Tuesday, August 28

Playing review catch-up

Way back in July I finished several books I never got around to reviewing or commenting about. So, I plan to spend the next few days playing review/commentary catch-up. August wasn't a good reading month. I think I only finished 4 of 5 books and two of those were Lisa Kleypas re-reads. I'll try to get to those too.

Book CoverFirst up Letters from Pemberley by Jane Dawkins.

I realized while reading this book I would probably enjoy anything Jane Austenish. This one worked for me. The book takes place during the first year of Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage, and is told completely through letters from Lizzy to her sister Jane. This worked for me as I actually like this style of writing and Jane Dawkins does a good job recreating Lizzy's voice and the style of Jane Austen.

There's one problem with reading a book in letter format. The story is being told to the reader, so there's no dialogue or action. Yet each letter/chapter is short enough to hold your attention and moves fairly quickly. Most of the letters are entertaining, but there are a few that come across as overly harsh or sarcastic, but Ms. Dawkins does this on purpose as the follow up letter usually contains some sort of apology.

The letters are the 19th century version of my daily phone call with my sister. Sometimes informative, sometimes gossipy, sometimes newsworthy and sometimes because you simply need to talk.

If you're looking for a quick easy read in the style of Jane Austen, give this one a try. It's a light entertaining read.

Wednesday, August 22

Overdoing what??

Yesterday was one of those days that left me enough time to do some blog hopping, but little else. When I reached the RTB column I found myself nodding and agreeing with Daniela's take on the overdoing of "It" in romance, that was until I reached the last line of the column:

Please Note: The post concerns romance novels only, not Erotica.

And I was left thinking "huh" and not enough time to actually formulate a comment. This darned training schedule is for the birds, I can't wait for training to be over so I can work my set hours. Sorry, about the tangent.

So, why the "huh"? I was nodding along because it's exactly how I feel about erotic romance, but not romance. Of course, I don't seem to be reading a whole lot of anything right now, but the romance novels I have read don't seem to include an over abundance of sex to story, or sex as filler. Maybe I'm not reading the right books :) I can't say the same thing about erotic romance. I do see this in erotic romance but also see it as the nature of the beast, because in many instances sex is not only integral to the plot, it is the plot. I've got lots of issues with that, but it's a different topic.

On RTB we're asked not to single out books or authors, not so on my blog. I'm left wondering if what some may consider overdoing "It" may seem just right to others. So, I'm curious...

What books are overdoing "It"?

Are there particular authors (besides Cheryl Holt :) that uses sex as a filler?

Is the popularity of erotic romance bleeding down into general romance and changing story lines and plots? And if so how?

Now, I've got to hit the shower, pick Junior up from a sleepover and get to work :)

Have a great day. And, happy reading to anyone actually doing it.

Sunday, August 19

Actually finished a couple of books :)

Book CoverMy training was cut a little short on Friday and I decided to catch up on laundry and while washing clothes I actually finished the new Rachel Gibson, Tangled Up in You. Enjoyed it, hopefully I'll find some time in the next few days to blog more about it and a couple from last month.

Book CoverYesterday was a family day, took the child on a train ride. The travel time there was 1 and 1/2 hours, the time on the train was also 1 and 1/2 hours, so I had about 4 good hours of reading time. And do you think I read some thing from the TBR pile? Nope an Eloisa James reread was in order. Pleasure for Pleasure was one of my favorites from last year. What can I say I'm a sucker for a May/December romance and I just love Josie and Mayne :)

Have a good one, we're heading over to visit my Dad this afternoon.

Thursday, August 16

Backseat Driver...

This post is for my hubby. I'm admitting I'm a terrible backseat driver...

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband.

Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.

'Careful,' he said, 'CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my GOD!
You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my GOD! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!'

The wife stared at him. 'What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?'

The husband calmly replied, 'I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving.'

Wednesday, August 15

Still breathing

Things have been incredibly hectic the last few days. Training is going fine, but it sits right smack in the middle of my day, which seems to be messing up my schedule. It's a month of training. My work schedule will be matched to the child's school schedule, I'm praying I have a handle on the whole thing by then.

My dad's surgery is tomorrow, if all goes well he should be home on Friday.

School obligations are taking up a LOT of time right now, but should slow down in the next week or so.

I'm lurking on blogs when I can and am getting some reading done.

Hope all are doing well.

Take care,


Sunday, August 12

A quickie before hitting the shower and heading to Mass.

We survived Junior's last birthday party of the year. Guests started to arrive around 1:00 and the last left around 10:00 last night. I figured the child would sleep late--what was I thinking? He was up by 6:00 looking for me to put his new basketball hoop on the back of his bedroom door.

My SIL made up the goody bags. This years theme--Pirates. Last night Junior was running around with a napkin do-rag, eye patch, a sand pail for a peg leg and one of those telescoping thingies while singing "Yo, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Rum..." I'm hoping someone will email us a picture (our camera's not working) or we will try to recreate it when the darned camera is working again.

I'm a little afraid to go downstairs. The house is a disaster. Why did I spend so much time cleaning before everyone came when after requires even more clean-up??

As I said before I start the new job tomorrow, what I didn't tell everyone I had to buy a new computer for it. The system we bought back in April has Windows Vista, I need XP for the job. After a little research I found out I couldn't load XP because Vista wouldn't find the drivers required? I had to special order a system with XP because all the "stores" in the area are only selling new systems with Vista. It came Thursday I hooked it up Friday. The geeky BILs supplied a monitor and a router which will be installed today and soon my already way too crowded home office will be even more crowded. The office is my catch all room (aka junk room). What a mess.

I can't decide which I should do first the office or the rest of the house.

ETA--cleaning up the house wasn't that bad, just some straightening. So, it's on to the home office.

Friday, August 10

Holy Cow, it's August 10th and I haven't even picked up a book this month.

Junior turned 6 this week we're having our 3rd party of the week tomorrow. I've been cleanin the house like a fiend. The in-laws are coming. All week I was hoping it wouldn't be too hot, now I'm thinking it may be too cold for the kids to swim. It's 51 degrees right now, the pool dropped 10 degrees during the day.

Sunday we're going to the fair.

My new job officially starts on Monday, on-line training. And honestly the work I'm doing for the school seems to be a part time job too. Between the two my days are packed.

I'm hoping to find reading time in the evenings.

Thursday, August 9

I've got a column up on RTB. I'm trying to figure out how to stop analysing everything I read and simply read for pleasure.

It seems I'm more anal than I realized :)

Wednesday, August 8

Pamela Morsi

Rosario has posted another great review of a Pamela Morsi book. Honestly, that woman wrote the best Americana Historicals. I wonder what type of bribe it would take to get her to go back to writing these instead of contemporaries?

Here are some of my favorites:

Book CoverCourting Miss Hattie Blurb:
The news spread like brush fire through the whole county when widower Ancil Drayton announced his intention to start courting Miss Hattie Colfax. She was certainly spirited and delightfully sweet natured, and she'd managed to run her family farm almost single-handedly. But wasn't a twenty-nine-year-old lady farmer too old to catch a husband?

An Irresistable Suitor.

All his life handsome, black-haired Reed Tyler had worked Miss Hattie's farm—and dreamed of one day settling down on his own piece of land with the pretty young woman he'd sworn to marry. Hattie was someone he could tell his hopes and troubles to—someone he looked on as a sister. So he thought, until the idea of Ancil Drayton calling on her made him seethe. Until the night a brotherly peck became a scorching kiss... and Reed knew nothing would bank the blaze—and that his best friend was the only woman he would ever love.

Book CoverHeaven Sent
When virtuous Hannah Bunch set out to trap herself a husband at the spinsterly age of 26, she hardly dreamed she'd be compromised by a blue-eyed stranger. Her reputation shattered, she promises to honor and cherish him always--never suspecting that his secret will threaten her life.

Book CoverGarters Blurb:
A delightful love story from the nationally bestselling author of Heaven Sent. In the late 1800s, proper young ladies don't go courting. But Esme Crabb knows that her lazy father and featherbrained sisters are no help at all when it comes to putting food on the table, and her only recourse is to "marry up".

Book Cover

Wild Oats, click on the link above for Rosario's review.

Book CoverThe Marrying Stone Blurb:
Meggie was a dreamer who'd spent her entire life in the tiny town of 'Marrying Stone'. But though her life was simple, she was always sure that someday her prince would come. J. Monroe Farley arrived with his Edison listening box to record the traditional music of the Ozarks, determined to focus all his attention on his studies. But there, in this remote mountain hamlet, he found something he never expected--the princess of his dreams...

Simple Jess Blurb:
The last thing widow Althea Winsloe wants to do is remarry, but her meddlesome mountain neighbors have no intention of letting her stay single. So one day, they give her an ultimatum--find a husband by Christmas or the town of Marrying Stone will do it for her!

There are more, but all of these are keepers for me. I'm adding them back into my TBR pile. I miss her historical voice and style. I haven't tried one of her contemporaries in years, I'm tempted, really tempted.

So, what's your favorite??

Sunday, August 5

Can anyone explain why the child who has motion sickness in the car has no problem riding any amusement park or fair rides?

Have a great day.


PS I probably should point out I was the exactly the same as a child, and I'm pretty sure my parents can't explain it either :)

Friday, August 3

Busy, Busy, Busy

It seems August will be a very busy month.

Between Junior's birthday next week, school obligations and a new job, my blogging schedule will be very limited. I even have a RTB post due next week and I haven't even thought about what to write.

Add to that the recent on-line craziness, that has sent me more into lurker mode than posting mode, I find myself not that interested in posting.

I finished Pride and Prejudice and a couple of other books that I need to review, but finding the time has been iffy. Hopefully I'll have them up sometime next week.

Once things settle down a little and I create a routine, blogging will hopefully be back to normal. Posting on my own blog may be limited, but I do plan to be blog hopping each morning before the day starts. Even if I'm not commenting, know that I am reading.

Have a great day and stay cool, it's mighty hot here in NY.

Wednesday, August 1

The Zoo

We were very disappointed last year when the Catskill Game Farm closed. We'd made a couple of trips there over the last few years and enjoyed our visits.

So we were pleasantly surprised to find a small zoo in Sussex County New Jersey. I'm not quite sure how the DH came across Space Farms, but after discovering it, he thought it would be a great day trip for our little family. He decided to take yesterday off and we ventured there for the day. For some strange reason we never think about camps and summer schools having the same "great day trip" idea. We arrived at the same time as a bus full of Yeshiva students.

When we walked into the area where we bought the tickets I was very surprised to see a zebra skin and several mounted heads of different animals--kind of seemed strange for a zoo, at least to me.

We arrived around lunch time and apparently it was also lunch time for the animals. It was a little surprising to see a large turkey buzzard eating some sort of dead fowl. A little more surprising was the large piles of raw meat feed to the different types of bears (Syrian, Black and Kodiak). But what was truly disconcerting... the dead fawns feed to the lions and tigers. Now obviously these animals need feeding, and should be feed whatever is appropriate, but I have to wonder at the feeding time--right smack in the middle of the day with a park filled with children. It was a big yikes moment for me and the hubby. But it didn't seem to bother the child. I will say to my untrained eye, all the animals looked well fed especially the lions, tigers and bears.

Last night I was talking to one of my BILs that grew up not far from the zoo and he wasn't the least bit surprised by the feeding time. Those of you familiar with the X-Files will probably find his comparison to the family that owns the zoo to the bizarre Peacock family episode interesting to say the least. Which isn't very kind comparison and I apologize for it, but still felt the need to include it :)