Book Review: Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Aurelia (Aurelia, #1)Aurelia by Anne Osterlund
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a sweet and lovely book to read. It had intrigue, mystery and just a very little bit of romance. Hopefully that is something that will be delved into more in the next novel.

It was well written and a wonderful story to read. It's good for when you're in the mood for something innocent but interesting.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Magic without Mercy (Allie Beckstom #8) by Devon Monk

Magic Without Mercy (Allie Beckstrom, #8)Magic Without Mercy by Devon Monk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like the previous novels in this series, this one was action packed. It was also had a lot more of the character development, which I noticed more because 1. Allie has stopped whining/complaining and 2. You got to know more about the other characters.

The situation just keeps on getting more intense, more potent and harder to fix. Love it!

The one thing that still bothers me is about the Authority. You would think that suck an old organization would have better abilities to make sure everyone and everything is as it should be. Granted, magic was never known thing for the entire civilian population, but I would think they would have ways to track if one of the heads in the organization was losing it or changed dramatically.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Touch of the Demon (Kara Gillian #5) by Diana Rowland

Touch of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #5)Touch of the Demon by Diana Rowland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This latest and amazing book in the Kara Gillian series was *awesome*. I really enjoyed the trickiness in this installment. Nothing was what Kara though it was, things changed and it was utterly brilliant. Loved how it flowed, the twists and full of painful (poor Kara) action.

There is so much going on in this book, I am still processing the repercussions of what was revealed.

The only thing that bugged me was how Kara so quickly took up the passionate side of things with Rhyzkahl (and never questioned him - I mean, he's a Demon Lord, she always questioned things with him...) and then later on with Mzatal. I think she's (obviously) better off with Mzatal, but wow, way to sleep with whoever your Demon Lord is I guess.

Overall though, loved it. Did not put it down until I was done.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Dreamspinner by Lynn Kurland

Dreamspinner (Nine Kingdoms #7)Dreamspinner by Lynn Kurland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book. This whole series is a nice fantasy romance with a bit of action thrown into the mix.

This particular book in the Nine Kingdoms series, I thought at least, was one of the better ones. There was more going on behind the scenes, things the reader was to flow with or figure out. There were also points where I was caught off guard, which is a good thing! It was not predictable in the details at all. Yes, the author has a theme with this series, but that is what draws me to it.

I loved the "there is no such as magic" from the lead heroine in this tale. It was so funny, how that just made all the other characters - blink - and nicely move on to a safer subject.

This book also leaves you with a major cliff hanger. I can't wait to read the next novel in this series.

View all my reviews


Why do you read??

During my therapy session last night, we talked in part about my reading and what it means to me. I don't know how it can affects others, at least for the most part.

I know at what age I got truly interested in reading. I was 12 years old, living in San Fernando Valley in Southern California. I was in 6th grade. My sister had just read this book and said I should read it. It was Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings. It was also a revelation.

At this point in my young life, I was happy and miserable at the same time. I was super tall for my age (and then stopped growing for several years) so the start of middle school wasn't as bad as it could have been. School life really wasn't the issue, home was. Both my brothers were in and out, they were drug addicts and gods only knew when/where/what they were working (though then it was mostly construction), my sister starting high school, so world of difference between us there, Jean (aka mother) was working in South Central LA as a teacher on emergency credentials. We were Mormon, which meant church on Sundays, baby sitting and pretending my Dad was "working" somewhere in Arizona while we barely surviving. Don't get me wrong, the church helped us like you could not believe in those years. It was hard because we could never talk about what was really going on and pretend everything was normal, ok, nothing to worry about. Not to mention my mother was not exactly the best at parenting.
We had 3 dogs, 2 females and 1 male, that we breed. This helped keep us afloat, because we would get $400+ per puppy (Bichons). I hated the boy dog, Fred, though. He was too fucking smart and a total ass. We had several cats, which Jean named after her fave actor at the time, Sylvester Stallone - so we had Rocky, Rambo and I think Sylvester. Rocky wasn't quite right in the head (different story, different post)

Ok, so onto why I got so into reading. Back then, and for many years, it was an escape. Not just any escape either, it was safe. Safe to be close to the characters, to live through them, experience what they did and feel what they did. To learn - so many things. My life really wasn't that bad and could have been so much worse. I was lucky to be living during the times that women have value and to know it's ok to fight for that value. To know that they are good people, bad people, and people in between. It was ok to be happy, angry, fight for what you believed in, to protect others and yourself. It was ok to be yourself.

It gave me peace. It helped me figure out who I wanted to be, and not just succumb to same old shit everyone else did.

As I grew up and older, I didn't take those qualities as much because I didn't need them as much. Reading then challenged me, to think more and deeper. It gave me pleasure and stress relief. It gave me reasons to ignore assholes and to not take some things personally. It gave me perspective.

There is nothing quite like reading a novel that ramped you up so much, broke your heart along the way and then ended so satisifying you just wanted to bask for a little while in the thoughts of it. (Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner series comes to mind)

And as I became an adult, working and paying bills, reading became more and less at the same time. I didn't always have the resources to buy books, which meant they became that much more valuable in my mind set. I do wish I was more aware of the library systems back then!! I also didn't have as much time to read. So I would read in chunks of time, mainly on the weekends or later in the evenings. Then came marriage and with marriage you totally forget about everything and everyone else for a time :^D

But reading, it's certainly changed me, helped me grow and just BE as a person.

How I read books now, is much different from how I started out. Now, it's pleasure and me time. Sure, there are sometimes it's a stress relief from work, or a brief glimpse of a different reality (because that violence isn't as close to home as the news on TV) but for the most part, it's because I enjoy the story. Some stories are amazing and I love getting that rush off a good plot/plots. I love getting pulled into something, some amazing world or characters that I wish I knew in real life or even the humor behind the banter going on. Now, I am entering the book, whereas before the good was a gateway to someplace else.

I am not using the books to escape from an unhappy life, not anymore. I am reading a good story. Some books and characters I get more attached to, which means their authors are the ones I keep watch out for more (and ok, it's like 100 authors at this point...). I just love reading and the joy it brings me.

Why do you read?


Passive Aggressive Part 2

Wow, I posted about this lovely and fun subject in January of 2011. I thought it'd be nice to offer up a refresher and see what new information is out there now...

If you want to read my original post, please check it out here

I realize most of us, especially in relationships, will show passive aggressive traits at some point. When we get so angry and don't want to really hurt the other person, we might instead do it in a not so obvious way. Personally, when I have done this I was overt about it. And I know that with me personally, I tend to do this when I am still processing something in my head and know I'm upset but unable to comunicate that. It can be amazing that a simple little sentence or two, like "You really pissed me off by saying xyz..." can be so hard to verbalize.

No one is perfect, we're all working on things, but communication is key.

Below are some things I found on the net (not my written words) so please see the resources for where I gathered this info.

Signs/Examples of Passive Aggressive behavior:

Non-Communication when there is clearly something problematic to discuss

Avoiding/Ignoring when you are so angry that you feel you cannot speak calmly

Evading problems and issues, burying an angry head in the sand

Procrastinating intentionally putting off important tasks for less important ones

Obstructing deliberately stalling or preventing an event or process of change

Fear of Competition Avoiding situations where one party will be seen as better at something

Ambiguity Being cryptic, unclear, not fully engaging in conversations

Sulking Being silent, morose, sullen and resentful in order to get attention or sympathy.

Chronic Lateness A way to put you in control over others and their expectations

Chronic Forgetting Shows a blatant disrespect and disregard for others to punish in some way

Fear of Intimacy Often there can be trust issues with passive aggressive people and guarding against becoming too intimately involved or attached will be a way for them to feel in control of the relationship

Making Excuses Always coming up with reasons for not doing things

Victimisation Unable to look at their own part in a situation will turn the tables to become the victim and will behave like one

Self-Pity the poor me scenario

Blaming others for situations rather than being able to take responsibility for your own actions or being able to take an objective view of the situation as a whole.

Withholding usual behaviours or roles for example sex, cooking and cleaning or making cups of tea, running a bath etc. all to reinforce an already unclear message to the other party

Learned Helplessness where a person continually acts like they can’t help themselves – deliberately doing a poor job of something for which they are often explicitly responsible

 Consequences of Passive Aggressive Behaviour

In being passive aggressive you are not giving yourself or others an opportunity to listen to what you think or feel

When on the receiving end of passive aggression, you can feel confused, upset, offended, guilty and frustrated. You may think you’ve done something wrong, but have no clear idea what it was

It avoids communication in a very negative way

It creates insecurity in all parties

It creates a bad atmosphere between people

It is a form of conflict where either both or one party cannot engage sensibly in the issues

It avoids the real issues

It creates negative feelings and resentments in an unassertive way

 In marriages, husbands and wives often use passive aggressive behavior as the path of least resistance. In other words, a person wants to say "no" to a request, but realizes that doing so will likely result in an immediate disagreement or confrontation. To avoid the temporary unpleasantness, a partner verbally agrees to a request but behaviorally delays its completion or-more crafty yet-carries out the task according to unacceptable standards in hopes of not being asked to carry out the request in the future. Fortunately, situation-specific passive aggressive behavior in a marriage, though infuriating in the moment, is usually quite manageable when confronted directly and consistently.

Passive Aggressive Behavior Is a Habit

For some, passive aggressive behavior is not just a situational choice, but rather a deeply ingrained personality type. When a child is raised in an environment in which the expression of angry feelings is not tolerated, he learns to use indirect, passive aggressive means to express himself. In marriage, this adult child overgeneralizes and responds to his spouse as if she were the parent who stifled his emotional expression. Genuinely-loved partners become undeserving targets of ingrained passive aggressive habits and are especially hurt, confused, and frustrated to receive it. The relationship is often brought to the boiling point.

Another aspect that makes passive aggression particularly toxic in a marriage is how it is modeled to the next generation. Children of passive aggressive parents learn the indirect expression of anger as a way of life. They grow up with the belief that "anger = bad" and that hiding anger is the right, healthy, proper thing to do. Chronic passive aggression can be just as damaging to a marriage and family as outward aggression and requires focused efforts at long-term behavioral change.

Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man **This could also apply to women**

NOTE: This is the "condensed" version. For the expanded version please see Dr. Wetzler's book, pages 35-37......

FEAR OF DEPENDENCY - Unsure of his autonomy & afraid of being alone, he fights his dependency needs - usually by trying to control you.

FEAR OF INTIMACY - Guarded & often mistrusful, he is reluctant to show his emotional fragility. He's often out of touch with his feelings, reflexively denying feelings he thinks will "trap" or reveal him, like love. He picks fights to create distance.

FEAR OF COMPETITION - Feeling inadequate, he is unable to compete with other men in work and love. He may operate either as a self-sabotaging wimp with a pattern of failure, or he'll be the tyrant, setting himself up as unassailable and perfect, needing to eliminate any threat to his power.

OBSTRUCTIONISM - Just tell a p/a man what you want, no matter how small, and he may promise to get it for you. But he won't say when, and he"ll do it deliberately slowly just to frustrate you. Maybe he won't comply at all. He blocks any real progress he sees to your getting your way.

FOSTERING CHAOS - The p/a man prefers to leave the puzzle incomplete, the job undone.

FEELING VICTIMIZED - The p/a man protests that others unfairly accuse him rather than owning up to his own misdeeds. To remain above reporach, he sets himself up as the apparently hapless, innocent victim of your excessive demands and tirades.

MAKING EXCUSES & LYING - The p/a man reaches as far as he can to fabricate excuses for not fulfilling promises. As a way of withholding information, affirmation or love - to have power over you - the p/a man may choose to make up a story rather than give you a straight answer.

PROCRASTINATION - The p/a man has an odd sense of time - he believes that deadlines don't exist for him.

CHRONIC LATENESS & FORGETFULNESS - One of the most infuriating & inconsiderate of all p/a traits is his inability to arrive on time. By keeping you waiting, he sets the ground rules of the relationship. And his selective forgetting - used only when he wants to avoid an obligation.

AMBIGUITY - He is master of mixed messages and sitting on fences. When he tells you something, you may still walk away wondering if he actually said yes or no.

SULKING - Feeling put upon when he is unable to live up to his promises or obligations, the p/a man retreats from pressures around him and sulks, pouts and withdraws.

A passive-aggressive man won't have every single one of these traits, but he'll have many of them. He may have other traits as well, which are not passive-aggressive.

And if I could, I would re-post the entire blog about:

Afraid to Rage: The Origins of Passive-Aggressive Behavior

Read it, it's worth it.
I think that if you realize that you have Passive Aggressive as a personality trait, counseling would be the first place to start.