Category Archives: Books

An Award! 🌸

Lovely Linda has lavished me with a Liebster! Thank you so much, Linda! 💖

First, I’m to present 11 facts about myself. Yes, the dreaded 11… why 11? I don’t know. But there’s nothing to be done about it. Off we go.

1. I’m a single mom of two fabulous adult daughters, and I do take a lot of credit for the fact that they’re both wonderful people.

2. I’ve worked for the same company for 18 years.

3. I’ve been married and divorced twice.

4. I was born in Sleepy Hollow, NY, but I never saw the Headless Horseman.

5. I lived in Chicago, IL for several years, and it was freezing. 🥶

6. I tried to find my soul mate after my last divorce, but nothing worked out, so now I just write all the time.

7. I’ve self-published 6 books of poetry and fiction as Paula Light. 😀

8. One of them will be available in audio shortly.

9. I’ve also self-published 2 romance novels and several short erotica stories as Anna Fondant. 🔥

10. Someone is narrating my first romance novel right now, so it should be available as an audiobook soon.

11. I have a bazillion more novels, novellas, short stories, and collections planned out to write, edit, and self-publish before I die. 🙃

Okay then. Now I’m supposed to answer some specific questions. Guess how many there are? Eleven again. Yeppers.

1. How important is Wi-Fi for you? Is warm running water or wireless internet more important?

This looks suspiciously like two questions to me. Can I get a ruling? Wi-Fi is very important, but obviously warm running water is more important. I don’t want to be boiling pots of water on the stove to wash my hair in the sink. Annoying! 😠

2. Name your favourite blogger (any genre).

Whoever gives me compliments is my fave.

3. If you have to pick a place to settle down forever, where would it be and why?

I’d like to be, under the sea, in an octopus’s garden, in the shade… 🐙

4. What is one silly moment you’ve had that you’d like to share?

I went to CVS yesterday for eyedrops and saw they were having a greeting card sale. I got so excited by the cute cards I forgot my vow to quit buying cards because they’re a waste and I picked out three. Then I forgot to notice if the cashier gave me the third one for free like the sale said. This morning I checked my receipt and of course she charged me for all of them.

5. What is your favourite trait about yourself?

I’m so good at sticking to resolutions. 😜

6. What is your favourite time of day?

Lunch!

7. Tell us your favourite food/cuisine.

Seafood with pasta. I guess that’s Italian.

8. Name three destinations you would like to visit once in your lifetime.

Yellowstone, Taos, Boston. 🚊

9. If you could change something in the world, what would it be?

Get rid of parasites. So gross.

10. What are you most passionate about?

Writing.

11. What is so special about your blog?

It reflects my creativity and my life; it’s not a regurgitation of headlines or clichés. I try to offer fresh and interesting content to keep readers amused. I hope I succeed, at least sometimes.

And… that’s all she wrote! 🙃

One-Liner Wednesday: Struggle

I love Mark Manson. I think I’m finally going to treat myself to his first book, and probably his new one as well. I went through a period of not liking him so much when he became ridiculously popular, since I had discovered him before that and liked “knowing” this secret, niche, edgy writer, but whatever. Can’t hide a light under a bushel, or something. (What the hell is a bushel?)

Regarding the main point, I’ve only really consistently loved and fought for one thing in my life: my children.

Can’t say I’ve really struggled for anything else. I just let things go when they’re hard. It’s my way.

~*~

One-Liner Wednesday

Money Honey 🍯

Since none of today’s prompts have woken my creative beasts, instead I’m going to fall back on an old classic: the bitch and moan.

Today’s rant is about money. Now, I get that just because people ask for some doesn’t obligate me to give. My feelings are my own issue to deal with. If I feel guilty because I can’t donate to the animal shelter or the Alzheimer’s organization as I would like to, well, that’s my problem. They don’t have to quit sending me stuff.

People have the right to advertise and market. I do, however badly. Occasionally I say hey buy my books, and no one does, so like whatever. But at least I’m offering a product. I don’t say hey send me some money because I exist. See, that’s what I have a problem with.

I really resent being asked for money just because someone is there and I’m here. I have a blog, which I’ve paid for by the way, not that I have to, but I wanted to get rid of the ads, so if you read it in a browser, I’ve made it a nicer experience for you. Some people actually seem to enjoy reading my blog, yayyy! And I enjoy other blogs. Then… I’m asked for a donation? Wtf why? How about you give me one? That seems as fair as me flinging money out at some other blog for no reason other than it exists too.

I’m not a cheapskate. I actually overtip in most cases. But that’s because someone has provided a service. When someone comes up to me on the street or online and asks me for money for nothing, I feel like saying wait can I have some because my rent just went up. I mean, really. I work all the time, and this crap does make me mad.

If you don’t want to write for free on the internet, don’t! Very simple. Package up your beautiful precious words in a book and offer them for sale instead. Just quit begging for donations. It’s gross. If I have extra money to donate sometime, it’s going to real charities as I mentioned above, not to bloggers.

I know they’ll keep asking. But grrrr I am having a problem staying my usual calm and serene self about it. 😡🔥💥

PFF5 ~ Holy Matrimony!

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This post originally appeared here on July 5, 2014. I hope you enjoy the romance novel review even if you aren’t a fan of the genre.

At The Duke’s Wedding

At The Duke’s Wedding [dead link deleted] is a collection of four novellas, all set at a grand old English estate during the week of festivities surrounding the wedding of the Duke of Wessex. Each novella has a different author.

 

WARNING ~ SPOILERS ABOUND ~ CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

 

1. That Rogue Jack by Maya Rodale. This story is incredibly, tediously stupid. Jack is a gorgeous moron who misplaces the heirloom wedding ring he picked up for the groom from a jeweler. Inexplicably, the bride-to-be requests great grand Aunt Whozis’ companion, Henrietta, to get moronic Jack to hand over the ring. They spend days sneaking around trying to find it because Jack, who is a moron, can’t remember where he put it. As they do this, they fall in love. That’s the plot.

2. I was going to stop reading after that first awful story, but decided that wasn’t fair to the other authors. Glad I continued. In P.S. I Love You (by Miranda Neville), the witty and poetic scarred-face Christian reluctantly agrees to write love letters to Rosanne for his boring but good-looking cousin Frank. Of course Chris falls in love with Rosanne because her letters are so charming, and she with him, though of course she thinks he’s Frank. When they all meet at the Duke’s place, complications ensue. Predictable, but actually good.

3. When I Met My Duchess by Caroline Linden.  This story is about the Duke himself, who is not some old gross gouty fellow but young and beefcakey, and how he falls for his betrothed’s hot and unconventional sister the moment she steps down from her carriage in front of his house. Oopsy. I liked it. 

4. How Angela Got Her Rogue Back by Katharine Ashe. The title is misleading and also clunky ~ unforgiveable! But let us proceed. This story involves time-travel, which I don’t mind at all, if it makes some kind of sense. Even a little bit of sense will do. Modern-day Angela materializes at the Duke’s party 200 years earlier after reading a weird book and falling into a Michigan river. That was OK, but less so was the convoluted blackmail scheme she thwarts to save Viscount Studmuffin’s family. What really bugs the crap out of me though is when Angela ~poof~ vanishes again for no reason. I totally lost interest in the story right there. But I finished it of course, and read the teaser for an upcoming story, which has the Duke’s little sister finding Angela’s cell phone…

Onward!

Threesomes! (with pics)

Cee’s fun photo challenge this week is to post pics of things in threes or the number 3. I found a few…

All The Leaves Are Brown [SOCS]

Leaves 🍁 are lovely when they change color, and it used to be a fine tradition to press them in waxed paper between leaves of a book, when we found particularly pretty specimens. Now, I live in Southern California, where we don’t generally have a visible change of seasons, and I also do most of my reading electronically. But I’m not one to pine away for the past, for the most part. I’ve never been back East since I left in 1983, to witness the beautiful colors of the trees in autumn, though I wouldn’t mind going, someday.

My first thought was to write about people leaving, as in relationships, but I like to begin the SOCS with the prompt word, in its proper form, and I couldn’t come up with anything that made grammatical sense. For the regular daily prompts, I don’t always use them in their proper form, and now this inconsistency may bother me.

Or not!

I see I italicized pine because I thought I’d stuff this post with more tree words, but I forgot, and now it’s time to branch out to other endeavors and schedule this thing already. Yes, I am barking mad, thank you for asking! 🤪

PFF3: POV PP

Paula’s Friday Flashback this week is a post from June 21, 2013, wherein I rant about point of view switching within scenes. Enjoy!

Minor peeve. I was careless with “only” in my post. Sorry about that.

Point of View

Sorry, got distracted.

One of my huge pet peeves while reading is a mid-scene POV switch. This shouldn’t be a problem in a first-person novel (one would hope), but writers will switch deliberately or sloppily while writing in third. Grrrr! In olden days, it was acceptable to write in scattershot POV, but the contemporary way is to keep to one character’s viewpoint per scene (and sometimes per chapter).

This makes a lot of sense if you think about it. The reader can relax and trust the writer to put you inside one character’s head at a time, with sensory data and thoughts being processed by him or her (or it, if non-human). You only know what that character knows during this time, feel what she feels, etc. If the story is a romance, you’re there with her wondering if the hero will ever return from his quest. If the story is a murder, you’re right there with the detective putting the clues together.

I recently read a short story in workshop where two men were involved in a tense situation, involving a possible murder, and the POV flipped from one to the other. It was difficult to get “into” the story fully because of this and it also led to confusion about who was thinking/feeling what at times. When we know the writer has stuck us inside only one character’s head, these problems are mitigated simply by the fact that anyone’s thoughts or feelings are THAT guy’s. We don’t have to wonder.

Someone said that wrt to a novel you should write a scene from the POV of the character who has the most to lose at that point. I’d like to say this is a Jennifer Crusie quote, but I can’t remember and CBA looking it up at 5:30am. It makes a lot of sense and doesn’t only apply to romance novels of course. Though I find it the most irritating when a romance novelist (either deliberately or stupidly) has a switch in a sex scene. It’s so distracting. This is the perfect example of a time you need to stay inside one character’s head for the duration of a scene and not mess up. I think this is why I had to give Animal Attraction only two stars on Goodreads. That just bugged the hell out of me. And Shalvis is not a beginning writer, so no excuses.

I’m not sure how any of this applies to second person. I haven’t written anything that way, too annoying, nor did I read BLBC. I think second is like first though, but with this hipstery distancing thing going on, right? I don’t know. Can’t deal with it.

Whatever. DON’T SWITCH MID-SCENE. Ever. This is one of those rules that you don’t break even when you are all jaded and above following rules.

My Interview…

The Chocolate Lady interviewed me and posted the results on her blog! Please go check it out. I thoroughly enjoyed her questions.

Happy Father’s Day! ❤️

Support(ive) is the best way to describe my relationship with my dad, before he faded from dementia. He was an encouraging, upbeat guy, with a salesman’s type of personality. He’d get angry, but it was gone in a flash, and he generally stayed within the range of mellow to happy. Though he had definite opinions about politics (card-carrying liberal from NYC), among other things, he’d bounce back after a discussion or debate, no hard feelings.

Daddy wasn’t a griller or a BBQ dude or any sort of handyman guy. Mom actually did all that stuff (RIP). Dad believed in going out to dinner. Mostly though he just read books and of course his beloved NYT. That’s what he’d be doing today, if he were still around and able. I’d likely bake some fudgy-wudgy brownies for him. Those were his favorite.

He was always up for a conversation with me. Always supportive of my endeavors. Always encouraging of my dreams and goals, though he would express his ideas if he thought I might be making a mistake. He was a good father and I was lucky to have him.

Dad and me, at his 80th birthday, 2010 (RIP).

PFF2: Crabby Book Review

Welcome to the second edition of Paula’s Friday Flashback! For this one, I present a crabby book review I wrote on June 14, 2013. What makes this funny (to me) is that just yesterday I was defending the entire romance novel genre from that twit Nicholas Sparks, but here 6 years ago I was disgusted with it myself! Hah. That’s probably because I was dating back then and trying desperately to blame my poor choices on anything other than my own bad judgment. Oh, it must be because I was overly influenced by romance novels. Sure, Jan.

Or maybe I’m just inconsistent. Whatever!

*

Animal Attraction

By Jill Shalvis. I gave this book a 2-star rating (“it was okay”) on Goodreads even though I enjoyed it for the most part, but I’ve given better books a 3-star, and I want to have some sense of fairness in my ratings.

As I thought objectively about AA, and disregarded the fact that I ripped through it because it was fun and sexy and had a kitty (and lots of other aminals too ~ hero Dell was a vet), I realized it had one of the Fatal Flaws of romance novel writing. The “plot,” such as it was, hinged on the premise that there was an End Date looming, a date at which our heroine Jade absolutely had to leave Sunshine, Idaho and return home to Chicago, therefore preventing Jade and Dell from becoming emotionally entangled, which they would resist in any case since Dell was one of those emotionally unavailable kind of guys we all break our hearts over in real life though in RNs they always become available which upfucks the brains of women who read these STUPID BOOKS but I digress, and they both knew this. (Of course Jade tried not to become physically involved with him either, but that didn’t work. Obviously.)

But as it turned out the End Date was totally arbitrary ~ Jade didn’t have to leave. She had made a promise to her family she’d come home, mostly because they’d been nagging her unreasonably, and since she was a 30 year old woman, it would have been totally acceptable, if not downright advisable, for her to tell them, dudes, I found a good job, a cool apartment, and a great boyfriend here in Idaho, so BACK OFF, I’m staying indefinitely. And so basically there was no plot if you discount this made up out of thin air date. If you do discount the date, then the whole story becomes this whiny thing of ermahgerd I gotta go, can’t let myself fall for hunkyvet, and him thinking why must she go, everyone abandons me just like mommy. Bleh.

Plus there were sloppy POV switches within scenes (annoying and unforgivable!) and missing quotation marks, super-distracting. Upside, the dialog was great and witty, and there were fun minor characters. Shalvis has a ton of books available and I can tell from the blurbs and reviews (however positive) that they’re all gonna be about the same. But one was enough for me.

~*~

Check out Fandango’s FF, where this whole idea originated. It’s all his fault! 😂