lady narcissa

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About lady narcissa

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    aesthetic contemplation

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  • Gender Female
  • Location City of Wind

lady narcissa's Activity

  1. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Austria Bound!   

    Hope you have a fantastic time in Vienna. I spent 3 months in Austria when I was a graduate student but that was a long time ago...there was no internet no practical advice. But there are a number of expat forums for people based in Vienna so you should check out a few of those and just from my preliminary look at a few it appears your quest for sports viewing and Mexican food are not unique so you should be able to find some ideas for those.

    Lots of yummy cakes and pastries to be found everywhere if you like that sort of thing. Also wonderful elaborate ice cream concoctions in the warmer months. And Christmas markets once the season starts.
  2. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance #2   

    I posted here the other day how overall I didn't like the first book in the series. Subsequent to that I skimmed through the second one and liked it probably less and decided not to continue with the series. However, I know people here and elsewhere did enjoy the series so I think it’s unfortunate her publisher will not be continuing with it...especially since I think her publisher did a poor job supporting it and I'd put part of the blame on them for it not selling as well as they would have liked.
    I've been to quite a number of conventions in the past few years which her publisher attended and at all of those they were promoting their UF series and authors by having various authors appear and giving out free first books in series and ARCs of upcoming releases. Generation V and M.L. Brennan were never there being promoted. Also, I follow Brennan’s editor on social media and while she can be very generous about promoting her authors and their books, I can think of maybe one tweet she made about this series this year and it was on the day the most recent book came out. At the same time she was tweeting about another author and book a good five times a day for a solid month.

    Also, even though I’m always looking for new-to-me UF to read and read UF related blogs and the like, this series only came on my radar this summer when several of you posted here about it repeatedly and I was finally like I should check out this series. So I think it’s a shame for a publisher to not allow a series like this time to grow an audience because if I wasn’t aware of this series until now, I’m sure there are a lot of other UF readers out there who have never heard of it. And maybe, unlike me, they would enjoy it.

    Regarding Mead’s Dark Swan series, I read that series from the start and when she first started writing it she rather consistently said it was going to be 4 books. I somewhat enjoyed the first two books and then thought the last two were much weaker. But the story arc clearly ended with the fourth book and when it came out she said she was done with the series. It’s only recently that I’ve noticed Mead’s added to her FAQ that the series might continue in the distant distant future.

    I did really enjoy Mead’s Succubus series. It had a great sense of place with Seattle and I thought it had a great story arc over the 6 books and really satisfactory conclusion.
  3. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance #2   

    I read M.L. Brennan's "Generation V" based on the many comments its gotten here. And yeah...I don't know. There are things I like about it such as the kitsune and Suz who is awesome. I also like that the vampires are vampire-like and not reluctant to kill humans. The vampire family dynamics are also fun but the whole bit with how vampires have babies is just weird. Yet there are so many things I did not like about the book including the main character who I cannot stand. Also I was bothered by mistakes such as the Breakers being described as the cottage the Rockefellers used to rough it in when its really easy to fact check that and know its the Vanderbilts. Things like that make me wonder about and doubt all the other local facts and details that are thrown around in the book to situate it in its location. And that was something else that bothered me as other than Newport which the author attempts to give a sense of place to (and makes mistakes attempting to do so), the "urban" part...was just so generic. It could have been anywhere-smallish-urban America. So that was disappointing. I might try the second book just to see if it gets better but I'd been more keen to if it was focused on Suz and her family and Fort was just an occasional secondary character.

    Or I've also got the new October Daye to read so I might read that instead.
  4. lady narcissa added a post in a topic, trustworthy site?   

    Just click on the Report button on one of the spam posts. When a mod is online, if none are online now, they will get the report and be able to find the post.
  5. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance #2   

    I think this can be partially answered by the fact that there are a segment of readers/writers that migrated from straight up romance to UF/paranormal romance. It used to be perfectly acceptable in straight up historical and contemporary romance to have the hero be like that. He is a privileged duke who is used to getting his way or he is a pirate and breaks all the rules, of course he is going to be a controlling arsehole. Or it's a historical and set in a time when women had no rights so of course the hero is going to treat the heroine like property. (Not agreeing or disagreeing with these statements, just reporting the rational I saw used for the characters being this way at the time.) These were quite normal things to find in romance novels in the 1970s - 1980s.
    Then around the 1990s this became not the politically correct thing for a human male to be in a romance and he started shifting into a kinder and gentler hero. Some readers like the change and remain happy romance readers. Other people didn't like this change and thought it made the hero boring and stopped reading romance.

    Around 2000 you start getting some romance writers turning to paranormal romance. What is no longer acceptable behavior for a human hero in a romance becomes acceptable once again with a non-human hero in a PR. He is a 1,0000 year old vampire, of course he thinks he is superior to a 24 year old human female. He is a billion year old archangel, of course he is way superior to everyone else. And readers who enjoyed reading old skool romance flocked to these PR novels.

    Why do people enjoy reading about such dynamics? I can't say for sure. But then again I sort of see it like video games where people go around and shoot up a bunch of people. Does that mean the video gamers secretly want to go around and shoot people and kill them in real life? I'm guessing most don't. It's a game, it's fantasy, it's escape, it takes them to a different place where different dynamics are in play. I'd say its the same for people who like reading about controlling arsehole hero. All the people I know who read it and enjoy it aren't looking for that relationship dynamic in their real life. In fact most of them I know that are in committed relationships are with the complete opposite...i.e. the nice decent kind people. But for whatever reason, there is a segment of readers that enjoy reading about that kind of character and they buy it and that is why it continues to exist in PR/UF.
  6. lady narcissa added a post in a topic I lost a role model and a friend.   

    So sorry for your loss, ES. He sounds like a rare gem. We need more people like him in the world.
  7. lady narcissa added a post in a topic UTIs just suck.   

    Not that I think this is what you have Chataya, but I mention it because its something I didn't know about and I think its good to talk about these things...I thought I had a UTI earlier this spring because I experienced all the symptoms of having one. Except all my samples came back totally clear. I got put on Cipro anyway just in case but the symptoms were still going strong after 14 days. After multiple tests and visits with my internist, ob/gyn, and urologist I got shipped off to pelvic floor PT. Turns out my pelvic floor muscles are super stressed and were spasming and since they touch the bladder it was impacted and led to feeling like a UTI but it was all just the muscles. I used to put all my stress in my stomach but now it looks like my stomach is sharing the burden with other parts of my body.

    With PT I am now working on relaxing my super stressed muscles which are apparently some of the most stressed muscles my physical therapist has ever seen. It is so not fun because its like having a ob/gyn exam every week and they stick these probes in you which can measure how tense or relaxed your muscles are. But supposedly they are getting less stressed so that is good.

    My physical therapist works on the pelvic floor muscles of both men and women. I never even knew issues with these muscles was such an issue for so many people. But my hospital recently created a pelvic health center which brings together a multidisciplinary team of urogynecologists, urologists, colorectal surgeons, nurses, and physical therapists so it apparently is for both men and women. Obviously it doesn't always impact a person's bladder but for a lot of women especially, it can.
  8. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance #2   

    That is good to hear, thanks for the feedback. I am for sure going to check it out myself but its good to hear someone else's opinion on it.
  9. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Time Travel Books - The Best and All The Rest   

    I have loved time travel novels since I was a child. Of the books that have been mentioned so far, my favorite is "The Time Traveler's Wife". Not only does it involve time travel but it has the added bonus of taking place in Chicago (where I live) and more specifically the Newberry Library (where I spend a lot of time).

    I have read "Time and Again" and enjoyed it but more because if I could time travel I'd want to go back to late 19th century New York City so its like my dream time travel scenario. That and when I first learned about it, it was not in print and the internet did not exist so I had an epic quest hunting down a used copy at the Strand Bookstore which only added to its mystique.

    My favorite time travel novels are all found in the children's section of the bookstore but I still enjoy them as much an adult now so I think they are good for all ages. Madeleine L'Engle has a number of them including "Many Waters" and "An Acceptable Time". My favorite of hers is "A Swiftly Tilting Planet". Very much influenced by L'Engle's stories is Newbery award winning "When You Reach Me" by Rebecca Stead.

    Other children's favorites include "Time at the Top" by Edward Ormondroyd (time travel via an elevator!), "Tom's Midnight Garden" by Philippa Pearce, "King of Shadows" by Susan Cooper, and "The Stones of Green Knowe" by L.M. Boston.

    There is a new in progress trilogy which has an interesting premise - there was a Great Disruption in 1799 where the world was fractured in time and all the continents were thrown into different time periods. So its back to the middle ages in parts of Europe, wooly mammoths are back in existence in Canada, parts of North America are pre-historical, the pharaohs are back in Egypt whereas parts of Asia and South America are far into the future. The first book is "The Glass Sentence" by S.E. Grove.

    Turning to books for grownups, I've very much enjoyed Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. Also, Daphne DuMaurier's "The House on the Strand" brings an interesting connection between addiction and time travel. One man can't resist traveling back and forth between present day and 14th century Cornwall even though he is physically endangered by the experience.

    "Arcadia" by Tom Stoppard is a play and it isn't traditional time travel. Instead you have a room in an English country house and two overlapping stories in time - one in the present day and one in the early 19th century. The events from the present and past are connected and influence one another and I love the idea that you can have the past and present co-existing and happening simultaneously in a room like that.

    I know Connie Willis has a number of time travel novels. I've only read "Blackout" which I liked. It involves historians traveling back in time to observe the Blitz during WWII in England and ending up getting stuck and having to do more than observe.

    Some time travels I have disliked...the second book in Deborah Harkness's All Souls trilogy, "Shadow of the Night". While I normally like most books set in Tudor England, I did not like this one. I similarly disliked "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs. Actually I really hated it.
  10. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance #2   

    Has anyone read "Shadowshaper" by Daniel Jose Older? It had a good NY Times review and since then I've seen it mentioned by a few people as worth reading. It's YA Urban Fantasy set in Brooklyn.
  11. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Light, sexy period romance   

    NPR did a survey this summer and from the votes has compiled a list of 100 swoon worthy romance novels. Lists like this are always a mixed bag. No one is ever going to love every novel and there are certainly some novels that might seem like romance novels to one person but be literary fiction or fantasy or young adult to another. Nevertheless, there are some good romance novels to be found on this list and to its credit, they are not all the new hot things but include some classic older ones as well:
  12. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Sasquan Information Thread   

    Sleeping time is best in multiples of two so 2-2-1 or 4-2-1 for me!
  13. lady narcissa added a post in a topic European destinations around Christmas?   

    I was just in Berlin this spring and had an excellent time and would recommend it. Actually Germany in general I would recommend around Christmas - especially before Christmas when the Christmas markets are open. They add a very festive atmosphere. My family and I have gone a couple of times the week before Christmas and all ages have enjoyed visiting at that time. We enjoyed visiting Cologne, Nuremberg, and Munich.

    Since you are also going to Ireland, I'll just mention that this past time we flew to Berlin through Dublin from Chicago on Aer Lingus as it had the best schedule at the time for connections and transferring in Dublin was a breeze compared to all the other transfer cities.
  14. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Happy Birthday Mr. X !   

    Happy Birthday Mr. X! Hope you had a fabulous day!
  15. lady narcissa added a post in a topic Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance #2   

    Accurate sense of place is really important to me in urban fantasy. This is the main reason I could never get into the Dresden series. Dresden Chicago in no way resembles Chicago. It's like some weird suburban variation written by someone who has never actually lived in the city.

    But its why I love the Peter Grant books so much. You can sit there with a London map and follow along with Peter's journeys and even when building has been made up to be made fantastical, you can still know which real building they were inspired by and look at pictures of them. From comments on this board, I think "Broken Homes" was the least popular of the series but its my absolute favorite because of the real buildings that were featured in the story and how Aaronovitch tweaked them to work them into the story.