Hello from (yes I know you hate me) still sunny Florida! It's actually quite swampy today. It was 71 degrees and 1 billion percent humidity when I woke up. I know, you still hate me.
It's a lot of things in Daytona this week. Like most everywhere else, it's Valentine's Day week. For Catholics, it's also the start of Lent. And for this area in particular, it's race week – as in the Daytona 500. It's getting busy. The roads have become a constant battle between people who think they're driving in the 500 vs. seniors going 15 miles per hour under the speed limit. I hear cars revving all the time. I'm not going to the race but plan to walk on the beach a lot this weekend to at least experience part of it.
Speaking of Valentine's Day, you'll see below I wrote about romance novels. I read some Facebook comments about the piece that still call them too predictable to bother with. I'm tempted to ask those saying that if they like Law & Order reruns too. Genre storytelling is still genre storytelling, whether it's by and for women or not.
"Why are romance novels considered 'fluff'? Because they embrace female sexuality" for The Lily
"The Strava Debacle" for The New York Times
"How to Handle a Tough Race" for The New York Times
What I'm Reading
- Sophie's Secret by Tara Quinn Taylor. I had heard about pregnancy romances but never read one. I didn't expect too much from this but was pleasantly surprised. The pregnancy was a small part of the story (which may seem weird, but she doesn't even realize she's pregnant until about half way through) and the characters were well developed for a short book. The anti-choice bent was a bit much, but I think the audience for a pregnancy romance may be assumed to feel that way.
- The Secret Life of Connor Monahan by Elizabeth Beverly. This did not do what the last book did (I didn't care much for the hero and heroine).
- The Loss of a Pet by Wallace Sife. I bought this book soon after Emily died per a recommendation but I couldn't get myself to open it. I have mixed feelings. At times, I nodded with a "yes, yes that's what happened." But my hopes for the next edition is to cut out about 100 pages of filler, get rid of the random sexism (like calling women "hysterical," referring to teachers with feminine pronouns where "he or she" is used everywhere else, and ditch the tone in telling case studies that show women without partners and/or children are replacing that need with a dog), and cut references to things like "The Yellow Pages." This edition was published in 2014. It's in need of a drastic overhaul.
- In the Groove by Pamela Britton. This is part of Harlequin's NASCAR line, which was the butt of a lot of jokes when launched in 2007, but what a great partnership idea. I bought this along with a bunch of other romances at a used bookstore when working on that piece for The Lily but didn't get to it before writing the story. So far – it's not bad. It's not my favorite kind of romance, but I don't mind reading it.
What I'm Watching
- Grantchester. Yes hot vicar mystery show! They went a bit deeper into profound topics in season 3 – which was not a bad thing.
- Father Brown. This feels a lot like the same show but with a priest instead of a vicar and therefore more Catholic jokes (which I get) and the title character is not supposed to be seen as hot.