Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Once again I`ve been so bad

at blogging *unhappy sigh*

Right now I`m here in the big city of New York at RWA. As usual I`m having an amazing time. There is so much stuff going on, I think I`ll just do point form

I had a melt down when I first got to the hotel. I`d stayed the night before at the Algonquin Hotel and was NOT impressed. It had to be the smallest hotel room I`ve ever seen and even worse, the air conditioning didn`t work. I suffered through though and then took a 45 minute cab ride for what was pretty much a 15 minute walk.

I have never seen traffic like it is here. Never. Ever, never, ever. I could not live in this city or I`d go nuts though it interesting to visit.

Once I got past my meltdown - thankfully Rosie showed up to rescue me, things started getting much better. I met up with Lisabea and Nath and her sister Emily. Wendy was a late arrival since she, the RWA Librarian of the year, had Librarian duties that kept her occupied for a while.

I don`t really know how to explain it, but all these people I see once a year at RWA and when we get together, it`s like we last saw each other only a few weeks ago. At the risk of mush overload, I am just so damn happy to see them all. There is this bond that is indescribable. OK - mush over.

If I start naming people, I`m sure I will forget half the names, but a few standout meetings. It was wonderful sitting with and talking with Susanna Kearsley at the bar. I was so excited to hear she would be going and was looking forward to meeting her. Christine was another person I was pumped to meet. It`s funny - it seems you get to know these people so well through blogging and or twitter and then when you meet in person, there is already a well established friendship base (oops - lapsed into mushy again)

Today I went to lunch with some Carina Press people. I was quite excited about this as I have really gotten on board the digital book band wagon and I`ve found some great books at Carina Press.

Angela James is a great speaker. I sat in on a spotlight she did for Carina and she`s charming, friendly and funny.

Getting a chance to chat with Blythe and Lynne from All About Romance was great. I love that site. It was there that I first realized I was not alone and was the first step on my journey that helped lead to where I am today. So meeting up with them is especially meaningful.

Back to yesterday. I went to the literacy signing, but as you may have heard, it was crowded. Beyond crowded. I knew as soon as I went in that I wouldn`t be able to last long - and I didn`t. I could only make it as far as K as far as author rows go so any author I wanted to see with the last name of L and higher was out of luck. Of course, I`m not comfortable at author signings at the best of times. I`m not really an autograph collector unless the author is special for a reason (such as having a cover where the hero resembles Richard Armitage - Michelle Styles I`m talking to you *g*) And I was real excited to get the first book by Ellen Connell. And I picked up one more, a book by Eileen Dreyer I was curious to try. Then I reached my limit. *sigh*

I bought a pair of sandals at Walmart that have turned out to be surprisingly comfortable. That`s always a good thing when walking or standing a lot.

I took the train from Albany to Penn Station and much of the journey was along the Hudson River. As I was looking out the train window, I kept imagining the early settlers and the native people traveling up and down it; the colonial soldiers, this history and damn it all - I want more Colonial Romance!! Thank Goodness we have Pamela Clare, but gosh darn it, we need more authors to write in that genre and for scads and scads of readers to read them. Berkley is reprinting some of Pamela Clare`s historicals and at leas the first one has one heck of a gorgeous cover, so listen to what I say and BUY IT. I need you to help me so we can get more books in this genre. Not to mention she is one of m favourite authors.

I resolve when I get back to not be such a lackadasical blogger as I seem to have become recently.


`til later

Friday, June 17, 2011

Recent Read

Wonderful by Jill Barnett

Why this one: I read all her books before she started writing more Women’s Fiction and loved them. When I saw this one at Kobo ebooks, I couldn’t resist either it or the price. I confess I didn’t remember it from before. It’s been years since I read this book.

Steam Level: While not a lot of steamy scenes, there is definite chemistry

Blurb: For six years Lady Clio has waited for Merrick and once the news arrives that he is returning Cleo makes for Camrose and awaits her husband determined to make up for the years she languished in the convent. Cleo leads the legendary knight a merry chase as she quests for the secrets of -heather ale- a magical beer first made by the Picts. Surrounded by the enchanted mists that circle Camrose Castle the two find themselves involved in an often hilarious battle of wills and passion

My Thoughts: This book is most aptly named as I indeed found it Wonderful. I love a good Medieval (and Western and Time Travel and SciFi/Futuristic and RS and so on and so on) and this makes for a great Medieval. Ms. Barnett writes a good feel for the time and the place and I had a most wonderful time picturing it. Of course the fact that I am totally hooked on Game of Thrones, the series on HBO Sunday nights at 9:00 helps both in picturing it and my desire to read Medievals.

I adore Clio. She’s been waiting longer than she should have for Merrick to show up and she’s pissed and she is going to make him pay for his tardiness. She’s a strong heroine and I got quite the kick out of her “wonderful” plans she comes up with. A lot of readers are fond of Julie Garwood Medievals. I was in the day too, but I can’t read her anymore as her heroines strike me as stupid twits – sorry to Garwood fans, but they do! Clio reminds me of a Garwood heroine but thankfully (really – I’m very thankful) without the twittiness that drives me bonkers about Garwood heroines. Clio does drive Merrick crazy, but in a way I found most amusing. There were more than a few times when I was reading this on my break when I broke out in a snort of laughter and quickly looked around to see if anyone was looking at me strangely. Clio is naïve and innocent, yet she isn’t stupid. She makes Merrick pay for his neglect and you have to love that in a heroine.

Merrrick is also quite a hoot of a character. He is a warrior without a clue as to anything other than battle and battle defenses. But he does have it bad for Clio, though being clueless, he doesn’t figure on letting her know. There is one hilarious scene where he tells her the king should be arriving the next day for their wedding. Not only did he not tell her the king would be there in 24 hours, he neglected to tell her they would be wed soon. When Clio rightly goes ballistic, he is genuinely puzzled as to that the big deal is. I mean the walls were fortified to his specifications, the moat had been filled with poisonous water; he didn’t see what the problem was. The whole scene was very funny and cute and indicative of how clueless Merrick is.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I see it’s gone up in price since I got my copy, but still, if you are a fan of Julie Garwood, Game of Thrones, clueless heroes, adorable not annoyingly adorable, one eyed cats, witches with puffs of dandelion hair, Medievals and oh so many other things, I think you will enjoy this one. Now I’m wanting to reread Wicked and Wild, the next two books in this series.

Grade: 4.50 out of 5

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A long, long overdue post

Our operating system here at work crashed and that pretty much shuts us all down for working. Luckily, the internet is still up and running and I am so due for giving an update.

The son whom we shall call Ryan and the daughter in law to be whom we shall call Kara had their Stag and Doe last weekend. This is only the second one I’ve ever been to. Way back when I got married they didn’t have them and since my youngest is only getting around to getting married and there is no one on the horizon for my oldest son, they just aren’t something I go too. I buy tickets to some of the younger women at work, but I don’t actually go to them.

It was a fascinating thing to attend. Ryan, or so we are calling him, plays rugby or at least he did until he got sidelined due to concussions and a ruptured appendix. So many of his rugby buddies were there. He warned us in advance they were a strange group. And it turned out he was right when towards the end of the evening they all started taking off their shirts. And not long after that some took off their pants too!! Now you would think that would prove irresistible – a group of young men in their 20’s stripped down to almost the very basics. And it might have except for one thing. Most of them were pudgy!! Really, there were love handles and muffin tops abound. One would think rugby players would be in very fine shape, I mean they are athletes after all, playing a very rough sport. So I was very surprised indeed at the shape of them. I kept looking and looking and looking and looking and looking for some six packs, but I didn’t see one. Ryan keeps himself in very good shape and he may have qualified, but he kept his clothes all on. Though he did say at one time in his life he would have been one stripped down. But it seems marriage has matured him. Thank you to the one we will call Kara!

One game they had that stood out among the many was kind of funny though. The accountant son we are calling Ryan wore one of those barkless dog collars around his arm. For paying a certain amount of money, attendees were allowed to press the button and watch him jump. They tried it out before hand and he said it didn’t hurt, but it did make him react a bit. The fiancé we are calling Kara was in charge of the buzzer, so as to protect him from drunken almost naked pudgy rugby players – for the most part. I think they did pay an awful lot to ‘buzz’ him, but Kara had ultimate control. I tried it once. Goodness knows he needed one jolt from his Mama for all the stress he caused over the years, but mother love won out and while I did press the button, I didn’t or couldn’t press it hard enough to make him jump. But it was quite amusing to watch him jump and issue a small yelp at any given time throughout the evening.

I’ve really become fond of the fiancé we shall call Kara’s mother. I don’t know how to tell other people who they are though. I’ve been trying and trying to figure out what to say. My future daughter in laws parents just seems like such a mouthful.

Sorry for the delay. They managed to fix our system so I was forced to work again. Speaking of work, there are big changes in my work like – BIG changes. For almost a year now – minus the 3 months I was off due to the broken leg, I’ve been filling in for a maternity leave. The other person, the new mom we shall call Rebecca is due back July 15 and the plan was I was going to go back to my old position. But the one we are calling Rebecca came in a few weeks ago to visit and talk to HR about her return date and that kind of stuff. The Supportive Care department is located at the back end of the office so we were the last ones she stopped to see. She was telling us she had been asking everyone if anyone was interested in job sharing as besides her new baby, she has 3 more at home. She loves being a mom and what with having all those kidlets to look after, she only wanted to work part time. A job share was perfect as she would know what days she would be working every day. I had thought about doing job sharing a few years ago but while a number of nurses do it, no Client Service Assistants had (that’s my official title) and I never really did much except think it would be nice.

Well just a few days before Rebecca came in Ryan was explaining my financial situation. Apparently it’s pretty good. When Rebecca said she’d had no luck finding someone, everything just clicked in my mind and I said I would be very interested. I had a number of things to check into first such as benefits and can I still pay into the excellent pension plan etc, etc. But after talking things over with Ryan, it seems things will be fine. I said yes to Rebecca. This way I get to stay in Supportive Care, a department I love working in, I can fill in on occasion in the Access department, the one I came from and also enjoyed. As I slowly started telling fellow employees what Rebecca and I were doing, they started asking what I was going to do with my spare time. Again things clicked into place. Ever since Ron died, I’ve really had the urge, even dare I say it, the calling, to help others going through what we did. More specifically, I’ve wanted to be like an advocate for care givers. I could help them in whatever way they needed it, whether someone to talk to, do shopping for, navigate the system since I work right in the system who better, and any other ways I can be of assistance. But I’m older now and too tired to go out at night. Not to mention I don’t want to lose reading and reality TV time – I’m really having a riot tweeting while watching The Voice, SYTYCD, Game of Thrones etc. And I’m too selfish to want to do it on weekends. So while I had the very strong desire to do this, I did have the convenient time. But now with 2 extra days off one week and three the next, I will have time now. And I’m so excited about this new path opening up.

And I don’t know if I’ve actually come out and made it official, but I’m headed to the RWA conference again this year. Alas, Wendy and I won’t be rooming together this year as she is The SuperLibrarian and RWA has recognized this and she is the Librarian of the Year. But Nath and I are going to be roomies. We roomed together last year at RT so I’m really looking forward to seeing her again. As well I’m totally pumped about meeting up with other fellow bloggers. Wendy and I have both commented that even though we only see each other once a year, it’s almost like I just saw her a couple of weeks ago. We romance readers have such a strong bond. And I mean that for both readers and authors since I’m thinking pretty much every author was a reader first.

While I seem to be scarce here in blogland these days, I have been very active on Twitter. You can ‘specially find me there on Sunday nights blogging about Game of Thrones or on Tuesday nights where I’ve been watching/twittering on The Voice. That Adam Levine should win as hottest judge of a reality show! And then of course on Wednesday’s it’s So You Think You Can Dance. Since I got the IPad I’ve been spending more time playing and reading on it.

So, that’s what’s up with me. I keep writing reviews on the slow times at work and emailing them home, but it’s the next step of putting them on the blog where we seem to be having the log jam.

Anyway – that’s what’s going on in my world. I’m hoping I see some of you in a couple of weeks.