Thursday, March 31

My son dressed himself today...

1. He's not wearing underpants (he doesn't think he ever needs underpants, see archive for info--lol).
2. He's got on camouflage sweat pants and an orange stripped shirt.
3. He's wearing winter boots without socks.
4. He's wearing an Orange County Chopper's black ball cap.

Not bad if he's going to be in a Jeff Foxworthy "You know you're a redneck when..." video.

March's Reading List

Over at the Romantic Times' Readers Roundtable there is a TBR challenge to bring down the number of books on our TBR piles (of course, I'm a total failure at this, not because I don't read the number of books I've pledged, but because I'm constantly buying new books.)

Here are the books I read this month with their grades (they're in the order that I read them)...

A Man in a Kilt by Sandy Blair -- B-
A Rogue in a Kilt by Sandy Blair -- B-
Sinfully Sexy by Linda Francis Lee -- C-
Simply Sexy by Linda Francis Lee -- C-
Mercy by Julie Garwood -- B
Murder List by Julie Garwood -- B
6 of the Brother Cadfael books by Ellis Peters -- A All of these books were really good, but there are too many to actually list, and I'm reading them all out of order since I'm buying them when I can find them.
Talk of the Town by Suzanne MacPherson -- C-/D I couldn't really decide on a grade, I can't decide if it was horrible or just not very good.
Flirting With Danger by Suzanne Enoch -- B+
In The Mood by Suzanne MacPherson -- C-
Simply...Sinful, Sensual, Scandalous by Carly Phillips -- C- for all three books.
Short and Tall Tales (Moose County Legends...) by Lillian Jackson Braun -- A A delightful collection of really short stories and tall tales.
Wanting What You Get by Kathy Love -- B+
*Fool For Love by Eloisa James -- A
The Rainbow Season by Lisa Gregorey -- A
A Wild Pursuit by Eloisa James -- A this is actually a reread, but after reading Fool For love I thought it deserved a read.
Hanging on by a Thread by Karen Templeton -- B+

*There are actually two more books that I attempted to read before I read Fool for Love--The Perfect Seduction by Leslie LaFoy, for some reason I couldn't get into this book, I read about half of it and decided to put it aside for another try. It came highly recommended so I must be missing something. I then picked up Edith Layton's To Tempt a Bride and the heroine was so annoying in the first 2 chapters I couldn't take anymore, but I've decided to give it another try, the heroine can only get better--lol.

Grading Scale:
A+/A/A- -- Thoroughly enjoyable read and the story stays with you.
B+/B -- Good solid story.
B- -- Good story, enjoyable while your reading, but somewhat forgetable.
C/C- -- Not horrible, but not really good either.
D -- Horrible.
F -- Unreadably horrible.

Wednesday, March 30

Guess what, I'm out of my reading rut.

I am happy to say I'm out of my reading rut and I didn't even have to go to the UBS to do it.

Last week my sister gave me back a bag of my books that I loaned to her. In it was Eloisa James' Fools in Love. I've never read this. Somehow I loaned it to her with the rest of the Duchess in Love series before I read it. I guess I must have read them out of order. And the funny thing is it's one of those series you really should read in order.

This is one of those series I claim to hate. You know the ones were each story builds on the previous one and there is an unfinished plot line that ties them all toghether. "I hate unresolved plot lines" that's usually one of my mantras, but for some odd reason this one works for me.

I guess there are exceptions to every rule--lol.

I have a bunch of errands to run today, and guess what I'm still going to stop at the UBS--now isn't that shocking.

Every black cloud has a silver lining.

We've been in our home for 22 years. We bought it 6 months before we married and couldn't afford to do much renovations because, well, we could barely afford the mortgage payment.

Over the years we've worked on the outside and the inside, but we've never renovated the bathroom (except new paint, paper and we've replaced the mirror and the light fixtures over the sink--well, I guess we kind of did some renovations in the bathroom--lol) and though we did update the kitchen with new wallpaper, wainscoting and floor, we never updated the cabinets, but we did paint them.

Well, yesterday we discovered a teeny, tiny leak in the bathroom that has turned into a homeowner's nightmare. Our tub is an antique claw foot, it's beautiful. It turns out our beautiful antique tub has been leaking and leaking probably for years.

I discovered water on my kitchen counter where there shouldn't have been any. I look up and see a drip coming out of a cabinet I never use (it's the corner cabinet I use for storage of things I only use occasionally). Opening the cabinet I see everything in it is full of water and the top of the cabinet is sagging into the cabinet itself. On top of the cabinet I've got a huge silk ivy plant, it's so big you can't see through it to the ceiling and it drapes down the front and sides of the cabinet. It looks beautiful, but it hid a big problem. I pull down the ivy and part of the ceiling came with it (I guess if I cleaned up there more often, maybe I would have seen it sooner).

Well, to cut an already long story short, I now have a 3 foot hole on my stairs, where my BIL cut through to get at the back of the tub (my BIL is a plumber, every family should have one-lol) and two 8 inch holes in my kitchen, one on the ceiling and one on the wall, it's actually one big 16 inch hole, but there's molding that kind of seperates them (the molding there isn't actually attached to anything). All the plumbing around the tub itself has rotted, the drain, the overflow and the faucets all need replacing.

The good news--we're going to renovate the bathroom this weekend. Nothing can be done to actually save the tub's hardware, but we'll be puting in new hardware, flooring and a new sink (yeah!! they wont be able to manuever the tub without taking out the old sink, which I've hated for 22 years). After repairing the hole in the wall on the stairs and repairing the ceiling and wall in the kitchen, I'm getting new kitchen cabinets (can you see me doing a happy dance??)

So, every black cloud really does have a silver lining.

Monday, March 28

Hi, my name is Tara and I'm a bookaholic

I never hesitate to admit I'm a bookaholic, for me this is a three-pronged disorder.

1. I'm never without a book, I've got them stashed everywhere. When my son was in diapers I even kept a couple in the diaper bag. I keep some in the car, there's a basket full of books in my bedroom, boxes of them in my home office and my husband turned our enclosed back porch into a library, where I keep the paperback "keepers", somehow the "keepers" number close to a thousand (is that possible?).

2. I can't walk past a bookstore without going in and buying something. I try to make weekly trips to the UBS (where I have managed to reduce my credit from over an unmanageable $1000 to a much more manageable $750--it's frightening to admit I've not only read that many books, but somehow managed to get them packed up and out of the house.

3. I normally can't go a day without reading. On a daily basis I probably don't go 10 hours without reading (it's probably closer to 8 hours, 6-7 of those hours are at night sleeping).

Well, as I type this, I am in book withdrawal. I haven't read a book in 3 days. Yes, it's been 3 painful days without cracking a book (though I never actually crack my bindings--it's sacrilegious).

I have somehow filled my TBR pile with books I am no longer interested in. Books that were recommended on different boards, but when I started to read them I went "oh, no, no, this wasn't what I expected." Books with great covers and blurbs, but when I start to read them, they have no substance.

I'm in a rut, a huge ugly rut. I guess this means tomorrow I'll make another trek to the UBS and hopefully bring down that credit a little more and find something that will hold my pathetic attention span.

Hi, my name is Tara and I'm a bookaholic.

Friday, March 25

Nit Picking

I have a tendency to pick apart books I'm not enjoying, especially contemporaries. Having said that, it may be the chicken and the egg thing. Am I picking apart the book because I'm not enjoying it or am I not enjoying it because I'm nit picking it to death.

I don't read many historicals set here in the States. I'm not a history fanatic, but my husband is, and after a while this starts to rub off. If I'm enjoying a books characters, story line, plot... I usually can and do overlook historical inaccuracies. But, if the book isn't working on different levels, I just start to pick and the flaws become glaring.

I prefer historicals set in other places, England, Egypt, Australia etc. My knowledge of their histories is some what lacking (of course, if the author has the Battle of Hastings set in 1076, I know that's a mistake). And sometimes I'll go and research something I find interesting. The funny thing is I like the details, if they're wrong I don't know it--lol.

But, contemporaries are different. Obviously, I live in the here and now, and mistakes become glaring. I hate thinking who speaks like that... or who the heck would say that... or is this even remotely believable. And what's absolutely killer for me--when something is supposed to be funny and not only falls flat, but seems juvenile or just plain stupid. And please, I hate ethnic stereotypes--not every Italian American hero or heroine has to sound like one of the Sopranos.

Nit picking, one really bad habit I need to stop.


I'm really good at this.

Right now I should be getting ready for Easter. We're going to my MIL's. Which is a good thing because last year we had it and it caused a riot with one of my SILs, but that's a different story and I wont go there--lol.

I've got little Easter gifts to put together for the nieces and nephew, not to mention my son's from us and the "Easter Bunny". I need to put the prizes in the Easter eggs for the egg hunt, I need to bake cookies and color eggs for the kids and I need to run to the store to pick up fruit for the cheese and fruit platter I'm doing (I think I'll get my husband to do this on his way home from work).

I should be doing laundry and making the beds and the house really needs vacuuming.

But, here I am playing on the computer instead. I guess I'll start with the beds and vacuuming and see where I go from there.

Thursday, March 24

A Winter Wonderland (too bad it's spring)

a view from our room Posted by Hello

a view from our son's room Posted by Hello

a night time view of the storm. Don't you love the red sky?? Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 23

Too Much TV

Before bedtime my son likes to watch TV with his dad. Now, if Junior is watching with me I try to keep the programs kid friendly. I realized he was watching way too much grown-up TV when he and his friends started playing COPS--he can sing most of the theme song and holds his finger like a gun and yells "freeze". I guess I should take solace in that he chose to be the cop and not "the bad boy".

So, my husband lays off watching COPS and starts watching Seinfeld instead. Last night my son announces he's going to have lunch with Jerry and Kramer, When I asked about Elaine and George he said no they've got to work.

Tonight, my husband will be reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day, and one of my favorite bedtime stories Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

One busy day and one HOT book

Tuesdays and Thursdays are always busy days--my son goes to nursery school and we pick up another little boy who's mom recently had another baby (3 in 3 years--God bless her). While the boys are in school, I head to the store for Easter basket and egg hunt stuff. Stop for gas, $2.14 a gallon--ouch. I get back to school with 1/2 an hour to spare, hoping to get in some reading, but a bunch of the parents are early and I end up talking instead of reading. I'd rather be anti-social and read, but I was good. I needed an extra set of hands--2 Easter baskets, 2 colored eggs, 2 sets of rabbit ears and 2 coats--I don't know how parents of twins do it--lol. So, it's back to our house for a couple of hours of play and we then head out to bring Michael home. But of course, we stop at the UBS on the way home. Picked up 5 more books for my growing TBR pile.

By the time we get home, cook dinner and clean up it's bed time for Junior. It was 8:00 before I had a chance to sit down and read, but gee whiz, what I book I read.

Emma Holly's Beyond Seduction was one of the books I picked up at the UBS. I've read a couple of her historical romanticas (I consider them romantica and not erotica because 1. they actually have a plot and 2. the h/h don't have sex with other people after they've "gotten together"). It was surprisingly entertaining, but I always like books with artist hero's--they're always very creative *wink*. The plot was a little thin, but at least there was a plot, and it had a storyline that moved along. I'm not a huge fan of romantica or erotica, there usually isn't enough story or if there is a story, it's usually way over the top. But I guess if you like these genres, you're reading for the fantasy and not the realism.

Tuesday, March 22

No--All Contemporaries Don't Stink

So, after all my bellyaching yesterday, I pick up another contemporary romance(the last in my TBR pile). And guess what? It was a good one, not a keeper, but a really good read.

Wanting What You Get by Kathy Love

This was not what I was expecting. Between the cover art and the blurb on the back I was expecting another "lite, fluff piece". Anything but. When I look at the elements of the story individually, I shouldn't have enjoyed it, but somehow it worked beautifully. The heroine is a small town librarian (shy and a little rotund), the hero is the town's "goldenboy" Mayor. It turns out Mr. Mayor has a drinking problem. Ms. Love pulls the entire story together and give's the little librarian a really strong backbone. It was a serious little book, dealing with a real life problem--very good.

Of course, it's the 2nd in a series and now I have to search out the first one, the third is due out next month.

Monday, March 21

Do all Contemporary Romances stink?

I've been on a contemporary romance kick. Not romantic suspense but straight CR. And, I don't know why. I'm not enjoying them, I can't even say I've read a decent one since I started this kick.

I've read 10 contemporary romances this month. They all try to be funny, but often fall short of even being amusing. And the story lines are incredibly unrealistic, which doesn't necessarily bother me as long as I like the characters and to be honest I only need to like the hero. But, in most cases the story is the "heroines" and she is either too boring or too "out there" for me to care about her inner most thoughts.

I'm done complaining. I'm sure it's just been a string of not so good books. Why can't Susan Elizabeth Phillips write faster? Maybe instead of reading the next book on my TBR pile I'll re-read Mr. Impossible. I know I'll like that one. Or maybe a Linda Howard, or ...

I don't need underpants...

This is what my son announced in the restroom (we are still "bathroom browsing" every restroom we can find) of our favorite supermarket (which isn't really a supermarket, more a really large gourmet shop).

When I told him of course he needs to wear them, everybody does, he told me "Daddy doesn't wear them". The lady in the next stall snorted rather loudly and I ushered the boy out of the bathroom as fast as I could.

My husband will be getting a lecture later.

Playing with my new blog...

Doesn't that sound a little obscene--lol??

Well, I'm completely new to this, but am looking for an interesting place to talk about my cute kid and romance novels, not necessarily at the same time.

My son is 3 1/2, and he plans to be 5 on his next birthday. Why 5? Because Mommy stupidly told him he can ride a school bus when he's 5, so he's planning on completely skipping 4.

I visit different websites dedicated to romance readers, but at times can't or wont say what's really on my mind. On the boards where I actually post and not just lurk I try to keep my comments pleasant and nice, unfortunately I'm not always successful. For some reason I don't like to be flamed, so I often avoid subjects that really interest me. This will also gives me a place to talk about the books I'm currently reading or want to read in the future.

Hopefully this will be a good start.