The Last Chance Olive Ranch #BookReview

Olives are the Cure for Everything Except Stupidity

What’s going on people out there? It’s Slick Dungeon here again and although I keep hoping for it, I rarely run into a book down here that is worth reading. I wish I could say The Last Chance Olive Ranch was a fun read, with a smart mystery, fascinating characters who are well developed and as a bonus has some great recipes in the back. All I can really say is that there are in fact recipes in the back. I haven’t tried making them because I am stuck below ground in my dungeon so I suppose they could be great, I don’t know.

Now I have most definitely read worse books than this one. But, there are a ton of issues with this book. Like, how in the hell the whole thing happens in the first place. This basically has two stories going on. China Bayles and her husband Mike McQuaid both have life threatening adventures while in different locations. McQuaid is an ex-cop, current private investigator who has an escaped convict coming after him. China Bayles is an ex-lawyer, current business owner of several Thyme spice pun related businesses and she is supposed to be conducting some sort of seminar at an olive ranch with her friend and business associate Ruby. While at this ranch, China figures out there is a bad guy wanting to do some lethal harm to some people and also kind of helps to clear up a legal matter. I’m going to give a little more of a summary and then point out some things that just completely ruin this whole book.

The story basically starts with McQuaid getting a phone call telling him that this dude named Max has escaped death row. They refer to him in the book as “Bad Max” and I wish I was making that up. Max has not only got out but it seems like he is bent on going out and killing everyone who sent him to prison. McQuaid realizes he needs to catch the guy because he is the one who put him away in the first place and the guy is likely to come after him and China. He reasonably wants China to go do her thing out of town so he won’t have to worry while the guy is out on a tear.

China, meanwhile is torn between staying with her husband and wanting to go with her friend to do this seminar thing. She ends up going and learns all about this land dispute between Maddie, the operator of the Last Chance Olive Ranch and this guy named Boyd. China also happens to bump into an old flame named Chet who is a good guy but things didn’t work out and now he’s got it bad for Maddie.

I think the major plot points here are obvious. McQuaid is eventually going to get his guy. China is going to help figure out the land dispute and prove that Boyd is a grade A jerk, while also making sure that Chet and Maddie get a fairy tale ending.

I don’t so much have an issue with idea of the plot as a whole. But here’s the thing, it should never happen in the first place because every criminal in this book would have to be equal parts super genius and complete moron. There are some other problems with the book as well so I am just going to start a rant list below.

  • “Bad Max” is a terrible name for a bad guy. It will only make you think of a particular movie series and it makes you want to laugh and forget the whole book every time you read it.
  • Max breaks out of a death row prison in Texas. Think about that for a second. This guy would have to not only be Houdini, he’d have to be bulletproof and Hannibal Lecter smart to break out of here. So how did he do it? No idea, they never mention it in the book. Awesome.
  • This book is about an olive ranch but all of China’s businesses are named things like Party Thyme. So why is she the one writing excerpts about olives and olive oil between chapters? Shouldn’t she be the one writing about Thyme? And if anyone is going to write about olives shouldn’t it be Maddie, the one running an olive ranch?!
  • This has two completely different narratives going on, one with China, one with McQuaid. One is an ex-cop ensnaring an old enemy plot and the other is a love triangle attempted murder plot. Freaking pick one book please! You wrote two half books that don’t add up. They don’t even converge except for the first and last chapters and this only because China and McQuaid are married.
  • Despite this book being full of hardened criminals, tough guy private investigators and active police officers, no one, and I mean no one, swears even a little. China finds out that McQuaid has a plan to place himself as bait for a guy who has already killed three people. She thinks it’s “horsepucky.” At that point China is mentally flipping out and seriously, that’s the word she thinks of? I can think of another and it begins with Bull and doesn’t end with pucky.
  • The first owner of the Last Chance Olive Ranch was a woman named Eliza and she is inspired to make this ranch because of her Spanish lover. I lost count of how many times I had to hear about Eliza’s Spanish lover. Not a boyfriend or husband or person who she had an affair with. Nope, this is a Spanish lover.
  • Also he died in an orchard accident. That sounded mildly interesting to me. What happened? Not a clue because they never say. “I thought you died in a baking accident” Baker from Into the Woods
  • This book actually contains 30-50 feral hogs and that is before that was a thing on twitter. Nothing against this, it was just odd.
  • McQuaid has this ex-wife Sally and she apparently has a split personality. So not only does McQuaid have someone who can break out of prison coming after him, this wife is in trouble and she is begging for help. It never once occurs to McQuaid that maybe Max, the insane prison escapee might be the one after her. Max isn’t but shouldn’t McQuaid think that was a reasonable possibility? But nope. And when Max does grab her, thinking it’s China, McQuaid freaking blames her.
  • McQuaid’s genius plan to catch this guy seems to involve letting reporters he knows state to the media that he still lives in the town he lives in and is going to a community cook off. The bad guy actually calls McQuaid and tells him he is coming for him but McQuaid never thinks to, you know, wait at home and be prepared when the guy shows up.
  • Also, Bad Max is supposed to have figured out a way to get out of prison and kill five different people (with some help) before getting to McQuaid’s house. Now, when Max gets there he finds Sally. Does he do what makes sense? You know, shoot the wife of the guy you hate and then wait until the guy you hate shows up and then shoot him? Nope! He instead kidnaps Sally, and calls McQuaid to lure him to a junkyard. Err… what? That makes literally no sense.
  • At one point McQuaid goes and sees his son who is in college. He sees his son kiss an African-American woman. McQuaid kind of flips out in his own mind. I get owning up to your own prejudices and all but what he immediately tries to remember is if in all of his conversations about sex with his son, if he had ever brought up the issue of interracial sex. McQuaid my dude, let’s chat to the side for a minute. You know what you need to know about interracial sex? The same things you need to know about any kind of sex. Same info, it doesn’t freaking change! This particular thing in the book made me wish I was out at sea so that I could chuck the book into the water. Of course then I was glad I wasn’t because I would have realized putting trash in the ocean is not good. What’s worse was that McQuaid then thinks of himself as “fairly liberal”. Mmmhmmm.
  • Also, McQuaid seems to completely blame his ex-wife for having mental issues. He refers to her as “skitzy” in his mind. Let me just say this because I wish people would realize it, having multiple personalities is not the same as schizophrenia like at all. Books try to make this the same all the time but you know what it is when they do that? Horsepucky!
  • Speaking of my earlier point about language, McQuaid gets information out of a woman who is in with Max’s cousin Lester. It’s clear Lester is a horrible person and that Max has taken Sally by this point. The woman, named Candy, doesn’t think it’s all that weird that Sally has duct tape over her mouth. And she says that Sally is “a pain in the old patootie.” Okay, please, either make this character less dumb or at least let her use an actual word that a woman in that situation would use. The one I am thinking of is what usually follows Jack-
  • On China’s side of things, it’s so obvious Boyd is setting Maddie up that only a complete dummy wouldn’t figure that out. Maddie runs a successful business and is a college graduate but can’t seem to figure out Boyd’s motives. Why not? Because she is self conscious about a scar.
  • Also it’s completely obvious from the beginning of that story that Boyd is going to be revealed to be related to Maddie. See he tries to get her to marry him but Sofia, the half sister of Eliza, the woman with the Spanish lover, has a secret document in an olive wood box. China can’t possibly imagine what would be in there until she sees it even though we all know it’s going to be a birth certificate saying that Boyd is Maddie’s (well I was guessing half brother) cousin. Thus they can’t get married.
  • Hey, you know how they could have prevented Boyd from starting a fire and trying to forcibly take over the ranch? Give the birth certificate to Maddie, or her lawyer! Then I would have fifty percent less of this book I had to read!
  • There were so many things olives can do. I had no idea. I am sure this is true but they talk about how good it is to put in soap. Okay sure. Obviously good for food. No argument there. Then they talk about how it can be used as a cleaner possibly rivaling bleach. And that if it goes bad enough it is a fire accelerant. Wait, you want me to put this on my face and in my mouth? Mmmmm. I think I will pass….
  • So much of this book was simply an info dump and it got so obnoxious. We didn’t find out from general conversations or actions what a character was like. Nope, there are like five paragraph backgrounds we have to read through when we met or heard about a new character. That’s how I know Eliza had a Spanish lover.
  • I suppose the recipes might be good, I don’t know. But I appreciate that they are there because that was less for me to read!

I hope you enjoyed my rant as much as you might enjoy a fine virgin olive oil. Probably you didn’t but that’s okay because apparently that stuff can light things on fire. Next week I will be back to review Mulberry Moon by Catherine Anderson. Is that when a full moon is full of Mulberries?

Horsepuckishly yours,

Slick Dungeon

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Temptation – #BookReview

I have No Idea What is Happening in Texas

Hello out there to those of you above ground. It’s Friday the 13th today and that means bad luck. What was my bad luck today? Reading Temptation by Brenda Jackson.

I tend not to like romance books much and this one is a prime example of why not. From a barely there plot, to poorly developed characters, to really weird obsessions with mouths, this book was awful from start to finish. It was so bad that I was at times baffled and at times just straight up angry at how bad this could be.

Here’s the thing though, when I read something that I think is awful, I just obsess over it somehow. How did this get made? Why? Who thought publishing this was a good idea? But then it hit me, there is only one answer to this riddle for Temptation. I need to find out right from the horses mouths (yeah cause Texas and horses and… ah never mind). So, lucky for me, I have run into several of the characters in the book! I will be interviewing them below. I have no idea how they ended up in the fifth room of my dungeon but here they are. I wish I could say it was good to see people but well… maybe next time send someone with a ladder so I can get out of here?

Anyway, I am going to provide a quick summary of the (for lack of a better term) plot and then dive right into the interview.

Sheila Hopkins is an emergency room nurse in Royal, Texas. One day she is driving and sees a hunka hunka burning man meat in the car next to her on the way to work. She gets to work and surprise, surprise, surprise, Mr. man meat is there and meets her. This guy is Zeke Travers who is a private investigator. A baby was left abandoned and someone is trying to name Zeke’s best bud and client Brad as the father. It’s part of a blackmail scheme to get some money out of rich folks who are in charge at the Texas Cattlemen’s Club. Zeke and Sheila hit it off and Sheila, within minutes of meeting an abandoned baby is supposed to take care of it for two weeks while the custody of said baby is worked out. Sheila takes a shine to the kid and names her Sunnie, Zeke takes a shine to Sheila and they kiss a lot while ridiculously saying they should stay away from each other. Zeke has to keep an eye on Sheila cause what if she is some kinda psycho who just was handed a baby (never mind that it’s kind of psycho to hand over a baby to a stranger). Zeke and Sheila hook up, break up (but not really), hook up some more, have some fights, Zeke figures out the plot, Sheila has to give up the baby but it’s okay because now she can have babies with Zeke. Happy ending and holy crap there are a bunch more books in this series.

Let me give a warm Slick Dungeon welcome to my guests, Sheila Hopkins, Zeke Travers, Sunnie, and Bradford Price.

Slick: Hi Sheila, nice to meet you. So you were a nurse for the whole book but you never did any nursing other than taking a kid home. What are your thoughts about taking a baby home instead of you know, leaving it say, at the pediatric ward of your hospital?

Sheila: Neither me nor my kitchen would be able to handle all the heat Zeke and I would make.

Slick: uhmmm, that didn’t really answer the question. About the baby…

Sheila: Earlier in the day a man proposed to his his girlfriend in the E.R. It was very romantic.

Slick: Uh, ok. I mean have you been in an Emergency Room? It’s noisy, smells weird and occasionally people walk in with a severed finger in a mason jar full of ice. Is that actually romantic? Anyway, about this kid who you took care of…

Sheila: I named her Sunnie because she stopped crying and smiled at me. That makes me most qualified to be her mother.

Slick: I’m not sure that fits the definition of qualified but at least you are on topic this time. What made you so attracted to Zeke?

Sheila: Have you seen him? He has a mouth that is hot. Also he said to me, “Good. Because if I get arrested, Sheila, so do you. And it would be my request that we get put in the same jail cell.”

Slick: Okay, first off, I doubt you would get the request granted. Secondly, a jail cell? Is that supposed to be romantic? I kind of think your idea of romantic locations is a bit off here. Was it tough keeping Sunnie? You didn’t seem to have much experience with infants when she was randomly given to you.

Sheila: Zeke did a background check on me and I got sooo mad. Then he built a crib while I showered. We kissed. Zeke smelled good. Most of the men at the hospital smell sanitized. Zeke reminds me of a real man’s scent.

Slick: Wasn’t he all sweaty from building the crib and like hauling things in for you?

Sheila: Yes.

Slick: Okay gross. Also, just because you smell sanitary really does not mean you are not a “real man”. I think a lot of male nurses, doctors, and people who don’t like to stink might take offense at that. But since you keep bringing up Zeke, let me switch gears and speak with him.

Slick: Hi Zeke, you are a private investigator who did almost nothing for two weeks while Sheila took care of a kid that you first handed over, then thought, maybe I should do a background check on this woman that I gave a kid to. Were you suspicious of Sheila? And do you think maybe the background check could have happened prior to the baby hand off?

Zeke: Sheila attracted me right off. I kissed her, even though I had only met her earlier in the day, first at a stop light, then when I gave her a baby to take care of. This kind of mouth interaction with Sheila was stirring things inside me that I’d tried to keep at bay with other women.

Slick: TMI dude. So, Sunnie was not even five months old and cried a lot and had been literally abandoned on a doorstep of a club that your friend Brad is a part of. Yet, you wondered why the kid didn’t have a bed time. You don’t know how babies work do you?

Zeke: My friend Brad is a good man. He hired me. I own a big ranch. I have a niece and nephew too so I know about kids. Did I mention I kissed Sheila?

Sheila: Even after brushing my teeth I could still taste Zeke.

Slick: You need to brush better.

Zeke: Sheila tasted good. I couldn’t get enough of it, which is why I was eating away at her mouth with a relentless hunger.

Slick: Dude, stop, we have been over this. TMI.

Sheila: But he’s so romantic. He said, “I want to cherish you with my mouth, Sheila.”

Slick: I’ve watched a movie where space zombies try to take over the planet and no one in that film said anything even close to as weird as that. Let’s try talking about something else. There was a hurricane threatening your neighborhood, Sheila. Zeke did what a responsible guy would do and came over to check on you. Then he basically pressured you into moving into his house to wait the storm out. That seemed reasonable because, hurricane. But you asked him not to seduce you while you were there. He wouldn’t agree to that. Sheila, that’s seriously disturbing behavior, why didn’t you call the cops on Zeke?

Sheila: I went to his house knowing I was attracted to his mouth.

Slick: Okay… Uh, Zeke, did you not think it was messed up to basically say, stay at my house to ride out the hurricane but I won’t promise to keep my grubby mitts off you to Sheila?

Zeke: Brad is a good man. I own a ranch. I had to clear his name and to do that I had to mostly spend time with Sheila. My job was to investigate the crime so I stayed with the caretaker of the baby.

Slick: Er, you really sucked at your job and at being a decent guy. Hurricanes are not prime opportunities to coerce women.

Sheila: I stayed way longer than after the hurricane was a threat. I can’t admit my feelings for Zeke.

Slick: I would say all the kissing you did is kind of an admission.

Zeke: There’s something about Sheila’s scent that makes me want to mate.

Slick: Seriously dude. TMI.

Zeke: I could only imagine the outcome of this mating. But I needed it the way I need to breathe.

Slick: The outcome is pregnancy. In case you didn’t notice, there was a baby the whole time. That’s the outcome of mating. and let me just say this again, T.M.I.! But speaking of the baby, it was really convenient that she cried a lot at the beginning and then kept her attention on Sheila so she could be given over. Then it was even more convenient that she didn’t cry later in the book when you guys were doing weird mouth things and mating and what not. Sunnie, do you have anything to say about this?

Sunnie: …

Slick: Well I suppose you are kind of a plot device.

Brad: That’s my job. I’m a good man. I was set up. My brother had a kid with a woman, was killed by her and her drug dealing boyfriend then they tried to blackmail me with his kid. This is all explained in about two whole paragraphs in the book.

Slick: True. Sheila, you seemed to get surprisingly angry and depressed over the fact that Zeke might miss a flight while trying to catch a crook. Are you over that?

Sheila: Oh totally. We got married and Brad and this other woman Abigail that I met just days ago who seems to be interested in Brad was there.

Slick: Uh, more in this horrible series to come then?

Brad: Yeah. See when I told Zeke I had a genetic link to the baby, he left the building without any explanation and then hooked up with Sheila. We figured out it was my brother’s kid but not before I made Abigail cry. Then we watched a tape with Abigail that literally could have solved the entire crime if Zeke had just done his job and showed it earlier to the people at the Texas Cattlmen’s Club. But he was mating with Sheila. I get my turn next. With Abigail that is.

Zeke: Well, I did have to fly to Dallas and then be almost late for when Sheila gave back the baby, so I could watch other people arrest the bad guy. So I called my super rich dad who I was estranged from until a few years ago and ask to fly in his jet. Then while on that jet I bought a wedding ring for Sheila and proposed to her.

Slick: You proposed in a parking lot outside of the Texas Cattlemen’s Club?

Zeke: I did and she said yes.

Slick: I guess it’s better than an Emergency Room. How did you propose?

Sheila: He said, “Do you love me enough to wear my last name, have my babies and spend the rest of your life with me?”

Slick: Err. I don’t know where to begin here. First, is a last name something you wear? In my experience I mostly say it, spell it or sign it. Also, I would just like to mention that they wouldn’t just be Zeke’s babies. They would be yours as well. Spending the rest of your life, I have no problem with. But seriously, Zeke, you are one weird dude.

Brad: But he knows I am a good man. I bet he shows up in my book!

Slick: I will not be reading that. Thanks for finding your way here down in the dark. Now all of you, get out!

Slick drops microphone and releases various types of lethal oozes to get them to leave.

I hope you enjoyed my exclusive interview. Next week I will be back with another review. This time I will be reading The Last Chance Olive Ranch by Susan Wittig Albert. I guess someone already must have taken the first chance olive ranch?

Journalistically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Dime Store Magic – #BookReview

Witchcraft is Just Like C++

Have you ever read a book and thought, I should like this, why don’t I like this? That’s what Dime Store Magic was for me.

I enjoy lots of paranormal stuff. I watch Supernatural. I have enjoyed a couple of The Dresden Files books. I can even believe that a radioactive spider bite can give a boy powers that let him stick to walls. But I could not believe this book. Is it because this story focuses on women and I am a sexist jerk? I hope not, but I guess that’s a possibility. Is it because the writing is awful? No actually, this is fairly competently written. Was the plot terrible? Eh, well some of it was kind of silly and sort of didn’t make sense but I have absolutely read worse. I’m not sure what exactly it was that made me just not get into this book. It did give me a lot to think about though. I’m going to give you a plot summary and then point out some things that popped out to me about this book. I kind of think the real problem I had with this book is that if you sum all the parts up, it’s kind of dull.

Spoilers follow below.

Paige is a witch. She has a thirteen year old ward named Savannah who survived some trauma what with her mother being killed and all, and ended up living with Paige. The woman who murdered Paige’s mother and Savannah’s mother is a witch named Leah. That much I just gathered from the story but I think these events are covered earlier in the series. Paige and Savannah think that the whole deal with Leah is over for now but there is one thing they never, ever counted on. Court filings! Yeah, there is a custody battle at the heart of the story because Savannah has a father who was unknown to her previously. Needless to say this father is a sorcerer who runs a Cabal. A lawyer named Lucas Cortez shows up to help Paige and Savannah and needless to say is also a sorcerer but from a different Cabal but kinda kicked out of that Cabal but kinda not really. The father Nast, wants Savannah for two reasons. One, she’s his daughter. Two, she’s thirteen and about to start menstruating which apparently means she’s about to be a very powerful witch given the right circumstances. These Cabals apparently have an employment program where they hire one witch only. They want Savannah to be that witch. Lots of threats, destruction and bad media for Paige happen and in the end, Lucas and Paige hook up, Savannah is rescued from the evil Cabal, Leah is killed and Paige goes through the ceremony and can now most likely kick everyone’s butt. Yay!

Now here’s some things that stand out.

  • This passage did not age well – “In structure, though, the Cabal was more Donald Trump than Al Capone.” I think Trump was more Capone than the author realized, Tax evasion anyone? (Not the authors fault but it made me laugh)
  • This book does advocate safe sex which I applaud. Here’s proof – “My advice to young women who like to pick up guys in singles bars? Condoms prevent more than venereal disease.” True! Of course she was giving that advice so that no one gives birth to a half-demon hell creature but still, solid advice.
  • So the author and Cortez go to great lengths to say how these Cabals are legitimate businesses, not like the mob. Then they act like the mob for the entire book. At one point there is an unconscious guy in Savannah’s house and she asks Cortez how the Cabals handle these people. His answer, “Chain saws and large cement blocks.” That’s a super legitimate business practice not at all like the mob.
  • Here’s my favorite sentence in the whole book. “Leah might very well decide to take her revenge and the last thing any of us needed right now was a werewolf/half-demon grudge match unfolding in downtown East Falls.” Maybe they didn’t need it but you know what the book needed? A werewolf/half-demon grudge match unfolding in downtown East Falls! Sadly that did not happen.
  • Here’s the best quote from Savannah, “Oh, please. I’m in danger of being handed over to a psycho half-demon and brain-washed into slavery for supernatural mobsters. You think anyone cares whether I know how to conjugate verbs?” Shout out to grammar! Yes! And then Paige tells her to conjugate. Nice mothering!
  • There’s a ton in this book that explains how witch spells work. And how these supernatural beings relate to each other. It all sounded pretty boring and like basic office meetings where no one wants to go but you have to so you can collect a paycheck. It had me wondering if at the start of werewolf meetings, they needed to get like a vampire IT guy to come and set up the projector for the powerpoint presentation. Then Paige literally compares casting spells to learning programming languages like C++. Oh my God, being one of these magical creatures is like working in an office! That would drive me crazy. I would need to take two of my friends, steal a printer from the office, take it out to an open field and beat it to death with a baseball bat while rap music played in the background.
  • This whole story gets set off with some court papers. Cortez shows up a bunch of times and every time Paige refuses to let him be her lawyer. She can’t trust him because she is a sorcerer and goes two thirds of the book not trusting him then she sleeps with the guy. Uh, that went from zero to sixty out of nowhere.
  • Also, when they finally hook up, they are tumbling around on a pile of clean clothes. It’s supposed to be spontaneous and romantic. They do things like light and extinguish candles with their spells and whisper sweet nothings to each other. And Paige inhales the smell of the fabric softener. You know what I thought during that entire scene? I sure hope they wash those clothes again. They didn’t. Although, that may have more to do with the house burning down.
  • Savannah is thirteen and about to have her first period. How do I know? It’s mentioned about thirteen thousand times in this book. Yes, I know it’s natural. It’s perfectly normal but the word menses and menstruation appear a lot in this book. It apparently is in part what gives a which her powers. The boys seem to be sorcerers in this book so it just made me wonder, do they have something happen when their voice changes? When they get chest hair? What exactly is the trigger here?
  • It made absolutely no sense how often Paige tells Cortez not to be her lawyer. At a point that she is in jail with no money, no prospects, and no one else to help her and could very likely be charged with murder, she refuses his legal counsel. He goes away and then comes back insisting he still is her lawyer even though she told the police he was not. Can you lawyer someone under their duress? I don’t think so.
  • This whole huge mob shows up at Paige’s house because there were some cat bodies found there (planted by Leah) and people seem to think she is a real witch. She is but that’s beside the point. I mean I can see how a satanic alter and a few dead cats could be a curiosity but like a whole crowd, really?
  • There is a more believable mob later when it looks like Paige maybe killed someone. Cortez flicks people around and makes them stumble with some hand gestures to make their way through the crowd. Anyone looking might find this suspicious in my mind. Then Savannah wants to cast a spell that will make it hail to get rid of the crowd. Cortez and Paige tell her no because hail would be too suspicious in summer. Really?! Weird weather happens all the time and no one is going to think a kid cast a spell to make that happen. How moronic can you get?
  • These witches and sorcerers and all seem to be fairly powerful and capable of a lot of stuff. What do they do with that power? They become web designers and lawyers and business people. Seriously? At least in Harry Potter adults got to have cool wizard jobs. (And yes I know, Dresden Files does this too. I think it’s kinda silly there too).
  • One night, Paige and Cortez are watching television and Night of the Living Dead comes on. They call it stupid. How. Dare. You. This is doubly ironic considering the book earlier had a scene where the dead came back to life and that scene owed a heck of a lot to George R. Romero to make it work. Don’t insult good films in books!
  • Paige ends up in a legal custody battle, is at the scene when a man is murdered, has a violent riot happen outside her house, has her house burn down, goes to the house of Savannah’s father where several people are killed and then the house burns down. Is Paige wanted by the cops? Nope! Why not? Cortez “spoke to them”. Off screen of the story. That’s it. How is she not in freaking jail right now?!?!?!

That seems like a good place to stop. Next week I will be reading Temptation by Brenda Jackson. I suspect I will be tempted to stop reading it.

Craftily yours,

Slick Dungeon

Summer in Tuscany – #BookReview

trust me, I’m a… doctor?

Slick Dungeon here and I am just hanging out in the fifth room of my dungeon where I keep all kinds of less than stellar books. This week I read Summer in Tuscany by Elizabeth Adler.

But wait, what is this? What is this thing I found rolling around on the floor? It’s my new patent-pending, scientifically tested, completely reliable, totally untested and unscientific suckiness meter. This device will without fail let us know if something in a book sucks. Along with this meter, there is a set of instructions. They tell me that there is a rating scale. For every beep I hear while describing something in the book, that is a suckiness point. If there is no beep, I will remove a point. At the end we will discover if Summer in Tuscany sucks or not.

First, a very quick plot summary. An overworked doctor has to go to Italy because her mother inherited a villa where she grew up. As soon as she gets there, a land dispute breaks out with a handsome American man that we all know is going to end up with the main character. I have no idea why so many romance novels lately involve land disputes but whatever. Stuff happens, people hook up, there’s a wedding and we all knew the summer in Tuscany was going to end with a permanent residence there with said hunky man. Is this Doc Hollywood or Cars with the gender roles reversed? Basically yes.

Also, quick note, I listened to this on audio so if I misspell any names please forgive my unintentional error.

Suckiness meter activate!

  • The main character, Gemma, is a doctor but in the first chapter wonders if she should get breast implants. Does she not know how bad putting silicon in your body for no reason is for you? What kind of a doctor is she? +3 suckiness points for being a bad doctor.
  • Gemma is described as a hard, working, dedicated emergency room doctor in New York City, who does her best to help people, all while raising a teenage daughter on her own. No beeps. -1 suckiness point.
  • We learn pretty quickly she has a biiiig secret about a man named Chase Drummond who is a cowboy crossed with a surfer. I bet her secret is not all that bad! And seriously, Chase Drummond? I think he should have just been named Chiseled Manhunk. +4 suckiness points for overhyped masculinity and secrets that are not secrets.
  • Gemma’s mother Nona, is hiding that she has a heart defect from her own daughter who I may have mentioned is a doctor. I mean, I get you don’t want to tell your kid bad news but, free health care right?? +1 suckiness point for not using your own resources.
  • Nona has to go back to Italy because she is told by a shady lawyer type that she has inherited this massive property and is now a wealthy heiress. Gemma is going to disrupt her life, and take herself and her kid Olivia (who goes by Livie) for an entire summer to sort it out. I’ve heard much worse reasons to go to Italy so no beeps. -2 suckiness points.
  • The book really gets going once the fam arrives in Italy and there are beautiful descriptions of the scenery and the food described is mouth-watering. -3 suckiness points
  • They see all kinds of sights in this book including going up the stairs of the duomo in Florence but they never wait in line. +4 suckiness points for not making this completely fictional story seem more like reality.
  • Gemma seems to be lusting over virtually every dude she sees but she has promised herself she would remain celibate due to reasons involving that Chase guy from her past. Yeah right. +5 for unbelievability.
  • Gemma, as I have mentioned, is a doctor but at one point she wonders if the “sexy parts” (her words not mine) on her body are called the loins. Did you not have to take anatomy to become an ER doc?! +7 for making me crazy with annoyance at her poor job skills.
  • Gemma meets her love interest, a man named Ben Raphael who, I freaking kid you not, is super wealthy and has a daughter named Muffy. Muffy!! Is there a more stereotypical rich kid name ever? I think she should have been named Super Spoiled Rich Kid instead. +3 for the continuing trend of stupid names.
  • Nona gets her own cute little romance with a guy from the village who remembers her from way back when. I have no problem with this and kind of liked the part where they let the dog decide if they should get married. -2 suckiness points.
  • Livie goes on her first date, with some random Italian guy who thinks she is older than 14, and misses her curfew but kisses him. +9 suckiness points for a combination of bad parenting and predatory grossness.
  • Gemma is constantly questioning her looks, despite the fact that there is a man who is seriously in love with her and keeps telling her how attractive he thinks she is. Confidence, woman! Why do women in these books always have self esteem issues? +5 suckiness points for boring old romance tropes.
  • Ben Raphael is wealthy, handsome, divorced, in love with Gemma and runs a vaguely defined “business”. I think he’s probably doing something really shady to make his money. It never says that in the book, it’s just the obvious conclusion. +3 suckiness points for more romance tropes.
  • For a good part of the book Ben is living at the villa and when he wakes up one morning and the shower does not turn on, he immediately thinks Gemma is to blame. Here’s the thing though, she was kissing him just the night before and although they are in a bit of a legal dispute, she gave him no real reason to think she would do anything like that. Hmmmm…. the shower didn’t turn on, I know! It’s the woman who was kissing me last night. Perfectly logical conslusion. +3 suckiness points for Ben being an idiot.
  • Ben also has weird things he says to Gemma. He literally calls her a walking disaster. He compliments her by saying she is “looking girly”, this despite the fact that he earlier thought how great it was she wasn’t hung up on make up and didn’t care about looking perfect all the time. (Spoiler Ben, she really is hung up on make up constantly and you could tell if you just read her inner dialogue like the rest of us did). Then he proposes to her in an Italian jail cell. Smooth move bro. +7 suckiness points for fake romantic moments.
  • At one point Ben and Gemma are… doing that… and while Ben is looking at her and says how much he wants her, Gemma looks behind her and then asks David, “Me?”. Uhhhh… you got a medical degree you say? But did you really? +3 suckiness points for making Gemma seem dumb, incompetent and way too self conscious with one word.
  • There’s this little side story where they chase around that shady lawyer guy but never catch him. It’s just an excuse for Ben and Gemma to get separated, go to somewhere else in Italy, and then hook up again. I had no problem with this. There are much worse reasons to run all over Italy and it gave the author more room to have nice descriptions of the scenery. -4 suckiness points.
  • Gemma is constantly thinking about how much she needs and loves her job. How it defines her. But in the course of a summer, she is able to just toss it overboard because she met a super rich guy and now her mother owns this villa. It didn’t seem like she was gonna keep doctoring either. Maybe that’s okay considering her track record of not great statements in this book. But still, if she felt it was so important, why give it up so fast? +9 suckiness points for sending the message that you should find your passion and then abandon it for a handsome, wealthy man.
  • Also, I am not saying New York City is better than Italy in any way, they are both good in their own way. But why do these books constantly insist that the best way to live your life is outside of a big, bustling city? What’s wrong with New York? Gemma leaves it without a thought and doesn’t seem to ask her daughter if that’s even okay with her. +2 suckiness points for small country bias.
  • Ben is constantly told by Gemma that she can’t love him. She explains how she will always love Chase which he understands. But he still is on her to say that she loves him, over and over. He proposes and her first reaction is to say no. So he makes her propose to him. Come on man, learn to take no for an answer. I mean, I know the book wouldn’t happen if she didn’t “truly love Ben” on the inside but when a woman says no, take it for exactly what it sounds like. I get it if you want to try again later after some serious discussion but in the moment it shouldn’t be, oh she can’t have meant to say no to me. +15 suckiness points for having to point out again what should be obvious to any decent man.
  • I’m going to give away Gemma’s big, deep dark secret about Chase. She had been in love with him and things were going well. But one night, after her shift ends, she asks David to come pick her up for coffee. He gets in a car accident and Gemma ends up treating him. It’s clear almost instantly that his injuries were too grave for even the best of doctors to save him. I thought her secret was going to be that she was overtired and made a mistake. Or that she blamed herself for not learning some new technique to save him. Nope. She blames herself because she invited him to coffee. Seriously. That’s her big secret. She invited a guy she loved for coffee once and he ended up in a fatal accident. For this she is torn up with guilt. She also dives in to her job because of it. I get the second part, and seriously, I know that grief does strange things to the mind but why would she think this was such a dark secret that she couldn’t ever love someone else because of it? +7 suckiness points for fake secrets.
  • The little romance with Livie and the Italian boy doesn’t go anywhere and she moves on like a perfectly healthy 14 year old girl should. -8 for not making it weird.
  • The book ends with telling us that they get married and live in the villa but whether they stay there or make it a hotel or whatever “is another story”. Good God, there’s going to be a sequel? Please, please, I am begging you, just.. just… don’t okay? +7 suckiness points for sequelitis (undiagnosed by Gemma obviously).

Suckiness meter deactivate!

Well, there you have it, the patent-pending, scientifically tested, completely reliable, totally untested and unscientific suckiness meter worked like a charm! So what was the total?

Sucks = 97. Points taken away for non-suckiness = 20. Grand total of sucks = 77.

If you ever need to tell anyone how this book is, just let them know it sucks 77.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review more than I did reading this book. Next week I am going to be diving into paranormal romance with Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong. A whole store of magic?! For a dime?! Count me in!. Uh, hey can I borrow a dime?

Patent pendingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Desert Island Bookshelf

Here I am stuck in a dungeon with nothing but bad books to read. But sometimes I wonder what books I would put on my ideal bookshelf. If I was stranded on a desert island instead of this place, what five books would I most want to have with me? My list is below.

  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – I know, I know, this is three books. But, it was intended to be one book so I am counting it as one. I can re-read this over and over and every single time I find something new to marvel at. It’s my favorite book ever.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – It’s an American classic and it even now seems to say everything you need to know about love, life and wealth.
  • The Stand by Stephen King – I had to have a novel by the worlds best horror writer. Technically this one is not exactly horror but it’s an amazing read.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas – Intrigue, revenge, politics, non-stop action, this book has everything to make a story great.
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding – To remind myself how bad things can go wrong on a desert island. And because it’s a gripping, excellent read.

What are the five books you would bring on a desert island? Let me know in the comments.

Stranded-ly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Beach House Reunion – #BookReview

Turtles are the best!

It’s still summer so this week I am reviewing a summer book. The fact that pumpkin spice food is showing up and lots of kids are back in school will not deter me from remembering that we still have a month to go before fall.!

Beach House Reunion is the fifth book in a series about people who live in or come back to a beach house. Written by Mary Alice Monroe, the series is fairly popular and she has certainly hit best seller lists on multiple occasions. If you’re a big fan of hers, you probably are not going to like what I have to say about it. I can see how a certain audience would enjoy this book and I will say that the descriptions of the scenery are poetic and lovely. In addition I can respect the love for the environment and the health of an endangered species that the author shows. The rest of the book though, I could never get into.

The story centers on a few people of different generations who for one reason or another have come back to a beach house to spend the summer or in some cases, the rest of their lives in Charleston, South Carolina. The main focus is on the Rutledge family.

The story mostly centered on Cara, a widowed mother who has just adopted. She spends a good third of the book thinking about how she might be too old to be a mother. I get how you might see that as a problem but she really goes on and on about it. She spends all kinds of time looking for a babysitter for her daughter Hope. She seems gobsmacked to find out that there is something called a nanny. Then her niece Linnea is conscripted for the job and Cara can finally get some work done.

Linnea has her own issues with finding herself a job, you know, other than the nanny thing, and meets and falls in love with a guy named John. Her brother Cooper Pringle Ruteledge (the most one percent name ever) is in over his head with drugs and alcohol because he wants to go to USC and why can’t they just let him go to USC cause he really needs to go to USC.

The whole story is framed with facts about turtles and sea life which I think is supposed to be some kind of metaphor for these women. Also, they are apparently in a group called “Turtle Ladies” that looks for turtle nests to help with the population of the turtles. The turtle facts were probably the best part of this book.

There’s a few other side plots going on but those are the main thrust of the story. I had a few issues with the book so I am going to do my public airing of grievances below.

  • Cara, desperate and tired looks at her adopted daughter and for a moment sees her own mother. Now, personally if I see that, I am making an appointment with a shrink but, nope this all seems perfectly normal to Cara.
  • Later in the book, Cara feels like the ocean and a piece of furniture are her dead husband telling her it’s okay to like, move on and date a new guy. Again, I’d call that hallucinatory but whatever.
  • Because she feels like she never totally got to say goodbye to her husband, Cara, digs a hole in the beach and has Hope drop her wedding ring in it. Really? I mean I get you don’t want to wear it but that seriously seems like a waste. At this point I am really concerned that Cara needs some professional help, stat.
  • Also, Cara adopted a baby girl named Esperanza which I think is a great name. What does Cara do? Immediately translates that pretty name into boring old Hope. It’s her daughter and she can do what she wants but I felt like Esperanza would have been a fine name.
  • At one point Cara is talking to David, the guy she starts dating, and says that he is a “manny” – a male nanny. We don’t need to do that. If you are a guy who is a nanny, you can be a nanny, you don’t have to man-ify it.
  • I know that as new parents it’s hard to be able to do everything but at one point when Hope is crying, instead of hold, comfort or play with her, Cara looks up what to do about crying babies on google. Seems like she might have wanted to read a parenting book at some point? You, know after you get Hope to settle down.
  • David gives Cara a Burberry bag from Harrod’s and she tries to refuse it but then David says it’s insulting not to let a man pick up a tab for a woman. This is not the 1940’s and women can pay for stuff if they want to. There are waaay too many cases of men controlling women by taking control of their finances. How do they start that? By insisting that they should pay for everything. I know it’s not meant that way in the book but I just got tired of the rampant gender stereotyping in this book. Like really tired of it.
  • Cara came from an abusive home from what I can gather from this book. Her father used to get physically violent and her mother did not protect her from it. At one point her brother, Palmer, who is the father of Linnea and Cooper is showing clear signs of alcoholism just like Cara’s father did. Cara doesn’t do much to help him but just thinks he has to hit rock bottom for the cycle to end. Here’s what rock bottom is – throwing a bottle of bourbon at huge portrait and almost hitting your daughter. The fact that he doesn’t hit his daughter, in Cara’s mind, means the whole cycle has ended. B.S. this dude is going to get worse. He does end up going to AA and that might help but I just thought Cara’s attitude about the whole thing was dangerously passive.
  • Also, these people are stinking rich. They own this import/export business. It wasn’t clear what the goods were but that might have been covered in past books. They have big blow up arguments over what prestigious college their kids will attend and you know, own beach houses. Kinda tired of the filthy rich in real life, so reading about them in fiction (when they are not named Jay Gatsby) gets tiresome to me.
  • There is wine or alcohol mentioned like every other passage, yet they wonder why Cooper gets a DUI and overdoses. Can’t have anything to do with the constant availability of alcohol can it??
  • I also had a real hard time with the relationship between Linnea and John. John is a surfer who is staying for the summer before he goes back to San Francisco. He was born in the south and so does have relatives there and I think Linnea’s family knew his somehow but that wasn’t super clear to me. Again that could have been covered in a previous book. But boy howdy did I find this whole thing unbelievable.
  • John and Linnea first bond over the film Gidget and then later over the poem The Highwayman. I am not saying either of those things are bad but it made me wonder if they were college aged, or in their eighties. Gidget? Really? I mean come on, use a more modern reference to relate to the youth.
  • Linnea meets John because she tries to surf on her own and wipes out completely. The book says she looked up some YouTube videos on how to do it before she went. I gotta say, those videos were made by the worst surfers ever. First off, she went surfing alone. No surfer should do that. Second, she didn’t have a leash for the board, didn’t know what it meant to be goofy footed and had no idea how to push up off the board. These are seriously basic things I know and I don’t even surf!
  • At one point John hands Linnea a bottle of water out of a cooler. But before he gives it to her, he wipes it off with a towel and opens it. She is all impressed but what I thought was she is not a toddler!
  • Also, John is supposed to be a great surfer but he wants to go swimming at night in dark water. Hello! Did you not see Jaws? Oh yeah, you were too busy watching Gidget.
  • Towards the end of the book, after one summer together John invites Linnea to come to San Francisco with him to try and get a job. It seemed very transactional and not that romantic all in all but then Linnea sort of implies her father wouldn’t want her to go there without being married. John reasonably says that’s a bit much and Linnea totally agrees, But then she is disappointed he didn’t ask her anyway. Which is it? Also, do you really want to marry a guy you have known for like three months? That’s a bit of a rush.
  • My final question about this book has to do with the “Turtle Ladies”. Do you have to be a woman to join this thing? What if a guy loves turtles too? Are you going to exclude him? Even if he is a manny?

Next week I will be back with another summer read as I review Summer in Tuscany by Elizabeth Adler.

Manny-ly yours,

Slick Dungeon

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Romancing the Duke – #BookReview

Dating 101

Hey everyone, Slick, here back to tell you all about the book I read this week. Let me start off by saying that I am not a fan of romance books. I am not a fan of historical romances unless they are written by Diana Gabaldon. And while I won’t say I am a fan of Romancing the Duke, I will say, I did not hate this book in the way I expected to. I thought it was going to be utter and complete garbage. But, if you like romances and you know what to expect from romances, this book is pretty decent.

There are a few things this book gets right and I want to call those out right off. So, if you want to read this, consider this the valet/footman/butler calling down the hall: SPOILERS AHEAD.

This story centers on a Duke (obviously) and the woman who romances him (obviously). In the story he is blind and I thought the whole time that there was going to be some kind of miracle where he got his sight back. That never happened. What’s more, the blindness is accurately described as the Duke can see sometimes enough to make out shapes but he’s still most definitely blind. So kudos to the author for not falling into the all or nothing blindness trope along with the miracle cure trope.

Also, this book has a clear understanding of what it is. It’s a fun little romance between two people and doesn’t really expect more out of itself. The uh… shall we say steamy… parts are just that and it doesn’t bash you over the head with it too much. So again kudos.

The last good thing to call out is that this does have a realistic understanding of how women were disadvantaged by societal rules in the past. (Still are in many instances but let’s stick to the book). It’s clear that men control the property and inheritance and that it would be considered extremely unseemly and unlikely for a woman to be an author, despite the fact of, you know, all the female authors out there at the time.

But as I was reading this, I realized that this book actually is an instruction manual on dating. To give you the highlights, I am going to list the steps to getting your own Duke, or romance, depending on if you are the Duke or the romancer. Also, this book is clearly for hetero relationships so I can’t say this is a foolproof guide to dating for everyone.

Without further ado, I present to you, Slick Dungeon’s foolproof guide to dating for everyone.

Step 1: Live in the time and area when Dukes who have a massive estate but are unclaimed bachelors seem to be as easy to find as dropping a pebble into a pond. Alternatively, be one of these Dukes.

Step 2: Get involved in a tangled property dispute over a castle that the Duke owns but that you think you own, show up at his door and faint. Alternatively be the Duke, open the door, catch a feinting woman and immediately think to yourself that her hair is “predatory”.

Step 3: Have a father who writes literary fantasy stories and has named you something romantic, like, say, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight. Alternatively, have a manly man’s name like, say, Ransom, Duke of Rothbury, and be scarred in battle after having your intended elope with another, then fight her suitor in a duel with swords causing you to go blind, then go back to live alone in your castle for so many months that everyone thinks you might just be dead.

Step 4: After you faint let the Duke undress you, make you more comfortable, put you in bed but don’t quite sleep through the night, wake up, and nearly immediately mention that you make excellent pancakes. Alternatively, awkwardly undress the woman who fainted at your door and place her in a bed, figuring she is just some stranger who will most likely leave in the morning and assume she fainted because your scarred face is monstrous.

Step 5: Think to yourself that you own this castle but even if this Duke is who he says he is, he doesn’t own this castle because it is yours now but also marvel at how devilishly handsome the man is and that even though you are determined to keep the castle, keeping the Duke might be a bonus. Alternatively, be outraged internally that a woman who showed up trying to take your home that you are definitely not giving up, offered to make you, of all things in the world…. pancakes.

Step 6: Scare the heck out of the Duke who seems to be a bit of a jerk by not informing him of the ermine that is hanging out in your bag. Alternatively, be the Duke and get bit by an ermine and exclaim several profanities while asking what that was and ultimately admit that you are visually impaired, but internally, refer to this woman’s hair as an octopus.

Step 7: Offer to go through the Duke’s correspondence to sort this whole property dispute out but also go about as if you own this whole dang castle already cause, like, you do right? Alternatively, try and get this freaking woman with her predatory, octopus hair having, pancake making, butt out of here by scaring her with bats and/or also offer her a job to go through your correspondence and also kiss the woman that you wish would just leave already.

Step 8: Step up steaminess. Alternatively, step up steaminess.

Step 9: Have this whole host of people show up who are like a fan club of your father’s writing and be super embarrassed about it, but also enjoy the fact that the Duke has stepped up the steaminess. Alternatively, be annoyed that this whole host of people has shown up to disrupt your life, but like totally, keep the steaminess going for sure.

Step 10: Have the inevitable blow up where you are just trying to help the Duke and prove he is sane so he can keep this dang castle that is supposed to be yours but is his but doesn’t really matter because maybe you’ll get married anyway. Alternatively have the inevitable blow up because this woman won’t leave you alone and you are clearly trying to help her but are more interested in the steamy parts but then again, she seems like the perfect woman so maybe you’ll just marry her.

Step 11: Admit that you are actually the writer of the books, not your father and that also, you think you are not beautiful, despite the fact that this Duke clearly has the serious hots for you. Alternatively, admit that your father was a total jerk and that you only became blind because you more or less let the guy you were fighting win because you didn’t want to actually kill the dude, nor did you love the girl you were engaged to, and also finally be nice to this woman’s friends.

Step 12: Get the whole property/sanity thing sorted out, marry the Duke, make pancakes, get pregnant, write more and get slammed by literary critics who are too stupid to realize this is the same author they just praised, all while still keeping it steamy. Alternatively, get the whole property/sanity thing sorted out, marry the woman, eat pancakes, build a nursery, listen to bad reviews of your new wife’s work and get irritated all while keeping it steamy.

There you have it. I guarantee if you follow all those steps, you will have either romanced or been romanced by a Duke.

Next week we’re going to go back to being a little more contemporary as I read The Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe. It’s about time someone put that dang thing back together!

Steamily yours,

Slick Dungeon

My Favorite Places to Read

Hey, Slick, where are your favorite places to read I ask myself. Why, I am so glad you asked that, Slick, I answer myself. I read quite a lot and although, I tend to be a somewhat slow reader compared to many of my peers, I do read more than the average human shaped entity. I’ve got a few places I really like to read. For no particular reason, I listed these below. Do you have a favorite place to read? Do you like it more when there is no one around or if there is a crowd around you? Let me know in the comments.

  • In bed before I fall asleep. Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book as you are about to head off to sleep? I do have to be careful with this one sometimes though because if a book is good enough, I am reading all night and getting zero sleep.
  • While camping. I absolutely love reading while outdoors. Especially if I am reading a fantasy novel. I can easily imagine the events taking place in the Shire happening right where I am. The only real drawback is if the bugs start gnawing at my flesh. In a way that just adds to the imagination though.
  • On the train. There’s something hypnotic about reading while the countryside passes you by. The tricky part about this one for me, is that sometimes people will see that you are reading a book and try to strike up a conversation with you about the book. Apparently these people don’t realize I would rather be reading but, whatever. And on a very rare occasion I do end up talking to a book lover I can relate to so I guess it’s not all bad. I usually put on headphones so that I can prevent the conversation but it’s nowhere near one hundred percent effective.
  • At work. Okay so again, this is one to be careful with but every once in a while, I would sneak off into the bathroom and read a book on my phone for a few minutes. I only recommend doing this when you really don’t have anything to do for a few minutes and with a book you know you won’t get absolutely engrossed in. If you get a lunchtime at work, that’s also a good time to go have a bit of a read.
  • On a stormy and cold night in front of a fire. This situation, in my opinion, is best suited for reading horror novels. Stephen King and I have shared many, many hours this way, and that man can still haunt the heck out of my dreams. I can’t get enough of his books.
  • In my dungeon. Yep, right here in this dungeon that I fell into, I love reading because, well, that’s what there is to do here. That and watch bad movies but hey, it’s better than falling into a pit trap or battling off a horde of Orcs, am I right? Yeah, I am.

Eruditely yours,

Slick Dungeon

Anyone Else Out There Get Zombie Anxiety Dreams on a Regular Basis?

I watch a lot of television and films with different kinds of monsters in them. Same for the books I read. But for me, there’s one type of monster that no matter what, when I see it, or read it, or even think about it for more than five minutes, I end up having a nightmare about it. It doesn’t matter if I am watching Zombieland, Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days later or Shaun of the Dead. It doesn’t matter if I am reading a quality zombie book, or a terrible zombie book, or anything in between. Every time I read this stuff I have a nightmare. I love these stories so I keep reading and watching. Just wondering if anyone else out there has this happen to them? Do you have another type of creature that does that for you? I can watch vampire movies and read vampire books until the sun comes up (see what I did there?) and no trouble in my dreams. Werewolves, no problem. But if you put a flesh eating crowd monster in my head. it’s there to stay. Let me know what your favorite nightmare monster is in the comments.

Sleep Deprivedly yours,

Slick Dungeon

10 Completely Random Thoughts I Have had While Reading Bad Books

I read a fair amount and while I do try to focus on the story, sometimes my mind wanders. Here’s ten thoughts I have had recently.

  • How does everyone in romance novels stay so fit and healthy, yet never seem to go to the gym?
  • Who chose Tuesday as the day new books come out? Why is Tuesday so special?
  • Do hardcover book jackets automatically get destroyed or is that just because I am not careful enough?
  • In zombie books, why don’t the animals ever become zombies? If they did, would they have to eat the same kind of animal? Or could like a horse eat a chicken and be good?
  • I’ll go to sleep in twenty minutes or once I finish this chapter. Twenty minutes later… that chapter was too good, I’ll go to sleep in twenty minutes or when I finish this chapter. Twenty minutes later… you get it
  • Lifting a heavy book totally counts as exercise. I need another Oreo.
  • This whole entire book is just made up of different ways of rearranging twenty-six letters.
  • Wait, so the guy is a werewolf, dating a woman who is a vampire but the witch coven hates them both. Have I already read this? Aww man I have already read this…
  • Did anyone far in the past predict fax machines in a story? And if they did, were people who read that story super excited when we finally got them. And if they were, are they still excited now?
  • I should probably find a better book to read.

Ponderously yours,

Slick Dungeon