Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Wacky Book, One Confused Look & A Cookie Right Hook

(Best Blog Post Title Ever!....What do you mean it's supposed to make sense?)

1. The Wacky Book.... Gabriel's Woman by Robin Schone. This was one of the weirdest, wackiest, most confusing, bizarre, sexual, and surprisingly compelling books I have read. I have never been so confused at the beginning of the book. Who was the first man? Who was the second man? Who the hell was Michel? Who was the other woman? The evil woman? The evil man? The angel? Gabriel? Remember that scene in Moonstruck where the grandfather says "I'm so confused!" and he has tears in his eyes? That was me reading the beginning of this book.

Then we got to the internal dialogue. Which went on and on and on and on...for the entire book. Super melodramatic. Sentence fragments. For emphasis.

Extremely raw, blatantly sexual love scenes.

A horribly tortured hero, which reminded me of Zsadist in many ways. Raped, body and soul, almost beyond redemption. But the love and understanding of a remarkable woman brought him back from the edge. Gave him hope. Gave him a future. (Notice my sentence fragments...hee hee!).

The plot line (when I finally figured it out) became very suspenseful and engaging. Although the final climatic scene was totally over the top. Nevertheless, I kept going because Gabriel and Victoria were fascinating characters and I wanted to see what was going to happen to them. By the end, I couldn't put this book down.

It was often heart-breaking, very intense, and strangely satisfying. I almost DNFed it at the beginning because I had no freakin' clue what was going on. By the final page, I was a Robin Schone fan. I'm not sure how it happened exactly, but she got me.

Grade: A

2. The Confused Look.....

5 stars = A
4 stars = B
3 stars = C
2 stars = D
1 star = F

No matter how Goodreads wants to redefine the star system, them's the breaks. 2 stars is not a good book. It is almost failing. I don't know how Goodreads decided that 2 stars is "okay" but clearly someone was on crack when he made that decision. I'm never sure when I see a "2" rating at Goodreads if the person means a real 2 (bad) or a Goodreads 2 (okay). Those are two hugely different things in my opinion. The confusion continues.....

3. A Cookie Right Hook....

It was an epic battle of good vs. evil. Penny, in one corner, wearing her elf apron and wielding a cookie sheet like a shield. In the other corner, Lace Cookies. Penny had faced Lace Cookies in the past and won. Feeling cocky, she whipped up a batch when the unthinkable happened. The mother f*ckin' cookies stuck to the tin foil on the cookie sheet. Ravaged, crumbled beyond recognition, the cookies taunted her from the counter. (Her daughter Natalie hungrily snatched up the debris and announced "These taste delicious.") Penny conceded defeat. (Although half of the 2nd batch turned out okay). Nevertheless, in this battle, on this day, Lace Cookies kicked Penny's ass.

If you are feeling lucky, and would like to attempt these mother f*ckin' cookies, here is the recipe. Sam Wayland, author extraordinaire and cookie master, gave me the recipe. She is clearly more skilled in the culinary arts than I am.


Here's the recipe.....

Sam's Lace Cookies
by Sam Wayland, author of Destiny Calls and With Grace

(do not attempt these if you have high blood pressure, anxiety disorder, or a tendency to whip things with a rolling pin).....


1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
 1 tsp vanilla
1 c. oatmeal (quick oats)
2 tsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 c. rice crispies or other cold, crunchy cereal

Mix in order, stir well, drop by tsp on tin foil covered cookie sheets or Teflon cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes until there is a dark ring around outer edge. (Penny's tip: Make sure cookies are very flat, and well-browned. If you remove them too early, they will stick to the mother f*ckin' cookie sheet and you will cuss like a sailor). COOL COMPLETELY before picking off tin foil. Then you sort of peel away the tin foil and the cookies are left behind.

Good luck!!!!!!!


P.S. Please stop by Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Books today to check out a post I did about holiday inspiration and cocktails! :^)


Brie said...

I had no idea about the Goodreads grading. It makes no sense. In what universe something in the middle point isn’t considered average and something below that is considered “good”? There’s no way someone who sees 2 out of 5 will think: “that’s good, I have to read that book”. Now I feel like I should go change some of my ratings because when I give a book a 2 it means that it was bad, it may have some redeeming qualities but I regret buying it.

Now I kind of want to read that book, although I never feel like heroes so damaged can really be healed, at least not by the power of love alone. I always end up thinking that the epilogue will be the hero killing the heroine by stabbing her 9999999 times or something like that. If someone continuously rapes you both physically and mentally, over and over again, one person’s love might help but it won’t be a miraculous cure…

OMG! Those cookies have crunchy cereal in them!!! O_O *grabby hands*

Penny Watson said...

Yes, Brie, it's confusing. I'm not sure how Goodreads took a pretty much universal rating system (halfway mark is the "average", and ratings above it are better than average...good!, and below it are below average...not good!). Sigh. It's confusing for readers and authors alike. This is a reading social website....I can't believe something as important as a rating system is that screwed up. It's discouraging and confusing.

The cookies are a bitch to make, but damned if they aren't delicious!

KT Grant said...

Have you read Schone's The Lover where Gabriel is first introduced? Talk about a doozy of a dark, erotic book! I will never, ever look at bananas and chocolate the same way again. I couldn't eat them for a few years after what Schone makes the hero do with them to the heroine as his way to get over his abused and tortured past.

2 stars seems like a barely passing grade in my eyes. But over at GR's, anything goes!

Penny Watson said...

KB....I haven't read that one yet. Gulp. I'm skeert!!!!

As to the rating problem.....it just seems to me that 5 stars, 5 grades, etc is a universal scale. The midpoint is 3 or C....average. The one place that makes things clearer is Fictionwise, where they use words to describe the rating....Great, Good, Okay, Poor.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

I'm sorry about the cookies. ):
I'm sorry about Goodreads. ):
I'm sorry about the tortured hero ): but I'm glad you stuck with the book.
Okay, don't know when I'll see you again, but have a very Merry Christmas with or without the spiteful lace cookies.

Penny Watson said...

Julia!.....Happy Holidays! Screw those lace cookies....I'm going to make the gingerbread men next time. :^)

Heidenkind said...

I have never heard of this "Schone" writer, but you have me intrigued. :)

Didn't Amazon definite 2 stars as an "okay" book, too?

Penny Watson said...

No, Tasha....here is Amazon's scale....

1 star=I hate it
2 stars=I don't like it
3 stars=It's OK
4 stars=I like it
5 stars=I love it

Now THAT makes sense.

Geekamicus said...

Perhaps, in an effort to avoid bad feelings (and eliminate the need to strive for perfection) GR has decided to make four out of five ratings positive. This way everyone can feel that they have achieved something.

Sorry about the cookie episode.

Linz said...

Robin Schone is amazing! You definitely need to read The Lover. It sounds like you figured out Gabriel's Woman, but The Lover really sets up that book. I love, love, love all of her pre-Scandalous Lovers books/novellas, but SL just didn't do it for me. (Too much oysters and old folks...together...yuck for my tastes.) The Lady's Tutor is also really good. Funny comment about her fragments.

Penny Watson said...

Geek.....Hmmm.....No matter how they try to spin it, they can't change the laws of mathematics. The half-way mark is, by definition, the average.

Bastard cookies! (I bought candy canes and Lindt chocolates today).

Penny Watson said...

Linz....I'm looking forward to reading more of her books. Now that I'm on board with her weird quirks!

Samantha Wayland said...

I'm sorry my recipe has induced so much anxiety. Because I'm a caring friend, I am always willing to come over and help. And eat any of the broken ones. (I'll wrestle Natty for them!)

What can I say, I'm a giver. :)