And the world is his bed Posted by Picasa

This and that

Well, seems my computer won't all be here until Friday. Power supply should be here Thursday, but really...can't do much with just a power supply.

I meant to really clean up my desk and sort out my books today, but that didn't happen. I really don't know where the day went. It just went. And my desk is still a mess and there are still books lying everywhere. I really do want to clean it all up. And get rid of stuff. I've already put aside a bunch of books in my tbr pile that are wishlisted at PBS so I can get rid of them that way. And I have some books to mail to a few people from BooksLostandFound.

And I need to make sure everything I want and need is backed up since I plan to reformat. I guess there's a way to do it without reformatting, but really, having a clean slate is part of the fun of a new computer.

Mainly that means moving stuff around to folders that actually get backed up each night rather than leaving them on my desktop. And I need to double-check that everything is really getting backed up on Nick's computer. And I should go through my email and pare it down. I'm notorious for forgetting to delete email. So it stacks up and up and up. There are some downsides to large hard drives.

I did order a nice big SD card for the camera. And Lasso the Moon by Beth Ciotta since I wasn't quite sure it would be in the store. Waldenbooks seems to be funky about Medallion Press books, at least around here.

Take Me by Bella Andre

An appetite for sensual pleasures must never be denied...

Lily Ellis has curves -- soft, beautiful curves. The kind of voluptuous body she fears Travis Carson, the man she's always loved from afar, would never crave. But Lily is about to be proven wrong. Her adventure begins when the demure San Francisco interior decorator agrees to model a plus-size dress for her fashion designer sister. Watching this sensual beauty move down the runway, Travis can't believe it's the same Lily he's always known -- and always rejected. In a whirlwind of electric attraction, Lily is soon moaning Travis's name in his bed, not just in her wild fantasies. But Lily is all too aware that she's nothing like his past lovers.

Determined to beat Travis at his own game by guarding her true feelings, Lily partners with him on a business deal that takes them all the way to Italy. In the seductive warmth of the Tuscan sun, Lily plays a game of desire with the hot-blooded Travis. Will she be burned by an all-consuming ecstasy or will Travis open his heart to the sexy, exciting, and lasting love she has to offer?

Well, I actually liked this one. Despite having read the review at AAR before reading it.

Lily has self-esteem issues, but I personally felt they rang true to her character and her interaction with Travis. I'd certainly feel insecure if a man who I'd loved from afar for ages, but he'd always pushed me away, had suddenly expressed interest in me and even professed his love. The story is as much Lily's personal journey to accepting and loving herself as it is her and Travis' relationship.

There are a few things mentioned in the review that I really thought about. There's a line that says "Lily remains insecure long after any sensible woman would have figured out that Travis loved her and thought she was a beauty." I'm sorry, but it can take awhile to figure that out sometimes. Especially when you're overweight and used to standing in the sidelines, trying to be invisible. And the whole jumping to stupid conclusions? Most of it's in her head, and honestly...I felt it fit her character to think those things. Hell, it took me a long time for me to get over my insecurities with my husband and I know he loves me. I'm also been to many boards such as Weight Watchers where I can't say how many times woman have posted about their insecurities regarding themselves and their bodies and their relationships.

So Lily may not be a sensible woman all the time, but really, who is? We may want to be, we may outwardly seem to be, but are we really?

Perhaps some part of the book just resonated with me (obviously) and that's why I glazed over many of the other imperfections in the book. It's not perfect, but I did like it alot.

Tax Time! - and a new computer

Well, our taxes are done and will be mailed off tomorrow. And with the refund...a new computer for me. Well, most of a new computer. I don't need a new case, or a new hard drive (already have a nice Seagate), or cd-rom drives, or keyboard/mouse. But I did get new guts. :-) So sometime later this week UPS will be bringing me a new AMD Opteron dual-core processor (my old AMD t-bird is over 5 years old and still running strong, so I like AMD), new videocard, more RAM (bringing it up to a gig), and a new motherboard. Which basically translates to a whole new computer. A whole new FASTER computer. Thanks, Nick.

Oh...and the cat has finally decided it likes the bed I bought when we first got him. Er, helped along with a little catnip, of course. But the catnip is gone and he still loves to sleep in it.

I have some reviews I need to work on for here.

Memory in Death by JD Robb actually get a Nicole blurb on this one.

It's Christmas time in New York. Things are winding down and Eve's complaining about having to buy gifts for people, etc. The usual. Eve and Peabody are working a case where Santa took a nosedive off a highrise while high on drugs. When Eve is back at the station, a woman comes into her office claiming to be her mother. Make that her foster mother. Eve's upset and tells the woman she wants nothing to do with her and Eve runs off. Then the next day the woman turns up at Roarke Enterprises trying to blackmail Roarke for two million dollars. If he doesn't pay up, she'll leak Eve's sealed child protection file to the media. Basically he tells her he's not paying her a dime and that if she does anything to him, he'll make sure she disappears. Then...she ends up dead.

Again, I really enjoyed this entry into the In Death series. It's not as fast-paced as some, but deals more with Eve and her relationships with Roarke and others. It's more mystery than mayhem, but still interesting. I liked how Eve and Roarke interacted and it's nice to see how they've changed. Not much Mavis here, but she's only has a month left til the baby. Makes me suspect that maybe the short story in the next antho may deal with it. I mean...we do need to see how Roarke and Eve deal with those classes. *g*

More about Mira and her husband, Peabody and whatshisname, and then Eve's past. All in all another good book. We even got Galahad in reindeer ears. now I have to wait for the next book. Hmph.

It's been awhile

So here's another Gambit picture.

I had a weak moment in SuperTarget

So I went to SuperTarget this morning after bringing in Nick's car for an oil change and general checkup. Got some rotisserie chicken that I just finished having for supper and a few other things. And of course since I was by myself, I wandered into the books section. And there it was on an endcap in all its colorful glory.

Honest...I couldn't resist. Even though I was in line to get it from the library (of which the first round of a dozen books of it are already checked out). And of course I started it. Over half done and am really enjoying it. It's a bit slower pace than others, not as much blood and gore and more focus on Eve and Roarke, though there is just as much investigative stuff as always. is good. And nothing was wrong with the car, either. Yippee. Now to PetSmart to get more kitty toys and look at the automatic kitty feeder (not to buy, oh no, Nick is going to build his own. he just wants to know what he's up against).

Crazy For You by Jennifer Crusie

Book blurb from Crusie's site:
Quinn McKenzie has always lived what she calls a “beige” life. She’s dating the world’s nicest guy, she had a good job as a high school art teacher, she’s surrounded by family and friends who rely on her, and she’s bored to the point of insanity. But when Quinn decides to changes her life by adopting a stray dog over everyone’s objections, everything begins to spiral out of control. Now she’s coping with dog-napping, breaking and entering, seduction, sabotage, stalking, more secrets than she really wants to know, and two men who are suddenly crazy...for her. I'd never actually read Crusie before this book. I'd gotten Fast Women from somewhere, but I couldn't get into it. It's still sitting on my shelf. But I really liked Crazy For You. All the characters were so fun and I kept wanting to know what on earth Bob would do next. And Quinn and Nick...*sigh* I just really enjoyed this book. Laughed out loud many times. Good thing to know I actually like her writing since I pre-ordered Don't Look Down. Well, I already knew I liked Bob Mayer's writing, so I suppose I had a 50% chance I'd like it.

Now I have Bet Me to read next. I held up Welcome to Temptation and Bet Me up to my husband since I couldn't choose and he chose Bet Me. So that's next. Well, not next book, but next Crusie. At least it's now on my bedside table, so hopefully I'll get to it soon.

I'm here....sorta

Well...seems I blew by my one year blogiversary (was yesterday) without a post. Oops.

This last week has been rather hellish. Well, sort of. Perhaps stressful is the right word. Some of it deals with stuff I unloaded on Jay one evening. And perhaps I'll blog about it later. Nothing to do with books and probably TMI for many people, but it certainly fucked up most of the first half of the week. I'm pretty sure I'm over it, but the whole not knowing part was not fun. my first Crusie book and liked it. I need to blog about that. And read a few others that I hope to blog about.

And another thing....don't read emotional books right before calling your husband about something important. You might sound a bit choked up and freak him out. Another oops.

So...bye for now. I'm feeling a bit bitchy and irritable and want to go sit down with a book. And some caffeine. And maybe the cat will join me too.

Books and Music!

Can't get much better than that! Valentine's Day weekend is going to be loaded for us. We already had the Nine Inch Nails concert to go to, but last night we found out that Seether will be in another town in Iowa (opposite direction out of town from the NIN one, of course). And then I realized that the Seether concert is on the same day as a book signing that I'd seen mentioned on Kathleen Bacus' website. Susan Fox is supposed to be there, too, I think. So, booksigning and then music!

Strictly Taboo by Jaid Black

Jaid Black's Strictly Taboo has three short stories that happen in the past, present, and future. The last is a part of her Trek Mi Q'an series and had been released previously in Things that Go Bump in the Night 1 from Ellora's Cave, but that anthology is now out of print. It has been reworked for its reissue.

Imagine surrendering yourself to the last man you'd ever trust—but the only man who can satiate your desire. here are three beautiful, daring women who find themselves succumbing to the forbidden, overpowering passion ignited by their archenemies. Set in three different worlds—the past, the present, and the future—these stories will take you way beyond your wildest imagination and into your most sensuous fantasies...

"Take you way beyond your wildest imagination and into your most sensuous fantasies"? I think not. Ultimately, this book just took me into boredom and I'm not quite sure why I slogged through it. Maybe because although the first story is just plain bad, I didn't mind the second and the last is another Trek Mi Q'an story (complete with "man sac"). And well, I figured I'd blog about it. It was a library book and I'm quite pleased I didn't spend money on it.

The first story is Barbarian. It's supposed to be set in Chippenham, Wessex in 878 A.D. and has Vikings invading the stronghold and home of Lady Elen of Godeuart. Her brothers Lothar and Louis are defended their home and when Louis is mortally wounded and Lothar slightly less so, she rallies the slaves to fight back with burning pitch thrown on the invading Vikings. When the Vikings leave, she hopes it is for good. But of course it isn't.

Ivar Hrolf, one of the Vikings in the siege, is enraged that they were beaten by a woman and vows to take the woman as his slave and give Chippenham over to his leader. So he does. And takes Elen as his slave and shows her the pleasures of the Viking heathens. Blah blah blah. And falls in love with her. blah blah blah. She runs away. blah blah blah He thinks she's a conniving bitch. blah blah blah. They reunite, she realizes he loves her and she loves him. And they live happily ever after.

Really...there's not actually that much erotic romance here. Nor much romance, to be honest. Yes, they end up married in the end, but I didn't get how they were supposed to have fallen in love. Maybe lust. Blech, it was just a bad story. The characters had no real substance, even for a novella. Elen's the virgin who doesn't understand what the big bad barbarian is doing to her body, but man does it feel good, and Ivar is the heathen Viking who falls in love with his captive slave. And of course before he meets her he was getting sick of just having sex with a different woman each night. How...typical.

Nemesis is the second story and actually wasn't too bad. Diane Sullivan had left her Indiana small town to head to Hollywood to be an actress. All she got out of that was bit parts, a daughter, and loads of bills. So in order to get the money to move back home for a better life, she takes a job on the Carnal Voyage for a week. The ship is a luxury cruise for men to have a wild time and ogle the women (who are all naked, of course). Diane figures she can suck it up for the money since no one will ever know. Until Garek Ennis (Ennis the Menace to her back home) shows up.

Garek was a star football player who has recently been told his shattered knee has sidelined his career. His best friend has convinced him to take this cruise to get his mind off things. When he spies Diane, he remembers how much he lusted after her in high school, though he never let on to anyone. So he decides that she's going to be in no one's bed but his.'s not a bad contemporary romance. Again, it's erotic, but not over the top as I kinda was expecting. Perhaps it seems better than it really is just in comparison to the first story, but who knows.

The last story is Naughty Nancy. In it, Nancy Lombardo has shed forty pounds and is finally showing off her new figure in a Xena costume at a Halloween party a friend is giving. She's determined to get laid. She comes across a freaky witchy woman right before the party who says soemthing about hardship and love, but she brushes it off. Then later when Nancy takes a break for some air at the party, she finds herself meeting the witch again, who blows some stuff in her eyes and next thing Nancy knows, she's stuck in a silver nest in the middle of some icy mountains.

Naughty Nancy is....rather slapstick-y funny. Hopefully it was intended as so, because I'd be very afraid if it was meant to be serious. I mean, how serious can you get when the phrase "man sac" is used several times? And there's the mistaken identity by a hormonally horny young gargoyle/alien...

Again, it's a rather thin story that's more interesting for its weirdness than for its erotic romance. Frankly, it's not very romantic. Funny, and has sex, but not a lot of actual romance.

All in all, if I was grading this story, it would probably get a D+. It just fails to be either erotic or romantic. So save your money, or at the very least, get it from the library like I did.

And oh, I checked the reviews at Amazon for it. 5 stars from Harriet who actually gets much of the plot WRONG.

Calamity Jayne by Kathleen Bacus



Tressa Jayne Turner has had it up to here with the never ending string of dumb-blonde jokes and her longtime nickname that's harder to get rid of than the lint from a belly button. Crowned "Calamity Jayne" by Iowa Department of Natural Resources officer Rick Townsend, Tressa's out to gain a little hometown respect—or die trying. Unfortunately for Tressa, that may be the case. She's just been handed the perfect opportunity to get "Ranger Rick," the doubting Don Juan of the DNR, and a skeptical citizenry to finally take her seriously. How? By solving a murder no one else believes happened... No one, that is, except the killer.

Yup, Calamity Jayne is in it up to her hot pink snakeskin cowgirl boots and matching rhinestone belt—and it's a matter of life and death, respect and reputation, love, happiness and the whole shebang. Tressa would tell you her momma never raised no dummies, but the jury's still out on that one. And as she learned in her work at the Dairee Freeze: Sometimes life hands you a big, sloppy ice cream cone.
You just have to know how to lick it.

Calamity Jayne is just pure fun. Once I started it, I couln't put it down and in fact, read and finished it the same day I bought it. And now I have to wait til the middle of the year to get the next book in the series. Woe is me.

It's told in the first person, but that fits since it reads a lot like a mystery. There's romance here, don't doubt that, but Calamity Jayne is the first in a series, a real series with continuing characters, and so the romance here is just budding. I actually didn't mind not getting into Rick's head, since not knowing made you feel just like Tressa—confused, bemused, and wondering just what was going on, yet definitely wanting more.

The mystery is good, and you really don't get the "dumb cop" aspect of some, since there really isn't much evidence that there's anything going on. And of course, there's Tressa's reputation.

Tressa's definitely a unique character. Her character fits that of a young woman working dead-end jobs in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. Hey, she even had dogs and horses. And they aren't forgotten about as the story progresses. It was a little thing, but I liked it. She just felt real to me.

The story is humorous, so that humor might not be for everyone, but I still definitely recommend this one. It's a lot of fun. Just remember that it is the first in a series, so don't expect declarations of love and marriage at the end. But it is a romance series, so you just know somewhere down the line...

So... Calamity Jayne by Kathleen Bacus. Go read it. It's fun.

Oh, and the author name on the cover? My print copy says Kathleen Bacus, not K.C. Must have been a last minute change since all the on-line places had K.C.

The Trouble With Magic by Madelyn Alt

Double, double, toil and murder...

Bringing a little culture to Stony Mill, Indiana, Enchantments is one of the area’s finest antique stores. But shop clerk Maggie O’Neill and her employer Felicity Dow do more than conjure up curios for the locals—they each possess a talent for spellbinding sleuthing . . .

Bored with her office job, Maggie jumps at the opportunity to work at Enchantments. She was a little weirded out when Felicity described herself as a witch, but if her boss wants to play with broomsticks and cauldrons, where’s the harm? However, Maggie’s first day on the job may turn out to be her last when Police question Felicity in the murder of her estranged sister.

With everyone in town proclaiming Felicity’s guilt faster than the Salem Witch trials, Maggie finds herself wondering if she’ll also be tied to the stake. And lately, she’s been receiving messages on a spiritual frequency guiding her to prove Felicity’s innocence—and to embrace her own "charmed" life...

I really enjoyed this mystery. It's the first in a new series called A Bewitching Mystery. It's got small-town charm, but also deals with the prejudices that can come with small-town communities. Maggie O'Neill finds herself drawn to Enchantments, an antique shop in a trendy part of town and the owner, Felicity Dow, offers her a job. Very fortuitous, considering Maggie loses her job that very day. Felicity is a witch, as in follower of Wicca, and also a member of a group that documents paranormal activity in their area of Indiana. Maggie is Catholic and has her doubts about things that go bump in the night, but she's relatively open-minded, unlike many others in the town. Don't worry, it's not a preachy book and I actually really liked how it handled things. Maggie's a skeptic for most of the book, but in a realistic way. If you like cozy mysteries, I recommend The Trouble With Magic by Madelyn Alt.

I think if you like a bit of paranormal in your mystery, you'll want to pick this one up. It's very different from, say, Victoria Laurie's Abby Cooper series, but the matter-of-fact way both handle the paranormal aspects of their stories is similar. Now I can't wait for the next book.

Just to tide you over

Since I haven't finished a book since...Monday, I think I'll give you a post of things to do until I find more things to talk about. Like the books I'll have finished.

The Worst Jobs in History

125 Questions: What Don't We Know?

Hel Looks

Stuff On My Cat

Mean Kitty

Women of Our Time

So...there you go. Enjoy.

And to the vet we went...

Yup, that's right. Another vet visit for Gambit. Seems the amoxicillin was giving him an unfortunate (and disgusting) side effect. When I called in this morning about it, the vet asked to see him this afternoon. So I bundled up Gambit into the kitty carrier and off we went. All of like four blocks. The vet is quite close.

He did really well this time. Was cool, calm, and collected. Even the vet remarked on how well-behaved he was. Only miaowed when the vet took his temp. Cuz well, we all know how vets take kitty temps. Poor guy. Well, his temperature is back to normal which is good. And his weight has been maintained. He's all of nine pounds. So he gets to go off the amoxicillin and just let the rest of his "cold" run its course.

I was going to take a picture of him lying on my desk, but he ran as soon as I grabbed the camera.

On other news...well, there really isn't any other news. Things have been quiet.

The Secret Wedding Dress by Roz Denny Fox

I got this book as a win from the Harlequin Open House party last month. It's not something I probably would have picked up myself, but I actually like it quite a bit.

Book blurb from Roz Denny Fox's site:
Sylvie Shea has lived most of her 26 years Briarwood, North Carolina. She did live briefly in New York City, dreaming of becoming the next top wedding gown designer. Something happened there that ruined her chances, soured her on men, and sent her running back to live in a home left to her by her grandparents. Although Sylvie no longer designs wedding gowns, rumors swirl of a secret gown she’s designed and every bride wants it. No one has seen it; some think it’s a myth and doesn’t exist.

Cartoonist Joel Mercer arrives from Atlanta with his daughter, Rianne after his ex returned to that city. Doubting a sleepy town like Briarwood will provide enough fodder to keep his strip alive, Joel thinks he’ll quit and find a job. His boss cajoles him to continue his wildly successful syndicated strip depicting singles life.

Joel has several encounters with his odd next door neighbor, Sylvie Shea. A lummox dog she’s keeping is forever terrorizing Rianne’s poor cat. His weird dressing neighbor never seems at a loss for dates with guys who drive hot cars that Joel envies. He’s intrigued by the rumors floating around town about The Dress.

His fertile mind begins to weave the dress owner into his strip. Joel’s boss loves the hilarious episodes he pens of a country cousin who brings a half-finished wedding dress to the big city—presumably in search of a groom.

When Joel’s daughter begins to spend more time with Sylvie, a very different woman emerges from the one he’s drawn. Too late, Joel Mercer discovers that fictionalizing Sylvie Shea in his cartoon strip was a huge mistake. The big question is can he recover and convince all of Briarwood that he loves Sylvie?

I'd say if you're looking for a straightforward heart-warming contemporary romance, this one definitely works. Even the kids who are in the story didn't bother me at all, which surprised me. There's a large cast of characters from the small town, but all are different enough that I never got confused. Both main characters have interesting occupations that impact the story. It's not often you see a cartoonist for a hero and have his job actually involved in the plot. And I thought Sylvie's reaction at what Joel had done rang true. And the grovel? And the ending? So sweet and perfect.

This was just a thoroughly cute story and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it.


There is not "I" in "team, but there is a "cat" in "medicate". - the dear husband

Gambit survived his dose of amoxicillin this early morning before Nick went off to work. Now he's sticking his paw in my practically empty yogurt container to lick off the dregs. So my cat likes yogurt. And I heard he was sitting on my placemat on the table when Nick came out to the kitchen this morning. *sigh*

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

I got a slew of 2006 books from the library and this was one of them. Quite an entertaining read.


Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two -- and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather's perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York's top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather's residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the result of reckless youthful mischief. But Heather knows teenage girls . . . and girls do not elevator surf. Yet no one wants to listen -- not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives -- even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways. So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!

But her new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal. And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong . . .

I'm not quite sure how to categorize this book, so it's going as a Cozy/Chick Lit Mystery in my spreadsheet. Seeing as I enjoy reading those, I enjoyed this one, too. Heather Wells may be a former teen singer, but that just makes her all the more entertaining and unique. She's not a whiny brat and doesn't really do anything TSTL in the book, thank goodness. The mystery is...on par with a cozy, not too gory or complicated, but just right. There's no real romance here, though there's a love interest and a former lover/pop star in the picture. I have to say I'm glad I picked it up from the library, but I think that I wouldn't have minded having spent money on it, had I done so. It's a light, fun mystery with fun amateur sleuth.

I also had to laugh every time she had to correct herself when calling her workplace a dorm instead of a residence hall. I definitely remember that from college. Some might find it annoying, but it did ring true for me. Oh, and anyone worrying about her complaining about her size...don't. She doesn't obsess about it.

The next one isn't going to be out until next January. Geez, I have to wait that long? And another one after that, according to the back of the book.

No more silence

Thank you, Alison!

Alison had a link to on her blog. I hadn't actually clicked on it until last night, but's addicting. And such a great way to find new music!

And the further adventures of Gambit: One knocked over kitchen garbage can and an empty treat can were on the floor this morning. Treat can HAD been closed and on the kitchen table the night before. He's been sleeping all day. Hmm...might it be the combination of being sick and overeating?? So treats are now in the same un-openable container that the food is in. *sigh* I think he'll have our house more clean than ever just to be keeping things out of his mouth.

We did succeed in medicating him again this morning. At least he doesn't hold a grudge.

My kitty has a cold.

Poor Gambit. Late Thursday night he started sneezing. Then sneezed all day yesterday and was rather lethargic. He slept most of the day. Then this morning he didn't even eat all of his scoop that I'd given him earlier. So we called the vet and got in because of a cancellation.

He's running a fever, but got a shot that should break it by tonight. Poor guy.

But omg...we have to give him Amoxicillin TWICE a day for a WEEK. Can you say difficult and nigh on impossible? It's the pink liquid stuff. Poor Gambit. He hates when his face is handled.

Uff da.

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

So I went to the gym yesterday afternoon in my pursuit of, well, getting in shape. But I needed a book. And I didn't feel like reading a romance. So, I kept remembering that BJ kept telling me to read Tess Gerritsen's books and I did have the first Rizzoli book on my tbr pile. So The Surgeon came with me. It was quite good and made the half-hour on the treadmill go by pretty quickly.

Blurb from Gerritsen's site:
He slips into their homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, unaware of the horrors they soon will endure. The precision of the killer's methods suggests he is a deranged man of medicine, propelling the Boston newspapers and the frightened public to name him "The Surgeon."

The cops' only clue rests with another surgeon, the victim of a nearly identical crime. Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell fought back and killed her attacker before he could complete his assault. Now she hides her fears of intimacy behind a cool and elegant exterior and well-earned reputation as a top trauma surgeon.

Cordell's careful façade is about to crack as this new killer re-creates, with chilling accuracy, the details of Cordell's own ordeal. With every new murder he seems to be taunting her, cutting ever closer, from her hospital to her home. Her only comfort comes from Thomas Moore, the detective assigned to the case. But even Moore cannot protect Cordell from a brilliant hunter who somehow understands-and savors-the secret fears of every woman he kills.

I enjoyed the book. It's fast-paced and intense. I did figure out where they'd find the killer in the beginning and wondered why they didn't check out that earlier since it seemed obvious that that was what tied them all together, but I still enjoyed the story. I wouldn't say it's the best I've ever read, it's a fairly average medical/police thriller, but I will definitely read more in the series.

Angie's TBR Challenge: The Bride Wore Chocolate by Shirley Jump

Title: The Bride Wore Chocolate

Author: Shirley Jump

Year published: August 2004

Why did you get this book? It was from a giveaway.

Do you like the cover? Yes

Did you enjoy the book? Yes, I laughed out loud several times.

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? The author isn't new to me, although this was the first single title book I've read from her. I'll read her again. I have the sequel to this book on my to-be-read pile.

Are you keeping it or passing it on? Passing it on after I photocopy the recipes inside. I loved them!

Anything else? I really liked the story here even though it's not original or anything new. It's just a sweet and funny story that was loads of fun to read. It's also nice and straightforward, without too much to take away from the main romance. I liked that about it. And no setups for future books, even though I know they will be related in some way.

Thanks, Angie, for giving me the impetus to read this book.

A Taste of Things to Come (no covers this time)

So here's the list of books I'll be on the lookout for:

The Hunt by Allison Brennan (Jan. 31 officially)
Crazy Wild by Tara Janzen (Jan. 31)
Lasso the Moon by Beth Ciotta
Bad Boys Ahoy! by Sylvia Day
Jewel of Atlantis by Gena Showalter (only if I read at least one of the other books I have of hers)
Delicious by Susan Mallery (only if I read and like Falling for Gracie) - cute website she has, too
Goddess of the Rose by P.C. Cast
Crescent Moon by Lori Handeland

The Naked Marquis by Sally MacKenzie (maybe, it's only going to be $4.99, I think)
The Kill by Allison Brennan (Feb. 28)
Crazy Kisses by Tara Janzen (Feb. 28)
Touch of Evil by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
Perfect Weapon by Amy. J. Fetzer - someone needs to tell her to update her site!
The Lighthorseman by Marjorie Jones (historical set in Australia)
Quiet as the Grave by Kathleen O'Brien - I loved Happily Never After from last year
Beauty and the Spy by Julie Anne Long (love the cover)
Your Big Break by Johanna Edwards (I really liked The Next Big Thing)
Wolf at the Door by Christine Warren
Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward (only if I read and like Dark Lover)
Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase (only if I read and like Mr. Impossible)
The Kiss by Elda Minger (I like the cover)
Deep, Dark, Dangerous by Jaid Black (probably used)
Three Little Secrets by Liz Carlyle (Mar. 21)
Sword of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor (iffy, start of new series, I think)(Mar. 28)
Bump in the Night by J.D. Robb and others (Mar. 28)

In Enemy Hands by Michelle Perry
The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James (already pre-ordered)
Sighs Matter by Marianne Stillings (only if I read the one of hers I have and like it)
Dates from Hell (already pre-ordered)
Parallel Attraction by Deidre Knight
When Good Things Happen to Bad Boys by HelenKay Dimon, Erin McCarthy, and Lori Foster
Deep Breath by Alison Kent (already pre-ordered)
Hide in Plain Sight by Michele Albert (April 25th)

Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights by Kyra Davis (only if I read the other book and like it)
Date Me, Baby, One More Time by Stephanie Rowe (I love the cover)
The Comeback Kiss by Lani Diane Rich (only if I read and enjoy the books of hers I already have)
Code Name: Blondie by Christina Skye (because I just can't not get it)
Animal Instincts by Gena Showalter (again, only if I actualy read and enjoy all the other books I hers I have on my shelf)
Midnight Secrets by Jennifer St. Giles (only if I read and enjoy Mistress of Trevalyon)
Megan's Mark by Lora Leigh
Captives of the Night by Loretta Chase (only if I read Mr. Impossible and like it)
Big Trouble by Marianna Jameson
Love is All You Need by Lori Devoti
And Able by Lucy Monroe
Drop Dead, Gorgeous by MaryJanice Davidson
Ghost Hunter by Jayne Castle (may 30)(they're sorta a guilty pleasure)

The Shadow by Shelley Munro
Seduced by the Night by Robin T. Popp (I love the cover)
Love is in the Heir by Kathryn Caskie
The Sea King by Jolie Mathis (viking historical)
Dark Need by Lynn Viehl
Crazy Love by Tara Janzen (Jun 27)
Whispers in the Night by Lydia Joyce (Jun 30)(only if I read Veil of Night and like it)

On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn
A Bite to Remember by Lynsay Sands
Angel with Attitude by Michelle Rowen (need more info)
Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta (need more info)
Thrill Me to Death by Roxanne St. Claire (Jul. 25)

Your Bed or Mine? by Candy Halliday (need more info)
Major Crush by Jennifer Echols (need more info)
High Stakes: A Tale of Vegas Vampires by Erin McCarthy

Errr...there are a lot of books coming out. And I'm sure this list is not complete

Gambit's Late-Night Snack

There are now two bricks in the bottom of my kitchen garbage can. Why, you ask?

Because a certain member of this family saw the chicken carcass go in and not come out and then decided sometime last night that it would make a wonderful snack. And how to get to that chicken? Why knock the garbage can over, of course.

Luckily there wasn't much of a mess. Nick actually had it all cleaned up by the time he woke me before he went to work. Silly cat.

Of course, first thing I thought of when Nick told me was that I hoped Gambit was okay and didn't choke on any bones. Stupid cat. Luckily he seems fine.

I *gasp* pre-ordered some books

I never pre-order books. never. I just don't. So what do I do with the Amazon gift certificate I got for Christmas from my parents? I buy April books.

So coming to me in what seems a very long time from now are these books:

Oh the wait...

Hump Day

Well, Nick's two-week vacation ended as he went back to work this morning. Hope it's going well.

Need to run errands today. Oh yay. Bank, pharmacy, bookstore (okay, so this one should be fun, will tell you later what I buy), and I was planning to go to the gym, but maybe I'll give today off (I did go yesterday and Monday) and go the rest of the week.

Finished reading It Happened One Autumn last night and almost wanted to cry when I realized the next book isn't out until the end of next month. Will blog about it later. Oh I can't wait for Evie and St. Vincent in the Devil in Winter. And to think, these are the only two Lisa Kleypas books I've ever read. Yes, Kristie, I will read that other one sometime this year. I promise.

Also started my contemporary romance for Angie's TBR Challenge. I'm reading The Bride Wore Chocolate by Shirley Jump. So far it's quite good. I might count some tbr Blazes, too.

And because there are never too many pictures of Gambit:

Feed me!

Someone is seriously vexed that we are following the vet's order to have only 1/4 cup of food twice a day. Dirty looks, pathetic looks, "follow me" tactics....poor guy.

Oh, Gambit went to the vet yesterday. All good. Got a vaccination for FIP and an appt. for boosters in two weeks.

And of course he did NOT behave. *g* No biting, but he's quite the frisky guy when he wants to be. And of course he's now on Science Diet and the above-mentioned food amounts.

Update: Apparently Gambit got fed by BOTH of us at different times this morning. Sneaky kitty.

2005 Books: Year in Review

Since so many other bloggers have done this, I figure it's finally my turn. I had no reading resolutions for the year, unless you count my goal of keeping track of books read. Now, I only counted books I actually finished, not ones I skimmed or read part of. Just the ones where I read the whole thing. And I ended up with 271 books read. I'm pretty sure it's a fairly accurate count, though I may have missed an ebook or two.

Favorites (in no particular order and I may have not added some):

Sit, Stay, Slay by Linda O. Johnston
Survivor in Death by J.D. Robb
Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu
The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards
Police Business by Julie Miller
Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
Summer in the City of Sails by Shelley Munro
Storm Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
Hellsing Vol. 1 by Kohta Hirano
The Givenchy Code by Julie Kenner
Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy
Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner
The Charm School by Susan Wiggs
Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson
The Moon Witch by Linda Winstead Jones
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
Origin in Death by J.D. Robb
With or Without You by Carole Matthews
The Funeral Planner by Lynn Isenberg
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn (reread)
Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
Seventy-Seven Clocks by Christopher Fowler
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
The Naked Truth by Amy J. Fetzer
Crazy Hot by Tara Janzen
Ghosts in the Snow by Tamara Siler Jones
Shadow Touch by Marjorie M. Liu
and the twenty-some Doc Savage books I read this year. Loved them all.

Most disappointed in:
Sins of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Most disliked:
At Her Service by Shari Anton

And...bleh, I'm not sure what else to put here. It was a good reading year. Not too many clunkers, but a fair number of average/above average reads.
Daily Dose of Gambit Posted by Picasa

Books read in December 2005

Well, here are the books I read in December 2005:

The Greek's Christmas Baby by Lucy Monroe
Fascination by Samantha Hunter - good, enough that I bought the next in the series
Winter Moon by Lackey, Lee, and Murphy - decent enough
A Singular Lady by Megan Frampton
The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey
Lord Stanhope's Proposal by Jessica Benson - I really enjoyed this one
Til There Was U by Dianne Castell
Touched by Venom by Janine Cross
A Vision of Murder by Victoria Laurie - good, I like this series and will definitely buy the next.
Viscount Vagabond by Loretta Chase - pretty good Regency
Dying in Style by Elaine Viets - average cozy mystery, but fun
Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen by Alton Brown - great fun and informative!
The Prey by Allison Brennan - really good romantic suspense, definitely buying the next ones
The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook - good fantasy, will buy the sequel
Shadow Touch by Marjorie M. Liu
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun - listened to the unabridged audiobook on the way to North Dakota, so I'm counting it as read.

16...and the year's total was 271.

Shadow Touch by Marjorie M. Liu

Back cover copy cuz I'm too lazy to do a synopsis:
Elena Baxter can work miracles with her ahnds. She can coax bones to knit, flesh to heal. She can mend the mind. She has been doing such work for almost all of her twenty-eight years. That is why she will be taken.

The media called it a rampage of terror, the recent murders. But fighting crime is why Artur Loginov joined Dirk & Steele. The international detective agency specializes in the impossible, and their creed is simple: Help those in need, no matter how difficult, no matter what, keep the secret safe. For the aency helps its employees, too; people like Artur—the gifted, the tormented. Dirk & Steele gave the Russian émigré purpose, protection, community...and refuge from his past, for who can trust a man who can start a fire with his mind, or shape-shift, or read others' thoughts as easy as drawing breath? For his similar talent, Artur will be taken.

Into the darkness Elena and Artur will be drawn, into the clutches of evil. Cornered, isolated, caged, they will fight for their very souls. But salvation awaits. It exists in a form least expected: a dream of a face, a brush of a mind, the hint of a kiss, and finally, at long last...a shadow touch.

I must say, I really enjoyed this book. There are definitely some evil characters in this book that I really hoped would die a slow, painful death. I like a book that can get my emotions involved. And this one has. Artur and Elena are great together. She's a strong woman, although she hadn't realized how much until now. It's like she's Artur's other half, the one woman who can handle his past and banish the shadows in his mind. Quite literally, in fact.

I also loved the descriptions of how each ability worked. You really get a sense of what's going on and how each character perceives what they do. Not that Shadow Touch doesn't raise questions, because it most certainly does. There's a whole new crazy world out there and I for one can't wait to read more about it.

The action here is intense, even the scenes in the lab will have you on the edge of your seat. There are some very unpredictable characters and more than a few psychopaths. Hmm..I'm not quite sure what would be considered spoilers and what wouldn't. Suffice to say Artur and Elena have been captured by the Consortium, a group that was hinted at in the end of Tiger Eye. The leader of the Consortium is one crazy, yet powerful person. She thrives on pain and has captured others like Elena and Artur and they are experimented upon, as well as tortured. Yeah, it's intense and makes you wonder how they'll ever get free. And then save the world. Cuz you know the world is in danger. That's a given.

Again, it reminds me of X-Men and other comics of that nature (I didn't read as much X-Men when I discovered Wildstorm titles, though I still love the characters). Definitely in a good way, though. Which is probably why I plunked down the $7.99 on her X-Men novel, Dark Mirror, too.

Marjorie M. Liu has one hell of an imagination and I hope her editors let it soar. I can't wait to see what she will come up with next. The end of Shadow Touch has a satisfying ending for Artur and Elena (this is a romance after all, that's no spoiler), but she shows us more of the world she's built and more of the major players who are pulling the strings. Something big is on the horizon.

So...if you liked Tiger Eye, you'll want to immediately grab this one. January 31st, people. Buy it! And if you didn't like Tiger Eye, I'd still recommend giving her another try with this one. It's one really good book.

And doesn't Gambit look cute up there?

Happy New Year!

Well, another year has come and gone. I do plan to do a rundown of what I read this past year, but I need to really look at my list. I did read a ton of books this last year, not sure how I'd top it this year. Of course, now I get to bombard you with cat pictures, too.

Now I need to do a review of Shadow Touch.