Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I’m hitting a tough time. I didn’t think I would, somehow I thought I would avoid it, but it’s coming up on the one year anniversary of Ron’s death. Memories I’ve held at bay for a year now are flooding in. I haven’t mentioned it to many people at work but I did tell my supervisor today what’s going on with me.
I haven’t blogged for a while on how I’m dealing with losing Ron. At times it seems I’m doing remarkably well. I’ve leaped over a number of personal hurdles.
When I found myself out of work shortly after I lost Ron, after a brief time of inertia, I managed to get up and find another job. I know that somehow it was meant that I be where I am.
I got up the guts and drove to meet Cindy. That took a lot, that first visit, but since then we have found a real deep friendship I think, even apart from our mutual love of romance.
And not long ago I took t he train by myself to Toronto to meet Ames and Nath and Cindy. That was another leap for me.
And then there was the trip to Dallas. That was huge!
I left early in the morning and as I sat in the plane, I held my hand to the window and thanked Ron. You see it was his lifelong financial planning that allowed me to go.
There was one time in Dallas; it was at the Harlequin party, when I was kind of sitting by myself for a moment just watching all the fun times going on around me, when I felt Ron’s presence so strongly and he was happy that I was happy. I began to cry a few quiet happy tears that the trip was even more than I expected.
Yet I do go through really tough times too. I still can’t watch the Jays on TV – and I love baseball.
Ron coached for years and every day on my way to work I pass the baseball complex where he coached a lot of games. If the complex is empty, like it is in the mornings and just about every day when I drive home after work, I’m fine. But if there are cars there and people playing, then it devastates me. I was never as proud of Ron as when he was coaching a bunch of kids, knowing he never had that when he was a kid and knowing how much he loved coaching, even though it was difficult for him.
Because my oldest son didn’t have a car of his own, I gave him Ron’s car. I drove with him in it recently and it was all I could do not to start pounding and hitting my son, making him pull over and screaming that he had no business driving the car – that it was his Dad’s and for him to get out – get out now!
I didn’t – I didn’t say anything because I know that at times it’s difficult for my son himself to drive the car with all its memories.
When my youngest sister was here and we were going up to the cottage, I was driving. At one point I was driving down a highway Ron and the kids and I used to take when we were on vacation. I didn’t say anything to my sisters, but I came so close to pulling over and asking one of them to take over – I was hurting to much to drive.
When the pain comes – and it does – it is so sharp and so hard to bear, I almost double over with it.
Memories are coming fast and furious now, especially of the last year when he was so sick. I suppose it was a defense mechanism that I didn’t relive them until now, but they won’t stop and I feel on the verge of tears all the time. They are like waves that are washing over me harder and harder and at times I’m being knocked under.

Wendy and Jane and I had a conversation about soul mates and I really believe with everything I am, that Ron and I were meant to be together. That helped get me through the bad times we went through. There was never a day, a moment that I didn’t love him with all my heart. Mind you there were a lot of times I didn’t like him a whole heck of a lot, but I’m sure he felt the same about me and I think that just comes part and parcel with living with someone on a daily basis, in particular if in some ways you are so different from the other person. And Ron and I were different in a lot of ways. First off, he was a guy, enough said there. What woman can really understand what all makes them tick. He was a pessimist, me the optimist; he a glass half empty kind of guy, me a glass half full. He liked things neat, me, as recently pointed out, not so much.
He disliked being around other people, even though he coached baseball. Me, I need to be around people although I do have times I like to be alone.
I don’t know how I will spend the actual day. Lisa the sister has invited me to her place for the weekend. I’ll probably go. Ryan will be out of town so I don’t have to be there in person for him, but I’m not sure what to do about Brent.
I know both boys – well men really – are still deeply affected by their Dad’s death. We still haven’t talked about it, but they each either have or are getting tattoos in remembrance. So I don’t want to dessert him, but I don’t think I can be around this weekend.
I think about his mother too. We’ve never been that close but she is a nice person. I can only imagine the heartache she will be feeling. The year before Ron died, his father died so she lost not only her husband but her youngest son.
One thing that keeps me going and gives me comfort is faith. It’s knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will see him again sometime.
But still my heart aches at time. The sense of loss is just as deep as it was the day he died. I’m coping and coping quite well at times, but half of me is still missing, or if it’s there, it’s deeply scarred and it will never heal quite the same again.
I’m not a weepy, crying person, but I don’t think I’m going to get through this week without breaking down a few times.
I know I’ll get past this sadder than normal time and I’ll still have moments of being the old me, but I’m going to allow myself to be sad this week, to not have a ready smile on my face. I’ll allow myself to cry – whenever it hits and not feel like I shouldn’t, even at work. I’m going to allow myself to feel sorry and sorrow at what I’ve lost.
And I’m going to continue to love Ron with all my heart.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I can't believe I did this!

I went to Costco tonight with a neighbour. Now they don't have that good a romance section there - not for the hard core romance fan I am.
But they did have one book I wasn't planning on getting. But it was such a good price, half the cover price, I couldn't turn it down. And I have met the author now.

Justification - thy name is book addict.

High Noon by Nora Roberts has been added to my own personal pile.

'til later
Wait! It's Monday!

That means it's Robin's turn for Reader's Gab over at Access Romance.

Freebies and Giveaways

One of the neat things at the RWA in Dallas was the Goodie Room. It was chuck full of all kinds of author giveaways such as book marks, book post cards, magnets and pens.
Smart Bitch Sarah has asked for our opinions on the give aways. Apart from the books which were there by mistake, my favourite was the pens. I came home with a lot of pens, some cheap, some good. I prefer the good ones :) My favourite pen is one from Kristina Cook. It's a big fat thing. Sometimes when I'm doing a lot of writing, my hand gets a bit sore, either from carpal tunnel or a little arthritis - I'm not sure. But I like this big pen. It makes it easier to write.
I also picked up a number of fridge magnets. I thought I'd put them up and watch the boys roll their eyes.

I picked up a number of book marks and a few are already in use. I like the post cards too as long as they are for upcoming books. I thought I'd keep them in a pile to remind me of what books I want to get.

A real cute idea was Chapter 1 of Hot by Julia Harper (aka Elizabeth Hoyt. I was excited to hear she is also writing a contemporary book - and not alarmed since I know (cause she told me) she is continuing to write historicals. I haven't read it yet because then I'd really love it and have to wait too long for the whole book to come out - but I love the idea and will read it closer to the release date

A number of authors also had little chocolates. I got some of them and they sure did come in handy the other day when I was in a "Need Chocolate Now" moment.

One thing I didn't see - don't know if there were any but scooped up - was little notebooks. I thought that would be a great idea to keep in a purse cause whenever I need to write something down, I can't find paper. Now I have lots of pens though.

The oddest thing I picked up though was a tiny little candy box shaped like a skeleton with little tiny candies inside shaped like bones. I haven't opened it yet but I think the bones all link together. This cute little idea was from Brenda Novak and Karen Rose.

I also got a few little cute key chains, one shaped like a little motorcycle.

There are a couple new coasters I now own too.

All in all I love all my goodies.

'til later

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Recent Read and Not So Recent Read

Hot Wheels and High Heels by Jane Graves

Why this one: I’ve read quite a few of her books and except for one I wanted to throw into a mud puddle, I’ve really enjoyed everything she’s written. It seemed like a while since her last book so I was delighted to see this one. I read this one a few days before I went to Dallas

Steam level: This one will get the kettle heated nicely

Amazon Blurb: Trophy wife Darcy McDaniel has just discovered that, thanks to her embezzling husband, her posh, upper-class life is gone for good. Now she's trading her suburban palace for a trailer park and her weekly salon appointments for a job. Darcy needs a new man--fast--one who'll keep her in the manner she darn well deserves. Problem is, the hottest prospect around is the my-way-or-the-highway hunk who's making off with her beloved Mercedes!
Ex-cop turned repo man John Stark is sure that hiring the furious blonde in his headlights is a colossal mistake. He knows Darcy's high-maintenance, designer-labels-only type--after all, he's used to taking their cars. But he never expected this hellion to have the smarts and the spunk to go from receptionist to repo agent in record time...or to drive him insane with desire. She's the last thing this tall, dark, and dangerous loner needs...and everything he never knew he wanted.

My Thoughts: Once again, this is another book I really enjoyed by Ms. Graves – and I got to tell her in person. If she had kept the character of Darcy the same, I would have hated it. Darcy started off pretty shallow and when faced with adversity, her only solution was to marry rich rather than solve things on her own.
But instead we get to see Darcy grow as a character and become a very likeable person. And John, the owner of a repossession business is adorable as a character. Gruff as a teddy bear, rather then give in to Darcy’s neediness, he encourages her to discover the answer herself, but I always felt if worse came to worse, he would be there for her. This one provided a number of laughs too. Humor can be very subjective, but I found this one delightful.
I’m glad to see Jane Graves out with another book. This one is a delight

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Forget Me Not by Marliss Melton

Why this one: I picked this one up in Dallas at one of the publisher signings. Actually I had another book by her to sign and after she signed it, I picked this one up and noticed it was the first of a series. I put it back and went back about 10 minutes later to get a second book.

Level of Steam: This one's not really boiling hot

Amazon Blurb: Navy SEAL lieutenant Gabe Renault was a man driven to succeed in his chosen career. He was so driven that he shut out his family in the mistaken belief that emotions would weaken his effectiveness. But then a covert mission results in his capture by the North Koreans. A year later, just one week after being declared officially dead, he returns home to his wife, Helen, but his memory of the past three years--including crucial details about the high-level corruption that caused his ordeal--is gone. And even though he now wants to do better by his family, Helen has resolved on divorce.

My Thoughts: I love finding new authors I can enjoy and I’m quite happy at the moment that I found this author. Despite lacking a high level of steam, I really quite liked this one and I’ll be sure to buy more of her books in the series. In fact there is another one coming out August 1 I’ll be on the lookout for.
This is a second-chance-at-love book mixed up with a mystery as to who is responsible for Gabe’s capture and subsequent capture.
I thought Gabe a damn fine hero. Strong yet filled with doubt, he doesn’t remember his family but he knows he wants to keep them. It makes him such a deliciously vulnerable hero. I had a few more issues with Helen. She is bound and determined to keep Gabe at a distance. She wanted her independence and didn’t want to relinquish it. I don’t blame her but as far as I could tell, it was never even an issue with Gabe – before or after his memory loss. She was also overly insistent that she wants to keep a distance from Gabe. I could kind of see this; but still I thought it went a bit overboard. But compared to how much I enjoyed this one, that’s small potatoes.
Those liking SEAL stories should add this series to the list

Grade: 4 out of 5

'til later

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Funny Money

OK - so obviously I haven't convinced myself that I'm having company yet - since I'm 'ah' blogging again.

One of the nifty keen quirkly things about Canadian money is the twoonies and the loonies. They're coins and if there are others out there like me, they just throw them in the purse and pull them out every so often when the purse gets to heavy. Upon realizing that I didn't have Ice Blue and since Chapters is on the way home, at break I checked to see how many twoonies and loonies I had.

I had a lot which would explain why my purse was very heavy!

So I stopped at Chapters and now own Ice Blue (andthreeotherbooksbecausetheystillhadthebuy3get1freeandIhadthe

Now - I really have to get ready for my imaginary company

'til later

Mind Games

OK – I’m being a bad little worker bee. I’m working on a blog post instead of working. Now in my defense, there isn’t a whole lot to do here. I worked like gangbusters this morning. I held over a bit of work from Thursday to keep me busy on the weekend, but I have it almost done and I still have tomorrow to get through.
So – I’m planning on what to do when I get home. One of life’s big mysteries is how the heck the house can get so messy when I live there by myself?
I can’t blame anyone for the mess – if I yell at someone, it will have to be me. I don’t think I like that.
So I have a plan. First of all, I have to play mind games on me. In order to get motivated to clean, I have to pretend someone is coming over and the house needs to be clean. I’ll start in the kitchen, work my way around, move to the living room, same thing, next the bathroom and ending up cleaning the bedroom.
The thing is, I’m a slob. I’ve always been a slob and at this point in time, I’m thinking I always will be a slob. Not dirty as in dishes all over the house and fruit flies flying all over. More along the lines of letting things pile up, like clothes and books (surprise) not dusting or vacuuming as often as I should and other stuff. Ron was the Felix and I’m the Oscar. He would either clean up himself or nag me until I did it. But with no one doing that now – well – things just aren’t the same.
So – mind game – someone is coming over tonight at 7:30 and I have a lot of cleaning to do.
In reality – I’ll probably get home, turn the air conditioner down, sit and read a book for a while then play on the internet.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes

I don't know if I mentioned this or not but when I applied and got the current job, it was with the understanding that I would be working every third weekend - but Saturday and Sunday.
They've finally implemented it and starting tomorrow is my first weekend to work. In lieu of working Saturday and Sunday, I have Friday and Monday off. Kind of wierd I know but it was a devil of a thing to work out. See - we had to fit it into the pay schedule and we couldn't work more than six days in a row. Try and work that out for 3 people and it get's very tricky.
But I don't mind the split days. Two weeks in a row will be short weeks and the weekend should be pretty slow and laid back - time to come up with blog ideas *g*.
So today, a day off, I drove down to see Cindy. Now I wasn't completely honest about the number of books I got. See, I actually got 94. When I was in Dallas and at the Literacy Signing and saw that Anne Stuart was there - well I just HAD to get her to sign a book for Cindy!
When I approached Ms. Stuart I said I had a friend who would be a squealy fan girl of yours if she was the squealing fan girl type. So could you sign this book for her? Then I thought that sounded kind of odd so I added - "Oh, and I love your books too. Not as much as Cindy, but I do like them."
She smiled and signed it to Cindy and I left thinking that was kind of a dumb thing to say.
As usual, we had a great visit and talked for hours.
I LOVE meeting fellow bloggers.
Oh - and the book? Ice Blue. It wasn't until I was driving home it occurred to me that I didn't have that one! *g*. Oh well - Chapters will be making another sale then.

'til later

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I've got you my pretties

So - after spending almost the entire night cataloguing, except for the rare break, I have the job half way done! Next step - Library Thing.
I picked up a lot of books!! Except for just a few that I got in the suitcase and in the free bag we received upon registering, every one is one I would like to read. There were so many there it was tempting to grab and run. But I didn't think that would be right.
A few I have are duplicates. They are books I already have but thought it would be great to have author signed copies.
Some are authors I haven't tried before, but if I like the book, I'll be sure to read them again.
Fingers crossed this will carry over! I'm not doing pictures for each one because the grand total of books is:

Author Title Genre
Anthology Secrets Volume 4 Erotic Romance
Anthology The Firefighter Erotic Romance
Asaro, Catherine The Fire Opal Fantasy
Ashley, Jennifer The Calling Paranormal
Bangs, Nina A Taste Of Darkness Paranormal
Bangs, Nina Wicked Fantasy Paranormal
Barrett, Linda A Houseful Of Strangers Contemporary
Bird, Jessica The Billionaire Next Door Harlequin SE
Caine, Rachel Firestorm Fantasy
Callen, Gayle The Lord Next Door Historical
Cassidy, Carla Without A Sound RS
Cook, Kristina To Love A Scoundrel Historical
Corgiat, Jerri Home By Starlight Contemporary
Cross, Claire All Or Nothing Contemporary
Dante, Kathleen Enticed RS
Dawson, Geralyn Give Him The Slip RS
Day, Alyssa Atlantis Rising Paranormal
Devoti, Lori Unbound Paranormal
Dodd, Christina Scent Of Darkness Paranormal
Donovan, Susan The Kept Woman Contemporary
Dreyer, Eileen Head Games RS
Duarte, Judy Daddy On Call Harlequin SE
Dunaway, Michele The Wedding Secret Contemporary
Dunaway, Michele The Marriage Campaign Contemporary
Elyot, Amanda To Great A Lady Historical
Galen, Shana Good Groom Hunting Historical
Gist, Deeanne Courting Trouble Inspy Historical
Gold, Kristi Damage Control Contemporary
Gold, Kristi Fall From Grace Contemporary
Gold, Kristi Executive Seduction Harlequin Desire
Graves, Samantha Sight Unseen RS
Greene, Jennifer Blame It On Cupid Contemporary
Groe, Diana Silk Dreams Viking
Guest, Elizabeth Night Life Paranormal
Hardy, Kristin Always A Bridesmaid Harlequin SE
Hill, Sandra Rough And Ready Funny
Howell, Hannah Higland Savage Historical
James, Samantha The Secret Passion Of Simon Blackwell Historical
Janzen, Tara On The Loose RS
Jenkins, Beverly Sexy/Dangerous RS
Jenkins, Beverly Something Like Love Western
Johnston, Joan The Next Mrs. Blackthorne Contemporary
Jordan, Sophie Too Wicked To Tame Historical
Kay, Patricia Wish Come True Contemporary
Kleypas, Lisa Mine Till Midnight Historical
Knight, Angela The Forever Kiss Erotic Romance
Knight, Deirdre Parallel Seduction Paranormal
Krahn, Betina The Book of True Desires Historical
Landis, Jill Marie Heat Wave Contemporary
Langan, Ruth Ryan Heart's Delight Western
London, Julia The Perils Of Pursing A Prince Historical
Long, Beverly Here With Me Time Travel
Long, Julie Ann The Secret To Seduction Historical
Luke, Renee Dipped In Chocolate Contemporary
Lynn, Denise Falcon's Heart Medieval
MacAllister, Heather Jilt Trip Contemporary
Martin, Kat The Summit RS
Martin, Kat The Summit RS
McCarthy, Erin Heiress For Hire Contemporary
McKade, Maureen A Reason To Live Western
Mellor, P.J. Give Me More Erotic Romance
Melton, Marliss Forget Me Not RS
Melton, Marliss Time To Run RS
Michaels, Lorna A Candle For Nick Harlequin SE
Mignerey, Sharon Shadows Of Truth RS
Miles, Cindy Spirited Away Ghost
Miller, Linda Lael McDettrick's Luck Contemporary
Montgomery, Selena Hidden Sins RS
Nash, Sophia A Dangerous Beauty Historical
Novak, Brenda Dead Right RS
Perrin, Kayla Getting Some RS
Perrin, Kayla We'll Never Tell RS
Petersen, Jenna Scandalous Historical
Pickens, Andrea The Spy Wore Silk Historical
Pippin, Morag McKendrick Blood Moon Over Bengal WW II
Popp, Robin T Tempted In The Night Paranormal
Popp, Robin T The Darkening Paranormal
Potter, Patricia Beloved Warrior Historical
Ranstrom, Gail Indiscretions Historical
Rimmer, Christine The Man Who Had Everything Harlequin SE
Sands, Lynsay Bite Me If You Can Paranormal
Showalter, Gena Catch A Mate Contemporary
Showalter, Gena Red Handed Young Adult
Smith, Barbara Dawson The Rogue Report Historical
Sparks, Kerrelyn Be Still My Vampire Heart Paranormal
St. Giles, Jennifer Touch A Dark Wolf Paranormal
Stevens, Amanda The Dollmaker RS
Thomas, Sherry Private Arrangements Historical
Warren, Christine She's No Fairie Princess Paranormal
Warren, Linda Once A Cowboy Contemporary
Wilde, Lori There Goes The Bride Funny
Wilde, Lori Mission Irriesistible RS
Wilson, Gayle The Suicide Club RS

Aaaauuuuggghhhh - They made it.

I’m at work and probably shouldn’t do this – but…

They’re here!! They’re here!!! My books have arrived safe and sound though the box is a little damaged. But thankfully the insides are in good shape.
I’ll be cataloguing and listing tonight!

'til later

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

So close and yet so far

I left a note along with a smiley face on the front door to deliver to the back door

I took the barbeque cover off and left it by the back door

I left a note on the back door to cover any packages. I even did another smiley face

I came home at lunch - wasted 40 minutes driving both ways

Don't know if the driver could read notes or not but he left me one between lunch and when I got home. They delivered the books but they needed a signature by someone at least 19 years of age. It also said they would try and deliver again after 5:00 but they didn't.

I just got off the phone to the courier company and I'm having them delivered to work instead - but they can't guarantee another attempt tomorrow so it might not be until Thursday when I get them.

*heavy sigh*

'til later

Noooooo!! It's supposed to rain all day

And I'm hoping THIS is book arrival day. What's more it's supposed to rain the rest of the week.

Hmmm - how to combat book mush. *thinking*

I'll leave a note on the front door to deliver to the back door.

I'll take the barbeque cover off and leave it on the porch.

I'll leave a note on the back door to please cover any packages

I'll come home at lunch - just to be sure.

I'll hope if they come the delivery person will read notes

Now it would have been a much better idea to have them delivered to work, but I didn't have anything with me with my work address. In a effort to unload the purse before I left, I took out just about everything I could. And that included every scrap piece of paper.
I hope they arrive and stay dry.

'til later

Monday, July 23, 2007

A don't miss web site

I just visited this one and there is some wonderful videos of the pre and post RITA awards.

Romance Novel TV

'til later
'Tis Tara's Turn at Reader's Gab this week over at Access Romance.

Well, Dang!

My precious boxes o' books weren't here when I got home. So instead of a list of them which will make everyone turn green with envy, I'm doing a review - or a series of reviews - I'm not sure exactly what it is.

I haven’t managed to read a book since I got back from Dallas. I started one, but it wasn’t working so I started another one last night and the light bulb struck. I was trying to read a paranormal when I was in the mood for a western!

But I did read a few books before I left for Dallas and was in the midst of one while there.

First off, I don’t think these books can be read out of order. In order to understand and appreciate each one, you need to have read the preceding one. It’s not often I say this and I’m constantly reading series out of order and it never bothers me, but this is more of a story arc that starts in Virgin River and continues through to Whispering Rock.

Title: Virgin River

Blurb: Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she's made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.

But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans…and a former marine cements them into place.

Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.

Level of Steam: Pretty Hot

My Thoughts: I really liked this one. It was the only one in the series I bought at the time and it wasn’t long before I picked up the second two.

Although I did find a few things odd, for example I don’t think the writer did transitions very well – see – I did learn something in my writing classes, still the characters really seemed to come to life.

Jack at first seemed like a very laid-back almost beta type hero. But it wasn’t long before we discover that in his case still waters run deep. He was patient with the heroine, Mel, and let her work through her grief.

This book was rather close to my heart, in being able to identify with the heroine. I thought she was well done too. I also thought the author did a good thing in not demonizing her husband. He really was a good man and that was refreshing.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Title: Shelter Mountain

Blurb: Shelter Mountain continues the story introduced in the author's [Virgin River], and introduces Paige, who, after fleeing her battering husband, arrives at Jack's bar in the midst of a downpour with her three-year-old son, Christopher. Preacher, big and scary looking, shows his tender and nurturing side as he and others protect Paige from her drug-crazed husband.

Level of Steam: Again nice and steamy

My Thoughts: I thought this was another good book. I read this series back to back to back with no books in between and the second story was just a natural extension of the first book. I enjoyed Preacher and Melinda's story. I did have a few reservations though about a secondary story that was going along with it. I just couldn’t buy into the young teenager Rick’s story-line. He just seemed to good to be true and I may be wrong but somehow he seemed to age just a tad too quick and it drew me out of the story. Maybe part of it was because we didn’t see a POV from his young love, but this just didn’t work for me. But I did enjoy seeing John and Mel again and they were an integral part of the story.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Title: Whispering Rock

Blurb: In Carr's third Virgin River novel, Mike Valenzuela is on his way to visit family in L.A. when he learns that Brie, Jack Sheridan's youngest sister, has been raped and beaten by the defendant in a high-profile rape case she had unsuccessfully prosecuted. Mel, Virgin River's midwife, begins to suspect that a serial date rapist is preying on the girls of the community after plying them with drink and drugs, and soon Mike is on the case as Virgin River's constable.

Level of Steam: Not as steamy as the first two

My Thoughts: I don’t know if it was because I read them all together or not, but I had a lot of issues with this one. There wasn’t nearly enough time spent with the two main characters. Instead the story jumped here, there and everywhere - all over the place with way to many characters set up as sequel bait. In addition, we also had another young teenager in love and I had even more issues this time. The dialogue he had just didn’t work at all. Being the mother of two young men myself, I found myself rolling my eyes at many of the lines.

By the time I came to the end of this one, I was real ready to move onto something else where the men weren’t so perfect and the heroines weren’t all so wounded one way or another.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

Series overall: I took the 3 grades, added and then divided by 3. See - I still remember a bit of public school math. The final grade: 3.333333 (and so on)

For those who like Catherine Anderson, these will probably work very well. They are Catherine Andersonish without the overabundance of sweetness.

I liked them, I’m glad I read them, but they aren’t keepers for me, although I can see the appeal for others.

I’m just too jaded I think to buy into this almost perfect Utopia that is Virgin River.

'til later

Books, books, wonderful books

You notice I haven't listed the books I picked up in Dallas yet. It isn't because I don't plan to. Oh, no. I plan to alright. The reason is because I shipped most of them back home. There were just too many to carry through the airports with, especially when I won that suitcase full. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will be there when I get home from work tonight.
Oh the fun and joy I will have cataloguing them in my own handy dandy spreadsheet and on LibraryThing. That should keep me happy and busy for hours.
I just hope that there isn't a nasty book thief lurking around the house ready to abscond with my treasures!

'til later

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I'm at a bit of a loss

I've reached a bit of block as far as blogging goes. It's a week since Dallas - hard to believe it was that long ago now. I haven't really been reading much since I got back. I'm trying to get into one book but it's just not holding my interest that much. Not sure if it's the book or me. I hate when that happens.
I still don't have my books that I had shipped from Dallas yet. I'm not concerned though because the UPS guy did call and said it would be maybe Friday but probably Monday.
I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books so I haven't been to that party.
So this is really a blog post about not really blogging.
I do have a book I want to post about, but I'm not sure where I put it to reference.
I could do housework, but I'm not in the mood for that either.

I am at a stalemate.

Hopefully the creative juices or the reading urge or whatever it takes will be back shortly because usually I can ramble on endlessly but I've nothing to ramble about.

'til later

Friday, July 20, 2007

I think I overdid it blogging

But I wanted to get everything down. I still have one final thought, but it's Friday night and the brain goes to sleep on a Friday. It's even sleepier than normal this week so I should be back to normal tomorrow

'til later

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And in other news

When I got back to work - on Tuesday - I was a bad little worker bee on Monday, I had an email from the HR department. I had passed my probation effective June 26!!!!!! That was such excellent news. Although I was pretty sure they would keep me on after, there is always that little niggle of doubt until it's a done deal.
And - with it effective June 26, that means I'll get paid for the week I went to Dallas. I wasn't sure if I would or not since I knew it was close to my probation date. And I get sick days so I'll also get paid for the bad little worker bee day. And now I have benefits.
The optometrist! The copious amount of drugs that old(er) age cause me to take. The dentist! I'll be making visits to all of them now!

'til later

Doing Dallas - The Good, The Not So Bad, and The We're All Jealous of Her Books

Sybil's turn! Warning - this is going to be mushy
Of all my roommates I 'knew' Sybil the best before I met them all. We are in a couple of the same yahoo groups and although it's been a while now, we used to 'talk' for hours on end. Ron was working afternoons and my evenings were so quiet. I'd would get on the computer and see if Sybil was around and if she was we'd while away the hours. Often times others would be there too. Nicole was there and Jay and sometimes Angie too. Candy often showed up and Maili, who we all miss like the devil. The fun we had teasing Angie about the ending of Passion by Liza Valdez.
Ron would come walking in around 11:30 and I'd still be talking. He'd watch TV for a while and I'd still be talking. He'd go to bed and I'd still be talking. I've always known I could tell her anything and it would stay between just us.
Sometimes we'd email each other back and forth at work although I always felt a wee bit guilty doing that at work.
Sybil, more than anyone else I knew online knew what I was going through.
So when I decided to go to Dallas, it was just as much to meet Sybil as it was to go to the RWA. I didn't tell her any of this stuff while we roomed together - I'm not good at being mushy and I'd probably cry through it anyway.
So when I saw that she and Jane were going to the RWA, I did something very unlike me. I kind of invited myself. And she made me feel welcome in joining them.
We were talking a few days before it was time to leave and she told me she had something to tell me. Me, being me, asked if it was good or bad. She replied it was bad, very bad. Naturally I believed her. I think she got quite a kick out of that *g*
They she said, no - it was that she had arranged for us to go out for lunch with Lisa Kleyas. I'm surprised she didn't hear me squeal all the way from Texas when I read those words. And it was Sybil that asked if I could come the the party.
Meeting Sybil, and Jane and Wendy was just as exciting as anything else that happened in Dallas.
My first impression of her - she was shorter than I imagined - heh heh. And I thought she would be blond for some reason. As you now know by Jane's pic's she's not.
I've always admired her boldness - I've never had that much. And she is honest and will tell it like she sees it. I greatly admire that too.
I don't know how many people who were at the RWA know this, but she was suffering from Migraines for a few days. Now I haven't had migraines but Ron did and I know how much he suffered from them. Yet Sybil carried on like a trouper. She was such a delight to hang around with and meeting her and the other roomies was Most Excellent!
On Sunday morning Jane and Wendy were the first to go. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to Jane - she slipped out - I think that's her style. I gave Wendy a big hug as she left the room. That left Sybil and me together for a while. We didn't talk about anything earth shattering. I don't even remember what we talked about. But as it came her time to leave, I hugged her and didn't want to let go.
If I don't see you before, I sure hope we can hang again next year in SF - all of us. You guys all made the trip what it was.

Love Kristie

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Doing Dallas - Those Special Moments

By the lack of posts today you can tell I went to work, back to the life of the little worker bee.

I had so many of those special moments I'd be blogging til midnight if I did each one separately so I'll try and get them all here. And probably continually editing as I remember more things!

Special Moment
Meeting Sybil (whose own post coming up shortly), Wendy and Jane. I couldn't have asked for better roommates and the fact that four of us shared a room for almost 6 days and didn't run into any kind of hogging the bathroom moment? Priceless.

Special Moment
I don't have a what I would consider a friendship with very many authors but there are two I've been emailing for a while now. When I decided to go to Dallas, I emailed both of them (with a bit of reservation - after all this was their time and their place and I didn't want to intrude) saying if they had time, I'd love to meet them. They both emailed me back almost immediately saying they would love to meet me. They are good friends with each other and we all got a chance to sit down and talk about all kinds of neat stuff. They are both envious of me 'cause I'm going to see Loreena and they're fans. So to Bonnie Vanak and Pamela Clare (I love also meeting your Mom - and right - Old Blind Dog) I loved meeting both of you!!!!

Special Moment
Going up to Tara Janzen at the publisher signing and after clearing my throat a couple of times, saying rather timidly "I don't know if you remember me...."
You see, I was reading her Crazy series when Ron was going through his chemo and radiation. While immersed in her Steele Street books, for a while I was able to forget what was going on around me. I sent her an email letting her know how they helped me cope. She emailed me back and then sent me an ARC of Crazy Love. It's front and centre on my bookcase upstairs with all my other Very Special Books.
When I said who I was, she said of course she remembered me, jumped out of her chair, hugged me and reached into a box at her side and gave me an ARC of On The Loose. She said she still had the email I sent

Special Moment
At the Random House party that Jane had an invite to, I worked up the courage to talk to The Judith McNaught. I told her she was an icon to us romance readers. We then talked for a while longer and she wanted me to go with her to get some finger foods. Someone else came up and started talking to her, and we never did go to get food together, but the fact that she wanted to with me was special.

Special Moment
At the same party, it was getting pretty crowded so I moved towards the back where it was a bit cooler and not so crowded. Suzanne Brockman was there with her husband and another gentleman. I didn't get a chance to talk to Suzanne, but I did have a very interesting conversation that lasted until we left with her husband.

Special Moment
Running into Alyssa at the bar and offering to buy her drinks for her. She refused although I wouldn't have minded at all. She was drinking water. I had also emailed Alyssa about getting together sometime, but alas, I was so busy for the whole thing it just didn't happen. But the time we did spend together was lots of fun.

Special Moment
Being invited to the Samhain breakfast and meeting Angie in person. She is so cute - just as cute as she is in all her pictures!

Special Moment
Getting to talk to Jaci Burton at the Samhain breakfast, the Random Publisher Party and then later having a real nice chat with her and Angie.

Special Moment(s)
The Harlequin Party. I almost wasn't going to go - I was pretty beat by that time. But I decided what the heck - this is a once in a lifetime time. There were so many incredible moments at that party. Making Wendy dance to Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield. You may recall I just put that video on the blog not long ago. I was hoping they would play Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams. I was going to make her dance to that too. But I don't think wild horses could have made her dance to Everything I Do by said Bryan. It was the first time I'd danced in over 2 years and if I do say so myself - I sucked big time at it.
Having Pamela Clare introduce me to her mother - that was special.
At one point I was sitting in a chair, chilling out when Jane came running over and grabbed me by the hand. She pulled me onto the dance floor where they were a number of women all dancing in a circle. And NORA ROBERTS was one of them!! (I'm still hoping for the day she will make a comment on my little 'ole blog. I showed a number of people the picture of us at work today that Jane took!)
Riding back to the hotel in a white stretch limo. I've only ridden in a limo once before and it didn't hold a candle to that one!

Special Moment
Learning how to use Jane's I-phone by the time the Rita Finalists were announced. I think the scaredest I was the whole week was when Jane said "You can do it, I know you can!" She obviously hadn't seen me try and work a cell phone - a simple one at that. And the sweet justification when Sarah who was sitting next to me leaned over and said she'd just got an email that the official RWA site had crashed and we were the only two giving live updates.

Special Moment
Meeting Leah Hultenschmidt an editor at Dorchester. She thinks Romantic Advances is a great idea and offered to help in whatever way she can. One of the reasons it was a special moment is because I have a real hard time finding many of the Dorchester books here in Canada. I've got quite a list of books that I want to buy but will have to order online. Now for me, it's not that big a deal because I do a lot of research on what is coming out so I can see what's up. But for readers here who don't go online, who buy on impulse, if the books aren't there, the books can't be bought. And what a loss for the reader (cause Dorchester has some mighty fine books and they are willing to publish in a number of genres), the author, whose sales will reflect that. Canada is a pretty big country! One time I checked out the biggest cities all across the country from Toronto to Vancouver just out of curiosity and the book in question wasn't anywhere, and let's face it, it's a loss for the publisher too. I waxed passionately about this.
One good thing about the conference was I did find the latest books I've been wanting to get at the RWA's so I went home a happy camper over that. But being able to talk to someone at Dorchester about that issue and Romantic Advances was oh so fun!

The Most Special Moment(s) of all
Going out for lunch with Lisa Kleypas. I already blogged about that - it's a time I'll always remember. And after that, whenever she saw me, she would stop what she was doing (once she was talking to Julia Quinn) and come over and hug me. I was at the Nora Roberts party when claustrophobia hit again and I had to go outside for a bit. Lisa was out there and she introduced me to her husband and her agent.

There are dozens more moments like that; each one of them frozen in my memory that I can take out and remember.

'til later

Monday, July 16, 2007

Doing Dallas - Dear Author

Jane's turn.
I was a little bit in awe at the thought of meeting Jane. I mean she is part of Dear Author - a powerhouse of a blog for it's short time in existence. And to be sharing a room with her - wowzers! But she is sweet and warm and generous and it was an honour to get to meet her. She left her computer running for any one of us to use.
And she has the most beautiful little girl in the world! And her hubby is pretty darn fine too!
And she actually trusted me with her I-Phone. And had the faith that I would be able to use it too! Me!! Ms don't get electronic devices! More on that later.
As Wendy (who is now reading Dreaming of You - LOL) mentioned we had a real fun late night discussion on the soul mate theme in romance. Jane and I both like it if done well.
It was wonderful meeting you Jane. And thanks once again for everything!

'til later

Doing Dallas - The Proof

This is the one and only pic I will put on the blog with me in it. Until and unless I loose a certain amount of weight that is.
It's only to prove that I did indeed meet The Nora.
Thanks Jane for sending it!

Doing Dallas - Networking

When I knew I was going to Dallas I wanted to do something important - not just be a tag-along kind of person. Although I did do great at doing tag-along. Then came Romantic Advances and I thought what a great way to get this website known!! The four of us debated back and forth about having business cards. I was strongly for it since (selfishly) in real life I'm just a little peon at work and I don't have business cards and I just wanted them and I thought at the RWA they would be a great tool. We discussed different ways of doing them and I'm pretty sure (and Jane can confirm this since she was the one had them made up) that she had Jennie's sister Julie Ree - AKA Twin, a graphic designer by trade as well as a fabulous sewer and other crafty things person, design the cards. This is the card and each of us had a bunch with our own names, email addy and our own blog as well as the Romantic Advances. Didn't Julie do a great job on them?
So one of the things I wanted to do in Dallas was tell as many people as I could about the Romantic Advances website.

**side note here**
Thanks to Wendy for adding it to the template on the sidebar. I'd been wanting to do this for a while but didn't know how - being the tech ignoramus that I am. I had no idea how to do it so she did it for me. Mucho gratis!

So I broke out of my shell and approached people and talked about the site. It helped that as a reader who likes to research what is coming out in the future, I adore the idea of a one-stop internet shopping place. Somewhere you can find everything you want without having to hop here there and everywhere. Everyone I mentioned the site to also thought it a great idea and eagerly took the cards.
It was a grand experience and even though I had my heart in my throat at everyone I asked if they wanted a card, I think, as a newbie at this kind of thing, I did a pretty decent job at networking and plugging Romantic Advances.

'til later

Doing Dallas - the bad

There is very little bad to say about the conference. In fact only one thing. I lost my digital camera on the second day. I tried not to panic about it and apply the Kristie rule - as long as I don't look to hard, it's not really lost. But by the fourth day I was looking hard and couldn't find it. I thought at that point I had two choices, continue to have a great time, or get totally upset and let it ruin my trip. I went for option 1.
But I am really upset about it for a number of reasons. I didn't get pictures of Dallas or any of the people I met. It had all my previous pictures still on it, all my Zina pics, those of Arthur the Dog, the library, the weather - every picture I've taken using it. Thank goodness I already downloaded them all to the computer. But still. Also that was a very expensive little camera. When I got it I purchased extra insurance but I don't know if that covers losing the whole thing or just if it's damaged. It wasn't quite expensive enough to put through on insurance though. If I do make a claim what with paying the premium and then paying higher insurance for just making a claim it's not worth it . I'll have to keep my fingers crossed when I go to Future Shop.
I did leave them my name, phone number and address at the hotel in case it shows up, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
So *sigh* those hoping for pics will have to check out other blogs like Dear Author or SB's.

'til later

Done Dallas

I'll get back to the Doing Dallas posts but this is something that happened after that I want to write down while the emotions are still fresh and tender.
Anyone who reads this even on a semi-regular basis may have picked up that I have two sons. Alas no daughters I could relate too - just strange alien males.
They are 26 and almost 29 now. I love them both equally but differently. I love them for their own selves each as different as night and day.
When they were little Ryan, the youngest, was the snuggler, the one who would hug and kiss his mama whenever I wanted/needed him too. But as he grew older and it slowly became apparent that he was the jock of the two and he was more like Ron while Brent was more like me, he slowly grew closer to his dad.
Ron and I split for a year while still working on our relationship. Ryan took it very hard. I was the one to leave and without going into detail, Ryan held some deep anger towards me and with justification I might add. Had I to do over, I would have still left for that year, but I would have done it differently. It was something I needed to do for me and when Ron and I got back together it was with a greater understanding for each other and a stronger better marriage. But Ryan didn't let go of his anger and there was a distance I couldn't seem to break through and inside I was devastated that I had lost that and always hoped we could get past it and build our mother/son relationship again. It's been slowly building since Ron's death, building one brick at a time.
Ryan was the one who picked my up at the airport when I got home. He asked if I had a good time and I started telling him about it. He said he wanted to hear all about it, but he'd left a party or something in order to pick me up and had to get back so he couldn't stay. He said he'd come back later and I could tell him all about it - once he had his earphones on because he really doesn't get my mania for romance. I said fine - that works, but I just had to tell him one thing. I'd been invited to an exclusive party Nora Roberts through. He was impressed by that since even he's heard of Nora. In fact not long ago he bought me a Nora Roberts book - just because.
Then (get out the kleenix) he asked if I had a good time and if I was planning on going to the next one in SF. I replied, yes, I think I will do that.
Then he said good, he wants me to travel and go to those conferences. It was something he didn't get but he knew how much I enjoyed it.
And then he said those magic words that make me cry.
"I'm proud of you Mom, I'm real proud of you for doing this for yourself"

(moment to recoup)

I can't begin to express how much that meant to hear that from him.

Now - to get away from weepy.
Sybil and Jane had gone to a luncheon where they were giving away cowboy hats. Neither one of them took them with them and when I asked Sybil about them, she said go ahead - take them. So I put them in my carry on luggage. When Ryan and I were driving home I routed through and pulled them out and gave him one. He put it on the dashboard of his truck. Back moment here. Ryan is always telling me about he and the ladies, how they all want his body and he's happy to oblige and that kind of thing. I think he does it to try and get me discombobulated or something, but I don't let on it doesn't work. So I thought what a hoot to turn the tables.
I picked up the cowboy hat and said "This will work great with the ladies. Keep it in the truck and they will all be wanting to try it on."
Then I told him that it would work another way. When he has one of his ladies in his bedroom, to use the cowboy hat as a prop to do a strip tease to get them going. Keep the brim down low; it's more mysterious like that and be sure to get a leather vest to go along with the outfit. And pick the right sultry country music to strip by. His ladies would love it.
He turned and looked at me and said he couldn't believe I was saying this to him.
I howled!

Now - back to further posts on Doing Dallas

'til later

Doing Dallas - Hunting Linda Howard

There's so much to tell about the week, I'll be rambling adnauseum I think. I planned to be methodical and do a daily report, but by now the days and events are all jumbled together in my head so it's almost impossible to itemize them by day. So this will be all a jumble up, mixed up series of fortunate events.

One of the things I wanted to do while I was there and after I had checked the author roster was at least say high to Linda Howard. I mentioned before that I rode up in the elevator with Ms. Howard. It was quite amusing though. There were a number of us in the elevator and one person asked Ms. Howard if she was Lisa Kleypas. Having already lunched with author Lisa, I knew it wasn't and was kind of scratching my head at the question. I mean Linda Howard is blond and author Lisa has dark hair. Someone else in the elevator knew it wasn't and when they recognized who she really was, said it was an honour to ride in the elevator with Linda Howard. I blurted out 'ditto' and then the elevator doors opened and I went down the hall mentally smacking my head.
"Ditto? You idiot." I thought. "You were in the same space with Linda Howard and all you could come up with was ditto?"
So after that I was determined to say something more rational if an opportunity arose. I was at the literacy signing when I walked by her but she was talking to too other people and I didn't want to interrupt. Another opportunity blown.
The next day or two days later - they are all blended - I was at one of the publisher signings when she walked by me. I was so tempted to turn around and follow her like a puppy dog and say something. By the time I went back and forth on what to do, I couldn't find her anymore. Nuts!
Finally though, I had my opportunity! I was sitting in a chair in the lounge area on the second floor when none other than Elizabeth Hoyt and Kalen Hughes came and asked if they could sit down with me. Does the sun come up in the morning??? There was also an agent or editor and my deepest apologies for not remember who or exactly what she did.
I had an opportunity to remind Elizabeth that I was the dufus who made a fool of myself in the elevator days earlier and she laughed. I then told Kalen how somehow I had managed to buy two of her latest books - so while I was thrilled to pieces to meet her, I didn't think I would pick up a third *g*. We then had a great discussion on the time period, the clothes, the fashions, reenactments which apparently Kalen participates in. My parents took us all to a fort when we were young - we live in an area where they have a number of preserved historical forts from the American Indian wars and when the States tried to attack Canada (they lost/we won, I'm over it now) and those were some of my favourite trips. That's why Colonial romance is one of my very favourite time periods and settings. That and Last of the Mohican's with DDL. (and another plug for Pamela Clare, one of the few authors publishing books in that time and setting)
It was a fascinating discussion and one I contributed too.
Another thing I loved about it was Elizabeth told me in more detail about her next series after The Serpent Prince comes out.
Well, as we were there who should come by but Linda Howard.
I told her, in a good non-gushing way I hope, how much I enjoyed her books and how very much I loved Blair Mallory. She smiled and said most readers either loved her or hated her. I replied I was in the 'love her' group. I then told her about my hardware visit where I asked the rather puzzled clerk if they had any pink hammers.
She laughed and said she does have a pink hammer.
So there you have it! Patience paid off and I talked to Linda Howard. I even made her laugh.

'til later

Doing Dallas - Wendy, Wendy, Wendy

See - I'm doing it!

I'm a bad little worker bee today. I'm supposed to go to work, but I'm just too exhausted to do it and on too much of a high. But I will interrupt this morning of sleep to do a quick post, then back to bed, then back to mega blogging.

One of the bestest thing about the conference was meeting, getting to know and spending time with Wendy, Sybil and Jane. I figure they each deserve their own post. Wendy - you're up first.

One of the most astonishing things about Wendy is she somehow escaped my Derek Craven radar. I spent the week asking if she had read such and such book and was surprised, amused and slightly horrified that she hadn't read them and I started a Wendy, Wendy, Wendy list. First off - SHE HASN'T READ DREAMING OF YOU!
One of the first reader blogs going and she hasn't read it. She promised me it would be her first book up when she got home, so everyone head over there and be sure to remind her of her promise. Tell her Kristie sent you. (boy it feels so good to link! It's so much easier on a computer I'm familiar with, no more hunting and pecking)
A list of other books contributing to the Wendy, Wendy, Wendy list
Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare
Lord of Scoundrels - Loretta Chase
Any Elizabeth Hoyt books
After the Night by Linda Howard
There's a whole bunch more but I really am tired and I'm headed back for more ZZZZ's (or what we would say here Zed's) soon.

Wendy really is a Super Librarian. She's a powerhouse as she orders fiction for 33 library's back in Orange County.
It didn't take long for me to appreciate her being so much taller than me. It made it so much easier to find her when I was looking for her.
I envied her that she didn't have to try and jump up to get into bed.
She didn't try and snuggle at night (at least with me) Wendy and I were bed mates - strictly platonic though.
She looks great in a black halter dress.
It was a thrill to meet her in person.

Well - I'm headed to my cozy little bed now but I'll be back later today.

'til later

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Doing Dallas - Workshops

When I decided to go to the RWA conference, I downloaded the schedule of workshops and marked quite a few I thought I would visit.

Big Snort

I made one! That's it. One. There was just so much to do and so much to see. I think Sybil and Jane found the same thing. But the one I did get to was very interesting. It was a workshop on Author websites and how to make them work. The speaker was interesting and quite good. I think he started off with a bit of a problem though. He started off saying people could ask questions any time and there were a few questions that were pretty silly IMO. Someone asked if they should have separte sights if they wrote YA and Romantica. Daah. It was starting to get off track a bit until one brave soul suggested that maybe we should keep on track and after that it went very well. I didn't take notes but here's what I remember. Keep in mind this is for authors - not readers. But as a reader, I thought it was interesting.

Point 1
Have a blog.
Now I may be different from many readers but I don't follow author blogs very much at all. There are two that I visit on a regular basis and a couple that I visit from time to time. So I'm not sure about that one if you are trying to attract readers, at least for me. But if you are trying to attract agents or publishers, it might be a good idea. I am much more likely and I do, visit author web sites. It's not like I don't like author blogs, but I care more about the books than I do the author. I don't mean that in a negative way. But it's like say - a chocolate bar. I love a good chocolate bar, but I don't pay all that much attention to who makes it. So if your target for a blog is readers, I'm split. I, myself, don't go to them much, but some readers do. If your target is other authors and a networking tool - go for it.
He did caution though if you do start a blog, be careful it doesn't drain too much of your creative energy keeping up a blog that could be used in writing.

Point 2
Ways to increase readership
Have contests. I agree with this 100%. I love entering contests. But I actually did hold up my hand and make a point. If an author does hold contests, please, please, please be willing to ship internationally. There are a lot of readers around the world who would just love to win books but some authors only will ship to the US. I see this on a contest and I am really turned off. Pay that extra in postage if needed. You will gain more readers that way and it will be worth it in the long run.
He agreed with me *g*.

Point 3
If you do have contests, make it part of the contest to add a mailing list and make sure readers who enter it are aware they are also being added. I am starting to get a number of updates on authors in my email from entering contests and while I sometimes ignore them, sometimes I will click and read what they are sending. One person asked about making it a members only thing. He was neutral on that point - if you want to. But speaking for me - bad idea. If I have to join something(?) I won't. I don't mind automatically being put on a mailing list when entering a contest, but I won't if I have to submit passwords and all that other kinds of stuff.

Point 4
He didn't have time to get into that very much. I wish it could have gone longer than an hour; I would have put up my hand again, brave soul that I was, but as a reader, it's vital to update.

Point 5
A lot of techincal jargon that I didn't understand about hosts and domains and stuff. But I do remember he said it was a good idea to have separate ones.

There's more, but it's after midnight and I'm almost asleep as I sit here so I'll edit and add in the am.

Doing Dallas - Day II continued

I'm not sure whether this should be Doing Dallas or Done Dallas since I'm home now. I'll probably have a shit load of posts so keep scrolling.
Since I've been wanting to blog about Day II I'll finish that one and then ramble about all kinds of other thoughts and stuff.

Before I begin settle down for a bit of back story - I'm going to ramble so grab a coffee or a drink - I myself have a been while I do this.

On Monday - getting ready before I left day, I procastinated with the best of 'em and didn't start packing until 3:30 at which point I noticed I had a problem. My big piece of luggage has a screw in handle instead of one of those ones that just pulls out of the top. I went to pack and noticed the handle was missing. I hadn't used it fpr a few years and it would have been like looking for a needle in a haystack. The basement is a mess with lots of the boys things. I could have spent hours looking for it instead of packing. After discussing the problem with sister Lisa she suggested I just go out and buy another cheap piece of big luggage. She'd been urging me to take a smaller piece but I knew I'd have books to bring back so I didn't want to do that. So I headed out in a huge thunderstorm to get the luggage. I got home packed, puttered around and headed to bed early as I had an early flight. I couldn't sleep though so I got up and gave one last look inside the first piece of luggage for the handle. And there is was *sigh*, the handle.

Now back to Day II
After the wonderful, special, Moment in Time, never to be forgotten lunch with author Lisa (and even that isn't enough to say - Jane, Sybil and I spent the rest of the conference marvelling about how down-to-earth, warm and friendly she is), I went back to help the set up for the literacy signing. They got a lot down while we were lunching with Lisa (I'll probably get obnoxious about that) but there were still books to be set up.
Once that was all finished I headed back to the room to freshen up, get a bag to carry them in and headed down with Wendy. I think she's blogged about it too. It was incredible. It was a ballroom sized room with I think over 450 authors signing books. We stood in line for a very long time, chatting with those around us. There were also people selling raffle tickets so we all bought some of them. The doors finally opened and we headed in en masse. I threw my raffle tickets into only a couple of prized that looked good. See - I'm not sure exactly what everyone calls it - I know it as a secret raffle where you put tickets into draws for prizes you'd like to win. I knew soon enough that it would pose a problem for me. It was such a huge event and there were so many people there and I suffer from claustraphobia in large crowds. I did pick up a few books but I didn't get very many since I was starting to feel the need to get out of there. I did go around a talk to some authors I had wanted to chat too, Pamela Clare and Bonnie Vanak (more on them coming up) and Alison Kent being three. When I had helped put out books I made note of a number I wanted to get, Amie Stuart being one of them since she was so nice when I'd met here earlier. But I knew I wouldn't be able to get them all. I stood in line to pay for the books I did get with a great deal of sadness knowing I didn't get more. But it was either get out asap - or have a nasty anxiety attack. I'd been standing in line for Quite Some Time and was almost at the check out when I heard my name over the loud speaker announcing I'd won but I didn't catch what. Since I only put in for two I knew I had a 50/50 chance of it being the one I really wanted. Just hearing my name made me giddy! I never win at those kinds of things. I paid for the books and headed over to claim my prize. Lo' and behold - it was the good one - the one I wanted the most. I wanted to do a happy dance right there but my happy dance it not a good thing to watch.
The prize? A mid-size piece of luggage. (giggle) I already have one that size but I figured it would be good to hold all the books I'd snagged so far and the ones I would be getting at the publishers GIVE-AWAYS - yep - that's right - give aways. I claimed my prize and headed outside for some fresh air. I looked at the luggage and noticed a piece of paper attached. It was a list of books.
"Couldn't be." I thought. I pointed it out to a couple of women out there, one of whom Really Wanted to win the same prize.
"Yep," she confirmed. It was filled with books!. I giggled like a mad hen. The luggage I wanted to win to fill with books was full of books. It was a prize valued at over $500 US which would be even more Cdn. It was the big prize of the night.
I headed up to the room to check it out more thoroughly and it was filled with 'em. Books and other neat stuff. At that point I knew I'd be shipping books home by courier.

So - Lunch with Lisa and winning the big prize all in one night. And this was only Day II!

It's the door story all over again. I now have two pieces of large luggage and two pieces of mid-size luggage.

More coming very soon!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Doing Dallas - Etc.

I still plan on doing a more in depth post of some of the stuff going on here and what I've done. But I have a moment quiet moment here so I thought I'd drop in. We're all in the room at the moment, Sybil and Jane are asleep and Wendy is reading and I'm - well - I'm blogging.
You see we are all resting up for the next big event. We are going to a - are you ready for this?
Special By Invite Only cocktail party hosted by non other that
Nora Roberts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jane told me yesterday that Sybil had arranged to get me in. The first thing I did was call sister Lisa, but damn! She wasn't in. So I had to leave a squealy squee on her voice mail. She called me back today and even she was excited for me and she doesn't read Nora.
I'm having SUCH a blast here!! I had a bit of a happy cry moment last night at a party held by Harlequin - more details on everthing coming soon.

And the books!! Sweet Betsy - the books!! I have So Many there is no way I could carry them all in luggage so I went to the courier place here in the hotel and had 2 big boxes shipped home. I don't know what it's going to cost - since they are crossing the border it works a bit different, but man oh man is it worth it. Am I going to have some great book give-aways since a lot of what I've picked up are books that don't appeal to me or I already have.

Well, I'm going to rest a bit now too - gotta look good at The Partee.

'til later

Doing Dallas - Miscellaneous

One of the toughest things is not being able to blog daily (or two or three times a day) about everything that is going on here. A very small part of me is dying to get home in front of the computer and get it all out and have everyone's eyes water at the length of the posts!

I wasn't sure whether to continue with my Dallas Days or take a detour and do some obnoxious name dropping. I haven't much time so I'll be obnoxious and everyone can live vicariously through me. I have quite a list and not much time - book signing were the books are FREE is coming up shortly but here is just a few names to drop - a taste as it were.

Jane, Sybil, Wendy and I sat for quite a while talking to Nalini Singh. She is a doll and such fun. She's on a month long tour of the US having come from New Zealand (along with an adorable accent). I wanted to ask her to bring me home with her. Not long after that Sandra Schwab dropped by and hung with us for a while. Now she had contacted me earlier, having noticed on Keishon's blog (sorry for the non-links - between little time and a lap top it would take to long) that I wasn't able to get her latest here in Canada and offered to send me one. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to it yet :( She also is very friendly and great to talk to. So once I told her my name, she knew who I was.
Sarah (of SB) sat down and joined us and Candy (of SB) breezed by for a bit.

I rode in an elevator with Linda Howard. I've walked by her a couple of times but haven't quite got up the nerve to say something to her.

I was outside talking to Jane Graves for a while. I had just finisher her latest book - Hot Wheels and High Heels and really enjoyed it.

Gotta run now - but I'll just a bit of a downer. These beds in this room are soooo danged tall! I'm quite short and I'm having a bit of a problem climbing up on them!

Now an upper -I look around the room and see all of the books we've all acquired and it is a truly awesome sight

I'll be back and do more Doing Dallas posts as soon as I can. I still have a whopper of a tale to tell about Day II

'til later

Friday, July 13, 2007

Doing Dallas - Day II

Do you ever have those days that are just so special you know you will remember them for the rest of your life? Day II was such a day.
Warning - gushing time coming
I didn't mention anything - one of those I didn't want it jinxed things, but Sybil - dear wonderful, extraordinary Sybil arranged for a lunch with Lisa Kleypas. This is what Sybil told me - that when Lisa heard I was coming to Dallas she wanted to take Sybil, Jane and I out for lunch. You probably already know we went from Jane or Sybil blog so this is just my thoughts. I was beyond excited at the thought. The day before I left I went out and bought a meet Lisa outfit. Of course I needed jewellry to go along with it. And a new faux blingy watch. I brought make-up specifically for lunch, perfume, the whole kit and kabudle!
Jane and Sybil were volunteering setting up the literacy signing in the am. I had told Sybil I would help to but she said the thought they had enough people so I just hung around and chatted to strangers and got up the gumption to hand out our Romantic Advances business cards (everyone thought what a great idea!) when Sybil called and said things were running slow and they could use my help.
Now keep in mind the people who told me Dallas has DRY heat lied! They lied, they lied, they lied. Dallas is like a blanket when you step outside. The hotel is wonderfully air conditioned but humidity does seep in. I went to help and it was hot, sweaty work.
We were supposed to meet Lisa (I can hardly believe I'm even typing these words) at noon, when Jane told me it was getting real close. And here I was hot, damp, sweaty - blech. I rushed up to the room, changed into my Lisa clothes, Lisa bling when the phone rang. Ack!! Now I was even more sweaty and I hadn't had time to put on makeup or perfume. But I couldn't make them all wait so I headed down feeling vastly unarmed.
What followed was a Moment in Time! Lisa was SO nice and SO kind and a truly special person. She is warm and unpretentious and it was such a wonderful time. We had wine and talked for a long time about all kinds of things. She even brought me a special gift that I keep looking at and smiling giddily over. The food was delicious and the restaurant was very elegant. I didn't say a whole lot - just took it all in. It was just a very special moment in my life.

More to follow 'cause the day stayed great and more stories to come

'til later

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Doing Dallas - Day 1 continued

I thought I'd come back here for the rest since Jane is doing lot's of blogging on DA and doesn't really need me *g*.

Let's' see. When I left off I hadn't even hooked up with Wendy, Sybil or Jane yet. Wendy's flight was delayed so it was actually Sybil who got here first. I'm going to run out of adjectives - so bear with me for a bit. Sybil is a delight!! She's the kind of person who just says it like it is. I always admire that and wish I had more spunk like that without having to release Krisite. Her hair is gorgeous and she's as funny in person as she is on her blog.
Then about 5 minutes after she arrived at the room, Wendy showed up. Wendy is down to earth and oddly enough (I can say this because I already told her) has the strongest accent of all of us and she lived for years in Michigan which is why she cheers for the Tigers and isn't all that far from where I grew up.
And she is much taller than me. I didn't expect that *g*. But she's fun to talk to and never at a loss for words.
We went down to the bar after a while and waited for Jane. Her flight had been doubly delayed so she was quite late arriving. In the meantime, Alyssa walked by and Sybil recognized her and called her over. It was a great time all talking and getting to know each other.
Then finally Jane arrived. Now I'm going to be honest here and say I was a bit intimidated about meeting her. I mean this is one half of Dear Author - a power in the reader blogging world. Nora Roberts herself often comments there. But Jane is as sweet and honest and funny as can be. Right off the bat all intimidation disappeared!
So I'm happy as a clam (and never doubted it anyway) but I have really great roomies while I'm here in Dallas.
I'm signing off for now - I'm on Jane's laptop and Wendy and I are headed for lunch shortly.
The rest of the evening went very well. I made Alyssa laugh which is always a good thing when people thing I'm funny. That's what I aim for. It was a wonderful first day in Dallas.
I haven't had a check to check Wendy or Sybil or Jane's posts yet, but when I blog about Doing Dallas - Day II it's going to be a good one because yesterday (this is day III now) was a Very Special Day.

'til later