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.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

We will resume ...

... our regularly scheduled programming after these messages.

I'm going to be leaving here shortly for a long weekend visit to my sister and her family. They live here in SoCal, so while I'm not leaving the state, we have to make about a four hour drive. But who cares about a drive when I get to see these cool guys?

Then when I get back I'm having a houseful of people for a 4th of July BBQ. That will keep me busy the first part of the week. Not to mention GG is on vacation. I love spending more time with him, really I do. He's my own sweet Baboo, but he does have a way of totally throwing my normal daily schedule on its head. Not that anything is written in stone around here, but I have a rhythm and routine damn it! Which because he has a penis and is perverse he enjoys screwing with. Take that any way you want to, because no matter what you're thinking it's probably right.

Thanks to Google Reader I'll be able (barely) to check in and see what's going on, but try not to let too much happen while I'm distracted. Okay?

At least GG loves being in charge of the driving and I'll have four hours of reading in the car. Woo freakin' hoo! Now for the real question of the day. Which books should I take?

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Friday, June 29, 2007

SOUL SONG by Marjorie M. Liu

Read an excerpt here.

As I'm sure you know by now SOUL SONG is the sixth installment in the Dirk & Steele series. Although I hesitate to use the word series because each story really stands on its own. SOUL SONG is no exception so even if you've never read any other D&S book you could pick this one up with no problem.

I've been mulling over how I wanted to talk about this book. The Dirk & Steele books aren't something you can pigeon hole. Each story depicts a different facet of the fictional private detective firm of Dirk & Steele whose creed is to "Protect the innocent in secrecy". This obviously leaves the world and all its problems and foibles Ms. Liu's playground. Nothing is off limits.

BTW, if you click on the link you can see profiles for her characters and there's even music loaded on the individual pages. It's one of the most interesting interactive author sites/pages I've ever been on.

All of which is fascinating to be sure, but not telling you much about this book. While it may sound like a familiar literary device to use a detective agency as the background for characters, the operatives and members of the Dirk & Steele agency are anything but ordinary. In this world you can expect to find telepaths, witches, gargoyles, and shape shifters. There is magic and myth. Yet somehow each time I read one of Ms. Liu's stories I'm touched by the humanity of her characters. I find myself wondering what it would be like to be eletrokinetic, or telepathic or a shape shifting bird trying to hide and fit in the modern world.

SOUL SONG is the story of Kitala Bell a gifted fiddle player traveling the world performing; and, M’Cal, a prince of the sea who has been tricked into the service of a witch and steals souls to feed the witch’s voracious appetite for youth, beauty and power.

When we first meet Kitala she is at the peak of her musical gift yet frustrated and fearful of helping people with her other gift. Kitala can see how people are going to die. Not when they are going to die, but how they are going to die. All of which is pretty frightening especially when she sees a gruesome death mask over a still living person’s face. Kitala has been coping with these premonitions of death by accepting that she can’t change fate.

M’Cal, weary and resigned to his destiny as the witch’s soul stealing henchman is moved by Kitala’s musical talent when he sees her perform. So much so that for the first time in a long while M’Cal vows to resist the witch’s compulsion to do harm to Kitala and steal her soul.

M'Cal's anguish over doing the bidding of the witch and Kit's despair of ever being able to help or warn someone before they die provides an immediate bond for the two of them. Ms. Liu doesn't waste time with misunderstandings or prejudices but accepts that these are two bright, gifted and compassionate people who have learned about life from their own mistakes and failures.

With Kitala deciding to save someone from an early death and M’Cal’s determination to resist the witch the story unfolds with them trying to solve a murder before it happens and free M’Cal from the witch’s clutches. They get help from Kitala’s best friend Dela who just happens to have connections to and work occasionally for Dirk & Steele.

I think I’ve mentioned before that fantasy is really not my thing, yet I’ve found myself fascinated by these books for two reasons. First, each story has been unique. Ms. Liu certainly does not write to a template. Secondly, her characters are so genuine. So if you like a bit of reality in your fantasy and a bit of fantasy in your reality, you should give these books a try.

To be honest, this installment didn't supplant TIGER EYE as my favorite D&S book which is closely followed by A DREAM OF SHADOW & STONE in the DARK DREAMERS anthology. However, for her unique and honest voice I wouldn't miss one of her books. You just never know what you're going to find in those pages.

I’m including the book trailer for this one (below) because the color and texture so fit the book. Also I apologize if this review is a bit disjointed. My DSL was acting up and this got eaten and I had to write it twice. I think the first review was actually better. Such are the slings and arrows…

Oh, one last note. Thanks to the gods at Dorchester Publishing for the ARC of this book which allowed me to participate in the buzz building campaign. SOUL SONG will be released on July 3rd.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Books I Read and Books I Bought

Reading has been creeping along this past week for a couple of reasons. First there's been lots to do around the house. The outside is more work during the summer months, and, of course, we had the FIREFLY weekend so no reading for two whole days.

I did get through a couple of books though. After picking it up to read parts of it in the store I ended up purchasing the second Silhouette Nocture RAINTREE book by Linda Winstead Jones. (BTW, Ms. Jones your website desperately needs to be updated.) You may remember that last month I gave a less than stellar review of Linda Howard's contribution to the trilogy and had no intention of purchasing the second book. That, however, was before I got curious in the bookstore and started reading it. It was good enough to pique my interest and like I already said, I ended up buying RAINTREE: Haunted. You can read an excerpt here.

This second installment was very good. Ms Winstead fleshed out the back story and gave us full characters. I enjoyed this book much more than the first one and as a result was less concerned about how it was all going to be wrapped up in the third book. My only lingering criticism is that there is a decent enough plot here, but with the talent of these writers I guess I had higher expectations. I think the story line is a bit predictable, but I did enjoy Gideon and Hope's story quite a bit.

BTW, Gideon's interaction and conversations with the dead were well done and left me wishing (hoping?) that it could really be like that for our dearly departed. So, do I have to say that I've already purchased the third book in the RAINTREE trilogy? You know me too well. Beverly Barton's installment, RAINTREE: Sanctuary is in the TBR.

Another book I just finished is THE STRANGER by Elizabeth Lane. This is a Harlequin Historical that I purchased after I was intrigued by teasers Sybil had posted. For an excerpt go here. THE STRANGER takes place in 1881 New Mexico territory. The story set up and characters were good and I was settling into the read quite nicely when a couple of things began to irritate me.

Ms. Lane certainly seems to have well researched this time period which is always a plus, but her dialogue and the misunderstandings and miscommunications between Caleb McCurdy, the drifter who comes to help the widowed Laura Shafton with her ranch are stretched very thin and didn't make sense to me. Also, Laura's little boy Robbie's speech alters between being either too young or too old for his age, IMO. It bugged. But all that was nothing compared to page 229.

Ms. Lane created two possible plot conflicts in the story. You read most of the book knowing that one of two things or both are going to happen to foil this couple's happiness. She deals with one of the plot conflicts with a note. Yes a note. A note that was not true to the character who sent it or the build up she had given the circumstance. It too bugged. A LOT.

While I see possibilities for reading another book by Ms. Lane, I will carefully consider the plot first. So all in all, I was bummed by this one.

Last, but certainly not least, are the new purchases. Wow! There were a lot of books to chose from and buy this past Tuesday! At one point I had about 10 books in my arms, but some of them just have to wait a week.

New books purchased:
SAFE HARBOR by Christine Feehan
THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES by Anne Stuart, Jennifer Crusie and Eileen Dreyer

VIRGIN RIVER by Robyn Carr

I was supposed to buy:
FIREFLY graphic novel (sticky note fell off list or I would've gotten this one)
IN DARKNESS RETURN by Alexis Morgan (3rd in Paladin series)

We're on vacation next week and not going out of town so I'll probably pick up those I missed and Joey Hill's VAMPIRE QUEEN'S SERVANT and Liz Maverick's WIRED as well.

Tomorrow I hope to have up my review of SOUL SONG by Marjorie Liu. I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC from Dorchester, a first for me, and I want to do my part to promote this book and Ms. Liu, a new favorite of mine.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Did you ever have a favorite recipe for something that you make alot because you make it pretty well and you always get compliments on it? I have a couple of things like that, but there are many more things I make that are just okay.

One of my favorite desserts is brownies. However, brownies are numbered among the things that no matter what recipe or package mix I might try the brownies come out only pretty good. Fit to eat, taste like brownies, but not great. You know what I mean? Not bad, but not great either.

I've had sitting in my pantry for quite some time Ghiradelli chocolate chip brownie mix. For some reason yesterday I had a real hankering for some brownies. Out comes the mix I was relieved to find stashed in the back of the pantry. Fortunately, I had enough to mix up a double batch. Now I know what you're thinking. Wow! She really did crave herself some brownies. But consider I have three males to feed and you see that making a double batch is a matter of self defense.

Baking is usually not on my mind when the temperature is nearing 100 degrees and it's all we can do to keep the house cool. But I had to have 'em. Who craves brownies for no reason in the middle of summer?

Anyway, about an hour after I had my craving out come the brownies. Now excuse me for my next statement, but I swear to you it's the truth. This batch of brownies are the best damn brownies I've ever made! No, I'm not ready for the the Food Network, but I swear, they are the perfect consistency, the perfect blend of chocolate-y goodness and those Ghiradelli chocolate chips are scrumptious. In fact, I'm trying to talk myself out of having another one right now and it's damn difficult.

I think this is my brownie moment though. I can't believe I will have two batches of brownies in one life time that taste this good. I mean it's taken me 40 years of baking (give or take) to get this batch of brownies. What are the odds I'll ever have another? So mix or not, I've had my brownie moment. It's been worth the wait for every lucious chocolate mouthful.

Can you even believe I rhapsodized that long about brownies?

I was going to make this a books and brownies post, but I think I'll leave the books for tomorrow. It's not everyday you can say you made the perfect brownie.

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Monday, June 25, 2007


Thanks to online fans of this series and its star, the captain of the Firefly, Nathan Fillion, I purchased the entire series for some ridiculously low price in a bin sale at my local Target. I think I got the four series DVDs in a boxed set for $18.99. What a steal!

Let me just say I don' t know how I missed this when it was on TV. Okay, I do know because I don't watch much TV, but it's too bad. My only wish when I finished these DVDs was for the TV series to have had more episodes. We did go and rent the movie Serenity which helped with some of the sting of the series being over, but I was still left with wanting more. I'll definitely be looking for the movie to buy so I can complete the collection. When I watch the series again it just won't be complete without the movie.

Kudos to Whedon and Tim Minear for a great series, imaginative scripts and characters. You can find out about all things Firefly here. You can buy it here, or look for it on sale and score it like I did. You won't be sorry.

BTW, I'm not the only one who thinks Firefly kicks ass. Other admirers are AngieW, Zeek, Bam...oh and these guys. Does this mean I'm a nerd?

To get more Firefly I guess I have to buy a graphic novel. I've purchased these for my sons but never for myself. Crikeys a whole new world is opening up. Can my wallet stand it?

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Big Box of Blue

I'm a big box of blue today and probably will be for the next few days. I made it to the final interview for the job I wanted and got a letter Saturday saying I didn't get it. I don't know why. It's so frustrating to go through such a long and thorough process and then not get the prize. Frankly, it makes me feel old and it's finally dawned on me that it might not be so easy to get a job at 52.

It's been a long time since I actually pursued a job I wanted. Most of my professional life has been dictated by referral or promotion or necessity. I've also been the happy recipient of alot of good fortune job hunting and haven't had alot of rejection.

Yeah, poor me right? I have a great life, great kids, a great husband, but I wanted this for me. So, huh, what next? As Scarlett would say, "Tomorrow's another day!"

But for right now I'm BLUE.


I spoke with the office manager this morning as a post mortem sort of thing, to find out what, if any, pointers or criticism they might have for me. Also, she had mentioned a PT position in the letter they sent and I wanted to find out more about that.

Turns out it was actually between me and the woman they hired. While she gave me the reason for chosing the other candidate (more HR and payroll experience) it kind of made me scratch my head. This was an entry level admin position no where did the job description or posting mention payroll or HR experience. Anyway, I really want to work at this place, so I think I'm going to go to another interview (I'm a glutton for punishment) and try for the part time position. It's okay to call me crazy.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Google Reader and My UnMade Bed

Drum roll please...I've got all 53 of my favorite blog sites on Google Reader. I have to admit it was pretty simple, AND as of this moment I'm up-to-date with reading posts and commenting. I want to thank you all for your endorsement because it went surprisingly well and was pretty painless and effortless.

My advice to anyone else who is procrastinating or resisting is this, "What are you waiting for?" Nothing worse than a convert is there?

I've decided to hold off on the whole Word Press thing for now. You all convinced me. I'm in a transitional period as it is and I don't need that to worry about on top of everything else.

Guess what else? I didn't make my bed yesterday. GG was pretty confused when he got home yesterday afternoon and the bed wasn't made, but he didn't say anything. Probably because he's hoping the next time he bounds out of bed some Saturday morning and says, "C'mon let's go ___________", I won't make a big production of getting ready AND insisting we make the bed before we leave. So, I'm feeling pretty good about the unmade bed. Isn't that awesome? I didn't feel guilty about it either. I did my online thing with Google Reader and read LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN by Janet Evanovich.

Go ahead laugh, but it's quite cheering for me. I have hopes of becoming quite reckless in my middle years. Next I plan to leave dirty clothes on the floor for...what's a scandulous period of time to leave dirty clothes on the floor? A day? A week? ::big sigh:: Never mind just typing it made my heart race, I don't think I'll be doing that one. Maybe leave my shoes out in the living room right in front of the couch...now we're talking. Unmade beds, idle shoes. God knows what I'll do next.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN by Janet Evanovich

LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN by Janet Evanovich

If you remember my disappointment last year with TWELVE SHARP you are probably wondering if I've lost my mind or won the lottery, or at the very least what possessed me to buy LEAN MEAN 13.

My story, and I'm stickin' to it, goes like this, a year goes by and I'm wandering the book aisles of my local Barnes and Noble when I spy the latest Evanovich hardcover and 13th Stephanie Plum book. I think to myself, "It can't be as bad as the last book." Then I recall that over the course of the series there were some installments that were better than others. So what are the odds that there would be two stinkers in a row? I then snatch the book from the shelf and march myself to the checkout. Of course, all of this is suspect since I entered the store with the store coupon which discounted the sale price for the new release.

LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN isn't a total bounce back, but it was a pretty good book. Not great, but pretty good. This book is much more focused on Stephanie working her cases and less on her personal life. I do sense and hope that Stephanie is getting ready to make some changes in her life. Ms. Evanovich certainly leaves some bread crumbs in that direction. In LM13, Stephanie is trying to find her ex-husband Dickie Orr. If you've read any of these books you know that Stephanie loathes the air Dickie breathes. Not only because she caught Dickie boinking her arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt on the dining room table, which precedes the end of her 15 minute marriage, but also because Dickie is a total schmuck and PITA.

Dickie has gone missing after a very high octane meeting with Stephanie, so now Steph is a suspect in his disappearance and possible demise. In order not to end up in the clinker herself Stephanie decides to find her no good ex. Of course, she gets help from her cast of characters along the way. I did chuckle a bit and smiled often, but right now I can't think of a single laugh out loud moment in this one.

While this book was way better than feeling like I was ripped off, which is how I felt last year, it just wasn't as snappy nor did it have alot of the sexual tension and simmer between Stephanie and her guys that we've come to expect. I seriously think (not that she's asked or cares) Ms. Evanovich needs to do one great book and finish up the series. As the saying goes, all good things must end. I really think it's time for the gang in Trenton, New Jersey to call it a day. So maybe Stephanie doesn't end up with either of these guys, or maybe she finally choses between the yummy Joe Morelli and the delicious Ranger. Either way it needs a resolution already. I just hate to see Stephanie Plum and company, who have provided so many hours of reading entertainment, stay too long at the dance and ruin all the good feelings readers and fans have for the books.

So I guess it's not really much of a review to sum up by saying, "Not a bad book, but ..."

Fortunately, with my Barnes and Noble membership and an online store coupon I was out the door with this one for $15, which is only slightly more than a trade sized paperback, so not too bad. Here's a Barnes and Noble coupon for LM13 and here is the Borders coupon if you are interested in buying it. This is a Borders 20% off coupon good until June 24th. At the B&N link there's also a link for online shopping discounts and coupons.

I know myself well enough to know that I will probably buy the next book too. Maybe I need to find a sponsor like they have in AA that can help save me from myself. Of course, that counts out all you lovable addicts in Romancelandia who read my blog. Life preserver anyone?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What you can do...

If you haven't already read about NOTHING BUT RED at Bam's site, please go check out this post from yesterday. Maybe there is something you can do to help even if it is just raising awareness. C'mon go see what you can do.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nosy Nora and the Blog Roll

Every time I've been away for more than a day or two from my blog I go through a laborious process of actually going to each site on my blog roll and catching up on any posts I might have missed in my absence. When I'm home and keeping up with things I just click my Kinja and I can see the most recent posts and just go to those. That, however, is a fruitless endeavor when I've been away because virtually every one of my favorites has posted (usually) something in my absence.

I only call it laborious because I simply must visit each and every web page on my Favorites. I refuse to miss or skip any blog that's on my list. I'm just too...let's call it curious? Yeah, that's it, I'm "curious" to see what everyone's been doing, reviewing and reading. I'm not being nosy...huh uh, not me. My brother has a name for this affliction. He calls it "FOMO" (pronounced with long 'o'). Fear of missing out. I got me a bad case of FOMO.

Anyway, when I've been away for several days it takes several more days to catch up with everything and everyone. Don't think for a moment that all the sites I visit are linked on my blog. Oh my goodness no...I have others, several others that I like to visit that I just haven't taken the time to add to my page. And I can't just read the most current post, not me. I have to go read all the posts I've missed. It's sad really. Haven't you noticed you sometimes get several comments in a row from me on a single day within minutes of each other? Well, that my friends is a catch up day.

Which brings me to my current conundrum. You see, while I AM a list maker I have been known to procrastinate a time or two or three. Right now I'm thinking of putting Kinja behind me and going with Google Reader. The only thing stopping me is my own laziness and fear. I'm comfortable with my own little routine and dragging my feet about changing. Both Wendy and Nikki have done posts recently talking about how great Google Reader is and time saving. You'd think the whole time saving thing would be incentive enough. But I got rocks in my pockets, I tell you and just can't make the leap for fear of drowning.

I've also pretty much had it with Blogger. Although, and I hope I'm not jinxing myself here, just lately everything has been operating pretty nifty keen. But I'm thinking about Word Press or Live Journal. What do you think?

What about your blog roll? Do you keep up or binge? Do you have a routine? Do you play catch up when you've been gone for a while? Will I ever get with it and move my blog roll to Google Reader? How hard is it to move to Word Press? ::knock:: ::knock:: Anybody out there?

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Menage by Emma Holly

Menage by Emma Holly (Excerpt)

I already have a couple of Ms. Holly's Black Lace titles and liked them alot. I've previously read VELVET GLOVE and IN THE FLESH. In fact, VELVET GLOVE was the first of her books I read and enjoyed and was a gift from GG, but I digress.

I purchased Menage on my own cheesecake/sugar high with a certain "super" reader egging me on. (A side note: Did you know that librarians compulsively straighten and turn books out and reshelve books in a book store? They do!) Okay, I admit it, she didn't egg me on, she merely pointed to it and commented it had recently been newly released. I snatched it off the shelf all by myself.

Now I'm not someone who automatically picks up and buys every book with a menage in it. Nor do I buy every book with an erotic romance label. Which is hard to believe since I read this one hard on the heels of FORBIDDEN PLEASURE by Lora Leigh and my recent raves about Megan Hart's books. In any case, I bought it because Emma Holly is a proven good read for me and I like to think I'm pretty discerning about my erotic romance.

I decided to do a review and make a commentary about this particular book because I think Ms. Holly did such a great job of realistically presenting the prurient interest and fantasy part of a menage along with the difficult and emotionally messy part of being involved in a relationship where there are three people. Haven't you ever been reading a book and thought where's the doubt, the worry, the emotional insecurity? People, as a rule, just aren't that well adjusted. We all bring our sack of rocks to whatever we do...especially relationships. Ms. Holly addresses those questions and the characters' motives in MENAGE.

Kate is a woman firmly established in a career and business that she loves and is sharing her flat with two younger men. Both of the young men are just finishing advanced degrees and starting their careers. As the story and the relationship begin Kate arrives home one day to find her two attractive flatmates engaged in sexual shenanigans in her bedroom. It seems that Joe has some interest and hot fantasys where Kate is concerned. Sean, just wants to keep Joe happy and maybe help himself by helping Joe.

Reading this book so soon after reading FORBIDDEN PLEASURE just emphasized the difference between a book that is more pure fantasy (FP) than reality (Menage). Certainly when it comes to the real issues of possessiveness, love, jealousy, anguish and acceptance that has to be a part of any threesome, Ms. Holly is head and shoulders above any other book I've read on the subject.

The sex is hot, the dynamics of the trio interesting and thought provoking. Seriously. Completely original (to me) in her take on a menage relationship and the happily ever after, I really enjoyed this book.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fathers Day 2007 - Don't We Have Fun?

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Philosophy of Life

In the movie HOUSEBOAT with Cary Grant and Sophia Loren a father, Grant, tries to reconnect with his children after his wife dies. He hires Sophia Loren to be the nanny. Cute movie. In honor of Father's Day here's a scene from the movie.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

The LAST one...this year

Halle-freakin-luia! Last night was the last graduation for this year. The third high school graduation in a month! Two nephews and one niece graduated this year.

Today is my last appointment to complete this years' annual physical. Each year as I get older there seems to be some crucial procedure or test one must take all in the name of good health. Don't get me wrong. I am extremely grateful for my good health. But for the last two to three years from the date of my initial appointment to the last appointment to go over the tests it takes about six weeks. Today it's all over until next year. Praise be!

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's Back!

RESCUE ME Season 4 has started and is back for 13 episodes. The great thing about FX is that the episodes repeat several times during the week so if you missed it the first time you can catch it a different day and time. Here out west we are getting each new episode at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. Gotta love that Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary). Premier eppy did not disappoint. One hour of TV viewing a week to look forward to.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What I've been reading...

I've been busy making a dent in my latest haul of books. For some reason reading mostly the westerns. Everything else I pick up I end up putting back down. It's nice to have a little bit of everything to read, but odd that I'm not interested in anything much more than these short westerns.

This was a bit spicier than her Harlequin Historicals but not by much. It is also a part of the Montana Mavericks series. You can read it easily as a stand alone because while other characters are mentioned it isn't in a teaser way or with the previous characters being relevant to this story. Light fare, a quick read set in Montana in 1897. The gunslinger is actually one of three brothers who had left home and worked as a marshal and sometimes bounty hunter. Brock Kincaid wants to return home without dragging his violent past with him. (Excerpt) I noted on Ms. St. John's website that she has written about the other two brothers.

I was disappointed in this one. The plot had lots of promise, but it lacked depth and the dialogue was a bit too modern for me. Sarah West goes searching for her husband's brother, Tom West, to help her find her daughter who was kidnapped from a wagon train by Indians. It turns out that the daughter is actually Tom's. Before Tom left for the gold field of Californa Sarah climbs in his window to give him a goodbye present hoping he will change his mind about leaving. Once Tom's family receives word that he's died in his pursuit of gold, Sarah marries Tom's brother Samuel.

Of course years later Sarah finds out Tom is alive. In the meantime she and Samuel decide to seek their fortune out west.

I started out relieved and happy that the big reveal about the daughter's paternity was dealt with right away. Literally the first 10 pages of the book. Also that most of the "secrets" were brought out into the open as well.

My big disappointment was over the lost potential of telling more of the daughter's story and trauma as a captive. This was dealt with in a conversation between mother and daughter near the end of the book and it was too abrupt and pat for me. (Excerpt)

If you care, or are interested, the best book I've ever read about an Indian captive is THE PRIDE OF HANNAH WADE by Janet Dailey. It's gritty and realistic and a great story of one woman who wants to go home and how she survives as a captive and the censure of the white world she wants to return to.

Another quick, easy read. Set in 1876 in Saddler Creek, Colorado this is a mail-order bride story. No set up or tricks. Both parties write to one another and Jenna Winslow accepts Rowe Mercer's proposal and sets out from Alexandria, Virgina to Colorado. There is however a secret. ::sigh:: Jenna has told Rowe that the baby she is bringing with her is her own when it is actually the born-out-of-wedlock child of her sister who died in childbirth. Sure there was a scandal in Virginia when the baby was born, but when Jenna's sister died and she decides to go west I don't know why she couldn't just tell Rowe whose baby it was. I didn't really buy into Ms. Burton's explanation. Of course, being a virgin when you have a baby is sort of a give away, don't you think? While that little "detail" bugged me. I'd read another book by Ms. Burton. (Excerpt)

My reviews of these westerns probably make it seem crazy that I keep reading and enjoying them, but I do. They are such quick reads and taken for what they are a preferable way to spend a couple of hours versus summer TV re-runs.

I've also read a couple of spicier books. The current contemporary release BAD AS SHE WANTS TO BE by Thea Devine (don't throw tomatoes at me!) and FORBIDDEN PLEASURE by Lora Leigh.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Thea Devine book. (Excerpt) I haven't read one of her books in probably 3 to 4 years and was intrigued by this one because it is a contemporary. I've only read historicals by her previously. Has she written a contemp before? Ms. Devine's writing here is cleaner than I've experienced in her historicals.

This book is about small town girl Frankie Luttrell who saves rich girl Marianne Nyland from drowning. Almost before she knows what hits her Frankie is swimming in the fast lane of the spoiled rich where the rules of life she's used to just don't seem to apply. Throw in Marianne's obsession and Frankie's fasination for hunky scion Dax Cordrey and let the games begin.

While I can say this book has an HEA of sorts, it is pretty much a straight up erotic read. If you like to read about women in charge of their own sexuality you should definitely give this book a try.

FORBIDDEN PLEASURE by Lora Leigh is about two men and one woman and is a part of her Bound Heart series. (Excerpt) This book is a complete stand alone though. No specific reference to any previous characters or stories in the series are made. While Ms. Leigh has certainly written this sort of story previously, I do think this is a tighter, better written and edited version than I've read by her. The sex and menage scenes are explicitly written. So much so that I don't know if this would be safe to read on the beach. Husbands, boyfriends and BOBs should definitely be on standby. If you like it hot, hot, hot...read FORBIDDEN PLEASURE. Oh, and Ms. Leigh goes out of her way to be sure we know there is NO MAN LOVE!

My apologies for not making the rounds. Beanie just finished his classes last week and Shmoo is taking his finals this week. Computer time has been at a premium. So I've been reading and getting all my annual physical doctor appointments and tests done. Ugh!!!

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Books, UBS, & Other Stuff

Books. The reason I decided to start this blog in the first place. Books. Although you wouldn't know it as I get so caught up in my own life and meanderings sometimes.

Anyway, as many of you know, I recently found a new UBS thanks to Wendy. Halleluia, virgin book territory to explore! I found some great books there, and then a couple of days ago on the way to an appointment I found that the "other" UBS in my area has new management and decided to check it out. It's still a little dark and dank, but the organization of books has improved and she has a huge back inventory of older historicals. Particularly Harlequin Historicals. Since I've been on a western binge lately that was absolutely sterling news. ::batting lashes:: Long story short, between two trips to the UBS and new purchases I've gotten quite a haul of books lately. For instance...

Cheryl St. John
JOE'S WIFE (which I've already read and really liked)

Cheryl Reavis
THE FORBIDDEN BRIDE (Already read this one too)

Candice Proctor (SCORE!)
WHISPERS OF HEAVEN (Kristie isn't this your fave Proctor? Or was it Cindy?)

Terri Brisbin (Tara Marie review interested me in these)

Mary Burton
THE UNEXPECTED WIFE (Read on the beach in Georgia)

Jenna Kernan

Ruth Wind

Cheryl St. John (damn you Wendy...I'm hooked on her books!)
DOCTOR'S WIFE (Hooray! Finally, I've been looking for awhile now)
THE GUNSLINGER'S BRIDE (Montana Mavericks)

Cheryl Reavis
HARRIGAN'S BRIDE (Already read this one. Civil War story. Pretty good.)

Mary Burton

S.L. Viehl

Barbara Samuel

Linnea Sinclair

Candace Camp

Linda Castillo

Lara Adrian
I've read both of these already while on vacation in Georgia. They were good. I agree with comments I've seen else where that there is a similarity to J.R. Wards' series, but no name dropping and no M/M innuendo. I liked 'em.

Meljean Brook
DEMON MOONThis is an amazing book. MB writes so smart! You can go to this post on her blog for a list of places that have already done reviews. I was going to review this book, but Janet at Dear Author put my thoughts to words more eloquently than I ever could. If you only have a minute, read the first paragraph of her review, she sums up the reading experience of DEMON MOON perfectly.

Cheryl St. John

Eloisa James

Jacquelyn Frank

Linnea Sinclair

Kelley Armstrong

Reading this over it is obvious I have a serious addiction. I soothe myself by remembering how fast I read. I have to keep myself supplied with a wide variety of things to read don't I? Who needs food when you have books?

Okay so this is a long ass post, but it clears stuff off my to-do list and here at NOBODY ASKED ME...we're all about crossing off the to-do list. Speaking of lists, one last thing -- isn't Romantic Advances the coolest? Sure helps with ye olde book shopping list doesn't it? If you haven't been by, go check it out.

If you were wondering that is 29 books in all. I've already read 7 of them.
Adrian 2
Brisbin 3
Burton 2
Proctor 2
Reavis 3
Sinclair 2
St John 5
Wind/Samuels 2
Armstrong, Brook, Camp, Castillo, James, Frank, Kernan, and Viehl with 1 each

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Beanie Boy

What is someone going to say after all when you post a picture of someone you obviously love (have affection for)? I loved this photo of Beanie with his girlfriend. It shows alot of his personality.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Last month I did a post about a promotion Kate Rothwell was doing to get her books out there in the blogosphere. I contacted Kate and requested a book to read and review and we agreed I'd do the review in June. So that's how I got here. The book I chose is a Samhain Publishing release called REVEALING SKILLS written under the pen name Summer Devon. You can read an excerpt here.

Let me start by saying that Kate very graciously and clearly stated in her blog flog that you did not have to feel obligated to write a good review of her book in order to participate in her experiment. However, this being the first time I've ever done something like this I did feel extremely obligated to review my thoughts on the book carefully before doing a review. Which isn't to say I normally throw just anything up on my blog when I do a review, but I did feel a greater need to be fair.

Having said that I'm relieved to be able to say honestly and sincerely that I enjoyed the book. What is remarkable about that statement is that the book is a fantasy and has magic in it. How I came to choose it I can no longer remember and is a complete surprise to me because both fantasy and magic are not usually my thing. Really...they aren't.

Gilrohan, our hero, is an emissary sent by the king to a northern manor to check out the baron's sister as a possible bride. The baron throws Gilrohan in his dungeon hoping to collect a ransom from the king.

Gilrohan is a morphalange which means that he has a bit of magic and can morph into any animal once he ingests a few hairs of that animal. That was a pretty big ick factor for me especially when he took the hairs from a rat.

Tabica is a slave in the baron's household. Her mother had been a free woman and although had some magic chose to have a simple life and marry and live away from people and places where magic was practiced. When Tabica's mother dies without training Tabica or providing for her future she became the chattel of the baron.

Gilrohan is saved from a head bashing as a rat when Tabica recognizes him as a morphlange and the likely escaped prisoner. She takes the rat from a fellow slave without revealing who or what she thinks he is. Once Tabica touches Gilrohan in his rat form he morphs back into his human body. She and Gilhoran are immediately attracted to each other and Gilhrohan realizes that Tabica not only has magic that has not been trained or tutored, but that it is powerful magic and that she needs to be taken to the king and sent for training before she does someone or something some harm.

The rest of the story is the twists, turns, morphs and magic that Tabica and Gilrohan go through to get Tabica out of the evil clutches of the baron and trained to use her powerful magic. Add a bewildering and intriguing teacher ereshkigal Andras some humor and you have REVEALING SKILLS. While I was very satisfied about the characters and their interaction, I found myself puzzled and wondering about the world I felt literally dropped into. I think a bit more world building would not be out of order, not because I was confused, but it would add some depth and richness to the story.

This is a quick read and a good one particularly if you enjoy fantasy/fable. It reminded me of reading a fairytale well except no fairytale I read as a kid had love scenes in it like this one. ::wink::

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Sun Doesn't Set over the Atlantic Ocean

If you've ever seen the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, you know how beautiful it can be. You see the sky change from blue to a multi-hued rosy red with torquoise and teal. Then you can watch the slow closing of the day as the sunshine changes to moonlight. Well, even before I was on the Georgia coast I knew the sun didn't set on the Atlantic Ocean, I just didn't know how different it would feel and look with the sun at my back as it became twilight. Instead of watching the sky turn all sorts of colors it was more like a light being turned out. *Blink* No sun, no sunlight. Night time. Not a horrible experience, just a different one.

One thing I loved about this beach was the beautiful white sand that was so fine grained. I'm used to the coarse grained sand on our Pacific beaches. Even rocky beaches sometimes. This beach was a real treat. No crowds either. Can't beat that with a stick. All in all a wonderful trip. I laughed...a lot!

Here's a few photos. There aren't as many as I thought I took. Probably because we were passing cameras around and taking multiple pictures.

I've got a busy week this week with appointments and getting back into the routine of things, but I'm still hoping to post on my reading and some interesting books coming out soon. BTW, I'm reading DEMON MOON right now. I'm so appreciative of the depth of this book and think Colin Ames-Beaumont will be a character that will live long in my memory. He really is something else. Meljean Brook...this is a really good book!

Twilight walk on the beach. My sisters.

MoonDoggy's Pizza - St Simon's Island, Georgia

Tide's out at the beach just a block from our house.

Our Georgia peach in Savannah

One of the many "squares" in Savannah. A picture perfect day.

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