Thursday, August 31, 2006

This one is a mish mash

There has been a bit of a revival in blogland in recent days on buying new or buying used. Keishon has blogged about it, Dear Author has blogged about it and so has Karen and Bev - she even includes drawings :). I’ve offered my opinion on each one so I’m not really going to give it again here – except to say I buy probably 85% new – mostly new and mid list authors.

Then I was at Sybil’s blog and she posted a couple of upcoming books published by Zebra.

Now one of the arguments against buying new is the high cost of books these days. A shout-out to Zebra however who has done something rather different for some of their new and mid list authors. They offer books at a really reduced rate; $3.99 or $4.99 – slightly higher in Canada. I think this is a fabulous idea and I’ve bought quite a few of them in the past. Some have been good, some not so good. But at least I don't fell as ripped off at those prices for the not so good ones. I checked out their website earlier and here are some books coming out with new or almost new authors that to me scream “buy me! I’m cheap”

So – without further ado, here are some upcoming books from Zebra selling at great prices!

Dark Whispers by Samantha Garver
Samantha Garver delivered a wickedly sensual debut in One Night to Be Sinful. Now she weaves an intriguing new tale of unlikely lovers unraveling a mystery shrouded in danger and dark desire...
Uncommonly tall and extraordinarily independent, Harriet Mosley regularly rushes in where other ladies fear to tread. Indulging her taste for adventure, Harriet's friends pay for her to visit a house of spirits, rumored to be haunted by figments of its tragic past.
Bow Street Runner Benedict Bradbourne is reeling from the loss of his business partner, who was murdered. Bradbourne's quest for vengeance has taken him from London's bustling streets and shadowy alleyways to a country estate whose corporeal residents may prove even stranger than the ghosts who supposedly dwell there.
Intrigued by the bespectacled, mysterious Benedict, Harriet begins to feel the first flames of desire course through her blood. But in the dark hallways of the ramshackle manor, something more sinister than ghosts stalks--and will do everything in its power to keep Harriet and Benedict apart forever.

What a Gentleman Needs by Caroline Linden
Marcus Reese, Duke of Essex, has spent most of his life pulling his twin brother out of trouble. An occasional thank you would suffice; instead, his resentful sibling forges his name to a marriage license and presents him with an unwanted wife. She’s a vicar’s widow with a mind of her own who may be the first person in Marcus’s well-ordered life to make him feel…completely out of control.
Hannah can’t help but curse her own idiocy. Dire straits have led her to the altar with a gentleman she hardly knows. Played for a fool, she’s embarrassed, furious, and worse, married to an equally outraged stranger—an exasperating man who unleashes all manner of emotions in Hannah, not to mention unwanted desire. Reluctantly, she agrees to play the wife until he can sort out the mess. But the nearness of the undeniably attractive Duke and the passion in his black eyes unsettles her well-guarded heart—making her want to do so much more than “act” the role of blissful bride…

Good With His Hands by Alexa Darin
Man who uses his mind instead of his hands--someone who can “wow” me and hold a decent conversation. Someone who knows that a dinner date consists of more than a six-pack and a bag of chips. Beer-guzzling, power-tool using jerks need not apply…
Pepper Bartlett has always been a woman who knows exactly what she wants--except when it comes to men. With a body to die for and classic girl-next-door good looks, she’s never had any trouble finding a man, but finding one who doesn’t cheat, lie, or run in the other direction at the thought of commitment is another story. Determined to swear off hot, sweaty, sexy men with blue collars and blue jeans, Pepper places a personal ad with just one requirement--No Blue Collar Guys need apply. What she wants is a man to turn her inside out and make her crazy with desire--but not drive her crazy. What she finds is the answer to her dreams. Jake Hunter is smart, sensitive, hotter than hell, and an architect. With jet black hair and a beautiful body she’d like to get to know a whole lot better, Jake is the one man who wants to wait. Just what is he hiding? And when Pepper finds out what it is, will she swear off all men forever?

His Dark Kiss by Eve Silver
Set high atop a hill, Manorbrier Castle is shrouded in darkness and savage rumors: No servant has ever survived for long…Stay away from the Round Tower…There’s death there… And then there is the dark lord of the manor himself…a monster, they say, and a murderer…
Emma Parrish isn’t easily frightened by hearsay. She’s escaped a far worse fate in order to take a position as governess at Manorbrier. Caring for Lord Craven’s young son offers her a last chance to build a life for herself. She will not flee, even when she feels eyes watching her, hears strange, haunting laughter—not even when she is tempted by the alluring pull of Anthony Craven’s seductive, dangerous beauty…
…Or Cold-Blooded Killer?
A whisper of evil crawls through the shadowy halls and locked rooms of the crumbling estate. At night, Emma sees a mysterious light coming from the Round Tower. She has been warned never to set foot inside it—just as she has been warned not to fall for Lord Craven’s wicked charms. But some curiosities—and deepest desires—must be satisfied. And as Emma draws ever closer to a man she cannot resist or deny, she moves nearer to the terrifying truth of his darkest secrets…

Midnight Eyes by Sarah Brophy
During the turbulent, decadent reign of William II, a royal mercenary finds himself caught in the throes of an unexpected passion—and played as a pawn in a treacherous game...
The bastard son of a Norman nobleman, Robert Beaumont has blossomed into one of England’s fiercest killers—and has found himself well paid for his talents. But now the time has come for him to set aside his sword. The king has agreed to reward him for his last service with an estate...on one condition: Robert must marry the sitting tenant—the infamous Lady Deformed.
For years, Imogen Colebrook has lived in the ramshackle Saxon keep, the virtual prisoner of her cruel, sadistic brother, the man responsible for her deformity—and for wedding her to a dangerous man. Yet, on Robert’s arrival, Imogen nearly brings the hardened warrior to his knees. For she is a vision of unparalleled beauty—living in a world without sight. Drawn to her courageous spirit, Robert gently draws Imogen out of her tortured past. But with her brother always lurking in the shadows, Imogen’s newfound sanctuary in Robert’s arms is in danger of being destroyed—unless her salvaged heart can find a way out of the darkness...

My Wicked Pirate by Rona Sharon
First He Gave Her A Wicked Kiss . . .
Azure-eyed Alanis was by far the most exquisite treasure ever claimed by the black pirate known as the Viper, but his motives went deeper than his silken promise to ravish the feisty Yorkshire heiress. Commanding the waters of the Caribbean was his means to an end: reclaiming his birthright—and his blood debt against those who had betrayed him.
Then He Gave Her Nights Of Wicked Pleasure . . .
Comfortably betrothed to a nobleman, Alanis never imagined the heady emotions involved in the true games of seduction—games this blackguard seemed to thoroughly enjoy playing with her. Swept up into an adventure that soon revealed a gentleman and kindred spirit beneath the ruthless veneer of a privateer, Alanis began to soften towards her enigmatic captor, as her pride and her heart fell under his erotic spell...

O'Roarke's Bride by Barbara Dan
A Bride’s Deception
Pampered, beautiful, and clever enough to outsmart her matchmaking father, Kate McGillacutty coyly agrees to marry a man of the lumberjack baron’s standards: a “real” man unafraid of hard work. Daring to call his bluff, Kate picks her candidate from the dregs of Virginia City’s rough-hewn timber men, certain she can convinced the ruggedly suitable, undeniably charming Peter O’Rourke to play along for a price, until she can get her annulment, her freedom, and a one way ticket back to the civilized world.
A Groom’s Desire
A down on his luck Irish actor, Peter is no stranger to hard work, nor the ways of the world, and happens to be more than captivated by the spoiled hellcat who thinks she can beat men at their own games. He’s not above conspiring with Kate’s father to gain steady employment even if it means wedding, bedding, and taming his willful daughter. Soon, Peter has dreams of his own for his beautiful bride, and they don’t include letting her out of his sight. Because he’s never met a woman like Kate, and he’s determined to claim her heart—no matter how elusive it may seem…

Surrend to Sin by Tamara LeJeune
Nothing Tastes Sweeter …
To escape gossip in London due to a broken engagement and a stolen diamond, heiress Abigail Ritchie changes her name to Miss Smith, and leases a house in the country. Along with her chaperone—a hypochondriac accompanied by a full-time nurse—the trio escape to Hertfordshire. But once there they encounter mayhem, mishap, rustic fortune hunters, and a dangerously seductive but deeply indebted lord of the manor, Cary Wayborn.
Than a Night of Sin …
Scandal continues to welcome Abigail with open arms … and so does Cary. When the two find themselves inadvertently surrendering to one night of white-hot passion and desire, Cary, a true gentleman, insists on marriage. Yet Miss Smith refuses his offer. Now, sorting through a gaggle of gossips, mischief, and conspiracy, he remains fearless and determined to claim a love as irresistible as the lady herself …

Veiled Desires by Tracy MacNish
Tracy MacNish’s deeply romantic sequel new novel reveals the untapped power of a woman’s heart—and how fiercely she dares to protect it…
Emeline’s entire life is controlled by men. She’s just been won in a wager by Jeffrey, the Duke of Eton, who keeps her under lock and key. And her cruel stepfather, Simon, wants nothing more than to dominate her entire future. What she wants is a man who’ll set her free . . . and Rogan Mullen, heir to the dukedom, just may be the answer to her dreams …
Rogan is more than eager to have Emeline in his care, but his urge to protect her grows into a yearning to possess her—body and soul. Surrendering completely to love, they cannot foresee that something very sinister threatens to destroy them, for Simon will stop at nothing to control his stepdaughter’s fate . . . and only the most fervent passion can endure against such relentless odds . . .
“A lushly written, richly detailed Georgian historical [that] pushes the boundaries of the genre.”—Booklist

Hero Worship by Dawn Calvert
Fantasy VS. Reality
One moment Andi Lofton-Hale was an English teacher worn out by another bad blind date, tucked in with a Regency romance. The next, she’s face to face with the magnificent hero of Wedgfeld Hall: tall, black-haired, sinfully sexy Nathaniel Chamberlain. Is he real? Does she care? Nathaniel is the man of her wildest dreams.
However, there is a catch. Andi is a minor character, not the heroine destined to win Nathaniel’s heart. He tells her it’s lunacy to come between an author and her plot…anything might happen! But Andi’s determined to rewrite her life, scandalize all of London, and make a brilliant match, before she can seize everything temptation has to offer…between the covers.
“Unique…an imaginative premise. Anyone who has ever wondered where authors get their ideas will get a huge kick out of Dawn Calvert’s Hero Worship.” —USA Today bestselling author Amanda Scott

So - there you have it. Some interesting books by new or nearly new authors at great prices!

And just out of curiosity, all the books have something in common except the last book. Can anyone guess what that is? And nope, it's nothing to do with the cover model although he does seem to pop up in a number of then doesn't he?

'til later

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ect. Time

For the past few weeks I've been watching the most astonishingly good show!!!! I've watched American Idol for the past few seasons but about 3 weeks ago I started watching Rock Star Supernova and I'm amazed at how good it is. Dave Navarro drives me bonkers and every week I think "do up your shirt dude - you really aren't all that even though you seem to think you are" and whatever I say about Tommy Lee would make me eligible for slander. Jason Newsted is rather boring but I quite like Gilby Clark. My sisters would say it's because he has long hair (and they are probably right *g*). And while Brooke Burke is a bit bland, she certainly is attractive and much much less annoying than Ryan Seacrest *shudder!*
Watching this show makes American Idol or it's sister show Canadian Idol pale in comparison. What makes it so good is the amazing talent of the rockers trying out for the lead singer job. These people, at least the ones I've seen are really really good!!! Their voices, each and every one of them are fantastic. In watching AI there are always singers that aren’t all that good, but each week I’m thinking I don’t want to see any of the performers go on Rock Star. Their stage presence and presentation, their energy is phenomenal. When I watch the first performance I think I want to see that one win. Then I see the next one and think the same thing. And then again and again with each one. What is also so good to see is how they really seem to appreciate the talents of the other singers – well except for Dilana’s rant, but since I missed that part it didn’t bother me.

And their music selection!!!!! Nary a Barry Manilow or Neil Sedaka in sight. Rather I find it an excellent mixture of rock music I used to listen to; The Police, Billy Idol, Areosmith with the current rock music of today. What I find most astonishing is that even with many of the current songs they sing, I may not know the title or the group, but I’ve heard the song before. I guess it paid off to have to listen to the music my sons listen too.

When Brent and Ryan found out I was watching American Idol, they groaned and rolled their eyes and teased Ron unmercifully that I was making him watch it. But when I happened to mention to them in passing that I was watching and really liking Rock Star Supernova, it turns out they watch it too. We’ve had a few real good talks about who did the best job, who should win etc. I didn’t think I would ever really agree with them music-wise. It’s been most enjoyable. I don't know - watching this show somehow makes me feel like I'm not quite as old as I sometimes think I'm getting!

I didn’t watch the first one with INXS even though J.D. Fortune, a Canadian, won and now I’m wishing I had.

I know I’ve gone overboard with superlatives here, but this is one heck of a good reality show!!!

As to whom I want to win, well, Lucas. Or then again Magni is great. Of course Ryan is excellent, as is Delanna. Storm can really belt out a song. Toby is first-rate too!

‘til later


What I forgot to mention is also how much I appreciate the international flavour of the show. Lucas is from Canada which is relatively speaking, just up the block, but Magni is from Iceland. Iceland!! Fancy that. And Toby is from Austalia and Zayra is from Puerto Rico. I really like that aspect. And as far as the voting goes, it seems to be that it's based much more on talent or compatibility with the band than on what state/province or city the one trying out is from. That always drives me nuts about the Idol way - that you should vote for whomever lives closest to you rather than on talent. I've never been tempted to vote in Canadian Idol or American Idol (although I don't think I can vote on that one) But I did try to vote on Superstar via their website. I couldn't seem to figure it out though. Of course I wouldn't have known who to vote for anyway. I probably would have voted for every one of them which would have negated my votes really.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Today is my anniversary. It would have been 31 years married. I don’t even know if I should still say it is my wedding anniversary since Ron isn’t with me anymore. He was always the one to remember the day. Half the time I don’t know what the date is so it was always a good thing he would remind me and ask where I wanted to go for dinner and if were getting each other gifts. We always said no we weren’t going to get each other anything but he always got me flowers anyway. He always said he hated cards, but he would get me the most romantic ones anyways. Since he had such a hard time telling me he loved me, I think he let the cards say it for him, but he would always add something special to them.

The grief is getting worse. I put on a Jays game the other day and watched about 3 innings before I stared crying and had to turn it off – and they were winning! But we spent so much time watching them that I can’t watch them now.

I spent hours on the weekend doing housework. That set me off because I’ve always been lousy at it and now he’s not here to see what a great job I did. I even washed walls!!

I’ve moved into the other bedroom – after I cleaned it – because I can’t bear to look over and not see him next to me.

The boys have offered to come over and help me go through his things but I can’t even think about doing that yet.

I still have his voice on the answering machine. It’s quite disconcerting for people who call and get it, but I can’t change it because it’s the sound of his voice.

I’ve barely been able to read. I guess that isn’t unusual, but for me it seems like another loss.

I find myself withdrawing. I’m ok when I’m around people; it’s when I’m alone it gets bad. It’s the getting out that is becoming difficult. If I had the job to go back to it would have been better, but now it’s gone too and I don’t know if I have the readiness to go out and look for something else. There are people I want to call and talk to, but it’s so hard for me to reach out at the moment. I haven’t even been calling the boys the way I should.

There is so much stuff I have to do, but I just don’t seem to have the energy. Today was the first day I cooked dinner just for myself and it was awful. When it was ready, I didn’t feel like eating it.

So instead of going out to dinner with Ron tonight, I’m going to spend the night at my sisters. And hope I make it through the day.

I don't plan on saying much about how I'm feeling, I mean let's face it, it would get pretty depressing after a while and for large chunks I'm doing alright. This is place to go for enjoyment. But then some days are harder than others and this is going to be one of the hardest.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Yet another romance reader has fallen under the spell of our man Derek. Dylan over at Sanctuary's Finest, despite efforts not too, has joined the evergrowing list of those who have come to experience the power of The Craven!
And - can you believe it?!?!? There are still more who haven't yet experienced the power. KateD of Damned Scribbling Women has confessed to not reading this one!! You know what this means. Another name on the list.
Also Nath - you do realize you're on it too.


'til later

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Moving right along on the book shelf front

Egads, I went to *gasp* Home Depot today!!!! Now that is a momentuous thing for me. While I worked in a lumber store a number of years ago, I never actually paid attention to their product. I just rang it through and noticed some of the rather *ah* good looking contractors. But rather than book cases, Lisa suggested we just build shelves against the wall. See halfway up, the walls are stucco and there are columns of wood running up them every few feet. So we are going to run wooden shelves from one wood column to the next. That way we won't have to try and nail into stucco. The advantages to this are the room will look a lot more open than if it was just book shelves. We figure we can fit quite a few on the shelves. Then if I need them, I can put shelves along the bottom. And the cost will be considerably less this way. I told Brent what we were planning on doing and he laughed and he laughed and he laughed. Now I have to do a real good job just to show him!
So we went to Home Depot to pick out lumber - we didn't buy it yet, we just looked, brackets and other stuff. Wow - that was surreal.
The lighting in the basement isn't that great so I also got a floor lamp ("which I put together myself" she said).
I'm going to take pictures this week for a before and after thing now that I have descent lighting in there.


I went looking for the old Kleypas books 'cause some of you wanted to know which ones I had.
Where Passion Leads
Give Me Tonight (I think that's the western time travel/reincarnation one
Forever My Love
I'll do a reread since it's been a long, long time since I read them and review them - keeping in mind I don't think Ms. Kleypas really acknowledges them anymore :)

Of course they were in about the 7th box I looked in and I also brought a few other upstairs too. MUST! STOP! DOING! THAT!

'til later

I had me one busy day yesterday

I decided in preperation for the library I want to build, to move all my books into one room. And since a great many of the books were here in the computer room, I would take them all downstairs where it's going to be. Now the computer room was also supposed to be a spare bedroom. It has a bed in it, but it was entirely useless. The bed was covered in books and clothes and other assorted odds and ends. When Ron went on afternoons last year, he was still asleep when I left in the morning so the bed still had clothes on it. And books, and bags of books and boxes of books lay on top of it. This had proved to be a problem in the past when Lisa needed to stay over for one reason or another. She lives out of town and works here in the city so sometimes she needed a place to crash. I would do this half-assed job cleaning up, but it was never really finished and I'd go to sleep guilty, knowing the room was still a mess. And I haven't mentioned the boxes of books under the bed!!
So, I went out the other day in order to get ready and bought 2 of those plastic 3 cabinet shelf units at Walmart, 3 more of those deep tubs and a laundry basket.
I haven't catalogued or even really made note of the books I have for years. I knew I had a rather large TBR pile but it wasn't until yesterday I saw it was *and I so hate to say this* out of control. I both the plastic cabinets in no time at all. I wanted to keep those ones upstairs. Then I started piling TBR books on top of them. Then that was full. So I started using one of the tubs I bought. I tell you I was starting to get a bit nervous at how large the pile was.
The books in the boxes and bags went downstairs - thank goodness Brent showed up for a bit so I put him to work carrying some of them down. I didn't open the boxes too much except to make sure they were filled while trying to reduce the number of boxes and convert the books in bags to boxes. That was a real tough job let me tell you! Every box I opened had at least one or two books I needed to reread. I found Lord of Scoundrels for example and the Hellion. Not only that, but I found 3 very very old Kleypas books that she wrote when she was first starting out. Most people have never even heard of them before - I'll be anxious to reread those puppies! There were a whole lot more I was very reluctant to assign to the basement. There were also boxes and boxes and bags and bags of books under the stairs. Now many of these were those huge plastic bins that hold three rows of books and man were those suckers heavy! At one point, after I uncovered yet another box of books in one of the closets, I actually groaned and thought "nooooo, not another box!"
So! Now I have all my books located in one room except for the TBR's. Next giant taks - ALPHABATIZING!!! I have a feeling that's going to take a couple of days as I uncover some of the best of the best. I also managed, and this was just a brief cull, to pull out 2 small boxes of books for trade. I know there are a lot more where those came from!!
Grand total *drum roll please* 42 boxes, 3 bags in the basement, 1 box of TBR,s and 2cabinets full of TBR's upstairs!! Yep, I have an addiction all right! *Oh - and one very sore back!*
I need to get those book shelves going - and fast! I'm planning to take before and after pictures.

'til later

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I cut the grass today

Ron and I had this deal. He took care of the outside work and I took care of the inside work. Of course it was rather a lopsided deal on my end because he was better at housework than I was so he ended up doing all the outside work and a good part of the inside work as well. Never really seemed fair and he did object sometimes, but overall it wasn't that big an issue. So far this summer the boys have been cutting the grass and the flowers didn't get planted. Ron kept saying he wanted to go to a garden centre and get some but he wasn't well enough to go and I don't know nothin' about no stinkin' flowers (I'm so not a gardener!!! People who know me know this. I'm not even sure the difference between an annual and a perennial. I know that one you have to plant every year and the other comes out year after year but I don't know which is which)
But Brent abdicated the grass cutting (I won't go into that issue) and Ryan has his own house now with his own lawn. He's also working full time, taking accounting classes in the evenings and he has a girlfriend. He's been taking care of the financial details so I don't want to rely on him too much.
So - it was left to me to cut the grass. I don't think I've cut it in about 3 or 4 years - probably ever since we got the electric lawnmower which I loathe with every fibre of my being. We live on the corner of a crescent so the lawn is larger than most, what with front, back and sides. I got the back cut without too much trouble and then moved to the back side section when I noticed the wing nut (I'm guessing that's what it is called) had come out of the one side of the handle and part of the handle was hanging loosely. I walked all over but couldn't see it anywhere. Since I could still run the lawnmower I continued with the damn thing listing. Of course then the damn, frickin' cord became a real issue. I had to stop constantly and move it out of the way since I haven't figured out how to mow the lawn without it getting in the way.
I finally finished, put it back away in the shed when I noticed the flower boxes Ron always planted that never got done this year. I started losing it then. I made it into the house, and once I did, the pain really hit.
This is the first big thing I've had to do since Ron died. In years past, the few times I cut the grass I would proudly announce "I cut the grass. Aren't you impressed?" and wait for Ron to be suitably impressed. He never really was enough to my satisfaction *g* though. But when I got in the house, he wasn't here to boast too.
But I'm going to say it anyway.
"I cut the grass Ron, aren't you impressed?"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I've been tagged by Devonna on 20 things that annoy me (today).

1. My neighbour and his damn generator
2. My neighbour and his damn generator
3. My neighbour and his damn generator
4. My neighbour and his damn generator
5. My neighbour and his damn generator

(I was really annoyed with him this morning!)

6. Ridiculous reviews on Chapters web site
7. I would say the price of gas, but it's down right now. But what does annoy me is thinking that 95 cents a litre is "down"
8. The price of parking downtown
9. Having to turn the air conditioning on at 5:00 'cause it's too hot in the house
10. Electric lawn mowers
11. Looking at really long grass
12. Trying to get open the shed that is probably full of spiders, not being able to and then deciding to cut the grass with an electric lawn mower another day when it will be even longer
13. Losing yet another pair of glasses!
14. Summer construction that is on all the roads you need to travel on
15. Spam email - I really don't need a penis enlarger thank you
16. Settling down for a night of TV watching and discovering there is nothing you want to watch
17. (not so much annoying as scary) looking at the piles (and piles and piles) of books I have to organize
18. Putting a book that I'm almost finished down and not remembering where (also goes along with 13 - that forgetful thing
19. Finishing a really good book
20. Trying to decide what to read next when there are piles and piles of books that are calling to me, each one yelling louder than the next "pick me! pick me!"

Let's see now, who else might be annoyed

OK - anyone who has a mad on.

'til later

Recent Read

One Forbidden Evening by Jo Goodman

I seem to be getting my fiesitiness back and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Right now for example, I’m holding myself back from bopping our neighbour on the nose! I wanted to sit on our deck for my morning tea and he has had this generator running all morning. The really loud generator that is disturbing the peace of the morning!

So I came in and decided to write this.

I was checking out the Chapters website for the picture when I noticed this review

If I could give this book less than 1 star I would. This is the first book by Jo Goodman that I've read and it will be the last. The characters spend so much time talking that you get bored with the book and you just quit caring. If you want a guaranteed good read, grab a book by Lisa Kleypas or Julia Quinn, both great writers that keep you interested up to the very last sentence.

Booo, hisss! Someone left this review on the website. I objected to the whole thing. Being a great fan of her work, I thought, “characters actually talking to each other and getting to know each other – how dare Ms. Goodman write such a thing!!” Well, I just couldn’t let that stand!!! So I counteracted her review with one of my own.

I have long been a fan of Ms. Goodman and this is another excellent read.

Christopher Hollins, Earl of Ferrin was approached and propositioned by a mysterious woman at a masked ball. Not content to just let her go as she requested, he sought her out. Cybelline, a young widow, was a young woman who had secrets that she didn't want to share.

When Ferrin finally tracks her down, we slowly begin to see that neither of them are what the other thought.

Jo Goodman has a way of slowly, carefully unveiling her characters a little bit at a time until we come to know them intimately. Her writing is rich and deep and very, very good. To me she is one of the "hidden gem" authors of the genre. She is one of the few authors that I linger over, enjoying every word and nuance on every page. I highly recommend this book for those who are tired of the trite, lite historical romances that are so prevalent today. Her writing is sensuous and evocative. If you are looking for something deeper with character, she is a 'must read' author!!

I’ve just finished this book and as per all her work, it’s wonderful. Yes! Her characters ‘talk’ to each other. That’s because her characters are intelligent, have depth to them and don’t suffer the annoying “Big M”. When a problem arises between the Ferrin and Cybelline, they talk it through it and work things out.

I love how Ferrin is introduced as rather hardened rake but instead he is an entirely different character. He is compassionate, intelligent, in fact an inventor. He treats Cybelline with respect and honour. He doesn’t push her or force his thoughts onto her, rather he allows her to come to her own conclusions. When we first me Cybelline, we see her as rather wanton, seducing a perfect stranger at a ball. But once Ms. Goodman unveils her true character, we see a young woman deeply hurt by betrayal of one she trusted the most. Her reasons for doing what she did make perfect sense.

If you like your historical romance only on the lite side, then this one might not work. But if you like depth to a romance, then this one is one to be added. I think Jo Goodman ranks right up there with the best of them, Ivory, Kinsale and the other big names of the genre.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Monday, August 21, 2006

Yes! Another one!

Yet another reader has discovered the wonder, the joy, the lure of - yes, Derek Craven!

Kris of The Reading Spot is a reader blogger I discovered through Sybil's blog. And she even spells her name right :)

It get's so difficult sometimes to get that "K with an IE at the end" in time when someone goes to write my name down.

I've also updated my blog roll and added a few more reader blogs. Angie of Angie's Romance Reviews, Rosie of Nobody Asked Me and who it looks like will be celebrating her first blogiversay soon and Stacy of Stacy's Place on Earth, who it looks like also likes "Girl's Just Want to Have Fun"

Anyone else?

'til later

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A most excellent read!

Beyond Paradise by Elizabeth Doyle

Now that I seem to be entering pirate mode again, I wanted to blog about a book that I really enjoyed reading a while ago but didn’t get around to blogging about.

I first took note of this one when I read Mailyn’s glowing review. Then Dancechica read it and reviewed it and loved it too and since both reviews sounded so good I ordered it from Amazon. And what an excellent choice it was!! I loved this one just as much as Mailyn and Dancechica. They both covered the outline and plot pretty good so I’ll just say what I enjoyed so much about this one. The hero, Jacques is beyond wonderful. I won’t give away what his disability is because neither Mailyn or Dancechica did and I don’t want to ruin it, but it was wonderfully handled. He was just so wonderfully yummy. He’s a beta hero which seems odd for a pirate, but a terrific beta hero. I want to go on and on about him, but I strongly urge anyone interested to get this one and see for yourself. Slyvie, the heroine is also a wonderfully drawn character. I wondered and worried at the very beginning if she was going to turn out to be twit. She did appear that way at first, but no she isn’t. She is a naïve yet incredibly astute young woman. I loved their story and I loved this book. Mailyn and Dancechica both rave about this one and now I’m joining in too! For those looking for a most excellent pirate book, and I know who some of you are *g* be sure to check this one out. It’s definitely one of the best I’ve read.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Does anyone know if she is still writing? At first I got her mixed up with Elizabeth Boyle, an Avon writer, but then I found her website but it doesn’t look like it’s been updated in quite some time. I know Mailyn tried and quite disliked another book of hers but it looks like she has a few in her backlist, including *yes* another pirate book I’d love to try. I can’t tell if she is still writing or not.

Power to the Bloggers

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.

  • $200 Amazon gift certificate
  • Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
  • New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
  • ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game

You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.SLAVE TO SENSATION

Nalini Singh

Berkley / September 2006

Slave to Sensation

Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.

Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.

Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities�or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.


'til later

Suggestion by Cindy

She came up with a great idea!!! In light of all the bloggers who are doing the books they read in the top 100 poll, she suggested a top 20 meme of our all time favourites. But there's a catch. They have to be 20 different authors. I did 20 but then realized I needed 25. So, it's Cindy's idea, but I'm first *g*

Here goes my top 25. These are all books I've read at least 3 times, some more than that.

1. Dreaming of You, Lisa Kleypas (surprise)
2. Lord of Scoundrels, Loretta Chase
3. Ride the Fire, Pamela Clare
4. Whispers of Heaven, Candice Proctor
5. To Die For, Linda Howard
6. Morning Glory, Lavryle Spencer
7. One Summer, Karen Robards
8. Take a Chance on Me, Susan Donovan
9. Conor's Way, Laura Lee Guhrke
10. Joe's Wife, Cheryl St. John
11. Outlaw Hearts, Rosanne Bittner
12. Thunder and Roses, Mary Jo Putney
13. Naked in Death, JD Robb
14. Crazy Cool, Tara Janzen
15. Heart Throb, Suzanne Brockman
16. Fallen From Grace, Laura Leone
17. Absolute Trouble, Michel Jerrot
18. Lips That Touch Mine, Wendy Lindstrom
19. Love Alters Not, Patricia Veryan
20. Jackson Rule, Dinah McCall
21. Once a Pirate, Susan Grant
22. Sky Pirate, Justine Davis
23. See Jane Score, Rachel Gibson
24. The Warlord, Elizabeth Elliot
25. Hard Lovin' Man, Lorraine Heath

So there you have it. I know I could have added at least 10 more, but I think all these I've listed deserve to be on my list.

So - anyone else want to play Cindy's game? (lots more book ideas! Just like we all need *g*)

'til later

Saturday, August 19, 2006

For Suisan

Who is once again bringing up that controversial subject. Who does she really want?????

My love of all things pirate runs long and runs deep. I even roped my youngest son into it many years (and years) ago.

I obviously couldn't talk him into the boots.

Psst - just don't tell him I posted this. I don't think he'd be too happy these days if he saw it *grin*. I think his friends would probably make fun of this adorable little guy.

Now I'm off to watch the first one, so I can see if she really is onto something or not.

'til later

I discovered something interesting late last night

Although I hadn't been blogging much myself, I was still reading everyone else's blog. But it seemed no one else was blogging either. Where ever I went, fellow bloggers were still on the same blog. I wondered for example, why Karen S was so cruel to us all as to leave 'those pictures' up so long. (I'd link directly but it would go straight to 'those pictures" *shudder* and for anyone who missed them, well *shudder again* you're lucky. For anyone who did - you know what I'm talking about) I thought how odd that everyone seemed to be on vacation or brain blog dead at the same time. I was missing my daily blog fix. Then for some odd reason while on Tara's blog (who has now left us for a while) I hit refresh/reload and ta da. There were a couple of updates that I'd missed completely! So then I did it to everyones blog and was astonished at how many updates I had missed. I never had to do that before!! Glitch in the system I guess. So now I have to go play catch up. Now if only our Maili would check in *sigh*

And a thank you to Nicole (and Nick) for helping me finally getting a nifty avatar on my profile.

'til later

Friday, August 18, 2006

Everyone else seems to be doing it

So here is my list of the top 100 of AAR's 2004 list
Bold I've read
Red I haven't
Blue in my TBR

1. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
2. Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale
3. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

4. As You Desire by Connie Brockway
5. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
6. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
8. Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
9. All Through the Night by Connie Brockway
10. Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
11. It Had to be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
12. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh

13. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
14. The Proposition by Judith Ivory

15. A
Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
16. Ravished by Amanda Quick

17. Frederica by Georgette Heyer
18. Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly
19. MacKenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard

20. Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard
21. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
22. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
23. The Bride by Julie Garwood

24. Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens - sort of. I started it but didn't finish
25. To Have and to Hold by Patricia Gaffney

26. Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
27. Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth
28. Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann
29. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

30. Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
31. My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway

32. In the
Midnight Rain by Barbara Samuel
33. The Windflower by Laura London
34. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
35. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
36. Nobody's Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
37. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
Paradise by Judith McNaught
39. The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
40. Dream Man by Linda Howard

41. Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann
42. Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo Putney
43. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson
44. Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney
45. Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney

46. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
47. Heart Throb by Suzanne Brockmann

48. For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale – not from lack of trying! tried to read it 4 times
49. Honor's Splendor by Julie Garwood
50. Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh
51. Untie my Heart by Judith Ivory
52. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

53. The Secret by Julie Garwood
54. This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
55. Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh

56. One Perfect Rose by Mary Jo Putney
57. To Love and to Cherish by Patricia Gaffney
58. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
59. Heaven,
Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
60. Venetia by Georgette Heyer
61. Daughter of the Game by Tracy Grant (TBR)
62. The Prize by Julie Garwood
63. Reforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla Kelly

64. Prince Joe by Suzanne Brockmann
65. The Notorious Rake by Mary Balogh
66. Heartless by Mary Balogh
67. Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
68. Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory
69. Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas

70. The Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer
71. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
72. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegar
73. With This Ring by Carla Kelly
74. The Lion's Lady by Julie Garwood
75. The Rake by Mary Jo Putney

76. Fallen from Grace by Laura Leone
77. Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath
78. Castles by Julie Garwood
79. One Good Turn by Carla Kelly
80. Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts
81. By Arrangement by Madeline Hunter
82. Perfect by Judith McNaught

83. My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth
84. The Defiant Hero by Suzanne Brockmann (sort of - quit 3/4 of the way through and that was my last Brockman)

85. The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
86. Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke
87. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
88. Kill and Tell by Linda Howard
89. After the Night by Linda Howard
90. More than a Mistress by Mary Balogh
91. Born in Ice by Nora Roberts

92. Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase
93. The
Charm School by Susan Wiggs
94. Scoundrel by Elizabeth Elliott

95. How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn
96. Angel Rogue by Mary Jo Putney
97. Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz
98. Dancing on the Wind by Mary Jo Putney

99. Once and Always by Judith McNaught
100. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

You note *horrors* I haven't read the classics Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice. Not only that, I haven't seen any of the movie/mini series productions of either of them. This seems to be a serious gap in my romance reading/watching repetoire. One that must be rectified!

'til later
I was planning on going back to work the week after next. I've been off on compassionate care since mid-May. My supervisor called me yesterday to see if I was able to come in and see her today and go for lunch. I was planning on letting her know how much I was looking forward to coming back to work.
However, it seems the department didn't do so well sales wise and the decision was made by the higher-ups that as a cost cutting measure, all contracts would not be renewed. Mine was up a week ago. Therefore mine was one of the first not to be renewed.
Ron left me well enough off that I don't have to go right back to work although it seems there are issues there that will keep me from getting hold of the money. The bank screwed up royally and they are blaming Ron. But I'm the kind of person who needs to work. The house is so lonely and empty so I dread the thought that I don't have a job to return too.
Right now I'm feeling kind of numb.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It’s another sleepless night. I could sleep OK when I stayed with Lisa on the weekend, but now that I’m back home, sleep is alluding me again. I wander around the house late at night like a lost soul waiting until I’m so tired I can’t help but sleep.

Along with Ron’s dark moods, something else started to become a problem which grew worse and worse. Ron started drinking more and more. He played darts and started coming home drunk. He didn’t drive, he always got a ride with someone else, but when he came home, he was often in a very dark and ugly mood. I began to dread those nights. He was never violent in any way – I never was afraid of that. I knew instinctively he would never hurt me, but some nights the things he said hurt just as much.

Much of this time is a blur. I don’t remember a lot of it and I don’t want to try. During this time my mother passed away. It wasn’t a surprise, she had been quite ill, but still, it was a real blow. I really began to see two Ron’s, the good Ron and the bad Ron. I continued to blame myself for his ‘moods’ and I added his drinking to the mix too. My self esteem really began to take a tumble. I know that’s become almost a buzz word – but that’s the best way I can put it.

When Ryan was in grade 2, I went back to work. It was great where I worked. It was a grocery store right across the street from the school the boys went to. I had the great comfort of knowing I was near them if any emergency ever came up. On top of that, I worked a lot of afternoons and evenings so that either Ron or I were always home with the boys. I hoped that by working, I could get some of what I had lost by staying home back again – that sense of contributing – but I was too far gone and Ron’s problems continued. The pattern I’d set of blaming myself continued and I became more and more unhappy. In the meantime I also lost my dad. This was a much harder loss and I took it very hard.

I knew in the back of my mind I couldn’t continue to live the way we had been living. It took a few more years before I reached the stage where enough was enough and I couldn’t live with him anymore the way things were. I secretly made plans to leave. Finally the day came when I moved out. If I had to live my life over again, I would have done things so much differently than I did; I did a lot of damage to my relationship with Ryan who was always very close to his dad when Ron began coaching him in baseball. Only now, years later, is it beginning to heal. I had been trying to tell Ron for years how unhappy I was but either I didn’t say it loud enough or he wasn’t listening. I got his attention for sure by moving out though. Part of me was very, very angry with him that it took such a drastic move. The first thing I did was cut my hair short. He had always liked it longer so by cutting it short, it made a statement. I waited a couple of days until we had a discussion about what I had done. I told him that I didn’t like who I had become; an angry woman mad at him 80% of the time and longing for what we used to have the rest of the time. I told him I wanted a year apart so we could try and work things out. He was shocked and hurt but he agreed. After I told how we first met and put the pictures up, I think it was Tara who said we were babies when we got married. That is exactly what we were. We got married too young and we got married to soon. Never, in all the years since I had first met him, did I regret marrying him, not once! But we should have waited longer. During that year apart, we dated (each other) and rediscovered what we had lost over the years. We got the 'spark' back again and we talked to each other like we hadn’t done in years. But the biggest thing to happen was that Ron began to open up to me. He told me that the black moods he had over the years actually had nothing to do with me. He suffered from depression. Wow. You have no idea how much that meant to me, first off that he would finally tell me and second that it wasn’t something I had done wrong all those times. He was horrified when he realized how much I blamed myself for them. In addition to the depression, he often also suffered from panic attacks that really frightened him. He hadn’t really looked into what they were and didn’t know exactly what they were or how many other people suffered from them too. He said the drinking helped with the panic attacks, kept them from overtaking him. While he loved coaching baseball, it was extremely difficult for him to do. So much of why he was the way he was I could now understand. It took an extreme amount of courage on his part to tell me all this. He agreed that his drinking had got out of control and he really wanted to stop. I convinced him to see a doctor and to start taking medication instead of alcohol. As the year apart came to an end I had to ask myself some very serious questions before I agreed to move back. Had I gained enough strength, that even if he didn’t change, could I handle it? Yes. Did I still love him? Absolutely! Would I be happier with him in my life? Without question.

So, I moved back. He didn’t have the black moods anymore. Sure, he would still get in moods sometimes. I know that depression isn’t something that just goes away, but they weren’t nearly with the severity of what they had been. And he stopped drinking altogether. He eventually started drinking again, but it wasn’t an issue at all. He never got drunk. We were happier than we had been in years.

At this point it would be nice to say our problems were all over. Unfortunately they weren’t.

Although the black moods had almost disappeared and the drinking was no longer an issue, he still began withdrawing more and more from the rest of the world. But now the real problem wasn’t him, it was me. I don’t know how to put it really, but I couldn’t relax. I was terrified that things would go downhill again. I was constantly waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop and things began to deteriorate between us again. I wanted to go to marriage counseling. He flat out refused. We had been once before years ago, before I left him, and it was mostly unsuccessful. He had become a very private person except with me and he wasn’t about to open himself up and talk to someone about our (my) problems. I gave him an ultimatum. I made an appointment and said either he go or I would leave and this time it would be for good. He said he wasn’t going. The appointment was for after work, the location was close to where I was working. By this time, I had finished working at the grocery store, gone back to school, got a diploma in computers and was working in an office downtown. I headed to the appointment, thinking I would be asking advice on how to end a marriage I really didn’t want to end, when I was in the car and saw him crossing the street, headed to the appointment. It was at that moment I had an epiphany. I suddenly realized something about this man. He loved me so much that he was willing to do the most difficult thing in the world for him to do because it was important to me. I knew at that moment that no matter what happened, we would be OK, that the love he felt for me, and I for him, was boundless and that we would stay together – no matter what happened. He wasn’t one to tell me very often that he loved me. That bothered me since I had no problems telling him I loved him. But he proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt to me when I saw him across the street. We went for a few sessions as a couple – that’s all we needed, but I continued on for a while longer. This was a few years ago now and I can honestly say, I love him more dearly and with a deeper, accepting love than I ever thought possible.

I know that the thought of soul mates can make some peoples eyes roll, and I know it sounds kind of silly and cliché, but that’s what we were. I know that we were destined to be together and if we hadn’t gone through the struggles we did, I probably wouldn’t have had the strength it took to take care of him when he got sick. I told him near the end that he was the most important person in the world to me, that I loved him from the beginning and not a single moment ever went by that I didn’t love him with my whole heart. When he first got sick, he said he was sorry for all the pain he had caused me and I told him it was forgiven, forgotten and a thing of the past and to shut up, I didn’t want to hear it *grin* and I meant it.

Ron – you weren’t a perfect person; who of us is. I made a lot of mistakes too, but I will love you forever. You are my heart and my other half. I thank you for being the man you were, for teaching me so much about what love really is. I thank you for loving me and for sharing your life with me. I loved going back to the beginning, and living our life over again with the memories. I just wish I could tell you one more time that you were my world. You told me to go on, to live my life, but I don’t know how to do that. I told you that you would always be with me. And you are Ron, you are. You will never leave my heart. I always have such a hard time saying goodbye so I won’t. Instead I’ll say see you later.

Love Kristie

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I had a good weekend. I slept more than anything – not particularly good company for Lisa, but it’s what I needed to do. I haven’t got that much of it for a while.

Although we lived in a townhouse it was in one of the more ritzy parts of the city. I was a stay at home mom and Ron was a blue collar worker for CN. He made decent money, but many of the people around us were doctors and lawyers and the like. We knew that when the boys got older and started school, there was no way we would be able to give them the kind of thing other kids had so we decided to move. We'd both had enough of condo living anyway. The day we moved into the house we’re still in 25 years later, was Ryan’s first birthday. To this day he still claims the house was his first birthday present *grin* therefore it's really his house. This was a neighbourhood much more suited to the kind of lifestyle we lived in and the moment we saw the house, we knew this was the one for us. Now this was in the days of very (very) high mortgage rates. When we moved in, we had a one year mortgage rate of 21%. Things were very tense for a year until we could get it lowered. Sometime during that year, our friends Paul and Anne split up. That was hard for us since we were all such good friends. Also during the time Ron’s black moods began increasing in length; sometimes they would last a week or more, and happened more frequently. I never knew what caused them and slowly I started losing my ‘self’ for a better way of putting it. Where once they were just annoying, the moods became harder and harder for me to live through. He wouldn’t speak to me and would barely acknowledge my presence. Because of the financial crunch we were in, I started feeling bad that I wasn’t helping financially although we both still wanted me to stay at home. I began taking the responsibility for his ‘moods’ as my fault – a pattern that was to have very disastrous consequences. I wanted to talk to my mom about them but couldn’t for a number of reasons. First, when we told my parents way back when that we were getting married so quickly, they tried their best to talk us out of it. Having the hindsight of well not exactly old age – let’s say older age, I can certainly see where they were coming from. If either of my sons who are now much older than the 21 I was, were to come to me at that age and told me they were going to marry someone they had just met 3 months previously, I would have tried to talk them out of it too. But, I didn’t want to admit to my mother that maybe they had been right all those years ago when we first told them. Also, she had been sick for quite a while off and on and I didn’t want to worry her. A third reason I didn’t want to say anything to her was that after her initial misgivings, she really did come to care for Ron a lot and I didn’t want her to think any less of him. But my marriage wasn’t the kind I had envisioned. It wasn’t at all like the ones my parents had. I was still deeply committed to Ron though. The eternal optimist, once he came out of his mood, I hoped that that would be the last one, but it never was. Another thing that started to really alarm me about him was I could see him slowly start withdrawing from people. When we first me, he told me about the lifestyle his parents lived. They had no outside friends, never really went anywhere together. We both agreed that was a horrible life. He also told me through the years how bleak his childhood had been. His father was a very stern disciplinarian. Neither of his parents ever went to any of the school functions; not plays, not trips, not even to meet any of his teachers. I had a hard time fathoming this as my parents were very involved in our childhoods. Ron wasn’t allowed to participate in any kind of after school functions; his parents insisted he start working when he was 12. First of all he helped his older brother with his paper route when he was much younger. Knowing something of his brother, I expect Ron did all the work while his brother pocketed all the money. Then as soon as he was old enough he had his own route. Then once he turned 16 he got regular after school jobs. When he was 18, his parents kicked him out of the house; not because he was a bad kid, it was just that they figured it was time. I can’t ever imagine doing that to my boys.

But I saw Ron slowly take on some of the same lifestyle choices of isolation that his parents had. My parents were the exact opposite. They loved people and entertaining and had many friends. I grew up that way and to gradually lose touch with people was very difficult for me. At the same time, he became the opposite of what his father was. He coached the boys in baseball, especially Ryan. He was a wonderful coach and I was always so proud of the job he did. He never lost patience with any of the boys, even the ones who couldn’t play worth beans. He made sure each and every player had their fair share of playing time, even if it meant sacrificing the game.

So here I was with the most mixed of emotions. On the one hand I hated what his moods were doing to us. Once he was over them, to him it was as if everything was fine again, but for me it wasn’t. On the other hand, I could see what kind of man he could be, one to admire and respect to the utmost. And one I still loved very, very much.

to be continued

Friday, August 11, 2006

I'm leaving shortly to spend the weekend with Lisa. She lives in the country and she's been wanting me to come out and stay for a few days for quite a while, but of course I couldn't earlier. I visit her every so often - just to get away, kick back and relax. And she bought new high thread count sheets for my bed. I just recently discovered that high thread count makes for much more comfortable sleeping!

Ryan and his girlfriend, Lisa and I went out for dinner. It was quite nice actually.

I'll be back Sunday night to continue.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

One more wedding picture before I continue

cause I love this one so much and I forgot it before. Isn't he just so yummy?

After living in a tiny apartment it was time to move on. We looked at houses but they were still a bit out of our price range. This was back in the day when you had to have a much larger percent to put on as down payment. Instead we decided to buy a townhouse condo. They had just recently been renovated, the whole complex so inside was brand new. As an added incentive, we got a year’s membership to a golf course that wasn’t too far away. I had never tried golfing before but Ron had done some. My mom was also a golfer so she gave me her old set. I actually quite liked golfing, especially the very rare times I beat Ron. Not too long after we bought our condo, we decided it was time to add more than a cat to the family. I went off the pill and I think I got pregnant the next day. I know you are supposed to wait for a while before getting pregnant, but I think Ron was secretly thrilled that I ‘took’ so quickly *grin*. I however, wasn’t! You know they say a pregnant woman has a glow about her? I didn’t. I hated being pregnant. Not that I didn’t want kids, but I was so sick. I wasn’t actually sick that often, it probably would have been better if I had been, but instead I felt sick all of the time. Before long all I could eat was pancakes and Dairy Queen ice cream. It had to be Dairy Queen! I think we went there almost every single day. Ron didn’t understand the craving, but he took me anyway. Then when I finally got over that, it was summer, a hot summer that year, and I swelled up like a balloon. Between the wanting to throw up all the time and being a water filled balloon, I didn’t feel like doing what got me in that condition in the first place. At all! So Ron golfed. And he golfed and he golfed and he golfed *grin*. Good thing we had that free membership otherwise it would have cost us a fortune in green fees. I remember the night I went into labour. It had been going on for a while before Ron and I finally left for the hospital. I think it was about 5:00 in the morning – and he was planning on going golfing. This was long before the days of cell phones. I wasn’t sure what to do. I was already 2 weeks overdue – but he did need to relieve his ‘stress’. But luckily he hadn’t made it out to the course. Ron sped the whole way there. I think he was half hoping he would be pulled over so he could proudly tell the cop that his wife was in labour and he had to get to the hospital right away. He hung around until around 11:30 when they told him he might as well go get something to eat as it would be hours yet. After he left, I went into distress and they had to perform an emergency C-section. When he came back to the room, I was gone. He asked the nurse where I was and she said he would have to talk to the doctor. I guess he totally freaked over that – the nurse told me later. He thought something bad had happened. In those days, because it was a distress C-section, I was put out completely so Ron got to meet Brent before I did.
We discussed me going back to work. Ron wanted me to stay home and I wanted to stay home too so we were in perfect accord. I wasn’t making all that much money and by the time you factored in day care, transportation, clothes allowance etc., we wouldn’t have been be that much further ahead. My mom had stayed home with me and my sisters and I wanted that for any kids we had.

Brent loves this picture and when he saw it the other day, he wanted it included in the picture collage we did at the funeral.

So we settled into the next phase – that of parents. We still saw our friends, especially Paul and Anne.
They also had a little boy so we would just take our son’s over to whoever was hosting the canasta night. We were slowly loosing touch with Serge and Marg though. They moved to another part of the city and we only got together on rare occasions.
We loved being parents. We loved it so much in fact that we decided to do it again. A year and a half after Brent was born, I was pregnant with Ryan. Things went much smoother this time. I wasn’t nearly as sick as I was with Brent. Ryan was born right on his due date – which ironically was a holiday here in
Canada. Labour Day. Nancy, my youngest sister was staying with us that night – just in case. I didn’t think he would be born at all since Brent was 2 weeks late. When I thought I was in labour in the middle of the night, I woke her instead, just in case I wasn’t really. She got a bit frantic with me for not waking Ron up. Well, more than a bit frantic. She made me finally wake Ron up to go to the hospital. I think Ryan could have used that extra two weeks in the ‘oven’ though because he was a wee little thing when he was born. He only weighed in at a whopping 5 lbs, 14 ounces. Again I went into distress and they had to do an emergency C-section. Ron was able to handle it much better the second time around and again he was the first one to meet the newest little addition

We were happy to have two boys – well, I really wanted a girl, but accepted it was not to be. Ron, rather proudly and (obnoxiously to me LOL) said it was only because he could produce boys. We were happy with two healthy boys.

But the storm clouds were slowly starting to gather strength between us.

to be continued

PS - It's my birthday tomorrow - well - I guess it's today now and I'm dreading it. It will be the first one in over 30 years without Ron and I just want to sleep through the whole day. In years past, he hated that I read romance books but in the past few years, while I don't know if he was completely happy with the fact, he did get me rather large sized gift certificates from Chapters - knowing what I would be buying.