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Revisiting DragCave

Do you guys remember DragCave? It was really popular many years back on LJ. You collect tiny virtual dragon eggs and raise them into various dragons.

I've decided to revisit the game. I hadn't logged in in so long that all of my dragons had lost their names. I had some good ones too, and now I had to fudge with adding things like “Original”, “the First”, or hyphenating names. I'm kicking myself for losing some of the good ones. Especially my Firefly, Princess Bride, and Grateful Dead themes (although I did bring a lot of those under the Ridiculous lineage). I took the last two days and went through and renamed most of my dragons. The ones I'd written descriptions for, anyway, that said their names and the ones whose lineages showed what kind of names they needed (Dorkface, Ridiculous, Thuwed, Mudita, etc.).

So I'm trying it out again. And I'll log in often enough (how often?) that I don't lose all my names again. If you want to help, you can help keep my eggs alive by clicking on them. They need clicks and views to live.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

Here's my whole scroll if you're interested. I'm happy to breed for people too if you see anything you like. You can separate your dragons into groups now, so I've made a group (highlighted at the top of my scroll) that has all of my dragons whom I've written personalized descriptions for. I used to use them as writing exercises. Some of them are pretty good, if I do say so myself. I might try that again since I haven't been able to write in a while.

Anyway, check it out if it interests you. Thanks for any views or clicks you give!


Kushiel RPG

Love As Thou Wilt

Kushiel's legacy I

Would you like to be a young noble playing the games of thrones or courtship? Or perhaps an adept in the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers, a Cassiline Brother, the Royal Admiral, or a Menekhetan diplomat?

The Kushiel RPG is a play-by-email roleplaying game based on Jacqueline Carey's bestselling Kushiel's Legacy books. We are starting a NEW GAME. This game is set 300 years before the events of Kushiel's Dart. Come join us for intrigue, fetes, assignations, and more!

To play, you must be 18 years or older and join both the Kushiel RPG and Kushiel RPG OOC lists.

Free Kushiel's Dart e-book

You guys know I LOVE Kushiel's Dart. If you're wondering what the hype is, go here to download it now as Tor's free e-book of the month. You have to download it by July 19th, so hurry!

What, exactly, is Kushiel's Dart?

Imagine an alternate medieval France where the inhabitants are descended from angels. A god-touched courtesan is saved from a life of ignominy and becomes a spy who must save the realm! There is such amazing worldbuilding and plotting in this novel. Sex is part of their religion, and our heroine is marked to feel pleasure in pain, so there is plenty of sexy time, including bdsm sexy time. But that's only a bonus to the rich tapestry that is this book. Check it out!

You can read my full review here on Goodreads.


The Straight Girl's Guide to Sleeping with Chicks, by Jen Sincero

Straight Girl's Guide

I see that some reviewers take issue with the title/approach and feel that this book supports homophobia. I've given that some thought, but I tend to think that it is more geared towards women like myself who have only had straight experiences and are curious about female sexuality. The book tries to encourage women to let go of stigma attached to their genitals and their sexuality and embrace a whole buffet of sexual experiences. Things might be for you, it might not, and that's okay. That goes for sleeping with women, anal, whatever. I personally think it's a decent book for the curious, and it lets people label themselves. Since it normalizes female love affairs and lesbian sex, I don't feel that it's too homophobic.

Sincero's humor is a bit try-hard for me, and I'd call it 'aggravating' more than 'sassy', but that's a matter of personal taste. I'm not sure I really dug the Barbie doll sex position pictures – I prefer drawn pics – but some folks might find them helpful for visualizing. I did learn quite a lot. It's at least given me new ideas of things to try with myself or in my erotica writing, whether I ever get to explore lady love or not. It has one of the best resource appendices that I've seen, and I'm glad I bought the book for that alone. It lists books, websites, movies, porn, and sex shops, but the author also talks a little about each one and lets you know what they're like. That's going to be invaluable for me. I'd probably call this more 3.5 stars from me, but I have to round lower rather than higher compared to some of the other books on sexuality that I've been reading lately.
More Than Two, by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert

More Than Two

This is an excellent resource, as both and introduction and a how-to guide, on polyamory (or ethical non-monogamy). The authors give an honest, no-nonsense approach that stresses compassion and personal integrity. There are useful chapters on understanding what polyamory is (and how it differs from and sometimes intersects with swinging or bdsm), better communication skills, potential pitfalls, coming out, safer sex, and more, all interspersed with personal anecdotes from the authors and many others.

I'd honestly recommend this to everyone, if only for the communication skills they teach! I also enjoyed the introspective questions they share at the end of each chapter. It's a bit dry in the beginning, at least for me, but overall it was a really great read.


The Threesome Handbook, by Vicki Vantoch

The Threesome Handbook: A Practical Guide to Sleeping With Three, by Vicki Vantoch

The Threesome Handbook

When I heard that Misha Collins's wife literally wrote the handbook on threesomes, I had to check it out for pure curiosity and fangirl's sake. Sadly, my adventures in that realm are purely academic/vicarious...but I did get some tips on how to try to get my husband on board, plus good reminders not to push or wheedle.

I'm a polyamorist at heart despite being in a monogamous marriage, so perhaps this is preaching to the choir in my case. I liked the book. Mostly. She covers ideas like introducing the idea to one's partner, dating strategies, communication techniques, self-awareness, safer sex, deepening relationships and how to manage those (not just sex!), embracing or exploring one's gayness or bisexuality, coming out as 'trisexual', and even a position guide and an appendix with further resources. The book is very thorough.

It has a friendly, conversational vibe, though she does get a bit twee for my tastes. If I never see the word “schtooping” again, I will die happy regardless of whether I ever actually get my threesome on. There are also quite a few typos that really should have been caught on edit, but otherwise it's a really great resource and interesting read.

The Secrets of Midwives, by Sally Hepworth

The Secrets of Midwives, by Sally Hepworth

The Secrets of Midwives

I received a free copy from Goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

Having been a birth doula, I'm inclined to like stories that have a birthy bent. I liked this one well enough. It's a very quick, easy read. The story alternates between the viewpoints of three generations of midwives, and of course each has her secret she's carrying.

I didn't much care for Grace or her passages, and I felt she was a bit one-dimensional. The mommy issues between her and Neva seemed a bit strained at times, and all based on Grace being an incredibly grating person. She had some redeeming qualities in the end, but she wasn't very fun to read.

Neva has a secret pregnancy that she's managed to hide from every birth professional she works with or is related to. It strained credibility a bit, as did the awkward reveal, but I was more peeved about her repeatedly assuring the men in her life that she was sure of her dates and no the baby wasn't theirs – when really it just seems like Neva (or the author) is playing everyone involved and the reader as well.

Still, Floss's chapters, especially the flashbacks, were really engrossing. I sped through the book in one sitting. The ending's a bit pat, so I think I give it three stars overall, but it was a decent way to spend the afternoon.

Kushiel Drabbles

I finally finished my astrology drabbles from oh-so-very long ago! Chapter one can be found here. I didn't rate these, but they're not explicit.

Author: [personal profile] ahavah/Ahavah (AO3)
Prompt: Drabble Cycle Round 10: Astrology
Fandom: Kushiel's Legacy

Chapter Two!

Title: Libra
Pairing: Phedre nó Delaunay/Grainne mac Conor
Word count: 100

Title: Scorpio
Pairing: OFC/OFC
Word count: 100

Title: Sagittarius
Pairing: Moirin mac Fainche/Jehanne de la Courcel
Word count: 100

Title: Capricorn
Pairing: Claudia Fulvia/Brigitta
Word count: 100

Title: Aquarius
Pairing: Sidonie de la Courcel/OFC
Word count: 100

Title: Pisces
Pairing: Katherine Friote/Roshana Shahrizai
Word count: 100


Naamah's Blessing, by Jacqueline Carey

Naamah's Blessing, Jacqueline Carey

Naamah's Blessing

This is more a 3.5 star, but I'm rounding up to 4. I liked this book much better than the second Moirin book. It was nice to see Terre d'Ange again, and the journey to Terra Nova was a fun adventure.

I usually love seeing the gods at work in the characters' lives, and that's something that drew me to the books in the first place. However, I fear that Moirin's saga relies a bit too heavily on deus ex machina. Moirin is always following her diadh-anam or Naamah's urgings or true dreams. She seems to have very little real agency, and we get the feeling that she, like us, is just waiting around to see how everything will turn out. I wish we saw her with a much more active role in these amazing stories. When she does, it's always through a gift from some god anyway. I guess I would have liked to see more of Moirin the (possibly fallible) human heroine and less Moirin the vessel waiting to be used.

Still, the story was fun, and I liked the way it closed the Circle of Shalomon, so to speak. I loved seeing Terra Nova and meeting their people and gods. The climax seemed to be missing something for me, but I'm not sure what. It may just be that deus ex machina bit. Still, the ending was solid and a great conclusion for this trilogy.


Naamah's Curse, by Jacqueline Carey

Naamah's Curse, by Jacqueline Carey

Naamah's Curse

This is the least compelling of the Kushiel Universe novels, and that seems to be a general consensus. In fact, if I weren't such a die-hard Carey fan, this novel would have found itself on the 'Did Not Finish' list. I'm only giving it two stars, and even that's just because Carey is a good writer.

I think part of the problem for me is that Moirin spends most of this book under the thumb of a religious zealot, forced to confess her “sins” and turn everything she loved into something horrible. I guess it's a testament to Carey's writing prowess that this hurt me so much, but I think I took it just as badly as Moirin. It sucks. It's not fun at all. I read to escape those kinds of things, not revel in them.

That's not the only problem, though. The book is just lackluster. It's an obvious contract-fulfiller, and everyone Moirin encounters seems to be very stereotyped. It's preachy. It's just...meh. And I've read it more than once now, and I still really disliked almost all of it. I probably won't read it again even on subsequent Kushiel read-throughs. It makes me sad, and that makes me even more sad compared to the amazingness of the rest of the Kushiel books. It could have been so much more.



Ahavah Ehyeh

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