Friday, June 30

June TBR Challenge--nothing like cutting it close

This month's TBR Challenge: Read something highly recommended

Title: Passion's Springtime

Author: Lauren Wilde

Year published: 1996

Why did you get this book? I'm pretty sure it was on Maili's top 100 list

Do you like the cover? Yes, I wish I could have found picture to post. It's very impressionistic in style.

Did you enjoy the book? Yes, but 1/4 of the way into it I realized I'd already read it, probably when it was new. I knew exactly where the story was going.

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? I thought so, but obviously not.

Are you keeping it or passing it on? It was good, but I'm not sure I'm going to keep it.

Anything else? This was a good historical set in 1860's San Francisco, which is a setting we don't see very often anymore, it's a marriage of convenience story or as they call it a business arrangement. Interesting mix of romance and history

Well, I cut this one really close finishing it at 9:30 on the last day of the month, but it was worth reading.

That's it, have a good one and happy reading.


Really, I'm not that clueless

This morning I had this conversation with my son...

Junior: Can I watch Noggin in your room?

Me: After you clean up your race track.

Junior: I already did.

Me: Don't fib, I know you didn't, do it now.

Junior: How did you know?

Me: Mommy knows everything.

Of course, I can hear when he cleans up, everything goes crash, bang.

Tomorrow we're going to my husband's cousins for a barbecue/picnic. While Junior and I were running errands today my husband left the following voice mail:

There's going to be a lot of people at Ken's tomorrow, call my mother and see what we can bring. I don't want to look like a freeloader.

We've been married 23 years, in all that time we've never gone to a family function without bringing something. And, since when does this even cross his mind?

For some reason the men in this family think I'm an idiot.

Thursday, June 29

Non stop reading. Started reading Cover of Night at 8:00 last night and didn't look up until it was finished.

I need to qualify everything I write by saying I'm a Linda Howard Fangirl. So, realistically, I'm predisposed to loving everything she writes, but if I'm honest, I haven't really loved anything since Open Season.

Book set-up...

Cate Nightingale is a widow with twin 4 year old boys. The kids are cute, funny and typical 4 year olds, and believe me I know 4 year olds. They live in a teeny tiny town in Idaho, Trail Stop, less than 100 people, actually it may be less than 50 people. She owns a Victorian B&B that caters to rock climbers and hunters. She and her husband were regular visitors to the area and avid climbers.

Cal Harris is the town handy man, and is sweet on Cate, blushes and stammers whenever he's near her. And of course, there's much more to Mr. Harris than Cate realizes.

Joshua Creed, local guide, and retired Marine and Cal's best friend.

Neenah Dase, feed store owner and ex-nun, born and raised in Trail Stop and Cate's closest friend in town.

The Town Folks, interesting mix of characters, mostly middle aged and older.

The Bad Guys, hit men sent to find someone extorting money from a Chicago mobster, and 4 locals from just outside of Trail Stop.

Trail Stop, the town itself becomes a character, it's the end of the road. Literally. There's one road in and one road out and it ends at the base of a mountain.

Cate's B&B isn't all that busy, but she supplements her income by providing breakfast for what seems like the entire town. Cal seems to be a regular visitor fixing anything and everything that goes wrong in the house, her boys adore him and follow him around like puppies.

One of Cate's guests goes missing. He's paid in advance with a credit card and slips out through a window. The "local" police are notified, but nothing's really wrong as he's paid his bill. But something's not right and two hit men come looking for the missing guest and terrorize Cate and Neenah. Cal comes to the rescue and the hit men are allowed to leave with a the missing guest's suitcase. For me this is the weakest part of the book. Cal could easily have taken complete control of the situation, yet they allows them to leave with what they're looking for. Only what there looking for isn't in the suitcase. Cate's mom has been visiting from Seattle while all this happens, and they decide to send the boys back with her mom for a couple of weeks.

They (the hit men) hire local thugs to put the town under siege, figuring what they're looking for is still somewhere in the B&B. They think this will be easy as there's only one way in and out, and the town is filled with middle aged and elderly folk. Ah, but Idaho folk can take care of themselves and will fight to protect their little town.

When we reach the end we've got dead bad guys and two HEA endings. The book is filled with humorous and sad moments and lots of action.

Is it perfect? Nope, but for me it's a keeper. AAR gave it a B+, I'd give it an A-, but hey I'm a fangirl.

Have a good one and happy reading--I'm 50 pages into the Quinn.

Wednesday, June 28

Drumroll please

Ran to the bookstore and picked up:
  • Cover of Night by Linda Howard
  • On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn
  • Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll

That's also the order I'll be reading them in. I doubt I'll come up for air before at least Cover of Night is finished. I'll try blogging about it tomorrow.

Have a good one, Tara

And, the rain, rain, rain came down, down down and other odd thoughts

How many people can remember, that adorable Winnie the Pooh song... And the rain, rain, rain, came down, down down...

I can't really complain, we haven't had the torrential down pours of the Mid-Atlantic states, but it's been raining off and on since Saturday. Last night we must have gotten 2 or 3 inches or rain. Flood warnings are posted for all over the county. We're lucky, even though we live on a river, we don't live in a flood plain. If the river water ever reached our house, we'd be building an ark and expecting the second coming.

I've been plodding through my contest reading, finally starting the RS for Aspen Gold. It took forever to get into the first book, but it started to pick up about half way through and was a pretty good book. The next was an amnesia story, but it wasn't horrible, which is saying something since I hate amnesia stories. The 3rd has a first person POV--not loving that, though normally this doesn't bother me.

Praying that my book order comes in today, my impatience is showing. It should include the new Howard and the new Quinn, and several others. I peeked over on AAR and the Howard review was positive, but the Quinn was only so so. But, the Quinn is the last in the Bridgerton series, I've read the first 7 and I wasn't about to miss the last, though I didn't love the last couple.

Got to go... The rain has finally stopped, I think that's it for the day. I probably should go outside and check the pool. My husband drained some water out before leaving for work. It sits in the shade of a black walnut tree--I hate that darned tree, it's constantly dropping leaves and pods and when the walnuts mature the squirrels bombard us with the shells from the branches about our heads.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Tuesday, June 27

Guilty Conscience

I posted last week about an erotic romance that I'd read that I thought was okay but not good. Well, the Author popped in today and I'm feeling rather guilty. Portia De Costa (aka Wendywoo) posted that Entertaining Mr. Stone isn't a romance and being the author, of course, she's right, and if you read the book, you know it really isn't a romance at all. It's good erotica, but it's not good romance, I should have made this point more clear in my original blog post.

And, she left the following comment on my post about Pamela Rochford's Dangerous Consequence...

Pamela Rochford is a friend of mine, and the character of Jude Devereux is a purely fictional character, because when she wrote the book, Pamela had never heard of the real Jude Devereux and just made the name up. :)

Okay, I'm taking her at her word on this one--LOL, and if I take Ms. Devereux out of the equation, this was also a good erotica, perhaps leaning a little more towards erotic romance. To be completely honest, she could have pushed the erotica envelope further than she did. It does have a HEA, so it does fall more under the erotic romance umbrella.

And, this circles us back to the question, What's the difference between erotica romance, erotica and erotica that happens to have a HEA?

Heck, I know it when I read it, but how do we figure it out when a publisher markets erotica as erotic romance? And, does it really matter? Or am I really just splitting hairs?

Good lord, I'm giving myself a headache.

Monday, June 26

We took Junior to a matinee yesterday morning to see Cars. It was a cute and fun movie. I spent most of the movie trying to figure out who was doing the voices.

Friday, June 23

That was kind of strange--contains spoilers...

On one of my recent UBS stops I picked up Pamela Rochford's Dangerous Consequences, an "Erotic Romance", that's a quote off the front cover. I've been reading Black Lace books for years and have always considered them more erotica than erotic romance. After reading 2 of them in the last week, I'm positive they're erotica that just happen to have HEA. All of which is okay, but kind of muddies the is it erotica or erotic romance waters. There's a good review over on Paperback Reader. And, they also point this out.

Now here is the strange part...

Jude Devereaux, the romance writer, is a secondary character.

Not so unusual, we see real people in romances all the time, but I don't expect the last sex scene in a book to be between the two main characters and a famous romance writer. For some strange reason, this felt like way too much information about someone I used to read faithfully. I've now got pictures in my head that just shouldn't be there--LOL. And then I made the mistake of clicking over from Paperback Reader to the author's website and now I've got an even stranger picture that really needs to go away.

Moments of shear terror

A little boy went missing while we were in Barnes & Noble. Thank God, he was found wandering in the parking lot. At first I didn't realize what the woman was in a panic over because she kept saying "He's gray on top." I couldn't imagine what that meant, we were on our way out the door when I realized she meant he was wearing a gray shirt. The store was packed with kids as they had story time this morning. We were going back into the store to make sure someone had called 911, when someone came running to say they'd found him.

This store is on the corner of 2 roads with 14 lanes of traffic between them. And, it's less than 1 minute from 2 major highways. Once they realized the little boy may have made it outside a customer ran down an embankment to make sure the child hadn't wandered into traffic. There was a man with a set of keys I'm assuming ready to lock down the store, standing at the front door.

By the time we got into the car I was shaking, I can't imagine that mother's feelings of terror.

I make Junior sits on the floor by my feet when we're in any store where I'm going to be browsing (bookstores, clothing stores etc.) I'm sure we annoy people when he starts to complain and prostrates himself in the middle of an aisle, but you know what? I know were he is at all times this way. He took off running on me once when this store first opened. Now he never leaves my side. I also dress him in something bright so if we get seperated I can see him. Usually it's orange, today it was orange shorts.

So, will lightning strike...

I'm heading to B&N today, I've been ordering new books through my local UBS/Indie Bookseller, but she doesn't carry new Inspirational Romances. I need a birthday present for my aunt, who is more like an older sister, she's closer to my age than my mom's. She became a Born-again Catholic after her divorce, and believe me it isn't always pretty. She's almost as preachy as the very nice Jehovah Witness that visits me every Tuesday morning.

I have no idea what to get this woman, she lives in the perfect house, she's incredibly particular when it comes to clothing. She's an avid reader, but has been on an inspirational romance kick, so I thought I'd pick up a few, and maybe a gift card of some sort.

But, while at B&N I decided to pick up a couple of books. One I keep forgeting to order at my local bookstore, Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife by Linda Berdoll--I've heard really good things about this one.

And, I'm going to try to find Jane's recommendation A Change of Seasons by Anya Bast.

Will lightning strike me in the middle of B&N for buying inspirational romance and erotic romance at the same time??

Have a great day and happy reading.

Thursday, June 22

Odds and Ends

It's going to be a strange day, we've already had a huge thunderstorm, usually these pop up at night not in the morning. It's supposed to be hazy, hot and humid, so long as it's not raining we'll be in the pool. The front of the house was skunked last night and I have to call the Cornell Co-operative to find out how to get rid of them. We think they're living under the front porch. We've got a helicopter flying up and down the river, anyone who lives on a river knows this isn't good. Someone is probably lost on the river, very scary.

I've decided to work on my contest reading, so I probably wont be blogging about any of it in detail. This morning I'll be finishing up the manuscript pages for the PASIC contest, I can't float and read those, too messy, sheets of paper floating everywhere--not good.

Read the erotic romance (Entertaining Mr. Stone) last night, I was not overly impressed by the book. The hero is actually interesting and different, a middle-aged Director of Finance, but because the story is told in the first person from the heroines POV we only know what he's thinking when he speaks. The much younger heroine is all over the place, and we know this because we spend the entire book inside her head. She's hired because he's hot for her, and later in the book even that turns a little creepy. It's a twist on the old Harlequin typing pool/boss story, and I'm probably showing my age because how many people under 30 have heard of a typing pool? As far as I could tell, there is no storyline besides sex, so I guess that's it, sex is the storyline--not my thing.

I'm starting to think most erotic romances aren't my thing. I know sites like Dear Author have reviewed some good ones and I need to make an effort to find them. I commented over there that most of the erotic romance ebooks I've read are throw backs to Harlequins with hot sex, which is fine and I've enjoyed some of them, but to be honest, I'd much rather have more substance to the story. And, to be even more honest, most of the ones I didn't like, I wish read more like Hot Harlequin Presents, instead of the garbage that filled the pages between sex scenes, that didn't amount to anything remotely story like. Yet, if Entertaining Mr. Stone is anything to go by, I'd probably not like stories where sex is the story either. So, is a really substanative story possible when sex such an important part of the story?

Ack--none of this is making sense, so I'd better go.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Wednesday, June 21


It was a lazy day so I got to finish Mary Reed McCall's Sinful Pleasures. It was very good, as I knew it would be. I'm starting to think Ms. McCall writes the best medievals currently being published. Young lovers reunited.

We also found enough time to make a hit and run over at the UBS. Without a list I only came home with:
  1. Almost A Gentleman by Pam Rosenthal--I've not read her before, so I thought I'd give this one a try.
  2. Crazy For You by Kate Angell--thought I'd give one of her non sport books a try.
  3. The Wedding Deception by Adrienne Basso--I've not read her in a while, this was a 2005 release.
  4. Entertaining Mr. Stone by Portia Da Costa--It called to me from the erotic romance shelf.
  5. Rupert Takes a Bath by Bob Graham--what can I say, I'm a sucker for kids books, Junior wanted this one.

Not an exciting haul, but all were unexpected finds, so hopefully they'll all be unexpectedly good.

Have a good night and happy reading.

Reading again...

This is going to be a "A little of this and a little of that" type of post.

I finished Laura Lee Guhrke's She's No Princess, it was pretty good. Better than okay, but not quite good good. Does that make sense? The heroine is the illegitimate daughter of an Italian Prince. To be honest, Lucia is very annoying. Acting out to get anyone's attention, she blames her father for all her problems, loves her mother, even though her mother, a courtesan, chooses to leave the daughter in the father's "care". As a mother, I'd change careers before allowing this, but hey, that's me. Back to the heroine, she's not TSTL, but is behaving badly to start with and then realizes how silly her actions really are.

The hero, Ian, is what you would expect of a diplomat, very controlled personality, the whole premise of him having to find a suitable husband seemed rather odd, but the storyline works. They decide the "Princess" needs an English peer husband and then insist that said husband is Catholic, and this was beaten over our heads through the entire book. Honestly, if I read "must be Catholic" one more time I'd probably have thrown the book against a wall. And then when a compromising incident forces Lucia and Ian into marriage, she converts to Anglican--ugh. Yet, I still liked the book--I like Guhrke's writing voice and style.

I am now reading Sinful Pleasures by Mary Reed McCall. I'm 50 pages into it and unless it completely falls apart, I know I'm going to love it. I'm tempted to kiss the cover simply because it's a Medeival, and it's going to be a good one--yeah, yeah, yeah--happy camper dance.

I've been following the little brouhaha over ebook covers, yikes the whole thing is completely out of control. Good lord, yes some are hideous and some aren't--move on.

We're heading to the UBS today, without a list. I'm going to pick up whatever looks good.

The weather here in NY has been hazy, hot and humid, but I'm not complaining. I'm getting to relax, float around the pool and read. Not bad for the first week of summer vacation.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Never, Never

Never, never, never eat double fudge chocolate cake right before falling asleep. That wasn't last night's plan but that's what happened, and what followed was one strange, restless and crazy dream filled night.

Monday, June 19

A Question for Medallion Press...

Two of the books I ordered last month through my local indie bookseller are published by Medallion Press.

The bookstore owner orders from Ingram and directly from smaller publishing houses like Ellora's Cave. Unfortunately, Ingram doesn't carry Medallion Press books and Medallion has not gotten back to the bookseller about selling directly to her.

I prefer buying from this shop, 1. she's a friend, 2. it's good to support small local businesses, 3. the shop is literally 2 minutes from the house and to get to a B&N or Borders is 20-30 minutes. I guess I could order on-line, but I'd prefer not to.

Does anyone know whether or not Medallion sells to small independent bookshops??

Ah, a better day

No more whining, spent the day floating in the pool with Junior and Laura Lee Guhrke. Well, that's Laura Lee Guhrke's She's No Princess.

It was too hot to cook and we had a fabulous chef salad for dinner... mesculan greens, radishes, onion, carrots, mushrooms, ham, roast beef, turkey, swiss, grapes and cold left over rice. Yummy.

A massive thunderstorm came through and cooled everything off, just right for sleeping.

Have a great night and happy reading.

Frustrating Father's Day

I always like to preface a whine by saying in the grand scheme of things, it isn't really a big deal, but there are days that really require a redo.

Welcome to Father's Day:
  • Junior's up at 5:50 for the day. Not all that unusual, but he wishes Daddy "Happy Father's Day" at the top of his lungs. Since all the upstairs windows were open I'm sure the neighbors loved that.
  • I spilled bacon grease all over the stove while making breakfast.
  • Hubby left us in the car while he ran into the store to buy cigars, he never smokes, but felt like one on Father's Day. The car starts to overheat he's in there so long, of course, my leaving on the AC probably didn't help--hey it was already 90 degrees.
  • I pull my already bad back climbing from the front seat into the backseat of our mini-van, because Junior says he's going to get car sick.
  • Junior gets car sick (bacon and Gatorade, lovely combination), but we are champs at the car sick thing and manage to keep everything gross in the "throw-up pail".
  • Five minutes from my in-laws we realize we forgot the Father's Day gifts.
  • We miss seeing BIL (Junior's Godfather) by 5 minutes.
  • Our 8 year old nephew dunks our slightly water phobic son under the water in the in-laws pool.
  • The 8 year old's mom wasn't feeling well, and was incredibly short with anyone who ventured talking to her, especially her husband and her mother, they wanted her to go to the emergency room, but she wouldn't.
  • My husband tripped getting out of the van with Junior and popped out his good knee.


  1. Annoying that my husband seems to think forgetting the gifts was somehow my fault. I managed to remember, the child, the bathing suits, the flotation devices, the sun screen, changes of clothing, the potato and macaroni salads, the chocolate covered strawberries, the cake. The man went back into the house three times, the first 2 times I have no clue why, but the third time he walked passed the gifts to unplug our pool filter. When I pointed this out he shut up.
  2. The 8 year old nephew used to be terrified of going under water and if he had any water on this face he had to wipe it off immediately. Now, Junior isn't really afraid of the water, but he doesn't like rough housing in water that is deeper than he can stand, he has a vest on so he'll float without a problem, but this scared him and he spent most of the day out of the pool. Finally after dinner, when it was just us left at his grand-parents' house, I got him back in the pool and he had a great time.
  3. I'm the designated driver for family events. I don't drink, but my husband does, not much but it's better to be safe than sorry about driving. He sat in the backseat (throw-up pail in hand) with Junior they talked half way home, even though it was past both their bedtimes. Finally, I told them I wanted silence. Junior finally fell asleep. But getting out of the van, my husband slipped. Thank God he didn't drop the sleeping child, but he did hurt is good knee, which isn't really all that good, but it's much better than his bad one.
  4. I've sucked down 8 aspirin in the last 18 hours and still my back wont loosen up.

All done, thanks for listening.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Sunday, June 18

A Good Fun Read

Another good Emma Holly book. But, I'm curious, is a gratuitous sex scene possible in an erotic romance?

The book starts out with the heroine (Frankie) being dumped by her long time boy friend. She moves on has a little rebound sex, one of the town's socialites ends up dead in the alley behind Frankie's diner, All U Can Eat clever name for a diner, I'm not so sure for an erotica romance. Enter our hero (Jack), he's the chief of police, and a regular diner patron.

When Jack discovers the socialites stash of homemade sex DVDs, he realizes just about everyone in town is a suspect, including her stars the tag team duo that own the local garage. These two are interesting, bi-sexual and really into each other, but enjoy the local ladies too.

Now we get to the superfluous sex, we've already had a three way scene with the boys and now they've come to cheer up Frankie. To be honest the scene seems out of character for the heroine, until she's dumped by the boyfriend she's very monogamous, has some rebound sex and then this scene with the boys and back to being monogamous with Jack. Frankie's the only female character they haven't had sex with, so maybe it's just her turn and maybe we should consider it more rebound sex.

The villain is rather obvious, but the mystery is still fun. A great in the moment read.

Friday, June 16


Contest, doesn't that just get everyone thinking... "Ooooo, she's giving something away." Ah but that's not the case. It's not like I've got an ARC of JR Ward's Lover Awakened or any other ARC for that matter. Please note that mentioning of Lover Awakened is purely to register more hits from the fangirls looking for ARCs--LOL.

So, what's the deal with the contest?

I volunteered for Aspen Gold this year. Received 5 Romantic Suspenses in the mail and haven't read a single one. I started 2 and didn't really like either, so I put them down until I'm in a better frame of mind to read them. I still have a month to finish them, but I'm feeling guilty that maybe I wont like any of them.

My friend, the indie bookseller, called the other day to say the PASIC--Book of your Heart packages were in and I had a choice between Mainstream, Contemporary, Historical and Paranormals. I picked up the Paranormal package yesterday. I've read 3 of the 8 entries so far, one was okay, but the other two really had some potential. Last year I did category romance. They only send you the first chapter and to be honest, I prefer to give a book more than 20 pages.

It's all rather strange. You never know whose books your reading and you get thank you notes for reading their chapter and sometimes they let you know whether or not they've sold their manuscript. Then I'm always left wondering if it's the book I've completely panned, and their politely thumbing their nose at me, which I think has happened a few times.--LOL

Have a great weekend, Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, and happy reading.

A couple of Graduation pictures...

Isn't he cute? I only cried once after the school's director started crying saying goodbye to the children.

Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Thursday, June 15

Procrastination at its best...

Since 7:30 this morning I've been blog hopping, now I'm wasting more time telling everyone that's what I've been doing. Can you tell I'd rather be sitting in front of this machine than doing what needs doing...

Today is Graduation Day. It starts at 4:00, isn't that a strange time?

I should be:

  1. Cleaning the house, we have family coming back to the house for a barbeque. done
  2. Putting away the 10 loads of laundry I did yesterday, it's all folded. done
  3. Ironing Junior's clothes and gown, yes, they're wearing caps and gowns. done
  4. Food shopping for above mentioned barbeque. done
  5. Prep food, make fruit salad and chocolate covered strawberries. done

Junior just announced "We've got cleaning to do. Everyone needs to see a spotless house." His quote, not mine. Where does he come up with this stuff? Spotless house isn't in my vocabulary. I sent him off to dust his room.

Have a great day and someone please read something exciting for me.

Cleaning update:

  • upstairs dusting done
  • upstairs vacuuming done
  • making beds done
  • clean and mop bathroom done
  • downstairs dusting done
  • downstairs vacuuming done
  • clean and mop kitchen done
  • straighten up bikes, big wheels etc. done

All done with 20 minutes to spare.

Wednesday, June 14

Lost in the shuffle

Over on SB, this post kind of got lost amongst the mantitties and birthday wishes to Sarah.

I've added Joyce Ellen Armond's Speculative Romance website to my sidebar. Her Horror and Romance, Sitting in a Tree article completely hits the mark for me. I've always thought paranormal romances aren't scary enough, and I gave up on horror because I prefer a HEA ending.

There are a few authors that hit the horror mark periodically through their paranormal romances, Lynn Viehl's Darkyn series, Kresley Coles's new one, Meljean Brooks' Falling for Anthony... but most seem to write tormented vampire heros and not much sustained horror.

Who else wants to be scared spitless when reading paranormals? Recommendations, please.

Have a good one, and happy reading.

Tuesday, June 13

What to read??

I'm still in my little reading slump, haven't finished a book in over a week. Last week I mentioned going to the UBS, but today I'm definitely getting there in the hopes they have something new or something jumps off the shelf and screams "READ ME". I've got hundreds of books on my TBR pile and nothing seems interesting.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I haven't had much time to read. Which is shocking for me, I almost always can squeeze a few minutes out of the day. But it seems like every waking moment is filled with nonesense. We're just about finished in the backyard, but I'm falling asleep as soon as I get into bed. Somehow I got rooked into putting together the teachers' gifts from the class. It must say "sucker" on my forehead. I refused to beg for money, another mom has that honor. She called last night at 8:50 to let me know how much money we're working with and I was already asleep.

We have a house full of people coming back to the house on Thursday after the graduation for a barbeque, which means I need to find time to actually clean too. We're opening the pool on Saturday and going to dinner with my family for Father's Day. And, spending Sunday with my husband's family.

Maybe I should put reading on the calender... Next Monday 8 a.m.

Have a good one and I'm hoping someone out there is reading. Thanks for letting me whine.

Monday, June 12


Okay, it's not a catastrophe, but I have no idea what to get the teachers for an end of year gift.

Teachers out there, what do you like??

The class is chipping in for a large gift (an AMEX gift card) but I have no idea what to get from Junior. I'm thinking a nice bouquet of flowers, instead of some little trinkety thing--good lord, they have 60 students, how much of this stuff can they get?

Have a good one...

PS--the dumpster is just about full and every muscle in my body hurts.

Sunday, June 11

Busy, Busy, Busy

We've been very busy clearing out our backyard. A 20 yard dumpster is sitting between our house and our next door neighbor. There is a very old potting shed in the back that we are in the process of removing. We had no idea how old it was until we started to dismantle it. Newspapers dating back to 1911 were used to insulate the roof. It had seen better days and was starting to sag.

Apparently one of the previous owners was a master gardener. By the time we purchased the house 24 years ago the backyard was already starting to get over grown. The homes on either side of us have been in the owners families for 50 plus years, so we're still the new people on the street--LOL. But they remember when "Alice" owned the house... "Her roses were amazing."

We live on a small river that flows into the Hudson. It's a beautiful place to live, one draw back--SNAKES come up from the river and sun themselves in the backyard.

I'm on a little reading hiatus. I've been on a puzzle book kick.

Junior graduates from preschool on Thursday. They handed out their caps and gowns on Friday.

Hopefully everyone is having a great weekend, and happy reading.

Thursday, June 8

Getting picky

I used to say "I'd read anything." Which was never really true, but I seemed to read a wider variety of plots than I do now.

I was never a huge fan of amnesia stories, but I realized just how much I hate them when Mary Balogh did it a couple of years ago. I've blanked out the title of the book, probably on purpose.

I'm was reading Love is in the Heir by Kathryn Caskie and I'm hating the twins/mistaken identity plot. I didn't love it when Eloisa James used it earlier this year. I can't think of a book with this theme that I've liked. Maybe someone needs to refresh my memory are there any really good ones out there?

So, I put down LIITH and pick up an HQN romantic suspense, I'm not even bothering to get up and look for it. It's a stalker book, mother and child on the run from evil husband/father. I've read other stalker books, normally they don't bother me, but this one with a child isn't working.

Picky, picky, picky--now, what am I going to read?

Green with envy...

Well, I'm sitting here with a major frown on, being grumpy and out of sorts.

ARCs of JR Ward's Lover Awakened have gone out and I am completely jealous.

Wednesday, June 7

Good news and a big thank you

Thanks to all for their thoughts and prayers

My mom's stress test turned out to have a false positive. The catheterization showed no blockage at all. She was in and out of the procedure in about 1/2 an hour and is resting at home comfortably.

Tuesday, June 6

A couple of minutes...

The school picnic was a huge success. When he wasn't running, bouncing or climbing, he was eating--popcorn, cotton candy, 2 snow cones and half his sandwich. He's in the tube, he was so filthy he needed a shower before I would let him play in the bath tube.

  • Dark Need--Lynn Viehl--Very Good, this is one of those series you either love or hate, an interesting horror/romance mix.
  • The Hazards of Hunting a Duke--Julia London--Okay/Good, once again a London book that should have been better, it started out good but petered out near the end.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Monday, June 5

The Roller Coaster aka why Tara wont be on line much this week.

For few years my parents have been on a medical roller coaster.

First it was my mom, she fell and needed knee surgery, then it was a cancer scare--endometrial cancer, surgery and months of radiation treatments left her thankfully cancer free. Through all of this my dad had chronic back pain, which he basically ignored.

In September of 2003, after a day of shopping I came home to a full answer machine, my sister left the following messages:

1. Tara, Daddy called Mommy at work, his back is killing him and his legs are numb. He thinks it's a pinched nerve, she's taking him to the hospital. I'm heading over to see what's going on.

2. Tara, are you there?? Pick up.

4. Tara are you there, they're doing a cat scan, something's wrong.

5. Fumbling hang up

6. Fumbling hang up

7. Are you there, it's bad, it's really bad, he's got a massive aneurysm, they're air lifting Daddy to Westchester. We're leaving now, meet us there as soon as possible, they don't think he's going to make it.

Well, "aneurysm" sent a chill down my spine, my mother's father died from the exact same thing. I don't have any idea where my husband was, I got him on his cell phone, but he was home in less than 15 minutes. Between picking up my adult niece, and dropping our son at my in-laws, it took us close to 3 hours to make it to the hospital.

Five hours later my dad had survived the surgery that replaced a section of his aorta and repaired the tear in his femoral artery, the aneurysm was so large it had adhered to the artery and started to rip it, he was slowly bleeding to death. The aneurysm ruptured as soon has the surgeons opened him. The aneurysm they took out was so large that the blood pumping through it wore away at the bone of his spine.

This taught us never ignore pain, even when you think you know what is causing it. The body knows what it's doing, listen to it.

We were so relieved that he was alive that we didn't realize the surgeon said he had 5 more aneurysms along the rest of the aorta. He spent three weeks in intensive care and 5 more in the hospital recovering. After he was out of the hospital he needed cat scans on a regular basis to monitor the other aneurysms.

Eventually, mom went back to work, and I become chauffeur, taking Daddy back and forth to doctor and lab appointments.

Pain brought him back to the hospital in early 2004. The other aneurysms were growing. By now we knew to send my husband to the emergency room, if he's in his office he's only 3 minutes from the hospital. My mom is usually in panic mode, but Chris seems to hear everything and can help keep track of what needs to be done. I'm 30 minutes away and need to drop Junior at a baby sitter before heading there.

The aneurysms that were growing were in such delicate spots the surgeons at Westchester wouldn't touch him, he needed to go to Mount Sinai, in Manhattan, it's where the surgery to replace the aorta was pioneered. He basically needed the entire aorta replaced.

Four surgeries later, 95% if his aorta has been replaced and he has one aneurysm left, it's a small one right where the aorta attaches to the kidneys and the doctors don't want to do surgery unless it's absolutely necessary. Every step of the way, doctors and nurses have told us to pray, that only a miracle would pull him through.

All this time he's been a cranky trooper. His chest looks like the Frankenstein monster, one goes from above his heart, down his chest and around to almost the middle of his back, which means they somehow flipped him during one of the surgeries, the whole thing is mind boggling. He walks for exercise 4 or 5 times a week, 1 1/2 miles with the help of a walker with wheels. He loves to fish and walks whenever he can around a lake not far from their house, he picked up a tick bite not that long ago, turned out to be a deer tick and he's on antibotic for Lyme Disease.

For the past 2 1/2 years Mom has been nurse maid and head cheerleader. She has had high blood pressure and other minor aliments while all this has been going on.

Two weeks ago, they both went for stress tests.

Good news, Dad is finally doing much better. Bad news, Mom has a blockage near her heart and needs to go in for a catherization [sp?] and probably angioplasty. This is scheduled for Wednesday of this week.

Monday will be filled with school and errands, Tuesday is my son's end of year school picnic. The rest of the week will be left open. I have no idea if I'll be back on-line for any length of time this week.

Have a great week and happy reading.

Sunday, June 4

A fun little read

I always like when I discover a good book, not necessarily a great keeper, but a book I can enjoy in the moment. Kate Angell's Squeeze Play falls into this category. I love sports, so I'm easy when it comes to sports romances especially baseball.

There are 3 romances going on in this book, the starter and 2 reliefs, our main couple have been rebound lovers since highschool. He shows up whenever she's been dumped. Only both are in love and the other doesn't know it. The whole story seems somewhat farfetched, but for some reason it's still entertaining.

Friday, June 2

That Rabid Fangirl Thing...

Dear Author has a great new post, You Might Be A Fangirl...

So of course, this got me thinking...

Who are these people??

The "History Buff" Fangirl: Assumes everything Diana Gabaldon has ever written is completely historically accurate and is most vigorous in their defense of their favorite author. This was the first type of fangirl I'd come across, I wonder do any other historical authors generate this type of response?

The "How Can You Not Love Them" Fangirl: These are the ones that crawl out of the woodwork the minute you say "I don't like '______' books." It doesn't matter if you have legitimate complaints about an author's work, poor plotting, bad character development etc. they are going to tell you "You're a moron."

The "I don't care if she's obnoxious, she's the greatest author ever!!" Fangirl: This is the fangirl who insists on defending an author even after said author has made an ass of themselves on some sort of message board. "She can say whatever she wants, she's just the bestest in the whole world."

The "Nice" Fangirl: This one gets all weepy when you say something remotely snarky, actually it doesn't even need to be snarky just a little negative, "If you don't have anything nice to say..."

The "Gusher": I was going to call the "Gusher" the "Suck-up" but these fangirls are usually nice and actually probably fall under the "Nice" Fangirl category. You know the ones that can be found on message boards... "I love everything you've ever, ever written."

The "Erotic Romance" Fangirl: These are the ones that defend ER and their right to read it even when the book is, let's say, less than stellar. They're always a "tad bit" defensive.

The "Cover Model" Fangirl: They seem to love the male models more than the books. They are followers of the RT Cover Model Contests. Extreme versions actually keep track of the books their favorite models are on.

Okay, I can think of one more, but they're not author fangirls, but rather specific book fangirls:

The "Book Pimp": Pushes the book at everyone they come across. I've been known to do this on occasion, but there are some who are even, shall we say, pushier? "What do you mean you haven't read it yet?? Read it, Read it NOW."

So, there you have it, the rabid fangirl classifications I've come across. Have I missed any?

I've admitted to being an occasional "Book Pimp"...

What type of fangirl are you?

Thursday, June 1

Reading not blogging...

I've started several different blog posts over the last few days, and finished none of them. I've been more interested in reading than blogging.

  1. Come Lie With Me -- Linda Howard
  2. Tears of the Renegade -- Linda Howard
  3. Delicious -- Susan Mallery

Currently reading: MacKenzie's Mountain, as you can tell, I'm still on a Linda Howard kick.

Come Lie With Me holds up to the test of time okay. Much about the book seems dated and is at times incredibly melodramatic, but still it's not horrible.

Tears of the Renegade, all things considered, this one was pretty good, still a little melodramatic, but it almost seemed like a precursor to her later southern dynastic books.

I've been following the newest ATBF discussion on AAR. Found the whole thing interesting until it turned into a subtle and gracious alpha bashing. In order to be a LH fangirl you have to love alpha heros, but I don't avoid books with other types of heros. It doesn't really matter personality type as long as the author keeps the characters consistant to type. And, that doesn't mean an alpha can't have some beta characteristics and vice versa, but it needs to ring true to the character and story.

Lots to do today, so I need to hit the shower.

Have a great day and happy reading.