Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to choose just one book boyfriend/girlfriend – `only one´ they say

I am almost certain that regardless of your age, gender, race, religion (or lack thereof), or marital status, every single person that reads fiction has at one time or another fallen in love with a fictional character. I have, often and with so many that it´s a good thing that they are fictional, the crush lasts as long as the book, but sometimes you miss that character and go back and reread the book.

The advantages of having a crush on a fictional character is that the reading experience is so much more emotional and fulfilling. When the character does something funny my laughter is sincere and loud (usually startling family members), when they are hurt the tears that stream down my cheeks are real (at this point family members are seriously considering putting me on medication) and when they are hurt my pain is heartfelt but when they do something stupid I blame the author. What can I say? Love is blind.

There is one blog that I follow on a regular basis, Vampire Book Club, it was created by Chelsea Mueller (also an author). From the blog: “Established in 2010, this blog is for all those who love escaping into novels filled with vampires, shapeshifters, demons, witches and even the fae.”

All this is good, there are some awesome book reviews, new releases and some good recommendations but there is one particular time each year that I really look forward to on VBC, it´s a time when my loyalty to my fictional character crushes are tested.  The Alpha Showdown!

In each round two extremely badass alpha characters compete for votes from readers, the problem is we love them all, how can you choose? It´s like putting someone in a field full of cute baby animals and tell you to take only one… only one? No! I want them all. That´s pretty much how it goes with the Alpha Showdown and I swear that every year it gets more difficult.

Anyway, so far I have cast two votes, the second one hurt slightly but Curran (that was said with a sigh) sadly I had to forfeit Bones for Curran. If you don´t know who I´m talking about you obviously haven´t read Ilona Andrews and Jeanine Frost.

Soooo… all this is to inform the uninformed that if you have a book crush (this is on a paranormal / urban fantasy level, which I assume you understood from the blog´s name) and you want to suffer like the rest of us attempting to remain loyal to the countless book crushes go on to the VBC and join the fun of voting for your favorite alpha on the Alpha Showdown and there are plenty of cool alpha females, so cool to see gender equality.

Just follow the link below and give it your vote, (I promise that it´s more fun than political voting).

Vampire Book Club – Alpha Showdown 2017

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Let’s stop demonizing “filler words”

With so many rules of what words one should or should not use, this is an interesting article

Everyday linguistic anthropology

A few days ago, the New York Times published an article by Christopher Mele about so-called “filler words,” telling people to stop using them. Reporting on language often frustrates me, and this was no exception. In fact, thirty-odd linguists — including me — sent them a letter detailing our many concerns with this article. In particular, the article makes two major mistakes:

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Review: The Golden Spider by Anne Renwick

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The Golden Spider by Anne Renwick

Series: The Elemental Web Chronicles

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Rating:

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Amazon

London papers scream of dirigible attacks, kraken swarms, and lung-clogging, sulfurous fogs. But a rash of gypsy murders barely rates mention.

Lady Amanda is tired of having both her intelligence and her work dismissed.

After blackmailing her way into medical school, she catches the eye of her anatomy professor from the moment she walks into his lecture hall. Is he interested in her? Or only her invention–a clockwork spider that can spin artificial nerves?

Lord Thornton, a prominent neurobiologist, has been betrayed.

Secret government technology has been stolen from his laboratory, and a foreign spy is attempting to perfect it via a grisly procedure… using gypsies as test subjects. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a beautiful–and brilliant–new student, even if her spider could heal a deteriorating personal injury.

Until her device is stolen and used in the latest murder.

Lord Thornton has no option but to bring her into his laboratory as well as the investigation where they must fight their growing, yet forbidden, attraction. Bodies accumulate and fragile bonds are tested as they race across London, trying to catch the spy before it’s too late.

I am always on the lookout for a decent steampunk read and The Golden Spider blurb caught my attention. What is there not to like, Victorian London, intelligent and feisty female character and a growling male?

The book can be read as a mystery with a touch of romance. The steampunk world is mostly there with krakens and dirigibles. The clockwork spider was definitely a unique piece of equipment that I haven´t come across in any other books. The London setting is well described but could have had a bit more. The plot is well developed with a few twists that keeps reading interesting. I enjoyed the main characters and secondary characters are well written that along the book you grasp the different personalities. There are no editing issues in this book that I noticed, whether typos or grammatically.

My one negative remark on this book is the medical lingo, way too much and too detailed for someone without medical background. At a certain point I started skipping the dialogue feeling utterly lost and confused with the exchanges. There is also no way to verify what the author is saying is accurate or not, well I could google it but that is not the point of reading a book.

If you like steampunk you should enjoy this book, you will probably enjoy it more if you have some medical knowledge to help you through the technical dialogue. If like me you don´t, it´s still readable .

Overall I did enjoy this book and will read book 2 in the series, The Silver Skull.

Broken dreams

I am sure that Jane Austen fans have imagined their own version of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, mine didn´t look like the actors Colin Firth or Matthew MacFadyen but he most certainly was tall, dark and handsome, broad chest and defined strong arms…. you get the picture.

Then comes along Professor John Sutherland from University College London and Professor Amanda Vickery from Queen Mary University of London and for a whole month they take on a study to gain a historically accurate idea of what Darcy would have looked like.

I wish they hadn’t.

The study revealed that the revered Darcy would have had powdered white hair, a pointy chin, a pale complexion, a long nose and sloping shoulders. Not quite the brooding, chiselled chap portrayed on-screen by modern-day actors. 

His hair, according to the research, would have been mid-length and powdered white, reflective of the norms of the Austen era. His face would have been long and oval-shaped with a small mouth — common features among gentlemen of the era. His skin would have been pink and white; a sign of wealth and privilege.   

His build would have been slender, with a “modest chest”, but with “large quads, thighs and calves”. According to the research, strong legs were an attractive and important feature to females of the time, with “well-modelled thighs a sign of virility, a good fencer and horseman”. 

Unlike Colin Firth and Matthew MacFadyen — who are both over 6ft tall — the real Darcy would have only been 5ft 11 inches.

Either way, here is what he would have looked like, the powdered hair is enough to cringe and sloping shoulders? Nope. I will stick to my imagined version of Mr. Darcy this is fiction after all and isn´t that the purpose of reading? That we lose ourselves in somebody´s else´s world with a touch of our own?

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