What can I say about Caren J. Werlinger‘s latest book, “Invisible, as Music,” eh? Gosh, Werlinger can really squeeze your heart, pull your heartstrings, with her stories, can’t she? After reading “Bittersweet Garden” and “When The Stars Sang,” I knew Werlinger would give me yet another thought-provoking, heart-gripping, gut-wrenching story about the human condition – the wonders, fragility, strength, power, vulnerability of it – in her own unique voice, which, I must say, always carries a certain spiritual undertone. And, I was not wrong because “Invisible, as Music” was absolutely captivating from start to finish, with some memorable moments I’d not soon forget!
Firstly, the title. Not knowing its origin, I was immediately intrigued because…music. Anything about music always perks my curiosity. And to add the word “invisible” to it… I don’t know but it immediately gave me this feeling of mystique. Invisible, as music… It’s so lyrically poetic. ‘Nuff said.
I love Nicole Pyland‘s writing so obviously I’ve read all her books and won’t miss any future ones. So when her latest, the post-epilogue finale her San Francisco series, “What Happened After…(San Franciso Series, #4),” came out, I quickly devoured it.
I must say, I like and enjoyed this series finale much more than the Chicago series. I was a little tentative at first because of the Chicago post-epilogue series finale. But then…I literally whooped in delight when I discovered that all 3 post-epilogue updates of the 3 pairings from the SF series (Books 1-3 – Keira/Emma, Joanna/Macon & Hillary/Amara) had….NO BABIES!!!!!! Thank bloody Christ!! I mean, I was truly baby-ed out from the post-epilogue “What Happened After…(Chicago Series, #4)”, if you must know. This one though, I was chuffed to bits finding out each couple’s married life and their future’s trajectory did not include tiny humans at all!! Phew! What a fabulous and delish surprise for me! Sigh of relief! **Why? Because not every lesbian couple’s future has to be about babies, you know what I mean?** So, cheers, Ms. Pyland!
*This commentary applies to all 3 installments of “21 Weeks” (Weeks 1-7, 8-14 & 15-21)*
How do you catch a perfect killer?
R.A. LaShea‘s tour de force of a serial crime saga, “21 Weeks” that spanned out in 3 7-week installments, is prolly the best constructed and executed crime procedural series I’ve ever read in any fic yet! Thanks to an enthusiastic recommendation from one of my GR mates (Cheers, Farah!), I grabbed a copy and never looked back! My goodness! It was like watching the entire case on-screen! So meticulous. So methodical. So absorbing and addictive. In fact, LaShea’s design of the entire case is so ready to be adapted from book-to-screen. imho! “21 Weeks” is truly one of the most original serial crimes created, what with the types of killings constructed and the methodology of solving it.
First off, I was immediately drawn to the aesthetic structure of LaShea’s presentation of her story – dividing it into weeks. Reminded me of the TV series, “24,” but instead of every episode representing one hour, this one was by week. And in each week, starting from “Week 1,” the story began with the day, the location and the time, reminiscent of the TV series, “Law & Order.” With this technique, I discovered that my brain was processing my reading of each Week as if it were a week instead of my usual reading time of x minutes to finish a chapter (Week). In essence, the constant display of the day and time on the pages tricked my brain into slowing down the reading time lapse to match LaShea’s. I can’t explain it any other way, so if you think I’m bonkers, maybe I am! Ignore this! Anyway, it literally brought Beck and Co.’s entire investigation of each homicide to life, for me, making my experience much more acute! In addition to this effective structure of presentation, one of the best bits was that I felt like LaShea gave me, the reader, the opportunity to work through and determine the killer’s modus operandi myself rather than spoon-feeding me, you know? Simply brilliant!
I was dead chuffed to read Max Ellendale‘s latest outing, “Hart & Stocker,” because I knew I’d be immersed in the world of pure lesbian romance wrapped in emotional and psychological narrative that only Ellendale’s innate skill in characterising such an experience could achieve. An experience that would once again take me to the depths of the human condition where love, falling in love, true love would be stoked, flourished before emerging as the source of hope and positivity just when everything seemed unbearably dire. I was not wrong. Once again, Ellendale’s flair in weaving a tale of romance soaked in emotional psychology has churned out another compelling, deeply heartfelt story that made me think, feel and reflect on what it means to love completely – absolute trust, unbreakable safety and security, unflinching support – in every sense of the word. Needless to say, “Hart & Stocker” was another captivating study in the resilience of the human spirit when true, complete, unwavering love seeps into the soul. The running theme in this story? Safety.
With a track record of creating original, uniquely different (than the usual cookie cutters), and always provocative stories in all her lesfic books, thusfar, including her last one, “Bitter Sweet Revenge,” a brilliantly written story that was starkly personal and emotional, which resonated deeply, I expected nothing less in Donna Jay‘s latest piece, “Arms Wide Open.” Once again, Jay has proven to be a consistent rebel with a cause in the world of lesfic writing, with yet another original and provocative relationship story with a subject matter that’s rarely talked about, let alone featured in lesbian romance. Not only did she portray the relationship with realism, the subject matter was weaved into the psyches of the two MCs with grounding authenticity. Needless to say, the story left me totally inspired with eyes wide open in awareness, understanding, appreciation, utter satisfaction! A whole new perspective has been achieved. Truth be told, I’ve never come across anything like this extraordinarily told story in lesfic before. Bloody well done, Ms. Jay!
After finishing Stephanie Ahn‘s debut and Book 1 of her Harrietta Lee Series, “Deadline,” literally in a blink of an eye (novella length only), that left me wanting more (Harry’s ongoing adventures plus a certain demon!), I had to read Book 2 right away! Plus, I was dead curious about Ahn’s sophomore writing and storytelling skills. Needless to say, I devoured it at top speed and came out of it totally and completely entertained, satiated, satisfied, and more inspired and thrilled than ever! Ahn is most definitely a talented writer and tale-spinner of the wildest, most daring, uninhibited and imaginative kind in the world of urban fantasy!
“Bloodbath.” Yes, that’s the word Ahn used to title the 2nd installment of her Harrietta Lee series. And yes, it means what it means, literally and figuratively, and she made no qualms about it, whatsoever, in bringing that title to life in weaving the sequel to Harry’s adventures as a disgraced blood witch earning her keep as an “unofficial” P.I. in the streets of New York! Ahn definitely nailed the “sequel” formula perfectly, imo: BIGGER. BETTER. MORE. Much, much more.
Who is Stephanie Ahn? What is Harrietta Lee series about? Truth be told, I had no knowledge, whatsoever, about the existence of this author, let alone her series! That was until Lex‘s review of “Deadline,” Book 1 of Ahn’s Harrietta Lee series, showed up on my GR timeline recently! At first glance, the cover threw me a little bit because it looked like a manga book. Why? Because having been a fan of manga since I was a kid, I never thought I’d see the day where there would be manga in lesfic! Hence, my initial double-take! Then almost immediately, I was curious as to how this could be in lesbian fiction! See, when “Legend of Korra” finally gave us Korrasami, I finally dared to hope that manga would expand into lesbian fiction!
*Ha! I finally found a good reason to include Korrasami images on my blog! Fancy that! If it weren’t for the cover of this book and writing style, I prolly wouldn’t find any rhyme or reason to! So, cheers, Ms. Ahn!*
So far, though, I’m still a little “obsessed” with Korra and Asami so I haven’t actually actively looked for others in manga so I don’t know what the current situation is.
Oops, I digress!!!
Back to my point…. and I DO have one, mind! Wait…
OK, so back to Ahn’s “Deadline.” First and foremost, it’s NOT manga. Well…I’ll get back to this in a bit. Anyway, at Lex’s mention of a demon girl, Lilith, that was it. With my curiosity already spilling over because I kept wondering why the book cover was in manga art form, and now a demon girl in the mix?! I just HAD to read to find out more!