The Tourist by Clare London

Warning, this book is basically gay porn with a little bit of a story added to it. If that’s not your thing, you can skip this review :p Actually, that’s an unfair depiction of this book. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s a short read. One you can read in one sitting at under 100 pages. I saw the cover and thought I’d just read it for entertainment purposes, but it was really touching in parts. The story is basically about a “tourist”, a spirit of sorts, who possesses the bodies of other people, mainly for sexual satisfaction. The tourist prefers male/male couples and has spent it’s afterlife jumping from one body to another. Mostly just for pleasure. But then he meets Dan and Ricky and it becomes more than just a fling.

He finds that he truly enjoys their relationship and takes turns switching from one body to another. He finds that he’s developing the same feelings for the other as the actual person has and he doesn’t want to leave. Things get even more complicated when Ricky’s ex shows up. And he’s not a very friendly ex. His plans for Ricky go beyond the kinky into the violent and Ricky’s life becomes a risk while the tourist is inside of him.

Now, like I said…this is a pretty steamy book too and I have to say that some of the scenes in here were h.o.t. If graphic sex offends you, then stay away from this one…because it’s pretty damn graphic, lol.

I would’ve actually liked for this book to be a little bit longer and for the relationship between Dan and Ricky to be explored a bit more. Ms. London does a fine job with her writing skills and I wanted more of it. All in all, it was a very fun read 🙂

Buy it at Carina Press.

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Saturday Farmer's Market 4/23/11

Yep, it’s time for a gardening update…and lest you fear I’ve gone away from tumblr completely with the gardening updates, worry not :p I’ll have posts over there too because there is SO MUCH going on in the garden right now!! It’s turning into a freaking jungle. I’m seriously getting intimidated by this garden, lol. But I love it so much.

1. I have my first little baby pomegranate on my pomegranate bush. Isn’t it cute? It’s loaded with flowers right now, but a lot of them just fall off without making a pomegranate. This is the only one to make fruit so far.

2. These are my calla lilies popping up! I’m so excited about them. They should be a deep royal purple color when I actually get lilies. I got these for Matt because they’re his favorite flower.

3. I’m still adding more things to my garden :p Today I added some oregano to the potted herbs. I’ve been having fun drying out herbs and saving them in these awesome little glass jars that I got.

4. My eggplant is LOADED with flowers and one is turning into an eggplant! I love eggplant so much. Can’t wait til these produce!

5. We’re going to have more zucchini than I know what to do with. Here’s two of the four that are already on the plant with lots more to come!

6. This is the garden! I know!! It’s growing like crazy…it’s seriously becoming a jungle. I think it’s so pretty though with the cucumber trellising up. The tomatoes are just unbelievable! They’re so huge. And this is all organic!! No miracle gro…no chemicals at all.

7. The basil is just unstoppable. I’ve picked a really good amount off it twice already. Enough to fill a paper lunch bag to dry and then enough to make a pint of pesto. And this is what it still looks like! Well it doesn’t quite look like this anymore :p After taking this picture, I picked off almost all of the leaves because it was starting to make seed heads, which I pinched off. But there are still leaves on it. The basil I picked filled half of a full size paper grocery bag!

8. My first little bell pepper is appearing, but there are SO MANY right behind this one.

9. I’m loving my watermelon 🙂 It’s climbing like crazy all over the lawn behind the garden. And it has tons of little flowers on it already! I can’t wait to have little watermelons 😀

10. The oranges are starting to get bigger! I worry about my little satsuma tree because it doesn’t look all that great and the leaves are sort of yellowish..more green than yellow, but still. But hey, it’s still making oranges! And it’s only it’s second year!

11. I have NO idea what this plant is, lol. I have my crazy flower garden that probably has about 100 different kinds of seeds in it, lol. Well this is part of a larger bush of flowers that is popping up. The leaves almost look like cosmos, but that sure doesn’t look like a cosmo. Anyone have any idea what it is? It’s pretty!

12. And finally, the star of the garden…tomatoes. O.M.G. We’re going to have SO MANY tomatoes!!!! I was hunting through the plants and just kept finding more and more and more clusters like this. SO excited 😀

Overdue Bad Bloggers (the towering pile edition)

So I got to the point that I had SO many books that I finally got rid of some…85 of them to be exact :p Which of course left JUST enough room to add the books that have been piling up to the shelves. this is a major chore for me because I alphabetize all of my books by author…so when you have 80 books that need to go onto the shelves, it takes a while and a lot of moving and probably a pain killer for your back after :p But the shelves finally look neat again!!! Yay!! I’m starting to purge books that I know I’ll never read. Too many books have been on my shelf for WAY too long. But of course there are those like War and Peace that I continue to keep because A. It’s a beautiful edition and B. I fool myself into believing that I’ll read it someday. Anyway, here are the 19 books that have come into my home since my last post….and I’m wrapping this post up with the winner for this round of Bad Bloggers…you’ll never guess who it is :p /sarcasm.

1. The Stuff of Legend Volume 1 by Mike Raicht – Well this is a definite point to Debi and I can’t thank her enough for introducing me to this story!! It’s so awesome and the art is some of the most gorgeous I’ve seen. And it will forever make me think of driving to Niagara Falls with her and her family 🙂 So yeah…it’s a special one. Point to Debs! (Bought it)

2. Mouseguard: Legend of the Guard by David Petersen – Can’t wait to read this!! I love the Mouseguard books and the art in them. Another amazing piece of art. This one has a mix of different authors writing in the Mouseguard universe with all of the art by Petersen. (Bought it)

3. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel – A graphic novel that I’ve been wanting to read forever…ever since Ana reviewed it. Found it at the Borders closing sale \o/ Point for Ana. (Bought it)

4. Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith – I found this one at Borders too and bought it because I thought of Ana when I saw it :p I’ve never heard anything about it before, but it sounds really good! (Bought it)

5. Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan – Amanda, didn’t you review this one? I think I remember you buying it at the airport and liking it a lot :p Anyway, even if this was NOT the book, I thought that was why I wanted it, lol. So Amanda gets a point :p (Bought it)

6. Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett – Just because I loved Wee Free Men so much!!! (Bought it)

7. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper – I know nothing about this book, lol. But my friend Rachel put it in my hands and said “read this, it’s really good and you’ll like it :p So I shall. Point to Rachel! (Gift from a friend)

8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – OMG I was so excited to buy this one!!!! I’ve heard nothing but good stuff, but it’s Ana that really made me want to read this like NOW. Point to Ana. (Bought it)

9. Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan – I just love Miss Lanagan so fucking much and I’m reading her collection Black Juice right now. Let me tell you it’s freaking GOOD!!!! (Bought it)

10. Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami – Just to add to my Murakami collection. I’ve only read ONE of his books (Norwegian Wood) but loved it so much that I wanted everything by him! (Paperback Swap)

11. The Unwritten Vol. 3 by Mike Carey – I think this is my current favorite graphic novel series…I preorder them all as they become available and I’ve actually had this one for like 2 weeks now and STILL haven’t read it! I’m surprised at myself, lol. Think I may read it tonight. SUCH A GOOD SERIES! (Bought it)

12. Light Boxes by Shane Jones – This was a weird book, but I really enjoyed it…review here. Darren gets a point for this one for putting it on my radar! (Paperback Swap)

13. H Day by Renee French – Another really odd book…you can see  my review here. It’s a wordless graphic novel. Really enjoyed this one too though! (Bought it)

14. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – I’ve had this one on my wishlist teetering back and forth for a long time on buying it, but it was Carl who made me finally get it. Point to Carl! (Bought it)

15. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – So excited about this one 😀 Reading it with Debi, Kelly and Heather! And it’s totally Kelly’s fault that we’re doing so :p Point to Kelly! (Bought it)

16. Little Red Riding Hood illustrated by Daniel Egneus – Read this one and reviewed it already too! I guess it’s good that I’ve read three of these already! It’s absolutely GORGEOUS!!! And all Heather’s fault that I bought it…point to Heather. (Bought it)

17. A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz – Isn’t that cover amazing? Here’s another I’m really excited about. From the cover to the title, it just sounds like something that I’m bound to love. Becky recommended this one to me and she gets the point for it. (Paperback Swap)

18. Strangers by Taichi Yamada – Hadn’t heard of this one before either, but the oh so sweet Nancy sent it to me. So she has to take the blame for it as well :p (Gift from a friend)

19. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – I can’t believe I’m finally reading this one! Or that I own it at least. There’s a guy on tumblr who’s really cool…tumblr name shieldsofpaper…and this is his favorite book! Oh yeah..and he’s from Louisiana too! So I’m going to try it finally! Point to shieldsofpaper. (Paperback Swap)

So, surprise surprise…guess who wins this round of Bad Bloggers? Yep, you guessed it ANA!! LOL…Maybe next round someone will beat her. So Ana, my dear…shoot me an email and let me know what book you want that I have reviewed and I’ll shoot it off in the mail to you. Yes, once again, you have to take on the burden of a book from ME…mwuhahahahahaha. Next round will end in October! And here is the list of blame for this round :p

Ana – 16
Debi – 8
Heather – 5
Becky – 4
Pat – 4
Nancy – 4
Amanda – 3
Carl – 3
Bellezza – 2
Darren – 2
Matt – 2
OutQ – 1
Renay – 1
Vasilly -1
Amy – 1
Andi -1
Kelly – 1
Nicky – 1
Hollie – 1
Colin – 1
Zach – 1 (ZACH!! Do you have a website for me to link to? :p)
Eva – 1
The Trevor Project – 1
Rachel – 1
Shieldsofpaper – 1

Little Red Riding Hood by The Brothers Grimm and Daniel Egneus

I have to say that this is one of the most gorgeous books I have ever seen. I’ve always loved the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the imagery associated with it. Though I do have some major problems with how the story portrays women, I have to admit. Poor helpless girl goes trolloping through the woods and is fooled by a wolf, mistaking him for her grandmother and then they both get eaten only to be cut out of the wolf’s stomach by the manly huntsman. Not cool brothers Grimm. And I don’t excuse it because of it’s time…women should never have been looked at that way.

What I do love is how the imagery of Little Red Riding Hood has changed over the years and how it’s now becoming a symbol of feminism. Where the woman takes control. I have a tshirt that I absolutely love of little red riding hood pulling a gun out of her picnic basket and wearing the wolf’s hide as a frock. It’s always refreshing to see things start to come around…though I know that our society still has a long way to go.

This volume of Little Red Riding Hood just took my breath away with every page turn. The art is so amazing and I’m upset that I haven’t been familiar with Daniel Egneus for longer. I bought this book from Barnes and Noble solely on the cover alone (and Heather’s recommendation) and refused to look at the inside of it until I got home to read it. I wanted it all to be a surprise. And what a gorgeous surprise it is.

The text comes directly from The Brothers Grimm so the story has not changed and the unfortunate events of the tale are all still there. But the imagery is gorgeous and paints the women in a beautiful, strong light. I really enjoyed that. Have a look for yourself…and enjoy.

Two Odd, But Good Books

I’m home with a migraine today and I’m medicated enough to be able to look at the computer screen right now, so I thought I’d ACTUALLY write a couple of reviews. I know…haven’t done that in ages. I finished two books last night that I didn’t completely understand, but still enjoyed despite that. They were Light Boxes by Shane Jones and H Day by Renee French.

Light Boxes is full of magical realism and it’s short enough that I could probably read it a couple more times to really grasp it. I know some people that would relate to this book fairly well :p It’s premise is that February has taken hold of a town and won’t let go of it’s grip. All signs of new growth and warmth have disappeared from the town and flight has been banned. Birds can’t fly, balloons can’t sail, the town is a big blanket of snow and children and joy are disappearing from the town. It’s basically neverending, depressing winter.

But the townspeople decide to revolt against February by forming things like light boxes that spread warmth and setting things ablaze for warmth. But February doesn’t go down without a fight. February himself is depressed and doesn’t always know why he’s keeping the town in eternal depression and winter, but he does, nonetheless. I’m afraid this is as much as I can describe the novel to you :/ Great job, huh? lol.

It’s written very well…one of the more unique styles that I’ve ever seen a book have. It’s broken into very short chapters, sometimes a page long, switching between the view of February, town members, lists, and the main character, Thaddeus’ daughter. It’s just….hard to follow sometimes. I caught myself thinking “what?” at times…but somehow still really enjoyed and appreciated the story and the style of the book. It’s filled with moments of quotes that are just pure beauty and imagery that takes your breath away. Like I said…may just need another reading or two.

The other book I read was equally confusing, but at the same time, I could relate to it. It’s a wordless graphic novel called H Day, written by Renee French. It’s best described as an abstract look at migraines and ant infestations. Yes….you read that right. I followed the migraine path more, possibly because I can relate to it. The artist and storyteller BEAUTIFULLY illustrates her struggles with migraines and her struggles with argentine ant infestations on opposite pages…telling two stories at once that blend together to literally form a feeling of panic, inundation, beauty and chaos as you “read” it.

The art in this book was absolutely amazing. The migraine story line resembled (at least to me) the artwork that accompanies Radiohead’s albums. I just loved it. And I thought it captured the feeling of migraines perfectly as we see a faceless man’s head being manipulated, pulled, prodded and tied as the story progresses. I felt Renee’s pain.

The ant story was a bit more confusing…you certainly get the feeling of a takeover…an army launching it’s campaign, as you follow the story line. And the art was just stunning. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Shaun Tan’s art work.

Yeah…maybe I should stay away from reviewing books while I have a migraine :p But this was definitely worth the read and it’s a little book that I’d love to have on my coffee table for people to flip through. Gorgeous stuff. Ok…I’m going to shut up now :/