Sunday, December 31

December TBR Challenge...

Nothing like coming in under the wire. Actually I finished this 2 weeks ago, but didn't take the time to post my challenge results, a book published before 2006...

Title: In Plain Sight

Author: Gayle Wilson

Year published: 2004

Why did you get this book? I read her new release Bogeyman and decided to search out her backlist

Do you like the cover? Nice colors, kind of vague picture, it works.

Did you enjoy the book? Yes

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? No

Are you keeping it or passing it on? Passing it on.

Anything else? I like Ms. Wilson's writing style, it works very nicely with romantic suspense. Her characters are well developed and the story moves at a decent clip. I don't like that she uses children as victims.

"Do they celebrate Harmonica?"

Our adorable son thinks our house is the "Jolliest" on the street. Which when he gets older will probably be code for "Mommy goes a little overboard." With a birthday at Christmas time you get a lot of Christmas themed gifts. I try to put out as much as I can.

We were at my parents yesterday. My brother and his wife (Hi Martha) came for a visit and Mom had everyone over for dinner. Mom does next to no Holiday decorating--a Nativity, wreaths on the doors and for the first time in years they lite up the little Pine tree in front of their house.

So Junior looks around Grandma's house and sees no real decorations and asks "Do they celebrate Harmonica?"

My husband did correct that to "Hannukah" and explain that no Grandma and Grandpa celebrate Christmas they just don't decorate their entire house--maybe I do go a little overboard--LOL.

Friday, December 29

The eBookman is officially working...

Thanks to Jane and her abundant knowledge of such things.

I've read about 1/2 of the first book I downloaded and have downloaded a second. I'm definitely going to need a memory card. I had to delete a bunch of files they provided for music, and other media files, just to get the second book to load. This thing's for books, if I want something to play music I'll get an IPod and if I want to read Newsweek, I'll pick up a magazine.

My order with B&N got messed up thanks to the pre-ordered books even though I requested them to be shipped as available and not to hold for the entire order, they held the entire order.
And both books I ordered from Amazon have been shipped. By the middle of next week my TBR pile will jump by 12 or 13 books.

I've spent the day playing games with my little guy--Monopoly Junior and V-Smile games. He seems quite happy with the presents Santa brought.

I think we're going out to dinner tonight, a nice dinner, not burgers, pizza or Chinese.

Tomorrow we're off to Mom's for dinner, my brother's due in sometime today.

We have absolutely no plans for New Years Eve, I sincerely doubt we'll make midnight.

Have a good one, I'll post some book reviews over the weekend.

Happy reading--Tara

Wednesday, December 27

Getting back to normal... and other things...

I guess getting back to normal is rather relative.

The house is still turned upside down thanks to all the Christmas presents. I've straightened out all the little messes since I initially wrote this. All the toys and games start in the living room and as he wants to play with something new he moves it up to his bedroom. His room looks like a toy store exploded.

The eBookman (EBM-900) is my new electronic toy. I'm thinking it's on the low end of the ebook readers available, but I think it will work just fine for what I want. I'm never going to actually give up books, I love the feel of a book. I've installed it and registered it and hopefully will figure out whether or not I can download a couple of the books I've already read with Adobe, I'm thinking not, but I'll keep reading the manual. Jane if it's possible let me know--LOL.

I overcooked for Christmas, way, way, way overcooked. We'll be eating this stuff for the next week, though I've decided to try to mix things up a little so we're not eating the same things every night... Tuesday--stuffed shells and chicken parmesan, Wednesday--antipasto and caesar salad, Thursday--meatball heros and Friday--sausage and peppers, and hopefully that will be the end of the leftovers, from my mouth (typing fingers) to God's ears. That's not really true, I already froze a tray of stuffed shells.

I worked Bingo Tuesday afternoon. Santa must not have brought good stuff to the old folks, they were particularly cranky. One woman yelled "What the Hell do you want from me?" after she called "BINGO" and no one heard her including the caller and this made for a legistical nightmare as 2 more people called bingo after the next number was called. My first thought was "Lady if you'd called bingo as a loud as you called out WTH..." nobody'd be complaining. And then I thought how she should be worrying about being struck by lightning cursing in a Catholic school, but then I found myself mumbling "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" a couple of times and that was probably worse than "Hell"--LOL.

Last night I posted I hadn't read anything in a week. This isn't exactly true. Eloisa James' Pleasure for Pleasure has been sitting on my nightstand for the last week and I think I've read it through 2 more times, because 1. I've been too tired at night to try and pick out something from my TBR pile and 2. I've decided I really like this one--Josie and Mayne completely work for me.

I've got some errands to run and some dishes to do, so I guess things are back to normal.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Tuesday, December 26

Books, books and even more books...

Well I haven't read anything in about a week, but I went a little crazy today ordering from B&N. . .
  1. Blame it on Paris -- Laura Florand, there was a great review of this one over on Dear Author.
  2. Midnight Secrets -- Jennifer St. Giles
  3. Darkest Dreams -- Jennifer St. Giles, this got a nice review by RT since it was the second in a series I had to order the first, see above.
  4. For the Love of a Pirate -- Edith Layton, I don't know why I ordered this one, maybe it was the pirate thing.
  5. Autumn in Scotland -- Karen Ranney, I'm tired of "Scotland" books, but Karen Ranney is a favorite.
  6. High Stakes: A Tale of Vegas Vampires -- Erin McCarthy
  7. Bit the Jackpot -- Erin McCarthy, liked the review at Dear Author and needed the first in the series too, see above.
  8. Master of Shilden -- Lucinda Carrington
  9. All Night Long -- Melissa MacNeal, this ones an Aphrodisia, I'm curious.
  10. Demon Angel -- Meljean Brook, the extra for my BIL.
  11. Made in Sin -- Celia May Hart


  1. Natural Born Charmer -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  2. Winter Lodge -- Susan Wiggs
  3. The Lawman's Bride -- Cheryl St. John
  4. Blood Ties: Possession -- Jennifer Armintrout

All of this came to over $150 and I paid for everything with gift cards, and I still have over $100 in additional cards. What's even more amazing I also ordered 2 books from Amazon with a gift certificate from there. And, the family says I'm hard to buy for--LOL. What's so hard about that??

Monday, December 25

Merry Christmas

A quick Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my on-line friends.

Opening gifts started at 5:30 this morning and breakfast was finished by 7:30.

mega hit with the 5 year old--LOL.

We went to 8:00 Mass last night, it was considered "Midnight Mass" which may be a little odd, but it was great to be home by 9:30. It was a lovely service with beautiful music.

My family is coming later. We're having an Italian Christmas, well partly. Starting with antipasto, and moving on to ceasar salad, stuffed shells, baked ziti, chicken parm, meatballs and sausage. Decided against doing a full dinner with it, didn't figure anyone would have room for turkey or ham with all the trimmings.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

Peace and Love, Tara

Sunday, December 24

Christmas Eve

It's not quite 4:00 and I'm up. We're going out for breakfast this morning and then heading to the in-laws for Christmas Eve with them, and tomorrow my family is coming for Christmas Day.

Everything is done, thank God.

The presents are wrapped. Tomorrow's dinner is prepped. The house is clean. Even the table is set.

There must be something I'm forgetting--LOL.

I'll be back to post something tomorrow. Have a wonderful day.

PS The picture is a year old, but it's one of my favorites.

Wednesday, December 20

Yikes, what a few days...

I didn't mean to go missing for a few days, but it's been busy and not necessarily in a good way.

My mom and MIL share a birthday (Dec. 17th) and we spent Saturday with my in-laws at my husband's sister's home. We've a new baby in the family, born the 12th and we were all real excited that they were going to be coming for part of the day. And the day was going wonderfully until an accident in the kitchen. Junior was playing in kitchen with 2 of his younger cousins while my SIL was making pasta for Penne a la Vodka and when she went to drain the pasta one of the cousins pushed Junior into his aunt and the boiling water splashed over the side of the pot on his arm and leg.

We spent 3 hours in the emergency room and he has a "1st degree bordering on 2nd degree" burn on his forearm, but that's it. It has to be kept clean and covered until it's healed. My poor SIL was in such a state, she also has a burn on her wrist, she literally threw the pot into the sink while I grabbed him and ran upstairs and threw him in the shower clothes and all. His jeans protected his leg but he was wearing a t'shirt that left his arm exposed.

He's fine and completely enjoying the attention this is getting him.

Let's move on to Sunday. We went to my sister's for a big family birthday party. My BIL's is the 14th, Mom's the 17th and mine's the 24th, so we do one big December birthday party. And we were having a lovely day until the phone rang while we were eating and it's the alarm company for my aunt's house. They've got movement in the house, they didn't get an answer when they called (my sister's her backup). So my husband goes with her back to her house and finds one of the kitchen windows has been broken and yanked all the way open. The alarm scared them off and they didn't get into the house.

Monday was spent trying to get the last of the Christmas errands done and taking Junior to his pediatrician, she gave us a prescription for Silverdene, which apparently is very good for burns. When we went to the hospital Saturday there was a family next to us with a little girl who banged her head and they were running tests to make sure she was okay (she was), her fireman dad recommended this and said it's a good thing to keep in the house.

And Tuesday was the kindergarten Christmas party at school, which was actually a lot of fun. One of the dad's dressed up as Santa and was wonderful. We asked Junior last night if it was the real Santa, or one of his helpers. And he announced it was the real thing. I did find out a couple of things about my boy... 1. They (teachers, principal, staff) are amazed by how well spoken he is for five, and always ask if we're aware of this, well yeah we talk to him everyday--LOL. We've actually been hearing this since he was three. 2. Apparently he's a huge hit with the girls. There are six girls in his class and they all love him, but the older girls just think he's adorable, that cute face and dimples gets them every time. There's a little girl in his class named Evelyn, platinum blond hair, very sweet and cute and he says he's going to marry her. My husband asked if he's told her this and Junior's answer was "No, that would ruin the friendship." Where does he come up with this stuff?

I finished my book for Angie's TBR challenge, so hopefully I'll have time to post it in the next couple of days.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Sunday, December 17

I swiped this from Jen, who swiped it from Stacy:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate, egg nog gets a big yuck from me.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? WRAPPED everything gets wrapped even the stocking stuffers.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Both, white lights go on the inside close to the bark, so the tree kind of glows from the inside and a mix of colored and specialty lights (angels, bubble lights etc) go around the outside.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I've never hung mistletoe, but my mom had this funky plastic stuff she used to hang she called mistletoe.

5. When do you put your decorations up? The weekend/week after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Mom's Canadian Meat Pies and this is going to sound weird, my mom's mashed turnip, it's a bizarre dish with butter, onions, and brown sugar, but it's so good.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: My dad sitting on the sofa almost comatose from all the overtime he had to put in to pay for Christmas and staying up half the night putting together all the big toys.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What truth? Is there a truth I don't know about? Santa's real, right?

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We spend Christmas Eve with my in-laws so yes we open presents on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at home, and Christmas afternoon with my family.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? ME, ME, ME and I will not relinquish control!! Besides, Junior's too young and my husband has absolutely no interest.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? LOVE IT as long as it's not on Christmas day while I'm waiting for 15 people to come for dinner.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes, but haven't done it in years, our school's Parent's Guild is sponsoring a skate at our local rink Friday, I haven't decided if we're going or not.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? "Beautiful Crissy" with the amazing growing hair.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Remembering it's not about the commercialization of Santa Claus, it's time for family and that we are celebrating Jesus' birth and God's love.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? COOKIES, lots and lots of cookies--fingerprint, magic cookie bars, sugar, vanilla horns, my sisters chocolate dipped chocolate chip... Yum.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Open presents before dawn on Christmas morning.

17. What tops your tree? A Star, it was the topper my parents used my whole childhood. Mom gave it to me when she stopped putting up a tree. It's seen better days, but I wont give it up. It used to light up and cast amazing colors and designs on the ceiling, but my dad rewired it and it almost caught fire the first year we used it (it couldn't have been that he wired a 40 year old light fixture to an extension cord could it--LOL)

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Giving

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Do You Hear What I Hear. Back when public school still allowed Christian based Christmas carols my sister's elementary school chorus sang this, I still remember being overwhelmed by the beauty of it 30 years later.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Okay, look great on the tree but not my favorite candy.

Saturday, December 16

Books and other things...

Well it's almost 4 am and I'm up for the day. Junior crawled into bed with us at 2:15, the child is a bed hog. I'm on-line and the hubby moved to Junior's bed and Junior is sound asleep in the middle of our queen sized bed. Doesn't seem quite right--LOL.

Earlier in the week I picked up 4 Gayle Wilson romantic suspsenses at the UBS. I'm currently reading In Plain Sight, it's very good, but I've one qualm, like Bogeyman, a child needs protection from someone trying to kill them. It's very disconcerting to see a child as a victim and yet she does a wonderful job showing a how strongly a mother will protect her child.

I'm trying to reach 200 books read this year. I've got 4 to go, including the one I'm currently reading. Two weeks, I think I can get it done. But then if next week's as busy as this one was I'm not sure. Wednesday was spent wrapping and Thursday and Friday I worked Santa Shopping at school--4+ hours each day of helping little kids spend money. You wouldn't believe what I could do with $20. Today and tomorrow are tied up with family birthday parties, but I do get to read in the car.

I'm thinking about adding "Current Google Searches" to my sidebar, I'm still finding them rather entertaining, though I did delete one I found a little too creepy...

2 reviews of pleasure for pleasure by eloisa james
2 the gladiator's honor excerpt
1 awaken pleasure nalini singh online books
1 nice romance nicknames
1 elizabeth hoyt
1 romance reading mom
1 dageus
1 my friends hot mom mrs. janes
1 mrs carrington porn
1 raven claw stephenie
1 online reads barbara cartlands romantic novels
1 zoe archer
1 julie garwood saving grace

Tomorrow I'm posting the Christmas Meme I swiped from Jenster, I just have to actually finish it.

Have a great weekend and happy reading.

Thursday, December 14

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

I picked up Elizabeth Hoyt's the Raven Prince after Jane's review over on Dear Author. I wasn't completely sold on the premise, but figured Jane gave it a B so it would be worth trying. Then somehow it went missing in my house. Following Kristie's advice I didn't search for it and hoped it would show up. Then I read Rosario's review and I started to get a little antsy, and finally Kristie's review sent to me looking for another copy, which I didn't find. But Kristie's theory comes through and while searching under the sofa for some missing Matchbox cars The Raven Prince was found...

Jane's review at Dear Author

Rosario's review

Kristie's review

Blurbs and/or good synopses can be found on all three sites, it's rather redundant to do another--*code for go check out their reviews I am being too lazy write my own.*

And, boy am I glad it showed up. I really liked this one.

I still think the female secretary/brothel visiting premise itself is rather weak and yet Ms. Hoyt's style, voice and story structure makes it work and work beautifully.

Anna Wren and Edward de Raaf are both interesting and well developed characters. A wren would be a good description of Anna at the beginning of the story, but she comes into her own as the story progresses. Edward's bad temper and cranky behavior is actual quite fun. His relationships with his employees are interesting and the exchanges with his valet, Davis, are laugh out loud funny. All the secondary characters are unique and well developed too--Mother Wren, Anna's sweet MIL, the prostitute sisters the nice Pearl and the tough Coral, Hopple, the overworked steward with the deplorable fashion sense. Felicity Clearwater's, the manipulative Squire's wife, bedroom scenes are quite funny too. And, Felicity's description of the "just a little off" Lillipin gives a perfect physical and mental picture of our villain.

The two love scenes in the brothel are completely silent making them both incredibly sensual and erotic.

The entire book is well plotted and flows beautifully together. It's hard to believe Ms. Hoyt's a rookie at this. This one falls between very good and great.

Wednesday, December 13

Kristie Guess What I Found...

Your "Everything lost will eventually show up" theory held up again. The missing book, Elizabeth Hoyt's The Raven Prince was found yesterday wedged under the sofa. I'm a happy camper and a review hopefully will follow sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 12

The Search Engine Thing **edited**

I always find the searches used to find me rather interesting. Over the last few days I've been watching them, some make sense but others seem a little odd...

6 romance reading mom
5 bogeyman gayle wilson
4 my best friends hot mom mrs carrington
2 pleasure for pleasure eloisa
2 read kresley cole books free online
2 no rest for the wicked kresley online text
2 firesong plath
2 rumanian love spell
2 jacquelyn frank
2 eloisa james sebastien esme
1 keishon brooklyn, ny
1 mary spencer the dark wager
1 boots without socks
1 carla kelly
1 houston, we have a problem erin mccarthy recap
1 die hard penninsular war
1 may/december harlequin romances
1 saudi arabia lobster breast daughter erotic story
1 tara marie meljean demon angel
1 the undomestic goddess by sophia kinsella plot summary
1 sebastien and esme katie macalister
1 romantica giselle wedding dresses
1 stephanie gee, ubs, singapore
1 two lives in waltz time
1 katie macalister sebastien
1 italian endearments
1 scottish sausage
I finally figured out "my best friends hot mom mrs carrington" is porn--what can I say I'm a little slow--LOL.

The book/author searches are obvious.

"Boots without socks" was something I wrote about Junior quite a while ago.

"tara marie meljean demon angel" was Jane for an article over on Dear Author.

"saudi arabia lobster breast daughter erotic story"--what the heck are they looking for?

And "firesong plath" and "rumanian love spell" are rather curious?

edited to add todays searches...
3 romance reading mom
1 erotic reviews tsr
1 j k w x y what is
1 and then he kissed her, by laura lee guhrke
1 characters in superstition by karen robards
1 western writer blog russell davis
1 mrs carrington hot mom
1 favorite reindeer snacks
1 how long is mom pregnant in hydras
1 Lisa marie rice website
1 lover eternal ebook
1 seduce lawn boy stories
1 guilty pleasures ebook download guhrke

So what do you think??

Sunday, December 10

Holiday Odds and Ends, this may get long--LOL

Things are getting more and more hectic the closer we get to Christmas. I know this isn't anything unique to us, but I figured since I haven't read anything in a few days, I've got to share something.

Friday Catholic schools were closed for a Holy Day. I took Junior and his best friend to see Santa. We met my SIL with her 2 kids at the Mall. The kids had a great time, which was good because my last nerve was worked during the car ride down. The plan was to see Santa and then have lunch. Well Santa's got a cushy schedule on Friday, doesn't start until noon. Well, Junior had to have a pretzel wrapped hot dog and lemonade, he started asking for this at 10:30, I put him off until 11:15. So if Junior was getting lemonade all the kids wanted it too. Then we headed to the food court for lunch. The last time we were there "Burger King" was a big hit. How is it possible that Burger King can't make it in a Mall Food Court? Finally we get to see Santa, and over priced pictures were taken. Afterwards my talented SIL won each of the kids stuff from those claw machines, she's really good, I on the other hand wouldn't have even attempted.

Now, you're probably wondering why I would take the Best Friend to see Santa? His folks were having a big Christmas Party on Saturday and since they were nice enough to take Junior the day before we entertained last week I thought it would be nice to reciprocate. Once we were back to our house things went great. The Best Friend stayed for dinner.

Saturday morning was basketball practice. When we got back we put our tree in the tree stand. I wanted to do this Friday night, but the smart husband pointed out that since the tree has been outside in a bucket of water it was probably safe to assume the water froze. We dragged it into the house to defrost, it still had a little bit of ice around the bark after sitting in the house all night. Once again we've picked out a tree that will be too big for the living room, but that's half the fun, right?

Saturday, big party day at the Best Friend's house, his mom asked if I could bring Junior early to keep the Best Friend occupied. I offered to have him to our house instead, but she thought it would be fine, it was.

So, here I had a couple of hours, the tree needed to settle after being tied up and I decided to run out and do some shopping while I had some free time. The husband decided to stay home and watch Band of Brothers on DVD, have I mentioned he's a smart man. Kohl's was having a two day sale and Junior needed pants for school (he's ruined all but 1 pair of uniform pants and that one isn't in great shape) and on outfit for the school Christmas show--it'll work for Christmas Day too. Found exactly what I needed 65% off, can you say thrifty?? My mom gave me my B'day present early, a gift card and I found 6 blouses/shirts on clearance for under $50. Hey I was on a roll, I still had time. I then went into AC Moore even though they didn't have any carts left, I still figured I could run in and out--what was I thinking? Once in there I figured I didn't need much and I had a 30% off everything coupon. Picked up wrapping paper, votive cups, candy molds, Thomas the Tank Engine stuff--Christmas gifts for Junior, they had very cool burnout velvet scarves for $6 each, I picked up 3 for gifts and now am kicking myself that I didn't get one for myself. And two cookbooks for $5 each, both for gifts.

I get back to the car and I think I'm doing great, by the time I get home we'll have 1/2 an hour to spare before having to head to the Christmas party. Yikes, I forgot my husband fixed the clock in my car and I'm running 1/2 an hour late, I thought it was odd that the sun was going down at 3:15 in the afternoon--LOL. The Hubby was about to send out a search party.

Thank goodness we weren't that late, we met some very nice people and Junior was an angel, thank you God. "He's so cute, well behaved and polite." What a good boy. Hey, it's two weeks before Christmas and Santa's watching.

Today it's breakfast with Santa at the Firehouse and decorating the tree. When we were on vacation during the summer we bought Junior a Lionel train set, technically this is Junior's but the train loving husband can't wait to put it under the tree.

Hope everyone else is enjoying the Christmas season as much as we are.


Thursday, December 7

Bogeyman by Gayle Wilson

I found an author I'm adding to my autobuy list after one book. Maybe I lucked out, but I don't think so. Bogeyman by Gayle Wilson is definitely a must read for romantic suspense lovers.

From the cover:
"This supsenseful, up-all-night story hits with a terrifying paranormal twist. Look out or the Bogeyman will get you!"--Karen Harper

From the back blurb:
A year after the death of her husband, Blythe Wyndham moves with her four-year-old daughter, Maddie, back to the small town where she grew up. But soon after they move in to their new home, strange things begin to happen. Maddie has disturbingly intense nightmares--so intense that Blythe fears one night she may not be able to awaken her daughter. A psychologist explains that Maddie's dreams are simply the result of her father's death, but Blythe knows something else is wrong. Because she's also heard the ghostly tapping at her daughter's window...

Convinced the house is haunted, Blythe researches the town's history and discovers that a little girl had been brutally murdered in the area twenty-five years ago. Could there be some connection between this dead child and Maddie? With the help of Sheriff Cade Jackson, Blythe tries to separate past horrors from present dangers and struggles to distinguish the real from the imagined. But someone is clearly determined to keep a secret--and will kill again to do so.

This book barely qualifies as a romance, attraction, a kiss and possible HEA, technically makes it a romance. But to be completely honest, I needed no romance to make this a really good book. It proves my theory that at least for me the "suspense" is much more important than the romance when it comes to "Romantic Suspense."

The characters come to vivid life... Blythe is strong and determined to protect her daughter. Cade does his job even when he's doubting what's going on around him. Maddie is a realistic 4 year old. The secondary characters are also fully developed and interesting. The ghost story seems realistic and the ghost's past blends beautifully with the current action--arson and a new murder in a small town.

I woke up in the middle of the night and picked this up to finish. At 4:00 this morning I hit a scene that literally gave me goosebumps, that never happens. Rarely do I come across a scene the gives me chills, but this one did. Kudos to Ms. Wilson, I'll be searching out her backlist at the UBS very soon.

Tuesday, December 5

I guess this contains spoilers--LOL.

After taking Junior to school I sat down and finished Eloisa James' Pleasure for Pleasure, and I have to admit I liked it much more than The Taming of the Duke.

The Blurb:
Fueled by the knowledge that notoriety is better than failure, witty, unconventional Josie does what no proper young lady should--she challenges fate. She discards her corset and flirts outrageously. She attends the horse races and allows an arrogant rakehell to whisk her behind the stables for a surreptitious kiss...and is caught!

She doesn't want to marry the young hellion--but who's to help? Her chaperone keeps disappearing for mysterious appointments; her guardian is on his wedding trip; and his friend the Earl of Mayne is too busy staring into the eyes of his exquisite French fiancee.

Can a marriage forced by stuffy convention and unwilling desire become the match of the season?
This has to be one of the worst back blurbs I've ever read.

  1. Fueled by the knowledge that notoriety is better than failure, witty, unconventional Josie does what no proper young lady should--she challenges fate. She discards her corset and flirts outrageously. She wants to challenge fate, but the corset has to be dragged off of her kicking and screaming, she's convinced she looks better with it than she would without. Unfortunately it's the main reason she's being called the "Scottish Sausage."
  2. She attends the horse races and allows an arrogant rakehell to whisk her behind the stables for a surreptitious kiss...and is caught! Said arrogant rakehell isn't the person who coins the infamous "Scottish Sausage" nickname, but is the one who goes out of his way to perpetuate it throughout society. This scene takes place 2/3 of the way through the book, why the heck is it in the blurb and it gives way to much credence to the villian of the story.
  3. She doesn't want to marry the young hellion--but who's to help? Of course, she doesn't want him, he's a pig and she deals with him rather well.
  4. Her chaperone keeps disappearing for mysterious appointments; her guardian is on his wedding trip... Her chaperone is supposed to be dealing with the one who came up with the witty "Scottish Sausage" comment and ends up falling for the cad herself. And her guardian and her sister are on their wedding trip--probably the only statement in the blurb that works.
  5. ...the Earl of Mayne is too busy staring into the eyes of his exquisite French fiancee. I guess this could be technically true, but not really--by the time this happens, his eyes have been opened and he's been jilted.

Josie's season is ruined, no man is interested in her after the wonderful "Scottish Sausage" nickname starts being bandied about. She wishes there were something scandalous she could do to catch a husband as she doesn't want to deal with another season like the one she's currently living through.

Mayne has again fallen in love with a paragon of society, the lovely Sylvie. And she is lovely and witty and quite nice. As the story goes on you realize Mayne isn't really in love, he's in love with the idea of being in love, he wants to put behind him his rakehell reputation and picks someone who is perfect.

Now Sylvie is an interesting character, it's obvious she's not in love, like most woman she believes she needs a husband and Mayne will make a nice one. She much prefers society to the country and the company of other woman, talking about men, fashion etc. and has no real interest in what would make her future husband happy, and yet you can't help but like Sylvie.

Darlington has come up with the awful nickname, but early on in the book he admits to his pals he regrets it. He has all sorts of baggage that comes out as the story goes on. He realizes he needs to break away from the crowd he's running with and decides to move on. One of his buddies is Thurman, ah--the ultimate villian of the story and he really is slimy and pathetic. He's the one who perpetuates the nasty nickname making sure everyone knows he's witty by association.

Griselda's been chosen to put Darlington back in line and make sure he realizes the errors of his ways. But, of course she falls for him in the process and vice versa.

There is a subtle attraction that runs through the book between Josie and Mayne. But neither falls in love until well into the book, after they're already married. Josie's attracted to him, they share a kiss, he's attracted to her, but feels he's 1. too old and 2. he's already engaged. But by the time the stable scene happens, he's become disenchanted with his perfect fiancee and she's a bit cold, certainly not interested in kissing or bedding any man, even her own fiance. She dumps him right there in the stable.

Mayne thinks Josie's been ruined and comes to the rescue with his uncle the Bishop of Rochester in tow and marries her before anyone can catch their breath. Only she hasn't been ruined and she thinks she's trapped him into a loveless marriage. But the sex is good and they start to really enjoy themselves. They have much more in common than they probably realized and by the end of the book, wham they're in "true" love.

It all worked for me. I love Eloisa James' writing voice and style, it flows so nicely and is so readable. I might have liked a confrontation scene between Josie and Darlington, but I figured since they're in-laws there's plenty of time for him to do his mea culpas.

The Weird Kid

Yesterday morning I had to perform a painful "Mom" task. I had to talk to the teacher about my son's bad behavoir and that's never fun. I found out over the weekend my son was calling a little boy in his class "weird" not only to other kids but to the poor kid himself. I knew the "weird" comment didn't originate with him as it's not an expression he uses. After much discussion I was told it came from "Bryan", the class troublemaker.

So after lecturing the child about being nice to everyone, even people we don't particularly like, I had to talk to the teacher about dealing with this same problem in the classroom, because like most teasing it doesn't happen in front of the teacher or parents. And, I swear she used the same lecture we gave him over the weekend... "You don't have to like everyone you meet but you need to be nice and respectful. Calling people names is mean and will not be tolerated..."

We also told our son he had to apologize to the other boy, which he did. But the little boy didn't believe he actually meant it and said so. Hard lessons to learn.

Bedtime kisses and punishments--the joys of parenting.

Monday, December 4

Life's major reality checks...

Have you ever noticed that when you're about to whine about life's little annoyances something real hits home and you're smacked in the head with a major reality check.

I was all set to whine about my weekend, it wasn't horrible, but not great either.

After the Romance Readers Club I belonged to disbanded some of us have kept in touch with emails and occasional lunches or dinners. One of my bookclub friend's daughters was involved in a head on collision on her way to work, she drives a fuel efficient Honda (long commute) and was hit head on by a man driving an SUV, he fell asleep on his way home from work. The article in our paper said she was in "grave" condition.

Last night another bookclub friend called, but didn't leave a message, this threw me into a mini panic. I knew she wouldn't leave a message if something bad had happened and I vacillated about calling her back, not wanting to know. But I did call her back, she had just wanted to know if I knew about the accident and didn't want to leave a message in case I didn't know.

I emailed my friend last night to let her know we were all praying for her daughter and if she needed anything to let me know. She emailed me back this morning. The situation is worse than horrible. The driver's compartment collapsed around her, I can't even list all of her injuries, (a quote from her mom's email... She isn't in good enough shape to operate on but they did a 6 hour procedure to stabilize the fractures. She has hardware every where.) She's being airlifted to a larger trauma center today or tomorrow.

Instead of whining about my broken oven I'm asking my on-line friends to remember Britt in you're thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, November 29

I'd heard 3 things about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight... 1. It's a YA novel, 2. It's a vampire story and 3. It's really good. I'm only about 1/3 through it and am amazed at how fluid the story feels.

I like books written in the first person because when they're done right you become the character, you feel what they feel, you follow their thoughts as if they're yours. You live their lives. This book reads this way. I'm Bella. And that's good writing.

Tempting The Devil by Patricia Potter

Tempting The Devil was the first Patricia Potter romantic suspense I've read, she's been writing them for a while now and for some reason I didn't follow her from historicals to RS. I think she switched when I was in my 2 year reading slump a few years ago. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I didn't expect to be disappointed with a major premise of the story.

Three police officers are killed execution style while on patrol in rural Georgia, Robin Stuart is a reporter covering the story. She has a source in the Sheriff's Office who insists on anonymity tell her he thinks a Mob organization called HYDRA is involved and that someone in the Sheriff's Department is in on it. She writes her story and enter Ben Taylor, FBI agent, he wants her source. She and her paper are prepared for this, talk about this, plan for this.

The major flaw in the story--no one involved in the article outing HYDRA and the Sheriffs office expect the "Mob" to go after the reporter for the source. Well, gee whiz, they've killed 3 cops do you think they'll hesitate to kill a reporter or her family??

Conversation between the reporter and her editor:
"Now the bad guys have threatened my sisters if I give it to anyone but them. They want the name. I don't think they'll stop at anything to get it."

"I'm sorry, Robin. I didn't see this coming."

"Neither did I."
Conversations between Robin and her source:
"...You started this by giving me information you knew--a lot better than I--was very dangerous."

"I never thought they'd come after you."
You know what? I may not be a brain surgeon, just a lowly reader, but I saw this coming. How could the reporter, source and editor not make this connection? I didn't think the reporter shouldn't write the article, just be prepared for all the consequences, not just a pissed off FBI. The source was insistant that his family would be a target, why wouldn't the reporters family be a target too? This really bugged me, maybe I'm nit picking.

I think I'll reread her old westerns and avoid her romantic suspense. Oh well, live and learn.

Tuesday, November 28

And the chaos begins...

Well, it's the holiday season, I guess that means everyone's stress level will be ratcheting up. This week is rather chaotic, but things should settle down for a couple of weeks before getting pre-Christmas crazy.

Bingo today, family obligation tomorrow, school fundraiser Thursday--at Barnes & Noble, half a day of school Friday and our first round of holiday entertaining is Saturday. Throw in basketball practice and cleaning the house and I've got a full week.

We've got 4 birthdays between now and Christmas and one of my SIL's is pregnant and her due date is the 15th.

The house is decorated, and the Christmas cards are written, but waiting for a picture of Junior. Baking and candy making will start next week and the shopping is just about finished. I'm hoping to have everything finished and wrapped by the 15th--is it do-able??

I'm still working my way through the Patricia Potter romantic suspense--I'll try to find time to post about it tomorrow.

Have a great day and happy reading!!

Saturday, November 25

A Ramble

This year Thanksgiving was at my parent's house. My mom is an excellent cook and dinner was amazing. Days worth of preparation and it's finished in less than 1/2 an hour. My poor husband was horrified, there was no pies for dessert. "How can you have Thanksgiving without a #&*#%*% pie?" The man's mother makes 4 or 5 different pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas, my family aren't pie people--he finds that totally bizarre.

Mom sent each of us home with enough leftovers for at least one meal. Guess what we had for dinner?? Nope, pizza, garlic knots and fried ravioli, the Friday Night Special at our local pizza delivery place. What can I say, we were all in the mood for pizza.

My husband and son are good for my ego, on the way home on Thanksgiving both said I was a better cook, which I know isn't really true, but made me feel good.

Junior's been sick since Tuesday. Came home with a runny nose, and we kept him home on Wednesday. Wednesday was a Mommy day. "Mommy keep me company... Mommy can I have more soup... Mommy can I have juice... Mommy can I have a candy bar?" That one got a no--LOL. He was actually much better by Thursday and now only has a little bit of a lingering cough.

My husband is off until Monday. We spent Black Friday completely avoided shopping with the exception of a local farm market. They have a great little Christmas section and I saw a large Christmas stocking that is actually a Christmas Card Holder, I'm going to try and make it.

I finished Francis Ray's Dreaming of You before we left for my parents yesterday. It was my first book by Ms. Ray and it was pretty good. Unfortunately it was the 3rd in the Grayson series. I'm going to look for the rest of the series. I liked the characters and storyline, friends falling in love. That's not exactly right, it's more of an unrequited love/friends falling in love story and I like the premise, Mom of 5 children is trying to get them married off. I liked the interaction between the h/h, but dialogue between the men in the story was a little iffy, not horrible, but didn't completely ring true--I'm such a nit picker about this.

I'm reading Patricia Potter's newest Romantic Suspense. I think she's been writing RS for a while, but this is my first. I used to read her old westerns, but haven't read anything of hers in years, I wonder why, she's a good writer. Oh well, too many books too little time.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Thursday, November 23

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope all my friends here in the States have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

xoxo, Tara

Wednesday, November 22

What type of reader are you?

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Literate Good Citizen
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Like I needed a quiz to tell me this--LOL?

Angels Fall

I finished Nora Roberts' Angels Fall yesterday afternoon. Once again an enjoyable book from NR.

From the publisher, lifted from B&N:
Reece Gilmore has come a long way to see the stunning view below her. As the sole survivor of a brutal crime back East, she has been on the run, desperately fighting the nightmares and panic attacks that haunt her. Reece settles in Angel's Fist, Wyoming-temporarily, at least-and takes a job at a local diner. And now she's hiked this mountain all by herself. It was glorious, she thought, as she peered through her binoculars at the Snake River churning below.

Then Reece saw the man and woman on the opposite bank. Arguing. Fighting. And suddenly, the man was on top of the woman, his hands around her throat . . .

Enjoying a moment of solitude a bit farther down the trail is a gruff loner named Brody. But by the time Reece reaches him and brings him to the scene, the pair has vanished. When authorities comb the area where she saw the attack, they find nothing. No signs of struggle. No freshly turned earth. Not even a tire track.
Reece is a contradiction, she's had a severe trauma in her life that left neurotic and obsessive, probably justified, and yet she is also strong or at least getting stronger and at times more confident as the book goes on. Brody becomes her rock, believes in her when many others around them think she's simply that poor crazy woman from back east.

Have you ever reached the point in a suspense when you realize who the villain is and you say "NO!!"? I was about 2/3 through the book when the villain's identity started to dawn on me, and my brain started whispering "no, no, no, the villain can't be..." but of course it was. I still enjoyed the book and I have no ideas which secondary character would have made a better bad guy--LOL.

PS--Ames was nice enough to send me the code for boxing in blockquotes, but I'm still too HTML challenged to make them work--oh well, I'll keep at it.

Tuesday, November 21

Life's oddities... and a couple other thoughts

Yesterday was one of those odd days that left little questions about the inane oddities of life.

Why is it ...

  • the woman who cut me off in town had a "Respect Mother Earth..." bumper sticker and was driving a huge SUV while flicking ashes and a cigarette butt out her window?
  • when the supermarket is doing give aways with their "spend a gazillion dollars and get a free turkey or ham" deal they never have the size they're "giving away" the turkeys or ham are 5 lbs bigger and you have to pay the difference?
  • the book I wanted from the library isn't available when I'm there, but is available 3 hours later?*
  • I can't find shirts to fit my son, 4/5 is way too small and 6/7 is way to big?
  • that Amazon takes over a week to tell me the Disney Princess Belle I ordered for my niece was out of stock?
  • after 24 years the village still questions why we've never had a water meter?
  • a 5 year old needs privacy when taking off clothes, but has no problem running around the house completely naked?

*I shouldn't complain about the book, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, I knew that they were holding it for someone else and they called to tell me the other person cancelled, it was nice they called so quickly.

One of the books I picked up at the library was Nora Roberts' Angel Falls, I've read about half the book and OMG, the heroine is one of the most neurotic characters I've ever seen in a romance, yet it completely works (Jane, I haven't reached the canoe scene yet, of course that wont really matter as I'm clueless about canoe etiquette).

So last week when my Mom and sister took me out for "Girls Day Out" it turns out they've been living under the misconception I've been languishing in SAHM martyrdom because I wear old patched jeans. I had to point out that my old patched jeans are 1. my favorites, 2. incredibly comfortable, 3. have pockets for keys and money and 4. clean. I've promised to wear nicer pants/skirts in public. We had a nice lunch and Mom gave me my birthday present a month early.

Got to go, Junior's in the shower and we're going to be late for school.

Have a good one and happy reading.

PS--I've a column up on RTB, read about the conversion of a non-romance believer.

Monday, November 20

Linda Howard Again... And an HTML question

I've been on a Linda Howard kick again. Read three over the weekend. Son of the Morning, Open Season and Midnight Rainbow.

Midnight Rainbow was book three of my "Can You Guess The Book" post. Published originally in 1986, it was my first Linda Howard. I think it's safe to say I've gone on to read everything she's written. I'm now looking for my copy of Diamond Bay, you can't really read MR and not DB--LOL.

My husband spent a good part of yesterday afternoon flipping between football games and a program about The Templars, so I've decide to bug him into reading Son of the Morning.

Open Season is my go to book right now, you know the book you pick up because you don't know what to read but need to read something. I love the condom/drugstore scene, it makes me laugh everytime I read it.

I'm trying to figure out how to put a border around a blockquote or part of a blog post, does anyone know how to do this? Ames does this and I love the look. Ames or anyone else out there--HELP.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Friday, November 17

Can you guess the book...

Everybody's doing it...

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog along with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig around for that "cool" or "intellectual" book on your shelves. (I know you were thinking about it.) Just pick up whatever is closest.

I have 3 books sitting on my desk, so I decided to post from all three.

Book one:
He didn't know her that well at all. In fact, she was desperately, impractically romantic.

She leaned back in her chair, stretching her long bare legs out in front of her. "So let's sum this up," she said in her best lawyerly voice. In truth she'd spent very little time in court, and it had never been up to her to provide the summation ,but she could wing it with the best of them. "I can't leave the house because the doors and windows are electrified, but I can use the pool... What's to keep me from taking off once I'm outside?"
Can you guess my book?

Book two:
He was motivated by an urge for adventure and the hopes of impressing an unattainable lady.

It was not his place to disillusion Miss Welbourne, however. Nor would she thank him for it.

"I'm sure he was very brave," she said.
Can you guess my book?

Book three:
A shiver ran over her; he rubbed his free hand up her bare arm, feeling the coolness of her skin. Of its own accord his hand continued upward, stroking her satiny jaw, smoothing her dark tangle of hair away from her face. She was in a melancholy mood, this funny little cat, staring at the rain as if it would never stop, her eyes shadowed and her full passionate mouth sad.

Cupping her chin in his hand, he tilted her face up so he could study her quiet expression.
Can you guess my book?

Thursday, November 16

Leave a comment... ***EDITED***

Yesterday while shopping with my sister and Mom, my mom announced she spoke with my brother and heard all about "The Sleep Over". Oops, I guess I hadn't mentioned it to Mom. Now, I hadn't talked to or emailed him, apparently he or my SIL read the blog, I'm leaning toward the SIL.

I also know my husband is checking in every few days. ***EDITED*** At 1:00 Friday morning he pointed out that I should be more careful about what I post... "What if...", so this ended up edited at 4:00 Friday morning--Oh The Guilt--LOL.

You know guys, you could delurk and leave a comment once in a while.

When the Neo Counter shows a visitor from somewhere unusual, say India or Saudi Arabia I wish they'd leave a comment. I'd love to know whether or not they like the blog or how they found me.

And for those who seem to find me because they're google searching for porn, sorry you'll have to look elsewhere. You folks don't need to leave a comment.

Yesterday's odd google search was "my friends hot mom Mrs. Carrington". So, I wonder just how hot Mrs. Carrington is.

Have a great day and happy reading.

PS--My Neo Counter isn't working now, something about the server, I wonder if it's theirs or mine, oh well.

Wednesday, November 15

The Name Thing...

I've just finished Madeline Hunter's The Rules of Seduction, like I said in my post last night, it's very character driven.

The hero's name is Lord Hayden Rothwell. Ms. Hunter gave a wonderful description of him on page...

Dark hair, unruly as if the brushes had been forgotten this morning, framed a handsome face composed of strong, chiseled planes. Signs of fatigue dulled his deeply set, midnight-blue eyes. Strained forebearance tightened his square jaw and firmly set mouth...

So, why is it I spent a good part of the book visualizing Craig T. Nelson from the old TV sitcom Coach. I kept waiting for Jerry VanDyke to come running in screaming "HAYDEN, HAYDEN!!"

And then somehow the blue jean wearing "Coach" morphed into
Mr. Incredible when the voice started to interfer. I guess the midnight-blue eye color might match, but that's about it--LOL.

I hate doing this. Hayden's a rather distinctive name, I don't know anyone with it. If the name had been William or Bill, Ben or David, I'd probably not have visualized anything.

I should be relieved I didn't visualize Hugh Grant and Lilith (Frasier's prissy ex-wife) while reading Meljean's Demon Angel.

Does this happen because I'm not fully engaged in the story? Hmmm, I'll have to think about it.

Saturday, November 11

The Sleep Over

Well, it's 5:30 in the morning and I'm up. Not because I can't sleep, but because the two little boys in the other room are up for the day. They've been up since 4:30. Yes, I said 4:30. At 5:00 my husband announced to me, it's going to be awhile before we do this again--understatement of his life.

We don't coddle our son, if he falls he gets up and the only time we get a reaction is when he notices he's bleeding, if he doesn't notice he just keeps going. Apparently the friends parents either coddle or he's a whiner and a bit of a tattletale...
  • I've got a headache.
  • "Junior" pushed me.
  • I want to play with that.
  • I want to play outside.
  • I want to play with trains.
  • "Junior" pushed me. You're playing tag in the house, I'm sure you pushed him too.
  • My leg hurts.
  • My leg hurts.
  • My leg hurts... There's no bruise it looks fine.
  • It's deep inside.
  • I can't sleep. That was as 1:30 this morning.
  • Crying... hit head on floor during pillow fight at 5:20 this morning.

And, now they're having a "fart" discussion. 9:00 can't come fast enough.

I think there's a reason we only have one child--LOL.

Have a great day.

Friday, November 10

This and That

Finished Betina Krahn's The Book of True Desires, this morning, thoroughly enjoyed it. Great time period--1898, great setting--Cuba and Mexico, smart hero and heroine, interesting secondary characters, very good adventure--kind of an Indiana Jones type thing, but the heroine is the archeologist.

I picked up the December issue of RT the other day. I'm having a hard time picking out books.


  • Pleasure For Pleasure by Eloisa James
  • Autumn in Scotland by Karen Raney
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard
  • Size 14 is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot
  • Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank


  • The Great Betrayal by Millenia Black
  • Bogeyman by Gayle Wilson
  • Hero Worship by Dawn Calvert
  • Two Lives in Waltz Time by Viven Dean
  • The Master of Shilden by Lucinda Carrington

My son is having a play date/sleep over today. His friend arrived at 10:30 and is staying over. They've had lunch and a snack, played outside twice, watched some Noggin and have been playing with trains in his room, and it's now 12:30. All of that in 2 hours, it's going to be a long day--LOL. Apparently Junior doesn't have enough trains, his friend brought a bag full too. I'm pleased to say they play nicely together, their teacher says they compliment each other which she appreciates because they don't instigate too much trouble that way. Tomorrow morning they have basketball at 9:00.

Thursday, November 9

No Rest For The Wicked by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole's No Rest for the Wicked was not what I expected.

The Blurb courtesy of B&N:

A soldier weary of life . . .

Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire -- a nightmare in his mind -- against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

A Valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him . . .

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow -- accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings -- particularly lust -- emerge multiplied. For the first time, she's unable to complete a kill.

Become competitors in a legendary hunt.

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity -- as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world -- to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she's falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?
I'm being a little bit lazy and linking to some of "The Reviews" I've come across:

Cindy loved it

Nath didn't.

Meljean loved it.

Bam liked it.

My thoughts... I liked it, but it had some hurdles to overcome. After the first in the series, A Hunger like No Other, I expected a fun read with little hints of horror, this one lacked the scarier moments that I liked so much about AHLNO.

I'm starting with "What I didn't like":

  1. Sebastian starts out the tortured, self-pitying vampire hero, this almost stopped me from getting any further into the book.
  2. The fated mates concept that seems to permiate so many paranormals.
  3. The too cool dialogue was at times grating--"Don't go all dental on me." left me rolling my eyes.

What I did like--Cole overcomes my initial "Oh, no" reaction with a fun and overall entertaining story.

Wednesday, November 8


I pulled this quote from Lydia Joyce's comment on Dear Author's "Should Authors Shut Up and Write" post:

Was I unrealistic because I didn’t not pound in the realities of Alcy’s situation, assuming that readers would take my book as I had written it, without hauling in the baggage of their past experiences in the genre?

"...Without hauling in the baggage of their past experiences in the genre..."

Is this possible? Is it possible to come to each and every book with an open mind, a completely clean slate?

I'm not so sure it's even remotely possible. We read with the hopes that every book is a keeper. Along the way we discover what works for us and what doesn't. I don't like amnesia books, but if a favorite author writes one, I'm willing to give it a try, but at the same time my past experiences and dislike isn't going to be easy to overcome.

What about when a character does something, well, out of character? Or a book goes in a direction we don't like? Are we going to embrace every book by the author or are we going to be leery of future books?

Isn't "baggage" on some level part of the reading experience??

Monday, November 6

Reading, reading, reading...

Mini confession time, I misplaced my glasses, this is the main reason reading has been non-existent. They showed up Thursday--Kristie's theory works, instead of obsessing about it, eventually everything lost will be found.

Cold as Ice by Anne Stuart was the first book I'd finished in close to 2 weeks. And once again Anne Stuart comes through with a good book. Peter Jensen is a closer for "The Committee," deep cover operatives that fight to stop terrorism and bad guys all over the world. He's working for Harry Van Dorn, an over the top villain planning 7 terrorist attacks on the same day in order to cause financial chaos all over the world, somehow he is going to benefit from this (it's a little vague as to why, but I guess that didn't really matter). Genevieve Spenser works for Harry's law firm and stops to have Harry sign some documents before leaving on 6 weeks of vacation. Well, of course she is plunked down right in the middle of the stop Harry at all cost operation. And, she's not smart enough to get out while the getting was good, not that she's TSTL but she thinks Harry's the wonderful guy the media projects. Genevieve is at times annoying, but this really feels like Peter's book so I was able to get past most of her stupid moments. The book isn't perfect, but it's an exciting adventure definitely worth reading.

I was actually 100 pages into this one when I picked up Cold as Ice. And once I found my glasses Dance of the Gods turned out to be the 3rd book I finished in 2 days. This book was work for me. I liked Morrigan's Cross and thought it was a good set-up for the series. This book wont stand alone, I didn't expect it to, which is fine, it's part of a series that needs to be read in order. I had three issues 1. there's additional world building going on, the first book sets up the vampire world, this one sets up Geall where the ultimate war between vampires and humans takes place. 2. I never warmed up to the h/h, Blair and Larkin, not a good thing for a romance--LOL. It's not a bad book and once the Circle of Six makes it to Geall the book gets better. And the odd thing is by the time I finished the 3rd book in this series I loved all the characters. 3. There are a few little info-dumps, enough that I started to notice them.

The 4th book I finished was Nora Roberts Valley of Silence. I loved this book, for me it was a complete page turner. Moira is a wonderful Warrior Queen and Cian is perfect as the Noble Vampire. I cried through this entire book. They've had 2 books to fall in love, they declare themselves early in this and know that ultimately their love can't exist in their worlds. All the characters come to detailed life, including the vampire family of Lilith, Lora, Davey and their protector Lucius. It's filled with scary and fantasy moments. Some may find the ending somewhat contrived, but it's a romance. Moira and Cian have to find a HEA and this one works for me. This may become my favorite NR and since I've read just about everything she's written that's pretty darned good.

Did you notice I skipped the second book I finished? It was a god awful Historical Erotic Romance that I read in a NyQuil induced haze. Two hundred and five pages of boring--I refuse to comment on it until I go back and reread parts to see if it's actually better than I thought and try to figure out why it was considered erotic because I wasn't all that impressed, it was a waste of good money.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Sunday, November 5

Reading with a vengence...

Well, the reading bug has finally taken a big bite. I've finished 4 books since Friday. We're on our way to 7:30 Mass, so I don't have much time. More to come later.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Friday, November 3

Cold as Ice is in my hot little hands...

I'm about half way through it. I'll blog about it later.

Have a great day and happy reading--my reading will definitely be happy :D

Wednesday, November 1

A few pictures...

I'm posting some pictures, because 1. I haven't posted cute kid pictures in a while and 2. I've got a cold that's leaving me too fuzzy headed to think. The Halloween pictures are at the end of the post.

I'm not sure I posted this picture from our summer vacation. It's one of my favorites, doesn't it scream "Come to the Jersey Shore"?

Apple picking, someone wasn't thrilled with posing in the scarecrow, don'tcha love the frown. The foot in the background is his 9 year old cousin, who I found out was a real bully that day. Do you think he told me this when it happened? Of course not, it comes out a month later when I can't do anything about it.

Gotta try the apples...

You can't tell 5 years olds to "just stay on the line", they take you literally. Play went on right around them but they never left the line.

Getting ready for Trick or Treat. My little vampire was very excited about Trick or Treating with his best friend, I barely had enough time to snap a couple of pictures before we were off to their house. The live up on the next street so we walked.

As you can see both of them were vampires. The best friend got to wear scary make-up, I was afraid to use anything on that beautiful face, he has very sensitive skin. The lounging scarecrow was actually a person in costume. Scared the heck out of the people in front of us.

Have a great day and happy reading, Tara

Tuesday, October 31

Happy Halloween

Everyone have a scary and boo--tiful day!!

Busy day ahead, school party, bingo and trick or treat, I'll be back sometime tomorrow.

Saturday, October 28

Five Truth Meme... and a few other things

Well, I've now been tagged twice (thanks Kristie and Amanda) so I guess I actually have to do this.

1. I love being home. Somehow my days seem even busier than when I worked full time. A full day of errands and taxi-ing Junior around is still better than running someone elses office and balancing checkbooks.

2. I'm a dyed in the wool independent moderate. One of the two things I don't blog about. On somethings I'm liberal and others I'm conservative and in recent years I fall more and more right smack in the middle and wonder why everything must be all or nothing--is it possible to compromise and actually get something done?

3. I take great comfort in my faith. The other thing I rarely blog about. I might talk about going to church or my son's school, but I don't really talk about my faith. It's just part of me. I like going to church, when Junior can actually sit still long enough so I can hear what the priest is saying-LOL. I pray every day and find myself saying "Hail Marys" throughout the day.

4. I hate ironing. I have friends who do this to relax, I don't get it--LOL. I don't even own an ironing board, I have a big fancy cordless Oreck iron that I've never used, came free with my vacuums. I've 9 years of ironing white uniform shirts--yikes.

5. I'm a perpetual optimist, which some people find surprising because of how sarcastic I am. Don't get me wrong, I'm not "Little Miss Mary Sunshine" all the time, I see lifes negatives; yet for me lifes little glass always seems at least half full. I'm thankful for what I have and rarely feel envious of what others have. And, I smile a lot. Even when I'm working bingo and everyone is grumpy around me, I'm thinking I hope I live long enough to be a cranky old woman.

Glad that's done, I have no idea who hasn't done it, so feel free to pick it up and run with it.

My son's turning into a little social butterfly. If he doesn't have homework he expects to have playdates and becomes incredibly annoyed when this doesn't work out for him. He has a Halloween party to go to tonight, another one at the school tomorrow (Trunk or Treat) and is Trick or Treating this year with his best friend. I'm thankful I get along well with his mom, we see each other a lot.

His soccer game for today was cancelled because of rain, I'm rather thankful for that as it was scheduled for 8:00 and yesterday it was 25 degrees when we left for school.

Tuesday I volunteered to help out at his class Halloween party before I remembered I had bingo too. I'm dropping him off at 8:20, and then I'm back there from 9:00 - 4:00. Then have to come home and cook--I don't think so, Chinese on Halloween sound great doesn't it? Trick or Treating goes from 6:00-8:00.

I haven't read a book in about a week and I'm not obsessing over this, just keeping busy doing other things and when the urge strikes I'll pick one up. I did buy The Poison Study the other day (at least I think that's the title--LOL) and think I'll probably start it today. It's going to be stormy so curling up on the couch with a new book sounds good. I feel a little like Cindy, my sleeping schedule has been screwed up--I've been falling asleep by 8:30 at night and that's right smack in the middle of my normal reading time.

I still haven't even looked at setting up polls, but promise to have the Alpha Scale Poll up and running as soon as I can.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Thursday, October 26

More Alphas....

Jane's suggestion in the comments yesterday was a good one...
part of me thinks that almost all romance heroes are alpha and we just need to pick one in each category that best exemplifies that persona.
Keep listing Alphas and which category you think they belong to and I'll try to figure out how to do polling and hopefully have that up in the next day or so.

Have a good one, Tara

Tuesday, October 24

The Alpha Sliding Scale

I couldn't decide in which order to list the different type of Alphas but decided to start with the best and work down..

  • Strong/Protective--Doesn't stomp all over the heroines independence.
  • Strong/Protective/Control Freak--Likes to be in charge, but adjusts.
  • Strong/Anti-hero--Think Anne Stuart heros.
  • Strong/Protective but condescending--Likes to be in charge, smirky with a pat the little lady on the head attitude.
  • Controlling/Jumps easily to conclusions--different from the control freak because causes unneeded misunderstandings.
  • Alpha Jerk/but trainable--Strong and protecting, control freak, condescending... but learns to control the negatives, grovels nicely.
  • Alpha Jerk--Obnoxious bully, revenge seeking, needs to grovel and often.

Do those work?? Are additional categories necessary--Let me know.

Here's my original list and the rest were left in the comments, where would you put them on the Alpha Scale?

  • Clayton--Whitney, My Love, Judith McNaught
  • Rolfe--The Conqueror, Brenda Joyce
  • Graelem--Firesong, Catherine Coulter
  • Wolf, Joe, Zane Mackenzie--The Mackenzie books, Linda Howard
  • Lucky--Dark Wager, Mary Spencer
  • Richard Tiernan--Night Fall, Anne Stuart
  • Dane--Dream Man, Linda Howard
  • Sam Donovan--Mr. Perfect, Linda Howard
  • Cian MacKeltar--Spell of the Highlander, KMM
  • Dageus MacKeltar--The Dark Highlander, KMM
  • Pick any one/all of Julie Garwood's heros
  • Lachlain MacRieve--A Hunger Like No Other, Kresley Cole
  • Baran--Jane's Warlord, Angela Knight
  • "Lucky" Doucet--Lucky's Lady, Tami Hoag
  • Any and all of JR Wards heros
  • Any and all of Shannon McKenna's heroes
  • Prince Nicholas--My Dark Prince, Julia Ross
  • Lord Warrick--Prisoner of My Desire, Johanna Lindsey
  • James Mallory--Gentle Rogue, Johanna Lindsey
  • Actually pick and Lindsey--LOL.

I've read everything with the exception of Shannon McKenna and I don't remember Prisoner of My Desire, but am pretty sure I read it--back then I read Lindsey faithfully. Sometime today I'll post them to the different categories, but I'll put them in comments.

Monday, October 23

A few things...

I read two novellas last night, the first reading I've done in a week. One was pretty good the other was god awful. I'd give titles, but I don't have the book in front of me.

I just finished painting my foyer. I've always liked the word foyer, it's what my mom always used. No matter how big the entry of the house, it's a foyer. The wallpaper was getting old, it was in good shape and had a classic look that wasn't out of style, but was I sick of looking at it.

Once I pulled down all the paper I'd realized why we papered in the first place. The old plaster walls were a mess. My husband spackled over the weekend and I painted today.

The color I thought I'd picked was a neutral taupe, but turned out to be a pinky taupe, but I still like it. It dried real quick and I've already put the furniture back in the space. And I realized I have a couple of different borders that will go quite nicely with it, now I need to decide if I want antique cherubs or hydrangea.

This past weekend Junior's school had it's big fundraiser and I "volunteered" Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Fundraisers are manditory so there's no need to volunteer, every body works--LOL. Though I did get suckered into decorating the back of the Mini-van for Trunk or Treat. We decorate the trunks of our cars with all sorts of fall and halloween stuff and give out candy to the kids who show up in costume. There will also be crafts and snacks for the kids too. That's this coming Saturday.

Junior is going to be a vampire for Halloween, and I found a cheap costume, in the dark on Halloween night it will look fabulous. I was going to make it, but I would have spent more on the fabric.

I'll list the Alpha hero tomorrow and everyone can post them to different categories.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Friday, October 20

Alpha Sliding Scale...

Jane reviewed Patricia Waddell's True Blood this week and thought the hero was a little too "Alpha".

My comment...

I obviously have a high alpha tolerance level, Cullan didn't bother me in the least...

Kristie's comment...

I’m with Tara in that his over the top alphaness didn't bother me...

Jane's comment...

We all have differing levels of alpha male tolerance. We should make up a sliding scale!

So, lets do it!!

List Alphas--favorite ones and hated ones and we'll compile a list and make some sort of scale.

I'll get it started with a few oldies, some are hated and some are loved, some are strong Alphas, and some are Alpha jerks:
  • Clayton--Whitney, My Love, Judith McNaught
  • Rolfe--The Conqueror, Brenda Joyce
  • Graelem--Firesong, Catherine Coulter
  • Wolf, Joe, Zane Mackenzie--The Mackenzie books, Linda Howard
  • Lucky--Dark Wager, Mary Spencer (this one might be a little obscure, but he's up there on the alpha scale.

Let's compile a great big list and maybe we'll find some books we've never read, more for the TBR pile.

That's all I have time to list, got to get Junior to school.

Thursday, October 19


Okay, I don't have a whole lot of time and Kristie hasn't posted this weeks review of LOST...

Where the heck did the Polar Bear come from? I have absolutely no memory of this from last season!!

Someone please help me out, because I'm completely clueless--LOL.

Were Locke's flashbacks from before or after his relationship with Peggy Bundy Katie Segal?

And, is Hurley even heavier?

Wednesday, October 18

Working from home...

For a while my husband has been telling me to come up with something I could do from home. I like being home, my son's schedule is somewhat chaotic and to be perfectly honest I really don't want to work for someone else.

So, last week we had a playdate with a little boy who goes to school with Junior and lives right around the corner. His mom told me she was starting a specialty cake business from home. She makes beautiful children's birthday cakes. Thinking about this got my brain in gear and I came up with an idea.

Party Favors. Over the years I've done birthday, shower, holiday themed favors for all my own parties. This got my now stimulated brain working even more. My sister makes fabulous cookies and candy. My SIL does meticulous molded chocolates. I also bake and do the candy thing, and have experience in packaging and advertising.

They're both in. Turns out they've both been thinking about something similar, but wasn't sure about doing it themselves and actually getting started. I'm hoping we can brainstorm this weekend and have things rolling by the end of November.

Distraction over, I've got something to work towards.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Monday, October 16

Guilty -- Not Guilty...

Lifted this from Jenster.

Guilty Or Not Guilty...This is the question

1. Dated outside your race? NOT GUILTY, but boy I love Jin from LOST.

2. Singing in the shower? GUILTY everybody does this, right?

3. Spit in someone's drink? NOT GUILTY that's just gross.

4. Played with Barbies? GUILTY not only did I play with them, my mom made us matching outfits.

5. Made someone cry? GUILTY I've got a 5 year old, every "no" is a catastrophe.

6. Opened your Christmas presents early? NOT GUILTY Mom had a great hiding spot.

7. Lied to a friend? GUILTY "Nice new do."... "No! Those jeans don't make your butt look big."--LOL, that one's Jens, but I'm guilty of it too.

8. Watched and cried while watching a soap opera? NOT GUILTY I don't watch soaps, but if this was Hallmark Commercials--GUILTY.

9. Played a computer game for more than 5 hours? GUILTY Hate to admit this one--LOL.

10. Ran through the sprinklers naked? NOT GUILTY As if...

11. Ate food that fell on the floor? GUILTY Kiss it up to God.

12. Went outside naked? NOT GUILTY But have gone outside in some pretty skimpy PJs to get the paper.

13. Been on stage? NOT GUILTY

14. Been on stage naked or close to it? NOT GUILTY Another as if...

15. Been in a parade? NOT GUILTY

16. Been in a school play? NOT GUILTY But I did work on the costumes for my Senior class play.

17. Drank beer? GUILTY Not since I was 16, the one and only time in my life I was drunk.

18. Gotten detention? NOT GUILTY

19. Been on a plane? GUILTY

20. Been on a cruise? NOT GUILTY someday

21. Broken into a house? GUILTY my own, I've also had a police officer break into my car when I locked the keys in it while it was running.

22. Gotten a tattoo? NOT GUILTY I've thought about this, but I'm reaching an age that a saggy tattoo isn't too appealing.

23. Gotten piercings? GUILTY

24. Gotten into a fist fight? GUILTY In middle school, smacked around a couple of boys for picking on the poor handicapped boy that rode on the school bus with us, I still get mad thinking about it.

25. Gotten into a shouting match? GUILTY On a monthly basis with the hubby--can anyone say PMS--you'd think one of us would learn about "pulling the tiger's tail."

26. Swallowed sea/pool water? GUILTY (Who hasn't)

27. Spun yourself in circles to get dizzy on purpose? GUILTY Loved doing this as a kid and have passed this one on genetically to my child.

28. Laughed so hard it hurt? GUILTY Cry, hurt, can't breath.

29. Tripped on your own feet? GUILTY Down a flight of stairs and broke my tail bone.

30. Cried yourself to sleep? GUILTY Hate this.

31. Cried in public? GUILTY Hate this too.

32. Thrown up in public? GUILTY First grade reading class, but not since--LOL.

33. Lied to your parents? GUILTY

34. Skipped class? GUILTY Not until I was in college, how geeky is that?

35. Cried so hard you threw up? NOT GUILTY--yuck.

All over with this one...

I'm still rather distracted from reading, it's one of the reasons I started with the Sudoku puzzles. It's probably why I changed the look of the blog too, though I hate to admit it, I don't like black and this might not last until Halloween--LOL. I've got a huge TBR pile and what did I read over the weekend...Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Match Me If You Can. I borrowed it from the library last year. I'd already read it but wanted a copy for myself so I bought a paperback copy last week.

There's just something comforting about a favorite author, you know what your going to get even when it's not perfect it still works. I'd forced my way through 2 books last week that didn't work and realized I need comfort reads when I'm this distracted. I think I may pull out a couple more SEP books and have a mini marathon, like the Linda Howard one I had earlier this year.

I can't believe my little guy starting school full-time has thrown me for such a loop. He loves school and once he found his "boundaries" it's been great. But, I still haven't found a real routine. I've done none of the heavy duty cleaning I thought I would, reading has been hit or miss. And, the holidays are right around the corner. Okay, I'm done whining.

I've got a full schedule this week... Today, Junior has a hair appointment after school. Tuesday, I take my husband's car for an oil change. Wednesday, Parent Guild meeting. Thursday, set up for a school fundraiser and soccer practice. Friday, the school fundraiser (actually the fundraiser is a 3 day event, but I only have to work Friday, which includes baking 3 batches of brownies). Saturday, soccer and a family party and Sunday, I escape by myself for a candle party. I'm amazed by anyone who has more than one child and still functions--LOL.

When the heck is Blogger going to add "blog" to their Spell Check?