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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vegas Baby Vegas...


Well, I caught with all of my blog hopping last night because I probably won't have a chance to get back out here what with Halloween tonight, my sister and her family come tomorrow night and then on Friday we leave for the family birthday party in Las Vegas.

I have to admit that a week ago I was thrilled to bits. Now that I'm in the thick of getting ready and just had a new project dumped on me at work, well let's just say I'm a little less enthused. Shhhhh...don't tell Beanie because he's so excited he can't stand it. There is nothing that kid likes better than a room full of people and a party. In fact even though we have enough rooms and beds for everyone the cousins are already planning to all stay in the same room. God help us all.

I'm reading. My nose is buried in PANDORA'S DAUGHTER by Iris Johansen. No new ground, but I find I still like her books. I found out Deborah Smith's new book A GENTLE RAIN is available for order. Even though the link is to Amazon I think I actually ordered mine from Barnes and Noble. I'm hoping it gets here in time to take to Vegas to read. You can also order direct from Belle Books, Ms. Smith's (with others) very own pub company, but it's slightly more expensive that way.

It's my intention to do some "on the road" posts. If I get a chance to do them just remember I'm typing on my Treo. It's small and typos happen...

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

North and South - Part Deux

So the long awaited DVD arrived. NORTH AND SOUTH the BBC version was in my mailbox yesterday afternoon. Okay I exaggerate when I say long awaited because it was really only a week, but it seemed like a long time waiting and checking the mailbox. Of course I had to watch it right away. Which means dinner last night was comprised of sandwiches and fruit.

I enjoyed the 4-hour mini series greatly. My only wish was for Richard Armitage to have more screen time. Talk about brooding! Whew! I don't think there's a woman alive that wouldn't react to that intensity. I gotta go find what else he's been in.

Aside from the longing looks and subtle love story this is also a history lesson about the industrial revolution in England and the beginnings of changes in the class system. I'll be watching it again soon to catch stuff I might have missed the first time around.

If you like period pieces, costume drama, and romance you might like this one.

Final thought for Mondays...why am I still watching HEROES?

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole

One of the topics of discussion at the SoCal bloggers lunch was about what an ancient vampire/werewolf/fae would see in a modern day woman/man with barely any life experience. What would they talk about? A being who has been alive for several hundred years would have seen and experienced a lot.

Now I'm a curious person and I've learned a lot of different things, experienced a lot of different things in the last 10 years. When I multiply that by 10 or 30 I think about all the stuff I might have seen, done and learned. After so much time would I find a conversation with someone several hundred years younger than me interesting? What might attract me to a person so much younger and with so much less life experience...besides the obvious of course. After the sex, assuming THAT was the main attraction, what would you talk about? When the novelty of the sex wears off is it possible to span an age gap of centuries and have a real and balanced relationship?

Coincidentally, I'd begun this post before reading WICKED DEED ON A WINTER'S NIGHT by Kresley Cole. I didn't know that I was going to be reading a book that actually addresses this very issue. I don't want to give the impression the topic is given a lot of time in the story, but it was refreshing that it was dealt with at all. I've never read a book (that I remember) where the couple actually made jokes about the age difference. Where the author directly points out that perhaps 23 years old is a tad green for someone 1200 years old. Or the reverse that someone 1200 years old, and bitter about what life has dished out, is too old and cynical for a modern day 23 year old.

Obvious obstacles like music, POV and technology are at least acknowledged. While the book doesn't get into the nitty gritty of these things in any great detail it was refreshing to have it recognized and discussed in an entertaining way.

Yes, Bowen the Bitter MacRieve is Lykae and Mariketa the Awaited is a witch. Yes, there are elements of the "you are my mate" thing going on, but it didn't stop me from enjoying a tale about two people with a huge age gap, trust issues, and who are cross species to boot. Aside from the annoying Scottish brogue written into the dialogue I was engrossed and amused by this book. You can read an excerpt here.

If you've liked the previous entries in Ms. Cole's Immortals After Dark series, you'll like this one too. I know I did.

The books in order are:

A Hunger Like No Other
No Rest for the Wicked
Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Dear Beanie Boy....Happy Birthday to you!

My Beanie Boy is 21 years old today. The picture is of the cartoon character Beany Boy for whom my Beanie Boy is named. Yes, I actually call my oldest son, who has a perfectly lovely name, Beanie, Bean, Beanster among other things. Anyway I gave him the nickname when he was very small because the kid loved hats. I've mentioned his deep love for his Indiana Jones hat before, but in all reality the kid has always had a favorite hat that he's worn until the hat is no more.

Currently he switches between his CRAZY WHITE BOY hat that I personally loathe and his Cincinnati Reds hat. Don't ask me how a kid born and raised in SoCal can have love for the Cincinnati Reds but he does. I mean his Dad loves the Cleveland Indians for crying out loud. How can he pick the OTHER Ohio team?

It makes Bean sound like he's contrary, but he's not. He's got a big heart and is the sweetest guy. Just ask his girlfriend of...almost two years? I think it's two years, but don't quote me on that one. Anyway, it's incredible to realize how fast the years have flown by since we brought our little boy home. We brought him home from the hospital when he was just two days old. With lots of thick black downy hair, a sweet disposition, a healthy appetite, and a preference for his thumb over a binky, who wouldn't fall in love? We did that's for sure. After six long years of waiting, hoping, praying and adoption, we finally had our baby...our very own Beanie Boy.

I can hardly believe 21 years have gone by. GG and I are so proud of him. He's a great kid. Our nuclear family will celebrate today, but we are all excited about the big family trip to Las Vegas next weekend where we will celebrate not only his birthday, but other big milestone birthdays of other family members. Two turned 40 in September, one turned 30 in September, Beanie turns 21 in October and another turns 50 in November. Lots of milestones to celebrate.

This is a very good day.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Outta Sight...Outta Mind

I'm of an age where having gray hair is a sad fact of life. I can no longer use the excuse that we get prematurely gray in my family. We do. I just can't use it as an excuse any more. My hair started turning dull, lifeless and gray when I was 18. Not fun at all.

So waaaaay back in my early 20s I began the odyssey of coloring the hair on my head my natural hair color. I have no idea what my hair stylist calls it, but I call it Hershey's chocolate. My natural hair color is sort of black, sort of brown with reddish tones in it. My Dad is American Indian and Scottish. Yeah, like something right out of a romance novel ain't it? Dear Mom was 100% Italian. To which I attribute my hair everywhere I DON'T want it to be, but that's a post for another day.

Anyway I started the hair color adventure by coloring my hair myself. As I became more solvent I began to have it done at the beauty shop every 6 weeks. I've now graduated to having it colored every 4 weeks. My hair is almost completely white. And before you suggest I let it go natural just let me say I've also begun the progression of having less and less hair each year. Call me crazy. Go ahead I'll wait... but thin, white, STRAIGHT hair on a pink scalp? Yeah, I don't think so.

After doing the dye job every 4 weeks for a few years now I've long since gotten over even thinking about the process. It's just a part of the ritual I go through to look, as my Mom would say, half way decent. I'm good with it. It's a fact of life.

Then it happened. Last year as I was doing a trim south of the equator when I saw it. The lone weed among the flowers. A white hair. Yes people a WHITE hair. My hand to God I never gave it a thought. But there it was reminding me...time marches on and I'm just one more soldier. I'm going to *gulp* get old, wrinkly and have white hair south of the border. It was tough, much more difficult than the gray on my rooftop, but over the past several months I've come to accept the inevitability. I mean out of sight...out of mind, right? So no problem. Out of sight and I'm good to go.

But now, now I have found white hair in my eyebrows. Do you know what white hair in your eyebrows mean? It means the white just sort of disappears against your skin and you look like you've got something nibbling away at your eyebrows creating BALD spots. What's worse is that the "hole" appears at the fullest part of the brow.

Are there worse things in life? Of course. Like smoky ashy air for one. (You didn't think I was going to miss a chance to wimper some more did you?) But enough is enough with the white hair already.

Can you survive without knowing whether Rosie will overcome brow baldness and fill in? Stay tuned for more of the "HAIR TURNS" or "Where WAS I when all this happened?"

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ashes, Smoke and Headaches

As many of you know by now all the SoCal bloggers are accounted for and okay. Interestingly we are all impacted to varying degrees by the fires because they are all around us. It's hard not to have so much focus on the fires when the very air you breathe is so horrible. The sooty air is a constant reminder of what everyone is going through. The fire that most likely was set by an arsonist is directly affecting thousands of people.

Thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. Please send some of those prayers out to Rowena. She reported in today that her sister-in-law's mother and grandmother lost their homes in San Diego. I can't even imagine it.

Thank God, and I do, most of us still have our homes but everyone living in Southern California will be affected for weeks to come by these fires. For one thing is the very air you are trying to breathe sucks. There's just no way to describe how sickening it is. The least of problems is like the horrendous headache I have that nothing I've taken or done for it seems to help. The worst of it is for the many people who have respiratory related illnesses or conditions. This ashy smoky air makes it very difficult for them to breathe. My nieces who both have pretty severe asthma are just miserable and exhausted from the strain and stress of trying to filter this garbage and breathe.

More people with respiratory problems needing help puts a greater strain on our already stressed emergency services. It's a vicious circle.
Our local schools muddled through the day today, but have closed tomorrow hoping that winds and/or rain will come through and help clear some of this out. Never thought I'd be wishing for wind. Wouldn't you know today the air has been still as can be. Not a flutter of a breeze any where. Anyway we are all hoping it will be better on Monday for the kids to get back to school.

I've taken a page out Wendy's book and GG is out right now trying to buy us an air purifier. I've got my fingers crossed. My silver lining is that while Shmoo has a red and irritated throat his allergies haven't kicked up. Me with a headache from hell and Shmoo with an allergy flare up are a recipe for disaster.

I'm flouncing my irritated self into my room with a very large glass of ice water and my Anne Stuart book. Thank God for books. They're a great distraction even with a headache.

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The devil made me do it.

See anything new on my sidebar? Does he rock? Yeah...he does! I came close to re-reading DEVIL IN WINTER by Lisa Kleypas and ignoring the tbr, but I was in Barnes and Noble waiting for GG on Tuesday and stuff happened. Which is code for I bought more books. Which means I won't be re-reading DEVIL IN WINTER anytime soon. I don't think...unless I start reading all those excerpts fellow Sebastian lovers are posting on their blogs. Very swoon worthy.

Anyway, my Barnes and Noble, as I've mentioned a time or two, is not the swiftest shelving new releases. So, I was surprised to see ICE STORM by Anne Stuart and BLOOD FEVER by Karen Marie Moning out already since they are technically November releases. Of course I had to pick those up. They weren't the only books I bought either. Since I got an ARC of CAINE'S RECKONING by Sarah McCarty didn't I have to BUY a copy of the book to show my support for Sarah? Of course I did. Then I'm still reading Iris Johansen and her new hardcover PANDORA'S DAUGHTER was out so I picked it up as well.

I did actually hesitate to buy all of them since one was a trade sized book and two were hard covers. That's actually biting into my November book budget. GG, darling man that he is told me to "just get them". Maybe his reading some of my books is influencing him? Nah. Truth be told he's always been pretty indulgent with my book purchases. Helps to have met and married a guy who likes to read too.

You'd think those books would be enough. But nooooooo! After somewhat of a dry spell from ebooks, I actually purchased a couple of books from Loose Id this week too. Those are in addition to a lovely gift from author TL Schaefer of the ebook BROTHERHOOD which she so kindly sent to me when I had my big fat whiner day last week.

Could I be any happier to have these lovely books? No! Now I just have to carve out the reading time. Who needs food or clean clothes? Or a clean house, or the bills paid, or swimming, or blogging, or...

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

To our heros...

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hell Hath No Fury...

Between work and family my life is pretty consumed by the fires raging throughout Southern California. I have two nephews and my brother who are fire fighters and then, of course, my current job is admin support for a fire department. While obvious things like inspections, filing, and record keeping of the department must go on everyone is checking their emails for the agency bulletins and updates we receive about 4 times a day.

The updates let us know how big the fires are how many different agencies and people are involved, weather conditions at each fire, what major road closures might be involved...stuff like that. Reading the number of structures that have already been lost is unreal.

Where I live we can see the fire burning and it feels like you can reach out and touch it. Fortunately for us the wind has been blowing the smoke and ash away from us. Late this afternoon was the first time I felt that oily ashy charcoal taste in my mouth.

Seeing the dedication and concern of the people who fight fires for a living is pretty incredible. While our department has already sent out assistance (people and equipment) to the state and county agencies fighting the fires, we still have to have stations staffed with crews to take care of the every day calls here at home. There's no grand standing or excitement or adrenalin induced fevers here. It is a grim and silent place while people prepare for worst case scenarios and to relieve crews that are already out at fires.

I cannot remember when so many fires so close together have been burning at the same time. To realize that arson is involved is just unfathomable really. 346,000 homes were evacuated Sunday and Monday in the San Diego area. 346,000...more than a quarter of a million homes. It makes me livid thinking someone set that fire on purpose. All those people...all those homes. The NPR article I linked to above is reporting 1200 homes lost in San Diego area alone.

Hell has to have a special place for arsonists. How do you forgive someone who deliberately set a fire that destroyed your home? Your neighborhood? Your community?

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Monday, October 22, 2007

North and South

No not the American mini-series with Patrick Swayze based on the books by John Jakes. Although, if you like Civil War stories I recommend the books. GG and I both loved them when they came out some 18 years ago. Since they are historical they stand up pretty well.

No I'm talking about the BBC series. I just ordered the DVD from Amazon. KristieJ wrote about the series last week and it piqued my interest. Today I read her post insinuating that Richard Armitage, the male lead in the BBC North and South is her idea of Derek Craven from Lisa Kleypas' DREAMING OF YOU. You may have heard something about the current blogosphere debate about Derek versus Sebastian and who is the more fabulous of the two. Being firmly in the Sebastian St. Vincent from DEVIL IN WINTER camp Kristie's pictures and teasers nudged me to further check out this guy, Richard Armitage and the series. All of which lead me on a North and South google odyssey culminating in my ordering the darn thing. In the name of research people. It's in the name of research.

This long movie, or short mini series, looks very very good. Just how many times do you see a 5 star rating at Amazon when there are 216 reviews? Not many. About as often as I spend an afternoon googling and then providing more links in a single post than anyone would possibly bother with. Obsessions are a bitch aren't they? Or should I say curiosity killed the cat. Either way it isn't pretty.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

EVERMORE by Lynn Viehl

I've mentioned this book many times since I received the ARC. I set it aside to savor when I really wanted (needed!) something good to read. With this being the fifth installment in the Darkyn series, I was depending on this book to be good. Very good. I have to admit that I'm one of those readers that expects at some point to be disappointed. Rather than call this cynicism I call it being realistic that an author I really like at some point might falter. After all it's the human condition. Nobody can write a great book every time out.

Thankfully and most gratefully that wasn't the case with EVERMORE. This was a wonderful read, a satisfying read and an excellent addition to the series. You can read an excerpt here.

I go through periods of my reading when I want nothing to do with a series. I just want a good read that stands all on its own. I don't want the complication of having to recall something from previous books or worse end up pulling out a prior book so I can understand what's going on in a current read.

It's for this reason I have so much admiration for an author who can give a singular experience within the context of a series. Two authors come to mind that do this for me. Nalini Singh and Lynn Viehl. Having recently read both Ms. Singh and Ms. Viehl I am struck by this one similarity in their work. They both are able to provide a quality read with distinctive characters and an interesting plot while continuing to world build and progress their series. The consistency and caliber of both the psy-changling series of Ms. Singh and the Darkyn series of Ms. Viehl are noteworthy.

If you are already a fan of Ms. Viehl's Darkyn series you won't be disappointed in EVERMORE. Without a gimmick of time travel Ms. Viehl is able to produce a sort of contemporary historical. In this book she brings the world of the Templars into the 21st century.

The main character, and a winning one she is, is Jayr. Turned at 17 years of age she has now lived over 700 years almost entirely in service as a seneschal to Byrne. A Scot and a berserker in battle Byrne finds himself increasingly attracted to Jayr and decides to abdicate his little piece of the Kyn world (called jardins in the series) and separate from Jayr. Jayr thrives in the modern world running the Realm, think Medieval Times sort of place, while Byrne longs for a simpler time with fewer people and less technology.

Before you groan thinking that this is a re-tread and a story you've heard before, let me just say that Ms. Viehl deals with some very obvious obstacles that have kept these two apart. For instance, how've they managed to live together for hundreds of years without their mutual attraction never, pardon the pun, coming up? Personally I loved the way this was handled and explained. It's simple and obvious, at least after it's revealed. It also made sense and was dealt with in a realistic way.

One of the more interesting and unique facets of the story is Jayr, although female, is not really thought of as such or treated as such by the males. There is no hidden gender or trickery. All the Kyn know she is female but respect and behave toward her as another male. The distinction being that being treated like a man is better than being a woman being treated like an equal. There is a very healthy respect for Jayr without any equivocation which I found refreshing. Her intelligence, fighting skills, aplomb, and her success running the Realm are accepted and noted as a matter of fact. To have men admire and respect a woman as a matter of course instead of marveling at "look what that woman did" was a breath of fresh air. In fact Byrne in many cases is the window dressing. What does he do exactly? A neat twist to be sure. Oh and ask yourself, why is it so easy for them to treat Jayr like a man?

It is the little things that tickle me. Ms. Viehl pointing out something as simple as people among the Kyn who would embrace all things new and love the modern world, along with those who would eschew the modern and long for the simplicity of another time. Dealing with issues like whether immortality is all that it's cracked up to be, or how long a person can hold a grudge when immortal make these books interesting and thought provoking. The paranormal aspects may not be anything new, but how we think about them and Ms. Viehl's approach to them certainly is.

I'm so grateful I got this to read. Although now I realize that with this releasing January 2, 2008, I have, most likely, more than a year to wait for the next one. For those of you who are concerned with these sorts of things...this is a series book that can stand on its own. Although I warn you, you are likely to go looking for the other books once you read one of the Darkyn series.

The books in this series in order are:


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Friday, October 19, 2007

Reading, Baseball, A New Adventure, Knotts Scary Farm, HEAs, & Swimming

I finally started my ARC of EVERMORE by Lynn Viehl today. I'm 60 pages in and loving it. Boy that woman can write. This is another series that has stayed high in quality, remained consistent and still manages to have something new to add to the mix with each book. Feels great. I'm smiling typing this and can't wait to get back to reading it.


So the Cleveland Indians have to keep things interesting by NOT clinching a trip to the World Series at home and traveling back to Boston. Good thing we had swimming tonight because GG was strung tight as a drum when we left at the end of the 4th inning. The score was 2 to 1 Boston. When we got home the game was over and Cleveland had lost 7-1. I think I'll be in a different room on Saturday when they play again. Beanie is working the night shift and he was making phone calls and texting to check on the score. God help us all...okay ME...if the Indians don't manage to win one more game and move on.


A new adventure awaits over the horizon for me. I was recently asked to be a monthly contributor to the Readers Gab blog over at Access Romance. I will join the illustrious ranks of Kristie, Robin, Tara, and JMC sometime in November. I'm extremely flattered and want to do a good job for them. Besides I count on you all to let me know how I'm doing. You wouldn't let me make a monkey of myself...would you?


If you saw the title to this post you saw KNOTTS SCARY FARM. I'm sure you will be shocked to learn that Shmoo decided that GG & I could drive he and GF #1 to Knotts tonight. Of course this was one of the compromises offered earlier in the week that he initially turned down. Have I mentioned the kid drives us nuts? Anyway, all's well that ends well. I actually went over to GF #1's house and met her parents today. Very nice people. Since Shmoo and GF #1 seem to have patched things up and he's annoyed with GF #2 I'm thinking meeting her parents is a good thing. Or maybe I'm just happy because there's been no drama this week. Praise be.


I was over at Bam's yesterday and read this post about HEA's of our favorite romance couples. In her remarks Bam mentioned one of my all time favorite couples Roanna and Webb from SHADES OF TWILIGHT by Linda Howard. Those of you who visit here frequently know that this is one of my most beloved romance novels. It is also one of the few I've read more than once, or twice for that matter. Anyway, I couldn't resist posting my thoughts on what I think happened to them after the book ends... You're dying to know aren't you? To save you a click here's what I said.

Webb and Roanna are one of my very fave couples. Since this is one of the few books I’ve read more than once I have given their future some thought.

Of course they have two little Tallants which Webb is thrilled about because he has a little Webb to raise to take over the family dynasty. Although Roanna has her horses as a diversion she gets distressed as Webb begins to drift further and further away as he obsesses over business. It isn’t until he realizes that Roanna is spending a lot of time with the new trainer and taking trips entering the horses in high stakes races that Webb wakes up and begins to court and woo her like she deserved to be the first time around.

I blame my mother for this. She's the one who'd sit with us and people watch and make up stories and HEAs about people all the time. It's why I don't particularly like epilogues in books. I'd rather think up my own future for the characters.


Last and certainly not least. Swimming. We've been steadily increasing the number of lengths of the pool we swim each week. One length is 25 meters for all of you with inquiring minds. Anyway, I used to be just wiped out after doing 10 lengths waaaaay back on June 4th when we started lap swimming. Now we are up to 40 lengths of the pool. FORTY people. It takes GG and I about 30 to 35 minutes of steady swimming to do this.

Anyway, tonight for some reason I started wheezing and having a tough time breathing. This happened one time before and I wrote it off as a fluke. I pushed myself and got 32 lengths in tonight. GG, of course, did his 40. All of which is irrelevant to my question for all your bright people out there. Has anyone ever had something like that happen? Wheezing starts and then labored breathing? It just exhausted me and I was pretty wiped out when swimming usually energizes me. We have a lot of asthma in my family and my Dad didn't get his until his 60s. You think it could be asthma? I know maybe I should go see my doctor, but I figure third time's the charm. I'll go if it happens again...or one of you gives me a diagnosis. So? What do you think?

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Thursday, October 18, 2007


So name your poison. Do you decorate your home for fall? How about Halloween? Much of my extended family and relatives live in Montana. Heck my Dad lives there most of the year. Up in Montana where they can get snow as early as August people go all out with the Halloween decorations. Well they seem to in the parts of the state where I have family. I'm talking about the sorts of decorating people do here in So Cal for Christmas. It's awesome and it's inspiring.

I love autumn. It's the beginning of the holiday season. We have Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December. January seems so anti-climatic after that doesn't it? I'm going to try and convice the SoCal blogger chicks to get together in January. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for getting together sooner, but I definitely would go for a January gathering. I always have the doldrums in January.

Anyway, what I'm really trying to talk about here is fall and decorating. So do you decorate? Do you do an all encompassing autumn theme or is it strictly the spooky stuff for Halloween? I've done both. I usually try to put some stuff up the first week in October. We are terribly lax this year and except for some exceptionally pretty bright yellow giant marigolds in my front flower beds there's not a fall decoration in sight.

GG promised me we'll get some stuff up this weekend. I've got pumpkin lights. We string them across our front porch. Those will go up and my door wreathe. I made it two or three years ago and will pull it out and see if it can withstand one more year on the front door. The wind is horrendous this time of year so outside decorations really take a beating.

Anyway, that's what's going on in my neck of the woods. I'm feeling nostalgic and in a holiday frame of mind. BTW, the photo at the top is available as a wallpaper. Guess what's on my desktop now?

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Clueless in Cali

I think I've been watching TV. Scary that. You might wonder why I'm so unsure? Well, I frequently am snuggled up with GG while HE is watching TV and I'm reading. Most of the time I can tune things out. But, I've found it's not easy snuggling up to someone tensed up over an AB for Cabrera or Blake or Rodriguez... Or a guy wondering if Paul Byrd is going to be able to pitch 6 innings against the Red Sox.

What's scary about that is that I didn't know any of these names two weeks ago. But poor ole GG who grew up near Cleveland, Ohio, is a beleaguered fan of the Browns and the Indians.

Last night the Cleveland Indians clinched a trip to the World Series. Ordinarily this would not impact me or my life an iota. However, since I realized the tbr isn't shrinking, I'm still reading C.L. Wilson's THE LORD OF THE FADING LANDS I'm pretty certain I've had my eyes on the boob tube and not a book.

I'm either going to have to go into another room, a girl's gotta read after all, or give in to the torture of watching the World Series with the guy I live with. If they lose, it will be ugly, but if they win...


Thanks to Super Wendy my true cluelessness has been revealed. Apparently the Indians have NOT clinched a trip to the World Series yet. They have a day off today and will play the Red Sox again on Thursday where I hope for GG's sake they win their trip to the World Series. I must have been doing some reading in there after all.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

So Sue Me...

It's immature. It's childish. It's silly. But I hate everybody and everything today. EVERY thing.

I thought writing it down might help. It didn't. Everything is bugging me and I don't feel like being nice. Maybe I better call GG before he heads for home. He might want to take a detour.

No, nothing horrible happened. At least nothing BIG. Just a bunch of little annoying stuff that makes me want to sock someone or something.

BTW, the cake topper this afternoon was Shmoo blowing in from school. You know the place he DROVE to in MY car today? Which left me home for several hours without a vehicle? Yes, he's all kinds of ticked off with me because I won't let GF #1's BFF drive them all to Knotts Scary Farm tomorrow night, a school night, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Aren't I just a bitch? The kid may not live to see his graduation.

Yes, he's a senior, but he's only 17. I don't know the GF #1's BFF AT ALL or what sort of piece of crap car she drives. So I said "No". He left the house for work vowing to talk to his Dad as if that's going to change everything. I offered all sorts of compromises and he wouldn't have any of it. Little brat.

But like I said that was just the last straw today. You know Monday? My day of peace and quiet and book reading? Well, not today.

It's only 3:50 in the afternoon right now. I think I'll go shopping.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

What a couple of days...

Well the fire station is officially open. I was on my feet for 8 hours straight yesterday fueled by adrenalin, bottled water, the energy of hordes of people and pride. It was just a great day. There was rain the night before making many people anxious about the event being too wet to be outside. Fortunately we awoke to a brilliantly blue skied day full of warm Fall sunshine. The opening ceremony was appropriately moving and patriotic and thankfully not too long winded. Considering a mayor, fire board president, general contractor, and state assemblyman all spoke it's nothing short of a miracle. It was all said and done in like 40 minutes.

We estimate we had about 2500-3000 people come through. We were prepared for twice that number. It was a good turn out but still a manageable sized crowd. Did I mention fun? There was a great swing band, fire engine rides, health fair (the station is in a over 55 community), Sparky the fire dog, a ballonist, and hot dogs. Can you get more all American than that? At one point around noon all the red topped tables were full. The tables were surrounded by helium filled red and blue balloons and the brand new bright green grass was filled with small children dancing, cavorting and cart wheeling. It was like looking at a Norman Rockwell painting.

In case you are wondering how one little fire department can afford all that, we didn't and can't. We had business sponsorship and contributions.

After a week of writing a couple hundred thank you letters I'm hoping to settle in to the nitty gritty of my regular work again. Although since our area has grown substantially in the last five years rumor has it that a new fire station is in the works. Which means my boss will be the project manager again putting it all together with architects, contractors, and partnerships/sponsors from the private business sector. Since this all touches on different jobs I've had in the past so I'm sort of excited about it.

Lucky you. You'll probably get to hear all about it.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Rosie's Lullaby

Once I found this I knew I was going to post it. A song with my name in it is surprise enough. So imagine my delight when I also liked the song. Woo-freakin-hoo! A song that isn't sung by Neil Diamond (not that I have anything against him mind) and doesn't have 'cracklin' in front of my name. I'm just sayin' ...


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Desktop Free View Meme

Here's how you play:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun. You can do a screen capture by going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key). Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).

If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.

C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

D. Add your name to this list of Free Viewers with a link pointing directly to your Desktop Free View post to promote it to succeeding participants.

My desktop photo is courtesy of author Louisa Trent. I first started reading Ms. Trent's books back when she was with Ellora's Cave some four years ago. Currently she writes for Loose-Id. Anyway LT is a magnificent gardener and posts pictures of her garden each year. This past spring when I spied this photo on her site I emailed her and asked if I could use it for my desk top. I love it. Although I guess I should think about something more autumn-y don't you think?

I rarely tag anyone, but I enjoyed checking out all these desktop views so I'm going to tag:


The list of Free Viewers so far is:

iRonnie - I Set No Corner
Thess - Thesserie

Rebecca - Skippy Heart
Knoizki - A Dialogue With K
Beng - Kauderwelch
Tina- My Good Finds

Rachel - Heart of Rachel

Alice - Hello, My Name Is Alice

Julia - Julia's Books Corner!
Darla - Nichtszusagen

Marg - Reading Adventures

Holly - What Were you Expecting?

ames - Thrifty Reader

Dev - Good Reads
Rosie - Nobody asked me...


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I.W.S. - Do you have it?

IWS...you know what that is? My niece has a theory. I stole this (with permission) from her blog. She's 23 so you have a frame of reference when she talks about "my generation". It actually gave me a good laugh. Women have been making these observations about other women forever it seems.
Women aren’t always much better than the guys. Lately I have noticed a lot about the women in my generation and have found myself mind-boggled, annoyed, and frustrated. My frustration stems from being a woman myself and having completely different morals and ideals, thus creating conflict. There appears to be an epidemic sweeping across the women of my generation. Again, not all women, perhaps not even most, but those who are part of this epidemic stand out, and give us all a bad name.

What is this epidemic? It’s called I.W.S., or Infantile Woman Syndrome. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: aching arm from holding hand out, extreme laziness, incessant whining, pouty face tendency, water works on command, and low threshold for pain or discomfort. At times one symptom can result in another, for instance, if a woman with this syndrome holds her hand out for something and doesn’t get it, whining, pouting, or tears may follow. Warning: most women who suffer from this syndrome are in denial that they suffer from this syndrome.

It’s an epidemic.

I’m disappointed because I don’t understand why some women want to be treated like infants. I was raised to work hard for everything you get, don’t take things for granted, don’t give in to pain, and take care of yourself. My mother has always raised my sister and me to take care of ourselves; be independent. To be independent doesn’t necessarily mean alone either, I simply mean be your own person, know who you are, and how to take care of yourself. It just seems that for every woman struck by this syndrome another step backwards, for women, is taken.

You can read the whole post here.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Quik Stop

Shmoo is on Fall Break. GG is taking a few days off. I, on the other hand am working. Needless to say my routine is all screwed up. The grand opening of the new fire station is Saturday. This week is already turning out to be crazy so...all I'm saying is don't expect much. Probably nothing...

My life the past couple of days:

GG is over the moon because the Cleveland Indians beat the NY Yankees and will be playing the Boston Red Sox next for the AL title. He's from Ohio and so normally he doesn't have much to cheer about between the Indians and the Browns.

I'm on a reading frenzy which is having a significant impact on my blogging.

Why does the world have to follow every move of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? Get over it already.

I'm still stunned by the 20-year old off-duty sheriff who killed those teens Sunday morning. Unbelievable.

Monday night's eppy of HEROES pretty much sucked for me. I have a short attention span especially after enduring an almost 4-hour baseball game between aforementioned Yankees and Indians. It better improve quickly or I will be that fan that was.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007


CAINE'S RECKONING is an erotic western that takes place in 1858 in Texas territory. I will tell you right off I'm a fan of Ms. McCarty's and in recent years I've had very few re-reads, but her PROMISE series is one of the few. I really love those books.

The other thing you need to know, and only if you've never visited here before, is that there's nothing I like more than a good western romance. Frankly, I can't wait for the other books in this series to come out. It is slightly reminiscent of the Rock Creek six series because you can see the other heroes in this story whose books will follow this one. In fact SAM'S CREED, the next book in this series, is coming out in July 2008.

THE GOOD STUFF: There is lots I like about this book. Even though we see other characters for future books on the periphery, Ms. McCarty keeps her feet firmly planted in Caine's and Desi's relationship and their story. The characters here are interesting and people I wanted to know more about. Lots more about. I like the time, the place and the set up for the story. Even though the circumstances of Caine and Desi coming together are not new to a western romance, I was drawn into the drama of their particular situation, cared about these characters and wanted to know how they could possibly find their HEA with all that Desi had endured. Caine Allen is rough around the edges, hardened by life and just the type of hero that I swoon over. He's had his share of hard knocks as well. The set up and the beginning of this book were delicious.

THE HURDLE: Ms. McCarty doesn't take an easy road for herself in this book. Desi has been through about the worst circumstances any woman can imagine. Every time you think you know everything something else is added to the horror of Desi's past
. Life in the American West wasn't easy for women and Ms. McCarty plants Desi in conditions and situations that are the stuff nightmares are made of.

SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM: Here's why I was thinking about this book, still am truth be told, long after I read it. There is valiant effort on Ms. McCarty's part to transition Desi to having a real and normal (sort of) relationship with Caine. There were many moments when I thought there was no way a woman who has been through everything Desi has could possibly have anything close to a healthy relationship ever again. There are scenes where thankfully, and wisely Ms. McCarty does pull back on the reins. It kept me reading.

Yet, I was waiting for there to be some sort of resolution or turning point because we certainly get the pot stirred and boiling often enough in this book. My quandry is over not really feeling there's adequate explanation or understanding how Desi and Caine could enjoy the relationship Ms. McCarty carves out for them given Desi's past. I found myself looking for cues in the book that would make their particular sexual relationship realistic. I just wasn't comfortable with it. I'm still thinking about it and will probably read the book again before the weekend is over to try and see if there's something I missed in my haste to devour the book.

Are we given an explanation why the physical relationship could evolve into the one that makes up their HEA? Yes, sort of. It's just not one I could buy. It seemed like too much too fast. I'm left feeling like I can tell you lots of facts about Desi and Caine but still don't really know much about the characters and what makes them tick. This surprises me because that certainly isn't usually the case in Ms. McCarty's books. I would also have to say this is more true for Desi's character than Caine's.

IN CONCLUSION: Even with those problems, on a pure escape level I enjoyed this book and certainly want to read more in the series. I'm one of those people who love the story focused on 'the couple' and you get that in spades in this book. So much so, and I can hardly believe I'm saying this, that I would have liked more about the Hell's Eight spread. How'd they all come together and what made them decide to settle? We are literally introduced to the other characters, but not much beyond that. This book lets us know the group is struggling to make a go of their enterprise, but not much on how it supports them all. I'm assuming we will get more of this story in the coming books. Again, can't wait for that.

One of the goal's of any first book in a series is to whet the appetite for more and this book certainly succeeds in that. So, CAINE'S RECKONING is not everything I was expecting but not a disappointment either.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

I Got Mail


Am I rolling in clover or what? I told everyone at the SoCal Blogger get together that this was the book I was most looking forward to this Fall. It's here, I'm reading and I'm over the moon.

Thanks Sarah!


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sit down....Sit down...Sit down...Sit down...Sit down you're rockin' the boat!

I love GUYS AND DOLLS. I was stage manager for a production and really enjoyed it, but I'm always nostalgic for the 1955 movie version with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. But GUYS AND DOLLS is GUYS AND DOLLS. Before I went searching for my YouTube clip I even found where Ewan MacGregor played Skye Masterson in the 2005 London revival. I'd have loved to see that one! But I digress...

As for the boat rocking, well I'm in a mood. Have you ever had a friend treat you very badly? So badly that you felt you had no choice but to end the friendship? How flabbergasted would you be to receive an email from that person more than a year later acting like nothing had happened?

I have no problem sticking up for myself in a confrontation, BUT I do have a problem being mean when the response is disproportionate to the offense. So ex-friend has offended me by sending the email and acting like nothing happened, but I don't have it in me to be mean. GG, one of the kindest and gentlest men I've ever met wants me to be mean, but I just can't. Ignoring the whole thing seems like a more appropriate response to me.

However, sometimes I want to rock the boat and really sizzle someone's garters. Sometimes I don't feel like being nice. Sometimes I want to rip off an email that says something really mean. Like well...mean. I thought of a couple examples to type in right there but when I read it back I got to thinking about the bad karma I might get by putting something like "drop dead" out there. Seriously, telling somebody that in an email and only that would be pretty mean...wouldn't it?

You know when I was a kid and went to catechism the nuns had me believing there was a sort of angel accountant with a big book that had my name on one of the ledger pages. All the bad stuff I've ever done was duly recorded right there day by day along side the good stuff. I'm guessing that sending someone a note with with the aforementiond "drop dead" would probably negate a whole lot of good stuff on the other side of the ledger. So, I decided I just can't risk that sort of thing. Aren't I special or what?

But if I was willing to risk my immortal soul I'd really say some mean, mean, stuff and then hit "SEND". Really I would, but I'd rather listen to the sound track to GUYS AND DOLLS and sing about rocking the boat rather than actually doing it.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Recommendation

I've commented many times on various sites and blogs in the past that the recommendations I consider the most and take the most to heart are those by fellow readers. Even readers who more or less create a professional review site are given less weight than my fellow "regular" folks whose reviews I read.

Why? Because I know that their loyalties to an author they love or a sub-genre are out of true joy and love and not motivated (usually) by anything else. So in my reasoning process I trust those reviews more and am much more likely to buy a book based on a review from the blogosphere than a magazine or professional review site.

The reason I'm bringing this up now is that like most ardent readers I'm on my share of author newsletter mailing lists. It bugs me a bit to get a newsletter from an author that is recommending a book to me. You know a book that just so happens to be by the same publisher as the author? This isn't a vague cover quote, although most of those, if I notice them, make me roll my eyes. This is an out and out recommendation to read a book often implying the endorsing author has read the book. After reading some of these recommendations I've realized (duh!) that the person recommending the book doesn't seem to have actually read the book and is only really requesting her fans 'buy' the book.

Does it aggravate you when a favorite author uses their newsletter/mailing list to recommend books to their fans that you know they never read? I wonder how much pressure is put on authors to do this? If I didn't see the several authors from the same imprint pushing the same book I wouldn't be so jaded. It's particularly annoying when the book that's being recommended you know isn't very good because you've already read it.

Fortunately this peeve is easily rectified by unsubscribing to the author's newsletter. Although my Nosy Nora self has fomo. *sigh* It's just not easy being a fan is it? ;-)

I've really got to get back to writing in the evening instead of in a hurry before work. I'm not reading back through this even once so I hope it wasn't too hard to understand what with my love of run-ons and all.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

What Am I Doing?

I should be getting my butt out the door and on the way to work and instead I'm checking my emails and resisting the urge to go through Google Reader and catch up on my blog hopping.

And I REALLY shouldn't be trying to type a post in .... well less than 5 minutes now, but I'm crazy that way. Always trying to fit one more thing in my day.

I read MINE TILL MIDNIGHT by Lisa Kleypas yesterday. I have a couple of minor grumbles with the book, but overall enjoyed it.

Shmoo is on fall break the next two weeks. Keeping him occupied will be challenging. Of course, his job will help some with that.

What was so urgent I had to write this? Huh. I'll be around later tonight to catch up on what's going on with every one.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

September Reading List

Here they are in all their glory. September's reads. I'm back on track with 18 reads this month. Although the ebook by Louisa Trent was woefully short to be really called a book. I believe it was something like 45 pages.

I just cut and pasted my list from my spreadsheet because I wanted to review the list here and see what my impressions are now with some distance from the reads. I try to wait to enter the books on the spreadsheet sometimes because I sometimes have a change of heart about a book as I live with it a couple of days. So I thought I'd look at the list here and see what bubbles up.

The Black Lace book by Maya Hess was a DNF for me. It was a sort of time travel where a female air freight pilot finds herself crashed in what was a distinctly primitive, like caveman primitive, culture. Ugh! No pun intended. Well, maybe a little bit...

I enjoyed Maya Banks book which made me happy after purchasing a trade sized books. I've had mixed luck with her ebooks. I've listed the books in the order I read them. You will see I read two by Nalini Singh and two by Leda Swann. I'd read other short Silhouette Desires by Ms. Singh, but this one, SECRETS IN THE MARRIAGE BED while a bit predictable, was good. Of course, I liked CARESSED BY ICE and think she gets better and better in that series. You can tell those psy-changeling books are well thought out and she's soooo consistent with the world she's created.

THE PRICE OF PLEASURE by Leda Swann was a pretty good read. I liked it much more than Ms. Swann's SUGAR AND SPICE which was a sort of anthology about three couples in Victorian England who go to a place called Sugar and Spice to realize some fantasies or help their relationships. It was an okay read is about the most I can say for it. I enjoyed WHITE HEAT by Cherry Adair and she's a hit or miss for me. Sometimes I really like 'em and sometimes not. This was a good one...thank goodness since I bought the hardcover.

Wendy snagged GOSSAMER by Rebecca Hagan Lee off the shelves at UBS when we went to the author tea back in August. It was a great historical set in San Francisco. It's a book that's stuck with me since reading it. The hero was raised in Hong Kong and marries a Chinese woman. While his family isn't thrilled they do all they can to have the couple accepted into society. When his wife dies the man leaves the painful memories of Hong Kong behind and moves to San Francisco where he meets the heroine who has arrived in San Francisco to live with a brother she discovers is dead from an opium overdose. The hero has four daughters who need a governess. Problem solved when the two meet. Good conflict. Good book.

Let's see what else, I've written about FAIRYVILLE, LOVER UNBOUND, and the Hoyt books. I just finished THE COURTESAN'S DAUGHTER today by Claudia Dain. For those of you who frequent Dear Author you know that Jane and her Ned have been doing a clever book trailer for this book.

Since my reading of it is so recent and I'm finding I have mixed emotions about it I really don't have a definitive grade. In fact when I entered it on the spreadsheet earlier I didn't give it a grade yet. I've enjoyed Ms. Dain's books in the past, but I'll have to let this one ferment a bit. I CAN say it wasn't what I was expecting. It was a lighter read than I thought it would be for some reason.

MY IMMORTAL by Erin McCarthy
BRIGHT FIRE by Maya Hess
CARESSED BY ICE by Nalini Singh
THREE ON THE FOURTH by Louisa Trent (ebook)
FAIRYVILLE by Emma Holly
SPYING MAID by Lilith Payne (ebook)
WHITE HEAT by Cherry Adair
GOSSAMER by Rebecca Hagan Lee
THE SERPENT PRINCE by Elizabeth Hoyt
THE LEOPARD PRINCE by Elizabeth Hoyt
SUGAR & SPICE by Leda Swann

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