Tag Archives: reviews

Bingo Update 4

Book bingo challenge

See my previous update here.

I read 30 First Dates by Stacey Wiedower for my book with a number in it. At first, I expected this to be a fluffy, predictable romance I could read quickly. Well! I did read it quickly, but it wasn’t that fluffy or predictable. I loved it. All the characters were quirky and interesting, and the plot did loop de loops I did not expect. Also, the story centered around blogging. Hello! Yes, there were some unrealistic moments, but mostly I thought it was very well done. I’ll be looking for more of Stacey’s books in the future. 😍

PS: The next book that Goodreads showed me was Erin at 35, all yuppily successful and struggling to complete her new bucket list. Meh. Not interested.

For the beautiful cover square, I chose a non-fiction book from the library. Actually, my friend found it for me in the used book sale pile. The Romantic English Garden with text by Jane Taylor has stunning photos of gardens as I expected from the gorgeous cover. But I gave this book only 3 stars on Goodreads. The narrative was kinda boring and not that well proofread. I would have enjoyed more poetry and juicy tidbits of gossip about castle owners rather than dull lists of flower names. 🌷🌷🌷

For a colorful book, I chose Black Sheep by Rory Scholl. What a strange book; I don’t know what to make of it. Is it fiction? Is it autobiographical? Is it both? Chunks of a comedy routine (he’s a comic)? It was short enough that I read the whole thing in one blast before going to sleep the other night, and I flung a 4-star rating on it because it held my attention. But I’m not rushing to read anything else by Rory. It’s not because I think he’s using his relatives unfairly for comedic value (assuming they exist), but because I feel it’ll just be more of the same. You know… sincere but bumbling guy keeps getting in trouble when other peeps with impure hearts skate along doing better. One book is enough.

Woohoo, lookit my bingo card progress! ✨

~*~

Image credit to Kriti and Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF39: Another Re-Review

Friday Flashback

Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The post below is a reblog of a post I made almost exactly 6 years ago… on February 27, 2014.

Erotica Review

I read Susie Bright’s Three The Hard Way (Susie presented the three novellas, which were written by different people)… and I was a little surprised that this is considered “erotica.”

I mean, yes, there was sex and a lot of it, but the stories didn’t seem designed to titillate the reader. In fact, the first novella, “The Motion of the Ocean,” was rather gross. None of the sex scenes were arousing; they were scary and sad and desperate and disgusting. But the novella itself was superbly well written and I felt bad when Collette’s story came to an end. I enjoyed it so much I’m going to check out more writing from Tsaurah Litzky.

The next two novellas were written by men… and I didn’t enjoy them as much as Litzky’s. “The Widow” by Greg Boyd had an interesting device ~ sort of a story within a story ~ that was kind of interesting, but the entire thing was a set-up to a predictable ending. Not that this is so terrible (it’s what I expected from erotica), but since I read Litzky’s first, I was hoping for more.

The last story, “Shadow of A Man” by William Harrison, was too political and erratic for me. I wanted to read about love and sex and I got apartheid and death. Wha? OK, there was plenty of sex in there, too, but eh. I couldn’t really care about the main character enough to fully appreciate the story.

The takeaway though is this ~ erotica isn’t necessarily a bunch of mindless sex, as I had thought. There can be plenty of solid, meaty (sorry!) good storytelling along with the more salacious sections.

I’m glad I expanded my horizons here. 🙂

/end reblog

~*~

Image from Pexels.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Navel Glazing

Magenta daisy

Dr. Tanya asks more blogging questions about blogging bloggers…

 1. Do you like to respond to writing prompts?

It depends. I haven’t been doing many this month because I had a lot of other stuff going on. I committed to doing the daily music prompt for Bee, and I was busy with my political love story. But yesterday I did a combo post for Fandango’s Flash Fiction prompt, and that worked out well. When I do writing prompts, I like to combine them.

Typewriter explosion

 2. Do you feel that they add value to your blog?

Fiction and poetry add “value” to my blog, as do posts about writing in general, book and movie reviews, and other cultural jabber that can add depth and interest to fictional settings and characters. What doesn’t add value are boring “Facebook” type get-to-know-ya lists of favorite colors and ice cream crap posts that I try to avoid.

I love to read other bloggers’ short fiction and poetry, whether from prompts or not. There’s so much creativity here!

 3. What is your favourite kind of writing prompt?

I am more likely to respond to an idea, or words that together form an idea in my mind. Sometimes I’ll respond to a dreamy picture that inspires a poem.

Walking with a red umbrella underneath a full moon

 4. Which ones are you less likely to do?

I won’t post yucky pictures here and I try to avoid politics, religion, and graphic sex, not that this is a blog for little kids or anything. But those are my preferences. If you want to read spicier stuff from me, buy my books.

I also don’t like a lot of rules about writing for fun. When I post a prompt, I tell people to respond how they wish. To me, that’s ideal. If I see a prompt that tells me I need to reply with 87 words all starting with Q, stand on my head, and click a freaking blue frog, ya know what? HARD PASS.

Bitmoji boom

~*~

Image credits to Bitmoji and idk… Google?

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Book Bingo Update

Book bingo challenge

Some of you may remember that I started the Book Bingo Challenge. Here is my first post on the topic with the three books I had already read and one in progress. That one was When We Believed In Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal. This was the best book I’ve read in ages and I highly recommend it. It had two POVs, so I checked that box.

Next, I read our very own Melody Finch’s We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves. I loved this book too. It allowed me to check the box for a book published in 2020.

Yesterday I finished a nonfiction book by Roger Rosenblatt called Rules for Aging. It was mildly amusing and had some clever insights. The best one was, of course, something I always say: no one is thinking about you, so quit worrying so much about it–they’re all thinking about themselves. But I prefer fiction in general.

I have a bunch of books to choose from to continue my card. I love to read! Also, I’ve finished writing my quirky political love story and am submitting it to Amazon for Kindle tonight, so expect me to nag you to buy it. 😀

~*~

Image credit to Kriti and Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF36: Dark Review

Friday Flashback

Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The post below is a reblog of a book review post I made on February 7, 2015.

Dark Places [by Gillian Flynn]

I finished this book tonight and gave it 3 stars on Goodreads. Kinda disappointed and I think this will be the last GF book I buy.

I adored Gone Girl, despite the preposterous plot. I simply loved the way Flynn went so deeply into both protagonists’ mindsets, motivations, backgrounds, etc. She put us right there, not on their shoulders, but behind their masks, down into their twisted souls. We totally perceived everything they did and understood how they processed each bit of data. Their behaviors made sense, given their set of circumstances.

Flynn does all that again in Dark Places, but only for Libby. I could not relate to Ben very well or understand his behavior. I don’t feel his extreme actions were earned by his circumstances. I also couldn’t relate to Patty or Diondra. They simply made no sense to me, especially Diondra. I guess she was “just a wacko.” We have to accept that. But it’s unsatisfying.

The worst thing though was when we discovered the truth about “that night,” and it came down to a series of unbelievably ridiculous coincidences all occuring in perfect harmony. I was totes disappointed.

I loved the entire scene with Libby, Diondra, and Crystal. Perfectly executed. And the small, predictable action of Libby’s that led to the later big reveal was very clever. But that simply wasn’t enough to overcome the suspension of disbelief required to comprehend Ben’s character and the coincidences.

So, 3 stars for Dark Places, meaning I liked it, but that’s all.

/end reblog

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Image from Pexels.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Reading Challenge Bingo

Book bingo

(While waiting for my personalized card, I’m “borrowing” one from the host site.)

Here’s a fun game for readers I discovered via Teresa. Try to fill out this bingo card for 2020 with a variety of books. Sounds easy, right? I usually read the same kinds of books (romances and mysteries), so this will push me to expand my repertoire. Luckily, I have a small head start. Naturally, I will be obsessed with completing my card! 🤣

So far this year I can mark off:

1. A book published in the last decade. The first book I read this year was The Color Master, an enjoyable collection of short stories by Aimee Bender published in 2013.

2. A memoir. Next I read Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner, which had some tasty sections about writing, but was mostly tedious and overlong. Dare I say whiny?

3. A young adult novel. Yeshiva Girl by Rachel Mankowitz is a compelling story of a teenaged girl in a Jewish school on Long Island. I was lucky to find this book via Rachel’s blog.

I am in the middle of When We Believed in Mermaids, which will allow me to check off the multiple POV box. After that I plan to read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which is a bestseller.

~*~

Image credit to Kriti and Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Movies 2020

I just saw the much-maligned Dr. Dolittle and enjoyed it. I think critics are ridiculous and I don’t know what they were expecting from a silly fantasy movie like this. It was fun! And fun is what I want from a movie. Entertainment. Escapism. Not horror. Not a history lesson. Not a lecture about ethics or morality. If I want to be scared, horrified, and disgusted, I’ll read the news. 🤮

The next movie I would like to see is Emma. I saw the trailer before Dr. D and it looks darling. I don’t plan to see the Oscar nom’d shorts this year because they all seem dreary and Not Fun. I will see the Bond flick No Time to Die because I see all the 007s with Daniel Craig and they’re better on the big screen. IMDB ends there now, so I will do another update later.

As far as movies on Prime and Netflix, I still have a bunch I wanna watch. I need to prioritize them when I zone out instead of flipping through things I don’t even like that much. I began the latest season of Grace & Frankie last weekend… what a big yawner. Should have watched a movie with that time.

Onward! ✨

~*~

Image from Bitmoji.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

On Our Way [socs]

Stream of consciousness Saturday

On our wayto better days. That’s what we say, pumped up with our New Year’s Goals. Like many others, I’ve vowed to get in better shape… and the parking lot at the gym is crowded now. Yes, I drive to the gym, even though it’s in my condo complex, since management can’t seem to program my electronic key to get me through the last walk-thru gate. It’s like the opening sequence to Get Smart, if you’re old enough to remember that show. But whenever I ask about the key, the person who needs to deal with it has just left for the day. 🙄

I’m trying to avoid getting raging angry about so many things (another resolution). So what if I can’t walk through to the gym? It’s not the worst thing in the world. Now, the gate closest to my apartment has quit working from the outside… that’s okay, right? They’ll fix it eventually and it’s fine to take the long way around to a different gate. More exercise! Plus, it’s not like I do everything perfectly myself… I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life too. As long as one gate works, and I can get home… like, whatever. 😜

My three words are from the chapter titled “Worth” in Jennifer Weiner’s book Hungry Heart. I don’t know why I purchased this book, except it has a picture of an upscale looking Hostess cupcake on the cover. I don’t think I’ve read any of her novels. I wanted to enjoy this book, because cupcake and also a smart and funny writer writing smartly and humorously about feeling fat and unloved… that’s so unusual! 🙃

But HH is incredibly tedious and dejavuey… like haven’t a million other smart fat girls written smartly and fatly about being smart and fat? Yawnnnn. And I find myself skimming much of Jennifer’s complaining. I loved her trip to Israel though, and how she finally decided to say eff it regarding other people’s opinions when she returned. Yeah! Who cares what people think! 😎

I thought the story would really take off from there, but no, back to yawwnville. An autobiography doesn’t have to be boring; I’ve read interesting ones. But they need to be edited, and saggy sections should be cut. Am I going to abandon it? No, I’ll probably skim the rest, so I can get credit for it on Goodreads. And I remain hopeful that there is something more to it I can enjoy, since I did get totally immersed in the one section. 🤩

Speaking of saggy things, exercise makes you hungry. If you burn up 100 calories on a bike, your brain will say hello time for a vat of pasta. And you can say no brain we are having a sensible scoop of tuna and some yummy crisp veggies. But our brain is sulking and plotting on how to trip us up. It’s not about being a “good” person or a “bad” person; we all come from a long line of people who avoided starving to death when there was very little food. Yay us and our superhero metabolisms. 😜

I see I forgot to finish this post Friday night and schedule it at 4am Saturday because I’ve been obsessed with watching Jeopardy on Netflix this week (not the GOAT thing, but catching up from last year). When I got home at 10, I turned on the TV, forgetting all about blogging. That’s unusual for me, but these are strange times. 😳

Luckily, I woke up earlier than God… and the first thing I thought of was yikes I didn’t post for SOCS! 😱

~*~

Image credit to Shelley Krupa.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF31: Cupcakes!

Friday Flashback

Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The below is a reblog of a post I made on January 4, 2013. You’ll have to click through to see the pics. Enjoy!

Sprinkles ATM Cupcake

OK. I finally got to try a Sprinkles ATM cupcake after all this time ~ the ATM is only in select locations, the closest one to me being in Beverly Hills. I ended up there early in the morning on a Sunday, and I won’t regale you with my parking adventures, but trust me, they were epic, as usual.

As you can see, it is pink, and states quite clearly that it is a CUPCAKE ATM, so that you do not confuse it with something else. So far, so good. But things went downhill from there. First, it was early morning, as stated, and the sun was glaring right on the screen making it impossible to read anything at all. I had no idea what I was doing. None. But I could not leave without a cupcake! So I slid my credit card through the thingie and hoped for the best. (Hoped I did not get charged for 500 cupcakes or something.)

Nothing happened. I shaded my eyes every which way and barely made out some squares on the screen. I touched one. Still I had no clue what was going on. Could not see anything because of the glare. But I must have done something because things whirred and clanked and a box appeared ~ my cupcake!

I peeked into the box… bummer. It was a black and white (chocolate cake with white non-buttercream frosting and choccy sprinkles). Oh well.

Finally I could see the main screen a little bit ~ turned out there were only three cupcakes available that day: the B&W, an all-choccy, and a doggie cupcake. Ugh. That’s a terrible selection. I was a little worried about my credit card as I had no idea how much was charged, and there was no receipt, plus also no way to say I was finished with the transaction. But it turned out to be $4, no big deal.

I drove home with my precious. And I was determined to judge fairly, even if I had a little bit of a sad over the choice of cupcake ~ maybe it was a good thing to try a new flavor, right? Right!

The cake was very fresh. Peeps might think it wouldn’t be, coming out of a machine, but it was soft and nummy, and super-chocolatey. Even though choccy cake is not my fave, this cake was tasty plus. The frosting disappointed. I can deal with non-buttercream (I heart Sprinkles strawberry, forex, and it’s NB), but this was just… white. Had a nice texture, but its taste was sugarbland.

So there you go, the ATM cupcake review, done and dusted. I will eventually try Sprinkles ice cream, but not when the weather is so freezing.

My new year got off to a bit of a rocky start with many hours wasted on things that made me feel bad and not good, so I’m going to change that this weekend. It just takes paying attention to what I’m doing and remembering which things I want more of in my life, and which things less of (or eliminated). That sounds easy enough, right?

/end reblog

~*~

Image from Pexels.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Chocolate Lady’s Eight Candle Book Tag ~ Day 7

Menorah

To celebrate Chanukah this year and my friend the Chocolate Lady, I am accepting her challenge to participate in the Eight Candle Book Tag. This is a fun game and very easy to play ~ just visit her link for the options. I am of course doing the most complicated version. 😀

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb was a light in the darkness for me. I bought this book by mistake, grabbing it on impulse as I checked out, thinking it was the story of the ballerina movie that starred Natalie Portman, which I had just seen with my daughter. No, Taleb’s Black Swan is about trying to assign predictive values to future events by analyzing the past along with other factors. It’s a combo of history, math, science, statistics, and human psychology. Utterly fascinating.

Happy Chanukah!

~*~

Images from The Chocolate Lady’s blog

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.