Links, Videos, Reminders, and Other Items You May Enjoy

Book Ransom by Julie Garwood - a metal gate opening onto a foggy ethereal landscapeI have a ton of things to share with you, so let's get to it, in convenient and efficient list form! 

First:  The book club chat will be Tuesday 30 July at 9:00pm ET. The chat will be here at the hot pink palace of Bitchery, as usual. 

Author Julie Garwood will join us for the Q&A portion at 10:00pm ET.

So, to make that simple: Tuesday. 9pm ET chat. Then 10pmET JULIE GARWOOD. 

I'm trying to keep my cool here, and it's not always working. 

Would you like to read a really entertaining review? Have a look at Jodi's review of Melanie Milburne's Enemies at the Altar over at Bookthingo.

My favourite thing about Harlequin Presents is that they are utterly unafraid to have premises that are completely batshit insane. Melanie Milburne’s Enemies at the Altar is no exception. Our alpha hero Andreas and wacky heroine Sienna hate each other a white-hot passion, and have done ever since they were young: Sienna’s mother was the housekeeper for Andreas’s family, and had an affair with his father while his mother was dying of cancer.

Also, “I hate you but I long to pat your jumper” is my new favorite thing to say, even though I can't approximate an Australian accent except to say, “No.”

Kat is reviewing all the finalists for the Romance Book of the Year - which is AWESOME. Quoth Kat, “the RB*Y's are judged by readers – members of the Romance Writers of Australia are ineligible to judge the entries.”

The winners of the RB*Y will be announced 17 August at the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Freemantle, Australia – which I'll be attending as an honoured (yes, honored with a U!!) guest of the conference. I think I may be announcing one of the awards, too. FUN! (I'll be posting an entry with all the things I'm doing in Australia in August and September. I'll be there for about a month, so by September, when I return home, I should be able to do a much better Aussie accent imitation). 

Gry, our Norwegian Friday Videos Correspondent, sent me this link to an article in the Guardian about a Pakistani superhero created to battle enemies of women's education

A female superhero? So her superpower must be the ability to show off her boobs and bottom simultaneously, like Scarlett Johansson in that poster for The Avengers. Not quite. Burka Avenger is a master of Takht Kabaddi, a martial art that uses books and pens to defeat her enemies.

You mean figuratively? She beats her foes with intelligence? No, she literally just clonks them around the head with books and pens.

Is this a Batman thing? Was Burka Avenger traumatised by a flock of books in a cave as a baby? No, nor was she bitten by a radioactive book in a science lab, you dolt. Books and pens are her weapons because she's a teacher who wants to emphasise the importance of studying in her native South Asia.

Oh, now I get it. She's a social justice superhero, like Captain Planet. Kind of. Burka Avenger is the first ever animated series to be produced in Pakistan. She's the brainchild of local pop star Haroon, who wanted to create a positive role model to counter the Taliban's ongoing opposition to girls' education.

Sample dialogue? “The girls of today are the mothers of tomorrow. If the mothers are not educated, then future generations will also remain illiterate.”

This all sounds a bit worthy to me. It's also funny. In one episode, a villain's plan to destroy London and Paris with a giant robot is scuppered by his inability to get a European visa.

Holy Crap Awesome. 

I read this article before I left for RWA, and it's still taking a slow jog around my brain as I ponder all the different parts of it: For Colored Girls Who Can't Find Themselves Between the Pages by Rebekah Weatherspoon.

It's not enough for women of color to think “I can be a doctor I can be a lawyer. I can go to space.” And still a lot of women aren't receiving those messages. There needs to be voices out there saying I am worthy of love in its simplest and spine tingling forms. I can be the princess. The damsel. I can save the prince and it won't change a thing between us. I can be a writer whose expression is taken seriously and not as an under-selling niche to be marketed not at all and sold separately. It's important for other women of color to know that they too, can be.

Read the whole thing, as it's thought-provoking and powerful. 

Please meet Elyse's Elise's (sorry!) Nora Roberts bookshelf: 

Elyse's Nora Roberts bookshelf: every book NR published. Every single one.


Elise sent me this picture and I gaped at it. She says, “Nothing in that shelf except NR in her two guises.” 


And finally, something beautiful, sad and inspiring.

Via my personal Facebook feed, this is a six minute piece of video from a documentary called Alive Inside about the use of music to reach Alzheimer's patients. The music awakens them in a way that is truly amazing. 



This video, also about using music to reach those with Alzheimer's, features the grandmother and grandfather of someone I went to elementary school with (which is why it was on Facebook). This couple has been married 70 years. (These might make you cry, so be ready.)



It's amazing how music can reach beyond the boundaries of a horrible illness like Alzheimer's. 

I hope your weekend is wonderful, and filled with music!


Friday Videos

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  1. 1
    LisaJo885 says:

    Tom Brady is pretty and all, but is that a mis-loaded video link? Granted I did not have my sound on, but I don’t think he was talking about Hernandez having Alzheimer’s.

  2. 2
    LisaJo885 says:

    Edit: I see, it’s a cycle of news stories apparently. Tom Brady was the first video. A Song for Sadie is the one you were mentioning. Lovely!

  3. 3
    Sarah Wynde says:

    There’s a stage of dying called “terminal agitation.” People don’t talk about it. It is—oh, so brutal. Beyond horrible. Indescribable. Hospice nurses all know it and they will drug patients to the gills to try to ease it, but you can watch the expressions on the patient’s face and know that at some level beyond pain relief they are being tortured. It’s…yeah, no words. After two miserable days of it, I put my mom’s ear-buds in her ears on her playlist of Christmas music and it was like flipping a switch. She went from motionless but in agony to relaxed and at peace. There were no words that could comfort her, but music went beyond words to reach some deep, deep place of safety. I’m glad they’re trying it with Alzheimer’s patients.

  4. 4
    jimthered says:

    While a positive female superhero sounds like a great idea for Pakistan (and good just about anyplace), “she literally just clonks them around the head with books and pens” sounds more like El Kabong than Wonder Woman.

  5. 5
    Tam B. says:

    You’re coming to Freo’ – cool!
    Are you going to have any SBTB get togethers whilst in Australia???

    I’m checking the site for the conference details now.

  6. 6
    SB Sarah says:

    Oh, Sarah, that hurts my heart. I didn’t know about terminal agitation, but I am so glad your mom was eased through it. That sounds awful to witness, and I’m sorry.  My condolences.

  7. 7
    SB Sarah says:

    @Tam: Yes! I’m going to post all the events I’m doing in Freo, plus any that happen in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, too. I hope we can meet!

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