Sunday, April 30

Something Spectacular

I'm starting Pamela Clare's Ride the Fire tonight. I'm really hoping this one lives up to the hype ***big grin for Kristie***. Gaelen Foley's His Wicked Kiss is fast falling apart, and I'm not even sure I'm going to finish it. I must have jinxed it after telling Sybil it may be a keeper, I guess that's what I get for jumping the gun. Since reading The Duke I haven't really been impressed with any of the books in this series.

Are we going through a dry spell of boring new books? Is it me? I want something spectacular, exciting, different, new--is that asking too much?

My DNF for the month:
  1. Moon's Web--Adam & Camp
  2. Let It Be Love--Victoria Alexander
  3. The Outrageous Debutante--Anne O'Brien
  4. Puritan Bride--Anne O'Brien
  5. Deep Freeze--Lisa Jackson
  6. Lola Carlyle Reveals All--Rachel Gibson
  7. The Burning--Susan Squire
  8. Playing For Keeps--Karen Templton
  9. Lord of Sin--Madeline Hunter
  10. His Wicked Kiss--Gaelen Foley

I didn't list them on my sidebar because I know all of these can't be duds, it's me. I've got to stop whinning about it, maybe I need a break from romance.

Have a good one, and happy reading.


Saturday, April 29

A couple of reviews and 3 more for the TBR pile

Duke of Scandal by Adele Ashworth

Lady Olivia Shea has been left a bride in name only, by her brand new husband, Edmund Carlisle, who takes her inheritance and runs, leaving her to pick up the pieces and try to continue running her Paris perfume empire. She wants her money back and heads to London to confront the cad, only the cad she confronts is his twin brother, Samson Carlisle, The Duke of Durham.

They join forces to catch his brother. Through all sorts of twists and turns, Livi and Sam discover she's the victim of an elaborate con. With a backdrop of Victorian Frances perfume industry Ms. Ashworth avoids Eloisa James' pitfalls of overwhelming the reader with peripheral information.

The tension between Livi and Sam is great, the story gradually builds and is very entertaining, yet there is some inconsistencies in the character development of Sam that I found a little frustrating when past relationships come to light toward the end of the book. But, this may be nit picking on my part.

Overall, this is a good and well paced read. Better than just "good" but not quite "very good" or a keeper, but definitely worth reading.

The Marcelli Bride by Susan Mallery

There is nothing more annoying than picking up a series 4 books in, that's what I get for not reading the entire blurb before buying.

First-daughter, Darcy Jensen, is in need of protection, she has been kidnapped once, by mistake the kidnappers wanted her "perfect" sister Lauren. Joe Larson's needs to lay low for a while if he wants to save his naval career and has been approached to help protect the President's daughter. At this point he has no choice, and a large Secret Service team sets up shop on his families vineyard and winery.

Since I haven't read the first 3 books in this series, I don't know Joe Larson is actually Joe Marcelli, a son given up for adoption when his parents were still in high school, pressure from their families pushed them to give him up, and the family spends 30 years regretting this mistake. His parents get married and then go on to have 4 daughters.

Interesting family dynamics on both sides drive this book, but I find the plot set up unbelievable and that colors much of what I read. How likely is it that the Secret Service is going to hide the President's daughter in the middle of a working vineyard and winery.

Don't get me wrong, the writing is very good, the book completely stands alone and even though we see all the sisters at one time or another, I don't have an overwhelming urge to go back and read the other books. I probably will because the characters are interesting, not because I feel this book left any backstory untold, which is very good on Ms. Mallery's part.

A good, fairly fast paced story. If you can suspend belief when it comes to the plot set up, you'll probably like it.

Though I swore I wouldn't be buying much this month, I've added 3 more books to my TBR pile:

His Wicked Kiss and The Bachelor Trap are because I have absolutely no willpower and bought them. And, Ride The Fire showed up in the mail from Paperback Swap, thanks AngieW.

Have a good one, maybe I'll get back on sometime tomorrow.

Happy reading,


Sleeping Beauties

After an exhausting afternoon of playing, my two sleeping beauties take a nap:

Junior and Petey Cat

Junior sometimes sleeps with his eyes open.

After seeing Renee's adorable Bailey, I realized I didn't post these pictures from earlier this week. We had spent a couple of hours at the park on Wednesday after school, and I guess Junior wore himself out. Pete's 13, and he spends a good 20 hours a day sleeping.

Pete is the greatest kids cat. He lets them pick him up, crawl all over him and never and I mean NEVER has scratched or bit a child or anyone else for that matter.

Friday, April 28

Quick, Quick like a bunny...

I don't have much time this morning. It's a school day and we leave in about 1/2 an hour. After school, several moms are getting together for a picnic at the park, the kids love this. I realized we will probably be so busy this weekend, I wont have time to sit and write anything.

I picked up 3 books on Wednesday and have finished 2 of them:
  1. Duke of Scandal--Adele Ashworth, good book, I'll try to put together a review over the weekend and post it Sunday night or Monday sometime.
  2. The Marcelli Bride--Susan Mallery, I liked this one too, but had some small, nit picking issues, I'll comment more later on.
  3. His Wicked Kiss--Gaelen Foley, this one's coming with me today, hopefully I'll get some reading time in. It's the last in The Knight series.

It's going to be a beautiful weekend in the North East. Everyone have a great weekend.

Happy reading.


PS someone emailed me this great link: Find the cheapest gas in your area, just plug in your zip code.

Thursday, April 27

A Strange Tale...

I went to B&N yesterday picked up a 3 new books, read one and am half way through another, so I guess I'm out of my funk. But I don't feel like blogging about books.

So, I've decided to tell the tale of my Communist, Socialist, Capitalist, Conservative, Crazy Uncle instead.

My Uncle Rog is my mother's brother, born into a slightly eccentric, but pretty average middle class family. If he didn't look just like my Grandfather, the family would have thought he was switched at birth. Growing up in Brooklyn, he refused to be a Dodger fan, he was a rabid Giants fan. He once fell off the Ebbets Field wall and broke his leg sneaking into a game. One of his childhood friends was the radical, if not crazy, chess champion Bobby Fischer.

In the mid 60's Rog joined the Navy, and somehow spent his entire tour in Europe, mostly Spain and came home a Communist. Not the card carrying kind, but rather a loud talker who hated anything American. He would go on at length about the Utopian paradise that was any Communist country. His best friend was another one of my uncles, who was a radical anti-communist, a Yugoslavian dissident who escaped the country under a barbed wire fence. Their arguments were legendary.

He would vacation every year in Spain or Portugal and while in Spain met a lovely Finnish woman and brought back to the States to live and eventually married. In 1980 they went to the Moscow Olympics, they drove from Finland to Moscow. And came home and announced he was no longer a Communist, that Communism didn't work, and he was now a Socialist. After visiting the Soviet Union he realized that utopia doesn't exist, he was horrified by the poverty in utopia, but the "state" still has a responsibility to take care of its people.

I remember the first time my husband met him, I think his reaction was "Ass...." and then he asked "What does dear old Rog do for a living?" When I answered, "He's a commodities broker on Wall Street." he, my husband laughed his butt off. "A Communist Stock Broker", I then reminded him he wasn't a communist stock broker, but rather a Socialist Commodities Broker. Yes, a Socialist, Capitalist Pig.

He is a health fanatic, and an incredible athlete, who drinks like a fish, even while training for the New York Marathon. He has an opinion about everything and announces what he thinks when he thinks it. At my wedding he announced that "All Navy wives are whores." Of course, the idiot said this to my husband's cousin who at the time was a Chief Petty Officer. How fisticuffs were averted, I'll never know.

Well, eventually his wife left him, went back to Finland for a hip replacement and never came back. Since, he lost his wife back to Finland's Socialist health care system, he wasn't too thrilled with Socialism.

I guess living by himself, in a small house in the Jersey suburbs, commuting to Wall Street, did something strange to the man. He came for a visit and announced "Rush is right." As in Rush Limbaugh. He's taking all his money, moving to Costa Rica to live like a King. What Rush has to do with taking his money and moving to Costa Rica, I'm not sure.

But, before leaving he decided my Dad needed a trip to San Francisco to see the Giants play the Mets. We don't know what happened, but when someone mentions dear old Rog, my father usually mutters something foul under his breath and refuses to talk about Rog or the trip. One can only imagine what the man might have done in public.

Now, he lives in Costa Rica, in an armed compound, not his, he rents it. Drinks local beer, lives like a King and has discovered Sidney Sheldon is the greatest writer of all times. I told you the man was crazy.

Have a good one, and happy reading.


Tuesday, April 25

Life interrupting...

It's been a rough couple of weeks, nothing in particular beside life's little annoyances and yet, I've found myself in a reading and blogging funk.

In the last few days, I've probably started 10 different books and finished only a couple of Ellora's Caves. Lisa Marie Rice has officially become my favorite Romantica writer. If Linda Howard wrote erotic romance it would sound and read like Lisa Marie Rice, pretty good from a Linda Howard Fangirl.

So, last night I was once again glaring at my huge TBR pile, it's actually piles and bookshelves and more piles, and there in the back of a 2 book deep pile I see exactly what I need... Rachel Gibson!!!

I'm now 3/4 through It Must Be Love and I'm hoping it's done the trick. Even if the book completely tanks, I've laughed so hard, I've cried. I risk being found by some strange google searchers, but it's worth it... We're in the hero's head and he's remembering how his older sisters had him convinced he was actually a hermaphrodite named Josephine, how I wished I'd used that one on my little brother. And, a little section of the scene set at the Coeur Festival...

...Disapproval pinched Doug's features. "Have you ever seen what processed meat does to your colon?"

"Nope," Joe answered as he dug around in the sack. "I figure the only way I'm ever going to see the inside of my colon is to shove my head up my ass. And you know what, Doug? That's just never going to happen."...

OMG, I'm still laughing at that one. Rachel Gibson writes the best male dialogue.

Just what I needed.

Off to do some blog hopping and then life interrupts again--I need to fill my gas tank before running errands...

Have a good one and happy reading.


Saturday, April 22

The Ebook Thing

I'm trying to post this for the second time, hopefully blogger wont go bonky on me.

I've read some of the conversations going on about ebooks right now. I'm adding my 2 cents, even though I haven't read everything and may be commenting about something already discussed.
  1. I like to read curled up on the couch, in bed, outside in an Adirnondack chair, in the car while Juniors in school. I don't own a hand held device. I can't curl up and enjoy a good book on my computer. I don't read ebooks because they're not convenient for me. I think more and more people are reading ebooks, but how many are like me--somewhat computer clueless and not buying them?
  2. I consider myself an average romance reader. I read everything from Harlequins to Black Lace, and am comfortable talking about anything I read. I'm not so sure every romance reader is comfortable discussing the subject matter of most ebooks. They may read them, but they may not admit that they read them.
  3. When it comes to actual "review sites" how many are getting advanced reading copies of ebooks? AngieW is planning on giving away ebooks to readers that promise to write reviews.

Over the last few months I've read ebook reviews that have caught my attention, but when I visit the websites, I find the whole process rather clunky--hard to find the books, and my interest isn't so piqued that I "have to" have the book, and end up pulling something off my TBR pile instead.

That's it.


Friday, April 21

A couple of good books...

Maybe I'm out of my reading rut. Besides finishing Victoria Bylin's Of Men and Angels I've read 2 more books in the last day or so.

I never quite know what to expect when I read an Ellora's Cave. I know it will be fairly short (150 pages +/-) and will most likely be HOT, which of course is the reason you read an Ellora's Cave in the first place. I was pleasantly surprised by Lisa Marie Rice's Midnight Man. This is the first book I've read by LMR and her writing style and characters reminded me of Linda Howard. John, our hero, is Alpha in the extreme, and Suzanne, our heroine, is a damsel in distress. I'll definitely be trying the rest of her backlist.

Lady X's Cowboy by Zoe Archer was a fun read. The back blurb starts with East End Meets Wild West, and that's a perfect description. Lady Olivia Xavier (Lady X) is an industrious English Lady and Will (the Cowboy) is a Colorado Cowboy who comes to London in search of his roots, his parents died when he was very young and he has no memory of them. Lady Olivia has a business rival trying to drive her out of business and Will comes to her rescue and helps her fight the evil villain. Wendy mentioned in the comments the other day that Will's dialogue is filled with cowboy cliches, but Lady Olivia completely makes up for this huge flaw, she's a great heroine--strong and smart.

Two more good books for this month list.

Have a good one, and happy reading.


Thursday, April 20

UBS finds

My reading rut once again sent me searching for books at the UBS.

The first book I choose was Victoria Bylin's Of Men and Angels. I've read several of her books now and thought this would be a good choice. It's from 2003 and I think it's her first book with Harlequin Historicals. I read the entire thing last night. It was a nice read, that actually falls between good and very good. It's taken me a while to figure out why her books work for me. I've never read "Inspirational" romances, but these fall as close as I've gotten to what I think is inspirational. There is a level of faith in her books that is tangible without being overwhelming. Often main characters are preachers or children of preachers.

Anne O'Brien's Puritan Bride was the next book I picked up. I hate to admit it, especially since I've sworn off talking about covers...I really like the cover of this book. It's also set in "Restoration" England which is the real reason I picked it up. We don't get to many books in this setting and I thought it would be worth a try.

The last book I picked up was Zoe Archer's Lady X's Cowboy. For some reason a good review of this book sticks in my mind. I think it was something Wendy blogged about a while ago. The blurb sounded interesting, so I picked it up.

I'm so glad I put myself on a book budget. I think I've spent more on books this month than they whole rest of the year--LOL.

Have a good one and happy reading.


Wednesday, April 19

Out of the Loop

Obviously the blog look is different, I took on the project because I'm in one huge reading slump.

As I type this I've got bookmarks in 3 different books:

  1. The Burning by Susan Squires--I've still not finished this one, put it aside figuring to pick it back up soon, but have had no interest in finishing.
  2. The Outrageous Debutante by Anne O'Brien--a Harlequin Historical written by British author. This is the 2nd Regency period historical I've read this month written by a British author, it seems that just about every book in this period I pick up is written by an American. I'm noticing differences in language and description--interesting.
  3. Deep Freeze by Lisa Jackson--I have not read a Lisa Jackson book in years. I ran into the UBS yesterday and the clerk "HIGHLY" recommended this one. We'll see.

Normally, I read quick and finish one book before starting another. A paranormal, a historical and a romantic suspense, one of them should be able to hold my attention long enough to finish.

I've been through the May Romantic Times 3 times. Nothing looks remotely interesting. I know the problem is me.

Any recommendations??

A little off the topic, but my brain kind of works that way...

Has everyone already checked out Karen's discussion about cursing. It's a good one.

I don't really curse, it was one of those "do as I say, not as I do" things we hear growing up. When I was little my mother cursed like a trucker, but when I told my sister "f*** you" when I was 4, she cleaned up her mouth. Once in a while she'll let something fly when she's really mad.

When it comes to cursing in a book, I expect it to fit the character and storyline. I don't expect "f*** you" out of the mouth of a debutante, but I do out of the mouth of a man on a construction site. Just my thoughts on the subject.

Have a good one and happy reading.



Finally, a new look...

It only took me 3 days to figure the whole thing out--LOL. But, it's done and lets see how long it takes me to do this again--NOT.

Now, I can get back to reading and blog hopping like normal.


Monday, April 17

Back from the abyss

For some odd reason I've been in somewhat of a fog for several days. I haven't read a word since last Wednesday or Thursday.

Spent a good part of Good Friday in Wal*Mart, what was I thinking?

Saturday was family day, which included a trip to Kohl's Early Bird Sale--picked up blue dress shorts for Junior. We're buying them now because we're afraid we wont be able to get them at the end of the summer--they're part of his school uniform for next fall.

My son is very skinny, he's average height for a 4 1/2, but only weighs 38 pounds. I used to worry about this, but our pediatrician reassures me that this is what they prefer to see in children. He wears a size 5 shirt, pretty normal for his age and that fits fine, but he's wearing 4 slim pants, which are too short, but baggy in the waist, even with a belt One of the pairs of shorts we picked up were 2T--the same size that a 2 year old wears, the same size he wore at two. It's impossible to dress the poor kid--he needs a 2T or 3T for the waist but a 5 in length. I'm relieved it spring, he can wear shorts everyday until next October.

At 6 o'clock Easter morning Junior discovered the Easter Bunny had come. The "Easter Bunny" brought some chocolate, but the big hit was "The Big City Engine" from the Thomas the Tank Engine collection. "How did he know I wanted it?" was the first question of the day. "I don't know, honey, I guess he's magic." We even had time for an Easter Egg hunt before heading to Mass.

We went to 7:30 Mass Easter Sunday morning, Junior was good, a little fidgetty but not bad, and considering most of the kids were horrible, that was a pretty good. My husband has the "you'd better sit still or else" look down pat. When I do it, Junior asks why am I giving him the "big eyes" and we both end up laughing. We came home for a pancake breakfast and then headed to my in-laws for Easter Sunday Dinner, and Easter Egg Hunt for the kids.

I was planning on making deviled eggs, but the shells stuck so badly to the colored eggs, that I gave up and am making lots of egg salad for my husband. I think the eggs were too fresh.

I made my artichoke dip instead--big hit, even the SIL from Hell liked it and she hates anything remotely related to me, including my son who she made fun of because he's so skinny--her 2 1/2 year old is wearing 4T and out weighs him by a couple of pounds, but is 4 or so inches shorter, she's a big girl, tall for her age. She's very sweet and loves to follow Junior around, which I know annoys her mother to no end--LOL. She's a cutie with a bobbed haircut and bangs and if you put big glasses on her she'd look like Marcy from the old Peanut cartoons--"Right, Sir." The SILFH doesn't get along with our MIL either, and the funny thing is the little girl looks exactly like our MIL--ah, God has a sense of humor.

I'm rambling on and on about information no one really cares about.

We're heading food shopping this morning and on the way I'm stopping at the UBS, maybe I'll find something new and exciting to read.

Have good one, and happy reading.


Friday, April 14

This little tidbit popped up...

While doing my message board lurking I discoverd this little tidbit of info:

Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard [11/28/06] -- $7.99 -- Paperback Only -- Believe this is the book referred to below:

And, I have a note down that according to Page 19 in the March RT BookClub, LH is writing or going to write a sequel for "To Die For".

"It won't feature the Mallory sisters. Set just a few months after the end of it's predecessor, it will focus on Blair and Wyatt"

Thanks to Janie on the RT Boards.

A little note to those who question authors' fashion sense, check the copyright date before assuming the author is completely clueless. Sybil this was on an AAR board. Somewhere on that same board someone quoted that 90% of romance readers don't read prologues--could that be possible?

Thursday, April 13

Artichoke Dip

Megan asked for this the other day and I'm finally getting to it.

Artichoke Dip

1 lb. Ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 can Artichoke hearts--drained and chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 385. Mix ingredients. Bake about 30+/- minutes or until top is browned and bubbly.

The Burning and a few other books

I actually started this blog last night, but decided I'd rather start reading it, instead of telling everyone I'd gotten it. So, curled up in bed expecting a good night of reading and promptly fell asleep.

Woke up around 2 and started reading again. I'm half finished and not thrilled. This book is about the sexual side of being a vampire and how to harness sexual power, I'd rather have the blood, gore and horror of it instead.

I've updated my sidebar to include all the books I've finished in the last few days. I've been on a mini binge, of different books.

  1. Nicola Cornick's The Rake's Mistress, which was a pretty good HH with a Regency spy thing going on. I know, what the heck, one more, in a slew of them, but it really was pretty good.
  2. My Sunshine by Catherine Anderson, which I didn't get finished in time for a bookclub meeting, but it probably was just as well. This might sound insensitive, but I always hated those tragic "movie of the weeks" that were so popular in years past. You know the ones that are now found on Lifetime Movies. I know they have a huge following, but I'm not one of them. Sweet characters, nicely written, a plot that moves, but I hate crying through a book, even one that ends HEA.
  3. Bonnie Vanak's The Tiger & The Tomb, 1893 Egypt, that makes it worth reading. It was an entertaining adventure story. The hero is an alpha, but not as bad as The Falcon & The Dove.
  4. I'm whispering this one...Linda Howard's Sarah's Child...

And, guess what, the darned thing still worked for me, I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I read LH's letter in the front of the book:

"...In the process of learning about grief and how it can affect you, a germ of an idea was born...

This is Rome Matthew's story; he's the center of the book, because he's the man who lost his entire family...Rome is a man of strong character, a man who is trying to deal with his pain and a man who finds the strength to love again."

For some reason this kept the book in perspective for me. He's overbearing, obnoxious and self-centered. Are these behaviors caused by his grief? I think this is the crux of the book, if you don't buy into how he's handling (or not handling) his grief, you're not going to like the book. The scene at the end of the book when he's on his knees with Missy and realizes what he asked Sarah to do still got to me.

And, I know none of that makes sense considering "I hate to cry through a book, even one that ends HEA."

Have a good one and happy reading.


Monday, April 10

Once again, a day late and a dollar short...

*edited* Tuesday morning

I haven't lurked on any message boards since last week, but I finally came across the historical discussion over on AAR.

Most of the things being discussed we've heard over and over again...more sex, paranormals, better covers, trade paperbacks over mass market, blah, blah, blah.

But, one left me scratching my head:

Most historical romance readers don't really want a setting that's very different from modern north America. So a regency manor house is all right but a castle isn't. English terms and systems are all right, but those of other countries have too many differences.

What the heck??

Most historical romance readers don't really want a setting that's very different from modern north America.

Why would you want to read something historical if you're really looking for "modern North America"?

I'm not buying this one. Maybe this is what writers and publishers are getting from "sales" info, but I can't believe "readers" prefer this. I'm starting to think it's more "beggars can't be choosers", and we're stuck reading what's being published but that doesn't mean it's what we prefer. Maybe this is why historicals are loosing market share, maybe the problem is we're not getting what we want and we're looking for something else because the genre we love is sitting in mediocrity hell.

***added Tuesday (4/11) morning***

I just discovered an interesting discussion on Access Romance, and decided to add it to this post as it's from last Thursday, so once again 'I'm a day late, blah, blah, blah'.

I'm wondering what other's think of writers reviewing other authors works. I know Megan stopped reviewing for AAR, when she sold her first book, and she needed to do what she felt comfortable with. I don't have a problem with authors choosing not to review, I'm sure it could get difficult.

And yet, I love Paperback Reader, I read every single one of their reviews, even if it's a book I'm not interested in. Why? They come to the reviewing process from a different percpective. I find their comments about "craft" and writing interesting, and I love how they use their knowledge to explain why books work or don't work.

I have problems with reviewers who only review the good, but I would take huge issue with an author who says they only comments about "good" books, but has no problem taking apart a bad book as long as the title and author isn't included. Kind of tacky isn't it?

I'm a freak...

After posting about my Mom, aka Mrs. Fullcharge, I start blog hopping. I'm realizing I'm somewhat of a freak...

  1. I loved Linda Howard's Sarah's Child when it was new. What can I say, I was 21 and believed in fairy tales. Now, I have not reread this in years, as I KNOW it wont hold up over time. I am no longer gullible enough to believe an asshole can change that much. But, I do like to see them brought to their knees whenever possible. Hey remember RT gave it a 5 back when they were still giving them out. I can't see that happening now.
  2. I could never return a book that I've read or partially read, though I will return a gift if I already have it. I understand that Waldenbooks has a nice return policy, but I feel guilty returning a book to a bookseller, it's not their fault the book sucks, to bad we can't return it to the publisher. Maybe publishers should have money back guarantees, as if that's possible. Every time I'm in B&N I find at least one book on their shelves with a reader hinge in the binding, which means someone read it and returned it or somebody cracked the binding in the store--a. I can't believe the store would take back a book in that condition and b. I can't believe someone would actually crack the binding on a book in a store and then not buy it.
  3. Cheaters... I don't necessarily hate them. I know it's strange, but I'm willing to go with a story line and see where it takes me. If a hero or heroine cheats after "falling in love" and making a commitment, I've got a problem with that. But there are instances that I may not like it, but if it works in the story, I'm okay with it--Laura Lee Guhrke's The Marriage Bed and His Wicked Ways by Eloisa James come to mind. In both these cases it's part of a back story and not part of the current story, maybe that's why it works for me. Though I can remember some old bodice rippers from the 80's that at the time I thought nothing of cheating hero as long as it comes before he fell for the heroine.

You may have noticed I didn't link to where these discussion are going on, I figure if your curious you'll go looking, right Sybil?

Have a good one and happy reading.


Mrs. Fullcharge strikes again...

We had my family for Palm Sunday as we wont be seeing them next week for Easter. Now, having my mother is always interesting.

My Mom is Mrs. Fullcharge, I have a tendency to get this from her, but hey, I learned at the knee of a master. Before she comes she tells you what she's bringing instead of asking what she can bring, I'm okay with this, she's the best cook I know. Usually she tells everyone else what to bring too, leaving no decision making for the hostess. Sunday she brought homemade biscotti, wine and Canterbury cookies (also homemade).
  1. "I like how you rearranged the living room, it looks much better than before."
  2. "This lace tablecloth is beautiful."
  3. "I love this artichoke dip, I need the recipe."
  4. "You should have made homemade salad dressing."
  5. "I don't like your hair that length, you should cut it in a short bob."

Oh, well, not bad, 3 out of 5. I put out olive oil and balsamic vinegar, that made her happy. And, I explained 1. I like my hair longer, because it makes it easier to put up, and 2. I'd like to grow it long enough to donate. That made it okay. My sister on the other hand tells me I should let my gray come in and grow it really long and wear it in a long braid--what the hell am I, an aging hippie? I'm only 42. I told her to let her's grow, if she cuts her's any shorter, she'll be looking like Demi Moore in GI Jane.

Oh, the joys of family--I wouldn't have it any other way.


Sunday, April 9

Everybody's doing it...

I've now found this on 3 different sites McVane, Rosario's, Suisan's. Everybody's doing it...

1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. Post this in your journal.


  1. 1800 - Assassination attempt on Napoleon Bonaparte's life. How many romance novels center around the theme?
  2. 1906 - The first radio program, consisting of a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a speech, is broadcast. So, has 'broadcasting' gone down hill since then?
  3. 2004 - The 2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm delivers an extremely unusual snowfall to the southern United States. I remember this one, because the Northeast got hit Christmas, and we were expecting 15 people for dinner.


  1. 1166 - King John of England (d. 1216)
  2. 1905 - Howard Hughes, American film producer and inventor (d. 1976)

A horrible king and a crazy rich guy.


  1. A toss up between 1873 - Johns Hopkins, Baltimore philanthropist and businessman (b. 1795) and 2005 - Michael Vale, American commercial actor (b. 1922) Who is Michael Vale, you ask? Time to make the donuts."

Saturday, April 8

April TBR Challenge

This month's TBR Challenge: Read something that's been on your TBR at least 6 months. I picked Bonnie Vanak's The Falcon and the Dove.

Title: The Falcon & The Dove

Author: Bonnie Vanak

Year published: 2002

Why did you get this book? Trade group

Do you like the cover? No

Did you enjoy the book? Okay

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? Not new to me, and I've got one more on the TBR pile.

Are you keeping it or passing it on? It's going,

Anything else? It's not a horrible book, it has an interesting plot and wonderful location (Egypt, 1892). There was too much "women are to serve men..." I complained about this the other day, That Fine Line.

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


Friday, April 7

A Hunger Like No Other....

For some reason this one surprised me. I didn't know what to expect.




I figured there would be too much going on, too much world building (Liz Maverick's Crimson City comes to mind), but I was wrong. This book has a nice balance between, world building, character development and storytelling.

If there is one thing I normally dislike, it's the "soul mate" theme that permeates a good part of paranormal romance. So when in the prologue, our werewolf hero scents his soul mate I thought, OH NO. Ah, but it's okay, somehow Kresley Cole overcomes my aversion to this. The prologue reads like a horror novel--Oooo, I like that.

In fact the next several chapters read more like horror than romance, I really like that. I've always thought that's one of the biggest thing paranormal romances lack. Shouldn't books about Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts... be scary?

Our hero is a werewolf, our heroine a vampire/valkyrie mix, different races that hate each other. He has spent the last 150 years being tortured by the "Vampire Horde". She is a sheltered young (72) miss, protected her entire life by her Valkyrie aunts.

At times, I honestly thought the hero was on the verge of rape, and yet, as the story progresses, he comes more and more under control. At first you think, our heroine is going to be weak. Ah, but she's not, as the story develops, she gets stronger and stronger. And it all flows nicely together.

I'd recommend this one, and that comes from someone who is incredibly picky when it comes to paranormals.


Whatever it's called...

Lifted this little tidbit from Kristie.

And, I'm left wondering if these houses are publishing EROTICA or EROTIC ROMANCE/ROMANTICA? It seems to me, the industry has in the past gone out of it's way to make a distinction.

Are the lines blurring or does it even matter?


Well, after perusing the May Romantic Times, I've realized the lines may well be blurring. And maybe we'll soon be calling the genre Women's Erotic Fiction, borrowed that title from the inside cover ad for the new Spice line. It seems not all these books are romances.

Also, has anyone read Emma Holly's All U Can Eat?

One more chapter...

Thanks to Sybil for linking me to a Squawk Radio column by Eloisa James, I can't get a link to the exact spot, but trust me it's there. It seems Ms. James has been getting a tremendous amount of mail and has decided her The Taming of the Duke needs one more chapter. It should be up 2 weeks from now on her website.

I wonder what she'll be adding or clarifying.

Thursday, April 6

That Fine Line...

Earlier in the week I finished Bonnie Vanak's The Falcon & The Dove, which was on my TBR pile for a good 6 months and qualified for Angie's April TBR challenge. The hero starts out with the beating of his chest, me Tarzan, you Jane. Not really, but there was a whole lot of manhood oaths, and reminders that women are meant to serve men and breed children. It got old quick. Eventually he settles down from a Neanderthal to a normal alpha.

So that got me thinking,

Where is the line between Alpha Male and Neanderthal?

Each of us have a different tolerance level. For me it depends on the book.

I'm now reading Kresley Cole's A Hunger Like No Other. Another extreme alpha, only this time, it's completely expected. He's the werewolf "leader of the Lykae Clan", what else would he be but an alpha. At this point the werewolf in AHLNO makes the Khamsin Sheikh in TF&TD look rather beta, which I didn't think was possible. And yet, it fits the character and I'm thoroughly enjoying the book.

I'm wondering...

What's your alpha tolerance level?

I like alphas, their big, strong and physically protect. I like to think alpha heros require alpha heroines. Two strong characters make for interesting conflict. I married one. On occasion he tries to get Neanderthal and needs to be reminded that it's the 21st century, and that's okay, I'm strong enough to do it.

Have a good one and happy reading.


A real quickie

While blog hopping from McVane, she's got some different blogs listed, I discovered a new reader/review site:

Dear Author

Reviews are cleverly done in a form of a letter to the Author.

Wednesday, April 5

Did anyone notice...

I finally figured out how to thumbnail pictures in my Kodak program so that I could add a picture of Junior to my profile.

Isn't my "Ghost Witch" meeting his first singing skeleton adorable?

He was 3 and wanted to be "Lucy" from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or whatever the heck the Peanuts' Halloween special is called. My husband had gender issues, but got over it and bought him a great witches hat. From behind running down the street, he looked just like Lucy.


Tuesday, April 4

Obsessing about obsessing

**Edited** please note, I'm over my hormone induced snit that caused the post.

I've been on the computer a lot over the last few days. Lurking on different message boards, visiting blogs, blogging etc. and I'm starting to wonder about the whole lot of us.

Are we all crazy or just enthusiastic??

On one message board I'm seeing the in depth character motivation of some of my favorite books, and I'm left scratching my head. People were contemplating all sorts of things that never occurred to me, and is it me, did I somehow miss how important all this was, or did I simply enjoy the books for the escapism. And yet, I can be just as guilty of this, why can't we read for the simple pleasure of reading and escaping to a time gone by or a future different from ours.

Is escape good?

On another board we have constant sucking up by rabid fangirls to mediocre authors, who frighten the the heck out of me. The fangirls that is, and maybe the authors too, who seem to feed off of this behavoir. Just because an author talks to you on a message board it doesn't make them your best friend. It's like my hairdresser who now refers to George Clooney as George, and tells you how down to earth he is after meeting him once. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get what I mean. What makes them even more frightening is that they laugh at other fangirls.

Rabid fangirls=obsessive.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm done with book covers, we have sites dedicated to picking on them, and others that obsess about cover models, yuck--there's something really creepy about this. Some complain about the decapitated art covers, others complain that they don't want to see the head it messes with their imagination of the characters. I'm reaching a point that all I want is the name on a plain white cover and forget the art. Though I do agree with Kristie, a publishing house as big as Avon can and should do a better job, but then a white cover with just the title and author would be an improvement over most what Avon turns out.

Note to self--no more comments about covers.

On another site authors are complaining about other authors turning every opportunity into an attempt to self promote, and yet this is done on that very same site on a daily basis.

Maybe authors are crazy too?

We've got vampires and regency misses coming out our ears. And we're all complaining about overkill, but we're still reading them. We're complaining that new vampire series are rip-offs of old and old ones are rip-offs of themselves. Regency period books all seem to blend and yet we're still buying them. And what is one of my favorite series Susan Squires' Regency Vampire books. I'm starting to scare myself.

I think we're all crazy, myself included.

My TBR pile mocks me on a daily basis, my tlf list is almost as big as my TBR pile, what the hell am I going to do with all these books once I've read them? Send them to Sybil I guess.

So, what are you reading, and are you obsessing about it??

New places to visit...

Between blog hopping, new visitors, checking stats and old favorites moving I have a whole bunch of new places to visit:

  • Bam (Dionne Galace) has a new website and it is beautiful.
  • Keishon has moved to WordPress, which I am completely intimidated to do, since I'm finally comfortable on blogger and still haven't figured out how to edit the template to something completely different.
  • I think everyone has probably figured out Maili has moved to a website that will eventually cover more than just blogging.
  • Kim has a very cool author database website.
  • Bev and Friends have started an interesting site that will eventually be all things for romance readers.

New to me blogs:

Well, that's about as much link slutting as I can do in one day, I've given myself a major headache.

Have a good one and happy reading.


PS: I just discovered Google has a translate option. It's very cool. Someone translated some of my Devil in Winter posts into Italian.

Monday, April 3

Not the only one and other thoughts...

Well, I'm somewhat relieved to see I am not the only person dissatisfied with The Taming of the Duke...

1. Nicole
2. Devon
3. A whole host of readers on AAR

Like Devon, I'm wondering if the last book is going to be Josie and Mayne and she [Devon] didn't like the age issue.

As long as it's not an Anna Nicole Smith thing (yuck), I don't really have an issue with age as long as the relationship feels right. In Lavyrle Spencer's Years it's the major point of conflict between Linnea and Teddy, it's 16 years. In Eloisa James' A Wild Pursuit the age difference between Beatrice and Stephen is 20+/- years, and I had no problem with that either. I think I saw somewhere that Cindy had an issue with age differences.

So, I'm wondering, in general, where other's stand on the age issue--some thoughts??

I'm reading Bonnie Vanak's The Falcon & The Dove for Angie's April TBR Challenge. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm thinking the hero might be too Alpha for me, and to be honest, I usually can handle heros bordering on Neanderthal.

So, I put myself on a book budget and I ended up picking up 1 new book and 9 used books at the UBS, I think I've already blown April's budget--LOL. I have no will power.

Have a good one and happy reading.


Teaching a young dog new tricks...

My son learned to snap this week. He's pretty proud of himself. He's acting as cool as a 4 year old can. "Oh, yeah" snap and point both hands at the same time. Too much.

Last night we went out for dinner. When he was done eating, he snapped and waved for the waiter. I almost fell out of my chair I laughed so hard.

Saturday, April 1

Odd thoughts from the day...

Well, it's 8:00 Saturday night, my husband and son are both asleep. Junior's usually asleep by now, but my husband has a cold and took NyQil. I guess he's out for the night, and I'm getting some quiet blogging time. How nice is that?

Bev's got her Reader Network up and running. It's an ambitious undertaking, and should be fun to watch as it gets going. Right now the forum section is up and running. Her question for introducing ourselves is to pick our favorite romance. This usually has me high tailing it in the opposite direction, but today I decided to actually answer that deep question.

All my contemplations brought me to Lavyrle Spencer's Years. I realized if I think about it I can probably describe just about every scene from start to finish, and can visualize the entire book in my head. This so needs a re-read. I'll be pulling it out tonight.

So all that thinking about favorites, got me wondering about what makes this book stand out more than others. I don't do much visualization while I'm reading a book. I think that's why so many of the Regency period books all seem to blend together. If the author doesn't suck me into her world I'm not likely to visualize what's going on. I don't sit and imagine what the hero and heroine look like, I don't even really pay that much attention to those details. But the books that stay with me are the ones I have a clear vision of scenes in my head, like watching a movie. I'm wondering how involved others get with what they're reading.

While wandering through Wal*Mart today I told my husband I wanted to look for chocolate molds for my son's Easter Party at school. I wanted a cross, lambs (his school is ... Little Lambs), eggs, bunnies etc. He gives me a look and asks "Why can't you just buy a couple of 1.99 bags of candy, who are you June Cleaver?"

"Yes, dammit, I'm a cross between June Cleaver and Martha Stewart and if you don't like it too bad." Not really, I don't vacuum the house in heels and pearls and I don't expect I'll get caught insider trading. But, I'm home full time with one child, it's not like I'm dealing with a house full, I can handle some nice extras. And, when I entertain I like it to be special--is that so horrible??

So, back to Wal*Mart, I managed to go into that store without visiting the book section. I'm putting myself back on a book budget, my B&N gift cards are gone and my birthday isn't until December. Maybe someone will take pity on me and give me one for our wedding anniversary, it's in May. I'll have to drop some hints.

We got engaged 24 years ago today--yes, April Fools Day, the same day my hubby shattered his right knee cap playing softball, it's a wonder that we actually made it to the alter--LOL.

Now I'm just rambling, have a good one and happy reading.