A few updates

Gambit weighs 12 pounds. This is not good. So per the vet's orders, he's going on 1/3 cup of Science Diet Lite a day. Poor starving kitty.

I did update my sidebar covers! I forgot to add Once Upon Stilettos to my recently read. And I still need to do that review. It was a good book. Oh, and Kitty.

Work is still going well. Next day off is Saturday. Going to a baby shower that day. You know, I've never been to a baby shower.

New vampire trilogy

Looks to be another consecutive month trilogy coming up at the end of the year. Here are the covers to what looks to be the Candace Steele, Vampire Killer series by Cameron Dean. Covers look great, but that series name really sounds like an Anita Blake rip-off. I think I'll be looking for more info on these, though. They look interesting. Anyone have any info on Cameron Dean? Only thing I came up with on a Google search was this page from her publisher.

Wolf's Rain Vol. 1

So I took this home last week along with the first disc of Last Exile. On Sunday, I planned to watch just one episode to see how I liked it. And ended up watching the whole disc through.

In a post-apocalyptic future where humans live in domed cities surrounded by wasteland, wolves are assumed to be two hundred years extinct. Yet wolves do walk among them, disguising themselves as humans in order to survive in the human world. Now four young wolves will follow the scent of Lunar Flowers on a dangerous quest to find that which legend promises them: Paradise.
- Summary stolen from IMDB.

I instantly liked this series. I've only seen the first five episodes, but I fully intend to get them all. It's a good thing they're coming out with a new collection of them at the end of July.

It has an interesting premise. It's the future and wolves have supposedly been extinct for over 200 years. But some believe that they still exist and are living unnoticed among humans. And those people are right. Things start happening when Kiba, a white wolf, comes into the city. he's searching for Rakuen, the mythical paradise. He creates a stir as he shows up as a wolf, not thinking to mask his true self. The first couple episodes introduce the other characters. We've got Tsume, Hige, and Toboe who are wolves who have blended into human society. The there's Cheza, the flower maiden. She's a rather mysterious character. And Quent with his dog, Blue. Quent hunts wolves with rather single-minded determination.

The music here is fantastic and I loved it. Kinda similar in some ways to Cowboy Bebop. Which makes sense since Yoko Kanno worked on both. I also really liked the actual animation and drawing. It's not anything extremely different or special, but it's nice and easy on the eyes. :-)

I just instantly liked this show. Now I can't wait for the end of July when the dvd collection comes out. I'm so buying it.

So has anyone else seen this?

Five Questions from Jay

Here's the instructions (from Jay):

Leave me a comment saying "interview me." The first five commenters will be the participants. I will respond by asking you five questions. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1. Age old debate: Coke or Pepsi? Any particular reason? - definitely Coke. I don't like the aftertaste that Pepsi has. I'm kinda lovin' the Diet Coke with Splenda right now. But really, I'm a Diet Dr. Pepper kind of person. :-) That's my addiction and drink of choice.
2. What are your feelings on eating in bed? Forbidden or a great luxury? Well...neither, really. I don't really eat in bed as a rule, but more because I don't feel like it than that it's forbidden. If I snack, it'll either be on the computer (and yes, I have the crumbs in the keyboard to prove it) or on the couch.
3. Showers or baths? Tea or Coffee? Pajamas with underwear or commando? Showers unless I'm stressed. A bath is a nice luxury every once in awhile, but I hate how shallow ours is. Not real good for a long soak. I miss the jet tub that my parents had in their master bath that I'd sometimes use. And neither tea nor coffee. Can't stand either of them. Love the smell of coffee, but dislike the taste. And tea is just nasty, yet I do try it every once in awhile to see if my tastes have changed. Yecccch. And pajamas are definitely something to go commando with. Unless it's that time of the month....ya know?
4. What's the best thing about having a job? Besides a paycheck. And the book discount and the book previewing :) - interacting with people. I have bouts with depression that gets worse when I'm alone. And being around people sorta forces me to perk myself up. And I love helping someone find a book they're looking for. Or recommending books.
5. If you could live anywhere you wanted would you choose to stay where you are? - Well yeah. Nick is here. :-) Where he goes, I do. Where he stays, I stay. We're a team. Oh...but I won't live on the East Coast, in the South or in the Southwest. So hmm...that leaves the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. :-)

June books I want/am interesting in

Well, here are the books I find mildly interesting for June:

Bad Boys of Summer by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, and Amy Garvey
The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer (on hold at library)
Taken by Barbara Freethy
Over the Line by Cindy Gerard
Ghost Hunter by JAK
Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund (on hold at the library)
Love is in the Heir by Kathryn Caskie
Touch the Dark by Karen Chance*
Undead and Unreturnable by MJD (on hold at library)
Dark Need by Lynn Viehl*
In the Dark by Judith Arnold*

Umm....okay, June sounds like it's going to be rather pathetic!! The starred books are the only ones I really plan on buying new. I'm still iffy on the Caskie as I have some of her books on the shelf unread. And JAK doesn't need my money. I might buy SSG if I see it at SuperTarget.

But...maybe I missed some non-romance stuff that's coming out. Will need to search further.


It's Friday! Or rather, more of a Monday for me since I just had two days off. I work all weekend, including Sunday where we're having an author signing at the store. Max Allan Collins, Ed Gorman, Kevin Randle, Roxanne Rustand and Mickey Zucker Reichert are all supposed to be coming. Should be interesting.

And finally made it to the mall. Had fun shopping. Plopped down quite a bit of money at the Clinique counter. Ouch. But I do like what I got. But ouch, that stuff's expensive compared to what I usually buy.

Finished up Once Upon Stilettos last night and read more of Fire Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow. Don't know what will be next. I still plan on reading The Mermaids Singing, but the mood isn't right at the moment.

And yes, I know my sidebar is woefully out of date. Need to fix it sometime soon.

But for now, need to finish up my oatmeal and get ready for work. TTYL!

Babble, Red, and DQ

So it's my day off today (and tomorrow, actually). Went out shopping with a friend and then we relaxed while watching the BBCA version of What Not to Wear that I'd Tivo'd (really, I'm addicted to Tivo now). It was a nice afternoon, although I didn't get to the mall like I'd wanted. Decided to splurge on (know how hard it is to blog when your husband is umm.....okay, he left. Must hurry and finish) some makeup with birthday money. Will try to do that tomorrow.

Well, Nick wasn't in the best mood when he came home from work. More really tired and depressed than anything. So figured after supper I'd perk him up (no, not that way, that's later) and we went out to SuperTarget and Dairy Queen. That worked. :-) I also decided to buy a book at ST since I was feeling a bit down, too. Buying books always makes me feel better. So I picked up Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot even though I was first in line to get it when it came out from the library. Oh well. AND I saw the new Avon Red book, Parlor Games, there. I thought it was rather cool that Target was stocking erotica. Didn't feel like buying it, but it was still interesting to see it. My Target actually seems to be expanding their book section, but only for more hardcover and trade paperbacks.

Currently reading Once Upon Stilettos by Shanna Swendson. Got this one from the library since I couldn't find it in stores when it first came out, but I think I'm going to buy it since I'm liking it so much. Oh, and reading The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid. It's quite different from Stilettos, as you can probably imagine.

Also will finish up my Kitty Goes to Washington post tomorrow. Promise. For now, I think I need to head to bed.

Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn

As you've probably realized, I have today off.

So here's my review of Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Goes to Washington. And yes, I liked it. Maybe even more than Kitty and the Midnight Hour. And I really liked KATMH.


The country's only celebrity werewolf, late-night radio host Kitty Norville prefers to be heard, not seen. But when she's invited to testify at a Senate hearing on behalf of supernaturals, her face gets plastered on national TV. Kitty's been in hot water beore, but jumping into the D.C. underworld brings a new set of problems. And a new set of friends and enemies, including the vampire mistress of the city; an uber-hot Brazilian were-jaguar; and a paranoid, Bible-thumping senator who wants to expose Kitty as a monster. Kitty quickly learns that in this city of dirty politicians and backstabbing pundits, everyone's itching for a fight.

Again, I really liked this one. It starts up fairly soon after the previous book, with Kitty on the road doing The Midnight Hour in different cities. She gets an "invite" to the Senate hearing and heads to D.C. Kitty is definitely more sure of herself here, but she's still fairly normal. She's no alpha-chick. More like everyday girl gets shoved into events she'd rather stay out of. We get more glimpses that the paranormal world here is bigger, as minor characters from the first book show up again. There's also some interesting new characters, but they're all distinct enough that I didn't get the mixed up.

Remember the cult leader? He's here. And the psychic (er, can't remember his name)? Check. Ben the lawyer? Yuppers. Senator Duke? Yeah. And, yes indeedy, he's here, Cormac. Not as much Cormac as I'd like, but more wouldn't really have fit the story. He'll be back, though. Or I'll personally strap Ms. Vaughn to a chair and make her write him into a good story.

I kinda like that there isn't a whole lot of save-the-world huge happenings in this book. Not to say there isn't action, because there is, but that everything seems more...real.

And Kitty has definitely grown a backbone here. I loved how she handled the situation towards the end. Don't want to be spoilerish, but it took guts to handle it the way she did.

Writing this, I'm surprised at how much I remember of the book, especially since I believe I read it over a week ago. It's definitely going on the keeper shelf. It's nice to read an urban fantasy that isn't cute and funny, yet also isn't so incredibly dark. I look forward to reading more of Kitty's adventures. so if you even midly liked the first book, I highly recommend trying this one.

New blog alert!!

There's another new blog in town. This time it's historical authors. Loretta Chase, Patricia Rice, Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Edith Layton, Miranda Jarrett, and Susan King/Sarah Gabriel are the Word Wenches.


Second Sight by Amanda Quick

Well, I've finally read an Amanda Quick. And um....eh.

Second Sight by Amanda Quick is the first in the Arcane Society series. It's set in Victorian period with some paranormal aspects.

Book blurb from Quick's site:
Financially straitened and on the path to spinsterhood, Venetia Milton thought her stay at the remote, ramshackle Arcane House would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engineer her own ravishment. She was there to photograph the artifacts collected by a highly secretive organization, founded two centuries earlier by an alchemist. And the alchemist’s descendant—her employer, Gabriel Jones—has the eyes of a sorcerer...

But despite Venetia’s intent to seduce Mr. Jones and move on, she is shattered upon her return home to read in the press of his violent demise. Using the sizable fee Mr. Jones paid her, Venetia establishes a new life, opening a gallery in London. Of course, posing as a respectable widow makes it easier to do business, so—in a private tribute to her lost, only lover—she assumes the identity of "Mrs. Jones."

Her romantic whim, however, will cause unexpected trouble. For one thing, Mr. Jones is about to stride, living and breathing, back into Venetia’s life. And the two share more than a passionate memory—indeed, they are bonded by a highly unusual sort of vision, one that goes far beyond Venetia’s abilities as a photographer. They also share a terrible threat—for someone has stolen a centuries-old notebook from Arcane House that contains a formula believed to enhance psychic powers of the kind Gabriel and Venetia posses. And the thief wants to know more—even if he must kill the keeper of the Arcane Society’s treasures, or the photographer who catalogues them, to obtain such knowledge...

So as I said, this was my first book by Amanda Quick. I've read JAK as Jayne Castle for her futuristics, but never as JAK or Amanda Quick. Sad, but true. However....this might not have been the best book to start out with. To put it bluntly, I found Second Sight to be rather dull.

It's obvious that there's been a lot of research into Victorian ideas and photography and I liked those aspects of the book. But.......it was the characters that I found rather lackluster. There just isn't much about them that stands out. Venetia is a spinster who wanted a night of passion and works hard to provide for her family. That's her in a nutshell. Gabriel thinks he's an animal and thus not worthy of love. Blah. There's also some suspense, but it really isn't very suspenseful and I never really got the impression the main characters were really in much danger.

So yeah, I finished the book, but it's definitely one of the most average books I've read lately.

Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels

I picked this one up at work last week after staring at the pink cover (yes, pink) for what had to be at least a week and wondering why the title seemed so familiar.

Turns out it was an ARC (rather funny, considering the ARC thing in blogland, don't you think?), hence the lack of cover art. Still, it was a rather eye-catching pink. *g*

Here's the real cover:

And...I liked the book. It's kinda fluffy, but in a fun way.

She sees dead people

Beautiful, smart, and chic, Pepper Martin never had to work a day in her life -- until her surgeon daddy was convicted of fraud, her wealthy fiancé took a powder, and the family fortune ran bone dry.

Suddenly desperate, the inexperienced ex-rich girl was forced to take the only job she could get: as a tour guide in a cemetery. But a grave situation took a turn for the worse when a head-on collision with a headstone left her with an unwanted ability to communicate with the disgruntled deceased . . . and now Pepper has a whacked Mafia don demanding that she hunt down his killers -- and threatening to haunt her until she does.

One thing that I really liked about the story is that it dives right into the action. All the stuff about her fiance, father, and financial troubles are just mentioned, not really dwelled on.

Pepper's actually a bit of a flake at times, and can do some stupid stuff. But...I kinda liked her. I'm not sure she'd be for everyone, but if you like cozy mysteries of this type, I'd at least give her a try.

Plot-wise...Pepper hits her head in a cemetary where she gives tours and can now see Gus, dead mob boss. Gus wants to know who killed him so he can go on to the here-after. Gus is rather incorporeal, so he can't do any sleuthing himself. Pepper seems to be the only one who can see him, so he figures she's his best bet. And he does sweeten the deal.

There's also the doctor who isn't as he seems and a sexy cop and you get a fun, cute story. It's not deep and we don't get a whole lot of who Pepper is and what she wants out of life, but despite this, I still enjoyed the book. I'll definitely try to read the next in the series. Looks like Pepper is going to be getting into the ghost PI business whether she likes it or not.

Seducing Simon by Maya Banks

Woohoo! I've finally read a Samhain Publishing book. And I enjoyed it.

Seducing Simon by Maya Banks

Book blurb from Banks' site:
One fateful night, Toni Langston seduces her best friend, the guy she’s been in love with forever. Two problems—he doesn’t remember a thing that happened and now she’s pregnant.

Toni Langston has been in love with Simon, her best friend, for years. The night Simon breaks up with his long time girlfriend, he and Toni make love. Toni is devastated and humiliated when, in the heat of the moment, he calls her by his girlfriend’s name. The next morning, Simon remembers nothing of the previous night and Toni is only too relieved not to remind him.

Two months later, she discovers she’s pregnant. She wants Simon to love her, apart from any obligation he might feel because of the baby. So she embarks on a quest to seduce her best friend, to make him see her as more than a little sister, to make him love her as much as she loves him. It works. Maybe too well. Now when things are perfect, she faces telling him of the secret she’s kept.

Seducing Simon has a few elements I'd ordinarily not like and some that I like very much. It does have a big secret (Toni won't say who's the father of her baby), but it's also a great friends-to-lovers story. But for me, it all worked. I think it really worked because it comes with some really great characters. Yes, Toni should have told Simon right away, but I can understand her reasons and how putting something off until the "right moment" can get out of hand. The story could seem slow to some, but I personally loved seeing the little things that had Simon realizing that Toni was more than just a friend and how attracted to her he really was.

Obviously Toni is pregnant through much of the book, but it really didn't bother me. Seeing how these two were going to get together was really what I cared about. It was also nice to see the interactions between Toni, Simon, her brother, and A.J. All in all, this is a really cute contemporary story. And it's got firemen. Firemen are hot.

So if you want a great contemporary story, I'd say you might want to try this one. Comes out June 6th from Samhain.

I'm back! - with a few pictures

I'm back from my weekend in Galena, IL. Was qutie fun and very nice to see my parents and brother. Hadn't seen them since last year.

Thought you all might like some pictures I took at Crystal Lake Cave on Saturday.

And this last one is the view from the back of the place we stayed at.

But now it's time for me to head to bed. I do plan to get a bunch of posts in this week on books I've read! So never fear, I'm here. *g* Just much busier than I've been in the last two years!

Gone for awhile

This week has been a bit crazy. My parents were supposed to be coming on Monday, but ended up with car trouble and just got into town Wednesday night. So we spent some time with them yesterday and today are going out to Galena, IL to stay at their hotel with them for the weekend. So I'll be gone.

I do have some book reviews in the works for Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels, Second Sight by Amanda Quick and Seducing Simon by Maya Banks. :-)

So sorry I've not been blogging this week!

Hotel Marchand

Hotel Marchand looks to be a new continuity series from Harlequin starting in June. I actually find myself wanting to read them. And okay, it helps that I like the covers for the few I've seen.

In the Dark by Judith Arnold will be the first one.

The most beautiful hotel in New Orleans, and someone's out to destroy it.

The party at the Hotel Marchand is in full swing when all the lights suddenly go out. What does head of security Mac Jensen do first? He's torn between two jobs -- protecting the guests at Hotel Marchand and keeping Julie Sullivan safe.

Mac knows Julie has no idea that he took the job at the hotel in order to act as her bodyguard. But now he feels a loyalty to both the hotel and the Marchand women who run it. As for Julie, she's being harassed by someone from her past . . . and what Mac feels for her is anything but professional.

A woman to protect. A hotel to secure. And no idea who's determined to harm them.

And here are some covers of two others I found. There's a small image of Laurie Page's one on Amazon, but it was too small for me, so I didn't grab it.

Also looks like Lori Wilde, Jean Brashear, Ingrid Weaver, and Kara Lennox will be writing for the series. It seems like a rather interesting mix of authors from some very different lines.

Cover Candy: Harlequin Next

Someone had a bath this past weekend

So we decided to give Gambit a bath this past weekend. We're both allergic to cats, so it was just a good idea to give him one.

And we survived. No scratches. I think the key was that we did it in the bathtub. Filled it a few inches high with warm water and put him in. He did amazingly well. I'm sure he wasn't too thrilled about the whole thing, but it didn't go too bad. I did end up giving him a good rinse in the kitchen sink since there's a sprayer there.

So here are the pictures of a rather wet cat. Enjoy!

One Cold Night by Kate Pepper

One Cold Night by Kate Pepper

One cold night she disappeared....

New York Police detective Dave Strauss is haunted by the one case he couldn’t solve. A schoolgirl vanished off the streets of New York, with only a trail of blood and a series of untraceable phone calls from "the Groom" hinting at her fate. Now the cold dark night has engulfed another young girl -- but this time she is part of Dave’s family. He and his wife, Susan, know fourteen-year-old Lisa has not run away, and they know her disappearance is not just a tragic coincidence. And once the first phone call comes, they know she’s not alone....

I'm trying to figure out how to classify this book. Perhaps I'll just call it a suspense/thriller. But it seems more than that. And I'm going to state right now that I enjoyed reading it very much. It's quick and good.

The first chapter starts out with Susan, Dave's wife, deciding to finally reveal a big secret that she's kept for almost fifteen years. But since it involves Lisa the most, she tells her first. Lisa is so shocked by the news that she runs out into the night. And it is there where she is kidnapped.

I liked that Susan does tell Dave about it fairly soon. And his reaction to it felt right. A lot of what I enjoyed most about this book was how the characters grow through this experience. Susan and Dave are married, so it's not a romance in search of a happily-ever-after. They're already fairly happy, although things have been tense because of Susan's reluctance to have a baby.

The book also focuses on Susan and Lisa's reactions to everything. Susan feels so guilty over what her announcement has caused, and the hurt she's caused Dave by not telling him until now. And we also see Lisa's reactions and how she comes to terms with everything.

I suppose I just liked how it all worked together. It's more a story about how this terrifying event makes them all stronger in the end. Kate Pepper doesn't give us a lot of backstory and infodumps, but we don't need them as I think you get a good sense of the characters from their current actions. I'd say it's very character-driven.

I suppose I've mentioned more about the characters than the story, but the suspense angle was also very good. I kept thinking the worst and how on earth there'd be a happy ending. And there is, although a bit bittersweet. It all kept me wanting to read more and in fact I sat at the kitchen table reading half the book because I dind't feel like stopping to get a more comfortable seat. Definitely made me forget where I was.

I'd say if you're looking for a good suspense for a lazy spring or summer afternoon, I'd recommend this one. And for those who dislike a lot of the gory details that permeate many of the suspense out there, this will be a nice change of pace. I'm definitely going to look for more of Kate Pepper's books.

We've been tivo'd

Or rather, we've acquired Tivo. Nick is currently in the living room setting it up.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, people. I appreciated them.

Also got my first paycheck from work. :-)

Happy Birthday to Me!

okay, it's my birthday. Yay!

RTB post is up today.

And since it's my birthday, the sky is dark, it's raining and thundering, my TOM is coming and I'm crampy and I have to work. :-) But....I have tomorrow off, so that's probably even better than getting today off.

I said I'd bring cake in to work today, so going to grab that before work. And more Midol.

And oh I wish this Midol would kick in.