Tag Archive | books

Jenna Bennett on Tall, Dark, and Divine

Good morning my lovelies!

I promised you a treat today and here it is! I reviewed Tall, Dark, and Divine the other day (loved it!) and today I have the privilege of hosting a guest post by the author, Jenna Bennett. She’s an absolute darling and I am eagerly setting aside some moola to read more of her work.

I mentioned that my favorite character was Dion(ysus) in part because he’s hilarious. It seems that Jenna agrees with me, because he is in most of her favorite scenes.

If you like what you read here (and I’m sure you will) you can find Tall, Dark, and Divine here:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Entangled Publishing

Kobo

iTunes

About Jenna:

Jennie Bentley is the author of the New York Times bestselling Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, while Jenna Bennett writes the USA Today bestselling Cutthroat Business mysteries for her own gratification. Jenna is also the author of various forms of romance, from contemporary to futuristic, and from paranormal to romantic suspense, including the award-winning Fortune’s Hero, first in the Soldiers of Fortune series, and JennaAuthorPic3winner of a 2012 SFR Galaxy award for best Enemies to Lovers story.

A former Realtor® and renovator and current full-time author, Jenna/Jennie lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with a husband, two kids, an African dwarf frog, a goldfish, and a hyper-active dog. Originally from Norway, she has spent more than twenty years in the US and still hasn’t been able to kick her native accent.

Where you can find her:

Website: http://www.jennabennett.com/

Blog: http://jenniebentley.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bennett_Jenna

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenna-Bennett-Jennie-Bentley/192400104127600?fref=ts

And now *drumroll* the moment you’ve all been waiting for (or scrolling down to read 😉 ):

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Top 5

I love to laugh.

Most people do, I guess, so that makes me no different from anyone else.

But that’s one of the reasons writing Tall, Dark and Divine was so much fun. I’ve written close to twenty books by now, some of them more and some less laugh-out-loud funny. They’ve all had their own brand of enjoyment. But TD&D was probably the best for sheer number of ROFL moments. I cracked myself up writing, and that’s always a good sign.

A large part of the reason why the book is so LOL funny is Dionysus, Greek god of wine and debauchery, owner of the bar in which the characters in the book hang out.

The hero in TD&D is Eros, Greek god of love, and Dion is Eros’s best friend. And their exchanges are pretty damn funny. Unlike Eros, who is the hero and as such has to be somewhat perfect, Dionysus doesn’t have to impress, and so I didn’t have to hold back when it came to writing him. He’s foul-mouthed, opinionated, sexist, and your classic a**hole alpha male, and he’s also a ton of fun to write and read.

Here’s a snippet of conversation, lifted from chapter 3, of Dion trying to talk Eros out of the funk he’s been in since his ex-wife, Psyche, left him.

Warning: there are a lot of f-bombs in this book, so if that isn’t your thing, you may want to stop reading now.

“I think you oughta get back on the horse,” Dion said, and brought him back to earth.

“Horse?”

“Saddle. You know what I mean. Find a woman and remind yourself what you’ve been missing.”

Eros shook his head. “I’m never getting involved with a mortal again.”

“I’m not saying you get involved with her,” Dion said. “You tried that. It didn’t work.” He shook his head. “We’re gods, man. We’re not meant to stay with just one woman.”

Right.

“You gotta spread the gift around, know what I mean? Every woman deserves a night in the sack with a god.”

“Sure.” Whatever. “But I’m the fucking god of love, Dion. What’s the world coming to, if the fucking god of love just wants to get fucked?”

“Seems to me you already did,” Dion said.

And then there’s this one, after Eros walks Annie home – Annie is the heroine – and ends up in bed with her, and then goes back to Dionysus’s Bar looking for Harry Mitchell, the guy he intends to set Annie up with.

“He left a few minutes after you walked out. Why? Were you gonna hurt him?” He looked delighted at the prospect.

The thought had crossed Eros’s mind. However— “No. Annie told me she wants him. I’m gonna get him for her.”

Dion tilted his head and contemplated him. “What did you do wrong?”

“Nothing,” Eros said. “It was before.”

“Before you showed her paradise. You did show her paradise, right?”

Eros shrugged. “She seemed to enjoy herself.”

“Not exactly the rousing confidence I was hoping for,” Dion said, “but it’ll do. So you took this woman home and nailed her, and she let you, and even kept her shoes on while you did—”

“That wasn’t deliberate.”

“Sorry to hear it. Even so, what makes you think she still wants Harry?”

“She said she did,” Eros said.

“Before you fucked her. And seeing as you’re the fucking god of love, when you fuck someone, they stay fucked, right? They don’t want anyone else afterward.”

“Will you knock it off with the fucking?”

“When I’m dead,” Dion said, and added, “which will be never, since I’m immortal.”

Of course, Eros hasn’t thought through his plan for putting Harry and Annie together very well, and as a result, their first date is a bit of a disaster. Annie works in a dog bakery, selling peanut butter bones to dog owners, and Harry owns a Schnauzer, Fiona. Annie has used Fiona as an excuse to talk to Harry, and when Harry shows up for the date, it’s with Fiona in tow. They end up walking to the dog park, where Harry buys Annie a hot dog and a Diet Coke. And this exchange takes place:

She waited for him to start talking to her—he had asked her out, after all, not vice versa—but when the silence lengthened and he didn’t speak, she said, “Fiona looks like she’s having fun.”

Harry nodded.

“How long have you had her?”

“Two years,” Harry said, around his hot dog.

“Is she your first, or did you grow up with dogs?”

Fiona was Harry’s first.

“Did you always want one?”

“I heard chicks like dogs,” Harry said.

Annie blinked. “Is that so?”

“Well.” Harry shrugged. “Look at you.”

Harry does wise up eventually, with the help of Eros and his golden arrows, and realizes that Annie is the only woman for him. By that point, Eros has realized the same thing, of course, and things come down to a big showdown in the Plaza Hotel, with arrows flying and people getting shot. And not always the people who should be shot, either.

“Now!” Dion said, and Eros let go of the arrow. It zinged through the air with a high-pitched whine, over the heads of the other diners—almost getting lost in the elegant upsweep of a Park Avenue matron’s hair and narrowly missing a tuxedo-clad waiter—before hitting Brita in the shoulder.

Fuck.

“Oops,” Dionysus murmured, as the Cretan goddess of hunting stopped in her tracks. Eros lowered the bow, cringing.

After a second, she turned to look at him, and he felt the force of her glare all the way to his soul. Moron.

“Sorry,” he mouthed. Brita scowled.

“Shit.” Dion’s hands flexed. “Guess we’re done for. Sorry, man. It was a good try, but—”

“Shut the fuck up,” Eros growled. 

In front of them, Brita reached up to pull the arrow out of her shoulder. She turned to Harry with it in her hand. It looked like she hesitated for a second, before she lifted it and plunged it into Harry’s chest.

Eros held his breath. For a second, nobody moved. Harry’s eyes widened. He clutched his chest and staggered. In slow motion, his jaw dropped and his eyes widened. And then they rolled back in his head and he crumpled to the floor.

And finally, after Brita slings Harry over her shoulders, like Robin Hood with his steer, and walks out of the Palm Court, Eros and Annie work things out between them. It necessitates a trip to Zeus, head of the Olympians. Zeus and his wife Hera live in a row house on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, and Eros needs some special ambrosia from Zeus, ambrosia that will allow him to keep Annie with him forever.

Unfortunately, Zeus doesn’t seem too inclined to play.

Dion shifted. “You’re joking.”

His father glanced at him. “It would solve the problem.”

“For you, maybe. You’d love for Ross to give up his immortality. You’ve always been worried that he’ll challenge you for top god one of these days. He’s the god of love, and everyone wants love. You’re just the god of thunder, and nobody cares about that.”

Zeus’s nostrils flared. On the TV screen, thunder boomed and lightning flashed. The players scattered as hail the size of snowballs pelted the field.

“Big deal,” Dion said. “So you can make it snow.”

So there you have it. My Top 5 favorite moments from Tall, Dark and Divine. Hope you’ve enjoyed the quick view into the book!

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HAH! You thought that was all, didn’t you? Well you’re WRONG! This is part of a whole big thing, blog tour, giveaway, the whole nine yards! Tall Dark and Divine Banner

Here’s the deets and how to enter!

Prizes (who doesn’t love prizes?)

1 Sweet Prize Pack including a “Follow Your Passion” bracelet, a Sugar Cookie candle, and a eBook of Tall Dark and Divine (US ONLY)

3 eBooks of Tall Dark and Divine (International)

How to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Twilight, et al

As promised, my book review to compliment the last movie!

View the details for each book: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn.

Also, you can read the partial of Midnight Sun. (This was released by the author, so no hinky stuff went into this post.)

The first thing I should say is: I enjoy these books. Not for the writing, but for the story itself. It’s catchy in that teen angst 80’s movie kind of way that I twilightreally like. This is my go to “I’m feeling emo and need a pick me up” book series. Cause let’s face it, no matter how bad things get, I am never going to be as pathetic as Bella. That, and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s like mental junk food.

So let’s get on with it 🙂

In a nutshell:

Girl has boring, mundane life. Feels outside of everything and weird. Girl meets boy. Boy is vampire. Girl immediately falls head over heels and wants to be a vampire too so they can be together forever zomg!!1eleventy!!one!11

Yes, that’s actually the whole series in a nutshell. At least in my world.

The good:

Believe it or not there is good here. If there weren’t, it wouldn’t be as huge as it is. Yeah sure, some of it’s timing, but even with that there has to be something that speaks to people to carry it this far.

So, what do I consider the good? Glad you asked.

Strong female role model. There is, it just isn’t Bella. I’m all about Alice here. She is strong, independent, and smart. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and she works for what she wants and protects those she loves. There’s a lot to admire there. (Yes, I know that Bella does the same in the last book and goes to die for Edward in the first book, blah blah. There’s a world of difference in the approach, though. That’s why Alice > Bella all day and night. And also, Ashley Green has more than two facial expressions.)

The supporting cast. Emmett, Jasper, Alice, Carlisle. I cared about these guys. Charlie, too. They were interesting and there was depth to their characters.

Engaging story. Again, not so much the Bella loves Edward emo story. At least, not for me. It’s the underlying story of pretty much everyone else that I find interesting. The interplay between the Cullens and the other vampires, how everyone gets along, and the Indian tribe and how they figure in.

Mockery material. There’s a ton of it. I can mock for hours and I love that. But all mocking aside, Meyer hit a home run and she deserves credit for that. I would love to achieve even half of her success with this franchise.

The bad:

There’s a lot of bad here.

First off, the writing is lackluster at best. I’m frequently pulled out of the story by crap grammar and asinine situations. It’s annoying, but the story manages to survive.

Bella. God there’s so much bad here. She’s generic. She has so little personality that there’s nothing to balance the typical teenage girl angst. Believe me I can relate to teenage girl angst. I had it in spades. But there was more to me than that, and there should be more to Bella, but it’s hard to find. She’s completely subsumed by the men in her life. I like strong female role models and she really just doesn’t make it for me. Not even in Breaking Dawn. She starts to hint at maybe thinking about developing a backbone, but most of it is Alice’s influence and planning. Shoot. Me. Now.

Edward. The descriptions of his total perfection and beauty made me want to chew glass. I get it. She thinks he is the second coming. Okay. But he’s also a stalker and controlling. This. This is my biggest problem. It’s all about Edward and what Edward wants and what Edward tells Bella to do. She isn’t a person, she’s an accessory. Believe me, I get the draw of an alpha male. An assertive, strong, dominant man is sexy. But not when it takes away from the woman being an equal in the relationship. It’s a partnership, people.

Sparkling. Vampires. Holy crap on a cracker, Batman. I give her props for making her own vampire lore. It’s ballsy and it worked for her. Not being a slave to accepted cannon and thinking outside the box puts a fresh face on things and makes for a good story. But really. Chris Evans doesn’t sparkle and I pray that he never does.

Vampire c-section with his teeth. Oh ffs, I can’t even think of the words for this. It was utterly inane and made me want to beat someone with my copy of the book.

The fact that I cared far more about the supporting characters (who also had more depth) than the main characters. There is a problem here.

The ugly:

This is one of the sad cases where the movie is better than the book.

Also, if your vampires are frozen in the moment they were made, how in the holy flaming poo, do they make babies? Seriously? Consistency please!

Overall:

I’ll say it again. I was entertained. So with all the glaring things that made me cringe and want to hug Stephanie Meyer and give her a cookie, I still enjoy the series. I didn’t want to demand my money back and I can reread them (although I skim a lot) once in a while.

I think that Meyer has potential to be a really good writer with time. She’s definitely got the imagination thing going for her.

So yes, I’d recommend the series, with the caveat that the writing isn’t all that and Bella makes me want to punch someone.

Also. Midnight Sun. Evidently she did this as a writing exercise to help her get into things and really explore her characters. I linked to it above. It’s the first book from Edward’s point of view instead of Bella’s. It’s far more interesting, there’s far more depth and character development. I hope she finishes it one day, because I’ll say that THIS is the version that should have been released. I actually sort of liked Edward after reading the partial she had here.