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, February 28, 2008

Are you an AGEIST?

age·ism also ag·ism (jzm)
Discrimination based on age, especially prejudice against the elderly.

In a book I read recently the female protagonist was 41 years old. The book was a sort of coming of age book for her. This woman was finally growing up and getting her life together. She was engaging and interesting. The book was well written. So what was my problem?

The character's age.

I can't say I spend a lot of time thinking about what age the characters have to be when I pick up a book. Quite the contrary. While reading the book about the 41-year old I looked again at the back blurb and realized that her age wasn't mentioned. It was a sort of a light bulb moment to realize that if the age had been mentioned I probably would not have purchased the book. Sad? Yes. But true.

In the middle of the book I began to wonder why this well written story about a 41-year old woman was bugging me so much. Many of my favorite story elements were there. I'm a woman of *clears throat* mature years myself. So what was my beef?

Turns out I'm an ageist. Apparently I don't mind reading about a woman figuring things out whose in her 20s. I love reading about a woman in her 30s getting her priorities straight and finding the 'right' man and settling down.

On the other hand, as soon as I see that a main character is a woman is in her 40s I have a mental let down that sounds like a whine in my head saying, "Oh, really? In her 40s? Oh." I can feel my interest in the story deflating second by second.

Since I pride myself on having an open mind, I do read books about woman (and men) who are closer to my age, but not often. I also must admit that I rarely find myself as engaged in those books as I do when the characters are younger.

This realization really bugged me. I thought about it for a couple of days. There was no escaping the fact that if I could set up the characters in a book, I'd make them all 25 to 39 years old. This premise just begged the question. Why? As a woman who is 53 years old myself do I really think people of more mature years aren't as interesting? That life doesn't happen after 40?

The answer to those questions is obvious. Of course not. I like my life. I'm still active and interesting things still happen to me. I don't have to worry as much about money, I have a great husband and a relationship with him that is fulfilling. I also have two sons, who while they often drive me crazy, tend to contribute lots of drama in my life. I'd be insulted if anyone called my life...boring. Or uninteresting. Or insignificant. Or unimportant.

Understanding I do that every time I pick up a book that is about characters who are in their 40s or 50s, and dismiss it, was a disturbing one. I still haven't completely worked out what it is that bothers me so much.

It's not news. Age happens.

So what about you. Do you want your characters to fall within a certain age range? Is there an age for central characters to a story that you find less appealing? More appealing?


The Beatles

My two sons have always rolled their eyes when GG and I talk about The Beatles. Now with the movie ACROSS THE UNIVERSE one would think they each single handedly discovered John, Paul, Ringo and George. At any rate it's been beyond great to hear the music playing in the house and car.

This trip down memory lane lead me to a lenghtly visit to YouTube. I watched an old Meredith Viera documentary (from ABC News) about the Beatles. Tres intéressant! If you go looking for the member RMHenderson9 you can watch the whole thing in 8-9 minute chapters. This is the link to the first installment.

Anyway after watching most of it and marveling once again at the range and depth of their music. I thought I'd post my favorite and found I couldn't post just one. In fact if I'm completely honest I would probably choose three different ones tomorrow. So tell me. What's your favorite Beatle tune?

Love, Love Me Do

Here Comes the Sun

Allison Crowe does such a beautiful version of IN MY LIFE...

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A REASON TO SIN by Maureen McKade

I finished the third Forrester brother book A REASON TO SIN by Maureen McKade.

I'm a big fat cheater because in the process of searching for an excerpt for this review I ran across a few reviews. All of them were pretty stellar. However, I find I can't really slap my own breathless "Wow!" on this book.

This is a good book, but not the caliber of story I've come to expect from Ms. McKade. When I read A REASON TO LIVE, the first Forrester book, I was overjoyed to come across such a well written and thought provoking book. Ms. McKade was so profound and poignant exposing the pain, deprivation and sorrow of those two flawed and very human characters Creede Forrester and Laurel Covey that I find myself looking for that same depth of human emotion in all of her books. She's set a very high bar in my eyes and I really look forward to each of her books.

The two characters in this book, Slater Forrester and Rebecca Colifax have pain and suffering a plenty themselves. Slater was a spy during the Civil War and incarcerated in the hell hole Andersonville. While the incarceration is touched on I didn't feel like we had any real knowledge of what he suffered and why he sustained some of the injuries he's still recovering from. I have to say I felt a bit cheated in that department. Do I want to know every single nitty gritty detail? In this case I think so because it informs the character in the story so much. I just didn't feel like I got enough information about his past to understand who he is in this story.

Rebecca has been abandoned by a husband who had gambled away her fortune. When we meet her she is frantically searching for the scoundrel and ends up working in the same saloon Slater has settled in three years after the Civil War. While Ms. McKade provides a reasonable explanation why Rebecca would leave the only place she has lived, people she knows and take off for parts unknown all on her own, I didn't understand it. Or accept it. I just didn't. There is a very compelling mitigating circumstance here that I think worked more against Rebecca leaving her home in St. Louis than for her to go off to try and find her husband.

Rebecca, who introduces herself as Glory, begins her first job as a hurdy gurdy girl to make money while she is looking for her husband. Even though she is married Rebecca blushes her way through much of those first days living above a saloon. Do you believe a sheltered 22 year old woman in 1868 would sit soaking her feet with women who dance and have sex with men for money just two days after she's met them? I didn't. I also didn't buy that she would be able to sit and have a candid conversation with the soiled doves about sex. It just didn't jibe with what we had learned about this character to that point. I can definitely see that sort of relationship developing over time, but not in just two days.

There are other issues that arise, like those of the color prejudice Rebecca was raised with. In the course of a few sentences by way of a reprimand by Slater, Rebecca seems to put aside everything she's been taught about people of color to that point in her life. I applaud Ms. McKade very realistically tackling this issue but was disappointed it was resolved so easily and blithely.

The attraction between Slater and Rebecca is intense and immediate. Most times I have no problem with physical attraction being the basis for a couple getting together. Hey, it's what makes the world go round. However, Rebecca had been burnt in that sort of relationship in her marriage. It didn't make sense that she would so easily fall prey to that sort of attraction again and with a gambler to boot.

The conflict involving the saloon and the protection money in a town trying to boom and grow was a bit too pat and felt rushed at the end. Of course I felt that way about the resolution of Slater and Rebecca's story as well. However, I don't fault Ms. McKade for her epilogue in this one to put reader questions to rest. I understand completely why it was done.

All said. This was a good book when I was hoping for a great one. It wasn't everything I hoped it would be, but the good writing and sound story telling is all there on the page. I'll definitely be in line to buy her next book.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 25, 2008

And the Oscar goes to...

As noted in years past I usually am all over the Academy Awards. I print sample ballots, we vote, eat snacks and cheer on our favorites. This year I could barely maintain enough interest to stay awake and watch. Beanie went out to save the world at a friend's house which is code for playing video games and Shmoo was on a date. There sat GG and I with our steamed veggies and halibut. Call me crazy, but somehow, glitz, glitter and glamour is not the same with steamed veggies as it is with nachos.

Jon Stewart who is a fave in our household was not that funny. None of the nominees were particularly interesting. Oh the woes! Of course not having seen the majority of the nominated films may have had a teeny tiny bit to do with it. Maybe. We still want to see THERE WILL BE BLOOD, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and MICHAEL CLAYTON for instance. I don't think any of these were in our local theater more than two weekends. *sigh* Our multiplex has a tendency to cater to the 18-25 year olds.

GG is a big fan of Daniel Day Lewis so he was happy to see him win and has vowed we will be seeing THERE WILL BE BLOOD in the very near future.

I was glad to see Diablo Cody win for her JUNO script and surprised how humble and sweet she was in her acceptance speech. If you've seen any of her interviews you know she marches to the beat of her own drum and is quite an original.

All in all a bit of a dud.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stole this...

This was posted on WEB PETALS Marjorie M. Liu's blog early this morning:

I found a gold mine of a website - the Academy of Achievement - which has fantastic interviews with a host of incredible people, from Rosa Parks to Benazir Bhutto, Olivia de Havilland to Richard Leakey.

Here's a 1996 interview with Elie Wiesel:

I read a lot. I teach my students, not creative writing, but creative reading and it is still from my childhood. You take a text, you explore it, you enter it with all your heart and all your mind. And then you find clues that were left for you, really foredestined to be received by you from centuries ago. Generation after generation there were people who left clues, and you are there to collect them and, at one point, you understand something that you hadn't understood before. That is a reward, and as a teacher I do the same thing. When I realize there is a student there, in the corner, who understands, there is a flicker in the eye. That is the greatest reward that a teacher can receive.

That quote just rocks my boat.

Labels: , ,

Look what I found yesterday...

Can you even guess what I'm going to be doing today? I was actually book shopping for nieces and nephews yesterday when I "just happened" to spot this.

Woo Hoo!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

San Francisco Here I Come!

Yesterday I received the very welcome news of my confirmation for RWA in San Francisco. I'm so excited I can't stand it. What could be better than getting to see your favorite authors in one of your favorite cities?

Still thinking? There ain't nuthin' better that's why. Okay, there is that ONE thing, but... uh...ummmmm...

Never mind. This is one of those times where less really is more.

San Francisco, here I come!


Friday, February 22, 2008

Thank You Whoever You Are...

I was actually cleaning up some books stacked at my bedside. I have a great shelf beneath my bedside stand where I keep the books from my tbr I feel the most likely to get read sooner rather than later.

While reorganizing my piles and sorting them into sub-genre stacks I came across SURRENDER by Pamela Clare. I have had RIDE THE FIRE on my tbb list for quite some time and I think I bought this to give me a taste of the author's writing style while I track down RIDE THE FIRE.

Anyway, you know what happened right? Not expecting anything I looked at the back blurb cracked open the cover and started reading. I'm about half way through it now and really enjoying it.

Do you think I can remember who recommended Pamela Clare? Nope. But whoever you are. Thanks! I'm definitely going to be looking for more of her books.

For the curious this book is set in the late 1750s in the raw frontier and early days of our country. Well, actually before we were a country. Think LAST OF THE MOHICANS type of story. I'm loving it, I really am.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The News

I'm being lazy about the comments for yesterday's post about the fitness test and decided to give you the scoop here instead.

Thankfully I got mostly good news starting with the overall assessment being "it's better to be overweight and fit than skinny and unfit." So, I'm on the overweight and fit side of the room. Huzzah! Although that sounds like a bit of an oxymoron to me. But whatever. A good grade is a good grade I always say. A bit pathetic, but ya takes 'em where ya kin git 'em.

I know you aren't going to believe this but I've never had a treadmill test before. I did fabulously well. No, really I did. I didn't get past 5 on a scale of 1-10 for degree of strenuous exercise. I did great on the incline. So, I was a pretty happy camper. I recovered rather quickly too. Of course, it was only 5-6 minutes on the treadmill never getting past a brisk walk (3.2 miles per hour) so that was pretty easy.

I have way toooooooooo muuuuuuuuuch fat in my body. So much so that I'm too embarassed to share the number with you. However, my cholesterol was good. Blood pressure good. Heart rate excellent. Heart risk for my age and gender is considered excellent if you are at 5% risk or less for heart disease. I was at 4%. Yeah me! Good heart health.

Now the not so good news. My blood work showed an elevated liver enzyme. Got to follow up on that. And, both my blood tests (work and rheumatologist) were done in the same week and show a high score for my thyroid. I saw my rheumatologist on Tuesday and he's already prescribed synthroid. *sigh* Another damn pill to take.

I keep reminding myself how fortunate I am to live in a period of time where there is treatment for these things and a pill is a small price to pay...a very small price. But it still sucks when you look at the palm of your hand twice a day and see 6 pills, not counting my vitamins, that I have to swallow. Did I mention I have to do this twice a day. Every day? Oh well. I'm going to be strong, stalwart and courageous like one of the fabulously tough but compassionate heroines in the books we read. Think? Yeah, tongue firmly in cheek right there.

Thanks for all your good thoughts and prayers. They helped. They really did. Hey Dev. Our Fire Chief took cuts in line so I was actually on the treadmill at around 11:40 to 11:45 a.m. It just might have been your prayer that did the trick. ;-)

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pray for Me

For a week we have health and fitness people at work. On a completely volunteer basis and at no charge you can get a consultation on the state of your health and suggestions on how to have a more healthy and fit life.

Of course part of the process is giving blood, a BMI test, treadmill, breathing test and some flexibility skills. My appointment is at 11 a.m. this morning. *gulp*

Pray for me.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A day in the life...

While the weekend was all about reading my Presidents Day holiday was spent cleaning. I love, love, love when the house is clean top to bottom, but I hate, hate, doing it.

My final chore was putting the clean sheets on the bed. GG arrived home from work just in time to give me a hand with our king-sized bed. It goes so much quicker with help.

Me: Babe, will you help me with the bed?

GG: Sure. (Puzzled look) What are you doing?

Me: I'm taking off my shirt because I think I'm having a hot flash. I'm so damn hot I'm starting to sweat.

GG: Heh, heh. Babe, you're hot 'cuz I'm home now. I make you hot. Heh, heh.

Me: *eye roll* That is SUCH a dorky thing to say.

GG: So? You tell me I'm a dork all the time.

Me: True, but can't you try to overcome your dorkiness?

GG: Nope. *VBG* Besides I only said that so you would have something to put in your blog.

Me: *head desk*

Labels: ,

Monday, February 18, 2008

Reading, Reading and more Reading!

It's been one of those weekends where I really have lots of other stuff I should be doing but all I want to do is read.

I had a couple of surprises this weekend. I read two category romances and really enjoyed them. That hasn't happened in a long time. Probably because I don't read much category romance any more.

Another very surprising trend is that I'm buying almost NO ebooks and I used to be buying like 3-5 a week. Weird that.

Anyway my two little gems were THE MERCERNARY by Cherry Adair which has just been re-released but was originally a Harlequin Temptation. It's a sister needs brother's former partner to help her rescue brother. Brother is being tortured in evol (made up) middle eastern type country. I enjoyed it in a Shannon McKenna sort of way. You know what I mean, right?

Then Nath had mentioned reading a Harlequin Presents by author Kelly Hunter and when I was in the book store Friday I noticed a HP titled BEDDED FOR DIAMONDS. Don't be put off by the title. Or the cover. They have almost zero to do with the story. The book is fast paced clever and well done. No puny heroine and a very believable burnt out Interpol investigator. I'll definitely be looking for more Kelly Hunter books.

Somebody (TGTBTU?) did a review of the current Harlequin Historical release OUTLAW BRIDE by Jenna Kernan. Again I have to say, don't be put off by the title or the cover. This was a wonderful book about real people. While the hero and heroine are both outwardly strong and capable life has dealt them both devastating loss. Most certainly anyone who likes westerns will eat this one up. But if you like deeply emotional realistic stories this will be right up your alley too.

Great weekend for reading. Dust bunnies have unionized though and I'm going to have to send in a team of negotiaters. Swiffer anyone?

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Heart of the Matter


Friday, February 15, 2008

Life's a Beach and Name that Book

There's trouble here in paradise. My Dad has decided to marry his girlfriend. You know the one that's my age and that he met in a bar? Yeah, that one.

My sibs and I are in a bit of whirl. We get that he wants companionship and is lonely, but it would be nice if he wanted to spend time with us or our children. He has 8 living children and 25 grandchildren. Throw in spouses, great grandchildren...that's a lot of people. After 50 years with our Mom it's a bit much to take in that your 76-year old Dad is going to marry a 54-year old woman in Las Vegas. Feels weird I tells ya...weird. Oh did I mention we got to meet the barfly prospective bride at his 75th birthday? To say it didn't go well is an understatement.

When I tell you that my brothers, who are all about Dad bagging a babe, didn't like her that's saying something because they have a very generous grading curve. I swear my Dad's love life has more drama than Shmoo's.

Enough already about Dad. On to books.

Over at Reader' Gab at Access Romance CindyS commented on my column this week and made note of a book she thought was by Judith McNaught. The hero had to joust all of his wife's family who were all trying to kill him. The wife doesn't realize or believe her family means her husband harm. Not only does the hero have to protect himself from being killed but he's got to make sure not to hurt her relatives in the process. Okay? Got it?

Now I read all of McNaught's early historicals and really liked them, but it's been years. Do any of you bright lights out there know which book this is? I'm all kinds of curious now and would like to read it. Because you know, I only have about 200 other books to read so I NEED to go get this one. Tell me. Can you name that book?

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Labor Pains

Never have I anguished more trying to give birth (and life) to my post over at Reader's Gab at Access Romance. Come and hold my hand and drop me a few ice chips. The pains are about two minutes apart and I'm sinking fast.

Inhale. Exhale. *hee hee whooooo*
Inhale. Exhale. *hee hee whooooo*


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What's Your Impression?

Did you hear about this art theft? I read the article in the LA Times today. What a shame for everyone. I can't say why, but I don't have much hope these paintings are going to be recovered. It makes me sad. I love impressionist art.

I suppose my love comes from the influence of one of my eighth grade teachers.
Every morning Miss Halford would put up a poster of a different piece of art and had us journal about it. We could say anything. Talk about the artist, the brush strokes, the subject of the art. I've never forgotten it. I learned about Van Gogh, Cezanne, Goya, Picasso, Michelangelo, Da Vinci among others all for the first time from that teacher.

So when I was in Paris and got to go to the Musee d'Orsay and see the REAL paintings of posters I viewed as an adolescent, well, it was very emotional. Since you already know I'm a weepy kind of a gal you know I teared up. It makes me crazy that wonderful art that is there for everyone to enjoy is stolen. For money. I'm not naive. I know money rocks the world for many people. It's just so disappointing.

While I'm a bit sketchy on some of the details, I do wonder how, in this day and age, three masked guys just walk into a museum with guns on a Sunday afternoon and steal 163 million in paintings?

One does have to wonder...doesn't one? Of course I'm already creating the movie in my head and thinking up all sorts of nefarious plots and "what ifs".

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 10, 2008

How Rosie Got Her Groove Back

Do you really want to know? I thumbed my nose at the world, closed myself in my bedroom and finished one book and read another. I also got about 6 loads of laundry done, registered for RWA and grilled Shmoo about his plans for his date tonight.

(Side Note: No school tomorrow. New girl. They are going to go see FOOL'S GOLD. Poor schmucks.)

The book I finished was DAWN'S AWAKENING by Lora Leigh. The book I read in an afternoon was HARD TO HANDLE by Lori Foster.

Ms. Leigh's breed books have always been sort of favorites of mine so I was surprised I struggled a bit with this one. It may be the disjointed way I read it. I usually read her books in a single sitting, not so this time. I was happy that I was able to recall past characters and interlocking story lines. I love when the story progresses the Breed world and what's happening because there was certainly no new ground with the characters covered. Not to worry though. I'm still looking forward to the next book which I guess is Mercury's since there was an interesting excerpt at the back of DAWN'S AWAKENING. Although I'd rather move on to Cassandra's book now that Ms. Leigh's got me all intrigued about little Cassie (Dash and Elizabeth's daughter from ELIZABETH'S WOLF) all grown up. Who's the mystery man? Any guesses?

HARD TO HANDLE was just delightful. We revisit all the characters of the SBC, the imaginary ultimate fighting world Ms. Foster has created, in this book as well. It was entertaining and a quick read. I find it interesting that Jayne Ann Krentz has a quote on the cover with the words..."instense, edgy and hot". Entertaining? Yes. Intense? Edgy? Hot? Uh, not so much. At least I didn't find any of these characters edgy or intense. Tense maybe, but not intense. All of which takes nothing away from this being a great and fun Sunday afternoon read.

Both boys on dates and me home alone with GG and Jane Austen. What to do...what to do. I guess I could forego watching PRIDE AND PREJUDICE on PBS tonight since I have the DVD. Especially since I got the most incredible Valentine gift ever yesterday.

That crazy, wonderful, totally not romantic guy I married went into the place where I get my nails done, which is also a jewelry shop, and bought me diamond earrings yesterday. Just like that...the crazy man. Guess I have my work cut out for me giving him a suitable thank you. And before you give me what for about calling him unromantic. He hasn't been for 27 years. A wonderful loving supportative partner and mate...absolutely, but not particularly romantic. It's been fine. It's not like I didn't know this when I married him. Do you think it's the romance novels he's been reading?

Oh and all that about my groove? Yeah, it's definitely back.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, February 08, 2008

Take a Minute and Just Click




February 7, 2008

In its latest assault on Iranian women’s rights, the Iranian judiciary has sentenced two sisters, Zohreh and Azar Kabiri to death by stoning. According to Iranian media reports, following allegations of adultery by Zohreh’s husband, the sisters were arrested in February 2007. In the first trial, which took place without defense counsel, the sisters were coerced to “confess” to adultery during the course of interrogations by the judge. The General Court of Ferdis found Zohreh and Azar guilty of “inappropriate relations” and sentenced them to 99 lashes. Instead of being released, after enduring the lashes the sisters were without explanation sent back to prison and later summoned for a new trial on charges of “adultery” in Tehran’s Criminal Court. On 5 August 2007, they were sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, a decision that was subsequently approved by the Supreme Court.

The lawyer for the sisters, Jabar Solati, has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court requesting that the stoning sentence be reviewed. Solati maintains that it is unconstitutional for Zohreh and Azar to have been tried a second time for a crime for which they had already been convicted and punished. Solati also stated that the evidence needed to prove adultery was absent; these include confessions by the accused on four different occasions and the testimony of eye-witnesses to the alleged crime. Furthermore, reports indicate that the official documents from the first trial relating to the lashing sentence and execution of the sentence were all missing during the trial in Tehran’s Criminal Court.

Death sentences continue to be issued with regularity by the Iranian judiciary despite repeated local and international protest by human rights activists, citizens, the media and the international community. In spite of a moratorium on stoning issued in 2002 by Ayatollah Shahroudi, head of the Iranian judiciary, judges continue to hand down stoning sentences, in particular and disproportionately to women, for adultery. These death sentences are being carried out. A woman and man are reported to have been stoned to death for adultery in 2006. As recently as 5 July 2007, Jafar Kiani was stoned to death in Aghchekand in Iran. Kiani’s partner, Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, and nine other women including Kobra Najjar have all been sentenced to death by stoning. All these women are in prison and their sentences could be carried out at any time. Two men await punishment by stoning as well. Equality Now Executive Director Taina Bien-Aimé says, “The Iranian judiciary should be upholding international law rather than violating the human rights obligations Iran has undertaken. Adultery must not be punished by criminal sanctions. This is a violation of the right to privacy. Moreover, stoning is a fundamental human rights violation in all cases.”

Stoning to death violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Iran is a state party. The ICCPR clearly prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment. It also limits the imposition of the death penalty “only for the most serious crimes.” No criminal or other act warrants violent and inhumane punishments such as flogging and stoning. Moreover, adultery is a private act and should not incur criminal punishment. Protection from arbitrary or unlawful interference under the ICCPR has been found by the United Nations Human Rights Committee to include consensual sexual activity between adults in private.

Equality Now is an international human rights organization that works to protect and promote the civil, political, economic and social rights of girls and women. Equality Now opposes all forms of the death penalty. Equality Now’s Women’s Action Network comprises 30,000 groups and individual members in over 160 countries. For more information please visit www.equalitynow.org.

Please contact Iran’s Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi urging him to release Zohreh and Azar Kabiri immediately and unconditionally from prison. Also urge him to release Kobra Najjar (see http://www.equalitynow.org/english/actions/action_2901_en.html for more information about her case) and to commute all death sentences that have been passed and await execution. Iran must comply with its obligations under the ICCPR and ban the practice of stoning, and recognize adultery as a private act that should not incur criminal penalties.

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Head of the Judiciary
c/o Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: iripr@iranjudiciary.org, irjpr@iranjudiciary.com and info@dadgostary-tehran.ir
Phone: +98 21 22741002, +98 21 22741003, +98 21 22741004, +98 21 22741005

In the United States please also contact:
Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran
(Housed in the Embassy of Pakistan)
2209 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 965-4990, (202) 965-4992, (202) 965-4993, (202) 965-4994, (202) 965-4999
Fax: (202) 965-1073
Email: requests@daftar.org

For more information, please contact Equality Now at info@equalitynow.org.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

January Reading List

Here it is. Finally. You'd think with as few entries as I have that it wouldn't have been such a trial getting this done closer to the end of January. However, I had a stack of books I'd finished on a shelf next to my bed. Turns out there were some books for my tbr in there as well along with some December reads I hadn't put away. How this happened I don't know. I have a procedure damn it! Read the book, log the book, put the book away. Mixing book piles just isn't supposed to happen. *sigh* Things like this are what make me feel like I'm in a fog sometimes.

I know I read another (maybe two even) ebooks that I've had for awhile, but I looked at my ebook files and can't remember what they were besides the Jory Strong book listed. They didn't leave much of an impression so I guess...no harm, no foul.

THE EXECUTIVE'S SURPRISE BABY by Catherine Mann. This is part of the Garrison Family series. It is also a return to category romance for me after a long dry spell. The title says it all. This wasn't horrible, but I have to admit I did some eye rolling. Lori of Let's Gab has rec'd Ms. Mann's SEAL books and I have a couple of those in my tbr. I didn't hate this, so I'm still going to give the SEAL books a try.

SHADES OF TWILIGHT by Linda Howard. What can I say that you haven't already heard? I really like this book. I love the multi-generations in the book. I understand selflessness and devotion to family. I hadn't read it for a couple of years and thoroughly enjoyed the re-read.

SPLIT by Kristina Lloyd. This is a Black Lace title and I gave Ms. Lloyd a try because Bam had raved about a couple of her other books. I have to say I didn't really like this or "get it". I hate when I feel like a writer is being deliberately clever to see if we are all bright enough to get her point. I felt annoyed and impatient with the heroine. I couldn't believe how deliberately obtuse she was and how long it took her to catch on to what was happening to her.

MOVING TARGET by Cheyenne McCray. This is a book I really wanted to like. The best I can say is that it was okay. I didn't hate it. When the heroine who is in Witness Protection makes a phone call as herself to someone in her past early on in the book I knew the story was in hot water. If you are so terrorized and terrified for your life that you leave everything behind why would you do something like that? I didn't buy the reasoning we were given. People died as a result of her "mistake". I think that the reader (and the characters) should have had more of an emotional impact and reaction to the events that followed the phone call. Bummer.

EMBER by Bettie Sharpe. Lots of people out in blogland were raving about this free serial by Bettie Sharpe that was posted by chapter over several weeks on Bam's blog. I waited until it was complete before I read it. This is an imaginative re-telling and explanation of the Cinderella story. Hence the 'ember' rather than the 'cinder'. I have to confess that I'm not much for mixing fairy tales and romance. While I can acknowledge Ms. Sharpe's writing talent and clever twisting of this tale, it just wasn't my cuppa. Another okay read for me.

CALISTA'S MEN by Jory Strong. This is an ebook from Ellora's Cave I've had forever. I read it when I first bought it. I liked it a lot the first time I read it. It's an erotic read about a shy kindergarten teacher who tries her hand at being a PI, meets two brothers and falls in love with both of them. Murder, mystery, and menage ensue. Fun read if you are in the mood for something steamy. Ms. Strong does fairly well making emotional connections that help the reader connect to the story, but don't go looking for reality here.

MINE TO POSSESS by Nalini Singh. I'm just tossing my hat in the ring with everyone else. I love reading a book that hits all the right notes. As you move through Ms. Singh's story she answers question and expands her Psy-Changeling world before the reader is aware that you wanted or needed that bit of information. Can series writing just get better and better? Yes! I love this world. I'm still intrigued and interested and can't wait for the next book. That's the best endorsement I can give any series.

DEMON NIGHT by Meljean Brook. Complex and compelling were the two words that popped into my head when I finished this book. I have a confession to make. I didn't know I was starving for something like this until I read DEMON ANGEL. I can't remember when I've gone back and re-read portions of a book before I've finished it. Every time I read a book in this series I find myself daydreaming and wondering about the possibilities of this world. I do a lot of "what if..." As with Ms. Singh's books I care about the people and they certainly seem very real to me.

So that's it. Unbelievably, only 8 books in January. At this rate I won't even hit 100 this year. But you know what? That's okay. Since my reading time has been so curtailed I'm really making an effort to read stuff I really care about and allow myself to enjoy re-reading something if I want to.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

To Do List

1. Log January reads and post on blog.

2. Put logged books away before desk is swallowed.

3. Write a post for Readers Access for Valentines Day. Don't be sappy or sentimental.

4. Don't murder sons who aren't doing their chores because I'm working so many hours I forget to nag them.

5. Revolt and refuse to do any laundry but my own.

6. Be nicer to GG because he said I should.

7. Seek mental health treatment for believing number 6.

8. Ask for package discount for mental health treatment because I discussed Reader's Access topics with GG -- obvious proof I've lost my mind.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Kleypas Fans Check It Out

My February Borders newsletter had this link for Lisa Kleypas' book trailer for BLUE EYED DEVIL coming out in March. The picture is a bit crisper than the YouTube version that I have below. It's pretty well done. Check it out.


Monday, February 04, 2008

The REAL Jane Austen?

Although I haven't read lots about Jane Austen, I found this partly biographical and partly fictional account very interesting. Next up is the wonderful A&E adaptation of PRIDE & PREJUDICE. Since that gem is in my DVD collection, I may just sit down and watch it all next weekend. Time permitting of course.

Since we were happy about the Super Bowl winner, GG loves the Manning family, this was a great way to top off the evening. It certainly sparked some interesting thoughts and conversation.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 02, 2008

With or Without You

So in the mood for this. Can't believe it's 20 years old. Wow!


Friday, February 01, 2008


Here's the answers to my earlier post. I put them in the comments too, but it's pretty long for comments.

I lived in Japan for 3 years. TRUE! I'm a military brat and we were stationed in Japan during my 6, 7, and 8th grades.

I type 85 words a minute. TRUE!

I met my husband in Colorado TRUE! I lived there he lived in Ohio and his company was doing business with my company, and the rest is history as they say.

I bit Shmoo when he was 3 years old. TRUE! He bit everyone and everything and wouldn't stop. He bit kids at his day care. One day he bit his brother and broke the skin. In desperation I picked up his arm and bit him. Not hard, but I bit him. He never bit anyone again. True story.

I stayed up for 72 hours straight to finish Beanie's scrapbook. TRUE! Sadly. I get driven to finish a project by a certain date and come hell or high water it's going to get done.

What's the lie?

I went to Catholic school for 8 years. FALSE! Nope only one year. The fourth grade. Remember I said I was a military brat? We moved around a lot. So no 8 years of nuns for me.


One of These Is Not Like The Other...or Because I Love Devonna Part Deux

I'm working on my abysmally short January reading list. Hopefully it will be put up over the weekend sometime. In the meanwhile, here's another meme I was tagged for by the Mighty Devonna. A woman who sets a goal and then beats it, bags it and stomps it to the ground. Go Devonna!

The dealio here is to share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. The twist here is, one of the statements is a lie! You have to guess which one and let me know in comments. I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you want to do this one, go for it.

Here we go:

I went to Catholic school for 8 years

I lived in Japan for 3 years

I type 85 words a minute

I met my husband in Colorado

I bit Shmoo when he was 3 years old

I stayed up for 72 hours straight to finish Beanie's scrapbook

So what do you think?

Labels: ,