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Karsyn's Kickass Jocoserious, Kooky, Jannock book blog: July 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Reviews ~ Close Your Eyes & Sight Unseen by Iris Johansen

Finished ~ Close Your Eyes (Kendra Michaels 01) by Iris Johansen
Completed 7/17
5 of 5 stars
364 page Kindle book

Finished ~ Sight Unseen (Kendra Michaels 02) by Iris Johansen
Completed 7/20
5 of 5 stars
368 page Kindle book

Close Your Eyes

Kendra Michaels was born blind and went through a procedure to make her be able to see. Now able to see, she has used her heightened senses in the past to help out law enforcement on cases, but it's not something she enjoys doing. She prefers her quiet life in music therapy.

Her life is disrupted when FBI agent Adam Kyle shows up asking for her help. She wants to refuse but her ex, a man she helped solve cases in the past, is missing. Kendra lends her unique talents and personality to the case.

Sight Unseen

Kendra is back. While on a date, Kendra notices the news coverage of a wreck on TV. She says to her date that it wasn't an accident, it was staged, and she goes out to warn the cops, who she doesn't believe will realize it in time.

Soon, the FBI and cops are coming to her, because it was staged. Not only that, but a killer is out there recreating the cases that she helped solve, and one of the twisted killers, now on death row, may somehow be puling the strings.

We meet Kendra in one of the Eve Duncan books, and I loved Kendra from the start. She's so strong and goes her own way. She doesn't care what anyone thinks of her, she goes with her heart and does what she thinks is best, even when she doesn't always want to. Her ability to see so much more because of her previous blindness is so amazing, and it makes you wonder how little people really do see day to day.

I loved these books. They were fast paced, action packed and really enjoyable. I love Kendra and Adam is pretty descent as well. It's a fun series, I really look forward to reading more!

Book Review ~ Nothing to Lose by Christy Reece

Finished ~ Nothing to Lose (Grey Justice 01) by Christy Reece
Completed 7/14
4.5 of 5 stars
355 page Kindle book

In Nothing to Lose, Kennedy has gone through the unthinkable, losing everything. She doesn't even know how she's going to go on from one day to another, but when she realizes that she may be in danger, she runs, but she doesn't hide.

Instead, she vows revenge and sets her plans in motion.

Nick Gallagher is a friend who is mystified by Kennedy's disappearance. He tries to find her, but is unable to, until Grey Justice shows up and tells him exactly where Kennedy is. Both men want the same revenge that she does, and they go to help her get that revenge.

This was yet another wonderful story by Christy Reece, one of my favorite authors. The beginning of this book was super hard for me to read, but once I got past that part, it was a wonderfully written story with completely likeable characters. I don't think Reece has written a book I haven't loved yet. The characters are always wonderful, the storyline always fast paced. This was a great start to a new series, and I'm definitely ready for more!

Setting = A
Plot = A+
Conflict = A
Characters = A+
Theme = A

Book Review ~ Do or Die by Suzanne Brockmann

Finished ~ Do or Die (Reluctant Heroes 01) by Suzanne Brockmann
Completed 7/18/14
3.5 of 5 stars
577 page eBook

I received this book from NetGalley for my honest review.

Ian Dunn is sitting in prison when he's asked to help rescue children who are being held captive in an embassy in Florida. As a former SEAL and known jewel thief, he's the perfect man for the job, but he refuses to do it. Instead of being left alone, he's brought out of jail and forced to take on the job. His new lawyer Phoebe, who knows nothing about Ian or why he's in jail, is all for Ian helping out and doesn't understand why he doesn't want to.

What happens after he gets out of jail is a crazy wild mess of action.

I wanted to read this book because I read the blurb. Figured it would be some kind of cool rescue mission where they'd take a third of the book setting it up, half of the book in them embassy with guns blazing, then a nice and short little wrap up like most books.

That's not what I got. Instead, this book is NOT about going to the embassy to rescue the kids, it's about the mishmash of stuff that happens BEFORE that. The info blurb does mention that they would be dodging people along the way, including a mob boss and a crazy killer, but the book was all about THOSE things, rather than the rescue. The actual rescue, the one they go him out of prison for? It doesn't even factor in (with making plans for it) until the last 25% of this nearly 600 page book. THEN it happens all different than what it would originally look like it would, and though it ends well, it's very much a let down. I was looking for mission impossible type stuff when it came to the rescue, and it wasn't anywhere near close, then they actually didn't do all that much.

While the overall story was not what I expected at all, the characters were still enjoyable. Ian is extremely loyal, which makes him very appealing. Phoebe goes from timid to kick-ass and the other characters have their good and bad moments. Overall, it was good, but not what was advertised at all. I found it very disappointing that the rescue played very little into the book except for a motivation to keep everything rolling. If I'd known going in that the book was about all the other stuff, I might have viewed it better. It wasn't awful, just good.

Setting = A
Plot = C-
Conflict = C
Characters = B+
Theme = B

Bout of Books ~ I'm Participating!

Bout of Books

It's almost Bout of Books time! :) WOOOOHOOOO! I am definitely signing up, this will be my 2nd one! Don't know about Bout of Books? Here's the official info ~

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the
Bout of Books blog.
- From the Bout of Books team

If you are curious about how I did on my 1st Bout of Books, back in May, here in a link to my final post, and my great stats for the week ~

May Bout of Books ~ The End

First my combined stats ~
  • I completed 4 BoB RaT Challenges
  • I read for 47 Hours
  • I completed 17 books
  • I read 4796 pages
  • I completed 7 novels, 2 novellas & 1 short story on my Kindle Fire
  • I listened to 7 audiobooks (the Lemony Snicket series)

I haven't begun to think of goals for this time around, but I will do so. I don't know if I can surpass what I did before, I hope to at least surpass the page count, if I read some longer books. We shall see. I can't wait!! :)

I look forward to the Read-a-Thon and especially to reading all the blogs and following along with everyone! See y'all then!

If y'all follow me on Bloglovin' (the only place I follow blogs, I also don't do Twitter), I'll follow you back and post tons of encouragement. I love visiting blogs and connecting with other readers almost as much as I enjoy reading all week long!

It's Monday! What are you Reading?

It's Monday! What are you Reading? ~ Hosted by BookJourney

Still doing my challenge at GoodReads, so reading a ton. So much, that for the 2nd week in a row (and 2nd week of the challenge), my team is in FIRST PLACE. 6 ladies on my team combined for 43 books read this week!! Wow!! :) At the time I'm writing this (Sunday evening) I've taken my own lull in reading. I've been fighting a headache for about 20 hours now, so I'm having a bit of a break. At the very least, I'll get back to an audiobook tonight.

Beyond reading, there was a "Sex Me Up" Read-a-Thon this week. I ended up only reading 2 erotica books, but I also did a series of posts, if anyone is interesting in checking them out.

As for reading this week, I am currently reading ~

Kindle & Audio

Books I finished since last Monday

Quick thoughts on the books I read ~

  • Against the Wild ~ another great Kat Martin ~ 4 stars
  • The Immortal Circus: Act Two ~ not typically my thing, but ok ~ 2.5 stars
  • The Immortal Circus: Final Act ~ good for paranormal fans ~ 2.5 stars
  • Vanished ~ new series with Mason, great book ~ 4 stars
  • My Liege of Dark Haven ~ haven't connected with these characters ~ 3 stars
  • Unfair Advantage ~ crappy crappy erotica ~ 1 star
  • Hunting Eve ~ got tired of this series, this one was ok ~ 3 stars
  • Silencing Eve ~ good conclusion to this small trilogy ~ 3.5 stars
  • Timebound ~ a really good time traveling book ~ 4 stars
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes ~ a fun and good story ~ 3.5 stars

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sex Me Up Read-a-Thon ~ Let's talk about BDSM


What do you think of, when you see the acronym?

Abuse, torture, degrading, wrong, dangerous?

If you do, I'm sorry but you don't know anything about real BDSM. I'd suggest researching it to learn more, and I'm not talking fiction but real non-fiction books, articles and sites. There are plenty of places to research.

You know what I think of, when I see BDSM?

Love, intimacy, trust, comfort, oneness, security, fun.

Did you laugh at any of those? Then again, I encourage you to research BDSM.

I don't pretend to be an expert. I'm NOT one, no where close. But I HAVE done my research. I don't just read fiction BDSM. I have read non-fiction, I have visited sites. I have taken the time to research all the sides of BDSM and I encourage anyone who has even just a passing interest (such as reading 50 Shades of Grey, but no other BDSM erotica) in it, research it as well. You will soon find that the book, 50 Shades of Grey, is NOT BDSM. It has so many inaccuracies that I don't even call it BDSM. Yes, Grey was a supposed "dom" (notice the little "d", as I don't perceive him as such) but he was NOT a good one. James did little to no research into BDSM, or wanted it to be inaccurate. Who knows. It's just sad that book is what people are so interested in.

But, back on the subject. I suggest looking into BDSM on your own and you will see that it's not what you may think that it is. So, what is BDSM?

BDSM encompasses sooooooooooo much under that small title. Most people associate BDSM with whips and chains, pain and cruelty (for causing that pain). There are whips, chains, and pain, but that's under the S&M part, just 1/3 of the whole, and just a small part of all that is included in BDSM. Did you know that you have have BDSM without ANY pain? Probably not, because the pain is all that is shown, the main thing that is frowned upon.

S&M is also the aspect of BDSM that I know the least about. What I do know is this ~

For the men and women who are involved in S&M, especially those into Masochism, they ENJOY, want and/or need the pain. For some, they enjoy the erotic pain is provides, for others it's a form of release. When involved in a REAL BDSM scene or relationship, the person receiving any kind of pain WANTS that pain. If they are receiving that pain but do not want it, have not agreed to it, that's abuse, not BDSM.

Let's move on to D/s, which I know more about, than the S&M. There are a ton of misconceived notions about BDSM, the biggest (in my opinion) misconception about BDSM is that the Dom / Domme has all the control and power. If you think that, then you are completely wrong. Within a real D/s scene or relationship of any kind, the slave / sub / bottom has the ultimate control.

If you don't know much about BDSM, or if your view of it is only from stuff like 50, you're certainly wondering how in the world it could be that a submissive, who by definition gives over all control to their Dom / Domme, holds all the power. It's very simple, the couple goes into a BDSM relationship or scene having completely negotiated each and every step. Let's take a Dom/sub relationship for an example. If a couple wants to enter a BDSM relationship, they talk about every little thing that could happen. There are even extensive checklists for both Dom and subs. Everything is agreed on. The Dom knows each and every hard and soft limit of the sub, and respects those limits. The sub puts down what she wants to have done, what she is willing to try and what she never ever wants done, and a Dom respects that. Therefore, the sub holds all the power. The sub is in ultimate control because she has agreed to everything she's willing to have done with or to her. The Dom never crosses those hard limits, and if he does, he's not a dom. Simple as that.

You may be wondering what would make a sub WANT any aspect of a BDSM scene or relationship. That, I can't answer for you. Like everything in life, it's a personal preference, and varies by individual. For a sub, it's no different than if your sexual preference is to be on top or bottom or have the lights on or off. It is some part of her that craves whatever she needs from that relationship or scene.

Another HUGE misconception about BDSM is that a submissive is weak. This is SO not true!! While a weak person may have a submissive personality, the kind that let people walk all over them, that's not a submissive, that's a pussy. A true submissive is VERY VERY strong, and usually very self assured, confidant and powerful. The appeal of submitting for this kind of person is to let all the worries of the day melt away and so they can just FEEL. Imagine for a moment, you work in a stressful job, where you have to make a ton of decisions. After that, you come home to a houseful of kids you have to wrangle. You do this day in and day out, and while you love it, it's very taxing emotionally. For a submissive in a BDSM relationship, in the bedroom she can leave that all behind. Close the door on everything the day or week has given to her and give up control. Her Dom knows what she needs, and the sub is able to turn off her brain and allow her Dom to take over, taking care of her needs.

Have you ever been in any kind of relationship that goes like this ~

"Hey honey, what do you want to do tonight?"
"I don't care, what do you want to do?"
"I don't know, that's why I asked you. What do you wanna do?"
"Whatever, I guess, I don't care. Whatever you want."

OMG it's awful. I'm sure you all have been there. Either one party doesn't care enough to say, or both parties want what the other one wants to much that a choice isn't made. A true Dom takes all that away. They say "here's what we're going to do tonight" and after making all the decisions for her work, her home, she's glad that a decision is made. It's freeing.

You can probably tell, I could go on and on about the subject, but I won't. 1 ~ not many people are going to read this anyways and 2 ~ if you care enough, you can research more on your own, or ask me more. I am always glad to share. As I said, I don't claim to be an expert. I've done my research and I understand a lot of the D/s aspect but that's where my knowledge ends. I'd love to talk about it more, get more involved in what different aspects of BDSM are, but I think this is long enough.

If you would like more info, here are some resources for you. Even if 50 was as far as you have ventured, I'd suggest learning a bit more so you can see that Grey was NOT the kind of man you would want a true Dom to be. With these resources, don't rely on one person's view. Gather many, and you will soon see what true BDSM is and isn't, what is true and what is fiction, what is the right way and wrong way. As always, if entering into any kind of BDSM, practice safe, sane and consensual play.

Websites ~

Intro to BDSM
D/s & BDSM Lifestyes
BDSM 101

Books ~

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sex Me Up Read-a-Thon ~ Let's Talk about Sex!

Sex. Why is it so hard for people to talk about sex? It's beautiful, it's fun, it's natural. It should be no different than talking about a waterfall, or a beautiful landscape. Yet, it's still a subject that most can't discuss.

You may have realized I have no qualms about that. I love sex, I love talking about sex. It MAY surprise you, however, that I wasn't always that way. I was raised VERY VERY religiously, and when I say religiously, I mean wrongly. I was taught the extremes, and I still have strange notions as to who so called "religious" people are, but that's not what this is about.

I was raised to NOT talk about sex. I wasn't given the birds and the bees talk. Sex was hidden away, it was shameful. It was something to be done only after marriage and behind closed doors, otherwise, I'd go to hell. Yeah, that's how I was raised. So, how / why the turnaround?

I discovered, after I married right out of high school to get out of the house, that I enjoyed sex. But being raised how I was, it still wasn't something I could really talk about, even with my then husband. We found we enjoyed some things together, but it wasn't through talking it out, it was through more trial and error. Once that disaster was behind me and I was with my ex, again sex was something that wasn't spoke of. We had the same sex, the same way, for the same amount of time for YEARS. I tried to spice things up, I tried to vary things, I tried to talk to him and he wasn't having it. Eventually sex dwindled to once every 6 weeks, and I was fed up. When my ex left, I was liberated, and for the first time, I was taking what I wanted, sexually.

I was careful but instead of a teenage exploration of sex, I had mine when I was 25. I started to realize what I wanted out of sex and I wasn't going to settle for anything less. I had fun, though my encounters were fewer and further between than I would have liked. I experimented, I had a great time. I did things I never thought I'd experience and I loved it all, though without a partner to experience everything with me, it was still pretty empty.

Then, my husband and I found our way to each other (we were high school best friends, hadn't seen each other in 7 years, a good story for another time), and I found my sexual match. From our first days together we clicked so well sexually. I was still painfully shy when it came to talking about sex and what I wanted, but in time, my husband chipped away at that shyness and brought out the sexual creature within me.

My husband, who had his share of women over the years before me, was NOT shy about sex. He was / is so sexual. It was so new and so fun for me. You mean we can have sex for more than 20 minutes, not missionary with the lights on? Yes please! It was wonderful. It took me a while but eventually he got me to open up more and more. He helped me express myself, to say what I wanted and not settle for anything less. He also, was willing to give me anything I wanted. There's really not much I could ask for that he'd turn me down, and he'd do a lot more than I'm willing to do.

We're coming up on 10 years together, and though sex has slowed some, we are still just as in love and want each other just as much as we did those many years ago.

That brings us to now, and talking about sex. I LOVE it. I don't have a lot of close friends, but a few of them I can talk to about erotica books but 4 of them? I can talk to about sex. And when I mean sex, I mean everything. We talk about what we've done, what we want to do, about fantasies. We share everything, and I'm closer with the friends I can talk to about sex than any other friends that I have had before. There's a special bond and intimacy with a friend you can talk to about sex, and it's wonderful.

I hope that erotica helps ladies talk about sex more, even if it's the made up tales in the books. But I'd love to see more talk about real sex. The sex they are enjoying, the sex they wish that they had, the "taboo" moments, the intimate moments. Sex is something that should be celebrated, not pushed away.

Some of you may be wondering, what it the world would you talk about with a friend about sex? There's plenty! Here's a sample of a few things that I have talked about with others. Find a close friend and ask some of these questions, share your answer to these questions. Don't be shy, don't be embarrassed. It's a natural and fun thing and I bet there is someone who'd love to start talking about sex with you!

    When did you lose your virginity? 
    Are you straight/bi/gay? 
    If you're straight, have you ever had a gay encounter?
     Have you ever had a threesome?
     How often do you have sex?
     Who is more sexually driven, you or your partner? 
     What is your favorite position?
     Would you consider yourself a very sexual person? 
     Ever watch porn (by yourself or with another)? 
    Where is the most adventurous place you've had sex? 
    Where is one place you've never had sex, that you want to?
     Ever had sex outdoors? 
     Have any crazy fantasies you want to try out? 
     Ever lived out a fantasy for you or a partner? 
     When was the last time you had sex?

I hope you all are having fantastic, wonderful, orgasmic sex, then talking about it with a friend! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sex Me Up Read-a-Thon ~ Erotica I read

Since the erotica explosion with 50, erotica books have been coming out of the woodwork. When I first started reading erotica 5 or so years ago there were really only a handful of authors who I looked to regularly for some erotica books. I can't even remember everyone I read, as I didn't read it as much as I do now, but Lora Leigh and Opal Carew stand out as two I have read.

As with my regular reading, I am picky on erotica. I don't read everything and I'm growing tired of the stuff that is out there. It all falls under the same old boring theme ~ rich and/or older boy, innocent girl. Twilight and 50 over and over and over again. Also, I'm so not into chick-lit of any kind, no matter if it's erotica or not.

I've been reading the articles for the Sex Me Up Read-a-Thon blog and with the exception of 50 (cuz every post is about 50 almost), I've heard of just one other book mentioned so far. I won't say what it was, as I received it for my review and couldn't even get through the first chapter. I'm sure it interested someone, somewhere, but I hated it, so I politely let the publisher know I wouldn't be able to review it. I have no problems giving bad reviews, provided I READ most of the book. If I can hardly start the book, I'm not going to bash it in reviews just because it wasn't my thing.

So, it got me thinking that I must read a LOT of different erotica than everyone else. I'm used to that. It seems ALL my posts have at least a person or two who say "I've never head of that book/author". I do wonder WHY it is that I have such different authors that I read than everyone else. The only thing I know is I don't follow the norm. I don't read what everyone else is reading. A lot of blogs are the same book and reviews over and over. That's why I plan on doing more reviews, to give people a look at some different things for a change.

But, I digress. This is about erotica. I started reading some erotica back years ago and it was over 3 years ago now that I discovered BDSM, which is pretty much the only erotica I read now.

I discovered BDSM by accident. I had came across a book by Maya Banks. It was one of her KGI series books, which is romantic suspense ~ the "main" genre I read, especially back then. I loved the KGI book so much that I found all I could and read them, then I decided to try out her other series, and I first read "Sweet Surrender".

Sweet Surrender was a romantic suspense, which I like but also erotica and not just any erotica but BDSM, with an emphasis on the D/s. I loooooooved it. I'll talk more about BDSM another day but Sweet Surrender was what got me interested in reading BDSM. I read up on BDSM, the real stuff, not just fiction, I read fiction books. Previously, I'd though of BDSM as whips and chains and pain but I had been soooooo wrong. BDSM is that, but oh so much more.

Thus began my love of BDSM fiction. Since then, I've read a LOT of BDSM fiction both really really good and really really bad. I love to recommend BDSM fiction and depending on someone's preference, I'd recommend some things over others. I do prefer the lighter side, the "sugar kink" though I've read some hard stuff as well. But for the most part I still enjoy a good solid story (especially if it has suspense), good characters and lots and lots of kinky sex.

Here are a few authors and books or series that I recommend for BDSM ~

Cherise Sinclair
Club Shadowlands

Cherise Sinclair is the MASTER (or should I say Domme?) of BDSM. If you are looking for an introduction to BDSM, this is where you start. It's BDSM done CORRECTLY. The stories and characters are beautiful, the sex is hot, and while most of the characters do have some money, they are more "normal" people, with jobs as a cop, landscaper, federal agents are the ones I can think of.

Maya Banks
Sweet Series

Maya is where I got started, and is still one of my favorite writers. In addition to the Sweet Series, she has multiple other erotica series including more BDSM and menage. Some of her stuff, for me, is getting a little repetitive, but the characters are usually so great, and the stories end up well that I still love them anyways, even if it is similar books she is doing.

Other enjoyable authors / books

Just a word of warning on The Reluctant Dom ~ it is a bit on the harder side (whips, needing pain for release of emotion) which normally isn't my thing, but this book was FANTASTIC. You will, however, CRY like a baby when you read it. It's a very difficult book to read, but amazing!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a little of the BDSM books that I have read and enjoyed. If it's a topic you are at all interested in, I suggest you do your own research into the REAL side of BDSM, not what you see in books. Even if BDSM is not for you, it would give you an idea of what is real within BDSM and what isn't. What should be written about and what shouldn't. And as always, if BDSM appeals to you and you want to try it out, what you read in the books is fiction. Do take the time to RESEARCH BDSM. Don't take one books word as gold and fall into the world without any knowledge. I recently read a BAD (in my opinion) BDSM book where the female character read one book, decided it was for her and ended up being abused in the name of bdsm. THAT was not BDSM, it was abuse, but she didn't know the difference because she didn't research. Know what you are getting into, read everything on it that's been written (that's not fiction), ask questions. Then, and only then, take it slow and always always practice safe, sane and consensual (SSC) play.