Tag: Stop Torturing Holly

Bookish Thoughts: Full Book Lists Wanted, The Ripped Bodice is Accepting Patrons, Passionflix, Series Reading and #ShallowReaderBingo

Posted August 17, 2017 by Holly in Discussions | 10 Comments

Wanted: Full book lists on author websites

Authors, please include a full list of your works, including short stories, on your website. I’m the type of person who likes to read a series (especially long ones) in order, including novellas. If I can’t find the information on your website, I’m going to be pretty annoyed. As an example, I’m going to use Ilona Andrews. On the Kate Daniels page, it lists only the full length novels. However, there is a link to the full list, including anthologies.

Clicking the Small Magics anthology link takes me to a full page list of the stories set in the world, including all short stories and where they fall in the line-up.

Authors, seriously. I need this in my life. Please, if you haven’t already, go update your book lists. Keri Arthur, I’m looking at you. The title of your novella and what anthology it’s available in would also be much appreciated!

The Ripped Bodice (the only exclusively romance bookstore in the Northern Hemisphere) is now accepting Patrons

From their latest newsletter:

Today we’re taking a new step that we hope will help us to continue to grow and thrive for years to come. Many members of the romance community have expressed a desire to support The Ripped Bodice from afar.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve launched a Patreon, and you can become an official Patron of the Ripped Bodice.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I think it’s great for those who want to support them but don’t live close enough to do so in person (I live in SoCal, but the 2.5 hour drive makes it hard to get down there on the reg). On the other hand, why offer a crowd funding service instead of pushing their online bookstore? Unless this is a way to help offset the cost of author and reader events at the store? That would make sense. Anyway, here’s the info:

Why become a Patron?

Our page has detailed information about giving levels and some of the fun and exciting things you’ll receive every month. While we will never stop communicating and sharing the goings on at the store with the internet at large, some of our behind the scenes tomfoolery will be moved over to the Patreon and be available just for our patrons.

For the first month of our Patreon, all our new Patrons will get 10% off our fly new gear!
Discount code only available till 9/5/17 (code comes in your thank you email)
You can check it out here!

You can donate $3, $5 or $20 (or more!) per month for various offers and discounts from The Ripped Bodice. Check out the Patreon site for details. There’s a Sherry Thomas short story being offered for new members, thanks to Berkley and the author!

Passionflix – Turning your favorite romance novels into movies and series… On Demand

Have you guys seen this? I can’t tell you how excited I am! Passionflix is a subscription streaming service that turns our romance novels into movies on demand. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous about the quality of the movies being produced. We’ve all seen the traveshamockery at Hallmark and Lifetime (remember Rose Hill, the made-for-t.v. movie of For the Roses by Julie Garwood? shudder). Still, I’m hoping for the best.

Here’s what you get for your money:

Becoming a found member ($100 flat fee):

A 2 year Subscription (a 30% savings!)
Invites for a walk on role, Passionflix parties or set visits.
Voting privileges on our exclusive reality shows like Cast Your Book Boyfriend.
Help us find the next romantic leading man.
Discounts on Passionflix Merchandise.
Be the First to Know what’s going on Behind the Scenes.

Be an Early Bird Subscriber ($3.99 monthly fee):
Register your interest now and you’ll be invited to join when we launch for a discounted price of $3.99/month.

I signed up as a Founding Member. Despite my concerns over the (possible) quality of the movies, I’m excited about this.

Here are the movies already in production:

Hollywood Dirt

Alessandra Torre

While making a movie in a small Georgian town, Hollywood’s hearthrob Cole Masten casts spirited local girl Summer Jenkins as his leading lady, on screen and off.

Coming Sept 2017

 
 

Afterburn/Aftershock

Sylvia Day

Businesswoman Gia Rossi is determined to be successful in her new job, but when her ex lover Jax Rutledge waltzes back into her life, their passionate connection ignites not only in the boardroom, but the bedroom.

Coming Nov 2017

 
 

The Trouble with Mistletoe

Jill Shalvis

Real estate developer Keane Winters may have stood up pet shop owner Willa Davis in high school, but now he wants her under the mistletoe and in his life.

Coming Dec 2017

 
 

A Brother’s Honor

Brenda Jackson

While working to prove their father’s innocence and save the family company each of the three brothers come to terms with the past, find their own future happiness and unexpected love.

Coming 2018

 
 

Shallow Reader Bingo

Thanks to Willa on Twitter, I recently discovered Shallow Reader Bingo. You guys, this is amazing! It looks like it hasn’t been updated in a couple months, but I love the idea.

Series Reading – When is it Time To Say Goodbye?

While putting together a list of books I’m looking forward to in September, I started thinking about long-running series. Specifically J.D. Robb’s In Death series (currently at 45 books) and Hannah Howell’s Murray Family series (21 books). I had to stop reading the Murray Family series because I felt like each book was the same, so I’m not quite sure how it ended (or if it did). I’m behind about 10 books in the In Death series, but I wonder if it’s becoming stale (for the record, I’m not suggesting it is, as I’m so far behind, just wondering how long she can sustain it).

At what point should a series end? When the author is tired of it? When it stops selling well? Obviously, there’s no right answer to that question since each series and author is different, but how do you feel about open-ended series?


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Bookish Thoughts: It’s Time to See Other People, Changes to NYTimes Bestseller Lists, Cliffhangers and Kindle Unlimited

Posted January 27, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 7 Comments


​I’ve been struggling with contemporary romances that focus solely on the protagonists without any external conflicts. This has been on my mind since I finished Playing the Player by Amy Andrews, book three in the Sydney Smoke Rugby Series. The hero and heroine didn’t do much away from each other. They obviously didn’t live in each other’s pockets, but all their focus and attention was on the other. There were no breaks in the story where, say, the hero was at rugby practice, or out with his boys, that he wasn’t thinking or talking about the heroine, and vice versa. I enjoyed the story overall, but I would have liked to see them have a life away from each other.

This is something I’m seeing a lot more of lately. We’d come out of it there for awhile, but now even my favorite authors are sliding back into the habit of having them focus just on each other. Can we go back to the hero and heroine falling in love, but also doing things away from each other?


The New York Times had dropped their Bestseller lists for Manga and Graphic novels. They announced plans to revamp their lists, and indicated others may be done away with as well.  From the PW article:

“Our major lists will remain, including: Top 15 Hardcover Fiction, Top 15 Hardcover Nonfiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Fiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Nonfiction, Top 10 Children’s Hardcover Picture Books, Top 10 Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover Chapter Books, Top 10 Children’s Young Adult Hardcover Chapter Books, and Top 10 Children’s Series. Several more including Paperback Trade Fiction, Paperback Nonfiction, Business, Sports, Science, and Advice Miscellaneous will remain online. Readers will be notified that individual lists will no longer be compiled and updated by the New York Times on the relevant article pages.”

Among the lists that appear to have disappeared are the graphic novel/manga and the mass market paperback lists as well as the middle grade e-book and young adult e-book lists.


This week I discovered a new UF series. Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. Stolen Magic, book one, was an Amazon recommended read. It was $3.99 so I figured I’d give it a go. I really enjoyed it, but it ended on a cliffhanger. Though I grumbled a bit, I bought book two (also at $3.99.), Murdered Gods, and read it immediately. And it ended on a cliffhanger. No other books from the series are out yet. Each book is listed around 260 pages, though they felt much shorter, especially the second book. Assuming the series stops at 3 books (though I have no idea, since I can’t find any information about it on the author’s website), I’ll end up paying approximately $12 for what is, in essence, a single full-length novel. If the author stops with three parts. Otherwise, who knows when it’ll end.

Look, I don’t mind spending money on books. Especially when I’m really loving a series. But this new trend of breaking a novel into parts and releasing it as a serial, with each part costing $2.99-$5.99, is really starting to irk me. Especially when they aren’t marked as having cliffhangers or being “parts” of a book, rather than full-length titles. Or maybe I’m just being cheap?

To be fair, both parts are available for free on Kindle Unlimited. Since I don’t subscribe, I had to pay full price for them. Which brings me to…


Is Kindle Unlimited worth the money? I’ve avoided subscribing thus far because there weren’t a lot of books available that I wanted to read when it first launched. Now it seems like they have a greater, more varied selection. Thoughts?


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Saying Goodbye

Posted December 27, 2016 by Holly in Discussions | 18 Comments

I’ve dedicated a good portion of the last 15 years to reading. It’s been my main (dare I say only?) hobby, passion and one-true-love. I spent many hours reading, discussing and reviewing books. I also spent a good amount of time and money collecting them. Thousands of books have passed through my personal library over the last decade. I used to keep every book I read, whether I loved it or hated it. Back then, if I had 5 books in my to-be-read pile I got anxiety. Then I slowly started weeding out the books I didn’t love and figured I’d never read again. And my TBR pile grew to 20. As time went on I culled a lot more of my print library, keeping only my absolute favorites and my full collections. And my TBR pile grew to thousands (though a good number of those are digital..curse you, one-click!).

Over the summer we bought a new house and moved. The new house has a ton of natural light – which is wonderful, – but all the windows take up wall space I could have used for bookshelves. I decided it was time to brutally cut down my print collection. I kept pretty much only signed copies and my full collections. Linda Howard, Lisa Kleypas, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nalini Singh, etc. These are the collections that include very book by the author. Some signed. All in great condition.

One of the largest – and most prized- of my collections, the In Death series by J.D. Robb disappeared in the move. I’m pretty sure it got put in with the donation boxes, though I can’t be 100% certain. I spent years collecting them. The full, complete series, including novellas, mostly in hardback. It was beautiful. And it’s gone. Gone.

It wasn’t until we’d been in the new house a couple months that I noticed they were missing. We still had some boxes in the garage that hadn’t been unpacked and I figured they were mixed in with those. Eventually all the boxes were unpacked and the books still hadn’t turned up. I called the places we usually donate to, but they didn’t have them. Either they were donated elsewhere or they were already gone by the time I called.

Over the years as I switched to mostly digital reading, I’d been slowly purchasing my favorites in e-format, so I have pretty much the entire series in e already, but that doesn’t lesson my anger and sadness over the loss of these beloved books. My heart is broken.

Back in February of this year, my husband’s aunt moved in with us. She has dementia. She’s a huge reader and books give her great pleasure. But she has strange ticks that come with her disease. One of them is hoarding/hiding books and destroying them. She pulls pages out and crumples them, bends and creases the covers and, in comes cases, even shreds them. I have no idea why. I don’t blame her for it. It isn’t something she can help. However, before we moved my entire collection of books was at her disposal and she destroyed a number of my books. Some of them weren’t very important to me, but others…oh how I mourn them. Several signed copies, or ones given to me directly by authors. The pain!

Most people don’t understand. “They’re just books, Holly”. Or “You can buy new ones.” Both are true. They are just books and I can buy new copies. But that isn’t really the point. It’s hard to say goodbye. And while these may be just books, I was pretty damn attached to them.


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Characters Everyone Loves – Except Me

Posted July 26, 2016 by Holly in Discussions | 5 Comments

Rowena recently posted about characters she hates. I have a long list of characters I hate, too. This post is about the characters I hate yet who everyone else seems to love.

Derek Craven from Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas – Everyone always goes on and on about Derek and Sara, but the truth is they both drove me crazy. Sara, with all her running around like a moron thinking she’s safe in London, was TSTL 99% of the time and Derek was way too EMO for my tastes.

Roarke from the In Death Series by Nora Roberts – Now, before you decide to flog me..it isn’t that I don’t love Roarke, because I do. It’s just I don’t read the series for Roarke. I read it for Eve. She’s amazing! She’s a total badass. Roarke is just..an added bonus. Though I will say in the more recent books, Roarke has lost a lot of appeal for me. He often comes across as a placeholder than anything else. It’s depressing. (Disclaimer: I am behind about 7 books, so things may have improved with him.)

Brodick from Julie Garwood’s Ransom – Mostly I spent the novel wanting to either junk punch him or karate chop him in the neck. Brodick and I are not friends. The dirty, underhanded way he manipulated Gillian makes me rage-y this day.

Daphne Bridgerton from The Duke and I by Julia Quinn – That sperm stealing, no-apologizing hooker! Okay, she wasn’t that bad, but I couldn’t get over her lack of remorse for what she’d done. While Simon acted the fool, too, at least he had the good grace to feel sorry for it later. Daphne just went on her merry way.

Sam Starrett from Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann – Look, I just like my heroes to not throw up and/or cry every 5 seconds. Once in a while? Okay, fine. But all the time? Notsomuch. 

Nope


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Dear Romance Characters, Stop Breathing So Much

Posted April 12, 2016 by Holly in Discussions | 5 Comments

I have a confession to make: I think breath is nasty. Obviously the act of breathing is very important, but breath itself is pretty gross. I do not want my husband, kids, or dogs to breathe on me. Not anywhere on my skin, but most especially not in my face. I don’t care if they just brushed their teeth or popped a mint or chewed some gum. I do not want their nasty, moist mouth air anywhere near me. I am never going to be the mom who checks her kids’ breath to see if they really brushed their teeth.

That carries over to my reading, too. I do not want to read about characters and their nasty breathing. Of course I want my characters breathing (you know, unless they’re vampires or undead or something where breathing isn’t a requirement), but I do not want their breathing to become part of the story.

“Her breath fanned against my cheek.”

“His breaths soughed against my lips.”

And the worst one of all,

“Our breaths mingled.”

No. Just no. I don’t want that. Ever. But most especially in the morning. Morning breath is…. No. I just can’t.

Just me? Is there something you can’t read about?


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