Archives for posts with tag: sex

Every once in a while, someone pops into a group and makes everything sparkle with fun and laughter. Francisco Cordoba is a gifted writer with imagination to spare, and he also takes time out from a busy life and career to tease and encourage other writers in the Scribophile groups. Read the rest of this entry »

I not only know lots of authors, I have the pleasure of introducing new writers to the world at large. The talent and determination of these folks make me smile and helps me stay on the write path. (Ha! I crack me up.) Read the rest of this entry »

These days, it’s really difficult to read a romance novel without the folks involved getting, well, involved. And because I write lots of sex scenes myself (to the point where I am lamenting writing another one), I am always interested in how the author approaches the subject. I thought I would review some of the books I have read recently, because there seems to be a style for each reader’s preferences.

Before I start, I remember a woman I knew from church 40 years ago or so. She would give me Romance novels to read, but being a good woman, if there was any sex in the book, she threw it in the trash. Today, she would have to request extra bins for the project. Times have indeed changed.

I love Sue Seabury’s Miss series, Miss Understanding being the first one I read. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/390185 These are Young Adult books, and so the sex is simple. Attraction and kissing, and thinking about what else might happen, but nothing overt.

Brenda Novak’ s The Heart of Christmas surprised me. The heat level went way up, but she didn’t provide a lot of detail. Simple fades to the next morning were used, and it worked very well. http://www.amazon.com/The-Heart-Christmas-Whiskey-Creek/dp/0778316394#

If you have read along in this blog for a while, you know I love Regency romances. I could hardly wait to read Rescued from Ruin by Georgie Lee, a close, personal, fellow member of RWA. I was not disappointed. The plot brings together two old flames who have gone their separate ways for a decade or so. The desire flares between them, but their history keeps them apart. When they do, finally, give in to that desire, the moments are magical. http://www.amazon.com/Rescued-Ruin-Georgie-Lee-ebook/dp/B00FTQUQ5O Georgie uses a nice blend of terms for the parts of the body involved, very much in keeping with the historical tone, and explicit details of who is doing what to whom.

Another friend and Regency author, Sally Orr, has one of the most drool-worth covers imaginable. That alone tells the reader that The Rake’s Handbook {including Field Guide} will be hot. The plot is an interesting look at the changes in an agrarian society at the dawning of the Industrial Age. The heroine has a lot of concerns with her handsome neighbor who is fighting his reputation as a rake. She wants to be sure the factory he plans doesn’t harm the water or her beloved home, and that no children will be used, or rather, misused, in the labor there. Neither expects a romance to happen between them, but neither can stop the fire when it starts to burn. There are some humorous uses of farm terms that allows them to talk about their sexual encounters. Again, not too graphic, but hot enough to curl the pages. http://www.amazon.com/The-Rakes-Handbook-Including-Field/dp/1492602116

These books are all romances, not erotica, so the story includes sexual activity between the main characters (except for Sue Seabury’s books, of course) and only at opportune moments that move the story along. The good thing is, romances these days come in many heat levels, and you can find the ones you like easily enough. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

We in the United States live in a society where, as has often been pointed out, sex is bad and violence is thrilling. I am not one to blame shootings on movies, TV, or video games. The blame in shooting sprees belongs on our treatment for folks with mental health issues.

But I still have to be careful about who knows that I write erotic romance. Retirement is just around the corner, and I plan to avoid any trips on the way to the finish line. So I have this “friend” who published a Regency erotic Romance which is available from Amazon. I’ll put the link at the end of the blog.

My close, personal friends on Scribophile have revealed to me the fact that many who consider themselves writers do not share that with anyone. Not with parents or other families. Sometimes not with significant others. Not with coworkers. Not on social media.

That’s why there are cutesy names used by really intelligent writers there. You would not believe the angst we vent in the forums about not finding the right name, or someone else already writes under that name, or why can’t I use Jane Austen, she’s done with it?

Speaking of Jane Austin, and female writers of her time period, women just didn’t write novels. Page one in the Ladies Book of Unspoken and Unwritten Etiquette clearly stated, journals, okay; letters, of course; poems, maybe; a novel, are you insane?

Uncle Wiki has some great nuts and bolts details if you are interested in pseudonyms and the whys.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudonym

But in the modern world, you would think it not that necessary to have a writing name. Here’s how 8 famous writers (which appears to be fast and loose with the definition of famous) picked their names.
http://mentalfloss.com/article/51195/how-8-famous-writers-chose-their-pen-names

Thanks to the internet, we now have wonderful methods for generating a name of our very own. Here’s a nice one.
http://www.namegenerator.biz/pseudonym-generator.php

Maybe, just maybe, you are writing steampunk or Victorian romance or something like that. Well, here’s a generator for the Victorian in you.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/31/pen-name-generator_n_5045267.html

And how could I resist this great name, Nom-de-plume-o-matic?
http://arockinmypocket.blogspot.com/2010/11/nom-de-plume-o-matic.html

So, back to the fact that I could keep my job if I wrote blood and violence stories, but have to keep it hush hush if I should decide to do what my “friend” Roxanna Haley did and publish erotica. What a world, what a world. Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N7T79FA

See you on Sunday.

My pen name is Roxanna Haley, and I have published two books in a series. They are available at these links:

https://www.amazon.com/Entr%C3%A9e-Pure-Captivation-Regency-Banquet-ebook/dp/B01L6DJYEC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1472734392&sr=8-2&keywords=Roxanna+Haley

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/661631 Read the rest of this entry »

I may have mentioned that I write Regency Romances. Published nothing so far, but come pretty close a time or two. Under and assumed name so my sister won’t be ashamed to acknowledge me in public, I am writing erotica. I have a fun scene where the hero dances the heroine outside and into a hedge maze, and does unspeakable things to her. That’s why I wrote it down, instead of making a recording.

One reader was amazed that the hero could simply pull her sleeves down her arms a bit, and all her glorious bounty lay exposed before him. “Didn’t they have bras?” she asked. No. No, they did not.

I’ll let Uncle Wiki fill you in on the history of the brassiere. Suffice to say bras were not used until the late 1800s, and the Regency era really slipped into the Victorian era about 1820. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_brassieres

What did the women do to keep the “girls” in line? There were several options. Much depended on the social status of the woman. Regency women dressed like an onion, in layers. First there was the chemise, also called a shift. Often this was the nightgown, too. Over this light and easily washed shift, would go the stays. https://mantua-maker.com/Corset_Patterns.html The breasts were lovingly placed into the stiff cotton twill garment, and a wooden (usually) busk (yardstick) is inserted in the front, in a pocket designed just for that use. The stays were expected to flatten the stomach, but lift and separate the bosom. This is more flattering than the Georgian flat from neck to toes style, and much more comfortable than the Victorian corset.

The shoulder straps, as you can see here: http://www.songsmyth.com/underthings.html can be undone from the front and tucked in the back, if your ball gown had a wide neckline. So my hero could easily have pulled the stays down the slender heroine, with no impediment.

Shall we finish dressing our Regency Heroine? Why not! Over the stays, her ‘tiring woman or abigail places the petticoat. The bodice of the petticoat would be of a cheap, coarse fabric, and the had open sides for eas of dressing. Strips of fabric tape tied it all closed. The chemise would not be ankle length, but the petticoat was designed to fill out the shape of the dress, so that the wearer’s legs could not be easily perceived under her gown. It went to the hem and had at least one ruffle, properly called a flounce. http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/why-petticoats-and-chemises-were-worn-under-regency-gowns-jane-austens-world/

Drawers, you ask? Oh, no. Only fast women and prostitutes would wear drawers! http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/ladies-underdrawers-in-regency-times/

But that’s a step backward. Here are a few more wonderful links on the subject, and next Thursday we’ll look at the outer layers, and that wonderful hobby, laundry! Have a good week.

http://wordwenches.typepad.com/word_wenches/2007/10/undressing-your.html

http://www.kristenkoster.com/2011/11/a-primer-on-regency-era-womens-fashion/

Every writer I know is also a great reader. I don’t think I would be driven to tell stories if I hadn’t lost myself in the pages of some great adventure. I might have pursued another creative outlet, but in “the autumn of my years” I have no regrets.

I can actually look back at my life through the books I read at different times. My sister read to me, and I loved it then, and still do. If you want a job as book reader, look me up when I’m rich and famous. In Kindergarten, my teacher handed out mimeographed (inhale! Can you still smell it?) pictures of a “bookworm” so cute you would gladly let him eat your library. For every book we read out loud to the class, we could color in one segment of his long body. I read a little story book about The Three Little Pigs. Later, with classmates, we would act out that classic tale of thinking things through and killing wolves.

A few years later, I had one illness or another, and my mother bought me a glossy hard covered book, Black Beauty. My sister was also horse-mad, and I picked up some of it from her, but never had quite the opportunity she had to be around actual horses. A wide variety of pets did embroider my life, and I have always been a fan of the various creatures we humans live with. And so it will come as no surprise that I picked up books like The Yearling, The Black Stallion, Big Red, and Lad: A Dog. And any and all sequels to these. We lived in a rural section of a small town, with no sidewalks, and no parks very close. I went to a private school so I knew none of the kids in the neighborhood, if there were any. These books and the characters in them were my best friends.

In high school, I got into some serious literature. Shakespeare, of course, and many assigned books I had already read when they were handed down from my sister or brother. I remember being excited by the pirate novel, The Silver Oar by Howard Breslin https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17316760-the-silver-oar?ac=1 due to the comparatively mild sexual scenes. But I never knew you could write about that stuff!

I got in with friends who were fans of TV shows about World War II, and read The Great Escape, Where Eagles Dare, The Guns of Navarone, and Von Ryan’s Express. I read a bunch of non-fiction, too, doing my first ever research for my writing. I wrote fan fiction, and I am not ashamed of it. But no, you will probably never see any of it.

Before I graduated, my group of friends had morphed into Star Trek fans, and I was reading Asimov’s Foundation series and wondering why I just didn’t like much of Robert Heinlein. And I was writing fan fiction for Star Trek. I had a good time, but I lamented the fact I couldn’t write original stories. I would love to go back and tell myself, be patient. This is just part of the learning experience.

Some years later, my sister (she really is my guardian angel, and I love her dearly!) shared a book with me. An historical romance by Kathleen Woodiwiss. The Flame and the Flower is credited as the first modern romance novel, and my sister and I devoured everything she wrote, and subsequently Rosemary Rogers added fuel to our burning pasisons. I wandered off the track to explore Barbara Cartland, Edith Layton, and Georgette Heyer. I found my perfect writing model in Mary Balogh, and Regency romances.

I’ve spend the years exploring lots of humor, science fiction, and historical novels. But my writing heart first and foremost is in the Regency period. That whole “universe” is open to any writer, to create and play and populate. It’s my home and my spirit is happy there.
This is my last Wednesday post. I’ll be back on Sunday to wrap up (finally!) the world tour, and then next week I’ll post on Thursday. My schedule is such that Wednesday is too much of a push for getting a good post up, most of the time. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful week.

Well, it’s a tie. Only one vote came in on the three possible candidates for modeling my heroine after, and then there’s my vote. But as the official tie breaker, I get to pick the one I want. My friend and fellow writer who voted picked my least favorite of the three, to my amazement. She felt the first picture was too sleek and modern-looking, and the third, my favorite, looked too inactive to be a heroine.

I’ve been large size since sometime after my 2nd birthday. I’ve juggled emotional issues and depression and low self-worth, and by some luck managed to stay alive long enough to meet a man who loves me more than I love myself. I’m not saying being overweight is not a problem. I found a plan that works for me and I have lost 70 pounds in the last two years. I’m taking a break and doing maintenance currently while dealing with financial stress (that is going away, hooray!) and getting through the last months before my retirement.

One thing that made the weight loss work is a support group that I found, and that I in turn support through my gift, writing. I take the notes for the group, and keep the information fresh in their minds. We have a great facilitator who is a certified nutritionist, and once a month we have a special speaker who has an amazing alphabet soup behind her name. She works with mostly young women who have eating disorders. She’s lost a few patients, too. It’s a very deadly condition that usually starts with a negative remark from another person. Or maybe just a friend tells you how to drop a few pounds quickly by purging. Size bigotry is killing more people than we realize.

I’m less active than I would like to be, but not long ago (within the last millennium) I took part in three times weekly aerobics classes, hiked with my dog on weekends, and went to as many social events as I could afford. Just last year I was in Tai Chi, my favorite form of exercise, and walk a few times a week at work, plus volunteer to walk dogs at the local humane society. Anything to keep from cleaning the house.

So to prove that size does not equal inactivity, I went on line. I found a wonderful site called Monica Wants It. This plus size beauty blogs about do it yourself decorating, crafts, entertaining, and weight loss. http://www.monicawantsit.com/search/label/fashion

I zipped over to Daily Venus Diva, a fashion place for beautiful and curvy women. I am so impressed and amazed that there are fashion models out there, working, and larger than I currently am. The site is for fans to follow large size celebs but it’s great for a quick boost of window shopping. http://dailyvenusdiva.com/

Tess Munster is a plus size beauty, a model, and a campaigner for acceptance for all sizes. I love her t-shirts that read “Eff Your Beauty Standards.” http://theplussizelife.blogspot.com/

There’s even a Plus Size Mag with the hottest BBW models in the business. http://www.plus-model-mag.com/2013/07/hottest-bodies-in-the-plus-size-modeling-industry-2013/

And I fell in love with The Militant Baker’s spoof of a certain clothing store’s ads. Who is that delectable eye candy she is posing with? I may have to pin him somewhere. http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/23/living/abercrombie-attractive-and-fat/

But I really wanted to find out more about the model in the photo that got my vote. You see, something clicked in my writer brain when I looked at her, and now I know a lot more about my hero. He’s a large man, tall, broad shouldered, big feet to go with it all, and learning to live on board a space-challenged sailing ship that he commands. A larger, softer woman would feel more comfortable in his arms. And that’s part of the equation, the formula that equals sexual attraction that unfolds into love. I am miffed that I have to put this story on ice for a bit, but it is unfolding in my brain.

Kate Dillon is the model. She is an active and interesting person. She’s educated, she survived her “non-trivial eating disorder” and she likes herself better every day. http://www.vogue.com/magazine/article/a-life-in-full/

And more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-541288/Supersize-Me-The-Top-Model-Who-Piled-Pounds.html

And this: https://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/model-kate-dillon-speaks-outa-about-being-too-skinny-too-plus-size-and-whats-up-with-the-crystal-controversy-2015056.html

What I want to say by all this is, don’t judge! Love yourself, and don’t let others judge you. You are Perfect, Whole, and Complete! See you Sunday for more book travels.

I want to look at romantic moves in depth once I finish my trip around the world, but it’s going to take a Sunday post and not a Wednesday one. So instead, I’m going to list Desmond Morris’s wonderful 12 Steps of Sexual Intimacy, and link to a movie that does a pretty good job of illustrating that step. Ready?

1. Eye to Body –You know, that hot body that attracts your eye no matter what. Even in a crowd of good looking people, there’s something about this body that’s special. Lost in Translation is on my list for doing this one right. While not a real Romance, because the couple have no Happy Ever After (HEA), it has its moments. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0335266/

2. Eye to Eye – Princess Bride. Best eye sex ever! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093779/?ref_=nv_sr_1

3. Voice to Voice – RED. Frank Moses totally falls in love with Customer Service rep Sarah just from talking to her on the phone. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1245526/?ref_=nv_sr_5

4. Hand to hand or arm – Especially meaningful for young people having their first intimate encounter. Moonrise Kingdom is one of those special movies you never forget once you see it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1748122/?ref_=nv_sr_1

5. Arm to shoulder – The Quiet Man. Well, they move on to kissing quickly, but thanks to the customs of the land, they take everything else slowly. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045061/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

6.Arm to waist or back – Dirty Dancing. No, they weren’t just dancing. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092890/?ref_=nv_sr_1

7. Mouth to mouth – Gone with the Wind. Rhett: “You should be kissed and often and by someone who knows how.” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031381/?ref_=nv_sr_1

8. Hand to head – 10 Things I Hate About You. On the swings. 8) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0147800/?ref_=nv_sr_1

9. Hand to body – Guys and Dolls. In Havana, when rum is added to the milk to preserve freshness, anything can and will happen. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048140/?ref_=nv_sr_1

10. Mouth to breast – Shakespeare in Love. This movie has lots of the steps involved, but the mouth to breast is key to the plot. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0138097/?ref_=nv_sr_1

11. Hand to naughty bits – I will have to get back to you on this one. Not usually part of a love story, or a romance, so not able to come up with one. Sorry. Suggestions?

12. Naughty bits united – The Watchmen – Yeah, do it in the owl, baby! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409459/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Have fun with the list, and see you on Sunday.

So have we gotten out of the time warp yet? Seems like more than a week has gone by with us exploring Tasmania. The devil, you say? Get on the plane.

141. Australia. Sometimes I can recommend a book because I have read it. Other times I have seen the movie. This is a movie recommendation. The Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington is based on a true story. I like to believe the government program had the best of intentions with removing children from their families, but you know what happens to good intentions. They end up resurfacing a hot roadway. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/150723.Rabbit_Proof_Fence

142. Papua New Guinea. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens does not take place in this country. However, Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones uses the fascination with that story to pull a community together following a devastating war. Not a coming of age story or a novel of how bad it is to be a woman, instead it’s the story of how every individual is important for surviving tragedy. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/543873.Mister_Pip?from_search=true

143. Indonesia. I found this book and stopped looking for others. I just listened to the author’s book, Wild Fire, and if you read my Wednesday post, you’ll understand some of what pulled me into and out of that story. But I came away with a desire to know all about the other characters on the team, and I expect we will have that opportunity. Wild Rain by Christine Feehan is the second in the series Leopard People. At least Indonesia is a more likely setting for leopards than Central America.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/490196.Wild_Rain?ac=1

144. Singapore. Say what you will about Barbara Cartland, some of her stories were fun and taught readers some things about the world around them. Magnificent Marriage by La Cartland has a heroine that proves to be smart, a little older than Cartland’s usual virgins, and more important to the story than the alpha hero. One reviewer praised the fact that she learned some of the history of Singapore, Malaysia, and Sarawak. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3787343-the-magnificent-marriage?ac=1 A close second is The Elephant and The Tree by Jin Pyn Lee.

145. East Timor. Sometimes the best way to get to know a country is through fiction, and sometimes it’s through memoirs. The Crossing: A Story of East Timor by Luis Cardoso tells his story and that of his homeland during the important struggle for independence. One reviewer complained that it was too intense, with so much packed into a small book. Well, try to describe any such struggle in 20,000 words or less. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/868194.The_Crossing

146. Madagascar. Did you ever wonder exactly what happened in detail between Tarzan and Jane, all those years in the forest? Well, apparently so did Collete Gale. Entwined is the first book in her series, The Erotic Adventures of Jane in the Jungle. I so want this book, and I so wish I had written it.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13432786-entwined?ac=1

147. Mauritius. You are a young boy on an island that is largely in ignorance of World War II. Your father works as a guard at a prison there, and through various events, you meet a Jewish boy your own age. Jews were refused admittance to Palestine, and ended up wherever they could find some acceptance. One reviewer says this is a sweet story with a hard pit. Coming of age with a purpose that would not have occurred had there been more love in the world. The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanan.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9083994-the-last-brother?ac=1

148. Reunion Island. I picked a graphic novel because, one, I love and grew up reading comic books, and two, they are a great way to help kids and adults read more. The story of a young assistant to an ornithology professor looking for the nearly extinct dodo bird being swept away by the lifestyle of the island’s inhabitants got my attention. Bourbon Island 1730 by Lewis Trondheim looks delightful in both story concept and the art work. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3416560-bourbon-island-1730

149. Seychelles. Keith and Sally Pomeroy start their delightful Mathew Butler Adventures series with Butler Did It with a scuba diving photographer, a murder attempt, and lots of fun. Even the reviewers giving it a low star rating agreed that it’s a fun read. Those who liked it added exciting, but don’t expect a classic. And my favorite, it would make a better movie than a book. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11068144-butler-did-it?ac=1

150. Comoros. What do you know about the coelacanth? Here’s a cheat sheet: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/coelacanth/ Now you are ready to read A Fish Caught in Time: The Search for the Coelacanth by Samantha Weinberg. Long thought to be extinct, this possible link between the sea and the land is merely elusive, living in a very inhospitable ocean depth for humans. Can you feel the excitement of seeing a picture of one just caught, when the scientific world felt sure they no longer existed? https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/539138.A_Fish_Caught_in_Time?ac=1

151. Mozambique. Why does it seem that as soon as a person vows never to get involved with the opposite sex or the same sex in a romantic way if that’s their inclination, the perfect match for them walks into their life? Mozambique Mysteries by Lisa St. Aubin de Terán may not answer that, but you will read a personal story involving the remote coastal country and the various cultures that settled there.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2163834.Mozambique_Mysteries?ac=1

152. Zimbabwe. Now we turn to a story of coming of age in a country where it’s tough to be female, and cultures clash without thought. Two people find themselves and each other while a country grows in spite of national upheaval, and a mystery might tear their world apart. An intelligent read in the land of growing tension, as well as growing tension between the main characters’ falling in love. The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6518071-the-boy-next-door?ac=1

153. Swaziland. Presented as a fantasy adventure, The Bird of Heaven by Peter Dunseith reveals the world and lives of Swazi tribes through their spiritual beliefs and customs. There’s a character who is a leopard in a man’s body, so maybe wereleopards aren’t that original. We receive the gifts of our ancestors for self-empowerment, and face the transcendent victory of a noble spirit. All in one book.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7717640-bird-of-heaven?from_search=true

154. Lesotho. I have struggled to find books about the countries written by natives, or at least citizens, of that country. Here I have a fictionalized account of the life of a great Zulu warrior. Chaka by Thomas Mofolo is compared by one reader to a Hindu myth. Written in the early 1900s, this book has taken a long time to come to any attention in the West, and for that I give it my complete attention.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1101837.Chaka?ac=1

155. Zambia. Another good way to get to know a country is through the accounts written by those totally unprepared for what they encounter. Peeing in the Bush by Adeline Loh is one such story. I came back to it several times just based on the title. All she knew about the jungle she learned on Animal Planet. I can’t wait to get to know her paranoid vegetarian companion. A wacky retelling of an attempt to leave the comforts of civilization behind, it’s dubbed a wack-o adventure by one of the reviewers. I’m thinking Lucy and Ethel go to Africa. Sold!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6579159-peeing-in-the-bush?ac=1

156. Angola. Truth or Fiction? Yes. Set in Diary form, Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595 by Patricia C. McKissack is one of a series of books (The Royal Diaries) for young readers detailing the lives of girls from around the world and throughout history. Most of the reviewer readers are young, but not all. And in case it matters, Ms. McKissack is of the same blood as the heroine in her story. A strong main character and a fascinating story.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/440125.Nzingha?ac=1

157. The Democratic Republic of the Congo. There’s so much about the country that is fascinating to me. My mother had a friend who had lived there, when it was called the Belgian Congo. I loved her stories of the jungle and the changing world. I could have gone easy on myself with Congo by Michael Crichton, where I first learned that gorillas are afraid to cross running water or to be wet. But I hoped for something deeper. When you go to Goodreads and read the synopsis, you should know immediately why I picked this one. The Madman and the Medusa by Tchicaya U Tam’si.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3984715-the-madman-and-the-medusa?ac=1

158. Rwanda. I’ll give you a few minutes to get over any uncontrollable urges to giggle at the names Hutu and Tutsis. Because the horrid slaughter of families for no other reason than the circumstances of their birth and heritage is nothing to laugh at. Finding hope and love in the heart of slaughter and chaos would be worthy of praise, and so it is in Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin. The reviews are the usual mix of loved it/hated it/ it’s not so bad, but I found it disturbing that one opined that the book would be popular in America because the main character was a strong black woman. I think it more likely that the gift of hope in despair by a person of any gender or race is the key to popular fiction.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6088236-baking-cakes-in-kigali

159. Burundi. I feel like I have discovered something really special here. There are no reviews so far on Goodreads. But having grown up with Tarzan in all the various forms, and Jungle Book, and loved the idea that a human child could survive when raised by animals, I am all agog to read The Wild Boy of Burundi by Harlan Lane and Richard Pillard. A true case study of a child found living with primates in 1974. How did he get there? What happened to his parents? Is he any relation to someone named Greystoke? Well, I will have to read the book to find out.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1314957.The_Wild_Boy_of_Burundi

160. Tanzania. We’ll end this week with a trip in the Way Back machine, visiting prehistoric Tanzania, and the tribes that live in the shadows of Kilimanjaro. Great Sky Woman by Steve Barnes is a combination of anthropology, cultural history, and fiction. A great read and the first book in a series that I expect will become addictive.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/625845.Great_Sky_Woman__A_Novel

Enjoy the past, the huge herds of beasts that are no longer there, the people who changed to survive, and the foreshadow of a world to come. See you on Wednesday for a fun break, then on to some islands next Sunday.

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