For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not –and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified –have tortured –have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror –to many they will seem less terrible than baroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place –some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.
From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiar of character grew with my growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure. To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable. There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat. This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious upon this point–and I mention the matter at all for no better reason than that it happens, just now, to be remembered.
Pluto–this was the cat’s name–was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets.
Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character–through the instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance –had (I blush to confess it) experienced a radical alteration for the worse. I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them. For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating the rabbits, the monkey, or even the dog, when by accident, or through affection, they came in my way. But my disease grew upon me–for what disease is like Alcohol!–and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish–even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper.
One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fiber of my frame. I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket! I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity.
When reason returned with the morning –when I had slept off the fumes of the night’s debauch–I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed.
I’ve mentioned before that I read a lot more books than I review here on PJV. Part of the reason I had to leave my own blog *sniff* was because between obligations to family, work, and actually reading, I had less and less time to blog about the awesome books I was reading…
And while I have some pretty good books scheduled for review in the next few weeks, this week has been a little hectic on a personal level and I don’t have an actual review this weekend.
So, I thought I’d share what I’m currently reading, and maybe we can discuss a little problem I’m having…
What I’m reading now: (links through clicking covers are amazon affiliate links)
While I was running errands yesterday I picked up Jaci Burton’s One Sweet Ride. I’m only up to page 50 but am enjoying it so far. I’ve read and enjoyed the other books in her Play by Play series (swoony sports heroes) so I’ve been looking forward to this one.
I also picked up Stay with Me by Elyssa Patrick because I love NA and rock-star heroes, although this has a twist and the heroine is the rock star (I think). I’m only a few pages in to this one but I have high hopes; I like the author’s writing style so far. (Is it just me or does the cover model look kind of like KStew? I’m pretty sure this book is vampire-free though)
I’m also getting ready to start The Long Way Home by Tara Brown. Anyone who knows me knows I love hockey romance! Love it!!! So this was kind of a no-brainer for me, especially at the cost of $1. (I’ll admit I’m nervous as it’s self-published so I’m hoping the editing is ok)
Your turn to share with me: So this little problem I’m having? I’m dying for a great shapeshifter romance or highland historical romance. Can you recommend something? Or feel free to mention any books you’ve read recently that knocked your socks off..
So I thought I’d kick things off with the giveaway first. But yeah anyway this is the In Darkness We Must Abide read along!!! If you haven’t read any of this serial yet, I don’t know what you are waiting for.
What did I think? Hmm. This episode was so emotionally draining that I kind of want to block it out. Rhiannon Frater knows how to push my emotional buttons and she was all over it in this episode. She literally takes Vanora through the emotional ringer in all ways. Her boyfriend is kind of a sha-douche. Armando is well Armando, and she once again loses someone close to her. It really is Destruction and it’s something that Rhiannon does so well.
Discussion: How will the move back to her home affect Vanora?
In this episode for reasons left unsaid (by me) Vanora must return home. I’m hoping this means she gets to spend more time with Armando. But let’s face it, this is Rhiannon Frater. IF and that is a very big IF Vanora and Armando are to end up together they will have to work for it. What I actually thing is going to happen is more chaos. Seriously people Rhiannon Frater has the talent to torment her readers and leaving them begging for more. She is a true master!
Today we have author DW Adler telling us how he lays out his book. Thank you DW for taking time to visit with us!
Planner or Pantser? Do your characters babble in your head non-stop or do you see your worlds as films?
I’m a both a planner and pantser. I like to have an overall plan for where I want to take a book and though I don’t write down any kind of outline, the planner part of me keeps things in my head. For the pantser aspect, a lot of the scenes are written on the fly – I have a vague idea in my head of how I want them to pan out from my planning stage but nothing is fully defined until I sit and write.
The way that the story comes to me is like a movie that will play out in my head – I’ll see the characters, watch how they react to the situations that I want to put them through, and develop the story that way. I rarely write out notes as to me it’s redundant – I’m going to be writing it anyway. I also like to let my ideas cook up in my mind until I sit down and write it out, just in case a fresher idea comes to me about where I want to take the story. I’ll admit that has worked to my detriment a couple of times. There have been story ideas that have faded away and I couldn’t remember them afterwards but fortunately those times have been very rare so I just see it as something that wasn’t important to begin with.
About the author:
DW Adler (“Call me Don”) was born and raised in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada. After receiving a degree in psychology and an almost-minor in Irish Studies, he learned how to fix computers. He now sweats profusely in Florida where he does IT support for a living when he’s not writing.
Don counts such authors as Anne Rice, JRR Tolkien, and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as a love for Irish/Celtic myth and folklore as his influences. He loves to read sci-fi, fantasy, post-apocalyptic, and anything having to do with vampires.
Other than sipping tea and writing, Don dabbles in computer animation and graphic design, goes on long walks with his wife, and enjoys the company of his two children. He is constantly plotting how to get back home to Nova Scotia and flees there whenever the sight of snow becomes a necessity.
I have not been able to finish a book for the last two weeks. Well, that’s not true, I did finish (and enjoy) Rachel Caine’s ‘Fall of Night‘ (Morganville #13). BUT, aside from that…nothing. I have started and stopped no less than 10 books and haven’t been able to get past 25%, if that.
I think part of my problem is that things have been crazy at work and I’ve been working overtime, coming home and not being in the right frame of mind to enjoy a book. Well, today starts my vacation, so I’ve decided to bring a few books with me, hoping vacay will ‘bust the funk’, so to speak I’m trying to mix it up – the only constant is that it has to be romance.
Here’s what I’m bringing:
Title: An English Bride in Scotland Author: Lyndsay Sands Type: Historical Romance Published: June 25, 2013 by Avon Source: Purchase
The first in a new historical series set in the Highlands of Scotland, from Lynsay Sands, the New York Times bestselling author of the Argeneau vampire series and countless historical romances.
Annabel was about to take the veil to become a nun when her mother suddenly arrives at the Abbey to take her home… so that she can marry the Scottish laird who is betrothed to her runaway sister! She knows nothing about being a wife, nothing about how to run a household, and definitely nothing about the marriage bed!
But from the moment Ross MacKay sets eyes on Annabel, he is taken with his shy sweet bride… and the fact that she’s blessed with lush curves only makes him utter his own prayers of thanks. But when an enemy endangers her life, he’ll move the Highlands themselves to save her. For though Annabel’s not the bride he planned for, she’s the only woman he desires…
I’m not really a fan of historical romance, but if there are highlanders, clan wars, and ‘forced marriage’ tropes. I think this one’s going to be good.
Title: Tangled (Tangled #1) Author: Emma Chase Type: Contemporary Romance Published: May 19, 2013 by Omnific Source: Purchase
Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?
He’ll tell you he has the flu.
But we all know that’s not really true.
Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything – or anyone – derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.
Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?
Can Drew Evans win at love?
Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.
Sometimes I just like to read about an asshole hero who’s changed by the love of a good woman. Not sure what that says about me, but there it is.
Title: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare Author: Melissa Jensen Type: Young Adult Published: February 16, 2012 by Speak Source: Purchase
Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends – the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art – and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?
I bought this a few months ago and it’s been sitting on my shelf. The blurb kind of makes me think of ‘Anna and the French Kiss‘ by Stephanie Perkins, which I absolutely adored, so hopefully I’ll be swooning over this one too!
Title: Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans #1) Author: Suzanne Johnson Type: Paranormal Published: April 10, 2012 by Tor Source: Purchase
As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ’s boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.
Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.
While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.
To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.
This is another book I’ve had for a while. Parajunkee gives it great raves, and since it’s set in New Orleans I’m definitely interested. I don’t think there’s much romance though, which is the reason I’ve hesitated to read it. I met the author while she was vising NOLA, so I’ll be bringing my signed copy on vacation.
Well, I think I’ve got a pretty good variety there. Anything you can recommend? Something I shouldn’t leave home without?
Dishing Junk – The act of dispensing ideas of little value in a casual or silly manner.
Hi all! Patti here! *waves* Rachel is off having a great time at BEA this week, so I snuck in and took over her ‘Dishing Junk’ segment… today’s Dish is a subject about which I have absolutely no knowledge but have been pondering (obviously ) for quite some time. Also, I’d have to say it’s more bitchy than silly, but, whatevs…
Dear Barnes and Noble,
I have been hearing about the demise of the brick-and-mortar bookstore for months. ‘People are shopping online’, ‘they only buy e-books now’ are two of the most popular reasons I’ve seen given. For me, it boils down to two things: Cost and Inventory. I buy a LOT of books, which can get expensive. Oftentimes, that translates to “do you want it cheaper, or do you want it now?” You, Barnes & Noble, have the opportunity to answer that question with”Yes”.
Now, I will preface this by saying I’ve never worked at a bookstore and don’t know the ins and outs of running one. But based on my own personal shopping habits, here are five suggestions:
1. Make the book prices in the store the same price they are online!!! It’s frustrating to go online and reserve a book for in-store pick up and it’s more expensive in the store. Perhaps you could make that a perk of the B&N discount card, because at this point, unless you are an avid reader, the perks aren’t really worth the $25 annual fee. Especially if you can get the books cheaper and don’t have to be a member for free shipping at Amazon (if you spend $25, which to a book lover is not unusual). (Full disclosure: I have a B&N discount card)
2. Have release-day titles out on the floor on release day. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone to grab a new release and end up having to wait for someone in customer service look in their computer and say “it says we have several, let me go look in the back”. We had a Borders but they closed – I can tell you from personal experience that I quit shopping there after about the fourth time I left work at lunchtime to pop over and pick up a new release on release day and they didn’t have it – I’d end up with no lunch and no book.
3. Amazon can get pre-orders to my house on the release date, why can’t you? I pre-ordered ‘Dead Ever After’ by Charlaine Harris and it didn’t ship until the release date – which means I got it 4 days later. Do you have any idea how hard it was to avoid spoilers?!?
4. Stop with the daily e-mails to buy a Nook: I don’t want one. The problem is, I can’t unsubscribe to your e-mails if I want to continue getting coupons for print books. Speaking of coupons, if you want an edge over Amazon, think about making your coupons good for Nook books. It could be a selling point to tip a customer towards the Nook instead of the Kindle.
5. Don’t ignore a large sizable segment of your customer base. Why not include Romance titles in your “Recommends” e-mails? Over and over, Romance books are completely overlooked. I’m not talking about bestselling authors like Charlaine Harris and Nora Roberts. I’m talking about all types of romance reads: paranormal, contemporary, erotic, YA, fantasy. Romance readers exist, and we buy books. Lots of books. And we like to feel included and valued as customers. Reach out to us and we’ll reach back.
I love my neighborhood Barnes & Noble; I love wandering the aisles, touching new books, looking at covers, reading the blurbs and discovering something new. I want it to stay, but I hate feeling like I’m getting ripped off. I don’t buy hardbacks or trade paperbacks there, only mass-market paperbacks, because for some reason they’re the same price online and in-store. I don’t know if staffing plays a role, but my B&N is woefully understaffed – yesterday (Sunday) the lady in line behind me left because she was tired of waiting for the one cashier to ring up customers. We have several “Indie” bookstores in my area, but sadly, they don’t stock Romance, so my options are you or Amazon. Help me pick you.