Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Recent Reads

Outlaw Hearts by Rosanne Bittner

I said I would do a review of this book since I’ve mentioned it a number of times and it’s one of those little known books.

I first read it when it came out and it blew me away at first reading. I’ve reread it a number of times since then but not for a few years now and of all the books I’ve yet to read, this book called me again. I ignored the call for a few months, but when I began unloading the books for the library, the urge to reread it got stronger until I finally gave in.

Jake Hackner is an outlaw. Pure and simple he’s a bad guy. He’s in town loading up on supplies when Miranda Hayes accidentally shouts him. He manages to get away and heads out of town. He finally holes up at a farm to recover a bit. Little does he know the farm he ended up belongs to Miranda. She is a young widow whose husband died in the Civil War. After raiders kill her father and take most of their belongings she decides to head out west to look for her younger brother.

She finds Jake and nurses him back to health. And during this time she sees something good beneath the outlaw exterior. She asks him to take her out west since he is headed the same way, but he refuses.

Later he has a change of heart and decides to look for her to help her. He finds her after having been left behind and thus begins a truly amazing love story between an outlaw wanting to go straight and an incredibly strong woman. They are desperately in love with each other but time and time again Jake’s outlaw past comes back to try and destroy them.

This is one of those epic type books. It’s a long book coming in at 501 pages with as Wendy said, teeny tiny print. It spans over 20 years. Bad things happen to good people and it isn’t always easy to read. Each time I read it, I have to take breaks due to its richness and length. It’s like a truly rich feast that is best eaten slowly in order to savour it.

Jake is one heck of a hero. He’s not all good. He definitely has shades of gray to him. But what saves him is his almost worship of ‘Randy’. He knows he’s no good for her; staying with her can bring her great heartache.

But Randy sees past his outlaw ways into his hidden heart and realizes he is a victim of his early circumstances. She sees the lost little boy inside and that inside he really has a good person wanting to come out. She refuses to let him give up no matter what fate throws at them.

This really is a heart in your throat, breathtaking book. I have a list of about 10 books that seem to stand out above all others. Outlaw Hearts has always been one of them and now I can safely say it still is.

Grade: 5 out of 5

I heard this song playing one time while reading it and the words seemed to describe the book perfectly.

'til later

It Takes a Village

Jane of Dear Author and Sybil of The Good, The Bad and the Unread came up with a BRILLIANT idea and contacted a few blogger to see what they thought. We all agreed that it was BRILLIANT.

Thus began the building of Romantic Advances, an all-in-one website for the upcoming releases we all want to know about. It has everything we romance readers are looking for, release dates, covers, cover blurbs and in some cases excerpts, link to Amazon.

To find out more about it, go to Dear Author and/or The Good the Bad and the Unread and click on the link. And then be sure to book mark the site!

Although I'm listed as a contributer, thus far my contribution has been minimal to say the least due to the fact I'm busy with sister stuff - but I am eagerly anticpating being a much bigger part of it all when life returns to normal.

'til later

Monday, May 28, 2007

Just quickly dropping in with PICTURES

I'm just dropping in for a moment here. It's after 1:00 am Sunday night and I can't sleep. Lisa and Nancy are both staying with me at the house - oh and of course Arthur the Dog. Considering how early they felt it necessary to wake me - I really should go wake them up! But I left orders to BE QUIET should they get up before me.
So - we had our "ladies weekend." It was such jolly good fun!! I took lot's of pictures. Pictures of the ladies who were there, but since many of them were taken late at night when many of us had had a drink (or five or six) and if one were to post a picture of me three sheets to the wind, I would be very upset and I would sue, so I shall (with difficulty) refrain from posting them. And I do hope to be invited the next time they get together!
It was a gorgeous place we stayed at though and I can post pictures of the cottage. Quite the cottage!

This is the front of it. Gorgeous isn't it?

And this is the back.

And Oh. Look. There are Lisa and Nancy way in the distance! Hi Lisa, Hi Nancy. They will be very angry at Big Sister Kristie when they see this picture on the blog!

These are inside pictures. It was just as gorgeous inside. This is the balcony that one of the ladies through socks from. I'm not quite sure why but it was very funny at the time. It's different - what one does after a drink or two (or more)

This is a huge fireplace. Sadly though it was too hot to have it on. Kathy did turn it on for the picture though.

And this is a picture of a drink Kathy made for everyone. I don't know what's inside it, but at 11:30 at night with a drink or two (or maybe more) the blue berries were especially pretty. What I was mainly drinking was in the little bottle next to it. Molson Canadian. I drank it because I like their commercial. But I did have one of these blue drinks. It was delicious!

Well - it's very late and I'm a wee bit tired. Not sure when I'll get a chance to drop in again. Soon I hope!

'til later

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Two! in one night

Crap – I should be getting ready for the weekend. I have sleeping bags to air out, a house to clean – but having been tagged by Nath for the most recent meme going ‘round, I rather do it than the other stuff.

I can’t quite figure out how many little known books we are supposed to come up with so I’ll just go until I stop.

Since Ames enjoyed an oldie but goodie so much, I think I’ll go back into the vault and pick some older books that have stood the test of time

Outlaw Hearts by Rosanne Bittner.

Published 1993

I’ve mentioned this one before and I’m not going to say much about it at the moment because I’m rereading it right now and plan on doing a review – enough to say it’s so beyond good.

Letters From A Stranger by Connie Rinehold (aka Eve Byron)

Published 1993

This is a story of a beautiful former child beauty contest and a series of letters she exchanges with a Major in the US Army who is stationed in Germany. They fall in love through letters, but when they meet each other in real life, things aren’t quite the same. They both have major hurdles to overcome before they get their HEA. I loved the ‘realness’ of this story. The characters were far from perfect and their first love scene was uncharacteristically fraught with the normal problems many of us suffer in real life.

Love Alter’s Not by Patricia Veryan

Published 1989

This is the 4th book in a series. Although the whole series is wonderful, this one is just a little bit better than some of the others. First off, I adore the cover. Can’t say enough good things about it.

Anthony Farrar is about to be arrested for desertion during the battle of Culloden. He was seriously injured and doesn’t remember what exactly happened. Dimity Cranford is involved in a plot to return missing treasure and happens across Anthony’s estate. This book is wickedly funny in spots and heartbreakingly tragic in others. The author manages to combine the two into an extremely wonderful story. Anthony remains, even after all these years, one of the most noble heroe’s I’ve ever read. And Dimity Cranford one of my favourite heroines.

Absolute Trouble by Michelle Jerrot

Published 1998

This was her first book and it was gooooooddddddd. The hero of this one Julien Langlois is posing as a male stripper in order to track down to extract revenge on the criminal who was responsible for his younger brother’s death. He’s found by the police and put into protective custody with Dulcie Quinn, a former cop who was hurt so bad she was forced into retirement by the very same criminal. Julien is one VERY HOT hero.

I just recently heard that this book is or at least was available free in e-book form once the rights reverted back to the author – now writing as Michelle Albert

Notorious by Patricia Potter

Published 1993

I love Patricia Potters Westerns. Love them, love them, love them. I reread this one about a year ago and not only did it stand the test of time, I loved it even more.

Cat Hilliard owns a very successful, very upscale saloon. She will do just about anything to stay on top. Marsh Canton wins the saloon next door in a card game and had decided to give up his former occupation as a hired gun.

Cat is willing to pull out all the stops in order to stop Marsh from success and he is willing to try just about anything to stop her. Their game of one-upmanship is very funny but underneath it, Cat is a woman with secrets. She is a fabulously strong heroine and if you’re a lover of the Western, this is one you really should read! Heck, even if you’re not a Western lover, this is still a Very Good Book.

Tagging - anyone who wants to do this because we all love to share those hidden treasures!

'til later

Getting over a bias

As I mentioned in the last review, the book in question was written in the first person. Not so long ago, if I had noticed a book written in the first person, I wouldn’t even consider reading it. When browsing bookshelves that was one of the deal breakers on buying a book or not. I can’t put my finer on precise reasons why they were such a no-no for me. One of the reasons is I like getting into the hero’s head and that doesn’t happen with first person books. We just get to see things from the heroine’s POV. We don’t get a chance to see any of the ways he loves her from what he’s thinking.

But the dam began to leak when I started reading the Stephanie Plum books. I was delighted at how well these worked for me. Written in the first person, I still enjoyed them as much as the traditional third person book.

I hit a bit of a rough patch when I tried a first-person book that was written as if the events were actually happening – real-time I guess you would call it. I couldn’t get past chapter one of that book, so my first person bias came back with a vengeance – SP excluded.

So I was pretty upset a couple of years ago when I heard in advance that Linda Howard’s To Die For was going to be in first person. In fact I hadn’t really planned on reading it, but since I love 90% of what she writes I gave and in and decided to give it a try. Well – of course I’ve blogged a number of times about how much I adored it and the sequel.

So – funny books were OK in first person.

When I heard that Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas was going to be first person my reaction was far different. I only had a momentary qualm before deciding I would read it. I haven’t yet, but only because I haven’t gotten to it yet. My reading has slowed down considerably – a subject for another blog.

Then I read Gabriel’s Ghost and loved it. So now my bias against first person stories has pretty much bit the dust.

I think it’s interesting that in the comments Jennie said she hadn’t even realized it was first person. To me that is a real testament to how good the book is that one can read it without clueing into that.

So – now that I’m pretty much over my prejudices, are there any advantages?

I’m coming to realize that there are. With a book written in the first person, it seems as if you are more inside the story if written well. Instead of being an observer of the action, it seems as if you are standing right there next to the person and knowing them much better. I think this might be why there are such varied opinions on Howard’s TDF. Because we get to know Blair so well – for those who find her annoying – she can be REALY annoying.

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t get into the hero’s head, but if the book is done well, I have joyfully discovered if well-written, it doesn’t matter that much. I think we got to Wyatt pretty well and I loved Sully from Gabriel’s Ghost. And look at the never ending debate between Team Joe and Team Ranger. (Go Joe Go!).

So – now I’m ready to take on the first person world (almost) It’s nice that my reading world has expanded a bit!!

And in other news, I’m not sure how much I’ll be around for the next week or so. Baby Sis (Nance) is coming for a week long visit and I’m taking a week’s holidays. We have stuff jam-packed in there including a girls weekend with the people I used to work with and Lisa still does.

I also have a few ‘romance’ type movies to watch. I’m going to enjoy taping Lisa’s eye’s open and tying her down and forcing her to watch them. We’re also planning on catching Shrek 3 and Pirates III during the week.

Since I’m heavy duty addicted to blogging, I don’t think I’ll be away entirely – just a bit scarcer than normal.

‘til later

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Recent Read

Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair

Hotness Level: Toasty warm

Amazon blurb: After a decade of piloting interstellar patrol ships, former captain Chasidah Bergren, onetime pride of the Sixth Fleet, finds herself court-martialed for a crime she didn’t commit–and shipped off to a remote prison planet from which no one ever escapes. But when she kills a brutal guard in an act of self-defense, someone even more dangerous emerges from the shadows.

Gabriel Sullivan–alpha mercenary, smuggler, and rogue–is supposed to be dead. Yet now this seductive ghost from Chaz’s past is offering her a ticket to freedom–for a price. Someone in the Empire is secretly breeding jukors: vicious and uncontrollable killing machines that have long been outlawed. Gabriel needs Chaz to help him stop the practice before it decimates Imperial space. The mission means putting their lives on the line–but the tensions that heat up between them may be the riskiest part of all.

Why this one: I was blown away by Games of Command. I already have Finder’s Keepers and Accidental Goddess, but I heard that Gabriel’s Ghost was just as good or even better than Games of Command – so me being me and I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this, I skipped over the other two that I do have and ordered GG.

My Thoughts: I loved this one almost as much or just as much – hard to say – as Games of Command. I was a bit surprised when I saw it was written in the first person, but Stephanie Plum and Blair (nee Mallory) Bloodsworth have gotten me past my first person prejudice. I think Jennie and I were reading this one at the same time although she got her review up first. I got distracted dog sitting.
Sully made a very delicious hero!!! While a few of the things that didn’t work for Jennie, they worked very well for me. He had decided a long time ago that Chaz was his mate and he would do anything to get her. The book opens when he is rescuing her from a prison planet she had been sent too after being set up for a crime she didn’t commit. At first Chaz is very wary of Sully. They had known and been attracted to each other for years, but he was a pirate who had been reported dead. He is so protective of her and he seems to be a very touchy feely guy. I really liked that about him.
Now Sully has many secrets and he keeps these from Chaz throughout most of the book. Normally I would have been very irked by this, but the author writes so believably that I had no problem buying into why he felt he couldn’t confide things to Chaz.
I had the same – I wouldn’t call it a problem, more of an issue really, in that we just didn’t seem to get enough background into the characters. Again, this is a rather lengthy book at 447 pages. Regretfully I think the author had to make cuts even to get it to this size and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the background information was what was cut.
Chaz too is a wonderfully strong heroine, more than able to hold her own against such a strong personality as Sully. She was the captain of her own ship and acted like it. She was a heroine to admire.
I am so impressed with these two books and so glad I have at least two more to read.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

'til later

Monday, May 21, 2007

Interesting Contest

Meljean (and darn it all - I still want to say Maljean) has a great contest going. I'll be honest here - I'm hoping I'm picked - but she also has some great questions. She asks us to answer 7 of them. Since she has a nice long list - it's not that hard to do!

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I'm lazy. I hate that I am and I would love to change that about me, but with half a century lived (good heavens! That long?) I realize I'm unlikely to change that about me.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Heh heh - books of course. Now one or two wouldn't qualify. But considering the ones I do have number in the hundreds and I keep buying more, it is indeed an extravagance

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Oh my - there are so many to choose from! It would be easier and shorter to say what I do like about my appearance! But I'd have to say the number one thing is my size. In my heart I'm much taller and much more slender (and younger and blond - natural blond) but in reality I'm not those things * sigh*
(and although it's not the question, the thing I do like about my appearance - my hair and my smile)

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
The word well. People who know me, know that when I start off using that word they are in for a long, convoluted story that could probably be told in a quarter of the time. Me - I like the word well.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be able to have a good voice and be able to play a musical instrument. I cut the grass today and finally clued in when I was almost done it might go easier if I listened to my IPOD. I got and while cutting belted out " I Need a Hero", "It's My Life", "Running Down a Dream". When I was done I went to my neigbour and apologized for my horrid singing. She said it wasn't that bad. I laughed and said "you lie. I know it was terrible."

What is your current state of mind?
To be honest? A bit buzzed. I had a beer when I was finished cutting the grass and apologizing to the neighbour and it went down so well I had a second. But that's it! Really - that's it. I must be stone cold sober so I can enjoy Dancing With the Stars later tonight.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Ron. From the very first night I met him he has been the only love of my life. I was talking to my oldest son not long ago and we got talking about cheating or thinking of cheating in marriage and he didn't think there was anyone who didn't think of it at least once and I told him I never did. Not once in almost 32 years of marriage did I consider for even a nanosecond the thoughts of someone else. Not to say I didn't admire a handsome form - but as I told my son - I could admire a beautiful woman just as easily.

So - go ahead and play Meljean's contest! It was fun.

'til later

Bonus Feature:

Songs I belted out while grass cutting

The Sounds of Silence

Arthur the Dog has left the building.

Now the words aren't really applicable - but I've always loved this song.

And be sure to check out Reader's Gab. 'Tis JMC's turn this week.

Oh - and Zina is back - kind of. I've seen her and she is making pitiful little meows, but she in NOT HAPPY with me and I don't expect to hear her sweet little purr for a day or two.

'til later

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Adventures in Dog Sitting - Part Two

Even MORE reasons why I will never be a dog owner

# 155
Arthur the Dog's overwhelming need to be the first one out of the door. I have my shoes at the back door and he just HAS to move ahead of me and then sit on them waiting for me to take him outside. Stupid dog - this is my house, not yours.

Prissy dog owning neighbours who pick up their stupid little dogs and shie away from my Arthur the Dog when we pass them on the sidewalk. While a terror when confronted by dogs the same size or larger than Arthur - he just loves little dogs and is all 'Big Brother' dog on them. I was personally affronted when the prissy neighbour picked up his Shitz Zoo (I know it's spelled wrong) and sniffed the air and sidled by Arthur the Dog. Nobody puts Arthur in the corner - oops wrong movie.

Having to close bathroom door when showering. Living here alone, I never bother to close the bathroom door anymore. When I threw back the shower curtain this morning I had a cold wet dog snout aimed right at my naked crotch area. I shrieked, Arthur the Dog barked and this time I didn't gently say "Get the fuck out of her!" No - I screamed it at the top of my lungs


I did have the previous #1 reason why I will never be a dog owner listed as dog shit. That has now been dropped down to #2. Reason number 1 - Doggie Diarreah. Yes - when Arthur the Dog and I went for "that" walk last night, Arthur had doggie diarreah. Big time. I thought regular dog shit was horrid stuff. Well - now I know what's worse. After the FOURTH time he dribbled, the contents of my stomach just about emptied out. And even worse, Arthur the Dog has this beautiful long fur down his back legs.

Let us just say there is a towel that will never be used for anything again. And Arthur the Dog wasn't allowed on my light beige carpets for QUITE SOME TIME.

And I needed some pictures of my Zena - even though she hasn't been seen or heard from since Arthur the Dog made his appearance.

Til later

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Heeeee'ssss Baaaaccccckkkkkk

It's a long weekend here in Canada - Victoria Day weekend or as is more commonly called - the 24 Weekend - the start of party time.

And guess what I'm doing? Nope - not partying. I am ..........

Dog Sitting. Yep - I'm dog sitting Arthur the Dog again. Lisa has been planning a weekend away to do horse stuff (Parelli if anyone knows horses - I tell her it's almost a cult like thing - but then she probably thinks the same thing about me and the romance) for months and months now. I got an email from her on Tuesday and guess what? She had been so busy planning this weekend there was one thing she forgot. Arthur the Dog. She forgot to make plans for Arthur the Dog. And since it's May 2 4 weekend, all the kennels were booked. So she was pleading with me to do a sister a favour. How could I refuse I ask you?

When last I left I listed 231 reasons why I will never be a dog person. I have a few more to add to the list. And mind you - it's only Saturday. I'm sure there will a few more I can mention before the weekend is up.

Dog Breath. Do they make toothpaste for dogs because I gotta tell you this dog's breath could stop a buffalo at 20 paces. I really noticed it this morning when he decided it was time at 7:05 (on a Saturday) for me to get up.

Fur. I know I mentioned this one before but I thought he would have finished shedding by now. Does their stupid fur come out all year long?????

Whinning. Arthur the Dog can whine like nobody's business! I tell him to stop and he whines louder. I tell him to stop and he then starts barking! I have used the F word a couple of times to get him to stop. In a nice way of course. I don't yell at him or anything but the frustration causes me to say in a pleading way "Can't you shut the fuck up for just a bit Arthur?" He doesn't.

# 111
His overenthusiastic greeting of strangers. I had a friend over to sit on the deck and have a few brewskies on a nice Saturday afternoon. Arthur greeted her as if they had been long lost buddies. She's about the same as me - not a dog person exactly although she has owned a dog in the past. I thought by his warm greeting he had met her before, but nope - they'd never been introduced. I don't think Arthur the Dog has ever met a person he doesn't expect loves him on first hello

# 203
Barking. If he isn't whinning - he is barking. Barking at other dogs. Barking at people walking by. Barking at me. Barking. Barking. Barking. I'm used to silence broken only by the gentle purr of Zina - who has totally disappeared by the way.

# 2
He broke my bloody barbeque!!!!! Damn dog. Now I may laugh about this later. Part of me is laughing now - part of me isn't. It seems Arthur the Dog goes nuts when he sees people ride by on bicycles. A father and his son rode by on their bikes while we were enjoying the brewskies and Arthur the Dog was sitting (thankfully) quiet on the deck when he saw them. I had his leash looped around the leg of the barbeque. Well when he saw the people ride by, he literally took off like a bat out of hell and pounded down the street after them. What was a leisurly bike ride for father and son became a mad dash pedalling as fast as they could to get away from this mad dog running after them barking all the way. And the older woman running after the dog running after them shouting "Arthur!!! Stop it! Get back here! Arthur! Stop it! Arthur!"
When I finally caught up with him, they had managed to get those bikes moving faster than Arthur the Dog. As I made my way back to the deck, along with Arthur the very bad Dog, I noticed when he escaped he pulled off the legs of the BBque. Now it's totally lopsided and another job for Ryan to try and fix. And no barbequing for me until he does. And as I was telling Kathy - I had just this morning bought a brand new cover for the barbeque.
As I said it's only Saturday and I may be back with a few more reasons.............

'til later

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Blogs that make me think

Tara named me as a thinking blog *thank you curtsey*. Lately though it's been more of a young things I think are hot blog (although the TV series was filmed in the 80's and the actor is around my age so I don't feel quite so bad). The challenge is to name other blogs that make me think.

The first one doesn't make me so much think as smile and chuckle and sympathize and congatulate.

Holly of What Were You Expecting has truly wonderful blog and well worth the visit. She writes the funniest stories about her different relationships. She also really puts all of herself into her blog and what strikes me so much is she is so real. She's someone I'd love to sit down and have a beer with.

Ag of In My Books is another blog I always enjoy. She has such a wide variety of topics and her blog has evolved wonderfully over the time she's been a blogger. And she loves to share other blogs that catch her attention.

Mailyn of Pixelated Fairy Dust is an exceptional person. She has such a wide range of topics she blogs about. She is also incredibly talented (she's the one who designed this one) and she is such a warm, generous and helpful person. Blogland is richer with her being in it.

Ja(y)ne and Jane of Dear Author awe me. They haven't been around as long as some bloggers but the impact they have had is amazing. From the hilarious video reviews to their in-depth research into topics, they are incredible. And I'm not just saying this because Jane and I will be roomies along with Sybil *g*. And of course there is also Janine's wonderful contributions too. And although I don't really read them, they do a tremendous job in promoting e-books.

KarenS of It's My Blog and I'll Say What I Want To. Her title says it all! I laugh all the time over it. She contraversial, she get's things stirred up and she really does make you think. And despite all the times she says something that many get all 'het' up about - but hey - it's her blog and if you don't like what she says - don't read it (I happen to love what she says), her love of romance shines through brilliantly. Although I must admit to a certain (read great) amount of envy that Nora Roberts has posted on her blog *grin*.

There are so many other fascinating and excellent blogs that I love to visit - but we were narrowed to five. So even though I might not have mentioned you - I still love visiting.

'til later

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This cracked me up

How To Tell If You Have Smelly Feet

Still testing

Gotta be sure

I don't feel so good

Yep - you do!

'til later

Monday, May 14, 2007

A few updates

Amazon, Amazon - how I love thee Amazon. I tracked down the television series and wonder of wonders - it was available so I ordered it. Now when all those summer repeats are on, I shall have something wonderful to watch!

I survived Mail Opening Saturday. Lisa and I ended up with 5 grocery bags full of stuff and she's going to use it to start fires. Strangly, oddly - I found two books too!!

I cut the grass yesterday and managed to figure out how to do it so I'm not constantly having to move the cord. I thought of this for weeks and the key with an electric lawnmower is to start cutting near the front and then work my way towards the end of the lawn. The worst part is it took me that long to figure it out! It's a huge lawn so it took quite a while to do. Ryan came over and as his contribution to Mother's Day, he cut all the schrubs. The mailman should be happy because there are two at the front door that were almost blocking the front porch. When I mention this to Ryan he said "What - so he can deliver mail you're not going to open?" I laughed at that one. Ha Ha funny son. I do know one piece of mail I'll be opening though!!!! One from a certain Amazon. I then gathered up all the discarded shrubbery - and there was a lot of it!

Brent also came over and brought me a gorgeous bouqet of flowers. A few years ago for Mother's Day, he said he got me flowers but his cat ate them. (snicker - yeah right - kind of like the dog ate the homework story) I guess he kept them away from his "cat" this time.
Then they both took me out for dinner.

I took the day off work today. I'm feeling kind of decadent doing it - except I can barely move I ache so bad - yardwork - awful stuff!

It's my turn at Reader's Gab today over at Access Romance.

'til later

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Since something screwy happened with the last one - the one I need answers too I figured this might help

I need help - I'm on a mission

I saw this on Zeek's blog and Wowzers - does this little bit make it a movie I HAVE TO HAVE - besides the fact that it's a much better video than the one that Bonnie Tyler did - which I still chuckle over.

I NEED the name of this movie and where I can get it!! I'm thinking it's a Robin Hood version - and who the heck is the actor? Jail bait for me and a bit pretty - but other than that - niiiicccceeee.

'til later

Friday, May 11, 2007

I don't normally do eye candy - but............

Well - since us fans of POTC are in countdown mode now - I thought I would share May's pic and let everyone see what is stopping the mostly female staff in awe at my desk.

Fourteen days and counting!

( pssst - click on the pick and it will take a while - but whoa mama!)

'til later

Thursday, May 10, 2007

8 Random Things about Me

I was nabbed by Sybil. Warning though - this will be kind of boring:

Da Rulez:

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1) Everyone should envy me cause since Sybil let the cat out of the bag - I'm headed to Dallas for the RWA convention and I'm going to hang out with her and Jane. And cover your ears because

I am so excited about this because - well, I don't get out much.

2) I have a mail phobia. Oh - wait - I guess I already rambled about that.

3) I'm terrible about the 'wifely' arts. I can't sew worth beans and as far as housework goes - well why do deep cleaning when there is always a book to be read.

4) I have a bit of a crush on Judge Joe Brown. Wierd I know - but there's something very attractive about him.

5) I hate staplers. Hate them! And they know it and are constantly breaking on me. At one job just about every day I was in charge of the office staplers and they were constantly breaking on me.

6) I've always just wanted one job where I could settle in and be happy but through and amazing set of coincidences I've worked at seven different places in 10 years. Hopefully this last place is where I'll be until I retire.

7) I don't plan on retiring. I want to be one of those people who works well into their 80's. Most people look forward to retirement - but I enjoy people too much to do that.

8) I want all the MIA bloggers to come back. I don't have any kind of thing that tells me when someone has posted so I just go up and down the sidebar and there are quite a few who haven't updated in quite some time. I miss them :-(

And now for the people who I'm getting *rubbing hands*. I'll be nice though - I'll only go with four.

'til later

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Arrrgghhh - Not long now me mateys

And my Pirates of the Caribbean calendar is a big hit in the office. May is Will Turner's turn up and people come from other departments to check him out *g*

'til later


This is going to be one bitter/frightened/revealing post. Ryan - my own personal accountant son did my taxes for me. I was late because - well - I don't like opening mail.
It turns out I owe about $300 give or take a dollar or two. I also owe about the same for Ron. Ron didn't work at all in 2006. When he got sick in the fall, he had quite a bit of vacation time remaining. He used that and then went on short-term disablity because he was too ill to work. He didn't make it to long-term disability.
I didn't work from May - when I took a leave to be his care-giver, until November. At the time I said that the job I took the leave from cancelled all contract work while I was off. I had 6 weeks caregive benefits - that's all your allowed - can you believe it? Six f'n weeks. I could have collected employment insurance but I was in no state to go through all the red tape it would have involved in collecting it. So Ron didn't work and I only worked seven months and we (I) owe $600.
It would be one thing if I thought the money was actually being used for the people of the country - but it's not. Health care is a disaster. Education is a joke. I could go on and on but then I would be too worked up to finish. Canada pays the hightest taxes of all developed country - and for what? So billions can go unreported and unaccounted for by dishonest politicians. As one so glaringly put it in a recent scandal "I'm entitled to my entitlements". We pay 14% on top of just about everything there is too buy - or do. It's called the Goods and Services tax. If I buy a book - I'm taxed. If I have my hair cut - it's taxed. When I buried my husband - it was taxed. We pay a whopping amount of taxes on our income. I can't even bear to look at the pretax salary I make. Gas is an outrageous price right now - and a good deal of it is taxes. And then - as if we haven't paid enough taxes all year, every April (or May in my case) we have to go through the horrors and hope agains hope that we don't owe more. One year a number of years ago I worked at two part-time jobs. I had one day off about every three months. For the first time I managed to have a decent amount of money in my bank account. Then I had to file taxes in April. The second job didn't take out enough money and when all was said and done, I had to pay $1,600. It wiped out all the money I had worked so hard with nary a day off for. So I hate doing taxes. That's one of the reasons I haven't done them in 3 years.
But now I owe and I will have to pay a penalty for being late. I asked Ryan what I should do since I won't know how much I owe for being late. He said to send in what it says and they will let me know how much more. But then this brings me to another problem. I will be on the taxman's radar. They will probably find out I haven't sent in taxes for three years.
And another reason why I haven't done them - I haven't opened mail in that time. I have a lot of it in a cabinet - but I also have quite a bit in bags around the house - in places I can't really remember.
Lisa is coming over on Saturday to help me go through two years worth of unopened mail so I can find all the tax stuff. I know I'll be getting money back this time - hopefully enought to recoup some of what I'll have to pay this year.
It's going to be a rough day facing all that mail - I'm dreading it.
And the whole thing is a very bitter pill.

'til later

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hopefully it's out of my system now!

I went on a book buying frenzy the past couple of days. When I'll find the time to read them all - along with the hundreds of others I don't know - but the odd thing is - I just HAD to have them ALL. Behold my recent purchases:

The Object of Love by Sharon Cullars.
I got this one because it's an older woman younger man story and I love those kind. And because so far Karen S is loving it!

Rock Star by Roslyn Hardy Holcomb.
I bought this one because I've seen a number of blogger recommend it. Sorry I can't remember who so I can link you *sigh*. I've read other romances about singers and quite enjoyed them. This one I had to order online.

Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair.
I got this one because I loved Games of Command and have seen quite a few rec's for this one too. I ordered it online but wouldn't you know - as soon as I did, it showed up at the book store. Oh well.

Enticed by Kathleen Dante.
I'm honestly not sure why I had to have this one. This is a complete mystery book to me. I haven't seen any reviews and I've never heard of the author. I guess it was the combination of the storyline and yes - I'll admit it - the cover, that made this one a 'had to have'. Anyone read it? Thoughts?

The Wolf by Jean Johnson.
This one is another mystery book that I don't know why I had to have it. I have the first book in the series, The Sword, in the TBR pile. It's the insanity I guess.

Time's Captive by Kate Lyon
Finally - a reason! At least a reason I can live with *g*. I read Hope's Captive and loved it so I wanted to try something else by this author to see if it would be just as good. Plus, I think it's a Time Travel - it sounds like it might be a Time Travel. Plus I needed another book to get free shipping at Chapters.

Not Quite a Lady by Loretta Chase
I've always loved her books - even though I still haven't read her previous one yet. But since except for maybe a Regency or two, I have her entire collection, I just had to keep adding to it - didn't I?

The Wedding Dress by Kimberly Cates.
Once upon a time I used to love her books. Then she wrote a couple of meh ones and she fell off my radar. But I figured it was time I give her another chance to see if she can make it back on the radar.

And I've already read (or not read) these two.

And now - because it's 23 degrees celcius out there - I'm going to go out, sit on the patio, have a beer and read a book for a while. But Accckkk! Which one to read?

'til later

Monday, May 07, 2007

Cover of Night by Linda Howard

Type: Romantic Suspense

Hotness Level: Lukewarm

Amazon Blurb: In the charming rural town of Trail Stop, Idaho, accessible to the outside world by only a single road, young widow Cate Nightingale lives peacefully with her four-year-old twin boys, running a bed-and-breakfast. Though the overnight guests are few and far between–occasional hunters and lake fishermen–Cate always manages to make ends meet with the help of the local jack-of-all-trades, Calvin Harris, who can handle everything from carpentry to plumbing. But Calvin is not what he seems, and Cate’s luck is about to run out.

One morning, the B&B’s only guest inexplicably vanishes, leaving behind his personal effects. A few days later Cate is shocked when armed men storm the house, demanding the mystery man’s belongings. Fearing for her children’s lives, Cate agrees to cooperate–until Calvin saves the day, forcing the intruders to scatter into the surrounding woods.

The nightmare, however, is just beginning. Cate, Calvin, and their entire community find themselves cut off and alone with no means to call for help as the threat gathers intensity and first blood is drawn.

With their fellow residents trapped and the entire town held hostage, Cate and Calvin have no choice but to take the fight to their enemies under the cover of night. While reticent Cal becomes a fearless protector, Cate makes the most daring move of her life . . . into the very heart of danger.

Why this one: D'uh - it's Linda Howard

My Thoughts: Well - what to say on this one.

I’m of two completely different minds and I’ll explain both.

Mind One: This one is pretty good. Although the premise is a bit far fetched; the bad guys go way overboard on trying to get what they want and I kept thinking can they really be this stupid? But the writing was excellent, the story apart from the stupid bad guys, was interesting, it was fast paced and I read it pretty quickly.

Mind Two: This one is by Linda Howard and I was very disappointed! Thank goodness I decided to curtail buying everything hatdcover to JD Robb unless I can get them on sale for $10.00 or less. If I had paid full price for this one I would have been bitterly disappointed.

First off –A) the hero of this one Calvin Harris is about as different from her trademark alpha heroes as can be! He blushes when he tries talking to Cate Nightengale, the heroine. While he’s a pretty good hero as far as we know, we don’t know that much because B) there is so much of the story told from way to many points of view. We get at least three of the villains POV, Cal’s, Cassie’s, Creed, Cals’s former commanding officer and maybe even more. I don’t know why she had to include so many of the villains POV. I didn’t care if Teague, one of the villains had brain damage or just a concussion. And we got more background on Kennon Gross another villain than we did on the hero. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. And C) there was no red hot love scenes that Ms. Howard does so very well. When I think of some of the best of them, After the Night or Heart of Fire or many other books she’s written – well, I must admit it was kind of disappointing. Heck – it was more than kind of.

As I said – it was a pretty good book and if the author wasn’t Linda Howard I would have quite enjoyed it. But since it is Linda Howard – well, it’s pretty near the bottom of the pile as far as her books are concerned. I just recently reread Mr. Perfect. And Cover of Night isn’t nearly as good sad to say.

Grade: if it wasn’t LH – 4 out of 5
Because it is LH – 3 out of 5

Take Me Tonight by Roxanne St. Claire

Type: Romantic Suspense

Hotness Level: Hot

Amazon Blurb: When Sage Valentine discovers that her roommate's shocking suicide might be related to a website that provides edgy, thrill-seeking entertainment, she immediately books her own "abduction" to get some answers. But her "rescuer" isn't really who she thinks he is....Johnny Christiano is dedicated to the Bullet Catchers, who saved him from a wise guy's life of crime and turned him into an elite bodyguard. When he's assigned to stop Sage's kidnapping, he's unexpectedly trapped between deceit and sizzling desire. But the closer Johnny and Sage get to the truth, the closer danger stalks them...until death is only a double-click away.

Why this one: I've read a couple of hers before and enjoyed them and it got a pretty good review at AAR.

My Thoughts: Sadly - this one was a DNF for me. It wasn't because it was a bad book. Do you ever read along and you hit a storyline you don't like and you didn't even know you didn't like it until you hit it? That's what happened with this one. Johnny is sent to protect Sage, but he doesn't tell him who he really is and all through the story, he never does reveal the truth. I know this because even though I didn't finish it. I did skip ahead quite a bit to see when she finds out. It isn't until the end and then she discovers it, he doesn't tell her. This really bugs me in a book. I want honesty from the beginning. If he had gone undercover to protect her, as long as he told her who he really was near the beginning, fine. But I don't like it when either the hero or the heroine is dishonest throughout most of the book.
In addition, right near the beginning of the book, with Sage thinking Johnny is a high class male prostitute, she gets really hot and heavy with him. This really bugged me too. So with both these issues and a TBR pile that's frightening, I decided to skip this one. It may be a good book and others will probably really enjoy it. It's just not for me.

Grade: DNF

til later
Today 'tis Robin's turn at Readers Gab at Access Romance.

'til later

Friday, May 04, 2007

Good news and Gooder news

(yes I know gooder isn't really a word *g*)

Good News
Well, one of the things that has been pestering me since the weather got nice was knowing that grass cutting season was upon us. I HATE cutting the grass! HATE IT, HATE IT HATE IT! It's not so much the cutting but the fact that the lawn mower is an electric and I have that damn cord that keeps getting in the way. And since I live on a corner, the yard is pretty big.
So far I haven't cut it yet. You know there is always one of those houses in the neighbourhood that's trashy looking because the owners don't cut their grass? Well - I have become one of those trashy looking houses. Ron would be horrified. I am too to be honest, but when I get home from work, I'm just too tired to cut it - cause it's so big and there is the cord, and it's raining, or it's looking like rain, or I'm hoping it will rain. Anything! It's getting to the point where I'm embarrased to drive into the driveway - half expecting the neighbours to confront me. And I wouldn't blame them.
Well, last night I was headed over to the neighbours for our weekly Survivor watching, having a beer night when I noticed her next door neighbour had bought himself a riding lawnmower. This is the same neighbour who plowed out my driveway a couple of times in the winter. When I got inside, I said to Ruthanne (who also happens to be the one whose house I was contemplating breaking into last year to watch her TV when our cable was out - the one "Cable Guy" said I should) that I should ask if he would mind driving over to my house and cutting the grass - in a joking way. Well apparently she had been talking to him about that very thing and he said he wouldn't mind at all.
Oh Thank the Lucky Stars!!!!!!
I plan on calling him today!

Gooder News
After we watched Survivor I stayed and we started watching Grey's Anatomy. Now I'm not a regular watcher of the show. I watch it sometimes at Ruthanne's if I'm not finished my beer *g* so I know who the people are. I just happened to read somewhere earlier that it was a two hour show and would introduce a whole bunch of characters that would be in the spin-off with what's her name. And one of them is Tim Daly.
Well, I love me Tim Daly!!!! And I've been totally upset ever since they cancelled The Nine - mainly because that would mean no more Tim Daly.
So it was with great delight I watched Grey's last night. And now I have a new show to watch when it premiers!!! I loved the part where she kept talking to the elevator and getting an answer - and then he told her about the elevator watch-woman. What a hoot!

Well - gotta run. Work you know. And I have a calendar to take down and get ready to put up.

'til later

Thursday, May 03, 2007

And in other news

Finally, finally I got my own workstation today!!! I've been without one since I started there last November. I was ectastic over the stapler and the scotch tape and the paperclips!!!! And I have my own phone with a direct line. I was over the moon over the simplest things today. I had a choice of 3 chairs.
So tomorrow I'm taking in my Pirates of the Caribbean calendar. I don't notice it so much at home. I didn't even realize Jack Sparrow was April's picture until May!!! And then I had to flip him. Oh the pain.

'til later


Heartfelt congrats to Holly known amongst us as one of Sanctuaries Finest - now of Book Binge. Holly has her own blog and I've read along her stories of 'second chance at love' with MM. I think many of us are vicariously half in love with him too. She tells such wonderful stories it's like we know them very well.
Well - he popped the question and SHE SAID YES - something we've all been hoping for.

Congratulations Holly

We look forward the sharing the journey with you.

'til later

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

If you can't say something nice........

Don't say anything at all.

How I loathe that expression. I was raised on it and I lived it most of my life. And know something I've learned in the past year or so? It's bullshit.
Why has this expression defined a culture of women to hold in our thoughts, to be phony and/or fake or risk ulcers, repressed emotions and all manner of feelings? I'm a relatively nice person, but if I see something wrong or disagree with something, why shouldn't I say something?
Are women so weak that we can't bear to hear something that's not so nicey nice? Good lord I hope not.
I'm rambling here I know - so bear with me. It seems there is a massive blow-up in blog land started at Karen Scott's when she was curious about what happened to Ellora's Cave and the quality of writing. I only have a couple of their books and don't read e-books in general - I love to hold them too much, but from reading some of the responses there were some interesting things said. Of course there was also a few nutcases - but that happens. And then things blew up. Very interesting reading.
Among the allegations was - once again - nasty bloggers. It seems the regular ones are always being pointed out - Karen S, Bam, Smart Bitches, Mrs. Giggles and Dear Author. I for one, love each and every one of these blogs for their honesty and the way they're telling it like it is. I adore the fact that they don't hold to the "if you can't say something good" line so many of us have been conditioned into practising. I'm a fairly frequent reader of them and not once have I seen any one of them being cruel to an author. Honest about books yes. But we need honesty. And I don't think the vast majority of authors appreciate being considered as fragile flowers who can't bear to hear any kind of criticism.
The thing I've realized is there is someone who will disagree with each and every single review going. We all have different tastes and like different things. So if a book get's a bad review, that means the person who read and reviewed it didn't like it. Period. There are others out there who will like it - and that's good.
But for some people to castigate bloggers who are offering their opinion is nuts! I love blogs. I love the snarky blogs - and let me tell you - it takes talent to do it well.
I'm sure this latest blow-up will pass over as have others. But in the meantime, grab a drink, make sure you have lots of computer time and be ready for some entertaining reading.

'til later

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Recent Reads

This is insane. I have several hundred books TBR. Books that I wanted. Books that I had to have. But at the moment, all I feel like reading is older books I read years ago. So I figured I'd go with it until the moment passes and I feel like reading all those books I HAD to have but haven't read yet. So here is the first of the oldies

The Gunslinger by Mary McBride

Type: Western

Hotness level: Warm

Back Cover Blurb: Tom Bolt was infamous - the Fastest Gun in the West - if the dime novels were to be believed. And thanks to the town fathers of Glory, Kansas, he was now not only the new sheriff, but a paying guest in Zena Briggs's home.
It had been a long time since Tom Bolt had anything worth living for. But the Widow Briggs was an angel who had offered him a haven in her home and in her heart. A heart he knew he'd break when the time came for him to leave.....

Why This One: I just felt like reading a good Western and although it had been years, I vaguely remembered I liked this one.

My Thoughts: I was right, I did like this one. And even better, I barely remembered it from reading years before. I love a good Western and Harlequin has put out some excellent ones. You can add this to the list. Tom Bolt was a great hero. He had been trying to hide from the world and hide from his reputation but he was lured into the job of Sheriff by the promise of a good home. Even though he had led the life of a gunslinger, he had a lot of regrets about it and the author did a pretty good job of explaining his past and how he became what he was. Despite everything he was a caring man and wanted to be a good sheriff even though they only wanted him for his reputation.
Zena Briggs was also a great heroine. She was blackmailed into letting Tom stay with her and started out full of anger towards his type. But as she got to know him, she saw what kind of man he was and slowly over time came to love him. There is a funny storyline running through the book with her trying to come up with the perfect name for the dog that adopted Tom. I would say if you like authors like Cheryl St. John or Cheryl Reavis, you'll probably enjoy this one too. When it comes down to it, if it's written well - there's nothing like a good Western. I think both Wendy and Sybil might agree with me on this one. Ms. McBride doesn't appear to be writing Westerns anymore - in fact she hasn't had a book out for a couple of years now. And that is really too bad.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

Type: Romantic Suspense

Hotness Level: Hot

Amazon Blurb: Jaine Bright and three close friends share dinner one night and during casual conversation, create a list of qualifications for the perfect man--some logical, some hilariously funny, some racy. Within days, their tongue-in-cheek wish list of attributes for Mr. Perfect has been leaked to the press and the resultant publicity is overwhelming. Coworkers, TV crews, and reporters barrage the quartet with comments and criticism.

As if Jaine doesn't have enough to cope with, she has a new neighbor who she suspects is a criminal. She's relieved to learn that her neighbor is really an undercover cop, but she's still wary--because smart, sexy Sam Donovan handles her sharp witticisms with easy humor, and Jaine suspects that he may threaten her heart. What Jaine doesn't know is that she's about to need Sam desperately for something other than romance because her circle of friends is in big trouble. Unfortunately, that list of qualifications for Mr. Perfect has touched off a madman's rage. All of their lives are threatened and some of them are going to die, maybe all of them, if Sam can't stop the unknown killer.

Why This One: Well - I was thinking of getting Lisa to read this one so when I got it out - I just naturally started reading it again.

My Thoughts: I love Linda Howards books plain and simple. There is something about them that I could read them over and over and over again. I have this one in both PB and HC (my HC copy was on sale at the bookstore for something like $7 and I couldn't pass up a sqeal of a deal like that now could I? I've read both copies at least three times each. I'm not going to say too much about the story because I did give it to Lisa and I don't want to give anything away.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Innocent in Death by J.D. Robb

Type: to be honest - I've never really been able to figure out how to type these ones but for now I'll just go with Romantic Suspense

Hotness Level: Warm to Hot

Amazon Blurb: Once again Lt. Eve Dallas shows why she's "New York City's top murder cop" in Roberts's 24th thriller under her Robb pseudonym set half a century into the future (after 2006's Born in Death). Dallas tries to close a case at the exclusive Sarah Child Academy, where two bright 10-year-old girls discover the body of Craig Foster, a popular history teacher who proves to have been poisoned by ricin-laced cocoa. Dallas wonders if another staff member or a parent might be involved, but after the prime suspect, a promiscuous teacher who's been harassing another employee, turns up dead, the investigation takes a shocking turn. Besides a provocative puzzler, Robb provides an intense relationship update on Dallas and Roarke, her Irish power broker hubby, whose dark past—in the form of a crooked ex-girlfriend—returns to cause trouble.

Why This One: I whipped through it the first time and have planned on doing a reread ever since.

My Thoughts: I just mentioned how much I love Linda Howard books. Well - JD Robb is the same. I've loved each and every one of the In Death books - some more than others. This one is in the top 3 I think. Since it wasn't that long ago that I read it, I don't have much to say except - oddly enough - I guessed who it was.

Grade: 5 out of 5

'til later