Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I was going to do this last night

Well in fact I did do it last night - I mean I'm doing it now and it's actually tonight but I'm going to wait until tomorrow morning to post it - then I know Katie has something special coming later today (or really tomorrow because right now when I'm doing this post it's tonight - but you will be reading it tomorrow for me or today for anyone reading it now)

Anyway I was so excited I couldn't help posting - but didn't want to take away from the deserted island excitement - but I have my own personal exciting news.

SQUUEEEEEEEEE - LOOK AT WHAT I WON!!! Six - count 'em SIX Westerns. I'll be howdy m'ams like there's no tomorrow!! And Wendy says they are Very Good!!

And in other news - I think all us Crusaders need to go and offer *cough* encouragement to Rosario. She's read the book - now she just needs to see the series. And maybe, just maybe once she does, she will steal that life size poster of Guy for me.

Katiebabs Special DIK Stash

By now you all know about how some of your favorite bloggers landed on a desert island together with six of the own DIK’s. Our AIM chat was a wonderful time and we tried our best to bring a wide variety of beloved books with us. As the ship is sinking, why grab an extra pair of underwear or a toothbrush when you can grab some books instead?

And so here are my top 6 must have books if I ended up on some island in the middle of nowhere much like the show “Lost”. But if a Sawyer type man was there with me, there would be no time for any reading! *wink wink*

Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. This is a must read and my number one favorite book of all time. It is a pretty hefty book and has a great romance, suspense and incredible sex scenes. How can we not mention the blueberry ice cream making scene? Need a good cry? Read this book and you will be changed forever.

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. This book is always on everyone’s top lists of all time favorite romances. A gutsy heroine who loves the hero, warts and all, for who he is. Where else have you read a romance where heroine shoots the hero because she was sick of his crap? Jess and Dain are one of my all time favorite couples and do not fit the stereotypical romance couples you usually read.

Demon Angel by Meljean Brook. Thousands of years of unbridled lust between an angel and a demon makes for some good reading. This is a book that will keep me on my toes as I re-read over and over and will probably keep missing important key information. I love some great angel and demon sexin.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. How can I not grab a classic piece of literature with me? It came down to this or Jane Eyre, but Wuthering Heights won. It is such an emotional, crazed romance with a hero whose obsession for the one woman he can’t have is unlike any other romance I have ever read. I am such a sucker for the love-obsessed anti-hero.

Once and Future King by T.H. White. I have re-read this book more so than any other. I must give a shot out to my high school English teacher, Mrs. Keane who introduced this book about Arthur and how he met Merlin, found the sword in the stone, became King, got screwed over by Guenevere and founded the Knights of the Round Table. Everyone talks about Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, well; Once and Future King is my Lord of the Rings.

The Stand by Stephen King. How can you not bring a Stephen King novel with you? Stephen King is my god! When I read The Stand, I seriously had goose bumps and thought the world was going to end. At 1200 pages, this book is scary, revealing about human nature and humanity in general. King is the only author I can think of who can come up with almost 50 characters, give them their own personal story and not be confused in the least.

…but I am a sneaky woman… you see, as I was jumping off the sinking boat or was it a plane crash? I made sure to put two extra books down my extra big pajama bottoms… shhh… I don’t share these with my fellow island survivors….

Naked in Death by JD Robb. I need my Roarke and Eve fix. Nuff said.

The Warlord by Elizabeth Elliott. This book is a masterpiece of romance literature. A harsh man and a gentle woman who changes him for the better.

I welcome you to come up with 6 of your own DIK’s or some others that are not mentioned between my special blogging gals:
Now pass me my Pina Colda as I settle back on some homemade palm chairs with one of my books and wait for help to arrive. "OH Sawyer... I need some lotion rubbed on my back...."
**EXTRA: We have our first stowaway! Sarai has hidden herself in my pants (yes, that sounds so wrong, go see the title of her post and her book picks. More stowaways are welcome ;D**
Katiebabs (KB)

**EXTRA EXTRA: We have us another one on the island now. Tracy has also posted the list of books she's going to bring with her.
***EXTRA UPDATE: Mary Kate of the Kaitdom blog is now on board also. And so the party in my pants continues to grow. *G*

We need more still!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


So, what do a group of bloggers do when they have a group chat?

They talk books of course. And if they are Really Smart bloggers, they come up with interesting ideas.

Which is what some of us did last night. We started talking books and our favourite books and we all came up with a list of six books we would take with us if we were stranded on a desert island.
Then we decided to make it a round robin kind of thing. I volunteered to go first since I seem to be the earliest riser of the group. In order to find out who all was in on it, and what our choices were, you have to follow the links.

There is quite an interesting selection here and someone mentioned it was like trading baseball cards - only with romance readers and romance books it was more fun!!! And since six of us were talking, we naturally decided that since we would all be together on this island we can share the books around. Which doing quick math would make 36 books altogether! No it wouldn't - it would be..... no wait - I was right the first time - 36 (and I have an accountant son - scary that - for him that is)

It took a bit to come up with the ground rules. We couldn't duplicate any book - since we would be passing them around and they had to be books that were out now - no future releases. So that eliminated any ARC's. But we were all remarkably agreeable.

So, as the first one to go, here is my list of books I would take with me.

I know this first one will come as a big surprise to many of you, but my first pick was
  • Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

And what would a DIK list be without this next author
  • After the Night by Linda Howard

This next one - and oldie but a goodie and one I'm not sure that many have read,
  • One Summer by Karen Robards

And another one I'm not sure has been widely read......yet. But it should be as it's wonderful
  • Whispers of Heaven by Candice Proctor

And again this next one may not shock that many people who have read this blog for any length of time
  • Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare

And last - but certainly not least, is a recent book I read, I loved and now I'm reading for the second time
  • Driven by Eve Kenin
Now what makes me pick the above books surprisingly enough, is the strength of all the heroines.

With Dreaming of You I know you all know how much I adore Derek - my number one hero of all time, being played in my mind by Richard Armitage, but it's Sarah who is really the strong one. Some may disagree with me, but here she is, this little country miss, and she writes a what we could call today a best seller about a prostitute. She has the guts to stand up to a very virile and compelling Derek and then after that stands up to crazy Joyce and save herself

Grey in After the Night is another hero who makes my knees weak, but it is Faith who makes the book for me. She rises about her white trash roots and really makes something of herself. Again she stands up to a very determined Grey and gets her way.

Rachel of One Summer has a quiet strength about her. She stands up against a whole town in defending Johnny when she offers him a job and a place to stay. Then she does it again when she declares their pairing in a very public way.

For those who have read Whispers of Heaven, this book is really about Jess. Lucas is good - very good - but this is Jessie's story and the choice she makes at the end makes me want to stand up and cheer

In Ride the Fire once again, Nicholas is a fabulous hero - just fabulous, but Bethie has remarkable strength. She lives alone and is the kind of heroine who helped build a country.

Raina is the strongest outwardly of all my listed heroines. She is fantastic. With a life of abuse by her father behind her, she is her own person, strong and brave. I love Wizard - but I equally love Raina!!!

And so I come to the end of my six books. In this round robin DIK list, the next blogger to visit is our recording secretary Sula. Then follow the link from Sula's blog to see who comes after her! And so on and so on and so on.

So - what about you? What books would you bring? Keep in mind you have to wait until the end and no repeats allowed - since we will be sharing and all. Feel free to post here or any of the participants or on your own blog if you have one - just drop us a comment letting us know.

(and a special salute to Laurie of AAR who coined the phrase that once we explained to those who weren't sure what DIK meant, immediately understood when we explained it)

I really shouldn't do this

I mean - all I'm doing it torturing myself. And that's not really a good thing.

But I'm always thoughtful of others. So this is a reminder to all those who have discovered the lusciousness that is Richard Armitage that the second season of Robin Hood has started playing on BBC America.

But you see - living in Canada, I don't get BBC America. I don't have a satellite. Oh I get BBC news - all news almost all the time. But I don't get the good stuff, oh no I do not.

But am I bitter??

Damn straight I am. And I'm green and I want to stomp my foot and yell
"But it's not fair!! Why can't WE get it here?? We are loyal subjects and those Yanks went to war with England!"

In fact I think I might have that already.

But I wont' do it again. I'm not like that. Instead I'll just leave this reason of why I'm jealous and why you all living in the US are lucky.

PS: Kate told me about this really interesting documentary they showed about insight into Guy's character. Wasn't that so nice of her?


Monday, April 28, 2008

Drum Roll Please!!

We have a winner in our Jeaniene Frost Interview/Contest!!
The winner is...


You've won both copies of Halfway to the Grave and One Foot in the Grave! Just send me your mailing address to my email at:
Katiebabs @ aol . com

And don't forget, One Foot in the Grave officially comes out tomorrow. Get thee to a bookstore ASAP! :)

PS- If you want to have another chance to win a copy of One Foot in the Grave, stop by Book Binge where they are giving away a copy! :D

Katiebabs (KB)

'Tis my turn today at Reader's Gab over at Access Reader.

I was a bit late - but made it on the right day anyway.

Sarah McCarty's Chesty Covers *Mantitty Ahoy*

Ready for some more half naked men covers?
I must thank one of my favorite bloggers- Lisabea in reminding me that Sarah McCarty has two books coming out this summer (June and July) and one for this October. (I may just go broke between June-November from all these excellent releases that will be published).

Running Wild- June 2008 Sam's Creed- July 2008 Promised Reveal- October 2008
Is the theme for 2008 romance to have half-headed or no headed men with abs of steel on their covers? I must ponder about this trend...
Katiebabs (KB)

Sunday, April 27, 2008


What did I say!! Check out the title!!!

Mind you I will no doubt still get this one - but I'm not liking the title!!

And I don't mean to nitpick - but doesn't the belly button seem awfully - well - high?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jeaniene Frost Interview and Contest!

This past October I was introduced to a new author who has written a new paranormal series that blew my mind. That author is Jeaniene Frost who has penned an on-going series about a half-vampire, half-human woman named Cat. In Jeaniene's first book, Halfway To the Grave, Cat's sole purpose was to kill any vampire she could find and along the way she found her soul mate in that of Bones, a vampire. (Kind of ironic, don't you think?) It has been a long time since a new author has made such an impression. The sequel, One Foot in the Grave, is to be released next week and if you read my review I posted here, you know that I have become a true fan of this wonderful series and the author who has penned it.

**I also recommend you go to my Comic Con buddy's blog. Christine has just posted her own review of One Foot in the Grave. She of course was the one responsible for introducing me to Jeaniene. *G**

I wrote to Jeaniene after I finished reading One Foot in the Grave and asked if she wouldn't mind doing an interview. As you can see she said yes! :)

You are pretty active on your own blog. How has having a blog helped with your creative processes? Do you think it is important for authors to have websites and keep their readers in the loop about what is going on in their lives, whether it is personal or professional?

Jeaniene: How has having a blog helped with my creative process? *laughs* It's a great way to procrastinate, for one! I can burn hours of time blogging and reading my friend's blogs. It can be truly addictive.

But, with proper restraints, I think blogs are great for authors. I know I love getting a peek into my favorite author's activities through their blogs, and it's a quick easy way for readers to connect with authors. Websites, in today's internet world, are essential for authors. I check author websites all the time for release date info, excerpts, appearances, interviews, etc. Plus, a website can be an easy way to get a feel for an author's "style", too.

Your Night Huntress series is categorized under "Urban Fantasy Romance". Do you think being labeled under a certain genre helps sell books or limits your target audience?

Jeaniene: Both, actually. We all know romance outsells any other fiction, but as my books teeter on the edge of urban fantasy and romance (hence them being called urban fantasy romance :), having that romance label has turned off some UF readers, who don't venture into the romance aisles because they want more UF elements versus romantic ones in a book. And having as many UF elements in my novels as I do has turned off some romance readers, who wanted more emphasis on the relationship between my characters versus external plot complications.

I do respect the need for labels, so consumers can get a good idea about the product they're spending their hard-earned money on. As an author shelved primarily in romance, I know I need to deliver a HEA for my characters. And I will. There will just be some UF issues and complications that need to be dealt with first.

The writing process has always intrigued me. Are you the type who needs total quiet and writes in their PJ's, or with music playing in the background and staying up all night drink a ton of caffeine?

Jeaniene: I like quiet when I'm writing, but I use music to help get in the mood for writing. Yes, I've been caught writing in my PJ's, LOL, and there have been more than a few nights when large quantities of caffeine were imbibed so that I could make a deadline. I don't have a particular time of day that I'm more productive - though I will say that I dislike writing very early in the morning. This is probably because writing while half-asleep results in the most revisions later from my editor ;)

I have so many books in my TBR pile it is not even funny. How many books do you have pending to be read and what are some of their titles?

Jeaniene: *looks over at bookshelf* Um, I have a lot of books in my TBR pile. Here are a few of them:

TOUCH OF TWILIGHT, by Vicki Pettersson (currently reading and loving this)
MAGIC BURNS, by Ilona Andrews
UNDEAD AND UNEASY, by Mary Janice Davidson
THE BLEEDING DUSK, by Colleen Gleason
, by Jeanne Stein
BLOODSUCKING FIENDS, by Christopher Moore
ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY by Jennifer Rardin

One Foot in the Grave is the sequel to Halfway to the Grave. Did you have a sequel planned all along or was this something that came up after you finished writing Halfway to the Grave?

Jeaniene: When I first started writing, I never intended it to be more than one book. Hey, I didn't even know if I could finish one book. That was something I'd procrastinated about for twenty years, is there any wonder I didn't set a goal to do a series when I started?

But, when I was about midway through my first version of Halfway to the Grave, I knew there was no way I could get Cat and Bones's entire story out in one book. So I finished that novel, and immediately started on the second book. Then when I finished that and realized I still had more story to tell, I started on the third book. Then when I finished that and knew I still wasn't done, I was about to start on the fourth book when my husband said, "Uh, honey, shouldn't you try to sell the first book before writing several more in the series?" Yeah, good point ;). That pushed me to start querying agents. Finally, many rewrites of Halfway to the Grave later, I was signed by Rachel Vater and then sold to Erika Tsang at Harper.

Tell me something about Cat or Bones I wouldn't necessarily catch?

Jeaniene: Bones loved his mother, despite his very odd upbringing. One of the reasons he so relentlessly pursues Hennessey in Halfway to the Grave is because Hennessey preys on prostitutes. Since Bones was the son of a prostitute, Bones takes that very personally.

Because of Cat's frigid family environment and her disastrous first relationship, she has a very hard time letting anyone - even herself - know how much certain people mean to her. It's a classic emotional defense mechanism of reject-someone-so-they-can't-reject-you-first. This may be a "duh" obvious trait of Cat's, but sometimes, certain readers think she acts in ways because she doesn't care, when in reality, she cares so much that she hides from the emotional vulnerability it causes.

Sex scenes, especially in romance, are critical to moving the story along and bring out the underlying emotions in the main couple. How important is it to you to write a key love scene, especially between Cat and Bones who are very passionate and struggle with their animalistic natures?

Jeaniene: I treat sex scenes the same way I do fight scenes: I don't want them to ever be gratuitous, I want them to evoke emotion in a reader, and I want the details to be clear so that readers can feel like they're seeing what's happening. This is TMI for some people, and not enough for others, LOL.

Seriously, I try not to let my own personal shyness/morality/boundaries dictate what happens sexually with my characters. I am NOT my characters, so their actions shouldn't be filtered through my internal censures. I sure as hell don't write a sex scene with the thought that my parents will one day read it (and they do, but I cringe and pretend they didn't see those scenes :).

I try to be as in character writing sex as I am writing any other scene, and that means sometimes, my characters will embarrass the hell out of me with what they do (Katie, you know whereof I speak *wink*). But to do anything less isn't being true to them as a writer, in my opinion. So I write sex scenes as I think they would unfold with my characters if I wasn't peeking in their bedroom door, then I wait to see if my editor censors anything for public consumption (side note: she hasn't yet).

You wake up one morning and, BAM, you are a character in a book. Would you want to be either a vampire, werewolf or shift changing seal woman known as a selkie. What would your name be and how would you spend your day/night?

Jeaniene: Oh, I'd have to say vampire. Hello, RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY! Of course, I'd want to be a vampire with sentience and choices, not just a mindless feeding machine. What can I say? I'm always looking to set my own rules ;)

Jeaniene has so kindly donated both, Halfway to the Grave and One Foot in the Grave for a contest. *G*. I welcome any questions or comments you have for Jeaniene. But to make this really interesting why don't you tell us which character you would want to be and what your name would be? Would you be a sexy vamp, a crazed werewolf or some other character all together? Whoever posts will be eligible to win both these books and you have the whole weekend to come up with something creative.

Katiebabs (KB) who wouldn't mind being the Queen of the zombies. But the zombies must be hot men who look like Richard Armitage or Gerard Butler and craze sex and not flesh. My name will be Katrina who always has perfect windblown red hair!

Those old Bouncing Book Blues


While I wouldn't call it a slump exactly, and I wouldn't call it the "it's not you, it's me" syndrome, I have another symptom that's felled me which I've decided to call that old Bouncing Book Blues. You see, I read every sub genre in romance pretty much these days. I started out with Historicals, then moved onto Medieval, Futuristics and Westerns. Time Travel and Ghost romance were also genres I took to. The my world opened up further and I took up reading Contemporaries, then branched into Romantic Suspense.
Next trend I tried and enjoyed for the most part was Paranormal. And most recently Urban Fantasy has grabbed my attention. I'm not sure whether to lump Science Fiction romance as Futuristics or not - but I like them both.
Now with so many genres on the go, I'm having a tough time figuring out which one I'm in the mood for anymore. I picked up a Historical not long ago and I could tell right away I wasn't in the mood for it. Then I tried a Western - same thing. Ditto with Paranormal. I just read an Urban Fantasy I thought was great and now I have to figure out which genre I'm in the mood for now.
And I can't figure it out!! It's kind of like when you're really in the mood for junk food but you don't know if you want a chocolate bar, a bag of chips, some pretzels or a nice plate of fries. They are all good - but unless you figure out the one you need, you keep bouncing from junk food to junk food.
I need to find my romance fix - and soon!!

**EXCLUSIVE* *Jeaniene Frost Interview Tomorrow!

Tomorrow we are posting a great interview by Jeaniene Frost! Her first post-interview since winning the Romantic Times award for Best Urban Fantasy for Halfway to the Grave!

And... there are prizes to win!! You have the chance to win signed copies of both Halfway to the Grave and One Foot in the Grave.
So, be here tomorrow, same Bat time (probably a bit earlier), same Bat blog.
(Katie copping a feel under Yoda's robe pictures maybe optional)
Katiebabs (KB)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Am Sensing a Theme Here...

I am on the fence whether I find these covers sexy... or not.

Katiebabs (KB)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A trend I'm not liking

I've always been a fan of Harlequin Historicals. There are some real treasures in this line and some mighty fine authors. And a plus for me is they continue to publish Westerns! I also like the fact they publish quite a few medievals too. Although I'm not into that genre right at the moment, I'm still buying for when the mood comes over me for a great Medieval.

But is it just me or is the 'Harlequin Horrid Title Syndrome' creeping into this line too? One of the reasons I've never read Harlequin Presents - one of the few lines I haven't tried, is the inane titles. They are ripe for parody and in fact there is one going around right now.

Then they started creeping into the Harlequin Desire line. I stopped buying them for that reason as well as the fact that word count just shrunk and I don't think I'm getting my money's worth. For example in this months Desire line we have these wonderful titles:
  • Marrying for the King's Millions (it's a poor king if he only has millions and not billions)
  • Bedded by the Billionaire (now we are talking money)
  • Pregnant at the Wedding (Oh Noes)
  • Tycoon's Wedding (now I wonder if he's a millionaire or a billionaire - it could make a difference)
  • Baby on the Billionaire's Doorstep (wow! A double dose - baby and billions!)
I won't be buying any of these - sorry authors - it's nothing to do with you.

It's crept into the Special Edition line
  • Once upon a Pregnancy (oh please!)
  • The Millionaire and the M.D. (again - why not a billionaire? What's the matter with billions?)
  • The Prince's Royal Dilemma (I guess being royal doesn't solve all one's problems)
  • The Billionaire and his Boss (which makes one wonder why a billionaire would have a boss - gotta be the heroine)
So it's with horror I look at some of the Harlequin Historical's titles:
  • Taken by the Viking
  • The Wanton Bride
  • The Lord's Forced Bride
  • Virgin Slave, Barbarian King
  • Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss
  • Bedded by her Lord

How soon will it be before we start getting HH books with titles like
  • The Pregnant Viking at her Wedding
  • Baby on the Duke's Doorstep
  • The Very Wealthy Greek's Bride
  • Bedded and Wedded by the Barbarian
  • The Baron's Pregnant Bride
One shudders at the thought!!
I know these books with the Really Stupid Titles sell like hotcakes. It's a mystery to me but *shoulder shrug* each to their own. But does this have to creep into every line?

Harlequin - what about those of us who hate these titles? Think of us!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Adventures at the 2008 NYC Comic Con From Two Jersey Girls

Once upon a time (well, actually this past Saturday) in a galaxy far, far away (Jacob Javits Center on West 34thStreet in NYC) two princess of the galactic empire (Christine and Katie of New Jersey) invaded the Imperial Fleet (Comic Con 2008) in search of distant planets (Free books and other swag) and other life forms (author signings)…. The question is, were they both successful?

It really all started with a question from Christine. “Do you want to go to Comic Con this Saturday?” I thought, sure why not? I am not a big comic book fan but I am always open to new things and the fact that YA author Melissa Marr was speaking on a panel and the possibility to finally meet Sherrilyn Kenyon was just too good to pass up. And as an extra bonus, there may be some hot guys walking around in tights, capes and codpieces.

We hopped on a bus into Manhattan and followed the people who wore costumes and other various articles of clothing I wouldn’t be caught dead in. And it is very telling when most of the men you see have swords a few feet long and didn’t mind showing everyone with glee. As we made our way to the convention, we were among the 11,000 people who showed up. There were all types of “life forms” there from regular people like Christine and myself who wore t-shirt and jeans to people who went all out like it was Halloween and they were walking in a parade.

Our real goal for going was to hear Melissa speak because Christine had just finished Wicked Lovely and I also was a huge fan of the book. Melissa was coming straight from RT and was a last minute replacement. We made it our mission to find out when and where she would be. We had our passes and maps by 2pm and quickly asked anyone who looked like they worked there what panel and what room Melissa would be in. Guess what? No one had a clue!! All we knew was that Melissa was speaking at 4pm. So we had two hours to kill and hoped to find out the answers we needed by then.

We sat down and made a plan. Christine really wanted to see Sherrilyn Kenyon, which would be Christine’s third time meeting her. I was interested also because I have heard a lot of rumors about Sherrilyn and I loved reading her historical romances under her other pen name, Kinley MacGregor. As we both looked through our brochures, we noticed that almost every major publishing house was in attendance! *INSERT A MAJOR WOOT HERE* With no other urging, we quickly went to the main floor where all the booths and tables were set up. You can only imagine what a madhouse it was! As we both walked around dazed by everything we saw, we found our way to Penguin’s table. They had a nice step up with fantasy and sci-fi books, especially Grimspace by Ann Aguirre. As Christine and I grabbed some postcards to put in our swag bag, there was a “Penguin” volunteer there. Christine noticed one of the postcards was of new author Anton Strout’s book- Dead To Me. And the Penguin guy was actually Anton! We chatted with him for a while and he is such a sweet and humble guy who has a contract for three books with Penguin. I was actually the first person to ever ask him for his autograph and so he signed my postcard and Christine’s. We had met out first author of the day! I even hit him up for a possible interview. *G*

Slowly but surely we made our way around till we ended up at the Harper Collins table. They would surely know about Melissa, right? WRONG. They had no clue if she would be there. But we didn’t give up hope, so instead we found Sherrilyn’s booth. Her helpers were some of the nicest people and even gave away a free copy of her 2005 book- Seize the Night for her to sign. We had to wait for Sherrilyn to come back to lunch, but when she did, we waited on line for her autograph. Sherrilyn took the time to talk to every single person who went up to her. And when the time came to meet her, she was all smiles and so sweet! She chatted with both of us and was simply a doll. And I do know, as well as some of you, the drama last year with the whole swan hat fiasco. Well, let me tell you, Sherrilyn is one author and a person in general I have great respect for and after meeting her I can say she deserves all the praise she can get. She is s very classy woman indeed.

It was almost four o’clock and Christine and I were still on our mission to find Melissa Marr. What if she didn’t show? Maybe RT was so good that she stayed in Pittsburgh? How could she leave all that booze, free books and major mantitty?? Never the less, we made our way to where the next panels were being held. We both attacked one of the volunteers to help us, and he scampered off to find any information he could about Melissa. Christine decided to take a look in some of the rooms; maybe she could locate Melissa herself. I stood there still waiting for our little friend to come back when suddenly I felt a presence on my right. I glanced over and see this guy in a suit. And I did a double take. It was Milo Ventimiglia who plays the role of Peter on the NBC show Heroes. We stood side by side watching the crowds and before I could say a word to him he slowly made his way back into a side room and that was that. Christine, who of course missed the whole exchange, came back. No Melissa. We came to the conclusion that Melissa did not come. I was ready to go to the panel on Zombie Survival 101 when our little helper came back. Melissa was there and told us what room we could find her in. We went off to the panel she was on and after the hour we both made our way up to her. Christine had her copy of Wicked Lovely for Melissa to sign, which she did. We all made some small talk when Melissa so kindly tells us to go back to the Harper Collins table and ask for a copy of Wicked Lovely in paperback and Ink Exchange in HC, which doesn’t come out for another 2 weeks! And back we went to Harper Collins and grabbed our books. We were very happy women.

Again we walked around and took some pictures of various people in their costumes, I told Christine a story I had with a friend a few days ago. I mentioned that I may find my own Superman at the convention and my friend told me to forget about Superman and go for Batman. Christine recommended I get a picture of myself with both. After she took the picture of me trying to decide which superhero to pick, we made a list of pros and cons about each superhero.

But I even went one step further. I glanced at both Superman and Batman’s… packages… their good old crotches to help me decide.

And I don’t know if you can see from the pictures, but Batman has a bigger one.

And we couldn’t leave out poor little Yoda. And you know what they say about the size of an alien’s… what the heck is Yoda… ears??

The funny thing is after those pictures were taken, a guy took a picture of the same thing we did! Umm... hello, dude? These pictures we took are for a reason!

Can you believe it was almost 7pm and we had one more panel to go to? The final panel of the night was just with one person by the name of Gail Simone. Gail Simone became the first female ongoing writer for the Wonder Woman comics after 60 years! And she is a redhead *G*. She talked about the future of Wonder Woman and fielded some questions from her fans, which were mainly men. I even had an interesting conversation with a guy wearing a Wonder Woman t-shirt and metal bracelets that looked like to ones Wonder Woman use to wear.

And as Christine and I left, the former princesses now Queens of Comic Con, I have a new found respect for all those who support and work in the Comic Book/Magna industry. I came to the conclusion that everyone there is just like myself because of my love for the romance genre. And I may possibly know that feeling again if I decide to go to a certain convention come July.

Now if I can just get the Wonder Woman theme song out of my head!

So which superhero should I choose?

Katiebabs (KB)

Maybe I should become a Mrs. Ugly Doll? Isn't he a cutie?

Comic Con Fun To Come!

That's me getting friendly with Batman at the 2008 NYC Comic Book Convention Christine and I went to! I have more pictures and some interesting things to talk about as we spent 6 hours walking till our legs almost fell off!

One of the main reason we went was the see if we could meet authors, Melissa Marr (who wrote the excellent YA book Wicked Lovely) and romance author Sherrilyn Kenyon. So, did we meet them? Did I perhaps bump into a famous actor? *bats eyelashes*

For all this and more stop back later (probably tonight) to find out!

great tease huh? *G*

Katiebabs (KB)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sugar Daddy. What was I waiting for?!

I am so late to the party!! And I am ashamed to say I have finally just finished Sugar Daddy. I led myself to believe that with Lisa Kleypas’s first contemporary she would fall under the Julie Garwood or Elizabeth Lowell syndrome. The syndrome I am talking about is when a historical romance author, who writes outstanding books in that genre, moves onto another one with less than pleasing results. Oh, how wrong I was! If I had read Sugar Daddy last year, this book would have been in my top five with no argument. And if you are not a big fan of contemporaries or first person POV to begin with, I recommend you sit down and give Sugar Daddy a read. This is possibly the best contemporary I have read in the past decade and the character of Liberty is so real and insightful that I wouldn’t be surprised if she becomes most read favorites heroines of all time.

Yes, I am gushing, plain and simply. I am not a big fan of the like contemporary romance. I am more of a fantasy/paranormal or historical romance reader. When an author can “show me the light” with one of their books, I am sold. I have been a big fan of Lisa for over fifteen years and I can say she is one author you can always count on to deliver.

What I really enjoyed about Sugar Daddy is not necessarily the romance between the teenage Liberty and her first love Hardy and then her adult one with Gage. I really enjoyed Liberty’s various relationships throughout this story. Liberty’s relationship with her mother was a lovely one between a mother and daughter who don’t have much, but only have each other. Mrs. Jones is not perfect, but she loves Liberty. Lisa did not write the stereotypical cold or bitch of a mother. Mrs. Jones is a simple woman trying to find happiness in her life wherever she can. As we see Liberty age, her relationships change from simple friendship, such as her one with her quirky neighbor, Miss Marva to even that of her childhood crush Hardy. When Hardy walks away from Liberty, it is a turning point in her life. The girl must now become a woman.

Liberty does have a hard life but she doesn’t “boo-hoo” to the point where I wanted to smack her over the head. She takes the good with the bad, which unfortunately is the death of her mother and the responsibility of being the sole caretaker of her two-year old sister Carrington. The relationship between Liberty and Carrington is the one that matters most. Liberty’s decisions on who she should be with all depend on the well being of Carrington. Even when Liberty must choose between her employer’s son, Gage, (who gives her the best sex of her life and cares for her in ways no other man has) and that of Hardy who waltzes back into her life, thinking Liberty will drop everything to be with him, she still has to think of her little sister. In a way, Liberty has sacrificed herself for everyone around her, and her shot of true happiness is deciding between these two men who have given her so much at different points in her life.

I also enjoyed the relationship Liberty has with the older, rich gentleman Churchill who is Gage’s father and who helps Liberty in ways that are bit suspect. And if you were like me, you probably where thinking perhaps Carrington had a past with Liberty’s mother and could be more than just a simple father figure. Well, Lisa throws in some twists and turns that will not disappoint with that.

Sugar Daddy is a great novel, period. And if anyone tells you otherwise, they seriously need to check themselves. I urge you, if you have not read this book, go and read it. Lisa Kleypas has done it again and continues to prove she is one author that is not to be missed. Now I just need to read Hardy’s story - Blue Eyed Devil; which I will probably be gushing even more so than I did with Sugar Daddy.

Oh! And my absolutely favorite scene in Sugar Daddy? After Liberty’s mother has died, Liberty must become Carrington’s guardian. And when Liberty signs those guardianship papers and sees Carrington in her stroller with her friend Lucy, and Carrington is holding a cardboard sign that says: PROPERTY OF LIBERTY JONES.

A tear fell down my cheek and I knew this is one story that hit me hard in the heart and I won’t soon forget.

5 out of 5 stars!

Katiebabs (KB)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Further Bad Kitchen Adventures - Update


I'm Mad As Hell And I'm Not Going to Take It Any More

OK - I'm riled. I'm really riled and it takes a lot to get me really riled.
For those following along with the kitchen adventures, at last report I had a bad experience with them delivering my fridge. It turned out even worse as later in the day when I was on my way out I noticed that they had scraped paint of my brand new freshly painted walls of my brand new renovated kitchen.
I headed to the furniture store to see about getting a new fridge and complain about the Really Bad delivery service. They told me they couldn't do anything but to call a number of Monday. I did so. And the number to call for house damage was in Toronto. I called that number too but the guy to talk to was out for the day.
I went to this particular store because a coworkers husband worked there. I told her about what had happened and she called her husband. He was ticked too at what happened and I thought things would be resolved.
Not so.
I got a call from the store sometime during the week and the person on the other end wanted to know what had happened and I explained it. And then he said a new stove was in and would be delivered on Saturday and the table and chairs would be coming soon.
The next day the salesman called and said that the company no longer made that particular table and chairs and I would have to pick something else out - could I come in Friday night.
No I couldn't. I had an appointment to get my hair cut.
There was also a voice mail left saying they would be delivering the stove today (Saturday) sometime between 7 and 8 am. So again - for the second Saturday in a row, I set my alarm clock to get up early.
Now I'm an early riser during the week so one of the best things for me about weekends is being lazy in the mornings. I usually get up around 9 and get dressed sometime before 11. Not today. I was up and dressed by 7:30.
No one is showing up.
It's now just past 9:30 and I just called the store to see where they are. The woman on the phone said they had changed routes and the stove would be delivered sometime between 1 and 3. This will NOT work because (sister) Lisa and I have plans. She's coming into the city and she's looking to get a car so we were going to make a day of it, go out for lunch, visit the furniture store so I can look at different fridges etc.
On top of this, they needed someone to work on the weekend as the person who was supposed to work canceled out and I said I would do it tomorrow - knowing I had plans for today.
So I have to be up and out early tomorrow morning too.
And I will be visiting the furniture store - oh yes I will. Krisite will be there canceling the whole fuckin' order and demanding they come and take the too big fridge back and the demanding my money back!
I have absolutely had it! They have lied to me. They have damaged my new kitchen and they've screwed me around enough thank you very much.


I went back to the furniture store and I'm not sure if I won or not. Keep in mind it's difficult for me to keep a mad on.
I went to the customer service desk and stated I wanted my entire order canceled and the fridge I already had returned; that I was tired of the run-around I was getting and wanted nothing more to do with this store. She called the manager and (sister) Lisa and I went into his office. I explained - without yelling and without using cuss words what had happened and what I wanted. He listened patiently and then sympathized that I had received bad treatment. I got a total refund on the table, chairs and bar stools I ordered. In addition he said they would deliver the stove - at my convience - and I should add I really did like the stove and got a great price. Then we went and looked at all the fridges and we discussed the fact that they were all made deeper these days and if I wanted one to line up with the counter, then it would be wider and more expensive. Since I can't go any wider than the one I have now, I'm stuck with a sticky out fridge. There was one on the floor that had the same kind of mark and he showed me how to get rid of it. Then we went back to his office and he said he would also knock of the price they charge to remove old appliances. And he told me that when they do deliver the fridge, he would have them switch the handle to the other side for free,something else they charge for, and to show the delivery guy the damage they did to the wall.
I guess only time will tell whether I crumpled like a wet kleenix or I will finally get what I want.

Friday, April 18, 2008



Unlawful Contact got a B++ at AAR!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Karen asked an interesting question

KarenS asked if anyone outside of Britain knew the British PM. I must confess I failed miserably. But it got me thinking. Living right next to the US, I probably know about as much about US politics as Americans do. But I'm wondering - do they know about Canadian politics?
Just as Karen asked who knows the name of the British PM, I'm asking those outside of Canada, who knows the Canadian Prime Minister?

Head on over...

Stop on over for a visit at the Breezing Through blog where Nath, Li from Book Daze and I (or is it me? DOH) did a buddy review of Dagger-Star by Elizabeth Vaughn.

It was a good time. We talk about goats. Just read and you will see...

Katiebabs (KB) *G*

Just a real quick one here

I'm already late getting ready for work - but............

We have us another Crusader everyone!!!!
Lori of Let's Gab watched it - loved it and blogged about it. Even though she did forget to for a little while.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What A Scoundrel Wants- Coming December 2008

Carrie Lofty
our fellow blogger and North and South Crusader, has her first book coming out in print! The cover shows some nice man chest aka mantitty!

And the synopsis:
In this dazzling, original tale, Carrie Lofty imagines a new chapter in the well-loved Robin Hood fable. Meet Robin's rakish nephew, Will Scarlet, a man whose talents with the sword and the ladies are legendary--until his desire for one woman changes everything...

A Passionate Love...
A swordsman for the Sheriff of Nottingham, Will Scarlet has finally emerged from his famous uncle's shadow. But when he's unwittingly drawn into a bloody battle between the Sheriff and a nobleman, it's impossible to tell friend from foe. A woman's screams lead Will straight into the carnage to save her--but the ravishing young lady is not the helpless maid she appears to be...

An Amorous Lady...
Meg of Keyworth lost her sight to illness years ago, but that hasn't stopped her mission to save her imprisoned sister, who's been arrested by none other than Will Scarlet. Meg wants to hate Will for betraying her family, but he sparks heated desire in her heart--a desire that only he can satisfy. Meg is lovely and loving, and bedding her is sensual bliss. To please her in every way is what he wants most...for Will know he will cherish her heart forever...

I have always been a fan of Robin Hood, but for once it will be nice to see Will Scarlet, front and center.
Congrats Carrie! Can't wait till December *G*

Katiebabs (KB)

TBR Day - My Pick

Keishon's TBR Reading Challenge for April

Book: Ravyn's Flight

Author: Patti O'Shea

Published: 2002

Publisher: Love Spell

Blurb: Alone on a strange planet. Their teammates murdered by an unknown enemy. Help weeks away. Could there be a worse time to fall in love?

Ravyn Verdier was the communications specialist on a mission to test the habitability of Jarved Nine. Damon Brody was the commander who rescued her when the rest of her team is mysteriously killed. Trapped on a planet that harbored an unimaginable evil, they must depend on one another, trust each other implicitly.
An abandoned city held the key to their survival, but what they found behind its ancient walls defied all their preconceived notions, tested the very limits of the bond that had formed between them. To succeed, they would have to cast aside their doubts and listen to their hearts. For only when they were linked body and soul—when they realized love was their greatest weapon—would they be able to defeat the monstrous force bent on destroying all life.

I've had this one in the TBR pile for a little while now. I got it from a friend, good thing as it never made the shelves here - in fact it's not even listed on Chapters web site. Not long after though, it seemed to disappear. In the meantime I bought the sequel, Eternal Nights but didn't want to read it until I'd read RF - but it had gone missing. Between the two I had read The Power of Two in the 2076 Series and really enjoyed it. So she was an author on my 'look for' list.
I found Ravyn's Flight just a month or so again thus proving my theory about not looking for something and it will eventually show up.
After flitting around from TBR book to TBR book trying to choose and having nothing grab me, I finally settled on this book.
Good choice.
I really got into this one and enjoyed it quite a bit. I love Futuristics - or Sci Fi Romance as they seem to be called these days and this was no exception.
It started out with a bang when our heroine Ravyn was the only survivor of a viscious attack on the exploration team on an earth like planet. A Special Ops team came to her rescue only to have every one of the team killed just like the exploration team with the lone excpetion of their leader Damon Brody.
The run for safety by our hero/heroine was suspenseful and well done. And their attraction to each other crackled. There is also a very good secondary love story between Ravyn's brother and her best friend who are on their way to rescue the two lone survivors.
I thought the character development quite well done and I know there are some readers who don't really like this angle, but their was almost a soul mate feeling to the two of them. Since I like that angle, it was right up my alley.
I'll be looking forward to reading Eternal Nights now as well as catching up on the other books she's written.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Wonders Of The Used Book Sale

Every Spring there is a major used book sale near my home that I always go to. I find the most amazing books and always leave with my arms full to add to my book collection. Half of these books are ones I have never read before, the others are ones I have read and just want to keep because when I read them originally, they brought me great joy.

This past weekend I found such a book that made me gasp and do a little jig as I held it in my hands. It is a book by Sharon and Tom Curtis called The Golden Touch in a 2 for 1 book called Keepsake. This is the same book sale were I also found another great book by this retired married duo called, Lightning That Lingers. Lightning That Lingers is possibly the best category romance ever written. Along with The Golden Touch, these two books are definite keepers.

When I started reading romance, the Loveswept line was one I couldn't get enough of. That is where I first read Lightning That Lingers, the sweet tale of Jenny, the shy librarian and her romance with the sexy stripper and keeper of owls, Philip. I have read this book more times than I can count and every time it is just as good as the first.

The Golden Touch is about Kathy who lives in a small town and owns a shop that fixes musical instruments. Her life changes when superstar singer and actor, Neil Stratton walks in. From that moment on he courts her with everything he has in his power to make her his.

The Curtis' had a way of writing wonderful and sexy romances that were heavy on the courtship and the path to that final moment when the man and woman fell into each other's arms and made love. They wrote the best love scenes in a very respectful and loving way. The heroine always saw stars and fireworks. But these feelings they experienced when they became one with their hero wasn't at all tacky. It was joyful and beautiful and what true love is all about.

If you have never have had the chance to go to one of these sales, I urge you to so so. The smells, the people and the wall to wall books makes for a fun time. There always seem to be an overabundance of Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood and some hidden gems of nice historical romances.

For those who have gone to one, what was your biggest find that made you do a little dance and hold onto that book like it was the best treasure you were lucky enough grab?

Katiebabs (KB)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

We interrupt this program with a brief announcement and also a second one

Nicole of Blog Happy has also now discovered the wonderfullness that is North and South.
Thus a New Crusader is born!!


One of the great side effects of this Crusade is getting to 'meet' other bloggers we probably never would have 'met'.
Such is the case with our newest Crusader - LorelieLong of Everyone Needs a Spare. She watched the whole series - even though she planned on watching only the first episode. Kind of like Lays Potato Chips it is.
She's posted her thoughts here.

Amazon: The Broken System of Being Pathetic

By now you all know the on-going drama with romance author Deborah MacGillivray over at Amazon. For a more in depth analysis of the situation I recommend you read the post Jane has put up on her Dear Author site.

I am appalled and disgusted by the way the reviewing system is handled by Amazon. I started out as an Amazon reviewer back in 2003. This was my jumping off point to become the reviewer I am today. I never looked at my rank or the number of positive or negative votes I would get. It has taken me 5 years just to be in the top 5,000! And so what if I finally get in the top 10? Do I even get a cookie to munch on?

These people who play this system, which also may includes some authors, is so pathetic and sad. To think that these people have the time to watch and wait as someone posts a review and if they don't like it, you get a bunch of your buddies to start a negative voting campaign or try to get the review taken off the site. It has happened to me on occassion.


In February 2004, the NY Times published a very telling article about the Amazon glitches in their reviews.

And as for the mystery of Harriet Klausner, a reporter actually got her on the phone! And this what was said about that:

Many prolific reviewers speculate that Harriet Klausner, 55, who has long reigned as No. 1, cannot possible read all the books she reviews.
In a telephone interview, Ms. Klausner, in turn, accused the No. 2 reviewer of getting people to vote for him and against her in a ''desperate attempt to be No. 1.'

Funny, she still won't explain how she reviews all those books and circles around the situation, blaming someone else.

And so my love/hate relationship with Amazon grows...

Katiebabs (KB)

Death Angel Book Cover and Synposis

This is one sexy cover. :)
Remember the date of June 24th because that is when Linda Howard's next release comes out!

A striking beauty with a taste for diamonds and dangerous men, Drea Rousseau was once content to be arm candy for Rafael Salinas, a notorious crime lord. Seeing that a break with Rafael is coming, Drea makes a fateful decision and a desperate move to escape, stealing a mountain of cash from the malicious killer. Though Drea runs, Salinas knows she can't hide - and dispatches a cold-blooded assassin in hot pursuit. Left for dead, Drea miraculously returns to the realm of the living a changed woman. Both humbled and thrilled with this unexpected second chance, Drea embraces her new life. But in order to feel safe and sound, and stop nervously looking over her shoulder, she will need to take down those who marked her for death. Joining forces with the FBI, Drea finds herself working with the most dangerous man she's ever known, yet the closer they get to danger, the more intense their feelings for each other become, and the more Drea realizes that the cost of her new life may BE her life, as well as her heart.

Looks like a juicy read! *G*
Katiebabs (KB)

Tales of the kitchen - or why I'm up at 6 am on a Saturday

It occurs to me that I haven't reported on the kitchen in progress lately.

It's a sad story. The kitchen renovations are done - I love my kitchen but it's still not complete. You see, once everything was done, I realized it wasn't really. The walls are this rather vivid and startling blue - which I will post and the cupboards are white. I have a white dishwasher - only a couple of years old, a white under the stove microwave - brand new and a beat up almond fridge and stove. Well - they just didn't fit in anymore. Friends told me that would happen. I also gave the old table and chairs to the oldest son - to keep them in the family - odd I know. It's not many people that have a heavy plastic table and chairs as heirlooms.

So I happily trundled off one day and scared the hell out of myself by buying all this still needed stuff. The thing was I'm the only one in the house so they couldn't deliver it during the week and I work some weekends so we had to figure out which weekend I'd be home. Today was the day. However, I got a call at work yesterday from the furniture company. It seems my brand new beautiful, flat top, no burners to have to clean gunk out of, stove was damaged in transit. They had to order a new one and hopefully it will be in by the end of April.
They could deliver the fridge though.

Now being one of the worst procrastinators in the world, I somehow managed to put off cleaning out the fridge - until today. The guy on the phone said if they weren't here by 9:30, to give them a call.
"9:30 at night?" I said.
"No, 9:30 am" came the reply.
If you could see the state of my fridge!!
I set the alarm clock for 6:00 am.

And now I'm having a wee bit of worries on another score. The space where the fridge goes is confined. There is a wall between the kitchen and the living room on one side and cupboards and counter on the other. And even though, through previous experience you would think I would have learned this...........
I didn't measure.

Now leaving to clean fridge with crossed fingers.
Update to follow

Why I'm having a beer at 8:00 on a Saturday

Well - now here's a tale to tell. I had no sooner finished hitting publish post when I heard a knock at the door.
I answered it - after frantically searching for my house coat, cause of course I'm not even dressed yet. Good thing I don't sleep naked!
The guy at the door asked if I was expecting a fridge.
"Shit" I said - I hadn't started unloading the fridge. And yes - I did indeed say shit out loud. Another thing you should know about me - I'm a hoarder by nature. Even though it's only me in the house, the fridge was jam packed.
"Where do we deliver it?" he asked.
"The back door I answered."
So they drove the truck around to the side - see I live on the corner of the crescent and the back door is really the side door.
So the two delivery guys get out and bring the new fridge up to the back door. Now we've reached a problem. It won't fit through the door.
They take the back door off.
Now it won't fit through the door into the kitchen.
They take of every available piece that will come off while I'm frantically unloading everything from the fridge and the freezer. I even put stuff on top of the underwear that I had on one of the chairs that was clean and hadn't quite made it to the bedroom - in case they glanced into the living room and saw my totally non-sexy underwear.
They finally get the new fridge into the kitchen just as I'm pulling the last thing out of the fridge. Good thing I covered my underwear with ketchup and relish and mustard.
I'm sweating bullets that my failure to measure will come back and haunt me. I should have learned I need to measure.
They position the new fridge.
Phew!! It fits into the limited space.
The one guy puts the doors back on the fridge. Now this one is a reversible door opener and OF COURSE he starts putting it on the wrong side.
I tell him I want it on the other side.
He looks at me and continues.
I can tell he's rather pissed off that they had to work so hard to get it into the kitchen, because it would have been so much easier if I'd said the front door but it's 7:00 freakin' am on a Saturday! Who freakin' delivers furniture at 7:00 am on a Saturday???
So, feeling guilty, I shut up.
I go into the living room and try to read (White Lies by Linda Howard if anyone is curious)
Then I hear the back door slam and them working on putting the back screen door back on. And for those who have been reading this for a while - the back screen door is a whole 'nother story I told.
Then I hear the truck drive away.
What the hell I'm thinking???
They aren't done yet! The fridge is still sitting out almost in the middle, not nicely tucked into the space. And it's rocking. They didn't anchor it. Kitchen guy made sure my old fridge didn't rock when he put it back.
I push the fridge and it goes back a bit. And then I push it some more and it doesn't go back any further.
It seems I worried about the wrong measurements. Yes indeed width wise it fits into the tight little corner just fine. But depth wise it sticks out!
It rocks.
The door handles are on the wrong side.
It's 8:00
My counters are covered - totally covered in stuff from the old fridge.
I put the frozen stuff in the freezer - I think - it's all mixed together.
The underwear is still covered.
I grabbed a beer.
I came to post the further adventures of Kristie and her kitchen.
I'm going to finish the beer and go back to bed and hide.