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.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Weekend that Was

I had the best reading weekend I've had in a long, long time. It was great because all I did the whole weekend long was READ!! Okay, I did shower, do a couple of loads of laundry, and prepared a very nice Sunday night dinner, but other than that it was read, read, read. I didn't even go for my Saturday swim. Can you believe that?

I read four books this weekend. The bonanza was that while varied, I really enjoyed them all. First up was MIDNIGHT RISING (excerpt) by Lara Adrian. This is the latest installment in her Midnight Breed series. It's an interesting take on vampires. In Ms. Adrian's world vamps originate from aliens who landed and were stranded here centuries ago. The castaways mate with humans and create a race of Breeds, or vampires. This particular book was Rio's story and was a competent continuance of the world building and characters.

Then I read the third book in the Guys and Daughters series
(April 08 SSE #1893) by Karen Templeton called BABY I'M YOURS (excerpt) . If you've circled the neighborhood recently you know that lots of people like Holly and SL Wendy have really liked this series. While I can't say I'm as over the moon for the books as they are, I have enjoyed them. However, this particular book was excellent. I think it was Holly who said Ms. Templeton tells a lot of story in this little category romance. She wasn't kidding.

Next, I read BLUE EYED DEVIL (excerpt) by Lisa Kleypas. This book is a contemporary romance. However I noted two striking things. For one, it's in first person, not everyone's cuppa because normally, speaking for myself, I like being in everyone's head not just one person. In Blue Eyed Devil first person didn't bother me at all. It was Haven's story to tell. Which brings me to the second thing that was a bit different for me. I was fascinated and riveted by the internal journey that Haven made in this book. I was every bit as fascinated with Haven's thoughts and choices as I was the romance. Haven's struggles aren't easy ones. I really liked that there were no pat and easy answers for her. I'm anxious to go back and read other people's reviews that I only skimmed before I read the book. I seem to remember a few people liked the book but had some problems. I'm curious to compare notes.

My final book of the weekend was PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS (excerpt) by Sherry Thomas. I had to read this book after reading and hearing so much about it. I have to admit I was skeptical. Not because I don't read good books after there's been a lot of buzz. Nope, my worry was that I wouldn't like it because the plot involved a couple that had been married and separated for 10 years. This is not a story line I'd normally be interested in.

I'm glad I went ahead and read it. Ms. Thomas presents a unique point of view and very interesting characters. One of the things I really liked was the self-awareness the characters had about themselves. It also read like a dream. Smooth. Easy. Flowing. Frankly, I was surprised how much I liked it.

My cup runneth over when I read so many different and good books in a short period of time. It was quite the adventure this past weekend.

Now I'm in the process of deciding what I'm going to pull out of the tbr for Keishon's TBR Day this month. I'm thinking maybe an old Maureen McKade that I recently found, OUTLAW BRIDE.

Hey, what are all you guys reading for the TBR Day this month?

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Contemporary you say?

March has turned out to be a bit of a throwback month for me in terms of the sorts of books I've read and the broad spectrum they've covered. I'll go into it more when I do my month end list, but I sure have read the gamut of real winners to real stinkers this month.

I was on an erotic/menage bender for a couple of days. Most of those books were a disappointment. I think I'm developing higher standards. If I'm going to read erotic romance, I want it to be (very) good erotic romance. Anyway I was mostly disappointed with everything I tried with one huge exception.

So a huge MWHAH to Lisabea for rhapsodizing about the Brothers in Arms series by Samantha Kane. I read and thoroughly enjoyed, AT LOVE'S COMMAND (excerpt). I finally get all the Derek references. (And how!) It was also my first Ellora's Cave purchase in what seems like forever.

At pretty much the other end of the spectrum, steam wise, is the very superior writing and story telling, of Jenna Kernan. I've already mentioned her a few times. I've read three of Ms. Kernan's books in the last month and each of them was very, very good. Lots of heart and soul in her books.

I've been reading more category romances lately too. Which brings me to what prompted this post. Who recommended Kathleen O'Reilly? SL was it you? Book Binge ladies? I wish I'd write down who makes the rec when I write down the book titles, because I almost never remember. *sigh* Anyway, I don't remember who it was, but whoever said go read about Those Sexy O'Sullivans really knew what they were talking about.

The trilogy is being released in successive months by Harlequin Blaze. The first two are already out with the third one due out late April/early May.

Don't be distracted by the titles. Don't be discouraged by the blurbs. These books are good. If you are in the mood for a good contemporary that doesn't sacrifice story or great characters to it's shorter format, these books are perfect for you. The trilogy focuses on three Irish brothers trying to figure out their lives in the Big Apple. The O'Sullivan brothers also co-own a bar in Manhattan that has been in the family since before Prohibition.

The first book of the trilogy is about the youngest brother Gabe, who's primary owner of the bar in the March 08 Blaze SHAKEN AND STIRRED (excerpt). It's not just about keeping a good employee when Gabe wants to help out college student and part time bartender, Tessa, when yet another roommate leaves her in the lurch. This book's not fancy. It doesn't put on airs. It's not about the rich and famous.

There's also no big rescues here. It's just a little story about two people trying to figure out life. Can't we all relate to that? I sure (still) can. I calls 'em likes I sees 'em. This was a well balanced and realistic contemporary romance.

In the second book, the oldest O'Sullivan brother, Daniel, has his story in the April 08 Blaze SEX, STRAIGHT UP (excerpt). Oh, this book. What to say. Whew! I had actual heart pain. This book was very well written. Here's the best I can come up with. Soul deep. Grief. Loss. Fear. Commitment. Love. Redemption.

I can't say too much more without giving away the story. I do think Daniel's story has to unfold in chronological order. This book can stand alone, but will have much more of an impact if you read the first book of the trilogy. I don't know what else to say, except it's so worth reading.

Next month, the sexy and wild middle brother, Sean, has his story in the May 08 Blaze NIGHTCAP (excerpt). You can believe I'll be reading it. While I do think the trilogy had a huge arc in Daniel's book, it seems likely from the excerpt that Sean's book is a bit fluffier than the other two. However, I don't count Ms. O'Reilly out. This is some good writing and with a good writer, well, anything can happen.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

SpRiNg FeVeR!!

For all of you who still have snow, I send my sincerest sympathy. We've been having lovely weather. Well I'll amend that to say lovely weather when the darn wind isn't blowing. Easter Sunday was one of those picture perfect days weather wise. Anyway, I frequently say Fall is my favorite season. It is in many ways. But every year at the beginning of Spring I get a fever for heat. Yeah, H-E-A-T.

Feel free to remind me of this post when we are having 110 degree weather this summer and I'm begging for a respite. In the meantime I got a fever. Spring fever. Besides wanting to ditch work, do you know what else Spring Fever brings? To quote David Addison from the TV series "Moonlighting", "Do bees bee? Do bears bear?"

Or, as Michael Buble sings, 'what a lovely way to burn...'

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

For the 4000

I'm thinking about you. I'm praying for your families. I weep for us all. We can't even begin to know what we have lost.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Throw me a rope! Er..uh...maybe not.

Work = Busy


Computer Time = College son writing term papers

Me = Tired and cranky

Book Purchases = Thank God something's going my way.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Book Release Day

I've been reading from my tbr pile. While I'm hardly putting a dent in it I have severely curtailed my book shopping. For instance when I went into the UBS on Saturday, I went looking for a specific book. I did happen to pick up a second category book I'd been looking for, but that was it. Two books.

Today, March 25th I have the longest new book list for a single release day that I have had in eons. Yeah, I'm not so sure about the Kenyon, but I'm pretty certain I'm getting all the others.

Sherry Thomas - Private Arrangements

Sherrilyn Kenyon - Phantom in the Night

Lisa Kleypas - Blue Eyed Devil

Lara Adrian - Midnight Rising

Meredith Duran - Duke of Shadows

Are you book shopping today? What are you buying? Am I missing out on something good?


Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter, Catching Up and the Winner Is...

Easter Brunch was great. My boys were happy with the baskets the "Easter Bunny" brought them. Lots of talking and laughing at brunch. There was talk about house remodels, my sister and SIL both in the trenches getting prices, etc. Also lots of talk about my goddaughter/niece's wedding in October. Her fiance is from a fairly good sized Italian family too. Should be very loud and lots of fun. Another big topic was summer and vacations. Nice weather has arrived and I think we all have a bit of Spring Fever.

Changing subjects now, on my TBR post last week I said I had an extra copy of WINTER WOMAN to give away. I only had three names to draw from and felt bad I didn't have three copies of the book to give away. Anyway there had to be a winner and that person is:


Phyl, please email me your snail mail addy at: RnG1180@aol.com. Becky since you live close by, if you are interested in reading the book I will gladly loan you mine since I'm pretty sure I'm keeping it. Let me know if you are interested.

Sybil made a comment on the Winter Woman post that she really liked another Harlequin Historical, Turner's Woman which is also by Jenna Kernan. I happened to be near a UBS after swimming on Saturday so I popped in to see if they had it. Score!! I kept picking it up between chores on Saturday and finished it around 1 a.m. I really liked this one too. Yep, I think Jenna Kernan has joined the ranks of my auto-buys. If you like frontier type books or westerns I think you will really like her. She writes strong women, strong in heart, wit and character. The links on the book titles take you to excerpts.

I've caught up with all your posts from the past several days. I'm so excited about Kristie's news. That's just so awesome. To think I'll be roomies at RWA with someone so famous! Wow!

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Real Life

Things I'm doing
Grocery shopping for Easter Brunch, work, work and more work, doctors appointments with Shmoo, Easter cards, cleaning for said brunch, shopping for Easter baskets for sons (much) too old to still be conning & begging politely asking the "Easter Bunny" to bring them a basket, swimming, walking, and whining.

Things I'm NOT doing
Posting, commenting, writing a new post, reading, sleeping through the night.

I'll live and be smiling because the truth is I love family gatherings and holidays. Mostly.

And yes, I would like some cheese with my whine er...wine. Is 7 a.m. too early?

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

TBR DAY: Winter Woman by Jenna Kernan

It's here. The first month and first review of a year long effort to read some of the books in my TBR. Thanks to Avid Reader Keishon for thinking of this. Now it's up to me to stay with the challenge.

I first heard about Jenna Kernan from another western lover, SL Wendy on our first sojourn to a UBS after my favorite one closed. Knowing of my love for westerns Wendy made some good recs, this book was one of them, while I browsed the HH section.

Fast forward a year. I pick up Ms. Kernan's February 2008 release Outlaw Bride based solely on the back blurb. Blown away by how well written the book is and the depth of the characters, I rush out to a nearby UBS and scour the shelves for Kernan's back list. I score Winter Woman and set it aside while I finish another book. It wasn't until I was almost finished with Winter Woman that I remembered Wendy making me suggesting I buy it. Sure enough there's another copy in my "westerns" tbr tub. So, if you are interested in reading Winter Woman after reading my review, say so in the comments. In the next day or so I'll draw a name from the interested parties and send the winner my extra copy.

The Actual Review

Winter Woman is a Harlequin Historical Western. Copyright 2003.

Cordelia Channing spends a long bitter winter alone in the mountains after her missionary husband dies. As winter thaws a band of Indians find her. Not knowing what to do with her they turn her over to trapper Thomas Nash who happens to come along shortly after the rescue.

This story revolves around Thomas and Cordelia. While other people do come in and out of the story they are completely on the periphery. If you give me a story that can support the focus being entirely on the central couple you pretty much have me hooked. That was the case with this book.

Thomas has no more idea what to do with the skinny, emaciated and barely alive Cordelia than the Indians did. Determined to get Cordelia to the Rendezvous so she has a chance to meet with someone who can take her back east, he agrees to take her from the Indians. While interested and reluctantly attracted to Delia, Thomas knows a white woman has no place in the mountains. He plans to continue to set his traps and collect beaver furs to pursue his own goal of starting a trading company. He figures he can protect her, feed her, take her along trapping and still get her to Rendezvous in time to send east.

Cordelia survived her winter in the mountains through sheer stubbornness. Not only is her body too weak to endure on her own in the wilderness, but she fears her mind and spirit could not survive the fear, loneliness and hazards of wilderness life. By the time the Indians arrive at winter's end, she is so tired that she's prepared to meet her death. While she's frightened and slightly appalled at the fierce mountain man who comes to her aid, she's also surprised how happy she is to go on living after all.

This book is not only a journey of long and difficult miles to reach the Rendezvous, but the journey of two lost and damaged souls who are learning to trust and believe again, not only in themselves, but each other as well. This was a treasure sitting in my tbr. As I stated earlier, in m
y favorite books the plot centers on the struggle of the main characters. We are in these characters heads for most of the book. I felt myself reading with painful awareness of their struggles to understand and reach out to one another. The individual pain and grief that both Thomas and Cordelia have is so tangible and genuine.

If you like a bit of history and authenticity with your romance, you are richly rewarded with both in this book. Ms. Kernan's attention to the details of the time and place are well done and, for me, flowed well without being either a distraction or weighing down my reading.

I've thoroughly enjoyed both books that I've read of Ms. Kernan's. I have another in by tbr that I'm anxious to read. You can bet I'll be first in line when her new releases come out.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Don't Wait. You deserve it.

I give my nieces and other significant young women in my life unsolicited advice all the time. Fortunately they are all tolerant of their Aunt Rosie and listen patiently. Sometimes I catch a thoughtful look and even get some questions asked. Even better are the times when a lively discussion of said advice ensues.

Laughing and talking with my sisters and nieces recently I realized that one of the things I'm most passionate about with them is not waiting. If I regret anything in my life its when I've put something off. Most of the stuff I put off usually had to do with taking care of myself. Women do that.

For instance, do you take care of your skin? Remove your make-up every night? I didn't really start to take care of my skin and moisturize until I was 40. Alarming isn't it? I used the excuse that I couldn't afford to buy a moisturizer. What my logic for not removing my makeup was I can't even remember.

What I do know is that if something is important and you make it a priority you find the money or you make the time. It makes a difference. For me the moisturizer was a symbol of me taking care of myself. It was a beginning.

So I say to you. Don't wait. You deserve it.

What about exercising? Do you walk? Jog? Yoga? Swim? I answered no to those questions for years. I was too tired after working and chasing after kids. Get up earlier experts said. Plan meals. Make a week's worth of meals on the weekends. What. Ever. It's darn hard to find the time and energy to do all that, work full time, be a wife and mother and the occasional team/room Mom, go on field trips... There was always something. I say that knowing that I'm a pretty organized person. I was forever looking at other women and wondering how in hell they were fitting everything in. Every other woman seemed fit, healthy and happy. Why couldn't I get it together?

I guess I'm a bit thick sometimes because I finally figured out that ANY exercise you do is better than NO exercise. I became a walker. Ten minutes after dinner. Around the block. I found that it all helps and it all matters. It also makes you feel better. Exercise really does give you more energy. I sometimes think I was the last person on the planet to figure that out.

So, really, don't wait. You deserve it.

Why the soapbox and unsolicited advice? Because sometimes when I'm feeling particularly grateful and happy about my life I realize that the only real regrets I have are for those things I didn't do sooner.

We all have a process to go through, but if I could wish anything for other women it would be to remind them not to be so hard on themselves and each other. We all deserve to take care of ourselves.
When I wonder why I waited so long for one thing or the other I realize that most of my logic was just excuses. I didn't want to change or was afraid of change. At the end of the day the REAL reason I was so inert was my belief that I didn't deserve it.

So whether it's something as innocuous as moisturizer or as important as taking the painting class you always wanted to take, please, don't wait. You deserve it.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Yes, folks, I watched 2 hours and 45 minutes of John Adams last night on HBO so my head is still a bit in that time period.

Since I'm fascinated by the incredible confidence and strength of conviction of our founding fathers I'll continue watching the mini-series. However, if you are a viewer who needs "a little less talk and a lot more action" this series is probably not for you. It's a bit more cerebral than I was expecting and very realistic to the times. People look a bit grubby and worn around the edges as we can only imagine they actually were.

Stuff I didn't know: That John Adams was a lawyer. I knew he was a farmer. I knew he opposed slavery. I didn't know he practiced the law and revered it so.

Stuff that amazed me: Abigail Adams staying at home for months (and years) on end running the family farm and raising 4 children virtually alone. Can you imagine running a farm in the late 1770s? No slaves. The occasional hired hand. That's it. You and four children. Whenever I read about the lives of women in a prior time period I realize what a wimp I am when I complain. Abigail Adams was an incredible woman.

Standouts: Laura Linney as Abigail Adams.

Through the letters and diaries of both John and Abigail Adams we know what a close, passionate and truly devoted couple they were. A true partnership in every sense of the word. It is also evident how much John valued Abigail's opinion and intelligence. John a man before his times. I don't think there was a thought, opinion, or advice John Adams trusted more than Abigail's. Smart man. Abigail Adams was the wife and mother of a President. Boo-yah Barbara Bush!

So all in all it's a good mini-series. Full of historical fact and accuracy. A bit slow moving because it is mostly talk and re-creation of pivotal events in our nations formation. My prediction is that it will get mixed reviews. Who knows. Maybe as the series moves into the period of the Revolutionary War the action will pick up.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

John Adams & 1776

Many years ago I was flipping through TV stations and my attention was caught by a musical playing. I unashamedly love musicals. Yes, it's sometimes a little hokey to have characters break into song in the middle of telling a story, but all in all, I don't much care. I love 'em.

This particular song was something I'd never seen before because my tastes tend to run to the MGM type musicals and this movie was "newer". The movie was
1776. For inquiring minds, it was made in 1972 and I caught it on TV around our bicentennial in 1976. Anyway, because of the big holiday I was able to catch the whole movie later in the weekend. It was a hoot. It was funny, campy, and enlightening.

Who knew that someone (Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone) would be able to write a musical play about the writing of the Declaration of Independence? It's a great little movie. History not your cuppa? I ask that you see the movie (or at least YouTube it) before you make a judgment. It's got music, wit, history, a sprinkle of romance and a whole new way to look at the Founding Fathers.

While the movie is really an ensemble cast, for me the star of 1776 is none other than our second President, John Adams who is played with devilsh delight by William Daniels. Daniels is probably better known to you youngsters as Mr. Feeny in 90's sitcom, Boy Meets World.

Staying on topic is so hard sometimes.

Anyway it turns out that John Adams is a person, who upon further study, was a driving force, if not THE driving force behind our push for independence. Did you know how important John Adams was? I didn't until I saw that musical. Don't laugh.

It so happens that many years later (like about 25) in 2001 I'm watching this interview on Charlie Rose with Pulitzer Prize winning historian David McCullough. Mr. McCullough was there to talk about his (then) new book about John Adams . Since that interview a few things have happened. Mr. McCullough won his second Pulitzer for John Adams and HBO decided to do a mini-series based on the book.

Are you still with me?

Flash forward to March 16, 2008 and the first installment of the HBO mini-series about John Adams is airing tonight at 8 p.m. Personally, I can't wait. I'm infinitely curious about this period in our nation's history. I'm intrigued. I'm interested. I'll be watching.

And now, because it all started with the musical 1776, here's one of my favorite songs... It's corny, over the top and if the words, "he plays the violin" don't become today's Blue Plate special
ear worm I'll eat my socks.

Last, but not least, because this IS supposed to be about the incomparable John Adams, here's one more.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Beware the Ides of March

Today is the Ides of March which is best known as the day Julius Caesar was betrayed and assassinated. From the Wiki definition, " The term has come to be used as a metaphor for impending doom."

Gloom, doom, and betrayal. Why the black cloud? The Ides of March also happens to be the day my Dad is getting married.
They say in life there are no accidents. Irony? Nah! Melodramatic? Maybe. Okay, okay. I admit it. I'm probably giving Sarah Bernhardt a run for her money. In my defense though, you probably don't have a Bar Hag as your new wicked step mother.

OTOH, at my age I feel well within my rights to quietly divorce my Dad. In fact beginning tomorrow I will be referring to him as Darth Vader. So when next you see me refer to DV or the Dark Lord you will know I mean the man I formerly called 'Dad'.

So, I guess that's it then. No HEA for me and DV. Just black. Lots and lots of black.

Too much? A little over the top?

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Oh the Woes Waiting for a Western!

Last Sunday when we met Nath and Ames at Borders Lori mentioned she was in the mood for a good western. Isn't everyone? Fortunately she was able to pick up Maureen McKade's latest A REASON TO SIN. Since we are all fans (Lori, Rosie, Wendy) of westerns we further lamented having to wait until July for Sarah McCarty's next western. Fortunately, she has three books coming out the second half of the year in June, July, and October. Can I get an Amen? Now that, my friends, is something to look forward to.

Last night trolling around the blogosphere I came across Lisabea's post giving us the heads up that Sarah has a new excerpt posted of SAM'S CREED, a part of her Hell's Eight series.

Damn is it ever good. It's full of action and you really get a good feel for the book too. Sarah, if you're listening. I can't wait! It makes me want to go re-read all your westerns.

For the curious and interested Sarah's upcoming releases (according to her website) are:

June 2008 Running Wild (paranormal were wolves)

July 2008 Sam's Creed (Hell's Eight #2) Yay! Western!

Oct 2008 Promise Series #4 The Rev's book. It seems like we've been waiting forever for this one.

Go check her Coming Soon page for other upcoming releases. It's so great to see she will be having releases every few months over the next couple of years. I really look forward to each book.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

EQUALITY NOW & Governor Spitzer

Take a second and check out what Equality Now sent out about the NY Governor Spitzer sex scandal.

Dear Friends,

Yesterday New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned. Below is a link to an article in the New York Times, by renowned journalist Nina Bernstein, titled “Foes of Sex Trade Are Stung by the Fall of an Ally.” The article, which mentions Equality Now’s campaign against Big Apple Oriental Tours and quotes Executive Director Taina Bien-Aimé, links the allegations against Governor Spitzer to the broader issue of the commercial sexual exploitation of women.

For over fifteen years Equality Now has worked to end human rights abuses against women and girls around the world, including sex trafficking, sex tourism and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation.

We urge you to read the New York Times article, or see full text below. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Best regards,

Jessica Neuwirth
Equality Now


It's that time of the month...

No! Not that time of the month. Yeesh!

It's my Thursday to post over at Reader's Gab at Access Romance. Go over and see what I have to say about a little thing called blogging. No it's not a new topic, but I have given my ow
n take on things.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More Stuff About...What Else...Me!

Wendy, dear Super Librarian, tagged me for this last week. I'm barely coming down from my weekend high of visiting sisters and bloggers so I need all the help I can get for my posts this week. I'm still recovering! Let me just say, euphoria is exhausting. You heard it here first folks. We always do our part to educate the public here at Nobody Asked Me...

4 Jobs I've Had:
Doughnut maker (My first day was a bit like Lucy's at the candy factory)
Property Manager
Legal Secretary
Go-fer (first job!)

4 Movies I've Watched Over and Over

Bridget Jones Diary
Pride & Prejudice
Singin' in the Rain
The Quiet Man

4 Places I've Lived

Yokota, Japan

Sembach, Germany

Anaconda, Montana

Colorado Springs, Colorado

4 Shows I Watch

Rescue Me
Law & Order: SVU
In Treatment

4 Places I've Been
New York, New York
Key West, FL
Paris, France
Savannah, GA

4 Things I Love To Eat
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweet Potatoe French Fries

4 Places I'd Rather Be
Greek Islands
St Simons Island

4 Things I Look Forward To
Time alone (any where, any time)with GG
A great book
A trip with my sisters
My sons graduating from college

If this looks fun. Go for it. But let me know. While I'm never all that anxious to do memes I love reading what everyone else writes.


Monday, March 10, 2008


Have you heard of about(dot)com? Until recently about(dot)com was just another search engine place thingy on the 'net. Or so I thought. Uh, yeah. Not so much. 'About' has a little of everything. Go see.

You may be wondering why I'm such a fan of about(dot)com all of a sudden? My brother, the fabulous brother that brought you the wonderful AOL Gold Rush a while back, is now working at about(dot)com. He'd be very happy if you went over and checked things out. Make comments. Give ideas. Personally, I think they could make things a bit more eye catching. What do you think?

Bro also sent me a couple of links I thought I'd share with any interested parties. 'About' has a section called Family Balance. A part of the Family Balance section is a Mom's blog. So if you are into that sort of thing go take a look. There's also a Mom's Corner. Mom's Corner has some interesting stuff easy and quick tips like what are 10 good movies for grandparents to watch with their grandchildren. That way when you want to ask your folks to watch the kids you know what movies to bring along.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

SoCal Sunshine

I had the most fabulous afternoon. Those intrepid travelers from the north Nath and Ames found their way to southern California today. They met us at my favorite Borders store and happened to walk in the store just as I was, can you guess, buying a stash of books, of course.

Lori and Wendy were already there and we sort of converged in the Romance section and started in talking right away. In conversation over lunch I mentioned how wonderful and easy it is to "meet" someone and not feel any initial shyness or reserve you usually do with new acquaintances. We all agreed that our blog reading made us all feel like we already knew one another.

We left the store and trekked over to, where else, the Cheesecake Factory. We had a wonderful lunch and there was never a lull in the conversation. Nath and Ames gave us the scoop on Holly and MM's wedding which was fun to hear about. I'm sure that you'll hear more about it from the people who attended.

It was just a great afternoon. I'm so happy we got a chance to meet. I'm posting a picture of all of us. GG happened along as we were finishing up and took pictures on everyone's camera or phone. Here we all are after lunch under sunny SoCal skies. It was 80 degrees today. Can you believe it? Gorgeous afternoon really. Look at all those smiling faces. I thought I was smiling. Ummm...not so much apparently. Of course I also thought I had sunglasses on. Yeah, uh, I don't know how to explain that one. And no, I didn't have wine with my lunch. Maybe the sun baked my brain or something.

L to R: Ames, Rosie, Wendy, Lori
In front: Nath


Barely Alive

You'd have thought I was a sailor recovering from shore leave. I've lost my voice, gained two pounds, and stayed up way too late. Obviously while almost crippling me I had a great time being with my sisters. On Friday night my house was full of people I love most in the world. Very noisy, a little crazy, lots of laughter.

Now if someone can tell me how in heck I'm going to lose those two pounds before my weigh in on Tuesday, I'd be thrilled.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

No Time ---Sistahs on their way!!

I leave you with a song I used to sing with my sisters...no kidding!! My mother loved us to sing this. Of course we changed the lyrics to suit ourselves.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Breaking my Reading Challenge Cherry

Check out this post on Keishon's blog. It's all about TBR Day. I've been working on my TBR for a few months telling myself to read stuff that's been languishing. As you might have noticed from my reading list in February, I read a couple of good books from by TBR and was thrilled I'd finally given them a try.

So when I read Keishon's post today about reading and doing a review of a book from my TBR once a month (the third Wednesday) for the rest of this year, I figured it was just the thing to keep me honest and on track to read some of the books I've been "holding" for some time.

Wish me luck. This is the first reading challenge I've ever given myself. Usually I'm too chicken to make any kind of a commitment never knowing what my reading mood is going to be. Also, I think it's my natural personality to resist a schedule. Call me contrary. It really doesn't make sense because I love to keep a schedule I just don't want to commit to one. Someday I'm going to figure out what that means.

Today I think I might look through my TBR pile and decide what I'm going to read. Good idea? I thought so. I thought I should get started since I have to read it and review it by next Wednesday. Should be interesting with my sisters coming to town and the special visitors I'm meeting for lunch on Sunday.

Maybe NOT contrary. Crazy?


Monday, March 03, 2008

A New Month and a Busy Week

Not much to say except this will be a short but busy work week. I don't know how much time I'll have to hang out. Although every time I say that it never turns out to be as hectic as I thought it would be.

I'm excited because my sister from Georgia will be out this way on a business trip and will be extending her stay over the weekend so we can catch up. Another sister is coming to visit as well. So "the girls" will all get to see each other the end of this week. That's always fun.

Then I have a special visit from blogger friends from northerly climes coming up. That will really, really, really be fun.

I've been reading like mad too. Two books over the weekend. I haven't done that in forever it seems. It's likely I won't read more than 10 pages this rest of this week however. Gonna be just too darn busy.

Hope your week is a good one. I'm so excited spring is around the corner. It's almost flower planting time. Just a couple of more weeks to go.

Totally unrelated, but so about my mood...

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

February 2008 Reading List

Here's my February reading list. I started out trying to do one or two word snippets. Uh, yeah. You can see how well that worked out. I do want your opinion on something though.

What do you think, should I keep giving my little mini-reviews and commentary? Would you rather just see the list? Be honest. Pinky swear I really want to know.

February was a bit better month for reading. Twelve books this month. THE ROAD TAKEN by Megan Hart was the free download at eHarlequin and wasn't very long so it's hard for me to consider it a book. Realistically I have to say twelve books and a short story.

Oh, and I found SPYMASTER'S LADY by Joanna Bourne with some books on GG's night stand. That is actually one more I can add to my January List. So now my January total is nine books. Woo hoo? Anyway I do know I gotta get my system back in order. All these "accounting errors" are making me nuts. Does anyone else notice these problems suspiciously coincide with GG reading more of my books? Hmm...

Yours, Mine...or Ours? by Karen Templeton
This is a Silhouette Special Edition category romance. I picked it up when I saw several good reviews of DEAR SANTA. I didn't track down DS so I bought this Jan 08 release and started the series with the second book. I had no problem reading this as a stand alone. An old house, a guy with a 12-year old daughter and a woman with two young sons remodel the house together and become a family in the process. This was only an okay read for me. While it is well written I just wasn't invested in the characters. It's on the sweet side, so if that's your thing you'll like this book.

The Mercernary by Cherry Adair
This was a re-issue and a re-read for me. It's back to the beginning of the T-FLAC days, a group of spies she continues to write about. It's short, to the point and was an enjoyable quick read.

Bedded for Diamonds by Kelly Hunter
I found this new release Harlequin Presents coincidentally after reading Nath's review of Ms. Hunter's Wife for a Week. It was a happy surprise. The story takes place in Australia and is about a burnt out Interpol agent and a part-time chauffeur/jewelry maker who meet. No espionage or contrived plot. A good solid realistic story about two people trying to fall in love. Well done.

The Silver Collar by Mathilde Madden
This is a Black Lace book about werewolves. I think I will always return to stories about werewolves and vampires because they are my equivalent of being fascinated with fairy tales. In this one we have a woman Iris who became a werewolf hunter after a horrid attack kills her brother and infects her lover. Now determined to rid her little piece of the world of these monsters she finds herself face to face with a lover she thought dead and a discovery of who her real friends and enemies are.

This has an interesting premise and theory that most of the people who become werewolves are "infected" from receiving a bite from another werewolf usually against their will. While the virus or infection runs it course most of the wws have a violent unhappy and relatively short life span of a few years after they are bitten. This interesting hook along with not knowing who were the good guys and who were the bad guys kept me interested in the story. Caution though this is a bit of a cliffhanger. While the couple does end up together not everything is resolved and the book ends with the words "to be continued".

Dawn's Awakening by Lora Leigh
This is standard fare for Ms. Leigh. Readers of her Breed series, like me, will feel compelled to read it, but there is no new ground here. As I mentioned in a post earlier in the month, I was more interested in the progressing story of the Breeds as a whole and in particular the future story of Cassie Sinclair.

Darker than Love by Kristina Lloyd
Another Black Lace book that was a backhanded rec by Tumperkin in a review of Ms. Lloyd's book Split on Bam's blog. I've read both books now and didn't find myself as taken as Tumperkin was by Ms. Lloyd's writing. In fact I had a tough time finishing this one. I had just enough curiosity to grind it out until the end. In all fairness this wasn't Tumperkin's favorite book by KL, so if you want to know more, read her review.

The Road Taken by Megan Hart
This was the free download I linked to above. A road trip and an Impala are big stars. It was just too short for me. More please, Miss Megan!

Hard to Handle by Lori Foster
Another book in her fictional wrestler's world. A wrestler on retreat rents a cabin from a "life" guru. I liked that Harley had rented the cabin many times in the past from Anastasia and they had always politely kept their distance until a storm and circumstance throw them together. Easy read and enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

A Reason to Sin by Maureen McKade
See Review

Outlaw Bride by Jenna Kernan
I wrote about this book already. I really liked this one and the title and cover don't come anywhere near doing it justice. If you like westerns or frontier books you have to read this one.

To Dream Again by Laura Lee Guhrke
This book was a rec by SL Wendy. It's been languishing in my tbr for a while now and was one of the books that rose to the surface when I was reorganizing. Mara Eliot, a widow in 1889 England, inherits a small factory and little else from her globe trotting, mercurial, and hopelessly unreliable husband. Enter another dreamer. Toy maker Nathaniel Chase made a deal with the now deceased husband, unbeknownst to Mara, to use the factory to make toys. Again, the back blurb doesn't really do justice to what this book is about which is partly why I procrastinated reading it.

Ms Guhrke does a wonderful job of capturing the time period. These are not two rich and beautiful people. Mara and Nathaniel are both struggling first for survival and then to overcome the rejection, disappointment and grief that life has dealt them. While the success of the factory is a well done backdrop for this story the focus remains on the two main characters...just the way I like it!

Surrender by Pamela Clare
Another book I mentioned previously and a rec from Kristie. If you liked the movie LAST OF THE MOHICANS you'll love this book. I know I sure did.

Last Wolf Standing by Rhyannon Byrd
This is also a category book, a Nocturne. It is the first book in Ms. Byrd's Blood Runner series. I gave it a try because I've enjoyed a couple of her Ellora's Cave releases previously. This one is all about hot, carnal language and finding "the mate" . The story/plot lacked substance or anything new or interesting in my opinion. It's unlikely I'll be buying the next book in the series.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Where am I?

Scroll down.

Can you guess where I am and what I'm doing today?




HERE ...



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