Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Recent Read

Sing My Name by Ellen O'Connell

Why this one: I was blown away by her other Western (look below *g*) and when I bought Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold and saw that this one was also available in eform at Smashwords for $2.99, I took a risk and got this one at the same time. It wasn't really a risk though as the price couldn't be beat and it's a Western.

Steam Level: I could see through the mist, though there definitely is a cloud of steam

Blurb: Sarah Hammond is the overprotected daughter of passionate Massachusetts abolitionists. Matt Slade is the orphaned son of hardscrabble Texas settlers. Sarah knows about every Civil War battle from studying newspaper accounts. Matt fought in the bloodiest of them under Generals Longstreet and Lee. If Matt and Sarah ever crossed paths, it should have been for an unremarkable moment. He would tip his hat. She would nod and pass on by.

Except as survivors of a Comanche attack, Matt and Sarah spend far more than a moment together. They come to know each other, depend on each other, and love each other. The vicious revenge of Sarah’s humiliated, jilted fiance allows him to say, “I destroyed them.” Did he? Or when Matt and Sarah meet again years later, can they put their lives and their love back together?

My Thoughts: As I said, I was blown away by her first Western and when I finished it and it came to picking the next book to read it was a no-brainer that this would be the one I'd read. As with the previous book, this, THIS is the reason I love Westerns so much. This book is all that I can ask a romance to be; poignant, moving, sad with tenderly sweet funny moments. Both the hero and heroine are to die for great and as with EoS,EoG, the characters are HONEST with each other even though they may not agree.

The story starts out with Matt being mistaken for an outlaw by a couple of bounty hunters. The fact that they have the wrong guy doesn't bother them at all. It picks up after the two bounty hunters and their prisoner have joined an army wagon train heading west. Sarah is headed west to join her fiance, and army officer. She's not in love with him, but is going along with the engagement as she thinks he is better than she can expect and her parents are quite impressed with him. During their journey, she is horrified at the way Matt, our prisoner is being treated and she takes measures to make sure he is treated more humanely. Not long after this, the entire party is attacked by Indians and Matt and Sarah are the only survivors. While Sarah has lived a life of pampered luxury, Matt is well versed in how to survive and the two of them head out to try and make it to the nearest fort. As it's just the two of them, they get to know each other very well. Sarah soon realizes that Matt couldn't possibly be the criminal he was under guard for and for his part, while Matt realizes that Sarah has lead an entirely different kind of life than he has, he admires her tremendously for her 'pluck'. Along the way they fall deeply in love and while Matt is aware of the difference in their stations, he succumbs to the growing love between them. Because they spend time talking, and getting to know each other, the reader can feel the love developing between them. Unlike many a romance where the hero/heroine only have a surface knowledge before declaring their love, with Matt and Sarah, we know it's solid, but undeclared on Matt's side.

They finally make it almost to the fort where they are headed before giving in to hunger, thirst and exhaustion. When Sarah awakens, it's too a livid fiance; a fiance with power who doesn't hesitate to use it. Matt is sent to jail on trumped up charges and Sarah reputation is ruined. At this point there is a separation between them and those reader who aren't fans of long separations may be disappointed in this next section. But it didn't bother me as I was loving the story and I felt that this parting was necessary. The time focuses on Sarah and how her life is a struggle and yet she is so determined to wait for Matt no matter what obstacles are thrown in her way. It serves as a real transition time for her from a somewhat helpless young woman unsure of her own strength into a woman with loyalty, patience and, well, true grit who will survive anything.

Matt is finally released from prison and takes up with a gang of gunslingers. While they don't do anything illegal, they skirt the line at times. He believes the time is lost where he and Sarah could have made a go of it, but Sarah has never faltered in her love for Matt and when circumstances bring them together once more, she absolutely refuses to take no for an answer. I've mentioned before how I love it when a hero is gone for the hero but in this story it is Sarah who is completely gone for Matt. Obstacles? What obstacles. The only one she sees is Matt himself and simply will not take no for an answer.

Sing My Name is simply..... beautiful. It's gritty at times and not easy to read in some places but it's balance out with gently humour and a hero who no matter what life throws at him, meets it with a level headed kind of acceptance. While he had every right to be bitter and angry, he's mature enough to know that he would be the one hurt the most. Sing My Name is REAL. The characters are wonderfully written, from Matt and Sarah, both young and innocent at the start of the book, to mature and capable at the end. The secondary characters are also so very well done. The gang of men Matt is a member of come alive, two in particular. A very dear friend of Sarah betrays her and while she did it thinking it was in Sarah's best interest, there is no simple forgiveness that often drives us readers nuts.

I loved Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold but I think I love this one just a tiny bit more. I know I'll be reading both of them over and over. And I still think it's crazy that she doesn't have a contract with a NY publisher!!

Grade: 5 out of 5

Monday, December 20, 2010

Recent Read - and update

Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O'Connell

Genre: Western

Why this one:
I read a thread on it at All About Romance and it sounded interesting. They were highly recommending it; it was a western and I love westerns so it was a given.....

Steam Level: Starts off cool and slowly comes to a full rolling boil

Blurb: Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold is a story of romance and family conflicts set in Colorado in 1885. Anne Wells has embarrassed her rigidly proper family since she was a child with occasional but grievous lapses from ladylike behavior. They blame those lapses for the disgraceful fact that she is a spinster at 28. Cord Bennett, the son of his father's second marriage to a Cheyenne woman, is more than an embarrassment to his well-to-do family of ranchers and lawyers - they are ashamed and afraid of their black sheep. When Anne and Cord are found alone together, her father's fury leads to violence. Cord's family accepts that the fault is his. Can Anne and Cord use the freedom of being condemned for sins they didn't commit to make a life together? Or will their disapproving, interfering families tear them apart?

My Thoughts: Wow!! Just Wow!! I just got this one yesterday. My Kobo was broken and I finally did something about it and called tech support. They were able to talk me through reloading all my books back onto the Kobo and as a well-deserved reward, I decided to order some new e-books. Although most of the posts on the thread at AAR mentioned that it was available either through Kindle (which I don't have) or pb, I decided to check out the author's website and discovered it was available at Smashwords for a Very Reasonable Price. Since my Kobo was working again and I was looking for books, I couldn't download it fast enough!

I started reading around 2:30-3:00 ish and couldn't go to bed until I read the whole book. I finally finished at 1:06 am. Then I couldn't sleep - ack! I think the people at Wendy's substituted a regular coffee for the decaf I ordered. See, I couldn't take time away from reading to make supper so I went through the drive through - not to mention I love their new fries - but I'm getting off topic. So while trying to fall asleep, I kept going over this book in my head, trying to think of how to put down in words how much I loved it and how much it moved me.

It's been a while since I've loved a heroine as much as I love Anne Wells. I think I have a girl crush on her - in a strictly platonic way of course. I love how well written she is. She's open and honest and brave in such a refreshing way. And what I especially loved was how fiercely protective she is of the hero, Cord Bennett, against anyone who she thought was wronging him, including his rather thickheaded brothers. There isn't anyone she won't take on to protect him. There were so many instances when there could have been frustrating misunderstandings, but instead Anne meets the issues head on and handles them directly so there are no festering resentments.

And as much as I love Anne, I love Cord just as much. Although quite reticent at first due to the prejudice he has experienced most of his life, he's more accepting of it and not the bitter kind of hero he could so easily have been. He is matter of fact about his life and while it is a lonely one, he doesn't really expect anything different. That is until Anne comes into his life. They knew each other briefly as children and then their paths cross again when Anne stumbles across Cords farm when trying to run away from a forced marriage. Her father catches her and in order to 'punish' her for her obstinacy, he forces the two of them to marry, and then has his henchman almost beat Cord to death. But Anne stays and nurses Cord back to health and after discussing the situation matter-of-factly, they decide to remain married. Cord is convinced it will only be for a short while; that Anne is too good for the likes of him. But he doesn't count on her sense of honour and her growing love for Cord, and his for her.

This is a great story of two lonely people brought together and discovering they are perfect for each other. Cord has a rather dry sense of humour that I really enjoyed and as mentioned earlier, Anne is ferocious in her defense of Cord. As their love builds, so do the love scenes which makes them even more a vital part of the story. Anne and Cord are friends first so there is not a doubt that this is a couple that will last.

While Anne's father for the longest time seems to be a Very Evil almost cartoonish villain, the author gives an explanation towards the end that makes very good sense. And I quite enjoyed Cord's two older half brothers, Frank and Ephraim. Time after time they misjudged Cord, thinking him a wild man in some of his actions. But instead he had very good reason for all the violence. He just couldn't have been bothered trying to explain himself to his brothers. His attitude makes for some delightful scenes that had me smiling.

{I'm having to go through this and make sure everything in this review is in the current tense as I plan on going back and reading this book again soon, very soon, slower this time so as to savour it the way it deserves to be savoured}.

The only thing keeping this from being a perfect 5 out of 5 is a very small thing that bothered me but probably wouldn't bother most readers. When referring to some of the towns people who let prejudice and anger rule their actions, the author referred to them as 'haters'. This is very much a 2010 expression and took me out of the old west where I doubt this expression would have been used. And since this word and expression just drives me crazy, I wish the author had used another expression. But that is a very, very small niggle in what is almost a perfect book. There was a certain.... distance is the only word I can think of in the first part of the book, a slight failure to connect with the characters. But very soon the author hit her stride and I felt as if I was right along with them, taking the journey of their love story with them.

Grade: 4.975 out of 5

This one gets a very well deserved two thumbs up. At the price it's offered at, and if one has an ereader device, whatever you do, don't miss this heartwarming Western. It's a perfect example of why I love this genre.


And in other news - OS has left the building!!! He moved out on the weekend. I almost feel bad about feeling so giddy that he's gone - but I'm resisting that guilty feeling and just wallowing in the giddiness. I can set the temperature at 18 degrees celcius and know it will stay at that temperature. I can go out anytime I want without having to ask him to move his car out of the way. I can go into the bathroom now and look into the sink and not see little whisker hairs. There is no door at the bottom of the stairs now. I don't think he's put my library back - I'll give him a couple of weeks to make himself at home before I start nagging - but nag I will if he doesn't get his butt back here and rebuild my library.

And in even bigger and better news, YS (youngest son) or - let's not hide it Ryan (who has posted the news all over his Facebook page) proposed to his girlfriend last week. AND SHE SAID YES. I'm finally going to be getting that daughter I've been wanting. I told her tonight I've been waiting 30 years for her. They've set the date for October 8/2011 so I'm sure I'll be blogging about it lots in the coming months. I really like her. She asked me to go wedding dress shopping with her and her mom and dad this past weekend. I thought that was so sweet of her to include me. Yep - I'm going to be a mama-in-law and I'm thrilled at the thought

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Recent Reads

Unguarded by Tracy Wolff

Why this one: Pure impulse buy. I'm new this year to the Super Romance line and I've really enjoyed most of the ones I've read. When I saw this one at Walmart for 30% off - I just got it.

Steam Level: Not very hot but when you read it you understand why and it makes sense that it wasn't.

Blurb: Rhiannon Jenkins is an events planner on the rise. And her latest client, Shawn Emerson, could make her career. Too bad the gorgeous man insists on mixing a lot of pleasure with his business. In Rhiannon's books getting involved with a client is the fastest way to exit a job. So, no. She''ll resist all his come-get-me looks and tempting offers.

While his charm is easy to overlook, Shawn in the role of confidant and friend breaks down all her best defenses. Suddenly the tables turn and she wants to be close to him. That means opening up about the ugly events of her past is —a risk she hasn't taken before now. Oh, but he could be so worth it!

My Thoughts: Sometimes one regrets impulse buys reckoning they wasted their money. Sometimes one is happy with their impulse buys, glad they went for it. And sometimes one is really amazed at one's own genius in giving into impulse. With Unguarded, my reaction is the third one. I'm amazed at my own genius. This book is really, really, really good. The back blurb isn't written so well and I bought this book almost despite it. One thing that's not mentioned in the blurb is it's a younger hero/older heroine storyline. I like this kind so it was a nice surprise.

Both lead characters in this book were very well done I thought. Rhiannon survived a tragic event in her past - barely. It turned her life upside down and though she is managing to survive, it's a struggle for her. She is less than pleased when she is hired by the younger and flirtatious Shawn, to plan a party he is throwing since his graphic novels have been sold to Hollywood to be made into a movie. Although she is just as attracted to him as he seems to be to her at times, an involvement with a younger guy is not something she plans to give in to. Rhiannon has many facets to her character and I really liked her. She's vulnerable yet stronger than she gives herself credit for. She is working on rebuilding her life and she has come much further than she realizes, considering what happened to her.

And Shawn is an equally great character. I'd say his most charming feature is that he's a nurturer. He realizes very quickly that Rhiannon has suffered something in her past and he is determined to help her. This kind of trait in a hero can be very yummy and it is in Shawn's case. He's not bothered at all by the age difference, another plus in his favour *g*. He does have some reservations though, as his cherishing nature has led him to heartache in the past. But it's really too late as he is totally gone for the heroine.

This book was a very delightful one and I am really doing a happy dance that I discovered this line. The only thing keeping it from being a 5 is I felt it was a scene short. Considering all the work that Rhiannon had done and the party planning was the basis for their meeting each other, I was disappointed that it didn't have that final scene I felt it needed.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Tempted by Fate by Kate Perry

Why this one: It was another impulse buy. Being shallow I'll confess that the cover may have had something to do with me picking it up in the first place.

Steam Level: I'd say between warm and hot.

Blurb: Willow Tarata is a Guardian who trusts no one. She hunts those who prey on the vulnerable. And she's driven by a vengeful goal - find the man who murdered her mother. Yet suddenly Willow's quarry now has her on the run....straight into the sights of San Francisco's most dangerous detective.
Three bizarre murders have Inspector Rick Ramirez baffled - and determined to uncover the truth. But to catch the real killer, he needs the help of his prime suspect, Willow Tarata, even though this fierce and sexy blonde is challenging his professional cool. And now, unless they believe in each other and trust their deepest instincts, a relentless evil will end both Willow's and Rick's life - and claim this Guardian's extraordinary powers forever....

My Thoughts: Sometimes one regrets impulse buys reckoning they wasted their money. Sometimes one is happy with their impulse buys, glad they went for it. And sometimes one is really amazed at one's own genius in giving into impulse.


I just said that about the previous book didn't I? But it applies to this one as well - and call me a happy camper that two impulse buys turned out so well! I really liked this one. I liked it so much that despite just buying two books I've been waiting months for, I kept reading this one. I was late getting dressed today 'cause I was so busy reading. I haven't done the housework I had planned because I was too busy reading. Gotta love when that happens.

I adored the heroine in this book. Willow is one tough cookie. She's had to be since her mother was murdered when she was only ten. As soon as she was old enough, she made it her life's goal to track down and wreck vengeance on the man who killed her mother even though Willow only knows him as The Bad Man. After tracking him for years, she finally hopes to corner him in San Francisco, even as she is aware that The Bad Man has probably lured her there. She is on her way to a meet with a private detective she hired when she comes across two dead bodies, the detectives and another man. Also at the scene is a police Inspector, Rick Ramirez. He senses Willow's presence, but because she has some pretty awesome superpowers, he's unable to find her; either that night or at other times when she seems to be at the same scene as other crimes. He suspects her, but doesn't really want to as their attraction to each other is overwhelming.

I really enjoyed Rick's character too. He's a rules kind of guy. He lives buy the book and his world is one of black and white until he's confronted by Willow who is all kinds of gray. Their opposite personalities really made for some great and spicy scenes between them. It was rather fun watching Rick having his carefully ordered world rocked.

The secondary characters were also very interesting - from his rather mysterious herself grandmother, to Morgan, Willow's computer geek best friend and partner. This is the third book in a series about Guardians, a select group of people who have inherited supernatural powers, but even though I haven't read the first two, it was no problem following this story at all. Though I did check my handy dandy spread sheet and it seems I have the first in the series - somewhere in the house. Once I get my library back, I'll have to see if I can find it!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Ack!! Again a long absence :-(

I don't know why I've been away for so long. It wasn't planned or anything. I have a couple of theories as to why I've been absent for all this time. BTF (before the fall) I used to spend hours at the computer and while whiling away the hours, I confess, I did a lot of smoking. Since I'm still one of those reformed ex-smokers, it's been best to avoid places I associate with smoking for a while since though I haven't given in, the urge to give in at times has been very strong.

In addition, I'm back to work full time now. I'd been at my current position for less than a month BTF, and in the time I was off there were a number of changes. So when I went back to work, not only did I have to relearn the job itself since I hadn't had that much time at it, I had to learn all the changes that had been made while I was off. On top of that, my energy level has been way down still so when I got home, not only have I been mentally tired brain learning wise, I've also been tired physically wise.

So - what else has been going on with me?? Not a whole lot. The past day and a half have been snow days here in London. We've been hit by a major snow streamer, the likes of which hasn't been seen for quite some time. The office closed yesterday at two and didn't open at all today. Of course I did not know that and drove all the way into work, only to see 3 cars in the parking lot and no one at reception. I ran into one head person who said the office was closed and hadn't I been notified? Um, no. I couldn't help but chuckle - here I was, the one with the broken leg and all and I made it in only to find out I didn't have to. Still - it gives me an opportunity to update here - long past due.

I haven't been reading that much. So far in this month of December, I've only finished one book - and that one was almost 3/4 read in November.

On the plus side though, I've passed the record set since I started recording the books read back in 2004. My previous high was 105 books in 2005 and so far in 2010, I've read 108 books. The vast majority I've read this year are Contemporaries, followed by Romantic Suspense. The third highest number is Historicals followed by Westerns though I haven't read any Westerns for a while. (once again, great graphs are thanks to Rosario!!)

I checked at Chapters and Jo Goodman's latest, Marry Me is out and the Chapter near me lists 7 copies. When I checked it out, there were none on the shelf. When I asked a clerk, he told me they probably weren't out yet as it wasn't the "official" release date.

That was a lot of hooey of course, they just hadn't put them out yet, but I decided I was too tired to make him go to the back and get me a copy. Next time if the same thing happens, I won't be so lenient *g*. They've always gone to the back for me in previous visits.

My poor Kobo is on the fritz. When last I charged it and turned it on, all book had disappeared off of it, even the pre-loaded books. Since I haven't been reading that much lately, I haven't bothered trying to load them back on. It's going to take greater concentration powers than I seem to have theses days. Though since Oldest Son is also off today, I think I'm going to get him to have a look see if I have problems. Though on second thought that might not be such a good idea. OS manages to break many, many things around here (including my leg). Speaking of OS, he's moving out next week.

While I love him dearly and he hasn't been that bad of a tenant (he's been great at shoveling out the snow), it's time. It's time. Yes, it is time!!

And last for this particular post, AAR posted their Top 100. Once again - for the third time - Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase came in top spot, followed by *drum roll please* Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas! Amazingly, I've read 92 of the top 100. Go visit and check it out? How many have you read? Any books you haven't that interest you now? And what do you think of the list?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


So - I don't think it will come as any surprise to anyone who comes here even on a semi-regular basis, that I LOVE So You Think You Can Dance. I wait with barely suppressed excitement for each new season to begin; whether it be the US or Canada version. At the moment I've also been captivated by another dance show - Got To Dance UK, though I do think some of the contestants are a bit too young. I have the same thoughts on some contestants on America's Got Talent. But I've gone off topic.

I have a different opinion on Dancing With The Stars however. I watch it - sometimes - and it annoys me when I get hooked on it. But all previous annoyances are nothing compared to how I felt last night after seeing the results. It annoys me to the max that a lot of people vote on other reasons besides talent. There is NO WAY that Bristol Palin should still be in when Brandy is now gone. I don't have anything against Bristol. She seems like a nice enough young woman and while I think her mother is a nut job, still her mother does seem like a decent sort overall - except she hunts and I don't think she belongs in politics. But come on!!! It's just not right that Brandy is gone. She is by far more talented than Bristol and watching the personal bits week after week, it was obvious that winning this show was very important to her. If she had lost out to Jennifer Grey it would have been a different story since Jennifer Grey can really kick up her heels too. But I'm willing to bet that many of the people who voted for Bristol, did so because of her mother and that just doesn't strike me as fair. If I were to vote, I'd do it 90% on talent I think, but it doesn't look like everyone thinks the way I do. I do believe I'll skip the rest of it. It might be better for my blood pressure.

So apparently Ryan Reynolds is People's Sexiest Man for this year. Once again I feel out of step. Yea, he's cute I guess, but he doesn't do a thing for me. I don't even think I've seen a Ryan Reynolds movie! Mostly because he doesn't do anything for me. Of course I'm mystified that so many consider his wife as out of this world sexy. I don't see that either.
Course I'm cold when it comes to George Clooney, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Mathew Mcconaughey, Colin Firth et al. See what I mean? Out of step.

I know it's been expected for a while now, but still it was nice to hear about Prince William and Kate Middleton's engagement. He seems to be a very nice and down to earth young man and I think she is beautiful - have ever since the first time I saw her picture and I think she will make a gorgeous queen. And I have a strong case of hat envy for her. It's just sad that his mother isn't around to have met Kate and to be involved with his upcoming wedding.

I hope Kate doesn't go through the same kind of over scrutinizing that Dianna did. Though I have a feeling that she won't be left alone for quite some time.

I overdid it again yesterday. I had someone coming over after work to see about doing housecleaning. So of course before I had someone over to clean the house, I had to clean the house. Can't have anyone who does house cleaning coming into a messy house can one? So I got up extra early and worked like the dickens to clean it up as much as possible. I left a note for Son #1 to do a few little things like vacuuming and sweeping the floor and the main one - to clean the spit out of the bathroom sink - HIS spit mind you - since I don't leave mine - knowing full well the chance of his doing so were slim. And I was right. Then I went in and worked for four hours - I'm in every day this week. Then I worked real hard when I got home until she got there. I thought we were just going to talk about her doing housework, but no - she and her husband came all ready to clean the house! So of course I had to go into the rooms ahead of them to tidy in as much time as I had. One good thing though - it seems my philosophy of not looking for something worked again. While 'tidying' I found my passport that I haven't seen since I got back from Florida and my Harry Potter glasses. They have been missing for quite some time too. It was ever so nice to find both of them!! And I didn't even have to look :-)
And it is ever so nice to have a Very Clean House. I'll have to do my darndest to keep it that way.

And speaking of Sexiest Man - I think Daniel Radcliffe has it going on over Ryan Reynolds, even though Rye is Canadian. See - if it were a vote in thing, I'd pick a Brit over a Canadian every day! Heh, heh, heh

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just a real quick reminder

Today is the last day for entries to the AAR Top 100 Poll!!! It's a great way to scope out books you might not have read before so if you can get a list going, send it in.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holy Camolie Batman!!

I didn't realize it had been so long since last I posted!! An update on my condition is required I do believe.

I'm doing good. If anything I'm almost doing to good as I figure I'm stronger than I am and then overdue it. For example I was at the gym last week and did 15 minutes on the treadmill at a faster pace than I should have and at a much higher incline than should have. Then I did the machines, more time on the treadmill and then 10 minutes on the bike. And promptly did myself in for the next few days. That's just an example of the stuff I've managed to OVERdo.

I'm back at work. This past week I worked 3 days a week for only 4 hours each day I worked and next week and the week after I'm in all 5 days, but still for only 4 hours a day and then (hopefully) the week after that I plan to be back full time.

I've been working out at the gym - as a matter of fact I plan on heading over there shortly. I'm trying to hold back but - I'm not always good at it :-) I'm still going to physio though I'm down to once a week and after next week that should be once every other week. I'm not even using a cane now, though I'm carrying it 'just in case'.

I had an MRI yesterday for what they think is a pinched nerve. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be though it was annoying. I wasn't nearly as claustrophobic as I thought I would be, but it was real loud and it took a lot longer than I thought it would.

I'm still not smoking - and that's a good thing. I've been eating a bit more bad stuff the past few days so I'll have to nip that in the bud!

And I've been reading quite a bit too. Hopefully I'll have some reviews shortly.

So - sorry for disappearing like that again. Hopefully I won't do it again :-(

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The voices in my head

It's late. The brain won't let me rest so I've been thinking of different points of views in novels. An unusual topic at 1:00 am but nevertheless, it's keeping me entertained.

What got me thinking deep on this topic is there is a book that's been taking me a while to read and I was trying to figure out why when tonight it hit me. I've been stuck in one spot for a while because the story is now being told from the villain's point of view and I don't like that. In fact a lot more than I'm comfortable with is from the villain and huge chunks at a time. As a reader, I'm wishing the author would find a different way to let us know how the villain is influencing the story. I don't like being in the villain's head. He's one bad dude and causing all kinds of trouble. Late this night I'm wondering why authors do this.

I haven't gotten the Black Dagger Brotherhood bug. I've read a couple of the books but I'm not in a big hurry to read more. But in reading what other readers say about them, one of the big complaints that I see is too much time is spent with the Lessers or whatever they are called - I forget at the moment. I've read where a lot of readers just skip these parts and to me it seems that something is wrong with the picture when readers just skip huge hunks of the story.

In order to have a good story - or any story at all really, we have to have conflict. And a good deal of the time conflict is caused by The Villain whose goal is to destroy in one way or another the happiness of the hero/heroine. So why do we need to read it from his or her head?

Another issue I've seen a lot of readers struggle with is when there are multiple points of view. While this isn't quite as annoying for me, still I prefer only to see the two POV, the heroine and the hero. Many more than that and it can get confusing.


I do like to get the heroes POV along with the heroines. I'm always a little disappointed when the entire story is told from just hers. I like to see what the hero is thinking too.

Has this been a problem for anyone else? Have you got stuck while reading a book because you are in the villains head? Do you get distracted when there are too many points of view? And would you just be happy with the heroines POV or are you like me and want to know what the hero thinks too?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Just being curious

I'm in the middle of about 3 books so no reviews at the moment so while wondering what I could blog about, I was listening to Dr. Joy Brown yesterday and she was reading some studies on what women prefer as to hair on men. Interestingly, the majority of women preferred some facial hair on guys. The thought being that it makes them seem to be more 'manly' men. Now if they had asked me, I would have been in that group. I think stubble on a guy is very sexy. Let's face it - those among us who watched Lost didn't do at least a small swoon for Sawyer even if you were a Jack fan????

And how about beards? It's harder for me to appreciate beards, but - it can be done - and done very well if you check out the picture on the right here *dreamy sigh*

So - what about you? Does facial hair on a guy work for you? What kind do you like best? I have a poll going, but if you want to further comment, please *g* go ahead

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Once again, it's that time!

I seem to be all about the funny these days don't I? Anyway - with weeks away from my spam mail, as you can imagine, I have quite a few emails in my junk mail and it's time again to delete it. But I need to do a general answer to a few first. So here we go!

Josh Silver says: Destroy Big Bird

And I say: How can you even think such a thing? Do you realize how many young children will be devastated if you destroy Big Bird? Heck, even grown ups would be sad. My sons would be sad. Ask Son # 2 about the movie Follow that Bird. He still remembers it fondly.

So simply give your head a shake and get that idea out of your head!!

Karyn Schaubert says: Chemical spill results in mutant fish

And I say: I know that this is a serious subject, but really - an email in my junk mail just makes me think of a Simpson's episode. I never actually open my junk mail unless I know who it's from - like Chapters telling me they shipped me books, but I really don't know what I can do about it??????

Chrystal Murphy says: do you need my pic

And I say: ah, no?????? I don't know you Chrystal so I can't fathom why I would need you picture. says: Be larger than you ever were

And I say: eyjotio2092 (odd name by the way) I am doing my very best to make me smaller than I have been in years. It's a struggle. I miss chips. I miss cheesies. I miss cookies and I don't even eat cookies. And don't even get me started on chocolate. So I can honestly say I don't want to be larger than I ever was!! I'm too large as it is.

Allie Schamburek says: Boy bites off own finger

And I say: Hmmm - did he do it on purpose or was it an accident?? Whatever, I hope they found it and managed to reattach it. They really are doing wonderful things in surgery these days.

ajyveuifik4247 says: For your fellow idiots

And I say: Word of advice ajyveuifik4247 - it's probably not a good idea to address people you are sending emails to as idiots. By adding the word fellow, you are calling me and idiot. Now since I don't know you from Adam, I'm not taking it personally, but still in the future.........

Scorro Bolden says: can I send you my pic

And I say: Scorro: thank you but no thanks. Again, I don't know you so I don't know why I would want your pic, but I think you and Chrystal need to get together and exchange photos. Strikes me that it might be a nice match.

nancy kipkayla says: Hello, this message is respectfully yours

And I say: Nancy, I am very impressed by your politeness. You could give lessons to ajyveuifik4247, but I don't know you and since your email came through my junk mail and I'm just a cynical bitch, I'm going to be cautious and not open it. But for any who do, I hope you continue with your fine manners.

Mary Alice Crim says: You Decide

And I say: OK. How does next Monday afternoon sound. Or, mauve, I think mauve would work better. See - there's just too much open for interpretation to answer your question.

earymov7866 says: From your friend

And I say: earymov7866. with all due respect, and I don't mean this in any kind of mean way, but you are not my friend. Unless this is a fake name and you have another name that I might recognize.

Willard Mayberry says: Your wishes have come true

And I say: No Willard, they haven't. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what my wishes are. At the moment they are simply to be able to run on a tread mill, or go on a date or a big one, to have Richard Armitage fly to London and kiss me.
And I don't think any of these have come true. I know for sure the RA one hasn't!!!!!!!!!!!
Although I d
o thank you indeed for the opportunity to look for and post gratuitous pictures of Mr. Armitage kissing. *g*

isatoefoh3907 says: Let's go there together

And I say: Is this a request for a date? Or just a 'since we will both be going we might as well just take one car' type of thing? Regardless, as I've said to others, I don't know you so the answer will have to be no.

Douglas Ladd says: Be her passionate tiger

And I say: I can't say anything - I'm too busy giggling!

Well, except for the typical viagara, watch and diploma junk mail, this takes care of my most recent bunch. My junk mail folder is empty once more.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Something else that craked me up.

I've only seen this commercial once, but I laughed all the way through it!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Laugh for the day

I seem to have lots of space down the sides here on the blog and with time on my hands, in a effort to fill it up with .......something, I thought of bad covers on one side and good covers on the other. I struck pay dirt for the bad side with this one.

They don't make them like this any more.......Thank Goodness!!

Description: Passion and Intrigue on the High Seas

She was the daughter of Duncan Farrow, the fiercest corsair on the Barbary coast. Born into the French aristocracy, raised as a pirate, beautiful Courtney deVilliers Farrow could fight as hard, swear as well, and outwit most men.
But now her father was gone -- killed by the Yankees. Courtney was left to fight a losing battle with the American ship, the Eagle, commanded by First Lieutenant Adrian Ballantine. His bronzed face, sun-bleached hair, and smoky gray eyes had captivated dozens of women in his time, but he held no charm for Courtney.

They were deadly enemies, and before long she was his prisoner, bound for Gibraltar, trial, and execution. Then a stunning coup turned the tables. The proud Adrian became Courtney's defeated captive.
Would she now show the defiant lieutenant mercy? Or would she follow her womanly whims and give him exactly what he so clearly had coming?

From the Olivia Newton John wannabe female cover model with the falling off puffy shirt, to the too tight-panted, smush-nosed, chest barring male cover model, this one just screams "Laugh at me!"

And could the description get any more dramatic????? *laughing*

" The proud Adrian became Courtney's defeated captive."

Or how about in dramatic tone:

"Or would she follow her womanly (womanly??????) whims and give him exactly what he so clearly had coming"

(helpless giggle)


"His bronzed face, sun-bleached hair, and smoky gray eyes had captivated dozens of women in his time, but he held no charm for Courtney."

They forgot to mention his smushed nose.

And who the heck writes this stuff anyway?

And the winner is.........

Now that it's gone across the country and won't be a spoiler for anyone in a later time zone, I'm happy to announce this years winner of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, the show that rocks my socks and makes me wish I was 10 again so I could take up dance is........

Denys Drozdyuk


From the official SYTYCD Canada web site:

Denys Drozdyuk is Canada's Favourite Dancer

"After more than one and a half million votes, 25-year-old Denys Drozdyuk, a ballroom dancer from Toronto, was named Canada's Favourite Dancer.

He was rendered speechless, doubling over in shock as host Leah Miller revealed his win on the So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 3 finale on Sunday night. "Thank you very much," he said, bowing in front of an ecstatic audience.

Confetti cannons burst gold and silver flakes on the stage as the dancers lifted Denys high above their arms as Denys' mom wept in the audience.

From his audition in Montreal, Denys brought his versatility and strong work ethic to the competition, making him a contender from the very first show. "You are a great example, an inspiration for a generation of dancers to come," Jean Marc said before the verdict was revealed.

Luther noted his incredible passion. "It comes through the cameras every time you get on that stage," he said.

Denys now carries the title of Canada's Favourite Dancer and has received the prize of $100,000 and a 2010 Mazda2."

Nice to know that my two hours of voting worked. I don't get ''silly'' over a lot of shows and things - well....... OK.......... maybe I do, but I sure did over this one. And it's interesting to note that he was announced as the winner whilst dressed in the costume he wore for his final dance of the night, the Pasodoble, the same dance genre he did in his audition!!

Now the withdrawal will start.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Recent Reads

Thank goodness that while the blogging seems to have been scarce, the reading has picked up. I bring you not one, not two, not three but FOUR of my "Recent Reads".

Water Bound By Christine Feehan

Why this one:
Well, (yep - long story ahead) I have an odd relationship with Ms. Feehan. Either I adore her stories or I can't stand them. I don't like the Carpathian books at all, at all. And I read Lair of the Lion and HUGE yuckers. But still I didn't totally abandon her and tried Wild Rain and loved it and then read the first couple of the Ghostwalker series and really enjoyed them. But for some reason she kind of dropped off my radar and I hadn't read any other of her books for a while. Then I saw a review of Water Bound at AAR and it piqued my curiosity.

Steam Level:
*blowing on fingers* Hot Blurb: The last thing Lev Prakenskii remembered was being lost in the swirling currents of the ocean and getting sucked deeper into the nothingness of a freezing black eddy off the coastal town of Sea Haven. Just as quickly, just a miraculously, he was saved—pulled ashore by a beautiful stranger. But Lev has no memory of who he is—or why he seems to possess the violent instincts of a trained killer. All he knows is that he fears for his life, and for the life of his unexpected savior. Her name is Rikki, a sea~urchin diver in Sea Haven. She has always felt an affinity for the ocean, and for the seductive pull of the tides. And now she feels drawn in the same way to the enigmatic man she rescued. But soon they will be bound by something even stronger, and their tantalizing secrets will engulf them both in a whirlpool of dizzying passion and inescapable danger.

My Thoughts: I'll be honest and say what intrigued me about this book was reading that the heroine had a form of high functioning autism. I thought this worked very well in the hero in Jennifer Ashley's The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie so I was curious as to how it would work in the heroine in a contemporary. And I'm quite pleased to say for me it worked very well. There is no question that Rikki Sitmore has her share of 'quirks'. She had a terribly sad childhood, losing her parents at an early age due to fire and having the nightmare of fires follow and destroy after that. She has finally found a home in Sea Haven, the same town setting as the Drake Sister series. She has found a family of sisters now; not sisters by blood, but sisters of the heart. She also has a successful job as a sea urchin hunter. She is drawn to water in many mysterious ways. For example, when having nightmares about the fires that have destroyed her life, all faucets in her home mysteriously turn on. She can manipulate rain and she is never completely at home unless she is diving in the ocean. Her life is going along as well as it can considering her quirks until she rescues a strange man in the middle of a ocean disruption. I know some of this sounds odd - it's odd to write it, but trust me, when reading this book, it made perfect sense. The man she rescues, Lev Prakenskii, is peculiar in his own right. He has no memory for quite some time, but he does know he is a dangerous man and one who should stay far, far away from Rikki. But he quickly becomes one of my favourite kinds of heroes, the kind that is wrecked for the heroine. He realizes that he is no good for Rikki, yet he can't leave her. Because of the fires that have dogged her all her life, Rikki is afraid she's been the one setting them, but Lev knows she couldn't possibly be the one and he is determined to keep her safe and take care of her. For example, she is very sensitive to different textures of food and exists almost exclusively on peanut butter. She refuses to allow others into her 'space' whether it's her boat, her house or even to the use of her dishes. But Lev 'gets' her and is determined to both protect her and expand her narrow live. He is constantly challenging her to move outside her narrow comfort zone but always there for her in case she stumbles. This is an odd book due to the nature of the heroine, but I adored it. Rikki is a heroine I really enjoyed; one who has had to adjust to the world because of her differences, but has done so very well. She's a tad to prickly at times for me to keep this book from being a five, but she is a very strong heroine and I really liked her. And Lev makes for a mighty fine hero. He has done some very violent things in his past. He's been pretty ruthless, but then again because of his history he has had to be. But he is totally redeemed by his acceptance and respect and protectiveness of Rikki. The reader knows he will die to protect her and as already mentioned, he is totally wrecked for her. This book was a real treat!

4.75 out of 5

Into the Crossfire by Lisa Marie Rice

Why this one:
Hey, it's Lisa Marie Rice!! I always read her books

Steam Level:
Hey, it's Lisa Marie Rice!! Her books are always hawt stuff

Blurb: Former Navy SEAL Sam Reston keeps to himself. His world is dangerous, uncertain, violent...and there is no room in it for the helpless and weak. Then the most beautiful woman in the world moves in next door to him . . . . Nicole Pearce's life is complicated enough--with an ailing father and a new business to worry about--and the last thing she needs is to get involved with a secretive, hard-bodied, hardheaded neighbor. Yet Sam leaves her breathless--her body tingling with erotic desire--and it takes every ounce of her fabled control to resist offering herself to him, no strings attached. What she doesn't know is that Sam Reston is on an undercover assignment . . . and she's about to step into the crossfire. Never has Sam ached for a woman so badly, and he's never fallen in love before. Now that Nicole is in grave danger, he will become her shield, and guard the tempting body he longs to touch and taste. Because a terrorist plot hatched half a world away is heading to their doorstep--and it can only be derailed by one man and one woman.

My Thoughts:
This author has a formula. And while she doesn't deviate from it much, as long as I don't read too many of her books in a row, it's a formula that works very well indeed for me. Ms. Rice's formula; total alpha hero, often ex seal or other type of military, heroine in distress, alpha hero lusts after heroine, falls very quickly for heroine and takes over and saves heroine in distress. Heroine falls for hero despite his overbearing ways and allows him to help her after a token resistance. Now one might think that might get a bit tiresome and were I to read too many of her books in a row, it does. I know this because I did it with the Midnight series, reading them back to back to back and by the time I got to Midnight Angel, the sameness really took away for me. In fact I don't think I even finished this one. But if I leave space and read all kinds of other genres between them, I just adore her books and once again I'm happy to say I adored this one too *insert happy face* As per usual, when hero Sam Reston, former Navy Seal and now part owner of his own detective agency first spies Nicole Pearce, his new business neighbour, he is instantly smitten. But he's undercover on his latest case, trying to put a criminal in prison and is in no shape to make any kind of approach. But once he's back to himself, he wastes no time in bargaining her into a dinner date. Sparks fly between them but Nicole is in no state for any kind of relationship. She's had to rearrange her whole life to take care of her dying father. She is trying to get a new business, translating, off the ground and when not working at this, she is looking after her much loved father. But Sam isn't about to let her go. He's never felt like this about a woman before and is willing to do whatever it takes to be a part of her life. He really gets his chance when something strange happens and her office is broken into. He goes into full Protector Mode as he works with his two foster brothers to find out who is after Nicole and what they want with her. As with all of Ms. Rice's heroes, I loved Sam. He's determined to help 'his' woman. He knows his way around the bedroom and he's willing to be flexible with Nicole. Although yes, a bit formulatic, nevertheless he makes for great hero material. And I equally enjoyed Nicole. Despite having her life turned upside down by the illness of her father, she holds no bitterness at her circumstances. Although give many opportunities to become one of those TSTL heroines we all despise, she doesn't. While she wants to hold Sam at arms length, she knows he can help her and she is open and honest with him when she needs to be. Along with every other book by this author with the possible exception of Midnight Angel and I need to read it again with distance this time, I loved Into the Crossfire and most heartily recommend it. There are two other foster brothers and I really hope they each get their own story. I'll be a happy camper if they do

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

Why this one: The only trouble I had with the last book by this author was she didn't know baseball. Other than that, I would have enjoyed the story very much. So when I read the buzz on this book and the fact that it isn't one of her baseball books, I was onboard.

Steam Level: Very warm. Not hot like some of the others maybe, but warm is very nice too!

Blurb: Maddie Moore's whole life needs a makeover. In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother -- a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Starting over won't be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career -- if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too. The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes -- and mouth -- are making it hard for her to remember that she's sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie's struggles to overcome the past, though she's about to discover that there's no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.

My Thoughts: As long as Ms. Shalvis hasn't written a heroine I despise, or about a sport she doesn't really know, I've really enjoy her books and this one is no exception. Maddie is kind of a sad heroine. Pretty much abandoned by her mother, she has been raised in Hollywood by her set designer father. But when her mother dies and leaves an old dilapidated inn in a small coastal West coast town to her and her two half sisters, Maddie is determined to take this opportunity to get close to the sisters she barely knows. Her sisters aren't keen on the idea to put it mildly, but she wants this very badly. She's never been the strongest of the sisters, she has kind of let people, most especially an abusive ex, bully her and take advantage of her. But she wants to start over; a stronger Maddie and one who is willing to go after her dreams.

Jax Cullen is the hero. He too has changed his life around. Once a shark of a lawyer who would do anything to win cases, after one particular case went very, very wrong, he left his old life behind and moved back to his small home town to get back to his roots as a carpenter. This much simpler life allows him to help out many of his small town friends as a way to make amends for his former life. When almost run over by Maddie - literally - he sees her as something of a lost soul who can really use a friend and as he gets to know her better, as more than a friend. But Maddie has been burned in the past and doesn't really trust herself much anymore and does her best to keep Jax at a distance. Jax for his part, is somewhat afraid and also bound by his oath not to tell Maddie everything keeps important information from her.

Meanwhile, Maddie tries to build bridges with her sisters, keep Jax at arms distance and generally make her life over. Both she and Jax are great characters. Having two sisters of my own, I liked the squabbles she, Chloe and Tara constantly had. This isn't a big 'action' book; rather it's rather simple, relaxed and enjoyable 'taste of life' kind of contemporary book. It's the first of three and I'll be reading Chloe and Tara's books when they come out.

One small thing took me somewhat out of the story though. The time is around during the Christmas season, which also adds charm. But then it's Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and nothing is really made of that. No gift exchanges, no mention of Christmas family dinner. I just found it a bit jarring for some reason. But other than that small fact, I found this book quite enjoyable.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

One Touch of Scandal by Liz Carlyle

Why this one: Ms. Carlyle used to be an autobuy author for me, then she wrote a couple of books I didn't really care for and she kind of fell off the map. But I read a pretty good review of this book and thought I'd give her another go.

Steam Level: It takes a while for the kettle that is this book to boil, but once it does, it's fine rolling boil

Blurb: Against the glamorous backdrop of Victorian high society, Liz Carlyle paints a dramatic tale of dangerous desire, the first in her sizzling new trilogy. All Grace Gauthier ever wanted was the security of a good marriage, family, and home. Instead, despised by her aristocratic mother's family because of her father's foreign birth, she's taken a "safe" position as a governess. Now, unprotected and alone in London, accused of the shocking murder of her employer, she has no one to turn to except the mysterious -- and possibly dangerous -- Lord Ruthveyn. A dark-eyed Lucifer, Ruthveyn guards his secrets carefully. His shadowed past is a source of pain and rumors -- only whispered. Grace's plight -- which echoes his own -- moves him, as does her quiet beauty. Ruthveyn is determined to save Grace by unmasking a killer. But his growing passion places his own heart at risk and threatens to expose his dark gifts to the world.

My Thoughts: First off - I just have to get this off my chest and then I can get serious. The Cover! Avon Cover People - you can suck like nobodies business when it comes to covers. This author used to write for Pocket where they gave her great covers. Then she moved to Avon and this cover is just plain NASTY and I don't mean that in a good way. I mean it in it's original meaning - horrible, awful, terrible, hideous, dreadful! If I were the author and upon first glance of the cover, I'd have been in tears. I mean - could that dress look any cheaper??? It looks like a dress that a first year sewing student might whip up. And what's with that silly stretch of her neck. I tried duplicating that and it hurt! (I need more neck exercising) And those colours orangy-yellow - again, just nasty. I mean seriously - take a look at either of the covers on the right, gorgeous colours, tasteful covers and then at One Touch of Scandal. Wouldn't you want to cry too? Good thing the version I read was on my Kobo in ereader form so I didn't have to really look at it. I was so disappointed when I heard that she switched publishers. And the difference between covers is just one reason.

Now, getting away from the monstrosity that is the cover and onto the book itself. I hadn't gotten very far into this book before I realized why I had loved Ms. Carlyle's earlier books. In fact in one of my trips to Chapters, I picked up a book I didn't already have.

The book starts with murder; the murder of Grace Gauthier's employer and secret fiance. It doesn't take her long to realize that she needs help as she seems to be top on the suspect list. She looks for an old friend and army officer that served under her Army father. But it seems her friend is out of town and instead she tells her worries to Adrian, Lord Ruthveyan. He's a rather mysterious guy, he and the other members of his club. Still, Grace who has always been a very good judge of men, does trust him and puts her faith and trust in his hands.

And Adrian is mysterious. He's one of those tortured soul kind of heroes that are so very delicious. He has an odd talent that leads him to keep his distance from just about everyone. If he touches them or looks into their eyes, he can 'sense' things about them, such as how they will die. This keeps him apart from everyone but those in his club who all have similar kinds of 'gifts'. But for some reason he is unable to 'read' Grace and this is very calming to him. In addition, he is very attracted to her though he fights it, thinking in time, he will get glimpses into what her future holds in store for her and he will once again suffer. He tries his best to resist falling for her. He spent much of his life in India and his mother in fact was an Indian Princess and his father English which makes him a half caste hero. This doesn't really play into the story though except as another way he is separate.

Grace also has had an unusual upbringing. Her mother died early and she has spent most of her life following her French Legionnaire officer father. She had come back to England after his death and was just finding a new life when it was torn apart by the death of her employer/fiance. She is also strongly attracted to Adrian, but like him, is determined to resist as she sees no future with him. But as they work together to try and clear her name, they finally are unable to resist each other.

I do believe with this book, that Liz Carlyle is back on my list. I enjoyed it. Adrian was a very good tortured and mysterious hero. Grace was a heroine I really appreciated. She was quite practical and pragmatic. Despite being terrified at being a suspect, she is realizes that Adrian is her best hope for clearing her name and she trusts him to do exactly that.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

So there you have it - four for the price of one. And I quite enjoyed every one of them. I love it when I'm on a roll.