Nell Iris


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#RiotGrams day 16

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

16 – Set Near Where You Live

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I admit, this is pretty lame. We got this book as a gift from our friends when we moved here in 2012 and I haven’t used it once 😀

So, let’s talk about something more interesting. Last week I got an email from a very nice person, saying they thought of me when they read this submission call and asked if I’d considered writing a story set in Malaysia.

To be honest: I haven’t. Mainly, because the longer I live here, the more I realize how complex the culture is, and I would be afraid of misrepresenting it. For example: only about 50% of the population are actually Malay. The rest are made up of different ethnic groups where Chinese make up more than 20% of the population. Indians are a big group, too, and then there’s other ethnic groups making up the rest.

To say that the relations between the groups are complicated, is an understatement. There’s a lot of open racism between the three biggest ethnic groups. For example: as I stepped into a taxi once, the driver said Sorry if it smells bad in here, I just had an Indian customer.

My facial expression to that comment: 😳

So no. I hadn’t thought about it. Until I got that email. It kicked my brain into gear and I started thinking What if…?

I still haven’t decided, because there’s another—more practical—issue to consider:

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I’m a pantser, guys. And last time I tried to plan and write an outline it all went to shit. So sending in a synopsis that I have to keep to when I write…I’m not sure about that.

I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it for a little while longer. Got any advice? 🙂

 


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#RiotGrams day 15

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

15 – Favorite Twist

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My choice for this topic is this fabulous book: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, by Ian Doescher. And yes. It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s the Star Wars story written in the style of William Shakespeare, all the way down to the iambic pentameter.

It’s truly amazing. It’s like someone looked into my brain to see what I like the most, and came up with this idea! Shakespeare and Star Wars? Yes, please! (Yes, I know I’m a Trekkie, but I’m an equal opportunity sci-fi nerd!)

Look here:

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Isn’t it amazing? 🙂

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These aren’t the droids you’re looking for

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It’s even complete with cool illustrations. Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.

I’ve only read the first two books (Star Wars and The Empire Striketh Back 🙂 ) but I’m gonna buy them all.

Are you a fan of mash-ups like these? 🙂


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#RiotGrams day 14

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

14 – Cookbook/Food-Themed Book

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Food for thought by Amy Lane is a part of a series Tales of the Curious Cookbook so I’m going to proclaim this a double whammy. Tales of the Curious Cookbook is a collaboration between five M/M authors, and the common denominator is the ‘Curious Cookbook’, which is a collection of magical recipes put together by a mysterious person called Granny B.

I’ve read two of the books (the other one is the Mary Calmes one) and I really like the idea. The recipes are truly magical and the Curious Cookbook has a big impact in the MC’s lives.

The concept sort of reminds me of a movie I saw a long time ago, Like Water For Chocolate (based on a novel with the same name by Laura Esquivel), where the food is almost like a character in the story. The main character, Tita, has a magical relationship with food and her mood impacts her cooking. For example: once when she’s cooking for a large event (a wedding, IIRC), she’s sad and cries into her pots and pans. The result is that every guest at the event starts crying when they eat her food.

It’s magical realism related to food. I like it a lot.

And I realize I just wrote more about the movie than the Amy Lane-book. Sorry 🙂 I’m a huge AL-fangirl and this book is no exception. I warmly recommend it. And here’s the series-blurb as compensation 🙂

It’s called comfort food for a reason.

Not much is known about the cookbook, except that years ago, the mysterious Granny B collected a set of magical recipes and wrote them down. Over the years, each book has been modified, corrected, added to, and passed down through the generations to accumulate its own unique history. The secrets behind these very special recipes are about to find their way into new hands and new lives, just when they’re needed the most.

Food created out of love casts a spell all its own, but Granny B’s recipes add a little something extra. This curious cookbook holds not only delicious food, but also the secrets of love, trust, and healing, and it’s about to work its magic once again.

Enjoy these stories from:
RJ Scott
Amy Lane
Marie Sexton
Amber Kell
Mary Calmes

What’s your favorite food-themed book? 🙂


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#RiotGrams day 13

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

13 – Freebie!

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I’m a member of the M/M Romance group on Goodreads, and during summers they used to have these events where readers came up with a prompt for a picture and authors claimed the prompts and wrote a story about it. And then the book was available for free for all the members in the group.

The M/M Romance group didn’t hold an event like that last year, unfortunately, and I don’t think there’ll be one this year either. Too bad, I love them. It’s a great way of discovering new authors.

That’s where I found this gem, Mr Wonderful by Willow Scarlett. I loved that book so much that after I finished it, I bought every other book the author had written, too. And several of them have been solid five-star reads.

What I love about this author, is the quirky characters. There are no macho firefighters or tragic police officers. No, the characters are gender queer or punks or artists or outcasts or generally weird. What they all have in common is that they’re all interesting.

I’ve come to understand that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, though, so maybe try this freebie first. But definitely give Willow Scarlett a try!

Has that ever happened to you? Trying a freebie and loving it so much, you devoured the author’s other books, too? If yes, I’d love to hear about it! 🙂


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#RiotGrams day 12

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

12 – ‘Summer’ Reads

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Since it’s summer in Malaysia all year long, I just grabbed two books I really love and photographed them by the pool. 🙂

Eleanor & Park is a YA novel (straight romance, I used to read those back in the day 🙂 ) by Rainbow Rowell. I have three words for it: ALL THE FEELS.

It’s set in the 80s and the characters bond over music and it’s music that I listened to in my youth, which I guess is one of the reasons I loved it so much. But if I think about it, it’s a dreadful choice for a “summer read”. Aren’t those supposed to be uplifting and happy? If that’s what you want – then no. Otherwise I recommend it.

I love The Sonnet Lover by Carol Goodman because sonnets. And Shakespeare. And Italy. What more reasons do I need? And that one will work on a sun bed by the pool or the beach, that’s a promise 🙂

Do you read any special books in the summer?


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#RiotGrams day 10

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

10 – Books In The Wild

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Too literal? 😀

Let’s just say that the guy who was cleaning the pool, stared at me when I marched out on our cabana and dumped an armfull of books in the flowerbed and then proceeded to take a bunch of pictures of it. 😀


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#RiotGrams day 9

RiotGrams-Challenge_June-2017-768x768

In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

9 – LGBTQ Pride

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You know you love a book when you buy it both as an e-book and in print. And just for the record: I’ve bought two copies of the e-book. The one with the old cover that’s on my tablet in this picture, and the one with the new cover (that’s the print cover).

Cardeno C. is one of my favorite authors. CC’s books are sweet and loving and full of emotions—just the way I prefer my romances. I love this book, Perfect Imperfections, to death and I’ve read it a million times.

It’s the only gay romance book I have in a print copy. I plan on buying more of them, but for now this is it. It’s so pretty. ❤

I give it my warmest recommendations. Seriously. You’ve never, ever received warmer recommendations than these, I swear 😀

Do you have a book like this? One that you’ve bought in several editions and read a thousand times? 🙂

Blurb:
Hollywood royalty Jeremy Jameson has lived a sheltered life with music as his sole focus and only friend. Before embarking on yet another international concert tour, he wanders into a bar in what he considers the middle of nowhere and meets a man who wins him over with his friendly smile and easy-going nature. Accountant slash bartender slash adventure-seeker Reg Moore has fun talking and drinking with The Jeremy Jameson and can’t say no when the supposedly straight rock star makes him a once in a lifetime offer: keep him company on his tour by playing the part of his boyfriend.

Listening to music, traveling the world, and jumping off cliffs is fun. Falling in love is even better. But to stay with Jeremy after the stage lights dim, Reg will need to help him realize there’s nothing pretend about their relationship.