Thursday, June 30

TBR Challenges And The Other Thing

It's the last day of the month and I've reached my TBR challenge, I pledged to read 15 books and have actually read 23, a really good month. I've been in such a good reading groove that I hoped to reach 25, but I may get 24. I'm half way through Anne Stuarts Into the Fire.

I swore I wouldn't buy anymore books for a couple of weeks, but I couldn't keep to it. I somehow managed to squeeze a little bit out of the food money this week and picked up 3 new books and 1 used at the UBS yesterday.

One of the books I picked up was Kathy Love's Wanting Something More. This is the last in the "Ugly Stepp Sisters" series. Which I, of course, had to read immediately. I liked it, but was somewhat disappointed. I new it was going to be about Marty and Nathaniel (Nate), but I was expecting to see his transformation from AH to decent person. The transformation happens before the start of the book. She always tackles interesting subjects as part of the plot, this times it's near death experiences.

Can someone recommend a good message board?

I hate to admit it, but AAR's message boards give me a headache, I hate that you can't just follow down the list of messages, without going "back". I like discussions, but some people get down right combative, it's like being on RT's Political Board.

And, the RT boards seem to have been hijacked by aliens, I'm sick of lists and inane questions. I think most the interesting posters have gone to blogging because of this, not that I'm saying I'm interesting, but Anne E, Amanda, Erika, Holly... are blogging and they really aren't posting anymore. At this point I'm popping in on RT to check on Jenster and see how she is feeling.

Why is it my husband can't put a dirty, empty dish in the sink to be washed (they always go on the counter or the table), but he will put a dish with stuff on it (like cherry pits or a banana peel) into the sink, instead of dumping the garbage in the trash which is literally 2 feet from the kitchen sink??

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Not Much of a Link Slut...

I'll do my best to help keep Maili entertained, but I'm not much of a "Link Slut."

This is actually lifted from Maili's blog a while ago--Peter Pan, personally I find this man a little frightening. Can this guy be for real??

Daily Confessions, someone my husband works with visits this site everyday, and he believes everything he reads.

Dear Reader--I get emails from them everyday, each week they give you 5 small installments of a book so you can decide whether or not you're interested.

Baghdad Girl is a 13 year old girl from Baghdad who loves cats.

Hasidic Reggae-- I've posted this one before, but I like this guy and would love to see one of his shows.

Another link stolen from Maili, but always worth a revisit--My Husband's Crap.

Wednesday, June 29

The Reading Binge Continues...

Since my last blog I've finished 3 more books and started a 4th.

The Trouble With Valentine's Day by Rachel Gibson was a good book, I liked Kate and Rob and the story was a fun read. But, if Ms. Gibson used the words "HUMMER" and "Duchon Lounge" one more time I would have thrown the book at a wall--for some reason this was real distracting for me. I also knew the "Hummer/HUMMER" joke was going to show up somewhere in the book. I love the Tom Jones references, one of the mothers of a childhood playmate was President of the Tom Jones Fan Club when we were kids and they had Tom Jones stuff all over their house.

In the Prince's Bed by Sabrina Jeffries, I can officially say I am sick of full-size Regencies and REALLY, REALLY need to start avoiding them. I've always been hit or miss with SJ, but this was neither hit or miss, just kind of so so.

Remember My Heart by Janis Reams-Hudson, I enjoyed this, but I like reincarnation stories, the fate and finding each other through time thing always gets me drawn into the story. For some reason the stalker part of the story reminded me of Karen Robards' One Summer, one of my all time favorite books.

I've not only been on a reading binge, but I've been binge cleaning the house, spent all day Monday cleaning like a lunatic.

Have a great day, happy reading.

My Crazy Family

I know we all have crazy families, but sometimes mine makes me laugh out loud.

This past weekend we celebrated one of my Aunt's birthdays. She's closer in age to me than she is to her sister, my mom, Aunt C is more like a sister than an aunt. Did that make sense?

Mom is a full charge, type A personality, which she would never admit to. She constantly tells anyone who will listen she would like someone else to make decisions, but when someone else does, she overrides anything anyone comes up with. And even worse, she tells you you're wrong when you've not asked her opinion. She does this with cooking and decorating too--constantly tells us what we should have done instead, but that's another tale.

My sister decides we need to have a birthday party, but she doesn't want to have it at her house, and to be perfectly honest, no one really wants to go to her house, because she's got the most annoying Jack Russell Terrier that you just want to muzzle, but she does have central air conditioning which would make visiting okay if she locked up the dog (please note, I would like the dog more if he didn't try to bite my child and my sister would be less annoying if she didn't talk baby talk to the thing and feed him bites of food off her plate). Mom doesn't like coming to my house during the summer because we don't have air conditioning (well, we do in the bedrooms, but we can't entertain there.) Hey, the house is 100 years old, it has other charms and with a pool, we really don't feel hot, but Mom wont use the pool. Mom had everyone for Father's Day and doesn't want to have company again for a few more weeks.

So, my sister comes up with the bright idea of bringing the party to my Aunt's house, only she doesn't tell my Aunt. Two days before "The Party" my sister tells me to call Mom and tell her to tell my Aunt we're all coming on Sunday for her birthday. Now, my sister is planning on bringing the food, so at least she wasn't expecting my Aunt to throw her own birthday party.

Of course I do as I'm told and I call mom and tell her what my sister wants her to do and get a "WHAT???" Mom's not happy, I knew this before I even called. I got an "I'll talk to your sister" and she hung up.

Friday night I get a message from my sister. The party is now at my sister's, the dog will be kept outside and I am to bring lemonade and something else that I couldn't get from what my sister is saying, so I call her back. I'm to bring lemonade, potato chips and fruit. This is per my mother, through my sister.

Sunday we get to my sister's and the dog is outside on a run with his very own swimming pool and a reflective tent for him to sleep under and the dog is much happier than he would have been if he had been in the house playing alpha male against my three year old.

The party would have been perfect except my husband played bartender. My husband can drink like a fish and not get drunk, but I can't say the same for my Aunt. He makes this drink with vodka, lemonade and an orange liqueur that's blue--it's called "Chris' Blue Drink." I'm sure it has a real name, but that's what everyone in the family calls it. Well, the husband has a real heavy hand with the booze and my Aunt is a maudlin drunk, not a good combination.

The next birthday is Junior's, and Mom wont have a choice she's coming here. And, the hubby wont be allowed to play bartender--he'll be too busy barbecuing, or maybe I'll keep him busy deep frying a turkey. I'll have to think about it, but wont be asking Mom's opinion, I don't have to she'll give it anyway.

Saturday, June 25

Sweet Lullaby

I just finished Lorraine Heath's Sweet Lullaby. I can't say how long it's been since I cried this much reading a book. Great, wonderful, fantastic book, but I don't know who I was more pissed off at Rebecca for leaving or Jake for letting her go. And, why did it take her 3 months to realize she shouldn't have left?

Off to pick another book, with all the books I now have waiting for me, I really want to read Laura Lee Guhrke's The Marriage Bed, which I don't have.

Sex and the Serial Killer

Jay (for some reason this isn't linking and I'm really html challenged) suggested I read this one next, she's looking for it. So I did. It falls under the "Bad Review Test" umbrella. Mrs. Giggles gave it a 28. I just checked AAR's review. They gave it a C+, and RT gave it 4 1/2 stars. So maybe it doesn't really fall under the "Bad Review Test". My thoughts fall somewhere between AAR and RT. It was a pretty good read, funny elements and worth picking up.

Got to go busy day ahead.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Friday, June 24

Some More of This and That...

Book Buying Freeze

After telling Maili to squeeze (embezzle) extra money out of household expenses to buy books, I've managed to squeeze every last dime I could out of our budget and now am putting myself on buying hold for a few weeks. But, because I am a weak book junkie, I'm not sure I can do it. Avoiding stores that sell books might help, but not an easy task. Though I did go to Wal*Mart yesterday and managed to get in and out without looking at a book. But, why is it I can't get out of that store without spending a minimum of $80.

I know there are people who consider WM "The Evil Empire" at times myself included, it's not my first choice for shopping, but I needed a birthday present for a little girl from my son's class (his first real kids only party is this weekend) and the little girl's mom is a regular WM shopper, I figured if she needed to return the gift (a "Sky Dancer" and a "My Little Pony", it would be easier for her to return them to WM.)

Fallen From Grace

I finished this Wednesday night. It is an excellent book, and I'm passing it on to my sister tomorrow. I'm curious if the roles were reversed and the heroine was the prostitute, would a man not be affected by this and would he be able to get past it? I don't know--we may be liberated, but are men truly liberated enough to accept a woman's sexual history (good, bad or ugly).

The TBR Pile

Well, thanks to the trade group I now have a very nice TBR pile. I'm not like most romance readers, I don't keep hundreds of books on my TBR pile. For me, it's normally about 10-20. Now, it's 40-50, which is absolutely huge for me. After I buy a book if it no longer interests me, I move it out, usually to my sister (that way I can get it back if she likes it.)

Between buying books and books showing up in the mail, new books are appearing on an almost daily basis. I realized if I related my TBR pile to an inventory system I'm a LIFO (last in first out or maybe it should be LIFR, last in first read) reader. Not a great method if you have a lot of books, you never make it to the "bottom."

"I'm supposed to like this author..."

We all blog hop and check in on message boards and hear about hot authors we're supposed to absolutely love. But, sometimes we come across an author that it seems everyone else in the romance reading world loves and we are left with a great big HUH!!

I hate when this happens. I always feel like something is wrong with me and my tastes, and wonder what I'm missing. After finishing FFG, I picked up a "highly" recommended Harlequin Temptation and WHAM, I hate the writing style. This is the 3rd book by this author that I've read and I really wanted to like her books. And, no I'm not going to tell at this point, because I have a couple more that I'm going to try before giving up.

So with all these books...

Why can't I decide what to read next. This is probably why I don't keep a huge TBR pile in the first place, too many choices. I'm taking Junior to the playground this morning and then we'll spend the afternoon floating in the pool. I need a book for that, so I need to decide on something quick.

Have a great day (and weekend), and happy reading.

Wednesday, June 22

Feeling a Little Guilty

Today's column over at RTB is a good one. It's interesting to see things from an agents perspective.

“Publish to the market” is how I’ve heard this philosophy described at one company. “We must publish to the market, and we can’t ignore the dictates of the market.”

Don't you just want to smack the publisher that says this?

But where was “the market” when the first person wrote the book that created said trend? Simple, it didn’t exist. It took the forerunner—the Big Risk Taker—to pave the way. If I’ve heard it said once, I’ve heard editors say it a zillion times: “We want to find something fresh and different.”

I picked up Laura Leone's Fallen From Grace yesterday at the UBS, and I'm now feeling guilty about not ordering it new. It obviously falls under the "Big Risk Taker" category and is published by a small publisher. Her dedication says it all:

This book is dedicated to my editor, Russell Davis, who is smart enough to believe that romance readers want a good story more than they want a safe one.

I started reading this last night but got side tracked watching the AFI Best Movie Lines. And, of course, I feel asleep right before they did the last 10. I picked the book back up this morning and since it's raining and Junior now has a full blown cold, I'll try to get some reading in between the whines and complaints.

Have a great day, happy reading.

Tuesday, June 21

Junior has the Croup

He's not really sick, we caught it really early. He barked a couple of times yesterday and had a low grade fever. The pediatrician thinks it wont get any worse. Today he's not even coughing. I'm taking him to the UBS and the Supermarket, hopefully somewhere along the way he'll take a nap.

FYI--Junior isn't really a Jr. He's actually named for both his grandfathers, it's a tradition on my Italian side to name the first born son after the grandfathers, and the second after the father--of course, if I didn't like the names I'd have come up with something else. Using this tradition one of my DH's cousins would have been named "Julius Caesar." Junior actually comes from an old Bill Cosby skit "Junior Barnes You Gunky," it's one of my husbands favorites. We don't actually call him Junior, we only use it when we're talking about him, strange I know. He also has a whole host of other nicknames that we do call him (including Bumbles--which completely offends my SIL from hell, the Oliver Twist thing, but "Bumbles" is actually short for "Bumble Bee"--don't ask--LOL.

Aren't you all glad I shared this with you--LOL.

Have a great day, happy reading.

Monday, June 20

Bad Dialogue--Just Shoot Me...

A few weeks ago I picked up five contemporaries (romantic comedies) by the same author. I've read her blog, she IS very funny, I thought I would love her books. I went through a run of really bad contemporaries earlier this year, but I thought I would give this author a try--eeeekkkk. My complaint is once again the same--the dialogue is horrendous.

Do women who write romantic comedies actually ever talk to men? Listen to men talking to other men? I've come to the conclusion that the men in my life must be odd and speak differently than other men, because the men in almost all contemporary romantic comedies sound like women.

Words my husband (or any other man I know) wouldn't use when talking to other MEN:
  1. chagrin
  2. gee whiz--please, you've got to be kidding.
  3. relationship
  4. pray tell
  5. impotent--I'm sure men use this word, but only with a doctor.
  6. creepy--it would be "f*cking creepy.

Two words I don't ever want to hear out of a hero's mouth, "Ooo, ooo..." Is that actually considered two words or one?

Do authors believe men sit down and talk about "relationships" the same way women do? No way.

Friday, June 17

See, It's not About Sex, and The "Bad Review Test"

Well, I finished A Countess Below Stairs. A sweet book with an interesting time period (post WW I, England) and a heroine who is a Post-Russian Revolution emigre. And, it was "sweet"--no sex, it didn't need it. The next time someone tells me romance is about sex, I'm handing them this book. Romance is about relationships and HEA, sex is a fringe benefit.

I'm still on a reading binge, I finished ACBS before we left for school, started and finished Patricia Grasso To Catch A Countess for my "Bad Review Test" and am about 100 pages into Ruth Wind's In the Midnight Rain, so far it's great. I love rainy days. Junior plays beautifully by himself and doesn't require entertaining and I can curl up on the sofa and read.

The Bad Review Test

I have read two books that qualify for this test, one I read on purpose and the other I read before I saw the reviews.
  1. To Catch a Countess by Patricia Grasso--Mrs. G gave this book a 03, it deserved it. The heroine is dyslexic and in Regency England this probably would have qualified her as "stupid". The problem with this book is she really is stupid and her inability to read has nothing to do with it. She simply does and says stupid things, this may be because she's a sheltered 18 year old, but I hope I wasn't this stupid at 18. And, the hero is a bully. I like alpha heros, but he's not only alpha, he's just plain mean. And, his redemption comes too little too late.
  2. The Cobra & The Concubine by Bonnie Vanak--This book fell into my Bad Review Test by accident. The review over at AAR came out after I read the book, the reviewer there gave it an F. I understood the reviewer's complaints about this book, but it still entertained me. Even if it wasn't entertaining, it would have gotten a higher grade from me simply because of setting and time period (Egypt/England in 1898--is this period considered Victorian or Edwardian?).

So, what does all this show? Who knows?

Thursday, June 16

A Little of This and a Little of That

I've been reading like a fiend for the past two days. Seven books from the trade group have arrived and I have read 2 and am half way through a third.

The Vampire Viscount--by Karen Harbaugh
I really enjoyed this book. It makes me realize I'm missing out by not reading more traditional Regencies. This book was fast paced and extremely entertaining and all of 227 pages.

Amber By Night--by Sharon Sala
For some reason I like librarian plots. I know they're stereotypical and not realistic, but I like them anyway. This wasn't the best one I've read, but it was a quick read.

A Countess Below Stairs--Eva Ibbotson
I am really enjoying this book, I'm only half finished, but can see why it's on Maili's keeper list. Though I do think the villianess is being used as an extreme foil for the lovely Anna.

Today is Moving Up Day at my son's nursery school. I'm hoping to have A Countess Below Stairs finished before we leave at 9:45. For some reason the Grandparents and 2 Aunts have all decided to come to this little ceremony. We're taking Junior out for a Chinese Food lunch. He's very excited, Chinese is is favorite and he would eat it every day if he could (he's his mother's son--LOL--I'd eat it every day too).

Yesterday, Junior and I went shopping for Father's Day gifts. Somehow we managed to get in and out of Barnes & Noble without buying any books for Mommy. Of course, we didn't get out without Junior having to eat at the Starbucks in the back of the store. I don't drink coffee, but I had to have a Chocolate Fudge Caramel Brownie. I needed that like I needed a whole in my head or another inch on my hips, which is probably where the brownie settled. The store is new and this was the first time I've brought Junior with me. He was very excited as soon as we walked through the doors. "Mommy, they have food here. I'm hungry I need lunch."

We spent the whole day running around, and I realized, while in Lowes, I'm almost as addicted to flowers as I am to books. I couldn't get out of that store without buying 2 more plants for my perennial beds.

Got to go, I want to finish reading and still have to make breakfast for the DH and Junior.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Tuesday, June 14

I'm So Weak

I'm pathetic. I can not go into a store that sells books without buying one or two or three...

Yesterday, I ran into the supermarket to pick up a couple of things and came out with three books. Now, I know I've got over a dozen books coming in the mail within the next week or so. Why did I buy these books? I'm weak.

And what makes this even more pathetic 2 books are part of series that I'm only slightly interested in continuing reading. I certainly could have waited to get these books used.

But, one of the books I picked up was Victoria Bylin's Abbie's Outlaw. I finished it last night and really enjoyed it. I read very few western romances. It's been years since I've read them on a consistent basis. There was a period of time that every hero in a western was a Confederate ex-patriot, with lots of baggage. I've always had a hard time with these heros, but I'm saving all of this for a blog about being a PC romance reader.

No more time, Junior has school this morning.

Have a great day, happy reading.

Monday, June 13

The Memory is Shot!!! aka "Crap, I Already Read This!!"

So far this month I've finished 9 books, which is pretty good considering today is the 13th. But, I've started and skimmed another 5 books and realized "Crap, I already read this." The memory is shot, for years I've relied on my memory to keep track of books, and usually when I picked up a book and read the blurb, I remembered it--good, bad or ugly. If I thought it was "great" it would already be on my keeper shelf.

I now need lists. I've got TBR lists, To look for lists, trade lists, wish lists, keeper lists. And, that's just the lists related to books. I've got shopping lists and phone call lists and list to keep track of when bills need paying. I keep schedules for school, doctors, hairdressers.

OMG, I've become my mother, how is this possible. I used to make fun of my mom with all her lists and calendars--what the heck happened.

Sunday, June 12

Book Contests and Stupid Cows

I'm prefacing this by saying I am not a writer nor do I ever wish to be a writer. 1. I'm not sure I could handle the rejections and 2. I have absolutely no writing talent. But, book contests fascinate me.

One of the first RTB columns I read referred to contest reviewers as "stupid cows". Twice a year I become a "stupid cow." I do this through my local UBS. The UBS used to have a romance reader book club and several members volunteered for this, myself included, and we've been doing it for years. This week I picked up copies of the prologue and first chapter of 6 different historical novels. One of the question the contest asks is "What would it take to get you to recommend this book?" I'm paraphrasing the question because I don't have the work sheets in front of me. HOW ABOUT LETTING ME READ THE WHOLE FREAKIN' BOOK?!!? How can anyone recommend a book based on 25 pages?

So, this year I got historicals, which was nice considering last year I reviewed category romances and boy all but 2 were really bad, you have no idea whose books your reviewing because the authors name is not included, which is fine. But, 2 or 3 months after the contest you start getting thank you cards and you have no idea if someone is thanking you for liking their manuscript or really saying "nah, nah you stupid cow, I sold my manuscript."

Sorry, I think I got off track there. Like I said, this year I got historicals, 3 Regency periods, 1 Victorian, 1 Medieval and 1 Native American/Indian. I actually like 4 out of the 6, and would have liked to have finished each manuscript. One of the ones I didn't like was a Regency with so many characters introduced in the first chapter my head was swimming and I needed a score card. The other was the Medieval which breaks my heart because it really is my favorite historical time period. Within the first 25 pages you realize the heroine is a feisty, TSTL idiot who runs off to the Cruscades to "help" her father. I've come to the conclusion that feisty is synonymous with stupid.

I really did enjoy the first 25 pages of two of the manuscripts and will probably write a note to the coordinators and see if I can get the entire manuscripts. One was set in 1898 England and I liked the heroine from the first time she opened her mouth. And the other was a Regency set in Egypt. I would really like to finish both of these books.

This "Stupid Cow" is signing off, have a great day and happy reading.

Friday, June 10

This and That, I Should be Asleep

Well, it's 11:30 at night and I should be asleep, my son gets up at 5:30 every morning.

I've been picking over Maili's keepers list and just finished reading Theresa Weir's Cool Shade. And all the way through it I thought it was kind of depressing, until I reached the last page:

"There was one more thing she had to ask him. 'Your old music. Most of them are love songs. Who did you write them for?'


'Just how gullible do you think I am?' she asked,even though she'd thought the very same thing. 'You've only known me a few months.'

'I've known you a lifetime. Here' He touched his chest, his heart. 'you've always been right here.'

She smiled up at him through her tears...."

Does it get any better than that???

Sybil has a link to Alison Kent's blog, which has the RWA graphical standards letter of explanation. My first thought was what a load of crap...but Maili made a comment about covers (we know how much Maili loves covers--LOL). Is it possible the RWA is trying to persuade publishers to improve romance/romantica/erotica covers. If so they're really pissing off some of the membership in the process. If they don't care about the "content", what's the big deal with the covers? Isn't that what all this comes down to? Though it does have a Nazi "we've set the standards, therefore you must goosestep and follow our lead" feel to it.

My brain is hurting from too much thinking, I'm going to bed.

Is this true???

Thank you Maggie Osborne!...I read that you are retiring.I wish you all the best that life has to offer you. Your excellent stories,which by the way are "keepers" for me,will be sorely missed.Thanks for the hours of happy reading you've given me.

I just lifted this from RT's Favorites Board. Is this true?? I don't read many westerns and my favorite western writer is retiring, it's just not right!!

The Day From Hell

I'm not going to go into much detail, but yesterday was the day from hell. It started out at 5:30 in the morning with the our internet server dumping out every couple of minutes and went down hill from there. It ended at a wake/memorial service for a 49 year old man. Just not a good day.

Today has to be better, right?

Wednesday, June 8

Surviving the Picnic and Procrastinating

Well, we survived the picnic. It was more like 300 children and almost as many adults, what a zoo. All the kids from the school were wearing white t-shirts and most had blue jean shorts, it was almost impossible to find a child in the sea of white and blue. Junior had a great time and I had to drag him out kicking and screaming. It was 90 degrees, thank God for the breeze and the temperature under the pavilion had to be 10 degrees cooler. One of my girlfriends (my son's "best friend's" mother) swore she would be there 1/2 an hour early, I knew this was impossible (she's never on time), so it was a good thing I got there early because I snagged 2 picnic tables under the pavilion for our group.

When we got home we received bad news. One of our BIL's brothers passed away. He'd had a massive heart attack and open heart surgery 10 days ago, he was in desperate need of additional surgery (he had an infection that they couldn't get under control and his blood pressure with medication was only 60/40) and would have needed a heart transplant if he had survived. The really frightening part of all this he was only 49, no history of heart disease in the family and he died on his son's 25th birthday. So, so sad. Tomorrow is the wake, my mom will watch our son so we can go.

On a much, much lighter note, I've realized books are overrunning our lives and space. I need to reclaim our home office, the shelves in here are a jumbled mess as well as the 8 boxes of books that at one point had been in some semblance of order, but now are an absolute disaster. In addition to the shelves and boxes in the office I have about 1000 books library organized on shelves on our back sun porch. I'm going to be going through everything and deciding what is really a keeper and what can be traded, sold or donated. If I can actually get the office taken care of we may be able to put in a futton and a couple of tables and voila we have a home office, reading room and guest space. I'd love to turn the space into nursery, but I can't convince my husband he's not to old at 47 to have another baby and he also has the nerve to tell me "you're eggs are too old." Hey, I'm only 41, my grandmother had my aunt when she was 44. I also can't convince him to put heat on the sun porch so we can use it as a library/home office in the winter.

I reread Eloisa James' His Wicked Ways last night. I know so many people don't like "long separation" and "adultery" stories, but for some reason this book so works for me.

I've got to go.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Tuesday, June 7

School Picnic

Today is my son's 1st school picnic, 250 children all under the age of 5. The whole thing is a little frightening for me--LOL. The picnic starts at 10:30, he was ready to leave at 7:00, of course, he still has his pajamas on, but this doesn't matter to him--He's ready to GO, NOW.

I wont be doing any reading today, but I hope everyone has...

A great day, and happy reading.

Monday, June 6

Books, The Pool and a Little Guilt

I finished Madeline Hunter's Lord of Sin, over the weekend. I now know more than I ever wanted to know about 19th century engravings. I'm one of those readers who likes historical info in a book, but for me this was a little overkill. She (MH) keeps adding characters who will probably will get "stories/books" in the future. I guess she's not going back to writing Medievals.

It was a good book, but I think there may have been to much mixing of the classes for the time period. I'm not really sure this would have been very accurate, but it did make the book different. And, no one will ever be able to accuse MH of writing fluff. She also dealt with the sad subject of the "clearances", which I may blog about separately.

After finishing LOS, I started Jane's Warlord by Angela Knight. It's a little out there, but so far it's a fun read. The talking wolf threw me, at first I was expecting him to turn into a werewolf, probably because the only other AK book I've read was a werewolf story. I also think the cat's name was thrown in for shock value, which all things considered isn't really shocking and just seems a little silly and immature.

The pool is finally open, of course, our weather has now gone from early spring like to mid-summer, in less than 10 days. Which is typical for the North East. The air temperature will be between 85-90 degrees and humid today, but the pool is only 66, as of this morning, a little cold for swimming.

I'm feeling a little guilty about my comments about bad reviews in my last blog. I do enjoy reading these reviews, they can be funny, but I should have qualified it by saying I don't like to see writers insulted and hurt. Of course, reviews are individual, but writers must know that it's only one persons opinion. If a reviewer rips a book, it doesn't necessarily mean they are ripping the author, but I guess it would be hard to differentiate (spell check says I spelled that correctly, but it looks wrong--LOL) between the two.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Friday, June 3

Avoiding Reviews and "The Bad Review Test"

I've been avoiding reading reviews before reading books for awhile now. I find reviews influence my viewpoint too much. If the reviewer isn't thrilled with the book and points out all the flaws, the book has a strike against it before I even start reading.

I finished Bonnie Vanak's The Cobra & The Concubine the other night and really enjoyed it. It's not a "perfect" book and wont be going on my "keeper" shelf, but I liked it. If I were giving it a grade it would be a B-/B. Most of the book takes place in 1895 Egypt. Great time period and location. I love books set in Egypt.

Like most books the first page is used for praising earlier works, so I have the names of her other books in this series (and yes, this book can stand alone.) Curiosity sent me looking for reviews--why? I don't know, because I'm now kicking myself. I'm still going to read The Tiger & The Tomb and The Falcon & The Dove but in the back of my mind I'm going to remember that AAR and Mrs. Giggles disliked both of these books. I would have been much happier being totally oblivious.

I'm going to make a point to avoid reviews of books I want to read, but I still love reading bad reviews. I've blogged about this before. It's like a guilty pleasure. If a reviewer at AAR or Mrs. G gives a book a really bad review
  1. The reviews are usually very sardonically (is this a word? yes, encarta says it is) funny and I hate to admit they make me laugh out loud.
  2. I'm always left wondering "can it really be that bad??" Probably, but I have to admit there are a couple of books I'm truly tempted to put to the test.

I already have Jennifer Skully's Sex and the Serial Killer Mrs. G gave it a 28 and she gave Patricia Grasso's To Catch a Countess a big whopping 03. I'm still looking for a copy of TCAC. I've read Patricia Grasso in the past and have always run hot and cold with her books (lukewarm and ice cold is probably a better description.)

So sometime in the next couple of months I'm going to do "The Bad Review Test". I'll let everyone know the results.

Having Too Much Fun...

Okay, I'm having too much fun with Sybil's new swap loop. I've got a swap going with Sybil and have posted my "Wish" and "Trade" lists. I'm ignoring my own blog, bad.

Yesterday, while Jr. was in school I ran to the UBS (shock of shocks, I know) and picked up the new Nora Roberts and Christina Dodd books and 3 Marian Keyes and 3 Elizbeth Bevarly's used. I really need to organize my TBR pile, it's growing by leaps and bounds, even though I swore I wasn't going there for a couple of weeks.

I started reading 2 books and had to put them down because accents were annoying the heck out of me--Midnight in the Garden of Good and Edie (M. Stillings), I know it (the lisp) would be going away, but it was still bugging me. The other was Lord of Sin by Madeline Hunter. Jenster over at RT reassured me that the accent also goes away, so I'll probably pick that one back up after I finish the new Nora Roberts (Black Rose).

Remember Jenster in your thoughts and prayers--she started her chemo therapy yesterday.

My husband opened the pool yesterday--looks pretty good, he needs to add some water to it. At the rate we were going I didn't think we'd need it until August. It was in the 50's and cold up until last Friday. It's supposed to be in the 80's and humid by Sunday. I'm not sure the pool will be warm enough to swim, but my crazy kid and his cousin went swimming at Nany and Grandpa's house last weekend--64 degrees, one of my BIL's got in with them. Please note, my husband didn't volunteer--LOL !!

Got to go, want to do some blog hopping before DH and Jr. get up.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Wednesday, June 1

Body Electric and Other Weekend Reads

I finally found enough time to sit and write something. Writing about weekend reading on Wednesday seems a little silly, but I have to blog about Susan Squires' Body Electric.

Once again I've spread my romance reading wings and found a WINNER. I read very little Science Fiction and Futuristic romance. This Book falls into both categories, a little bit of each. I finished it in one sitting Friday night. About 2/3 through the book, I took a couple of minutes and left a message for Amanda telling her to take this one with her over the weekend. Hopefully, if she got to it, she enjoyed it. It's very fast paced and a real page turner.

Let down time, what could follow such a great book. I decided to read some fluff. It took me 3 days to finish Jillian Hunter's The Husband Hunt. It wasn't a bad book, but couldn't compare to Body Electric. This is my second JH book in 2 weeks and I have the same complaint--it's too long and bogs down towards the end. I could have nit picked this one to death, but chose to enjoy it for what it is, a fluffy little historical.

Yesterday morning, I started The Cobra and The Concubine by Bonnie Vanak. I'm about 1/3 finished. So far I'm it's very good, but I was too tired last night to read before falling asleep. I haven't picked it up yet this morning. Instead of reading I decided to do some cleaning and pack up some toys for the ASPCA thrift shop.

Errands and yardwork today--not much time for reading.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Striped Feet

My feet are striped.

From April through October I live in my Birkenstock sandals. They are by far the most comfortable shoes I own, my Birkenstock clogs run a close second. For some odd reason my feet are the only part of my body that doesn't sunburn.

It's June 1st and my feet have a lovely tan, but when I take the sandals off I have three very white stripes running across both feet.