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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Knit One, Perl Two

I'm getting my stitches removed this morning.  I'm a teeny tiny bit anxious.  *gulp*   On the other hand I've got Sirantha Jax to keep me company.  Now there's a woman with cojones.  Maybe a leather jacket and some steel toed boots would be just the ticket for my nervousness.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Indiscreet by Carolyn Jewel

Indiscreet by Carolyn Jewel

At this point it is hardly a secret that I'm a big fan of Carolyn Jewel. The rather surprising thing about my admiration is that Ms. Jewel writes both paranormals and historicals and I relish them both with equal enthusiasm. It never bothers me that an author writes in multiple genres, however, I often prefer one genre or "voice" over the other. That's not the case with Carolyn Jewel's books.

There is a great tag line on her website for this book that brought the whole story rushing back to me in one fell swoop.

Someone tells a lie and a young woman's life is ruined.

That's it in a nutshell. The lie is of such proportions that Sabine Godard cannot stay in England and hope to survive the social consequences of the lie. Even as her Uncle, a revered Oxford scholar, takes Sabine out of the country on the pretext of academic study, Sabine knows he's disappointed in her and that he's not quite convinced she's as innocent as she claims.

It begs the question whether it is better to be reviled or ignored? Ms. Jewel does an excellent job of drawing us into the stifled world that Sabine lives in. It appears at first that Sabine has found genuine contentment while essentially hiding behind a facade of competence, calm and acceptance. She's made peace with the idea that working for her uncle in the world of academia is her lot in life.

Of course, things cannot stay that way. Enter Edward, Marquess of Foye. Sabine has reason to stay as far from Edward as she possibly can recognizing him as one of the close friends of the man who ruined her reputation.

Scorched from a bad relationship, Edward has resolved to stay unmarried until his older brother unexpectedly dies. Left with the family title Edward must now marry. He thinks to take one last trip abroad before returning home to marry someone mature and "safe" that he can settle down with and secure the title.

The one outstanding quality of Ms. Jewel's books are her characters. There is so much detail to their personalities. It's all in the way she includes the smallest details like smells or textures that put you in that time and place. It always makes me feel like I really know her characters as people regardless of the time period or circumstance she puts them. It isn't that I haven't read a story with a similar plot as this, but I gobbled up the book simply because I wanted to spend time with these characters.

Sabine and Edward are both wounded souls. While reading I couldn't help but admire their strength, fortitude and generosity of spirit. These are two people with strong personal values who have each managed to find their own way to deal with the slings and arrows life has thrown them. While as a titled man Edward certainly has advantages that Sabine does not, I couldn't help but feel they were well matched in their strengths.

This was another good read from Carolyn Jewel. If you've enjoyed her previous historicals, INDISCREET will not disappoint. This book is scheduled for release on October 5th.

My Grade = B+

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Monday, September 28, 2009

But not the kitchen sink...

This weekend had a little bit of everything. There were the inevitable weekend chores, a very awesome and delightful So Cal Blogger get together on Saturday, and then on Sunday there was grocery shopping and reading. I managed to finish Lisa Kleypas' new book, read a Beth Kery book I picked up a the blogger swap that was an unexpected surprise. I'm currently buried in DOUBLEBLIND by Ann Aguirre. Yum! Yes, you can say "yum" about a book.

One of the topics I brought up at our blogger get together was about e-readers. Some people have them and some people don't. I don't have a particular stand about e-readers vs. print. I like looking at my favorite books sitting on a shelf in my office, but there are lots of reasons to have an e-reader that make so much sense, yet I don't have one. Go figure.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make about this and any other topic where two or more people may disagree, is that sometimes I just "mark as read" and move on when I read these posts. Is it apathetic to do so? Is it wrong to feel like on any given day on any given topic I just might not give a rat's ass?

What do you think? I'm talking about this over at Access Romance today. Why not come over and tell me what you think?

Wait! What do you mean you don't give a rat's ass? Are you telling me this is what they mean by "hoist by your own petard?"


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reading, Working and Recovery

This is just a drive-by because I'm a bit tuckered. I went back to work today with my swollen nose, slightly black eye and 60 stitches. It sounds so dramatic, but I'm actually feeling fine.  I told GG, who looks at my swollen schnoz worriedly, that I've had arthritis flare-ups that felt way worse than this has. 

Reading has been a little problematic. There's stitches across the bridge of my nose right where my glasses rest. This means I can only tolerate my glasses being on for so long.  End result? Shorter reading time. 

TO TEMPT THE WOLF by Terry Spear looks like it's going to be a DNF. I did manage to get through TUCKER'S CLAIM by Sarah McCarty. I re-read CAINE'S RECKONING recently and it was better than I remembered, so I thought maybe with more realistic expectations I would have a better reading experience with TUCKER'S CLAIM. It just wasn't what I was hoping for. One of the things I've liked most about Ms. McCarty's writing were the multi-layered and complex characters she has. There is so much room for possibilities in this Hell's Eight series that I couldn't help but being disappointed. I think more exploration or at least a further explanation of their past and how the men of Hell's Eight got where they are would be great. Everything just feels too rushed to me. 

Now I'm on to TEMPT ME AT TWILIGHT Lisa Kleypas' latest historical that is also a part of the Hathaway family series. I've barely cracked it, so not much to tell there.

I'm also excited about DOUBLEBLIND by Ann Aguirre. On Tuesday on our way home from the hospital my sweet and darling husband stopped at the bookstore so I could get the Kleypas book.  Lo and behold there was DOUBLEBLIND so it made its way to my house as well. A girl's gotta have something to read while she recovers doesn't she?

That's it for now.  Sort of a rambling mishmash isn't it?  

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just call me Popeye!

I had my surgery on my nose yesterday. Cancer removed.  Nose repaired.  All is good in the neighborhood...  

Well except for the swelling that has my right eye almost closed giving me the Popeye look, which isn't exactly what I was going for. Hey maybe some of that spinach will do the trick for some super healing. 

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's All About Perception

I've been holding on to this for a while. Maybe you heard about it when it happened. I got an email about this story just a few weeks ago and it's been rambling around in my head ever since.


Well I often coin the phrase, "It's all about perception." It's not unusual for me to think about a book, news story or circumstance and put myself in the place of another person and wonder what I would do if the same thing happened to me. Like many people I hope that I would rise to the occasion and do the right thing.

This story is a little bit different, but remains a story about perceptions and makes one wonder? What would I have done?

Here's the email I received.

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007.

The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Just two days before Joshua Bell had sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made, how many other things are we missing?


Monday, September 21, 2009

Alpha & Omega Series by Patricia Briggs

Alpha & Omega (excerpt)
Cry Wolf (excerpt)
Hunting Ground (excerpt)
by Patricia Briggs

Imagine my surprise when I found out that Patricia Briggs and I were both born in Butte, Montana. Uh, that's pronounced like "bewt" not "butt" by the way.

Butte isn't very big, but it is memorable. My parents were both born and raised in Montana so I have roots and lots of family in the Big Sky state. With the exception of
Evel Knieval I don't anyone else who was born in Butte that I'm not related to, so finding out about Ms. Briggs was fun. I can't help but wonder if we know any of the same people. Or, maybe she moved away years ago since she now lives in Washington state.

All of which has pretty much zero to do with my thoughts on the Alpha & Omega series, but I couldn't resist sharing that little tidbit with you.

e first thing I want to note is for anyone who wants to read this series, to read it in order. Right now I can't think of another series where the reading order was more important unless it's Ms. Briggs' Mercy Thompson books.

Fortunately I was saved from missing out on a truly wonderful series and some terrific characters by taking Tracy's (Tracy's Place) advice to go back and read ALPHA & OMEGA in the ON THE PROWL anthology before giving up on this series.

It made all the difference in the world.

This series is set in the same world as the MERCY THOMPSON books. In Mercy's books we meet the Alpha of all the North American packs, Bran Cornick and his two sons Charles and Samuel. While Samuel continues to be a part of Mercy's books, Charles takes center stage in the Alpha & Omega books.

In ALPHA & OMEGA Anna Latham and Charles meet when Charles travels to Chicago to investigate some irregularities Bran has become aware of in the Windy City pack. There he meets Anna who was viciously Changed against her will and brutalized by the Chicago pack.

Unaware she's an Omega, or what that truly means, Anna is struggling and starving as a waitress when Charles walks into her life. In this essential first story we learn, as Anna does, what it means to be an Omega, her place in the pack and in Charles' life. Without understanding her history and the story of Charles and Anna's meeting, it was tough for me to connect with the characters when I tried to read CRY WOLF the first time. I was pretty bummed I couldn't get into the book. Thank God Tracy set me straight.

CRY WOLF begins right where ALPHA & OMEGA ended. In this book we not only see Charles & Anna fumble through the beginning of their relationship, but we also get insights into Bran's past history as well. I can't help but feel this was some foreshadowing of further stories about Bran. This was an excellent book full of subtle nuances and nudges to the reader that kept me reading and reluctant to put the book down for sleep or work.

Immediately following CRY WOLF I picked up HUNTING GROUND. It's great to see an author develop characters and to see change and growth that make sense. With the time frame continuing closely on the heels of the previous books, HUNTING GROUND begins within a few weeks of CRY WOLF'S ending. This is life beyond the HEA at its best. Settling into the realities of life together and what it means for Anna to continue to grapple with her steep learning curve as the pack Omega living with the pack's enforcer/assassin.

Chock full of interesting characters and the complexities of hiding who they are in a shrinking world, I found myself just as engrossed and entranced in this series as I was in the Mercy Thompson books.

While Mercy's books are serialized and best enjoyed in order, they have a more separate chapter feel to them than the Alpha & Omega books. I can't possibly grade the A&O books individually because they are so essential to one another.

My Grade for the series so far = A-

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Saturday, September 19, 2009


by illustrator EVGENY PARFENOV

So much for my proclamation that I'm feeling better. I haven't weighed myself in a over a week and today I found that I've gained FIVE POUNDS. A couple of years ago I lost 30 pounds. I've been so proud of keeping it off and thinking I'd add losing another 30 one of these old days. Okay 20. Well really I'd be happy with another 15. Wait!  It would be 20 because now I have to lose the FIVE POUNDS I've gained. Aaaarrrrgh!!! Lordy but I get tired of losing the same weight over and over again. You'd think I'd get a freaking clue... But noooooooooooo!  

I can't even tell you how shocked I was by this weight gain. Goes to show you how important an on-going and consistent exercise routine is, not to mention careful eating. I have not been miserable taking care of myself and was in quite a comfortable routine. With recent "stuff" going on I have apparently gone way off the reserveration, or maybe *grasping at straws and hope in voice* my thyroid meds need adjusting. No? Maybe? Get a grip on reality, Rosie?


Summer's over. Time to get into a new routine. Gotta get rid of some more poundage. Oh did I mention GG's very favorite TV show BIGGEST LOSER is back on? He recommends it for inspiration. Should I slap him or hug him?

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Friday, September 18, 2009


Bean recently got published in his college newspaper for an opinion piece he did giving sage advice about zombie survival. Who knew how important this information was? Apparently along with earthquake kits we also need Zombie survival kits. Forgive a doting Mom, and without further adieu...


On Oct. 2, the new Woody Harrelson film Zombieland will hit theaters, getting everyone ready for the Halloween season.

The movie itself is about a few survivors going through their own little world and killing zombies. This of course got me thinking: how would I survive a zombie invasion?

After countless hours of trying to answer the question, instead of doing my homework, I came up with a few ideas.

First, you must know your enemy. There have been many books, movies, TV shows and comic books about the walking undead, but there are still those who have absolutely no idea what a “zombie” really is and being the awesome person that I am, I thought it would be wise to give you a little insight before you become acquainted with them on a very personal/scary level.

A zombie is a reanimated corpse that constantly hungers for flesh and more times then not, human flesh. As scary as this information may be, these creatures are not at the Hannibal Lecter status.

They are slow moving, mindless beasts that can easily be out maneuvered or tricked.

Now, there are a few stories out there about the very fast zombies and if you are forced to go against them, I hope you are in great shape.

There are ways that you can protect yourself from a zombie attack, by doing all of the little things right now. Here are a few tips that I came up with that even your pet monkey could do. Yes, I said your pet monkey. The one in your closet. Idiot.

First of all, you are going to need a survival pack that is ready to go with you at a moment’s notice because, lets face it, there’s not going to be any real warning that a zombie invasion is going on.

That is until you hear, “Holy crap, monkeys! There are zombies coming after me!” from your neighbor.

However, you wont believe him until you poke your head out and you see the hoards taking their time walking and stumbling over their decayed selves.

The survival pack should include lots of water bottles, Top Ramen and a personal weapon to defend yourself that is light and easy to carry in your bag.

Water is essential for the human body to survive. The human body also needs food to survive on and that is where Top Ramen comes into play. True, it is not the most delicious food choice out there, but can you name another food that will taste the same ten years from now? How about a hundred years? Top Ramen: the diet for every college kid and zombie survivor.

Now, the weapon of choice in your bag is very important here because there will be a lot of times when you can’t run away from the zombies. They may be slow and dumb, but there are a lot of them.

The weapon that you choose can save your life, so choose wisely.

Now, guns are a great choice because they can kill the undead, or at least mightily annoy them from a distance, but guns are only as useful as the number of bullets you have.

A katana would be a great choice because they are light, really sharp and best of all, they never run out of ammo.

Unfortunately, not too many people own a katana or a sword of any kind, so the basic garage items would be just as useful: baseball bat, hockey stick, a saw, etc.

Basically anything that you can swing around and do a lot of damage with.

Once you have a handy dandy survival pack, you can get with your friends and go to safety.

There really is no safe place from the zombies because they are everywhere. The best thing to do is to constantly be on the move, killing any zombies that cross your path that you are unable to escape from.

Once you’re with your friends, there are a few simple rules that you must abide by.

First, exploration equals mutilation. Do you want to know what’s behind that dark scary corner? I don’t, so why should you? (The first rule came from How to Survive A Horror Movie,” a great read.)

Second, never split up; those that split up are always found killed in different locations.

The next rule should be obvious, but this is the first rule that seems to always get broken.

Do not, I repeat, do not have sex when running for your lives. Zombies are not a turn-on, and unless you want a zombie to walk in on you when you are most vulnerable, just keep it in your pants.

The chances of a zombie invasion actually occurring are very slim, but now you will know what to do when one does happen.

Save this article, keep it in your pocket, and you can save yourself, your friends and the pet monkey that you keep in your closet.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009


I have to confess that I put off reading this book a bit because it involved ships, pirates, and the high seas. I realized recently I'm not much interested in reading books with that setting. I have no idea why these things happen. For years I enjoyed to varying degrees ships, sailing, pirates, the whole nine yards. However, my tbr is currently littered with "high seas" tales that I pick up and put down with a sigh. Fortunately I ignored that impulse when I continued reading Dare's back to back releases. I've learned (finally!) there can be wonderful surprises when you take a chance.

By now you've figured out that I really liked this book. While a ship is certainly the back drop of this book, the characters are so strong that the fact a good portion of the book is spent on a ship didn't bother me at all.

Readers of Ms. Dare's first book GODDESS OF THE HUNT will remember heroine Sophie Hathaway as the beautiful prospective fiancee of Sir Tobias Aldridge in that book. Sir Toby is the young man Lucy, the heroine of GODDESS, believes herself to be in love with. However, it is to Sophie that Sir Toby proposes.

The hero, Benedict "Gray" Grayson, is a man on a mission. Trying to keep his family afloat in the wake of tumbling sugar prices and his father's death, he takes to privateering, and, when the war is over, to legitimate commerce.

In this story Sophie, who loves to write letters and make up stories, decides to take up a fictitious name and travel as a governess to a place where she remembers her friend Lucy has family. Sophie burns bridges and her engagement with Sir Toby by leaving letters to Toby and her family making up a story about running away with her painting (music?) instructor all in the name of true love. Sophie's plan is to lay low far from England and her family's interference until she turns 21 and comes into her inheritance.

Sophie doesn't count on meeting Gray, who after he saves her from a mauling in a tavern, turns out to be the owner of the vessel she hopes to sail on. Gray's brother and partner captains the ship, while Gray tries to resist the temptation to take back his duties as Captain. Only his love for his brother and his determination to keep him his partner help him resist. That leaves the only passenger on board, the luscious Sophie, as the single diversion to focus and obsess over.

Filled with full bodied secondary characters and a rich texture of the times, this book really surprised me. With an excerpt of LADY OF PERSUASION in the back of this book, I'm anxious to get my hands on it knowing that Sir Toby gets a chance to even the score with Gray when he sets his sights on Gray's sister.

My Grade = B+

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not a TBR Review, but...

...I'm feeling good.  Although I seem to be writing a lot of posts these days whose titles begin with the word "not". Can that mean anything?

Today I'm just popping in to say that while I don't have a TBR Challenge post, my reading is going along just swimmingly. Consequently, no guilt.  I do want to mention that thanks to Keishon and the TBR Challenge I have a whole new attitude about my TBR. Instead of looking at it like it's a menancing pile of books mocking me for my obsession to buy books, books, and more books, I now see a treasure trove of unexplored opportunities. So, thanks Keishon.

In other news my new anti-inflammatory meds are working like aces since the whole swollen knee episode. I don't seem to be so dang tired all the time. Words don't begin to describe how liberating and wonderful that is. Since both GG and I have had some health issues lately just knowing we are both feeling better is huge. Good health is such a gift. I never want to take it for granted.

Tracy? You are a doll. You told me I was missing out by not reading the first short story in the Alpha Omega series by Patricia Briggs and you were so right. I'm reading it right now in preparation of re-reading CRY WOLF and then HUNTING GROUND. Thanks for the tip because for some crazy reason I do think it's going to make a difference when I read those other books.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

God Speed Patrick Swayze

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Monday, September 14, 2009


This was a re-release that I somehow did not have on my keeper shelf. Of course it's possible I read it and didn't keep it, but it didn't seem familiar to me so I think probably not.

This book started out strong for me. I was excited and anxious to see how Ms. Kleypas was going to resolve infamous Bow Street Runner Grant Morgan's and scandalously notorious Vivien Duvall's relationship.

When Grant takes Vivien into his custody because she's lost her memory after a brutal attempt on her life, I read with baited breath how their mutual dislike and Grant's abhorrence of Vivien's life as a highly sought after courtesan was going to work out.

Sure there's lots of heat, but Vivien doesn't remember who she is and how she's lived her life, let alone the dynamics of her relationship to Grant before the attack on her life. I don't think it's a stretch to say Grant loathes Vivien. While incredibly attracted to her he was ultimately put off by her cold and ruthless conniving when he met her previously. Grant decides that Vivien's beauty is not sufficient enough to tempt him.

By no means was this book horrible. I was just disappointed in the sudsy soap opera way Ms. Kleypas took to resolve what I felt was the strongest conflict in the book, that of Grant and Vivien's unwilling attraction for one another.

Not a wholly unpleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

My Grade = B-

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

August 2009 Reading List

Twelve Thirteen books for August. (ETA: It seems I forgot to include FIRE KING by Marjorie Liu which was logged on my spreadsheet already so I forgot to include it in original post.) With a wedding smack dab in the middle of the month and so much family stuff going on, I'm pretty darn happy. A couple of nice discoveries this month with Meredith Duran and Tessa Dare.

HOT PURSUIT by Suzanne Brockmann
This was a re-visit to fan favorites Sam Starrett & Alyssa Locke. I enjoy visiting Brockmann's world and this was no exception. Sam and Alyssa are in New York to find a stalker. The question is, who's being stalked? I think it's a win when an author can take characters the fans know well and tell a story without leaving the fans feeling cheated.
My Grade = B

INTO THE LAIR by Maya Banks
Book 2 in the Falcon Mercernary Group series. I'm always a little bit fascinated with shifter stories and Ms. Banks has a very interesting hook in this series about how the people were "infected". I liked the first book a bit more than this one because I really liked the H/H. I'm invested enough that I will be continuing with the series to see what happens.
My Grade = C

I'm a big fan of Ms.Hill's Nature of Desire series and as a result I have been dragging my feet about reading her vamp books. One of the things I like best about the Nature books is her delicate revelation of her characters. I think it contributes so much to making the people who populate her stories so believable even while they may exist in the most far reaching and perhaps unbelievable circumstances.

You can see that having such strong feelings about Ms. Hill's books written in the contemporary world why I might have some misgivings reading her paranormals. That said, I have no explanation why I picked up this current release in the book store and got hooked. It's especially puzzling when I knew I had two prior releases of the series in my tbr at home.

My Grade = B-

LAID BARE by Lauren Dane
This book surprised me for how much I've thought about it since I read it. I think because I've completely bought off on the characters. Erin Brown is a strong heroine and a survivor. She's survived a broken heart both in love and in life. I absolutely adore that while she's flawed she's found a way to rebuild her life and live it in a way that's real. For her. Really enjoyed this one.
My Grade = B+

A MARRIAGE MINDED MAN by Karen Templeton
Silhouette Special Edition #1994 September 2009. If it says Karen Templeton on the cover I must buy it. Wendy and Holly said so. This is part of the Wed in the West series. I'm not as gung ho about this series as I have been with some of Ms. Templeton's other books. I'm not connecting with any of the characters or situations. My Grade = C

WRITTEN ON YOUR SKIN by Meredith Duran
I'm reading Ms. Duran's books completely out of order. DUKE OF SHADOWS is in my tbr while I read this one first and then grabbed BOUND BY YOUR TOUCH to read next. These books were deliciously meaty and detailed. I really like that in a book when it's done right. I also eat it up when an author obviously knows her characters well and they can be multi-layered. It shows in every scene. So glad I read these.
My Grade = B+

BOUND BY YOUR TOUCH by Meredith Duran
No let up or disappointment when I followed WRITTEN ON YOUR SKIN with BOUND BY YOUR TOUCH. If anything Vicount Sanburne is more delicious and complicated than Phin Granville in WRITTEN ON YOUR SKIN. Good book.
My Grade = B+

It was a good month for reading historicals for me. The dynamic between the H/H Jeremy and Lucy Waltham is delicious. They both deliberately choose to ignore the attraction that is building between them. Here we have Jeremy, as Lucy's older brother's friend, who has been around for ages and ages. Lucy has been smitten for almost that entire time with another of her brother's friends. Really liked this one too and I've already read SURRENDER OF A SIREN and will talk more about it on my September list. I'm anxious to see what Ms. Dare does in A LADY OF PERSUASION.
My Grade = B+

HEALING LUKE by Beth Cornelison
This book started out with lots of potential. I liked many things about it, but ultimately felt a little cheated. I thought Occupational Therapist Abby Sanford a bit too wishy-washy given her profession. Luke came across to me as a bit too adolescent. That they needed each other was without question, I just wish there had been more about what motivated them and less about their insecurities. I just couldn't completely buy off on all of it.
My Grade = C

As a part of her Girl Bachelor books I was looking forward to reading what Ms. Guhrke was going to do with this one. Both Daisy Merrick, a hapless young woman going from job to job, and Sebastian Grant, a gifted writer and former drug addict, are certainly interesting enough. While we get bits of how Sebastian overcomes his addiction, I think the story would have been better served if there had been more about that journey. Here we see him on the other side and it was difficult for me to overlook his selfish, sarcastic and self involved outer shell. I liked Daisy very much. I'm a sucker for the flawed, and slightly cracked eternal optimist. The self awareness Lucy has of who she is and how the world perceives her was terrific. I guess that's why I was disappointed with Sebastian. Having survived so much, I thought he should have had a better understanding of himself.
My Grade = C+

This was a struggle and I almost didn't finish it. I did not like the H/H in this book. He started out as selfish and pretty much seemed that way all through the book. She is a southern belle, Caroline Benet, his former sweetheart, who tracks the embittered Brandon Dumont to Texas. I couldn't figure out what these two had in common or why they loved each other.
My Grade = D

Lori Foster, LL Foster, and Erin McCarthy
I've seen mixed reviews for this one around RomLand. As you probably know Lori Foster and LL Foster are one and the same. Her two entries in this anthology are related. Go figure. I guess it's a good idea trying to bring in fans from both pseudonyms together in one book. Surprisingly I liked the L.L. Foster entry better than the Lori Foster story.

I enjoyed this in the spirit I think anthologies are written, to give you a taste for what the author writes. On that level it worked for me.

My Grade = B

THE FIRE KING by Marjorie Liu
This was a lovely story. Although listed on the cover as a Dirk & Steele novel it's only loosely related to them as Soria, the heroine once belonged to the agency and, of course, the shifters are a part of the story. In this case it is the dragon shifters long thought to be gone and extinct.

Soria and Karr are both deeply wounded souls who miraculously find each other. This was tenderly written and even now looking at the cover I have a feeling of the rolling cadence of the words. Very enjoyable installment of the series.
My Grade = B


Thursday, September 10, 2009


Lots of work at the salt mines this week. Remember my comment that you always pay for the short work week? I hate when I'm right.
(Not really. I actually love it when I'm right. Aren't you? Heh.)

Did anybody see the season finale of RESCUE ME? We watched it over the long weekend. Holy crap! Right?

I went swimming for the first time in 3 weeks yesterday morning. It was glorious. The water temperature verged on bath water which is a tad warm for lap swimming, but I can't complain. Really. Can't. Nothing beats the sheer happiness of getting back in the water.

I'm currently reading Christine Feehan's latest. I'm about half way through it and am feeling sort of 'meh' about it. Anybody else reading it?

Instead of finishing my August reading list, which at this rate I'll post sometime in November, I watched THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB for about the sixth time. It's not a spectacular movie particularly, but I get hooked by it every time.

Okay here goes, after more than 15 years at the same nail salon I'm making a change. Why am I writing about it? Well, it's sort of a big deal to me because I'm a very loyal person. Not to mention I still really like the person who did my nails, I just don't like the shop any more. I've been stewing about making the change for months and finally made the leap. Did I mention I haven't really told the people at the old shop yet? They called yesterday and I sort of dodged telling them. I know. I'm a coward.

Color me stunned. Did not see that coming.

Last night getting ready for bed GG is thinking this...

While I'm thinking this...

and this...

But THIS is what really happened.

Ahhhhh...marriage, ya gotta love it.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

NOT the August Reading List

The long weekend has been glorious and so rejuvenating for me. In between a few chores, some grocery shopping, going out for coffee with GG, and laundry I've been reading, reading, reading like mad. I can't remember the last time I've been able to indulge myself like this and it's been the perfect end to my summer.

Besides PLEASURE & PURPOSE by Megan Hart, I've also read NEVER LOVE A LAWMAN by Jo Goodman, SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME by Lisa Kleypas, and a couple of e-books. Oh, and I finished SURRENDER OF A SIREN by Tessa Dare on Friday. I haven't been this prolific with my reading since I don't know when.

I've also been able to go check out some favorite author websites look at some ebook sites I haven't been to in forever... All of this has been done completely guilt free since this is exactly what I planned for myself this weekend.

Hopefully today sometime I'll be able to finish the August reading list. While I like having those lists in a permanent record somewhere playing hooky and just doing whatever I feel like has been wonderful.

See ya 'round campus!


Saturday, September 05, 2009



I don't know if I'm in the right state of mind to do justice and give a reasonable review of this book. All I can think of to say is that if you read this book and judge it at face value, you will be missing out.

Right this moment having finished reading it about an hour ago I can hardly frame or find words.

It's three stories interwoven as one. It's told sequentially. It's about knowing and understanding oneself, being able to love oneself. It's about accepting love. It's about surrender.

It was a thrilling way to spend this morning. Wow!


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Bean and Shmoo

First, a big fat wa-hoo because I'm off on Friday this week so I'm going to enjoy a 4-day weekend. Of course this also means that I will pay for it next week. Sometimes the shorter week almost isn't worth it. Almost. Hey maybe I'll get my August reading list finished. Ya think? Maybe?

Shmoo news...

Shmoo has started his EMT class. It's done in 8-hour sessions on Saturdays for 16 weeks. Yep. 16. Weeks. Lots of homework too. He's also in the process of getting a second job. Is it wrong that I'm so gleeful he's going to be so busy? I think it's great and the mother in me rejoices that he's working hard and building character.

OTOH now that he's going to have two jobs he's looking into buying a new vehicle. Like most guys in the fire service he wants a truck. Fortunately he's willing to start small because he can't afford it and doesn't want a Ford 350 right out of the gate.

I had to smile. Secretly. We have an agreement with him about how much money he has to have in an investment account, a savings/emergency fund and money saved for a down payment. I calculate it will take him at least a year to save enough money, added to what he already has, to meet our agreement.

Undeterred, and because he's the male of the species, he's already shopping. He's narrowed it down to a Toyota Tacoma. He walks into my room to talk to me a couple of days ago and starts the conversation with, "I'm so excited about my new truck." Dude. He's already gone online to get a quote for insurance too. Just so he knows what it costs.

Shmoo is like GG in that regard. He gets focused on something and Hannah-bar-the-door, he's going to do it. It's a good thing, I know, but the next year is going to be full of truck magazines, ideas for stereos, color, truck posters in his room. Mark my words. This is far from the last we will hear about "my new truck" in the next 12 months.

In other news...

Beanie called me yesterday. As I've mentioned a few times Bean is my geeky dorky comic book kid. While he loves working for Disney he's totally bummed that Disney bought Marvel comics. Suddenly Disney is not the "happiest place on earth". Bean is very concerned about what the "evil empire" will do to Marvelverse. Lordy.

We spoke a bit about his comic book project. I finally read his narrative for the first issue of the comic book that he's creating with about half the students attending Cal State Fullerton.

I keed, I keed.

Although, I think there are like 8 people involved at this point. I'm also ashamed to admit that I was surprised and intrigued with what I read. Yeah, I'm going to Mom hell for my tendency to
roll my eyes when my kid's current focus during his 5th year of college is creating a comic. Great kid. Wonderful human being. Just in no hurry to graduate. Since he works and got student loans I guess I shouldn't can't complain. But, you know, I was hoping there'd be less comic book and more communications degree this year.

Besides I was a little worried because early on Bean had mentioned that his super heroes were getting their powers from an STD. Isn't that a delightful premise? Anyway, I had visions of myself having to lie to my sweet Little Beanie Boy if I really didn't like his comic book. I'm thinking it's also the reason why I may have procrastinated reading it.

Thankfully there was no mention of sexually transmitted super powers. The writing and premise were pretty decent. I actually (appropriately) laughed at some of the dialogue.

Silly me for worrying. Just don't tell Bean, okay?

With that I'm going to post a picture of the boys with their GFs. I finally remembered to ask them if it was okay to post their picture on my blog. Why I worry when they all post pictures of themselves right and left on FaceBook and elsewhere, I don't know, but I thought I should ask first.

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