maellenkleth: (Music-book)
[personal profile] maellenkleth
One more book, this morning, coming in over the transom from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Volume 150: Geology of Coal; Drifts, Slopes, and Shafts; Methods of Working (in the familiar dark brown quarter-leather binding); a Scranton volume as usual. Copyright 1907 by International Textbook Company; a Scranton volume. All of the individual Papers are copyrighted 1906, so as compared with some of the other volumes we have examined, this is all the New and Modern Stuff (of 1907, anyway).

§ 37: Geology of Coal (with a fold-out map showing 101 coalfields within the United States of America)
§ 38: Examination of Coal Properties
§ 39: Drifts, Slopes, and Shafts
§ 40, § 41, § 42, and § 43: Methods of Working (parts 1, 2, 3, and 4)

There does appear to be some overlap of content with Volume 34 (the London edition), including identical engravings of a miner undercutting the coal-face. All that differs is the figure number assigned to the engraving. Same copyright dates, of 1906, for these papers.
- - - - -

I fear that I shall fall down the rabbit-hole of bibliographic comparison, sooner rather than later. Perhaps it would pay to examine just what was published as Volume 34 (in the Scranton edition). We may be on to something, Dr. Watson.

[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Behold, the penultimate hotel window view for this tour! It’s also the view from the highest floor (I think). Hello, San Francisco.

Tonight! If you’re in Santa Cruz, come see Cory and me at the Santa Cruz High Theater at 7, sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz. It’ll be my first time in Santa Cruz ever. I’m very excited.

Tomorrow! Borderlands Books here in San Francisco! That’ll be at 6. Come see us there if you’re in the Bay Area.

It’s coming to a close, this tour. It’s been great so far, but I’ll be happy to be home soon.

Perseids Watch 2017

Apr. 26th, 2017 03:51 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Come watch the Perseid Meteor shower in rural darkness near New Dundee. This year, the often spectacular Perseids peak from late Saturday, August 12 to early Sunday, August 13, which is to say “conveniently on the weekend instead of the middle of a work-week.”
Read more... )
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Guest Reviewer


The Husband Maneuver

by Karen Witemeyer
May 3, 2016 · Bethany House Publishers
NovellaInspirationalRomanceHistorical: American

This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by Phyllis L. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Romance Novella category.

The summary:

1890s Texas

Marietta Hawkins has been in love with ranch foreman Daniel Barrett since she came home from school three years ago. Unfortunately, her father’s rule about hands not fraternizing with his daughter has kept him out of reach. She believed patience would prove a virtue in winning him over–until now. He is leaving. Starting up his own spread. To have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or lose him forever. Fans of A Worthy Pursuit will enjoy seeing these characters again!

Here is Phyllis L.'s review:

Marietta “Etta” Hawkins is the twenty-one year-old daughter of a ranch owner in 1892 in Texas. She runs the household and takes care of all the woman-slash-house stuff. Her father is extremely protective and warns all his ranch hands not to even think about “making advances” or they’ll be fired. He has fired several men.

Daniel Barrett is the ranch foreman who has been breeding and training mules on the side and is in the process of buying his own ranch. He’s a former bounty hunter and the subject of a series of dime novels about Dead-Eye Dan, which are mostly fiction and which irritate him for glorifying violence.

The two of them have been attracted for years, neither knowing the other one is interested beyond basic friendliness. When the dad and most of the hands go off on a trail drive, leaving Daniel behind to keep an eye on things, Etta decides to take her chance and instead of staying in town with her aunt, gets someone to drop her back off at the ranch to do, uh, stuff. (You know: really important stuff! Honest, Aunt Ada.) Etta’s out there with no chaperone to get a chance to declare her love.

Does she not know that her dad has forbidden the men from flirting with her? I don’t think that was in the story anywhere. Because if she did and she had been trying for years to get Daniel’s attention, she would have known that she was putting him in a bad position, him being so honorable and all.

She was juvenile and didn’t come across to me as a twenty-one year old, though if all the men she ever met were ranch hands who weren’t allowed to flirt, she maybe wouldn’t know how to act around men. She had stayed with Aunt Ada in town several times and you’d think there were young men there who didn’t work for her dad. For being an Inspie, there’s no mention of going to church, where she would presumably see male human beings. There are no female friends, either, for that matter.

Daniel is twelve years older and has a great deal of life experience (see: bounty hunter), so I didn’t understand what he saw in Etta. She was pretty and ran the household well, which would be useful to him, but she acted like she was about sixteen (which would have been the age when they first met five years ago. And I hadn’t thought about it until now, so I’m a little squicked) (though they’ve only been pining for each other since she was eighteen. Or something.)

Anyway, my point there was that other than how hot she is (and this is an Inspie, so Dan has no fantasies about sex, though his arms ache to hold her and his knees go weak. In the last scene, they’re married and he takes her hair down and they make out on the sofa) I don’t see the attraction from his side.

Also, she idolizes him and reads all those dime novels about Dead-Eye Dan that he hates, so she doesn’t seem to have a clear idea of what there is about him that’s special.

He eventually finds her stash of dime novels and gets mad. She goes all drama queen and sobs that the novels let her “pretend that a part of you could actually belong to me” and immediately gives up her campaign and avoids him. Because of course. It takes him a few days to realize that he’s going to have to make the next move because now she thinks he’s not interested.

OK, so he was going to wait until he had quit working for her dad, but still, he could have said something about how he would court her once he had his own ranch. Once he finally figures it out, her dad walks in on them kissing. OF COURSE. But after he says Dan’s fired, they have a man-to-man talk in which the dad gives permission.

I mostly liked this novella, don’t get me wrong. The series of contretemps and ways Etta threw herself in Dan’s path were amusing. The way he stomped around and acted mad all the time instead of explaining himself went a bit too far into Big Misunderstanding territory, but he’d been hiding his feelings for so long, he didn’t realize the time had come to show them.

I wasn’t convinced she was grown up enough for him. She comes across as whiny and teenager-y instead of growing into an adult who has a chance of understanding Daniel. I didn’t feel convinced that this was going to be an HEA and that Dan wasn’t going to get annoyed with her by the end of their honeymoon.

I’m going to give it a B-.

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Workspace with computer, journal, books, coffee, and glasses.RT is almost here! I’ll also be traveling today as my little baby brother is graduating from college and his Air Force program, then heading off to Texas. Expect lots of blubbering from me. After that, it’s RT time and the Bitches will be here. Hope you can all say hello!


For RT attendees, just a reminder that the SBTB crew is doing three separate events (plus Sarah is doing a gazillion panels).

There’s the SBTB Reader Recommendation Party on Wednesday, May 3 from 2:45pm-3:45pm. Swag and free books! Hello!

That evening, Wednesday, May 3 from 8:30pm-10:00pm, we’re having a casual meet-up at the hotel bar.

Sarah will also be taping a LIVE episode of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books on Friday, May 5 from 4:30pm-6:00pm!

It’s starting to get warming in parts of the world, which means endless articles about how to get a summer beach body. Carrie found this one on how to get a “Regency beach body.”

1. Eat what you want.

Seriously, no one is going to see an inch of your torso or thighs because you’ll be covered by your Regency bathing outfit. Once you step out of the water and into your bathing machine you’ll only be seen by some servants who just really don’t care about the fabric sticking to your wet body because life sucks for the working class.

I feel like I’m already one step ahead then. is giving away FREE ebook copies of Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway! The offer ends today, April 26, at 11:59pm EST.

Sarah discovered these Gender Bias Riddles from McSweeney’s:

A forty-something celebrity actress visits her holiday home on a tropical island. A hurricane strikes, destroying the oceanfront property. The actress manages to escape and save Pebbles, her teacup Chihuahua. Afterwards, she says she feels blessed because all she needs in life is to be with precious Pebbles. No one who reads the news story the following day believes her.

How is this possible?

100% of people who follow celebrity news cannot imagine a childless forty-something actress feeling blessed or fulfilled.

All of them are pretty damn good. They’re funny in a “kind of painfully true” sort of way.

Frixion click pen in blue

Frixion Erasable Pens

I love these pens far more than is probably natural. They write smoothly, they erase for real (yes, way!), and they come in a bunch of colors. I have one with me at all times.

And because the internet can be a wonderful place, people are photoshopping Mr. Bean’s (Rowan Atkinson) face onto pop culture images and works of art as part of a design competition.

Mr. Bean wearing a Captain American costume

Don’t forget to share what super cool things you’ve seen, read, or listened to this week! And if you have anything you think we’d like to post on a future Wednesday Links, send it my way!

maellenkleth: (Default)
[personal profile] maellenkleth
Where your heroine left off in the previous episode, we had just concluded that the old printer was beyond reasonable repair. The three-hour teardown -- proving that point -- afforded insights into the design, construction, and failure-modes of household-grade inkjet printers.


-- darned thing was profoundly-overengineered, to wit: four motors, six drive-shafts, three toothed-belt transmission systems, numerous gear-trains

-- most of the gears were formed of high-density polyethylene (to judge by their embossed recycle-markings), but some of which were made of very slippery polytetrafluoroethylene (commonly: 'Teflon') or more-brittle, hard black acronitrile butadiene styrene (the 'ABS' of which domestic drain-pipes are often made). The ABS gears showed signs of wear: missing teeth, fracturing, nearby accumulations of dry black dust in line with their direction of rotation.

-- drive-shafts were chrome-plated steel rods, ranging in diameter from 4 mm to 9 mm.

-- motors all had cylindrical steel shields around them (RF shielding?), all of which were strongly-magnetised.

-- very little free space within the mechanism, but much free space between the mechanism and the external polished-ABS body castings. External form of the printer did not clearly reflect the shape of the chassis. Hmmmm.....

-- keypad controllers and colour display-screen module were mounted on a sub-assembly board whose connection to the main chassis was via a rectangular header-jack box. Three such header arrays were provided: one (in-use) to the mid-right top of the chassis, one in the centre front top, and one to the left front top. The latter two were blacked-off with flexible plastic multi-pronged caps.

-- the main logic board was on the right side of the chassis. It held a pin-array of six binary rows, adjacent to which were silk-screened tiny-type numbers on the logic board. The numbers started with '520' and proceeded up past '560' to '620'. A jumper block was installed across the pair of pins marked '560'. At the very least, the logic board was clearly meant to serve several models of printers. At the most nefarious state, it might be possible to change the behaviour (printing rate? resolution?) of a model-520 printer into that of a model-620.


-- external body components were fastened by means of one-way prongs, into rectangular slots in the outside surfaces of the chassis.

-- it was possible to pull off the body components by brute force. The prongs, however, were 'guarded' by ridges cast into the interior of the body components, in such a disposition as to prevent the use of a spudger or thin metal spatula to manipulate the prongs.

-- internal fastenings of chassis assemblies were by means of three sizes of self-tapping cross-headed screws, and one size of very finely-threaded machine-screws which bore very narrow cross-headed grooves (I have seen those before in Japanese-made computer-components).

-- most of the electrical connections were by means of flat ribbon cables going into header blocks.

-- ground wires were terminated with screwed-down ring-shaped lugs.

-- ferrites of two shapes (ring and belt-buckle) and six sizes were installed on wires.

-- wires were run back and forth across cast-in-place capstan ridges within the chassis

-- nothing was glued, and I observed no use of thread-lock compounds.

-- all components broke-down cleanly into three material classes: plastic, metal, and circuit-boards (plus/minus wires and cables). I have never before observed such attention to recyclability.

-- as well, plastic components (even the very small pieces) were marked with material codes and recycling numbers.

-- many springs, large and small, tend to want to leap out at your face. WEAR EYE PROTECTION.

Failure mode

-- death by cat hair, basically. The motor which drove the optoencoder for the print-head assembly, and which provided the drive-power to the toothed belt that pulled the print-head back and forth, was covered in ink-soaked cat hairs, to the extent that I could not spin the motor's shaft until I had soaked the optoencoder and nearby gear-trains in enough isopropyl alcohol to get the hairy gunk off.

-- one of the nearby gears was black ABS, which had failed by tooth-loss. Much gear-dust lay in the lands of the adjacent white poly gears.

-- the toothed drive belt was stretched and scorched adjacent to the pinion that drove it.

-- the bottom of the printer was deeply-soaked in (costly!) black ink, which had saturated an array of white felt pieces which were clearly meant to capture such spills.


-- we saved the motors, screws, and springs, and the various jumper-blocks that we pulled off the circuit-boards. Small hardware is hard to find.

-- the gears were in rough shape, not worth keeping. Gear failure would have eventually killed the printer, had it not been for the (ahem!) intrusion of cat hair.

-- as the saying goes, "no user-servicable parts inside." They're telling a fib. There are many repairable sub-assemblies (some of them potentially FRUs) , but to access them will cost severe damage to the printer's case. I must conclude that Canon, Inc. does not want me to fix their consumer electronics.

- - - - -

And there you have it.

I took a series of 'deconstruction' photos, but they shall come in a subsequent post. Dreamwidth's image-importation mechanism is clunky to the point of frustration.
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Dreaming of You

Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas is $2.99! This is book two of the Gamblers of Craven’s series and is a lot of readers’ favorites on account of the hero, Derek Craven. However, some felt the heroine came across as a Mary Sue or “not like other women.” Which camp are you in?

She stood at danger’s threshold–then love beckoned her in.

In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Fielding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven–and into Derek Craven’s dangerous world.

A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from, poverty to become lord of London’s most exclusive gambling house–a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world–with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But here, in a perilous shadow-realm of ever-shifting fortunes, even a proper “mouse” can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress–and a world-weary gambler can be shaken to his cynical core by the power of passion. . . and the promise of love.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks





RECOMMENDED: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken is $2.99 This is a time travel, YA romance and Elyse loved it. She gave it an A grade, but warns of a big cliffhanger. However, the next book just came out!

I loved this book. I loved it so hard my teeth hurt. I could have used a little more historical detail in Cambodia and Damascus (Paris is kind of a pass-through), but so much action was happening there wasn’t a ton of time for it. Part of the reason this book is so unputdownable is that it never stops for the reader to catch her breath. Once Nick and Etta’s quest gets rolling, it’s a great big chase scene throughout history will no pauses.

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks Audible Audible




Mister O

Mister O by Lauren Blakely is 99c! While this isn’t part of a series, it does fit Blakely’s recent format of books that are from the hero’s POV and have ridiculously punny titles. Readers love the pairing of the cartoonist hero and magician heroine. But some wanted more decisiveness from the hero.

Just call me Mister O. Because YOUR pleasure is my super power.

Making a woman feel ‘oh-god-that’s-good’ is the name of the game, and if a man can’t get the job done, he should get out of the bedroom. I’m talking toe-curling, mind-blowing, sheet-grabbing ecstasy. Like I provide every time.

I suppose that makes me a superhero of pleasure, and my mission is to always deliver.

BUT then I’m thrown for a loop when a certain woman asks me to teach her everything about how to win a man. The only problem? She’s my best friend’s sister, but she’s far too tempting to resist–especially when I learn that sweet, sexy Harper, has a dirty mind too and wants to put it to good use. What could possibly go wrong as I give the woman I’ve secretly wanted some no-strings-attached lessons in seduction?

No one will know, even if we send a few naughty texts. Okay, a few hundred. Or if the zipper on her dress gets stuck. Not on that! Or if she gives me those get-over-here-and-take-me-eyes on the train in front of her whole family.

The trouble is the more nights I spend with her in bed, the more days I want to spend with her out of bed. And for the first time ever, I’m not only thinking about how to make a woman cry out in pleasure — I’m thinking about how to keep her in my arms for a long time to come.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks




Lucky Rice

Lucky Rice by Danielle Chang is $1.99! This book has made several cookbook list and readers love the blend of beautiful photos, tasty recipes, and family stories. However, some readers found that a few of that recipes contained ingredients that were hard to find.

O, The Oprah Magazine‘s Cookbook of the Month
Yahoo! Food’s Cookbook of the Week

In Lucky Rice, Danielle Chang, founder of the festival of the same name—which brings night markets, grand feasts, and dumpling-making sessions to America’s biggest cities—feeds our obsession for innovative Asian cuisine through 100 recipes inspired by a range of cultures.

Here, comfort foods marry ancient traditions with simple techniques and fresh flavors—and include a few new classics as well: chicken wings marinated in hot Sichuan seasonings; sweet Vietnamese coffee frozen into pops; and one-hour homemade kimchi that transforms pancakes, tacos, and even Bloody Marys. With a foreword by Lisa Ling, this lushly photographed cookbook brings the fun and flavors of modern Asian cooking to your kitchen.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks




good morning, it's 26 april 2017

Apr. 26th, 2017 01:19 am
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[personal profile] solarbird
I'm overbooked this week; Anna's nasal surgery on Monday went about as planned, but there is much more time-consuming aftercare than I understood, and while this needed to happen, it is a lot of time away from other things. Here's a partial catch-up, with emphasis on fascism and neo-fascist activities.

  • Republican Oversight Leader: Michael Flynn Apparently Broke the Law
  • EXCLUSIVE: Sebastian Gorka’s Ties To Nazi-Allied Group Stretch Back Decades
  • Senate Russia probe flounders amid partisan bickering
  • Senate Trump-Russia Probe Has No Full-Time Staff, No Key Witnesses
  • Macron Victim of Cyber Attack Similar to U.S. Democratic Party’s
  • Donald Trump, Jr., retweeting Nigel Farage endorsing Marine Le Pen. Global. White. Nationalist. Authoritarianism. Movement.

  • A GOP Lawmaker Has Been Revealed As The Creator Of Reddit’s Anti-Woman ‘Red Pill’ Forum
  • And here it is, the NH state rep and founder of The Red Pill talking about why he should get to sleep with underage girls
  • Donald Trump to strip all funding from State Department team promoting women's rights around the world
  • Inside The Online Community Of Men Who Preach Removing Condoms Without Consent

Corruption and farce:
  • House Oversight Committee calls on Trump’s business to prove he’s not violating the Constitution
  • Ivanka Trump adds a chief of staff
  • Report: Trump won't fire Spicer because 'the guy gets great ratings'

  • Gay men detained in Chechnya give accounts of abuse, electrocution
  • President of Chechnya Intends to Eliminate All Gay Men There by Ramadan

And three unsorted:
  • Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Order Blocked by Federal Judge
  • Resilience of the Resistance
  • May Benefits as Britain's Pro-Brexit Party Loses Supporters

It's April 26th, 2017; this is the news )

Movie Review: Your Name

Apr. 26th, 2017 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Carrie S

Your Name is an anime film that has been a huge hit in Japan, China, and South Korea. You could watch it with a keen understanding of Japanese culture and Shintoism, both of which I lack. Or, you could watch it with two middle-school girls at the end of a very long day, with a solid case of PMS. The verdict from the girls: “The movie is pretty, but it’s very confusing.”

The first part of Your Name is a romantic comedy version of Freaky Friday. Mitsuha lives in Itomori, a small town in the countryside. It’s a beautiful but boring setting for a teen, especially a teen who feels pressured to live up to the expectations of various family members.

Mitsuha wishes she were a boy living in Tokyo. When she falls asleep, she wakes up in the body of Taki, a teenaged boy living in — you guessed it — Tokyo. In Itomori, Taki wakes up in Mitsuha’s body. When they fall asleep, they switch back, and so on. Gradually the two work out a system of leaving journal entries on each other’s phones. Taki helps Mitsuha deal with bullies at school and Mitsuha helps Taki get a date.

It’s weird, but fine, until they realize that they can’t call each other (“This phone is out of service”). This is the first sign that things are seriously awry.

Take and Mitsua

Eventually Taki makes a discovery that I will not reveal. This causes the movie to change tone, becoming in turns a mystery movie and a disaster movie. There’s a lot of running and strategizing and freaking out. There happen to also be several heart-rending moments in which characters yell, “WHAT’S YOUR NAME!”

These moments are probably more touching when you don’t have a middle-school girl next to you whispering “ALEXANDER HAMILTON!”

I went in with almost no idea of what the movie was about. Since it has some powerful twists and turns, I’m not going to spoil the plot. I will say, though, that the funny parts are very funny and the suspenseful parts very suspenseful. Periodically Taki and Mitsuha lose their connection and begin to forget each other. These sequences are horrifying and heartrending as they try to hold on to a wisp of memory of “something precious – something I don’t want to forget.” The more fragile the relationship seems to be, the more heavily the participants and the viewer invest in it.

I suspect that this movie would benefit from multiple viewings. For one thing, the plot is not entirely linear. It’s told from different points of view, and there are time skips of several years. However, it’s not as confusing as my teenaged review team suggests. I’m pretty sure I followed it, and with one more watching I’d have it down. In addition to helping make sense of the timeline, multiple viewings would show off a lot of facets and clues – you can tell the movie is layered with details, too many to catch at once.

Taki and Mitsua on a mountain at sunset

The themes of “union” are powerful, and the characters feel real, but the standout quality of this movie is how incredibly beautiful it is. Itomori is a town on a mountain, surrounded by forest, with a lake that is shown at different times of day in all kinds of lighting. Tokyo pales in comparison – but there are details like the blinking lights on a crane and the food in a café that are just lovely. The use of light and space, geometry and shape, reinforces the ideas about the importance of connection in a cosmic sense. There’s a contrast between the small people and the big world that makes connections between people seem more, instead of less, important. See this on the big screen if you can!

Some American viewers may think of anime as an art form involving science fiction and action and fanservice, all of which I enjoy considerably. However, Your Name is an example of an anime that is a character-centered drama with just a touch of the mystical. There are no overt fantasy or science fiction elements except for the body switching. There’s no sex, although Taki’s reaction to waking up as a girl is, inevitably, to start squeezing his/her breasts which gets more and more hilarious every time he wakes up and is inevitably caught by Mitsuha’s little sister. It’s a sweet, sometimes tragic, sometimes happy love story about two very confused teenagers growing up in a beautiful but sometimes catastrophic world. It’s geared towards adults but other than some language there’s nothing inappropriate for children.

Just keep in mind that they will probably react like this:


Your Name is in theaters now and tickets (US) are available at Fandango and Moviefone.


Apr. 26th, 2017 12:18 am
solarbird: justice rains on your face (pharah)
[personal profile] solarbird
Looks like Navbar version 3 might get fast-tracked. Mobile and desktop both. Might even be in next Monday's news post. Excellent.

Surgery Eve

Apr. 26th, 2017 01:44 am
cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
[personal profile] cathugger
I was hoping to write something before the surgery scheduled on the 26th (AKA tomorrow), but I've just been so overwhelmed over the past week. Family problems, paranoia, stress, pain, and all the stuff we have to get done before surgery (much more than I expected at least) have me sitting here with less brain power than usual. Now it's past 1AM, and... I can't even remember what I was going to say. I really wanted to write the past few days, but they're already being pushed deeper into my memory. 

Yesterday I'm pretty sure [personal profile] woofelss  followed through with a last-minute plan to meet up with someone we used to hang out with. Thinking the person has been trying to avoid me, I wasn't sure about the plan, but [personal profile] woofelss  pushed the idea so I'd do something social. After all, he hasn't picked up any negative signs from that person, and I generally trust him more than I trust myself. We also went to a presurgery checkup earlier that day, and getting out of the DC area took two hours longer than expected this time. So we ended up only getting two hours with them, though they both got to see each other for a few hours before I showed up. That should've been fine, but paranoia isn't easy to control. It ended up being fun anyway--just probably spent more time feeling strong negative emotions before + after the event than positive emotions during the event (if my half-asleep words make any sense). I don't know if it was worth it.

Today, I signed a few documents on what is to be done when I am dead or unable to make decisions. [personal profile] woofelss showed up after his classes and is planning to spend the night and hang around the hospital on surgery day. 

Now? I'm exhausted, and I still have more to do. I had to take a shower tonight and will have to take one at about 6AM tomorrow. (Before today, the plan was to leave around 3-4AM, so I just decided hat I wouldn't sleep. Apparently, that's when the doctors who are more aware of my conditions are available. Not sure how I feel about that change. I'll go along with, though.) Then I have take meds at a specific time. Blah, this is starting to look glitchy on my iPPad, so Ill probably just sleep now.
littlereview: (get critical)
[personal profile] littlereview
Dancing Adairs )

We had a crazy Monday and we're going to have a busy Wednesday, so we had a fairly quiet Tuesday doing work at home. We donated Daniel's twin bed to the Salvation Army now that we have a queen bed in that room -- for political reasons they were not my first, second, fifth, or eighth choice, but they were literally the only organization in the greater DC area willing to pick up before the end of May without charging us for the privilege of donating and we needed the bed moved before Adam finishes the semester. It rained most of the day, though we did go to Cabin John Park to take a walk when the rain turned to drizzle.

We watched The Flash, which needs to stop dragging out the Savitar storyline before I no longer care what he does, then we watched the first episode of Genius, which is a little bit too self-consciously quirky but very well acted and quite timely in its depiction of how the rise of fascism depends on both nationalism and denial of facts. Maddy is flying back from California overnight and has to be taken to work when she arrives in the morning, then we're picking up Adam from College Park again for an orientation at NIH and one more visit to the doctor, so we will run around a lot! Flowers from Mount Vernon last weekend:

Verdant Mount Vernon )


Apr. 25th, 2017 05:09 pm
solarbird: (Default)
[personal profile] solarbird
You know you played a good game when your team loses but despite that you get eight votes on your card.

and desktop

Apr. 25th, 2017 05:07 pm
solarbird: (vision)
[personal profile] solarbird
Navbar 3.1 for Desktop.

Both of these include first drafts of design/guideline docs.

navbar 3.1 for mobile

Apr. 25th, 2017 02:08 pm
solarbird: (ART-gonzo)
[personal profile] solarbird
I've given mobile navbar some more thought. Welcome to Navbar 3.1 for mobile: now with swipe chevrons and better previous/next spacing, but without up arrows anymore because they couldn't be made to fit. Also a completely different login bar which will pop up dialogues because the more desktop-like one simply did. not. work. and never would. BUT: it's zero additional clicks as specced.

Pansies by Alexis Hall

Apr. 25th, 2017 06:00 pm
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Guest Reviewer



by Alexis Hall
October 8, 2016 · Riptide Publishing
NovellaInspirationalRomanceHistorical: American

This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by HeatherT. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Long Contemporary category.

The summary:

Can the fully paid-up pansy make things right with the pink-tipped hipster?

A Spires Story

Alfie Bell is . . . fine. He’s got a six-figure salary, a penthouse in Canary Wharf, the car he swore he’d buy when he was eighteen, and a bunch of fancy London friends.

It’s rough, though, going back to South Shields now that they all know he’s a fully paid-up pansy. It’s the last place he’s expecting to pull. But Fen’s gorgeous, with his pink-tipped hair and hipster glasses, full of the sort of courage Alfie’s never had. It should be a one-night thing, but Alfie hasn’t met anyone like Fen before.

Except he has. At school, when Alfie was everything he was supposed to be, and Fen was the stubborn little gay boy who wouldn’t keep his head down. And now it’s a proper mess: Fen might have slept with Alfie, but he’ll probably never forgive him, and Fen’s got all this other stuff going on anyway, with his mam and her flower shop and the life he left down south.

Alfie just wants to make it right. But how can he, when all they’ve got in common is the nowhere town they both ran away from.

Here is HeatherT's review:

There are so many things right about Pansies, and I loved the author’s For Real ( A | BN | K | iB ) so much, that it feels like a betrayal that I did not love Pansies with the same deep and abiding love that I felt for For Real. Although I loved the writing, as I wrote this review I kept seeing more problems with the story and the grade plummeted as a result. The story focuses on Alfie, a man’s man, an “ordinary bloke” from a small town near the Scottish border. Alfie is back home from London for his best mate’s wedding and feeling self-conscious because he recently came out as gay to his family but not to anyone else in town. After accidentally shouting “Gay. I’m gay. I like cock!” at the wedding reception, he decides to go out and find some local action. He picks up a guy, Fen, at a local pub and the two go off and have hot sex. It is only afterwards, when Fen is unaccountably angry, that Alfie realizes that he knows Fen – the two went to high school together. And Alfie was a horrible bully to Fen.

As the story unfolds, Alfie has to come to terms with who he was, who he is now, and who he wants to be. Fen is more settled and comfortable with who he is, but he’s at a difficult time in his life. He has always known that he is genderqueer, so that isn’t a problem for him. He also knows that he has always had a thing for Alfie, even when Alfie was being a horrible bully to him. Fen’s mother recently died, so Fen is dealing with that, giving up his whole life and a serious boyfriend to come back north to try to run his mum’s flower shop, and he isn’t doing well. Into this plonks Alfie. Foolish, naïve Alfie with his messed-up priorities, his narrow understanding, his parochial family who love him but cannot seem to accept or understand his orientation, and his very fancy car.

The story is incredibly well written, with many funny, clever or touching lines and moments. As I read I kept thinking “oh, that would be a great quote for the review.” There is a scene where clueless but ever hopeful Alfie decides to help Fen by fixing a shower curtain rod that they had accidentally pulled out of the wall of Fen’s bath. The hilariousness of Alfie’s incompetence had me laughing so hard I scared my cats.

Alfie is a fully-developed character, even if he is one who we don’t like very much. He’s athletic, good looking and popular. He was viciously mean to Fen in high school, but he remembers it as a casual game – just a thing that guys do. He did all the things that one is expected to do – went to all the popular hang outs, dated girls, became an investment banker in London. His worldview is stunningly provincial – it’s a wonder he even managed to figure out he is gay.

Fen, on the other hand, has always been different. He left the small town, went to London and was a success in theater lighting design – he was an “It” guy in the London scene. A huge problem with the book is the characterization of Fen – we find out the above about Fen only late in the book and only through Alfie doing a Google search. The book is largely written from Alfie’s point of view, and unfortunately that means that we mostly see Fen only as Alfie sees him – as a beautiful sexy fey being and completely one-dimensional. I couldn’t get a clear picture in my head of what Fen looks like, and certainly couldn’t see him as a grown-up man. The cover of the book didn’t help, and the descriptions of Fen as constantly “curling up” in Alfie’s arms emphasized the characterization of Fen as something other than a grown up real person. That was a problem for me, especially because (1) as between the two of them, Fen is probably the better at adulting and (2) I don’t like reading about sex with a person I can’t see as an adult.

This brings us to the end of the book, and the more I thought about it, the more I had a problem with the ending. Alfie enthusiastically pitches in to help Fen make his mother’s flower shop successful. However, Fen’s dad points out that, unlike Alfie, Fen shouldn’t be hanging out in a small town being a florist. Fen should be in London pursuing his art and living his life fully. Alfie sees that he is holding Fen back and he leaves Fen and goes back to London, where he is miserable. After moping about for a while, Alfie’s best friends (who are great characters) point out that Fen is a grown person who can make his own decisions, and Alfie is treating Fen like a child by not trusting Fen to be able to decide on his own to stay in the small town, run a flower shop and be with Alfie. They pile into the car, drive north, all are reconciled and it is HEA.

Let’s think about that, shall we? Let’s say that instead of being a man, Fen was a woman. What would we think of a book where a woman gets together with the man who bullied and physically abused her in high school? Now, in fairness, the grade school bully from my childhood has reformed and I would do him in a stone-cold second, so I can believe that that scenario is possible. However, even if the bully genuinely reforms (and Alfie does), what would we think if that woman gave up her dreams and her calling to stay stuck in a small town where she doesn’t fit, running a business she doesn’t like, all to be with a clodmeister ex-bully?

Where does that leave us? The book is beautifully written, with many fully developed characters (all revolving around Alfie), great dialogue, funny moments, thoughtful insights and a compelling story for one character. I loved how the book avoided cliché and had characters that really stood out as real, complicated people. For example, Alfie’s family doesn’t suddenly accept him for who he is and join in a group hug – his parents are genuinely heartbroken and confused about his sexual orientation – and they remain that way.

This book is about Alfie’s journey. Alfie’s personality, his friends, and his family are all fully realized. Every aspect of his coming to grips with who he was and who he wants to be is explored. His story completes an arc and is satisfying. Even with the ending, the point is that Alfie needs to learn that Fen can make his own decisions and that Alfie should respect him enough to make those decisions.

The problem is that existing solely as the object of Alfie’s story, poor Fen doesn’t stand a chance. Once I left the book and Alfie’s perspective, I could see that Fen’s decision didn’t make sense for Fen. This book would have been a masterwork if Fen’s story had been as developed as Alfie’s – perhaps a sequel? As it is, I have to give it a grudging B-.

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Until There Was You

Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins is 99c! This is a Kindle Daily Deal and is being price-matched. This is also a contemporary romance with a second chance element. Some readers didn’t understand the heroine’s attraction to the hero, while others thought he was a bad boy redeemed.

Posey Osterhagen can’t complain. She owns a successful architectural salvaging company, she’s surrounded by her lovable, if off-center, family and she has a boyfriend – sort of. Still, something’s missing. Something tall, brooding and criminally good-looking; something like Liam Murphy.

When Posey was sixteen, the bad boy of Bellsford, New Hampshire, broke her heart. But now he’s back, sending Posey’s traitorous schoolgirl heart into overdrive once again. She should be giving him a wide berth, but it seems fate has other ideas…

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks




Chase Me

RECOMMENDED: Chase Me by Tessa Bailey is $2.99! I’m a little on the fence whether to call this a contemporary romance or a new adult romance, because I feel like the latter is trying to get its footing as a genre. But that’s beside the point. I thought the book was a quick read and it was fun, silly, and emotional at all the right moments. The hero, Louis, is definitely a beta hero, though some of the book’s events seemed a little unnecessary. If I had to assign it a grade, I’d give it a B.

College drop-out Roxy Cumberland moved to New York with dreams of becoming an actress, but her dwindling bank account is quickly putting the kibosh on that fantasy. To make some quick cash, she signs up to perform singing telegrams. Her first customer is a gorgeous, cocky Manhattan trust-funder if she ever laid eyes on one. And what could be more humiliating than singing an ode to his junk, courtesy of his last one night stand? Maybe the fact that she’s dressed in a giant pink bunny costume…

After a night out to celebrate winning his last case, lawyer Louis McNally the Second isn’t prepared for the pounding in his head or the rabbit serenading him from the front door. But the sassy wit and sexy voice of the girl behind the mask intrigue him, and one look at her stunning face—followed by a mind-blowing kiss against his doorjamb—leaves Louis wanting more.

Roxy doesn’t need a spoiled rich boy who’s had everything in life handed to him on a Tiffany platter. But there’s more to Louis than his sexy surface and he’s determined to make Roxy see it…even if it means chasing her all over NYC.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks





Ruthless by Lexi Blake is $1.99! This is the first book in the Lawless series and features a hero out for revenge. I read this one and found the hero too Alpha for my liking and it’s definitely high in angst. While these aren’t bad things, it just wasn’t what I wanted to read at that moment.

The first in a sexy contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

The Lawless siblings are bound by vengeance. Riley, Drew, Brandon, and Mia believe the CEO of StratCast orchestrated their parents’ murder twenty years ago to steal their father’s software program. And there’s only one way Riley can find some solid evidence…

Heir to the StratCast legacy, Ellie Stratton hires a new attorney to handle a delicate business matter—and she’s shocked by her attraction to him. Over the course of a few weeks, Riley becomes her lover, her friend, her everything. But when her life is threatened, Ellie discovers that Riley is more obsessed with settling an old score than in the love she thought they were building. And Riley must choose between a revenge he’s prepared for all his life and the woman he’s sure he can’t live without…

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks




The Submissive

The Submissive by Tara Sue Me is $1.99! This is an erotic romance with BDSM elements. I’m not sure if there’s a cliffhanger, but this is the first book in a series that follows the same couple. This was originally available online. This book is told from the heroine’s POV and I believe the next one is told from the hero’s.

The first in Tara Sue Me’s seductive and scandalous series that has enthralled millions…

Abby King has a secret fantasy.

New York knows Nathaniel West as the brilliant and handsome CEO of West Industries, but Abby knows he’s more: a sexy and skilled dominant who is looking for a new submissive. Yearning to experience a world of pleasure beyond her simple life as a librarian, Abby offers herself to Nathaniel, to fulfill her most hidden desires.

After only one weekend with the Master, Abby knows she needs more, and fully submits to Nathaniel’s terms. But despite the pleasure he takes in Abby’s willing spirit, the Nathaniel hidden behind the rules remains cold and distant.

As Abby falls deeper into his tantalizing world of power and passion, she fears that Nathaniel’s heart may be beyond her reach—and that her own might be beyond saving…

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks





Apr. 25th, 2017 04:41 pm
mizkit: (Default)
[personal profile] mizkit

I am ALMOST DONE with revisions on BEWITCHING BENEDICT, my little Regency that’s the first of the Lovelorn Lads romance series. It’s a charming, funny little comedy of manners that I genuinely believe anybody who likes my stuff will really enjoy, even though it (*looks furitive, whispers*) hasn’t got any fantasy aspects to it.

The Lovelorn Lads are something of a cross between Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and PG Wodehouse conceptually, in that there are seven Lads who are close friends, and the central character amongst them has a valet who is not only adept at, but necessary to, steering them out of bad marriages and into good ones.

I have *rarely* had as much fun writing a first draft as I did with BEWITCHING BENEDICT, and that’s saying something, because I’m one of those writers who loves writing the first draft and thinks the rest of it is necessary tedium. I’m genuinely looking forward to writing more and I hope everybody’s going to like them as much as I do.

Anyway, with the revisions nearly done, and me with the cover art in my hot little hands, I decided I couldn’t stand to wait another minute and had to show it off. The cover is by Cora Graphics, and the book will be out in…soon! O.O (I want to say June, but that’s probably too ambitious. Probably.)

Cover art: Bewitching Benedict
Young Charles Dalton returns from the Peninsular War with the fond desire to settle back into the bachelor life, but his hopes are upended as the dire news comes that Benedict, one of his favored cadre, must marry at once or lose his inheritance. At the same time, Dalton’s socially conscious cousin Claire comes to London for a Season—but Benedict has already mortally insulted her, and Claire casts her lot with another, leaving Dalton’s beleaguered valet to guide them both into good marriages.

BEWITCHING BENEDICT will be available soon!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)


annathepiper: (Default)
Anna the Piper

April 2017

23 4 5 6 78
9 101112131415
1617181920 2122
2324 2526272829

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 26th, 2017 11:25 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios