Tag Archives: romance novels

Reading Habits

Guy called bloke

Rory needs to know!

What Motivates your eBook buying decisions?

Buying as opposed to grabbing Prime (or other) freebies… Welp, I do like to support my writing friends and fellow bloggers, so that’s a big deal. I will also impulsively buy any random, reasonably priced book that appeals to me because… books!

Buy all the books

What buyer type are you?

Decisive – Indecisive – Reticent – Hesitant – Pondering – Thoughtful – Undecided?

Yes! 🤣

What buying decisions do you undertake when looking to purchase a new eBook? Are you influenced by any of the following and if so – which ones and why?

Positioning – from author rank to location on sales site?

No. Ick. Boring! Stats. Gross. Dumb. Don’t care about my own, lol.

Price – how much are you willing or do you expect to pay for an eBook or do you not buy eBooks and if so – why this option?

Idk. A short romance… not a lot. Would prefer if I could get it on Kindle Unlimited and unless there’s a compelling reason to pay, probably would not. (I pay $10/month for KU.) A longer, yummy romance… a few bucks, depending. Same for other genres. Am willing to shell out more for something special like Mark Manson, though I haven’t yet. He’s on my birthday list. 🎉

Description of the book content?

This is the most influential aspect to me. I avoid certain tropes: anything about Nazis and WWII, horror/horrible topics generally (except Stephen King), twins switching places, dead sisters, and the worst topic of all… getting back together with an ex. I don’t care if that’s the only way to save the planet. Find someone else to help you.

Boom Bitmoji

Book Title – does this influence you at all?

I can be swayed to make a purchase by a clever title, particularly in romance.

Cover – does it matter if the cover looks cheap, or if it is coloured or bland?

Not a fan of bad covers. It doesn’t take much effort to create an attractive cover in the KDP store… why not do that? If an author can’t be bothered, it makes me wonder what else they haven’t bothered with. Spelling? Punctuation? 🤨

Reviews – do you read or even leave reviews? Do you read the reviews others have left? Are you influenced by these?

Yes to all. I have been leaving reviews for a long time, at least the star portion. Usually, I also leave an actual paragraph as well, especially if the book doesn’t have many. And I am kind, even when criticizing. Well, almost always. If a super popular writer gets away with publishing a terrible book, I might not be that nice. I will read the Prime reviews before selecting my freebie, since usually 2 or 3 sound good and I need some way to decide. Otherwise, I like to read the reviews after leaving my own so they don’t influence mine.

I wish more people who have read and liked my books would leave reviews. That’s so helpful for potential buyers when the writer is an unknown. I’m super thankful to those who have done so! ❤️

Do you look for collections, or sets or are you happy with one offs?

Doesn’t matter.

Does the length of a book bother you? Are you looking for short or long content?

Doesn’t matter, although I do need a longie (over 500 pages) for two bingo squares. Any suggestions? I would love to support a fellow blogger! 😻

Author – Do you need to know the author or are you happy to go with unknowns?

Yep!

Recommendations – if someone you know has suggested a book, do you follow that up?

Not usually. 🤣

Needs met – do you only buy books to meet your needs or books that feed and fuel your desires?

Is there a difference between need and desire?

Einstein

~*~

Images aren’t mine.

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

FPQ60: Otters

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks… how we met our significant otter, or if we don’t have an SO, how we met our last one. My last otter wasn’t “significant” in the sense of being a long-term relationship (a few months of contact); but it was important in the sense that it marked the end of my dating days.

I met this guy ~ let’s call him “Michael” ~ via a dating site in 2016 after I took a break from dating. I had created a hidden profile and impulsively went live with it while at the Los Angeles County Fair because I was in a optimistic mood while hanging out with friends. What a fun day that was!

Anyway, I met a few guys who were meh and then Michael. I don’t want to say a lot about Michael right now or the specifics of our time together because that emphasizes what happened (and encourages people to give advice 🙄), when the crucial aspect is the totality of my dating experiences.

You’ve heard of the straw that broke the camel’s back, right? Well, I’m the camel in this scenario and these guys were straws, none of them that important, certainly not Michael. But he was the last one, and I did break. Before him, I met a bunch of lying liars, all in different disguises, and he was a lying liar too… wrapped up in a disguise I hadn’t seen before. But still he was the same as the rest, and when I understood this I was finished with it all.

I fell into a depression, not because of him, but over the loss of the dream/fantasy that I would find someone. For decades, I had nurtured this dream, fed it romance novels and love songs and Meg Ryan romcoms. I truly thought I would have the happily ever after, my soul mate, my eternal flame. Giving it up left a huge void of darkness. I cried all the time. It was hard to sleep or I slept too much. Negative thought spirals took control of my mind and refused to let go. It took about a year and a half for me to get better.

Believe them the first time

But getting better is an ongoing process, and it does not include dating. I know people mean well when they encourage me to try again or say nice things about meeting someone, but part of my healing is coming to terms with the fact that this is not going to happen and that part of my life is over. I can’t allow myself to be subject to the agendas of liars and narcissists again; I can’t put myself in the position of being harassed and stalked by whiners and bullies when I don’t do what they want. It’s too traumatic and stressful to think about. I’m getting shaky even typing the words.

I realized that dating sites themselves were a huge part of the problem for me. They attract the worst sorts of men (whether pay sites or not), and the older you are the worse it gets. The men were significantly sh*ttier when I was on at age 55 than when I was 50. They acted like they were doing me a favor by even saying hello, like I should be grateful for their attention. I get that other women are able to ignore the jerkos and focus on finding the prize in the pile of poo, but that’s really hard for me. I am affected by comments from jerkos. That’s why I like to preemptively block them here and on Twitter when I can. 👻

So, when anyone asks for my opinion of dating sites, I tell them that they all suck. If you enjoy becoming a product/commodity and having a people look you over for your features as if you’re a TV on Amazon and reject you for a better deal, then maybe you will enjoy the sites. Not me.

Besides, we shouldn’t meet anyone now anyway. Who knows how often they wash their hands? Back to cybersex! 😍

~*~

Images from Fandango and Google.

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

PFF40: Another 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 exactly 7 years ago. As I said in my #PoiMe, so many of my reblogs are reviews because I hosed most of my old meanders. Oh well, I hope some of you enjoy reviews. 🙂

Safe Haven, Part II

So, I’ve been noodling on this Safe Haven novel by the famous Nicholas Sparks (Part I of my reviewish thingie is here). The entire concept of the book is much like a novel I read a while back called  Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones (except SH was published first). Makes sense then that I’d do a compare and contrast ~ spoilers will abound, so if you’re planning to read either book and want to be surprised, you should exit now and check out some otters.

1. Basic premise. Heroine runs away from her life to escape Bad Man (abusive husband in SH and crazy stalker date in RW) and ends up in a small town in the middle of nowhere (North Carolina in SH and Wyoming in RW). She takes a job as a waitress.

2. Stolen ID. Heroine steals/fakes a new identity when she starts her life over because Bad Man is a cop who will not only find her if she resurfaces for one second under her old name but also kill her. He will also have immunity, natch, being a cop, or so she believes. She must therefore act secretive and weird, which intrigues the hero.

3. Hero haz problems! In SH, Alex is trying to run his business and take care of his two kids, but the wife/mommy has died ~ oh noes, now what? It is so hard doing all this alone. In RW, Zeke is trying to run his ranch and take care of his aminals and men, but his cook wants to retire ~ oh noes, now what? Should he hire that secretive, sexy new waitress at the diner? Omg, decisions…

4. One slip-up. In SH, all it takes is one kind word from a neighbor to get Bad Man Kevin hot on Katie’s trail (IIRC, this is way similar to Sleeping With The  Enemy). In RW, Zeke’s old cook does an internet search on Carlin, which pings Brad and lets him know that someone in WY is looking for his honey.

Here are some major differences in the novels.

5. The Bad Men. While both Kevin (SH) and Brad (RW) are horrible creeps, Sparks took the time to make Kevin an actual character you can feel some degree of sympathy for here and there. It’s interesting, in an awful way, to take that journey down to NC with him. Brad’s just a cartoon Bad Man.

6. The Good Guys. This is the opposite of the Bad Men. In SH, Alex is bland and boring; while in RW, Zeke is sexy and exciting. Alex is way too nice for a romance novel hero ~ then again, Sparks says his books aren’t RNs, but “love stories.” Gak. Okay.

7. Motivations. Sparks does a good job in laying out his protags’ motivations. Katie needs to escape the abuse; Kevin wants her back ~ and they both love each other (or did at one point) in a sick way. This is all believable. And even Alex’s sweet gentle kindness is believable, though not very sexy. The Lindas didn’t do quite as well in this area. We’re supposed to believe that Brad, a cop, went totally bonkers after a couple dates with Carlin, and began trying to kill her when she turned him down. Now I know guys can be nuts ~ we’ve documented that right here on this blog, but EVEN SO.

8. Sex. Now this is weird. RW is a typical contemporary romance novel in that it contains a good amount of steamy sex between the hero and heroine. SH has none, zero, zilch. Actually SH has no sex between the hero and heroine, but what it does have are abusive sexual encounters (mostly fade to black type) between Katie and Kevin. Don’t you find this odd? Here’s a purported “love story” (not a “romance novel”) where there is no sex between the two main characters during the time of the story, yet there are descriptions of sex between other characters. It’s almost like Sparks is saying that his protags are too pure to be sexual.

Well, whatever. There’s enough room in the world for Sparks’ love stories as well as sizzling hot romances, right? It’s funny though that the Sparks’ books are respected and made into movies while romances are still best hidden away in brown paper bags. I mean, it’s perfectly fine to read Safe Haven out in the open while eating your lunch in the office despite the fact that there is a cute couple on the cover about to kiss, but I wouldn’t bring Running Wild to work with the shirtless cowboy cover since I know what all goes on in there. That’s meant to be read in secret while eating DS Oreos.

/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.

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.

Bingo Update 3

Book bingo challenge

Here’s my first Book Bingo post, followed by my next update. Today is my third bingo installment. Exciting, no? 🤣

So far in 2020 I have read 8 books. Here are my two latest reviews. Visit the links in the above paragraph if you’re interested in the previous reviews (they are brief).

Cappuccinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse. I grabbed this book by Harper Lin only because of the cupcakes. I’m glad the bingo game is pushing me to read outside my usual genres, but if this is a typical cozy? Meh. The writing is lazy, tepid, and full of stereotypes.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

Skip the italicized part if you plan to read this book!

I liked the budding romance between Francesca and Matty and the possibility that Matt killed his own father. That kept me going actually, that this whole nice guy routine was a total fraud, as it so often is, and the sweet boy Franny knew as a child had turned into a very bad man as they do. But no. After misdirecting us into thinking that an ex-con had done did the deed, Lin just flings a previously unknown character at us as the murderer. Well, poo! That’s no fun. I won’t read any more books by Harper Lin, no matter how much cake they contain.

Okay, you’re safe from the spoiler now! I’m moving on to a book written by an indie author, my friend JR Rasmussen. Unlike me, JR figured out how to focus on a genre and do the branding thing, gather a group of advance readers, and basically go about writing in a wholly professional way. She also has kick-ass covers on her books, not that we should judge by this, but… damn.

With that disclaimer, I also want to say that I wasn’t all that interested in reading her book A Dream Of Fire when it first came out. Dragons… meh. Magic… meh. Like I was happy for my friend and all, but I was sticking with romances. But then I got sucked into the whole Game of Thrones madness and was suddenly whoa dragons? Hell yes I wanna read a book with magical dragons!!! Gimme.

I loved A Dream Of Fire! Here is the 5-star review I just posted:

Thoroughly enjoyed this witty and exciting story! I used to avoid this genre in general, but Game of Thrones got me hooked on dragons and magic in fiction. This was a superbly well written story with great dialogue and interesting characters. Loved the imaginative spells!”

So there you have it. Unfortunately, my loan expired for American Gods and in the meantime I’ve somehow accumulated a pile of other books to read. I’ll be working on those for my next update.

~*~

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.

FPQ58: Shattered Illusions

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

What is something you’ve long believed to be true, but you now realize is not true?

This question definitely lives up to its name and has provoked a lot of thinkies. While there have been minor and/or short-lived beliefs I’ve held that life has popped like a room full of party balloons, nothing comes close to my cherished and false belief in love. 💔

Now before people start hollering at me… I am not saying I have ceased to believe that love exists. Don’t be silly. Of course, I know that people find love all the time. Other people. What I mean is that for decades I was absolutely certain with an unwavering faith that love existed for me. A soul mate. All that romance novel crap. But soon I’m going to turn 59 and I have given up. In fact, I can pinpoint exactly when I gave up: Thanksgiving 2016 when I got dumped by someone I really believed was a good guy who wanted to be with me and would follow through on the plans we’d made. 🥀

Some people will say that it’s because I gave up that I can’t find love. There’s some woo theory that you must behave as if love is already in your life and wake up every day with the idea that you will be with your soul mate imminently. So, you’ll be happy and smiling and dressing beautifully, since you would be doing these things if you were meeting your love for brunch… and then by some miracle he will appear at the car wash or something. Idk. It’s not my theory, so don’t expect me to defend it! 🤣

The thing is, how long does a reasonable human behave this way? Six months? Ten years? You wake up happy, smiling, put on a gorgeous glittering gown, sashay off to the car wash… and they go, “Jesus, it’s that crazy lady again waiting for her soul mate! When is she gonna bring a car here?”

So, anyway. Giving up gave me freedom. I quit the dating sites. I deleted Meetups. I even exited Facebook and Instagram. All the social media sites that were supposed to make you feel connected to people (and potential soul mates), but left me feeling more isolated and alone. I began to focus only on work, family, friends, and writing. I quit spending money trying to look “sexy” for some man I hadn’t met and most likely never would. I revitalized my blog, which has always been my favorite form of “social media.” 😻

Now, in a movie or novel, this is exactly when I would meet my soul mate, right? When I’m focused on my own life and doing things that bring me joy, rather than searching outward for happiness. But this is real life not a romcom… so no.

Bitmoji shrug

~*~

Image credits to Fandango and Bitmoji.

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

The Cheeky Minx! [socs]

Cheek is one of those words that annoys me, when used a certain way, as in the title of this post. It’s probably because I raised myself on a steady diet of romance novels and words like cheek and cheeky were always the exclusive province of bad stepmothers and other nasty characters who had it out for the heroine.

“How dare that cheeky girl presume to address the lord of the manor in such an impudent fashion!” The dowager duchess pursed her lips in disgust as she poured tea.

“Oh, I know, dear Beatrice,” Matilda agreed as she selected a lemon cake from the silver tray. “She believes she is above her station because her father educated her.”

The duchess laughed. “The silly twit doesn’t need to recite poetry to dust furniture. But my son refuses to put her out. He says he owes her father a debt.”

“No good will come of it,” Matilda warned. “She’s bound to continue thinking much too highly of herself.”

I cannot think of a way to use cheek (other than as the body part) where you aren’t denigrating someone for having the nerve to speak out of turn or to someone who is “above them” in some way. Psssh! This is why we dumped tea into the harbor! 😛

~*~

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.

The Monday Peeve 21

Monday Peeve cat

Smiles and positive posts are all well and good, but sometimes I need to vent a bit. How about you? That’s what The Monday Peeve is all about, a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again (hah). I’ll pick a topic that’s on my mind, but you can vent about whatever you please, here in comments or on your own blog. Grab the photo, use the #TMP tag, and link back to me (or not ~ I dgaf), and Bob’s yer uncle. I do reserve the right to delete any links that offend my delicate sensibilities. So far, none have, but it could happen! I have feelings!

*

One of my “guilty pleasures” is reading advice columns even though they never apply to my current life in any way. Sometimes I like to say, whew, at least I avoided that particular kind of mess! There is a consistent theme that irks me though and that’s what I’m peeving about today. This is the idea that traditional monogamous relationships must be open to the idea of each party having “friend dates” with other people, including exes. If you aren’t open to this, there’s something wrong with you, say the “experts.”

Whaaaaaaaaat? I’m sorry, but no. No nope nuh uh no way. (But if both parties agree this is cool, then there’s no issue.) I recall an OKC question about sleeping at an ex’s on a trip to another city ~ okay or no way? I say no. Many say it’s fine, gotta trust. Sure, I see that. And I still say no. Am I not allowed to have preferences?

According to the advice columnists, and a lot of men, and some women too, who like to keep exes as friends, close friends (just in case, amirite?)… I’m a terrible prude. No, I’m not. I’m realistic. I’ve read so many stories of exes getting back together (and I too have done so) because they were lonely and in the right place in the right time.

It’s wonderful to think that your love is so strong it can withstand any challenge at any point by any homewrecking vixen, but that’s romance novel fluffery. In real life, people get tempted and they fall. What’s the best way not to cheat on your diet?

Don’t keep temptations around.

~*~

Image originally from Pixabay.

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

PFF32: Romeo, Romeo!

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 8, 2014. You’ll have to click through to see the pics. Enjoy!

Romeo, Romeo

I received Romeo, Romeo (by Robin Kaye) as a gift and read it last weekend. I really enjoyed this romance novel ~ I appreciate that Kaye attempted to make her main characters a little different from the norm (without having them be vampires, thanks) and I am always predisposed to like an East Coast Italian setting, even if it doesn’t have any mobsters in it. WAIT! It did have a couple, um… OK, not gonna give anything away here. 

I gotta tell you that Kaye immediately broke one of my commandments and mished up POVs right off the bat within the same scene. But guess what? I forgave her! No, this does not mean you get to do it. It just means that the story hooked me from page one and I was so eager to find out what happened that I thought, well poop, and moved on anyway.

The protagonists are not super-likeable when you meet them. They’re involved in other relationships that make you go wtf? But they’re interesting. And their attraction to each other feels real and compelling. The minor characters shine in their own right and the side plots do not resolve predictably. One thing though ~ did there have to be an Aunt Rose with the heroine named Rosalie? There are other Italian names, for Pete’s sake.

I did have a huge issue with this book, and it’s a peevery I have with a lot of fiction ~ Rosalie’s career. She’s a 27 year old “corporate turnaround specialist.” She waltzes (on 4-inch heels) into failing companies, glances at their balance sheets, and fixes them. YEAH SURE. Kaye doesn’t specify Rosalie’s education creds, but it doesn’t even sound like she has more than a BA or that she put in time slogging away for someone who knows anything. She just does her fixing with one assistant. Snort.

Romeo’s career isn’t any more believable. He was a teen bad boy who through some sort of financial magic is now the most desirable bachelor in New York because he really knew his way around cars, which makes him different from all other Italian guys, natch. (But he cooks and cleans and walks Rosalie’s dog… ) How he got the money to buy his first auto dealership? Look, we don’t ask. Capice?

But this isn’t merely a Robin Kaye problem ~ so many writers have wrong ideas about careers and money. Forex, they have every lawyer making at least $500K per year and driving a Mercedes because they read that OJ Simpson’s lawyer bla bla. Or they’ll have a waitress living in a giant apartment in New York City that only someone making $500K per year could afford. They consistently have people too young being too successful. It only takes a few minutes of Googling to find out the average salaries for careers and the kind of education needed for particular jobs. Writers should do this before making their characters look unbelievable.

Otherwise? Romeo, Romeo was a fun, fast read and I’m gonna buy at least a few more of Robin’s books to review. Also, I’m finally getting used to reading on my Kindle Fire! I think my days of buying paper books and dumping them off at the library are finally coming to an end.

/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 8

Menorah

To celebrate Chanukah this year and my friend the Chocolate Lady, I accepted her challenge to participate in the Eight Candle Book Tag. This was a fun game. Thanks for coming up with it, Davida!😀

I’m pretty sure I said “wow!” or something to that effect when I finished Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. This book was a revelation. First, it’s simply a great romance novel full of interesting, complex characters, lots of wit and humor, loads of sexy times, a quirky setting, and an actual plot. Second, the sex isn’t as unrealistic as it’s often portrayed in the “bodice rippers” set in the 1800s or whenever. Third, WTT is a contemporary romance, written in a breezy style, which made me think about my own writing.

What I thought was, hmm, ya know, if this kind of writing gets published, then maybe I too could write a romance novel!

And indeed I can write one. Did write one. More than one actually. Getting published, however, is another matter entirely…

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.