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, October 29, 2009

Where in the world is she?

As posted earlier this week I've been on the road for work. Miraculously, and don't ask me how, I've been able to get my monthly column done for Readers Gab and Access Romance. Don't ask me why, (really don't) but I've been pondering lots of stuff about the reading process. Why we pick books, what we pick to read, who influences our reading and now today, where we like to read.

Yep I want to know if you have a particular location to read a particular genre of book... Well? Do you? I guess you wouldn't be surprised to know that I do. Sometimes.

Aren't you curious? Go read and see.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I swear I will write more on this later when I'm home and do my review on both SKIN GAME and DOUBLEBLIND, but I couldn't wait to tell you that this was such a GOOD book. Truly. Would I lie to you?

SKIN GAME is unapologetically dark to the end. Reyes and Kyra are interesting, contrary and not your usual H/H. To say I'm looking forward to the next book, SKIN TIGHT is an understatement.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Far Away From Home...

I'm not really far away from home. I'm just in Northern California for a conference for work. Normally a trip out of town to shake things from the daily routine is pretty welcome. However, I feel like I'm barely back in my routine and I'm gone from home for most of the week. Or maybe I'm just wondering what sort of mischief GG and Shmoo will get themselves into while I'm gone.

Of course I brought books with, but only three. Wonder of wonders I scored SKIN GAME by Ava Gray at my favorite BORDERS on Saturday. I'm halfway through it. For the last three people on the planet who don't know it, Ava Gray is a pseudonym for Ann Aguirre. I'm hoping by the end of the week to do a dual review of both DOUBLEBLIND and SKIN GAME.

Just as a heads up to all you peeps who like dark heroes? Ann wasn't kidding when she said Reyes in SKIN GAME was dark. For that matter Kyra isn't all lightness either. These two are not your average protags. Dark? Very. In fact, I'm actually a little breathless about this H/H here at the halfway point of the book. I'm riveted and wondering how it's all going to be resolved in the 164 remaining pages.

Did that make you want to go buy the book? Good. Oh and in the name of full disclosure I did not get paid or receive an ARC of either of these books. I just like Ann Aguirre's writing. Boo-yah FCC.

I better get going I have knowledge about retirement accounts, disability benefits, health issues and other important stuff to learn about. Yeah, very exciting stuff...

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Blame Kati

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL is hardly going to make the American Film Institute (AFI) 100 Years 100 Movies list or any other discriminating "top" list for that matter. However, after reading Kati's recent post about words and phrases that creep into our every day speech from TV it reminded me of how my family goes through phases of quoting lines from movies ad nauseum.

Currently it's Aldous Snow from FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL. He's a pretty popular fellow in our household. Shmoo has even put his GPS to the British guy so he can try and copy Aldous' accent. They aren't even close so he alternates with the Aussie guy. *eye roll* He demonstrates his endeavors frequently trying to convince us he "has it down".

Anyway, after reading Kati's post I went searching for Aldous-isms. Lucky, lucky you. Here's some faves...

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just a Proud Mom...

One of the guys at work was also at the Explorer Academy and took pictures. He sent me these of Shmoo.

First day

Serious business

Running the line

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Monday, October 19, 2009

"Another week!" she squeaked.

Dunno what's happening to the days. They are flying and melting away so fast! I can't believe it's been almost a week since my last post. I'm hoping this week I'll be doing some catching up because next week I'll be out of town for work.

Reading has suddenly slowed to almost a halt. Go figure. I'm thinking it's because I've been busy with real life stuff.

Uh let's see what else?

1. The visit with Nathie and the SoCal ladies was awesome. I look forward to seeing everyone and there is never enough time!

2. GG found out he's getting one unpaid furlough day per month. In a year that's almost two weeks pay he's losing. Blerg!

3. I've read 10 books this month. That's a book every other day. I haven't done that in forever.

4. Do you ever crave to read a particular kind of book? I'm craving an intense historical. Something riveting. Any ideas? Maybe a re-read is in order. Any ideas?

5. I swam for the first time in a month with my scarred up nose. Yes, me and my scar went for a swim. Hopefully it will stop the regular delivery of the "you-really-shouldn't-eat-that" food to my mouth. One can hope.

6. Shmoo went to Explorer Academy in the mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest last week. He passed all his classes and can now apply to be a wildland firefighter. While I'm happy as all get out to see him reach one of his goals, I can't say having him out in one of the ferocious wildland fires we have here in SoCal exactly thrills me. Au contraire!

7. In a little over a week Bean will be 23! Ho-lee! I already got he and his girlfriend a 4-day passes to Comic Con. My sweet little geeky boy was over the moon. But 23! I can hardly believe.

Better go take care of some of that real life stuff I was talking about. Miss you!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In case you were wondering...

Working. Reading. Eating. Sleeping. Working. Reading. Eating. Sleeping. Working. Reading. Eating. Sleeping. Working. Reading. Eating. Sleeping.

Eventually there will be a break in the cycle and I'll walk toward the light again.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Totally Random

Loved this post by Ann Aguirre. Resonated. Loudly.

I'm so happy so many people are enjoying INDISCREET by Carolyn Jewel. Go Carolyn!

384 Posts in the Reader. I'm down to 174. I was doing so well. What happened? Oh yeah. My nose, and I've been reading. And sleeping.

Speaking of my nose...we pause for a tirade. Feel free to jump this next paragraph.

Once again, I'm truly not raving in a shameless attempt to garner your sympathy. Although...would you even let me get away with that? No? Well, don't cast your pearls before this ungrateful ..er, uh...Rosie. Here it is. My nose and the resulting scar are bugging me. No, I have no reason to feel this way except that there's a scar running down the middle of my nose which is in the middle of my face. It doesn't hurt. It's not even that bad. I just don't want it. I'm an ungrateful wretch but there it is. I don't want this scar on my nose. I don't want to have to worry about or think about sun exposure all the time. I just don't want to. I'm a brat and my husband wants to put a muzzle on me. (Ok, not really but it sounds so deliciously melodramatic.)

I thought I'd feel better getting that off my chest. Curiously, I don't. Bummer.

Totally looking forward to Nathie's visit with SoCal Bloggers this weekend. I'm sure everyone will be posting lots about it.

While I haven't been doing much else here in RomLand I have been reading. It's what brung me to the party. Know what I mean?

DOUBLEBLIND by Ann Aguirre. Loved it. Sirantha Jax what an incredible character! Someone (Nalini Singh?) recently commented or posted about this being one of the most perfect (and unforgettable) character names ever. I heartily agree.

SHADOWLIGHT by Lynn Viehl. Just finished this one. Good book. Very strong start to Kyndred books which are related to her Darkyn series. Why haven't I read her Star Doc books? I have the first two in my tbr.

Pondering *disclaimers*. I get ARCs. Not often, but I get them. I guess I'll mention it and any and all relationships with authors I'm reviewing. Sheesh. Much ado methinks, but I'm ever the rule follower. Oh to be a rebel.

I know some of you are slumping. I'm in a reading rage. I don't want to do anything else. I don't want to swim. I don't want to walk. I don't want to eat. (I KNOW that's just crazy isn't it?) I want to read, read, read. I've decided to attribute this to the changing of the season...or being crazy. However if you tell anyone I said that I'll deny it.

A recent post by Keishon, this one by Tara Marie and this one at RtB by Super Librarian Wendy has me all nostalgic about the genesis and journey of my reading. My current frenzy has me contemplating re-reading books on my shelves instead of those in my tbr tubs. *loud heavy and pathetic sigh*

So many choices so little time.

Eventually there will be a September reading list. Maybe when I post my October list...

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

What's in the Daily News?

What's in the Daily News? I'll tell you what's in the Daily News!!!

Yep. I'm still channeling songs from GUYS AND DOLLS. Once those tunes are in your head they just won't let go. Any way, you know what today is? Release day.

This is it. INDISCREET by Carolyn Jewel is out. Read Chapter 1. Read my review. Or, you know, go to your nearest book store and buy it. Or go online and buy it. Here's the ebook version at the Sony store.

We had a very busy weekend. I visited my youngest sister and went to her husband's "pinning on" ceremony. Her husband is an officer in the US Air Force and recently was promoted to 'Major'. We spent Friday with her and went to the ceremony and the party afterward. Much fun.

Saturday we had a wedding of someone I know (yes, one of the firefighters) from work. Since we have a fire nearby the ceremony, which was held outside, got partially drowned out by the helicopters filling up with water nearby so they could drop it on the fire. Irony anyone?

Sunday was catching up with chores and I did some reading. Monday it was back to the salt mines and open enrollment for our health benefits.

It seems like forever since I really sat down and went through my feed reader to catch up, but it's really been less than a week. So I guess it's not so bad that there are 254 posts to read. My hope is to stop by and see you all sometime this week. Theoretically speaking. What an optimist I am.

My September reading list is in limbo. Hopefully it will get done this week as well. I've been doing these lists every month for almost two years. Can't hardly believe that. I really like having the record of my reading on my blog, so I gotta get going on that.

Oh, one last bit of news... Beanie was home last night. He's taken to doing standup on Wednesday nights at a nearby coffee shop on 'open mike night'. He used his zombie material the first time and did pretty well. The second time he used some school and friend anecdotes and told us he pretty much bombed. Then last week, we get a text message that said, "It was amazing! I got 8 big laughs!!!" Last night I found out he was using ME as his subject matter.

He had a wicked gleam in his eye as he tells GG and I that "of course" he embellished and added things to make the material funny, but he said that stuff I did was pretty funny so he didn't have to change reality that much. At this point I'm trying to decide if I should be flattered or offended. He told us a couple of the stories he used and I choked on my diet coke laughing. They were funny, but I want to be emphatically clear, they were NOT true.

Beanie: Mom, you are hilarious.

Me: You didn't think I was hilarious when you lived at home.

Beanie: Trust me I thought you were hilarious, I just didn't let you know.

Me: *eyes narrowed* Didn't let me know?

Beanie: *laughing uproariously* Are you kidding me? If I laughed at you I'd still be locked in the basement.

Me: We don't have a basement.

Beanie: I know. *still laughing*

Me: *horrified* Do you tell jokes about me locking you in closets or something? 'Cuz that's not funny.

Beanie: *laughing too hard to reply*

Okay, I'm stupid. What's so funny about that?

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

September 2009 Reading List

I never know what's going to prompt me to review a book. But review this one I did.
My Grade = B-


I posted how much this book gobsmacked me when I read it. I also mentioned it should be read as more than an erotic adventure. To me this was about accepting yourself and surrendering to it to be the "best" you.

It takes time to let go of other people's perceptions and to really dig deep and look at yourself honestly. That's the journey the characters in this book are in. Some willingly, some not. I really dig the whole idea of the Handmaiden on that level. That each Handmaiden was not just a "fixer" but was open to discovery as well just really rang my bells.
My Grade = A-

Did you ever read a book and it had so many elements you loved and yet you can't put your finger on why you don't absolutely love it? That pretty much sums up my reading of this book. As a fan of westerns I wanted to love this book, not just like it. Rachel Bailey and Wyatt Cooper as the H/H are wonderfully drawn, but not enough to save this from being an average read for me.
My Grade = C

I reviewed this one too.
My Grade = B+

DARK SLAYER by Christine Feehan
I don't know how many books this is in Ms. Feehan's "dark" series. It's a lot though. While I continue to be a fan, particularly of the Ghost Walker series, this book just didn't work for me. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson after I wrote about reading this book.

Carpathians and survivors, Ivory Malinov and Razvan of the Dragonseeker clan were both tortured by the same powerfully evil mage, Xavier. When Razvan excapes and Ivory finds him they realize they are lifemates. Filled with chants and phrases from the Carpathian language, a hybrid Ms. Feehan has made up, I was taken out of the story and pretty much skipped or skimmed those passages. They read and felt forced and contrived.

Now full of lore and language, the dark series has less and less appeal for me. With other irons in the fire, I don't know why Ms. Feehan can't wind this series up and lay it to rest.
My Grade = C-

OBSIDIAN PREY by Jayne Castle
The paranormal pseudonym of Jayne Anne Krentz aka Amanda Quick. This is another visit to Harmony an earth-like planet where people moved to when a "curtain" in space was opened. The curtain closed as abruptly as it opened and stranded the people on it. Without the trade or tech support of earth it's taken Harmony a couple hundred years just to get back to 21st century earth standards. In the meantime they've discovered quite a number of people have psychic powers.

I've read a couple of the previous Harmony books and have a couple more in my tbr. This one is a current release and I quite enjoyed it. When Ms. Castle is "on" with her dialogue no one does it better.
My Grade = B

Alpha & Omega Series by Patricia Briggs
When I reviewed this series I noted how important the reading order is.
My Grade for novella, Book 1 & 2 = A-

Jacob's Faith & Aiden's Charity by Lora Leigh
Admit it you've missed my monthly inclusion of an LL book. I purchased these two books back in 2003 at Ellora's Cave. Actually I won a print copy of JACOB'S FAITH from Ms. Leigh's forum way back then. Anyway after reading Briggs I had a hankering for more wolves so I read these. No where near as subtle, nuanced or layered as Ms. Briggs books, I still enjoyed them for what they are. I still think her whole story line of the Breeds is an interesting one and has so much yet to be explored.
My Grade = C

Sweet Seduction by Maya Banks
This was just not my cuppa. In fact in retrospect as I think about these two characters I can't remember a single thing I liked about them.
My Grade = C-

Wicked Burn by Beth Kery
When this originally came out I remember hearing good buzz, but when I'd pick it up in the store I was always put off when I read the back blurb. Sometimes when the characters are too urbane or sophisticated I can be put off. Anyway, gave it a try cuz I picked it up in our book swap with SoCal bloggers. Very nice surprise.
My Grade = B

Tucker's Claim by Sarah McCarty
This is the third book in the Hell's Eight series. While not the caliber of her early PROMISE books, I know I will be continuing with these books. This is a western classic tale which was done to perfection in ANGEL AND THE BADMAN (1947) with John Wayne. She's a Quaker, he's a gunfighter. There a natural conflict right there, a conflict I didn't feel Ms. McCarty quite captured.
My Grade = B-/C+

Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
Back with the Hathaways. I read a few reviews of this book where the reader didn't much like Poppy or Harry. I did. Yes, he's quite the cool customer, but I completely bought that the very uniqueness of Poppy is what attracted Harry's quick mind. We all need a soft place to land.
My Grade = B+

The Lone Texan by Jodi Thomas
This was a Whispering Mountain for all of you JT fans. Man I was bummed about this book. The last third sort of saved it for me, but I just didn't buy Sage's character. She was a little too modern in her thinking, attitude and manner for me. Not a horrible book, but not what I was hoping for with Drummond Roak and Sage as central characters.
My Grade = C+


Friday, October 02, 2009

Where's the Party?


If there is one thing I hate it's missing a party. Maybe it's my inner Nosy Nora, or maybe it's FOMO (fear of missing out). Mostly I think it's just loathing the idea I'm going to miss a good time with friends.

Naturally I was incensed when I realized I was going to be traveling today and miss out on all of the shenanigans and happenings at Nose in a Book (lisabea). A big wang-doodle of a Fall Festivus is going on in celebration of L.B. Gregg's new book COVER ME being released today at Aspen Mountain Press.

Do I sound bitter?

Go Leece! Go L.B.!


Not one to take missing out lightly, I decided to have my own wannabe Fall Festivus with all the stuff I wanted to contribute to the real celebration, party, Fall Festivus. *throws leaves*

Of course I'm Italian so I think instead of apple cider, I'll have this.

I'll sip. I'll savor.

I might even watch this

because reading about Finn's production in COVER ME put me in the mood for Miss Adelaide and Nathan Detroit. By the time the movie is over I imagine I'll be ready to eat. Spaghetti and Italian sausage. Mmmmmm... One of my favorites.

Maybe, if I'm not too uh... "stuffed" I'll have some of these...

AND these.

I don't plan to be alone. Oooooh noooooo! GG gave me carte blanche for my make believe personal Fall Festivus. So, what the heck, I'm bringing these nice Italian boys...

because I want them to meet those other two nice boys Max and Finn from COVER ME.

Deciding what to wear is always a trial. Knowing I could go with a costume helped. I mean I had it narrowed down to my wedding dress, or some moth eaten black crepe with dried up green make up and a witches hat. I finally went with this...

I'm younger. I'm thinner. There's lots of bling. What's not to like? Although my tan's a little uneven.

I really considered wearing this...

Particularly in light of the fact that LB is responsible for my Wonder Woman wonderfulness. At the end of the day though, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. I went for the bling-bling and the almost-a-tiara-even-if-it-doesn't-light-up-like-SL Wendy's. Tomorrow? Who knows. I could be drinking green tea, eating salad and saving the world with my wonder rope.

Hey, maybe I could rope me some of those hunky Italian guys. Although the ballerina is a little young for them. Good thing I have more than one costume to choose from. Heh.

You can read my review of the fabulous COVER ME here or you can go buy it at Aspen Mountain Press.

Whew! That was quite some party even if I only ate the food I brought.

Some food... some wine... a good book... and some fine men. Why that's a recipe for a blissful life right there. *throws leaves*


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Thursday, October 01, 2009

COVER ME by LB Gregg

Cover Me by L.B. Gregg

Nothing makes me happier than a trip back to Smithfield. This is the third installment in The Men of Smithfield series and like it's predecessors GOBSMACKED and HAPPY ENDINGS, this story made me want to move to a small town in New England. So much so that I convinced GG to read GOBSMACKED. Yeah, I'm still reeling too. He found the book...amusing.

This time out we have Michael Finnegan a teacher at a prep school and security specialist Max Douglas. I like Max's character so much I could recommend you read it for that reason alone. A bit more alpha than LB's previous characters, Max is stoic, tough and no nonsense. Probably not the perfect match for the wise cracking Finn.

All that is moot however when Max must move into one of the dorms in order to protect one of the students who is the son of a famous musician. A famous musician who has been receiving threats from an obsessed fan. Coincidentally this also happens to be the dorm that Finn resides in as the student advisor.

I liked these character so much I kept thinking about how much fun it would be to be able to call them up and go to dinner. Max and Finn circle and snipe at each other in one of the most traditional of mating rituals. All the while the reader feels their strong pull of attraction in a setting inappropriate for them to act on it. Can I say delicious?

While Finn is trying to pull off his production of GUYS AND DOLLS, Max is doing his level best to be unobtrusive while he protects his charge. Of course Hemmi, short for Hemingway, like any self-respecting high school student chafes at having a body guard, but accepts Max's presence with equanimity.

LB deftly steers clear of the easy stereotypes with all her characters. She cleverly makes use of the emails to drop clues, introduce characters and heighten the conflict. There are some gems between Finn and Max. Did I mention that I'd love to go to dinner with these guys?

Who's stalking who at Dalton prep and why? Max has a full plate fighting his attraction to Finn and trying to keep everyone safe. Take a trip to Smithfield. You won't be sorry. This M/M gem is set to be released tomorrow at
Aspen Mountain Press.

My Grade = B+

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