Tuesday, February 28, 2006

February Roundup

The following is a list of romances I read & finished during the month of February. Listed in the order I read them:

1.Charming the Highlander

2.The Mystery Kiss

3.Lord Nightengale's Debut

4-6.Kiss of the Highlander, Dark Highlander & To Tame A Highlander

7.Sex, Lies & Vampires

8. Touched By Time

9.Valentine's Change of Heart

10.Love Underground

I also read The Romanov Prophecy. I had one DNF A Patriot's Heart, review here. The January DNF was Warrior's Song by Catherine Coulter, found

Year to Date Summary

20 Romances, 2 Thrillers, 2 DNF

Monday, February 27, 2006


I'm in Olympics withdrawal. A bit odd, I guess, since I'm a devoted couch potato whose idea of exercise is walking out to the car! LOL Still, there's something to be said for skin tight outfits & beautiful Alpine scenery. The children are planning to save so we can attend the next winter games in Vancouver Canada.

What else is new? Our new life insurance policies came through. Big increases for all. So if I suddenly disappear, you've been warned. Surprisingly enough, my blood work came back excellent, despite the weight I need to lose. I was really surprised, actually.

Currently reading The Subtle Serpant by Peter Tremayne. Set in Ireland in the seventh century. Great stuff, as long as you like mysteries. Historically accurate &, IMO, hard to figure out. I'm a HUGE fangirl of Sister Fidelma, the sleuth. BTW, if you need a primer on correct pronounciation (as I do) it is on the website.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Review: Love Underground

I read this as part of AngieW's February Challenge.

Title, Author, Year Published, Publisher:

Love Underground, part of the Goddesses series written by Alicia Fields and published by Signet in 2005, this this an entry in the latest trend in romance publishing- exploration of Greek mythology. This retells the myth of Persephone and Hades.

Why did you get this book?:

I love Greek mythology & collect mythological & paranormal romances.

Do you like the cover?


Did you enjoy the book?

Yes, I did.

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again??

Yes, this is a new to me author & yes, I plan to read more of her work.

Are you keeping it or passing it on?

Anything else?

Set in a small Greek village between the fall of Minos and the rise of the Common Era, Demeter has been a loving and indulgent mother. Persephone is now a young woman, on the cusp of adult womanhood, still allowed to run free among the meadows and hills surrounding the village. Various events occur, bringing Persephone to the attention of Hades, who lives deep in the sea caves not far from the village.

The tale plays out pretty much as expected. The setting has been tweaked though, in an unexpected way. Greece itself & the agricultural, village based life are prominent. Dieties are often locals- regular villagers with common occupations, who just happen to have supernatural powers.

There are a few issues I feel I ought to mention. None of them bothered me, but they are worth mentioning. First, Persephone is an older teen (16-17). Old enough begin her adult responsibilities in that era, but young by modern standards. Second, it is sweet. Plenty of shenanigans, but no description. Third, it is slightly shorter than many romances at two hundred seventy one pages. Four, there are some serious issues adressed, albeit in a light tone. Duty to village and family. Death. Faith. Independance. Letting go and moving forward.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Review: Valentine's Change of Heart

Written by Elisabeth Fairchild and published by Signet in 2003, this is one of a handful of historical romances I've read that treat alcoholism & its aftermath seriously. It isn't dark or heavy, but makes clear the far reaching implications of alcohol abuse and its aftermath.

Valentine Wharton, ex soldier, ex partier & newly sober has taken his nine year old daughter out of school for a trip to the shore in Wales. Accompanying them is one Elaine Deering, young Miss Felicity's favorite governess. Valentine's horrible, rakehell reputation precedes him, making Miss Deering reluctant to accompany them. Circumstances intercede and she accepts his offer of a permanent position.

Despite being a short form Regency, Ms. Fairchild thoroughly explores many of the painful ripples that spread outward for a long & far reaching time even after the alcoholic stops drinking. Ms. Deering is not portrayed as the merciful, perfect, faultless angel rescuing Valentine (thank God). She is flawed & frail just like the rest of us. Valentine struggles with sobriety, with becoming a father for the first time & against the wishes of his friends and family.

Definitely a keeper.

book review

Friday, February 24, 2006

DNF- The Dark Lord

I just can't finish it. I feel tortured. I saw the author's next book in the store the other day & passed on it, deciding I wanted to see if I liked this one. NOT. I really like Mrs. Giggles & was surprised to discover she & I agree completely about this one.

Picked a traditional Regency out of the TBR to 'cleanse my palate' so to speak.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Slogging through

Subtitled- why I don't read romantic suspense. I enjoy straight thrillers, especially spy/pursuit themes. I also enjoy spy historical romances. I really like paranormal romances. However, contemporary paranormal romantic suspense doesn't always cut it. It has to do with my own expectations as a reader & it's all in the pacing. I want it fast, fast, fast. No snide jokes please. *HAHAHA* I've come across a book that is really dragging me down & much of it has to do with pacing. TOO SLOW. Way too slow.

The other problem with this book, & yes, I am talking about a specific book, is that I have other issues. The hero & heroine have a Big Misunderstanding dating back- are you ready? to high school. They were deeply scarred by an event in high school. OK, let me say up front I hated much of high school. By the time I was on my own, though, the trauma was let go & I moved on. I realize that some people can't let go of past high school drama, but please, give me a break.

Other problems- the hero is an asshat. Why? He attempts to manipulate the heroine based on his perceived wealth & because she was a jerk in high school. Give me a ffing break please. They seem to be pushing thirty for Christ's sake. Get over the HS drama already. Not to mention the heroine's sister moves in & they all have issues together. Then there's the fact that the heroine has serious image issues.

Wrap it all up in a pretty package. Too slow, dislike the hero, hate Big Misunderstanding plots, characterization problems. There are too many secondary plotlines distracting from what ought to be primary- the romance. I'm gonna give it one last college try today. Maybe. Life is short & the TBR is huge.

What book is this? The Dark Lord by Patricia Simpson published by Tor in 2003.

, ,

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thursday 13 #2~ Travel Daydreams

Technorati (click link above) does a Thursday Thirteen meme, any subject. Since Husband & I have been discussing vacation plans for the summer and fall I think I'll list thirteen places I want to visit. In no particular order:

1. Montreal, Quebec- Fete des Neiges

2.Monument Valley, Utah

3. Nova Scotia & Newfoundland, Canada or HERE

4. Ireland

5. United Kingdom

6. New Zealand

7. Australia

8. Venice (before it sinks!)

9. German Christmas markets

10. Vienna- To learn to waltz

11. China

12. India

13. South Pacific Islands

Balls & Walnuts has a mouthwatering TT wandering down nostalgia lane.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Review: Touched by Time

One of the last gasps in an apparently disappearing subgenre- a traditional Regency, albeit one with a paranormal twist. Written by Leane Shawler and published by Zebra in 2005. I may have to look up Ms. Shawler's backlist, I really enjoyed this one.

Jane Leighton, normally a London jewelry store owner, has arrived at a B&B in present day Bath hoping to escape a tangled love affair gone drastically awry. Ramsay Chadwick, wealthy businessman & magistrate in 1812, is engaged to a beautiful young woman- who happens to be desperately infatuated with Ramsay's best friend.

Jane is given the B&B master suite as her room. That night she sees an apparition of Ramsay in her room- likewise Ramsay sees Jane as a ghost in his room. This happens several nights successsively until Ramsay touches her & suddenly Jane is live in the flesh in 1812. Jane manages to keep her cool better than Ramsay does when abruptly confronted with such a shock.

As the nights pass, Jane makes repeated trips back to Ramsay's time causing consternation & gossip among the Bath social elite. Will Ramsay resolve his engagement to a woman who doesn't actually love him? Will Jane be able to help him before his wedding day? Will Jane's ex lover let her go? How can Jane & Ramsay spend their lives together if they can only be together at night?

I enjoyed this little Regency romp with a ghostly gothic twist. It managed to meet all of the usual requirements of traditional Regencies yet add a twist that kept me happily involved.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Review: The Romanov Prophecy

The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry was originally published by Ballantine in hardcover in 2004, now out in paperback. I read this in several sittings spread over about ten days due to illness & the Olympics. An international espionage thriller, most of the action takes place in Europe although a gorilla at the San Francisco Zoo does make a cameo appearance.

Miles Lord, our hero, is an oddity in Russia- a black man. Miles has impressive political credentials. He is a member of the Tsarist Commission. You see, the Russian people have decided that the Tsars cannot be worse than their current leadership or that of the immediate past. Supposedly the Commission is to find the closest male genetic descendant of the Romanov family so he can be interviewed & installed on the throne. Unfortunately, the Commission has been infiltrated by a group of military, mafia & Western businesses. Their plan is to put a figurehead on the throne & subsequently control him.

Miles' job is to dig up relevant facts supporting the puppet's claim to the throne. Miles, however, is being duped and is too stupid to figure it all out until the very, very last second possible. Meanwhile, he slowly falls for Akilina Petrovna, a circus performer who manages to hide him from the mafia in her train car, after which she helps him in his search.

This is quite a page turner. Tightly plotted & chock full of Russian history, folklore & culture it is obvious Berry has done his homework thoroughly. I had a big problem believing a well educated, well traveled lawyer like Miles could be such an idiot for so long. Perhaps not to see the entire plot, but at least to be more suspicious, earlier. He doesn't even have the excuse that Akilina is distracting him. He's just not the brightest lawyer to see Moscow apparently.

Still, most of it wraps up well. All of the main characters are rounded, even the villains are given history & reasons why they have made certain choices. I found it amusing that Miles is black & Akilina is a pale blond with blue eyes. Not only that, Berry (the author) is white & Miles is black. Does a white author accurately portray a black man? A good yarn & well worth my time.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I spent today wandering around the craft store with Son #1 mulling choices for a Mardi Gras mask for French class. We decided on primary colored medium sized feathers & small feathers in black, white & red. Also paint& tacky putty to help the feathers adhere to the mask. What else? A large sheet of pumpkin colored card stock to mount his poem on (a poem about himself a la Walt Whitman) for literature class.

Also we are listening to Slim Shady on the XBox while Son #2 sets it up for his science fair project. The project is using a driving game with a steering wheel & pedals while chatting on a cell phone to record your driving abilities. We also plan to have the drivers change radio stations or CDs, for which we have set up Daughter's radio beside the steering wheel. We're all very interested to see how it goes & what differences there are, if any, between adult drivers & video game adept kids.

Husband is making Sunday dinner. Onions, potatoes & country ribs. He's very inventive. I never mind washing up if he's cooked.

Something fun to watch via BBC Sport. Too, too funny. Takes 10 minutes to watch & if you've boys or Husbands near or if you've an odd sense of humor, watch.

Back to the Olympics after my newest driver's ed exam. Which I'm sure I"ll fail, BTW.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Olympics Junkie

Why do I always want to start by saying "SO"?! It's a very odd verbal tic I guess. Anyhow (another tic), I enjoy some of the weird sports- like curling for example. The men's Sweden vs. USA match was excellent. All of those blond Swedes were totally YUMMY! Jeez, maybe I oughta delete that. Husband reads this & had a fit when I said in a review that I like green eyed men.

I also like snowboardcross. The U.S. girl who got a silver for showboating (& subsequently falling) before she crossed the finish line deserves to be taken down a peg. Pride goeth before a fall. Celebrating before you win is crass. Our uniforms are too bland BTW. No pizazz.

The flip side of the coin being the U.S. skier who was in a big crash a few days ago & persists in competing despite severe pain? A masochist. I'm tired of the U.S. commentators saying what a brave competitor she is, how mentally tough she is, etc. Stupid is more like it.

Husband played college football in a major nationally competitive (not Olympic level sports, but more than your average person) & regrets how often he played while injured 'to prove he was a good team player'. Now he has chronic pain issues. She's young, she needs to go to Kmart & buy a clue. Pain is a signal that perhaps you ought to stop & reevaluate.

What else? The Swiss men's hockey team beat the Canadians! WOW!!! Sorry to our northern neighbors, but it was a fantastic game. The Swiss goalie took something like twenty two shots in the third period & completely shut out the Candians for the first time since 1988. Stats thanks to NBC commentators.

Saving the best for last- one of the Swiss fans wore a cow outfit topped with horns & a red wig & frantically waved a cowbell in each hand. Very, very cool. And yet, somehow I find the Hogette Redskins fans too out there. Then again- I hate football.

Best commercial- the one that shows the mens' ski team summer training on the road sans shirts. BIG SIGH

Friday, February 17, 2006

Worthless Blog

AG had a link to a blog that gives your site a dollar value via Technorati. Mine is totally valueless! Absolutely zero. Glad to know all of these entries are a worthwhile way to spend my time. *Insert sarcastic smirk here*

I think it's funny, honestly. I blog to share my love of book hoarding, reading, book shopping, writing..you get the picture. The idea of assigning a dollar value to my thoughts feels like trying to put a value on my book collection or reading diary. These things are priceless to me! I guess valuation is good if you're an author or a businessman trying to build customers or similar reasons. For me, though, blogging saves my sanity.

I managed to completely embarrass my Daughter the other day. I was parked in the kiss & ride area waiting for her when 'Gold-digger' by Kanye West came on. Now as a rule I am too uptight to listen to & enjoy a lot of hip hop- except Outkast & Blackeyed Peas, but I really like this song. So anyway, daughter melted into a hissing embarrassed puddle when I refused to let her turn it down. "MOM! YOU'RE EMBARASSING ME!!" O.M.G. I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants. Then Eminem came on & after that Blackeyed Peas. Her life is officially over.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Library treasures

Found on the library trade shelves yesterday:

1. Loving the Highlander by Janet Chapman

2. Fire Me Up by Katie MacAlister

Purchased for Husband last night: The Third Secret by Steve Berry

Bought at Wally World on a whim Irresistable Forces edited by Catherine Asaro. This has short stories by Jo Beverley, MJP, Lois McMaster Bujold, C. Asaro, Jennifer Roberson & Deb Stover. I've read at least one work by all of the authors except two. I rarely buy anthologies so I'm breaking my own rule. I hope it'll be worth it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Review: Sex, Lies & Vampires

Written by Katie MacAlister. A unique combination of love and laughter, paranormal & chick lit Ms. MacAlister has caught & held my attention better than paranormals in a similar vein (ie: Lynsay Sands & Rosemary Laurey). This title, which I think is third of four books, is set in central Europe & London. Professor Nell Harris, medieval historian, is caught snooping in a castle by Adrian Tomas. Interesting & irrelevant aside- my copy has Adrian's name misspelled on the back cover.

Adrian is known as the Betrayer by his people because he has been enslaved by a demon & is thus compelled to do whatever the demon wants, including turning over his own people to the demon. Nell is a repressed, semiamnesiac Charmer; a person who can draw wards & undo them, as well as perform various spells. Once Adrian realizes what Nell can do, he wants her to undo the demon's curse on him, plus help him free his ensorcelled nephew.

Nell really appealed to me because she totally believes in Adrian & his goodness. When the chips were down, there she was- in his corner. Adrian is the first hero I remember who is emotionally vulnerable (although he doesn't see it that way, LOL). Nell does the emotional heavy lifting in this relationship, which fortunately is lightened with a hefty dose of humor. I love a couple who are supportive & able to laugh at themselves. Rare qualities indeed.

Monday, February 13, 2006

3 by K.M. Moning & 1 DNF

Over the weekend I read three of my stashed Karen Marie Moning Highlander titles. Out of order ..and didn't realize I was hopping between series either. Not only that, I also discovered I have two copies, different covers, of the same title and am short one book. Lovely!

Kiss of the Highlander
Second in the series. Features a time traveling physicist named Gwendolyn Cassidy and her enchanted Druid sorcerer Drustan MacKeltar. The MacKeltar family has been charged with keeping the Fae and humanity separated for many millenia. Now Drustan has fallen afoul of a crazed old woman and some gypsies. Gwen finds him, purely by accident & manages to travel back to 16th century Scotland & forward again without going completely crazy.

Dark Highlander

Third book. Features Drustan's twin Daegus,Drustan's evil spirit possessed brother, currently hiding in Manhattan from his twin and the cult out to kill him. Enter one Chloe Zanders, archivist & ancient civilizations historian, snooping in his apartment. Naturally, Daegus catches her hiding under his bed, amid condom wrappers and discarded women's thongs. Somehow Daegus both manages to appeal to her adventurous side and convince her to accompany him to Scotland to rid himself of his evil spirits.

To Tame A Highland Warrior

I had a few historical issues with this one, but none serious enough to prevent me from reading. My biggest problem is that I found the heroine a shrill grudge holder who wasn't above playing games with her man in order to achieve what she wanted. Not awoman I could easily like. The hero, Gavrael MacIllioch, is one of the fabled Berserkers, tormented & emotionally isolated since childhood. The 'heroine' is one Jillian St. Clair whose family fostered Grimm (Gavrael's nickname). Having turned down all of her suitors, her father has resrted to playing a trick on her in an attempt to get her to choose a husband. In the end Jillian & Gavrael make peace with one another & get their HEA.I just wish I liked her.

Skimmed through an older Stobie Piel title, A Patriot's Heart. Set in Revolutionary era America, an English officer meets & falls in love with a confused young woman whose family history is convoluted & has left her deeply scarred. This is an atypical colonial era romance, where the villians & the good guys are all shades of grey. It did not catch me deeply enough to read it all, however, and will be traded at the UBS.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Review: Lord Nightengale's Debut

Written by Judith Lansdowne & published by Zebra in 2000, this the first of a four book quartet starring a matchmaking parrot named Lord Nightengale. Nicholas Earl of Wickenshire is in residence at a ramshackle, run down manor attempting to restore it when he discovers his eccentric aunt bequeathed him over three hundred thousand pounds. IF he can teach Lord Nightengale to sing a song by June first.

Serendipity (Sera) Bedford & her sister Divine (God save us from the cutesy names, please) are about to be thrown out on their ear by the distant relative inheriting their father's title (their mother having been derelict in her duty to provide a male heir). Luckily, Nicholas' cousin Eugenia comes to the rescue in the nick of time and gets Sera the job of teaching Lord Nightengale to sing.

Enter a mysterious plot involving the butler & Eugenia, a nefarious plot between a male cousin & the new heir to Sera's father's title, the necessity of teaching the bird to sing, new puppies & kittens. Well, there you have it. A slightly gothic country house party, well adjusted hero & heroine, adorable animals & children. Overall, a nicely done light afternoon's reading.

New Treasures:

1. Briar Rose by Jane Yolen- Part of the Fairy Tale series, published in 1992. The Holocost meets the traditional German fairytale Briar Rose.

2. Haunted by Kelly Armstrong, 2005 Bantam

3. Moon Called by Particia Briggs, 2006 Ace

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Review: The Mystery Kiss

Written by Judith Lansdowne, TMK is a traditional Regency, spiced with gothic overtones. Fleur Avondale, Lady Marston, is newly a widow in London to present her stepdaughter Althea to society. Problem being Fleur is what good Ton would call a 'mushroom'- that is she is a shipbuilder's daugher! Oh the horror of it all! She shall pollute them all with her inferiority & ...well, you get the picture.

Atticus Howard, the widower Earl of Hartshire, and his young heir Will are on their way into London when they come across young Althea helping Fleur while Fleur is busy puking her guts up on the side of the road. Hartshire rescues her, gives her a remedy & departs for London. Leaving mystified Avondale ladies behind him.

The storyline develops from there and involves wife abuse, plots to overthrow the British government, young love, and any number of other excitements, such as spies, butlers who aren't what they seem & abigails who really need to be taught to walk properly.

Anyhow, Atticus has a severe inferiority complex due to his height (6'5") and large ears. Fleur slowly transforms from the protective wall she built around herself as a shield from her now dead husband. Atticus helps her immensely with this. It is of course a cliche that the 'mushroom' becomes an Original with the help of the hero, but in this case Lansdowne makes a believable case for the transformation of a downtrodden woman unfurling at last upon the death of her tormentor.

Atticus and Fleur make a believable couple hoping for another chance at love and acceptance and growth. Will & his pet dormouse are an adorable sidelight. Keeper.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Review: Charming the Highlander

I really fell in love with the hero in this book. Grey MacKeage was transported forward in time eight hundred years & now lives on a mountain in Maine, trying to open a ski resort. He and Grace Sutter and her infant nephew are involved in a plane crash. Enduring that harrowing adventure together create a bond between them that only strenghtens. Grace must grieve for her sister, care for her newborn nephew; deal with her ambitious, yet amoral boss & unravel a mystery that defies all of her mathematician's logic and fall love with Grey.

Grey must outgrow an ancient feud, learn the ways of modern women, cope with the physics of icefall & elude sorcerers & hired gunmen. Meanwhile Grey gives Grace the room to come to terms with her sister's death & returning custody of her nephew to his father. He isn't pushy or emtionally demanding, but he makes it clear Grace is his & he loves her.

YUM! You gotta love a man like that. Written by Janet Chapman this is the first book in a series. I regret that I ignored it, sitting there wedged into my TBR shelves. Now though I can go out & hunt for the remainder! Hooray! Book shopping! Anyhow, this is a keeper for the moment, but I'm undecided if it'll endure all year.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Romance & Manga

I went to the UBS yesterday afternoon looking for a Juliana Garnett title, as recommended by Romancereadingmom. I didn't find the one she read (The Laird), but I did find The Knight & I already have The Scotsman in the TBR. I also bought another copy of Anne Stuart's Black Ice. The original copy I had disappeared out of the TBR & I can't find it.

As I mentioned a few days ago I really want to dig in & read some manga. Daughter reads the series that are TV tie ins & she really enjoys them. I thought I'd try it too- show the Daughter you can teach an old dog new tricks, LOL. The UBS has barely a half a shelf, but I did find one I wanted. Only one or two of the books had a description of the story. Some begin on what would be, in most Western countries, the back cover. Others were set up like regular books (Front to back). Anyhow, the one I bought is actually book two in a pair. Written by Hiroaki Samura the series is called "Blade of the Immortal" and the book is On Silent Wings II.

The back cover says:

"In her quest across feudal Japan to avenge the murder of her parents, Rin has seen too much death and agony. When she befriends a young boy, she is horrified to discover that his father is one of her parents' killers. Weary of blood, Rin now wishes only an apology from the killer, a mask maker whose only desire is to keep his evil past from his son and who will take up the sword again to protect his secret. Protecting Rin, however, is the immortal samurai, Manji, but if he kills the mask maker, will Rin's young friend be drawn into the same cycle of vengeance that has scarred her own life?"

According to the author blurb, Samura has won awards for this series both in Japan & the U.S. I am attracted to the quest storyline & the fact that none of characters appears to be an archetype. I am totally unfamiliar with Japanese cultural & literary archetypes though, so I might discover later that these are stock characters. Still, it looks & sounds promising.

Daughter read the first several pages & wants it when I'm finished so at least that part of it might work.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Follow Up: The Autobuy ?

This is a follow up to the Thursday February 2nd post on Book Lovers' Nook titled The Autobuy Question. AG raises many thought provoking questions which I decided to answer here so as not to hog her comments. I found AG via Kristie(J).

For me characterization outweighs nearly all. Slow pacing is no big deal. Loose plotting is ok as long as other factors keep me involved. Sexual tension is important although I do read 'sweet' romances & most of the time I don't miss the sex. Once in a while I've read a sweet romance & fell so in love with the hero I wished they would get it on. *blushes* It is enough that the couple ends up together & committed at the end.

As to series, I tend to be loyal until I feel either a) I can't relate to the heroines (Christine Feehan), b) they all blend in together (Bridgertons), c) one of them TOTALLY turns me off (Slightly) or d) I'm ready to move on. Hope springs eternal though. Some authors, especially ones whom I've heartily enjoyed, I'm very reluctant to give up on. I do not read anthologies, I find the quality too inconsistant & books are too expensive.

I have followed autobuys into other subgenres, ie: Elizabeth Lowell & Julie Garwood. I am a huge fangirl of Anne Stuart & I read her romantic suspense. She is the only romantic suspense author I read. I no longer read Garwood or Lowell mysteries, but that's mostly because I prefer international spy thrillers, which neither of them write.

An autobuy, for me, means I do not: read the blurb, read the first chapters, ask friends for reccs or read reviews. My romance autobuys are: Gaelen Foley, Anne Stuart, Adrienne Basso, Susan Squires, Lynn Kurland, P.C. Cast, Melanie Jackson, Shana Abe. A partial list of romance authors I follow, but who are not autobuys are: S. Laurens, J. Quinn, J. Beverley, M. Balogh, E. James, C. Dodd, C. Feehan, among others.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Questions, questions & no answers

How can a society balance the need for free speech and freedom of the press with the desire of a faithful people that their holy one not be blasphemed? Can societies which deem hate speech illegal print cartoons that are offensive to others and claim what they do is allowable because of freedom of the press/free speech?

Does a group of faithful people have the right to demand that secular societies follow the dictates of their belief? Can one automatically assume that an entire government or society should be painted with the same brush because of the actions of a few? Why is it permissable for group A to satirize group B, yet when group C satirizes group A, this action is illegal & incites strong negative responses?

Can a society which does not have free speech or freedom of the press or democratic & free elections & which may have secret police fully comprehend these qualities in another culture which is totally different from theirs? Can societies that have free speech & press & elections & which (hopefully, most of the time) aren't spied upon in secret, honestly understand the viewpoint of societies who may believe governments everywhere control the press?

Is freedom of speech or freedom of the press only supportable when said speech or press is favorable? In other words, ought negative or provocative or hateful speech be supressed simply because one group or another deems it so? If that is the case, what is left to say?

Is the rift between cultures repairable? Will we ever be able to discuss our opposing views?

free speech

Friday, February 03, 2006

Cartoons, satire & free speech

Too busy today to do much reading. I think I read perhaps ten pages in the time traveling knight meets single mom math/sattelite person. Whatever the title is. The Janet Chapman book. Tomorrow looks to be calmer I hope I can sit on my ever expanding bottom & read more.

The whole freedom of speech & freedom of the press vs. religious sanctity issues (re: the cartoons satirizing the prophet Mohammed) are getting pretty heated. I haven't had time to hunt for the cartoons (originally printed in September), but I hope to find them this weekend. I'm likely to blog about it in a few days. It has been in the back of my mind quite a bit. I am very conflicted about it all, though.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #1~ Fav. Movies

Technorati (click link above) does a weekly meme where participants make out a list of thirteen___________ fill in the blank about your favorite subject. I found this via Balls & Walnuts & I like his list & the others I found on Technorati. So, here's my

Thursday Thirteen

Favorite Movies in no particular order

1. Lion in Winter

2. Casablanca

3. LOTR series

4. Ragtime

5. Amelie

6. On Golden Pond

7. In America

8. Triplets of Belleville

9. War & Peace

10. March of the Penguins

11. Sleeping Beauty

12. Gigi

13. Pink Panther series

Desperately Seeking...manga titles

I need manga/anime recommendations & websites. Our daughter is a fangirl of this type of graphic novel & I'd like to be able to share some of her excitement (& possibly even have a conversation!). A common activity if you will. The problem is I've no idea where to begin. She reads the ones based on TV programs, but I'd like to branch away from those. My favorite UBS doesn't have any so I'll buy them new, if that makes a difference. Please point me in the right direction towards websites, authors, series names, things to be aware of, etc. TIA!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Two at a Time

I'm reading two books simultaneously. The first is Charming the Highlander by Janet Chapman. Yes, it was purchased new & has languished in my TBR ever since. The opening scene in chapter one is heartbreaking, but it captured me completely even in the short time I waited for Son #2 to saunter out of school.

The second title I'm reading is Tales from the Scale by Erin J. Shea. It is a compilation of essays written by seven women, some of whom blogged about their weight loss before being published. By turns funny & heartbreaking, it is inspirational. If you, like me, are struggling with excess weight & want to be reminded that it can be done, this book might be for you.