Friday, July 29

Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot

I ran over to the Town Recreation Center to sign Junior up for 3 weeks of camp (2 days a week--this starts Monday). The Rec Center's offices are right next door to the library. Junior loves this library because "Thomas" tapes are within his reach, so we go in, he picks out 3 tapes (which have to be back on Sunday) and out of the corner of my eye I seeBoy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot. I remember hearing some buzz about this so I took it out.

Started reading while I was supposed to be cooking dinner (we did eat, but later than normal.) I finished reading it after Junior went to bed.

What a funny book. Monday I'm going to look for some of her other books at the UBS. Loved how the story was told with emails, IMs, phone messages etc. Very cleverly done. The "heroine" is kind of whiney, and dippy, but she's sweet. The Emails between the "hero" and his family are just hysterical. I loved the sister's email address--IH8BARNEY@... I can appreciate that sentiment..

I didn't connect Meg Cabot and Patricia Cabot--I've always enjoyed her books.

Have a good night, happy reading.

One Good and One Not So Good...

I finished 2 books in the last 24 hours. One good and one not so good.

Unmasked by C J Barry was a very good book. You can get a good synopsis over at RT. At first I thought it was going to be another book with a "kick-ass" heroines who turns out to be TSTL, one who reacts without thinking her actions all the way through. This is how the h/h meet, after that she turns into a truly strong, yet sensitive heroine. The hero is an alpha hero with a good heart and soul. Action packed and fast paced, a really good book. Even if you don't like futuristics, this one is worth reading.

I wish I could say the same thing about To The Castle by Joan Wolf. I was so looking forward to this book, I wanted it to be fabulous. Medievals are few and far between right now and I had such I hopes for this book. The story line is very good, the review over at AAR is accurate and yet there is a certain disconnect you feel from the characters, everything seems lukewarm and somewhat boring. The writing at times seems almost to simple:

Nell turned to her husband. He looked all gold as he stood there in the afternoon sunlight: gold hair, gold eyes, gold skin. She realized she liked to look at him. She thought he was beautiful.

I can't believe the same person who wrote The Dark Ages series wrote that paragraph. I'm thinking this is probably my last Joan Wolf, I think I need to go and mourn a favorite gone for good.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Thursday, July 28

Barnes and Noble Trip

After the peepee incident yesterday (see previous blog), I decided I deserved a trip to B&N. It was really too hot (97 degrees and horrendous humidity) to do anything else, by the time we left the downstairs of our house was 85 degrees and upstairs was over 90. We needed to search out air conditioning, B&N sounded good to me.

I picked up:
  • Unearthed -- CJ Barry
  • Unmasked -- CJ Barry (which I'm currently reading)
  • Love According to Lily -- Julianna MacLean
  • Crimson City -- Liz Maverick
  • The Companion -- Susan Squires
  • Warprize -- Elizabth Vaughan

They didn't have the books I really wanted, so I ordered them (the rest of the 2176 series):

  • Day of Fire -- Kathleen Nance
  • The Power of Two -- Patti O'Shea
  • The Scarlet Empress -- Susan Grant

I should have these within the week, they'll go right to the top of the TBR pile

I don't know why I bought the Julianna MacLean book, I'm sure it will be interchangeable with all the other Regency historicals I've read or already have on my TBR pile. I've been good this month, usually full-size Regencies account for close to half of the books I read, this month I've read 22 books and only 7 are Regencies, and 2 of those were re-reads of good books, so I actually only read 5 new ones.

I picked up Warprize, because somewhere I heard it was a great book. I'm not that impressed with the blurb, hopefully it will be good (I'm not even sure what the sub-genre it is--kingdoms, warrior kings, and warlords are all mentioned in the blurb, and it's published by Tor Romance. I don't want to over due the Futuristic thing (3 in a row is probably enough for now--finished The Shadow Runners Tuesday night.)

The heat finally broke last night, the house is now 68 degrees and today's high will be around 80, we're heading to the playground with a picnic and meeting some friends. Got to go.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

The Joys of having a Boy

My son plays really nicely by himself, which is good considering he's an only child. Our house is small, so we don't have a family/playroom. He plays in his room and we've set it up to give him lots of floor space. He's an incessant talker and story teller, he comes by this genetically, if his dad's awake, he's talking. If he's playing he's talking and making up stories. It's when he's quiet I know he's up to something, and when he's quiet and closes his bedroom door, I know he's REALLY up to something.

Well, yesterday while I was blogging, he closed his bedroom door and it was way, way too quiet. I opened his door and this is how the conversation went:

me: "What are you doing??"
him: Blinking stare
me: A little louder, "What are you doing in here?"
him: With a big smile, "I peepeed in Max." Max is a toy dump truck (every toy has a name, it usually connects to the "Thomas the Tank Engine" series.)
me: I'm getting a little louder now, "What do you mean you peepeed in Max? Where is Max now?"
him: Still smiling, "In the bathroom."

I run to the bathroom and discover a puddle in front of the toilet. He spilled it while "dumping" Max into the toilet. Junior got a crash course in how to clean a bathroom floor.

I'm rather proud of myself--I wasn't a raving lunatic, and didn't even yell. My husband thought it was hysterical. My sister thought it showed imagination--yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever.

Wednesday, July 27

Political Correctness, Perceptions and Writing Styles

I've been semi-following the different discussions about PC on message boards and blogs.

Let's be honest, we may tolerate certain behavior in a historical romance that we would abhor in a contemporary. Is this because it IS more accurate to history or is it we PERCEIVE it to be more accurate? I don't know.

On a societal level it's only been in the last 100 years that we have gained "equal" ground to men, and I say that loosely. We can vote, own property and businesses separate from husbands, we should be paid equal for equal work (though this rarely is true) and domestic violence is something that is no longer tolerated and ignored. Men don't have a right to beat and rape their wives/girl friends. Is it because in the past a man did have the right that we accept it in historical romances, probably.

I wrote on Anne E's blog that I think some women who like books with domineering men and weak woman are looking to escape the responsibilities of everyday life, and want to see someone else in control--most of the women I know hold together every aspect of their families lives. It's not my choice in reading material, but I can understand someone wanting to escape to a place where someone else is "in control" and the heroine is a "damsel in distress" needing rescuing by the "knight," and it doesn't matter to them whether he's good or bad.

Personally, I like alpha hero's but not because I like weak heroines, but because I like strong women who can hold their own with a strong man.

At what point do we expect political correctness to kick in when we're reading historicals? I don't want to see a rape or beating in any book, but if it's included, I first need to see the context, it's never justified, so how does the author handle the hero's repentance and change and does it work. If the hero believes it's his right to "control" the heroine can the author show his change in thinking and behavior and make it believable.

I'm left to wonder if those who prefers the bodice rippers of the past are really looking for a hero who rapes and plunders or are they looking for a style in writing that is gone. Kathleen Woodiwiss writing style of (OMG) 30 years ago is completely different from anyone's writing style today. Whether you call it lyrical or full of purple prose, it's different. I personally like her writing style enough that when I re-read her books, I skip scenes I don't like because I like the overall style of the book. I do the same thing with some of Catherine Coulter's earlier books.

So, that's my take on political correctness, perceptions and writing styles.

Have a great day, and happy reading--and those of you sweltering like us--stay cool and safe.

Tuesday, July 26

Feeding The Addiction

Do you know the rush you get when you read something new and exciting and it leaves you wondering why didn't I read this before?? That jazzed up, adrenaline rush that you get when you know you've opened yourself up to a brand new reading world??

Futuristics hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday.

Can anyone say Susan Grant??

Can anyone say The Legend of Banzai Maguire?

Can anyone tell me why I waited over a year to look for this book when the buzz was so big around it last year??

Yesterday morning I pulled this one off my nicely reorganized TBR shelf and started it before I took Junior to my parent's so I could go get my hair done--I desperately needed a cut and color, and was almost late for my appointment. I had 40 minutes to sit with color on my head and struggled to read without my reading glasses. I finally got to pick it back up after Junior went to bed, and finished it around 10 o'clock.

I was so excited, I got up and start searching out reviews for the rest of the books in the series, hop to RT, Mrs G, and AAR (the links are in the sidebar). And decide first thing this morning I'm dragging Junior to the UBS and look for the rest of the 2176 series.

Now, I start to calm down, I've got a plan and decide to blog hop a little before going back to bed. I reach the K's and what is Kristie blogging about--futuristics and I have even more books to look for.

Kristie names a few books that I've read and enjoyed, but I've not read that many futuristics. I guess Susan Squires Body Electric is a futuristic too--liked that one too. For some reason I don't think of the Death series as futuristic--obviously it's set in the future, but I see them more as romantic suspense/crime/mysteries, a strange distinction I know. And to be honest, I've stopped reading the series, there just seems to be a sameness to the books--they've lost my attention. And, the Jayne Ann Krentz futuristics are like reading her contemporaries (they're all basically the same book--just different settings.)

It really is an addiction, hey at least it's a good addiction--it's not going to kill me.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Monday, July 25

Carved in Stone by Vickie Taylor

Normally, I'm not a huge fan of the paranormal sub-genre, but I'm finding there are some that I enjoy. I'm always pleasantly surprised when the buzz around a book is true. Carved in Stone by Vickie Taylor is one of the better books I've read this year, not just paranormal, but everything.

Kristie gives a great synopsis of this book in her review (better than I would). The concept and premise that drives the book is a good one. Before reading it I wasn't sure the "gargoyle" thing would work, but Ms. Taylor makes it work beautifully. I loved the baby dragon learning to fly scene. And at the end of the book, I found myself completely disappointed that the next book in this series wouldn't be out until next April.

I've come a long way this year I've added a vampire author (Lynn Viehl--I loved If Angels Burn) and a gargoyle author to my "to look for list" and to be honest, they're probably "autobuys" at least for a while--as long as the series don't get too long. For some reason anything more than 3 or 5 books is too many for me.

I find myself waiting patiently for Maili's list of vampire romances, maybe with my dislike of the "popular" vampire series, I've thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

Have a great day and happy reading.

The Night Stand From Hell

Yesterday morning I took a look at my side of our bedroom and decided it was a disaster, it didn't really look bad, but there were piles of books not only in my night stand, but also in baskets next to the bed.

So after a couple of hours of organizing and cleaning up I found a permanent home for my TBR pile in my night stand/bookcase.

So out of this little corner of our room I found:

  • 75 books to give to my sister
  • 2 dozen "keepers" that I re-read on a fairly regular basis, 10 were Linda Howard books.
  • I discovered I had duplicates of 4 Eloisa James' books, because I couldn't find my copies and bought new ones.
  • Book covers (protectors)--3 for MMPB and 2 for TPB
  • 10 pieces of jewelry that I've gotten as gifts in the last 2 years still in their boxes never worn.
  • 6 Pennypress Puzzle books, 3 mechanical pencils, 2 pens and a handful of Romantic Times Magazines all but one were 3 years old or older.
  • An ARC of Laura Van Wormer's The Last Lover that I never read

Now, my TBR pile has a lovely home, the books are in alphabetical order and are nicely organized.

I had these night stand/bookcases specially built for us, they can hold up to 300 paperbacks and/or video tapes (hubby loves to tape old movies, sporting events etc.) Please note I'm not showing a picture of my husbands because it literally has close to 300 video tapes in it and looks like one big black hole.

I wonder how long it's going to look this good. I should have taken a before and after picture--LOL, next time.

Have a good one.

Sunday, July 24

Mythological sign??

I lifted this from Alyssa who found it on Angie's blog.

You are Form 0, Phoenix: The Eternal.
"And The Phoenix's cycle had reached
zenith, so he consumed himself in fire. He
emerged from his own ashes, to be forever

Some examples of the Phoenix Form are Quetzalcoatl
(Aztec), Shiva (Indian), and Ra-Atum
(Egyptian).The Phoenix is associated with the concept of life,
the number 0, and the element of fire.His sign is the eclipsed sun.
As a member of Form 0, you are a determined
individual. You tend to keep your sense of
optomism, even through tough times and have a
positive outlook on most situations. You have
a way of looking at going through life as a
journey that you can constantly learn from.
Phoenixes are the best friends to have because
they cheer people up easily.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, July 22

Found this over at AAR...

Looking for a medieval romance with historical accuracy and characters who belong in their time? Joan Wolf delivers in satisfying fashion with To the Castle.

That's all I needed to read and stopped reading the review (the grade was a B by the way). I'm ordering it today.

Joan Wolf and medieval in the same paragraph makes me one very happy camper.

I picked up Vickie Taylor's Carved in Stone, and I'm about 1/2 finished. It's very good, with a great premise.

Have a great day and weekend, and HAPPY READING!!!

Thursday, July 21

A Few Questions

What is the likelihood that a 75 year old man from Georgia, would hit a black bear while riding a motorcycle in upstate New York? Happened yesterday, my husband sat in the traffic jam it caused for about an hour on his way to work. The motorcylce rider is fine, the bike was totalled and the poor bear died at the scene.

How is it possible to have 60+ books on a TBR pile and not have anything to read? Absolutely nothing is holding my interest right now--I hate that.

I wonder what can possibly be going through a man's mind when he tells his son "As long as you don't touch anything, you don't have to wash your hands after peeing"? The strange thing is my husband is fastidious about things like this, and is completely grossed out by men who don't wash their hands when they use a public bathroom. He leaves the seat up each morning for our son so he can go into the bathroom without touching anything.

And, does anyone know how long it takes to re-train a 3 year old to wash his hands after peeing? I've been working on this one for weeks. New rule in our house--if you go into the bathroom you wash your hands. "But, Daddy said..." is the last thing I want to hear these days.

Wednesday, July 20

Reading Binge Slowing

It's been hot and I've not been reading much.

I did get Mary Balogh's Dancing with Clara read Monday night--a traditional regency that was good, but "Freddie" really pissed me off in the end. I like "marriage of convenience" plots and of course, Mary Balogh does it great, I can accept a cheating husband as part of the story when he's not truly committed to the relationship--it is a marriage of convenience after all. But, I don't want to hear the hero say "I'm not sure I can change..." after he's "fallen in love" with the heroine, I expect commitment and monogamy. He would have been added to my gallery of favorite bad boys, if he'd actually changed and promised real commitment.

I'm about a third of the way through Bad to the Bone by Debra Dixon, it's copyright is 1996 and I'm sure I've read it when it was new (the prologue and beginning of the books seem very familiar) but my memory is shot, I don't remember the ending, well the ending is a given, but I don't remember how they get to their HEA, so I'm enjoying it again.

Yesterday, in the mail I got BTTB, What Do You Say to a Naked Elf? by Cheryl Sterling and Passion's Springtime by Lauren Wilde. I'm going to probably read them in this order unless some of the books I ordered at the UBS come in, then these go back to the TBR pile.

Kristie has promised to send me Susan Carroll's The Midnight Bride. I can't say how long I've waited for this book to be released in mass paperback. I was getting ready to order the darned thing new when she offered it for trade. Why I didn't get it in hard cover when it was released? I don't know, I've got the other 2 in the series in HC already. Thanks to Kristie I've been doing a very happy dance.

We've got a pool play date at someone elses house today, so I've got to go shave me legs.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Not In The Mood...

for blogging. It's been too hot to do anything besides swim.

I hate to whine about the heat because there are other parts of the country going through horrible heat waves, but during the day it's been in the 90's with horrendously high humidity (you know, the type of humidity that fogs up your glasses when you leave an air conditioned house or car.) We don't have central air conditioning--it's an old house, and running the duct work would be hell.

I'm also PMSing, not that I've been overly grouchy, but I had malted milk balls for breakfast--not a good thing.

I'm done whining. I'm going to actually try blogging about something I'm reading.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Monday, July 18

"We're a Train Family" aka Practicing Linking and Posting Pictures

That's a quote from our son (pictured here, sound asleep, wearing a pair of Mommy's sunglasses) after spending yesterday afternoon visiting Catskill Mountain Railroad.

The railroad sits right on the Esopus Creek. Between the towns of Boiceville and Phoenicia. The Esopus is renowned for fly fishing and is a very popular little waterway for tubers, rafters and kayakers.

Supposedly, Dutch Schultz hid 5 million dollars somewhere in the woods outside of Phoenicia that has never been found.

Just outside of Boiceville, is a really cool sculptor/furniture maker Steve Heller's Fabulous Furniture. I took some pictures outside his shop.

The back of the space ship says "Roswell Or Bust", I should have taken a picture of that, but I wanted to make sure you could see the aliens inside--LOL.

I have dial-up and this is just too much work and takes too damn long.

I didn't get to do any reading this weekend, so I'm heading out to the pool to cool off and do a little reading (Junior's coming with me.)

Have a great day, and happy reading.

PS--My car is out of park and all it needs is a wire replaced, nothing expensive and our mechanic will do it while we wait tomorrow--isn't he great!!!

Sunday, July 17

Kids Birthday Parties and Stuck in Park

Yesterday my son went to his second "Chuck E. Cheese" birthday party in the last month. I'm not big on these "theme" parties. Two hours of pure hell. Three and four year olds running around like little lunatics, then are told to sit down eat pizza, dance with "Chuck," eat cake and leave, so the next round of parties can start. There were seven parties going on at the same time, one of the parties was for a 2 year old, he's going to remember this--why waste the money? It's utter chaos. Chaos I tell you.

Junior will be 4 next month, we're having two family parties and that's it. I would have one party, but our nephew's birthday is the week after Junior's and we'll have their party together (husband's side of the family.) We did this last year for the first time and the kids liked it and it was fun. There are enough 1st cousins to make up for not having a "kids" party. We do a craft table and a pinata, and the kids have a great time. Either the following day or the next week, we have a nice quiet birthday with my family. My dad's not up to anything too chaotic.

When we went to leave Chuck's I couldn't get the van out of Park. I hate automatic transmissions. Finally, after playing with it I got it into Drive and had no problems driving home. But, now it's stuck in Park in our driveway and if I can't get it out, we'll have to have it towed to the garage. So, we'll be stuck in the house again. Wonderful. Hopefully it wont need a transmission.

Have a great day, and happy reading. Reading is my plan for the day--it looks like rain.

Friday, July 15

Still Stuck & The Pot Luck Book...

Well, for the third day running, we'll be stuck in the house--paving today.

When Junior and I went to leave yesterday, I realized the drop off the end of the driveway to the unpaved road was too big and I would have scraped the bottom of the mini-van. The DH drives an SUV and clearance isn't a problem for him.

So instead of re-organizing the home office, which is in desperate need of doing, I've been reading and floating around the pool--tough life, I know--LOL. Hey, it's too humid to do anything else.

In yesterday's mail I received my "Pot Luck" book, thank you "Secret Santa". Since I couldn't decide what to read yesterday morning I read this one.

The Man For Her by Alice Valdal

I had seen this book at the grocery store and loved the cover, but I'm not a huge "westerns" fan, so I had passed on it, but it wasn't bad, liked that it is set in Western Canada (British Columbia) and I like the back drop of a ranch (farm) and the "Gold Rush".

My problem with the book came from the heroine (Lottie). She has waited 10 years for her lover/fiance to return to her and has allowed her son from this relationship to believe his father is coming back. This is the driving force of the plot and almost all the book's conflicts revolve around this.

The hero (Sean) is the missing man's cousin (the cousins could pass for twins). Sean felt duty bound to stay behind in Ireland and care for his cousin's famine stricken family, and then feels bound to help Lottie and her son. Right from the start she is mad at Sean for wanting to follow his cousin to the gold fields and yet still waits for her 1st love to come back (she writes him letters that she keeps to give to him when he returns.)

Honey, he ain't coming back. It takes her 10 years to figure this out??

The book climaxes with the son running away to find his father.

Sean is a good man. Unfortunately, Lottie at times lives up to her nickname "Crazy Lottie," and because of her eccentricities and choices she makes life harder for her child--I've got a problem with this.

After finishing this one, I decide to read a favorite. Jane Feather's The Accidental Bride. I kow it has some problems with historical accuracy, but I like it anyway.
  • I like May/December romances and there's at least 15 years between them.
  • Phoebe (the heroine) is funny and strong willed, yet not TSTL.
  • Cato (the hero) is completely dumb founded by Phoebe and her natural sensuality.

I enjoy the interaction between them.

I'm hoping the paving is done early enough that we can escape, I'm starting to crawl the walls, and Junior is beyond bored.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Thursday, July 14


The village decided to tear up our road and have basically left us trapped. We live on a dead end street and can't get out because they're "reclaiming" the road, tomorrow they're paving.

The good side of being trapped is I've finished 3 books in the last 2 1/2 days. I finished
  1. Last Girl Dancing by Holly Lisle--excellent book and would highly recommend it if you like romantic suspense, an "out of the box" read.
  2. Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson--well, I can now say I do NOT like secret baby stories especially ones that take 15 years to tell the father.
  3. Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke--this is a re-read. It's one of my favorites from last year, and I still enjoyed it, but not as much as the first time I read it. I guess I was nit picking it a little and found the "Duke" to be too controlling (as if a duke he's not supposed to be controlling). I don't know, I just didn't like him as much as the first time around.

I don't know what to read next, I'm really trying to mix things up a little, so I'm basically not reading the same sub-genre one after another. I ordered three more books through the UBS, and, of course, 2 of them are Regency historicals--smack me in the head.

Tuesday, after our pool play date, I loaned 3 books to one of the other mothers. We'd never talked books before, turns out she is a huge historical romance fan but since she's been home for the past 4 years having babies (3 under the age of 4 and want to have another in the next year), she does little reading. She borrowed Marsha Canham's Robin Hood Trilogy. I'm praying I get them back, though I did threaten her ("I know where you live.")

I'm praying I can get out while the work crews are on lunch. I've got some errands to run. Including picking up a birthday gift for a kids party--I hate these things, but I'll rant about them on another day.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Wednesday, July 13

Just Call Me Lizzie

Lifted this from Alyssa's Blog :

You scored as Elizabeth Bennet. As one of Austen's most beloved characters, Elizabeth Bennet represents what most women would like to become: strong, independent, and loyal. Of course, she has her faults including a stubborn will of iron and a clinging to first impressions. Overall, Lizzie is bright and lovable...something to admire and aspire to.

Which Jane Austen Character are You?
created with

Tuesday, July 12

Last Girl Dancing by Holly Lisle and No Time To Read

I'm 160 pages into Last Girl Dancing by Holly Lisle, it's an absolute page turner. I was so tired last night, I only got about 40 pages read. Woke up early and read until Junior got up.

We've got 5 kids and 3 moms coming for a "pool" play date. I still have to make the beds, wash the breakfast dishes and run to the grocery store for salad fixings for a grown-up lunch.

And, all I want to do is read.

Got to go.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Monday, July 11

My Backyard

Today's column over at RTB got me thinking about my backyard.

I live in The Hudson Valley of New York. Actually it's the "Mid" Hudson Valley and the foothills of The Catskill Mountains. The "Lower" Hudson Valley is part of the NYC suburbs--very crowded and has been growing steadily since 9/11. The "Mid" is an area in flux--changing from "bedroom" communities to suburbs.

The little town I live in has 4000 people, it includes

  • 2 stop lights
  • 3 gas stations
  • 4 churches and 1 synagogue
  • 1 ice cream stand
  • 3 pizza places
  • 1 Mexican and 3 Chinese food restaurants
  • a family owned grocery store
  • 1 Chevy dealer
  • NOT ONE fast food restaurant and NO movie theaters
  • The nearest Krispy Kreme donut is 25 minutes away and the closest B&N/Starbucks is 25 minutes in the other direction.
  • But, we've got a great USED BOOK STORE

Small town America at it's best--LOL.

Not very exciting, but I can look out my bedroom window and see a river slowly meandering north (yes, it flows north and not south). Deer and wild turkey wander our backyard and come up to our back door. We can see bald eagles flying over the river searching for fish. Majestic blue herons stand perfectly still on the river's banks. If I look north I can see the "Trapps" (cliffs) outside of New Paltz. If I listen I can hear birds, bull frogs and woodpeckers.

In the fall, I'll see leaf colors so beautiful, they're breathtaking. And, if I take it for granted, the steady stream of "Leaf Peepers" from NYC, with their picnic lunches of wine, cheese and baggettes (rather cliche isn't it--but true), are a constant reminder. Locals laugh, but I understand the draw.

It may not be as exciting as NYC, but I wouldn't live anywhere else.

So, it sounds bucolic and grand doesn't it? Gee, it seems like I forgot to mention

  • The skunks we had to evict from under our front porch.
  • Woodchucks that eat my flowers and my husbands vegetable garden.
  • Raccoons breaking into the garbage pails.
  • Deer that eat the bushes down to nubs and bring ticks carrying Lyme Disease right to our back door (my husband's had Lyme Disease--worse than any flu you can imagine.)
  • Squirrels picking the black walnut tree clean and throwing the shells into the pool.
  • The bull frogs I hear live in the mosquito ridden swamp that used to be a swimming pool two doors down.
  • The lady next door who rakes leaves into our yard because the tree is ours, therefore the leaves are ours too.
  • Black bears and coyotes that occasionally wander out of the mountains and get lost.
  • How about the snakes that range from harmless to poisonous?
  • And what about the winters that start with a just few flakes in October and November and end with snow banks that don't melt until April.

I'm amazed by the amount of people who, when they move out of the "City" or more established 'burbs, think it's the towns responsiblilty to take care of all these little nuisances instead of just living with them like the rest of us. They forget that the little nuisances come with the perks.

Hey, it's not glamorous, but it's my backyard.

So, what's in your backyard??

Whine, Bitch, Complain...

Well, it's 5:53 in the morning and I've been up for an hour and a half. Junior had a bad dream and is now asleep in our bed, in my spot (that's okay--I love watching him sleep.)

My reading binge is slowing down, I've hit a few "not great" books, though I did finish The Shadowy Horses, which was very good.

  • Julia Quinn's It's In His Kiss was kind of boring, nice banter, but I never really got into the story or the h/h's relationship. Gregory was very funny and I'm relieved that his story is next and last. Julia Quinn is a guest squawker over at Squawk Radio this week.
  • Double Trouble by Claire Cross is written in the first person, which I like, normally it's a nice change from 3rd person. This book gave me a headache, I found myself rereading paragraphs, passages and pages, because at times it seemed rather convoluted--funny coming from me the queen of convoluted.
  • The Book of the Seven Delights is Betina Krahn's new book. I started it yesterday, and it's not bad, but at times it's dragging. It gets big points for being set in Victorian Morocco. The hero is English/French and the heroine is American. It reminds me of "The Mummy" movies--which I love.
  • Last night I started reading The Wedding Night of an English Rogue by Jillian Hunter when I realized I'd left TBOTSD downstairs and was too lazy to go down and get it. After about 5 pages I turned off the booklight, took off my glasses and watched Cold Case on CBS with my husband, it's one of his favorite shows, but I always find it rather sad and usually much rather read.

There you go, the books that have pulled me out of a really good reading groove. Don't get me wrong, TBOTSD isn't bad and I haven't analyzed it enough to decide what's not working, and the Julia Quinn is well written, just boring.

I forgot to mention, last week I saw some of the new-sized paperbacks. To be honest, they look awkward, kind of tall and thin (about an inch taller than regular paperbacks, but no wider.) I wasn't impressed.

I think I'm finally done with the RT message boards (except for the General Board--I'll keep checking on how Jenster is doing). This was the question that finally put me over the edge:

"...Blank Pages at back of books...does it bother you?...Okay i may be getting just a bit picky here, but I've been noticing these 2-3 blank pages at the back of book more and more lately ... and wondered how you felt about this trend...."

Who the %$&%$$ cares!!! Is this inane crap or what?? I had to get that off my chest, I was going to post it over there, but figured it would offend someone. I know better than to go into this person's threads, but it's like rubber necking, I can't help but look. Oh, I feel much better.

On a much nicer note, Beverly's interview is up on mcvane this morning.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Friday, July 8

Confession Time and Guilty Pleasures

I prefer alpha heros--ack, not much of a confession, is it?

But, occasionally, I like historicals with alpha anti-heros--obnoxious men who not only need redeeming, they need serious soul searching, behavior modifications, attitude adjustments... And, they, of course, need the perfect woman to save them from themselves.

The other day Wendy blogged that Thea Devine was a guilty pleasure. Well, books with anti-heros are my guilty pleasure. Here are a few more memorable anti-heros:
  • Gralaem--Firesong by Catherine Coulter
  • Lucien (Lucky)--Dark Wager by Mary Spencer
  • Cato--The Accidental Bride by Jane Feather
  • Rees--Your Wicked Ways by Eloisa James
  • Rolfe--The Conqueror by Brenda Joyce
  • Rogan--The Taming by Jude Deveraux
  • Spencer--The Marriage Bed by Stepanie Mittman
  • Hugo--Vixen by Jane Feather
  • John--The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke (newest to the list)
  • I'm sure there are other, they're not coming to mind now.

Drunks, adulterers, clueless idiots, self-involved morons, villians in their own right, but everyone had an epiphany of love, that made their book worth reading.

Are all the books keepers? Nope.

Do I even believe an epiphany of love can truly change someone? Nope, but for some reason in each of these books, I believed it possible.

Would I personally want any of them? Nope.

Would I want to see one of them a hero in a contemporary? Absolutely not.

Contemporaries can and do have anti-heros (Anne Stuart writes the best), but they're somehow different and most women today would kick these historical type anti-heros to the curb without a second thought .

Thursday, July 7

OMG--I Bought More Books...

I can not believe this, but I caved and bought more books today. Four new and Four used.

  1. The Wedding Night of an English Rogue--Jillian Hunter
  2. The Book of the Seven Delights--Betina Krahn
  3. Last Girl Dancing--Holly Lisle
  4. Bait--Karen Robards


  1. Lady of Desire--Gaelen Foley
  2. Daisy's Back in Town--Rachel Gibson
  3. His Every Kiss--Laura Lee Guhrke
  4. Searching for Venus--Ella Broussard

I already read His Every Kiss, but loaned it out to someone and never got it back. I decided to go back and re-read Guilty Pleasures and His Every Kiss. Right now I'm reading One Night of Sin by Gaelen Foley and realized I hadn't read Lady of Desire.

As I'm typing this I'm banging my head against the screen. Do I really need anymore books and did I need 2 more set in Regency England, after I swore I was done with the time period?

Have a good night, and happy reading.

Thoughts and Prayers...

Thoughts and prayer go out to our friends and families in the UK.

Auto Buys...

Maili's column over at RTB yesterday got me thinking about my different lists--Auto Buys, Almost Auto Buys and Used to be Auto Buys. I honestly thought my "used to be" list would be the smallest--alas I was wrong.

Auto Buys-- Authors I will buy without reading the blurb and will always buy new:
  • Mary Balogh
  • Marsha Canham
  • Liz Carlyle
  • Jane Feather (getting close to being on the "used to be..." list)
  • Diana Gabaldon (the only one I buy in hard cover)
  • Juliana Garnett
  • Linda Howard
  • Madeline Hunter
  • Eloisa James
  • Laura Kinsale
  • Maggie Osborne (I know she's retired, but I can still hope)
  • Susan Elizabeth Phillips (may end up on the "almost..." list)
  • Candice Proctor
  • Julia Quinn
  • Nora Roberts (what can I say--she's a comfort read)

Almost Auto Buys--Authors I buy after I read the blurb, occasionally I'll pass on what's new and wait for it to be used:

  • Jane Ashford (not a lot of books out there, but I like her writing style)
  • Adele Ashworth
  • Elizabeth Chadwick (I forget to look for her books, but I always enjoy them and there hard to find new or used)
  • Katherine Deauxville
  • Rachel Gibson
  • Lisa Kleypas
  • Karen Ranney
  • Karen Robards
  • Anne Stuart
  • Joan Wolf (if she continues to only write contemporaries, she'll be moved to the "used to be..." list)

Used to be an Auto Buy--Authors I occasionally buy used or have absolutely given up on:

  • Jo Beverly
  • Suzanne Brockmann (current series got old fast for me)
  • Sandra Brown
  • Catherine Coulter
  • Jude Deveraux
  • Janet Evanovich (tired of Stephanie Plum and wont read the romances)
  • Julie Garwood ( I think I out grew her writing style, though I still get her books used)
  • Susan Johnson (I liked her old historicals with all the footnotes)
  • Brenda Joyce (eek--her contemporaries are horrible)
  • Katherine Kingsley
  • Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick... (tired of the same book over and over again)
  • Stephanie Laurens
  • Elizabeth Lowell
  • Pamela Morsi (love her historicals, wish she was still writing them and not contemporaries)
  • Mary Jo Putney
  • JD Robb
  • Kathleen Woodiwiss

I was going to be obnoxious and do a list of the "Just Shoot Me If I Ever Buy Them Again", but decided that was rude, even if it is my blog.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

What Can I Say--Kristie Inspired Me

I'm not a polka dot person and those dots were driving me crazy. This was the third template I tried this morning. Sage green is one of my favorite colors, in fact, the blog now matches my bedroom very nicely.

Wednesday, July 6

The Marriage Bed... aka The Book Junkie Strikes Again!

Last week I ordered 3 books through the UBS (they also sell new books).
  1. The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke
  2. It's in His Kiss by Julia Quinn
  3. Carved in Stone by Vicki Taylor

The first two were in yesterday, so of course I ran right out and picked them up. Now, I'm sure Carved in Stone will be in today, but I wasn't willing to wait to pick up them all up at the same time (that damned book junkie thing again).

Neither of these books ever hit the TBR pile. I started The Marriage Bed as soon as I finished Double Trouble and didn't stop reading until I finished it at 12:30 this morning. It's in His Kiss had a place of honor sitting on my night stand over night.

The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke

He charmed her, wed her, and betrayed her ...

But now the repentant lord must

entice his enchanting wife back to the marriage bed.

That little quote is borrowed from, and is a rather simplistic description of the plot. This book is extremely well written, it has a great plot and the pacing is perfect, you could have gotten all of that from Mrs. Giggle's review.

Spoilers: Don't go any further if you don't want details...

There is a lot going on in this book. If you can't deal with adultery or long separations this book is NOT for you.

At 26, John Hammond is in desperate need of an heiress. After assuming his title he's in need of money quickly. He finds Viola (a Duke's sister) and charms her into marrying him including telling her he loves her, though he doesn't. After they are married she discovers he has kept a mistress right up until the wedding day and mistakenly believes he is still visiting her. She locks him out of their bedroom for a month and he leaves, basically for good, and she lets him.

Fast forward 8 years and now Lord Hammond is in desperate need again. Now he needs an heir, the two he has lined up for the job have died of Scarlet Fever.

John has had numerous mistress over the 8 years, and on some level he blames Viola because she locked him out--men have needs you know. Somehow Ms. Guhrke is able to show him as a charming scapegrace, he doesn't come across as the pig he is, because on one level he doesn't feel he's wrong, but at the same time when confronted he has guilt.

When he says "I never meant to hurt you..." I believed him. If you view life in black and white, you're probably not going to like this book, but if you can see through shades of grey, you will be able to believe Viola can forgive him and he does finally find redemption when he realizes how wrong he has been, how lousy he's treated women and that he does love his wife. All of this comes very late in the book.

I read this entire book with a lump in my throat. You feel for Viola, and even some of the mistresses, at times you hate John. If this were my life I wouldn't have let him back in, but this isn't my "love" story, it's John and Viola's. If you believe she's able forgive him and that he loves her, you'll believe in their HEA--I did.

I'm now 50 pages into It's in His Kiss. It's a nice lite read, much needed after spending 4 hours perpetually on the verge of tears.

Monday, July 4

We're Home Early...

We decided to make the Berkshires a day trip, it's less than a two hour drive, so the hubby decided he'd rather sleep in his own bed. Junior got to go on another train ride, so he enjoyed our little trip. Berkshire Scenic Railroad and The Norman Rockwell Museum were our two stops. There is an amazing amount of things to do while visiting the Berkshires, but since it's so close to home, I think we'll be making more day trips and maybe a mini vacation. Scenically the area reminds me of home (New York's Hudson Valley and Catskills).

We got home last night in time to watch Dirty Dancing. I've not watched the whole thing in years. I still enjoyed it even though it's campy and the dialogue is horrendous. I can't believe it's almost 20 years old. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." made it into the top 100 movie lines.

Well, I'm left wondering whatever happened to Baby and Johnny (not in real life Jennifer Grey had a nose job and ruined her interesting face and Patrick Swayze, well, I guess he's somewhere in Texas.)

So, what does everyone think? Did they get married or go their separate ways? Did she save the world? What does he do after "dancing"?

I rarely watch TV at night, but after watching DD my husband put on a video of 12 Angry Men. It's one of my all time favorite movies. I'm always left wondering, did the kid do it?

Got a ton of reading done this weekend:
  1. The Bane Affair--Alison Kent
  2. The Shaughnessey Accord--Alison Kent
  3. The Samms Agenda--Alison Kent
  4. To Pleasure a Prince--Sabrina Jeffries
  5. One Night with a Prince--Sabrina Jeffries

And, I'm half way through Double Trouble by Claire Cross.

I traded for the Kent books and to be honest I probably would have been really annoyed if I had bought them, not because they weren't good, they are but they would have been expensive. All of them are trade paperbacks, both TSAs are 117 pages long and cost $7.99 new (that's 7 cents a page.)

Will someone please explain why so many of us feel the need to finish books that are part of a series? The 2 Jeffries books are the last 2 in The Royal Brotherhood Series, I read the first one last week and thought it only so so. The second was the best of the lot and dammit I'm left wanting the hero's sister's story, which is so annoying, because I'm going to have to keep an eye out for it. Now I'm 1/2 way through Double Cross and I realize there's a book before it--again annoying I'll search it out even though I'm not loving this one.

I really am a pathetic book junkie.

Hope everyone had a great and safe weekend.

PS--Megan, I didn't finish Into the Fire yet. Somehow I've missed placed it and haven't had time to rip the house and car apart looking for it. I was enjoying it, but I like just about everything Anne Stuart writes.

One more thing--my son picked up a variation of an expletive I hadn't heard before... H-E-double fish sticks.

Friday, July 1

Happy 4th of July...a few days early

Happy 4th to one and all.

We've got a busy weekend, so I'm not sure I'll be on again--well, I'll probably be on in the morning to blog hop, but probably wont have enough time to post anything.

Picnic at one of my BILs tomorrow, and Sunday after Mass we are heading up to the Berkshires for a couple of days.

I'm planning on reading the first 4 books in Alison Kent's SG-5 series. I finished Drive Me Crazy last night and haven't started anything today.

Junior and I went to a local Farm Market with my sister today, the produce is amazingly fresh, the baked goods are unbelievable and we can even pick up homemade soaps. Almost all of the villages and towns in our area are doing a weekly farm markets which is great, it helps the small local farms and small businesses. We live in the fastest growing county in NY and we are within driving distance of NYC, so the small farms in our area are fast disappearing to developments of McMansions.

Have a great weekend, be safe and happy reading.