Food porn!

I spent my lunch break flipping through the Martha Stewart Cookies book. Book Cover It's so totally food porn. Every recipe has this utterly delectable picture and we oohed and aahed over most of them. I think I will have to buy it and try out some of the recipes.

Also made pizza dough from the dough I made from the Artisan Bread in 5 Min. a Day cookbook. Was a bit doughy in the center, but I didn't have all the necessary tools anyways. It was still delicious. Made it simple, grabbed some tomatoes from my plant in the backyard (my one and only tomato plant that is falling over) and sliced those up, then put on some chicken chunks with mozz cheese. It was quite good.
Book Cover
Night before last I read Clover by Clamp. It was good, but so incredibly depressing. I'm still not entirely sure what I think about it.

Also, customers who toss crumpled up bills on the counter are not nice. Come on, can't you just straighten them and hand them to me nicely?

I will leave you with this photo I took at the Minnesota Zoo last month:

Blogging woes


I really don't know what's wrong. I want to blog. Really, I do. But every time I sit down to write something about what I've read, I blank. I construct entire posts in my head whenever I finish a good book, yet since it's at night and right before I fall asleep, it stays in my head and is forgotten when I next sit down at my computer.

Perhaps I just need to not stress about it all. I do miss the sense of community I had when I was a regular poster. I want that back.

I've been doing purges of my books lately. I'm tempted to send all my western historicals to Wendy to dispose of as she sees fit. And I don't really need two copies of The Windflower, yet who would want the rather-beat-up-but-readable copy?

In other news, I've decided to take a jewelry making class in October. I hope it's fun. I'd also like to do more sewing, but I need to find a nice easy beginner pattern. Already made pajama bottoms, so need something different.

Also having fun getting together for A-team events. It's nice to get together with like-minded people. Godless Disc Golf is coming up. I had fun the first time I went, so hoping for more of the same.

Anyways, I'm still reading lots and lots, I've just given up on keeping track of it all for now. Just finished up Beloved Vampire by Joey W. Hill. Was quite good.

Dancing in the kitchen

Is there anything better than dancing in the kitchen to hard rock and baking chocolate chip cookies? I think not.

Anyways, the new Halestorm cd is good, as is the new Mastodon. So if you like rock, go get them.

In other news, I finished The Wolf by Jean Johnson last night and also started What Happens in London by Julia Quinn.

Coming shortly!

More posts from me!!!! Aren't you just thrilled? I know you are.


P.S. I met a very nice woman at work who is also a fan of the Smart Bitches. Perhaps if we get enough romance fans in the area, we can start a get-together of like-minded readers to chat and discuss romance.

Twittering from yesterday. I am so exciting.

  • 09:58 @avidbookreader aw, all mystery and no others makes Avid a sad reader. #
  • 09:59 @avidbookreader of course, I find myself only interested in fantasy lately. #
  • 10:02 @avidbookreader I'm reading The Steel Remains right now and even though I feel so lost, it just compels me to continue on. ebil book #
  • 10:05 @avidbookreader yeah. we'll see if I do finish it. #
  • 10:14 @avidbookreader fantasy and he's got so many storylines going on at once #
  • 10:36 @avidbookreader I would hope your eye is human. #
  • 10:36 @avidbookreader okay....that's quite the title #
  • 22:24 @SmartBitches Happy Anniversary! #
  • 22:25 my bathroom is getting a small remodel in a couple weeks. timed so dh doesn't have to paint #
  • 22:41 anyone used eBook Organizer? #
  • 22:56 these are seriously awesome earrings. The geekiness, it hurts: #
  • 23:13 I finally ran diskcleanup. 26.2 GB in temp files. Ouch. #
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Crafty Bosoms

Heaving Bosoms frame
Originally uploaded by kelley899
So anyways, lately I've had this image of a romance novel frame and grabbed covers from work with this in mind. I definitely had fun making it tonight.

I really only went for envelopes and a mag

And I came back with 4 books. Plus the envelopes and magazine (All You because of the fab coupons it contains).

Silver Falls by Anne Stuart
Book Cover
Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine
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Eve of Darkness by S.J. Day (I don't really like Sylvia Day, so no idea why I picked this up)
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Vision in White by Nora Roberts
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May 2009 Books I Want

Under Fire by Jo Davis
Fight Fire With Fire by Amy Fetzer
No Limits by Alison Kent
With a Twist by Deirdre Martin
Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy
Vision in White by Nora Roberts
Silver Falls by Anne Stuart
Sin and Shadows by Lyn Benedict
Storm Glass by Maria Snyder

Okay, I'm sure there are more, but that's all I could remember based on looking at the AAR list.

Hounding the Pavement by Judi McCoy

Book Cover Hounding the Pavement is Judi McCoy's first foray into the cozy mystery genre and is the start of a promising series. Ellie Engleman is just starting out as a dogwalker in Manhattan, but she's got an edge over the competition in that she can communicate with dogs. When she finds the owner of one of her clientele dead and his prized Bichon missing, she goes on the hunt to find the dog and just maybe solve a murder. Add in an attractive detective and you've got the great chemistry you'd expect from a romance author turned mystery author. I really enjoyed Hounding the Pavement as it is full of humor and Ellie and Detective Sam Ryder are fun to watch as they fight their attraction. Oh, I can't forget Rudy, Ellie's companion dog, whose doggie insight is delightful.

Read If You Like: The Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series by Linda O. Johnston, Yellow Rose Mystery series by Leann Sweeney, and other light-hearted cozy mystery series.

Nicole and Tux sleeping

Nicole and Tux sleeping
Originally uploaded by kelley899
Nick snapped this while I was taking a nap in the living room this afternoon.

My cat does love a sick woman

Especially since she camps out on the basement couch with the heated throw. I had Tux by my side all day. He wasn't moving. I really hate to get sick, but I have a tendency to do it a lot. But I really didn't want to sneeze and cough all over customers today or yesterday. I suppose my manager won't see it that way, but what can I do? Just suck it up, I guess. I did read a bunch in between napping. And I do think I'll feel well enough to head in tomorrow. I've got my supply of DayQuil to take with me.

Ravenous by Sharon Ashwood

Book Cover

Holly Carver is a small-time witch who busts ghosts for tuition money, but ends up wrangling a demon when a haunted house job goes bad.

Her Undead business associate, Alessandro Caravelli, suspects the demon is somebody's not-so-secret weapon. The supernatural community is at war, and Holly's unpredictable magic holds the key to hell's doorway. Soon Holly is on everyone's "must have" list, and not in a good way.

Alessandro wants her for more than magic. A lover with six centuries of experience, the vampire is walking seduction, but he's also a predator. Every moment he spends guarding Holly, every second he spends falling under her witch's spell, he becomes more and more of a threat himself. As Holly's grandma warns her: vampires are like a box of rich chocolate—they seem so tempting, but over-indulgence is a killer...

I wasn't quite sure if I was going to read this one. The cover makes it look kinda silly, imo. And it's nothing like what Holly actually is. For one thing, she's struggling to make ends meet as the last of her family and trying to get into college.

I liked Holly. She doesn't make stupid mistakes and think she can do more than she can. I also liked that I wasn't quite sure who the hero was going to be. It made for more of an urban fantasy feel and I actually liked that about the story. The world here is interesting and I can't wait to explore it more in future books. It seems like vamps and other supernatural beings have come out recently, but not too recently.

overall, I really enjoyed the book. So bravo to Sharon Ashwood for winning me over.

I'm a bad, bad girl.

Ack, I haven't posted in ages. or at least it seems that way!

I'm kinda in a book slump. Haven't finished one in awhile. *cringe* I've been reading, just not finishing anything. I have several books that I'm in the middle of, including The Gods of Amyrantha by Jennifer Fallon, Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman, and The Accidental Sorcerer by K.E. Mills. And it seems that none of them are romances. I'm in a bit of a romance slump as well, it seems. I started and put down Loreth Anne White's The Heart of a Mercenary, although I think I will start it up again sometime. I did pick up Kristan Higgins' newest today and already in the first few pages I had to stop and make my husband read a passage since it was so cute and funny. So that should end my romance slump.

Each of the fantasy books I'm reading is quite good. Very different in their own ways. Eon is an excellent young adult book. And in what seems to be a very weird thing, it has three different titles, one each for Australia, UK, and the US.

In other news, I attempted to watch Wanted and found it wanting. So very very bad that even the cool action sequences couldn't save it for me.

2009 TBR Challenge: The Immortal Prince by Jennifer Fallon

Yes, it's not a category romance. So sue me. I did read some, but not ones that I would consider tbr.

Book Cover

I've had this book in the to be read pile for well over a year. I'd first gotten it when I asked a coworker to buy it for me when he was over in Australia. Well, he did, but it languished on my bookshelf until now. Coworker now has the rest of the series, which is not available in the US yet. Coworker is also moving to Australia sometime this year, so I figured I'd better read them while I could. Or at least so I wouldn't have to wait for them to be released over here.

I whipped through this large book in only a few days. I found it to be quite good and can't wait to read more.

When a routine hanging goes wrong and a murderer somehow survives the noose, the man announces he is an immortal. And not just any immortal, but Cayal, the Immortal Prince, hero of legend, thought to be only a fictional character, a figure out of the Tide Lord Tarot, the only record left on Amyrantha of the mythical beings whom the part-animal, part-human Crasii believe created their race.
Arkady Desean is an expert on the legends of the Crasii. At the request of her childhood friend, Declan Hawkes, the Kings Spymaster, she is sent interrogate this would be immortal, hoping to prove he is a spy, or at the very least, a madman.

Set the task of proving Cayal a liar, Arkady's own web of lies, and that of her husband and the King's Spymaster will start to unravel. Nothing is really as it seems around Cayal, the Immortal Prince; the lies seem plausible, his stories improbable and truth more than any of them bargained for.

The Immortal Prince is full of a complex cast of characters. I liked the theme of history repeating itself and humans trying to find scientific answers to explain away what they think are superstition (despite my own atheistic tendencies). Cayal is sick of life and wants to die, yet he can't. These immortals are not gods. As the book progresses, we see that they are all too human and the world is in for another rude awakening as the Tide rises and their power once again is able to be used.

I look forward to learning more about the Tide. And Cayal and Arkady are such interesting people who both have many secrets.

Anyways, can't wait to read the next three in the series. Yay to Jennifer Fallon for writing such a great fantasy.

I'm a moody mess. And a few other things

Oh yes I am. Moody is me. So off to the doctor for me. or at least to make an appt tomorrow. I think my hormones are out of whack. I feel like PMS all the time. Doesn't help work, doesn't help home. So off to ask the wizard, er, doctor. Maybe a BC change will help. Or back to zoloft. But I don't really want to go back on zoloft. So who knows. Bleck, no one really cares, but writing this is rather cathartic.

I think my word of the year needs to be "Connect". Connect with friends, family, co-workers, husband, cats, job, life, environment....all those things.

Note: I wrote most of this last night and posted it on Myspace, but I figured I'd post it here too. Of course now I feel better, but that's mood swings for you. Who knows how I'll be an hour or a day from now. I did make a doctor's appt. and will go later this week. And had a dentist appointment this morning. And have fillings that need to be replaced. Yuck. Oh well. And there's new paint-on fluoride treatment and I'm not supposed to brush my teeth tonight. The idea of that kinda boggles my mind, but that's what she said. It feels all weird on my teeth. But other than the filling replacements, things are good. I always feel so fabulous coming out of the dentist here.

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz

Ex-cop Luther Malone, lifelong member of the secretive paranormal organization known as the Arcane Society, is waiting to meet Grace Renquist. Hired as an aura-reading consultant in the quest for a murder suspect, she’s got zero field experience. She’s from tiny Eclipse Bay, Oregon. She’s a librarian, for heaven’s sake.

As for Grace, she’s not expecting much either from Malone, who walks with a cane and isn’t so good with a gun. Nice résumé for a bodyguard . . .

But even before they reach their hotel in Maui—where they’ll be posing as honeymooners—Grace and Luther feel the electric charge between them. Problem is, they need to remain vigilant day and night, because it soon becomes clear there’s more going on here. Rogue sensitives—operatives for the underground group Nightshade—are pouring into the luxury resort like there’s a convention. Grace recognizes those dark spikes in their auras. She saw the same pattern in someone else in another life—a life she hasn’t revealed to Luther or anyone else. And she understands how dangerous these people can be . . . especially with those para-hunters at their sides.

While the pair’s employers at Jones & Jones scramble to get them backup, Luther and Grace have to think on their feet. The criminals in their midst aren’t just high-level sensitives: They’ve enhanced their talents with a potent—and unpredictable— drug. And as Grace knows all too well, if you don’t control your powers, your powers will control you. . . .

Running Hot is the new Arcane Society book. This time we have aura readers in Hawaii.

Grace Renquist is a high-level sensitive who can read aura like no one else can. She's asked to go to Hawaii to find a murder suspect. She's to meet ex-cop Luther Malone. The electricity flies the moment they meet. Lots happen and it turns out Nightshade is involved, as anyone who's read the previous books will know.

I liked Grace, but I didn't feel like I knew her very much. I got a much better impression of Luther and his life. He doesn't want to have his gift become something he uses to get his way, although he realizes that could easily become the case. Grace seems to mainly be attracted to Luther because he's a calming influence on her and she can touch him without feeling overwhelmed by emotion caused by her gift.

I felt the book was fast-paced, but relatively forgettable and not Krentz at her best. I did enjoy it for the over-arching Arcane Society/Nightshade storyline, but the romance just didn't work for me. Too much lust and not enough love. I actually liked the parts of the story that didn't deal with Grace and Luther more.

So....a so-so story, but I still really enjoy the series and hope to read more.

Hockey and allergies and this and that

Oh man, my allergies are killing me. My eyes are dry and sore and my sinuses are bad. This sucks.

In other news, we had a hockey party here at the house and the Sioux beat the Gophers 6-3. It was a truly spectacular game and great fun to get together with friends. Tomorrow night we're heading to a sports bar to meet up with around 50 other fans here to cheer on our team. It's nice to live in a town with such a large Sioux fan base. new Sony Reader arrived and it is fabulous. I'm going to have to make a side-by-side comparison review before I send in the old one. So far, with the new Reader, Calibre "sees" it consistently (unlike the PRS500), the pages change faster, and the screen is crisper.

Well, I should go upstairs and let Nick rub my back and generally make me feel better. And read for a bit. I'd say on the Reader, but I have Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz out from the library, so I'm going to finish that first.

Beau Crusoe by Carla Kelly

I first picked up Beau Crusoe when it came out, but never got around to reading it. I'm very glad I did as it's not your typical Regency and can even be a bit gruesome at times, though I will try to avoid spoilers.

James Trevenen had been shipwrecked on an island for five(?) long years before being rescued by missionaries. While there, he kept sane by studying crabs and writing a treatise on them that he had published upon his return. It has won an award and he's to stay with Susannah Park's family until the award ceremony.

Susannah Park is a social outcast after she eloped. Her and her husband traveled to India where he died, leaving her pregnant. Now she dotes on her son and puts up with a crazy family.

I liked both James and Susannah. They're both not perfect and their pasts have had a profound affect on how they think and behave. I liked seeing them work through things together and realize that they belong together. A lot of the story deals with some very dark issues, but I liked that the author softened things with a bit of humor. James being hailed as "Beau Crusoe" and having some of his exploits greatly exaggerated is humorous and the exaggerations are relatively harmless.

I did have some reservations about the ending and how quickly things were seemingly resolved that did keep this one from being a keeper. I didn't think that James' issues would resolve themselves quite that quickly and would think his choice in the end would have had more of an effect on his psyche than it seemed to.

Carla Kelly can definitely write well and I look forward to reading more of her books. This one didn't quite make it up to keeper status, but I did enjoy it.

As an aside, apparently Carla Kelly lives in the same town that my Grandmother did. Considering it's a really small town, that's kinda cool.

*also posted at eHarlequin for the 2009 Challenge.

It's a sickness, I tell you!


So I have too many books. Yes, I do. Really. I'm 28 and I do not need to already have this many books. New books come out every month. I will continue to buy new books. Therefore I need to have less books right now.

Easier said than done. Certain authors I tell myself I must keep, like Marjorie Liu, Alison Kent, Jill Shalvis, Meljean Brook, C.J. Barry (actually most of my futuristic romances because they don't make many of them anymore, eden though most of the stories probably suck), Susan Donovan, Linda Winstead Jones, Cindy Gerard (local author), Julia Quinn, Robin D. Owens, P.C. Cast, Mary Balogh, Erin McCarthy and more....these take up space!!!!

And even though I love my ebooker read to pieces, I still love physical books. I have this unnatural attachment to them. I love just standing in this disastrously messy room and seeing them on shelves and in piles. Yet am I really enjoying them if I haven't read many of them? Is it the thrill of the purchase and the joy of ownership that I am attached to rather than the words inside? I want to have more of my books as ebooks, yet I have this unnatural thought that if I give up a book that's hard to find, I won't ever find it again if/when I decide to read it. But is that really so terrible? That I miss a few books? I have plenty to read, it's not like my world will be so very awful if I can't read that one book.

So I'm going to really try to pare things down. So what if that book on the shelf is hard to find? If I'm not interested in reading it, do I really need it?

I've decided to start with a crate of books that I'm so-so on. I want to read them, but they haven't caught my interest lately, or they are ones that others have said that they like the author, so I grabbed them, or I bought them because they are ones that I don't see much of at work. If at the end of this year I haven't read them, off they go. I'll post the list later. So I guess that'll be one of my reading challenges.

And I really pledge to buy more ebooks and less print books. So publishers, help me on this. Don't wait to put out the ebook after the print book hits the stores. And don't price it more than the print book.

Thank goodness the week is over.

No real topic today, just working on actually posting. Went to work today and it wasn't too bad. A quiet Sunday for once. It seems like it's been crazy at work for forever. Guess when the going gets bad, people head to the used bookstores. I did find a few books that looked interesting, but I don't recall the titles offhand.

I did finish up Defending Angels by Mary Stanton. It's the first book in a new series about a lawyer with some unusual clients. I quite enjoyed it.

Miine, all miiiiiiiine!


After some serious lust over the Kindle and how much faster it responded than my current Reader, I decided to upgrade to the PRS505 since it will also be much faster than my current Reader. Even better, it comes in red! And free engraving!