This is a Good Book Thursday, July 27, 2023

If all has gone according to plan, I am now on the road to PA. (HAHAHAHAHAHA, according to plan, HA.). I did read a good book this week, great until I got to the end and it was a cliffhanger. SO ANNOYING. There’s a sequel, and normally I’d be all over it, but a cliffhanger . . . eh. Bob and I tried really hard not to do that in Lavender, but with a series, I understand wanting a bridge to the next book. But just a bridge, not a damn cliff. And the bridge should be that you want to see these characters and setting again, not that you need to find out who was in that surveillance footage they just found. Grrrr.

What did you read this week that didn’t make you Grrrr?

132 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, July 27, 2023

  1. Uh, was that actually a serious question, Jenny?! What do you think we read!?! Such modesty.

    Happy happy joy joy. Instant comfort read. Thanks Jenny, thanks Bob. Would recommend. Can’t wait till next month.

    1. This was EXACTLY what went through my head! Started last night, I’m about 60% through – plan to finish it this afternoon at my hair appointment.

    2. Uh, yes, Lavender’s Blue is my read this week. That and “The Seven Year Slip,” which I haven’t finished yet so no review. I’m not sure what to make of it. The heroine lives in an apartment which randomly goes back in time seven years so that you can meet the previous renter, who she falls for, then runs into in her own timeline now that he’s a big name chef.

  2. Although I did actually also read a comforting novella, If Found Return to Hell, by Em X. Liu about a worn down, emptied out despondent trainee wizard cog in an endless call centre wheel who somehow hasn’t lost the desire to rescue people damnit. (Which admittedly sounds like everyone’s favourite non-murdery bot construct, but much sweeter vibes). And it’s short and intentionally comforting without being cloying (I’m looking at you, Midnight Library). Also recommended.

  3. I assume that we are all reading Lavender’s Blue. Have patience with me, I am a slow reader.

    I also listened to Dine With Me by Layla Reyne which was recommended here. It was very sweet and emotional, just good people figuring out life. And the author did a lot of research, which is always impressive.

    And now I am listening to Trisha Ashley, A Good Heart is Hard to Find, which is fun.

  4. I read Woman Eating by Claire Kohda which felt like (in a good way) Sally Rooney writing a vampire novel. I devoured it in one long sitting, yes I see what I did there. Dry, quietly melancholy, hilarious. Totally recommend.

  5. I read more KJ Charles and guess who?
    Left a raving rec on Amazon of course and I can’t wait for the next one!
    Thank you Jenny and Bob.

  6. I read your book, Jenny, and posted a review titled: “Fun, sex, romance. And guns. And teddy bears.” I think that says it all. I wanted to add “No zombies” but that might be confusing. It’s the only review in Canada so far so it’s now on the Far North. Thank you and Bob for a delicious read.

    I also listened to PS I Spook You, a terrible title for a not bad book by SE Harmon. Cold case murder mystery and M/M romance, where the FBI agent working with the police also has a sixth sense and sees ghosts. He’s a great snarky narrator. It’s a series so I’m going to settle in to enjoy it.

  7. The latest Psy-Changeling, Resonance Surge, and the latest Jennifer Crusie/Bob Mayer!!! Your naming convention has me VERY WORRIED for the second book

  8. Last week I read a book I wasn’t sure about until the halfway mark, when I was riveted. I ended up LOVING it. The book was “Romantic Comedy,” by Curtis Sittenfeld.

    I know it’s been reviewed here, but I can’t recall by whom. Whoever you were, thank you! This was a book that I had on hold at the library for a long time (it was clearly a very popular new book) and was looking forward to. It begins during performance week of a TV series that is basically Saturday Night Live, but under another acronym. It’s been so long since I was awake late on Saturday Nights that I was very sketchy on exactly how it went, what was the order of sketches, how they used each week’s guest host and so on — and this was the focus of that first half, so I was fairly uninterested because I was so uninformed.

    It was after an abrupt end to the good vibes between the lead writer and a guest host that I began loving it. The two begin corresponding, and that’s where the honesty begins to come to the fore, and I love honest conversation. Plus both characters have done a lot of very personal self-exploration, and that is precisely what I love honest conversations to focus on. I couldn’t put the book down from that point on, and would recommend it to anyone — or at least, anyone familiar with the framework of an SNL-clone television show. Because otherwise it could get pretty opaque.

    1. Plus I’m waiting for another book to arrive in the mail, with a title full of colors — that one I expect to love love love as well…. 🙂

    2. I loved Romantic Comedy too! Been a fan of CS since her first book. She does not disappoint. Started LB last night on iPad as it did not pop up on my Kindle (vacation WiFi snafu) where I’m rereading Mary Balogh Huxtable series. Also in the queue the new Laura Lipman, after I finish the new Bob & Jenny!

    3. I recommended it a few weeks ago and read it a second time recently in order to enjoy the backstage details of the SNL’like show. As someone said today, I so appreciate it when an author doesctons of research.

  9. I hate the cliffhanger book ending! Thank you sooo much for not doing it.

    I had been enjoying the “Finlay Donovan is Killing It” series. Automatic preorder for books 2 & 3, but 3 ended on a cliffhanger and so I won’t be buying any more in that series.

  10. I just started reading The Backup Plan by Jill Shalvis. I’ve seen her name quite a bit but never read anything by her. So far, I’m loving it. Funny and snarky!

    1. I like her Lucky Harbor series. There’s a lot of sex, which I skip, but the characters are fun and interesting. I think my favorite is Forever and a Day. The kid who barks, instead of talking, the paraplegic rebel who complicates things, the overworked hunky doctor, and Grace, who is a very resourceful woman, are great characters.

        1. I skim them rapidly most of the time. And there are one or two favorite authors who I’ve stopped reading altogether because the sex has started to outweigh the plot. Makes me sad.

          1. I agree, Deborah. Sometimes I wonder if they are writing sex manuals with a romance plot.

      1. My favourite Lucky Harbour is #3, Head over Heels. I also love her Wilder Brothers series, which starts with Instant Attraction. And if you like animals, you would probably like the Animal Magnetism series. I like the conversations in her books, which feel real and are smart and funny. Her books don’t usually have major angst or rely on a big misunderstanding, but have people who talk to each other. And no assholes. No cliffhangers either.

    2. I will second the Lucky Harbor series, but her stuff gets very predictable after a few sets.

  11. MY NEW GLASSES CAME YESTERDAY! They work, and I can read again! That was a six day turnover, which made my week. Now, I will be ordering Lavender’s Blue and several other books that I have been salivating over. I finished Maybe Next Time with the magnifying glass just before the glasses came. It’s always a satisfying read.

  12. I confess to some shame. Not for reading Lavender’s Blue or Wickedly Wonderful – they are both marvelous – but for finishing neither. Little bits of warm, moist life intervened (did I mention the dehumidifier?) The hydroponic garden, too, cried out for human intervention, or at least attention. Said garden is now down to a single amber mason jar, though up by two dozen pods.

    There are still the serial and a reread of book two of the serial.

  13. I took “Tricked” by Kevin Hearne on my trip last week. There was a lot of time for reading as the flight was delayed by an hour and a half on the way out. So, that got done much sooner than I anticipated. It was much better than the previous entry in the series.

    And yes, when I got home, I started on my Lavender’s Blue. I too read more slowly than others. I’m enjoying it immensely. At one point I thought to myself – hey, this was where Jenny asked a question and I’m reading how she resolved it (beautifully I might add).

  14. I got my copy of Lavender’s Blue, but week after next I go on holiday, so I’m going to save it. Willpower is my middle name.

  15. I tend to be shy about books I’m very looking foward to. Strangely enough it took me ages and only the prospect of the film adaptation coming out in about 2 weeks to finally make me pick up Red White and Royal Blue which I have in e-book AND real book and which kid no. 2 is listening to otherwise I would probably have it as audiobook as well.
    Similar case with Heated Rivalry which also took me AGES to have the courage to read. Similar with Lavendere’s Blue.
    I guess it’s a fear of now liking the books AS MUCH as the legions before me who recommended them.
    Well, suffice to say I LOVE Heated Rivalry and fell in love with Alex (who couldn’t after the New Year’s Eve ball garden scene?).

    At least with RWRB I know what kept me away apart from the too-high-an-expectation-phobia: MCs in high places, billionaires etc just have not much appeal to me. I guess because I usually cannot relate well enough. Well, I got over that street bump eventually here – that I can picture the two guys playing Alex and Henry in the movie certainly helps.

    Apart from RWRB which I have not finished so far, this week I’ve read “Until I saw you” by Dianna Roman about a guy who went blind recently and his live-in VRT therapist, the one a bit grumpy and the other one very shy for relatable reasons. Strangely the second book in a row where one MC had been abused by his ex. Here it’s physical abuse, in Up in Flames by Finley/James it’s been emotional abuse.
    I liked Until I saw you a lot, liked both MCs. Good read, it didn’t rock me off my feet mainly because the end was a bit too sweet for me. But that’s just my overly realistic me. There’s a follow-up coming up in a few days which I will look out for for sure.

    Apart from that I found time to watch Barbie with dh. DS went with one of his pals, both dressed up splendidly. Kid no. 2 also went, not dressed up, but all 4 of us had a very good time. I love Margot Robbie and like Ryan Gosling VERY much, so this wasn’t a surprise 😉

    1. I can be the same about books I am looking forward to. For me, it is also sometimes about waiting to be in the right mood, because I can spoil a perfectly good book with a miserable mindset. Or I hoard them against the time when I really need them, to help fix a miserable mindset.

  16. Three hits this week! Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez, who really nailed the fake relationship trope. Then back to sorting the last couple of dozen titles on my Kindle, so read Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center, an age-gap romance/women’s journey story, which turned out to be a keeper, though I don’t think she’s completely my cup of tea, so won’t be rushing to read more by her. And now Lavender’s Blue, which I’m three-quarters through and enjoying much more than expected – because Jenny & Bob’s previous collaborations haven’t been keepers for me. But Vince is great, and I’m not needing to skip Action Man bits as I did before.

    1. Oh, that’s good. The Action man stuff and gun stuff put me off of previous collaborations. Thanks for that input.

    2. JaneB, there is a movie based on Happiness for Beginners coming out this week. Netflix, I think. I love some Katherine Center books and was just meh on a few others. Sometimes she’s a bit too grim and serious for me. But her writing is great.

      1. Yes: there was something a little worthy/too self-help, somehow – but she does write well, and the character development was good. I’ll look out for the film – thanks.

  17. Finished Barrayar. Cordelia is not a woman to mess with. Onto The Warrior Apprentice after Lavender’s Blue. So far so good, six chapters in. Taking my time reading it in between the stuff of life.

    Have been visiting brother and family, had a marvellous time, I cooked breakfast every morning for twelve kiddos; one year to 18 years, assorted step, siblings, and own children. (One very surly preteen out of eleven, thank heavens.). Every child was polite, thoughtful of one another, older ones were just lovely with the younger ones, except the one. The baby nephew was chill and delightful. The eighteen year old was kind, expressed himself well, interested in adult conversations and played with the younger kiddos. He will be a good man one day. My two nephews married excellent women. One family has become guardians of three younger brothers. My Brother decreed we commit to coming every year.

    1. And Cordelia definitely doesn’t need a man to come to the rescue. Even more amazing when you consider that Shards of Honor was written in the 80s.

      1. Exactly. Cordelia doesn’t need a man and she got a good one. The scene when she returned with the battle prize very satisfying. I wasn’t reading SF/fantasy in the 80s. Life was very busy. I’m catching up.

        1. Such a great scene.
          It explains so much about how people react to her in all the subsequent books….

  18. Read Lavender’s Blue last night and loved it. The bridge is very nice, but now I’ll have to wait three weeks to cross it for Rest in Pink. Thank you Jennie and Bob— I needed this! I hope the move to Pa. is going well.

  19. Huh. I looked at Romantic Comedy by CS and passed on it, maybe I should go look closer. This week’s Good Books obv include Lavender’s Blue, whee, this book is a gift the world needs right now. I don’t know what to say that isn’t spoilerific if somebody hasn’t finished it yet. Also from Maisey Yates, The Rough Rider, Four Corners Ranch series, an age gap MOC where the age gap is an actual obstacle to HEA instead of just steamrolling patriarchy. I also read The Summer of Breaking Rules because it was a bookbub and I needed some light reading. I’d just finished Cat Sebastian’s wonderful Page and Sommers mysteries and summer love on Martha’s Vineyard seemed like a good palate cleanse. Summer of Breaking Rules was a great choice. All in all I have read a very broad range of very good romance this week.

    1. Romantic Comedy was a DNF for me. I enjoyed it for a while, and then part way through, I was done with it. That happens to me more and more these days.

      1. I was on the verge of a DNF, believe me. And then the emailing/ conversation popped up. Changed my outlook completely.

  20. I had a great reading week. Started with Hello, Stranger by Katherine Center about a portrait artist who becomes face blind after a surgery. Then Road to Roswell by Connie Willis a romp with aliens. And finally Lavender’s Blue which I stayed up late to finish. All recommended.

    1. I’m listening to Hello, Stranger. Intrigued so far although there are some things I don’t like about the mc – hope she works them out…

      1. Yes, it’s one of those books where the main character decides to keep hints secret from people which I always find problematic. But the face blindness was very interesting and the gradual build of the love story was nice.

    2. Ooh, I didn’t know about Road to Roswell! Can’t wait to read it, Connie Willis is usually very fun to read!

  21. I did stay up till almost 2 a.m. this morning reading something called Lavender’s Blue…. 😉 #BadDecisionsBookClub. I should save the last few chapters for tonight, but I know I won’t!

  22. I read Lavender’s Blue and so did my wife. Can’t wait for the next, but no cliffhangers.
    Loved it!

  23. I like the way Sherry Thomas does semi-cliffhangers in the Lady Sherlock series — she wraps up all the current book’s issues, and then has an epilogue that sets up the subsequent book, so it’s sort of like when publishers put the first chapter of the next book in the back, and you can read it or not. It makes me want to read the next book without feeling like the current book is incomplete.

    In other bookish thoughts (no new reading this week, haven’t had the focus to enjoy Liz Danger yet) — there’s an interesting blog post at (sf/f publisher) about the changing social media scene for authors/readers, and the gist of it is “What I want is an ongoing, massive, sprawling conversation [about books].” And it struck me that that’s exactly what we have here, albeit on a smaller scale than the blogger was seeking. You can read the post here:

    1. That’s exactly what I thought when I read it, and I don’t agree with her approach to reading very often.

    2. ooh no I hate it when authors do a teaser and call it an epilogue. Often makes me feel the resolution of the current book has been undermined and will cause me to abandon an author. Romance authors used to do it all the time to set up the next MC and it made me so annoyed that I couldn’t relax into the HEA.

      Very interesting to hear it works for you Gin, but I suppose that’s why authors do it – I guess its impossible to please everyone 🙂

      1. Love this community — we can disagree civilly! Agree it’s interesting that the technique affects us differently. I wonder if part of why it worked for me was that I read all the books that had these epilogues back to back, since I started the series after most of the books were already released, so I didn’t have to wait for the next book. The latest book, which was written (I believe) before the author had a contract for more, so presumably didn’t have the plot set in stone, and it will be a while before the next book, has only the vaguest reference in the epilogue to having big plans.

        1. Yes civil disagreement for the win!

          Its fascinating how everyone’s brains work differently and so reassuring in many ways. So many times what someone else loves or hates about a book passes me by and vice versa. And so nice to have discussions that go beyond gushing praise or blind contempt 🙂

  24. Wanted to dedicate time to reading Lavender’s Blue but life intervened and had little reading time. Three chapters in, keen to get back to it but my sister will be visiting and house cleaning and organising and catching up with her likely to make it a slow read for me.

  25. Lavender’s Blue, of course. Started on the plane and finished when I got to my destination. Tremendous fun and I’ll get a review up shortly. I’m so happy you and Bob are publishing it across 3 months like this. It’s wonderful not to have to wait for a year and a half for the next installment.

    I ordered for Liz Danger for Houston area libraries too. They were having trouble with the Axis 360 ebook but they got the paper copies.

  26. Of course! Partway through Lavender’s Blue. 😊

    And I just got to the part about Birdhouse in Your Soul and remembered my daughter giving a blue canary nightlight to my husband as a gift years ago.

    1. I went to Youtube and found the song – didn’t remember it at all until I played it.

      1. Did the same. I’d never heard of it, but I stopped listening to music years ago. (When I stopped commuting, so didn’t need the radio to wake me up. And it was one of my economies.)

    2. And I have now watched several episodes of Invader Zim, and will be searching out Wonderfalls next, based on Liz’s tee shirts!

    3. I got to the Birdhouse in your Soul scene and was so glad to see it was still in there! I remember a very involved discussion on the blog many years ago about how many lyrics you could include without it looking stupid on the page. It was a great moment between characters.

  27. I finished Lavender’s Blue late last night/early this morning. Reading on my phone in the dark because we have no power after yesterday’s storms. And the basement is flooding again. Sigh.

    I read a couple of other things, some of which I enjoyed, but I’m not sure I can recommend them. I heartily recommend Lavender’s Blue though 🙂

      1. Southeast Michigan. We finally got power back this afternoon, but by the time our sump pump started running again we had 18 inches of water in the basement 🙁

        1. Well, like the power but not the flooded basement. I hope you have a good dehumidifier to get the damp out once it drains.

  28. I read Lavendar’s Blue. I loved it! Thank you for writing again.
    I also reread The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and then a number of other books whose names I forget.

  29. Lavender’s Blue is sitting patiently on my kindle, waiting for my weekend off where I will dedicate unbroken time to it. Bring on tomorrow evening.

    I read The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen which, ironically, is exactly what my heart needed this past week. Loved the world, loved the book, will 100% read again. Cozy fantasy but with an edge, and with brilliantly drawn characters.

    I’m now frantically reading Happy Place by Emily Henry which is nearly a week overdue from the library. I’m just over halfway through, and am enjoying it but the constant flips back and forth in time are annoying me. I get what Henry’s trying to do with the format, but the trips back in time are a bit too fragmented for my liking. I don’t think this will supplant Book Lovers as my favourite of her books.

    1. Flashbacks are a plague of the modern age. I used to get annoyed when just one turned up, but now I’m seeing books which are about 50% flashback. It’s rare that they’re used well – to insert valuable information that would only make sense at this point of the book. Mostly it’s just background that the author can’t bear to not tell us in full detail but doesn’t serve the story they’re trying to tell.

  30. As soon as it dropped into my Kindle, I read Lavender’s Blue, of course. A darn good story. Can’t wait for the other two.
    Mimi Matthews’s Appointment in Bath was a nice Victorian retelling of Romeo and Juliet, although not nearly as tragic as the original. Like all Matthews’s books, it has a happy ending, and the conflict between the feuding families springs more from anticipation than from a true confrontation. But I liked it all the more because of its low strife coefficient. Everyone knows I like light and fluffy and dislike tragedy in fiction.
    Amanda Quick’s 2000 novel Wicked Widow was a re-read. Not bad. Quite enjoyable, in fact.
    Her 1990 novel Surrender – another re-read and a sort-of retelling of The Taming of the Shrew – was even better. Both protagonists, Lucas and Victoria, were strong personalities, and their constant clashes of wills were amusing. Somewhat… The only thing that put me off about this novel was Lucas regarding his tumultuous relationship with Victoria as a war. A former military officer, he constantly applies the concepts of strategy and battles to his interactions with Victoria. And because it is a romance, at least according to the author, he is supposed to be in love with her. But is he? I’m not so sure. A war with his new wife over her obedience sounds abusive, not romantic. Even in the 19th century England. Am I wrong? I don’t think we’re supposed to wage war on the people we love. But then The Taming of the Shrew has never been my favorite among the Shakespearean plays.

    1. She was pretty stroppy and self-absorbed, as I remember. But you’re right: it skates on thin ice as a romance.

    2. But that does remind me of Bujold’s A Civil Campaign, when Miles, who is truly in love, plans his courtship as a battle and …blows up his own troops metaphorically speaking.
      One of the funniest and yet most touching romances ever.

        1. I really like Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, but its success really depends on how it’s directed. Kate is a direct, independent woman compared to her sister Bianca — who simpers, teases, plays suitors off each other, and fakes her father’s consent when she marries. The play contrasts Petruchio and Kate’s game of falling in love to Lucentio and Bianca’s trickery in getting married. At the end, of the couples present, only Petruchio and Kate have a happy understanding.

          1. I can’t get past the title. The play itself, I definitely like, but that title is just a total no.

          2. I have a special fondness for it because my DD got to play Kate in her high school Shakespeare club.

            But that last speech by Kate has to be played very carefully

          3. I understand folk’s concern. Historically, the play was often used to glorify beating women and demeaning them.

            I’ve seen some great and some terrible productions.

            I still love it when it’s done right.

  31. I’ve been picking up and stalling out on all these new books, so much so that I was afraid the my ability to concentrate on long-fiction was lost since I’ve been reading so much fan fiction and e-news. Then I picked up Lavender’s Blues and I basically read it in a day, even reading it when I should have been doing work. I love those kinds of books which just takes you over.

  32. I am about a quarter of the way into Lavender’s Blue, and loving it so much. One of the things I really appreciate about your books, Jenny, is that your protagonists have boundaries. I get so sick of romances where the heroine lets everyone walk all over her, and gets into trouble because of it. It’s a huge relief to read a story where the heroine says no and means it, and is willing to walk away, and gets into trouble despite this.

  33. I read Cate Glass’ 1st and 2nd in her Chimera series, also Patricia Rice, the Secrets of Wycliffe Manor. I finished them all, which sounds like faint praise, but I’m a chronic DNF’er these days.

    Lavender’s Blue is waiting for the weekend, when I’m hoping for some quiet time.

  34. I read Lavender’s Blue and liked it a lot. I even put a review on Amazon, even though I don’t usually put reviews there. If I review a book, it’s usually done on Goodreads.

  35. I read Julie Garwood’s Grace Under Fire. Enjoyed it but it went on a bit long at the end.
    And am partway through If Found Return to Hell by Em X. Liu. I need to finish that because Lavender’s Blue arrived today!!!

  36. I’m reading Lavender. The first person POV caught me off guard at first but I adapted.

    I’m going to the library to pick up the new Paul Doiron mystery and that will be good too.

    Now I have to go see what the dog knocked over. Sigh.

    1. I agree about the first person. I wasn’t expecting that and was worried for a bit. But I settled in as well.

      1. I tend to mentally convert everything to 3rd person past tense. I once read about 98% of a book that was in 1st person present and I didn’t realize it until I had to read a sentence out loud.

  37. I read and loved Lavender’s Blue. Eagerly anticipating 2 & 3.

    On Medium where Bob sometimes reviews or promotes – he talked enthusiastically about more of Liz & Vince series and the first 3 Rocky Start books.

    I am so freaking happy!!!

    Except I am also sad about Sinead O’Connor. A week ago I happened on a very scary event that reminded me of her song Black Boys On Mopeds which led to binge listening to that album. When she died I was immersed in her old music and it made her death came as a shock. RIP Sinead!

  38. This weeks’ good-enough-to-reread books: two more of the Tyack & Frayne mystery shorts by Harper Fox, and ‘Camp’ by L.C. Rosen.

    I really liked Rosen’s ‘Jack of Hearts (and other parts)’ which is YA queer romance-ish, so when ‘Camp’ finally went on sale (I am so cheap!!!) I finally got it, and yay good book. It’s set at a queer summer camp. Scenario: repeat-camper theater-kid MC, the POV character, has undertaken a yearlong makeover with the sole purpose of getting one of the camp’s jocks to notice him and ideally fall in love. This is a tropey tropefest in which the adolescent characters are very sharp, observant, culturally clued-in, sexually active, and not quite emotionally mature. To my mind, Rosen captures very well the mindset of an intelligent adolescent who’s aware that there is more to learn but is still the oldest and wisest he’s ever been and therefore feels qualified to make certain decisions.

    I also read ‘A Merry Little Meet Cute’ by Julie Murphy & Sierra Simone, which is about a washed-up boy-bander (M) and a porn star (F) who end up making a Hallmarkesque Christmas movie together. Pretty farcical, loads of graphic sex, funny but exhausting. And finally, ‘Cloud Nine’ by Fearne Hill, M/M set in London featuring a trust-fund brat and his soon-to-be brother-in-law with cerebral palsy. The illness is handled very well, I thought, and the brat amends his behavior fast; relationship development is credible. An ongoing wince at the American character using very British vocabulary and speech pattern. A few sensitive, non-gratuitous sex scenes.

    Anyway, if you like YA, ‘Camp’ is my rec of the week.

  39. Reading Lavender’s Blue and loving it! Have caught some of those typos others have mentioned but nothing that’s throwing me out of the story.

    However, if you guys want a proofreader for the next installment I am willing! I have actually done a lot of proofreading in my life, but not related to the world of publishing.

    Anyway hope you have arrived safely at your new place.

  40. I am now Number 2 on the holds list for Lavender’s Blue. Go, me.

  41. I read and loved Lavender’s Blue. I’m thrilled that Rest in Pink will download in the middle of my vacation.
    Jenny, do you want emails with the typos? No one can find all their own typos. I once kept telling a lawyer that a line in her brief didn’t seem right and she kept tweaking the language and finally I said “no, I think you left out a ‘not’” and she had —and had looked at the sentence maybe 5 times and kept missing it. Your eyes just expect it to say what you know it should say.

    I am also catching up on my Census reading. And rereading Trisha Ashley for breaks. I did read her new book, The Wedding Dress Repair Shop. Enjoyable if a tad formulaic (of her formula).

    1. That’s one of the hardest parts of my job, learning to read the words that are actually there not what I think should be there.

      The speech recognition software picks the wrong words a lot of the time and it’s hard to separate what my ears are hearing from what my eyes are reading. Now and Not are the worst. There’s a huge difference between “the patient’s cancer is NOT metastatic” and “the patient’s cancer is NOW metastatic.”

        1. Actually, that sounds like me and Duolingo. They have exercises where I only hear the statements being made. I find those very difficult.

    2. That was my experience as well. Sometimes people spend too much time looking at something and stop really seeing it. Having another set of eyes looking at the final product is very useful.

  42. I read Lavender’s Blue the first time when the paperback came out and now I’m reading it again in ebook. Because I can. Still excellent the second time around. But this time I’m making a family tree as I read, so I can keep track of all those Blues.

    1. Good grief. This was the second time I read Lavender’s Blue. I knew what was going to happen. I still couldn’t put it down and read til way past my bedtime. Argh!


      Did anyone catch the zombie reference? I laughed til I fell over.

  43. Sigh. Just finished reading Lavender’s Blue and it was like slipping into a bubble bath with scented candles and a bowl of chocolate Maltesers on the side. After so many years without a new book, reading a Jenny Cruise/Bob Mayer book again was like coming home.

  44. It’s 2am here and I just finished LB. I thought I’d just read a bit before bed. Hah. I loved the whole small town craziness but it was the scene with Dave that really got me. It had me in tears.

  45. I still have LavBlu and WicWon open in two different ebook readers, but I’m dealing with interruptions. For example, Netflix has sent me emails about new movies and I can resist anything but temptation. [Oscar Wilde]

    I never thought I suffered from ADOOH, Shiny! What was I saying? Anyway, my newest AeroGarden Aerovoir arrived and I’ve hooked it to Alice and Cecile, the QYO sisters. So far, so good. All the butterhead and romaine lettuces in Alice have sprouted, and one of the chards. The Heirloom Cherry Tomato and the Golden Harves tomato in Cecile have sprouted, too, but it’ll be months before I have tomatoes.

    I didn’t rewire the basement lights around the laundry area, but I did reroute extension cords so that all the lighting now comes from a single light source with a switch at the top of the stairs. But what was I talking about?

    Oh, right. Books. I listened to a couple more chapters of Part-Time Gods, book 2 of the Detroit Free Zone series. I hope I don’t have any more distractions.

  46. so excited to see Lavender’s Blue as one of B&N’s “This Week’s Five Favorite Indie Books.” Yay!

  47. Finished ‘Lavender’s Blue’ yesterday and really liked it. Vince & Liz together are so good. Also loved Molly & Raina & Hurricane Anemone. Also all the feels about Dave.

    Had a couple object-related ‘hmm’ moments but since they may turn up resolved in later books I will (im)patiently wait to read. 🙂

  48. In addition to Lavender’s Blue (loved), and the most recent Pay-Changeling novel (Resonance Surge; loved), and the Jill Shalvis (the autocorrect keeps changing it to Shelves, which is not helpful, although autocorrect is frequently my friend) mentioned above (also fun), I started reading Elderhood, by Louise Aronson (nonfiction). Basically, the premise is that we need to pay more attention to what is, for many these days, the last third of our lives – the years after 60. As a geriatrician, she has a number of anecdotes about not just the broken-ness of our U.S. healthcare system, but about some possible underlying assumptions about treating disease and medical research – which usually does NOT include trials on the elderly, because they have so many additional conditions. But since that’s usually the situation in which any medications are prescribed, it’s sort of a conundrum. It was recommended by a friend well-into his elder hood (93), and I, too, find it very thought-provoking.

  49. This is a bit off topic, but I just watched a YouTube video with a “Collider” interview of Greta Gerwig on career stuff, Barbie movie stuff, etc. I am kind of dying to see the Barbie movie, because everything I’ve read about it sounds fascinating (the feminist monologue! the Weird Barbie of Kate McKinnon! Barbie’s awakening into ‘wait — so this is Real Life?’ and Ken’s uncertainty as to why he’d want to stay overnight with Barbie after suggesting he might like to do so! etc. etc.)

    Anyway, this Greta Gerwig interview felt so very real — it reminded me of the book I recommended way up in this thread (“Romantic Comedy” by Sittenfeld, C). Has anyone here seen the movie? If so, did you like it?

    1. I saw it last night and I’d give it 3 stars, or maybe 3.5. It had quite a few very, very funny moments, and yes, a lot of social commentary. But the feminist story had all the subtlety of being hit around the head with a big pink plastic brick, and the characters were (probably deliberately) very cartoonish. They could’ve done it much better.

      1. Well, I guess a big pink plastic brick bashing was kind of what I was expecting in a blockbuster movie, Greta or no Greta. I don’t think in that setting you could really be subtle. Greta’s interview was talking about the whole process of making a big film with lots of technical challenges that she had no real idea of how to carry off — things like the 50’s-style scenes of actors in a prop automobile sitting still on a sound stage while making scenery cycle past and desert-ground foreground rotate around on a gigantic oval looping machine, and so on. And naturally I loved watching the director of a big H-wood feature film admit to being just terrified of failure, because who (especially a young-ish female) wouldn’t be in those circumstances? I keep really really liking a lot of what I see in Gen Z or whatever we are calling today’s Youth generation. Outrage against hypocrisy, preference for blunt self-expression, and an underlying sense of humor about challenges. Really like them!

  50. I finished Lavender last night and it was so good. Everything felt so crisp and sharp and well written. It was fun to be reading and realize that this scene or that was something we had previewed here. It was so good to be back in Jenny’s fictional world, scary crazy people and all.

    The Dave storyline gutted me and a few times I had to stop and process and take a few deep breaths. The timing sucked given the past couple of months, but that’s a me thing not a book thing.

  51. All I can say is thanks to Bob for the zombies. I hope to see them again. It needs to be an Easter egg in every collab book from here on out.

  52. I had to hurry off to this deserted street to say that I just learned that the actor John Cena is in the Barbie movie.

    He plays a mermaid. Totally straight faced.

    I have to see this movie.

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