Monday, August 31, 2009

For the Love of Raunch

As I mentioned last night, I am a Fantasy junkie of the worst kind who cannot be stopped. My love of any author who is unabashedly erotic/raunchy and who somehow incorporates that element into a paranormal storyline is my kind of (most likely a) gal. Give me a kickass heroine, a dominant and entertaining lead male, some ghouls and scary crap, and I am good to long as there's enough hardcore sex (that furthers the plotline, of course) to shame the average romance reader. If this last, crucial element takes forever to get to, and then it doesn't follow through, you've as good as lost me. Few authors have kept my loyalty though their Naughty factor was extremely lacking. Hell, even Stephen King throws in some good tension at least, and most male writers gloss over that primitive aspect within their subplots.
My love of this genre is still very young, though because there are so many different flavors to sample, I don't think I get bored any time soon. I find a dud in the bunch? It gets returned or donated, simple as that. I don't want to get to the end of a book I was looking forward to and feel like I wasted my time. It's like realizing the end of what you thought would be a great relationship and wishing you had that time back so that you could've spent it elsewhere. That's a shitty feeling to have in itself, but then to think about how the person who wrote this probably staked their life on it. I then give them credit, until I think of all the things I've enjoyed writing and how long it took... and I get pissed. Pissed because my hubster is an Amazing writer, and I think I'm at least halfway decent, and this guy/gal got their crap published somehow. Maybe I digress, but if a book leads me to all of those thoughts and emotions, which is a hard thing to do, instead of leaving me enthralled and salivating for the next Jewel (which is not hard to do), then I think that resenting the author/story is something I have to do in order to gain closure. I've learned that I need these bad eggs so that I can really love the good stuff.
The good stuff is hard to find if you're picking and choosing for your own entertainment. It's an investment really, and I would hope that once people have discovered their niche, they grow some big ol' swingin' cajones and strike out from there. Afraid to try something based on who else reads it? I've been there... you don't often think you'll be dry humping your computer moniter for weeks at a time in anticipation of the new Kat & Bones installment, or planning your whole work week around release day Tuesday because you're getting pissed at the prospect of losing out on the last, fresh copy of a J.R. Ward to some unappreciative bitch who only picked it up because of the colorful cover. Don't be afraid of who you'll become, be afraid of what you'll miss out on if you never take a the chance. You never know what will make you squeel like a Jonas Brother, or one of their concert attendees.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The -To Be Read- Pile

The Pile is growing, and I have no control over it anymore. Barnes & Noble has come to expect my "Pick Me Up" reservations on a weekly basis. Usually by Wednesday, I've requested at least one title, perhaps two and my former co-workers shake their heads when they see my name on the customer holds update list.
You see, there's this new feature on their website that can get book maniacs their Fix quicker than the dealers can push a street drug. If this had been around when I worked for their company, I would have despised it...and maybe I still do. It's costing me money, but then again, wouldn't I be spending on these titles anyway? Now I'm just spending at a faster rate. But like I was saying, if this had been available over five years ago, the regulars (who were die-hard Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy readers like I am now) would've had us busy from open 'til close, fielding special orders and reassurances that the titles were on their way or close to it.
I never thought I'd be one of them either. The Fantasy Chasers, that is. I was all about my Erica Jong and Alice Hoffman, and completely content with my Best American Erotica annuals...until Twilight came along. Yes, yes...I know...I should be ashamed of myself for falling head over stupid heals for a vampire...a teenage vampire at that. I should be, but I'm not and I even own a Team Edward top that I will wear in public if only to garner empathy for my husband from others of his gender. Twilight reintroduced me to myself from back in the day (though that was only about 14 years ago) when little Miranda kept a list of known Hollywood monsters on her wall, complete with their weaknesses, talents, dangers, and how they could be killed with a capital K. At eight years old, I began my Zombie Apocalypse plan and saved my allowance for the grocery store where I would secretly purchase heads of garlic to store in my closet.
Initially, I was resistant to the suggestions and the proding to read this series because I saw that it turned the readers (nearly all of my female co-workers at B&N) into swooning victorian women who would promptly faint onto the nearest chaise lounge upon the mention of Edward...or Jacob, if they were inclined toward a bit of literary rebellion. Plus, I was a book snob. Yea, I was, and I'm ashamed of that former self because I held myself back from being entertained. Wasn't that the point of reading? To be entertained? I'd become more of a reader in early high school in thanks to a few book reports that needed to be done, which then led to other authors. I was happy with my deep dramas, epic titles, and unknown names, and I loathed the kind of people I might who swooned over R.L. Stine. Fear Street be damned, I was an Intellectual, and I would not stoop to the things that went bump in the night.
That was until I finally picked up Target, of all places. I was bored, had a lot of time on my hands, and I'm convinced at this point that my subconscious intervened in my reading habits that day out of sheer necessity for escape. Escape I did. I disappeared into Stephenie Meyer's world and I became Bella. I fell in love with Edward..deeply in love with Edward, and I hated anything that took my attention away from his grasp. My whole self started to change with that book, as I'm sure other authors have reached their devoted audience. An author is successful when they gain a reader but they are truly gifted when they gain a following.
When I finished the book, I wanted more immediately. I took suggestions from online sites and stores, researched their reviews, and made a list of ISBNs...I am a former bookstore empoyee afterall and it is only common courtesy to know what-the-fuck you're after. Hint Hint. I then discovered Sunny, MaryJanice Davidson, and Kim Harrison. It hasn't stopped there...far from there, in fact. I've resisted a few authors only for fear of disappointment, which has a occured a few times since my new genre interest. Also, this new heightened awareness of the Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy genre has somehow connected to people I used to work with whoom I thought hated my guts...Turns out, I only had to fall in love with the same Vampire.
So now I get to my original point, which is that my TBR pile is not as large as it had once been, but it basically stays the same size, since stuff gets added to it as soon as something leaves it. The TBR is it's own mystical entity I think, and only because it has the power to make me salivate with eagerness and cringe in horror all in the same moments of reflection and examination. My TBR will be featured in quite a few of my future blogs, in case anyone needs some reviews and recommendations.