Monday, July 31

Mommy Soap Box

Junior will be 5 this week. We're planning a Thomas the Tank Engine birthday party. He's very excited.

Last week we went to the pediatrician. Excellent visit. Junior could be a poster child for good childhood health. As skinny (39 pounds) as I may think he is, he's where the doctor wants all kids.

Our pediatrician is anti-juice. He recommends milk and water. He firmly believes that juice is as bad for children as soda. One serving of juice a day is fine, but to allow kids to drink juice all day isn't good for them. The sugar content of juice is the same or higher than soda.

What?? Yes, the sugar content of juice really is the same or higher than soda, here's a test:

JuicyJuice Grape 100% Juice 8 oz serving = 28 grams of sugar
Regular Pepsi 8 oz serving = 26 grams of sugar

According to our pediatrician kids who drink juice all day instead of water can be taking in 3000-6000 extra calories a week, and there's no way a child can burn off that many extra calories, and eventually all this extra intake turns to fat. Yikes.

I pulled this from

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than four to six fluid ounces of juice per day (one serving) for children ages one to six years old, and no more than eight to 12 fluid ounces per day (two servings) for children seven to 18 years old. Too much juice in the diet can lead to diarrhea, stomachaches and gas, and contributes extra calories, which may be unnecessary.

That's the equivalent of one juice box for kids 6 and under and 2 juice boxes for kids over 7.

Junior doesn't drink juice, we cut it out of his diet last year when the pediatrician pointed out the sugar problem. My husband's family has a history of diabetes and we decided to be careful with sugar and carb intake. Don't get me wrong, we're not neurotic about what he eats, but cutting out juice was an easy way to avoid excess sugars and calories.

Okay, I'm officially off my Mommy Soap Box.

Have a great day, stay cool and happy reading.

Sunday, July 30

Too Hot

We don't have air conditioning in our home office, it's become to hot to blog during the day. I need to get up early when the heat hasn't set in yet. It's so hot we're putting in 2 of our air conditioners. We haven't needed them in 3 years.

We'll spend the day floating in the pool, which hopefully wont heat up too much during this new heat wave. A couple of weeks ago the water reached 89 degrees, not real refreshing.

So, I'll be reading for the rest of the weekend. Picked up books on Friday. Most of my August book order is in at the bookstore, but I only took 2 books, Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas, as if I had to say who wrote it--LOL, and Just One of those Flings by Candace Hern. Saving the rest of the books for vacation, but if I pick them up too early I'll be tempted to read everything before going away. Not that I don't have a TBR pile large enough for 20 vacations.

I'm about 120 pages into Scandal in Spring, but I'm not going to say anything about it until I'm done.

Have a great day, stay cool and of course, happy reading.

Friday, July 28

Other things... **Edited to include pictures**

I have nothing profound to say about romance reading today, so I'm sharing kid stories instead.

1. Junior watched the British Open with my husband this past weekend. And wanted to know why Tiger Woods was crying when he won. My hubby explained that his father recently passed away and went to live with God and Tiger misses him and wished his dad was there. Junior's response "Daddy, God has a big screen TV, I'm sure he got to see it."

2. Our school has been sponsoring Kinderkamp all week, and Junior is having a wonderful time, playing Musical Chairs, Duck Duck Goose, Hot Potato. He didn't really like Musical Chairs because he didn't win. Duck Duck Goose is fun because the boys team always wins, they must play it different because we never played in teams? Hot Potato is great because they're playing with a "big boy" basketball. We're working on sportsmanship these days.

3. Yesterday he learned about Jonah and the Whale. And I tried using it as an explanation as to why he gets punished for not listening. "Yeah but Mommy, you just give me a time out, God made a whale swallow Jonah. Next time I don't listen are you going to make a whale swallow me?"

4. He has discovered clothing. Each day he insists on having a different outfit so he's not wearing the same thing to camp each day. As if he doesn't already wear different clothing each day. He's going to be really disillusioned when he starts school and wears uniforms everyday.

Today they're going to be putting on a show, I'll post some pictures because I know how much everyone loves a cute kid ;D

***Edited*** to include pictures:

Isn't he angelic?

Somehow he managed to find the only ray of sunlight coming through the gym's skylights.

Taking a bow.

Thursday, July 27

Technical Question...

For all those not html challenged, what is the code for adding "email me" in the sidebar?


The Bookseller's Daughter by Pam Rosenthal

So tell me, am I the last romance reader to read Pam Rosenthal's The Bookseller's Daughter??

On my last trip to the UBS I picked up this book, somewhere in the house is Ms. Rosenthal's first book, Almost a Gentleman, a book I started, put down and haven't found since. I think it may be in the black hole under my bed. It's now imperative that I find it.

I love Ms. Rosenthal's style and voice. TBD was somewhat slow to start, but the writer's lyrical voice kept me completely interested, even through some pretty sad choices that the heroine makes. Set in an interesting time and place, Pre-French Revolution Provence and Paris. The hero is an impoverished 2nd son of a Duc, the heroine is obviously The Bookseller's Daughter. The villains and villainess are over the top. The love letters written between the h/h are erotic, but also sensual.

Like Hope Tarr's Vanquished there is a subtle underlying sensuality to this erotic romance that I find completely lacking in most ER novels. I think this comes from the author's writing style and voice.

I definitely need to find Almost a Gentleman because it's next in the reading queue.

File this one under Good Book

Wednesday, July 26

The Age Thing

What's the perfect age for heros and heroines?

Earlier this week I read In Enemy Hands by Michelle Perry and had a huge issue with the age of the hero and heroine, 25 and college aged respectively.

What demographic is this book geared toward?

Am I too old?

Am I the only person who thinks these 2 are too young?

All through the book I was thinking of my niece and her boyfriend and to be honest, I have no interest in their young adult angst, at least not written in romantic suspense form where the hero is turned over the management of a multi-million dollar security business before his 26th birthday.

Good lord, I am old. Mom keeps telling me I'm middle aged, maybe she's right--LOL.

For contemporaries I don't want a heroine under 25, I'm saying that to be generous, 28-32 works better for me, and I prefer heros older than that. With age comes wisdom, right?

I got married at 19, my husband was 24. I have no interest in reading about the people we were then, too young and without true life experiences. And, no one else will be interested in how immature we were back then.

True life experience can come at any age, yet I still want to read about mature people. Mature doesn't mean old, right?

***Edited*** Okay, after thinking about it I realized I read all sorts of books with younger characters. So, my problem--I expect the characters age and experience/maturity go hand in hand and when they don't seem to fit it's annoying.

Tuesday, July 25

Putting my head in the sand

I've decided to put my head in the sand, and my nose in a book, at this point any book.

I've frightened myself with the amount of time I've spent visiting one romance blogland train wreck after another.

Is this how the real world works? I've spent so much time reading over the last 25 years that maybe I've escaped into a world of my own.

I don't want to know about gay romance bashing, or authors stalking reviewers under the guise of "offering professional advice." No more being told I'm an idiot because I didn't follow the plot of an authors book. I'm done with ugly cover debates and hearing that erotic romance is ruining the genre. I don't care that it's evil and wrong to buy and sell ARCs on ebay. I'm not going to nit pick a book to the point I'm analyzing sentence structure or debate the 1st vs 3rd POV. I don't want to know how much an epublisher makes and I don't care if authors spout off statistics cluelessly. And, I don't want to know that authors think readers are stupid. I'm done with rabid fangirls who really don't have a clue and I'm starting to hate seeing snarky for snarky sake.

I want to read and blog with friends and go back to my own little world... at least until the next train wreck hits.

In Enemy Hands by Michelle Perry

I had a hard time finding this book. It's published by Medallion Press, I couldn't find it in B&N, I couldn't find it at Walden/Borders, my local indie store had a hard time getting it from Ingram. So I hoped it was going to be worth the wait. Well, for me it wasn't. It's a decent romantic suspense, equal romance to suspense and as I discovered in the last week that doesn't work for me. The suspense is weak, the romance is strong, even the action is exciting. Maybe it should really be a romantic adventure instead of romantic suspense.


How hard could it be to kidnap a pampered little rich girl? Especially if you're bounty hunter extraordinaire in search of the most vicious criminals. Piece of cake, Dante thins, when reclusive businessman Gary Vandergriff offers him a cool half a million to bring home his estranged daughter, Nadia.

Enter Nadia.

His first meeting with her is stunning; both literally and figuratively. He foils an attempt on her life, and falls immediately under her spell.

It's not gonna be hard duty, Dante thinks, keeping her safe from Mexican drug lord infuriated by her stepfather's expanding meth operations. He'll take her out of harm's way, no problem, get her back to her father, and enjoy the ride along the way.

Everything is great.

Until he delivers her into Enemy Hands.

Of course, all is not what it seems. Obviously, her "father" is the villain. Nadia's parents are protective in the extreme, perhaps they're justified. There is a weak subplot about Dante's own daughter. The names of the secondary characters annoyed me--Ronnie and Waynie. Waynie? I kept thinking Weenie.

Issues, issues, issues... Characters being shot, but never needing real medical attention. One of the Catholic bad guys asking for Last Rights. Action sequences that are way over the top.

I found the ages of the characters problematic, the hero is 25 the heroine in college, I may have missed her actual age. Maybe I'm showing mine, but I'm honestly not interested in contemporary romance h/h this young.

I read the entire book with a certain bored detachment. This one didn't work for me. Oh, well.

Okay Book maybe it wasn't even really worth my time, I haven't decided.

Sunday, July 23

Not all that impressed by this one. I'm not sure I'm even going to blog about it. I could smack myself for buying the second in this series before reading the first.

Why did I buy this one? I had a feeling it was a reissue and never checked the copyright date. Oh well, I've read it and it's sitting on my keeper shelf. Haven't read it in years, but what the heck I paid for it.

Love that light bulb

Don't you love when you come to a realization that makes you feel like a light bulb has just gone on over your head?

My romantic suspense and paranormal light bulb went on this morning, while typing in my July TBR Challenge post. Let there be light, the romance in these books can take a backseat to the overall story telling. Yes, this die hard romance reader prefers these books to be lighter on the romance.

As a kid I read westerns and as I got older they always felt like they were lacking something--the cowboy needed a girl. For a time I read horror and mysteries and felt they too were missing something. So, I started reading romance and only romance, but have never "loved" RS or paranormal books and couldn't really put my finger on it. But when I start thinking about the type of paranormals I do like, I realized they're not typical romances... Lynn Viehl's Darkyn series, Susan Squire's historical vampire series, the Jennifer Armintrout I read the other day. They have romantic elements and some have HEA endings, even if it's somewhat vague. And, the romantic suspense I really prefer aren't typical romances either, in order to make them scary enough, the romance has to take a backseat, but it still needs some romance.

So my great thought of the day... Give me chills and thrills and a little romance and I'm one happy reader.

July TBR Challenge--Romantic Suspense

This month's TBR Challenge: Romantic Suspense

Title: I See You

Author: Holly Lisle

Year published: 2006

Why did you get this book? I enjoy Holly Lisle's RS novels

Do you like the cover? Yes

Did you enjoy the book? Absolutely

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

Are you keeping it or passing it on? Keeping it

Anything else? After spending the last few weeks bemoaning the fact I don't like romantic suspense, I read one that I loved. I ordered this through my local indie bookseller, so I have no idea where it's shelved in a bookstore, by looking at it you have no idea it's a romance. It's published by Onyx and the spine reads "novel" not "romance" or "romance novel". It is a romance, but first it's a good suspense novel. And, when I closed the book, I realized that's how I like them, strong suspense with some romance. It's probably why I like Linda Howard's newer books, still occasionally read Tami Hoag and am a closeted Sandra Brown reader. I like the books that appeal to a wider suspense audience.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is a romance, I don't think it's an equal balance of romance to suspense. But, I guess for me to find it chilling and thrilling enough, the romance is slightly secondary.

Very good book.

Saturday, July 22

Changing genres a little...

I finished Jennifer Armintrout's The Turning yesterday morning and decided to pass it on to my husband. Now, keep in mind my husband has never read a romance in his life, but he does read horror and an occasional thriller. This isn't a romance, but it is a fast paced, read, not to scary and at times gory, in the bloody sense of the word not necessarily in the horror sense. I've come to the conclusion I've a high gross out factor and an even higher fright factor, it has to be incredibly scary to actually frighten me. This book never frightened me, but it did gross me out a couple of times.

Carrie Ames is an ER doctor accidently changed into a vampire after a particularly grisly ER trauma, during which she realizes the dead man isn't dead and fighting her fears goes into the morgue in searching for the "dead man", there she's attacked. After her recovery she quickly realizes somethings not right and figures out she's a vampire?!? An internet search brings her into the realm of Nathan Grant and his "son" Ziggy. It is with them she's told she needs to pick sides. Good Vampires vs. Evil Vampires. The evil ones embrace their animal side in all it's brutal, disgusting glory. The good ones are control freaks, join them or be hunted right along side the evil ones. This book is about her entry into both the good and evil vampire worlds, by the end she's made a decision. Ms. Armintrout does a good job world building and kept it fairly simple.

It's the first in a series and it does not have a HEA ending, but it has the makings of a HEA future, so I guess that's why it is being marketed to romance readers.

*edited* Anyone else having problems with blogger? I accidently published this before I corrected it. Blogger kept dumping me out, I finally gave up a came back a couple of hours later.

Thursday, July 20

Just call me cranky.

I'm wondering if CW will let me borrow her Cranky Reader title for a few days.

I don't know if it's the heat or what I'm reading, but for some reason just about everything I've read this month has left me wanting, with the exception of Hope Tarr's Vanquished.

A look at my sidebar will tell you I've read 13 books so far this month...
  • 1 Very Good
  • 3 Good
  • 8 Okay
  • 1 Not worth my time

The very good is obviously Vanquished and I've already admitted that one's a keeper. The books listed under "good" are good books, but they could have been listed under the title of "good/but"--I had issues with each one. The issues with the "okay" books were even larger and that poor lone "not worth my time" was lots of boring sex and next to no story.

Issues, issues, issues, nit picking at everything I'm reading.

That's the crux of my problem. It seems like everything I'm reading has something I don't like, plot twists, character changes mid story, too frantic a writing style. I realized my dislike of romantic suspense stems from not having enough suspense in the stories. I've complained about paranormals not being scary enough, well, most suspense romances aren't all that suspenseful.

See, I'm cranky, it must be the heat!

At what point did I become so nit picky that I expect every book I pick up to meet my wants and expectations, that's so unrealistic. Once again I really need to read for entertainment and stop.

Why is it sometimes we can be completely entertained by a book that's okay and sometimes an okay book is one step from wallbanger?


Keishon tagged me, so here goes:

1. When did you start blogging and why?

March 2005, why? I thought blogs were interesting and entertaining. I could be more myself when blogging than on message boards. I love talking books.

2. What don’t you talk about?


3. Are you and your blogging persona the same person?

Completely me.

4. How do you use blogging to build friendships?

It's very easy to find people with similar interests especially reading, and like groups seem to gravitate together, reading tastes, sense of humor etc.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

Conversationally convoluted, kind of how I talk.

Who should I tag?? Well, let's see, who hasn't been tagged?

Amanda I think Amanda started blogging within minutes of me, like minds and all.
Nicole because I love the name of her blog.
Wendy because she's The Super Librarian.
And anyone else who would like to this one.

Wednesday, July 19

Walk away from the book

So, I've spent the morning blog hopping and discovered by floating around the pool for the last 2 days trying to avoid the heat, I'd completely missed the latest disaster to hit the romance reading world. You'll have to search for it yourself, I don't think the whole thing was worth the hour I spent searching it out.

But, something posted at Dear Author got me thinking.

When I see a complete stranger in a bookstore looking at a book that personal experience tells me is a wallbanger, I've always wanted to say something to the effect of:

Wallbanger Alert***Wallbanger Alert
Put down the book, step back, now slowly walk away, no, no, no run, run as fast as you can.
Wallbanger Alert***Wallbanger Alert

I once asked on the RT Readers Board if you wanted to post a comment to the effect of "Don't do it, it'll be a complete waste of your time." Of course, there were people who were horrified that I would want to say something so mean,they didn't realize I was being sarcastically tongue-in-cheek.

Maybe I shouldn't be so shocked when my son comes out with his rude comments, maybe he takes after dear old mom.

Have you ever been tempted to warn a complete stranger "Don't do it, it'll be a complete waste of your time"?

Tuesday, July 18

The Kiss of Death

Why is it as soon as I post a cover or covers to my currently reading section of the sidebar I completely lose interest in reading those books??

Picked up 3 more books yesterday. Figured I'd already completely blew this months book budget so what the heck.

  1. Wicked Under the Covers by Barbara Pierce--read this one last night, don't know why I picked this one over anything else on the TBR pile, it wasn't all that impressive even though RT gave it 4 1/2 stars. There's something very slimy about the whole thing. The heroine is seduced because her father dumps his mistress for a new one. Mom and Dad are bed hoppers but are horrified that their daughter is ruined. The only likeable characters in the whole book are the Maccus and Fayre, the hero and heroine--don't you love those names--NOT.
  2. The Rogue Report by Barbara Dawson Smith--BDS used to be a favorite, bought this one for old times sake, have no idea why.
  3. Tempting by Hope Tarr--I went looking for Hope Tarr's backlist, this was the only one the UBS had, but it's an autographed copy, how nice is that? Megan left a comment that it's a good one, so it's next up on the TBR pile. Note, I wont jinx it by posting it to the sidebar, hopefully I'll have it finished sometime today.

It's too hot to do anything besides swim and read, I guess I shouldn't complain to much.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Saturday, July 15

Vanquished by Hope Tarr

Great book!

Callie is a some what sheltered suffragette, Hadrian is a photographer in desperate need of funds. He is hired by the villain to not just ruin but to completely vanquish her. And, provide photographic proof. Not quite sure about it, Hadrian is strong armed into the plan. She is tricked into sitting for a series of portraits and in the process he teaches her that women's rights is only a small part of the overall human rights issue. And, he learns love is more important than money.

Beautifully written, incredibly erotic and yet not erotica and so much more sensual than probably any erotic romance I've ever read. This one's a keeper.

Friday, July 14

While blog hopping I discovered a fabulously brilliant rant over on Vanessa Jay's Blog that originated at AAR's ATBF Message Board. I haven't worked my way through the responses to the rant, but I am floored by how right on accurate it is. Wish I had even thought to write it.

And where the heck were the Ja(y)nes when Nora came to for a surprise visit?

Warning Major Spoilers

How does a book go from almost perfect to wallbanger in a few short pages????

I can not express how annoyed I became while finishing Whispers of the Night. Honestly, I can not believe the left turn Lydia Joyce took and RUINED this book. Okay, I've taken a deep breath and maybe I'll be able to pass on a decent review.

The heroine, Alcyone (Alcy), is brilliant, a true mathematical and engineering genius and the daughter of a rich English industrialist. Alcy travels across Europe to marry a man she believes is a Hungarian Baron. Our hero, Dumitru, is a poor Rumanian Count, trying to hold together his little fiefdom as Austria, Russia and the Turks seem to want control of his little world. He basically steals her away and marries her before she realizes he's not the Hungarian Baron she's been corresponding with, but being the brilliant soul that she is, she figures it out on her wedding night, confronts him, he fesses up and their attraction is so strong they have a fabulous wedding night and 2 months of wedded bliss. To this point the character development and writing is page turner fabulous.

Then the book tanks, completely.

Our intrepid heroine over hears a meeting between the hero and his steward. Her father has set up an unusual marriage portion. She controls 1/2 of it, and our hero wants it to help protect and improve the life of the people in his care, and devises a plan to steal it. She already knows how desperate he needs money to make these improvements. Instead of confronting him and having a big, "all you needed to do was ask" blowout fight, she does the mostTSTL, moronic, unbelievably stupid thing!! She runs away. Yes, she runs away into the wilderness of Eastern Europe, without a single clue as to where she is going, the political climate, the actual climate. How the heck does she go from genius to moron in the matter of a few pages? I have no idea, but from there on the book becomes a spy/road story, of course he goes after her. She continues to do stupid things which gets them caught up in all sorts of political crap and are ultimately helped by some English diplomat/spy. Who cares, the book is ruined as soon as she becomes a moron.

The first half of the book is an A, the second is an F, average the damned thing and give it a pathetic C. At least it's a well written pathetic C.

*Edited* Okay, the book is too well written to say the second half deserves an F. But I would still say it's an overall C, simply because the plot and characters stopped working for me in the second half of the book.

Thursday, July 13

Men and Church

Romance by the Blog, asked a question about romantic fantasies and if you notice men "in church, on the train or at PTA" since I'm a day late and there are 64 comments on the post, I decided to post a few thoughts here. And to be completely honest, with the exception of reading romances, I really don't want to know about other peoples' romantic fantasies, it's way too much information about real people

But it's funny that she would ask a question about men in church as I've been thinking about this since Sunday.

I don't really construct romantic fantasies about men other than my husband, this probably explains why I'll never be a romance writer--no imagination. But, I do notice attractive men in the strangest places.

Church. I have no idea why I notice attractive middle aged men in church, but I do. For some reason, I find men who bring kids to church on their own attractive, I'd even consider some sexy, which I thought was a creepy thing to do in church, but apparently not. Our church has a priest from Nigeria, his accent is getting better, but he has incredibly long homilies and I find my attention wondering.

The Neighborhood. One of my neighbors is a very attractive man, he's about 50, 3 kids. Miserable personality, loud and needs to be the center of attention. But, he's really good looking and plays ball with his son everyday.

The Supermarket. Love to see men shopping with or without kids, and what their buying.

You can tell I'm into being a mom, until I had Junior I never noticed men with children and how they interact with them, unless the kids were being miserable. I must be getting old, or middle aged, I wonder which is worse?

When did middle aged men get sexy? And, I'm not talking about celebrities, just everyday people we see and meet?

And, has everyone read today's RTB post. I left perky breast in the dust long before I had Junior. They're now heading way south. At this point, perky will only be perfected by a really good plastic surgeon.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Wednesday, July 12

The Perfect Child... Right **eyes rolling**

I can't tell you how many people in the last 2 days have told me "He's such a well behaved little boy." Or something similar.

Please note, the lady in the supermarket that he said "Halt, who goes there?" to didn't make this comment, to which she said "he's four right?"

Nor did the very nice couple from down the street who were walking their dog after his lovely "We don't want anyone's dog peeing or pooping on our property." When I told him to apologize for being rude, he got real angry with me and said "No, that wasn't rude, it was honest." I explained to him if we had a dog we wouldn't want anyone to say that to us. This is how the rest of the conversation went:

Him: "Petey doesn't go on other people's property."
Me: "No, Petey's a house cat."
Him: "They should have a house dog then."
Me: "Dogs have to go potty outside."
Him: "Then they should let him go pee and poop on their property."

Well, he had me there.

He's a cross between Dennis the Menace and Calvin. It's the Calvin thing that has me frightened.

Monday's Books...

Finally getting around to listing the books I picked up on Monday:

I've already read this one, it's the second in the Buchanan series. I liked this one more than the first, yet I've got one huge problem with both--the grandmother is way too over the top evil, to the point it takes away from the book.

I'm currently reading this one, and am about a third of the way. I love Lydia Joyce's writing style and voice. But, for some reason I don't remember her being so prosy...

The sun was a fat yellow yolk over the ring of the mountaintops when Dumitru finally opened his eyes. He had been teased into half-consciouness nearly an hour before when the first tentacles of steely gray light had begun to trickle through the valleys in pursuit of night, but he had been uncharacteristically loathe to greet the morning, burrowing deeper into the quilts and burying his face in his new wife's soft hair without even a conscious rejection of the daily call to duty.

That's the opening paragraph from chapter 6, isn't the second sentence a doozy?

Holly Lisle is a favorite. I've decided to read this one for Angies TBR Challenge. I know, it's a TBR challenge, but technically it's now on my TBR pile.

I've heard good things about Robin T. Popp's writing, I can only hope it lives up to expectations as I bought the second before even reading the first. Supposedly these have an interesting paranormal twist--an El Chupacabra story. I'm still not quite sure about the concept. I've always considered the El Chupacabra myth to be rather creepy and gross, unlike vampires which have blatant sexual overtone. We'll see.

The second in Popp's Night Slayer books.

My next book order should be in today or tomorrow. I'll post that list after I pick up the books.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Tuesday, July 11

Good Lord, I've got 9 more years of this???

Okay, I survived my first day of bingo.

Five hours of chaos. I'm shocked by how extreme these "bingo people" are. They've got special bags that hold there dot bottles, special seat cushions for their butts, and strange good luck charms. And, they're all old, really old, God bless them.

The first thing the "Team Captain" said was watch all the cash boxes, people like to steal. Excuse me, it's a church run bingo, people steal from the church? Have they heard of the wrath of God and bad karma?

I learned about T's, L's Postage Stamps, Butterflies, top line/bottom lines--who knew there were so many ways to play bingo?

Actually, everyone was very nice, but the old people start to grumble when they don't win, and their patience is rather short. I guess when you reach that age that's okay.

Bingo is mandatory

We started paying Junior's tuition this month. Today is my first day working bingo. It turns out bingo is mandatory. Not a big deal as it helps keep tuition costs down, and I only have to work one day a month. I've never even been to bingo, ever. A friend's husband runs the Tuesday afternoon sessions. From what I've been told, only diehards show up. I guess it will be a baptism of fire.

Whenever I think of bingo, I'm reminded of the bookkeeper at my first job. I worked for an interdenominational Christian Minister who did speaking engagements, wrote books and sold his teaching courses on tape. Nothing radical and certainly not Jimmy Swaggart or Jim Bakker. Our local bank at the time refused to give the Ministry free banking, which they offered other "churches" and non-profits. The branch manager made the mistake of saying "Well, we all know you're not really a non-profit organization." To which the bookkeeper responded "Just because we don't have bingo in the basement doesn't mean we're not a legitimate non-profit..." on and on she went, I was rather shocked, as I'd never heard her raise her voice before. The bank gave us free checking, but she pulled the accounts anyway.

I've got to go, my parents are picking up Junior for the day, hopefully he'll be an angel.

I picked up new books yesterday, hopefully I'll have time to post a list tonight.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Sunday, July 9

New Book Order

I finally picked up the August Romantic Times at the bookstore and while there I realized I didn't order anything from the July issue. I pulled 5 or 6 books off the "New" bookshelf and asked them to hold them until this week. I only had enough money on me to pick up the RT. Honestly, I'd gone through it and nothing appealed at the time.

I've decided to be a little more diligent this month and actually put together an order:
  • Calamity Jane Rides Again by Kthleen Bacus, I enjoyed the first one in this series, though it's not romance.
  • Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas, this one's obvious, last in the Wallflower series.
  • Just One Of Those Flings by Candice Hern, I didn't "love" the first in this series, but this one is a May-December thing and sounds interesting.
  • The Grail King by Joy Nash, it's set in 130 Britian, now that's a setting we don't get very often. It's published by Love Spell and to be honest they're probably my least favorite publisher.
  • His Lordship's Desire by Joan Wolf, okay, I know I swore off Joan Wolf, but I can't seem to help it, I keep hoping her writing style goes back to that of her early books.
  • Lady Katherne's Wild Ride by Jeane Westin, Restoration England!
  • Vanquished by Hope Tarr, I've already ordered this one, but it's actually coming out this month.
  • Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer, this sounds interesting Pride and Prejudice with a twist, from Mr. Darcy's perspective, completely in his head.
  • Gucci Gucci Coo by Sue Margolis, sounds interesting and I'll pass it on to my mom, she's a Sue Margolis fan, well, kind of.
  • The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner, I rarely pick something from the "science fiction/fantasy" pages, but this sounds really good.
  • Marriage By Design by Lynn Michaels, listed under contemporary romance, but it has a little RS feel to the synopsis.
  • Summer At Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs, this takes place in the Catskills, my own backyard, I couldn't pass this one up.
  • Viva Las Bad Boys! by HelenKay Dimon, 3 different stories on the same timeline sounds interesting.

That's a lot of new books for me, but what the heck, I'll need to bring something to The Shore in August.

Have a good one, and hapy reading.

PS--as I was flipping through I couldn't help but notice the Samhain Publishing ad, for an epublisher their covers seem to be of a much higher quality from other epublishers, I wonder why?

Thursday, July 6

Romantic Suspense Stats

When I posted my 6 month reading stats I was very surprised to see I'd only read 14.

And, then I shocked to see of that 14, 5 were Linda Howard rereads, so that only left 9 romantic suspenses in 6 months.

And, then I was even more shocked to realize that of that 9, 3 were contest books, so that only left 6 romantic suspenses in 6 months. The 3 contest books were pretty good, but I wouldn't have read them on my own.

And, 1 of the 6 was Linda Howard's new one, being a fangirl I'm compelled to read anything and everything she writes.

Hey, I can do simple math--LOL.

So, I only read 5 non-Linda Howard RS by choice. I've always considered myself a RS fan, obviously not--LOL.

Okay, what's my problem with RS? This was mulling around in my head last night as I was trying to fall asleep. And, it dawned on me, I'm really picky about it. How many people LOVE the Crazy series? I read the first one last year, it was good, but I've had no interest in reading the rest.

What's the problem--too much suspense and not enough romance or too much romance or not enough suspense? Or is it because you have to suspend belief in order to read them? Hmmm, maybe this will keep me up tonight.

And, did anyone else see HelenKay's post about LH going back to her roots and writing another category romance for Silhouette?
This post will contain spoilers from On the Way to the Wedding, so if you're planning on reading it, please move forward at your own risk.

The heroine in OTWTTW is engaged to be married to another man, in fact she actually goes through with the wedding, which I'm discovering is one of the biggest complaints about this book. It didn't shock me as Lucy has a tendency to be something of a doormat, but a very pleasant one. The man she marries turns out to be gay and not interested in marriage in the least, but realizes he needs to marry or the "Earldom" will be passed to a toady cousin. I was relieved that he wasn't the villain (his father and her uncle are the villains) because I often find it offensive when the bad guy is a homosexual, somehow it infers something that it shouldn't. Of course, he offers to have the marriage annulled, and she offers to find him a wife. How nice.

I really liked Lord Haselby and found myself wondering about his story more than Gregory's and Lucy's.

So, that got me thinking, would a bestselling romance writer be willing to write something like Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander a book with a married, bisexual hero?

I'm interested in this book, I've read good and bad reviews and have heard it's self-published. Normally, I would avoid this like the plague, can anyone say Dara Joy. I'll probably hem and haw until I breakdown and buy it.

Wednesday, July 5

Six Month Stats

Since Rosario is still in Japan I thought I'd pick up the stats reins and share some info for the first 6 months of 2006.

Books Read YTD 2006 = 122
New to me authors--34

87 of the 122 were rated good or better and 74 were published between 2005 and 2006.

Romantic Suspense--14
Erotic Romance/Erotica --10
Chick Lit--3

I know I'm not the only geek out there, so what do your YTD stats look like?

The Quinn Thing

It only took 5 days to read Julia Quinn's On the Way to the Wedding. Now, the problem really wasn't the book, but rather a time crunch over the holiday weekend.

Once again Quinn is witty and funny. Her dialogue is quick and entertaining. Which is the main reason I read her books. Overall I liked this book, Gregory and Lucy are likable characters, but at times they seem young, He's 26 and I didn't pay much attention to her age, maybe I missed it, but she was just finished with school and hadn't had her "debut" yet.

Through half the book, he believes he's in love with her best friend. She gives him advice about how to catch the friend and things grow from there. She realizes she's in love a little sooner, but has a long standing engagement planned by her guardian/uncle that she is forced to keep.

The wedding scene is very emotional, and I must have been hormonal as I cried, cried so hard I had to take my glasses off.

It's not the best in the series, at times the story moves too slowly, but the dialogue seems to keep it from completely bogging down. The main characters and almost all the secondary characters are very amiable, maybe too much so as there is very little conflict, with the exception of the situation forcing her to marry someone else.

Let's face it those Bridgertons are a nice bunch.

But, boy am I glad this series is finished, eight books in one series is way too much for me, but then I rarely make it past a trilogy.

Sunday, July 2

A Quickie

We're on our way out for another family barbecue, this one is rather impromptu as we had a message on our machine last night.

A great time was had yesterday, we visited with one of my husband's cousins and his family.

I'm struggling through the Quinn, but I've not had much time to read so maybe that's part of the problem.

Hope everyone's having a nice holiday weekend. And, of course, happy reading.