George took it upon himself to come home.

Grrrrr!

buffy

Come at me, bro!

Anyway, after hinting to everyone that Robert has lost it over George (not far from the truth), Phoebe sneaks in asking for money. Loser Luke is getting his drunk on and spending the rent on gin. They must pay the rent! Phoebe confesses that Luke gets so drunk that he’s going to burn the inn down. Ding-Ding-Ding! Burn the inn down, eh? The inn where Robert is staying, you don’t say. So finally Lucy commits arson and I’m just a little okay with that.

fire

Dramatization

Lucy spends all day wringing her hands, waiting to hear of Robert’s death. Only, Robert APPEARS. Drat!

Other observations from this week’s reading.

  1. Clara is in Essex and Robert runs into her in church. Of course at church, she’s his angel! His saint! She’s also figured out that Lady Audley is Helen Talboys.
  2. Lucy is way smarter than anyone knows. “The big words sounded strange from my lady’s rosy lips; but her newly-adopted wisdom had a certain quaint prettiness about it, which charmed and bewildered her husband.”
  3. Alicia is getting on my nerves with her bouncing. I wish she would bounce right out! “It seemed very hard to be a handsome, gray-eyed heiress, with dogs and horses and servants at her command, and yet to be so much alone in the world as to know of not one friendly ear into which she might pour her sorrows.” Aw.
  4. Phoebe also mentions “the secret.”
  5. Tonks, though. Tonks.

Next week is the last week of Lady Audley’s Secret Readalong. Can’t wait to see how this ends!

Armchair BEA Day 3: Shorty Short Shorts

 

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Hi! Another day of Armchair BEA. I’m talking about short stories and novellas.

Now it is time to give a little love to those little stories in your life. Share your love for your favorite shorts of any form. What is a short story or novella that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves? Recommend to readers what shorts you would recommend they start with. How about listing some short story anthologies based upon genres or authors?

Short Stories

I haven’t always been a fan of short stories, especially in collections. The endings felt abrupt and the change from one story to another made me feel lost. The shortness of the genre, I thought, didn’t allow the author to expand on his or her ideas. I’ve since changed my mind about short stories since I started blogging, mostly because of Carl’s RIP Challenge every fall.

Carl’s challenge involves reading macabre material, just what I like, in many formats. One of the categories is the Peril the Short Story. I found that I liked my short stories to be spooky. As long as there was ghost or a murder, I would enjoy it. So, like any other form of literature, you have to find your genre.

If you’re like me, you might like some of my favorites. Many of these are in the public domain and you can find them on Project Gutenberg.

Collections:

 

Novellas

Like short stories, novellas are short but the form allows for expansion of ideas. They’re like mini novels. They’re also great for blogging since you can read them quickly. I like reviewing novellas and short stories while reading larger material. It keeps my blog active.

Here are some of my favorites:

How about you? Do you enjoy short stories or novellas? Any favorites?

*Logo: Amber of Shelf Notes

Armchair BEA Day 2: Author Interaction/More Than Words

Hello! Another day for discussion. Here are my thoughts on today’s Armchair BEA topics.

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Author Interaction

Author interaction is tricky. It can be fantastic! Or it can get rather awkward, especially if you haven’t always said flattering things about their work. These days with Twitter and Facebook, it’s easier than ever to contact authors. On the flip side, they can contact you as well.

I try to keep a little distance between myself and the authors whose books I review. I did have coffee with a local author but that was just one time. I follow lots of authors on Twitter but I find that more authors follow me than I do them. There can be a lot of noise on Twitter, a lot of self-promotion. Some are good at it, and some are not. By only following authors I’ve already read and enjoyed, as well as the ones who say interesting things, I keep my feed fairly clear of “Buy my book NOOOOOOW” tweets.

That’s not to say I haven’t been star struck. I was very excited when one of my favorite authors, Simon Van Booy, started following me on Twitter. “He followed meeeeeeee!” I thought!

If I could give you one tip, it would be not to send an author a link or tweet to a negative review, unless they asked you to do that. Usually, I’m contacted by publishers or publicists, so I will send them all links. They can decide whether or not to send it on, that puts a middle man between you and the author. Hopefully, an awkwardness can be avoided that way.

awkward

More Than Just Words

It’s funny, before I started blogging I only thought of books as words on a page, how things have changed!

I ‘read’ a lot of audiobooks these days. How you tried Librivox? If you haven’t, you should. Librivox is run by volunteers who record books in the public domain for free. Sometimes you get a good narrator, and sometimes you don’t but, hey, it’s free. The Audiobook app on my iPod runs Librivox books through it. I have three on the go right now. I also use my library quite often.

head phones

Since multimedia is mentioned, there’s one thing that audiobooks can’t give you. That visual experience. Last summer, I received an audio version of Night Film. Night Film is heavy on visuals. There are screenshots of websites, letters, documents, magazine articles, photographs. There is even an app you download to access the Easter eggs hidden throughout the book. Needless to say, I missed a lot of that by listening to the audio. Later in the year, I borrowed the book just to experience it.

To muddy the waters even further, what about graphic versions of previously published books? What do you think of this? Have you read any? I have read a few. It was an interesting experience. I think it helps to have already read the books they’re based on. Jane Eyre was one of the first I read, then the delicious The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Exile, the Outlander graphic novel, was quite something too. Those formats just add to the reading experience. It’s like a VIP experience. You get a little extra.

Which formats work for what books depend on the book in question. If I had to recommend particular formats for some books, here’s what I would say:

Audio:

  • Bossypants by Tina Fey
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • A Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch
  • Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (read by Megan Follows- so good!)

So, for audio, I like the have memoirs read to me by their authors, especially if they are funny ladies. Megan Follows did such a fantastic job narrating Carmilla that I think everyone should hear it.


Regular paper:

  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Anything that has a major visual component, like these do.


Graphic novels: If not originally graphic novel creations, I’d recommend reading the novels in the format they were first published first.

For fun, here are my favorite graphic novels:

  • French Milk by Lucy Kinsley
  • Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
  • Mercury by Hope Larson

So, what are your favorite formats?

*Logo Amber of Shelf Notes

Introducing Me: Armchair BEA 2014

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For the next week, many of my posts will be related to Armchair BEA. What is Armchair BEA?

Book bloggers unable to attend the BEA Bloggers Conference or Book Expo America (BEA) in New York City, but would like to ‘meet’ other book bloggers and publishers to discuss books and book blogging can participate in this virtual event.


Hello, all! If you’re just visiting Chrisbookarama for the first time because you followed a link here from Armchair BEA, here’s a little bit about me. I’ve chosen 5 questions to answer from the Introductory post.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from? 

I’ve been book blogging for a long time, 7 years in January. First, I was book-a-rama, then finally settled on Chrisbookarama. I’m a lady from Nova Scotia, Canada. I have a husband, a kid, 2 cats, and a dog. You can call me Chris. Besides reading, I like running, crocheting, and long walks on the beach (no, really!).

I first started blogging after a member of my online book club did. It looked like fun. Any excuse to talk about books is a good excuse. I have eclectic reading tastes, but I mostly review classics, thrillers, and mysteries.

Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details -- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. -- so we can connect more online. 

If it’s a little weird, I want to read it then tell you about it.

You can find me on Twitter (@Chrisbookarama), Tumblr, Google+, Goodreads, Pinterest. I also review for Project Gutenberg Project.

What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year? 

It wasn’t a great reading year for me last year. I didn’t read as much as I used to read. There were a couple of excellent books though. Revenge by Yoko Ogawa is an excellent collection of interrelated creepy short stories. The Long Ships by Frans G Bengtsson is Viking adventure!

This year is a much better reading year. I’m so happy. My favorite so far is The Three by Sarah Lotz. That’s another creepy one about the children survivors of three separate plane crashes.

What does your favorite/ideal reading space look like?

Well, an ideal reading space would look like this pin on Pinterest. In reality, I spend most of my reading time on my bed with coffee. Like this:

Reading

Share your favorite book or reading related quote. 

If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. –Oscar Wilde

If you’ve read my intro, please leave a comment and I’ll visit your introduction post.

The Revenge of Lady Audley’s Secret: Part Four

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I’m jumping on the Robert + George Bandwagon that the other Readalongers are driving because later in this section Robert meets Clara. Clara is George’s sister and looks just like him, and even has his handwriting and Robert can’t stop thinking about her. Goodness! If these two hook up and get married, you know he’ll have her wearing trousers, cutting her hair, and gluing on a beard. He’ll take her down to the ole fishin’ hole for “naps.” Maybe she’ll be into that, I don’t know, I don’t judge, but she’d probably be down for anything to get away from that terrible father. More on that later.

tina fey dude
Future Clara

First, there’s some yada-yada about Alicia and her suitor whocareszzzzzzz. Lucy gets her husband to kick Robert to the curb by telling him he’s been making eyes at her. Eyes of Revenge, maybe! Robert stays at the Inn of the Damned instead, which is worse news for Lucy because Luke can’t keep his stupid mouth shut even when it would benefit him.

Robert plays metal games with Lucy and totally tips his hand when he tells her he has Helen’s letters in George’s room. She’s all, “Oh reallllllly?” and trots off to London where she bribes a blacksmith to break in and steal them. Robert, I’m so disappointed in you. You were outwitted and it wasn’t even that hard. Lucy should have hired an arsonist to burn that motherfucker to the ground though, because she forgot about her old school books she wrote in. Busted! Lucy=Helen

Robert tries to get to the bottom of things by going to see The Captain. He finds Georgy living in squalor with a nervous old lady watching over him. She’s Matilda’s mother, Mrs Plowson. Who’s Matilda? Probably the dead girl, aka “Helen Talboys” deceased. Robert packs up little Georgy and sends him to school and away from his drunk Grandpa.

At this point, Robert has a crisis of conscience. When Lucy is revealed as a bigamist and a murderer, Uncle Mike’s reputation is going to be ruined. He’s going to look like a horny fool, which is the truth. I think Alicia would be the most likely to suffer for this. Get her married, quick!

Robert decides that if George’s family doesn’t care then he’s out. So, he heads to the Heath Grange or whatever, where George’s dear old dad lives. This guy. How have the servants not poisoned his brandy? He is the worst! He tells everyone George is “dead to me” but when Robert says that that’s probably literal now, he’s all, “Noooo, he isn’t. It’s a trick!” Here is where Robert meets Clara and comes to the conclusion that she doesn’t care about George. He can tell this from her posture as she sits 20 feet away from him, with her back turned, and hasn’t said a word to him. That’s totally how I get to know a person too.

Robert is all, “Okay, I’m outtie,” when Clara comes running (*gasp*) out of the house and begs him to get justice for George. He asks her what if he says no? She says:
"Then I will do it myself," she exclaimed, looking at him with her bright brown eyes. "I myself will follow up the clew to this mystery; I will find this woman—though you refuse to tell me in what part of England my brother disappeared. I will travel from one end of the world to the other to find the secret of his fate, if you refuse to find it for me. I am of age; my own mistress; rich, for I have money left me by one of my aunts; I shall be able to employ those who will help me in my search, and I will make it to their interest to serve me well. Choose between the two alternatives, Mr. Audley. Shall you or I find my brother's murderer?"
Scoop her up, Robert, and take her with you! Don’t you want to see a showdown between her and Lucy?

kill bill showdown
My name is Clara Talboys. You killed my brother. Prepare to die.

Finally, Robert at Home sits contemplating how much he hates women and thinking about his ruined complexion. He’d like us all in Parliament and out of his hair. He’s a very strange feminist. Just then a letter from Clara arrives and Robert thinks, “Oh here we go! She’s going to go on and on about George and draw hearts over her i’s.” Instead, he’s surprised that she just sent George’s letters with a note to send them back when he’s done. Obviously, Clara is not like other girls! One letter contains a description of Helen. I wonder who she looks like?

Will Robert fall for Clara/George? Will Alicia give up on men and perhaps help Phoebe escape her awful husband Thelma and Louise style? Will Lady Audley get away with muuuuuuuurder? Stay tuned.

The Three by Sarah Lotz: Review

the three

Four planes, in four different places around the world, crash almost simultaneously. The only survivors are three children, who are nearly uninjured; they should be dead. When a mysterious message from one of the dying passengers is discovered, people start to question their survival. What did she mean by watch the boy and warn them? Warn who about what?

An American minister sees this as a sign of the end of the world. He connects the children to the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. If so, where is the survivor of the fourth crash? Others claim that the children are aliens, that the real kids died and were replaced by beings from another planet. One thing is for sure, the children no longer act like their former selves. Was this the result of the trauma they’ve suffered or something supernatural?

aliens
This guy would be head of the Alien Theorists
The Three by Sarah Lotz is mostly told as a previously published exposé on the crash and the three survivors called From Crash to Conspiracy by Elspeth Martins, sandwiched between chapters “How It Begins” and “How It Ends.” From Crash to Conspiracy is Elspeth’s research and interviews. Some of the material is told through emails, recorded interviews, and chat room transcripts. The first and last chapters and the only parts that are in the present tense: passenger Pamela May Donald’s last moments and Elspeth’s experiences after her book came out.

Elspeth presents her research as she found it without much commentary but what she reveals has a profound effect on world events. What the reader discovers is how everything unravelled after the plane crashes, and what happened to the survivors. Those kids were super creepy. No wonder they freaked everyone out.

The way The Three is written reminds me a lot of how Dracula was told. Stoker used technology (the wax recorder, Mina’s typewritten transcripts) to tell the story and similarly so does Lotz. For the most part I enjoyed this but I found the transcripts from the chat room clunky and distracting. I wanted to skip those parts. Of all the ways the story is told I thought that was the most disconnected from the reader.

If you are looking for tidy endings, you’re not going to find them here. I still don’t know what I read. I have some theories and I’d love to share them but I’m going to have to find a safe non-spoilery place to discuss them.

I highly recommend The Three if you want a creepy read that will keep you guessing.

Thanks to Little, Brown and Company via NetGalley for the review copy.

Media Madness Monday: The Revenge of Rosemary’s Baby

media madness monday

I'm a media junkie, not just books, but TV, movies, music, podcasts, and internet nonsense. Every Monday I discuss something that's caught my interest this past week. 

I'm just going to talk about TV today. I have a lot to say about 2 shows.  

Revenge Season Finale

Revenge-promo-season3I don’t know how many times this year I said I didn’t know why I kept watching this show. New characters would appear, and do things that didn’t advance the plot at all. It never went anywhere. And that amnesia thing, what was that? Finally, these past two weeks, it was worth watching again. It was as if the writers said to each other, “Oh yeah, this show is about revenge!” The Revenging! It happened! I’m going to talk about it!

Spoilers ahead.

Let’s get some of the lesser plotting away first. A new character, Margaux’s brother Gideon, was introduced. Gideon looks like the guy from Creed and has no accent at all, which he explains is because he didn’t go to school in France. Okay. Nolan welcomes him With Arms Wide Open and they plot against Daniel. Daniel wakes up in bed with a dead girl. “Nolan don’t play that way,” Nolan says to Gideon. “Now you do!” *Guitar solo*

Jake is being questioned by the police because Charlotte suddenly realized Jake did some of her kidnapping. She figures this out when he puts his hand on her shoulder. The girl can barely tie her shoes but somehow remembers the exact feel of her kidnappers hand.

Now on to the big players. Conrad is in jail after his confession last time but we all know rich dudes don’t stay in jail for long. He bribes a guard who gets him out. His freedom doesn’t last long, as he gets murdered like a dog in the street by David Clark! What???!!!!

Victoria is gunning for Emily because she blames Emily for her boyfriend’s death for some reason. I’m sure the logic is sound there. So Victoria takes a boyfriend for a boyfriend and kills Aidan in the most cracked out way possible. She poisons his tea, which paralyzes him and then suffocates him with a pillow! That’s cold. I’m surprised she didn’t send Emily his head in a box. Emily sets up their final showdown in the cemetery where it appears she is digging a grave. Emily cracks Victoria in the face with a shovel! Victoria wakes up tied to the bed in a metal hospital where, in some delicious irony, she’s being “cared for” by the same doctor she bribed to keep little Amanda quiet. The final scene is of Emily walking down the hospital corridor swinging a bad ass cape over her shoulders like a BOSS while Victoria screams, “She’s Amanda Clark!!!”

revenge gif

Finally, REVENGE! Alexandre Dumas would be proud. Now what will happen next year? The show was renewed. A father-daughter reunion? Will Nolan get out of Gideon machinations while still looking dapper? Will Daniel continue to forget he was madly in love with that Sarah girl? Will Margaux continue to wear the cutest clothes ever?

Rosemary’s Baby

rosemary's baby miniNBC decided to air their mini-series of Ira Levin’s novel on Mother’s Day. I’m not sure what they’re trying to tell us. At first I was confused by the change in location. Is Paris just more exotic than NYC? After seeing the movie, I understand. In Paris, American Rosemary can’t work. How would a modern adaptation explain Rosemary’s lack of a life outside Guy? By placing them in Paris, Rosemary’s isolation is explainable.

Guy is a professor and wannabe author, instead of an actor. The couple moves into The Chimere, a fancy apartment building and their super friendly neighbours are an older, sexy couple, the Castevets.

Zoe Saldana did a fabulous job as Rosemary. Her husband Guy, played by Patrick J Adams, is always douchey. He does rent out his wife’s uterus to the devil, so he’s never a nice person. Margaux Castevet (Carole Bouquet) is scary! She sort of bullies Rosemary, but in a subtle way. I found her terrifying. Jason Isaacs played Roman Castevet and whoa he is a sexy silver fox. I also liked Rosemary’s cute little friend, Julie. Poor Julie.

The mini-series is très sexy. It’s also slower than the 1968 movie. They had 4 hours to fill, though a lot of that are commercials. And gory. I was surprised how graphic it was for network TV. Everyone who dies does so in horrible ways and nothing is offstage. But that baby, that is the cutest demon baby ever.

Did you watch either of these events? What did you think?

Sources: ABC, NBC, Popsugar

Shady Lady Audley’s Secret: Part Three

audley readalong

Was it just me or was this section a bit boring? Just a lot of Robert running around.

Spoilers Ahoy!

Chapter 10: Missing

After Robert wakes up from his afternoon nap and discovers George missing, he starts searching for him. He didn’t eat dinner, and the last person to have seen him was a servant at Audley Court. Robert even tries the train station, but asking after a white dude with a beard probably doesn’t narrow it down. He assumes George left for London. Did George leave his stuff behind? I don’t remember that being mentioned. If you assume your friend would leave town without leaving a note, maybe you need new friends.

Chapter 11: The Mark Upon My Lady’s Hand

Back at Audley Court, Lady Audley is twirling herself on a piano stool and admiring the sables Robert brought her. She makes the Kardashians look like German philosophers (see what I did there, readalongers). And, oh my God, she can’t cut her own meat at dinner! Seriously!

A couple things about Lady Audley are revealed:

-There was no governess at the address Lucy claimed the lady lived. I thought this was clever of her. She just made up an address and went there knowing the people their wouldn’t know what she was talking about.

-She’s so delicate a ribbon she tied around her wrist left bruises. Bruises shaped like fingers, one finger with a ring. That lie is not fooling anyone, sister.

Chapter 12: Still Missing

In London, no sign of George is present at their apartment and the landlady never saw him. Conveniently though, his father-in-law had a visit from him, or so he says, and George never spoke to his son. What lies! George Jr does mention a ‘pretty lady’ who visits him. I wonder who that is.

A Clue! A half burned telegram. I think it was sent from Lady Audley: “If anyone asks, George went to Liverpool and sailed for Sydney, but really I pushed him down a well.”

Chapter 13: Troubled Dreams

Robert is psychic now. He has dreams of Lady Audley rising from Helen’s grave, her ringlets turning to snakes. That’s a bit much Braddon. He’s woken by mysterious knocking on the door that he never answers.

Robert finds that George never went to Liverpool and makes a list of facts around George’s disappearance. He’s starting to see that Lucy might be involved in it.

Chapter 14: Phoebe’s Suitor

Back at Audley Court, Alicia and Lucy snipe at one another. Without any friends, Lucy confides in Phoebe.

Braddon drops this little nugget:

But there were certain dim and shadowy lights in which, meeting Phoebe Marks gliding softly through the dark oak passages of the Court, or under the shrouded avenues in the garden, you might have easily mistaken her for my lady.

Okay. I hope there is a point to that.

Lady Audley then makes reference to some French story she read about a noblewoman who committed a horrible crime and is punished for it in her later years. I feel like Braddon is trolling us.

Lucy and Phoebe discuss the horrible Luke. He sounds like a winner. Phoebe thinks he’s capable of murder and yet she’s afraid not to marry him. Anyway, Phoebe told Luke something about Lady Audley because he blackmails her for 100 pounds. What could it be?!

Chapter 15: On the Watch

Phoebe marries the disgusting Luke in the saddest ceremony ever. This guy can’t even stop bitching at her on her wedding day, but at least he’s happy with his inn. It sounds like the tavern of the damned.

Robert is back with “half a dozen French novels, a case of cigars, and three pounds of Turkish tobacco…” Ah, to be a rich single dude. What are French novels? Are they just novels or is this a euphemism for p*rn?

Alicia has just about had it with him, and yells at him before informing him that she has a new suitor: Sir Harry Towers. Robert remains completely clueless. This whole subplot is yawn.

Meanwhile, Robert watches Lady Audley as he explains circumstantial evidence in reference to George’s disappearance. This is so Law & Order. Lucy faints! What an admission of guilt!

brain crying

Inside Lucy’s head

I’m hoping at this point that Lady Audley didn’t kill George because it is just too obvious. Braddon practically draws us a picture of the murder. She’s not Agatha Christie, unless this is a red herring. It’s got to be a giant red herring, right?

What Has Become of You by Jan Elizabeth Watson: Review

what has become of youVera has a new job as a substitute teacher for a “well-to-do college preparatory school” teaching a class called Autobiographical Writing: Personal Connections to teenaged girls. The first assignment is on The Catcher and the Rye. For the class, the girls must write journals connecting themselves to the actions of the characters in the novel.

Vera has bigger dreams of writing a book on her favorite topic: serial killers. She considers herself an amateur detective, and is fascinated with a recent murder case. For now, she must contend with reading and marking the girls’ journals. One girl in particular stands out from the rest: Jensen Willard. Jensen is a scholarship student, one of the most silent of the class, but her insights intrigue Vera.

When another murder is committed and Jensen’s journals become more and more disturbing, Vera wonders if something is not quite right with the girl.

When I first started reading What Has Become of You, I had to take a moment to ask myself, “Am I supposed to find Vera obnoxious?” because I did. She is one of  the most pretentious characters I’ve read in a long time. She’s smug and self-absorbed and yet somehow she’s soooooo stupid. She makes poor decisions, like being hungover her second day on the job. She's not some girl straight out of college, she's in her late thirties. She relates to the girls in her class because in a lot of ways she’s on their level. Actually, some of them are more sophisticated than she is. I could see from a mile away that she was being played. I had to wonder, what are you thinking, girl? Part of the problem is she wants to impress this teenaged girl, and it’s sad because it’s obvious she has a lonely life.

cool mom
Vera, if she was a mom. 

Vera does a host of questionable things. The kind of things that make you say aloud, “Don’t do that thing!” I didn’t understand her fascination with Jensen’s journal. I started calling them Letters from Eeyore. The journal contained the kind of stuff that would make a good teacher stop and call the cops. You don’t just let that stuff go. At one point Vera makes Inspector Clouseau look like Inspector Poirot, and I decided that the book had just gone farcical. It was like the reality of every cozy mystery ever written. Do not try this at home, kids; you are not a professional. Still, I kept reading because I wanted to know what was going to happen. Was Vera literally too stupid to live?

rupaul

As for the writing, the third person was off putting. I couldn’t really get into Vera’s head. The beginning was somewhat slow, though the pacing of the last third of the novel improved. The ending was a satisfying conclusion for me. It’s a fairly standard thriller without many surprises. Part of the attraction for me was not figuring out who, but why. Why does Vera do the things she does when any sensible person would call the police? Will she ever learn? Why did the killer murder that person? What was the motivation? Will the killer be caught?

Thanks to Dutton Adult via NetGalley for the review copy.

Media Madness Monday: Season Endings

May 12 Collage

I'm a media junkie, not just books, but TV, movies, music, podcasts, and internet nonsense. Every Monday I discuss something that's caught my interest this past week.

On the TV

So many shows are showing their season finales. What am I going to do all summer? Not only that, but a lot of shows were cancelled this week. It was brutal. Many I didn’t watch or I wasn’t that attached. I was disappointed by the cancellation of Community. It was just starting to get interesting again.

Anyway, The Mindy Project’s season finale brought Mindy and Danny together again. I wonder if it will last. She went through a lot of guys this season. Not judging, but it doesn’t seem very realistic for her to so easily fall into these relationships with these dudes. After awhile it just seemed like a Man Parade. I would like the focus to not be so much on the dating part of her life. Also, the British doctor was barely in it this season. I love Mindy but the supporting actors aren’t used enough.

 

Tunes

I mentioned wanting to get Lykke Li’s new album, I Never Learn, which I bought this week. I’m enjoying it. She has a very unique sound that maybe not everyone will like. This album is quite maudlin. It’s about break ups and sadness, with songs titled Never Gonna Love Again and I Never Learn. It’s different from her last album, Wounded Rhymes which was peppier. I like it though. It’s great background music for blogging.

 

 

Podcasting

Interested in Armchair BEA? Danielle discusses the history of Armchair BEA and what to expect during the week with Book Goodies.

All You Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day! What an emotional fraught holiday this is. I know people who lost their moms- recently or years ago, lost children, can’t have children they wanted, are estranged from their moms or children, can’t be with their children, all of that. Also, my heart goes out to those poor mothers in Nigeria. I can’t imagine what they are going through. Then there is just the usual parenting angst that seems to come with the holiday. Mother’s Day is supposed to be a day to honour and feel honoured but when I read some of the Facebook posts on this day (and others), I feel like I don’t measure up.

I know I’ve made mistakes. Those are the ones that make me feel like I don’t know what I’m doing and keep me awake at night. My daughter is at an age now where I can say to her, “Parents are people and people make mistakes, but we try to do our best.” She’s also at an age where she can tell me she thinks my rules are stupid. She gets it honestly though. She is as dramatic as I was at that age. I’ll even say, “I don’t know where she gets it,” when inside my head a voice whispers, “Meeeeeeeeeeeee!”

I don’t think that it helps that mothers are especially hard on each other. I get an extra dose since I have an only child. I unfollowed, and then blocked, a Mommy blogger on Twitter after she made a snide remark about parents of only children. Even though it made me angry, I did not engage in a Twitter war with this person. Nobody got time for that. I guess I’m getting better. I realized I didn’t have to listen to what someone else says and that their opinion is their opinion. If someone questions your parenting, it’s probably more about that person than you.

Then I think of my mother and what a jerk I was to her sometimes growing up. How did she not push me off a cliff?

Maybe just for today, let’s not be so hard on ourselves and each other. And for the record, I’m proud of my girl. She’s quite a personality.

So, after all that emotional unloading, I’ll tell you about my Mother’s Day. I bought a Fitbit (a device that counts your daily steps) for myself this week. I feel like I can’t sit down. I could be getting more steps in! My best days are my run days. I took one today. It was overcast and there was a breeze, just the weather I like to run in, and the air smelled like the ocean. Now I’m going to read more of The Three by Susan Lotz and have supper with my mom and family.

run and read

Kobo Chat: Slower Reading

What’s new on your Kobo or other ebook device? First, let’s take a look at the electronic reading I’ve been up to lately. I’ll talk about what I’ve finished, what I’ve downloaded (bought or borrowed), and how that’s working out for me. Grab a coffee and let’s chat!

Finished

I finally finished the ARC of What Has Become of You by Jan Elizabeth Watson. I have some thoughts on that one. I’ll have a review up soon.

New to the Kobo

  • Bought: I was a lucky winner of a Readathon Mini-Challenge hosted by Jessica of The Bluestocking Society and had $10 to spend. Since I loved Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge, I picked up The Diving Pool ($10.99). Thanks, Jessica!
  • Borrowed from library: Nothing borrowed this week but I did put a hold on The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic by Michael Newton. This was published by my local university.
  • Netgalley title: After a Twitter conversation, I was sent an invitation to read The Three by Sarah Lotz.
  • Downloaded for free: Book Riot recommended The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy

 

Let’s Talk

It seems as if it takes me longer to read books on my Kobo. I can’t figure out why. Is it because I can’t skip ahead and go back easily? I tend to do this with paper books when I feel that the story is lagging. I just need to reassure myself that things will get more interesting. It motivates me to keep going. I’ll just put my Kobo down for awhile if the story starts to drag. What about you? Are you a slower ebook reader?

I’m probably going to read The Three next. It sounds like a spooky one about plane crashes and the end of the world. Those kind of books are my jam.

How about you? Are you reading anything interesting on your device? Find any good deals? Tell me about it!

Lady Audley’s Secret Readalong: Part Two

audley readalong

As we continue through this section of Lady Audley’s Secret for the Readalong, we see George mourning and trying to get back on his feet. We also see some strange behaviour from Lady Audley.

There will be SPOILERS.

Chapter Five: The Headstone at Ventnor

Yes, Helen is dead and there are witnesses. They find Helen’s father at a cottage at Ventnor, the place she died.

I have a theory that the woman who died wasn’t Helen. George can’t find her portrait. A piece of her hair the landlady kept is straight, not curly. The landlady also remarks that she recognized no one at the end and never mentioned George. Suspicious!

So why would Helen fake her own death? Probably so that she could go on pretending to be Lucy Audley, right?!

Chapter Six: Anywhere, Anywhere Out of the World

I’m not loving George, right now. He’s been gone years and the first thing he does is yell at his father-in-law for not recognizing him. Then he says this charming nugget: “Oh God! why did not the Argus go down with every soul on board her before I came to see this day?” Sure, let’s wish all those innocent people dead. Then he wants to leave his son and go off to Australia to die, presumably by being bitten by one of their many deadly animals.

Fate has other plans. There is no ship to the land down under so George mopes around with Robert who is going to Russia for the winter. Why Russia in winter? What’s the appeal? Why not somewhere warm? That’s like me saying, “Think I’ll visit Churchill, Manitoba with the polar bears in February.” Nope. I’ll take a month in the Caribbean, thanks.

Chapter Seven: After a Year

It’s a year later and George is getting on but he’s still heartbroken. He sighs and mutters about his heart and whatnot. Robert, who doesn’t take life seriously at all, is like, “Buck up, old chum! Let’s visit my uncle and take a boo at his new wife.” Alicia sends word that her stepmother will not have them stay at the house- for reasons. So, the guys decide to stay at a nearby inn.

Now we learn some more about Lucy. She’s a Sexy Baby. “All her amusements were childish. She hated reading, or study of any kind, and loved society.” Can she even feed herself or is that too much for her?

sexy-baby

All the men fall all over themselves to do things for her. And when she doesn’t want to do something, she simply refuses to do it and no one questions why. Which is why no one thinks twice when she refuses to meet Robert and George.

There’s some foreshadowing as the author discusses murder in the country. Fields of muuuuuuurder!! I guess a murder is coming.

There’s something fishy between Lucy and Phoebe. Lucy comments that Phoebe would look just like herself if she used some rouge and hair dye. This seems like an odd thing to say. Then she gets Phoebe to fake a telegram that Lucy is needed in London. Seems like she’s avoiding been seen by Robert and George.

Chapter Eight: Before the Storm; Chapter Nine: After the Storm

Alicia invites the guys up to the house to see Lady Audley’s apartments and her portrait. Portrait! They can’t get in her rooms though because she locked them and took the key with her. She didn’t want anyone to see her portrait, maybe? Alicia is determined to get them in and tells them to sneak in through a secret passage. It’s dark and they only have one candle so they can only gaze at the portrait one at a time. The portrait “had something of the aspect of a beautiful fiend.” 

If George recognized his wife in the portrait, wouldn’t he have confided in Robert? Later he returns to the house alone, while Sir Michael is out. Phoebe, I’m assuming, saw something out the window. That convo between her and Lucy is so strange. Lucy says, “…while I live and am prosperous, you shall never want a firm friend or a twenty-pound note.” So keep your trap shut, sister.


Lucy and Alicia

Lucy

Don’t you think she could be a sociopath? She doesn’t care about anyone but herself and is manipulative. There are so many hints dropped that Lucy is not what she seems, like the “beautiful fiend” comment and Alicia’s dog growling at her. But George, ugh. If I was stuck with George forever, I’d pretend to be dead too.

Alicia

scarlett2

I like Alicia. She knows what’s what. The men are so easily manipulated by Lucy’s baby face but not Alicia. She’s Lucy’s foil. “The black curls…..., the red pouting lips, the nose inclined to be retrousse, the dark complexion, with its bright crimson flush…” I imagine Vivien Leigh as Alicia. I don’t like that she’s in love with her cousin Robert. Another cousin lover. Are there no other men? Anyway, as much as I like Robert, he’s not marriage material. She can do better.

This is fun! Can’t wait to read more shenanigans!

This House Is Haunted by John Boyne: Review

This House Is Haunted

First, let’s talk about the title. When my daughter saw me reading This House Is Haunted, she remarked that it sort of gives away the story. There is truth in advertising. Indeed, this house is haunted!

ghostbusters 1

When Eliza’s father dies after catching a chill while attending a talk by Charles Dickens, she finds herself both orphaned and homeless. Panicked, she accepts a position as a governess without investigating the home, parents, or the children. What’s the worst that could happen?

Eliza learns fairly quickly that all is not right at Gaudlin Hall. Her charges, a girl and her younger brother, appear to be alone in the great, crumbling house. Alone, but not alone, as Eliza finds out. Another presence lives at Gaudlin Hall, and it is not happy with the new governess.

For everything I liked about This House Is Haunted by John Boyne, there was something I didn’t. It is a straight forward ghost story. There is a ghost, for sure, an angry ghost. Finding out who the ghost is and why all the hate is most of the plot. I had things figured out before Eliza did. Some reader might find it scary but I didn’t particularly. There wasn’t the build up of tension and dread, unlike Sarah Water’s The Little Stranger. There weren’t a lot of surprises and I thought the ending was a bit cheesy.

Character-wise, I loved Eliza’s practicality and common sense. Her determination to get to the bottom of things when everyone else either avoids the topic or thinks she’s crazy was something I liked about her. I did not understand her obsession with the lawyer though. Why, Eliza, why? He’s so douchy.

ghostbusters 2

I also didn’t understand the villagers reluctance to talk about Gaudlin Hall. They aren’t affected by any of what is going on there. In my small town, people would be lining up to talk to the new governess and give her their version of events. She’d never get anything else done!

This House Is Haunted utilizes many elements of the Gothic novel: the old mansion, the isolation, the lonely heroine, and some creepy children. I didn’t think it was a coincidence that the kids are a sister and brother, like the kids in The Turn of the Screw.

I read this during the Readathon and it was a quick and easy read. It is well written and entertaining. If you want a typical ghost story that’s not too scary, you might like this. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary with lots of twists and surprises, look elsewhere in the genre.

Media Madness Monday: Paris et Monsieur Petit Jeans

 May 5 Collage

I'm a media junkie, not just books, but TV, movies, music, podcasts, and internet nonsense. Every Monday I discuss something that's caught my interest this past week.

On the TV

Did you watch the season finale of Parks and Recreation? I was sorta confused because it seemed like The Finale. I guess they’ll have new shenanigans for Leslie to deal with next year. At least she won’t have city councillor Jam bothering her anymore. Maybe.

Tunes

This week I downloaded the album Pocketknife by Mr Little Jeans. Mr Little Jeans is not a Mister. She is actually Monica Birkenes, a young Norwegian singer. I first heard her cover of The Suburbs last year and loved it. You might have heard her songs, Runaway and Rescue Song, on TV as background music for ads and shows. One of my favorites on this album is Oh Sailor, which features a children’s choir. I don’t think there is a song on this album I don’t like. Here’s the video for Good Mistake.

Mr. Little Jeans "Good Mistake" from Ian & Cooper on Vimeo.

 

Big Screen

I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus so when I read about a short film she made called Picture Paris, I knew I’d need to watch it. In Picture Paris, Ellen dreams of Paris. Planning her and her husband’s trip to Paris distracts her from her youngest child leaving for college. Unfortunately, her husband has other plans. I loved the Paris setting, although Ellen doesn’t find it to be all that she hoped. For most of the film, I believed I was watching an Eat, Pray, Love kind of movie, until the twist…

Picture Paris is available on itunes.

On the Web

The Strange Company is a t-shirt and poster creator company from Vancouver, BC. They have a very interesting idea for t-shirts featuring authors, philosophers, and scientists. It is nerdtopia! Back their Kickstarter for as little as $1. Pledge $39 and get a t-shirt. And check out their gifs! I’m a little in love with the Mary Shelley one.

mary shelley

Score!: A Lazy Sunday Thoughts Post

Library Sale

Look what I got! The library had its semi-annual sale and I picked up these 4 books:

  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood
  • The Observations by Jane Harris
  • The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer

I’m having a harder time finding books I want to buy from the library sale than I used to. Also, I may already have Slaughterhouse-Five. In the moment I couldn’t remember so I bought it anyway.

I haven’t written anything personal in some time so let’s catch up!

My daughter is starting Junior High next year so we’ve been touring her new school and having lots of “the last one at elementary school” events. It’s making me quite emotional. I’m okay though.

I’m doing lots of gardening and running now that the weather has improved and by improved I mean “the snow has melted.” I have some vegetable seeds in the garden. I hope I can make a salad soon. I did a race this morning and although it nearly killed me I made good time. I should really do more. It forces me to be with people. To celebrate I bought donuts.

I’m still unemployed. Looking at the jobs out there, there are few that aren’t “truck drivers wanted.” I do not think I should drive a big rig. I would like to drive the Google street view car though. I wonder how you get that job. I’m still waiting for a call back from my old job. My daughter would rather I wait until September to work since it interferes with my driving her around all summer.

Next week is Mother’s Day apparently. (Is it Mothers’ or Mother’s? Seems like it should be Mothers’ since there are many mothers.) If anyone knows what to get my mom, please let me know.

That’s all for now. What’s new with you?

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley: Review

IMG_1831During a past Readathon, I read Lucy Knisley’s French Milk, all about her travels with her mother to France. I enjoyed it very much. When I started seeing Relish: My Life in the Kichen around the book blogosphere I knew sooner or later I would read it. It just so happened that my buying Relish coincided with last week’s Readathon.

Relish is about food. Food, food, glorious food! Lucy’s parents were foodies before foodie was a word. Her mom made it for a living and her dad loved to eat it. They were always surrounded by other foodies, people who went on to become quite successful in the business.

Lucy and her family are a very artsy family. It’s almost like a fairy tale to me. I wondered, Is this real life? Lucy eats fancy food, meets fancy people, goes to fancy places. She travels all over the world: France, Mexico, Japan. She makes a living with her art. How can people do this? I don’t begrudge her that life; it’s just so beyond what I know.

Once I got beyond my own Wow reaction, I enjoyed Lucy’s stories. Some of them are very funny. She obviously loves her parents a lot. She has great memories of cooking and eating with both of them. (They divorced while she was growing up.) I thought it was funny how she craves junk food and how offended her parents are when she eats it. It reminded me of Gesine Bullock-Prado’s mother’s reaction to Oreos in Confessions of a Closet Master Baker.

Relish isn’t just a memoir. She also provides practical tips and recipes for the reader. I actually made mushrooms for lunch one day the way she suggests. And bought some cheese.

night cheese

Relish’s style is a bit different from French Milk. The illustrations are bright and colourful. It’s a lot more comic book style. It was fun to read. I’m not sure if I should keep it on my bookshelf or in the kitchen!

Lady Audley’s Secret Readalong: Part One

audley readalong

Reading Rambo is hosting a Readalong of Lady Audley’s Secret, which I’ve decided to jump into. Lady Audley’s Secret is supposed to be the most soapy of Victorian novels. This first post covers chapters 1-4 and if they’re any indication, those rumours are true.

I really have no idea what this book is about so I’m just going to give my impressions as I go.

Chapter One: Lucy

Chapter One sets the scene. There’s a house with lots of secret places, like priest holes and unused wells. Lots of areas to hide a body. Sir Michael Audley, 56, is the owner of this property and takes walks with his new pretty young wife. His daughter isn’t thrilled by this new marriage, as now she’s second banana with the servants.

About the new wife: former governess, no one knows anything about her, so damn pretty. Michael saw her with her employers at church and fell into a “love fever” or as I like to call it, he got the horny pants for her. “She was his destiny!” Lucy Graham, governess, was oblivious to his lustful glances, until her employer, Mrs Dawson, told her she can have him if she wants him. Lucy was so shocked she dropped her paint brush! Omg!

Why is Sir Michael so enamoured with Lucy? Here’s how Mary Elizabeth Braddon describes her:

-“soft and melting blue eyes, the graceful beauty of that slender throat and drooping head, with its wealth of showering flaxen curls; the low music of that gentle voice”

-“They were the most wonderful curls in the world- soft and feathery, always floating away from her face, and making a pale halo round her head when the sunlight shone through them.”

She’s the Victorian image of an angel. Rich, white dude cat nip. She also has seeeeeecrets. A black ribbon tied around her neck, which she fidgets with often.

secrets

Sir Michael proposes. Lucy drops to her knees in front of him. “No, Lucy; no, no,” he cried, vehemently, “not here, not here!” Okay, where Sir Michael and what do you she’s going to do to you, hmm? Instead, she tells him she’s tired of being poor and will marry him for his money. Romantic!

Later, Lucy pulls the ribbon out of her bosom to reveal a ring. Dun! Dun! Dun!

Chapter Two: On Board the Argus

Passenger George Talboys is everybody’s BFF on board the Argus, a ship headed to England from Australia, but as the ship draws closer to Europe George gets moody and drives the crew crazy with requests of, “Are we there yet? How much loooooonger?” Don’t make us turn this ship around George!

George is besties with a governess (this story is lousy with governesses) and she tells him her tale of woe. Poor fiancé, blah blah, governess in Australia for 15 years, yada yada. He then tells her how he left is wife and baby for Australia to make his fortune 3 years earlier. The wife is beeeeeaaautiful. Sounds familiar. He hasn’t sent her a letter in all that time. He was too ashamed to admit he was still poor. You know what a wife would appreciate? A letter once in awhile that says, “Hey, I’m not dead!”

So, now he’s got enough money to make it rain. Everything’s going to be great! He sent his wife a letter and she’ll write back and they’ll be so happy!

Chapter Three: Hidden Relics

Some anaemic servant named Phoebe Marks is sneaking around in the shrubberies with her cousin/boyfriend Luke. Every mention of a shrubbery, and there are a lot, made me think of Monty Python. Luke is the worst. He negs Phoebe like it’s closing time at da club. I think she has self-esteem issues if she thinks this is the best she can do. She’s all, “Oh Luke, come look at Lady Audley’s jewels!” These two are bad news.

shubbery

Chapter Four: In The First Page of “The Times”

Robert Audley, nephew of Sir Michael, runs into newly arrived George Talboys. They used to be school chums. What a small world? Robert suggests getting some beers but George is all, “Naw, brah, I have to get a letter at the coffeehouse first.” Robert goes with him but there’s no letter. There is an announcement in The Times obits of the death of Helen Talboys, 22. What?!! Oh noes!!!


And scene.

So far, so good. I’ve been listening to the Librivox recording by Elizabeth Klett. She is so good. The dialogue is so overdramatic, hearing it read aloud adds another dimension of ridiculousness. Can’t wait to continue!

Cover Reveal- Empower: Fight Like a Girl

I don't ever do Cover Reveals but when I was approached about this one, I made an exception. Not only is Empower: Fight Like a Girl a collection of short stories about empowered women and girls but the proceeds go to the Lupus Foundation. Someone close to me has a form of the disease, so it’s a cause that’s near and dear to me. I hope this is something that you find of interest!


girl power

Praise for Empower: Fight Like A Girl

"Even non-girls will feel empowered by these stories about ordinary, flawed characters finding their own strengths. Highly entertaining and original."
- Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Chase and King City, whose mother lost her hearing to lupus.

Women of TV have united against lupus! Presenting Empower: Fight Like A Girl, a special collection of short stories by top women writers from some of your favorite shows, including: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Family Guy, Person of Interest, Grimm, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Law & Order: SVU, Star Trek: Voyager, Eureka, Twisted, The 100, Malcolm in the Middle, Millennium, Being Human, The Shield, Castle, Chuck, Gilmore Girls, and Game of Thrones. In this anthology, you'll discover supernatural thrillers, crime mysteries, horror, comedies, and more.

Authors contributing stories to this volume include:

  • Amy Berg
  • Cherry Chevapravatdumrong
  • Akela Cooper
  • Liz Edwards
  • Jane Espenson
  • Shalisha Francis & Nadine Knight
  • Lisa Klink
  • Pang-Ni Landrum
  • Lauren LeFranc
  • Kam Miller
  • Jess Pineda
  • Jennifer Quintenz
  • Lisa Randolph
  • Kay Reindl
  • Kira Snyder
  • Jeane Wong

    All proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Lupus Foundation of America to help solve the cruel mystery of lupus.