Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Recent Reads - a 3fer!

The King’s Courtesan by Judith James

Why this one: Ever since I was blown away by Broken Wing, there’s not a chance I won’t read anything this author writes. Although it sat longer in the TBR pile than originally planned, I think the reason was I’m so taken with reading on my IPad now that it wasn’t until I bought this digitally that I finally started reading it.

Steam Level: It’s cold. It’s winter. This book will help warm one up on a cold winter day

Blurb: Sensuous, beautiful and determined, Hope Matthews is a favored mistress of the king.

Her many charms have helped her rise from the gutter to the king's bed. But with the new queen's impending arrival, her nights in the royal chamber-- and her hopes for security--will swiftly come to an end.

His honor a distant memory

Haunted by his past hardened by the recent civil war, Captain Robert Nichols lives only for revenge. When told he must marry the king's courtesan to provide a cover for their affair,

he's faced with a new low. Both are pawns of a great man, but married to their dreams of independence, their clash is inevitable. Can these two wounded souls realize the answer to all their dreams might lie in each other's arms?

My Thoughts: While this one didn’t blow me away like BW did, it’s certainly in the upper levels of books I read in 2011. Robert Nichols was in the previous book, Libertine’s Kiss where he was a rather dour, severe kind of character; of course any one would be after the larger than life persona of William.

I might have worried, but this is Judith James who writes such wonderful, multidimensional characters. And I just adore the setting and time period.

Although it’s England, this book as well as Libertine’s Kiss is set during the Restoration period. I’ve been so intrigued and wanting to know more about this underwritten time in English history.

As I said, while Robert comes across as stern, much of that can be attributed to the fact that he was on Cromwell’s side during the civil war and those Puritans weren’t know to be party animals. But the fact that he fought for Cromwell was more that it was expedient then the fact that he followed their beliefs. His lands had been stolen and he wanted them back. He is a good and honourable man and I liked him a lot.

But it’s Hope who is the one full of life here. In Broken Wing, it was Gabriel who was the stand out character; in The King’s Courtesan, for me, it’s Hope. What a wonderfully written character she is. She’s grown up in a brothel, her mother the Madam who sells her young daughter, Hope still manages to maintain certain innocence about her. She first meets Robert when she is young and quite literally falls into his lap during a march of the soldiers. She’s smitten with him and sees him as someone who will rescue her from her sad circumstances only to be sold later that same day. The book then moves forward in time to when Charles II has taken the crown and Hope as one of his

mistresses. He is about to be married and Hope realizes that he can’t keep her because of her low birth. All she wants from Charles is her freedom to live her life the way she wants to. Instead, like so many other people in her life, he ‘sells’ her to Robert for the price of Robert’s land back. Charles thinks once the newness of

marriage wears off, he will want Hope back again and Robert will be a compliant cuckold. But things don’t turn out quite that way.

Once they get past their initial misunderstandings, they begin to truly care about the other and fall in love.

And now it hangs over their head – what do they do when the King wants her back

And while Hope is more of a stand out character, Robert is no slouch himself. He never holds Hope’s past against her, realizing she did what she had to do in order to survive.

He is smitten with the dichotomy of her being the King’s mistress on one hand and so seemingly naive and innocent on the other hand.

The setting is also such an attraction for me with this book. There are so few in this setting and I know so little, that a few times while reading, I went back and did a bit of research on the time. As history was one of my favourite subjects in school, I simply loved that I had this reaction.

I just love EVERTHING about Ms. James writing, her characters, her settings, her detail to history, you name it and I give it a thumbs up. As I think I mentioned earlier this one didn’t quite come up to Broken Wing, but since I gave that book higher than a 5 out of 5, this one does get a

Grade: 5 out of 5

When A Duke Says I Do by Jane Goodger

Why This One: There was some discussion on it on the AAR board, I looked it up, it sounded interesting,

I’ve read and enjoyed some older books by this author so I decided to give it a try.

Steam Level: Fairly toasty!

Blurb: Miss Elsie Stanhope resided in Nottinghamshire, an area so rich in titled gentlemen, so felicitous for marriage-minded mamas, it was called

"the Dukeries." Indeed, Elsie had been betrothed since childhood to the heir of a dukedom. She had no expectation it would be a love match.

Still less that she would enter into a shockingly scandalous affair with an altogether different sort of lover. And the very last thing she imagined was that the mysteries of his birth would be unraveled with as many

unforeseen twists and turns as the deepest secrets of her heart.

My Thoughts: Do you ever read a synopsis and just something you can’t really put your finger on precisely calls to you and you just want to read this book?

That’s what happened to me with this one and I’m glad I listened to ‘the call’. I really enjoyed this book. In these times of fewer historical reads, this book helped to remind me why I used to enjoy them so much.

Elsie is a naturally happy young woman. Betrothed since she was very young, she doesn’t really want to get married and move away from all that she knows and loves including her very young sister.

But she is ready to do it since she is if nothing else, an obedient daughter to her widowed father.

But her plans are thrown into disarray when she finds herself very attracted to the mute young

assistant to the mural artist her father has hired. Elsie has troubles sleeping and late at night when

everyone else is abed, she slips down to where Andre or Alexander is working late into the night.

It turns out he’s hiding a few secrets. First off, he is the real artist, not his boss. His boss has been unable to paint for a while and Alexander is covering for him. In addition,

Alexander is not really mute; he just has very real and strong issues, dating back to a horrid childhood in speaking in public. Indeed,

not even his artist boss knows he can really speak.

Alexander and Elsie develop a strong bond built in friendship

and it leads to much deeper feelings on both their parts. But both realize that their blossoming love is impossible. She

is engaged to someone else and he is nothing more than an artist’s assistant. But is he really only that?

This is a romance novel so of course he’s actually more. But in order to have any chance to claim the young woman he has come to love more than life itself, he’s going to have to rise above his very real issues.

This book reminds me a little of another book I loved to pieces and pieces, Broken Wing in that the hero is severely damaged and needs the

heroine to help heal him. While I didn’t have quite the same reaction to When A Duke Says I Do, I still thought it a very fine way to spend hours reading.

Alexander was deliciously wounded and I do so love a wounded hero. He suffered from a very abusive childhood which together with his speech issues, made things

very bad for him. But he felt comfortable enough with Elsie to be free and speak to her. Because of the healing effect she had on him, he was ‘gone’ for her, another characteristic I love about a heroine; when he is totally smitten with the heroine. I also quite enjoyed the character of Elsie too. She was alternately pragmatic, naïve, optimistic, accepting, compassionate and understanding. When she discovers Alexander’s secrets, she is willing to wait until he is ready to tell her the stories behind them.

Although very curious, she doesn’t pressure him. Towards the end of the story, she made one decision I wish she hadn’t, but considering the pressure she was under, I could see why she capitulated.

The villain of the story was a bit over the top and it wasn’t really

explained to my complete satisfaction why he did the things he did and there was no real closure for the hero. But those were small issues

when measured against how much I enjoyed this book.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Changeling Dream by Dani Harper

Why This One: I read the first book in this series and liked it

Steam Level: We haven’t had much of a winter so far this year, but if we had this would have helped keep me warm

Blurb: In times of stress Jillian Descharme has always found calm in her dream of a great white wolf with haunting blue eyes. But she is startled when the visions return and this time seem so real. Late at night he comes to her, speaks to her, touches her. It's almost as if he's alive...

Thirty years ago James Macleod lost his wife and unborn child to a killer bent on destroying the Changelings. Though he longed for death, his animal instinct fought for survival and James has been a wolf ever since. Yet now a woman has reawakened the man in him, taming wild instincts but arousing still wilder needs. With his ancient enemy hunting the legendary white wolf, James must fight for new life, new hope, new love.

My Thoughts: I’ve said a few times when it comes to either werewolves or vampires, I pick the werewolf. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been reading this series. I like the first book, thus I wanted to continue. The hero of this book is James MacLeod, the older brother of the hero of Changeling Moon. As it says in the blurb, James suffered a great tragedy when his young wife and unborn child were murdered and because he couldn’t deal with the horror of it all since he felt responsible, he remained in his wolf form for the next 30 years.

The heroine, Jillian Descharme, a young vet hired by Duncan, the hero of the first book, to help in his practice is the catalyst for James finally taking back his human self. It turns out many years ago that his wolf form rescued Jililan and the wolf side has considered Jillian ‘his’ ever since then. And Jillian has never forgotten the white wolf that rescued and comforted her from a horrendous attack when she was very young.

When the white wolf realizes that Jillian has come to his neck of the woods, he claims Jillian as his even though James does not want to become involved with anyone again. He is astonished when he does come back to his humanity to realize that so much time has gone by.

I liked both these characters. James is kind of unusual as there is an internal battle going on inside him for most of the book as to who was going to get what they wanted, him or his inner wolf. I thought that dynamic was quite unique. And I liked the character of Jillian although I felt at times that she was a bit too much of a ‘super’ woman. I preferred the first book just a tad more, but I liked them both enough to get the third one, Changeling Dawn.

There were a few things that I thought weren’t explained enough though. When James rescued Jillian many years ago, she lived in mid-Ontario and yet she moved thousands of miles to the exact location that James called home. It was never explained how James traveled such a long distance or why when in wolf form and then I thought it was just a tad too coincidental that Jillian would end up in the very small Alberta town that the MacLeod family called home.

But for a werewolf or changeling as they prefer to be called, I thought it not too shabby a book at all.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

Friday, January 20, 2012

Author Spotlight - Redux

I don't often repost previous posts I do, but things have changed in the electronic world since I did this one back in 2009. More and more of her Ms. Weir's books are available as ebooks now so readily available. I've been getting them myself as I'm finding it very comforting to have my very favourite books so close all the time in case of a sudden urge to reread. They are also on for quite a good price. As it was back in 2009, she is still an author I highly recommend and am glad to do this rare repost.


I’ve had all kinds of interesting ideas since I first started this blog. Unfortunately I’ve never got around to many of them. But one of the better ideas I had was an Author Spotlight feature. It’s been percolating around in my brain for a while – just waiting for the right author to pop into it. And finally one has. So here we go – Ramblings on Romance, etc.’s first Author Feature!!

The author I want to feature in this – the inaugural post………..

Theresa Weir

She first came to mind when I did a recent reread of her book Cool Shade (review here). I was reminded again of how unusual her books are. I like authors who write outside the box of romance ‘rules’; authors who take chances and take readers to places they’ve never been. I can’t think of a better author who does then Theresa Weir. Many reading this have probably never read a romance written by her. Her last published romance was back in 1999 before she switched to writing suspense as Anne Frasier/

Now she doesn’t not only write outside the box; with some of her books I don’t think there even is a box! Her stories are different and her heroes and heroines have problems and issues I’ve never seen before. And I can’t say enough about how refreshing I find that. I’ve been on a reading glom of her books ever since I finished Bad Karma – I’ve read two and I’m currently reading a third one. I sent for her entire back list once I finished Bad Karma although I did have a few of them already. Her writing is so vivid and so real and she writes such believable characters, it’s almost impossible to not be drawn into the world of each of her books.

The first one I read after Cool Shade was One Fine Day:

After too many years of heartache, Molly Bennet had packed her bags and run away ... from her memories, her husband, and the woman she had become. But just as she found herself on the brink of a brand-new life, an unexpected tragedy called her home. Now the man who had always been so much stronger than Molly needs her in a way she'd never thought possible....

No woman had ever appealed to Austin the way Molly did; from the day she left, all he knew was emptiness and the ache of losing her. He would have given anything to have her back—but not this way. He didn't want her pity. He couldn't expect her love. Yet as the walls of pride and fear come tumbling down, Austin and Molly will be given a second chance at happiness—if only they have the courage to take it.

This was the story of a marriage that had crumbled and fallen apart because neither Molly nor Austin were able to really ‘talk’ to each other. They both had barriers and walls up to keep the other out. Molly had finally left Austin the year before only to be drawn back when he suffers a stroke and needs, though not wants her help. This book deeply resonated in me as I too left my husband for a year to cliché as it sounds ‘find myself’. Molly returned a stronger person then when she left and Austin had become a much more vulnerable person due to his infirmity and they were finally able to really ‘see’ the other person. I was deeply moved by their story – to the point I found myself welling up in a number of places and that rarely happens.

I found the writing to be so realistic and moving, I felt that I really came to know these people.


This was the next one I read and I didn’t realize it at the time, but this book was written first and was about Sammy, Molly’s light hearted brother:

THEY SAID HE WAS A LOST CAUSE But from the moment Dr. Rachel Collins first saw her newest patient, she knew her colleagues were wrong. For beneath the pain and defiance in Sammy Thoreau's stormy black eyes she sensed a vulnerability that tore at her heart—and an amazing inner strength that made her all the more determined to help this bad-boy journalist learn to live again.

couldn't know that Sammy, wit

h his sexy smile and biting humor, would reverse their roles with a vengeance... exposing the secret pain she'd tried so hard to hide... igniting emotions no doctor should ever feel for a patient. All she knew was that she had to win this man's trust, to heal his hurts. Only then could they face the promise of their love, forever.

But Sammy had been in a terrible accident and wasn’t the same person he was before. After Molly rescued him from a terrible mental institution, this is his story and his slow road to recovery. Rachel also had her own sorrows to overcome. Again I was very emotionally involved in their tale.

The book I’m

reading now is Long Night Moon:

To the world, Sara Ivy had it all: a handsome husband, a manicured estate, the kind of ethereal beauty that drew all eyes to her. So when hard-bitten reporter Nash Audubon crashed a party to get an interview, all he expected was another run-in with a bored socialite. Instead, he got the surprise of his life. For Sara Ivy possessed an innocence that had no place in the sophisticated world of Chicago high society. Tempted to learn her deepest secrets, he followed her into the night...and in one dangerous moment discovered the real Sara—sexy, brave, and heartbreakingly defiant. She was ready to end the charade of her marriage to a brutal man, and Nash would move heaven and earth to cherish and protect her—even if it cost him his life....

Again I’m in awe at how Ms. Weir is managing to bring me into the story. I’m not very far into it yet, but although hard to read; the subject is spousal abuse, it’s even harder to put down. It’s breaking my heart, but in a very good way.

The previous books of hers that I’ve read:

The above mentioned Cool Shade where the hero suffers from Agoraphobia. And as a note of interest, this book was a RITA winner in 1999 for Best Romantic Suspense.

Bad Karma

where the heroine is a true physic and suffers from a severe eating disorder


She's the most exotic thing Egypt, Missouri, has ever seen—and Daniel Sinclair mistrusts her instantly. A small-town cop with big-city suspicions, Daniel figures that Cleo Tyler, a psychic hired to locate the town's missing master key, is a fraud. He'd be surprised to discover, though, that Cleo wouldn't disagree. While she longs to believe psychic abilities don't really exist, she can't seem to explain those odd glimpses she gets into other people's lives, nor can she control the terrible flashbacks from her own past. All she wants is to put on a good show, collect the money, and hit t he road—and the sooner the better, for behind Egypt's quaint facade is a chill Cleo can't shake. She's not sure where it's coming from, only that it frightens her terribly … almost as much as her confused feelings for a certain skeptical cop she'd like to keep at arm's length, yet draw closer at the same time.

Last Summer

HE SPENT HIS LIFETIME RUNNING FROM HIS PAST Right from the start Maggie Mayfield knew Johnnie Irish was trouble. The sexy Hollywood star had returned to his home town of Hope, Texas, to a hero's welcome. But for Maggie the notorious bad boy was nothing but bad news - until she discovered the tragic secret behind his reckless ways, until she found the hidden sweetness in his cynical smile... SHE RISKED HER FUTURE ON THE PROMISE OF HIS LOVE Johnnie knew he shouldn't have come back, knew he could never forgive this stark desert town for turning its back on a boy just struggling to survive. But all thoughts of revenge faded when he met widowed schoolteacher Maggie Mayfield. Passionate and caring, she seemed to sense the yearning behind his cocky swagger, the pain and loneliness he had tried so hard to escape. Against all reason Maggie believed in him. And now he had to find the strength to confront his demons - or lose the only woman he could ever love...
Renee did a review for this one a couple of years ago. I know I have it somewhere and I’m going to do a concentrated search for it soon.

Some Kind of Magic

its been a while since I last read this one, but I’m really looking forward to reading it again after I finish reading the ones I haven’t read yet

Not much is duller than winter in sleepy Fallon, Ida ho. So on her thirtieth birthday, Claire Maxfield wished for the one thing--well, one of the things--missing in her life: some excitement. Besides that voodoo doll from her best friend, she has no idea what she's about to get.

That very night a mysterious injured man named Dylan carjacks Claire at gunpoint, ordering her to hide him. But once inside her secluded cabin, something strange occurs. Claire's powerfully attractive captor somehow becomes the captive--and Claire winds up taking care of him!

Just how did it happen, she wonders. Maybe that voodoo doll, now sporting one of Dylan's hairs, had something to do with it. Or maybe it was a different kind of magic, a spell that is mystifying, unbreakable, and absolutely irresistible.

Amazon Lily

This is probably her most well know book.

On a mission to aid the native Indians, lovel
y Corey McKinney met up

with Asher Adams, the rugged and strikingly handsome pilot who would take her deep into the jungle...and to unknown dangers and desires. He was a man hardened by the wilderness and by life, drawn to protect the delicate Midwestern beauty, destined to love her with all his soul. But as proud Corey proved her daring, guts and strength, she fought her wild attraction to this powerful, sensuous man…and adventurer whose rough manner hid a gentle heart and a heroic mission...Far from civilization, his passion carried her to unknown lands of rapture, to adventures of ecstasy that left her thirsting for more. Then, in love and courage, she would risk her life for his...But only when fate threaten ed to part them forever would they face the greatest challenge of all...

And now I have a few more to read

American Dreamer

Loving Jenny

Iguana Bay

The Forever Man

Pictures of Emily

I hope anyone who has read and enjoyed any of her books will pop in and share which ones they have read and their thoughts on the book. I know she is a favourite with many of us ‘older romance readers’.

And now there is a whole new generation of romance readers who have probably never heard of her or never tried her.

If you are looking for an author who writes books where the characters come alive on the pages you must try her.

If you are looking for books where the hero and heroine are truly ‘broken’ and healed by the strength of love, you must try her.

If you are looking for books with stories way ‘outside the box’ of most romance you must try her.

If you are looking for books where each and every one is unique and heartbreaking you must try her.

I know I am so glad I have more of her books that I haven’t read yet – but even if I didn’t, I would have them to reread and reread again.

There are other favourable reviews of her books too. I'm not the only one who loves her. AAR gave Some Kind of Magic a B+. They gave Bad Karma a DIK grade. And they also rewarded Cool Shade with the same. If you check out the Amazon reviews (even though I don't always give much credence to them) all of her books have received high praise.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

TBR Challenge for January - The Series Book

I haven’t done one of these for a couple of years. I find as soon as I sign up, I have no desire to read a book from that particular pool of books. But I thought I’d give Wendy, our SuperLibrarian’s challenge a try. See, when it comes to a theme I know she has a book in that I might have read and loved, I might make a suggestion. Plus she’s been my ‘roomie’ at RWA a number of times so I’m doing it for my ‘roomie’.

Much to my great surprise and astonishment, most of the books I read these days are eBooks. I don’t have as great a TBR electronic pile, but I do have some. This month’s challenge, a series book, has been sitting on my IPad for over a month and may have sat there longer if not for this challenge

All They Need by Sarah Mayberry

Blurb: After all Melanie Porter has been through recently, it's time to put her dreams first. And she starts by opening a vacation retreat outside of Melbourne. As she considers her next step, the unexpected happens. One of her guests -- a friend -- the very attractive Flynn Randall makes it clear he's in pursuit.

Mel is definitely tempted. Who wouldn't be?

But Flynn comes with strings that could derail her plans. First, he's part of the world she eagerly left behind. Second, he's ready for a commitment, while she's still embracing life on her own.

A resolution seems impossible until Flynn proves that she's still in the driver's seat!

My Thoughts: Ever since I discovered the Harlequin SuperRomance line not all that long ago really, Sarah Mayberry is an author I snatch up as soon as I see her newest release. Some are good and some are incredibly wonderfully good. This book for me, falls somewhere in between.

I found Melanie to be a very unusual heroine. She’s taller than normal, and bigger than life though her ex-husband has tried his very best to drum that out of her. It was a very emotionally abusive relationship and understandably Melanie is very wary of getting into another one with Flynn so shortly after getting out of it. She has taken her money and opened a B&B. While she’s met Flynn a few times in the past and he has certainly noticed and been attracted to her, Melanie doesn’t know him that well. At the beginning of the book, Flynn stays at her B&B with his girlfriend at the time. But he realizes he admires and is developing deep feelings for Melanie so breaks with his girlfriend in a real emotional scene.

As I said, Melanie is very gun shy about getting involved with Flynn, and then when they do begin a relationship, she is most reluctant to let it progress further. But Flynn is the definition of patience and understanding and doesn’t pressure her at all.

And Flynn – what a hero. He’s almost too good to be true. He is dealing with his fathers advancing Alzheimer’s, a wonderfully written, realistic side line story, and gives up his own business to take on his fathers company. His feelings and admiration for Melanie keep growing and although he finds it difficult not to push her, he manages not to. Instead he allows her to make her own choices in her own time, not even sure she will take the relationship the distance he wants it to go. I really appreciated that about him.

This is not my very favourite Sarah Mayberry book, but it is up there in top percentile of them. I’m glad this challenge pushed me to read this book sooner than I might otherwise have gotten around to reading.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5


As Wendy said on Twitter last night, this TBR challenge was planned before the black out of the WWW by many sites in protest of the proposed SOPA/PIPA bill that's in Congress now. I don't claim to understand a lot about it and as it's a bill proposed in the US, there's not a lot I can do anyway. But I stand in support of those who are.

I'm as much against piracy as anyone. I ache for authors whose works have been pirated and put up on sites for people to steal. It's an outrage to me that all the talent and effort and love they have put into their writing is being reduced to nothing so someone somewhere can get something for free.
I cringe whenever anyone tells me about movies they've watched on line before they are officially 'out' on video (or DVD or BlueRay any more). I have gotten into serious arguments with my oldest son over the fact it's not the George Clooney's and Meryl Streeps who are being ripped off - it's the small guys you never hear about that contribute to the making of a movie.

But from what I can understand, SOPA/PIPA is NOT the way to try and combat this. Instead it takes even more away from our freedom. So though I am posting this today, my heart is also with those who have gone black.


And while I'm at it - an update on the cats. Zina - the attack cat - has gone back to being her normal timid self. The Little Shit aka Cally the Tortoise Shell Cat is doing her business outside so that's not an issue - and if she doesn't well, I really do need to get them each their own litter boxes.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

A rather unnerving experience

So! I had something happen today that has me very torn. I have to preface by saying I love cats. I've almost always had a cat and I think they are the coolest animals. They don't really give a damn about anything as long as they get what they want, whether it be food, being pet, or the right to lie on the newspaper, in just the section they're servants are trying to read. And I admire that.

I have two of them now and I love them both dearly, but, and here's where I'm torn to pieces, I think I'm going to have to get rid of both of them. And by getting rid of, I mean that final journey.

The Little Shit, I call The Little Shit for a reason. She doesn't like to use a litter box. She likes to go anywhere but a litter box and I just can't seem to break her of the habit. And although I love her so much, I can't really justify keeping a cat that shits anywhere her little heart pleases.

And today they other cat, Zina the Princess Nota Warrior Cat attacked me - and I mean a vicious and terrifying attack. Terrifying to the point where I locked myself in a room to keep away from her attack. I have never seen a cat do this kind of thing before in all the cats I've had over the years. This wasn't just a cute, puffy fur ball kind of attack. Nope it was a wild animal in full postal mode.

Zina is timid! She is the DEFINITION of the word Scaredy Cat. But not today. I'm not sure, but probably I mentioned I had a rather major flood in my basement a while ago. The root cause was a broken washing machine and I finally got a new one and two guys were delivering it today and banging around in the basement. At the same time, I had a technician show up at the house as I've been having major IPad/laptop computer issues. So I had 3 complete strangers in the house for some time and I don't know if it was that or something else that caused her to turn into Possessed Cat, but I was truly frightened of her.

She seems to be calm now, six hours after I managed to escape with my life, but I'm still extremely nervous to have her wander around and I don't dare try and pick her up to put her in a room by herself.

And now I don't know what to do. I got her to keep Ron company when he was sick and she has been an animal lifeline to me in combating loneliness since then. She has turned on a dime like this a couple of times, but NEVER to the extent that I was terrified of her like I was today. I don't want to get rid of her, or the other one. It will break my heart to do so. But I'll never be able to trust her again after today. I'm kind of looking at her right now thinking "I don't know you anymore."

I know there are a lot of people who don't like cats whose advise would be to just get rid of them both, and I feel not unlike those really stupid women who stay with horrid men because they "loooovvvveee" them (all the while I'm thinking 'you idiot, just leave! Get rid of him')

But now I'm thinking the same thing.


Well, whatever emotional damage Zina did to Cally, the Tortise shell cat (I thought she was a Calico cat so it sounded good, but it turned out she's a Tortie and it just doesn't have the same ring to it) has been forgiven. They are once again washing each others ears. But while Zina was in her wild animal phase, she really attacked poor Cally too.

It will take longer for me to get over it though. I think she can feel my cool attitude. As my sisters joke at me, I did NOT give her a friendly hello and her overtures of restoring the cat/servant are being rebuffed at the moment by the servant member of the equation.

I debated taking this down as I posted in the aftermath of fear, both of the one cat and for the other, having to leave her alone with Zina. And while it will take time for me to take up the mantle of servant again, I will give her the benefit of the doubt and accept she had just one too many strange people invade her domain.

But I may ask the vet about some kitty cat Zoloft. She is a nervous nelly, high strung as it were.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A few long awaited wedding pics

The "official" wedding pictures of The Accountant Son # 2 whom we shall call Ryan and his wife, my daughter in law whom we shall call Kara still haven't come back from the photographer yet but I spent Christmas with Kara's family who adopted me and they have some Most Excellent Photographers in their family. Kara's mom and I spent some excellent hours going through the photos she has and she emailed me some. I don't often post family photos - specially of me - but in this case I'm such a darn proud mama, I'm making an exception..

(That went well I thought, enough for the day)
They had taken dancing lessons for months and this is them after they rehearsed their dance the day before

(Sands through the hourglass)
Kara is really into symbolism so this is their sand pouring ceremony. Kara's mom and I both carried a vase of different coloured sand in with us. During the ceremony, Kara and Ryan each poured them into a bigger vase to symbolize that once mingled together, it was impossible to separate.

(Before he is ringed and after. Now he is mine)
When I saw these pictures, I thought they were so beautiful even though you don't see their faces.

(A man and the two women in his life)

I hate having my picture taken with a passion, but am including this one - just cause you can see me dress I guess. Also, Kara and her mom arranged to have a couple of hairdressers and a makeup artist come to her house before the wedding so the two mothers and wedding party and bride could all get ready together. It was great fun and the first time I ever wore false eyelashes. They took a while to get used to though :-)

(The Queen's Speech)
I had to give a speech. Whey they asked beforehand if I thought I'd be able to do it, I said it depended on if it was me or Krisite giving the speech. Ryan said if I got up there and started referring to myself in the third person like that, well, he would make me sit down. I practiced and practiced and practiced. In the end it was me and I was indeed a nervous wreck. My oldest son - the one I shall call Brent is standing behind me as well as Kara's uncle who was the Master of Ceremonies

(My brand new daughter in law can be "saucy". I like that)
Kara also had an adorable little red bolero that matched her flowers perfectly that wore it after the wedding.

(Taking a moment's rest before the festivities begin)
Here she and Ryan are sitting on this old fashioned love seat. They had everyone sit in it and have their picture taken with a Polaroid camera. They are going to include the pictures in the thank you cards

(Getting their groove on)

As I said, Ryan and Kara took months of dancing lessons preparing for their first dance. I was thinking "Way to Go Kara!!" for talking Ryan into them. The did the fox trot and did it beautifully. I and everyone else was most impressed. But Kara was worried about ruining her wedding gown so she had a short, back up gown. Here they are during their first dance, a Michael Buble remix of an old Nat King Cole song L.O.V.E.

(This has to be the mother of all cupcakes!)

Kara had a number of unusual ideas for their wedding and Ryan, being a laid back kind of dude who realized his bride (and my wonderful daughter in law) had some great ideas, let her have her way in many of them. So instead of the typical wedding cake, Kara being a love of cupcakes, had a cupcake wedding tower. This is the two of them after the wedding cutting into the top cupcake.