Monday, September 22, 2014

Ardent Reader of Romance Books Updated

Would you look at my bookshelf there near the floor. If you compare it to the picture on my previous posting of the Ardent Romance Book Reader in the year 2011 you could be shocked to realize how much has happened in the book industry world since then. I certainly was.

In three years we have been gifted with eBook readers, like iPads and the Kindles and what has happened to our bookshelves? That there in the picture is the grand total of my romance books left on the shelf. The rest have been given away or boxed for future reading pleasure. I do like checking my boxed every now and then, maybe every few years. It is like wrapping presents to see what you have got and reading them again.

Well, let's think what has happened in the book industry, since I last posted a list of my favorite books.

First of all, the writing of the eBooks has escalated with the self publishing becoming a norm. Everyone can now write a book. The possibilities are enormous. Not ever in the history has there been so many books written than right now.

Did you know that the same amount of information that was previously produced from the dawn of time to 2003 is now produced in two short days due to the World Wide Web.The context is the king as they say in the marketing world.

Every book genre has gone through a massive change, be it because the game has changed with the digital publishing or be it that the mindset has changed. Certainly in the Romance Book genre the critical mass for writing hard core sexual images was reached with the publishing of The Fifty Shades Of Cray and its followers. The play field of the a romance books has changed from nice to naughty. It can clearly be experienced by the ardent readers of romance.

This doesn't mean that the quality of the books has gone down. On the contrary, the competition and the social media marketing has really made it imperative for the authors to sharpen their pens or minds in order to create more elaborate plots and more varied themes to arouse and interest the audience to grave more and more. And that we do.

Now that everyone byes everything online through iBooks, the and the Ellora's Cave it is much easier to enjoy more descriptive plots than before. Just like uTube and porn, it is now possible to buy whatever we want from the comfort of our home without having to have a restrictive fear of having to display the item for anyone. We just download it directly to our electrical device. And who cares that the data gathering, hungry digital search engines and marketing research is able to trace our every transaction to aid in the next marketing plot.

So, why am I talking about this in the posting about updating my favorites book list. That is because I now have to consult my own iBooks to see what books I enjoyed and I bet there is a few covers that I would not like to display on my bookshelf in the printed form. Hence, the bookshelf has nearly disappeared.

However, since the 2011, I have truly found that the series on any book genre are thriving. Christine Feehan now tops my fantasy writes list. Her Dark series was given to me as a present not long ago. It is so cool to be able to start with the book number fifteen and proceed forwards and backwards as you please. My daughter is having a heart attack on how I break the rules.

So here it is. My updated list:

1. Fantacy:
J.R.Ward (2005-) The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, Piatkus (12 books so far)*
Linda Howard & Linda Jones (2010) Blood Born, Ballantine Books*
Kathy Love (2006) Fangs But No Fangs, Brava Paranormal Romance (part of series of 4 books)
Christine Feehan (2001-) Dark series (22 books so far)* iBooks

Rhyannon Byrd (2008-2012) The Primal Instinct Series, HQN (6 books)
Rhyannon Byrd (2012-2014) Dark Wolf series, iBooks
Linda Howard, Linda Winstead Jones & Beverly Barton (2008) The Raintree Trilogy, MIRA*
Nora Roberts (2006), The Circle Trilogy, Piatkus
Sharie Kohler (2008-) The Moon Chasers Series, Pocket Books Paranormal Romance (4 books)
Lora Leigh (2005-) The Breeds Series, Berkley Sensation Paranormal Romance (8 books)

Christine Feehan (2010-) Leopard sifters series (4 books so far), iBooks
Cynthia Eden (2010-) Bound series (4 books so far), iBooks
Cesilia Kyle (2011-) Ridgeville series (6 books so far), iBooks
Mixed paranormal:
Laurann Dohner (2010-) New Spices series (8 books so far) iBooks &Ellora Cave

2. Contemporary:
Linda Howard (1995), After the Night, Pocket Books Fiction*
Linda Howard (2001) Open Season, Pocket Books Fiction
Linda Howard (1996) Shades of Twilight, Pocket Books
Linda Howard (1997) White Out in Upon a Midnight Clear Anthology, Pocket Books (Novella)*
Linda Howard/Linda Jones (2013) Running Wild, iBooks
Nora Roberts (1998) Homeport, Jove Fiction
Rebecca Brandewyne (1996) Dust Devil, MIRA
Fiona Brand (2000) Cullen’s Bride, Silhouette
Fiona Brand (2002) Blade’s Lady, Silhouette*
Miranda Lee (1998) The Boss’s Baby, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Emma Darcy (1999) Having Leo’s Child, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Suzanne Simms (1992) Not Her Wedding, Silhouette
Margit Sandemo (1982) Yli kaikkien rajojen, Oy Kirjaviihde*
Catherine Spencer (1998) The Secret Daughter, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Sandra Brown (1988) Slow Heat in Heaven, Warner Books*
Sandra Brown (1984) Bittersweet Rain, Warner Books*
Jayne Ann Krentz (2000-2002) Eclipse Bay Trilogy, Jove Fiction
Peggy Moreland (1997) Rugrats And Rawhire, Silhouette
Susan Napier (1998) Honeymoon Baby, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Donna Alward (2014) Little Cowgirl on His Doorstep, iBooks

3. Humourous:
Susan Mallery (2001), Married for a Month, Pocket Star Books*
Marion Lennox (2004) The Last-Minute Marriage, Harlequin Mills & Boon
Marion Lennox (1999) Marrying William, Harlequin Mills & Boon*
Marion Lennox (2014) Waves of Temptation. Her 100th book, iBooks
Barbara Daly (1999) Great Genes! Harlequin Mills &Boon
Jennifer Labrecque (2000) Andrew In Excess, Harlequin Mills & Boon*
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (1997) Nobody’s Baby But Mine, Avon Romance
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (2001) This Heart of Mine, Avon Romance*

4. Suspense & Mystery:
Elizabeth Lowell (2006) The Wrong Hostage, Avon*
Elizabeth Lowell (2001) Moving Target, HarperCollins
Nora Roberts (1998) The Reef, Piatkus* (Suomeksi Angelikan kirous)
Linda Howard (2000) A Game of Chance, Silhouette
Linda Howard (2005) Killing Time, Piatkus (Sci-Fi)
Linda Howard (2013) Ice, iBooks
Jasmine Cresswell (2000) The Inheritance, MIRA
Jasmine Cresswell (2000) The Refuge, MIRA
Brenda Novak (2012-2013) Inside, In Close & In Seconds, iBooks

5. Historical:
Margit Sandemo (1997), Ritarin Tytär, Oy Kirjaviihde*
Jasmine Cresswell (1980) The Blackwood Bride, Harlequin Mills & Boon*
Sophie Jordan (2006) Once Upon A Wedding Night, Avon Historical Romance
Susan Sizemore (1994) My First Duchess, Diamond Books
Susan Sizemore (1992) Wings of the Storm, Diamond Books (Time travel)*
Linda Howard (1992) The Touch of Fire, Pocket Books
Kathleen Woodiwiss (1977) Shanna, Futura
Marlene Suson (1997) Scarlet Lady, Avon Historical Romance
Julie Garwood (1996) The Secret, Pocket Star Books*
Julie Garwood (1997) The Wedding, Pocket Star Books
Julianne MacLean (2009-2014) Pempro Palace series, iBooks

6. Erotica:
Pepper Winters (2013-) Twisted series, iBooks
Tillie Cole (2014) It Ain’t Me, Babe (1st of series), iBooks
Sommer Marsden (2012) Light Flirting, iBooks

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

About Becoming a 'Key Person Of Influence' (KPI): A review of the seminar held in Brisbane, Australia, on the 5th of September, 2014

Have you ever wondered how to quickstart your new entrepreneurial venture? Is it sometimes hard to try to structure your thoughts and get a clear picture of something you know so well, but just cannot quite get right? Well no worries, join in the KPI phenomenon.

It is extraordinary what happens to you when you are inspired. It is a great feeling to experience how the synchronicity starts forming itself and how your thoughts change, new ideas just keep popping up and the momentum starts building for your projects, your company or whatever you are focused on. On Friday the 5th of September, I truly felt like being in the right place at the right time is a key to experience something great.

Namely, I was privileged to attend the Key Person of Influence seminar at the Brisbane Convention Centre, hosted by Glen Karlson and featuring partners like Matthew Michaelewicz, Andrew Griffiths and Valerie Khoo, all bestselling authors and creators of lucrative business models, in software, marketing and writing.

A seminar really can help you to take that one step you need to push yourself from indecisive and shy attempts of forming a plan to a clear focus on what you need to do in order to reach your goals. The KPI event did just that.

It was all about delivering value to the audience who was hanging on every world. My brain was really feeling like busting it barriers. I literally felt it expanding. Who knew that it could do that.

Honestly, I was prepared to encounter someone who would really easily and clearly explain to me what was going on in the world right now and how I could navigate the pitfalls of the new technology and skyper age without blowing my brain up with the effort to do so.

Turns out the answer is in structuring your thought patterns, creating a functional model around your ideas and focusing on the micro-niche of your own passion. WoW! I was really with the like minded people in that seminar. What could I do with this new realization?

Well, according to Daniel Priestley's book Become a Key Person of Influence (which I immediately read afterwards) it is to use your vitality to enhance your changes of getting things done. It is a well thought 'five-step sequence', including the perfect pitch, publishing a book, creating a product, profiling yourself and finding those great partners to enhance your power.

A great, great seminar. And it is not the end as I keep getting emails with more information, more videos, more suggestions and what is even more; I am joining the next step in their 'Discovery Sessions' to explore my hidden possibilities to participate in this new way of looking into the world we live in right now. So, stay tuned. There is more .....

Go to to find out more or buy tickets to their future events around the world.

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Binocular Vision on 'Quintessentially Q' by Pepper Winters

"A society is not a static thing, an object, a single entity. It is a system, an ever-changing network of interlocking relationships wherein the whole is - and sometimes qualitatively different from - the sum of its parts." (Starhawk, 1982)

I just finished downloading the third book in the 'Monsters in the Dark' series by Pepper Winters. It is called 'Twisted Together'. I am actually stalling my eagerness to read it as I am still thinking about finishing this blog on 'Quintessentailly Q', which is the second book in the series. So, I better get into it before tangling the third one.

I must say that it is not very often that when you read a book in the genre of romance, although BDSM, you find yourself challenged to analyse the underlying culture that the book springs from.

Already her first book 'Tears for Tess', invited me to look closer to the popular culture behind the narrative than just entertaining myself. Just scroll back to a previous blog posting. This one is the continuation to it from a more literary angle.

In her second book, Pepper Winters (what an excellent name for an author) certainly is 'dreaming the dark'.

It starts from the attitude. That attitude might challenge the reader to reacquaint her/himself with the original Thomas Hardy classic about a maiden with a same name, in a controversial situation with her Victorian society. She was a good girls at that, just like our Tess. A girl with understanding of what is considered right action. A girl with a strong will.

I remembered very little of the book from my university days, except the fact that I failed the test question about the name of her son, Sorrow. I remembered it was Misery, which would have been quite fitting as our Tess certainly is in such a situation for the most of the 'Quintessentially Q'.

Quincy, on his part in on the hunt, like what we all enjoy the type A males are supposed to be, protecting their possessions, their women from other type A criminals. It reminds me of the 'Deer Hunter' or maybe the moose hunt, all blood and core.

I certainly remember what goes down on a hunt. It was part of my childhood in Lapland. The real life hunt, where men stalk the moose for hours, maybe days, even weeks, kill them with one shot and bond over letting and tasting the blood and cutting the meat. Our lust for primitive hunter instinct must come from that long gone excitement of hands on hunting and providing. Pepper winters can really make the reader react to that. It is fearsome.

The moral dilemma of the book is clear cut, a man's deeper instinct versus decency and high morals in acting the right way in our civilized society. It is also about the underlying system that is not so clear cut but more about what is the driving force at any given moment to get what you want.

In our society it is money and power. And what is the most profitable trade in our world today? It used to be prostitution and pornography but human trafficking has overtaken that dubious honor in the last decade. What is that saying about our world?

So, I got up and picked a few of my most favorite feminist non-fictional classics off the bookshelf.

'Dreaming the Dark' by Starhawk was one of my absolute favorites. The appendix of her book still presents the most striking academical analysis of the medieval society that produced the witch hunts as a way to qualify the rightfulness of the Church's violence against those who opposed it's power. It also was the way to illustrate the hate of women in a deeply sexual way as a system of power over and man representing the emerging rational scientific way of life over the natural organic way of women's lives.

'Malleus Malificarum', the book on how to recognise witches is a perfect example on how that violent practice lead to a violent culture supported by the majority.

In her book 'The Death of Nature', Carolyn Merchant dissects the medieval and through the renaissance society in changing from the natural order to the mechanical frame of mind which supported the modern power over cultural framework.

What I remember from 'Gyn/Ecology', a controversial book by Mary Daly is my utter shock in realising the multilayered violent cultures in our world. She described it as a 'House of Mirrors', where the violence is reflected from each wall resulting in total confusion about what is right and what is wrong action.

So, what is the popular literature trying to say to us about today? How is the modern romance literature depicting our deeper fears? How is this mirroring our life? Is it just that while the deeper animal instincts are getting the better of us, we are trying to prove that in some cases this overwhelming violence can be overcome by decency and grace.

Well, that is what 'Quintessentially Q' is telling me in its way of handling the storyline. It is giving me hope in that someday it is possible to change the violent culture and heal the ever widening gap between right and wrong action. We might even need books like that to work through the real life confusion and the real fear about our own safety in this seemingly secure world.

I am still reluctant to start the third book. What if she is making it worse? Well, never mind, the show must go on and the authors must play by the rules.
So, see you at the other end of 'Twisted Together'.

References beyond Quintesentially Q:
Daly (1981) Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism.The Women's Press
Hardy (2013) Tess of the d'Urbervilles. iBooks. (First published in 1891)
Kramer & Sprenger (2011) Malleus Malificarum. iBooks ( fist published in 1437)
Merchant (1980) The Death of Nature; Women's Ecology and the Scientific Revolution. HarperCollins
Starhawk (1982) Dreaming the Dark: Magic, Sex & Politics. Beacon Press

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Contemplation on Upcycling: How to make used aluminum cans into pretty and useful things.

This year I have had some time to contemplate on how to engage myself in contributing into ecologically intelligent action.

Have you ever thought how much effort goes into designing and producing pleasantly looking aluminum cans for those who want to drink, whatever they now want to drink, out of them? It's a huge effort.

Instead of just dumbing the cans into rubbish or recycling them into new cans we should maybe appreciate the variety and use this already well though out resource by making something even prettier or useful out of them.

Used aluminum is very versatile material. Once you get over the safety issues on how to cut the cans without cutting yourself into useful bits, sky is the only limit to what you can use them for in crafty projects.

Making roses out of the cans, for example is one of my favorite means for relaxation. Just adding a layer upon layer of petals and bending the metal to my liking produces a pretty flower and besides fills me with happiness and a feeling of accomplishment.

For example IKEA sells a very useful product that can be used to store all the equipment for a crafty person. I keep all my sharp knives and other items there so that they are out of the reach of my grand children. I also have a traveling bag in order to carry my basic equipment everywhere where I go.

You never know where you can find cans and the best way to carry them with you is by cutting them into flat pieces. You can use some heavy books to flatten them. After that, they will go easily into suitcases and bags.

For a craft enthusiast, suitable materials can be found anywhere. Big festivals are a marvel for those who want variety. People drink but do not want to clean up. You can contribute by cleaning the place and choosing the ones you want for your own products.

Most of my friends know that I love making things out of cans, so they save me their cans and sometimes I have quite a few. Then I need to come up with new ideas on what to make out of them. In itself, that can be a quite a challenge.

I have found out, though, that the Internet is the best ever companion on how to find new ideas. Pinterest is just full of them. There are so many blogs that are devoted to DIY recycling ideas that a genuine enthusiast won't be short of them.

So, why not join the crowd and start upcycling with those who are already doing it. You could start by liking my Facebook page at

And most of all enjoy the relaxation such a lovely hoppy can bring.

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