I *heart* my library, and other things

It's quiet here now. Gambit woke me up at ten to seven this morning, but I had trouble sleeping last night so I threw (okay, gently dropped) him into the office so I could get some more sleep. So I woke up at 7:30. Just that half hour really helped.

Ah...on to the library and the books I put on hold. The library very nicely puts in some books into the system as ON-ORDER, so we can put them on hold before they come out. So these are now in queue for me:

Dirty Laundry by Tori Carrington
The Marriage Spell by Mary Jo Putney
Shiver by Lisa Jackson
Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot
Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Undead and Unpopular by MaryJanice Davidson
Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund
The Baby Merchant by Kit Reed
The Cinderella Pact by Susan Strohmeyer
Cover of Night by Linda Howard (trying to expand my horizons)
Captive of My Desires by Johanna Lindsey (eh, it's Drew Anderson and the daughter of a pirate friend of the Malorys)

And I learned that Wolf Tales by Kate Douglas was on order too. Huh? No other Aphrodisia books. Hmph.

Note to self

Don't kiss the cat on the head after you've just either licked your lips or applied lip gloss.


Fun site of the day (or week or month)

I found this while browsing my library's website.

NYPL Digital Gallery

It's great fun to browse through.

Books, attacks, and lessons learned

Yesterday was an interesting day. Still happy over hearing from Half-Price Books about an interview (which will be tomorrow, Thursday) and I picked up The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James from SuperTarget. No matter that I pre-ordered the book in January. So I canceled that part of the book order.

Now...I cancel ONE book and they move my order back ANOTHER couple days. So I'm not supposed to have my books until the middle of April. *cry* I want Don't Look Down and Deep Breath NOW. Not in three weeks.

And I got attacked in the shower last night. I now have two long scratches on my right arm. And how was I attacked?

By the cat? No.
By my husband? No.
By some masked stranger (who was NOT my husband ala House last night) ? No.
By my shower pouf? Yes.

And I learned that sometimes what you think is coming out of your mouth isn't what the other person thinks. And when you think you're saying something half in jest, but it doesn't sound that way, instead you sound rather mad? That can kill a moment faster than cold water. Lesson learned there. Marriage is definitely an ongoing learning experience.

And the Worlds of Honor anthology? Made me cry. I'm almost done, but I've enjoyed it so far. Even though I only read one Honor Harrington book years and years and years ago.

Some interesting upcoming SF/Fantasy/Paranormal covers

I especially love the Witchling cover. Can't wait for that book to come out. And Retrieval. That's another cool one.

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

It's all Bookseller Chick's fault. I'd never read a Christopher Moore book before, but when she got all sqeee-y about this one, I had to try it. Luckily my library had it right on the release date, so I got it pretty fast. Yeah, have I mentioned how much I love my library? Anyways...

Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy. A little hapless, somewhat neurotic, sort of a hypochondriac. He's what's known as a Beta Male: the kind of fellow who makes his way through life by being careful and constant -- you know, the one who's always there to pick up the pieces when the girl gets dumped by the bigger/taller/stronger Alpha Male.

But Charlie's been lucky. He owns a building in the heart of San Francisco, and runs a secondhand store with the help of a couple of loyal, if marginally insane, employees. He's married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy. And she, Rachel, is about to have their first child.

Yes, Charlie's doing okay for a Beta. That is, until the day his daughter, Sophie, is born. Just as Charlie -- exhausted from the birth -- turns to go home, he sees a strange man in mint-green golf wear at Rachel's hospital bedside, a man who claims that no one should be able to see him. But see him Charlie does, and from here on out, things get really weird. . . .

People start dropping dead around him, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death. It's a dirty job. But hey, somebody's gotta do it.

Ahh...I had so much fun reading this book. And in the beginning, reading sections aloud to Nick.

I'm really not quite sure what to say other than that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just all of it was lots and lots of fun. So now I have to search out more Christopher Moore books.

Seduced by the Night by Robin T. Popp

I just love it when I read a really good book. And Seduced by the Night by Robin T. Popp is a really good book.

Back cover blurb:
Seduced by the Mystery...

Dr. Bethany Stavinoski doesn't run from a challenge. As the top biochemist in her field, the delicate-looking blonde routinely puts herself on the line. But her latest research project plunges her into a terrifying world she never knew existed—and into the arms of a dangerous, irresistible man.

Seduced by the Danger...

Dirk Adams is a changeling, a human with a vampire's strength and skills. He patrols the darkness to destroy renegade vampires, and he senses something far more powerful behind the relentless pursuers now on Beth's trail. As a nightmore he never imagined unfolds, Beth's only change to save both their lives is to surrender to Dirk's desperate need...and match his hunger with her own.

Like I said above, I really enjoyed reading this book. It's the second in the Night Slayer series, but the author blended in the backstory well enough that even one as anal about reading series in order as me wasn't put off. In fact, it just made me want to go out and buy the first one as soon as I finished.

Then we have a unique vampire mythology involving chupacabras that really worked for me. We don't get this information in an info-dump, it just builds up throughout the story. So if you didn't know about it, like me, the discovery is interesting.

I liked both Dirk Adams and Bethany Stavinoski. Especially Beth. Just when I think she's going to do something stupid or clichéd, she doesn't. When she realizes she's in danger and needs protection, she agrees to a bodyguard. Because of this and some other things, I really liked her. And I like the hero, Dirk. He's no angsty, woe is me, guy, but rather one who takes what he's got and fights back. He's not without his regrets, but he doesn't let them rule his life. The book is fairly fast-paced, so we don't get a lot of backstory, but it's enough for the story.

The romance is good, though it has the same trouble that all action-packed romances have in that there isn't a lot of downtime for the hero and heroine to really get to know each other. But there's just enough that I felt these two have a chance at happiness together by the end of the story. So I felt satisfied there.

And on to the story itself. We have Beth being stalked by vampires who want her for biochemistry talents, then Dirk is after two particular vampires, called Primes, who are the only remaining bad guys from events of the first book (still no need to have actually read the first book, it's all here). It's a fast-paced and exciting book. Once I started it, I had trouble putting it down.

So, if you want a good vampire/paranormal story, Seduced by the Night is a good one. Not too dark, but not too light, either. It's a nice blend for those who don't want a really dark tale, but also don't want to read the humorous paranormals that have been coming out.

Really, I'm just impressed I was able to get past not reading the series in order. Sorry, though, you'll have to wait until June to find this one. But time flies! And Out of the Night is already out and in stores, so you can always read that one and then go buy this one when it releases.

And...buy the book for no other reason than that it has a red-haired guy on it! Though if I think about it, it could just be the red light reflecting off blond hair. Nah, I like to think he's got red hair.

Triskelion doing mass-market?

As you all know, I'm a consummate Amazon browser. And so it seems Triskelion is heading into the land of mass-market paperbacks.

Here are some I saw ready for pre-order:

My Fair Apprentice by Rose Lyley
Sex on the Beach by Terese Ramin, Betty Hanawa, and Beverly Rae
Moonlight, Wine, and Stakes by Lynn Warren

I haven't really been interested in anything by Triskelion lately (one reason is their atrocious website), but I'm all for epubs to have mms books available in the bookstores. Easier on the wallet.

Next In Death book pushed back?

I swear that Born in Death was supposed to be a July release and even stated so on LoveSpace (I swear that's what Amazon had).

Now...it's a NOVEMBER release. November!!!!!! That is so not fun. Cuz ummm....well, maybe La Nora needed a break. Which is understandable. But still. *cry*

Disappearing Nightly by Laura Resnick

Disappearing Nightly by Laura Resnick

I'm not a heroine -- I just play one.

Also psychotics, vamps, orphans, hookers, housewives and -- on one memorable occasion -- a singing rutabaga. It was never my ambition to utilize my extensive dramatic training by playing a musical vegetable. However, as my agent is fond of pointing out, there are more actors in New York than there are people in most other cities. Translation: Beggars can't be choosers.

This explains how I wound up painting my body green and prancing around stage half-naked the night Golly Gee, the female lead in the off-broadway show "Sorcerer!" disappeared into thin air. Literally.

Now other performers are also vanishing, and a mysterious stranger is warning me: There is evil among us. But the producers want me to take over Golly's part.

Looks like I'm going to need a little magical help if I want to keep my starring role . . .

I read this one while I was sitting in a library waiting for my husband to get some research done. As it took him exactly two hours and I started and finished the book in that time, this isn't a long, involved book. In fact, it's downright light and fluffy. Which isn't always bad, just not what I was expecting.

It's told in first-person by Esther Diamond and luckily her head isn't a bad place to be. She handles everything very well, especially when she learns that magic is actually real. There's also a bit of romance in here with a detective investigating the disappearance of Golly Gee, but it's not a big part of the story. Actually, I'm not quite sure what the whole point was. I mean, yeah, people are disappearing and all, but in the end, what's up with Esther? WHy her as a character and not someone else? I suppose I just wish I had an inkling of what makes her special. That's what was missing. Perhaps we'll learn more in future books. So while this isn't a keeper, I do think I'll try to read more.

Upcoming 2006 books

If you're like me, you like to know about upcoming books. So here you go:


The asterisk means it's trade or hardcover and the number in parantheses is the date it should come out. Most of them should be right, but Avon's habit of having books come out at the end of one month, yet putting the next month as the publication date is annoying. So some say the first of one month, yet others have the end of the previous one. Bleh.

And feel free to let me know if I missed something, or got something wrong. Or if you know where info on some of these is.

Is it really Thursday?

Today is my husband's birthday. It seems to have crept up on me. Like oh...I still need to wrap his gifts. And it's my brother's birthday tomorrow, so I need to mail his card today. Gah.

And on other news, I'm still working on my handy-dandy, link-intensive, very long list of 2006 books. So yeah, if you want to know what's coming out this year waaaaaay in advance, check back here. And authors, if the book's out on Amazon, can't you at least give us a smidgeon of info on it? Just a smidge?

Now off to clean. And work on my list.

Really, WHY am I making this list? I suppose because it's rather fun.

And check out Kimberly Logan's new cover. That's an AVON cover, people. Really.

This and that

Seems there's always a "This and That" post. I'm awful at figuring out names for posts that are just updates.

Which this is. An update, I mean.

I have three books to post on. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas, by Sharon Shinn, and The Safe-Keeper's SecretWives and Sisters by Natalie R. Collins. All are good for different reasons.

I've also got another book cover post coming up. Shallow, yes, but I do like searching out cool book covers.

Oh, and I seem to have forgotten to mention that I had an RTB post last Thursday. oops.

And Monica Jackson had an interesting one up yesterday that I liked. And Karen Scott discussed it, as did a few other people. Monica may be talking in blunt language here, but I still enjoyed the post. She had a story in an anthology called Big Girls Don't Cry that I enjoyed. Actually, I enjoyed that whole anthology, for the most part. Definitely had some fat chicks with attitude in it. And some worried about their weight, and some didn't.

Hi Kristie, I think you and me will just agree to disagree on this one. *g* But I still like you.

What else? I've sorta re-committed to WW this week. I've been in a rut for a couple months now, with nothing happening. It's actually coming up on the one-year mark now. So I lost 25 lbs. in the last year. Guess that's better than nothing. Now to lose that much and more this next year. At least that's my goal.

Warning: May be TMI

Eh, some of you won't care about this. But me, I don't mind. Discussing birth control for me is just as easy as discussing my allergy meds. Nothing special. So I'm going to whine here for a bit.

So I've switched BC to the pill and am on my second week. Now this is the first time I've ever been on the pill. Really. The first. I was on depo to start out with and had that for quite a few years, actually, up until last year when I switched to the ring. Well, for some reasons, I wasn't thrilled with the ring and now the doc has me on the pill. Oh yay. You know, my body never really changed much on the other BC other than regulating and then making disappear my periods. Yes, that was such a nice feature of depo, but not so nice on the ring when I was taking it so I WOULD get my period and get my cycles all back to normal.

But ooph...I guess I can see that the pill is doing something to my poor body. :-) Guess that means it's working.

End whine.

When book covers change!

These have recently changed at Amazon. From the old ones they had on the left, to the new ones on the right. Though I like the changes.
And the one black pawpad among the pink

And a few more, cuz he's been especially cute

It's been awhile since I've posted Gambit pics

Romantic Times April 2006

Seems I'm in the mood for blogging today. So now that I'm sitting here listening to the game, I figured I'd give a run-down of interesting (to me, anyways) things in the April issue.

Article about Kresley Cole's new paranormal series. Half of me is leery, but the other half finds the idea very interesting. Perhaps I'll check out the first from the library. I mean, Valkyries aren't something you see everyday.

Series Rap Sheet: Yes...there are a ton of books that are in series this month. For example: Three Little Secrets by Liz Carlyle, Pleasuring the Prince by Patricia Grasso, Promise Me Forever by Lorraine Heath (I didn't even know she had a Lost Lords series, of which this is the last), The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James, Deep Breath by Alison Kent, Master of Wolves by Angela Knight, The Dangerous Debutante by Kasey Michaels, Past Remption by Savannah Russe, Warsworn by Elizabeth Vaughn, Under Camelot's Banner by Sarah Zettel, Crimson Rogue by Liz Maverick.

Interesting article about Hard Case Crime and its unique brandong. Also has a fairly interesting sidebar article about cover artist Robert McGinnis. Seems he did some romance covers (including some rather ugly Johanna Lindsey covers).

Okay...Historical Romance reviews:

The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James gets a Top Pick. as does Three Little Secrets by Liz Carlyle and Sword of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor (you know, the one with that cover quote).
The Lighthorseman by Marjorie Jones gets a 4.5. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Penelope and Prince Charming by Jennifer Ashley gets 4.5 stars too. Also one I think I want to read.

Ah fuck, Wisconsin goal.

Romantic Suspense reviews:

Shiver by Lisa Jackson and Blackout by Annie Solomon both get Top Picks. They both look interesting so I imagine I'll be trying to get them from the library.

Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer gets Top Pick. Yay, can't wait to read this one.

Review of Sighs Matter by Marianne Stillings. Okay...you give that title and that cover to a romantic suspense??? What were they thinking?

Ah dammit, Badgers score again.

Deep Breath by Alison Kent gets 4 stars

Mainstream Fiction reviews:

Madame Mirabou's School of Love by Barbara Samuel gets a Top Pick and looks rather interesting.

And hmm...that seems to be all that's interesting in that section.

Teen Scene:

Vamps seem to be in with teens.

We'll skip the inspirational section. Though Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers has an awesome cover.

Hmmm.....seems Portrait of a Man by Tracy Fobes is a futuristic. need to make a note to add it to LoveSpace.

Article called Hearts and Crafts: Women's Fiction Goes DIY, From Quilting to Cardmaking to Crochet. - It's a pretty interesting article. I keep meaning to try on of the Debbie Macomber knitting books. And I have Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton. There's even a Scrapbooking mystery series. (by Laura Childs) Oh, and a Cardmaking one by Elizabeth Bright.

And the game is tied at 2-2 at the end of the first period!!!!!

Seems Lifetime is going to be making Nora Roberts books into movies. Titles being considered are Blue Smoke, Carolina Moon, The Villa, and Brazen Virtue. The movies are expected to air in early 2007.

Little headsup spread about summer books. These look interesting:

The Turning by Jennifer Armintrout (1st in a new vampire series)
new Undead book by MJD.
Touch the Dark by Karen Chance - urban fantasy look
Wild Card by Madelaine Moore (Black Lace book involving poker and "highly explicit high jinks")
On The Way To The Wedding by Julia Quinn

Ooooh....Robbie Bina is said to maybe be playing hockey next year after breaking his neck last year (game right now is played where he broke it last year).

Born in Death by J.D. Robb
Claire Fontaine, Crime Fighter by Tracey Enright
Spying In High Heels by Gemma Halliday
Love is Blind by Lynsay Sands (a Regency tale)
Revenge of the Rose by Nicole Galland (set in the court of Konrad, the Holy Roman emperor)
And that ends that section of June, July, August releases.

Let's see....new mystery series, called the Mom Zone Mystery series. Moving is Murder is the first. By Sara Rosett.

A humorous interview with Kinley MacGregor by....Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Mystery, Suspense, & Thriller reviews:

Steamed by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant gets a Top Pick. I have this one tbr.

Our Lady of Pain by Marion Chesney also gets a Top Pick. It sounds interesting. Anyone read the others in this series?

Spirko Scores!!!!!! 3-2 Sioux - damn, we're coming back and we're want to win.

Charmed to Death by Shirley Damsgaard - I liked the first one and I can't wait to read this one.

Wisconsin penalty for "diving" Diving? Eh. 4 to a side.

Science Fiction/Fantasy reviews:

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik gets a Top Pick. I really want to try this series. This one is the first.

Wolf Who Rules by Wen Spencer gets a Top Pick. I still need to get around to reading Tinker.

Anyone read the Nightside series with Simon R. Green?

Karavans by Jennifer Roberson gets 4 stars. I want to read it.

Contemporary Romance reviews:

The Way U Look Tonight by Dianne Castell - sequel to er, a title I can't remember, but was okay. I think I'll be getting this one from the library. Gets 4.5 stars here.

When Good Things Happen To Bad Boys by HelenKay Dimon, Erin McCarthy, and Lori Foster gets 4 stars.

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole gets a Top Pick rating.

Dates from Hell by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland gets 4.5 stars. I'm looking forward to reading this one since all the authors are decent paranormal writers.

Whispers by Erin Grady gets 4.5 stars. Looks interesting. I really liked one of her books I read last year, so I'll want to check into this one.

Parallel Attraction by Deidre Knight gets 4 stars and looks interesting.

Category Romance reviews:

Afternoon Delights by Mia Zachary looks good. Harlequin Blaze. I've liked her work in the past.

Dirty Harriet by Miriam Auerbach is a Harlequin Next book and looks like fun.

Shadow Force by Linda Conrad is a paranormal SIM and the first in a new series called Night Guardians.

Erotica reviews:

Maiden and the Monster by Michelle M. Pillow gets a Top Pick and sounds rahter interesting. I might have to pick it up next time I buy ebooks.

Yay!...Rylan Kaip scores AGAIN! 4-2!

And ah dammit, Wisconsin scores again to make it 4-3.

And thus ends this post and you'll just have to wonder how the third period plays out cuz I'm publishing this now.

Signs you must love your husband

You agree to text-message hockey scores to him while he's in a training session at work and is unable to listen to it.

And yes, it was my idea.

So...at 2:37 p.m. Central time, I'll be listening to the Sioux.

Well, actually I'm already listening. *g*

Sorceress of Faith by Robin D. Owens

Sorceress of Faith by Robin D. Owens is the second in the Summoning Series.


With the world of Lladrana threatened by encroaching evil, the Sorcerers must do the unthinkable—Summon an outsider to stop the insidious Darkness slowly taking control of their land, and poisoning the Sorcerers themselves.

Yet instead of a powerful warrior, grad student Marian Harasta arrives through the portal, finding herself in the center of a struggle between Sorcerers who wnat to use her incredible, untapped Powers to augment their own. As she fights to maintain her independence—including facing her first magical duel—she must decide whom to trust....

Still, the Darkness will not be ignored, and a desperate Marian must offer the Sorcerers aid in order to keep alive the chance to return home. because divided all will surely fail....

I've always liked Robin D. Owens' books and this is no exception. It has a good bit of romance mingled in with a nice fantasy. I'd probably recommend reading the first book first, but it actually probably stands alone pretty well.
I liked Marian and it's was interesting to see how she adapted to her new home. And Tuck, her hamster that came along for the ride, is too cute! Not that he takes over the story, but he's quite cute. I'm still deciding whether I like Jaquar, but I'm leaning towards liking him. This story is more about Marian and her growth.

If you liked Guardian of Honor, I'm sure you'll like this one. They're both good fantasy romance.

The Dragon's Woman by Shiloh Walker

Okay, so Ellora's Cave says The Dragon's Woman by Shiloh Walker is the third in a series, but can be read alone. uh huh. Perhaps so, but if you haven't read the first two (and I haven't), you'll be wondering just what's going on and why you should be caring about these characters.

Restless and hungry. That describes Eilrah right down to his red scales. Since forging a soul bond with his priestess years before, he's been plagued by the most annoying needs. Human needs. The kind a dragon shouldn't have.

Lonely and bitter. That is Rianne. Feared for a power many think is uncontrollable, she lives in solitude in the woods near the village where she grew up. She also has needs, and for a while it seems the great red dragon might be the one to satisfy them.

But the dragon shares a bond with another woman—not one of the heart, but one of the soul. Rianne can't possibly complete. Nor will she break her heart or shatter her pride by trying.

Eilrah doesn't understand why Rianne has pulled away, but it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters to him is his mate, the lovely witch, Rianne. He sees the need in her eyes, and the loneliness.

He will have her, his other half. He just has to convince her. (Blurb from EC's site)

All right...so we have this dragon who's supposedly bonded to this priestess and that bond made him shapeshift into human form. And this woman who's an outcast for having some wild magic. They meet. They have sex. They kill some nasty creatures who are trying to kill some other forest creatures. They have sex. More sex. Kill some more creatures. More sex. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Bah. There's just no conflict in the story. I suspect I would have liked it much better if things had been fleshed out more. Instead, I get bits and pieces that just make me frustrated when I don't know more. I mean, how are Rianne and Eilrah going to handle life when Eilrah is bonded to this priestess? It's mentioned a few times, but then the thread is dropped completely. So these two are compatible in bed (although I don't actually think they ever have sex in a bed), so what?

Well, suffice to say, I was disappointed in this one. The writing is decent, but the plot needs a lot of work.

Urban Legend by Erica Orloff

So another one down for the Category Challenge. Bah, no way am I going to get it done in a month, but I think it's a good way for me to weed things down. I've had this Bombshell since the month it came out. August 2004!!!

As the owner of one of the hottest nightclubs in New York City, Tessa Van Doren was a target for rumors. Some said she worked with the mob, while others claimed she drove men to suicide. Tessa let them speculate--because the truth was much darker....

Besides, Tessa had her hands full with her own cause: taking down the criminals circulating a deadly new designer drug. The stubborn detective dogging her every move might be just what Tessa needed to help wrap up the case--and he seemed like a man a girl could really sink her teeth into....

Like I said, I've had this forever. No real reason why I never read it before now. I suppose I just wasn't in the mood for a vampire story. I actually kind of liked this book. Most of the book focuses on Tessa. She's a Buddhist vampire, not something you see every day. And she has a genuine beef with drugs and what they do to people. I was kinda wondering how on earth she can have a popular nightclub and not have any info about herself in the system. IRS, anyone?

As much as the book doesn't hold up to intense scrutiny, it is a nice way to spend a few hours. It also tries to be dark, but doesn't really get there. The romance is there, but it really isn't the focus of the story. Actually, the focus is a bit hard to figure out. Is it romance? Is it stopping the new drug? Stopping her sire from claiming her again? Lots of stuff going on, but it was still a fairly good book. I mean, I don't want my time back or anything. I'd give it an average rating.

I've been tagged!

I think more than one person has tagged me, so here it is.

4 jobs you have had in your life:

1. telemarketer
2. alumni fundraiser
3. retail clerk
4. library assistant
~and that would be ALL the jobs I've ever had.

4 movies you would watch over and over:

1. Mulan
2. ...I have no clue
Honestly...I'm not one for watching movies over and over

4 places you have lived:

1. Grand Forks, ND
2. Cave Junction, OR (it was quite an experience)
3. Richland, WA
4. St. Cloud, MN
~And many more

4 TV shows you love to watch:

1. House
2. Mythbusters
3. Bones
4. Numb3rs
~And Law and Order (various incarnations) reruns

4 places you have been on vacation:

1. Olympic Peninsula
2. Seattle
3. Mt. Rushmore/Custer National whateveritwas
~I seem to be lacking in vacation destinations

4 websites you visit daily:

1. Sites at that I've bookmarked at Kinja.com
2. Weather service website www.crh.noaa.gov/dvn
3. CNN
4. AAR

4 of your favorite foods:

1. Chocolate
2. Popcorn
3. Ice cream
4. Pizza

4 places you would rather be right now:

1. At a job
2. Seattle
3. North Dakota
~no idea

4 friends you are tagging that you think will respond:

Eh...I'm not sure who hasn't been tagged.

Midnight Run by Lisa Marie Rice

Midnight Run by Lisa Marie Rice.

Claire Parks has been very sick, but she's fine now—just fine—and ready to paint the town red. Well, pink. On her first excursion into the wild world of dating, she nets Bud, a tall, sexy, good-looking lumberjack. She won him fair and square, her prize for not dying. But after a weekend of wild sex, she discovers he's not what she thinks he is.

Undercover police officer Lieutenant Tyler "Bud" Morrison can't believe his eyes. What's a 'princess' doing in a dance club known for its rough trade? She needs rescuing, and rescuing women is what Bud does best. He saw Claire first—finders keepers. After a weekend of the hottest sex he's ever had, he's definitely keeping this one. When trouble comes her way, he pulls out all the stops to protect her. Except Claire doesn't want Bud at her back. She wants him in her bed.

I'm not quite sure how Lisa Marie Rice does it, but she makes heroes that I'd ordinarily not like (definite alpha ones) and makes them seem so real and likeable. Suffice to say, I highly enjoyed this book. I'm not quite sure if I liked it more or less than Midnight Man, but I liked it alot. Even while thinking that Claire's having an awful lot of sex for a recent virgin, I still liked it. It's just an all-around good book. *sigh* I hope she's planning to write lots more. Now I have to read Midnight Angel sometime soon. OOoohhh.....can't wait.

Sex, Lies, and Online Dating by Rachel Gibson

SEX . . .

What is it about men anyway? Bad cars, bad jobs, even bad teeth -- nothing convinces them that they can't snare a Size Two Babe with a D-cup chest. And after way too many internet dates with men named "luvstick" and "bigdaddy182," Lucy Rothschild should know.
LIES . . .

But sitting across from her now is "hardluvnman," and he seems different -- sensitive, honest, and hot! He says he's a plumber, while Lucy claims she's a nurse! She's really a mystery writer, dating online while researching her next book. Hey, everyone lies a little, don't they?

But Quinn's really an undercover cop hunting down a serial killer, and he sees Lucy as his top suspect. And while he could really go for this smart, sexy woman with the killer bod -- if that's the only thing "killer" about her -- he knows he needs to wine and dine her and discover the truth. Hey, he realizes the dating scene can be deadly -- but this is ridiculous!

Rachel Gibson is one of those authors whose books I've acquired a lot of. Mainly because I found four of them for cheap at my library's bookstore. *g* And they do look fun. When I saw that this one had gotten a solid A review at AAR, I was impressed. So when I got a chance to read it, I did. And now I wonder how on earth it garnered such high praise. Or the "hot" rating.

Sex, Lies, and Online Dating isn't bad, but it also isn't very good. It seems to fall squarely into average territory. There's nothing really unique about the book and the characters don't really stand out. I liked it enough that I'll give her another chance (I have five other books of hers to choose from), but if this is her best, I don't hold out much hope that the others will be highly enjoyable.

So while Sex, Lies, and Online Dating is a fast, easy read, it also doesn't have much meat to it. Fine way to spend a couple hours, but that's about it.

The Marine and Me by Cathie Linz

Cathie Linz's The Marine and Me is part of her Men of Honor series. I might have to search out some more.

How on earth had an intrepid U.S. Marine just gotten maneuvered into dating the librarian next door? Mark it down to a sense of duty but for Steve Kozlowski, meeting Chloe Johnson was like walking over a land mine. For beneath her frumpy exterior was a spirited, sexy woman who could definitely use a lot more excitement in her life. And this die-hard bachelor was just the man to provide it.

At least he was until he discovered how much fun he was having with sweet, kissable Chloe. Had Steve's time-honored strategy for sidestepping a more lasting engagement just backfired?

Take one librarian and one Marine, then add in a matchmaking Polish grandmother, and you've got a really fun, cute, and utterly satisfying romance. I had lots of fun reading this. I really got a sense of Steve and Chloe falling in love. We get scenes of them just talking and bonding, which I loved. This isn't a fast-paced book, but it's not boring. It just focuses on a cute romance. Even the secondary characters are fun, yet don't detract from the main story.

Ah...like I've said before, Silhouette Romances are like palate-cleansing romances. They're just fun. I'm glad I read this one.

More upcoming book covers

Things change

Like my eyeglass prescription. Bah. Got my new lenses and frames today and it's taking a bit longer than usual to get used to them. The frames are also very different from what I'm used to. I always freak out about picking frames. I mean, these will be with me every single day for the next two years. Maybe if I'm brave I'll show before and after pictures. Maybe. Maybe not.

In other news, One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey showed up for me at the library. And I've already finished two categories for that challenge thingy.

And RT says my Barnes and Noble carries their magazine, but for the past two months I haven't seen it there. Hmmmm.... Of course, I haven't actually asked anyone there about it. Silly me. Maybe I'll go tomorrow and see. I subscribed, but I know it takes awhile before you see your first issue. Maybe May's will come.

Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice

Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice

Book blurb from EC:
Interior decorator Suzanne Barron's new tenant is the most dangerously sexy man she's ever met. Navy Commander John Huntington, a former SEAL (aka 'Midnight Man') works best under cover of darkness. Within hours of meeting him, Suzanne has wild, no-holds barred sex with John, then panics at the depth of her passionate response to such a powerful and dangerous warrior. Suzanne doesn't do sex like that. John is definitely someone she needs to avoid for her own peace of mind. But when killers come for her, Suzanne known she can turn to only one man. John will guard and protect her body. But who will guard and protect her body against John?

I bought this one when it was featured on the front of the EC website as a 10% off deal for being slightly rewritten. I'd heard good things about the author from various places, including Rosario. I'm quite glad I gave this one a try. It's quite good.

John is definitely an alpha male, yet I don't recall him really being an ass. Yes, he wants to protect Suzanne, but his reasons just don't seem as selfish as other alpha-jerks I've read. The romance between Suzanne and John is very hot, yet almost sweet. And although the suspense is there, this focuses much more on the romance. If you're looking for a good erotic romantic suspense with LOTS of romance, I'd highly recommend this one. Now I just have to go read the rest of Rice's books!

Ride a Cowboy by Delilah Devlin

Ride a Cowboy by Delilah Devlin

Book blurb from EC:

Katelyn Carter came to rural Texas to lick her wounds and start over after her failed marriage, but a sexy young cowboy seems determined to show her that love is still in the cards for this single librarian.

Sheriff's deputy Daniel Bodine answers a 911 call to remove a rattlesnake from his new neighbor's bedroom. What he finds is an embarrassed Katelyn, dressed in little more than her pretty pink blushes. One little omission later, and he's working for the lady as her handyman.

Burned once by a man, Katelyn fights her growing attraction but finds Daniel more temptation than she can resist. When he shows her he knows his way around a woman's body as well as he does a hammer and a saw, she takes a walk on the nasty side, vainly hoping she can keep her heart free of entanglement.

I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. It's rather, well, average. Nice writing, nice story, nice characters, it's all very...nice. But not exceptional. So I did like this story about two people falling in love, it doesn't have much to tell. There's no real conflict, but that's not always a problem when the rest of the romance is exceptional. Unfortunately, it's just average.

So...Ride a Cowboy isn't a bad book, but neither is it a truly exceptional one. It's trying to be a sweet romance with heat, but I'm getting more sexual tension from the Silhouette Romance I'm reading (not to mention more sweet romance).

I'm bored

And I sincerely dislike being bored. It makes me feel depressed and I dislike being depressed. So I'm going to work on not being bored.

Which means I'll just have to think up things to post. And now is a good time for me to write up some book posts that I keep meaning to do. Yeah. that would be good.

Went to the bookstore today

My haul:

Perfect Weapon by Amy J. Fetzer. I really liked her last Brava, so I hope this one is as good.

Murder With Peacocks by Donna Andrews. I keep wanting to try this series, and when I saw that it was only $3.99, I couldn't resist. I love when pubs do this.

Murder Between the Covers by Elaine Viets. I liked the first in the series and I believe this is the second. Should be good.

I almost bought Resenting the Hero by Moira J. Moore. But hello?! $7.50 for a new and unknown author? I think not! So I really want to read it, but it's not all that long for that large price tag. Sad to say I'll be getting this one used. Already those three books ended up costing me $25 and change.

Category challenge

So..Alyssa mentioned a challenge on her blog to read as many category romance lines as possible.

Ummm...I seem to have acquired a lot.

Harlequin Blaze: Red Letter Nights by Alison Kent, Karen Anders, and Jeanie London
Silhouette Intimate Moments: In Dark Waters by Mary Burton
Harlequin Superromance: Seattle After Midnight by C.J. Carmichael
Harlequin NeXt: Pelican Bay by Charlotte Douglas
Harlequin Romance: A Husband To Belong To by Susan Fox
Steeple Hill: The Trouble With Lacy Brown by Debra Clopton
Code Red: Riding the Storm by Julie Miller
Silhouette Romance: The Marine and Me by Cathie Linz
Harlequin Flipside: When Size Matters by Carly Laine
Medical Romance: Doctors in Flight by Meredith Webber
Harlequin Presents: Desert Affair by Kate Walker
Harlequin Intrigue: Straight Silver by Darlene Scalera
Harlequin Temptation: Some Like It Sizzling by Jamie Sobrato
Signature Selects: Saving Allegheny Green by Lori Wilde
Harlequin Love & Laughter: Dates and Other Nuts by Lori Copeland
Harlequin Historical: The Mysterious Miss M by Diane Gaston
Silhouette Bombshell: Urban Legend by Erica Orloff
Silhouette Special Edition: Cabin Fever by Karen Rose Smith

Well, we'll have to see how this goes.

And some manga

Recently I've read two different stories. One is Oh, My Goddess!: Wrong Number and the other was Ceres: Celestial Legend Vol. 1: Aya. Both were decent, but I much preferred Ceres. In fact, I've already gone and put the next two volumes on hold at the library. And put the first two dvds into my Netflix queue. No promises as to when I'd actually get to them, though.

So...first up is Oh My Goddess!: Wrong Number.

Alone in his dorm on a Saturday night, Nekomi Tech's Keiichi Morisato dials a wrong number that will change his life forever - reaching the Goddess Technical Help Line. Granted one wish by the charming young goddess Belldandy - a wish for anything in the world - Keiichi wishes she would stay with him always! Complications are bound to ensue from this; the immediate first being the new couple getting tossed out of the dorm - it's males only! As the hapless student and his mysterious "foreign beauty" ride around looking for a new place to stay - risking the different dangers of seeking shelter with an otaku convinced Belldandy is an imaginary woman, and a Zen priest convinced she's a sinister witch - Keiichi's still got his classes on Monday morning! How is his new "exchange student" companion going to be received on the N.I.T. campus? A little too well for normal life to ever return...

OMG is cute, but this volume has little substance to it. I may give it a few more volumes before I completely give up on it. So far though, can't really recommend it.

But I can recommend Ceres. This first volume is full of the start of what is surely a cool story.

Yû Watase, the immensely popular writer/artist of the shôjo (girls') fantasy smash Fushiji Yûgi: The Mysterious Play, has turned her creativity and wry sense of humor to the horror genre with her anime/manga hit Ceres: Celestial Legend! Aya thought she was a normal high-school girl until she discovered that she can transform into a vastly powerful "heavenly maiden" named Ceres...but Ceres is furious and out for revenge!

Aya and her twin brother Aki thought they were going to a celebration of their sixteenth birthday at their grandfather's home, but the funeral-like atmosphere tips them off that something's not right. Their "birthday present" turns out to be a mummified hand--the power of which forces an awakening within Aya, and painful wounds all over Aki's body!
Grandfather Mikage announces that Aki will be heir to the Mikage fortune, and Aya mst die! But Aya has allies in the athletic cook and martial artist Yûhi, and the attractive, mysterious Tôya. But can even two handsome and resourceful guys save Aya when it's her own power that is out of control?

I really enjoyed reading this one. It does have instances of horror, humor, and romance. Aya starts out as a normal teen, but is soon thrown into circumstances she would never have imagined. Having your family out to kill you will test the mind of anyone, but Aya has guts. There's the beginnings of romance with the mysterious Tôya (and mysterious he is), and the start of learning about the mythology behind the "celestial maidens". And what's her brother going to turn out to be? All in all, it's a good story.

I probably wouldn't recommend it for younger readers, but teens, yeah. Keep in mind I've only read the first issue, though, so don't know any more. Can't wait to read more, though. It's a very intriguing story.

DNF: The Dragon DelaSangre by Alan F. Troop

So this is due back at the library soon, but looked interesting and I wanted to read it before then. Eh...I just can't get into it.

A secret race as old as time, they have inspired our greatest legends, our grimmest fairy tales, and our grandest nightmares. Changelings by day and slayers at dark, they call themselves People of the Blood. Mankind calls them Dragons. But few have survived to this day, and none have stepped forward to tell their story. Until now.

Here, at last, are the private confessions of one Peter DelaSangre of his isolated youth on an island off the coast of Miami of the pleasures he found in fortune, fine art and music, and the hunt for human prey of his lonely balancing act between the worlds of humans and Dragons, neither of which feels like home and of the overwhelming need that would, finally, give his life purpose: To find a female of his own kind.

I think my main problem is that it's in first person, which as you all probably know, doesn't usually bother me. For this story, it just doesn't seem to work. Even in first person, I seem much more distanced from the story, and find myself really not caring what happens.

I really do like the idea, though. It's about shapechanging dragons living in the world amongst people. So if you like that, you might want to give it a try. There's a whole series here, maybe four books. But I just couldn't get into it.

Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Yes, Kristie, I finally read Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas. And yes, it was oh so good.

She stood at peril's threshold --
then love beckoned her in…

A prim, well-bred gentlewoman, Sara Fielding is a writer who puts pen to paper to create dreams. But now curiosity is luring her from the shelter of her country cottage into the dangerous world of Derek Craven -- handsome, tough, and tenacious -- and the most exciting man Sara has ever met.

Derek rose from poverty to become the wealthy lord of London's most exclusive gambling house. And now duty demands that he allow Sara Fielding to enter his perilous realm of ever-shifting fortunes -- with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But there is a hidden strength and sensuality to the lady that captivates him beyond his better judgment. And in this world, where danger lurks behind every shadow, even a proper “mouse” can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress -- and a cynical gambler can be shaken to his core by the power of passion and the promise of love.

What can I say? This is truly a great book. Derek's definitely done some nasty stuff to get where he is now, but by the end of the book, I really felt like he'd changed. I loved how his accent would come out when he was angry or excited. I thought that was very well done and showed just how much certain things were affecting him (like falling in love with Sara despite himself). I liked Sara. She's innocent and occasionally naive, but never TSTL. Stupid, at times, but never TOO stupid.

I'm not quite sure I'd count Derek Craven as my all-time favorite romance hero, but I think he's going to be pretty high up the list. He's definitely an unforgettable character. Sara's definitely a match for him and I got a real sense that their marriage would last. It would have its ups and downs, but I really felt like they'd get through it.

Now I can't wait to dive into Devil in Winter, but I don't want to do it right away in case Dreaming of You would overshadow it too much.

And of course, now I have to go read more Lisa Kleypas. And hey, I've got plenty of books to read, since I've only read the two previous Wallflowers books and now DOY. Yay!

So I now know why Kristie has been on her mission to promote Dreaming of You. It's definitely a romance that shines with uniqueness, love, and wonderful writing.

Kristie is an evil woman.

Yes, she is. She told me to read this damn book and so I finally picked it up yesterday evening. And starting reading it. And reading. And reading until the very last page because I couldn't put it down.

It's a good thing I read fast, Kristie, or I would have been even more angry with you. As it was, I finished right before midnight.

Bad Kristie, making me read this book. Bad.

Romantic Times website

Well, Romantic Times has finally revamped its website and message boards to a more user-friendly and prettier format. Take a look.