The Girl with the Red Balloon
The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke is $1.99! This is a pretty new release and I mentioned how excited I was about it in this month’s Hide Your Wallet. Reviewers on Goodreads recommend this title for fans of magical realism, but some felt the heroine was a bit boring.
When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process.
Truth or Beard
Truth or Beard by Penny Reid is 99c at Amazon! I know Reid is an auto-buy author for many of you and this one has an enemies to lovers feel to it, judging by the description. Readers say it has Reid’s trademark humor and quirkiness, but warn there’s a scene where the hero is with another woman. I know that’s an off button for some, but Reader Katie Lynn explained that it isn’t a form of cheating.
Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.
His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.
Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?
This book is on sale at:
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers is $1.99! This is a YA fantasy novel that was nominated for a RITA in 2012. Michelle wrote in her RITA Reader Challenge Review:
The biggest reason I picked up Grave Mercy originally was because of the assassin nuns. Because come on, how awesome does “assassin nuns” sound?
Then I saw it was first-person present tense, and almost held back from getting it. That particular style has been notoriously difficult for me to get into in the past, and I’ve been getting burnt out on it.
However, I went ahead and got the book anyway, and I’m thrilled I did. LaFevers uses language so well that I sank immediately into her style without the 5-10 pages of struggle that normally accompanies reading present tense.
Here, she’s created a fantastic medieval world of gods, saints, political intrigue, and romance that swept me away completely.
And yes, the assassin nuns were pretty much as great as they sounded.
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
All That Matters
All That Matters by Erin Nicholas is 99c! This is the third book in The Billionaire Bargains series, but it can be read as a standalone. Also, the heroine is the billionaire in this romance! Some readers felt the ending seemed a bit unresolved, while others thought this was a rather fun romance. It has a 4.1-star rating on Goodreads.
When billionaire Emily Steele breaks off her eight-year relationship with the only boy she’s ever dated, she quickly realizes she has a lot to learn. About the world. About herself. And men. Definitely men.
A friend’s bachelorette party in New Orleans is the perfect place to get in touch with her inner vixen. Trouble is, she’s never actually met her inner vixen. Worse, her overprotective uncle’s determination to keep her safe means she’s going to have a babysitter for the weekend. A tall, handsome babysitter who makes her tingle from head to toe.
Will Weston has always thought his boss’s niece was special, and now that she’s single, he’s even more acutely aware of her beauty and charm. Her uncle’s insistence that he accompany her to the world’s sexiest city has mistake written all over it—until she offers his best friend a million dollars to be her date.
Now there’s no way Will is staying behind, even though he knows something crazy is going to happen. Because falling in love in a weekend is definitely crazy.
Warning: Contains a woman with enough money to buy a date for a weekend in New Orleans, a guy who’s never going to let that happen, a bachelorette party on Bourbon Street, hot sex to slow jazz, and beignets… because there has to be beignets.
This HaBO request is from Lynn, who is trying to find an older historical:
I’m trying to find a historical romance in paperback. My mom had it roughly around the 80’s-90’s. It was so excessive that I loved it.
The heroine was a mountain woman who lived alone. She saved the hero from a bear. The descriptions were awesome — I remember “bluer than a possum’s balls in a skiff of snow” and “colder than a witch’s tit”. The hero was a city feller, and I think she might have tried to make it in the city for him, but it’s been many years since I read this book.
I would love to find it, because it was crazy.
I am very interested in this heroine!
"Good morning, your Majesty," was the first warning he had, a little too bright and cheerful, the throne room guards all smiling a little too broadly. Anduin shook his head ruefully.
The senior guard grinned, utterly unrepentant. "It's not so bad, sir.... yet."
"Yet," Anduin echoed dubiously. His willingness to play along with the game made their smiles broader still, both guards moving to sweep back the doors to the throne with more enthusiasm than strictly necessary.
The audience line had already formed, which didn't make it that different from most days except for the composition of the line - even at a glance Anduin could count more mercenaries than tradesmen, when usually it was the reverse. It was the throne itself that was the source of the guards' amusement; or rather, the two small wrapped boxes resting there, given place of pride on the cushion.
Anduin plucked them from the throne. The gift boxes fit in his palm, heavier than they looked, with a metallic sort of jingle to them. "Only two?" he noted, jesting.
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✔ Count Dracula (1977)
✔ Renfield (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Dracula (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Mina Westenra Harker (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Dracula (TV 1968)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Mina Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ John Seward (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Lucy Weston (Dracula TV 1968)
the sorcerer, the shadow of the past, the fixer
that's a jumble and not helpful. Odd for this deck.
Took bottom 3 cards off the deck.
the lady of sorrows, the challenge, the leaving
There's the brick to the face I'm used to.
Letting Go. Go For It. Moving Forward.
Whelp. Now I know the thing I've been thinking about is correct. It's painful so I'm not talking about it. One of those things that suck super hard.
This post is being sponsored by AdamandEve.com, and, while we have some amazing toy recommendations, here is the most important information:
AdamandEve.com is offering Smart Bitches readers 50% off a single item plus free standard shipping in the US and Canada with code SMART. Please note: certain exclusions apply, but the coupon covers most of the store.
Additionally, you also get a free gift with purchase: a pink vibrating egg, which is sure to give you some bang for your buck.
This time, I’m picking some items that I think would be great for the fall season – for yourself, or someone else, or both!
This post is extremely NSFW! You have been warned!
A&E Intimate Pleasures Kegel Set: Okay, this serious looks some awesome rose gold jewelry. I love how customizable this set is with two different silicone sleeves and four differently sized balls. Perfect for the classy, kinky goth!
Kitty Playballs Set: If you prefer your Ben Wa balls more on the cutesy side, check out this set! Though it only comes with one sleeve, it still has four differently weighted balls. Plus, a pink carrying case with a lock!
Fetish Fantasy Web Restraint: Looking to get freaky on Halloween? Or perhaps you want to roleplay Spider & the Fly with your partner? This restraint system fits any bed, comes with four cuffs, and has 24 different “web lines” the cuffs can attach to or slide along during play. The set also comes with a free satin mask as well. How much fun does that look?
The Rendezvous Gift Set: First off, this set of toys comes in a case that looks like a book. Hello!
Imagine putting in on your bookshelf and having company be none the wiser. The set also comes with nine items, which is a 40% savings if you had purchased everything separately. I’m a sucker for a bargain. There are toys, bondage tape, a mask, candle, and a variety of lube samples.
Salted Caramel Intimate Earth Flavored Lubricant: One of fall’s signature flavors is salted caramel. Sorry, pumpkin spice fans – I couldn’t find any lube for you. This lube in particular is water-based and warms up. It’s also safe for vegans! This brand also comes in cherry and strawberry flavors that are more tart than the salted caramel one, according to reviews.
Wicked Aqua Salted Caramel Flavored Lube: I found not one, but two salted caramel flavored lubes! This one is also vegan-friendly and water-based, but I like the packaging of this one more. It looks like a fancy hand soap dispenser. It does not seem to be a warming lubricant, but it does have some other fall-ish flavors like Candy Apple and Mocha Java.
Revitalize Pocket Vibrator Kit: This pocket vibrator comes in baby blue and pastel pink. It’s waterproof and features three different silicone attachments. So it’s pretty much like putting a costume on your vibrator. It only takes one AA battery and is waterproof, which is something I consider a “must have” when it comes to my sex toys.
Big thanks to Adam & Eve for sponsoring this post and for the coupon and free gift to our readers!
I so love doing these posts. Not only do I get to browse sex toys for “work,” but it gives me a chance to talk about them with all of you. As a side note, the romance genre and community have really helped me in terms of discussing my sexuality and my sexual needs with my partner. It’s reaffirming in the sense that sex isn’t something to be embarrassed about, though I’d definitely say I’m still in the learning process.
What do you think about the items recommended? Have any you’d love to suggest?
Our main building, containing cafeteria, store, offices, classrooms, is under construction. An enormous scaffold surrounds the front doors. Today, exiting with a sustaining bannana in one hand, I heard the burr of welding and then felt a sudden hot-cold shower on the left side of my head, just about the region of the parietal lobe. I put up my hand and plucked a speck of grit from my hair.
As I crossed the quad and mounted the stairs to my building, I began to work out that I'd been sprayed with tiny bits of metal -- little curled chips of aluminum were in my hair and speckled my sweater-vest like glittering lint.
It was not a great cascade of sparks or anything -- just a smattering and a peculiar sensation -- but Jesus. That could have gone into my eye. I spent the whole of my lesson on proper quotation partially convinced that a speckling of tiny holes might newly pepper my skull, like a thought-colander.
After Ted Hughes
I imagine this midday moment's sensation-salad:
Something hot but lifeless
burrows into the occipital
makes a blank page of this field where
newly kindled hallucinations move
Sorry, Here's "The Thought-Fox" to Make Up for That
Actually by Ted Hughes
I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.
Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:
Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now
Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come
Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Coming about its own business
Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox,
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.
* * * * *
I feel like "midnight moment's forest" must have kinship with Hopkins' "morning's morning's minion" from "The Windhover." Discuss.
Fine, Here's "The Windhover" As Well
Gerard Manley Hopkins
I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
* * * * *
Nobody alliterates like our Gerry.
Downdates (What an Update Isn't)
I skipped the monthly reading post for August because, well, there was so little to discuss. I have trouble directing sustained attention under conditions of anxiety (such as term prep). Combining with September will give the list a more respectable heft.
At least I'm transparent in my machinations.
Likewise I think if I'm writing a report on how the term is going -- which is an idea I like a lot as a way to chronicle the development of this course I love -- it'll have to be a biweekly report at best.
A propos of some (very positive) recent events -- I wish I didn't feel so terrible when happy things breathe themselves across the membrane.1
Something wonderful takes place and afterwards it feels like a crisis -- I can't be happy because I'm so convinced that it was secretly a disaster or I am about to make it one.
Too much jouissance. Not enough swimming laps and meditation.
1. Isn't transpire a great word? All those spire words are a gift basket from Latin: conspire (to breathe together); inspire (to breathe in); aspire (to breathe on); expire (to breathe out) -- my library card is about to breathe its last -- what else? What others? I love them.
2. Actually, if I weren't so tired I might write though the whole of "The Thought-Fox" just for the exercise.
I also still have quite a few things available in the virtual garage sale post that I put up several weeks ago. And I'm very much willing to haggle when it comes to listed prices, if you're interested in anything.
(Oh, and for those of you who donated to my Ko-fi page and requested fic, it's coming! The last few weeks have been absolutely hell, which deserves its own post, but things are calming down and I actually have time to breathe again.)
Title: You Will Hear the Voice of the Dead
Original Title: 死人との声をきくがよい (Shibito no Koe wo Kiku ga Yoi)
Author: Hiyodori Sachiko (Uguisu Sachiko)
Publisher: Champion Red Comics
Status in Japan: 9 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Nostal
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates
Summary: Sickly Kishida Jun has the ability to see ghosts, but in his opinion, it's a stupid power and nothing good ever comes of it. Considering the number of grisly situations he seems to find himself in after the ghost of his childhood friend Hayakawa Ryoko starts following him around, he may have a point.
Chapter Summary: In chapter 19, strange things start happening after Kishida and Koizumi find themselves near a tunnel where a bus full of students died in a fire. In chapter 20, the occult club finds themselves trapped on a farm, surrounded by pigs who seem to have developed a taste for human flesh.
Chapter 19: The Haunted Tunnel
Chapter 20: Day of the Pig
And this brings us to the end of volume 3, so here's a full volume download for those who want it.
⌈ Secret Post #3911 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
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Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 32 secrets from Secret Submission Post #560.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
Text: Common Woodbrown
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Remus Lupin/Sirius Black
Author's Summary: Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there. In 1985, Remus Lupin realizes that Sirius Black is innocent. Now, he just has to prove it.
Download: At AO3
Zipped mp3 file (203 MB) | Zipped m4b file (104 MB)