Thursday, July 27, 2006

We had a horrific experience at the emergency department of the hospital on Tuesday. After waiting 14 hours for Ron to be admitted, they said they didn't know when a bed would be available. They said there were 12 other people waiting ahead of us. I decided to no longer wait there and brought him home. It took another 3 hours for a doctor to allow us to leave. They had done tests and he has blood clots in his leg and lungs. The cancer has also spread to his liver. They called the next day for me to bring him back but also said there was now a waiting list of 18 people and only two beds had opened up since I left.
I will be doing everything I can from home now, but I don't have the time, the energy or the heart for blogging right now. He is bedridden now and in very bad shape.
Although I'm going to miss terribly blogging and all of you, I just can't. I've still been reading everyone's blogs when I get a chance and enjoying them - the romance readers ring that Dylan and Fiona have set up is a wonderful idea and I want to join - when I'm up to it, but I probably won't be commenting much. But I'm still with everyone in spirit.
I'll be back when I can.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A review - sort of

When I first met him, one of the first things that attracted me to Ron over 30 odd years ago, other than the overwhelming bolt of lust that hit when he asked me dance, was the fact that he was a ‘reader’. Since reading has been a passion of mine from the moment I first read See Dick Run, it was very important that the ‘special guy in my life’ shared a passion in reading. Not only was he a reader, he was an open reader, willing to try books I had enjoyed – this was before my romance days. In the early days of our marriage we shared many the same books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, all of Terry Brooks Shannara stories, Piers Anthony Ursala LeGuin Stephen King and many more. Then slowly over the years our tastes started going in different directions. I started reading more and more romance and he read more and more horror with a bit of suspense thrown in and I think it’s been years since we read the same book. But we’ve both always remained avid readers.

Well, with the advancing disease and the massive amounts of meds Ron is on these days, he’s not really able to read much at all anymore and I know this has been eating at him. I offered to start reading to him and he jumped at it. I used to read a lot to the boys when they were small and really enjoyed it. And I’m pretty damn good at it if I do say so myself. I always loved it when it was my turn to read out loud in school. So our next decision was what book I should read. He recoiled in horror when I suggested a romance. I thought of the In Death books, but knew I would blush and stammer through some of the rather explicit love scenes – plus he hates that they have those in the books I read. He was trying to read a mystery book but that was out since he is still able to read some, so I’d forever be missing parts and he’d already read some of it and I think he still wanted it to be ‘his’ book. Then Lisa (my sister – I can mention her by name since she never reads my blog and she’ll never know I named her unless my other sister who does read my blog squeals on me) brought over two Janet Evonvitch books for me to read. Now Lisa hates all things romance book, but we agree on Ms. Evanovitch. We both love her books (as well as sister number 3 – what the heck – Nancy). Lisa had Metro Girl and Eleven on Top, neither of which I’ve read yet. The light dawned!!! I could read him Eleven on Top. He and Lisa both have very similar tastes in books and Lisa loved it. And her books are very funny.

So we started. Every day I would read a chapter or two of the book. I wasn’t sure if Ron was enjoying it or not. I’d ask every so often if he was and he would say “it’s good” in a rather nonchalant way. Part way through he asked what it was about. I kind of wondered about that for a moment and realized that since this was his first one and it does meander a bit, that could be considered a good question. I thought for a moment and answered well it’s kind of like Seinfeld, a lot of real funny stuff about nothing really. That answer satisfied him. I wasn’t sure if he was liking it, but he kept asking every day if I was going to read today so I think he did. In this one, Stephanie has decided to give up bounty hunting. Instead she decides to get a regular job in the button factory. Of course Stephanie being Stephanie, this job didn't even get off the ground. Her next attempt was working at the Kan Klean dry cleaners. Again, job issues, this time in the form of Grandma Macaroni. And then there was Cluck in a Bucket.
There were a few places I had to stop reading so I could laugh. The scene where Grandma Mazur and Grandma Morelli get into it at Stiva’s Funeral Parlor was one of them. I didn’t think I would be able to get past the scene where Stephanie is working at Cluck in a Bucket. Especially once her boss taped the headset onto her greasy hair. Took me about 5 minutes before I could start reading again. And the whole cello bit was a riot. This is vintage Stephanie Plum, with her car being blown up, hanging with Lula. I was tempted at the end to ask that most frequently asked question – Ranger or Morelli? But since he hadn’t had the whole background, plus he would think I was off my rocker if I even asked, I let it go. I’m a died in the wool Morelli fan myself. Ranger is a fantasy but Morelli is real. I was impressed when Stephanie came home sans underwear and Morelli believed her. Although I must admit a couple of moments there I almost went to the Ranger side. But nope – I’m loyal to Joe.

I know some readers have tired of this series; that Stephanie is still the same old, same old, that the Ranger-Morelli triangle is getting old. But this one worked. For both Ron and I reading it has been a light in a tunnel of darkness and for that I’m very grateful!

Next up on our Stephanie Plum reading list – Seven Up

‘til later

Saturday, July 22, 2006


La La La, La La La - guess what's in the store near my house, La La La, La La La - Guess where I'll be tomorrow!!

Good thing I checked Chapters on line after I posted on RomanceLover's blog!!! It's not out at Chapters but it is at Smith Books. Now I don't have to cuss no more!

La La La, La La La

Aren't I annoying?

And yes, I realize the irony that Scandal in Spring is an Avon.

'til later

Dang! I wish she had a website

So that we could find out more about this one

Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard

Good news/Bad news

Good news - it's in paperback
Bad news - we have to wait until November

I know it's more about Blair and Wyatt, Blair is planning her wedding and someone is after her but I want excerpts!!!
Oh well - at least now I'll have to go back and read To Die For again sometime before November to refresh myself :) I like that idea! One can never read To Die For enough times. Unless of course one didn't like Blair. Then once is more than enough. But I loved her so......
And how about this cover?!?!?!?!?
While the picture of the couple is not bad although I think she needs to comb her hair - or wash it or something - I surely hope they don't stay with these colours 'cause man are they bad!!! It hurts to look at it without sunglasses. It's brighter than an errupting volcano, or a blazing fire or the even the sun for petels sake! And what is with the font? I think Bam needs to get hold of this one.

'til later

Thoughts and Ponderings on a Publisher

To be honest with the exception of one, I’ve never paid that much attention to publishers until lately. In my never ending tinkering with my book spreadsheet (and I think I’m going to have a question for Rosario on that one now that she’s back) I’ve recently added a column for publishers. I thought I’d run a comparison on who publishes most of my favourites. In light of that there is one publisher that I seem to be buying quite a few books from lately. And that one is HQN. They are a fairly new division of Harlequin and publish full-sized mass market romance. And I must say I’m quite impressed with them. I’ve read a number of very good books they’ve published; some by Kasey Michaels(I loved her Romney series) some by Susan Mallery and at least one by Gena Showalter. Julia Justiss wrote one I really enjoyed, the Courtesan, although I was pretty disappointed that her web site is sadly out of date. I have a Catherine Mann in my TBR pile. I hear she’s pretty good. I also have a Helen Kirkman on the TBR pile and I’m thinking of getting some more. What impresses me about them is the wide variety of genres they are publishing. They range from the paranormals of Gena Showalter to military suspence of Catherine Mann; contemporaries of Susan Mallery, Leanna Banks to the Viking stories of Helen Kirkman and the medievals of Margaret Moore. They have some old favourites such as Diane Palmer and Bertrice Small and some newcomer Nicola Cornick.

While looking around their site, here are a few interesting things I found.

Susan Mallery has the cutest website! Check it out.

Pamela Britton does have plans for another historical or two – Yea! While I know some may like her Nascar books, I’m not one of them. I do like her historicals though.

I haven't read many books by Margaret Moore. I'm not exactly sure why, she writes Medievals which I like, and she's from the home Country. I know Erika thinks she's hit or miss, but I really ought to try some more.

She first started with Harlequin - not bad covers.

She then moved to Avon where the covers were.......different
Now that she's moved to HQN, I think her covers are much better.

Nicola Cornick I must admit, is an author I'd never heard of before. Somehow she slipped through my radar. But I think this cover is gorgeous!

I didn't realize until looking through her site, how many books she's written, many for Mills & Boon (which we don't ever see here) and a number for Harlequin Historicals.

I'm going to have to keep my eye out from now on.

Of course all is not perfect with their web site. They aren't very good with future releases or updating. I couldn't find anywhere that Susan Grant's newest is an HQN book.

Anyway - that's my publisher spotlight for the day.

'til later

Friday, July 21, 2006

Something to make Sybil happy

Amarajja just read Devil in Winter. She loooovvvveeess Derek Cravan, but she thinks she loves Sebastian even more.

And Jennie - don't think I've forgotten about you *g*. You're on the list now.

'til later

Thursday, July 20, 2006

"How can you fail at a meme?"

The Voice asked increduously.

"I don't know" Kristie (J) wailed. "But I did, I am. Gonna fail that is. But I got tagged by Holly and I have to do it."

"But it's a simple one. It's about music. You love music."

"I know" came the sad reply. "But I haven't been listening to it much lately. And I'm not sure what a play list is. Is it like music you have on one of those IPod things? Because I don't have one of those. I'm even more scared of them than I am of cell phones. And that's embarrasing to admit. I had to use my sisters cell the other day when we were out in the store. And I didn't even know how to turn it on. I had to ask Lisa. And everyone around me was looking at me funny when I did that. They must have been wondering how could anyone be so dumb and probably they were all probably laughing."

"There, there" The Voice soothed. "I'm sure there are other people out there who are afraid of cell phones and IPods and other newer technical equipment."

"You think so?" Kristie(J) asked hopefully.

"Of course" The Voice answered, but inwardly thinking "not!" "But just answer ten songs you really like".

"But most of them are older songs, a lot from the 80's" replied Kristie(J)

"That's OK, 80's is good."

"I don't know if I can name 10 songs".

"Just do what you can then." came the reply.

"Alright" Kristie(J) sighed. "I'll try".

Bed of Roses by Bon Jovi
Wicked Games by Chris Issak
Anything by Great Big Sea - I saw them you know. Twice now.
Orinoco Flow by Enya
Runnin' Down a Dream by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (that's the one Krisite runs to with her lean mean body, blond hair flowing in the breeze, her feet pounding to the music)
The Highwayman by Loreena McKennit
The soundtrack from Pirates of the Caribbean - The Black Pearl
I Wanna Know What Love Is by Foreigner
All Souls Night by Loreena McKennit
Film Cuts by The Chieftans - a compilation of soundtracks from various movies including Far and Away and Roby Roy

"Well, I got 10 in" Kristie(J) said with a sigh. "But it's a very odd list. And everyone will think I'm odd."

"That's OK" replied The Voice
"You are odd!"

'til later

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Recent Reads - and a reread

Well – our cable seems to momentarily down so I can’t blog hop - either that or Blogger is acting up again. I might as well do some reviews I’ve been behind on.

First up:

The Ultimatum - Susan Kearney

Once again, this fit my main criteria these days. She’s a new to me author, I like the genre; Futuristic and while I don’t find the cover all that great, it’s not too bad. I’ve seen Ms. Kearney’s name around a bit lately for winning awards. I was perusing the bookshelves not too long ago and saw this one and decided to give it a try.
Dr. Alara Calladar is a scientist working on fixing a most peculiar problem the women of her planet face. It seems they go into heat on a regular basis and if not ‘satisfied’ by their mates, they die. This happened to her mother. As a result, the men of her planet see no reason to put any effort forth into being decent husbands – the womenfolk need them anyway. She also has other talents – such as being able to read DNA. Because of this, her help is needed by star pilot Xander in locating the DNA of the old-timers and saving the galaxy from certain annihilation. Alara is very reluctant to help, but with the help of the leader of her planet, who sees her as a trouble maker, she is kidnapped by Xander and his crew. Thus begins a race to find a cure and save the universe.
I liked this book. I liked it quite a bit. There are two previous books in this series and it probably would have helped if I had read them first since I got lost a few times, but I found my way again and went on to enjoy this one. I really liked the character of Alara. She hates being bound by her body chemistry and is determined to find a cure, yet once she realizes the severity of the entire galaxy, she is willing to fight for it. Xander also makes quite a good hero. He’s noble and brave and is willing to do whatever it takes.
I like the twist of making Alara a slave to her ‘biology and needing Xander to save her life. This book is hot; which I like. When I was halfway through, I went to the bookstore to pick up the next one in the series and I know I’ll be looking forward to the previous two. She kind of reminds me a bit of Robin Owens without the annoying cats (and remember – I am a cat lover)
Grade 4 out of 5

Next one up

Swan’s Grace - Linda Francis Lee

This one was in a bunch of books I picked out and ordered from Amazon. It hadn’t been one of the better days so when I noticed a box o’ books sitting at our back door, well I did a little happy dance there.
I’ve long been a fan of Linda Francis Lee. This is the second book in a three book series. I read Nightingale’s Gate a number of years ago (and may I say that Mrs. Giggles and I completely disagree on it. I loved the book, while she……didn’t.). Ever since I read it, I’ve been on the look out for the other two of the series, Dove’s Way, the first one, and Swan’s Grace. I fond Dove’s Way a couple of years ago, but couldn’t find Swan’s Grace. Thus the happy dance when I got this one.
This book takes place in 1892. Sophie Wentworth is a successful cellist in Europe when she is called home to Boston by her father. She thinks it’s because her father misses her and wants her home, but in reality it’s because her father has betrothed her to Grayson Hawthorne, the man Sophie has been in love with most of her life. Although she is in love with Grayson, when she finds out the truth, she is dismayed and refuses to marry him. She has changed since she was that young and naïve girl who ran away and so has Grayson. Now he is a very successful, very stuffy lawyer.
This book is wonderful – truly, truly wonderful! Sophie is one of the best heroines I’ve read in a long while. She headstrong, she’s a lost soul, she’s complicated and she’s a diva. She hides behind a mask of confidence, but really she is still an insecure woman. She’s fabulous. Grayson is no slouch in the hero department either. Kicked out of his home at age 16 and expected to fend for himself, he relied heavily on the small kindnesses of Sophie years ago. He’s never forgotten her in all the years and he refuses to let her out of the betrothal. He’s much more than the stuffy lawyer he appears to be. The other two books in this series are who knows where in the house, but I’m looking forward to finding them, reuniting them and reading them all over again – in order this time.
Linda Francis Lee is now writing contemporaries. I don’t know if she has plans to go back in time; the market isn’t really publishing many of these days, but *sigh* at least there are these ones to reread.
Grade: 5 out of 5

and then the reread

The Lion’s Daughter by Loretta Chase

It’s no secret that Lord of Scoundrels is one of my all time favourite books. I read it years ago and after I did, I went in search of her other books. Luckily I found both Lion’s Daughter and Captives of the Night. This was all years ago and while I’ve read Lord of Scoundrels many times, I’ve only read The Lion’s Daughter once. While I remember liking it, it didn’t have the same impact as LOS. Since my tastes have changed so much over the years and the came out with a reprint I thought I would read this one again to see if I liked it any better. I’m happy to say that yes, I like it much better on the reread.
Esme Brentmore is the daughter of Jason Brentmore and a Albanian woman. Jason (the Red Lion) was banished from England many years ago when he lost at cards and was disgraced. He met and married and fathered a daughter while working for the leader of Albania. She has since grown into a very wild young woman. Jason decides in the view of all the political intrigue going on, that he would be more effective if he was dead so he faked his own death. Unfortunately he didn’t really make plans on what would happen with Esme. Through a round about way that would be too complicated to summarize, she lands in the hands of Varian Edenmont, a real wastrel in every sense of the word.
While Esme got on my nerves a bit with her stubbornness and affinity for getting into trouble, the real enjoyment of this book is with Varian. He starts out, simply put, a jerk. Too handsome for his own good, he depends on the generosity of others, never doing anything of value with his life. At the beginning of this book he’s a very dislikeable hero. But what makes this book so good is his transformation into a worthwhile and compassionate character. It takes a rare talent for an author to do this believably and Ms. Chase pulls it off so by the end of the book I was fully captivated by Varian. When I first read this one years’ ago, I didn’t fully appreciate what she had accomplished with his character, so I’m so glad I decided to give this one a reread. The next book in the series, Captive of the Night is another one I read years ago and is Ismal, the charismatic villain of The Lion’s Daughter. I’m going to start reading this one later tonight I think (while I watch the Jays and hope they don’t blow another one) (I did - they did - aarrrggghhh)
Grade: 4 out of 5 (5 for the hero, 3 for the heroine)

'til later

Tagged by Fiona

1) When did you first start blogging and why? I started in February of 2005. I started because I didn’t want to look for a job (but I still did anyway and I found one). I’d started visiting other blogs and it looked fun. Also it appeased my need for writing since I don’t think I’m going to write That Great Romance Novel I contemplated writing for years. Now I can honestly say I’m no longer a frustrated wannabe writer. Because now I have my blog :)

2) What don't you talk about? Religion and politics. I think I would horrify too many people if I gave my thoughts on those subjects and the majority of people would disagree with me. Then I’d have to defend my beliefs and the whole thing would degenerate from what I want this blog to be about. Other than that the sky is the limit. Hey – I even blogged about my underwear once.

3)Are you and your blogging persona the same person? Absolutely. Like Fionna said what you read is who I am.

4) How do you use blogging to build friendships? By reading and commenting on other romance geared blogs I realize that no matter how different so many of us seem to be, we have something very strong in common – a love of a good romance. So even though we are from totally different backgrounds, countries, age groups, even taste in what kind of books we like, we all share something that is very important in our lives. That’s a very good basis for friendship. I’m still awed and amazed at the really neat and wonderful friends I’ve made.

5) How would you describe your writing style? Well, my early English and grammar teachers would probably be horrified, but I tend to write as I talk which means non-words, made up words, terrible grammar and lots of slang.


Romancelover (where’s my hero) because she complained on time that she never gets tagged (heh heh)

Renee: The newest bloggiversary blogger. I think we know question #1 but the rest will be interesting

RJ(Devonna): because she’s a newbie blogger

Keishon: because she’s one of the first bloggers I started visiting.

Cindy: because I know she loves writing late at night

'til later

Spreading my reading wings

Years ago I used to read books right across the board from every genre - horror to biography, true crime to sports, I read anything and everything. But then I gradually started sticking more and more to just good old plain romance. Well, once again I've been willing to stretch my wings a bit and try other genres again. I started with the series by Naomi Novik and bought two of them. They've gotten excellent reviews in the romance reading community and the premise sounds fascinating.

I found them in the Fantasy section of the bookstore. I suppose I should read these first two before I get the third one.

Then I was over at Bev's Blog the other day and she was posting about Linnea Sinclair's next release. I followed her links, thought the books looked interesting, checked out Chapters to see if they had any and they did so yesterday I went out and bought these two.

I found these ones in the Science Fiction section. I thought they both looked quite interesting as I love a good futuristic. I wonder what the difference is though between futuristics and science fiction romance.

Between those two new departments and the general fiction department that holds the JD Robb books, I'm starting to learn my bookstore.

'til later

Sunday, July 16, 2006

And just when you thought there were none.....

low and behold, I've found another reader who needs to discover the power of the Craven!

RJ of Good Reads has this one next on her list.

heh heh heh

'til later

RJ isn't very far into it yet, but she is already experiencing the Power of the Craven. It doesn't sound like it's going on vacation with her.

heh heh heh

See - they don't have to be bad

In order to spare the damage that may have happened to the retinas in anyones eye's in case you've checked some of Bam's cover snarks lately, and to prove that the covers of ebooks can indeed be beautiful, here are a few I found that I thought were gorgeous!!
Since I buy a number of books based on covers (and don't buy a lot based on covers) I can see me getting any one of these ones.

See - they don't have to be those frightful covers that are so dreadful yet hilarious to look at that a certain ebook publisher is infamous for!

'til later

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Recent Reads - a couple of very good ones

Since I'm not firing on all cylinders these days, I'm going to cheat a bit here and rely on the description of others for these reviews.

The Gate to Eden – Cathy McDavid

Back cover blurb: Maddie Campbell was not your ordinary thief. A widow and mother, she liked to think her wealthy victims were merely "donating" to the many others of the mining community who had been left with nothing. Maddie was quite good at what she did…until a former lawman arrived in Eden to investigate the recent spate of crimes. He didn’t need to say a word; his piercing gaze arrested her on the spot. Despite her efforts to throw him off track, he was determined to draw out all her secrets in the most exquisite ways—soft caresses, passionate kisses, and exploration of her most intimate places. But when confronted with the truth, would he choose love or the law?

I bought this one because it was a Western, I liked the cover and it was a new to me author. And you know what? Sometimes it pays off big time to take those chances. I loved this book. Maddie is a great heroine. She does what it takes to take care of her daughters and others. She is a Western Robin Hood type. She’s brave and imperfect and wonderful. Scott McQueen is an honourable tortured hero who made a decision he felt was the right one years ago and has been haunted by it ever since.
I really get a case of the warm and fuzzies when I find a good book and this one gave me a good case of them.
Grade 4 ½ out of 5

The Nightingale's Song – Kathleen Eschenburg

Amazon blurb: Against the evocatively drawn backdrop of Baltimore and Virginia 10 years after the Civil War, first-time author Eschenburg spins a gentle romance rich with emotion and vivid detail. Haunted by his inadequacies as a father, Dr. Gordon Kincaid, a hardened war veteran and widower from the South, is determined to find a mother for his son, Gordy, and his recently discovered illegitimate daughter, Clara. Gordon has his sights set on a frivolous, high society miss, but when he meets Maggie Quinn, Clara's Irish schoolteacher at St. Columba's orphanage, he begins to believe in second chances. Maggie soon finds herself torn between the safety of a future in a convent and the terrifying exhilaration of her attraction to Gordon. At the same time, Maggie's socially unacceptable Irish-Catholic heritage and Gordon's hardheaded search for an instant mother threaten to tear the two apart. Brimming with tangible historical details, sensitive prose and a wealth of poignant scenes, Eschenburg's love story easily escapes the sometimes confining predictability of the romance genre and breathes a fuller life into it.

For the life of me I have no memory of buying this book or why I did. I must have bought it new when it first came out because I found it in a box of books downstairs. At that time I wasn’t as into trying new authors as I am now. But am I ever so glad I picked this one out of the box and decided to read it. The blurb says it better than I can. This is a rich and very well written story of the redeeming power of love. At the risk of gushing, this book is awesome! It’s warm and tender and heartbreakingly good. I see she wrote a prequel four years after this one. I’m certainly going to track it down!
Grade: 5 out of 5

It was so refreshing to read to such wonderful historical books that had a different setting.

'til later

After reading Wendy's comment, I checked her review at The Romance Reader for Nightengale's Song. When I said I didn't remember when or why I got it, the light dawned. It was after reading her review I got it. That's a long time to be in a TBR pile. Here is her review said so much better than I did.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Book Alert

Gifts of Love by Lisa Kleypas and Kay Hooper

We know about A Scandal in Spring. We know about A Man for All Seasons; Cam Rohan's story. We even know a little about Sugar Daddy, her first contemporary. But does anyone know about this one? Is it new? Is it a reissue? I couldn't see anything about it on her website but according to Fiction DB it's due out in November.

The Gladiator's Honor by Michelle Styles
. Now while the model doesn't really do anything for me, Russel Crowe would have been better, it is wonderful to see a book in this time period coming out. Kudo's to Harlequin for giving us choices!

Wanted by Pam Crooks

And kudo's again to Harlequin. I love this cover. Plus, look Sybil, a Western. I give Harlequin high marks indeed for their continuing improvement in covers!!! I just wish another publisher who I shan't name at this time but everyone knows who I mean, would make the same kind of improvements with their covers.

And speaking of Lisa Kleypas, there is a pretty good review for A Scandal in Spring at Romance Reader at Heart. (I wish I knew how to directly link to it! AngieW knows how - I should have asked her before) Daisy is American. It looks like the hero is American. Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing now that Ms. Kleypas is no longer with the same publisher whose name I didn't mention before; now that she is with St. Martins, if she were to write a book or two set in early America?

til later

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I'm having a real bad day today.
Ron is so much worse now. I knew it would happen - that going to the ball game would take a lot out of him. They can't seem to get the pain managed so he's in it a good deal of the time. He refuses to have someone come to stay with him so that I can get out of the house for a while; the movie on Sunday was a very rare exception. The boys came over to stay with him while I was gone but when I got home he told me that he really wished I was there. Brent is dropping by fairly often, but he just complains about his job and other things a lot so it's not really relaxing when he comes by. Ryan, on the other hand rarely drops by. He has always been closer to Ron so I think he's really struggling with things. Ron has an older brother but they've never been close. His brother has called a total of 3 times since last September, even though he only lives a few miles away. I'm really struggling with anger over that one. His mother is older, not that well herself and doesn't drive. So it's all landing on me.
I've always attracted guilt like a magnet and it's sticking to me like glue for the way I'm feeling sometimes. I've gotten short with him a few times and then feel so wretched after.
I'm getting so lonely for someone to talk to but I can't leave him at all any more. The only time I seem to get any respite is late at night. But then it seems that when I do go to bed, he's up with pain. Then he's up early in the mornings and then so am I and my day begins again. I knew way back that it would get bad, but I had no idea how bad it would be.
He catches me crying sometimes and tells me not too, that it upsets him to see me cry. But how can I not when I see him suffering? And I'm also crying for me too. For my loneliness, for what it will be like without him, because I'm tired.
I really, really don't want to blog about what I'm going through. I want it to be fun and this blog is my oasis, but every once in a while, I can't help it. I just get overwhelmed and today is one of those days.

Recent Reads - with more to come

The Marcelli Bride – Susan Mallery

This one is alright. This is the fourth book in a series about four sisters and a brother whose family makes wine. This one is the brother’s story. Joe was put up for adoption when he was born. Years later, his parents, who remained together, tracked him down, wanting him to take his place in the family. He is less than enthused. His home is the navy. Darcy Jensen is the younger, less popular daughter of the president. When there is a kidnapping attempt on her, she is whisked away to the Marcelli home with Joe as her protector. There he is forced to deal with his family and their attempts to get him to join the family/

What I liked: I thought both Joe and Darcy were fairly good characters.

What I didn’t like: I don’t like books where the hero/heroine of fictional famous real people. When I first heard the outline of this one, I thought “daughter of the president of the United States – give me a break”. That position is much too well known for me to buy it. If it was a senator or something less well known, it would have worked better. It just took too much suspension of belief. I found the whole Marcelli family a bit annoying also.

Conclusion: I enjoyed her other recent book Delicious so much better than this one but this was the fourth in a series so I thought I’d read it. There is one more but since it’s about the youngest daughter and a prince, I’ll pass on the next one in this series and look forward to when Chapters finally gets Irresistible in stock. This is why I have a four book in a series and that’s it rule. I think Ms. Mallery is a good writer and I’ve enjoyed most of her single title releases, but this particular one didn’t work as well as others.
Grade: 3 out of 5

The Comeback Kiss – Diane Lani Rich

This one is very good. From Amazon - Tessa Scuderi's life changed on one night 10 years ago when her best friend, Finn, took off with her beloved VW bug and her heart. It was also the night her mother died while fleeing a fire in her craft shop. Now Finn is back. While he was gone, Tessa has been raising her little sister, Izzy, and worrying that any false move will put her sister into the state's hands. So she's not ready to welcome back Finn and his connection to her troublemaking teenage days. Sparks fly though--literally and figuratively. On Finn's first day in town, he saves a burning pet shop and shares a passionate kiss with Tessa, and that's only the beginning.

What I liked: I really enjoyed the snappy dialogue between Finn and Tessa. I love the childhood sweetheart storyline. As well as enjoying both Finn and Tessa, I really enjoyed the character of Izzy, Tessa’s younger sister. Even they mystery is a hoot.

What I didn’t like: Well, ther's not much I didn't like. This one is very good. About the only thing I might have changed is the hero’s hair colour. It’s red. I don’t mind any other hair colour for the hero, blond, black, brwon, anything – except red. So I just replaced it with Dark Mahoganny 421 (which just happens to be mine at the moment) whenever I read red.

Conclusion: I was part way through this book when I realized that Finn was a secondary character in another book. At that point I had to decide whether to stop reading The Comeback Kiss and start reading Maybe Baby, the previous book, or to keep going with this one. I was enjoying it so much I didn’t want to stop, so I figured I’d keep going, then read the first one, then go back and read this one again. Yeah! That works. Question for anyone who’s read it. Would it be considered chick-lit? Because if it is, then I’ve been reading and enjoying one without knowing it.
Grade 4 out of 5

More book opinions on their way.

'til later

Monday, July 10, 2006

July's Challenge - Romantic Suspense

Title: Taken
Author: Barbara Freethy
Year published: 2006
Why did you get this book? It had an interesting cover, got good reviews and I’ve read her before
Do you like the cover? Heh heh – yea.
Did you enjoy the book? It was OK
Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? I’ve read her before and I’ll probably read her again.
Are you keeping it or passing it on? This one is always a tough question to be honest. Since I’m a hoarder and a pack rat by nature, I keep many books I probably don’t need to. Having spent money on them, I hate to get rid of them knowing I’ll never get back what I paid. The better question for me on this one would be will you reread it. If that’s the question, then the answer is probably not.
Anything else? Amazon blurb: After a whirlwind courtship, San Francisco artist Kayla is about to fulfill her dream of marrying Mr. Right and starting a family—but on the wedding night, her dream man abandons her. Meanwhile, engineer Nick Granville returns home to San Francisco after a few months working in Africa to find his house lived in and his bank accounts plundered. Turns out these two strangers were duped by the same man: handsome, blond, smooth-talking Evan Chadwick. Unable to get the attention of the SFPD, the two marks take it upon themselves to track down Evan and get back what's theirs. As the clues accumulate, so do the smoldering glances between broad-shouldered Nick and curvy Kayla, but Freethy's sex scenes have a reportorial feel that may leave readers cold. Evan's cat and mouse game, however, should hook suspense fans and carry them into the next volume—as Evan says, "the game will be over when I say it's over," and this is just his first play
Couple of things. First on the book itself, it was pretty good. But the hero/heroine weren’t the brightest crayons in the box (love that phrase – I forget where I heard it, but I love it). They knew halfway through the book that someone was following them and then getting to where they were headed first. Yet time after time they plodded through clues and discovered something, only to find out that someone had gotten there first. Once or twice, alright, but by the third and fourth time the villain had got the jump on them I wanted to reach inside the book and knock their heads together.
Second thing. Romantic Suspense always poses a bit of a sticky wicket for me. I love the genre, but I’m an end reader. That means way before I get to the end of a book, I have to check it out to make sure it’s a HEA (d’uh – it’s romance. I know, I know but it’s a habit I can’t seem to break). But with RS – if I read too much of the end before I get there, it can really spoil the book for me. So it’s become a delicate balance not to start the end read to far in advance that it gives away too many spoilers.

Title: Thicker than Water
Author: Maggie Shayne
Year published: 2005
Why did you get this book? I don’t know. It’s one of those books that just somehow showed up in my TBR pile. I probably got it at a UBS when I couldn’t find anything but refused to leave without something
Do you like the cover? Yea, it’s good
Did you enjoy the book? Yes and no
Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? I’ve read her before although not for a long time. Years ago I read her vampire books – back in the early 90’s before they became popular and she wrote a couple of other books, Fairytale was one. Yes, I think I’ll read more by her
Are you keeping it or passing it on? Well, I was going to pass this one on but then our dear precious darling cat who loves all things paper got hold of it and chewed the hell out of the cover.
Anything else? Amazon blurb: Straight-laced upstate New York news anchor Julie Jones has a deadly secret: 16 years earlier, as a teen runaway named Jewel, she fled the besieged burning compound of fanatic cult leader/drug dealer Mordecai Young, with his hidden fortune and her dying best friend's newborn child. Self-proclaimed "Reverend" Young and the rest of his cult, save two other "favorite" girls, perished in the attack by federal agents-or so Julie always thought. But when a blackmailer threatening to expose Julie is murdered and two former "favorite" girls turn up dead as well, it appears the messianic madman may be after the daughter Julie has raised as her own. Her only ally is sensationalist shock-jock radio reporter Sean MacKenzie, Julie's worst professional rival.
This is the storyline and it was a pretty good book – BUT – the author tread a thin line with Julie. She made some real dumb decisions and followed the same kind of path as my most hated heroine ever (Meg from The Defiant Hero) made. She has this guy, who is sharp and willing to help her, yet she continually lies to him and refuses to let him help. Yes, yes I know she is doing whatever it takes to save her daughter, but still – time and again she makes the worst choice possible. I found it very frustrating. It ends with a bit of a cliffhanger and there is another one after this one and I think I might track it down.

Captain Jack Will Get You High Tonight

Ahhhhh - Saw this one tonight

Excellent movie and I'll see it again. Discussion at Suisan's for anyone who's seen it. I know CSquared a newbie blogger just did :)

And - I found a new reader blogger - Nath. And she likes Linda Howard!
Say, I wonder if either of them have read........................

'til later

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Book Buying Bias

Think the grocery store is a great place to meet men?

Hunky interstellar fugitive, aisle 5.

With outrageously false accusations piling up against her famous political family and an ex-fiancé in hot water determined to take her down with him, the last thing Jana Jasper needs is more trouble--especially man trouble. But when she heads to the grocery store for an ice cream fix, not only does the muscled hunk in the frozen foods section ranting about spaceships and invasions look crazy, he looks... familiar.

Cavin of Far Star has never forgotten the girl he met during his weeks spent on that quaint little world, planet Earth, the girl who didn't believe he was real. And now he'll risk his future to save her. All she has to do is take him to her leader. Simple enough plan--although Jana isn't so easily convinced. Hell-bent on charming his way past her defenses, he's determined to stay one step ahead of the galaxy's most feared assassin--and may just capture his favorite Earthling's heart in the process.

*taken from Susan Grant's website*

I often wonder how many good books I'm missing because I have certain biases when it comes to the books I buy. You're Planet or Mine? is the perfect example. I don't go for the cutsey pun title books. To me they scream 'chick lit' which I really don't care to read. And why, I don't know since I've never read one. I also don't care for the cutsey cartoon covers. I seem them on the shelves and on other blogs and they just leave me kind of meh. So when I saw this book a while ago, I figured I'd just skip it. Cutsey title, cutsey cover - pass. But then I reread Once a Pirate and was again reminded how much I love Susan Grant's writing. I've read and loved every book she's written, from her time travel/pirate to her futuristics and both her entries in the 2176 series. So why wasn't I chomping at the bit for the release of this one? Book bias - that's why.
But then I visited her website after finishing up OaP and saw the blurb for this one. Visitor from another planet visits Earth and meets girl from Earth he can't forget. I read another book recently with the same kind of premise - Parallel Attraction by Dierdre Knight - and loved it. Although it was a serious book and Your Planet or Mine sounds more comedic, still they both look interesting. So now my interest is very piqued and I can add this one to my Eagerly Anticipating list.
I've seen readers say they don't really like a certain genre so they don't really read books in it - hell, I'm like that with chick-lit. But as far as other genres, I'm willing to try anything; even vampire although they aren't my cupa. But just like me and chick-lit, I wonder if other readers have really tried other genres or whether they have book bias just like I do.
So - my resolution to get over book bias is to keep a more open mind about genres I say I won't read. Up until now whenever I've let a book bias go, it's been a good thing. I used to read only historicals, then I slowly let in medievals, westerns, futuristics and romantic suspense, all with excellent results. I'm working first person books. Didn't think I'd ever read them, then I discovered the Stephanie Plum books. I was most annoyed when I heard that To Die For by Linda Howard was first person, but I loved that one too. So now - it's the chick-lit.

'til later

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Still on that Pirate kick

Once a Pirate by Susan Grant

I don't normally write anything about books I'm rereading but dang I love this book!!! I was digging through a bag of books and came across this one. I first read it well over a year ago and still being in pirate mode, decided it was time for a reread. First off - ignore the cover. It's bad. It's real bad. If I had Bam's talent, I would do a biting snark job on it. But rather than be distracted by the really bad cover, enjoy the story inside.

Callie Callahan is a navy pilot. While on a routine mission she runs into a terrible storm and crashes into the ocean. Little does she know it but when she is rescued by a handsome captain, she has traveled back through time to the 1800's. Andrew Spencer isn't an oridinary ship's captain. Jailed for a crime he didn't commit, he stole a ship and has lived as a fugitive ever since. When he comes across Callie, he mistakes her for the fiance of his enemy, his cousin who framed him.
Callie takes a while to realize she's traveled to the past and Andrew takes even longer to realize she really is who she says she is. The writing in this books is very good and you can really feel the attraction and building love between Callie and Andrew. While yes, he's a pirate, he is still very much a good guy and with Callie coming from the future, she's a sharp, intelligent heroine. I love a good time travel romance and I love a good pirate romance. With this one I got both. This one got a very good review at AAR a few years ago - a B+. But I grade it even higher.

This is a 5 out of 5 for me.

'til later


My Wicked Pirate by Rona Sharon - due out in November

New Author - Check

Pirate Book - Check
Good Price - Check
Cover I Like - Check
Lots of pretty colours - Check
Good Lookin' Cover Model - Check

I think I'll be getting this one!

'til later

Friday, July 07, 2006

Let's Help our Cindy Out

Cindy needs our help. That’s because my girl Cindy just read Dreaming of You. Now this one was a bit different for her. Dreaming of You was her “rainy day” book. I’m sure some of us have them – you know that book that we know is good that we kind of hold on to until a time when we really need a good read. Well, I guess with moving and the *ahem* gentle pressure she felt, she had her rainy day. Well – now she needs to replace Dreaming of You with another book.

Our Cindy loooovvvveeeesss Anne Stuart. She’s also ready for a good paranormal. She is (very) impatiently waiting for Butch’s story in the J.R. Ward Brotherhood series. She loves a good dark tortured alpha hero. I don’t think she is keen on Time Travel books or Futuristics or Westerns – although she loved Ride the Fire. And she’s read all of Suzanne Brockmans books so she’s out.

*Cindy – if you have anything else to add – let me know*

Anyway, I went through my best of the best list for a replacement for Dreaming of You, but I don’t know if she’s read them or not. So I need your top 3 to 5 all time favourite books so I can give her a list so that she doesn’t mope and eat way to much chocolate.

Here are my top 5 (not including Dreaming of You which she has read) in no particular order:

Whispers of Heaven – Candice Proctor

Thunder and Roses – Mary Jo Putney

Conor’s Way – Laura Lee Guhrke

Lord of Scoundrels – Loretta Chase

Once and Always – Judith McNaught

Now I have a few more I can add, but I’ll start with those ones.

Now, according to the mental list I have, that only leaves one person left who has a copy that I’m not sure has read it yet. I’m not going to name names except she’s the mommy of the cutest little girl :-)

‘til later

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Recent Reads - the OK's and the Goods

I’m so far behind on the books I’ve read lately, and I’ve read a lot, I’m going to just do some quick mini reviews.

The Irish Devil by Diane Whiteside
This one is OK.
Viola Ross has landed herself in trouble. She’s penniless and needs a way to earn some money. She approaches William Donavan, a local businessman and offers to be his mistress for 3 months. William has had the hots for Viola for a while now and after a token resistance, takes her up on her offer.
What I liked: It’s a western and I love Westerns. And I really like the cover.

What I didn’t like: I found it a bit unbelievable that Viola would “take” to the role so quickly. One thing that drove me nuts was when he kept calling her a ‘filly”. It might be just me but I wouldn’t be really taking it as a compliment to be constantly referred to as a horse. Also I didn’t really connect to either the hero or the heroine

Conclusion: This book is hotter than my normal read and it took a bit of getting used to. This falls into the OK category and since I think it might be Ms. Whiteside’s first book I’m more than willing to give her another try. I just happen to have The River Devil (thanks to Renee) so I’m looking forward to reading it and seeing how it reads
Grade 3 out of 5

Angel in my Bed by Melody Thomas
This one is OK
From Amazon: On one final mission for the Crown, David Donally is hunting for a missing treasure. His only clue is a dazzling, gem-encrusted earring, and it is leading him to the most desirable woman he has ever enchanting thief he once seduced and betrayed in the name of exquisite lover he'd believed was dead...his wife!
Meg Faraday thought her former life was behind her -- until the night the treacherous husband she'd eluded suddenly appeared. By rights she should despise the handsome spy who had captured her heart, then shattered it. But the fire between them still burns, and what was once an irresistible passion has now become a dangerous game of betrayal...

What I liked: I really liked Meg. I thought she made a great heroine. I admired how, after she “died” she really changed her life around and made herself a better person. And Ms. Thomas didn’t make her too nicey, nice.

What I didn’t like: I did not like David. At all. Well, I liked his name. I can’t admire a hero who deliberately misleads the heroine (the same problem I had with the hero in Hide in Plain Sight). While he eventually comes around, still I don’t think he ever really “got” what he did to Meg. I thought he was deliberately cruel to her a number of times. And it's a dreadful cover.

Conclusion: I don’t think I liked this one as much as Where’s My Hero (sorry). I don’t know if it would have made a difference if I had read the previous two in the series like she said I should or not. I’ll try Ms Thomas again if I see her books in a UBS, but I don’t think I’ll seek her out.
Grade 3 out of 5

The Dark One by Ronda Thompson
This one is good
This is the first in the Wild Wulfs of London. Rosalind Rutherford seeks out the mysterious Armond Wulf in order to have him destroy her reputation so she won’t be forced into marriage with the repulsive gentleman her step brother has chosen for her. But Armond won’t go along with her plan.

What I liked: I thought Armond made a very good hero. Shunned by society for the mysterious deaths of his parents and suspected of murdering a young prostitute, he is an honourable man. I liked the werewolf spin on this one. The Wulfs are cursed but it doesn’t take effect until they fall in love. Unlike some other werewolf stories, Armond resists the animal in him. I’ve said before – and I know it’s weird – that while I don’t really like vampire romance, I like a good werewolf story. And this is a good one. And I like the cover.

What I didn’t like: Rosalind ventured into TSTL territory a few times starting with her ‘done to death’ plan to ruin herself. I’m more heroine-centric but a better than normal hero can offset that. That’s how I felt about this one. Armond made this book. Also the villains were a bit too over the top.

Conclusion: This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I already have the next book in the series and I think I’ll be reading it very soon. Also she has a pretty descent backlist and I’ve already ordered one of them. I think I’m going to like this author
Grade: 4 out of 5

More book reviews to follow

‘til later