Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I’ve enjoyed all the other books in this series to varying degrees so I was quite happy to get this one in the series. It sat along with I don’t know how many others in the TBR pile for a while before it was this books turn. I started it but couldn’t seem to get into it so rather than waste time, I put it aside and moved on to another. A recent review of this one at AAR prompted me to give it another try since the reviewer seemed to the same issues at the beginning as I did, but once she got past a certain stage, she really started to enjoy it.
Fortunately I found the same thing. Once I got further into the book I really started to enjoy it.
It starts out 17 years in the past. Manny Ortega is a young Nicaraguan rebel soldier who has infiltrated the ruling Sandinista government. At the start of the book he is found out and taken prisoner. He believes that he was betrayed by Lily Campora, a nurse who was there helping with Doctors without Borders, with whom he was having a passionate affair.
Then the book takes up 16 years later when Lily comes to Manny in need of his help. At first he is very angry with her, still having believed all these years that she was responsible for his capture. But as they work together, along with other member of the EDEN investigating company, he slowly comes to see he very possibly could have been wrong.
I can’t put my finger exactly on why I didn’t like the first part of the book. I don’t know if it was because he didn’t come across as a person with much depth, he was quite young, or whether it was his overwhelming anger or what exactly, but after I picked the book up again, I still skimmed real fast through the first part. But once it got to the present day, it took a real turn for the better. I liked the older more mature Manny. And I really liked Lily. She was older than him by about 10 years, but neither one of them made a big issue of the age difference. I liked that she didn’t agonize over it. I’ve read other books where it seems to be a big deal to the older woman and I loose sympathy with them when they carry it on too far. She was a strong capable heroine and a very enjoyable character.
This book gets odd marks, a 2 ½ for the first few chapters and a 4 for the rest. I think overall I’d give it a 3 ½ but since the good part was later in the book, it’s a good 3 ½.
And in other news, after finding out that you can order books early at E Harlequin, I ordered some there. I really like this ordering books on-line deal. Its fun coming home to packages. I ordered:
Warrior or Wife by Lyn Randal because this one is about a female gladiator. Kewl!
The Unknown Wife by Mary Brendan – not sure why. I think because I need a certain amount in order to get free shipping and this one was it.
The Lawmans Bride by Cheryl St. John. I love her books and Wendy gave it a good review.
Dangerous Temptation by Kathleen Korbel. This is a Nocturne but not a vampire, a line I haven’t tried yet and I’ve read a few other books by her and enjoyed them.
Beyond Breathless by Kathleen O’Reily (recommended by Dear Author).
Hitting the Mark by Jill Monroe because she commented on my blog once *g* and I haven't tried a Blaze for a while.
What I liked about ordering books from E Harlequin - besides the nice discount, is that they convert what it costs into Canadian $'s. They don't do that at Amazon and then you are hit with the added price in exchange rates that you don't already know what that amount will be. But when I ordered these I knew right away what the difference was.
Anyway that's the recent happenings in my neck of the woods.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
(just picture all the back-up singers as vampires and it makes it pretty current)
And if you can, you have to watch until the cowboy dressed all in white riding a white horse shows up. I laughed 'til I hurt at that point.
I found this one. I loved this song but just ignore the eyebrows if possible and the oh so obvious job of lip synching - although this is Laura Branningan. I love singing along with this one, but only if the volume is so loud I can't hear me sing.
Then again maybe it isn't really her. I always wondered why she never had any other hits but if that's her and that's the way she really dances - that could answer that mystery!!
Well thanks to the world of YouTube, I finally got to see it and guess what - it appears the rumour is true!
Grab an ice cube or ten, sit back and enjoy one of my tunes
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I was saying that for the moment I'm sitting next to the office cutie. I was already in when he came in this morning. I smiled and said good morning to him. He said hi back and then looked at me a bit strangely and expectanly. 'What?' I thought to myself. Then he kind of shook himself and said he was sorry - he just wasn't used to anyone saying hi to him without them then wanting him to come to their desk to fix something. I got a chuckle out of that.
So I didn't want to call again, just in case it's something simple like the plug came out or something. But I look at the back of the television, with it's DVD wires, the television wires, the VCR wires and break out into a cold sweat. Lisa, whom I would normally call, is out of town on business. My neighbour who I might call is away on vacation. So I called Ryan, the youngest son and the one I go to the most. He told me to turn the cable box on. I tried that but still nothing. Then in rather a snotty tone he said well he wasn't coming over to help. I must admit to a bit of anger over that one. I try very hard not to depend on my sons for stuff. I don't want to become overdependant on them as it would be so easy - so I almost go overboard not calling them for help. But I thought I would call Brent as a last resort. He asked the same questions Ryan did and I told him the same thing. Then he asked what I wanted him to do.
At this point, I started to cry a bit. Not because the television wouldn't work. I can go 2 nights without it. No, it was because this was the kind of thing Ron would have handled. And he would have figured it out. And it's one of the many, many reasons I miss him so much.
Well - Brent must have gathered I was a bit upset since he said not to worry, he'd be right over to look at it.
I still don't know if I'll get any television tonight and I sure hope it doesn't mean a call to 'cable guy'. And boy I hate that helpless feeling I get when confronted by something way beyond my skill level.
In happier news though. Before I looked at the TV I checked the mail. I ordered some books from Chapters last week. And Yippee!!!! They came in today. I ordered Sylvia Day's The Stranger I Married because they gave a better discount online that at the store. I also got Call of the Moon by Ronda Thompson because I've been enjoying her Wulfs of London series so much. This is a different one altogether but I like her writing. I also ordered Innocent in Death and no - it didn't come. And then to make up to a certain $ figure and avoid paying shipping and handling charges, I also ordered Isn't it Romantic - a book Renee raved about last November. I thought the author was Rhonda Thompson with an H and not Ronda Thompson who I ordered. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw that Isn't it Romantic was written by Ronda Thompson - no H - same person!!!
Well - Brent just showed up. And lets just say it's a good thing I did not make the call to cable guy! The *ah* button was turned off on the power bar. The Princess must have done it while she was walking behind the entertainment unit. So I gave Brent a bag of cookies as a thank you. And opened bag of cookies - with a few missing mind you, but cookies still the same.
So now I'll be able to watch AI - if I can stand to *g*.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
1) a computer
2) a chair
3) a phone
4) any kind of office supplies
So for the moment they have stuck me at a spare desk in the IT department. It's kind of an unusual place. I overheard them all getting excited today because they figured out how to double the output of a printer/fax machine. OK - whatever rocks your socks *g*. I'm sitting beside the office cutie. Now by that I don't mean the office hottie - they don't have one. I mean the cute young guy that you want to adopt and take home with you. I felt kind of bad yesterday in a way. I was telling him that they had hired me on. What I didn't know is that he's there on contract too and hoping they hire him on. At that point he said he wanted to know so he could start planning his wedding and part of me was so tempted to say "But you're such a baby still! You're too young!" But since I have no idea how old he is - he could be a very young looking 32. I don't think so - but one never knows. Anyway - I kind of felt bad that they hired me on before they hired him.
In other news, the party the other night went well I think. Not being one who entertains a great deal (meaning never) I had a slight hyperventalating problem earlier in the day, but one of the girls who was coming just happened to call and talked me down.
In the book reading news - I don't know why I bother to put the book I'm reading at the side because I'm never really reading the one I say I am. I read Bone Deep again once I got my hold it and squeeze it copy. *sigh* It's a five - no question and I know it's going to figure in heavy in my voting at AAR. Probably won't win much because it's more well known as an e-book and they don't get quite the attention. But *oh my* is it ever a good book!
Well - that's pretty much all that's going on with me. Hopefully next time something more exciting will have happened.
Friday, January 19, 2007
"Oh dear!" I thought, "What did I do wrong?"
Why is that always the first thing so many of us think?
But nope - it wasn't something I did wrong. Instead, she said they wanted to keep me on indefintely. I would work in the finance department for a while because they were backlogged pretty bad and then I would move to another department that was expanding as an admin assistant. And that's not even the best part! I wouldn't be working for the employment agency, instead I would be working directly for the company which would mean a $2.25 an hour pay increase. Now money wasn't the motivating factor of why I would have loved to stay there - it was the people and the environment - but it sure is a nice side benefit *g*.
Then she came up to me later and again wanted me to come into her office.
"Oh no!" I thought. "They've changed their minds."
But nope that wasn't it. Instead it seems it won't be so quick before I get let out of my contract with the employement agency. They could either buy out my contract or I would have to wait 4 weeks before I start working directly for them. Since it's a non-profit organization, they were probably going to wait out the four weeks and would that be all right?
Not a problem for me! Although it would have been nice making that extra money starting Monday - just knowing they still want me, that I still have a job at a place I really enjoyed was good enough!
So - my to do list will have to be done after 4:30 or on weekends and I don't have to worry about my don't do list.
Cindy - how does a Saturday sound?
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I'm so excited. Guess what I got in the mail today (darn! It kind of looses it's affect when you can see it right away. You don't have to guess *sigh*)
Bone Deep by Bonnie Dee
Yep - I said that right. It came in the mail. I read this in e-book form a while ago and adored it. But I still have a thing about e-books. I have some and I'll read them, but for me the real joy is carrying books around - in my purse, to the living room, to the bedroom and yes - to the bathroom. As I don't have an e-reader this is next to impossible to do with the computer. Kind of heavy to cart to the bathroom.
So when Karen S did her most excellent review recently, I posted that I just wish it was in print form so I could hug it and squeeze it. And didn't Rachel Fox say that it was available in print form. So I ordered it a while ago and it came in today. I read and reviewed this one a while ago - but I've no idea how to locate that particular review and since Karen's is so much better than mine anyway - this really is a helluva wonderful book! And now it's one I can hug and squeeze and carry around with me.
Now for the rest of this post that I wanted to come first:
Well – it appears that I only have one more day left at the place I’m working before I’m back on that unemployment line. I have enjoyed working there immensely although at times it’s been a bit difficult emotionally. But it really has helped a great deal in the healing process. I have a reason to get up in the morning, put on the makeup, get dressed. I’ve met and worked with some wonderful people and know where I want to focus my job search now.
But – to keep from sliding into a depression, I need to have a goals/to do list until I’m back working again!
- Visit Cindy
- Get my hair streaked
- Take car in for its regular check-up
- Take The Princess in and take away her right to bear kittens (not that she would have the opportunity anyway – she’s a strictly indoor cat – but still she’s so uncomfortable when she’s in heat)
- Clean up the basement
- Alphabetize the ‘library’
- See doctor for more BP pills
- Start writing – no, no – not that great Romance novel – I’m not ready for that and don’t know if I ever will write a romance – as much as I love to read them, but I’d like to write short articles – don’t know about what – but I have to start somewhere.
And the really big DO list
And the really big DO list
Renovate the kitchen. I was just speaking to someone a minute ago and we are going to set up a time for him to come and set the wheels in motion. See - the thing is I HATE my kitchen. HATE IT!!! HATE IT!!! HATE IT!!! We've redone most of the house in the past couple of years, but we didn't get around to the kitchen yet. Except for putting in new flooring (which was Ron's selection - not mine) and butcher block (blechh!) counter tops, nothing has changed in the kitchen in the 25 years we lived in the house. I've never really known what I wanted so nothing got done. But the contrator I was talking to works with a kitchen designer who will also come to the house and give me some ideas. I'm so excited at the moment!!!
As well as a “To do” list, I also have a “Don’t do’ list
- Don’t start watching the soaps. I’m weaned off most of them now and don’t want to go getting addicted again. Plus they don’t make me feel good. They really are the antithesis of the HEA
- Don’t sleep in every morning. Still plan on getting up early, having a shower, getting dressed ect.
- Don’t stay in my jammies most of the day. It’s easy to do, but not healthy
- Don’t skip meals. When I’m at home I tend to not eat most of the day and then binge right near the end of the day on junk food. NOT HEALTHY
- Don’t stop taking my medication. One of the wonderful things about age is one starts taking previously un-thought of medication. I take stuff for high blood pressure and thyroid and for the moment, depression, but I plan on not taking that for too much longer
- Don’t withdraw. It’s so easy to do, but again it’s not healthy. Even go to a show by myself if necessary but GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.
In light of a few of those – most especially the last one, I’ve signed up again for the next creative writing course. It starts in a couple of weeks. I also start meeting with a group for grief support. That’s next Monday. And I’m also very seriously thinking of taking a palliative care course – learning how to help people who are in the EOL (end of life) stage. I don’t think I’m ready to actually help anyone yet – it’s still to fresh – but I think the course itself would be good. And since that’s where I want to focus my job hunting, in an almost selfish way – it will look good on a resume.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
But then about 10 or 11 years ago the store closed. It had been a loooonnggg time since I worked in an office - back before the days of the PC and I didn't know nothin' about any damn computers. So a friend who worked in the store and I went to college and took some computer courses and got ourselves a certificate in them. Everyone in the class happened to be women and we really bonded as a group. After we all finished school, a number of us had formed quite a good friendship that we wanted to keep up, so four times a year we all still get together at someone's house for potluck and gossip and laughter and sharing and sometimes a bit of sadness and generally just a fine damn time. There are seven of us in the group. It used to be eight but one of us was transferred to Toronto and while she still made the 2 hour trip for the get togethers for the first little while, eventually she kind of dropped out. We still miss her though.
I can't say enough about what each and every woman in this group has meant to me over the years. Some I see more often for a coffee sometimes on a Saturday or the friend who I worked with will invite me over to her place for dinner and a movie. But each and every one of them brings something unique to the group. We don't all get together every time. Sometimes real life intrudes and one or another can't make it but the one or another who can't make it is still thought of and her presence is there in spirit.
We still keep in touch by email though - email we learned how to do in school.
When Ron died they all showed up at the visitation as a group, and my heart warmed when I looked up and saw them all there for me. And they showed up for the funeral unless they had to work and couldn't get the time off.
The next get together is this coming Saturday at my place. Of course the first stop will be the 'library.' *g* Some have seen it but not all. I know most of them read this blog although some aren't romance readers and none of them are the fanatic that I am.
So - to Deb, Janice, Ann, Lori, Sue and Janet - thank you all for all that you have meant to me over the years and I'll see you all on Saturday. Looking forward to it!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Pure and simple – it’s a rant. You can tell it’s a rant because I’m capitalizing. And probably using exclamation points! And maybe even a cuss word or two! When I do that you know Krisite is coming out!
This is an all too common story and includes a number of things that bug the hell out of me about the romance industry. Now nobody could be a bigger supporter than me! I buy most of my books new and I concentrate on new and mid-list authors in particular. I’ve been buying/reading primarily romance for well over 15 years now and I’ve seen trends come and go. I’ve gotten discouraged when favourite authors seem to disappear for a while; for example Loretta Chase after writing The Last Hellion, only to dance with delight when she came back to us. I’m still waiting for that with Judith Ivory and; dare I say it; Elizabeth Elliot. My feet are ready to do that happy tap. But I read something today that just fried my socks. Now first off – none of my ire is directed to the author. NOT EVEN a tiny bit. By the sounds of it, she isn’t that happy about the situation either. I’ve read quite a few books by her and the first two in the latest series. It seemed a while and the third one wasn’t out yet so I checked to see when we might expect it and this is what I found.
This rant starts out with series then branches out. Why does almost every single historical book written today have to be part of a damn “series”? Why can’t we have the occasional books that are just fine being standalones? Because you know why I hate this? Because we readers get invested in them! We get sucked in! Some of us don’t want this to happen – but there is no choice. And do you know why I hate the series????? Because, when you least expect it, WHAM! Before the series is done, IT GETS CANCELLED!!!
Nope – this one is directed at PUBLISHERS. It bugs me to no end that they have such a large say in what gets published. I know – that does sound kind of stupid doesn’t it? But really – I’m sure I’m not the only one that has been following along with this series and other series also. I’m sure it’s PUBLISHERS that insist on the series and then they pull the rug before it’s done! How DARE they do that to us readers!! This is only one case but I’m sure it happens all the time. Not long ago Lucy Blue started new series with *surprise* vampires. Now I don’t often read these but I had read her books under Jayel Wylie and liked her voice so I was willing to try these ones. And I thought she had a good thing going. They were paranormal – the current rage. But nooooo. Apparently MEDIEVAL paranormals aren’t good enough because ACCORDING TO PUBLISHERS, the medieval market isn’t solid enough these days. So it wasn’t that long ago that she posted on an
Now Ms. Kerstan doesn’t say what genre the publishers want but I’m willing to bet it’s PARANORMAL.
Why don’t the publishers let the authors write what they want to write? Why do they have to be so concerned with WHAT’S HOT? I know that some genres sell better than others – paranormals at the moment. But that can change in the blink of an eye. Yea – there are some hot authors writing paranormals these days – Christine Feehan, Sherilyn Kenyon and JR Ward come to mind the most, and the last thing I want to do is deny fans of these authors and genres the kind of books they want to read. BUT I DON’T WANT IT DONE AT MY EXPENSE!!! I love medievals. I love historicals – at least I did until so many of them became almost clones of each other. But looking back at last years reads it’s still the number one genre I read. So how come I’m not able to get many of the books I want?!?!?! Because the PUBLISHERS have decided that’s not what the big sellers are these days.
Well – screw that. There didn’t used to be this big concentration on one particular genre. When I started reading romance, I started with historicals and there were a lot to choose from. Then I was ready to branch out. The off-shoot branch started with Westerns – there were a lot of those, then that branch moved to Colonial and they were plentiful. Then I got a hankering for Medievals and had no problem finding those ones. Then my appetite spread to ghost, time travel and futurists. Found them, found them, found them – all in plentiful supply.
Whenever something gains rapidly in popularity, it seems the rush is on to get as many in the same style out there as quickly as they can be gotten. Remember Who Wants to be a Millionaire? They couldn’t get copy cat shows on the air quick enough after the success of that one. And how many of them are left? Only the original and it isn’t even in prime time any more. Yet at one time it was on for an hour every night almost.
Same thing with books!!! Paranormals are hot – therefore we need to have an overabundance of paranormals. But even that wouldn’t bother me so much except – finish the freakin’ series of books that are already started!!!
I’ve been wondering when the third book in this series would be out – and now it looks like we might never get one.
The last time I was this annoyed over pretty much the same principal was when they cancelled The Nine!!! Get us – the consumers/the viewers/the readers hooked and reeled, then clump us over the head. That’s what it seems they like to do – the jerks!
OK – its and time for me to go home and try and settle down.
A!Ha! Just thought of another anology! It's like when someone buys a sports team and then thinks because he loves sports and owns the team - that qualifies him to run it. It doesn't!! Can anyone say George Steinbrenner?? (although come to think of it the Yankees have won a number of World Series - but then we have.......Harold Ballard. Yes! Now there's an example)
So I say again - publishers should stick to publishing and not telling authors what to write.
Monday, January 15, 2007
I read the first book, Untamed One, in this series a while ago and really liked it. I’ve had this one, the second one, sitting on my TBR pile for a while now and finally got around to reading it after Sizzling. It was kind of interesting because the hero in this one was also the same type of character – only in a different setting. This is a blend of historical and the paranormal. Jackson, the youngest Wulf brother is a physically beautiful wastrel and a drunk and a womanizer. He is also cursed, like the rest of his brothers. They turn into a wolf when violent passions are raised or when the moon in full. In order end the curse for both himself and his brothers, he comes up with the idea that if he kills a witch, that should do the trick. He hies off to the country in search of a witch and finds Lucinda, a young and beautiful witch about to give birth. He helps her and soon realizes he can’t kill her. Instead they strike up a bargain. Jackson will take care of her newborn son and Lucinda will try and break the curse.
Is it a hit or a miss?
As I said, Jackson starts out in this book not a very admirable character but he decides it’s time for him to make a few life changes and grow up. And the author does a marvelous job in transforming him. It doesn’t take overnight and we get to see him struggle along on his journey into becoming a better man. She also gives us glimpses into why he became the kind of person he was and I felt myself sympathizing with him and understanding why he was the way he was.
And Lucinda makes a wonderful heroine. She’s intelligent and strong; she is able to hold her own against the animal magnetism of Jackson and she fully realizes the difference in their status. And unlike the heroine in Sizzling, she didn’t capitulate to Jackson’s charm like a wet tissue. No, she made him work and therefore it was much more satisfying when they finally ‘came together’. This is a fairly new-to-me author and one I will be glomming. I have her final book in the trilogy and I also recently purchased Love at First Bite – not for Sherrilyn Kenyon the lead author, not for LA Banks and not for Susan Squires – nope the reason I bought this one was for the other brother in this intriguing series by Ronda Thompson
Grade 4.5 out of 5
A Reason to Live by Maureen McKade
I’ve been trying to get as many reads in as I can for the AAR Reader Poll. Usually I vote fairly early, but since I didn’t read as much as normal last year, I’m going to vote later than normal. With that thought in mind, I picked this book up. I had intended on reading it earlier in the year but I knew from others reviews that this would be a very emotional read and I wasn’t quite ready.
And it is! A very emotional read that is. Laurel was a nurse during the Civil War. During that time she saw many terrible things. After the war she sets out on a mission to deliver the dying words of her patients who didn’t make it. Creede Forrester who had lost his wife years earlier and lost his son in the war has been looking for Laurel to find out about the last moments of his son’s life. He decides to join and protect her on her journey to visit the few remaining families.
Laurel is the heart and the soul of this book. When I finished the last page I knew right away I had found my favourite heroine of the year. She is suffering from PTS Syndrome although of course they had no idea what it was back then. She has nightmares and now is beginning to have the same kind of thing when she is awake. She thinks she is going crazy as at each stop she seems to get a little worse. Yet despite this, she doesn’t hesitate in her mission. Along the way she and Creede experience adventures, some good, some not so good.
Is it a hit or a miss?
It’s fascinating to read all the different reactions the families have to their loved ones final words.
Laurel shows a great deal of compassion while trying to remain somewhat detached in order to survive. It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming to read about a young cat that adopts Laurel & Creede. Laurel is afraid to get close to it, yet afraid it will leave them. Rarely have I seen a heroine so well-written and so alive.
And while the character of Laurel is a stand-out, the hero, Creede is also a fascinating character in his own right. A former gunslinger who took up a life of revenge after the death of his parents, he gave up his violent ways when he met and fell in love with Anna his wife who tragically died 10 years before the story begins. He is also suffering greatly from the death of his young 16 year old son during the war and haunted by the final bitter words between them.
This story should be read by everyone who enjoys the Western genre and even those who don’t but are looking for a beautiful story of bravery and sorrow. I know this is one that will stay with me for days.
Grade: 5 out of 5
Saturday, January 13, 2007
I normally don’t read the comics. Something just seemed to deflate the cartoon balloon when Gary Larson stopped doing The Far Side and when we saw the last of Calvin and Hobbes, well, it wasn’t just the same reading the comics at all, at all. But there is still one daily comic I still enjoy a great deal and that one is For Better or for Worse by Lynn Johnston. Now I don’t know if this gets published in US newspapers as she is a cartoonist here in
The premise of the comic is a family, the Pattersons– the husband/father John is a dentist, the wife/mother is Elly - well I’m not quite sure what she is. She did own a bookstore and then sold it and I think she has gone back to school. The oldest son Michael is a writer who is married with two young children of his own, the oldest daughter
What really sets this comic strip apart and for me makes it hands above so many out there, is it is so true to life. I feel like I really know this family. They age just like we do. When I first started reading this strip way back when – Michael was just finishing up high school and on this way to University. I thought it was kind of cool because the cartoonist sent him to the
Over the years she has tackled many relevant topics. I winced with Elly when she found out ‘Surprise!’ she was pregnant with April much later in life. I have watched sadly as a few beloved pets of the Pattersons have died. One of Michaels best friends is gay and I read along as he slowly began coming out and telling people. Lynn Johnston’s Elly has also tackled the death of her mother and the sudden remarriage of her older father. Some storylines I kind of skim over and some hold my attention.
I don’t get the city paper anymore. I didn’t really see the point as they halved the editorial section, my favourite part and got rid of a couple of very good advice columns. I kind of lost track of the Pattersons until I started working again and they get the paper at work. I’ve become very caught up in the latest story line. Elizabeth, the older sister, taught way up north for a couple of years. She loved teaching there, the close knit community, and the children she had come to love, but became homesick and wanted to come home again. But while she was up there she met this young native police officer and they fell in love. It’s been a long distance relationship as she moved back home and he was still up north, but planning on putting in for a transfer so they could be together.
The latest had
I noticed how much this story line has hooked me in when the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning was I could hardly wait to get to work and read For Better or For Worse and see what was going to happen between Elizabeth and Paul because I just had a bad feelings about this. You see, just before she left for home,
And then I got to thinking what was I going to do on Saturday since I don’t get the paper. I HAD to find out what happened next.
And then I thought – “Kristie – this is a COMIC STRIP here. A comic strip. How many people rush to work so that they can read a COMIC STRIP?
But thank goodness for the power of Google because I found a few web sites where I could read it without having to go out in the cold winter (although not as cold here as in Ames' neck of the woods - now there weather is NASTY!) to find out what happens next.
And I was right. Poor Elizabeth is getting her heart broken.*sigh*
It really is a good comic strip though and almost makes up for the loss of my dear Calvin and his favourite stuffed tiger Hobbes
Thursday, January 11, 2007
1) I'm grateful that I had 31 years with Ron. Although we had our struggles and even split up for a year (during which we dated - each other *g*) I'm grateful I got to know this complicated, loving, intriguing man
2) I'm grateful for my faith that has kept me from becoming bitter about his death. I'm grateful that because of that faith, I know we aren't 'done' yet and I will see Ron again when it's my time to join him
3) I'm grateful for our sons. And I'm grateful they both live in the same city as I do. I'm grateful that they both love me and check up on me at least once a week. And I'm grateful that my relationship with my youngest son which was badly strained when I left his dad for that year, is much better.
4) I'm grateful for my parents who are both gone now; that they gave me such a legacy of love and laughter. And that the love and laughter helped me help Ron when he was going through his illness. That even though we knew he was probably going to die, that I could offer him the strength that was passed to me from my parents.
5) I'm grateful that Ron left me pretty well off. He kept delaying vacations and things until he retired. He never made it. And while I would trade every single penny if I could have him back again, I don't have to worry about money on top of the pain of his loss.
6) I'm grateful for my sister Lisa. She has been there for me in a way I can't thank her enough for. There were a few times I would call her at 4:00 in the morning or earlier - totally lost and helpless - and she would get right up and drive the 40 minutes to come and hold me or help me or do whatever needed to be done. She stayed at the hospital all 14 hours when I had to take Ron to emergency and supported my decision to take him home after those 14 hours when they couldn't even tell me how long it would be before he could be admitted. She sat with me as I watched Ron leave this earth and she continues to be the first person I call when I'm suffering a breakdown. No one could have a better support person than my sister has been for me.
7) I'm grateful for my friends – my friends in person and my friends I have met on-line. Ron and I didn't have friends as a couple. He was a very private person who didn't feel that comfortable around people so over the years I developed my own network of friends. They have been wonderfully supportive for me.
8) I'm grateful that I have my own good health at the moment. It's something I will never take for granted.
9) I'm grateful that my sons seem to be developing a relationship with each other apart from me. My own sisters are also my best friends. I would love to see that happen between my sons. There were times when they were small I didn't think they would ever get along, and that really bothered me.
10) Again I'm grateful for Ron. That he asked me to dance, that he married me when I proposed to him, that he went without sex when I was so sick when I was pregnant with our oldest son and took up golfing instead, that we had so many years together, that we overcame our differences, that I have so many wonderful memories of him to make me smile, to make me laugh, to make me cry and to comfort me when I'm feeling so lost without him.
Anone else want to make a grateful list?
Anone else want to make a grateful list?
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
But why is it so offensive to romance readers, she and probably many other non-readers wonder? So this is my, probably poor, attempt to explain. Now since this will be a given to romance readers, this particular blog is for the non-romance reader. But since the non-romance readers probably won’t read this, it’s more of an opportunity for me to ramble about my thoughts. And I do so like doing that!
I’ve been reading romance all my life I think. Or at least looking for romance in everything I read. But my real entry into the genre started with the likes of Georgette Heyer, Daphne DuMaurier; was anything sadder than when the French pirate sailed off in Frenchman’s Creek or more romantic than when the hero/heroine rode off together in Jamaica Inn, Anna Seyton; oh how I loved Green Darkness and Katherine! Mary Stewart was another author who I couldn’t read enough of when I was young. Then later Colleen McCullough’s Thorn Birds kept me enthralled. Now by today’s standards these weren’t romance books, rather they were books with a love story as some didn’t have a HEA. In all of these books there was either nothing more than a kiss or the door pretty much closed on us when it got down to the nitty gritty.
But then the genre was turned on it’s ear in the late 70’s and early 80’s with authors such as Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Now there was sex in romance. A lot of sex. But for the vast majority, it wasn’t that nicely described. The heroes, on looking back now, were jerks and the heroines almost non-participants as their sensibilities were trampled over recklessly by the jerk heroes. Rape and forced seduction were the norms of these books and the term Bodice Ripper came into being. And it was an apt description at the time.
But as women in real life slowly gained ground in the workforce and gained power and strength in their personal lives, so did the heroes evolve into more compassionate people who had feelings and while sometimes trampling over the heroines, feeling regret afterwards. One of the things many romance readers clamor for and love is the “grovel”. When the hero screws up and hurts the heroine, we now want to see him make amends and ‘pay’ for his mistake. We want him to suffer for the hurt he has done the heroine. This kind of thing rarely happened in the old bodice rippers. The hero wasn’t very often held accountable for his actions and then at the end, he got everything he wanted, just the way he wanted it.
But as much as the hero had evolved over the years, this is mild compared to the transformation of the heroine. No longer is she the beautiful young thing held at the mercy of a strong willed jerk. No, women in today’s romance stand up for themselves. They often rescue the hero and they are almost always equal partners in a relationship. They initiate sex instead of waiting helplessly for the macho pig hero to decide when it’s time, how it’s done and where it’s done. They enjoy sex, often with other men before meeting the hero. They are successful in what they do and often mirror the strides women in real life have made.
So in a sense, referring to romance of today as bodice rippers negates all that women have accomplished in the past 30 or 40 years.
Suppose you were a successful business woman who had worked hard to get where you were and some guy who had no idea of the struggles you went through to get where you are today were to come up and tell you that you belonged at home – that’s where a woman’s place really is, taking care of her husband. Wouldn’t you almost blow a gasket?
It’s the same kind of idea for those of us who read romance. Women have come a long way and romance has also come a long way. We want those outside the genre to at least be aware of this before they use the anachronistic terms that, while yes they once may have applied, no longer do to this wonderful genre of romance.
Monday, January 08, 2007
At first I was kind of puzzled. According to my spreadsheet, I only read 38 but I was sure I had read more than that - despite the year. I was going through it again tonight and realized I hadn't marked down all the books I had read. I read them, graded them, but forgot to put in the year. When you use the filtering feature in Excel, this is VERY IMPORTANT. Once I fixed that up, it brought the total number of books I read in 2006 to 61.
I grade mine on a scale of 1 to 5 but you never see a one because I don't keep ones. Or twos. I only keep 3 and higher. So here is my reading year breakdown - keeping in mind I'm easily pleased
5 7 books rated a 5
4.5 17 books rated a 4.5
4 9 books rated a 4
3.5 7 books rated a 3.5
3 4 books rated a 3
DNF 3 books were DNF
Now I just used the trusty calculator to double check and that only adds up to 46 books. After scratching my head for a minute, the light bulb went on! The rest were books I read that were published BEFORE 2006. And some were also rereads.
My 5 rated books
Crazy Wild - Tara Janzen (Romantic Suspense)
Her Scandalous Marriage - Leslie LaFoy (Historical)
A Gentleman By Any Other Name - Kasey Michaels (Historical)
Delicious - Susan Mallery (Contemporary)
The Panther And The Pyramid - Bonnie Vanak (Historical)
The Raven Prince - Elizabeth Hoyt (Historical)
Drop Dead Gorgeous - Linda Howard (Romantic Suspense)
My 4.5 rated books
To The Brink - Cindy Gerard (Romantic Suspense)
The Devil's Waltz - Anne Stuart (Historical)
The Gate To Eden - Cathy McDavid (Western)
Surrender - Pamela Clare (Colonial)
The Dangerous Debutante - Kasey Michaels (Historical)
Beware Of Virtuous Women - Kasey Michaels (Historical)
Devil in Winter - Lisa Kleypas (Historical)
An Independent Woman - Candace Camp (Historical)
The Dark One - Ronda Thompson (Paranormal)
Hope's Captive - Kate Lyon (Western)
The Ultimatum - Susan Kearney (Paranormal/Futuristic)
Just For Kicks - Susan Andersen (Contemporary)
One Forbidden Evening - Jo Goodman (Historical)
Dark Protector - Alexis Morgan (Paranormal)
Hard Evidence - Pamela Clare (Romantic Suspense)
All U Can Eat - Emma Holly (Romantic Suspense)
True Blood - Patricia Waddell (Paranormal/Futuristic)
My 4 rated books
Memory In Death - JD Robb (Romantic Suspense/Futuristic)
Parallel Attraction - Dierdre Knight (Paranormal)
Crazy Kisses - Tara Janzen (Romantic Suspense)
The Comeback Kiss - Diane Lani Rich (Contemporary)
Over The Line - Cindy Gerard (Romantic Suspense)
Irresistible - Susan Mallery (Contemporary)
Slave To Sensation - Nalini Singh (Paranormal)
Born In Death - JD Robb (Romantic Suspense/Futuristic)
Dark Defender - Alexis Morgan (Paranormal)
And there you have my brief wrap-up for 2006
A Blog Award.
Be sure to check it out! She is designing (and can she design!!) banners for the winners.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
The most fun part of this is he doesn't even sing the first part of the song. He just lets the crowd sing it.
Sizzling by Susan Mallery
This is the third book in this series about the Buchanan family. I loved the first one Delicious, and was kind of disappointed in the second Irresistable, so was waiting with bated breath on this one. Reid Buchanan was the youngest brother, a former major league pitcher who left the game when he blew out his shoulder. He’s a player in more ways than one. He is to put it simply, a male slut who will sleep with anyone female who asks. I was hoping after seeing him in the first two books that he would get his comeuppance in this one.
IS IT A HIT OR A MISS?
For me this one is a hit – mostly. Lori, the heroine in this one starts out great. She’s a nurse who is staying with his grandmother while Granny Bitch (and anyone who’s read the first two know what I mean) is recovering from a broken hip and a mild heart attack. While Lori has developed a major case of the hots for Reid, she still is less than impressed with him. He decides to stay at Granny’s house while he hides away from reporters after a nasty article comes out calling into question his abilities in the sack. So far so good! But then her crush gets in her way once Reid starts to notice her.
Reid is a player! A major player. A lot of the time he doesn’t even remember who he slept with and readers who don’t like this kind of character beware. I was hoping that Lori would hold out longer than she did; that she would make him work harder for her. I mean it worked for Warren Beaty and Annette Benning. That’s how she landed him – a major Hollywood player – by holding out on him. I would have liked to see Lori do that instead of capitulating so easily. And I didn’t quite buy the major personality change in grandma. She was a MAJOR witch in the first two and now she’s almost this nice sweet little old lady once Lori gives her a few home truths.
And Reid. I think Ms. Mallery did a most excellent job of turning him from a charming, good looking, good for nothing hedonistic playboy into a caring compassionate guy. It didn’t take overnight and Lori had to do a few figurative “smack him upside the head” speeches for him to begin to “get it.” But male slut though he was in the previous books, I did have a bit of a soft spot for him.
This book also has a bit of a shocker near the end that you don’t normally see. For spoilers sake I won't say anymore except I appreciated the risk the author took. I also like the brief glances we saw of Dani, the youngest Buchanan sister who will be having her own story soon.
So – while I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the first, I liked it much better than the second. Not a bad way, not a bad way at all to start out 2007.
Grade: 4 out of 5
And by the way - she has the most imaginative web site.
And in other news - I really like my theory of not looking for something! I was in the kitchen the other day and looked down and low and behold - there was Pirates of the Caribbean II - just sitting there looking at me. And I'd lost my sunglasses again. But did I look for them? Not really. Last night I was looking for something - and there they were!!!
And we watched Robing Hood Prince of Thieves last night.
I was ripped off!!!!!
Extended version my a$. There were two measly scenes that I don't remember from before. And not even love scenes or anything! The second disc had (supposedly) the behind the scenes stuff. Boring interviews, the actors biographies that you had to READ! Who wants to do that when you are watching a movie? And I paid extra for that?
Friday, January 05, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The first packagage I opened was:
The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons.
This is the third and final book with Tatianna and Alexander first introduced in The Bronze Horseman. Their story continues in Tatianna and Alexander or The Bridge to Holy Cross. I read on the RTR board at AAR that it was available at BookCloseouts.com for a wickedly good price. Now mind you I still have to read Tatianna and Alexander first before I get to this one. And I should read The Bronze Horseman again first since it's been a while.
When I opened this one it was a tad intimidating. It has over 800 pages to it with pretty small font.
The second package contained this:
The EXTENDED version of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Now I know a lot of people didn't like this one and thought Kevin Costner's acting and lack of accent was atrocious but I really loved this movie. I had it on VHS but it got stolen. I was just in the mood to order it again. And this time I'll be able to watch it on Surround Sound!
I remember when I first got the video, I played the one scene again and again to see if what I thought I heard, I heard. I did. For some reason I was so astonished that Christian Slater said "Fuck me" when the catapult worked. I don't know why I was - I just was.
And while I'm at it, here are a few movies I got for Christmas
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Lisa and I watched this one Christmas night and it really is funny and cute. I was suprised at how much I liked it!
Walk the Line
LOVED THIS MOVIE if you may remember
Kingdom of Heaven
I saw this one at the theatre and really liked it. We watched it on New Year's Eve and while I liked it even better the second time around, Lisa didn't care for it.
Now funny story about this one. We started watching this one after Kingdom of Heaven on New Years Eve but I had just about polished off a whole bottle of wine by myself. Lisa had a glass but decided to drink chocolate milk instead (odd duck) so I just had to drink hers as well as the rest of it. We were part way through when I realized in my wine induced stupor that I wasn't following this movie at all. It was the wine. Instead we just turned it off and went to bed. I think I'll like it.
Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest
Now this one, you will note, is not the movie but a replica of the cover taken from Chapters. I did get this movie but I'm thinking I left it at Lisa's place. I'll call her tomorrow before I really start looking hard for it - applying that "don't bother to really look for it" theory.
In other news, the visit tonight didn't go too bad. I just pretty much didn't talk about how I was feeling.
And I'm feeling better now than earlier.
Just before I fell asleep, I asked Ron to visit me in my dreams since I couldn’t see him when I was awake anymore. He did. The dream started off when we went camping with the boys. They were little in the dream and I’m not sure but I think Ryan was a girl. I better not tell him that part. We used to go camping a lot when they were small and I always hated it so I was thinking “thanks a lot Ron, you just had to take me camping didn’t you?”. When we got to the campgrounds, it was more bog than anything else. Lot’s of dirty water all around us. We were pitching a tent when this bit troll came up to us. He kind of looked like the big trolls in Fraggle Rock – I know - who can understand dreams? He was very friendly though and took us into the world beneath the bog so we could visit with all the other trolls. I met with all the troll wives and they were all very nice. One even made a troll dress for me and it looked rather nice on me. We had a very good time and the boys took off with some of the troll kids to play. But it turned out the trolls had a very short life span and they started folding up like those giant plastic Christmas displays and then turning into dust and blowing away. Ron and I gathered up the boys and ran for the car – which turned into a bed. But before we could leave, Ron started fading and disappearing and then he blew away like the trolls. I woke up at 3:47 am sobbing my heart out because he left me and when I was awake enough, I realized he really was gone. I very (very) rarely remember dreams after I’m awake but I remember the one last night.
I’ve been sad all day today and to be honest – I look like crap. My eyes are all puffy and there are these huge bags under my eyes. Today I look my age. I never have before. People have always been rather astonished when they find out how old I am and I’ve been rather vain about that. And I’m upset that I’m looking old and I’m upset that I’m upset that I’m looking old when I’m so sad.
I feel like I’m thawing out and my emotions that were nearly frozen and like when your toes or fingers start thawing out, it hurts even more. I feel so raw right now. And horny. I’m so frickin’ horny, but I only want Ron.
But it’s more than that. I want to be held by him. I want to be kissed by him. I want tongue action even though he wasn’t much for it before.
And I feel bad that I’m thinking about sex when I am hurting so much and missing HIM!
I’m laughing and crying at the same time and generally feeling uncomfortable doing either.
And here I am blogging about this again instead of something more cheerful. Although the troll world under the bog was a very nice place.
And anyone showing up here for the first time will think I’m a nutbar.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Then today I had to take the car in for some repairs. We have taken the car in for quite a while now so they have them all on record. The mechanic showed me the screen to tell him which car it was that I was bringing in and I saw Ron's name and his car. I told him that he could take that one off since my husband had passed away and my son now owned the car. I was looking at my excel spreadsheet after the Queen of Excel updated it for me and noticed that I'd only read 38 books in 2006. I kept thinking that couldn't be right. Surely I had read a lot more that that!!! But then I remembered why I hadn't.
And I crashed and burned.
I try to keep myself almost frantically busy, but sometimes, when I have a quiet moment, it all comes rushing back and I'm not sure I can get past the next 10 minutes because of the pain.
I've signed up for a grief support group for people who have lost a spouse but it doesn't start until the end of January some time. I think that is part of the problem sometimes. I don't know anyone who has lost a husband or wife. I lost both my parents so I know what it's like losing someone you love, but losing Ron is different. It wasn't supposed to be like this. He wasn't supposed to leave me all alone. We were supposed to grow old together. We had been through the bad times and while we still argued and disagreed at times - still we loved each other. I could count on him being there when I needed him. He would take care of things like the car. The reason I had to take it in was because the turn signals weren't working and it ended up costing me $150. I don't know if they ripped me off or not. Ron would have known that kind of thing. When I got a call out of the blue from a relative, I could tell him all about it and tell him stories about when we were kids instead of having to tell my uncle that Ron had passed away.
I know I owe some people some e-mails. And I will answer - I promise. I just have to get past this current bad time.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Well - even though I didn't "officially" sign up for Angie's final challenge of 2006, I did do it.
Title: Fever Dreams
Author: Laura Leone
Year Published: 1997
Why did you get this book: I read and loved Fallen From Grace and I heard this one was equally good
Do you like the cover: Yes I do. It's different
Did you like the book: I LOVED the book
Was the author new to you and would you try anything new by her again: No she wasn't new to me. I will absolutely read something by her again.
Are you keeping it or passing it on: Oh I'm keeping this one!
Anything else: AUUURRRRGGGGHHH That was my holler of disappointment that I don't think she is writing romance anymore. I know that she writes SF under the name Laura Resnick but I really love the romance I've read by her.
Ransom, the hero in this one was completely different than Ryan the hero in FFG but he was equally delicious. And I loved Madeline\Maddie the heroine in Fever Dreams. This book is great and now I seem to be in a "jungles of South America" kind of mood. I just read Heart of Fire, then this one and now I'm thinking of rereading Amazon Lily by Teresa Weir and River of Eden by Glenna McReynolds (aka Tara Janzen)