Friday, December 18

Coming up for air

This is my second Christmas working for our church.  I don't remember last year being so busy. 

At home the tree is up and decorated, the cards are out and I started the candy making and baking last night.  Nothing is wrapped.

Tuesday, December 15

Nothing New

That is I'm not reading anything new.   I've given up on the TBR pile.  I'm sure there are some great books in there, but nothing is screaming "READ ME." 

I did finish Jude Deveraux's The Taming and The Conquest.  Both were written more than 15 years ago.  Both are old school style romances.  I didn't expect to still enjoy them, but I did.  Deveraux hits all my "redemption" buttons.  Both have a bit of The Taming of the Shrew thing going on.  In The Taming it's the Peregrine oldest brother that needs taming/redemption and in The Conquest it's the only Peregrine sister that is tamed.  The Peregrine family title and lands have been stolen by a manipulative Howard going back two generations.  They are taught to hate, to the point of obsession, all things Howard.  Considering what the Howards have done to them over the last two generations, it's probably understandable.  Slaughter, starvation and utter poverty drives everything the Peregrine's do, from how they treat each other, to how they treat their peasants. 

And of course, it's love that heals them. 

Ultimately, that's why these stories worked for me.  They are wallpaper historicals with story holes you can drive a Mack truck through, with massive inconsistancies within each book and between the two books.   And yet they still worked for me, because Deveraux took me by the hand and walked me through a story about strength, love, growth and family. And--Happily Ever After.

Thursday, December 10

CALZONES AND DESSERT PIZZA aka still not reading

We've been on a calzone kick at our house.  Cheese filled pizza dough at it's creamy best.  I usually make three, one for the hubby, the child and I split one and the other goes in the hubby's lunch box the next day.  This always leaves some dough left over.  Sometimes I make zeppolis, sometimes I make a small pizza.  Last night I attempted my first dessert pizza--butter, cinnamon sugar, chocolate chips and chopped walnuts--yum :)

**Edited to include recipes (kind of recipes anyway :) **:

2 lbs of pizza dough (frozen, fresh or homemade)
I usually use frozen
1 lb of ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 TBLS parmesan cheese
1 cup of your favorite Marinara Sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Separate the dough into approximately 4 equal sized pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a 10" or 12" circle. On half of each circle layer 1/3 of the ricotta, 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella and 1 TBLS of parmesan. Fold over dough to make half moon shaped calzones, seal the dough by pinching or rolling over the edge. Place calzones on a parchment covered cookie sheet, brush on some olive oil, poke a couple of vent holes in the top of each and bake for about 20-25 minutes until calzones are brown, serve with Marinara sauce on the side.

I don't add any extra salt or pepper, we like the flavor of the cheeses and it's salty enough from the parmesan. sometimes we put sliced meatballs or sausage as the bottom layer and mixing spinach with the ricotta sounds good too

DESSERT PIZZA (this is an eyeball recipe--the amounts depend on how thick you like your dough):

Shape the leftover ball of dough into a pizza, whatever thickness you like. Spread butter like you would sauce, not as thick as you would sauce, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, next is a layer of chocolate chips then a layer of walnuts.  Use as much or as little as you like of the cinnamon sugar, chocolate chips and walnuts. Bake at 400 until dough is brown, again use parchment paper or a silpat on your cookie sheet (makes clean up easier).
Can you tell I'm not reading?   Each day I post something to keep the blogging thing going, but even I know it's rather inane.  Rosario did a DNF Round-up yesterday. I decided against this since any new book I've tried has been a DNF and I realize it's probably not the books. I'm out of my reading groove.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Wednesday, December 9

Strange Weather Day

It snowed last night.  Not a surprise if you watch the news--it seems to be snowing over 2/3 of the country.  We had 8 inches last night.  This morning it turned to freezing rain and now it's only rain.  So of course, the snow was unbelievably heavy, like shoveling wet cement, especially what the plow left 2 feet deep at the end of the driveway.  And, of course, the plow came after my husband left for work, leaving the blessed job of clean-up for me.  Thank goodness the hubby did the rest of the shoveling, so I only had to do the end of the driveway.

Now we're having a thunderstorm.  And it was hailing on the other side of the county.

Tuesday, December 8

Old School at its best or worst?

Yesterday when I was pulling out Linda Howard's Mr. Perfect I found my original Doubleday Bookclub copy of Jude Deveraux's The Taming, something I have not read in years and years. Originally printed in 1989 it's a mini hardcover with 216 pages.

I pulled this quote from JD's Simon and Schuster webpage:
England's most valiant knights paid court to wealthy Liana Neville, but only the infamous warrior Rogan Peregrine made no secret of his powerful desires. His very caress melted Liana into liquid fire, and she vowed to capture this magnificent, wild man. Boldly the delicate beauty gave him her hand -- and Britain's richest dower. Yet he was bound to a bitter feud: for love betrayed, brothers killed, and ancestral land usurped. In Rogan's war-ravaged castle, Liana would lay her tender redeem his embattled spirit and win his untamed heart!
From the original book jacket:
No knight in England could resist the lure of her vast furtune, but Lady Liana Neville desired a man who coveted more than money. Determined to test the power of her beauty upon a man who has no knowledge o her wealth and position, Liana disguises herself as a peasant girl and entices a fierce, handsome stranger. How could she know that the warm, rough kisses of a low-born rogue could so deeply arouse her own passion? or that the peasant who had insulted and excited her is none other than Rogan Peregrine--an arrogant knight who has come to demand Liana's hand in marriage!

Despite her family's warning of a violent blood feud that has left Rogan penniless, Liana is unable to deny the fire between them. Can her love heal the scars of his cruel past? Or will his bitter obsession become a dangerous game of revenge that destroys them both?
The only thing I remember about this book, is that Rogan is a clueless bully and yet I also remember thoroughly enjoying it.

Maybe it needs a reread. I'm wondering if it's Old School romance at its best or worst :)

Have a great night and happy reading.
I reread Linda Howard's Mr. Perfect cover to cover last night.  It's still good :)

Monday, December 7

The Weekend...

I'll start the post by saying I'm not reading anything new.  I've been picking up favorites and reading bits and pieces.  Nothing's been read start to finish in probably a week.  And believe me it's not because the TBR pile is empty.

But I had a lovely weekend despite my lack of reading interest.
  • Saturday was our school's annual Tricky Tray event, which I describe as an upscale penny social.  My sister and I go every year and enjoy spending time together, even if we don't win anything.  She was quite happy with the wine basket she won (it featured her favorite Merlot).  

  • It snowed all day Saturday and into Saturday night, we woke up to a winter wonderland Sunday morning.  I love late fall and early spring snow, it sticks to trees and creates a beautiful snowy world.
  • We bought our Christmas tree on Sunday.  Right now it's leaning against the side of the house, we wont actually move it into the house until next weekend.  We like our trees to last until Little Christmas in January.
I still have decorating to finish and boxes to put away.  It'll all get done this week and hopefully my reading mojo will come back this week too.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Saturday, December 5

Not Ready

How did December creep up so quickly? 

I'm not ready, not even remotely ready for Christmas.  The cards are done, but not mailed.  The shopping is started but not finished.  The inside outside decorating is partially done, but again not finished.  I haven't even thought about the baking and candy making. 

Christmas is twenty days away.  How do I know this?  It's announced daily by the child.

I love this picture.  He was 4 and taking taekwondo and they had a great Christmas party.

Wednesday, December 2

too much... not enough...

I had little bit of time to myself this afternoon, between doing laundry and washing dishes, before heading to work in our CCD office later.  Not enough time to start decorating for Christmas, but just enough to do some lurking on-line... 
  • Why do so many romance readers and writers look for the approval of the non-romance readers of the world? 
  • Do we have an inferiority complex that makes us feel the need to justify what we choose to read and explain why?
  • Why do we hyper-analyze what we read?
  • When did simply reading for pleasure go out of style?
  • Why do some people stir up trouble where there isn't any?
Just curious.

Now I have to wash dishes.  Have a great day and happy reading.
I have two new favorite websites:

  • Confessions of a Pioneer Woman  I could spend hours just looking at the pictures and discovering her archives.  And honestly, what I've read so far sounds like a really good romance novel :)
  • Whipped Out  I love Angie's and Jane's new website/blog.  I've been toying with posting similar things here, recipes and craft ideas.
Have a great day, and happy reading.

Tuesday, December 1

I'm completely enjoying the Sony Reader post on Dear Author
  • “To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.” – Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn --I think I need this book.
  • The set-up: Daphne, the heroine, needs help to find her missing brother in Egypt. The consul general is anxious to get rid of a certain problem aristocrat who cannot seem to stay out of trouble. So the consul recommends Rupert Carsington, aka Mr. Impossible, to Daphne. The following exchange takes place in a filthy jail where Rupert is currently cooling his heels after a dustup on the streets of Cairo.
    “Mr. Beechey,” she said, her voice not as steady as she could wish, “are you sure this is the man I want?”
    An impossibly deep voice, most definitely not Mr. Beechey’s, answered with a laugh. “That would depend, madam, on what what it is you want me for. ”

    I love this book!--me too :)
  • “It was loaded,” he said coolly. Georgette Heyer, DEVIL’S CUB--I just reread this book, don't you love an understatement.
  • I will find you,” he whispered in my ear. “I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you—then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.”

    His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.“Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”

    –From Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon--maybe I need to pick this series up again, I made it to book 5.
  • “Lady Madelyne had sealed her own fate. She’d warmed his feet.”  The quote is from Honor’s Spendor by Julie Garwood. One of my favorite Garwood books.--this has to be one of my all time favorite romances.
And the list goes on and on.

EATING, SHOPPING, READING and another list

The title says it all!  Our weekend consisted of eating, shopping and reading, in that order :)
  • We went to my sister's for Thanksgiving, which meant I had to cook another Thanksgiving dinner on Friday.  The hubby doesn't like my sister's cooking--he prefers mine.  After 25+ years of marriage this isn't a shock.  That he's getting more vocal about it is a tad surprising.  He did like the gravy at my sister's (I made it, but the stock she made was great, which of course makes great gravy.)
  • Junior announced at Sunday dinner he was turkeyed out--nothing but turkey, turkey soup, sandwiches and Thanksgiving left overs since Thursday.  He did ask for the last of the turkey soup for lunch yesterday, so maybe he wasn't completely turkeyed out :)
  • Our local weekly paper has a "school section" and they occasionally visit schools and ask questions like "What are you thankful for?"  Junior's answer:  "All the American soldiers fighting for our freedom and pie.  My mom makes good banana cream pie."  Why the pie comment?  "Because I wanted you to have your name in the paper too."  Apparantly "My mom" qualifies as having my name in the paper too :)  I made a banana cream pie on Sunday.
  • No, we didn't shop on black Friday, but we were out bright and early on Saturday.  Toys r us was picked clean, but I managed to find some Christmas presents for our nieces and nephews.  Next up Kohls--they always have great sales.  Then it was on to Barnes & Nobles,  they were hositng a fundraiser for our school and of course it wasn't difficult to spend money there.
  • Our son is a geek.  Please note I've whispered this, because I believe my husband holds out hope that Junior will still be a great athlete, the child loves baseball, soccer and wants to play football next year, and Junior thinks "geek" is bad.  While we were in Toys r us he had a $25 gift card to spend--he chose books--LOVE THAT :)
  • Sunday was family day.  It started out (after Mass) as reading day, each of us with our noses in books for a large chunk of the day.   And then it became rocket day.  My husbands is reliving some of his youth, as a child he loved shooting off rockets with his brother.  He has passed on this love to our child and they had a blast (literally and figuratively), while mommy DSed in the car.
That was our holiday weekend--it was wonderful.  Have a great day, and happy reading :)

Wednesday, November 25

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

We'll be disappearing for a couple of days, have a great Thanksgiving and happy reading.

Tuesday, November 24

Even Steven or Finding Balance Where There is None

The other day we watched the Seinfeld Even Steven eposide, where George is up, Elaine is down and Jerry is Even Steven.  This is what came to mind today as I read through the RWA/Jane/Dear Author debacle . 

I'm Even Steven.  When I don't have a dog in the fight, I find myself seeing both sides.  I'm always amazed by the inability of people not to see there are two sides to an issue and inevitably there is a balance that falls somewhere in the middle, sometimes right smack in the middle and sometimes somewhere closer to one perspective than another.

My take... 

I have to think RWA is over-reacting, but I'm not surprisied given the romfail situation.  Romfail makes me very uncomfortable.  After seeing all the attention it was garnishing, I checked it out and read a large chunk of the "romfail" from 3 days ago.  I don't live by the "if you have nothing good to say...", but there is a point where snark turns to humiliation, and I have to think romfail hits that point.

Having said that, Jane does more to support the romance genre than most bloggers in Romanceland...  Reviews, First Sales, Interviews, Link Round Ups, Publishing News, If You Like..., Recommended Reads, and for me the mind numbing ebook information.  Apparantly there isn't enough here to warrant her support of romance authors.  I'm not sure what else she could actually do?

It's not the last time RWA will be short sighted and I'm sure Jane will continue with romfail.  If you don't like romfail don't follow or participate, but RWA can't claim "...that indicate you do not support RWA or romance authors."

And that's one Even Steven's take.  Have a great day and happy reading.

Saturday, November 21

Real Life Interupts

So once again real life interupted a really good reading binge.  Since Wednesday we've been non-stop with work, school and cub scout things. 

Wednesday I worked in the parish CCD (Religious Education) office, cleaning up some of their bookkeeping issues. Since I will only be going in a couple of hours a week this is going to be a long term project.  That night our parent organization voted down our largest fundraiser.  Largest means it requires a tremendous amount of time to plan, organize and run, unfortunately given the economy it only brings in a fraction of what it did in the past. 

Thursday during the day I was baking Magic Cookie Bars and Pumpking Bread for the Cub Scout bake sale we're having on Saturday and Sunday after the Masses.  Then  it was After Care for the school and the communal baking of pies for the bake sale.  We used the school's kitchen--lots of counter space and a nice sized convection oven.  While we were baking the cafeteria was being used by another school fundraising commitee, putting together 100 gift baskets for an upcoming "Tricky Tray" event.

Friday it was back to work in the rectory. The bulletin for Thanksgiving weekend was due at the printer, normally it goes on Tuesday but holiday schedules always throws it back to the Friday before.  The Sunday after Thanksgiving is the first week of Advent, which means--I'M NOT READY FOR CHRISTMAS!!  After work I had After Care again.  Junior went to see Planet 51 and I had to pick him up at a friends house.  He didn't like the movie and announced he was never going to a movie with two 2nd graders and a kindergartener again--too much noise.  I guess being a 3rd grader makes him old.

And in the middle of chaos the hubby has PIG FEVER.  At least we think that's what it is.  It started on Wednesday and we're hoping it's peaked.

Have a great day, we've got soccer and basketball today :)

Wednesday, November 18


My post recently about Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts got me thinking about faith and romance.  In one of my comments I used faith as a way to judge the characters and I realized I normally don't do this.  Honestly, if we used religion as a basis to judge romance things probably would be found incredibly lacking.  In the case of Bed of Roses, my concepts of faith comes into play because I'm left wondering why don't any of the Vows clients get married in churches--not to say I expect everyone to be married in some sort of church, but some of them certainly would have some sort of religious faith--right?

Normally I go into a book not expecting any religious beliefs one way or another and since I don't read inspirational romances, I find little or no religious belief systems in almost all the romances I read.  With the exception of Linda Howard's Open Season, I can't remember a contemporary where the characters go to church together.

Most of the people who read this blog know 1. I'm a practicing Catholic, 2. my son goes to Catholic School and 3. I work for my Parish.  If I used my faith as a litmus test for what I read, I'd be in serious trouble.  But, I've come to realize I don't come at books using my faith.  It's not my story being told, so I shouldn't or try not to judge what I read by what I believe.  This works for me.  Maybe in some way it's how I subconsciouly  justify what I read, but I don't think so.  There have been a few books over the years that cross what I would consider my boundries and I'm pretty careful to avoid books that cross that line.

So, here's the thing, if you believe in God and follow an "organized" religion, how do you seperate your faith from fiction?

Tuesday, November 17


Random thoughts and observations from early this AM:
  • I really dislike the "when did you stop beating your wife?" type of questions, it always leaves me wondering why people even engage in the conversation.
  • We have a popular local radio station that is already playing Christmas music. I'm actually okay with this.  The radio station's most populer DJ lives down the street from me.  He's a pompous ass. 
  • I was playing the station on my laptop at work yesterday and turned the music down when the pastor came into my office not because I thought the music would bother him, a Mariah Carey Christmas song came on, I hate Mariah Carey.  Now I don't actually hate Mariah Carey, you can't hate someone you don't know.  My dislike of her music is extreme, this also includes Whitney Houston and anyone else that does that weird flutter thing with their voices.  I know they're talented, but I can't listen. 
  • My office isn't really an office, it's a closet with a table, laptop and printer--works for me because it's really private and people can come in and out of the rectory and never know I'm back there working.
  • Another local radio station had a 70's Rock Weekend this past weekend and Junior is apparantely a fan of 70's Rock--right there with his mama :)  Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Elton John when he was actually good.
  • I'm a fan of redemption stories. Not a surprise, but it explains a good portion of what I read and what I keep. Sometimes I'm right in step with the rest of romanceland, but not always. After the discussion about rakes on Dear Author, I pulled out my copy of Georgette Heyer's Devil's Cub. I have to admit, one can not live on rakes alone.
  • I have a massive TBR pile and feel like I have nothing to read.  How is that possible?
It's time to make the coffee, have a great day and happy reading.

Sunday, November 15

Book Binge and other things.

I've been on a reading binge since Friday, finishing Lauren Dane's Laid Bare, Beverly Jenkins' Captured and Bronwyn Parry's Dark Country.  The best book of the bunch was Dark Country a really good spin off of As Darkness Falls.  The Bronwyn Parry books are worth tracking down.

The child is at his second birthday party of the weekend.  Yesterday it was a Chuck E. Cheese party.  I personally think CEC is the third level of Hell.  About 10 minutes into the birthday party the fire alarm in CEC went off and the entire building had to be evacuated.  Today it's a bowling party--I just dropped him.

We got to visit with our new nephew today.  He is very cute in that pinched baby sort of way.

Outdoor soccer finished yesterday and indoor soccer starts tomorrow.  Cub Scouts is Tuesday.  Parent organization meeting Wednesday.  Baking for the Cub Scout Bake Sale Thursday--the Cub Master's wife wants us to bake 80 pies for Sunday's bake sale, I'm not really sure who we're selling them to, but I'll hear it if I don't show up. 

The hubby is starving so I need to cook.  Have a great night and happy reading.

Saturday, November 14

ICE by Linda Howard (Review)

  • Thanks to the USPS, this book arrived bright and early Friday morning.
  • Thanks to Wendy, I knew this was going to be short, really short.
  • Thanks to Dear Author and Rosie, I knew this wouldn't be comparable to her full size books.
So going into this book, my expectations were very, very low.  But, hey, it's Linda Howard for crying out loud.  Linda Howard on a bad day is still better than most authors on good days--so says this fangirl.  And I admit it I AM A FANGIRL.

Yes, the price was obscene, but I'm going to be philosophical about it.  I ordered this book at 198 pages and Stephen Kings new one at 1,074 pages, both cost $9.  So I got 1,272 pages for $18.  Not so bad, it was almost like getting this one free.  See this fangirl can do simple math to justify the cost of a really overpriced book.

Gabriel has just made the trip from North Caroline (where he's an MP in the military) to his hometown in Maine.  His dad is the county sheriff and sends him right out to check on Lolly.  An ice storm is rolling in and the sheriff is concerned he can't reach Lolly on her cell phone.  Gabriel's not thrilled, he thought Lolly was stuck up in high school and pushed her buttons whenever possible.  Lolly's come home to prepare her parents house to be sold.  Being from Maine she doesn't plan to stay in the house during an ice storm.  She's picking up what she needs and heading back into town where it is safe.

Enter Niki and Darwin, meth addicts, who notice Lolly's Mercedes and figure they can score some money and stuff worth stealing if they follow her home.  They're crazy in the criminal, drug addict way one would expect.  They stalk and attack.  Gabriel helps rescue and into the storm they all go.

The story that unfolds takes place, start to finish, in less than 24 hours.  And it worked for me.  Taking the time frame and story elements into consideration, we weren't going to get a romance centered story.  We get a thriller, adventure centered story with hints of a romance to come.  There's a good review by Sandy on AAR.

For me the only issue is price.  It's not worth $22, it's not worth $9, if it had been released as a category romance for less than $5 it would have been better recieved, and worth the price.  Get it at the library or wait for the paperback version, if the e-version is cheap get it.

That's it for now.  Have a great day and happy reading.

Friday, November 13

ICE by Linda Howard

An hour and a half and it was done.

It was MUCH better than I had expected.  It probably paid to read Rosie and the Dear Author reviews. 

Was it worth $9?  No, but I wonder if anyone would be grumbling if it was a category romance instead?

Was it Open Season or Dream Man or Mr. Perfect?  No, but it wasn't supposed to be.  It's exactly what it's meant to be...  a quick entertaining read.  And, honestly, it would make a great action/adventure movie.

I'll blog more later as I'm working After Care at school.

Order Up

The Amazon order I placed earlier this week came bright and early this am.  The hubby had just pulled away to leave for work and the mail truck delivered  Linda Howard's Ice and Stephen King's Under the Dome.

I'll probably have Ice finished today--mini hardcover with 198 pages.  And I have no idea how long it will take the hubby to read Under the Dome--it comes in at a wopping 1074 pages. Both books cost $9 at Amazon.

Wednesday, November 11

Another Day, Another List Or Two

Book related stuff...
  • Yesterday morning I read The Rake post on Dear Author. Most mornings I don't have enough time to formulate a comment for these types of discussions, of course, by the time I get home in the afternoon there are a gazillion comments and my thoughts will only get lost in the multitudes, not that I have anything interesting to add to the conversation. I love a good redemption story and real rakes need redemption don't they?
  • I posted this at the bottom of my Lorraine Heath post... I was 105 pages into Surrender of a Siren by Tessa Dare before I picked this one up. SOAS may end up a DNF for me, it took me 3 days to read 105 pages and I'm not even remotely interested in where the story is going. Oh, well. Unless someone tells me why this book is fantastic, I can't see how it rated B's everywhere I look for reviews. From the back blurb Sophia "wants a life of her own: unsheltered, unconventional, uninhibited." Sophia is 1. self-centered, 2. clueless, 3. unrepentant. What's the draw. I actually kind of like Gray, but not enough to care why he would be interested in "Miss Turner". I'd much prefer to read a story about Joss finding new love.
  • I just realized I don't have Meljean Brook's Demon Forged. I may have to stop at B&N and pick it up while we're out shopping.
  • For the most part I try to mix up my reading. Since most of what I read is historical I try to mix in some romantic suspense, contemporaries and paranormals between books or I'll burn out. I was digging through the TBR pile and realized I didn't have Meljean's latest, I was looking for a paranormal. I'm also missing the newest Viehl and Singh books.
We're off today, and a day off means things to do...
  • We have a new nephew, born yesterday to my BIL and his wife.  Junior and I are heading to Kohl's for some bargain shopping--I got a $15 gift card in the mail from Kohl's and it's burning a hole in my pocket.  A new baby is a perfect excuse to shop.
  • We had an appointment for an oil change this morning.  The mechanic also replaced my headlights, not the bulbs, the whole headlight assemblies.  The old ones were so fogged up that even with the brights on at night I was having a hard time seeing.  New ones, clear bright and shiny.  Just like Christmas--per Junior.
  • The house was in desperate need of vacuuming.  We have an Oreck and I have a tendency to kill belts--sucking up the edges of area and oriental rugs will burn up belts real quick--of course, if I were a little more careful when I vacuumed this wouldn't be an issue.  So, the vacuum had a funky smell and I assumed it was the belt.  It took me a while to get to the Oreck store--why I didn't think to order belts on line I can't tell you.  So this morning I'm all set to replace the belt--and yes, I do it myself--the belt is fine.  The bag on the other hand weighed about 25 lbs., that would explain the lack of power and lousy suction that I had attributed to the belt being damaged.  The whole house has been vacuumed.  The hubby will be happy.
  • The child is outside playing.  One of the neighborhood kids came to the door and whispered, bring the guns.  We're the house with the good stuff, the stash that everyone wants, the arsenal, the weaponry--the Nerf guns, the toy rifles, the Star Wars Light Sabers, etc...
Got to go :)  Have a great day and happy reading


I'm not sure when I bought this book.  I think it's release date was October 27th, so I must have picked it up sometime in the last 2 weeks.  None of that really matters, but why was it at the top of the TBR pile?  I don't know.

I dislike the title of this book, with the exception of "Midnight Pleasures" it doesn't have anything to do with a "Scoundrel" with the exception of the villains.  Midnight Pleasures with a Scoundrel is book 4 in Lorraine Heath's adult version of Oliver Twist.  The odd thing is I've not particularly loved this series, each story is different, readable but none have been keepers, but I've felt compelled to finish it.


She Sought Revenge But Discovered Desire.

On a quest to avenge her sister's death, Eleanor Watkins never expected to fall for the man following her through pleasure gardens and into ballrooms. But soon nothing can keep her from the arms of the sinfully attractive scoundrel, not even the dangerous secrets she keeps. Strong, compassionate, and utterly irresistible, James is all she desires. But can she trust him enough to let herself succumb to all the pleasures that midnight allows?

James Swindler has worked hard to atone for his unsavory past. He is now as at home in London's glittering salons as he is in the roughest streets. But when the inspector is tasked with keeping watch on a mysterious lady suspected of nefarious deeds, he is determined to use his skills at seduction to lure Eleanor into revealing her plans. Instead, he is the one seduced, turning away from everything he holds dear in order to protect her—no matter the cost to his heart.
This is a very good description of the book. I'd been looking forward to James' story as I felt he needed true love after being in love with Frannie since they were children.  James isn't a scoundreal and Eleanor isn't whom she appears to be--and I'm leaving it at that.

There seems to be an odd cadence to the writing style for a large part of this book, no bad but a little choppy. Having said that the cadence and writing style left me somewhat detached from the story telling.  The first half the book reads similar to a gothic novel. There is mystery afoot, but you can't quite put your finger on it. Eleanor is stalking a man who was the cause of her sister Elisabeth's death, but there is more to it.  There are interesting twists to the story, which would include major spoilers if I actually included them.

That's all I'm giving you :)  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it, and yet somehow I felt compelled to finish it in less than 24 hours.

I was 105 pages into Surrender of a Siren by Tessa Dare before I picked this one up.  SOAS may end up a DNF for me, it took me 3 days to read 105 pages and I'm not even remotely interested in where the story is going.  Oh, well.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Monday, November 9

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

I finished Bed of Roses  yesterday morning (after Mass and before working Bingo).  I'll start by saying I liked this book.  Do you hear the "but"?  But I have some issues, which probably stem from working for a church.  I apologize now for sounding prissy later :)

To be fair I'll list what I like about this book/series...
  • After a gazillion books, it is obivious Nora Roberts has writing down to an art. Fully developed, smart characters and an attention to details that is amazing.
  • In my list the other day I wasn't sure I liked the four women in these stories--I do like them.  Their friendship, their commitment to each other, their sisterhood and love, their strengths and understanding of each others' weaknesses all of it is beautifully created and written.
  • I really liked Emma, she's sweet and giving. And the friends to lovers theme works for Emma and Jack.
  • The four heros are interesting, smart, and very different from one another.
  • I love the environment that Nora Roberts has created. The wedding business "Vows" is an incredible concept, owned and run by four smart women--the planner, the photographer, the floral designer and the baker. It's more than just the backdrop to the stories. it comes to life for every event.
  • The books are beautiful. To quote Wendy "...those trade paperbacks are really lovely to look at, touch and pet."
What I'm prissy about :)...
  • Do any of the "Vows" clients get married in a church instead of at Vows, not necessarily Catholic, but maybe Lutheran or Episcopal or Methodist, Reformed, Presbyterian or maybe a non-denominational church?  There was a mention of a chupah [sp?] in this one.
  • There's something a little slutty about how they talk about when they last had sex.  I don't expect women in contemporaries to be virgins, but these four seem a little bit looser than I'm used to.  Now I realize my life revolves around a church environment, so I'm probably not a good judge of this :)  Fast and loose can be expected in erotic romance. One of the ladies is on a sex moratorium--she hasn't had sex in 6 months and the other ladies commiserate with and feel bad for her.  Maybe it's my age, or maybe it's my faith, but I believe sex is about long term commitment not just hooking up.  Hooking up creeps me out.  Told you I'd sound prissy. 
  • The storyline of this one, seemed too similar to the 1st book.  Mac had commitment issues in the Visions in White and Jack had issues in Bed of Roses.  Both Mac and Jack are from divorced families (Jack's parents get along, Mac's mother is crazy).  Carter (Visions in White)and Emma (Bed of Roses) are from large, stable and loving families.  And the conflict about commitment in Bed of Roses seemed a little forced, I didn't like Jack's phobic reaction to commitment, but I also didn't like that they, the ladies who have known him for years, didn't understand his commitment issues.
  • This one is going to sound stupid, but I'm sharing it anyway.  I don't like architect heros--strange right?  My husband is in contractor sales and supply.  He "hates" architects, well, not all architects, only the ones with "vision" and consider themselves artists.  The hubby reads blueprints and it amazes him how often architects don't design to building code and sometimes designs aren't even structurally sound.  Some architects are okay with changes or corrections to their designs, but the ones with "vision" can be and usually are difficult.  Also, remember Seinfeld--George's fantasy job is being an architect.  I don't want to think about George Castanza when I read a romance.  Told you it was strange :)
Will I read the next one?  You bet.  Laurel and Del's story (Savor the Moment) comes out in May 2010.  I would LOVE to read Emma's parents' story, it sounded beautiful.

Saturday, November 7

Another List

I've started 3 different books in the last 3 days and can't seem to settle on what I want to read.  It's the middle of Saturday afternoon, and I'm bored, I decided to make a list of odd thoughts ...
  1. My son has 3 birthday parties in 8 days this month.  At what age do the kids' birthday parties stop?
  2. This summer we finally broke down and bought the child a Nintendo DS.  Guess who plays it almost as much as he does?  I even have my own games.
  3. We're making calzones for dinner tonight, I didn't have the heart to tell my husband it would have been cheaper and easier to have them delivered from one of our local pizza places.
  4. Our local supermarket gets french bread from a bakery in NYC and it's really good.  I put the oven on this afternoon to help the pizza dough defrost for the afore mentioned calzones (the dough is in a bag on top of the stove) and I could smell bread cooking.  I'd put a loaf of the french bread in the oven last night planning to use it for dinner, didn't use it and left it there.  I now have one giant, really crispy crouton.
  5. We had a 9:00 am soccer game today. It was 29 degrees when we got there.  The child had on 4 layers of clothing, a hat and gloves.  I went to Dunkin' Donuts and bought a box of Hot Chocolate for the kids--big hit.
  6. The child got his first pair of glasses this week.  One eye is weaker than the other and he needs them for reading.
  7. One of the books I started was Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts.  I read Visions in White earlier this year.  I liked VIW but I was left not really sure I even liked the 4 women the bride series is about.  After starting BOR I'm still not so sure about them.
  8. I pre-ordered Linda Howard's Ice this week along with a couple of other books and the new Stephen King for the hubby.   Thanks to the on-line price wars I got the hardcovers for $9 and took advantage of the super saver shipping.  I know the Howard is really short, but I'm a fangirl.
Junior just asked me to snuggle up on the sofa with him and watch the Polar Express, so I've got to go.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Thursday, November 5

To Desire a Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt

Elizabeth Hoyt has become one of my favorite authors.  I'm rarely disappointed with her storytelling.  Once again she's hit a homerun (notice the baseball metaphor :)) with To Desire a Devil.

The blurb is very good:
Reynaud St. Aubyn has spent the last seven years in hellish captivity. Now half mad with fever he bursts into his ancestral home and demands his due. Can this wild-looking man truly be the last earl's heir, thought murdered by Indians years ago?

Beatrice Corning, the niece of the present earl, is a proper English miss. But she has a secret: No real man has ever excited her more than the handsome youth in the portrait in her uncle's home. Suddenly, that very man is here, in the flesh-and luring her into his bed.


Only Beatrice can see past Reynaud's savagery to the noble man inside. For his part, Reynaud is drawn to this lovely lady, even as he is suspicious of her loyalty to her uncle. But can Beatrice's love tame a man who will stop at nothing to regain his title-even if it means sacrificing her innocence?
I was really looking forward to this one.  Given the high expectations, I was very pleased.  Reynaud was angry and bitter.  His interactions with other people are outright rude, understandable given his experiences of the last 7 years.  Beatrice is giving, tolerant and understanding.  Ms. Hoyt gradually gives you Reynaud's backstory and it's gruesome and sad.  You feel every one of his emotions.

To Seduce a Sinner is my favorite book of this series, but this is very close.  I loved Reynaud's interaction with Lord Vale from TSAS.  Jasper and Reynaud have such a shared history that they were bound to reconcile, and I felt it was handled well, with frustration and anger, laughter and memories.

A good book, if you're a Hoyt fan it's a satisfactory conclusion to a good series.

Have a great night and happy reading :)


My You Tube video was deleted, so I pulled it from the

The Core Four
"It’s only fitting I think that Andy started it,
Mo finished it," Jeter said.

Wednesday, November 4

Just Finished!!  I'll blog about it tomorrow :)
Have a great night and happy reading!!

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

When I first came back to blogging "everyone" was reading Tessa Dare's Goddess of the Hunt.   And just about every review left me thinking TSTL heroine.  That is until I read Rosario's Review. Go ahead and read it, I'll wait :)

The best review I found for this delightful book.  I was pleasantly surprised that Lucy would work for me, usually that single-mindedness creates an incredibly annoying heroine, not this time, though she does have her moments.  And Jeremy :)  Loved when he tried to distract himself with latin--conjugating the verb to kiss didn't work.

Surrender of a Siren and A Lady of Persuasion are moving up the TBR pile.

Monday, November 2

For the writing challenged among us

I discovered Mandy's She Reads Blog over at Wendy's and decided since I'm never going to be a writer and usually lurk at sites doing the NaNoWriMo thing, that I will join her and other's in NaNoReadMo...  The National Novel Read Month.  Mandy's hoping to read 5 new novels this month.  5 sounds good, 10 would be better.  Given my reading time, 10 is probably way too ambitious.

If it's Sunday I must have finished a book...

Acutally it's Monday, but for the last two weeks I've finished books Sunday afternoon, Indiscreet and As Darkness Falls.

Indiscreet by Carolyn Jewel

I finished Indiscreet last Sunday and talked a little bit about it most of the week.  Sabine Godard is the niece of an Oxford professor and is "ruined" by the good friend of Lord Edward Marrack.  Fast forward 2 years and Lord Edward is now the Marquess of Foye.  He's traveling in Turkey and ends up in the Godard's circle of friends and collegues.  The professor is very sick and finishing his last academic writings.  The attraction between Foye and Sabine happens quickly, though Sabine is cautious because of Foye's friendship with man who ruined her.  Ah, but Foye has a good reason to dislike, even hate his old friend.  Foye is very concerned about Sabine's safety while traveling in Turkey.  She's caught the eye of a Pasha that doesn't have good intentions.  Sabine wont leave her uncle.  When disaster happens, the second part of the book becomes an adventure, road story.

I enjoyed this story.  In the past I've found Carolyn Jewel's writing to be a bit scattered sometimes focusing on secondary characters that didn't have a story to tell.  Indiscreet is very much focused on Sabine and Foye and that's why the book worked for me.   Even though Sabine needs rescueing, it's not because she has done something stupid and Foye is completely dedicated to her.

Give it a try, I thought Indiscreet was worth reading.

As Darkness Falls by Bronwyn Parry

It rained in our little area of the world on Halloween.  I sat on my front porch with As Darkness Falls and read while giving out candy.  A dark and dreary night is a good atmosphere for reading a very dark, yet very enjoyable romantic suspense.  If you are like me and expect your RS to be dark, this will probably work for you.  Ms. Parry does an incredible job creating an oppressive atmosphere that revolves around a small town on the edge of the Australian Outback and the consequences of vigilante justice.

Isabelle O'Connell is drawn back to work as a detective after the kidnapping of a friend's young daughter.  Alec Goddard is the lead inspector.  Bella's backstory is slowly developed until you fully understand the horror she has survived.  She is an amazing heroine... smart, strong, survivor.  Alec's story comes in small dumps of information, but it doesn't feel like large scale info dumping.  The secondary characters are smartly written, interesting and very typical of a small town.  The town itself is an important charcter to the story.  Bella needs closure and Alec involvement goes quickly from professional to personal.  I can't imagine how difficult it is to remain professional when a case involves a child.  This anxiety ratchets up the overall suspense of the story.

This book is worth hunting down.  I recieved it from Bronwyn Parry after winning Wendy's book contest.  I know it's available from The Book Depository and I believe the shipping is free.

Saturday, October 31

Hoping everyone has a scary and safe Halloween!!

Thursday, October 29

They're Here

The books I won over at Wendy's arrived today!! I'm very excited and am putting them at the top of the TBR Pile. 

Thanks so much to Bronwyn Parry and Wendy :)

A new day, a new list

I seem to be in a list mood...
  1. We get it, piracy is bad--STOP PREACHING TO THE CHOIR!!  We're not the people stealing your ebooks. 
  2. I don't want to hear how romance isn't taken seriously--how do we expect to be taken seriously when so many blogs and websites consist of near naked or in some cases naked men.  It seems to me we're doing a great job of living up to the "it's porn for women" label.  Book covers are bad enough, but yikes.  Okay, that was preachy--I'm done.
  3. The Child is going to be the Grim Reaper for Halloween.
  4. Love my new hair cut--a very short bob.  My parent are coming to visit this afternoon (bringing Junior a Halloween gift) Mom's going to love that it's short, "long hair isn't appropriate in someone your age".  Mom started telling me I was middle aged when I turned 35, now that I'm 45 I'm almost old.
  5. I have to bake cookies tonight for Grandparents day at school tomorrow.  We're having our annual All Saints Day presentation, and the school grandparents are invited.
  6. I haven't read anything since finishing Indiscreet, and I will definitely get to some sort of review soon.

Wednesday, October 28

Today's List

  1. I posted something earlier about the discussion that was going on at DA yesterday, but decided nothing I had to say was that revolutionary or different than what was already being discussed. So, I deleted it (actually I saved it as a draft to sit in blogger Never Neverland)
  2. I have an appointment to have my hair done at a local day spa.  Haven't had a good hair cut in quite a while.  Everytime I went to my old salon, the stylist (my husband's cousin's ex-wife) didn't really listen to what I wanted, even though I agreed with her that her ex is an *^(#*^%
  3. I work after care today, so I wont be back on-line until tonight.
  4. The Yankees play tonight :)

Tuesday, October 27

Barnes & Noble Trip

Saturday the family took a trip to B&N.

The Child has been bugging us to all week.  He desperately wanted the newest installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, which he got plus one more WK book and  2 Goosebump books.  He's already finished one of the Wimpy Kid books and started the other.  For the last couple of years we thought he wasn't going to be a reader.

I picked up 4 books...  Carolyn Jewel's Indiscreet, Tessa Dare's Surrender of the Siren and A Lady of Persuasion and Beverly Jenkins's Captured.  They didn't have Goddess of the Hunt, so the Dare series will have to wait until I can read them in order.  Somewhere I'd heard good things about the Jenkins. 

Sunday I finished Indiscreet--LOVED it and will hopefully post something tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25

The List

Because of the fundraiser last weekend I missed most of the top 16 lists romance bloggers were posting, and didn't get a chance to post a list either. This had me thinking about books and authors that have influenced my reading and buying habits over the 30+ years (I swear I'm not that old--I started reading romance in the 7th grade).

I've been thinking about authors who have passed away, retired from writing or who have changed genres or writing styles. Here is a list of authors in no particular order that have shaped my reading habits over the years.
  • Kathleen Woodiwiss:  The list would have to start with the queen of historical romances,  Shanna and The Wolf and The Dove make me smile just thinking about them.
  • Jill Barnett:  I don't know if she is still writing, but I adored her books especially Bewitching, Dreaming, Wonderful and Just a Kiss Away.  Sweet funny stories, from paranormals to medivals to jungle adventure, she had a wonderful writing career.
  • Arnette Lamb:  As far as I'm concerened she was the queen of Scottish historicals.  She has passed away and I found it so sad when SB made fun of her old covers,  her books were wonderful.
  • Pamela Morsi:  Her historical romance back list is fantastic, must reads--Courting Miss Hattie and Heaven Sent.
  • Lavryle Spencer:  I loved her books, my first was Seperate Beds, my favorite Years--I still reread this on at least once a year, just love Linnea and Teddy.
  • Marsha Canham:  Retired--LOVED her entire back list, my favorites...  Through a Dark Mist, In the Shadow of Midnight and The Last Arrow.
  • Elizabeth Lowell:  Her romance background is amazing.  From historicals to Silhouettes to romantic suspense, her romance novels were great.
  • Iris Johanson:  Track down her historicals, well worth reading.
  • Joan Wolf:  She has been getting some attention for her Regencies, which were great, but I also loved her Dark Ages series, her King Alfred the Great book was fantastic.
  • Candice Proctor:  Every single one of her books were really good.  Night in Heaven and Whispers in Heaven are two of my favorite books of all time
  • Jane Feather:  Her "V" series are classics and I still reread The Accidental Bride once a year.
  • Amanda Quick:  Long before her Arcane series there were her single word titles, most started with R, D, M or S, Ravished, Seduced, Mischief ... her list was endless and fun, with quirky interesting characters.  Her Jayne Ann Krentz category romances were great too.
  • Maggie Osborne:  When Westerns are being discussed her name pops up.  Definitely worth reading her backlist.
  • Julie Garwood:  Her historicals were wonderful.  Loved that there wasn't internal conflict between the h/h, the stood together against outside forces.  My favorite--Honor's Splendor--warming of feet, enough said.
  • Marilyn Pappano:  Silhouettes to die for, going way back.  My favorite--Within Reach--It's still on my keeper shelf.
  • Judith McNaught:  Most people think of Whtney, My Love, but she had other great books, Paradise, Perfect and other historical romances that are worth reading.
  • Catherine Coulter:  I'm not sure her books hold up that well to the test of time, but when her older historicals were new they were the best.  And her historic backlist is huge.
  • Virginia Henley:  Yes, I am admitting I used to read Henley.  Simon deMontfort and Princess Eleanor in The Dragon & The Jewel still sits on my keeper shelf.
  • Bertrice Small and Thea Devine:  I put these ladies together because where would erotic romance be without them?  If you ever get a chance to meet Thea Devine she is wonderful to talk to, she tells great stories about how she got started.
  • Rebecca Paisley:  I'm putting Paisley on the list because every other member of my Romance Reading Bookclub absolutely LOVED her.  I could never figure out why, she never worked for me, but I read her anyway, because everyone else did.
  • Megan Chance, Jo Beverley, Laura Kinsale:  All were influential and worth finding backlists.
  • Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Elizabeth Hoyt, Lynn Viehl, Susan Squires, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Mary Balogh, Liz Carlyle, and a few others I can't think of right now are have been autobuys for quite some time now and I expect that wont change anytime soon.
So, who has influenced your romance reading habits?  Post them in comments or bring it back to your blog :)

Giving up for now

I spent most of yesterday trying to create a black and white blog with this as the banner...

I'm HTML challenged and blogger doesn't want to resize the jpeg file I created to fit correctly. When you click on the picture it's the exact size I want it to be for the banner, but it's just not working. I'm giving up for a few days and moving on to other things.

Please note it's 4:30 am and I'm up for the day--yikes.

Saturday, October 24

Can't get there from here

I started messing with my template and somehow lost the old one. And since it's giving me all sorts of error messages when I try to paste the html back in, I created a new one using bloggers layout options.

Friday, October 23


Angie and Megan are going to be at NJRW.  Years ago I belonged to a Romance Reading Book Club at my local UBS. The club would go down to NJRW for the Saturday Literacy Bookfair and author signing...  Nora Roberts, Anne Stuart, Betina Krahn, Sharon Sala (she signed my Jackson Rule--LOVE that book), Suzanne Brockman...  Great memories.

There's a great list of authors at this year's Literacy Bookfair and author signing. Wish I could make the trip, maybe next year :)


I just noticed the tiny disclaimer at the bottom of the Literacy Bookfair and author signing link:

Please note: As in the past, previously purchased books are not permitted in the Book Fair for signing.

Way back when we were allowed to bring books, if I remember correctly it was 4 or 5, then it was 2, now it's none.  Ahhh, the good old days :)  Jackson Rule wouldn't have been autographed by today's rules.

Wendy's questions of the day...

Wendy's questions today seems very relevent to the conversation yesterday on Dear Author (see yesterday's post)...  what are the book buying habits of other readers?

What I Buy New:  Paperbacks:  I'm very particular about what I buy new.  The budget is tight and I stick to auto-buy authors and highly recommended books from bloggers like Rosario and Rosie--my reading tastes seem to be pretty consistantly similar to theirs.  Hardcovers:  Rarely and I mean rarely do I buy hardcovers and usually I save gift cards that I get for my birthday and Christmas for these.

ARCs:  I don't get ARCs anymore.  18 months of not blogging gets you off all sorts of lists, which is fine because I always felt obligated to read and review things as soon as I received them and hated reviewing a free book that I didn't like.

Buying Used: I try to keep a list of books that I want used... new to me authors, recommended reads by blogger other than Rosario and Rosie, and I try to get to my local UBS every couple of months. While there I'll pick up anything that looks good.

What I Get In "e":   Right now I'm not getting anything "e".  I have an older device that isn't backlit and doesn't have enough memory to store more than a couple of books at a time.  BN's Nook looks interesting, but I'm going to wait for prices to come down and put it on a Christmas wish list for next year (let all the kinks get worked out first).  I'm not into technology, I have a cell phone, but rarely use it and would probably like an i-phone because of all the apps, but I don't need one.

That's it for my book buying habits.

Have a great day and happy reading :)

Thursday, October 22

For a little while I actually followed today's little flare up and found it rather interesting, in a been there done that sort of way. Authors jump to conclusions and readers get annoyed. There's a new concept *rolls eyes*

Fifteen years ago a friend (the owner of our local UBS) went to an RT convention and was blasted for selling used books by a VERY popular author at that time. Not exactly the same thing, but it sounds rather similiar, doesn't it?

Can anyone take a middle of the road approach to this?

Authors need to realize readers share books, whether it's print or ebook. Isn't it more important to be read by more people, hopefully this will guarantee more sales in the future.

And readers need to realize that authors especially mid-list ones rely on book royalties to pay their bills, writing is their job, just like being a bookkeeper is mine.

In this case it seemed the authors in question were over reacting, but a little sensitivity on both sides would go a very long way.

Wednesday, October 21

Current Reading

Currently I'm reading Karin Tabke's Master of Torment.  Book two of her Blood Sword Legacy series.  I read book three first then went back for one  and two.  The Blood Swords are William the Conqueror's elite fighting force.

I'm enjoying the series, it's been quite some time since there has beena strong voice writing medieval romances that sound as realistic as I would expect. Not being a scholar of the period, I go by what I think sounds real in speech cadences and story structure. Honestly, I can't say how realistic or true to history they are, but they're working for me.

I wont be getting much reading in today. I have work this morning, after care at school from 3 to 6 and then I'm back for a parent association meeting at 7.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Monday, October 19


Well, I'm back. The fundraiser is finished for another year. THANK GOD.

Last night I finished Stephanie Lauren's Mastered by Love. Rosario had an interesting review and I thought it was worth giving a try. I haven't read Lauren's in years and years. She used to be a favorite, but after a while I found her rather repetative and the silly nicknames were very annoying.

It was okay.  Something that could be enjoyed in the moment, but it certainly wasn't a keeper.  I find she has interesting vocabulary choices, almost as if she writes with a thesaurus.  It's almost as if her writing hasn't evolved at all--plot, characters are still very similar to her other books.

Royce and Minerva were very interesting and smart characters, they flowed very well together.  I didn't particularly like some of the secondary character (Royce's sisters) and there seemed to be too many of them (secondary characters--not sisters),  and I was somewhat disconcerted by how the "last traitor" met is ultimate demise.

A totally readable book, but Lauren's wont be going back on my reading list.

The Yankees come on in 30 minutes, so have a great day/night and happy reading.

Friday, October 16

Gone but not forgotten...

I'm busy with a school fundraiser this weekend.  I'll be back on Monday.

Have a great weekend and happy reading.

Tuesday, October 13

Random discoveries...

I've been blog hopping again and just following links to different places, and have made some random discoveries...
  1. It doesn't matter who talks about ereaders--the mind wanders, the eyes glaze over and the ringing in the ears sounds like every adult in a Peanuts cartoon... wah, wah waaahh.  I know it's the future of books and reading, but I'm waiting for technology to even itself out and prices to start to come down.  And ebook prices aren't always that great. And everyone is talking about them.
  2. There are some really good review sites out there.  I've been running Kristie's sidebar and have been lurking on interesting review and commentary blogs with some gorgeous graphics.  The first few times I ran Kristie's sidebar there were an awful lot of contests and things that didn't interest me, but for the last week I've been finding some good stuff.
  3. I need to update my sidebar to include all the good stuff I've found (see #2).
  4. I must be a prude, but Holy Cow, there are a lot more sites that need consent warnings.  Not that consent warnings actually mean anything.  But at least I'd be forewarned.
  5. I'm not ususally bothered by book covers, but I've seen a few that I would have to cover for public reading and I NEVER do this--one didn't even have people on it and it definitely would need to be covered in public, I'm leaving it at that.
  6. Covers again, I know I just said I'm not usually bothered by covers, but everyone is bothered by AVON covers...  Why do we get sucky AVON step back covers here in the States but in England the AVON covers are lovely and artsy?
  7. RT doesn't like me.  I've tried registering several times and I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER get the registration confirmation.  And yes, I've checked the SPAM mailbox.  Not that I need to be on the RT message boards--it's just annoying.
  8. There are several bloggers obsessed with Lisa Kleypas heros--Kristie started a trend :)
  9. Some of the interaction between writers and bloggers is interesting and some of it is cringe worthy. I guess that never changes.
  10. The next time you go to Walmart make sure you don't look like a freak and if you're going to wear a pink micro-mini please wear underpants.  Someone will take your picture and post it online for all the world to stumble across.  And no, I don't know where I found this one, it was a link, from a link, from a link thing.
Ten is a good number to stop at.

I've got Bingo today, I wont be back until tonight.  Have a great day and happy reading :)

Monday, October 12

Lightened Up

Taking a break from romance blogging wasn't planned, but it did have some good side effects.  During my self imposed exile I learned to lighten up and not take romance reading so seriously.  Most of us read for escape and entertainment, not for enlightenment or to find a life plan, yet so many of us take the process of reading and blogging so seriously, in the past myself included.

The other day there was a review Carolyn Jewel's Indiscreet on Dear Author. It seemed like a good review, sounded like a book I'd enjoy, like one I'll be adding to my TBR pile (I'd already decided on this one, Rosie's review had already convinced me to pick this one up). The woman who posted the first comment apparently is married to a Kurdish man. This is from her initial comment...
I just can’t stand cultural appropriation. So I will have to pass. Middle Eastern/Persian/Arabic culture has become taboo, so it will be popular for exploitation
I flinched. It had nothing to do with the review or the book. For several comments it looked like the review might be hijacked, morphing into something that might cause another controversy.  Was she entitled to make this comment--of course.  Was this the forum for discussion--maybe, maybe not. Sarah Frantz is looking for papers, wouldn't this be a perfect topic?

My husband is Sicilian American, should I not watch The Godfather movies or the The Sopranos because they are sterotypes of Italian/Sicilian American culture, or do I allow myself to escape and be entertained.

Several years ago I read Scottish Historicals on a fairly regular basis.  After numerous discussions on message boards,  it was brought home how inaccurate so many of these books were in  historical information and culture, to the point that I gave up on them, rather than focusing on the story between 2 characters I was focusing on the details.  I've probably missed some great books because of this.

I'm not trying to diminish the need for historical and cultural accuracy or personal preferences.  I'm annoyed about historical inaccuracies when I find them and I have definite preferences but these days first and foremost I want to escape, be entertained and believe happily ever after is possible.

Saturday, October 10

Home Alone

The hubby and child are camping. 

Cub Scout camping. 

Cub Scout camping in the POURING RAIN.

They're camping locally at one of the county parks.  I stopped last night to see how they were doing.  When I left it wasn't raining yet and everything was set up and the 3 man tent looked quite cozy with sleeping bags, blanket, air mattress and pillows.  When I got home there was a call from the hubby, I apparently when I closed the door of our mini-van... "you locked the van with my keys in it."  I had to go back and unlock it.

So, with all this alone time do you think I did any reading??  NOPE!  I watched the Yankees go into extra innings and promptly fell asleep after Teixeira's home run in the bottom of the 11th.  Honestly, the Yankees didn't win as much as the Twins lost, but we'll take it :)

Back to the campers...  I get a call this morning at 6:30, that's right 6:30--good thing I was already awake.  They're in the van drying off.  It poured non-stop from about 10:00 last night until about 6:00 this morning.  They were nice and dry in the tent until the child needed to go to the bathroom at 5:30 this morning.  Not a dry spot in the entire camp, no place to sit and almost no dry firewood.  It took hours to cook breakfast.  I sent towels and a storage box that was to stay in the car with dry clothing.  It looks like they may need it.

I'm heading over this afternoon.  Junior needs his Cub Scout uniform by 2:00 and our Pastor is coming to say a fireside Mass, that is if they can get a fire going.  I was planning on staying for dinner, but I think I'll come home, eat something and read--no Yankees.

Did I mention they're forecasting FROST tonight?

Thursday, October 8

For the first time in my life the words "I'm going to burn that book" came out of my mouth.  That book being The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes.  The child reads it every day, spending 1/2 an hour every morning in our only bathroom.  My husband took it out of the bathroom to help get the child moving in the morning.  The child found it and it's back in the bathroom.

The child actually asked the teacher if he could use it for his October book report.  He's reading a Goosebump book instead.

Wednesday, October 7

The evolution of a romance reader

Wendy has a great post up on Romancing the Blog today about romance genre ground breakers. Definitely worth a read and a thought today.

This got me thinking about my ground zero of romance. Where did my addiction to romance start and how did it evolve?

Westerns--real westerns, without love interest westerns, Zane Grey type of westerns. I was horse crazy as a kid. What is the backbone of westerns? To an 11 or 12 year old kid it was the horse--yes, I said the horse. But, even then I thought something was missing. I also read other things like The Little House Books and Anne of Green Gables please note these books also had horses and ponies :)

Harlequin Presents--HPs came next. Harlequin Presents with horses that is--LOL. I inhaled anything written by Janet Dailey (which I hate to admit since her plagiarism scandal). That is anything written by Janet Dailey with horses.

In the 8th grade I read Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman--this was my epiphany. It was a true love story. The school librarian gave me the book at the end of the school year because I'd taken it out over and over again. It's probably in box packed away in my attic.

Then I started reading anything with a romantic theme. Anything published by Harlequin (the Silhouette lines hadn't started yet).

The discovery of Kathleen Woodiwiss (borrowed from an aunt) was mind-blowing. History, romance, adventure--OMG, she had it all, and they were epic--more than 150 or 180 pages. At this point I was reading other genres equally. Stephen King was getting popular and I read Carrie and The Shining, and other adult books, some books a young teenager should never have read.

Up until the mid 80's I was simply looking for romance books. Then I really started to discover "authors" other than Kathleen Woodiwiss, Barbara Cartland (even then Cartland readers didn't admit to being Cartland readers, my Regency romance passion started with Cartland and Georgette Heyer) and Janet Dailey (though at this point I'd outgrown Janet Dailey--I was amazed by her Calder series when it was new). The discovery of other authors sent me into autobuy mode... Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, Judith McNaught, Jude Devereaux, Sandra Brown, Julie Garwood, Jill Barnett, Lavryle Spencer... I can remember the day I discoverd Lavyrle Spencer. I'd stopped in a local drug store for something else, stopped at the book display and found Seperate Beds, the main characters were my age--it was amazing.

I'm still hooked, much to the dismay of my husband--books overrun our house, if there is a flat surface, there's probably a romance novel sitting on it, actually more than one :)

Sunday, October 4

Time for Eternity by Susan Squires

I started the Sommerfield and decided it needed to wait until I finished Susan Squires' Time for Eternity.  I've been reading Susan Squires for a long time, starting with Body Electric. I didn't read Body Electric new, I had heard good things from another blogger a few years ago and enjoyed the concept. If you haven't read it, hunt it down it's a curious read--I'll leave it at that.

Believe it or not, I'm not a huge fan of most vampire romance. Most of the vampire romances I've read aren't frightening enough, I find myself comparing them to Salem's Lot,and nothing I've ever read scared me as much.  And honestly, I can't stand vampire comedy.  I have several Sizemore vampire books on my TBR pile, I haven't read any yet.

None of the 3 vampire series I read are very scary, but there's something in each that I enjoy: 1. JR Ward (she continues to suck me in her stories--I can't explain it :)).  2. Lynn Viehl--I've enjoyed almost all of her Darkyn series and 3. Susan Squires--she hooked me with The Companion and I loved One with the Darkness.

Time for Eternity was another good book in a series of good books. It has morphed into a time-travel/vampire series, which has been interesting. In her earlier books the source of conflict in the story comes from an almost epic battle between vampires, but with the time travel books the time periods become character like, bringing the conflict in a different direction, simply surviving in a historic period of conflict.  One with the Darkness starts in 1821 and goes back to Rome during Caligula's reign (A.D 41--love that time period :)).

Modern day San Francisco is where Time for Eternity starts and goes back to the France during the Reign of Terror, a time period I don't like to read about--the guillotine and the killing of innocent families including children is very disturbing.  Frankie (a made vampire) goes back in time to kill Henri (a born vampire) before he can turn her.  She believes he abandoned her.  Henri would never have left her alone after the transition, we find out on page 7 he was guillotined.  Why he was killed unfolds as the story progresses.  By going back in time Francoise/Frankie, the heroine, finds strength she lacked during her 1st time in Revolutionary France and Henri, our hero, is the truest of heros, this time survivng the time period.

I've rattled on enough.  This one I enjoyed, maybe someone else did too?

Have a great day and happy reading.

Saturday, October 3

The next two weeks are crazy...

In two weeks our school will host a very large fundraiser.  In years past it raised half of our yearly fundraising income, but this year it looks like we'll make very little--we're taking a big hit because of the economy.  Unfortunately the work load for this event is huge and we're all getting a little tense.  It's crunch time and everyone is feeling it.  There's snipping and snarling going on all over the place.

Next weekend Junior and the Hubby are going camping with the Cub Scouts.  And that's turning into an event too.  Usually we pay a fee and the pack supplies the food.  This time we bring our own food, but it's specific things that they will "cook as a pack".  I don't think it's going to work but I'm keeping my mouth shut.  Otherwise there may be snipping and snarling going on all over the place.

This weekend the Hubby has to work and I'm manning a booth at our town's Fall festival.  It should be fine.  That is unless someone from the town's school board corners me again to discuss "school issues" then there will be snipping and snarling going on all over the place (actually it will only be in my head--I'm very diplomatic and can smile and nod while seething, but that's another tale).

I'm hoping to squeeze in some reading.

Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, October 1

I didn't need to know that...

This morning I was up early and did a quick blog hop.  The last stop before having to get breakfast ready and lunches packed was Dear Author .  Now I rarely read Joan/Sarah F's reviews because I'm not really into what she reads and reviews for the Ja(y)nes, but I almost always skim through her reviews, because you never know something may catch my interest.

The cover of the book caught my attention, so I start reading the review.  I get about 2/3 of the way through the review and I hit a section that went beyond TMI to I really didn't need to know this :)

I may be a font of useless information, but that was information I didn't need to know and probably wouldn't admit to knowing even if it came up on conversation--LOL

Just Curious

Being gone for so long I'm left somewhat confused at times and still out of the loop at other times.

This week Rosie blogged about editorial and opinion blog posts over on Access Romance.  My comment was "There’s not much out there that I’d be willing to wade into. There’s more important things in life to worry about."  I see most of the attention getting issues as tempests in teacups, and someone else usually posts my thoughts on a subject and probably better than I would have :)  .

I came across a few things over the last few days that I wasn't really "willing to wade into", but I did have some thoughts about, so I'm going to comment here instead :)
  1. Advertising--if you reach the point where advertising is needed to keep your blog afloat, you have probably ceased being a simple reader blog and have morphed into more of an industry one.  This isn't a bad transition for people who have made this their work, part time, full time.  It takes real dedication to move from a reading hobby to being part of the industry.  Advertising is great, but it needs to be separate from commentary.  There's a credibility issue.  And to be perfectly honest, I never notice the advertising--that's probably not such a good thing or maybe it is--I'm not sure, I'll have to think about it--someother time ;)
  2. Yesterday I stumbled upon the "petition" from last year.  Wow, I truly missed a big brouhaha with that one--LOL, Nobody likes criticism (myself included), the initial reaction is usually to be defensive--I always hate myself later, whenver I do this. What I found interesting was the shock and disbelief that went with an author behaving badly over a review, even to this extreme and this was frightening in the extreme.  This type of behavior has been going on forever.  Authors behave badly, readers react and the mean girls on all sides come crawling out of the woodwork.  This happens on the blogs now, the message boards of a few years ago, book reviews in magazines and newspapers have you ever read some of the letters to the editors?  There are crazy people in the world--and they all have opinions.  There will always be fans that feed the egos of authors and we need to remember there are fans of blogs that can be just as ugly.  It is what it is--a sad part of human nature.
  3. Plagiarism--what the heck?  Don't authors realize, especially in this digitial age, that they're going to be eventually caught??
I'm off my soap box--have a great day, I've got a book to read :)

Wednesday, September 30

Next up on the TBR pile

The other Church Lady in our office is a 74 year old grandma. She has been the Church Secretary for over 25 years. Every once in a while she gives me books that she's enjoyed, usually these books are women's fiction she picked up at a library sale. 

Yesterday she gave me what she described as a hot romance, she stayed up late Monday night to finsh reading. Not only did she like it she LOVED it.

Holy cow, it's an old Sylvie Sommerfield. In all the years I've been reading romance I've never read Sylvie Sommerfield. This one is up next.

Don't you just love the cover--LOL