Friday Book Club: Bram Stoker’s Double Life


This month’s Friday Book Club is all about Dracula, by Bram Stoker.  Bram Stoker was an interesting guy – on the surface, frankly he’s pretty boring.   He was a civil servant and a business man, with a wife and a kid and possibly a picket fence.  Under the surface, he’s a man of mystery.  Here’s a short (very short) bio of the creator of Dracula.

photo of Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker was born on November 8, 1847.  “Bram” is short for “Abraham”.  He was born in Ireland, and in the first of many odd things about him, he was bedridden until he was seven years old.  Of what?  We do not know.  Nor do we know how he recovered.  But he did, and became a star athlete in college, where he studied math.

Bram Stoker graduated, became a civil servant, and wrote a book with the most boring title possible:  The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland.  He described it as “dry as dust”.  Then he met this guy:

Henry Irving

Henry Irving

Henry Irving suggested that Stoker become the business manager of the Lyceum Theater in London.  Stoker not only did that, but he also became “Irving’s secretary, confidant, accountant, public spokesperson, closest friend, business associate, and tireless companion”  (From:  The New Annotated Dracula).  Stoker married a woman named Florence Anne Lemon Balcobe, and had a child who he promptly named “Irving”.  Stoker was travelling or working most of the time, with Irving.

Here’s an interesting tidbit about Florence: she was also courted by Oscar Wilde.  In fact, Stoker and Wilde had a quite a falling out over it, although they eventually reconciled.  Needless to say, there is a lot of speculation about Stoker and Irving, who were far closer than even close platonic friends usually are.  Very little is known about Florence except that two very artistic and unusual men wanted to marry her.

Florence Stoker

Florence Stoker

The other bit of trivia I’m fond of is that Bram Stoker hired Pamela Colman Smith to work at the theater, and she is best known for illustrating the Rider-Waite Tarot.  Stoker was rumored to be a member of The Golden Dawn, an occult society.

Stoker wrote Dracula in 1897.  It was a solid seller, although not what we would think of today as a best-seller.   He wrote several other books, but his biggest hit during his lifetime was a two-volume biography he wrote of Henry Irving after Irving died in 1905, titled, Personal reminiscences of Henry Irving.

Bram Stoker suffered a stroke soon after Irving’s death.  He died in 1912 after several years of illness.

Thank you to the following two sources:  The New Annotated Dracula, by Bram Stoker, Notes by Leslie S. Klinger; and  I highly recommend schmoop’s page of links – it’s a great resource!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: “The Asset”

Agents of SHIELD logoHelloooo  supervillain!

So this week on Agents of SHIELD (which I refuse to type with little period marks because it’s annoying), Skye gets to be all badass and the show continues to be  entertaining but not emotionally powerful at all.

Skye is an amazing hacker and yet fans wonder how she can afford her clothes.  she uses your credit card account, dummy.

Skye is an amazing hacker and yet fans wonder how she can afford her clothes. She uses your credit card account, dummy.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need every show to have the emotional punch of, say, “Breaking Bad”.  But by the third episodes of Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, and certainly Firefly, I cared deeply about the characters.  Some of those first three episodes weren’t even very good, but if the shows had been cancelled, I would have said, “WHAT?  What about Willow? No more Willow?  How COULD you?”  If they cancel SHIELD, which is unlikely, I’d say, “Bummer.  It was a fun show”  and that would be it.  So Whedon family, step it up a bit here with the emotional engagement, OK?  I can only stare at Inca temples for so long.

Also, this week, I have no special standout lines, not because there weren’t great lines, but because they were all only good in context (something I rather enjoy).  My favorite line of the night was “Nope”.  Clearly, you had to be there.  Although there weren’t individual stand out lines, there were some great stand out moments, and here they are.

The high points:


Skye tries to use jargon and is promptly called out on it, hee, hee.

Skye gets an evite to the party using hacker skills as everyone is telling her she’s useless.  So, that was cool.  And then she is called out on it by the bad guy.  So, that was hilarious.

Skye is badass with a gun!  Skye is realistic about her willingness to use it!  I think I love her!

Yes, this was a very Skye-centric episode.  In fact, so far, this is a very Skye-centric series.  The only character who is developing, who is going through some sort of process, is Skye.  All the characters are showing various signs of development, but very much in the background.  Unlike much of the Internet, I think Skye is a great character, but it’s time to let some other characters into the foreground.  They clearly have all kinds of back stories and plots and it’s time to let them shine.  At this point if any of them were to perish my reaction would be one of mild disappointment that I never got to see them do stuff – and that’s a bad sign for my investment in a series.

Here’s some high points that didn’t involve Skye:


Oh you guys.  I am so sorry I could not find a picture of Fitz eating popcorn to share with you.  It was the highlight of my week.  Also, I do not support keeping exotic animals as pets,  but could someone please get Fitz a pet monkey?  Apparently he really, really wants one and now I kinda want to see what he does with it, and whether Simmon will dress it up in little outfits, and whether they will give it a spy name, and…oh, just get the man a monkey, for Pete’s sake!


It’s great to have Coulson showing some self-doubt.  He’s so polished as team leader that the humanity of “Phil” can get lost.  Moments like last week’s midlife crisis conversation and this week’s muscle memory problems don’t just make us wonder what’s up with him – they make him more than this one-dimensional, chipper, matter-of fact guy.

The low points:


This guy and Coulson end up having the fakest-sounding argument of all time.  Bad script, bad acting, horrible, horrible lines, just – awful.

Also, Skye has a brief nervous breakdown that is totally in character for me but entirely out of character for her.

And finally, this isn’t the show’s fault, but for God’s sake, Hulu Plus, stop trying to sell me prescription acne medication.  You are making me feel feminist rage combined with plummeting self-esteem.  I don’t need acne medication and if I did I wouldn’t buy any that states “skin may turn orange” as a side effect.  Get over yourself.

See you all next week.  Will The Calvary kick butt?  Will Fitz get an illegal, exotic pet?  Will we discover what’s so magical about Tahiti?  WHO KNOWS!

Hey, it’s our 100th birthday, sort of!

100-2As of this post, I have now posted 103 things on this site.  Who knew I had so much to say?  To celebrate, here’s a completely random list of great books (and some comics).

I pulled these titles right off my shelves, looking for books I’ve almost worn out with re-reading.  This isn’t a list of the best books ever written (well, some of them are).  It’s just a list of the books that have most influenced me and/or made me happy.  That’s why there are so many children’s books on this list – they’ve influenced me the longest and probably the most.

So, here are 103 of my favorite things, right up there with rainbows on roses and whiskers on kittens.  Have fun with them!

  1. The Horse and His Boy, by C.S. Lewis
  2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
  3. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
  5. Bet Me, by Jennifer Crusie
  6. What Happens in London, by Julia Quinn
  7. So Big, by Edna Ferber
  8. A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  9. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  10. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
  11. The Wheel on the School, by Meindert DeJong
  12. Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  13. Masquerade, by Terry Pratchett
  14. The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux
  15. A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
  16. World War Z, by Max Brooks
  17. A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMaster Bujold
  18. Unveiled, by Courtney Milan
  19. The Duchess War, by Courtney Milan
  20. Fast Women, by Jennifer Crusie
  21. The Sum of All Kisses, by Julia Quinn
  22. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Philip K. Dick
  23. Except for Me and Thee, by Jessamyn West
  24. Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
  25. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  26. Ladder of Years, by Anne Tyler
  27. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  28. A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
  29. Genie, by Russ Rymer
  30. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  31. Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen
  32. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
  33. Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo
  34. Mama Makes Up Her Mind, by Bailey White
  35. Bad Mother, by Ayelet Waldeman
  36. Operating Instructions, by Anne Lamont
  37. War for the Oaks, by Emma Bull
  38. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  39. R is for Rocket, by Ray Bradbury
  40. The Pied Piper, by Nevil Shute
  41. Earthsea Trilogy, by Ursula K. LeGuin
  42. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
  43. Calico Palace, by Gwen Bristow
  44. The Shining, by Stephen King
  45. Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman
  46. One Child, by Torey Hayden
  47. Beyond Heaving Bosoms, by Sarah Wendell
  48. Circle Round, by Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill
  49. These is My Words, by Nancy E. Turner
  50. The Once and Future King, by T.H. White
  51. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
  52. Passage, by Connie Willis
  53. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
  54. Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  55. The Golden Compass, by Phillip Pullman
  56. The Princess Bride, by Willam Goldman
  57. The Silicon Mage, by Barbara Hambly
  58. Skirmish, Melisa E. Michaels
  59. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  60. How to Train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell
  61. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
  62. The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
  63. MaddAdam, by Margaret Atwood
  64. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
  65. Finding Nouf, by Zoe Farraris
  66. Fast Women, by Jennifer Crusie
  67. To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis
  68. Riveted, by Meljean Brook
  69. Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie
  70. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine PAtersoa
  71. Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson
  72. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
  73. The House at World’s End, by Monica Dickens
  74. Hitty:  Her First Hundred Years, by Rachel Field
  75. Anastasia Krupnik, by Lois Lowry
  76. The BFG, by Roald Dahl
  77. Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren
  78. A Town Like Alice, by Nevil shute
  79. The Newsflesh Trilogy, by Mira Grant
  80. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  81. Warm Bodies, by
  82. The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins
  83. Cosmos, by Carl Sagan
  84. I Wish I Had a Red Dress, by Pearl Cleage
  85. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
  86. Carpe Jugulum, by Terry Pratchett
  87. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
  88. Through a Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick
  89. Letters to Ms.
  90. Elfquest, issues 1 – 20, by Wendy and richard PinR
  91. Girl Genius, by Phil and Kaja Foglio
  92. Kindred, by Octavia Butler
  93. Warday, by Whitely Strieber and Jim Kunetka
  94. Beauty, by Robin McKinely
  95. On the Road with Charles Kuralt, by Charles Kuralt
  96. The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen joy Fowler
  97. The Tiffany Aching Series, by Terry Pratchett
  98. Smilla’s Sense of Snow, by Peter Hoeg
  99. Polar Star, by Martin Cruz Smith
  100. Mrs. Mike, by Benedict and Nancy Mars Freedman
  101. The Bloodwing Voyages, by Diane Duane
  102. Last Chance to See, by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
  103. The Essential Bordertown, edited by Terri Windling and Delia Sherman

Happy 103!

Mini Review: Hero, by Alethea Kontis

Hero-Final-Cover-687x1024Alethea Kontis came by last week with a video talk about the fairy tale “Petronella“.  Her own book, Hero, came out on October 1.  Hero is a creative, fun, touching fairy tale with great imagery and fascinating characters.  My full-length review of Hero is up today at Smart Bitches Trashy Books, so go check it out – or just skip the review and read Hero!

Book Review: Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King

cover of Doctor SleepDoctor Sleep is Stephen King’s long-awaited sequel to The Shining.  Doctor Sleep finally tells us the fate of Danny Torrance, who was a little boy in The Shining.  Like his father, Dan battles alcoholism and a temper.  He is also plagued by psychic insights and visions.  During the course of the book, Dan hits bottom, enters recovery, and finds a use for his gift.  He works as an aide in hospice centers, and is able to help people die, not by giving them more fatal drugs but by guiding them into their final sleep.  It is this talent that gives the book its title.

Danny also becomes the mentor and protector of a little girl, Abra, whose psychic gifts are far more powerful than Danny’s.  Then Abra becomes the target of a group of monstrous humans who feed on the souls of psychic children, Danny has to risk his life to save her.

There are tons of reviews of this book on the Internet, so I’m just going to hit on the things that struck me the most.  One, of course, is Stephen King’s gift of making the mundane terrifying.  In this book, scary things happen in bathrooms, and in suburban homes, and in RV parks.  I’ll never look at a Winnebago the same way again.  King has always been good at finding horror in every day things – a car, a dog (and a broken down car), a case of the sniffles.  And this book is never stronger than when it makes the everyday world scary.  It’s that kind of creep factor that makes me unable to sleep with the book in my room.  The book is angry.  It has to sleep elsewhere.

Here’s another thing – like The Shining, this book is about alcoholism.  The Shining was written by Stephen King while he was drinking, and Doctor Sleep was written after years of sobriety.  It shows.  To me, the scary thing about The Shining was the moments when Jack’s son would look at him, or Wendy would look at him, and they would realize that he was simply not there anymore.  I have some experience with that sensation and it’s far more terrifying than dead bodies in bathrooms.

The most riveting moment in Doctor Sleep, the moment that most had me vibrating with anxiety, comes when Dan sits on a bench with a bottle and tries to decide whether or not to drink it.  The most touching moments come from his community of fellow AA members who are constantly trying their best to come through for one another – whether that means pouring a cup of coffee or fighting demonic hordes.  I’m grateful to this review (from The Guardian) for pointing out that the Bad Guys are also addicts, but they refuse to take responsibility for their addiction or their actions.

This book isn’t so much a battle between “Good” and “Evil” as it is between responsibility and carelessness.  The Baddies are careless with the lives of others.  They are totally unrepentant for the suffering they cause, claiming that they HAVE to do these things.  They are BORN that way.  Dan and his ragtag team are deeply flawed people who have hurt many, many people in their lives.  But they are trying to take responsibility.  They acknowledge that alcoholism has a genetic component but they refuse to hide behind that fact.  This whole book is one big amends, in a good way.  And the greatest victory isn’t the one over the supernatural bad guys.  It happens when Dan tells a secret – not a supernatural secret, just a sad, shameful secret about the carelessness he himself took with the lives of others when he was drinking.

Actually, a huge portion of this book is about telling the truth.  Frankly, it’s a bit overdone for the purposes of narrative flow.  Dan has to explain things to himself, to his boss, to a sympathetic doctor, to Abra, to Abra’s parents, to Abra’s grandmother – I’m surprised he doesn’t just stand around with a cardboard sign listing the basic facts of the plot.  But all this explaining shows us that this world is real, and messy, and that people work together more effectively when they know what’s going on.

I’m not sure Doctor Sleep is King’s best book – but it’s a very, very good one.  And, unlike a lot of horror, there’s a point to people’s actions.  The book isn’t nihilistic.  It’s pretty warm and fuzzy, all things considered.  It left me feeling hopeful that people can step up, can create goodness, even against great odds.

Friday Book Club: The Fears of Bram Stoker

SWT-Book-ClubsWelcome to the first of October’s Friday Book Club Sessions!  This month we’re talking about Dracula, by Bram Stoker.  Is it my favorite book of all time?  Nope.  But, it is an interesting book to read in terms of culture, both Victorian and modern.

Dracula was so popular in its day because it played on late-Victorian Era fears – fears about immigration from Eastern Europe, fears about consumption and other diseases, fears about “the new woman”, fears about addiction, fears about science, and of course fears about sex.

And the impact Dracula has on modern culture can’t be overstated.  Of course there were vampire stories long before Dracula.  In addition to folktales, vampire novels were quite popular in the Victorian Era. Dracula was released in 1897.  In 1819, John William Polidori’s book, The Vampyre, introduced the idea of a gentleman vampire.  Varney, by James Malcom Rymer, was serialized from 1845 – 1847 (“Her bosom heaves, and her limbs tremble, yet she cannot withdraw her eyes from that marble-looking face…”).  And in 1872, Joseph Sheridan Le Fany published Carmilla, in which the beautiful vampire Carmilla preys upon the innocent Laura with an astonishingly explicit amount of sexual seduction.  For people with a reputation for priggishness, those Victorians were reading some pretty racy stuff.

Illustration from Carmilla

Illustration from the original edition of Carmilla, by D.H. Friston

Yet today, the book most remembered by readers is Dracula.  Without Dracula there would be no Twilight or True Blood, or Interview With a Vampire, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer (anyone remember when Buffy met Dracula?  Good times.)  Dracula is the book that permanently embedded the link between drinking blood and having sex, and/or doing drugs, in the popular imagination.  Of course Dracula is also important as an example of gothic literature.  It just doesn’t get any more gothic than women wandering around in foggy cemeteries in white nighties.

cover of Dracula

1902 cover of Dracula

Why is Dracula, and not its predecorsors, so immediately relevant?  I can only assume that it’s because many of the fears Stoker’s contemporary audience held remain current, and while the story may not represent restrained, polished, poetical writing, it sure is a nail-biter.  Let’s look at some of those fears:

1.  Disease:  Stoker lived at a time when tuberculosis, or consumption, was prevalent.  People with consumption became paler and paler,and thinner and thinner, and wasted away – plus, they coughed up lots and lots of bloom.  In the modern era, a wave of vampire books and movies came out during the height of the AIDS epidemic.  The Anne Rice book Interview with a Vampire (later made into a movie) describes an ostracisezed subculture affected by something transmitted through blood exchange (highly sexualized blood exchange).  Near Dark, an early movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow, is very different in tone but almost identical in theme.

2.  Immigration and colonialism:  Stoker touched on the Victorian feelings of guilt and hostility and fear towards the people they had colonized.  Dracula is unmistakably “foreign”, and he invades England as a one-man (or rather, one-monster) malevolent, corrupting force.  A quick look at any newspaper from the last twenty years will confirm that modern Americans are having all kinds of political and social anxieties around immigration, race, and cultural imperialism.

3.  Drug addiction:  Victorians struggled with drug addiction in the form of heroin, cocaine, opium, laudanum, alcohol, and chloral hydrate.  The vampire could be said to be an addict – he (or she) must feed on blood, and only on blood, to live, no matter what the cost or risk to the victim or the vampire.  To make the connection more obvious, many Victorian drugs were injected directly into the vein.  Modern society also struggles with addiction to both prescription and illegal drugs as well as alcohol and tobacco.

4.  Sex:  I’m planning to do a whole separate essay on gender and Dracula. For now, I’ll just pose a couple of questions from the book.  What is a woman’s place?  Should she be at home or pursue a career outside the home, or maybe work from home?  Can a woman be sexually active and still be “good”?  What about initiating sex, can a woman do that, or does that make her ‘a slut’?  If a woman is raped, is she somehow complicit in the rape?  Is she permanently tainted, even if she is innocent of “provoking” the rape?  What is the role of men in relationships?  These are all issues that are in the headlines, on the web, and in discussion every day today and they are all addressed in Dracula.  My answers differ pretty dramatically from Bram Stoker’s.  But the fact remains that we are still arguing today about the roles of women in the workforce and the family, the dynamics of male/female relationships, and women’s rights to control their sexuality and their bodies.

1901 cover of Dracula

1901 Cover. This was the first paperback edition.

Dracula is crammed full of images and sequences that stick in the mind, which is part of why filmmakers love to adapt it – and the more films are made of Dracula, the more influential it becomes.  And the plot never lets up.  None of the movies are particularly faithful to the book (including Bram Stoker’s Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.  It’s not Bram Stoker’s Dracula, believe me).  But the movies keep the book alive in the popular imagination, and the themes make it stick.  And oh yeah, weighty subtext aside, the idea of a supernatural figure that drains your blood while you’re asleep is still really scary!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: “O-8-4”

Agents of SHIELD logoHello boys and girls.  Welcome to this week’s very special episode.  This week, Agent Ward learns a little something about the importance of working together.  That’s right, this week’s theme is…teamwork!

I thought this week’s episode, “0-8-4” was great fun, despite it’s utter lack of subtlety.  Did it change the way I think about the world?  Nope.  did it give me great insights into the human condition?  Nope.  Was there an Incan temple in the rainforest?  Uh – yeah!  Good times, people, good times.

Here’s the highlights of the week:

Say it with me, y’all:  Coulson has a girl-friend, Coulson has a girl-friend!  A super unconvincing girlfriend who is obviously up to no good!  Technically she’s an ex-girlfriend.  By the end of this episode the break-up is no longer amiable.  This surprises no one.

What I imagine Coulson's married life would be like:  Hi honey.  Could you pick up my shirt from the drycleaners?  and see if they got those bloodstains out?  Thanks a mill.

What I imagine Coulson’s married life would be like: “Hi honey. Could you pick up my shirt from the drycleaners? And see if they got those bloodstains out and that big gaping tear repaired? Thanks a mill.”

Words that are deeply inspiring in light of the fact that our elected officials can’t agree on how to pay their bills:

Couslon:  Ward, you can speak six languages.  Simmons, you have PhD’s in fields I can’t pronounce.  And Fitz – you ARE a rocket scientist!  Work it out!

Skye:  I’m good at stuff, too!

It’s the plaintive tone in her voice that sells it.

Behind the scenes - so cute!

Behind the scenes – so cute!

A few moments of hilarious physical comedy – everyone backs away from the highly dangerous alien explosive, and I spend several minutes screaming at the cast to stop leaning on the raft.  Jesus, you guys.

And my favorite line,

From the Ex:  “I’m not even going to mention the Corvette!”

Coulson:  Her name is Lola:

The Ex:  Of course it is.

Coulson in car

“You’re having a midlife crisis!”
“Afterlife crisis, actually…”

Hands down the best moment comes from the very end of the episode.  By now two whole days have passed since the episode aired and yet I still can’t bring myself to screw this moment up for those of you who haven’t seen the episode yet.  just watch to the end, OK?

See you next week!

Wednesday Video: Princess Alethea Rants About Petronella

cover of PetronellaHey, who is this tiara clad person visiting our blog?  Why it’s Alethea Kontis, author of Enchanted and the just published Hero.  Alethea kindly sent us this rant about the inspiration for Hero as part of her blog tour.  It’s story time!

Curious?  Here’s a description of Hero:

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she’s the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, “Did romance have to be part of the adventure?”
As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.

I found Hero to be a creative and exciting work of fantasy.  The highlight of the book was the exploration of gender roles, and the romance, which was based very much on the idea that people’s differences can complement each other.  In this case, the woman, Saturday, is impulsive, physically strong, and action-oriented.  The man, Peregrine, is gentle, thoughtful, and interested in feelings and in long-term consequences of actions.  Together, Saturday and Peregrine make a fascinating team.

For more info about Alethea’s blog tour, give aways, and of course how to buy the book, check out this page and the bookseller links below:


This Just In: Sci Fi and Fantasy Romance Titles in October

This just in (text next to pile of books)Welcome to a new feature:  “This Just In”.  Once a month I’ll be letting you know about some of the new science fiction and fantasy romance titles being released each month.  So – whassup in October?

Carina Press

Well for starters, Carina Press is listing so much new science fiction and fantasy romance as coming out in October that I’m just going to send you over to their page instead of typing out every title.  Carina Press is a reliable source for digital only genre romance reading.  Most books they publish are short (novella length or slightly longer).  The quality is uneven.  Some Carina books are clunkers, but several have earned ‘A’ grades from me.  If you are looking for “Romance with a capital R”, and you want it to be in a science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, or paranormal setting, this is the place to start looking!  Click here for the list of goodies:

Tor Press

Tor is another publishing house that has tons of romance coming out this month:  This link takes you to a list of paranormal romances.  It seems that October is THE month for paranormal romance releases – gosh, I wonder why?

Everything else!

October 1:     Hero, by Alethea Kontis

October 29:  After Dead:  What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse, by Charlaine Harris

Happy Reading!