Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jack came Back and Day 2 highlights

The day started off early considering I'm on 'vacation'. There was a breakast this morning sponsored by RT. The breakfast wasn't much - but that was OK. There were a number of tributes to Kate Duffy. By far the most touching was given by Jacquelyn Frank about how Kate Duffy changed her life.

After that, while everyone else headed on to different workshops, I took a bit of a break. I met my roomies and a few others, including CJ for lunch. I also ran into Lisabea at the elevator. She and CJ are staying on the same floor. After that some of us headed for a workshop put on by a few UF authors including Sylvia Day, Keri Arthur and Jeaniene Frost.

After that we split up and I headed for a workshop on historicals set in different settings and locations. Following that was a fun time hosted by several SciFi/Futuristic authors.

And finally we returned to our rooms. Whereup I discovered I had lost yet another electronic device - my camera. Yep - I looked everywhere and it was nowhere to be found. So far I was up to a cell phone, Jack, the GPS and my camera. I was NOT a happy camper. This short term memory loss is not getting better!

After battling hard not to lose my temper and throw a fit in front of others, I headed downstairs and asked at the check in desk if anyone had turned in a camera and wonder of wonders, they had. Thank you to whoever it was. Nath and I headed out to Borders for a book run. Yes, in the middle of a book conference, Nath wanted to check out a bookstore. She had a reason though - a 30% off coupon that expired today and as there are no Borders in Canada, this would be the only time she could use it. Considering the fact that books are $2 or more cheaper here than in Canada, and she had a heck of a good coupon, it made sense to me. I congratulated Little Grasshoper that she was wonderful at justifying.

And best of all, when we got in the car, she found Jack!! Somehow in his attempt to get away from me, he only made it underneath the passenger side in the front of the car.

After all those workshops, losing and finding my camera and Jack coming back, I'm ready to call it a day. Plus, I'm up at Readers Gab tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Day Highlights

Well - I made it. It took a bit longer than I figured it would. The trip across the border was a bit slow. I had to chuckle - I think the customs guy checked very closely in every other car. Thankfully, the car ahead of me was the one he checked. He looked in their back seat, had them open the trunk, took a bag of apples. When it was my time, he asked me where I was headed and I answered Columbus Ohio. When he asked what for, now that I'm totally out about my reading, I rather proudly anwered 'a romance lovers convention!'
But I don't think he heard the first word, looked at me sceptically and said 'Lover's convention?!?!?!?'
At which point I said romance BOOK lovers. He let me across.

Highways in Michigan are nasty. Real nasty. I could have sworn by the sounds that one of my tires was flat and was freaking out for quite some time. Add to the fact that I got somewhat "twisted" shall we say, going through Detroit. I swear Garmin Guy Jack said left, but apparently he said right. A few times. Until I thought to look at the GPS and follow it rather than listen to 'Jack".
So here I am, twisted in Detroit, with what I was sure was a flat tire and then I hit Ohio and the difference in the highways was like night and day.

The rest of the trip went fine - that is until I got to the hotel. Somehow "Jack" and I were on different wave lengths and rather than 'recalculating', he let me drive way out of my way. I finally pulled over when I saw empty store fronts and insect killing stores - figured the hotel wasn't in that neck of the woods. When I turned 'Jack' off and back on, he got with the program and directed me to the hotel.

Unfortunately 'Jack' seems to be missing. I was so glad to finally get to the hotel, I can't remember if I took him out of his little holder on the dashboard. Later on I had got myself so disorganized, I thought I'd better look for 'Jack'. He wasn't in my purse, he wasn't in my luggage, I can't find him anywhere. I decided to go for valet parking and even had them bring my car back so I could look in it again, but no 'Jack'. I didn't look to hard in the back seat though. Maybe he's hiding in the same place as my wallet hid from me a few weeks ago. I figure I'll look again on Friday - I don't want to have them keep bringing my car back to look.

And I can't find my cell phone either. I know I took it out of my purse this morning after letting it charge all last night. I wanted to leave my cell phone on the list I left for Brent and I'm betting I left it on the kitchen counter - I had to look up my number as I've no idea what it is.

Either that or Cell Phone and Jack have both decided to bail on me and produce little baby electronic gadgets that will make my life a living hell.

Jill is great. Again that instant rapport that all romance book lovers share. And it's great seeing Nath again. We went out for dinner with a few other romance readers and author Delilah Marville. It was a great dinner with great conversation.

The last interesting thing that happened is oddly enough, there is also another convention going on here at the hotel, of funeral directors of all things - what a fascinating mix. A bunch of us were sitting around in the bar and someone asked if anyone had a cigarette to give this guy. I turned around and this really cute guy was standing there. I could have sworn he was one of the models - but nope, he was funeral director. Who'd have thought!!

Anyway, it's late, I'm tired and I'm worried about missing 'Jack'. I don't how I'm going to get home without him. I'll probably end up driving in circles for a few hours in Detroit!!

So!! Today is the big day!!

Actually it's not - it's tomorrow. But since I'm going to set this to post tomorrow, as you read it, tomorrow will be today!

The plan is to leave between 8 and 9. As of right now, which to those reading is last night, I'm only about 30% packed. It will be a mad scramble tomorrow morning - or this morning, for those reading.

Other than not being packed, I think I'm set. I have my camera all ready, my cell phone charged up, my laptop ready - those are the most important *g*. My Garmin is updated with the most recent maps, I have my Trip Tik and one of my coworkers showed me how to avoid having to drive through Detroit. It's a bit longer to go around, but less scary for someone driving and relying on their directionally challenged self for driving. Ah those electronic devices that scare me.

Now for the fun part!!

I'm looking forward to all kinds of events in Columbus, meeting roomies Jill (for the first time), and Nath again, meeting up with Mollie, meeting fellow romance readers and all the workshops - all will be so much much to see and do.


For those who will be attending - and for those waiting at home, the Mullet Wig night is Thursday at 4:30. That is when I will be donning the wig as the loser *sigh* in The US vs Canada Mullet Challenge. The challenge that I lost to Sarah of Smart Bitches and her Billy Ray Cyrus. Perhaps I can buy her a Mullet Drink. It looks rather tasty - and I do look forward to the rousing cry after. Perhaps a number will try it. I can only giggle at the thought of a group of women ordering a Mullet Drink as I 'don the Mullet'. I don't have a red plaid shirt - I think mine is blue - but I'm not sure and it's one of the few things that's packed.
And now, I must head to bed so I'm nice and wide awake for the journey that I'll probably be just starting as you read this post.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Welcome - our Newest Crusader!!

Ever since I first saw North and South, I've been trying to get a certain fan of the romance genre to watch it without being pushy. Instead I've tried gently encouraging.

She emailed me the other day to see she finally watched it - and she LOVED it. I knew she would. Just about all of us do don't we?

Anyway, she blogged about North and South in her latest post - so go over and say welcome to our newest Crusader - and a friend and one of my favourite authors, Pamela Clare.

And of course this calls for a........VIDEO.

or maybe two

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yep, it's that time again. And a really dumb question

It's that time when I answer my spam mail in a 'public' forum. I don't have as many fun ones this time 'round. It seems that the vast majority of my spam are offers ranging from 75% to 87% - 87% (?) off viagara. And they are all kinds of boring. But I do have a few fun ones:

Elizabeth Pittman says " Hi we have Is it to small"

My response: Elizabeth - I have read this a number of times and really, it doesn't make any sense. The best I can do is guess what it means and thus my answer - I don't have an It.

ismetulamraja says "Virilying your bulge"

My response: ismetulamraja (where do they come up with some of these names by the way?) besides having an almost unpronounceable name, I think you have just made up a word. Again I had to guess and my response is similar. Not only do I not have an It, I don't have a bulge. Oh I have bulges alright, way too many much to my dismay, but not the bulge I think you are referencing.

Gavin Kearns says "Why settle for what you have"

My response: Gavin, while it's true we all would like more - more money, more books, more whatever, on the whole I'm happy enough with what I have and I'm not going to open your email to see if I want more of an It or a Bulge.

Dafamco says "Dip into passion ocean"

My response: Dafamco, I'm a widow. If I dip into passion ocean, I'll be dipping in alone. Unless you can come up with someone to dip into it with, I think I'll just stick to small lakes.

Alec Holloway asks: "Do you have $6 ?"

My response: Yes. ...... Oh wait! I bet you want to sell me something for $6. Sorry, not interested.

Helen Bush says "cccccccccc"

My response: dddddddddd. Your turn. Though I have to be honest, this is kind of a boring game.

Toyota Promo says "Congratulations"

My response: Yours doesn't seem outrageous or funny, but considering the troubles you seem to be having lately, I think I'll just stick with my Chevy Cavalier.

ELENA Neely says "For your rod's spirit of verticality"

My Response: ELENA, first off, I find it a bit odd that you would capitalize just your first name, but *shoulder shrug* to each their own. Again, I must respond that I don't have an It nor a bulge nor a "rod" - if that's what you are referring to - and that's what most spam mail does mean I think. And second - spirit of verticality?????? Is that a word and do they have their very own spirit now? I know we joke they have the 'small' brain, but now they have a spirit too!!

Errol Castro says "Your wife will love it"

My response: I'm not a wife. I wouldn't mind one in a platonic sense of the word. It would be ever so nice to come home to a clean house and meal ready for me. I know, I know - that's terribly sexist isn't it. I realize that. But that would be the only reason I would want a platonic wife.

Susan Jeffers says: "Remeberances my new address"

My response: Susan, I have no idea what you could possibly be trying to say to get me curious enough to open you spam mail. Although - maybe you're a genius and that's the point! Regardless, I'm not going to do it. And yet again, according the red squiggly line under the word rememberances, you have also made up a word.

Eddie Newsome says "All men need this"

My response: Eddie, let's be honest with each other. All men need A LOT of things. And avoiding being sexist again, I'll confess, all women need a lot of things too.

Efrain Lowery says "too busy to go back to school?"

My response: Yes Efrain, I am. I went back to school about 12 years ago and while I loved it since it was my choice to go back and not something I had to do, and I met a great group of women I still connect with, I'm not interested in doing it again. I have a job I very much enjoy and I'm at a point in my life where I wouldn't mind taking evening courses for my own interests, like the creative writing courses I took a couple of years ago, I'm not really interested in starting the whole "school" thing over again.

And there you have it! My spam mail is empty and now I can start a brand new collection of the wacky and the funny.

Now for the really dumb question. I'm headed to Columbus next week - it should almost be a song title shouldn't it? Anyway, I'm driving - from Southwestern Ontario by myself unless anyone else from this neck of the woods is headed for the RT convention and is stuck for transpo. Which reminds me - I have to get some good tunes to listen to - Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling and maybe some Lady Gaga. And because I'm getting more and more excited daily, odd things occur to me. And this is one I'm wondering about. I plan on just parking at the hotel. When I get there, do I drive to the parking garage and haul my luggage up? Or do I stop at the parking entrance, take out my luggage there and a parking valet takes care of parking my car and retrieving it for me if I go outside the hotel during the week. I've always flown before and car stuff wasn't an issue.

I know this is way overplayed - but I love it anyway!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Recent ReRead

Once a Pirate by Susan Grant

Why this one: As you can tell, this is a reread. And as to why - it called to me. Really! It did. It was on the bed right out in plain sight in the computer room and I saw it every time I was in the room. I don't know how it got there - must have traveled up from 'the Library' late one night while I was sleeping. Every time I saw it, it whispered a little louder until I could no longer deny it's call.

Steam Level: Oh yea.

Once A Pirate
Andrew Spencer sailed the seas seeking revenge, and there were very few merchants' treasures that he hadn't given a jolly rogering. But on this particular voyage, he found his task harder than usual. As a brown-eyed beauty was hoisted from the waves, he found his pirate's soul plundered from without and a fiery need conjured up from within.

Forever Her Man
The freak storm that caused her plane to go down in the Atlantic sent fighter pilot Carly Callahan's life spinning out of control as well. Pulled from the freezing ocean, she found herself in the hot embrace of an Adonis. But his eyes were cold and hard, and the man's burning lips swore she was someone else before he claimed her as his own. Carly knew she had one chance to go home, but there was so much to see and feel here-and the best was yet to come.

My Thoughts: You say you can't buy a book by it's cover. Well, I'm shallow and I'll often buy a book if it has a good cover. But the opposite shouldn't hold true. Despite it's horrid man titty, wind blowing hair, this is one heck of a good read. I'd read a couple of Ms. Grant's later books and quite enjoyed them so I ordered this one.

As well as ignoring the cover, you might be best to kind of ignore the back cover blurb too. I mean seriously - " jolly rogering", "a brown-eyed beauty was hoisted from the waves", "his pirate's soul plundered from without and a fiery need conjured up from within". Shudder. Whoever wrote this should have been demoted.

Instead, this is a wonderful story with a great hero (and a nice ordinary name) and an equally great heroine.

I first blogged about this book in 2006 and I'm happy to say I enjoyed it just as much in 2010 as I did in 2006

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The trials - and joys - of life

I'm not sure, but I'd be willing to bet that we all have 'that certain appliance' that gives us fits. The one appliance that drives us crazy and we have to replace more than all others combined.
With me, it's vacuum cleaners. I don't know why it is, but they don't see to like me and quit me more than any other electrical appliance. I think in the past 35 some odd years that I grew up and moved out of my mommy and daddy's house, I've had at least 10 of the suckers. My latest purchase was about a month ago.

When I came home with it and had my son Brent, the one who is displacing my library, put it together, because if it was up to me to put together it would still be in the box, and as I vacuumed for the first time using it, it was like I had new carpet. Since the old one - that only lasted 4 years - gave up it's life, my carpet was looking pretty bad.

I tried vacuuming the other day during my once a week cleaning and damned it the power header bar thing or more commonly known as the 'rotating brush' wouldn't turn.

Now I've had that happen to me before when loose threads got sucked up and then that horrid burning smell. But when I unplugged it and turned it upside down, none of them had got sucked in and no nasty smell. But I turned it on and off, took it apart as far as I felt comfortable doing and still no beating header bars. I put the little one on - the little one for upholstery cleaning, and it worked fine. But do you know how long it would take to vacuum the living room and hall carpet using the little upholstery vacuum thing? More time than I was willing to spend that's for sure!

When Brent came over the other day, I had him look at it; figuring I could blame him since he was the one to put it together in the first time. Being a dutiful son whose main goal in life is to be a good son, yet drive his mama crazy at the same time, he spent a good hour trying to figure it out and came to the conclusion that the 'rotating brush' wasn't supposed to 'rotate'. But that didn't make sense to me as I was pretty sure it was busy whirling before. And one reason why he drives me bonkers. Added to that was the fact that it wasn't sucking anything up.

But today I just couldn't stand the carpet anymore. It was covered in little bits of stuff and it was FLAT. I suppose I could have got down on my knees and pick up the little bits by hand, but the carpet would still be flat.

So I got it out again, sat down in front of it ready to do battle and studied it for a while. During this pre-battle warm up I noticed there was a foot pedal that you push depending on if you are vacuuming a carpeted floor or a non carpeted floor. Now I had kind of noticed that before and was dutifully pushing with my foot and nothing seemed to happen. But this time I pushed it down harder with my hand. And low and behold something moved.

With my breath held in excitement and my fingers crossed for luck, I turned it on and......voila! The 'rotating brush' was madly rotating around and as I started pushing the vacuum, STUFF WAS BEING VACUUMED UP!! I quite happily vacuumed the living room - twice! And now I can see foot prints again 'cause it's no longer flat and I don't have anymore little dark specs .
It's amazing sometimes how the oddest things can make up happy.

What I really want to get though, is one of those round vacuums that vacuum while you're away. I love the thought of it freaking out the cats - specially Destructo Cat. I'd love to get back at her! Maybe when this one bites the dust. And it will - I know that, I'll see about getting one.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Recent Read

Actually this isn't really a recent read. I read it some time ago now but I enjoyed it so very much that I have to share.

Abandon the Night by Joss Ware

Why this one: I really enjoyed the first two in this series and couldn't wait to read this one.

Steam Level: It was very fine with me


Everything they knew is gone.

From the raging fires, five men emerge with extraordinary new powers. They are humankind's last hope ... but they cannot survive this dark, ravaged world alone...

Quentin Fielding had everything. Money. Power. Women. But now that civilization is all but annihilated, Quent only wants one thing: revenge. Harnessing a strange new "gift," he embarks on a deadly mission to find the the man responsible for the chaos and destruction, the man he should have killed years ago: his father. Only one thing stands in his way – a mysterious, arrow-wielding beauty...

Zoe Kapoor is on her own quest for vengeance, searching for the monstrous fiends who murdered her family. Soon she and Quent join together, journeying through the ruins of the world they once knew as a desperate desire builds between them. Drawing closer to an enemy they never imagined, Zoe and Quent must abandon all fear, abandon all regret, abandon the night ... if they want to stay alive.

My Thoughts: When this one started there has already been a connection between Quent and Zoe. They shared some steamy moments in the previous books. To be honest, I wasn't sure how I would feel about Quent and his own book. In the earlier ones, he struck me as being rather snotty, British playboy type but from the very beginning prologue we get a glimpse into Quent's life and it was not a happy one, so right away my slightly negative feelings for Quent were dispelled and I was on his side from that point on.

This story picks up from the previous two. Our group is gaining more and more knowledge on what happened and who caused the apocalyptic end of the world and one of the main causes was Quent's father. Quent feels great guilt that he didn't end his father's life long before his father destroyed the world and feels he must make up for that now.

Helping him with this mission is Zoe Kapoor. She is a tough as nails heroine who has her own plans of revenge against the man who was responsible for killing her entire family. She is a loner who doesn't let anyone into her life, with the exception, occasionally of Quent. But Quent isn't happy with just the occasional.

Both these characters are great. They are both loners at heart who are not really complete without the other. I know it's been overused to the point some reader roll their eyes, but Zoe really is a wonderfully kick ass heroine. She's strong and she does what needs to be done in the post-apocalyptic world. And though she doesn't really need or want it, Quent is wonderfully protective of her.

This is another incredible book in this world that has me hooked. I can hardly wait for the next book in this series.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ponderings of the last two days

I was going to do a post last night.

But I was too despondent. It started on my way home from work. I stopped off at the grocery store to get some groceries. When it came time to pay for them, I went to get my wallet out - and no wallet!! I didn't have any money in it; I was going to use my debit card. With a feeling of dread, I started routing around in my Big Purse (which has received a lot of compliments by the way - I'm not used to people complimenting my 'mom' purses) but no luck. I couldn't find it. Luckily I had some money stashed in one of the side pockets - birthday money I hadn't spent yet.

When I got home, I sort of looked for my wallet, but not too hard. You see, if I looked everywhere and couldn't find it, I would freeze and panic, but if I didn't look too hard, I could tell myself it was somewhere where I hadn't looked. But I looked hard enough and still didn't find it. I tried shutting down my thoughts, but they kept creeping in. While I didn't have any money in it, I did have other valuable things like my debit card, my credit card, my SIN card and my OHIP card. The OHIP card is the older red and white ones and as anyone who lives in Ontario will tell you - you hold on to them as long as you can, because if you have the newer picture cards, you have to get a new one every few years and it's a pain in the neck.

Now one of the things that had me most worried was the credit card. I NEED my credit card. That's how I'm paying my hotel bill when I head to Columbus. I was trying to figure out if I could get a new one in time - it's not far away now. Also in there was my CAA card and I NEED my CAA card when I travel any distance. And since I'm driving to Columbus, that's some distance!

I was so distraught that I couldn't allow myself to think, because then all the thoughts would come rushing in at all the time it would take to replace all the stuff and I don't have the time. Luckily I keep my drivers license, birth certificate and car ownership in another place in my Big Purse. I sat like a zombie for most of the night, watching meaningless television. I couldn't read 'cause that would open my brain to thinking - and I didn't dare think.

I even had a dream that I found my wallet - it was in my Big Purse the whole time, but when I woke up, it wasn't very long at all before it hit me that I only dreamed I found my wallet; it was still missing. And I tried to remember the last time I had it and couldn't. I very cautiously checked in my account, keeping my fingers crossed that there wasn't whole chunks of money missing, or purchases on my credit card - like big screen TV's or something - since I haven't bought a big screen TV, but luckily there wasn't anything I hadn't bought myself and the last time I used either my debit card or credit card was last Saturday.

I thought maybe it was in the car, since I'm always taking all the stuff out of my purse in the car, like the 3 or 4 books I carry, 3 pairs of glasses, my cell phone, etc. when I need change at the bottom of my purse, but it wasn't in the seat where I put all that stuff. So this morning I started a full fledged panic. I thought maybe my wallet had fallen out under my desk where I keep my purse at work - if it wasn't there, I knew I'd be useless for a few days. Despite that though, I simply had to get my coffee. One can't have a real good meltdown without a coffee beside them.

As I was getting out of the car, I glanced in the back seat and noticed some change on the floor. As change would be the only money I had until I got a new bank card - though in Canada change can add up quickly if you have some twoonies and loonies in there, I needed all I could find.

And what should be next to it but MY WALLET. Crisis averted and I had a very strong urge to hug my wallet, but many of my coworkers already think I'm odd - later in the day - being in a very jolly mood now - I told my case manager that I was from another planet and my spaceship was hovering over the building I work in, waiting to pick me up for the weekend and I asked if she wanted to come along. She said fine as long as they brought us back again.

It's amazing how that feeling of relief loosens the tongue - and the imagination!

Anyway - now it's OK for me to use my brain again instead of sitting in a zombie-like state in order to avoid panic. What a wonderful feeling that is.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Recent Read

In For a Penny by Rose Lerner

Why this one: I received and ARC and after reading AnimieJune's Most Excellent Review, I moved this one up in the TBR pile

Steam Level: Yep, it was steamy

Blurb: IN FOR A PENNY No more drinking. No more gambling. And definitely no more mistress. Now that he's inherited a mountain of debts and responsibility, Lord Nevinstoke has no choice but to start acting respectable. Especially if he wants to find a wife -- better yet, a rich wife. Penelope Brown, a manufacturing heiress, seems the perfect choice. She's pretty, rational, ladylike, and looking for a marriage based on companionship and mutual esteem. IN FOR A POUND But when they actually get to Nev's family estate, all the respectability and reason in the world won't be enough to deal with tenants on the edge of revolt, a menacing neighbor, and Nev's family's propensity for scandal. Overwhelmed but determined to set things right, Nev and Penelope have no one to turn to but each other. And to their surprise, that just might be enough.

My Thoughts: My reading of historicals is way down this year compared to other years. In fact, this is only the second historical I've read this year and it's already April! I pondered a few posts ago on why that was, and this book blasts away all those reasons. I really enjoyed it.

Penelope Brown is the wealthy daughter of a 'Cit' who made his fortune owning a brewery. Unlike many a historical heroine, she's not a young innocent miss. Yes, she's young. And yes, she's innocent in some ways. But she's also quick thinking, intelligent and has a mind of her own. She decides rather quickly to accept the offer of marriage from Lord Nevinstoke, better known as Nev.

Nev, you see, quickly discovered upon the death of his father that he was deeply in death and responsible for his sister and mother. He's at a loss as to what to do since he's never had to work for a living. He was just a 19th century party boy. But after meeting Penelope at a ball, he is rather taken with her and thinks that with her money and his basic attraction to her, they can make a go of it.

They make a go at making their marriage work, Nev thinking he's not good enough for Penny since he feels he's a failure at everything, and Penny not thinking she's good enough for Nev since she's not a member of the 'nobles'. But what makes this book work so well for me is they communicate with each other whenever they seem to be a cross purposes. Penny though, is reluctant to tell Nev of her growing feelings for him, fearing he won't feel the same. And Nev isn't what I consider an alpha hero - therefore I can say he's just adorable. He's like a fish out of water as he struggles to take up his responsibilities to his people and not be the wastrel that his father was.

I really enjoyed everything about this book and hopefully it will jump start me back into historicals. I've missed them.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

The people have spoken

And despite my cheating last minute try, it will be ME awearin' the mullet wig, and the wife beater, and the plaid shirt.

I gave it my best with my spandex and my shiny and my hot Keiffer vampire, but good old Achy Breaky himself, Billy Ray with large dose of McGuyver, did me in. I'm about to send Sarah my conceding email - yes, the US has the best mullets.
So look for Sarah and me in Columbus and Nashville were I will be wearing this
I wonder what some mouse and hair spray might accomplish..........

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Recent Read

Taking a bit of a break from the jocularity that is The Mullet Challenge (heh heh heh) I'm getting back to business for a bit. One of my self thought challenges was to do a recent read on every book I read this year. Well, what with my reading mojo on high, I can't catch up writing 'em as I read 'em.

Broken by Shiloh Walker

Why this one: I've read some good buzz on this one plus I met her last year in Washington and shared a pint or two - though I don't know if she remembers me.

Steam Level: Oooh, it warmed my insides and I didn't mind even though we went through an early April hot spell.

Blurb: Shattered

Quinn Rafferty is working as a bounty hunter and bail bondsman in St. Louis when a new neighbor catches his eye. He’s tempted by her beauty—but he knows from experience that anyone desperate enough to live in his building is damaged goods. Besides, he has his own soul to mend before he can worry about anyone else.


Sara Davis is on the run, but not for the usual reasons a woman goes on the lam. She’s not an abused wife, and she’s not a criminal. But she does have a plan for her future. And as much as she finds herself attracted to her gruff, tough neighbor, she can’t risk telling him the secrets she’s hiding. There’s just too much at stake.

Driven to desire…

But Quinn must get closer to Sara when she turns out to be the target of his new missing persons case, and he discovers that there is something more complex and dangerous to her than he thought. Now, both Quinn and Sara will have to expose their true feelings—as well as their fragile hearts—if they hope their love will survive…

My Thoughts: The reason for the preamble at the top of this review is since I'm not having time to do as many reviews as I hoped, I'd rather concentrate on books I loved. It's not that I'm a Pollyanna, and will give singing praises to every book I read - Harriet Klausner I ain't. But it is about sharing the love - and I loved this book.

I read the previous book, Fragile, and while I liked it, I didn't loooovvee it. Not so with this one. I was intrigued by Quinn in Fragile - I'll always take a bad boy over a good guy in my heroes. And Quinn was oh so deliciously bad.

He grew up as an abused child, neglected and beaten by his alcoholic, druggie mother. When she dies, he discovers he has another family including a loving father and a twin brother. Because of his ugly early years though, he is unable to trust them and even when he does slowly realize that they aren't out to hurt him, he still can't let his walls down and really let them in. All this makes for just my kind of hero!!

He is working as a bounty hunter when he meets his new neighbour Sara. Sara is running, from what we don't know for the longest time. But when a kindly woman notices that Sara is on edge she offers to let Sara move into an apartment at her place. Sara is tough and strong and though we don't know what she is hiding from, at least I found myself routing for her. We have our suspicions, but it's never confirmed.

So Quinn and Sarah, due to different reasons hold a lot back from each other and neither wants to get involved. But they can't keep their attraction in check. It's touching seeing this wounded, gruff, self-contained Quinn get all protective of Sara, even though he doesn't know from what or who he thinks she needs protection from. And Sara knows she needs to move on, but she just can't seem to leave her new life - and Quinn - behind.

These are two wonderful wounded, lonely people who find and need each other and I absolutely loved this book.
A word of caution though for those end peekers like myself.


I read the end way before I got to it and there is a twist that's probably better left until the end. Knowing in advance didn't spoil the book for me at all, but I do wonder how it would have been if I didn't already know :-)

Grade: 5 out of 5

And now I'm off to take my car in for a check up before my long drive to Columbus (YES!!) in a couple of weeks - hopefully it won't be too bad

Friday, April 09, 2010

I'm not above some cheating

Now normally I like to think of myself as a very honest kind of person. I found someone's purse in Wendy's not long ago - just left there - and I turned it in.

I feel kind of guilty when I unfold a paper clip at work, knowing I won't use it to clip papers, because the inside of my ear gets itchy at work and there are no Q-tips around - yes, I know it's a stupid thing to do - I'm a jumper when people come up behind me, but if my inner ear gets to itchy and my finger is too big - what's a person to do.

I've never brought a pen home from work - even though I collect pens. Of course we will ignore the fact that they buy the cheapest pens anywhere - pens that are lucky to last a week.

When McDonald's had free coffee for the first half of March, I always bought something else I didn't really want because I just didn't like driving right past the pay window - without paying anything - even though I stop there every day on my way to work.

But this is WAR damn it and all gloves are off!! I'm bring out the big guns. I'm trailing badly in the Battle of the Mullets so I need something to get me some votes.

So with that in mind - here is yet another Mullet wearing Canadian - courtesy of Susanna

This is KEIFER people - Jack Bower himself. This picture is from The Lost Boys - where he plays A Vampire, A Sexy, Hawt Vampire.

And because when one decides to cheat, might as well go big......

And thanks to Mari for this clip - A SKATING, DANCING, MULLETED Kurt Browning

Singin' in the rain - Kurt Browning (Singing in the rain)
Uploaded by gr3gp. - Check out other Film & TV videos.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Mullet Challenge - 2010

Now you may remember a post I did a few weeks ago on the subject of mullets and disagreeing with Sarah of Smart Bitches on what exactly constitutes a mullet. Pictures were included.

Not long after that Sarah emailed me asking if Canadian men wore mullets (some do.....shudder) and "challenging" me to a Mullet -off between American mullets and Canadian mullets. Never one to back down from a challenge, I picked up her gauntlet and spent time - time which I will never get back - seeking out some good Canadian mullets

Next up was how to pick a winner and loser - and what it would cost the loser. Sarah came up with a diabolical plan for the loser - truly, evilly diabolical. Since we will both be at the RT convention and the RWA conference, the loser has to buy the winner a drink at both. Now you are thinking - that doesn't sound too diabolical to me? But that was only the beginning for Smart Bitch Sarah. You see - while we are enjoying our drinks, the loser also has to wear this!!!!

Mullet Wig

I'm not sure if that includes the shirt and undershirt or not.

So with that on the line, and bleach in hand for cleaning the eyeballs later, I found some Most Excellent Canadian Mullets.

This first one is Wendel Clark - former Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ron would be horrified to know that I put up a picture of a Leaf to be mocked and judged - but I was challenged!!

Now Wendel isn't the only captain of an NHL team to make the millieux of mullets wall of fame. Mario Lemieux, former captain and now part owner of the Pittsburg Penguins is also in this Challenge.

And here we have yet another NHL captain who dares to sport a mullet. Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks is yet another member of the Canadian Mullet Wearing cast. He's also a local guy so I had to include him!

And last - but not least - of our NHL wearing captains is probably the most famous hockey player in the world. Yes, even The Great One - none other than Wayne Gretzky sported this most infamous of hair styles.

And maybe the reason why some of the players wore mullets is because they looked up to their coaches so much. Barry Melrose, former coach of the Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning wore such a mullet that can't be beat!

And just in case you think I could only come up with hockey players, there is another kind of hero on blades who sported this style that words cannot express.

Kurt Browning was and still is, a very popular figure skater up here. Now he has almost no hair, but in his day, he too 'wore the mullet'.

Now this is one of my BEST finds! Not only is skater Elvis Stoyko wearing a mullet, he's also wearing very shiny pants and tops. I may be biased, but I think this may top anything Sarah can find!!

And finally, to round out my Mullet Wearing Canadian Guys, we have - the Wet, Greasy Mullet as seen in this picture of WWE wrestler, Brett, the Hitman Heart - wearing PINK.

So this it. This does it for my list. I've answered Sarah's Mullet Challenge - 2010. Hopefully this list will be deemed the best so I won't have to sit in a bar for 2 hours wearing a Mullet Wig and possibly a plaid lumber jack shirt.

So drop by Smart Bitches to check out her millieux of mullets collection and see who did the best and vote for the best (or worst - I'm not really sure what to call it)

Be sure to vote in the poll on the right.

Monday, April 05, 2010

And a few more!!

One of the great things about blog land is there are always new ones joining the community.

Here are a few new or new-to-me bloggers.

Two Old Farts talking romance. No, I'm not insulting them *g*. That's the name of their blog. Carolyn and Lori have a unique take on romance :-)

And my newest find - Judi L of The Book Pimp Blogs. She's a baby blogger having been birthed in February. And in the land of the whole world of blogging - she's a neighbour so to speak - another blogger who will be adding U's where they should go *g*.

So be sure to add them to your stop on blog hopping adventures.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The reading month that was March

I know there are a lot of readers that read more and faster than I do, but still for me, March was a Very Good Reading Month! Some I've reviewed, some are upcoming and some I just didn't have time for

Fallen From Grace by Laura Leone ~~ This one was a reread - which one I don't know but certainly at least the third or fourth time I've read it. It's wonderful story of the hero's redemption and one I highly recommend. It's one of my all time favourites
5 out of 5

Enslave by Cathy Yardley ~~This wasn't bad for an erotic beauty and the beast type story.
3 out of 5

Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis ~~ I can see why this one got the buzz it did, I thought the characters were good, the story was interesting, but the lack of baseball knowledge kind of made this one disappointing for me
3.5 out of 5

Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner ~~ This was a gritty, wonderful example of why the Western is such a favourite genre of mine
4.5 out of 5

Embrace the Night Eternal by Joss Ware ~~ While I didn't grade this one that high, it showed a lot of promise for books to follow
3.75 out of 5

Beyond the Night by Joss Ware ~~ This one more than lived up to the promise this series showed in Embrace the Night Eternal. It was great!
4.75 out of 5

Naked Edge by Pamela Clare ~~ Another great book in the I Team series. My love for this authors books remains just as strong as when I first discovered her books
4.75 out of 5

The Best Revenge by Justine Davis ~~ I was hoping that the magic that this author used to have had returned and while I somewhat enjoyed this book, the magic isn't back yet
3.5 out of 5

Shut Up and Kiss Me by Christie Craig ~~ I received an ARC for this June release and My Thoughts are to follow. I'm not going to let the cat out of the bag yet - but I will say I quite enjoyed it.

Abandon the Night by Joss Ware ~~ I'm planning a 'My Thoughts' on this book - the more exposure the better for this fascinating series I discovered thanks to Stacy!

Take Me by Shelli Stevens ~~ I have a review started for this one so I'm mum on it *g*

Something About You by Julie James ~~ Another good one by Julie James; she amps up the steam on this one a bit more. While I liked it quite a bit, I enjoyed her first couple slightly more. I will keep reading her books though and she is quite a good lawyer turned writer
3.75 out of 5

Mr. Imperfect by Karina Bliss ~~ After reading What The Librarian Did, I went glomming this author. I loved the other ones I found, but this one was a dud. The hero wasn't bad, but I just couldn't warm up to the heroine.
2.75 out of 5

Hard to Hold by Stephanie Tyler ~~ I tend not to do as many negative reviews as positive so I don't have a full fledged one planned for this book. I know there are a number of readers who enjoyed it, but alas I'm not one of them. I found it jerky reading and things that would have been better explained near the beginning of the book were left until later and because of that, I found the heroine to be one unlikeable bitch despite what she went through. When I first got this one I was debating on getting the rest of the series but by the end of this book decided not to. The hero's story was also doled out in little bits along the way and by the time I got to the end, I just didn't care. Thankfully though, this disappointment didn't lead to a slump - that's happened in the past when I read a book I disliked.
2 out of 5

Her Secret Fling by Sarah Mayberry ~~ I started this one a while ago and kind of put it aside for a while as it didn't grab me the way She's Got it Bad did, but I picked it up again several days ago and continued on and ended up quite enjoying it. I'm looking forward to this months release for the Super Romance line - Her Best Friend
4.25 out of 5

So there you have it - one of the best reading months I've had in a very long time.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

You can find me today

Over at Readers Gab at Access Romance. I was a bit late posting this time round and you can check out why.