Tuesday, February 27

The Child Gave Up Whining But Mommy Didn't--LOL

I sent the child to school using the "If he doesn't have a fever..." rule. Well, they didn't call from school, but the hubby came home early from work. He's got a cold and Junior did have a low grade temperature tonight and still has the sniffles so I sent him to bed with a dose of Tylenol Cold Formula, and the hubby was sent to bed with some NyQuil. I too have the sniffles and a sore throat, but I'm choosing to ignore them. We're all sick--whine #1 :D

Today I put the finishing touches on my next column for RTB, and of course I've come to a similar conclusion as Wendy in her column today. Now I'm vacillating as to whether or not I should even post the darned thing or write something new--whine #2 :D

And, I could name the reading slump I've been in as whine #3, but Meljean has been kind enough to take pity on me and come to my rescue. She emailed me an e-ARC of Demon Moon, how cool is that?? It's only 4,416 pages in my eBookman--LOL. I had to delete every other book on the unit to make room for it, but I don't care :D

So with all my whining and belly aching I hate to admit I'm actually enjoying reading my first Jayne Ann Krentz in years--All Night Long. And I've also promised to read and comment/review a book that's due out next week. But then I get to read all about Colin!! Can you see me doing my happy dance?

Monday, February 26

All The News Fit To Print

It's snowing, not very hard, but enough to keep the schools closed in our area. Well, I don't think hard enough to keep the schools closed but no one consults me. I remember my parents taking the glass out of the storm door so we could climb out and go to school, the snow was so deep they couldn't swing the door out--snow days were few and far between--I guess that was the olden days :)

It's probably just as well, Junior woke with a fever and is complaining of a stomach ache, a little toast, a little Motrin and so far so good.

The hubby, good man that he is dug us out, and the neighbors on either side--Mrs. B is in her 70's and had a knee replacement about 6 months ago, on the other side is Miss B and she lives alone. Both would love to pay a neighborhood kid to dig them out but the kids don't seem all that interested in making money.

I finally finished a couple of books--one romance, okay/good--one women's fiction/chick lit, very good. I'm finding myself somewhat disenchanted with romance. I'm thinking I need a major break from romance. In the last couple of months I have more INYIM DNFs than books finished. There can't possibly be a problem with that many books and the last two books I really liked weren't romances.

The Romance: Date Me, Baby, One More Time by Stephanie Rowe. To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed. Fun story, but rather innocuous. Katie MacAlister called it "A hilarious underworld romp." I don't know how hilarious I'd consider it. Kind of cute though. I vacillated between giving it a B- and a C+.

The Women's Fiction/Chick Lit: Good Things by Mia King (click on the title for a link to B&N and a blurb). Debut novel I discovered on the "New Release" table at B&N the last time I was in. The cover caught my eye and I liked the blurb and I still have gift cards burning a hole in my pocket so I figured what the heck, not what I'd normally pick up but worth a try--I'm glad I did. This one I liked a lot. A nice story about a 40 year old woman finding herself again when life throws her a curve, and she even finds love, but the romance isn't the thrust of the story. After having a pity party she basically decides when life gives you a lemon make "Peace of Mind Tea", you thought I was going to say lemonade, but Peace of Mind Tea is one of a bunch of interesting recipes included in the back of the book.

Junior has just announced he's feeling much better and wants to go out and play in the snow--it's going to be an interesting day.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Friday, February 23

Every morning this week I've been up and out of the house early, taking Junior to school and then running errands. Today I had nothing planned, the only day this week I drove the child to school in my pajamas, bed head and no shower. And of course, today the Little League Supervisor wants to talk about making sure all the Kindergarteners that want to play are registered. Somehow this has become my job. I guess because I was actually organized enough to get him registered for Spring T-Ball last fall, which in and of itself is amazing. So I came home made up a flier for the school folder and am heading back to make sure it goes home with the kids tonight.

Junior announced this morning he was giving up whining for Lent. He's not really much of a whiner, but he can work that bottom lip with the best of them when he's not getting his way, and he's big on trying the "but Mom..." argument, which he still hasn't figured out doesn't work. I doubt this will last until after school today, but we'll see.

Have a good one and hopefully someone out there is reading something super fantastic, because everything I'm picking up stinks.

Thursday, February 22


I haven't finished reading anything in days, life is somewhat boring and I've got nothing to talk about--LOL.

Perhaps I'll have something exciting to report tomorrow.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Wednesday, February 21

Busy Day...

It's a running day...
  1. Drop child at school
  2. Food shop (1st supermarket)
  3. 12:10 Mass (Ash Wednesday)
  4. Food shop (2nd supermarket)
  5. Pick up child from school
  6. Homework
  7. Piano lesson
  8. Dinner
  9. Parent Guild meeting?
  10. Reading before bed

Notice I scheduled reading only because I wanted the list to reach 10. Reading at night is a given.

I have to talk to the teacher today, we're having problems with another child and it needs to be dealt with.

I've given up chocolate for Lent--it might get ugly. I'm wondering if I'll have withdrawal problems like smokers or coffee drinkers :)

Have a good one and happy reading.

Tuesday, February 20

Bingo and Bills...

Today I do my monthly bingo duty, I'm curious to see how many of the old folks venture out in the ice and snow.

I also have to register Junior for the 2007-2008 school year. "General Fees", "Computer Fees", "Fundraising Commitment Forms", "Bingo Commitment Forms", "Parish Donation Commitments" the whole thing has left my head spinning.

Picked up a couple of books at B&N yesterday, one of which was The Erotic Secrets of a French Maid by Lisa Cach, I was not overly impressed and it certainly wasn't worth $13. I guess I shouldn't complain as I used a gift card, but I really could have gotten something better. If I can work up the interest I'll post something tonight or tomorrow morning.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Monday, February 19

One keeper, One NWMT

The Keeper:

I picked up one of last month's INYIM books over the weekend. And I am so glad I did.

Dirty by Megan Hart may actually become a keeper. It takes me a while to decide whether or not I'll reread a book--rereading being the main reason I keep books.

Wendy loved it (I can't figure out how to pull out a single post from her archive, check under February 11th). Jane didn't.
This is what happened . . .

I met him at the candy store. He turned around and smiled at me and I was surprised enough to smile back. This was not a children's candy store, mind you—this was the kind of place you went to buy expensive imported chocolate truffles for your boss's wife because you felt guilty for having sex with him when you were both at a conference in Milwaukee. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

I've been hit on plenty of times, mostly by men with little finesse who thought what was between their legs made up for what they lacked between their ears. Sometimes I went home with them anyway, just because it felt good to want and be wanted, even if it was mostly fake.

The problem with wanting is that it's like pouring water into a vase full of stones. It fills you up before you know it, leaving no room for anything else. I don't apologize for who I am or what I've done in—or out—of bed. I have my job, my house and my life, and for a long time I haven't wanted anything else.

Until Dan. Until now.
After reading Jane's and Wendy's reviews I wasn't sure what to expect. Thanks to the cover the only thing I knew for certain was it would be erotic. Based on the blurb I thought it might be a somewhat light read, but Wendy's review said it's "too raw/too dark".

It's dark and raw and heartbreaking and worth the 4 hours I spent on my sofa Saturday afternoon.

Elle Kavanagh is one of the most damaged characters I've ever encountered. A childhood filled with all kinds of abuse has left her a shell of a person. In the past she's used sex as form of escape and she knows it doesn't work. She's simplified her life down to work and home, she hides from life. No friends, no lovers, no real contact, physical or emotional, with other people.

Until she meets Dan and he basically pulls her into life, forcing her to deal with her past and her present, I wish I could say it's kicking and screaming, she is so emotionally closed off there are no real outbursts, and it's at times heartbreaking.

For me this is erotica at it's best and on some level it's definitely a romance, maybe not traditional but it works.

After reading Dirty
I decided to read the other Spice book I had on my TBR pile. And that brings me to...

The NWMT (not worth my time):

I picked up Kayla Perrin's Getting Even at the UBS without reading any reviews. I liked the blurb, I bought the book. I was expecting 3 strong women getting even with the idiot men they had been involved with. What I got was 3 idiot women involved with 3 losers, hoping beyond hope that they could make their relationships work. Poor Annalise is the biggest idiot... If you haven't had sex with your husband in 14 months it's pretty safe to assume he's getting it somewhere else, and honestly he's not even trying to cover it up, not even throwing in some token sex to cover his tracks and she's so slow she thinks he really is "too tired".

That was this weekend's reading.

Friday, February 16

Fangirl Breeding Grounds... aka... Tell me how much you love me...

A couple of weeks ago there was a column on RTB about author message boards and forums and how great they are, they allow authors and readers to interact. But the whole concept left me thinking "OMG, they're fangirl breeding grounds." And I almost commented this at the time, but held back as I didn't want to rain on anyone's parade.

Maybe I should have posted something, it might have opened up an interesting dialogue as to why they exist and whether or not they're really just ego stroking for authors. The cynical, mean girl in me says that's exactly what these type of sites are for, and honestly, how appropriate would it be to say "Gee, I hated this book, it had plot holes you could drive a Mack truck through" or "The heroine was whiney and TSTL"?

These sites aren't meant for critical review or commentary, they're all about the love. I've always felt author message boards and forums are for cheerleaders. Places where readers can gush and rave and thank their bestest, favorite author for writing the bestest book ever.

Unfortunately I was never a cheerleader, and always feel a bit uncomfortable on these types of sites. That's not to say I don't visit author websites, but for me these on a whole are for reference, places to find backlist and future publishing dates. And, yet you'll find several authors on my Blog Hopping Stops, all of them have interesting blogs that comment on writing and life and never feel like "Rah Rah" sites.

Maybe it's the message board/forum thing. It's like saying "I'm out here, now tell me how much you love me." I guess it depends on perspective... reader, fangirl or author. I'm sure authors love the positive feedback and fans love to talk about favorites and I've been known to have fangirl tendencies when it comes to certain authors. But, there's an invisible line between fangirl and fanatic and that's the one some readers are really uncomfortable with.

Thursday, February 15

No, I didn't drop off the face of the earth...

When I don't blog or blog hop for a few days I feel like I've somehow dropped off the face of the earth, or at least my virtual part of it.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day. My husband surprised me with dinner out Tuesday night.

Well, it finally snowed, and sleeted and then snowed some more. And now it's freezing. School was closed yesterday during the storm, and the darling hubby decided to stay home and have a family day--games, videos and a Lionel train set up in the middle of the living room--it was a rather nice Valentine's Day. It was a good thing he stayed home because I would never have been able to dig out the end of the driveway before he got home. We had 5 inches of sleet and 6 or 7 of snow. The sleet weighed a ton and add to that what the plow does compacting it and I'd have crippled myself trying to move it.

School was closed again today, which is probably a good thing because my mini-van is frozen in the driveway. The hubby has 4WD and pulled right out, I'm not even sure he used it, but I'm going to have to get out there sometime today and dig out the van, we assumed I'd be able to pull out and just clean up the rest of the driveway--wrong.

This morning the Today Show they had a news story about a Peter Pan Peanut Butter recall, it's been connected to 300 cases of salmonella. Guess what Junior and I had for lunch yesterday? I opened the new jar yesterday and of course the lot number matched the recall, but so far we've not been sick...

With the exception of rereading bits and pieces of Linda Howard's Open Season I've not read anything in over a week--okay that's not true I've been struggling through Erin McCarthy's High Stakes, apparently it doesn't matter who writes vampire humor I don't like it. Normally, I really like Erin McCarthy's writing style and voice, but this isn't working for me at all. I think it's going to be an INYIM DNF.

Got to go, I'm going to do some blog hopping before I head outside to dig out the car.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Monday, February 12

Ten Weird Things About MeMe

Amanda tagged me for 10 weird things...

  1. I hate wearing socks. Even when it's freezing out I wear my shoes without socks. Only put on socks when there's enough snow on the ground to get in my shoes.
  2. I almost never wear make-up.
  3. I blow dry my son's hair more than my own.
  4. I talk to myself--a lot. The last time we were at my mom's house she was mumbling to herself in the kitchen and my son pointed out "My mom does that too."
  5. I've never smoked, never tried illegal drugs and rarely drink--I actually think this might make me a freak--LOL.
  6. I don't curse, I may fudge things a bit, but I have to be lunatic mad to curse and the only person on earth that can make me that mad is the hubby.
  7. A wall without some sort of art looks naked to me, and we've got pictures of Junior in every room of the house, including the bathroom--cute shots of the boy shaving when he was three.
  8. My hair got wavier/curlier after having my son.
  9. I'm a numbers geek, I count mile markers, play freecell in number order, do puzzle books front to back. I have even matched the tripmeter in my car to the odometer.
  10. I'm allergic to just about everything. Well, I was before allergy shots. I went for weeks of testing and discovered I was allergic to everything they tested me for with the exception of dogs and pine trees. The pine trees was good because we always have real ones at Christmas, but I thought the PA at the allergist had to be crazy because I always had horrible allergic reactions after petting dogs. Turns out I wasn't allergic to the dogs, but rather all the pollen they collect on their coats.

So, who should I tag? How about Kristie, Sybil, Bev, Erika, Giselle, Renee, Devonna, Rosie, Suisan, Wendy?

Friday, February 9

Odds and ends and other things...

You can always tell when I'm either on a reading binge or I've dried up for a few days, I don't have much to say about books. I read 6 books in the first 7 days of the month and haven't finished anything since Wednesday, okay I haven't started anything either. :D

Yesterday morning I had a meeting with Junior's music teacher. The school is already planning the Kindergarten Graduation. It turns out Junior is going to be Noah, the only child in the class that will need a costume, the rest of the kids will be various animals and will use hand held masks. I've been given an official script. The whole thing is just too cute. The Best Friend volunteered his mom to make the masks--30 masks. I promised to help.

This morning as I was working on an article about world building for Speculative Romance Online I get a phone call. The Best Friend's mom called "You want to go to the bookstore?" Like that's a silly question, of course. Going to the bookstore usually means B&N, but she wanted to go to Borders instead.

The two of us wander around the store for 2 hours and don't buy a thing. She's trying to talk me into reading Christine Feehan's Game series. I've told her the Dark series has scarred me for life, but she swears this one is much better--I don't know, is it possible?

I found something curious, why is it that romance accounts for 50% of the mass market paperback sold but only has 2 stinking aisles, but sf/fantasy has 4 aisles and mystery/thrillers has 3 1/2?

While I was wandering through their romance section I kept having to walk around this old man. Which I thought was kind of cool, an older man reading romance until I realize he's in the trade paperback section of romance and he's only picking up erotic romances and when I peek over his shoulder and I'm pretty sure he's reading the dirty parts--LOL.

Another older man struck up a conversation with me by pointing out Deidre Martin's new book Chasing Stanley and I tell him it's about hockey and he should give it a try--didn't tell him it was a romance. I wonder if he bought it.

The hubby came home from work the the stomach virus. He's looking for sympathy and company, so I'll be signing off for tonight.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Wednesday, February 7

*waving hand wildly* FANGIRL right here

Most of us have a favorite author or two who can do no wrong, or at least write no wrong. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of those authors for me. I picked up Natural Born Charmer yesterday at the library. I would have finished during the wee hours of this morning if my husband hadn't leaned over to tell me it was 11:30. Yikes I stayed up late Monday to watch Montana Sky, one late night is bad, but two will leave me a zombie. So I closed the book and had to finish it this morning. Notice I had to finish it this morning, it wasn't going to wait until tonight.

Vintage Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

I know my inner fangirl raised her ugly head when the first thing that came to mind when I closed the book (besides "I may have to reread this before it goes back to the library") is what the heck was Jayne thinking C+. C+! C+! C+ is what Ralphie got on his "What I Want For Christmas" theme. This was so much better than C+.

No offense Jayne, that was my inner fangirl screaming, but now in my saner moments I can see it wasn't perfect. But my inner fangirl allows me to completely look past not perfect and see almost perfect--LOL.

Now go read the Ja(y)nes' dueling reviews, I'll wait... **tapping finger nails on mouse pad** Are you back? They're probably more fair and accurate than I could ever be.

But I have to say I did disagree with some of their thoughts... Dean and Blue (our hero and heroine) both have huge abandonment issues, both had horrible childhoods that neither has dealt with. As I was reading it felt like Dean spent the summer being forced to deal with his issues, but Blue was more of a foil for him. We're given her backstory about how she was shuffled from one hippie family to another while her mother was off righting the wrongs of the world, never realising she was wronging her own child in the process--this I thought needed to be dealt with more. Jayne took issue with the overly happy ending, but I think that was part of the point of Dean's Family's Summer of Love, it was supposed to be magical and by the end I was seeing Blue's mystical art as a metaphor for this magical summer--OMG, wasn't that deep for a Fangirl of a someone writing romantic comedy.

And, one more quick thought, I didn't really notice the product/name dropping, though I knew it was going on. I guess for some it becomes annoying yet nobody name drops like Rachel Gibson, she can put Chick Lit authors to shame.

Tuesday, February 6

Some times you really don't want to know...

It's bedtime and Junior's taking a little too long in the bathroom...

Me: What are you doing in there?

The Boy: Wiping my penis.

The Hubby: **laughing hysterically**

The Boy: It was the penis thing wasn't it?

Some times you really don't want to know--LOL.

Does anyone remember...

There's an interesting discussion going on over on Dear Author about the marketing of AA romances, but there has been a little tangent about books published by the Harlequin American line.

They published a book in the mid 80's about an Asian American couple, he was 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Chinese and also a Vietnam Veteran. She was Chinese and her father was the hero's superior officer during the war (at least that's how I remember it). They go back to Vietnam on a secret mission to rescue POWs. It was an amazing romance that dealt with issues about Vietnam and racism issues within the Asian communities. I haven't read it in years and still the story sticks with me.

Does anyone else remember this one? Title and author?

Monday, February 5


A quick PSA from Karen:

Racism In Publishing, How Does It Affect You?

Are you an African American author who’s been published for at least one year? If so Karen Scott wants to hear from you.

She’s conducting a survey based on the racism within the publishing industry, and whether or not it’s as prevalent as some believe. She’s looking for black or African American authors who have been published for at least one year.

She would like to know about your specific experiences within the industry thus far. She wants to know how AA authors feel about the current shelving policies, and niche marketing. She wants to know who you feel is to blame for the problems that you face. She also wants your suggestions on how things can be improved upon.

In all, there are twenty questions in the survey, and all that she asks is that people be as honest as possible. Confidentiality is assured if requested, but for the findings to yield more weight, she would request that she be granted permission to directly quote from the answers given by the authors.

She’s hoping to poll at least 100 AA authors, in an effort to ensure that a fair representation is achieved.

If enough authors agree to partcipate, (and depending on the findings) the results may well be sent to representatives within media and press. No promises that Oprah will hear about it, but all efforts will be made to get the message out.

If there are AA authors out there interested in participating in this poll, please e-mail Karen at hairylemony @ gmail. com (without the spaces) with the subject header ‘Please send me the survey'.

The deadline for the survey to be completed and returned to Karen is March 1st 2007

My Turn...

It's Mommy's turn with the stomach virus. Junior's only lasted about 12 hours, I figure I should be better by breakfast tomorrow.

Before it hit, I picked up a few books at the UBS and the new RT. I just finished a quick flip through and found a few books...

  • And Then He Kissed Me -- Laura Lee Guhrke 4 1/2 * (top pick)
  • Voices of the Night -- Lydia Joyce 4 1/2 * (top pick)
  • The Hourglass -- Barbara Metzger 4 1/2* (top pick)
  • The Sword & The Sheath -- Bonnie Vanak 4*
  • Innocence and Impropriety -- Diane Gaston 3*
  • Beau Crusoe -- Carla Kelly 3*

The first 3 are top picks, there was one more top pick--Cheryl Holt's Secret Fantasy, but I decided to pass, I always love the premise of her books, but I'm always disappointed in the actual execution. I really like Gaston's writing style and I'm really surprised by a 3 * rating for Beau Crusoe.

What rock have I been living under? I had no idea Lisa Kleypas' Sugar Daddy is coming out in hard cover. I'm putting myself on the library list tomorrow.

  • Lover Revealed by JR Ward--the synopsis for this is amazing can not wait!!
  • Succubus Blues -- Richelle Mead
  • Warlord -- Elizabeth Vaughan

Have a good one, and happy reading.

Saturday, February 3

The little guy's sick...

The school called yesterday morning. Junior was throwing up and I needed to pick him up. Oh boy, I also had to pick up the best friend as we'd already made plans for a play date and his mom wasn't going to be home in time to pick him up from school. One sick, one healthy, though I doubt that's going to last long. This stomach bug has been floating around that classroom for a month. I thought we lucked out and missed it.

Twelve hours of throwing up and wham he's feeling better. But I'm not giving him anything that may upset that sensitive tummy. The ice pop he had for breakfast was a big hit--Gatorade, saltines, apple sauce and a little chicken noodle soup, Danny Phantom chicken noodle soup--his favorite.

He fell asleep tonight at 6:45, so obviously he's not 100%.

The upside about being stuck in the house when I'm not playing Go Fish, Tractor Tipping, Trouble or watching DVDs ("Mom, come see this, it's so cool" usually something connected with the movie Cars) I get to read--I've finished 3 books in 3 days and started a 4th. Everything's on the sidebar. If I feel compelled I'll write reviews/commentary on them.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Friday, February 2

The Power of Three... aka this one's for Sybil and anyone else who's interested...

**Edited 2/3/07**

Sybil sent out an email request asking why threesomes in erotic romance seem to be so popular...

Honestly, I think she answered it herself...
You may have noticed that erotica/erotic romance/romantica is all the rage right now. And threesomes seem to be hotter than hot.
I've spent days trying to come up with some sort of deeply philosophic reason. But, really can there be any other real explanation? They're hot, they push boundaries, they fulfill fantasies and they turn the reader on--deep isn't it--LOL.

But my question is... are they really necessary to most stories? So much depends on the plot of the book, if the plot is sex and pleasure driven, or if the threeway is some how important to the storyline it would make sense to include scenes that may push the envelope. I'm not sure very many erotic romances need a threesome to reach the book's HEA, but if the scene is included simply to titillate, can't it be considered superfluous or gratuitous? Or do most erotic romance readers not really care?

Renee and Kat both mentioned Emma Holly's Menage in the comments from my original post. And they're both right, it is a sex and pleasure driven story with a threesome that is completely intricate to the story--they are the story.

I reread Blackmailed by Annmarie McKenna when Sybil emailed me, because it was the most accessible, still a shortcut on my computer, I'd have had to dig for Menage or an Anya Bast, with a mmf relationship. I probably should have dug out one of the other books. I find it somewhat debatable that a threeway HEA is truly achievable.

Threesomes in romances aren't really all that new. Bertrice Small was including them in her historical romances back in the 90's. And, in her book Hellion she actually does use the scene to move the story along.

The Power of Three--what do you think??

The cutie pie...

This morning as Junior was getting ready for school, he walked into me carrying his blue uniform pants in one hand, plaid tie in the other, his white shirt not buttoned and flapping open, the undershirt all bunched up, his hair standing straight up in the air and still wet from his shower and announced...

I'm a disaster.

With a little help he went to school looking quite dapper.

Thursday, February 1

Slump over... hopefully

I picked up Born in Death at the library yesterday. It's the first "...in Death" book I've read in several years. And reading the first page was like visiting an old friend, and I was left wondering, why the heck had I stopped reading these books.

I started reading it while I was waiting to pick up the boy from school, and found myself sitting in the car laughing outloud at the opening scene. The birthing class and Eve's and Rourke's reaction to it is priceless. It matched my poor husband's. On some level I think he's relieved I had a C-section, it was much easier for him, I think the thought of delivery left him a little squeamish. But that's another subject.

As I read I realized I needed a break from the series, Eve had been grating on me, she had so much baggage that needed dealing with. I remember thinking "deal with your problems and stop being such a prickly pain in the ass." Picking it back up with this one seems perfect. She's dealt with her problems and horrible childhood and they are settled beautifully into married life, comfortable with one another and their family, all those folks they pull into their inner circle. All the anger and frustration is focused on the cases not their lives. I loved visiting Mavis and Leonardo, Peabody and McNab, it really was like a visit from a bunch of old friends.

It was just what I needed to pull me out of my little reading slump.

Next up... Carla Negger's The Widow.