Monday, September 30, 2013

Quote of the Day

"You do that, and I take back every nasty thing I've ever said about you."
He grinned, his mood changing from serious to wicked in an instant. "Why, I'm all of those things and more."

I shook my head. Ian was more proud of his depravity than anyone I'd met, but if he helped me pull Bones out from under four bespelled vampires and one demonically-enhanced vamp, I'd shower him with prostitutes and porn while swearing he was an angel.

Home for the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost


Warrioresses of the Roses: White Queens and Red Queens

The Cousins’ War Series by Philippa Gregory

This War of the Roses...
It’s no secret that I like to learn something when I read. Maybe it’s residual Puritan guilt (“Idle hands are the devil’s tools”), or simply the chores on my never-ending to-do list calling my name, but I often have trouble convincing myself that it’s okay to sit down and read. It’s a little easier if the reading is teaching me new things. And historical quasi-nonfiction is one of my favorite ways to keep myself entertained while learning something at the same time. Bonus points when there’s romance and royal intrigue!

In April, I read Anya Seton’s Katherine while on vacation. Set in England during the late 1300s, it described the lifelong love affair between commoner Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, the son of King Edward III. Their story took place before their various descendants became embroiled in a nasty civil war with their cousins that we know today as the War of the Roses.

Not this one!
I couldn’t remember exactly who all the cousins were, what they fought about, and how John and Katherine’s great-great-grandson Henry Tudor walked away from the war as Henry VII. My interest in this era had already been rekindled, due to the recent discovery of Richard III’s remains in England, which had spawned discussions about what he looked like and whether he was really an evil tyrant. Unfortunately, historical records are few or nonexistent. So each new discovery potentially adds exciting (or not) details that increase our understanding of these people and events.

So I’d been looking around for ways to reacquaint myself with this era. Then voilá, Starz network debuted a new series called The White Queen, based on Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War books, which were exactly what I was looking for!

What struck me about these books right away is the strength of the female characters. I guess my first clue should have been that all the books are named after women. But that’s no guarantee they’ll be strong, interesting women who (at least attempt to) steer their own destinies, particularly when they lived in Medieval times. These women were indeed strong, as well as creative, clever, and independent thinkers.

After the jump, I’ll talk a little about these books, the role these very different women played, and why we still remember them, more than 500 years later.

Some spoilers ahead for those who didn’t pay attention in history class!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Quote of the Day

“Love is not a whim. Love is not a flower that fades with a few fleeting years. Love is a choice wedded to action, my husband, and I choose you, and I will choose you every day for the rest of my life.”  

The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer #2) by Brent Weeks

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quote of the Day

"When you're five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties, you know how old you are. I'm 23, you say, or maybe 27. But then in your thirties something strange starts to happen. It's a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--you start confidently, then you stop. You were going to say 33, but you're not. You're 35. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it."

~Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

Friday, September 27, 2013

Quote of the Day

"You're kidding me. How is that ... " I pointed to the offending object, "more civilized than drinking it from the bottle?"

She had found an old Sesame Street cup depicting The Count. His cartoonish fangs beamed at me, and I read the writing on the side which proclaimed, One... One Glass of Milk! I wanted to stab myself in the face with the broken shards of my dignity.
Grandmere filled the glass... {snip}

A Bloody Good Secret, by Sierra Dean.

Fangirl Fridays – SPN Family

If it's wrong to fangirl something you belong to, then I don't want to be right. I fangirl the SPN Family. SPN = Supernatural the television show, and the name of our fandom is SPN Family. We're so great, we won the 2013 People's Choice Award (more on that later).

However, I don't fangirl us because I love the show, or because of what our fandom produces; in fact, when fangirling SPN Family I do so objectively, in effect taking myself out of the equation and looking at SPN Family from afar. And when I can do that, I am truly amazed at the unique dynamic of SPN Family, and at all of the things it has accomplished over the years. I don't think I'm biased when I say no other fandom compares, and that the use of the word “family” is no accident. We really are family. For better or worse, fans, crew, and actors, we stick together.

Follow me after the jump and I'll tell you all about SPN Family and why they are fangirl-worthy.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Quote of the Day

Ben's appetite disappeared, but he took a bite of his own burger. It did not taste of the happy nostalgia he had anticipated; it was greasy and charred. Maybe it was the best burger in Point Pleasant, but he had eaten better burgers elsewhere during his time away. Andrew was right; Ben was not from here anymore. He did not belong in Point Pleasant.

~~Jen Archer Wood, Point Pleasant

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Quote Of The Day

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
Mark Twain



The Black Prism - Book Review

I have an author crush.  I'm becoming addicted to the works of Brent Weeks. He has only six books published and I can't get enough of them.  So, Brent, I did read the acknowledgements at the end of The Black Prism and I'm doing exactly as you advised and spreading the word.  After all, who reads acknowledgements.  Me, apparently. I've already expressed my love for The Night Angel trilogy and now it's time for me to do the same for The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1).

From Goodreads:

Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals.

But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

Check after the jump as to why I think this book rocks. Mild spoilers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quote of the Day

What the Wenches Are Reading

Bettie Page
It is quite a mix of tales that we are reading this week, with no two Wenches reading the same things. We’ve waited too long to get started on Angela’s idea of making each other read Wench-selected books, so a few of us are working on those choices. In addition we are reading old favorites, new books by beloved authors, books that have grabbed us refusing to let go, and books serving as palate cleansers.

Click through to see what has captured our attention this week, and be sure to tell us what you’re reading, in the comments below. Maybe you have recommendations for us!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Quote of the Day

Eavan Boland – In His Own Image

I was not myself, myself.
The celery feathers,
the bacon flitch,
the cups deep on the shelf
and my cheek
coppered and shone
in the kettle's paunch, my mouth
blubbed in the tin of the pan –
they were all I had to go on.

How could I go on
With such meager proofs of myself?
I woke day after day.
Day after day I was gone.
From the self I was last night.

And then he came home tight.

Such a simple definition!
How did I miss it?
Now I see
that all I needed
was a hand to mould my mouth
to scald my cheek,
was this concussion
by whose lights I find
my self-possession,
where I grow complete.

He splits ma lip with his fist,
shadows my eye with a blow,
knuckles my neck to its proper angle.
What a perfectionist!
His are a sculptor's hands:
they summon
form from the void, they bring
me to myself again.
I am a new woman.

Review: The Passage and The Twelve by Justin Cronin

Artwork by Shane-01
I got The Passage for my birthday, and since it was a rather fat book, I put off reading it. But once I decided to start it, I just couldn’t put it down, and then I had to find the next book in the series. When Wench Donna asked us to share our favorite book discovery for our recent anniversary post, I realized I had never told you how much I liked these books.

The Passage is the first in a dark, apocalyptic trilogy being written by Justin Cronin. The second book, The Twelve, was published last October, and the third book is expected next year. These books tell about the spread of a mysterious virus that causes people to become a sort of vampire. People who turn into “virals” lose their memory and identity; they are constantly asking over and over again in their minds, WHO AM I, WHO AM I, WHO AM I, WHO AM I, WHO AM I.

These books have been a treat for me, a new spin on an old theme. After the jump, I’ll tell you why.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Quote of the Day

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Quote of the Day

Her head tilted. "Is that why you don't look very happy?"

One of the reasons, but of course he ain't said that. Instead he said, trying to smile, "Thinkin people still be scared on me, I standing back here lookin all happy?"

It worked. She smiled back, but a real smile, the kind made him want to grab her again. What the fuck was wrong with every other man in the room, that they weren't all killing each other just to stand next to her?

"Wait, people are scared of you?"

"Aye, well I ain't figure on why, but seems like it."

"Maybe you should take up knitting." She sipped her beer. "It's hard to be scared of somebody while they are knitting."

"Aw, naw, don't tell nobody on that, aye? Got people selling blankets I'm making in the Market."

It amazed him that he could think of stuff to say that made her laugh, that when he was talking to her it weren't as hard to find the words. When he talked to her he had plenty to say. And she always got what he meant, too; none of the dames he saw got what he said the way she did."

Stacia Kane -  Wrong Ways Down

Friday, September 20, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Bath toys are reserved only for the oldest, most lethal vampires. I have a full century of age and another thousand men to kill before I reach that hallowed landmark."  


Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost

Fangirl Fridays - Songbirds

It's yet another Friday, and I am this week's fangirl. Let me start by admitting that I had to give some big thought to whom I could fangirl over this time, but one day it just hit me. I was listening to music, and one of my favorite bands was playing...and, like so often before, I was thinking about how much I loved them and how I hoped I'd one day be lucky enough to go to one of their concerts. And in the midst of my fangirling and daydreaming it hit me, I should write about THEM. They're perfect!

Who are they? You might have heard of them, you might have listened to them, and you might love them, just like me. They are my favorite monsters. They are Of Monsters and Men.


Join me after the jump, if you dare, as I try to expand on my I JUST LOVE 'EM SO MUCH!! gush, and form it into more articulate sentences, and hopefully do justice to this great band.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quote of the Day

As I stumble through this life,
help me to create more laughter than tears,
dispense more cheer than gloom,
spread more cheer than despair.

Never let me become so indifferent,
that I will fail to see the wonders in the eyes of a child,
or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.

Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
make them happy, and forget momentarily,
all the unpleasantness in their lives.

And in my final moment,
may I hear You whisper:
"When you made My people smile,
You made Me smile."

~ Nancy Mehl, Blown Away

Point Pleasant: A Conversation with Jen Archer Wood

Jen Archer Wood, author of Point Pleasant, is joining us today to answer a few questions about her first published work, a novel with beautiful illustrations by Svetlana Fictionalfriend. Point Pleasant began life as a Supernatural fanfiction, and Wood began the journey earlier this year of transforming the work into the story of Ben Wisehart, his hometown’s struggle with the Mothman, and his own path in facing up to his past and navigating his future. Actually, Wood is humoring my curiosity, and I appreciate her time!

Join us after the jump as we talk about Wood’s decision to publish, the town of Point Pleasant and one of the most famous urban legends in the United States, and Katie—the best thing to ever happen to Ben. Spoiler-free zone ahead.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Quote of the Day

"...the kindest thing you can do for someone you love is to never tell them how much they have broken your heart." 

Tear You Apart
~~Megan Hart

What the Wenches are Reading

Betty White – Source

We're missing a few Wenches this week, but the rest of us are making up for it by finishing up beloved series, getting hooked on new series, continuing with books that have us rapt, and using our precious reading time to learn a few things!

Click through to find out what has captured our imaginations this week, and be sure to share your reading selections below!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Don't worry. I think Mount Everest is gorgeous, too, but that doesn't mean I have any intention of trying to climb it."

"I do not understand this analogy," Mencheres muttered.

Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost


The One Where Wench Donna Made Wench Angela Read a Book

We set ourselves a challenge (well okay I set the challenge) at the beginning of the year that each Wench had to recommend a book / series to another Wench. I was very fortunate to have Wench Donna make my selection for me. Many of us struggled to find just the right book that we hoped another Wench would love as much as we did.  There might have been the odd restless night as we tried to work out exactly what the perfect book would be. Books were discarded as not quite right. Other books because the Wench had already read them.  A tough decision on all of us, but in the end we managed to make our selections, so look out over the next couple of months as we reveal what we had to read, and if we liked the selections. Remember Wenches, the challenge must be completed in 2013. Nothing like a little bit of pressure.

Wench Donna on her Recommendation

I took my time deciding on a book for Angela. That's not surprising because I'm always slow to make up my mind. I weigh all my options and think things through from many angles.  Maybe I put too much pressure on myself, but I really wanted to pick out a book for Angela that she would LOVE.

I stalked her Goodreads account to see what she had already read. Many of my initial choices were eliminated because she had already read them. I considered different genres, but thought it risky. Ultimately, I gave myself some time. I continued to keep the challenge in the back of my mind and hoped the right book would fall into my lap.

I don't even remember how Kim Harrison's The Hollows series came on my radar. I do remember being instantly engaged. I kept reading one book after another - I was hooked! I love these characters!

Imagine how happy I was when I found out Angela hadn't read them! I felt like I had searched for the perfect present for someone and it was exactly right!

Check after the jump as to why Donna picked the perfect book series for me. Spoilers after the jump for the whole series.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Quote of the Day

“Two friends . . . there are stronger forces on earth, perhaps, but few as tenacious and enduring as the bond between true friends.”

Stephen R. Lawhead, Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle #2)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Quote of the Day
Sansa lowered her head.  "The blood frightened me."

"The blood is the seal of your womanhood.  Lady Catelyn might have prepared you.  You've had your first flowering, no more."

Sansa had never felt less flowery.  "My lady mother told me, but I...I thought it would be different."

"Different how?"

"I don't know.  Less...less messy, and more magical."

Queen Cersei laughed.  "Wait until you birth a child, Sansa.  A woman's life is nine parts mess to one part magic, you'll learn that soon enough...and the parts that look like magic often turn out to be the messiest of all."  

~George R. R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

Friday, September 13, 2013

Quote of the Day

"I've never forgotten that Mary Sheeran, that lucky bitch, literally sees fireworks when she comes. Orgasms are pretty spectacular all on their own, but to see bursting and shifting patterns of color - that's always seemed like an extra bit of luck. And now it's happened to me."

Tear You Apart by Megan Hart.

Fangirl Fridays – J.K. Rowling

Fangirl Fridays are an opportunity for us Saucy Wenches to gush over people or characters that we love, admire, put on pedestals and/or who have made a profound impact on us. I would like to share with you why J.K. Rowling is someone who embodies these characteristics for me.

I still remember the day when I was in a children's toy store and saw Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on a shelf. My son was about seven years old and had no interest in reading. As a parent and a book lover, I was always on the lookout for reading material that would engage him and help him develop a love of reading. By that point, I didn't care if it was comics, Captain Underpants or cereal boxes. I picked up Harry Potter and brought him home. I think it's safe to say that Harry became part of our family.

Join me after the jump as I gush over what J.K. Rowling has meant to my family, to her readers, and to those who might not even know about her.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Quote of the Day

 (c) Veronica Vishous
When asked about her favorite hobby:

"Reading. I know it's not a very active activity, but it is in my head."

~~Rachel Miner, Salute to Supernatural, Vancouver, August 25, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quote of The Day

Hilda by Duane Bryers
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,   

The stride of my step,   

The curl of my lips.   

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,   

That’s me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,   

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.   

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.   

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,   

And the flash of my teeth,   

The swing in my waist,   

And the joy in my feet.   

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,   

They say they still can’t see.   

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,   

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.   

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.   

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,   

The bend of my hair,   

the palm of my hand,   

The need for my care.   

’Cause I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou