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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

7 Things Meme...Because I love Devonna

Haven't I blathered about all my weirdness already? I don't know if I can think of 7 things you don't already know.

1. I like stuff put away. I like every single thing in my home having it's own spot and place to be "put away". I've always been this way. OTOH, I have had a scrap booking table up (it's organized, but still) in my office for a year now. What tha'?

2. I hate my hair. I used to have thick hair. Now I have thin straight hair. It doesn't do anything I want it to do. It takes too much time for too little results. I. Hate. My. Hair. I want SL Wendy's hair. It's bouncy, shiny and thick. Gorgeous hair. I probably want YOUR hair. I just don't want mine. At all. In any color or any length. I. Hate. My. Hair.

3. Did I say this one before? I'm a cradle Catholic. I went faithfully for 45 years of my life to the Catholic Church. Then there was a personal incident with one of my family members. As incidents go it was a small thing. Before you begin to think it's altar boy related...it was my sister and she was a choir director. Anyway, it was sort of a straw and camel thing. I was so disgusted by that incident I just couldn't bring myself to go to Mass any more. I've turned into one of those people that shudders at the mention of organized religion. I used to be one of the people espousing that change can only come from the good people working within the Church. No more. All gone and all done.

4. My name is Rosie and I cry. I weep. I bawl my eyes out. Hallmark commercial? I cry. Poignant moment in a book. I joyously weep. Someone dies in a movie? I bawl my eyes out. You get the idea. Just about anything (and everything) can bring a tear to my eye. I used to struggle valiantly to hide my affliction. But now, well, it's just who I am. So I cry. So what?

5. Oatmeal is a comfort food. I adore that there is instant oatmeal that I can cook and have ready to eat in approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds. Who can argue with that? Love it.

6. My husband drives me crazy. Okay so I'm not the first woman to mention this. And, since I may have mentioned what a swell guy he is a time or two or seven, it probably won't seem too random or much of a surprise when I tell you this next thing too. I really, really like him. I enjoy his company and he makes me laugh. Who knew? I mean you get married and dream and believe, but after a few of life's curve balls, a couple of kids, the loss of some dear ones you realize you've weathered some storms together and that you done good in this one big thing in life. Some how I managed to pick up the yoke and harness of life with the right person. So, yay me? See how I brought that full circle back to me?

7. I get a pedicure every two weeks. It's in our budget. It's in our budget as long as I'm working. When I'm not working I'm probably NOT getting a pedicure every two weeks. You catching a trend here? I work so that I can buy books and get pedicures and my nails done and my hair done. I guess that makes me...spoiled? Loved? One damn lucky chickadee? Whatever you want to call it, I have me some shiny tootsies every two weeks.

I wasn't planning to add this, but right now Shmoo is playing SWING SWING by the All American Rejects on acoustic guitar. It's just sublime to have beautiful live music in the house.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You know life is good when...

You feel like you are living life at a pace that is busy but not crazy. Just since last Friday my life seems more normal again. I've cooked two meals in two days for crying out loud. Like from scratch...no heating up. Sadly, this is a major deal in my household. The men in my life can hardly remember the days when I cooked everyday.

While I like a clean house and a home cooked meal myself, I have my days when I think they are overrated. I've certainly learned not to beat myself up if we have pizza or frozen lasagna for dinner.

Another way I got to feel normal was by watching MANSFIELD PARK on Masterpiece Theater on Sunday night. Not the best Jane Austen has to offer but something I was glad I could sit down and enjoy uninterrupted.

Let's see, what else.
I made chocolate chip cookies yesterday. Not from scratch. I cheated with the Pillsbury refrigerated dough, but they tasted homemade and were yummy. They also made me feel back to normal. I usually try to bake cookies or brownies or something a couple of times a month, so my boys were feeling the love yesterday.

Most importantly I've been reading. I have to say I really feel NOT normal when I'm NOT reading. I feel like I haven't combed my hair, or like I have a hole in my socks. I'm just not comfortable when I'm not reading. As I mentioned earlier I've got a great stash of books to read right now. I loved MINE TO POSSESS by Nalini Singh and have started (devouring) DEMON NIGHT by Meljean Brook.

Reading in January has been very peculiar. I'm adjusting how I read and finding, I can hardly believe I'm saying this, that I've been buying fewer books. I'm trying to buy and read and slow down on the stock piling. I'm running out of room for one thing. For another, I don't have as much time to read as I have in years past.

When I was a SAHM I had a daily routine of sorts that allowed for large blocks of time to read. Reading was my main escape and hobby for many years. While I can't imagine a day without reading, I've filled my days with so many more things. I swim, I blog, I scrapbook, I research my family tree oh and that other pesky thing I do. Work for money to buy books.

Since I enjoy all these things and don't want to give anything up I find that I have to be realistic and compromise with my time. Can't do everything. So when and how I read has changed. It's good though. I find myself on the threshhold of a turning point in my life. With my sons about grown, working, going to school and making plans for the rest of their lives, GG and I have more time together than we have had in years. It's a process to prepare us for when they leave the nest. It's all good. It's normal.

I like normal.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

A Scathingly Brilliant Idea!

Did you ever see this movie? I loved this as a tweenie. (Not a kid. Not a teen. Between. Tween.) I remember after seeing it that I frequently mimicked Hayley Mills saying, "I have a SCATHINGLY brilliant idea!"

Frankly I have no idea what made me think about it right now, but watching all the vids on YouTube was a lot of fun. *sigh* The hours I spend on YouTube!

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

*Puff* *Puff* *Pant* *Pant*

Almost caught up with y'all. From 267 I'm down to 87 posts to read from the past week. Dev, I will get to the memes this week. They look fun. That SL Wendy...I swear she's almost psychic sometimes. Her post about RWA was very timely.

Anybody made any decisions yet? Who's going? I'm convinced. I'm paying the fees and packing my bags.

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In my excitement yesterday I forgot to mention Marjorie Liu's LAST TWILIGHT. Dorchester Publishing sent me an advanced copy which I devoured when I received it. If you've been enjoying the Dirk & Steele series that Marjorie writes about you'll love this installment. If you haven't tried her books yet you won't have any trouble reading this as a stand alone. But I warn you, you'll be looking for her back list once you finish it.

Here's what I had to say about it in my review of books I read in December:

The Last Twilight by Marjorie M. Liu. MML does it again. Dorchester surprised me with an early copy of this book that isn't due out until January 29th. Marjorie Liu is such a good writer. This is the 7th (?) book in her Dirk & Steele series and this was one of the best in the series. I really enjoyed this book. It has a very interesting premise for one thing. The heroine works for the CDC trying to crack new viruses that spring up around the world. Ms. Liu's characters make her books. Stir in an interesting plot and you have the LAST TWILIGHT. You know a writer is good when you read about shape shifting (and believe it) as a real phenomenon that exists. Yeah, she's that good.


Saturday, January 26, 2008


Can't believe my last post was on Wednesday. This past week is a blur. But not to worry. Today was aces.

First, swimming. Yeah, we all know I like swimming. Then we took care of Shmoo's uniform. He's gotten into a program that preps you for the fire service. Big Surprise! They wear a uniform.

Next was a trip to my favorite Borders. You know what's coming next...right?

Books baby! That's right I scored a couple of books I've been dying to see released. I hardly know which one to announce first. So here they are...

Could you just scream!!!!!

Nalini Singh and DEMON NIGHT by Meljean Brook. I'm literally breathless with anticipation because both of these books are on my "most anticipated" releases for 2008. Don't know which one to read first. What a great dilemma to have though, huh?

After the book store we went to see 27 Dresses. Shmoo went with his girlfriend and, of course, I dragged GG along. Beanie's girlfriend is out of town, but he came along stag. Being out altogether always makes me happy.

The movie was cute and engaging. It was light, funny, and that James Marsden is one handsome guy. Katherine Heigl lights up the screen. I think she's got a big career in front of her. Seriously, she can really light up the screen. Have you seen she and Ed Burns on the MovieFone Unscripted interview? Very entertaining.

Despite my crazy week. I did manage to read a book. It took most of the week but that didn't take away from my thorough enjoyment of EXTREME DANGER by Shannon McKenna. Don't ruin for me by talking about what's PC or appropriate. Hey I know people have issues with Shannon McKenna's heroes, but I love the big alpha louts. Certainly some books work better for me than others but this was one of the good ones. It's sexy, moving, a bit over the top and HOT! Seriously hot. I commented on its hotness so much that GG wants to read it. Heh, heh... I'm not stupid ya know. *wink wink*

Anyway, that's my fabulous Saturday. I love days like this.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Were you as surprised as I was?

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Monday, January 21, 2008

I'm Alive!

Well mostly alive anyway. The project is for all intents and purposes done. The main structure is in place. It needs to be tweaked here and there, but for the most part...done! Done. Done. Done. I'm rewarding myself with a night of decadence and reading.

I have to say here and now that I could not have gotten this baby done without GG. He brought (and made) me meals, tea, bottles of water and gave me lots of encouragement. So let's give a hearty HOO-YAH! for GG.

Here's a song that sums up my weekend.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008


Every time I read about a character, male or female, obsessing over their partner, their job, or their life I'm one of the people reading who can completely relate to the subject.

Many times I've tried to figure out what triggers my obsessing over something. I never figure it out because it's quirky and if spent too much time thinking about it I might actually end up obsessing about why I obsess. Oy!

My focus can be over something as silly as how the plastic storage containers are put away, or how towels are folded, to big stuff like a project I'm working on right now. When this happens, I can't stop thinking, planning, cataloging, strategizing or sometimes even researching about the obsession.

For three days I've been oblivious to everything else but this new project I've been assigned. I can't even tell you, without looking like I'm crazy, how many hours I've put into it the last three days. Poor GG has been very neglected this week.

Shmoo broke his right hand (don't ask 'cuz it's sooooo dumb) and I had to really focus my attention the last few days to get him to the doctor, x-rayed, and his hand splinted. I'm a horrible Mother. Thank God Shmoo didn't seem to notice. The wonders of the self-absorbed teenager who doesn't notice his Mother isn't doting on him and his injury.

As you can see I'm all over the map with this one. I can't concentrate enough on my writing to have cohesive or coherent thoughts. Or at least that's what it feels like. My brain is already thinking about the next part of the presentation and most definitely NOT on what I'm writing.

Just so you know, I'll be involved in this project until February 1st. That's the only warning I'm issuing for my distracted and disjointed thoughts and ponderings. One might wonder why I bothered to write this at all. I'm pretty sure I had a reason when I started it. Really. I did.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's My Turn

Today it's my turn at ACCESS ROMANCE. Got time? Check it out here.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Savages

I really want to see this movie. Really. I want to see it. However, I live in the land where the juvenile, the inane and the repulsively gory rule the day. I'm currently looking for it within a 50-mile radius. It's dark. It's funny. It's got Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney. Looks deliciously witty. Can't wait.

Yes, I published this twice. The first trailer was Moviefone and was too tiny and poor quality. So I found this one on YouTube, but it has French subtitles. We are always trying to expand horizons here at Nobody Asked Me... n'est ce pas?


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


What follows came in my email today. It's noteworthy. I hope you'll take a look.

Dear Friend,

Equality Now’s Executive Director, Taina Bien-Aimé, was quoted in a column today (January 15, 2008) by renowned journalist Bob Herbert of the New York Times. Mr. Herbert’s column, titled “Politics and Misogyny,” highlights various forms of violations of women’s rights in the United States, including violence and sex trafficking, and demands that the presidential campaigns address women’s rights issues in a more concerted manner.

Everyday women and girls endure grave human rights abuses here in the US and all around the world. For over fifteen years Equality Now has strived for gender equality and worked to ensure that women’s rights are made a priority issue of concern for political leaders both in the US and internationally.

We urge you to read the New York Times column: here. *

For information about Equality Now's work to end sex trafficking please visit: here. *

Thank you for your support and the opportunity to share this story with you.

Warm regards,

Jessica Neuwirth


Equality Now*

*Revised from original but only to embed links.


Video of the Week

You may or may not have noticed I've been putting videos up on my side bar. It is due to my addiction to YouTube. Yep, I'm one of those. Whenever I hear a tune I particularly like on the radio I've taken to finding it on YouTube and saving it.

Kooky you say? Mmmmm...maybe. Especially since I can look the videos up any time I want to on YouTube, right? Well, the problem is I remember seeing a video, or hearing a song, and remember really loving it, but, uh...not remember the name of the ditty. Or the artist. Makes it hard to find it again.

Yes, I know how odd that sounds, but it's true. I'll sit in front of my computer screen literally staring up at the ceiling trying to squeeze out of my brain the name of whatever song/video I was rhapsodizing over. The tune or image I was so certain I would NEVER get out of my head has mysteriously disappeared into the abyss, the void, the great beyond place that only resurrects itself as I'm falling asleep. That place.

Ever the list maker, as I found stuff on YouTube I decided to start saving the links in a draft post and labeling them. So. I. Could. Remember. Them. Now I have quite a number of them just sitting there. Languishing in my draft post.

Of course from there it was a short leap to decide to put one of my faves/obsessions up on the blog each week. At least that is the plan today. We'll see how it goes. Who knows how long it will last, or if I'll remember that I have "a list".

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Monday, January 14, 2008

So...did you watch?

Okay, what did you watch last night? McMurtrys' cowboys? An Extreme Makeover?

Or, were you like me and watched the first installment of The Complete Jane Austen, Persuasion on Masterpiece Classics? What did you think? I quite liked Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Wentworth. Sally Hawkins was also good as Anne Elliot. They were both a lot less repressed than when
Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds played the parts in the 1995 version. Although I've watched the 1995 version a few times and liked it quite a bit too. Sophie Thompson as Mary Musgrove in the 1995 version was stellar the whiney, hypochondriac sister of Anne. I just found out today reading her bio that she's Emma Thompson's younger sister.

BTW, did you see Giles (actor Anthony Head) from Buffy as Anne Elliot's insufferable father? Wasn't he good? Hard to believe his U.S. career started with coffee commercials isn't it? Take a look if you dare.

Next week is Northanger Abbey which I am not familiar with at all. I'm sort of excited to see it for the first time. I've never seen an adaptation or read the book. So I'm very curious about it.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Envy...it ain't pretty.

Ironic that I find myself on this topic when the week has been hot on the topic of plagiarism in our little corner of the world. No. Don't worry. This isn't another post about that topic. Not really.

At least once a week I find myself in the position of having several posts to read around the blogosphere. Thanks to google reader this is amazingly quick and painless. Sometimes during this process I encounter a series of extremely well written posts and I'm just amazed and, yes, I admit it, jealous of the writing talent.

People of all ages, gender, backgrounds, sizes, shapes...you get my drift. Lots of different people, a rainbow of different people, are all writing and expressing thoughts, opinions, pictures, music, and movies. Any topic that touches their lives can make its way into their blog.

Today was one of those days where I read posts on a wide variety of topics and came away again amazed and a little bit green...with envy. If I was reading this on anyone else's blog I'd tell them not to worry. Stick to your own voice and style. Just be yourself. I get that. I really do.


You knew there was one, right? But I just wish I had that something extra. Why it's so important to me I couldn't say. Okay, that's not true. I CAN say, but it's pretty superficial and shallow. It's important because I want to feel relevant. I want to be understood, and, since I'm on my "I" fest, I admit it, I want to be liked.

As a reader I'm pretty confident when I read something that I know is going to connect with a lot of people. Not due to the subject matter, although sometimes that is the case, but because the writer choses their words in such a way that it is accessible to a lot of people. Geez, I admire that.

There are quite a few people that just seem to be able to write like they talk. In some cases I've met the people so I know their true personality comes out in their writing. It's like being in a conversation with them. You feel like they wrote and are speaking directly to you. I dig that, I really do.

The hard part is not to think about that when I write. I have to make a conscious effort not to "borrow" from someone else's style of writing. While tempting I know it just won't work. It's dishonest, and I think it would be incredibly difficult to try and write in someone else's shoes.

While I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't represent themselves honestly on the internet, (Duh!) I don't want to be one of them. But I'm going to have to work on the envy thing because sometimes I hear myself sigh aloud and think...I wish I could write like that. The consequence of that sort of thinking is paralyzing. I don't want to write anything.

I guess it's a good thing I have a healthy ego and keep plugging along in spite of myself. Isn't it?

Envy...it ain't pretty.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

My Saturday


Friday, January 11, 2008

It's a Conspiracy

For years I've had friends and family tell me that they can't read, especially at night, because they fall asleep. While I have been known to drift off to never-never land a time or two myself after a busy day the act of reading itself hasn't put me to sleep.

After the busy holidays which happened to coincide with a busy time at work I have to say I was happy to put away Christmas decorations, get back to my regular work week and get my reading groove on.

Well, that lasted a week. One. Week.

As of this week I'm on a three-quarter schedule which really translates to I'm scheduled to work 30 hours but actually work 40 hours. A year and a half ago I was working 50 hour weeks as a matter of course. This week I feel like a kindergartner. You know how the kids are always so tired that first week of school? There's just so much new and exciting stuff to see, do and learn. My boys would fall asleep at the dinner table they were so worn out.

Apparently after a year and a half of either not working at all or only working part-time I'm apparently out of practice. Working full time this past couple of weeks has worn me out. Sheesh!! Every time I pick up something to read I'm falling asleep. It's enough to give a girl the reading blues. And who needs that when I have a great book I'm reading right now, THE SPYMASTER'S LADY by Joanna Bourne. I'm only 104 (out of 374) pages into it, but I'm really enjoying the book.

Man, I hate giving up the hours to sleep. Now that I know sleep is such an important component to good health I really try to get a decent night's rest. But it's hard not to think about what great stuff one could do with all that extra time!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008


Andrew Olmsted. Words escape me. Thanks to AngieW. for the link that lead me to Andy's blog.

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"Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

Do you find kindness and civility missing in your world? Well, I sadly find this to be the case all too often in mine. When I started this post a few days ago it was going to be a rant. Now I'm back to my usual state of resignation and find myself expecting less and less from people. When did it become the norm to accept rudness? Is it so hard to smile at people as we walk through the mall or post office? Do you say hello and good bye? Do you say please and thank you?

When's the last time you were the recipient of an act of kindness? When was the last time you performed an act of kindness?

I often feel like a salmon swimming upstream against the current trying to be kind and polite myself AND be an example, rather than preaching all the time, to my kids. But it ain't easy. Am I a dinosaur? Is civility gone forever?

Here's the memorable ending of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE from which I stole the line for my post title. This is the most current version with Jessica Lange as Blanche Dubois, Diane Lane as her sister, Alec Baldwin as Stanley and John Goodman as Mitch. That Tennessee Williams could sure turn a phrase.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Butler and A Book

So, I dragged my dear sweet Baboo (code for GG) to see P.S. I Love You this weekend. The movie can be best characterized as sweet I think. It was a good movie. Not great, but good. That could be because I'm not Hilary Swank's greatest fan, I'm not sure. The scenes with Ms. Swank and Gerard Butler however were crackling. I only wish they had more screen time together because they really lit it up. Or, maybe I can be as blunt as the delightfully witty Denise Hennessey played by Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe of Friends fame) and talk about the yummy men in this movie.

Let's list the lucious male eye candy shall we? First off there's James Marsters (Buffy's Spike) a darling brunette chauffeur and best buddy to Gerard Butler's Gerry Kennedy.

Are you like me and a Rescue Me fan? If you are you will be happy to know that Dean Winters better known as Tommy Gavin's (Denis Leary) little brother on the show makes a small but memorable appearance.

Then the affable and always likable Harry Connick Jr. plays bartender Daniel Connelly who meets Holly (Hilary Swank) at her husband's wake. What a way to start a relationship, huh?

Intense, cute and dimpled Jeffrey Dean Morgan is in the movie. You might remember him as the rich guy who died and left Izzy (Grey's Anatomy) millions. He appears here as a hunky Irish pub singer, William.

I actually turned to my husband at least three times (it was probably six, but whose counting) and said inane things like "Oh my God look at those eyes." Who am I talking about? Why no other than ferocious King Leonidas (300), the tormented Phantom (Phantom of the Opera) himself, Gerard Butler.

Because I love you here's the trailer. Yeah, I gots me a new crush and his name is Gerard Butler.

Okay, I'm moving on, but it's not easy.

I read the Cheyenne McCray book, MOVING TARGET. Well, I should revise that to say I read it...sort of.

Remember how I said she was hit or miss for me? Well, this one was a miss. There's a pretty decent story premise here involving the Russian Mob and witness protection. I give her props for doing research on the Witness Security Program by the U.S. Marshal's office. Unfortunately, this book just lacked depth. There weren't enough layers to the story or the characters in my opinion. After reading about two-thirds of it page for page I ended up skimming the last third just to get to the end. I think this was my last try with Ms. McCray. Which sort of makes me sad because I like her...at least her online persona. So naturally, I want to like her books too. Not so this time. Bummer.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Stuff I'm Pondering

Andrew Morton has written an unauthorized biography about Tom Cruise this time. Since many of his assertions (not all) about Princess Diana, in the unauthorized biography he wrote about her, turned out to be true it does have one wondering about those he's made about Tom. As a Catholic I've had plenty of opportunity to see zealotry and reactions to religion that border, in my opinion, on idolatry rather than faith. There's some weird voo-doo done in the name of God/faith. Scary stuff.

Do you believe Dr. Phil is an opportunist in the Britney Spears situation? Was he really called in by the family or did HE call them and offer to help thereby garnering attention for himself? What a sad and sorry situation. I agree with the consensus that Britney has to decide to get herself well at this point. No intervention, celebrity therapist, or family member can help or save her if she doesn't want to be helped or saved. The TMZ article I've linked to speculates she may be bi-polar. That makes as much sense as anything at this point.

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated a week and a half ago and there are really no signs of things settling down in Pakistan any time soon. I was sort of astonished and impressed that President Mussaref called in Scotland Yard to help with the investigation. After doing a bit of research and reading I'm more startled by the courage and grit of this woman. Her father was assassinated. She'd been exiled for close to 8 years in London. Her entire life was filled with unrest and violence in her country yet she was able to articulate change, moderation and speak out against Islamic extremist violence.

How does one wake up in the morning go about in an open air car and bravely speak out against known violent enemies? I'd be cringing under my blankets. I'm in awe. Truly.

I rarely dabble in politics because everybody has an opinion and we are all about peace, love and joy here at NOBODY ASKED ME. Yeah, you didn't ask but I've been doing a lot of pondering about Barack Obama. Is it too soon to be hopeful? Oprah's endorsement aside, and it was HUGE, can such a voice of reason be heard over the mud slinging and be elected president? After reading about the hope and resistance of Benazir Bhutto, I have to be hopeful about Obama. Bill Bradley, former Rhodes scholar and NBA star, now a Senator, as of today endorses Obama. GG, a devout republican, is a Bradley fan because Bill Bradley has so much integrity. So this was big news, at least in our household.

I'm finished with SHADES OF TWILIGHT by Linda Howard. I never tire of that book. It's been a few years since I've read it and there are certainly some things that aren't politically correct in it. Didn't stop me an iota from enjoying the heck out of the reading experience though. I'm sort of stymied what to read next because I'm on my SOT high. I bought the Joanna Bourne book SPYMASTER'S LADY based on a few reviews I've read about it. I also picked up MOVING TARGET by Cheyenne McCray. Don't ask. Ms. McCray is hit or miss with me and I browsed and picked this up.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

The New Year Begins

So far I've started BLOOD DREAMS by Kay Hooper and was so freaked out by the introduction of the serial killer that I only read about 50 pages. In my defense, it was dark, windy and rainy outside and I was alone in the house... Sheesh! I felt like one of those teen aged babysitters in a slasher movie. You know where the blond teeny bopper is checking windows and doors to be sure they are locked because she's spooked by the house making strange noises? Uh yeah. That one. Then instead of hiding blondie opens the door to the basement and some freak-o slaughters her before the opening credits have finished. Seriously, that's the creepy feeling I reading this book. It was that good.

Obviously since I've enjoyed many other books by Ms. Hooper, particularly the Bishop books, I'll be returning to this one in the near future. So I put BLOOD DREAMS aside and decided to pick up a book that was an impulse buy. It's a Silhouette Desire by Catherine Mann titled THE EXECUTIVE'S SURPRISE BABY. First of all I made a cardinal boo-boo because the book is part of an extensive series about one family. So that sorta sucked. Secondly, I couldn't help compare it's fluffiness to the meatier (and scarier) BLOOD DREAMS. TESB wasn't the worst book I've ever read, just very light and without very much characterization. It left me feeling very unsatisfied.

So what did I do next? I decided to re-read something. I've been mentioning SHADES OF TWILIGHT by Linda Howard in so many of my comments the last few months that I decided to close my eyes to my 4-tub tbr and just go ahead and re-read SOT. I started last night and I'm more than halfway through already. Still love that story. Since it's rainy and gloomy here today I think I'll save the errands for tomorrow. I'm going to stay in, do some laundry and read.

Gotta go now. GG is in the kitchen making us waffles because I had a hankering for them. Gotta love a man who reads romance, watches romance and makes you waffles. He sounds gay doesn't he? Shhhhhh...don't tell him I said that. He also claims he reads my blog almost every day. Pfffft! Yeah, right!

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Friday, January 04, 2008

2007 - The Year in Books

The magic number is...244. Yes I apparently read 244 book in 2007. The big month for reading was January with 39 books. I had a couple of other 30+ months, but by and large my book reading is between 15 and 20 books a month. A much more reasonable number.

Even though 2006 was the first year I kept an actual list of books I've read, I know for the last several years I've read 4 to 5 books a week. With 15 to 20 books a month being an average it seems I'm continuing with that trend.

The great thing about a book list is having a diary of what you read. Trust me when I tell you I would never remember all the books I read without that list. I only wish I'd started doing this sooner. Don't even get me started on that subject. Anyway, it was great fun looking the list over and re-living some of my reading experiences from 2007.

I decided almost immediately that culling out a top ten was too much work. I have 20 books here. That's 20 out 244. My 20 are less than 10% of the books I read this year so I think it's a reasonable list. I have both Evermore by Lynn Viehl and The Last Twilight by Marjorie Liu on my list and they are both technically 2008 releases. So sue me. I read them in 2007 so I figured they are eligible for my list.

September was my best reading month with several reads in succession rating very high mostly thanks to Elizabeth Hoyt. I read quite a few historicals this year especially if you count the westerns.

So here are my faves of 2007...

January The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

February Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

March Night in Eden by Candice Proctor

April Dirty & Broken by Megan Hart
Sullivan by Linda Devlin (Part of the Rock Creek Six series)

May Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian

June Demon Moon by Meljean Brook
Menage by Emma Holly

July High Noon by Nora Roberts

August Dangerous Lover by Lisa Marie Rice
A Reason to Believe by Maureen McKade

September Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh
Gossamer by Rebecca Hagan Lee
Serpent Prince & Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

October Evermore by Lynn Viehl
Ice Storm by Anne Stuart

November A Gentle Rain by Deborah Smith

December The Last Twilight by Marjorie M. Liu


Thursday, January 03, 2008

December Reads

Here's my list for December. I will be attempting to do a year-end sum-up later in the week. I was amazed to find I'd actually read 10 books in December. Of course half of them were last week. The month is a blur. A happy, fun, colorful Christmas-y blur, but a blur nonetheless.

Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian. Third in series. I think well done and I liked it better than the second book. I will definitely be continuing with this series.

Tempted by Megan Hart. I promised myself I'd do a separate review of this book and haven't had time to get it done which really isn't fair to Ms. Hart. Like Emma Holly's book, Menage, the complexities of mixing what starts out as a lark, a fling and a response to physical attraction ends up stirring up much, much more.

Here's an excerpt of the book that really resonated with me (last paragraph page 374 to top of page 375)

"In the early days of our lovemaking I'd been content to lie back and allow him to do as he pleased...even if what he was doing missed the mark. It had taken his asking me to tell him what I liked and wanted. Here. There. How hard, soft, the patterns and rhythms to which my body best responded. Like this. Like that.

Now I could lie back as James did what he pleased, and I didn't have to show him how I liked him to touch me. We'd grown together over time. We'd found the places on each other that felt best, learned what pleased the other."

Hey for my money that's not just about sex, that's the anatomy of any good relationship. "...learned what pleased the other." You can only learn if you're interested in the first place. Just love that excerpt. This book is not even close to being a typical erotic romance. That Megan Hart she's got grit and a way with words. Also, I wish I could have recognized at a much younger age what "the fixer" Ann McKinney finds out. Some things you can't fix.

Beyond the Dark – Anthology by Angela Knight, Emma Holly, Lora Leigh and Diane Whiteside. I've liked books by all these writers. Not all their books, but I've actually read books by each of them individually and liked their writing. I have to admit I had high hopes for this book. It turned out to be torture for me to read. I finally just put it down.

The Angel and the Outlaw by Kathryn Albright. A debut Harlequin Historical that I wanted to love not just like. I did like it. It's a throw back to an earlier time. Very good characters are drawn here but it was a bit slow AND at times I thought the heroine's sensibilities too modern.

The Last Twilight by Marjorie M. Liu. MML does it again. Dorchester surprised me with an early copy of this book that isn't due out until January 29th. Marjorie Liu is such a good writer. This is the 7th (?) book in her Dirk & Steele series and this was one of the best in the series. I really enjoyed this book. It has a very interesting premise for one thing. The heroine works for the CDC trying to crack new viruses that spring up around the world. Ms. Liu's
characters make her books. Stir in an interesting plot and you have the LAST TWILIGHT. You know a writer is good when you read about shape shifting as a real phenomenon that exists. Yeah, she's that good.

I can't wait for her new Hunter's Kiss series which involves living tattoos. Yes, you read that right. The first book, THE IRON HUNT is due out in July. Click on the link and check out that cover.

Untouched by Anna Campbell. I think I mentioned reading this. A good solid historical. No new ground, but if you are in the mood for a good traditional historical this one will do the trick.

Hot by Julia Harper (aka Elizabeth Hoyt). I don't know what I was expecting. I really don't. This book surprised me because I couldn't stop reading it. It's engaging. Cute. The characters aren't too crazy or over the top, but I have to say I probably like her historicals better. Did I mention it's a straight contemporary?

The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke. This one bummed me out. After enjoying the first book in the Girl Bachelor series, AND THEN HE KISSED HER, I was really looking forward to this one. Good solid characters, but a bit predictable and slow moving for me.

When I Fall in Love by Lynn Kurland. I really have mixed feelings about this one. I enjoyed about two-thirds of it. Again, Ms. Kurland clearly has a way with words, and I was invested with her characters, but at 445 pages this is probably about 75 to 100 pages too long. It's part of a series and I easily caught on to the situations and characters from previous books, which, btw, I haven't read. I do think there were unnecessary appearances by the previous characters and stuff going on that did nothing to progress the central story, which I was interested in.

Mad Dash by Patricia Gaffney. This is a very well written book and I can certainly see why reviewers would fall in love with it. The story revolves around a woman who almost simultaneously loses her mother and her only child goes off to college. Reminiscent of a Jennifer Crusie's book where a dog is the straw that broke the camel's back, Dash in a fit of pique leaves her husband Andrew when she wants to keep an abandoned puppy that Andrew is allergic to.

Frankly as well written as this book is it was sort of depressing for me to read. I figure I'm just slightly older than this woman and I can't believe how she nearly self destructs. Sure, I know we are never too old to learn stuff about ourselves. Self discovery and awareness are good things, but this went a bit far for me. A realistic view of middle aged marriage? Good lord I hope not!

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's Out in Bookstores Now!

Back in October when I first received a copy I joyously did a review of EVERMORE by Lynn Viehl. Here's my review. I encourage all fans to run out and get this book. It was good. Really good. In fact just seeing it in the bookstore on New Year's Eve made me happy.

I have 221 posts on Google Reader. I'd whittled this down to 190 out of 297 yesterday. Hopefully I'll catch up by the end of the week? Maybe?

I'm also working on my December reading list and stats for 2007. Feels good to be back!

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Look Familiar?

How many households out there got this addicting game for Christmas? I've personally never been a big fan of the video game. I just don't get it. However, I'm a little tiny bit obsessed by Guitar Hero III.

Why pick SLOW RIDE for the video? Because I finally got it 100%. Of course it was only the ONE time, but I did do it...finally.

It's the little things in life that make us happy.

I've got lots more to follow. I sure have missed you all.