Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah



Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full- time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

Can she handle the taunts of "towel head," the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah's debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.


I'm not quite sure why I grabbed this from the library. I was browsing the online catalog and threw it in my hold queue. And wow, I'm so glad I did. Picked it up this afternoon and finished it this evening while watching the UND/UNH hockey game (we split). I just really loved this book. Anyways, there are plenty of other reviews out there that are way more articulate than I can be, but I do really recommend this book.

Ahem

I have a cold. Which, since I work in retail, has probably not endeared me to my coworkers as it is the week before Christmas.

I also have a new cat. His name is now Tux. He's quite cute.

Let's see....I've also read quite a few books lately. Hmmm, here are the ones that I remember.

The Greek Billionaire's Baby Revenge by Jennie Lucas
The Angel and the Outlaw by Kathryn Albright
The Devil Inside by Jenna Black
Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty
Soul Song by Marjorie Liu
The Last Twilight by Marjorie Liu
Snowbound by Janice Kay Johnson
Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole
Atlantis Awakening by Alyssa Day
Elemental Magic anthology
Reader and Raelynx by Sharon Shinn
Crocodile on the Bank by Elizabeth Peters
Tall, Dark, and Dead by Tate Halloway
Pretending You Care: The Retail Employee Handbook by Norm Feuti


DNFs were Overhexed by Vicki Lewis Thompson
My Fair Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren
Death by Sudoku by Kaye Morgan
Faux Finished by Peg Marberg
On the Slam by Honor Hartman

I think I'm missing some, too. I know I won't have time to write up about all of these, so anyone want any in particular?

I'm alive, really!

Yes, I am still around. Even been reading lots and lots. Have forgotten to keep track, though. Oops.

Here are some pictures of our recent ice storm for your viewing pleasure.





Ain't Myth-behaving by Katie MacAlister

It sure ain't good. At least the first story. I'd give it an F, except that I somehow did finish the novella. But omg, it's bad. Practically pure drivel and silly to the extreme. And not silly in a good way like some of her previous books. Just bad.

I have a cold

It really sucks. I feel so out of it. So today was mostly spent sleeping and reading and watching tv. And man, I stink despite having taken a shower last night. At least the new couch is comfy. And Gambit likes it since he can see out the front window better.

It's really not my fault at all

Ay yi yi....this trying to post more thing isn't really working well.

Nick's been not feeling well lately, which sucks. At least he's really good about it, but I still feel bad for him.

I have been reading, but haven't finished something in awhile. Just have a bunch of books going at once. Hmm...what are they? Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (surprisingly good and not something I ordinarily read), Aunt Dimity's Death by Atherton, Demon in the City by Liz Williams (started just today after a B&N trip and impulse-buying), edited by Esther Friesner, and I think something else. I had also been reading Chicks in Chain MailGil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez, but I finished that today.

Also had my second allergy shot today. Went well, although the nurse almost didn't do it since my peak flow was down from the other time. Well hell, I don't exactly know what my numbers are supposed to be in the first place, so maybe that one time before was some freak thing. Anyways, guess I'll start knowing those numbers since I have the check it each visit.

Oh, and besides the Liz Williams book (it's all Michele's fault), I got The Electric Church by Somers (and that one's all Lili's fault) and then the first C.L. Wilson book (and THAT one is all Jane's fault). So really, I can't be faulted for plunking down close to $40 on an unplanned Barnes and Noble trip on only THREE books. Really, I can't. See, Nick?

Concert tonight

Going to a concert tonight featuring Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace and Skillet.

Fake It by Seether:


Pain by Three Days Grace:


Diary of Jane by Breaking Benjamin:


Ahhh....can't wait. Oh...had my very first allergy shot today. Or rather, my first three since I get two in one arm and one in the other. Ooph. And this goes on for about 9 months, then to every two weeks for who knows how long.

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas



When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan. Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter….


Ahhh.....I really enjoyed this one. I liked Amelia and Cam and thought they did well with each other. I read some other reviews that complained about the number of characters in here that seemed like sequel bait, but I honestly liked it all. I suppose I just like family romances as I really liked the scenes with Amelia and her family. The romance here is also great, at least it was to me. Now, there's no way Cam can avoid being attached to people as Amelia comes with quite the family. It'll be good for him.

I also liked some of the mysteries that were started here and also, I supppose, started in previous books, such as Cam's tattoo of a Pooka and what it will mean. And Merripen was quite the interesting character and I loved his scenes with Win. Honestly, I liked reading about all the characters. And the scenes with some of the Wallflowers coming in was great, too.

All in all, a great romance from Lisa Kleypas once again.

a fuzzy tailed tree rat



Snapped this pic in my front yard when I got home from running errands.

You know you want one





It's Shirt Yeti!
I've got the Godvila one and the Shirt Yeti one. Very cute. It's a small company that some guys at work started. And today, for Columbus Day, the shirts are only $14.92.

Weregirls: Birth of the Pack by Petru Popescu



When sixteen-year-old Lily Willison and her friends Nikki, Arielle, and Grazia start up a girls’ soccer club and name their team the Weregirls, they soon find themselves drawn into a battle between good and evil. Lily’s father, a supernatural guardian, makes contact with Lily after his death and reveals that she has magical powers—as do her friends.

As the girls learn more about their powers, they inadvertently awaken the Breed, sworn enemies of the Weregirls. To fight the Weregirls, the Breed Master calls upon Lily’s soccer rival—the rich, conceited, and arrogant Andra Hewlit. Desperate for powers of her own, Andra will do anything she can to destroy Lily and the Weregirls….


Birth of the Pack is a rather fast-paced YA fantasy. I found it quick to read, although perhaps a bit shallower than I'd hoped. The name the girls pick for their soccer team is from stories that Lily's father told them. But those stories were not just fables, but instead were real and very relevant to the girls' lives. Then we have Andra, whose parents are quite rich and thus she's a spoiled brat and wants Lily's power for herself.

I don't really want to give any spoilers away, but will say that this is not a werewolf book. More magic than anything. I found it to be rather average, but it's a quick read and not a bad way to spend an evening.

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen



Unknown bones, untold secrets, and unsolved crimes from the distant past cast ominous shadows on the present in the dazzling new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

Present day: Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil–human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder. But whoever this nameless woman was, and whatever befell her, is knowledge lost to another time. . . .

Boston, 1830: In order to pay for his education, Norris Marshall, a talented but penniless student at Boston Medical College, has joined the ranks of local “resurrectionists”–those who plunder graveyards and harvest the dead for sale on the black market. Yet even this ghoulish commerce pales beside the shocking murder of a nurse found mutilated on the university hospital grounds. And when a distinguished doctor meets the same grisly fate, Norris finds that trafficking in the illicit cadaver trade has made him a prime suspect.

To prove his innocence, Norris must track down the only witness to have glimpsed the killer: Rose Connolly, a beautiful seamstress from the Boston slums who fears she may be the next victim. Joined by a sardonic, keenly intelligent young man named Oliver Wendell Holmes, Norris and Rose comb the city–from its grim cemeteries and autopsy suites to its glittering mansions and centers of Brahmin power–on the trail of a maniacal fiend who lurks where least expected . . . and who waits for his next lethal opportunity.


The Bone Garden is much different than any of the previous Tess Gerritsen books that I've read. Most of the action and mystery are set in the past, making this more of a historical mystery than the usual police procedural/medical thriller that one usually expects of Gerritsen. Yet I think she really got it to work. It was fascinating to see how truly bad medical conditions were at that time. I had known about a lot of the information that is shown, but Gerritsen brings it to life in a way that the few medical history books I read failed to do.

There's also more romance mixed in than usual and it adds to an interesting touch at the end of the book that sort of truly connects the past to the present.

If you've liked Tess Gerritsen in the past, I think you'll like this one. it's definitely different, but I liked it. And of course, I can't wait to see what the author comes up with next.

Oh, Maura Isles makes a cameo appearance, but that's the only link between this book and the Isles/Rizzoli series.

Have a funny

link

Er...you know, just so you don't think I've forgotten you.

Another Lolcat

lolcats funny cat pictures

Okay, so actually the allergies weren't so bad today, but the pic is too cute to pass up and post here. Went to a dog thing at the park and saw the cutest dogs. And a few German Shepherd Dogs. Love GSDs.

Had the day off and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Oh, also added a Books read column to the blog and I'm crossing my fingers that I will at least add stuff there even when I don't feel like posting about the book. Currently read Marked by the Casts and liking it.

Busy week and I *heart* Zappos

Sorry I haven't posted. I've been working all week and then it just seems like things in the evening take up all the time.

Anyways, reading Dark Moon Defender by Sharon Shinn and just loving it. Read The Thirteenth House right before that.

Anyways, to the Zappos love. Ordered shoes last night. at like 9:30 p.m., so of course I didn't think I'd get them until Monday at the earliest even though Zappos has free overnight shipping because of the weekend.

They were here when I got home from work. I've ordered from them a few times before and also gotten the same excellent service. So I really like them. And returns are so simple and they credit back your card quite quickly.

And completely off topic, but hoo boy there's a storm coming through and in the past few minutes it's gotten VERY dark.

And my poor husband is all stressed and possibly has a bug and has gone back to work for an hour even though he feels kinda icky. Poor guy.

Bye, gonna go see the storm.

I loveses Lee Child

Oh yes indeed I do. Jack Reacher is so cool. And these books....I just want to read and read and read. One right after the other. But then where would I be? So I try to read something in between, but the urge to put the next one on the Reader is intense and undeniable. And so, with Running Blind finished, I will be reading the next.

And Megan, I am so happy that at least at the end of this book, Jody was alive. I was so certain she'd somehow get killed. And I'm not considering that a spoiler. So there. More of a fear of authors who take it too far from my comfort zone regarding characters. Echo Burning is up next.

Fairyville by Emma Holly

Poor Wendy, she's all burned out on paranormals and thus can't really get into this one. Thankfully, I've been really really picky about my paranormals for awhile now and so don't seem in too much of a funk for them.

Anyways, I really liked this book. Nick really liked me liking this book. If you know what I mean. ;-) And you know, it's actually my first full-length Emma Holly.

Book Cover


It's hot, but has a nice romance in it. And it's really well-written. I'm not quite sure how to put into words how I enjoyed the writing, but I very much enjoyed it. It's a fun book. And even though I usually don't go for m/m scenes, these were nicely done.

Here's the blurb for it in case you are one of the very very few who haven't run across it yet:

Zoe Clare is a medium who has no trouble communicating with the dead—or with real live fairies, for that matter! But she can't seem to get her feelings across to her landlord-slash-manager—Magnus Monroe, Fairyville, Arizona's most eligible bachelor. She's tired of his erotic antics with every woman in town but her. So when her high school flame returns to town, Zoe is more than a little vulnerable to his charms. How Alex broke her heart is a scandal no one in Fairyville has forgotten. But even if Zoe isn't ready to forget, she's willing to forgive. The rules they're about to break will bring out the jealousy in Magnus—and the astounding truth.

Meh. (warning, this post contains a lolcat)

Meh. Job sux. Pay sux. Doan wanna get outtaƂ bed.

Okay, so it doesn't actually suck, but I still want a vacation.

Allergy shots!

So...had my little asthma problem (ok, really not so little) a month or so back and my doc recommended allergy shots. Anyone had them before? I know I'm definitely going to go through with getting them, but oh boy, it's a lot of work for a long time.

And since it was three years and two months since my last allergy testing at the clinic and the cut off to use the test for shots was three years, I got to do that this morning. And once again, if it grows, I'm allergic to it. And once again, I was told not to have pets. Hah! Like that's going to happen. Sorry, but I can't go through life without pets. And Gambit's going to get a friend in November. We'll get another cat because I feel bad about leaving him alone for such long hours when we both work full-time.

And I do have reviews to come! Including one for a local author. And a couple Lee Child books. And I've read Beg For Mercy by Toni Andrews, Queen of Orcs: Clan Daughter by Morgan Howell, A Man in a Million by Jessica Bird, and Fairyville by Emma Holly in the last week (wow, really pretty much in the last week since I bought them on the 5th). And Die Trying and Tripwire both by Lee Child. So um yeah, I've been reading a lot. And something else might be in there, but I can't remember.

Mummified ferrets, ants, cats, and vampires

So...got a new furnace installed this week. You know, before we'd actually have to use the previous one and kill ourselves.

Yeah, that would be where the ferret comes in. Guys opened up the ductwork around the A/C thingy and out dropped a dead baby ferret into one of the guys' lap. Uh, we don't own a ferret and never have. And yes, there always was a funky smell in that room, but no one had any idea what it was and we looked all over the room for a source right after we bought the place. And never would have found this, since it was IN the ductwork. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

And ants. Leaky honey jar is bad.

Cats....er, no reason for that. Though there are feline aliens in the Lisanne Norman book I'm reading.

And vampires....reading The Vampire Queen's Servant. So far it's awesome and totally not what I was expecting.

Oh, and Ikea was out of the bookcase I wanted to order. Hmph. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find bookcases with shelves that are less than 12 inches deep? Nigh on impossible. Blech.

Lightning reviews

Okay, so I haven't posted in over two weeks. Ouch. But I have been reading a lot. So here goes my brief thoughts on a bunch of books.


Turning Point by Lisanne Norman. SF here, but it's got romance! Human colony is invaded by aliens and it's up to a human girl and a cat-like alien to save the planet. And they end up bonding telepathically. It's not a long book, but I rather liked it. I think I'd read it a long time ago in high school, but couldn't remember much. I've already got the second book started.

Jinx by Meg Cabot. It's Meg Cabot, do I really need a blurb? Anyways, it's a YA novel this time and quite good.

Tithe by Holly Black. Lots of buzz about this one, but I wasn't really feeling it. It's okay, but not nearly as good as I was hoping.

The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann. Quite liked this one and have the second ready to go. I'm probably the last person on earth to read this series, so no need to go into more detail, methinks.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Hot by Stephanie Rowe. This time we had Becca the Rivka getting her story. Was cute and funny and good. Love Rowe's books.

Dhampir by Barb and JC Hendee. Beginning of a vampire fantasy book and I really enjoyed it. Main character makes a living fleecing villagers out of money by preying on their superstitions, but when it turns out that things that go bump in the night are real, she has some real work to do. I liked this one and plan to read the rest of the series.

King's Property by Morgan Howell. The cover is what first drew me to this book, but I was really surprised at how much I liked it. Fantasy where a mountain girl is conscripted into the army to help in the orc companies. She befriends an orc and tries to change her situation. Not the best explanation, but I really liked the book and plan to get the next in the trilogy. It came out today.

The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold. I read both of these back to back and was just blown away at how good they were. Just fantastic.

Also read Fire Watcher and Cloud Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow. Man I love her books. And hey, the next Dante Valentine Book is out!!! Saw it on the shelf at Barnes and Noble.

Snake Agent by Liz Williams. I first heard about this from Michele Albert's blog. Oh my this is such a good book. And I think if you like the Dante Valentine series, you'd like this one. Not sure I can say why, but I'd recommend giving it a try. It's set in a future world in the East where mythology and religion are really real and impact our world. As in Heaven and Hell are like real parallel worlds that certain people can travel through. The writing here is also amazing. Just thinking about the story brings images from the book into my head.

Gothic Sports by Anika Hage. Bought this manga at BN today on a whim and I'm glad I did. I like the artwork and the story of a girl who's determined to belong to a sports team in school is very fun. Can't wait for more volumes.

I'm pretty sure I've read more, but I can't remember.

Avon Red seen at SuperTarget

Anyone else? I saw all the Avon Reds that are out in mass market in the romance section of my local SuperTarget. Definitely good for those authors to be in such an area.

Drugs, I do so love them.

Well, look, I'm posting again. Wow. I'm on a roll.

Anyways, went to the doctor today. Came away with a scrip for steroid inhaler and a z-pack. So yeah, while I'm having an asthma attack, I've also felt like drowning from a sinus infection. Not so fun. Hopefully once the sinusitis is cleared up, I'll be able to sleep better and get the rest I need to really get better. And hopefully the inhaler will work, too. I'm sick of my chest constantly feeling tight.

In reading news, I'm reading The Billionaire Next Door on Jane's rec and wow, it's really good. Thanks Jane.

Also picked up Charlene Teglia's newest, Wild Wild West, from Basically Books. Started it and I like it. Sorta ended up falling asleep on the couch while reading it, but that's more from being sick than the actual book.

Just so you know


my washer sounds like a jet engine when it starts the spin cycle.

A spectacle spectacle!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Well, I think these are the sunglasses I ended up with. Pretty close, anyways.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
And new glasses. My previous prescription may have only been about a year old, but oh boy has my vision changed in that year! I got contacts for the first time this year, so the glasses ended up out of pocket. Ouch. Those pesky allergies made having a current prescription pair a must. But SuperTarget's optical place had a really nice deal. And much better looking glasses than some of the places I checked out. Like, oh, Pearl Vision.

These are definitely different than any of my previous glasses, but I think they're pretty cute.

What Book Got You Hooked?

From DearAuthor's post, I decided to bold the ones that I've read.

1. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
2. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
3. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
5. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
6. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
7. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
8. The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey
9. Go, Dog, Go! by P. D. Eastman
10. Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman
11. Curious George by Margret and H. A. Rey
12. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
13. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper and Loren Long
14. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
15. Dick and Jane by William H. Elson
16. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
17. The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope
18. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (actually, didn't read this until college)
19. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
20. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
21. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
22. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
23. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
24. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
25. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
26. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
27. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
28. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
29. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
30. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (I may have read this one, but I don't remember. Probably did)
31. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
32. The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
33. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
34. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
35. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
36. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne (I probably read this, but alas, I don't remember)
37. The Baby-sitters Club by Ann M. Martin
38. Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss
39. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
40. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
41. Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs
42. Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol
43. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
44. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
45. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
46. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
47. The Bible
48. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
49. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
50. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary



So, what have you read?

Sent to save the world from blackheads

"You look like a Cosmo commando."


Said by DH after I walk into bedroom with Biore pore strips on my nose and forehead.

TGIF, hah!

Well, I was going to have a review of Jinx by Meg Cabot up, but I wasn't really feeling up to finishing it. Spent most of the day feeling miserable and ended up going to Urgent Care after DH made me go. Gotta love having asthma. Not.

Anyways, Jinx is really good. Now I'm reading Crossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith and omg, it really is good. I think it was Jane who reviewed it awhile back. Anyways, so when I saw it at the library, I picked it up.

Ah, more proof my husband is wonderful

Guess what I had waiting for me yesterday when I came home from work?

Nick greeted me at the door with a dozen and a half pink and cream roses. AND was making supper.

Will put up a picture of the flowers later. They're very pretty.

Yes, he thinks he did something. No, it wasn't that bad. He was just a bit out of sorts the night before, but still felt bad.

Hugs to him.

Heart Dance by Robin D. Owens

I loveses me this series. Oh yes indeedy I do. And yay, I survived it going into trade. Bad Berkley. You did it with P.C. Cast too. Hmph. Least it wasn't to hardcover.

Book Cover
DuFleur Thyme is a scientist who's secretly experimenting with time. She'll allow no distractions from her work-not even from a HeartMate. Meanwhile, Saille T'Willow has sent his HeartGift out into the world in hopes of finding his HeartMate, who, it turns out, is DuFleur. Still, DuFleur wants nothing to do with Saille, especially when she discovers that it was his grandmother who brought about her father's ruin. Unfortunately, her body can't help but submit to the passion he stirs in her. But when a scandal threatens Saille's position as head of the family, will DuFleur stand by his side?


Ah, I liked this book alot. It's simple, yet enjoyable. Part of the fun of reading this series is reuniting with previous characters. Yet I really like how she puts them in. It works.

Anyways, to the main story. DuFleur's flair is for time, yet because of an incident her father was involved in (and died from), experimenting with time has been made illegal. Considering using flair is like breathing to most Celtans, this is decidedly hard on DuFleur and so she ends up experimenting in secret. She also has to deal with her family, especially her mother.

Saille's got matchmaker flair, but because his grandmother was such a bitch, she hid his HeartMate (DuFleur) from him. In the last book, we saw how he discovered who it was, but he still has problems with his grandmother and her actions. And it turns out some of those things had to do with DuFleur's father and the fallout from that. Kinda complicated, but not, and well put together. Owens uses the world she's created in such a way that she can add in characters that we've seen before and have them really mean something. Because of that, I'd recommend reading the books in order to fully appreciate the storyline, although there's enough backstory to have a new reader caught up fairly quickly.

Saille and DuFleur clash for lots of reasons and they mostly felt true to character. No rashly running out to do something stupid. Thank goodness.

Anyways, I really liked this one.

why oh why did I wait so long

to read the Black Jewels trilogy? Oh my. Just finished the first book and it was SO incredibly good. So good. So very very good. I felt that the events toward the end were inevitable, but oh how I didn't want them to occur. Poor Daemon, poor Lucivar, poor Saeton... Poor Jaenelle.

Need some opinions on ebooks

So...been thinking about some books. Anyone know anything about any of these?

The Fate books by Emma Sinclair (Liquid Silver)
Any of the Terran Realm series (and do they need to be read in any order?)(Liquid Silver)
Rogue Theta by Bernadette Gardner (EC)
Mr. Fullservice by Ruby Storm (EC)
Immortal Protector by Ursula Bauer (Samhain)
Taming Eliza Jane by Shannon Stacey (samhain)

Anyone? Or anyone else have any ideas for something good that hasn't been mentioned much around the blogs?

Secrets Rising by Suzanne McMinn

Oooh...a review. A real review. Or at least a post about a book that is more than a few lines.

Secrets Rising by Suzanne McMinn is the first in the new Haven series.



Keely Schiffer is having the strangest day. There's the skull in her rose garden and she receives a gift from her dead husband. Then an earthquake hits, and Keely's trapped with a handsome, gun-toting stranger.

Detective Jake Malloy heard that nothing bad ever happened in the town of Haven, but his so-called R & R has turned into a nightmare. Except for being stuck in a dark cellar with a sexy woman till help arrives. For Keely and Jake, near-death stokes hidden fires, but the earthquake seems hell-bent on stirring up all the people of Haven, past and present…


Secrets Rising was a really quick read. I think all told it took me a little over an hour to read it. Sadly, that was a good thing. There wasn't really anything compelling about the plot. I remember pausing halfway through and thinking "huh, where's my story?". Not a good thing. Keely's got the predictably bad former husband and Jake's a burned-out cop who feels bad about an incident with his partner and is taking a hiatus in what's supposed to be a quiet area. Even the paranormal aspect isn't real fleshed out, just dealing with an odd necklace and the skull in the backyard, oh and a ghost and weird lights. It just seemed tacked on and not really that interesting.

I really wish I could say something good about the story. Well, perhaps that it wasn't horribly bad. The writing was just fine and nothing jumped out at me as being truly bad, it was just that the plot kinda sucked and was boring. And well, that sucks. So sadly, I can't recommend this one.

What's been going on

Well, my hand healed. We suspect it may have been caused by nettles in the garden and that seems most likely, but I never had a rash and the swelling lasted for days. So who knows what happened.

My in-laws came to visit this last weekend and we worked on the yard. It looks great now except for the weeds in the lawn that will need to be killed.

Had thunderstorms all last night. Had to turn the computer off. Okay, actually the storm turned the computer off, but I didn't turn it back on. Gambit spent most of the time under the couch in the basement. Poor kitty. Although now he's in fine form and is trying to get me to feed him.

It's my day off. I'm trying to read the new Karin Slaughter, Beyond Reach, but just haven't been in the mood, it seems. Also got NR's High Noon from the library to read. Hmmm...can't remember what I am/was reading from work. Bad me. Also read Decision at Doona by Anne McCaffrey. Read it a long time ago. Finished Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong last night. And reading Fire Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow on my ppc. And almost done with Soul Song by Marjorie Liu, which is fantastic, by the way. So's the Saintcrow one, actually. And the Armstrong.

Well, time for me to get supper made. TTYL.

Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy by HelenKay Dimon

Book Cover

Annie Parks came to Hawaii to gather information and settle a score, not spend time handcuffed to a sexy stranger's bed. Okay, so this particular stranger saved her from drowning after she was pitched overboard by some goons. And he's about six feet of hard, Hawaiian muscle and gorgeous cool that's making forgotten parts of her say, "A-lo-ha!" She needs to stay focused, but a side dish of Kane Travers is awfully tempting.

Kauai Police Chief Kane Travers is not a vacation kind of guy. So it figures that when Internal Affairs suspended him, he'd end up rescuing a sarcastic, dishonest, extremely hot redhead who is clearly hiding something. Amnesia? Yeah, right. Kane's got half a mind to give Miss Whoever She Is something she'll never forget. His cop senses tell him that the lady's in deep and needs his protection. But how can he get her to tell him anything when all he wants is to take her home and do everything?


This was the first book I bought for my Sony Reader. It's been awhile now since I read it, but in my bid to actually post some content on this pathetic blog, I'm just now writing about it. And it was a really fun book to read. HelenKay Dimon does a great job of making this into a great book. The dialog is fantastic and I liked the secondary characters. They added to the story, but didn't take away from the main characters.

All in all, I really liked this one and can't wait for Dimon's next book. Will have to take out my copy of Viva Las Bad Boys and read it soon. If I had to rate this one, I'd probably give it around a B.

I'm blogging!

Oh yes indeedy I am. Aren't you surprised?

Well, house and work and a few sickness/injuries have made for less time to think about blogging.

Last week I did something to my left hand and was in some rather nasty pain for the 4th. Ended up not being able to use it that day and went to the doctor the day after. Got some x-rays and doctor wasn't quite sure what was wrong other than that I had some tissue swelling. She thinks it's probably an allergic reaction to something. So I got to take benadryl and some anti-inflammatory she prescribed. And it's much MUCH better now. But damn, it was hard to shelve books at work one-handed.

On the yard front: burdock is a serious bitch to remove. And I hate japanese beetles.

On the house front: Things are going pretty well. Bought a bed for the guest room so the in-laws can stay here when they visit. Which is this weekend! yay!

And husband has to have an MRI done on Thursday. So we get to spend part of our 4th anniversary in the hospital. How romantic. Anyways, I've decided to think that the doctor is just doing this "just to be sure it's nothing" and that there isn't anything seriously wrong with DH.

Oh....I got my Sony Reader. OMG, it's the coolest thing ever. I loooooooove it. Love it Love it Love it. It is so cool. Though I have to exchange the nice green leather cover I got for it. Seems they inserted one of the magnets upside down. Idiots. Otherwise, the Reader is awesome.

On the reading front: Reading Tempting by Susan Mallery on the Reader and finished reading Bizenghast (manga) on it. Reading Dante's Girl by Natasha Rhodes at work and also read the first volume of Tramps Like Us.

New toy

I bought myself a Sony Reader (those credit card points can come in handy) and even got the green leather cover. Now it just has to get here. Probably Thursday because of the Independence Day holiday. I want I want I want.

Books to buy for it:

Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy by HelenKay Dimon
Tempting by Susan Mallery


And some more that I can't think of.

Secret Diaries of Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn (and other stuff)

Well, I loved it. More than the last few JQ's (although I liked those a lot, too). It reminded me a lot of earlier stuff, so I was happy. But from what I've seen around, not everyone agrees with me. But hey, I like it. So there.

Also read a collection of Kristine Katherine Rusch (she's also Kristine Grayson and some other names) stories that Ed Gorman let me borrow. I really want to read more of her stuff now as these were all fantastic stories. And it's gotten me interested in reading more SF/F shorts. And I need to read some more of Ed's stuff. I liked the short story he did in Places to Go, People to Kill. And he's a really nice guy and fascinating to talk to.

All by myself

And already I miss Nick. He's on a business trip until Friday. *pout* This house seems so very large without another person around.

One of the things I've been busy with...

Bookcases 001

Bookcases 002

Bookcases 003

Bookcases 004

Bookcases 005

To give you an idea of size, those white shelves are eight feet across (two four foot sections butted together).

Sorry I've been such a bad blogger. I did read two Carla Kelly books and oh my, both were good, but I just adored The Wedding Journey. Miss Milton Speaks Her Mind was good, too.

Recently read quickie post

Book Cover This is the latest in the Jayne Austen series by Laura Levine. Like the previous books, it's humorous, light, and fluffy. Perfect for the summer. This time Jayne has to clear the name of a stand-up comic who's also a client. More funny emails from her parents and more silly Prozac moments.

Book CoverI remember this as being on one of those blog circuit things when it first came out, but I kinda ignored it. But I picked it up one day at work and read it. It's surprisingly good and laugh-out-loud funny in places. I also think those who like their comics will get even more of a kick out of it. There's a sequel out now that I mean to read sometime, too.


Book CoverI just read The Mad Earl's Bride by Loretta Chase from this one. I hadn't even realized it was a novella when I read it as it's remarkably contained. You also get glimpses of Jessica and Dain from Lord of Scoundrels. Fun story about an earl who thinks he's going insane.

Book CoverI really enjoyed Ravished. I really liked both main characters and the addition of the archaeology was fun.

Book CoverTouched by Fire by Kathleen O'Reilly was another one I really liked. And it has a virgin hero. Not something you see everyday.

Book CoverUndead and Uneasy by MaryJanice Davidson. Pure fluff. Well, actually, this one is better than some of the others in that more actually happens in this one. I know many people have given on on MJD, but I still enjoy this series as it's just cute and humorous. But oh, the story is definitely too short for hardcover. I finished this one in a short evening. But it was a fun time.

Another concert!

Heading to another concert tonight. Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Puddle of Mudd, and RED. Should be really good.

The L.U.R.V.E. Train!

lurve train animationDear People Magazine,


Every November, you come out with your "Sexiest Man Alive" issue; every spring, you print your list of the "World's Most Beautiful People."


But in 2007 -- for the last two hundred years -- the sexiest man and the most beautiful person has been ... a vampire.


George? Pffft. Brad? Come on! Jude? ...no.


Why isn't it that Colin Ames-Beaumont hasn't graced your cover? Is it simply because his picture cannot be taken? (He's so beautiful a blank cover with just his name on it would make your readers drool.) Because he usually only comes out at night? (How is that different than Johnny Depp?) Because you think he hasn't bared his assets for a Hollywood camera?


Are you afraid of his tainted blood? You shouldn't be: one look will not send you to the Chaos realm, surrounded by flying dragons and the screams of the damned. Only Colin sees that realm when he looks into a mirror -- it will not trouble you. Is it the woman he's falling in love with? Geeks need love, too, People Magazine -- a fact you have long overlooked (but that is another campaign to be won.)


Is it the fear that if you met him in a dark alley, the words "Oh my God you're so beautiful!" would hardly be past your lips before he had you up against the wall for some hot sexing that you wouldn't remember the next day?


No; none of those things are true impediments to being called "the sexiest" or "the most beautiful". I think the problem is that you've been stuck on one pesky little word in the "Sexiest Man" title: Alive.


But there are those of us -- readers and authors, geeks and norms -- who know that Undead can be just as sexy as Living. And we've got hundreds of paranormal romances to prove it.


So I'm beginning my campaign to get a vampire on the cover of your magazine. To no longer be forced to stare longingly at men who can't read my mind. Men who can't use a sword. Men who can't wear satin-lined capes and look good doing it. I'm calling for all readers, living and undead, to fight for vampire equality.


And I'm nominating Colin Ames-Beaumont to the be first representative of the "Sexiest Man Alive (and Undead)" for 2007. What separates him from other vampire romance heroes, you wonder? He's strong, as they are. He sucks blood, as they do. He's got out-of-control sexual appeal, as they do. But there is one thing, People Magazine, that makes Colin stand out from the rest of the vampire heroes.


Colin ... is blond.


But do not take my word for it; judge for yourself. And because he is cursed, unable to see his reflection or to have any pictures taken, the only proof I can offer is in Demon Moon. The book cover cannot do him justice -- you must look inside. Want a peek? The first four chapters are here. Or you can buy it at Amazon (it is available June 5 in stores everywhere).


Sincerely,

Meljean Brook


Living and Undead Readers for Vampire Equality


Join the L.U.R.V.E. Train - Because vampires are beautiful people, too.


(Want to join the L.U.R.V.E. Train? Nominate your own vampire, win books and Amazon gift certificates? Climb aboard here.)

Bookshelves

Oh, they look so pretty up.

Not so pretty falling down. Yeah. Falling down. Almost on top of me. Turns out that the screws holding the metal thingy that slides over the screw from the wall are really short. Cheapskates.

So uh, there will be longer screws added. And more pictures later. And my lip hurts.

Good book alert!

Okay, so I'm not done with it yet, but oh my, Wraith by Phaedra Weldon is so damn good so far. I just looooooooves it.

Touched by Fire by Kathleen O'Reilly

Colin, Earl of Haverwood, a man afraid of his own temper, falls for gentle, breathtaking Sarah. But before he can trust in love, he must trust in himself.


Okay, really pathetic blurb, but I don't feel like writing a huge synopsis, so stole this one from Amazon.

Anyways, I really liked this one. Mainly because of the characters. Sarah and Colin are just wonderful. I also liked how Colin's interest in dragons was used.

Yeah, there were some parts that were a bit iffy, but mostly I liked it a lot. It was very sweet.

yes, this post is pathetic. Sorry.

Good news!

My boxspring will be delivered tomorrow! Yay! And the desk is now built and set up in the office, so our PCs are all set up there too. We solved the wiring problem by just ordering wireless cards from Newegg and doing that. Much easier than bashing holes in the walls.

And I'm now a part of the fabulous Romantic Advances site. I was a bit late joining them as I was in moving chaos. it's a faboo site. Okay, I'm still in moving chaos with all these boxes everywhere, but it'll go away...I hope.

Gambit is thrilled with all the windows we have in the house. He's currently in the sill of one of the office ones enjoying the breeze that's coming in. Earlier he was all puffy over something he saw, but we didn't figure out what it was.

Busy, busy, busy, but a few books read

Still here. Still been busy every night. I have read a few books during break at work, though. And one short story at home and a bit on my ppc.

So...Hot Stuff by Evanovich and Banks: Fluffy with not a whole lot of substance, but still enjoyable. If I had to rate it, it would probably get a solid C. I did like the dog, though.

High Heels Are Murder by Elaine Viets was much the same, but more enjoyable with a much better mystery. It's the second book in her mystery shopper mystery series. Will have to read the third when it comes out.

Drusilla by Ed Gorman. Ed comes in to work fairly frequently and when I'd mentioned I wanted to read the Places to Be, People to Kill anthology, he gave me a galley of his story in it. It's called Drusilla and was very enjoyable. I still plan to buy the anthology, though.

Also finished Not Quite a Lady by Loretta Chase and oh, it was so good. I kept thinking she'd make her characters do something stupid, but she would surprise me and have them act sensibly. I really liked that. And it had some great characters too. Most enjoyable and definitely recommended.

Now I'm rereading Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb. It's a bit slow going at first, but I can't seem to stop reading it. It's been so long since I read it, that it all seems new.

Don't know what's up next at work to read, will find something, though. I always do.

TTFN

Home Sweet Home

Well, we're in the new house. Yay! it was a very busy, stressful weekend. Lots of Lowes and Home Depot trips. And wouldn't you know it, the boxspring wouldn't fit up the stairs. Blech. Still have lots of boxes to unpack, and my computer is in the dining room until we finish making and painting the new office desk, but things are going well. I like the area and despite all the little problems, the house is nice.

Now I'm off to work! But as you can see, I'm still alive.

*growl*

I love you, Gambit, really, I do. But yeesh, when I'm already cranky and hungry becaus of having to fast before my doc appt. and trying to check my email, knocking over the garbage can does NOT endear me to you. Nope, doesn't do it.

Pardon me while I go clean up the mess.

I want...

To have the UK copies of Julia Quinn's books. I just adore those covers!!


Oh, and I wouldn't mind not being quite so tired this morning. Shanna Swendson, it's all your fault!!

a few peeves

So....packing. I have a lot of books. So I vow to buy more titles in ebooks. Which ones do I want?

The Scot, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by Annette Blair and the final book in Linda Winstead Jones' new trilogy. Well hell, the Blair one isn't available ANYWHERE (yet the previous two are) and the LWJ one is only available at Mobipocket or Ereader. Now, I like Mobipocket, but I also like to have my books in a format that is easily ported, like html. Mobipocket isn't like that, and neither is ereader. I feel blue. And irked. Especially when I don't want to finish the second Linda Winstead Jones book until I have the third in hand because it's really really good and I want to be able to read the next one right away. Er, that's why no review, HelenKay. But I want to really cut down on the amount of physical books I got. I mean, the stack of books I picked up while with Jane is rather tall. That adds up quickly.

On a similar tangent, or whatever, I really like Jones' fantasy romance. She's one of the few true fantasy romance that I can think of. Yeah, Bujold and Shinn write romance into their fantasy, but that's still more fantasy than romance. Romantic fantasy, so to speak, rather than fantasy romance.

Oh, I started Damsel Under Stress by Shanna Swendson. Oh so good. I was trying not to start it with all this packing stuff going on since I wanted to really savor it, but that didn't last too long. Shanna, if you ever read this, you are an author goddess. I bow before you.

And at work last week...I grabbed Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr and No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong, both ARCs. w00t! Er, so much for not picking up more books. but really, would you have resisted?!

House news, final walkthrough is hopefully Wednesday and closing and possession Friday with move in that weekend. Everyone cross their fingers that things will go well.

It's all gone so fast, yet nothing's really been expedited, just things getting done quickly even when things have cropped up. Yech to those things, but in the end they don't matter. So um, though I know you all probably don't expect much from me lately anyways, I will not really be around the end half of next week due to moving. MIL is coming on Friday. Can't wait to see her as she's one awesome MIL. I mean, so's my mom, but sadly, I don't see her as much as I do the AMIL. I'm so thrilled about the house. A house. I will own a house. I will have my own washer and dryer. And no more putting in quarters.

Though of course, this also means that there will be a shitload of money spent in the next week. Ouch. Like hmmm, we don't own a lawn mower. You know, that sort of thing. *sigh* we have a list.

Spirited Away by Cindy Miles

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


BELIEVE IN FAIRY TALES

When Tristan de Barre and his men were murdered in 1292, their souls were cursed to roam his estate for all eternity. It's been a long, dull, celibate ever after. But now Tristan's phantom heart is pounding again for the first time in more than seven hundred years because of the beautiful scientist who's digging up his castle's bailey. Can he make her notice him, or will she see straight through him?

The opportunity to excavate the remains at Dreadmoor Castle has forensic archaeologist Andi Monroe tingling with excitement. It's an incredible find and a chance to study the mysterious legend of Dragonhawk, a medieval knight who disappeared without a trace. Lately, though, rational Andi is having a hard time telling fact from fiction. She could just swear she met the vanished knight, and he's a fantasy come true. But until she finds a way to help Tristan lift the curse, their love doesn't stand a ghost of a chance....




Title:
Spirited Away
Author: Cindy Miles
Year published: 2007
Why I picked up this book: HelenKay sent it, but it had been on my to-buy list.
Do I like the cover? Yes, it's cute.
Is this part of a series? I don't believe so. I think her next book is a similar ghost mystery romance, but doesn't look to be completely related.
What I enjoyed about the book: There are a lot of fun elements here. It's not a time-travel like it may look. The hero is actually a lord/knight who was cursed to roam his castle along with his fellow men. He can be seen, but can't touch anything in the real world. This actually works well in the story as Tristan and Andi fall in love without ever being able to touch each other. This involves actually talking. And Andi is a great character with a unique job as a forensic archaeologist. I thought her job was handled well and was worked into the story nicely.

This is a really sweet, cute story. And sometimes, that's just what the doctor ordered. And this one delivers. The paranormal elements are here, but they aren't overwhelming or dark. And I liked that for the story, they made sense. I didn't ever wonder why something was the way it was because it seemed that everything was explained in a way that made sense. Spirited Away reminded me of a fairy tale and I have to say I really enjoyed it.

I'm sure some people won't like it because it's a simple story, but if you want something cute, sweet, and romantic, I recommend this one. It's a nice summer afternoon read. There's a quote on the back from Julie Kenner that says it's reminiscent of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and I have to rather agree.
What I didn’t like about the book? Well, it ended. That's about it.
Is this a new-to-me author and would I read something by this author again? This is her debut book, so definitely new to me. I'm definitely going to be looking for the next book she has out in November.
Am I keeping it or passing it on? For now, I'm keeping it.

Mondays

Ah, Monday. Oh how I dislike you.

Well, actually, today wasn't too bad. Full day of work. Did learn about a not so nice setback with the house stuff. I'm sure it will turn out okay, but very frustrating.

Currently reading Prince of Magic by Linda Winstead Jones. I really like the fantasy stuff that she has. I especially like how she doesn't make her villains completely evil. There's depth, at least with the one from the Sisters of the Sun trilogy.

Got some birthday money, I plan to spend it on ebooks. But oh, the choices. After talking to Jane and seeing her ebook reader, I'm really hoping that one comes out that will work for my needs. I'd love a larger screen on my ebook reader.

Well...time for me to head off to bed. Night all.

Mini-vacations, they are fun

Ah...time to head back to work after my mini-vacation.

I met Jane! And she is even more fabulous and put-together than I expected. With great fashion sense, too. I loved the red shirt she had. It was definitely fun to chat about books and blog topics. Even the RT brouhaha got mentioned. And as much of what Jane said made sense, I'll continue my RT subscription. I knew waiting to make a decision about that until I had more information was the right thing. I also got to finally see a Sony Ebook reader in person. Love the e-ink. Sadly, DH isn't really the kind of engineer to engineer a light for it, but since he's useful in so many other ways, I'll keep him. And I may have to take a cue from her and buy more books in ebook form. It would certainly help the shelf space issue I have. And yes, it really is an issue. Will be on the lookout for better readers

But oh, somehow I confused the Dubuque Borders with the Des Moines one. No wonder Jane was surprised when I said I liked Borders so much over the BN (though in general I like the Borders group more because they have sales, BN, not so much). BN is definitely much bigger there. But I did have coupons for Borders, so needed to go there anyways. And got some fabulous books. Damsel Under Stress by Shanna Swendson, Quantum Gravity: Keeping It Real by Justina Robson (an impulse purchase that I know nothing about other than it looked interesting), He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Stephanie Rowe, Bobbie Faye's Very (very very very) Bad Day by Toni McGee Causey (bought because the videos were hilarious. Guess those things do work on occasion) and Dying To Call You by Elaine Viets. Also picked up All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz from HPB after Jane rec'ed it while we were in Borders. Thanks! I look forward to reading it.

DH and I also went to the zoo and had great fun there. I'll download my pictures later tonight and post some. Baby wallaby! So cute.

Just finished up The Star Witch by Linda Winstead Jones. Almost done with Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep.

Now on to work. Ugh. Eh, won't be too bad. I'd just rather stay at home. But that would involve paccking, since there is less than two weeks left now. AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH

Hump Day

Oh it is Wednesday! And it's that time of the month and I'm starting to get cranky!!!!!! Well, now after surfing a bit, I don't want to go to work, I want to read more about the Falk brouhaha. yeah, silly gossipy me, but damn, it's interesting.

And a review of Spirited Away by Cindy Miles will be up soon. In the meantime, you can read another review over at Sybil's.

Finished up Ravished by Amanda Quick last night, too.

Trouble sleeping

So, I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night. Ravished by Amanda Quick was getting pretty good, but I finally stopped reading about 1 a.m. since I did have to work this morning. But then I couldn't sleep. So like usual I occupy my brain with some random scene, only to find myself mentally rewriting and rewriting the thing. Just had to get all the right words. In my head. Late at night. Bah. Very annoying. But kinda makes me want to actually have the drive and motivation to write some of the stuff in my head down.

And I'm heading out of town end of the week. And I get to meet Jane! Of Dear Author! So very cool. Jane, you do know there will have to be at least one picture, right?

Also reading a Superromance at work. The Boy Next Door or something like that. Pretty good. I'd read The Baby Wait the other week and really enjoyed it. I'd forgotten about that.

June 2007 RT, the long rambling version

So....the June RT mag came today. And hmmm....interesting stuff. :-)

Mailbag: Someone's upset at the ads that feature M/M stuff. RT may not review it, but they don't have anything against having advertising for it. "I was shocked and offended by the ad...with a picture of two men in bed." Yeesh. -page 6

Ad for Avon books. Looks like more epilogues for Julia Quinn books. - page 7

Article about the new Immortals series from Dorchester. Looks interesting, I might have to read them. Okay, actually the article is more about Jennifer Ashley, who created the series. She's also Ashley Gardner and Allyson James. Which I did know already. But maybe someone else doesn't. Info about the series is at Immortals-Series.com and a Myspace page. -pages 8-9

Pages 10 and 11 have a huge ad for Jacquelyn Frank's new books, Gideon and Elijah. I still haven't really heard that much buzz from her first one, though I do have it around here somewhere. So I'm not tempted to buy these until I read Jacob for myself.

Ooh....article about Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series. Timely for me, since I just read the first Jack Reacher book, Killing Floor, and really enjoyed it. Good article and very interesting. - pages 12-13

Fan Forum - not much here, bit about Harlequin's call for "real men", bit about the romance that happened in the Lisa Scottoline booksigning line, and American Title stuff. -page 15

Page 17 has an Avon ad that shows the cover to Lost & Found by Jacqueline Sheehan. OMG, it's sooooo cute. It's amazing what a cover will do. I wouldn't ordinarily have sought out a book that sounds like this one, but the cover hooked me and I think I'll have to at least check the book out from the library. It does sound rather good.

Paperback Roundup (page 18) - Hmm...what looks interesting here?
- The Marriage Spell by Mary Jo Putney is going to MM.
- Angels Fall by Nora Roberts to MM
- On a Highland Shore by Kathleen Givens to MM
- Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot is going to trade (I hate when a hardcover goes to trade like this, since the price really doesn't go down much.)
- bunch of reissues of Cassie Edwards books. Please, Leisure, spare the trees. And sadly, looks like these have been renamed, too.
- Ugh, Warner is reprinting 1st to Die by Patterson in a trade version. Like there aren't enough of his books as it is.
- more Nora Roberts reissues of Silhouette titles

Ad on page 19 for A Distant Magic by Mary Jo Putney. Most likely another library book for me, as I did like The Marriage Spell.

Ad on page 20 for Eloisa James' Desperate Duchesses. I'm so there.

RT Bookreviews 2006 Award Winners:

Career Achievements - hmmm.....Shana Abe won for Innovative Historical Romance, Susan Mallery for Contemporary Romance, Susan Kearney for Contemporary Paranormal....and others.

Reviewers' Choice Award Winners (no way am I going through them all):

Best Harlequin Blaze went to If You Could Read My Mind... by Jeanie London. I started reading this one and lost it somewhere, but I remember enjoying it. Will find and finish it sometime.

Best Harlequin Next went to Who Makes Up These Rules, Anyways? by Stevi Mittman. I liked this one!

Best Harlequin Superromance went to A Man She Can Trust by Roxanne Rustand. Local author, w00t! I might have this one, but if not, I'm going to try to find it.

Best Silhouette Bombshell was Dressed to Slay by Harper Allen. I don't remember hearing much good about this series. Hmmm....

Best American-set Historical Romance went to A Reason to Live by Maureen McKade. Heard good things about this one and I have it.

Lorraine Heath won for Best British Isle-set Historical Romance for Promise Me Forever

Sweet, Elizabeth Hoyt won for Most Sensual Historical Romance with The Raven Prince.

Best Fantasy Novel went to Eyes of Crow by Jeri Smith-Ready. I was unfortunately rather underwhelmed with this book, so I find this a bummer.

and yay! Lilith Saintcrow won Best Modern-Day Fantasy with Working for the Devil. Loved this book!

Hmmm...nothing else really stands out. - pages 21-23

Article about new publisher/imprint Vanguard Press. - pages 24-25

Ad for St. martin's Press featuring Chasing Eden by S.L. Linnea and Into the Dark by Cindy Gerard. Anyone else get all excited that maybe S.L. Linnea was a pseudonym for Linnea Sinclair and just think they'd missed that bit of news? Sadly, this is NOT the case. - page26

RT Clubhouse talks about Cara Summers' new Blazes. What is it about Greek heroes? Really, what is it?

Also has articles on Eileen Rendahl, Holly Peterson, Yasmine Galenorn, Faith Hunter, Andrea Pickens, and Kristina Cook. - pages 27-30

Personally, I always skip the Pros on Prose section. - pages 32-35

Book Bites: Looks like Jeanne C. Stein will have more books in her Anna Strong series, bringing the series up to 5 books. I liked The Becoming.

Allison Brennan has ANOTHER trilogy coming out from Ballantine.

Marie Brennan will have another fantasy. She says, "Midnight Never Come is an Elizabethan faerie fantasy and the city of London will be extensively featured." 2008 release.

More American Title stuff, but I never paid much attention to it.

Hmmm.....on to reviews. yes, this is getting to be a long, rambling version.

Historical Romance:

Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James got a Top Pick.

The Devil Who Tamed Her by Johanna Lindsey got a Top Pick. Yes, I'll probably read this one, but from the library.

Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason for 4 stars.

Mainstream Fiction:

How To Be Cool by Johanna Edwards looks good. 4 stars.

And that seems to be all from that section that interests me.

Teen Scene:
Eh...nothing that really stands out except that there's a bit about Everything I Need to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume.

We'll skip the Inspirational stuff. But the covers, they are so pretty. Hmph. For a cover whore, this is difficult. But I have learned my lesson. And there is a cat on my magazine. ALLL over the magazine. And feeding time isn't for another 35 minutes. It is hard to do this blog post with a CAT ON THE DESK AND MAGAZINE!!!!!!!!!! And a mouse just flew by....seems DH has a problem keeping his mouse on his desk. And the cat is STILL HERE. How is it that something so cute can get so annoying. And he looks so darn cute that I almost don't want to move him, yet he's ON MY MAGAZINE. Looking pathetic. With his head down on the desk. Poor starving kitty. Oooh...got the magazine free. Cat still on desk. With post-it note stuck to his side.

On to post.

Looks like MJD will have two books out in June. Undead and Uneasy and The Silver Moon Elm. - Kitty is gone. He started batting a watch around and jumped down after it when he batted it to the floor. But he'll be back. Oh yes, he will be back.

Science Fiction/Fantasy:

Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey got a Top Pick. I'm so far behind on this series.

Places to Be, People to Kill anthology looks fun. Has a short by Ed Gorman, who comes in to work on occasion. Will have to get the book.

Shelter by Susan Palwick sounds vewwy vewwy bizarre. But intriguing. But bizarre.

Romantic Suspense:

Into the Dark by Cindy Gerard got a Top Pick. I'm behind on this series.

Mystery, Suspense & Thriller:

Murder With Reservations by Elaine Viets got three stars, as did Death by Pantyhose by Laura Levine. Bust despite this, I will read both of them as I like their series. Half the appeal is just reconnecting with the characters.

Contemporary Romance:

Sun, Sand, Sex by Linda Lael Miller, Jennifer Apodaca & Shelly Laurenston for 3 stars. Will probably get it though. Reviewer didn't seem to like that the Laurenston was paranormal when the first two weren't.

A Wedding in Paris by Barbara Bretton, Marie Ferrarella, and Cindi Myers got 3 stars, but looks cute and sweet.

Paranormal/Urban Fantasy:

Undead and Uneasy by MJD got a Top Pick. Will be a library book cuz it's hardcover.

Demon Moon by Meljean Brook got 4.5 stars! Will be grabbing this one from the store when it comes out.

Goddess of Love by P.C. Cast got 4 stars. But ugh, it's gonna be trade!

Kiss of Crimson by Lara Adrian got 4 stars. Can't wait to read this one. Me wants.

Witch Fire by Anya Bast got 4 stars. Me also wants.

Wraith by Phaedra Weldon got 4.5 stars. Me wants. Looks good.

Key to Conflict by Talia Gryphon got 4.5 stars. me want. Me want. Me want.

Stray by Rachel Vincent got 4 stars. Me want. Ooph, this will be the month of fantasy, I think.

Hmmm.....DH said I'd better either have a good bonus check to pay for these or sexual favors. *grin*

Series Romance:

Shadow Hawk by Jill Shalvis got a Top Pick. She's an auto-buy.

No Rules by Shannon Hollis got 4.5 stars. I've liked her stuff in the past, I think.

Risking It All by Stephanie Tyler got 3 stars.

Mr. Irresistible by Karina Bliss looks good. Got 3 stars.

Unbound by Lori Devoti looks good. Top Pick.

Also Raintree: Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones. 4.5 stars. The cat is back. Whining. Mewing, but hasn't jumped back up on the desk yet.

Erotica:

Hmmm...looking kinda pathetic in the interesting department.


Almost done!

Publisher's Previews for August 2007

Well....new Rachel Gibson. new Suzanne Brockmann, new Susan Carroll. New Grant County karin Slaughter book. Book 5 in Keri Arthur's series. How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days by Susan Grant. Virtually Hers by Gennita Low. Wednesday Night Witches by Lee Nicholas. new Shannon McKenna. On the Prowl anthology. Sex and the Psychic Witch by Annette Blair. Monkey Star by Brenda Scott Royce. I loved Monkey Love. New Rachel Caine. In the Midnight Hour by patti O'Shea.

And that is all. Time to feed the cat now.

And I told you it would be long and rambling and not consistently formatted. Oops, did I forget to mention that part?

Ack!

So things have been a bit crazy around here. We found a house and will close in less than a month. Which means packing. And actually, most of my books have been packed up already and are in this huge mountain of boxes in the living room. *scream* Things are going by so quickly.

I've read quite a few good books. Killing Floor by Lee Child, Educating Caroline by Patricia Cabot, errr.....some other books too that I can't remember. Grrr. Bunch of decorating and gardening books.

I wish I knew what was causing this huge blogging block. I want to blog, but I have so much trouble making the time. Perhaps I'll have to make myself a schedule once we're moved in.

And oh, the house is fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.

Books read lately

Just so I don't forget, even though I'm sure there are lots that I have forgotten. I completely missed doing my spreadsheet for quite awhile now. ugh.

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo
Falling Awake by Jayne Ann Krentz
What's a Ghoul To Do by Victoria Laurie
The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson
Bacchus by Jordan Summers
Candy Store by Bella Andre
Challenging Carter by Kate Davies
Just Desserts by G.A. McKevett
Reforming a Rake by Suzanne Enoch
An Improper Proposal by Patricia Cabot

There are more, just need to remember them!

Christmas Showdown by Janette Kenny



The night before Christmas, a deadly blizzard traps a lawman and a madam with a price on her head in a deserted town with a sadistic outlaw hell-bent on revenge.

High-class madam, Katherine Winter, caters to wealthy men and vows nobody in her Kansas bordello will suffer the abuse she endured in the horrific marriage she’d escaped. She can choose her lovers, but longs for one who can match her in bed and out. Her senses tell her Daniel Creed is the man she’s longed for—a man with a dark secret like herself, a man who’d do anything to protect what’s his. But he’s a lawman, and dallying with him is playing with fire.

Sheriff Daniel Creed has known Katherine Winter is the husband-killer on the wanted poster since she came to his town. The reward he’d get for turning her in would make him rich, but something about the aloof beauty stirs longing inside him. There’s no future for a half-breed gunslinger hiding behind a badge and a wanted woman except life on the run. So he keeps his mouth shut, figuring the most he can ever hope for is to love the lady from afar—and protect her.

He never banked on the bounty hunter from his past hunting down Katherine, then setting the town ablaze to force Daniel into a fiery showdown.


I grabbed this one on my latest shopping trip at Samhain. Got it along with Steelflower by Lilith Saintcrow and Tethers by Sara Reinke.

Christmas Showdown is quite short, but it packs a fair amount of story into that space. Both Daniel and Katherine have lusted after each other from afar, but the snow storm brings them together. Add in a bad guy and you get a fun, suspenseful short story. And it's a western. *grin*

Tough Enough by Michele Albert



Title: Tough Enough
Author: Michele Albert
Year published: March 2007
Why I picked up this book: Looked good and I like Michele's blog. She's got an awesome blog and I love her anime and manga recs. And she's very nice. Love nice authors.
Do I like the cover? Yeah, though I have an ebook copy so no cover.
Is this part of a series? Yes, it's related to some of her others, but I think it's the first to really be an Avalon book.
What I enjoyed about the book: I really enjoy Albert's writing and did whip through the book fairly quickly. And the idea of a mercenary group that focuses on art is very interesting.
What I didn’t like about the book? Tough Enough didn't have quite the action punch that I was expecting. It did move slowly at times (though not enough that I got bored and set it down) and I didn't believe in the relationship between Will and Mia as much as I would have liked, at least as it was at the end of the book. I suppose I just thought there was so much stuff that happened between when they first met and their reunion that wasn't touched on. They're obviously different people, so I expected there to be a bit more conflict from that.
Is this a new-to-me author and would I read something by this author again? Not a new to me author and I'll definitely get the next book in hopes that it's better than this one. This one isn't bad, more average, but it could have been better.
Am I keeping it or passing it on? Keeping it since I got it as an ebook, but I'd still keep it if it had been print.

I'm here, really.

Well, I seem to have taken a hiatus and not told anyone. Of course, I was around the blogosphere, so I guess that's why I don't seem to have been missed much.

Read lots and hope to write up a few reviews tonight. We actually had snow this last week, but it's all gone now.

Also went house-hunting for the first time with our realtor. Didn't find any that we had to have, but it looks like there are some great houses out there in the price range we want.

Mooninite cake

Ah. Life, it is good.

Went to see Evanescence last night! It was a great concert. DIdn't much care for Finger Eleven, but Chevelle got better the more they played. Evanescence was awesome. I just love Amy Lee's voice.

Have today off. It was NIck's birthday yesterday, but doing cake and ice cream tonight with some friends. I'm making him a Mooninite cake. Yes, he asked for it. ANd is in fact off to Target right now to get more frosting. I will definitely show a picture of it later. Sadly, it's a bit hard to do neon colors in frosting, so they'll be more Easter-y Mooninites, but still... It's the idea.

Read a few good books. Finished Bacchus by Jordan Summers, The Viscount's Bawdy Bargain by Connie Lane, a Sasha White novella in the Pure Sex anthology, and a couple more ebooks that I can't remember offhand. ALso started the newest Linnea Sinclair, Games of Command, and almost done with Improper Proposal by Patricia Cabot at work.

Bought a few books today, too. Found Nauti Boy by Lora Leigh used (didn't feel like buying it new), then bought new Sight Unseen by Samantha Graves, something with Ghoul in the title by Victoria Laurie, and Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn.

So what is everyone else reading? And what books are you most looking forward to in April, end of March?

Google Reader

Ah...my new favorite toy. It's so nice to use. And I can check my blogs wherever I want. Snarfer was nice, but still a bit too buggy and man I got mad when it croaked this weekend. I didn't even have to register or anything to use Google Reader since I already had an account from my Gmail. I think I've commented on more blogs than I did with Snarfer, so perhaps this will help me get back in the swing of things in blogland. ANd perhaps more people will surf on over here and I'll feel more guilty about not posting as much and post more. Well, taht's the thought anyways.

Also been working on a list of books this year that look good. I've already got a ton in a Word doc, but need to get it looking better. I need to budget for books a lot better now that the house thing is in sight. And my goodness, so many new books are coming out in trade. Even Robin D. Owen's newest Heart book will be trade. As well as P.C. Cast's newest Goddess book. Arghhhhhhhhhhh

Larissa Ione blog q

Does anyone know what the feed is for Larissa's blog? I want to add it, but can't find anything and I always forget to check it because I don't have it marked anywhere.

Updated to add:

The lovely Larissa came by and gave us the link to her feed. Thanks Larissa!

House hunting

Well, the in-laws are here and we went house hunting today. Or at least drove around looking at houses. Tomorrow's Sunday so we have a list of open houses to hit. Should be fun.

On another note, my Snarfer has croaked and I've gotten very mad at it and am trying out Google Reader for a bit. Anyone use it?

Finished reading The Chick and the Dead by Casey Daniels. Fun mystery. Read Tielle St. Clare's newest Dragon book on my ppc.

The ultimate aphrodisiac

Okay, one of many. But anyways...

Nick is baking.

Nick is baking brownies.

Nick is baking brownies with chocolate frosting on top.

*swoon*

Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day



Eleven thousand years ago, before the seas swallowed the Atlantaens, Poseidon assigned a few chosen warriors to act as sentinels for humans in the new world. There was only one rule-desiring them was forbidden. But rules were made to be broken…

When she calls…
Riley Dawson is more than a dedicated Virginia Beach social worker. She's blessed with a mind link that only Atlantaens have been able to access for thousands of years. Being an "empath" may explain her wistful connection to the roiling waves of the ocean, the sanctuary it provides, and the sexual urges that seem to emanate from fathoms below…

He will come.
Conlan, the High Prince of Atlantis, has surfaced on a mission to retrieve Poseidon's stolen Trident. Yet something else has possessed Conlan: the intimate emotions-and desires-of a human. Irresistibly drawn to the uncanny beauty, Conlan soon shares more than his mind. But in the midst of a battle to reclaim Poseidon's power, how long can a forbidden love last between two different souls from two different worlds?


Oh my...I really enjoyed this book. For some reason, it took me awhile to get through the first few pages. But not because of the book, just because of things going on in life. But oh, once I started in on reading this, I had lots of trouble putting it down. I think what I like most about this book is that it's populated by alpha males who don't come across as jerks. Yay!! I mean, there's a bit of "Mine" going on, but when it comes down to it, Conlan doesn't act all high and mighty and like he knows more than Riley about everything. So they're definitely alpha males, but it worked. And although there are plenty of guys in the story, they didn't come across as sequel-bait. They all added to the storyline. And Riley...it's not often you come across a social worker as a heroine. She's a strong woman, which of course she has to be to be in her job for very long. But she even gets to kick some ass in the book, which was awesome. We actually got to see the heroine saving the hero and not the other way around for once. So I have to say I loved those elements.

The world-building is also nice. It's a world like ours, but vampires and werewolves have outed themselves and are all over the place. Like in media and politics. And Atlantis exists, but the Atlanteans have hidden themselves from the world, but some of them try to watch over humanity and save them from vampires.

Anyways, I really liked this book. I liked that it doesn't gloss over the nasty bits too much, but doesn't dwell on them. And the romance is actually pretty good, too. :-) Riley's an empath and basically gets into Conlan's head, thereby knowing everything about him. And she loves the man he is. Aww....

So yeah, if you want a good paranormal romance read, I'd recommend hunting this one down.

Without a Sound by Carla Cassidy



Haley Lambert has moved back to her Kansas City childhood home to care for her orphaned niece, Molly-and to find the monster who murdered her own sister. Molly may have witnessed her mother's murder, but whatever the little girl saw on that fateful night, she isn't talking. Now, with the killer still loose, another game of hide-and-seek is about to begin.


I read this one over two lunch hours at work. It's a nice fast-paced romantic suspense, though a bit on the average side. Average isn't bad, but it wasn't a book I wanted to tell everyone that they must read it.

The mystery/suspense element here is nicely done. I certainly didn't guess who the bad guy was. I also really enjoyed how Haley and Molly interacted. Haley's more of a nomad and her sister was definitely a homebody, so Haley's definitely got her hands full dealing with everything. Grey, the hero, is a former child therapist/psychologist (I really can never remember the differences) and consults with the police, but doesn't do any therapy anymore for reasons that are later revealed in the book. I really liked the back story on the main characters as it all worked for me.

What makes this only an average grade is the romance. It's a decent sort of romance, and by the end of the story I believed in their HEA, I still thought that there wasn't enough face time between them. I wanted more between them. But there wasn't anything that really stood out as being bad. I did enjoy reading the book. And will still definitely read future Carla Cassidy books since I've enjoyed all of hers that I've read.