A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Just Finished...

BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN by Julia Quinn and BIT THE JACKPOT by Erin McCarthy.

Both of these books were just enjoyable reads. I won't be stopping people in the aisles at my local B&N or Borders to tell them to read either one of them, but I enjoyed each of the books for being unapologetically what they are.

BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN is pretty much standard Regency fare, but Ms. Quinn does have some very clever and witty exchanges between the H/H. I very much enjoyed their relationship and its dynamic. This is a quick read and an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. Great for when you are in the mood for something light.

I have to admit that I wasn't all that thrilled with the first Vegas Vampires book HIGH STAKES by Ms. McCarthy. Vampires and Las Vegas seem like a match made in...umm...er...hell? What surprised me is that after enjoying Ms. McCarthy's contemporaries so very much the foray into the vamp world didn't do much for me. Imagine my surprise when I decided to purchase the second book. Not only was I expecting not to like it, but I picked it up when I was in a defiant and obnoxious mood. So up against all that I still got engaged in the story and enjoyed it. Don't expect to read this and think you will be reading about the dark side of vampires particularly when the vamp world is in the middle of a presidential election. Yeah, interesting hook, huh? Again, an enjoyable read. Definitely a dessert of books and not the main course.

Right now I'm waiting for February 6th even with the TBR I have I'm anxious to read SEP's new book which is due out then and also, I'm going to give Lora Leigh another chance. I've been a big fan of her Breed series, but her storylines are beginning to have a repetitive theme to me. What books are you looking forward to this spring?

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Nora Roberts, Nora Roberts, Nora Roberts

Okay kiddies am I the last person on the planet to know that LIFETIME is showing four original movies based on four bestselling Nora Roberts' books beginning January 29th?

In case you didn't know either, here is the scoop. I was flipping through the TV the other night when I couldn't sleep and ran across a commercial promoting the event. If you go
here you can watch the trailers and learn all about it.

If you click on the tabs at the link I provided above, you can see who is starring in which film. Does anyone else think Heather Locklear is too old to play the part of Reese in ANGEL FALLS? Oh and if you click on Nora Roberts
tab you can hear Nora talk about each of the books and how she will be making her acting debut with a cameo in each film. Go Nora!

Now we just have to cross our fingers that they do the books justice. ANGEL FALLS was one of my favorite books of 2006. Is it too much to ask that they don't screw it up?

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Busy Reading

I've been on a reading frenzy the past week. It all culminated with re-reading the PROMISE series by Sarah McCarty. I was putting some other books away and picked up PROMISES LINGER and that was all she wrote. It's probably the third or fourth time I've read these books and I am amazed at how much they still draw me in.

While I can't say all the books I've been reading have been as stellar, I have been enjoying reading and leading a more leisurely paced life. After today's holiday, both my sons are back in school and TGILW has been back to work and my official 2007 begins. So being able to enjoy the slower pace and read and sort of drift along for a couple of weeks has been wonderful.

Sadly, my blogging has been suffering terribly. While I have been out there surfing and reading and commenting I have had the blogging blahs. It's not that I don't want to write, I've just been uninspired. Usually I just let go with whatever I'm thinking. I must say things have come to a serious pass when I have to think about what it IS I'm thinking about. Sad, sorry and pitiful.

Truth be told, I just haven't wanted to do any book reviews. I've read some good books, and in the past couple of weeks I've read about 8 books. Nothing really captured my imagination though. It has inspired me to go through my TBR and see what is languishing there. For one thing everyone raves about the JD Robb books and I have all of them. I think I've only read the first three. I think I might start over and read them all back to back. Good idea? Bad idea?

Devonna said she lost her reading mo-jo...I've lost my blogging mo-jo. God knows what I'll post next.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

January 10th

You know my mother always disliked depressing people. These were people who talked about their illnesses, real or imagined, all the time. Or people who complained about stuff...husbands, kids, jobs all the time. They all got lumped together as being depressing. The thing is if you met my mother you would never know of her secret distaste for "depressing people". My mother greeted and treated everyone with kindness, compassion and respect.

So it is with mixed emotions I write this post about January 10th. I usually post about my Mom on her birthday which is August 9th, but she usually gets a mention on January 10th as well. January 10th is the anniversary of her death. And now that I have mentioned this event here on my blog I officially belong to the category of depressing people. Trust me, she's sighing AND rolling her eyes.

While my Mom would cherish the idea that we remember her and still keenly feel her loss three years later, she would verbally kick our butts for still grieving. At every fall and stumbling block in life she was yapping at our heels to get up and get on with our lives.

"No one is going to send you an engraved invitation to your own life," she'd say.

But when you have such a person IN your life there is a big hole when they are gone. So Mom, I've been thinking about you a lot the past few days. I wanted to write about it so I could get on with my life. So maybe I'm a little bit depressing, but thankfully I know you love me anyway and will be yapping at my heels before I know it to get up and get on with it.

By the way...what did you think of the scrapbooks?


Monday, January 08, 2007

The January To Do List

What are the things you do every January? No, I don't mean new year resolutions. I don't really believe in those. Not to say I don't believe people can make up their minds to make a change and use the first of a new year as a date to begin, but I just don't believe in an arbituary resolution people guilt themselves into making each new year. So I don't.

No, I'm talking about things you do in January just because it is a new year. For instance, even though I have all sorts of technology like my computer and phone that have calendars and reminders of significant dates, I still have a wall calendar in my office that I hand write birthdays, etc. on because it has everything for the month at a glance and we all use it when on the phone or computer to remind us to call or connect with loved ones on their special days.

When we put the Christmas decorations away, depending on when New Years falls, I sort of begin my spring cleaning. We do major cleaning because we have to move furniture to put the tree up, so before we return the room back to normal we do major cleaning. I'll do pretty much the same stuff in late March to early April, but it will also include getting drapes and furniture cleaned...that sort of thing.

Also in January I start thinking and planning my flowers for spring. Here in So Cal we can start planting in mid-March. That is like 8-9 weeks away and the soil will have to be turned and treated. Last year was the first time in probably ten years where we hardly did anything in our flower beds out front. I want lots of color out there this year. I can't wait.

So what do you do every January to get your year started right? I'm looking foward to another trip to Disneyland and a visit to my sister Mary. Oh, and LOTS of reading.

I just finished JACOB by Jacquelyn Frank. I just purchased the print copy of the Carnival Tarot books by Jory Strong and I'm re-reading those. I also just got DEMON ANGEL by Meljean Brook and THE REST FALLS AWAY by Colleen Gleason. I haven't done a review in forever. That's another thing I'm hoping to get back to in January.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Where Have I Been?

Well, the mysterious Christmas project that ate part of November and all of December was heritage scrapbooks for each of my siblings and their families. You might not think from the sound of it that this should take up so blasted much of my time. Well, neither did I. In fact while it is a project I've been contemplating for many years, it was something I'd been putting off due to lack of time to devote to really doing it right.

Like many people, I have an interest in our family history. Because my father's parents died when he was so young, we got very little information from him about his family and family history. On my mother's side both of her parents were first generation immigrants from Italy. Fortunately, we heard stories about coming over to America from Italy and about their families while growing up.

Over the years I've been collecting bits of information and just sticking it in a folder. A few years ago my mother gave me her childhood scrapbooks she had done of school events and her early years with my Dad. Then in October I was going though some photo albums of family pictures to look for a particular picture for one of my brothers and thought it might be in Mom's scrapbook. While looking through them I got struck with the idea to make heritage scrapbooks for my siblings. My original intention was just to do something fun and only go back to our grandparents' generation.

You know what they say about plans? Life's what happens when you are making plans. While verifying information on family members on a couple of search websites I kept finding more and more information about our ancestors. I ended up with a book going back three generations on both sides. The end result was a 30-page scrapbook for my 7 siblings. Yes, you read that right SEVEN siblings and their families. And, yes it is one of the more cuckoo ideas I've had because of the short time period I had to complete the research, plan the scrapbook, purchase all the materials and then actually do the books.

A few of them I had to get done right away because I had to get them mailed to be received in time for Christmas. I considered chucking the idea more than once and not trying to get them all done by Christmas, but I just couldn't put the idea away.

Of course, during the two months I worked on the project I was filled with doubt and insecurity whether they would like the books or not...I mean not everyone is interested in their ancestory. After a 8 or 10 hour day of cutting and pasting I'd crawl into bed and ask TGILW if he thought they'd like the books. Thankfully the man is as patient and sweet as he is and he kept encouraging and reassuring me.

Even with TGILW's wonderful encouragement it wasn't the same as sharing some of the "finds" with my family members. Thank God my sister Mary came to visit for my niece's graduation in early December. I had her open her scrapbook on December 8th. Selfishly, I wanted to be with her when she opened it and secondly, I was going crazy without someone to talk to about it. Without her those final couple of weeks, I don't know what I would have done. Not only did were we able to discuss the family history, but she scrapbooks so I had a sympathetic ear to moan about the long hours to complete each book.

By the time Christmas arrived I was very anxious and nervous. Just as Mary and TGILW predicted, I had many tearful and wonderful conversations with my brothers and sisters on Christmas day. Everyone was so sweet and appreciative. I'm particularly happy that the information was so appreciated by my nieces and nephews.

I'm not completely done though. There is still some additinal research I'm doing for my own benefit and I'm finishing up two more scrapbooks to give to each of my sons which will bring the grand total to 10, 30-page scrapbooks. But these last two I don't have to get done in a specific time period and while I hope to have them done before the end of January, it will be at a much more leisurely pace.

So project done, holiday travel done, I'm back home and, I can't believe I'm saying this, anxious to get back to some kind of normal routine. I think I've read like two books the past month. Not because I'm in a funk, but either I've been too busy or too tired. I still bought books though. The TBR looks positively dangerous!

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Well, I'm back home from my adventures. We spent New Years Eve with my sons and their friends at, of all places, Disneyland. It was a long, interesting, fun day filled with many new memories and lots of laughter. I'm putting a picture of a portion of the group we were with. We even convinced ourselves to get annual passes for the Magic Kingdom and spend a couple of date nights there. Time will tell...time will tell.

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year and I look forward to getting back into the swing of things and catch up with all of you.

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