Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lost - A new season

For anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis, it's no surprise I've become a huge fan of Lost. I started watching it mid way through the season last year after reading on LLB's blog how much she enjoyed it. I was hooked from the first moment and haven't looked back. I try and talk everyone I know who isn't already a fan into giving it a try. The new season has just started and the first season is out on DVD. Although I haven't got it yet I plan too - 8 hours of extra features - kewl. But I fear the cost may be quite prohibitive. I was talking to a friend last night who is going to give it a try. I wrote up a summary of the characters and some of what we have learned so far so she has a clue as to what is going on. Since I spent so much time doing it, I thought I would post it here too for anyone not familiar what the show is all about and think they might give it a try. So without further adieu I give you my version of last season's Lost!!!!

Nicole - you may want to skip this

for now

After Oceanic Air flight 815 tore apart in mid-air and crashed on a Pacific island, its survivors were forced to find inner strength they never knew they had in order to survive. But they discovered that the island holds many secrets, including the intense howls of a mysterious creature stalking the jungle, as well as a polar bear, a marooned and possibly crazy French woman, a mystical boar, a mysterious group known only as "The Others," a ship called The Black Rock and... a hatch

Jack: is a dedicated surgeon who reluctantly is becoming the leader of the group. In his flashback we learn he turned in his surgeon father when his father botched an operation because he was drunk. His father left for Australia and Jack’s mother instructed Jack to go bring him home. Once Jack arrived in Australia, he learned his father had dies so he was bringing back the body. On the island Jack has caught glimpses of his father alive and well and has tried following. Is his father just a ghost?

Sawyer: is the resident “bad boy”. He seems to be profiting from the plane crash. He collected a lot of the luggage and things and uses it to ‘trade’. Whenever anything is needed or goes missing everyone assumes Sawyer has it. He refuses to defend himself and the vast majority of the time we learn that people have jumped to the wrong conclusion. He doesn't help himself when most of the time he refuses to defend or explain what the other passengers accuse him of. In his flashback, we learn Sawyer was hiding under a bed as a young boy when his father shot and killed his mother before turning the gun on himself when they were fleeced by a con man. In a twist of irony, Sawyer became a con man himself. He was in Australia to track down the man responsible for destroying his family and kill him. In a horrifying scene Sawyer and the audience learn he has killed the wrong man. In one of those odd coincidences that happen regularly on the show, Sawyer was in a bar and met up with what turned out to be Jack’s father before he met his end. Jack’s father was telling this stranger, how proud he was of his son and that he (Jack) did the right thing by turning him in. In a very poignant moment and proving that Sawyer isn't all bad, he told Jack about the night he met his father.

Kate: We still know very little about Kate. She was a prisoner on the flight being extradited back to the States but we don’t know why she had been arrested in the first place. Her real name isn’t Kate but she has had a number of aliases and we don’t know her real name. There seems to be a triangle between her, Jack and Sawyer. She longs for the “good” doctor, but nevertheless is attracted to the ‘bad boy” Sawyer.

Locke: He is another mysterious type of person. In his flashback we learn he was in Australia to go on a walkabout – a kind of man against nature test. He has spent a long time preparing for his journey. At the last moment, once he had landed in Australia, we learn he has been turned down – because he is wheel chair bound. This is a fairly recent event because in another very poignant flashback, we learn he was conned into giving up his kidney to his previously unknown father. After the operation, his father refuses to see him again. Locke is quite spiritual and has a special affinity to the island as after the crash, he is no longer crippled. He is in no hurry to leave and of all the survivors, sees the clearest that the island is not what it seems

Charlie: when the crash occurs, he is a drug addicted musician whose band had one big hit. We learn in flashbacks that when the band first started, he was an idealistic musician who only cared about the music but gradually over time he is seduced to the dark side of the business. The band has since broken up but he still thinks he is the famous musician he once was. He was in Australia trying to talk his now reformed and family man brother into starting the band back up to make money to fuel his habit. Once on the island, with the help of Locke, he finally kicked his habit. He has taken under his wing Claire, a young pregnant and abandoned Australian girl.

Claire: after being abandoned by her boyfriend, Claire is on her way to the US to meet with a couple interested in adopting her baby. In flashbacks we learn that Claire has been urged by a physic to keep her baby – that there is something special about the baby. While on the island, she was mysteriously kidnapped by a man who was not one of the passengers. She reappeared as mysteriously as she disappeared, with no recollection of what happened to her. The menacing stranger was later shot and killed by Charlie before we could learn who he was or where he came from – and what he was doing on the island.

Sayid: He is a former member of the Iraqi army. In his flashbacks we learn that although he was a communications expert, he also dealt with torture. He became completely disillusioned with the army when he was ordered to ‘get information any way he could’ out of a young woman he grew up with and had deep feelings for. He was recruited by the Americans to act a spy. He agreed only because they knew the whereabouts of the young woman he was trying to find. He is the communication expert on the island and discovered a mysterious message from a French woman that had been going out from the island for over 16 years. Ashamed when he resorted to torture against Sawyer, he struck out on his own to track down where the message was coming from. He was captured by Danielle the French woman who told him about the ‘others’, another group on the island. She claimed years ago the ‘others’ had killed her people and stolen her young son. He managed to break free and return to the passengers.

Michael: He is father just getting to know his son. We learn in his flashback that years ago, his girlfriend, very much against his wishes, took their young son and immigrated to Australia. He recently learned his former girlfriend had died, leaving Walt, their son behind. Her husband and Walt’s stepfather wanted nothing to do with Walt after her death because there was something different about Walt. The relationship between Michael and Walt is very fractious as they don’t know each other. Michael is overprotective of
Walt – to the point of driving him away. Michael is determined to get off the island and has been building a very elaborate raft to take him, Walt, Sawyer and Jin, a young Korean husband, off the island.

Jin and Sun are a young Korean couple. Jin has been working for Sun’s father for a number of years. He has been deeply involved in the job to the point of ignoring his young wife. He has learned recently that her father is actually the head of a criminal family and he is desperate to get free of his father-in-law. In one last ‘job’ he plans on traveling to California with Sun to deliver one last package – a watch – before he disappears with Sun. Although still in love, their marriage is in deep trouble, due in large part to the guilt Jin feels. Because they are Korean, the language barrier keeps them separate from the rest of the passengers – or so it seems. Unbeknownst to Jin, Sun does speak English. Although she still loves Jin, his overbearing attitude and insistence that they stay away from the other passengers drives a wedge between them. This wedge is made even wider when Jin finds out that Sun has been able to speak English all along. Jin is full of remorse for what he has made Sun suffer and is determined to escape the island and get help for Sun. He feels his life is over, but he is determined to save Sun.

Hurley: he offers a bit of comic relief, yet he also has mysterious problems. We learn in his flashbacks that while in the hospital he ran into a rather agitated patient who kept repeating a series of numbers – over and over and over. Hurley decides to use these same numbers in the lottery. He wins the highest amount ever awarded in a lottery, but following this strange and bad things begin to happen. His grandfather dies, his house burns down, where he works is destroyed. Hurley slowly begins to realize it’s not a coincidence and there is something very strange about the numbers. He tells his story to a few of his fellow passengers but no one believes him.

Shannon: she seems to be a spoiled, rich young woman. She uses other to get what she wants. Sayid has developed feelings for her when they worked together trying to decipher clues to the mystery of the island as she speaks French and might know what the French woman is trying to say. Is she really as spoiled and shallow as she appears? She had been living in Australia with yet another useless boyfriend when they concocted a scheme to defraud money from her family. Showing up to ‘save’ her as always was her step brother Boone.

Boone was a young heir apparent. We learned in a flashback that Boone had very strong feelings for his step-sister Shannon whom he was constantly trying to save from her follies. One night they gave in too their passion for each other. He and Locke developed a friendship while hunting wild boar together. They stumbled across a mysterious hatch one day and Locke became obsessed with trying to open it. With Boone's help Locke tried to crash a small engine airplane that had crashed on the island some time in the past onto the hatch to try and open it. Boone was trapped in the airplane when it hung suspended in a tree and was critically injured. Locke carried Boone through the jungle to Jack in order to save Boone’s life. Although Jack made a valiant effort to save Boone with the limited resources he had, including giving Boone a transfusion using his own blood, Jack was unable to save Boone. While Jack was trying to save Boone, Claire was giving birth.

This is just a small glimpse into the phenomenon that is Lost. There is so much more to it and I hope if anyone who isn't a regular watcher is even a little bit intrigued, they give it a chance!

There are all kinds of theories that have developed arount the show but to me, the show is bout redemption. Each one of the characters needs a second chance - and the island is providing it.

'til later

Monday, September 26, 2005

My Recent Reads

I’m not quite sure why I list what I am currently reading at the side. I so seldom follow it. I’ll pick up the books I list but then something else will grab my attention or I can’t quite get into them at the time. Or more often than not, I’m reading one of the recently bought and it seems silly to have the same picture twice. So, anyone reading this – basically ignore the currently reading section.
Anyway onto the my recent reads

Luke - Jill Shalvis
I was planning on reading this for the August challenge of series books but then I did what I shouldn’t do and cleaned up my pile of books and I lost track of it. Never fear, I found it again, although too late for the challenge. I am an unabashed fan of series books and this one is one of the reasons why.
Luke Walker was an overworked, by the book and dedicated doctor. When he made less than flattering remarks about Nurse Practioner Faith McDowell’s health center, he was ‘sentenced’ to work there on his Saturdays for the next three months. Faith was also dedicated and overworked but the two of them had much differing ideas on some treatments. Neither one of them were happy with the amazing attraction that sprang up between them and with their busy schedules, they decided to ignore it but when it wouldn’t go away, they agreed to give in temporarily.
I quite liked this one. It was light and fun and I enjoyed seeing Luke transform into a kinder, gentler hero and eventually admit that maybe Faith was onto something. The sad thing is, this is a Harlequin Temptation, a line I’ve mourned before they are no longer publishing.
Grade: 4 out of 5

Feet First by Leanne Banks
This is the most recent book discussed
Pandora’s Box at AAR. It seemed to make a favourable impression. Then there was a not so good review. I decided to give it a try anyway as Leanne Banks is a new to me author. No point in me giving a synopsis as both links cover it pretty well. When I finished this book, I agree with the PB discussion. I liked it. I’m not a shoe person. I buy mine at Payless or Walmart and I never did understand Carrie Bradshaw’s obsession with them. But even though I ‘don’t get’ the shoe thing, it didn’t bother me when reading this book. It was great finding a new author and I will definitely be trying her again
Grade: 4 out of 5

The Stone Prince - Gena Showalter
I started The Stone Prince by the same author and couldn’t seem to get into it so I was a little leery of this one, but I could read it. It was OK. Grace Carlyle was searching for her brother in the jungles of the Amazon when she stumbled into a strange cave filled with mist. There she runs into the Guardian of Atlantis Darius en Kragin. Part dragon, part human, he has been guarding the entrance for centuries and is determined to kill all who stumble across the entrance. He finds it increasingly difficult to do what he is determined to do. Like I said, I found this one all right. I rather liked Darius a tortured dragon soul who, after his entire family was slaughtered was given the job rather against his wishes. He feels no emotions and is rather unsettled by his growing feelings for Grace. Grace on the other hand, I found rather twit-like, a no no for me in a heroine. First off, what the hell is she doing in the Amazon by herself? Yes, she started out with a guide who deserted her, but rather than heading back, she plunged forward instead – in a strange country – in a jungle. Twit. Then at the end she pulled another TSTL moment. Sigh once a twit, always a twit On top of this the book ended with way too much unresolved. I’m sure there is more coming, although I didn’t see it on her web page. I felt like I was being manipulated. I think readers who like Sherrilyn Kenyon, Katie MacAllister, Christine Feehan would like this one more than I did. I think of it as very paranormal-lite. I prefer mine with a little more oomph to it.
Grade: 2 ½ out of 5

To Wilde to Tame by Janelle Dennison
This is the one I mentioned previously as the book where the hero and heroine neglected to practice safe sex, but as I said, other than this lapse I quite liked it. This is one of a series of books about the Wilde family. I think I had read one before this. Apparently the hero/heroine have had an ongoing battle of attraction in the earlier books but this one read fine as a stand-alone. Mia Wilde is the only girl in a family full of guys. She has been overprotected but this has only made her more on the wild side. Cameron is partners with her cousin in an investigation business. Mia and Cam have been sparring and shooting off sparks for a while now. Cam wants nothing to do with Mia, first because of his relationship with her brothers and cousins and second because she is not what he is looking for. Their attraction ratchets up quite a bit though when Mia receives rather a nasty letter and asks Cam for his help.
I liked this book enough to search her back list and read more of her books despite what I consider a major miss. They mystery is rather lame too and I figured out the villain right off the bat – and I don’t read many mysteries. The sex is hot and well written and I like discovering that Mia has more depth to her than we realize.
Grade 3 ½ out of 5

The Wilde Side by Janelle Dennison
As you can see, I liked the first one enough to pick this one up when I saw it at the book store. This one takes place earlier than To Wilde to Tame and is Scott – Mia’s older brothers story. Ashley St. Clare is the daughter of a hotel tycoon who was burned once before when she was blackmailed before by a man she dated. As a result she has buttoned herself up, denying the wild side to her personality until on her 30th birthday s he decides to have one night of unbridled passion. The lucky recipient is Scott Wilde whom she picks up while playing pool with his brothers. But one night isn’t enough for Scott and he is determined to track down the mystery ‘just Ashley”. I liked this one too and yes – they did practise safe sex in this one. I really liked Scott who knew that his one night stand was actually more than that. I got a bit annoyed with Ashleys’ hot and cold, hide and seek games with Scott part way through, but other than that I quite liked this one too.
It seems to me, I have another one of these somewhere around the house. I think I’ll try and find it and give it another read now that I have read a few more in the series. And Ms. Dennison does right some might fine sex scenes.
Grade 4 out of 5

Friday, September 23, 2005

More Cute animal pictures and an update

Thanks to my 'supplier', I have some more of those pictures you're going to go "aaawwwhhhh" over

Lending a helping hand

The Protector

Siesta Time

When you're really thirsty

And last and funniest

Laugh it up fuzzball! But know you're time is coming


Remember how I complained that Wendy Lindstom's website hadn't been updated? Well I was pleased as punch to discover it's been revamped and updated and now I can get a sneak peak at one of my "Eagerly Anticipating" books

Thursday, September 22, 2005

To all those affected by Hurricane Rita:

May you be safe. My thoughts are with you.
I read this in our local paper yesterday. Annie's Mailbox is a couple of ladies who took over from Ann Landers and appears daily

I'm still trying to formulate my thoughts on it. On one hand I find it amusing. On another hand I find it incredibly offensive. And on the other hand - wait shouldn't we only get two - I think underneath the insulting aspect, there might be a kernel of truth.

Dear Annie: I read about your column about the woman who freaked out because her husband had a few pornographic tapes. She said she felt inadequate about measuring up to the women in the videos.
As a librarian, I have to read books I might not otherwise, including romance novels. Many of them qualify as soft-core porn, although they use words rather than pictures.
Does this woman read bodice-rippers?
If so, does it occur to her that her husband might feel inadequate next to the long-haired, bare chested, tight trousered heroes riding enomorous stallions across the moors?
She needs to realize that most people know the difference between reality and fantasy and that there is a place for both.

Dear Not Stuffy: As long as neither activity becomes an addiction or removes intimacy from the relationship, we agree people are entitled to their fantasies.

Any other thoughts?

'til later

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wearing the Raincoat - or not

I was mentioning on a message board the other day about a book I very recently read that I quite enjoyed but one thing took me right out of it. And that was the total lack of any kind of protection use. The heroine had a reputation as being on the wild side and when it came to ‘the deed’ she told the hero not to worry, she was on the pill. I got thinking that back in my ‘salad’ days (heh heh) that answer probably would have been sufficient, but it just didn’t cut if for me in today’s age. If I had been the hero, I would have been thinking “well that’s great for not making babies and all but that’s just the tip of the iceberg”. There was no discussion about her past sex life – or his and I found that terribly irresponsible of the author. Reading contemporaries today, I have just come to expect that the hero and heroine will be use something other than just baby making preventatives.
I don’t know if this is an accurate reflection of current real life or not – this lack of communication between sex partners. I’ve been married for over 30 years now – since before aids and other STD’s were so prevalent. I trust my husband completely and the last thing I want is to have any kind of affair so this has never been an issue with us. We have two grown sons and while I’ve tried to talk to them about sex when they were younger, the conversations were always somewhat stilted. In fact my oldest son shut me up, when I brought up the subject and he said “Mom, don’t worry, I’m celibate these days.” I think it would have been much better with girls. I understand girls so much more than boys.
But the question is, has the awareness of the risks involved in sex diminished somehow? With all the medical advancements in treating aids, HIV positive and other STD’s are young people and yes older people to – this isn’t age restricted, less vigilant than they were say five years ago and is this going to be reflected in our reading? In the book I read just before reading the one in question, there was a also a scene where the hero and heroine didn’t use anything the first time But at least in the first book they had a conversation in the “weren’t we stupid, how could we have been so careless” kind of vein. I found that much more acceptable than nothing mentioned at all about it.
It’s odd how I’ve come full circle. When I first started reading contemporaries and the hero used a condom, it took me out of the story briefly – since that wasn’t an issue when I was dating – the pill was enough. Now I was really pulled out when the hero didn’t.

Of course as I said, I quite enjoyed the book anyway and stopped and got another one by the same author today - just to see if she does it again of course.

'til later

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Note to self for next year

Do NOT miss "Talk like a Pirate Day" again.

I'm a day late, but for those who know how very much I love a good rolicking pirate adventure, may I present:

(The worst pirate movie - ever)

(ah that Errol - a true swashbuckler)

(if one is good, two is better)

(I never saw the movie but I loved the book. But why does she look so happy? Doesn't she know how it ends?)

(A remake - and this one might be worth tracking down)

(oh, this one made me cry when I was just a young girl. And look, Yul Brenner with hair though)

(what is it about those tall ships?)

(for the kids - look boys and girls, he has a parrot on his shoulder)

(ah that Kermit, he'll do anything for Ms. Piggy)

(and last but not least The. Best. Pirate. Movie. Ever! Captain Jack Sparrow foreva)

'til later

Monday, September 19, 2005

A friend sent me these and I thought of ......


And this next one really cracked me up

Musings on a Monday

In my last blog, I mentioned how much I enjoy author websites but I must admit I don’t frequent their blogs very often. Oh I do read some of them, but not very many. I have visited quite a few but find many of them deal with the issues of writing itself. I’m much more interested in the finished product. It would sort of be like me doing a blog on my job. How I spent part of the day copying and pasting, signing up new customers on the company website, other kinds of things that only really would interest someone doing the same job. It would be rather silly to set up a blog for that when I can talk to my coworkers at break or lunch or anytime during the day about the job.
Authors on the other hand are in a different boat. By the very nature of what they do, they work alone all day – unless they have a regular job in addition to writing. I imagine they find other writers blogs that deal with the issues of writing very interesting and consoling. And I think it’s great they can establish on-line friendships with others in the business.

But being a reader, I spend more time reading other reader blogs. I could spend hours reading them and all the different things readers have to say. I’m always looking for new ones and am most annoyed with myself when I find one and forget to make a note of it and then can’t find the particular blog again. This has happened a few times. So if there are any other reader bloggers out there who stop in and visit, leave a message and I will make note of it this time. Angie has a challenge going to check out 15 new blogs in 15 days - and it sounds like quite the experience, but I’d rather concentrate on fellow reader blogs that aren’t in my usual rounds. Since Maili is on hiatus, I’d love to take up that slack and find new and undiscovered bloggers.

Speaking of blogs, I read an interesting article in the paper. It seems I’m rather unusual. The article stated that the majority of bloggers are young people – teenagers mostly and that the percentage of people in my age bracket aren’t into blogging. I kind of liked that I was ahead of my time.

Another interesting part of the article is it seems some bloggers are getting fired for blogging about their companies. Now many may disagree with my thoughts on this, but I see the point of the companies. It’s one thing for a bunch of employees to go out after work and bitch about the job, nothing at all the matter with that. I expect that kind of thing has been going on as long as people have been working. But it’s quite another in my opinion, to broadcast company issues on a medium that can be read by anyone around the world. I think most companies anymore, when you first start have you sign a confidentiality agreement. I for one take that very seriously. There is a reason why I have never mentioned when I work(ed) or even what industry.

And finally, when did Will Smith get to be so hot!?!.

I’ve been watching him for years. My sons were/are big fans of Fresh Prince of Belle Air and we’ve watched that show when it was on, and the reruns for ages. I’ve seen him in a number of his blockbuster movies since then and always thought of him as a good singer and a good actor but kind of goofy, but we watched I Robot for the first time last night and maybe it was the shower scene at the beginning, but at that moment I thought “Whoa, he is fine, lucky Jada Pinkett.” I’ve seen them on entertainment shows and they always seemed so hot for each other. Now I know why!

‘til later

Friday, September 16, 2005

Author Websites and my 2 Cents - for what that's worth

I know this has been done before, but I thought I would add my 2¢ worth. Because the system was down at work today, I had an excruciatingly boring day at work. To alleviate some of the boredom, I did a bit of surfing of some upcoming books I’m looking forward too. After checking them out at Chapters and Amazon, I skipped over to the authors’ websites looking for a little more info.
Now I know authors are busy people too. A lot of them have jobs in addition to their writing. Plus they have lives. Maybe some of them don’t maintain their own web sites and are waiting for the web-master/mistress to update, but please – make that a priority for us readers! Wendy Lindstrom is a perfect example of an author missing the boat.

Lips That Touch Mine is one of my top faves so far this year. I loved the book, I loved the cover and it was her very short back list that I HAD TO GET – that helped prompt me into asking about a book trading group (which by the way I did receive – really liked one – so so on the other – although LTTM is still my fave)
She has a fourth book coming out in October. It’s listed at the Chapters website. It’s listed at Amazon. I have a picture on my sidebar under Eagerly Anticipating, so you would think that she would be broadcasting the book on her website. Not so! It’s not even mentioned and it’s coming out next month. I want details! I want the anticipation to build. It makes no sense to me that if you are an author and you have a website, why you don’t do your damndest to create buzz.
It doesn't look like her website has been updated much since the end of November. She’s 2 books behind now.

Morag McKedrick Pippin is another example of an author who could do better.

Blood Moon over Bengal her debut, is a book I thought was most excellent. She has another one coming out – sometime (?) Blood Moon over Britain, but there is very little info about it on her website. There is an excerpt but that’s all I could find. Is there a cover yet? When is it coming out? Details authors, us readers want details.

Even if you don’t have much to say, say something. I checked out Pamela Clare’s website. I didn’t care as much for her latest RS, but I’m sure everyone is aware of how much I loved, loved, loved Ride the Fire.

Looks like she has another historical series coming out. There aren’t many details on her site because there isn’t much to tell, but there is enough to intrigue me and keep me checking back for more.

Nicole Camden is an author who seems to understand. It doesn’t appear that there is much happening with her at the moment – and what a shame is that!!! I haven’t read her short story in Big Guns out of Uniform, but I will be buying it when it comes out in mass PP. I hear her story is phenomenal. But she is letting readers know what is going on/not going on with her

Now to balance, a couple of authors who are getting it right.

Jill Shalvis makes it very easy to see her backlist, what she has out recently, what she has coming out shortly, and what she has planned after that. She gets a gold star. Bonus is she has lots of book giveaways. I should know. I won one

Liz Carlyle is another author who gets a better than passing grade on keeping us readers informed. We know what book is coming out this month and what her next two books are, when they are coming out and an excerpt.

A final word of advice from a reader who spends a fortune on books - websites are one of your best ways to promote. Be proud. Boast. Make them a priority and use them to their full advantage!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I'm not normally like this - really

For all those who have witnessed my struggles with pictures, colours, design etc, now that I have a great new look and seem to have mastered pictures – a bit of an explanation as to why I was so insane there for a while on making sure I got things right. Once upon a time, about 2 ½ to 3 years ago at my old job, I was the go to person for any kind of presentation, promotional material, design work, that kind of thing. Mind you it was a rather small branch office and the industry I worked in was not noted for the artsy kind of thing. But nevertheless, I was pretty damned good with the limited resources and limited skills needed if I do say so myself. I had come quite a long way from the days when computers and all things related scared me to death.
Now hindsight being 20/20 and if I knew then what the future held, I would have gotten the heck of there and moved somewhere where I could continue to learn new stuff. But complacency and advancing years kept me where I was.
I remember, before things changed, working a few 12 hour days, happy as a pig in – well you know – working on PowerPoint presentations, designing templates, doing the most awesome special effects; they were cool. I took a few courses on photoshop – I was lovin’ life and lovin’ the job. But, there was a changing of the guard, and they began going to the head office for more and more of the kind of thing I was doing and I did less and less of what I enjoyed doing the most. And with most things, if you don’t use it, you loose it. I was moved into a completely technical position and they slowly began taking away my toys. Designing, presentations and other things like that all that became a thing of the past. And I was falling further and further behind in new technology and advancements.
So here I was, all the things I loved to do – the things I was good at – gone and I was left in a job that was so not for me. I’m not even sure anymore if I could do a decent PowerPoint presentation anymore.
So when I was off work and got into the wonderful world of blogging and I saw some of the amazing stuff that other bloggers could do, well, it reminded me of what once was and I was bound and determined to get back on that horse again. It’s a different kind of horse, that’s for sure, but there are some similarities.
Silly as this sounds, learning all these new things, frustrating as it is when I don’t “get” it quick enough for my liking, rejuvenates me once again. It’s challenging and reminds me of what I was once able to do. When I manage to do something new or something right, it’s an indescribable thrill. And at this time in my life I can use all the rejuvenating and thrills I can get!
So to everyone who helped answer my frantic, probably stupid sounding questions, who worked on the new look, thanks for helping me bring back happy memories.

‘til later

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Got Mail

Whooo Hooo

I had a good mail day. The book I won in Jill Shalvis' contest arrived today!

The Night Before Christmas Posted by Picasa

Thanks Jill!

'til later

It seems I'm not the only one

As I make my regular rounds around different blogs lately, there seems to be a certain theme going of depression, not really having much to say and/or not updating as frequently as other bloggers did not to long ago. Not having been in this world long enough – and I don’t think many of us have - I'm still looking for and finding new blogs to read - I don’t know if this is a regular occurrence or not. I know for myself, I’ve started about 4 in the past couple of days and just seem to run out of steam about half-way through. It’s not that I don’t think they are interesting, it’s just the enthusiasm or creative juices or something seems to be lacking.
It’s not a lack of time – that I have. My sons are grown up and don’t need my attention, my husband works afternoons so I have all evening, and it’s summer rerun time so it’s not that the television has any big draw. That will probably change though in a couple of weeks – Lost season II, Without a Trace, Amazing Race, Survivor, and some interesting new shows will draw some of my attention away.
I love baseball and they have a saying in the sport – the dog days of summer. They players are tired and it’s harder to get up for a game unless you are in a pennant race. Most of the players loose a lot of their enthusiasm this time of the year.
I think that’s part of what is hitting blogland.
But I also think it’s more. Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath have affected us all I think. Even if we don’t know anyone personally affected, I think all of us have read about someone who know someone who lost everything. I haven’t been glued to the television watching the coverage. I did watch it for one evening and found myself crying at some of the stories. But I have read a lot of news stories on the internet. I’ve followed a lot of links and reading them has really brought out a lot of negative emotions. Most of all because so much could have avoided. I heard on the news just this morning about a nursing home that had evacuation plans all set, but the owners just didn’t bother calling anyone to come and take out the senior residents. I think stories such as this are going to be coming out for quite some time. I’m also very bothered by the callousness of some people – can anyone say former first lady Bush? And when I read some of the responses on political blogs and message boards – well, it’s just hard to believe the hatred and vitriol of my fellow man.
It’s hard to write a positive sounding blog when there is such chaos and suffering going on. I don’t want to come across as indifferent or insensitive. On the other hand, I don’t want to get to inured in a lot of hopeless emotions that are so easy to get caught up in.
So where is the balance? Do we blog about the good things and risk coming across as uncaring or do we continue on with the positive?
I’ve noticed there are a number of bloggers out there who should be on cloud nine, but they aren’t, they are depressed or sad or weepy. I can relate, I feel that way myself sometimes. On the other hand, I still feel very enthusiastic about this blogging business, my own and reading other peoples. So what do we do, how do we come to terms with being happy and life going on when it’s so bad for so many?

'til later

Monday, September 12, 2005

I love a good read

Almost Perfect - Julie Ortolon Posted by Picasa

I really really liked this book. Julie Ortolon is a real buried treasure in my opinion. Ever since her first book
Drive Me Wild, she has been on my autobuy list but she is an author you never really hear too much about.

Almost Perfect, three friends, Maddie, Christine and Amy are motivated to change their lives when a fourth friend writes a self-help book using them as examples of what NOT to do. Angry at first, they realize she is right and agree to set about changing their lives. This first book is the story of Maddie. Maddie is a young widow who gave up her dreams of becoming a great artist to tend to her late husband during his bout with cancer. She decides to take a summer job as an Arts and Crafts counsellor in Santa Fe, a city famous for it’s art galleries. She can work during the day and concentrate on her art during the evenings. The only drawback is she will have to work with Joe her young high school sweetheart whose heart she broke years ago.
Joe is less than thrilled to see Maddie again after all these years. Although devastated at the time, he moved on with his life and joined the Army Rangers. After a serious injury ended his army career, he moved back to Santa Fe to help his adopted mother with the summer camp she runs. Seeing Maddie again brings back all the pain he felt when she refused his offer of marriage when they were young.
Eventually though, he gets past his hurt and offers his help with Maddie in establishing her career.
What can I say? I loved both Joe and Maddie. This is a wonderful second chance at love story. Joe is a wonderful hero, a bad boy teenager, still sexy, still vulnerable after all the years apart and wary of getting hurt but Maddie's biggest supporter once he lets his guard down. And Maddie is a wonderful heroine, full of insecurities after being raised in a rather dysfunctional family. The chemistry between these two sizzles and there are some wonderful and tender moments when Joe is vulnerable enough to let Maddie know how much she hurt him. He fell in love with her the first moment he saw her and never really stopped.
The secondary characters are also very well done too. Christine and Amy are good friends and the friendship between the three women is almost as important as the love story between Joe and Maddie. And Mama Fraser, Joe’s adopted mother is a wonderful character too. She and her husband while getting on in age adopted Joe when he was 16 – a wounded troublemaker of a kid and gave him the security to make something of his life. And she’s still feisty after all these years.
I can tell I’ve read a good keeper book, when as soon as I finish, I start it all over again –the second time to savour. I did that with this one. Anyone wanting to try a wonderful author should not miss Julie Ortolon. And the really good news? She has the other two books coming out in October and November so I don’t have to wait very long at all for their stories.
Grade: 4 ¾ out of 5 (Maddie’s insecurities were a tiny bit over the top although I could really relate, so not a 5, but I thought it was even more than 4 ½ if only for Joe alone. This is the first ever 4 ¾ score.

Here are the next 2 that won't be long in coming:

Just Perfect
Christine's story coming in October

Too Perfect

Amy's story coming in November

'til later

Saturday, September 10, 2005

August TBR Reading Challenge

Keishon's reading challenge for the month of August was the series

Now that the reading challenge for August is over, I’m reporting in.
I love series books. They really can fill a void. For one thing they are a very quick read. I get impatient sometimes when it takes too long to read a book. I can usually read a series in a day. They are generally lighter and fluffier than single titles but sometimes that is just what I am looking for. I think of them as the ice breaker boat. Although it’s smaller and lighter than regular boats, it’s the one that cuts through the ice. This is what series do for me. So I was delighted when I saw what her August challenge was – it wasn’t a challenge for me. So without further ado here is my report:

Title/Author: Her Last Defense – Vickie Taylor – Harlequin IM
Copyright Year: 2005
Synopsis: The hero Clint is a Texas Ranger on medical leave who feels his career is over. Dr. Macy Attois is a research doctor who comes to the small town looking to stop a biological nightmare.
Your Grade: 2 out of 5 – It received 3 hearts at TRR.
New author for you? - No
Would you read more of this author's work? – I read and loved Carved in Stone and look forward to the next one in the series. I don’t think I’ll read another series though.

Title/Author: A Dash of Temptation – Jo Leigh – Harlequin Blaze
Copyright Year: 2003
Synopsis: Dash the hero is the CEO in training for a popular men’s magazine. The heroine (whose name escapes me at the moment) is a florist. He overhears her talking to a friend about a fabulous party she is going to solo and he asks her to be his date.
Your Grade: 2 our of 5 I wasn’t impressed at all with this book. I am always irritated by name dropping in books and this one is chalk full of them. Also, I just didn’t “feel the love” – lots of lust, but no love
New author for you? No, I read one previous books with which I was equally unimpressed
Would you read more of this author's work? – no, I’ve tried a couple of her books now and really haven’t enjoyed them

Title/Author: Nobody Does it Better – Julie Kenner – Harlequin Temptation

Copyright Year: 2000
Synopsis: Paris Summer is a writer of action adventure novels who has used a pseudonym for years. Now everyone wants to meet the author. Bar owner Devin O’Malley takes on the role for a book signing tour and along the way they fall in love. I really enjoyed this one. It had almost a Remington Steele feel to it, a show I loved years ago.
Your Grade: 4 out of 5 – TRR gave it 3 hearts
New author for you? No

Would you read more of this author's work? – Yes. She is an up an down author for me but I very much enjoy her up books so I’ll continue to read her.

Title/Author: A Love Beyond Words – Sherryl Woods – Harlequin SE
Copyright Year: 2001
Synopsis: Allie Green was trapped in her home in the aftermath of a hurricane. Deaf since she was a teenager, she was helpless and terrified. Ricky Wilder was her special disaster rescuer. In the devastation after the hurricane because her home was destroyed he took her into his home. Although he has always been a love ‘em and leave ‘em kind of guy, Allie is different. Allie, for her part, is very wary of getting serious about someone due to her special needs.
Your Grade: 3 1/2 out of 5 –
TRR gave it 4 hearts
New author for you? No

Would you read more of this author's work? – Probably.
I read this book earlier in the month, before Hurricane Katrina hit. I’m sure if I had read it after, I would have had a much different reaction.

I tried to read different series and I have to say (sadly because Harlequin ended this line) that I like Temptation the best. I was kind of surprised at the results. First off, I usually read more series than this a month but it was a good run of other books so I didn’t get a chance to read more. And second, that I had more disappointing ones than normal. I enjoy series and usually get better results.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Ain't it the truth!

Funny of the day Posted by Picasa

Too true Posted by Picasa

'til later