The Snarky Women's Guide to Modern Literature

A club of folks who read and review books we loathed, devoured or could not finish.

The reviewers are narcissistic and prone to PMS. You may find inane commentary, sarcastic maneuvering, hostile retorts, some bitch slapping, and lots of vodka induced posts.

Our Motto:
Some people avoid book clubs that behave like soap operas, we buy tickets to them.

P.S. If you don't want spoilers, move along.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Death Becomes Her

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I happened upon a series yesterday hanging around in the racks at the local library branch.
I found this book and after reading the first line, I knew that I wanted it.

When the black skull and crossbones carved into Alexander Blaine Underhill III’s left pec began to smoke, he knew tonight wasn’t the night he was going to get his newest cross-stitching tapestry finished.

He needed a killer woman...
Blaine Underhill is one lucky man after having recently escaped a century and a half of imprisonment at the hands of an evil witch. Now he's determined to save his still-enslaved friend, but in order to do so, he'll need the help of one of the world's most lethal women.
She was drop dead gorgeous, literally...
Trinity Harpswell is sick and tired of being a Black Widow. Having managed to go three years without accidentally killing anyone she loves, she's one short week away from freeing herself from this killer curse forever.
When Blaine tracks her down and convinces her to help him, little does Trinity know that the next seven days are going to be murder!
Read at your own risk. There be spoilers below. 

It is not what you think, it is not about a sexy paranormal warrior who also crafts with a needle. I know, your dream man… 
It is about a slave who escapes a couple of hours of torture if he can prove that he has mastered a feminine art. The woman who inflicts this type of torture is none other than the witch Angelica, Death’s maternal grandmother.
This book is full of interesting characters.  
 Our heroine, Trinity Harpswell , is besties with Death’s personal assistant, Reina Knight. And, oh yeah, she is a Black Widow killer who is currently abstaining from killing her lovers. Which is why Reina is so keen to be her BFF; Reina is attracted to death like I am attracted to a shoe sale at Dillards.
It gets better. There’s this assassin who kills by turning people into pink dust. No word on if it is bubblegum flavored. He happens to target our heroine’s father for dusting after an unfortunate incident with a fork.
Death’s Grandpa, Napoleon, is back and he wants that girl who he dumped after she served him a batch of magic made cookies. She was really proud of those cookies, too. It took her three weeks to get off the floor and then a few hundred years of emasculating kidnapped boys to get over that hurt.
Napoleon gives a her an ultimatum, become his adoring, now-sexier wife or he smites her with her own black magic smut which she has been depositing into a fairy for the past 200 years turning said fairy into a deranged killer. 
Yes, she has a Fairy Smut Monster.
And then there is Blaine our hero and master at counted cross-stitch. It is a little awkward reading the inner most thoughts of a brutalized warrior who distracts himself from contemplating new patterns by thinking of gruesome disembowelment techniques to prove his manliness to himself.
Will Death stop his grandmother from abducting young boys and subjecting them to centuries of terror in her Den of Womanly Pursuits for a better business plan? Will Trinity save her father from becoming an ingredient in a pink smoothie? Will Blaine finally finish his counted cross-stitch pattern or kill the witch?
I can't wait to read more....


Friday, October 5, 2012

AN Exercise in POV

I belong to a Group Blogging Experience group and this week's exercise is to write from different points of view.
I am placing my submission on this site because I am making it all up.

The brothers faced each other as they had in their father's practice arenas since they could walk. Tonight they were near a copse of trees. They had trained with numerous masters, a new one every five years just so this day would come. Only, Deepa did not know it. As the younger brother and the true subject of the prophecy he had been lead to believe for all these years that Sanji would become king. With his wife's urging, his father arranged the lessons in various combat styles and weaponry to prepare the both of them to become warrior kings. He refused to favor one son because of a prophecy. All the while, Sanji knew that one day only one son would walk away from a match. 
Aldin had been more than a loving step-mother, she had protected their family for years from assassins who would stop this night. Without this sacrifice Alders would remain in another 100 years of madness and not begin 100 years of enlightenment. Their covetous neighbors meant to enslave the people for their magical gifts after ensuring that the brothers could not fulfill the prophecy. Aldin had prepared him for this day and he would be strong.

Their mother, Sylvan, abandoned her sons having no desire see the prophecy to its end. Only she knew the entire prophecy before sharing it with Corel, Aldin's father and Sanji seven years ago. For that Aldin would never forgive her and never be more thankful to her.
Although no one knew how Deepa would come to kill Sanji and thereby claim the legendary throne of the Anders, anger and betrayal had never been considered.  

His final words to his brother would be, "Know this brother, I did not do this thing. Kisela is unharmed. You have been mislead. But for what you do next, I will forgive you."
As anger cursed through Deepa, he mistook Sanji's slow ominous tone for arrogance. His sigh of resignation for this fate as boredom. His confession of innocence as lies. And as his rage overtook him, he did could only vaguely recognize that in addition to feelings of anger and betrayal, jealousy about who deserved to be king of the Anders was compelling him to attack his brother.
Today,would be the day that the second son would destroy the elder, become King of the Andres and save that xenophobic culture from the madness their own mysticism had created.

"Where are they? I can only hear Sanji." Kisela asked in hushed tones almost too low for me too hear.
In the distance, I heard Sanji say,  "Know this brother, I did not do this thing. You have been mislead. Kisela is unharmed. But for what you do next, I will forgive you." I knew that these would be his final words as he said them with ominous tones.
"They are where they should be." I answered her hoping she would ask no more of me. We peered through the trees to see the brothers facing each other.
"We should you stop this. This is wrong. Sanji did not hurt me. He told him so, but I can see that Deepa does not believe." 
If I did not tell her the truth she would ruin this and condemn Andres to another hundred years of madness. Their neighbors would enslave them and use them for their magical gifts after murdering the brothers.
"This is as it should be regardless of how. Deepa must fight his brother and destroy him. This is the sacrifice that will break the curse." Kisela understood curses and she understood sacrifice. We had been trained to serve and guide men and women through prophecy, fate and accident of birth.We could see the outcomes of a thousand different choices as clearly as we could see the petals of a flower.
"You never told me that Sanji would die." Despite her affection for Sanji, Kisela would not  interfere. I knew that her anxiety was for me. I had raised the sons since their mother abandoned them after telling our father about the prophecy. Selfish woman had no desire for a family, only to fulfill her role in the prophecy. He had ordered that I protect the family from assassins who feared an enlightenment age for the xenophobic Anders.  For my part, I fell in love and married Taru. I comforted the young Sanji after the whore Sylvan told him the truth 7 years ago. I made him strong. I am the reason why he will not run from this night and his brother, even though the betrayal which fuels Deepa's rage against his brother was contrived by an enemy.
"Today, the second son will destroy the elder, become King of the Andres and save them from their own madness. Deepa's  anger, feeling of betrayals and, I fear, jealousy over the prophecy will compel him to attack. But I will see to it Sanji does not die."

Monday, September 3, 2012

Things were so much nicer before the demon hunters moved here

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Demon Hunting in the Deep South by Lexi George
A sort of review
From the book jacket
Evie Douglass doesn’t know what’s worse—the demons secretly infesting her small Alabama hometown. . .or human belle-from-hell Meredith Starr Peterson, who’s made her life miserable since high school. But when the “Death Starr” is brutally murdered and Evie is the number-one suspect, she’s suddenly besieged by the evil-not-dead-enough and Meredith’s furious specter. The only way she can clear her name is to get out from under demon hunter Ansgar’s grim protection. He’s blond, breathtaking, and the most lethal of all his kin, but after years of teasing, Evie is wary of anyone who swears her plus-size self is beautiful. However, having Ansgar all over her is sparking outrageous powers Evie didn’t know she had. And she’ll face any ultimate evil to keep this sexy slayer in this dimension and in her bed for all eternity...
When I read a book, I often refer to the book jacket artwork to focus my imagery of the characters or the location. The book jacket artist must have given the book a light perusal and pulled out "alien sexy warrior clad in leather" and "pretty Southern red head." I have helpfully pointed out the errors for you.
In this book we get to know a character introduced in the short story The Bride Wore Demon Dust. Yes, this book is about Nicole, AKA Mullet Woman,  the former pole dancer and more recently former gas station attendant who cannot be separated from her Allihuahua, Frodo. She has decided to bring her unconventional attire and mullet hairstyle to Hannah the birthplace of weird stuff. Poor Nicole has been chased out of town by a Chihuahua killer. Unfortunately, said Chihuahua killer has arrived in Hannah to continue his rampage of canine murder.

It is really a shame no one can see the bitchy ghost. 

Meredith, AKA Deathstar, as a character was unredeemable. A former high school mean girl, then society harridan who tormented small business professionals, and currently a ghost suffering from PTDD. Post Traumatic Death Disorder is normally something only seen in newly raised vampire, but Ms. George does a fine job of applying here. As I read about Meredith, I understand that creating this character purged some pretty angry emotions for the author. I had one gal that bullied me in high school, another who attempted to bully me in college, and I worked for one for a few years. I can see me writing either into a book, having her murdered then doomed to watch her friends slink after her husband while being forced to attend group therapy for being too bitchy to revel in the peace that comes with the afterlife. 

Yeah, Ms. George, I am totally feeling you on this.

You are probably wondering when I will start writing about the plot and its love story. You can Google reviews of this book for that. I want to tell you about the quirky inhabitants of this book who had me laughing two nights in a row while reading it. Because, well, this is a silly book. For example, poor Evie can no long see her beloved fairies but everyone else can. I didn't get a clear explanation for this. And why does Evie do her best cursing in the closet? And just how stupid is Trey, the widow, who openly covets his wife's accused murderer even though, Ansgar, the demon killer, is clearly attached to her curvy hip at all times? Writing of Ansgar, what compels a demon hunter to buy a monster truck? What will our small time law enforcement do with a murder investigation and a serial dog killer on the loose with big dance coming up? 

Another minor character favorite of mine is Lenora. Lenora, AKA "an inter-dimensional emotion-stealing hoochie mama, is in love. She is really a former sex slave who fed on the emotions of demon hunters like Ansgar. What she said to her boyfriend's ex-wife, AKA the Birth Canal, upon meeting her should be mounted on a plaque or made into one of those E-cards. - Free divorces from psycho, bitchy wives! Limited time offer! You get to keep your money AND your kids! This time only!
Lenora's story line mingles with Evie and Ansgar's affair quite hilariously.

I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. I can not wait to learn what becomes of Meredith's counseling sessions? Will Lenora marry a demon hunter, too? Will Nicole eschew her man hating ways and fall for the dog whisperer? Will Evie ever curse in a well lit room? These are questions to which I want answers.
Rating :
If this book were a peach, I would eat it. B+

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Vamp, Needs a Job

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs
Publisher: Pocket Star
Author: Molly Harper

If I pick up a book and it doesn't grab me right away, I will download the electronic version from my library's website and load it onto my cell phone. Books on my cell phone help me pass the time away at the service centers, doctors' office, restaurants, and other times when I am without my knitting to keep me busy.

You know those times, when I find myself uttering "I can't get this hour of my life back."

Usually, it takes a few weeks to get through a book in this format.
First, I have the excitement for reading a new book and then the let down when I realize that I have read this character type already. This story gave me that "I have read this before" feeling initially.
I did have to pick the book up a few times to get through it after my initial disappointment...

What happens when a children's librarian becomes one of the blood thirsty undead?

Jane Jameson followed all the goals she created for herself.
  1. Complete highschool with high grades from Half Moon Hollow and attend college elsewhere.
  2. Put all those brains to work by obtaining master's degree in library science.
  3. Demonstrate your skills by organizing a thriving young readers program in your hometown's public library.

What could go wrong?
How about being fired from said job and replaced by the town pyromaniac?
Or getting sloppy drunk at the local bar using your severance gift certificate?
And finally dying in a drive-by shooting from a blind-drunk deer hunter after falling face-first into a ditch?
In that span of time when the dying Jane reflected on her life and its inevitable, undignified death, she is given a chance at un-death by a mysterious stranger.

This is her story

Jane has a slightly caustic sense of humor tempered with Southern hospitality. Like any vampire book reader, I find the sharp-tongued heroine to be literary joy-stealers. They are so prevalent in the genre that I just don't care to know why they are so contrary. While not an original character flaw, in this book I found her taunts, barbs, and sarcasm to be very entertaining. Read it for yourself.
Jane on taking a job at her mother's place of employment:
..Mama took at part-time job at A Stitch in Time, a shop that sold fabric and quilting supplies. In the five years she had worked there, I'd received quilted vests for every birthday and Christmas.
I hope this gives you some idea of what I was dealing with.
I couldn't visit my mother at the shop for more than a few minutes at a time. I had allergic reactions to fabric sizing and old women asking me when I was going to settle down. Working there would be my damnation to whatever circle of hell is dedicated to busybodies and fabric artists. 

The book has many colorful characters. Zeb the male best friend. Gabriel the sexy, mysterious vampire sire. Dick Cheney, Gabriel's foil. Andrea the blood surrogate. Missy the aggressive vampire realtor. The mother she "lives" to disappoint. The father who honored her with the horrible middle name. The sister that pretends she does not exist (even before her death). The grandmother who loves all of her husbands to their horrible deaths. And the ghost of a dead aunt who wears funny slogan t-shirts in her spirit form.
The story follows:
Jane and Gabriel's efforts to forge a relationship beyond that of child and master.
Jane's negotiations with her family regarding the delicate nature of inheritance property when the dearly departed doesn't have the good sense to remain dead.
Jane's complicated efforts of learning the intricacies of the vampire community while being accused of vampire murder and debauchery.

Good for Jane that she is a practical new vampire.
For example, when she receives bottled blood from a stranger she checks the safety seal before drinking it.
She is going to be all right.

I did enjoy this little novel by Molly Harper.
It gave me tons to laugh over and an atypical mystery for a vampire romance novel. The author wove a long story with clues just about everywhere.
Once I let go of my expectations for the book, I found a hilarious story I couldn't put down or wait until the sequel.

This of course was difficult for me since I had loaded the book onto my cell phone. I found myself reading it in bed, at red lights, during my lunch hour, and during the short walk to my office from my car.
According to the author's website there are three current books and a fourth book planned.

My score = B-

Monday, September 19, 2011

Magnolias and Demon spawn

Demon Hunting in Dixie by Lexi George
warrior, a demon, and the girl next door…

Addy Corwin is a florist with an attitude. A bad attitude, or so her mama says, ‘cause she’s not looking for a man. Mama’s wrong. Addy has looked. There’s just not much to choose from in Hannah, her small Alabama hometown. Until Brand Dalvahni shows up, a supernaturally sexy, breathtakingly well-built hunk of a warrior from—well, not from around here, that’s for sure. Mama thinks he might be European or maybe even a Yankee. Brand says he’s from another dimension.

Addy couldn’t care less where he’s from. He’s gorgeous. Serious muscles. Disturbing green eyes. Brand really gets her going. Too bad he’s a whack job. Says he’s come to rescue her from a demon. Puh-lease. But right after Brand shows up, strange things start to happen. Dogs talk and reanimated corpses stalk the quite streets of Hannah. Her mortal enemy Meredith, otherwise known as the Death Starr, breaks out in a severe and inexplicable case of butt boils. Addy might not know what’s going on, but she definitely wants a certain sexy demon hunter by her side when it all goes down…

Big warrior guy comes to town to fight some baddies. Small town girl puts herself in harms way in order to protect the handsome stranger. Big warrior guy remains to protect small town girl who is not injured. Other big warrior types come to town to collect missing warrior who is now smitten with small town girl. Small town girl insists that she can handle herself and conjures a kitten to become her new bodyguard.
You just will love this book.
Lexi George has a talent for spinning a fun story set in a small southern town with colorful characters. She takes great care in describing the local attractions, small businesses, and overbearing mothers.
Southern women have wonderful manners. I thank Lexi George for teaching me how to handle awkward situations with southern sensitivities:

What do you do when your dog suddenly begins talking to you? Keep listening, he probably has more to say than most of your friends.

How do you respond when a demon claims you for his own? Sarcasm

What is the proper form when an alien demon-hunter decides to become your personal body-guard? Introduce him to your southern match-making mamma as an European. 

What is the proper etiquette for handling an ambulatory corpse the day of his funeral? Send the flowers, personally.

How do you entertain thousand year old inter-dimensional warriors? Take them to the local barbecue joint. Order the whole hog.

What is the best way to mark sobriety after 20 years of drunkenness? Plan a wedding.

What is the difference between tacky and trashy?

Tacky is wearing white dress shoes to church before Easter, and trashy is going to church on Palm Sunday wearing white dress shoes and no underwear.
Ah... This is a great story. I read it in two days. It made me laugh, cringe, and want more. It combines my favorite genres, science fiction and humor with a dash of adult love.

A recipe for a very funny book

My score A-;
I am taking off for the kitten abuse. :p

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer designs

I have been fortunate not to read any silly books this summer.
Therefore, nothing to report.
I would like to take the time to write about one of my favorite authors.

Leslie Esdaile Banks

I read two of her series the Vampire Huntress and the Crimson Moon. I loved both of them. The first for the diversity of religions and people of color. The Crimson Moon series because she reinvented the werewolf genre with her characters. I loved all of them.

Yummy Carlos
Max Hunter yummier

Check out the books for yourself

You will enjoy the way she creates her worlds
How she respects and pays homage to major religions of the world
How she make you use Google and Wikipedia to follow the action
How she imagines her worlds and the diversity of the people in it
How she re imaged paranormal romance and science fiction with brown, yellow and black characters

Good bye L. A. Banks
I hope that you inspired the next generation of Black female Science Fiction and Paranormal Romance authors.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No Snark for June

Amazing as it may seem but I have not read any books that warranted an Okra and Glue review this month. The pick-your-own adventure book sitting my desk looks promising.