Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Rummage Books

Daughter's Sunday school class is hosting a huge rummage sale in two weeks. Husband & I have been collecting odds & ends from around the house to donate. Unknown to me, he'd also mentioned the sale at work & collected quite a few things from his coworkers. One of which was a box of books!

I was so excited. You'd've thought Santa'd come early. LOL Unfortunately for me, the books were sci fi & thrillers by authors I don't read. Else they were half of a series. Never the first half, usually the middle or the end & mostly of series that seem to have no final chapter in sight. *Boo Hoo* I did salvage a like new mass market copy of Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey. I'd read the series in hardcover & loved it.

Other book news

I bought a copy of The City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan. Penguin has a beautiful little group of paperbacks of literary & philosphical masterpieces. Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is another one. The series is called Great Ideas. I plan to buy several more.

I also bought a copy of Much Ado in the Moonlight by Lynn Kurland.
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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

2 More Kenyons

I'm desperately trying to read down my TBR. Somehow I find Kenyon's work compelling & easy enough to read that I can glom three or four in a row. So far they haven't been keepers. Yet I enjoy the fact that there are recurring characters & readers get glimpses of them in subsequent books.

Night Play

You have your shapeshifter male with a huge Greek name who falls in lust with a zaftig Irish American woman who has just been dumped by her sucky tv personality boyfriend. You have your cast: the totally insane MIL, the almost but not quite trustworthy BIL, the zombified BIL, the Peltiers & their great bar Sanctuary, &, as always, Ash. So as long as you can totally suspend reality- you're in for a great read.

Seize the Night

Of all the Kenyons' I've read this one is my favorite because the hero, Valerius, is emotionally tortured. Valerius, half brother to Zarek (who has his own book, Dance with the Devil). Valerius has walled himself off because a)of his family history & b) most of the other Dark Hunters hate him due to (A). Tabitha, the local 'crazy lady' vampire huntress, empath & secret soft hearted do gooder accidentally stabs him during a fight. One thing leads to another & eventually, Tabitha gets Valerius to loosen up & let go & Valerius teaches Tabitha that not everyone thinks she's "only" the crazy lady.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day Concert

Late yesterday afternoon we took Metro up to DC to watch the Memorial Day Concert from the lawn of the Capitol building. It was a beautiful night, cool & breezy, lavender tinted sunset right behind the huge tree beside the stage. Clear view down the Mall to the & glimpses of Arlington in the distance. Note, the view in this photo is exactly what we saw.

We'd packed all the fixins for chicken fajitas, plus a few snacks. A few years ago I bought a picnic backpack from LL Bean. It was the best buy- we use it all the time in the summer. Sidenote- having older kids is great. They're used to carrying backpacks all of the time so I have one of the older ones carry it. Back to the main event. The Capitol Area Scouts were giving out bottles of water. Not that it was overly hot (lower 80's) but there isn't any shade on that lawn.

We had a great time. Love to be outdoors at night.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Locked In

It's finally air conditioner season here in metro DC. Until very recently- read a couple of days ago, it hadn't been hot/humid enough to put the extra air conditioner in the window. See, the problem is we live in an older (50+ years) building that has cheap single pane windows & a tiny AC unit.Together this means that it's colder inside in winter & hotter in summer than the resident (ie: my family) might like it. Dollar bills float through the windows at alarming speed.

So we bought a small window unit that helps take the load off of the main one. & surprisingly, our energy bills dropped signifigantly beginning that summer. The landlord has added small decks to some of the units (our complex has quite a few duplexes) rather than invest in substantial renovations like better quality windows or more powerful AC units. But I digress.

This morning Husband & Sons wrestled the little unit into the window & added the weatherstripping etc. I am officially locked into the house for the duration of AC season. *WAAAH* I like to be able to open doors & windows for fresh air. It gets stale in here- especially with three males around.

The only side benefit to the sweltering weather is that my hands & feet aren't ice cold all the time. The bad thing- I often 'feel hot' & don't want to be touched, hugged, etc. during the summer 'cuz everyone is radiating heat. It's yucky hugging someone you can fry an egg on. Husband hates summer for this reason & related ones..LOL.

Hope your house is cooler than mine!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Kiss of the Night; S.Kenyon

A long time ago I started stocking up on S. Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. I didn't read them, I just bought them. I have quite a little collection going now. Slowly I've read them usually several at a time. Today I had to take Son #1 to the dr. Last time I had to take one of them to the dr on a Friday I was there for over 2 hours. Today I grabbed this title on the way out the door & read a good bit of it. Between the dr & the lab I'd plenty of reading time.

You have your basic immortal Viking & your human hybrid girl. Normally archenemies, they're thrown together by feuding, manipulative Immortals. Lust paves the way though. Both of them being victims of external plotting, they now have common ground. That & the fact that the girl is pregnant with his child. In the end, it's all good of course.

You know. I had a lot of problems with the plot & with the characters, yet somehow it kept me curious & flipping pages. I wanted to know how they got to their HEA. I enjoyed seeing other Dark Hunters from previous titles. Not a keeper & yet a good adventure yarn. Kenyon is an autobuy for me despite the fact that I've yet to have a keeper title from her. Go figure.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thursday 13 #11- Road Rage

Driving pet peeves. I live in the DC 'burbs & driving here is pretty bad, although not as bad as the top 5 on this list I do not claim to be a 'perfect driver.' I am human & I lose my temper- HOWEVER- I did learn to drive in Boston. Which is city #5.

Leave a link to your Thursday 13 in the comments & I'll link to your blog. Click link above to see more TT participants.

1. Not using turn signals. I don't necessarily care if you pass me on the right, cut me off etc, but I do want to know where you're going.

2. Weaving in & out of heavy traffic at high speed. You're going to kill yourself & a few others as well.

3. Tourons (hybrid word consisting of tourist & moron & is therefore self explanatory) who decide they want that exit right there & veer over 4 lanes of traffic at 80 mph to get there.

4. Stopping in the middle of a merge lane because you're scared, intimidated, etc. If driving bothers you that much than don't put the rest of us in danger with your stupidity.

5. Not turning right on red when you're allowed to, even though there's no oncoming traffic.

6. Pulling out in front of me when there's less than 3 car lengths between us & no one behind me.

7.Driving down the emergency lane unless you're a cop or EMS.

8.Backing up in lanes, on ramps or on the highway. Are you crazy?! Go up one more & turn around!

9.Blocking traffic lanes for a fender bender. Pull over onto the shoulder. Jeez. It's just a car.

10.Blocking an intersection

11.Driving less than the posted speed on the highway. You're gonna get run over. For your own safety, if 55 mph & up is scary to you- drive on the secondaries.

12.Cell phone drivers. Note, this all the way down at 12. I've seen both really scary & surprisingly good driving while people are on the phone. It depends on the driver. Spend the extra $$ & use handsfree technology. Better yet- pull over or get in the slow lane.

13.Tailgating at high speed

Edited-Doug has his Thursday 13 up, as does Fiona

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

2 Trad. Regencies

A Proper Marriage

Written by Debbie Raleigh & pubbed by Zebra in 2002. A classic case of opposites attract & then don't know how to get along. Enter Vicar Humbly, who married them, a drop in houseguest who pokes prods & asks gentle questions thus assisting the union of two truly happy hearts. Excellent portrayal of pastoral care & counselling, the terror of in laws & the need to loved as you are.

Devall's Angel

Written by Allison Lane & pubbed by Signet in 1998. A young woman has only one Season to find herself a husband because her brother's marriage is imminent & she refuses to live with their mother in the dower house. Does she marry the man the Ton deems the catch of the Season? Or the man everyone has condemned yet who seems to be around whenever she needs rescuing? Surprisingly deep characterization for a short format Regency.

Both are keepers.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


There's a great SmartBitch Day rant about American history in romances at JMC's. Very, very funny if only because it's so pathetically true.

Also, New York Times printed a list of the top American fiction of the last 25 years. Any opinions on the list? Love some? Hate some? Confused by some? Sense any literary snobbishness happening?


Beloved;Toni Morrison

Runners Up

Underworld; Don DeLillo
Blood Meridian; Cormac McCarthy
Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels; John Updike
American Pastoral; Philip Roth

Received Mutiple Mentions

A Confederacy of Dunces; John Kennedy Toole
Housekeeping; Marilynne Robinson
Winter's Tale; Mark Helprin
White Noise; Don DeLillo
The Counterlife; Philip Roth
Libra; Don DeLillo
Where I'm Calling From; Raymond Carver
The Things They Carried; Tim O'Brien
Mating; Norman Rush
Jesus' Son; Denis Johnson
Operation Shylock; Philip Roth
Independence Day; Richard Ford
Sabbath's Theater; Philip Roth
Border Trilogy; Cormac McCarthy
The Human Stain; Philip Roth
The Known World; Edward P. Jones
The Plot Against America; Philip Roth

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Maili's Meme

Please click the link above to Maili's webpage to to get links to the other four participants & see the questions she answered. If you'd like to play along, leave a link to your blog in the comments here & I'll think up questions for you tonight.

1. Name a film you’d watch every week for a year, and your reasons for choosing this film.

Hmm. I can think of a few movies I'd agree to watch that often, actually. The first one to come to mind is the LOTR series, mainly because it's visually stunning (scenery & actors) & has enough 'going on' that it could be fresh each time. Other choices would be Casablanca because I'm a sucker for tearjerkers. Amelie & Chocolat because they're cute & happy & sensual.

2. What were your favorite subjects in school and why?

History & English. History because I was born an armchair traveler & I love to learn about people & places long ago & far away (to paraphrase another movie). English literature, not grammar! Much of my childhood reading was centered around children's classics & the literary giants (thanks to my grandfather's tutelage). I fell in love with words & language very young & I find books have helped tide me over many of the difficult periods in my life.

3.What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

Ah. Hm. Leave them alone? Rant to the heavens that they are each endangered because of man's lack of appropriate stewardship on our little blue planet? Kill them both since they're unlikely to survive the lack of genetic diversity necessary to continue their species?

4. Barring being a mother, describe your greatest joy during your lifetime.

I will add the additional bar of being a wife, since I don't feel that either motherhood or wifehood defines the sum total of who I am.

I'd say the last visit I made to my childhood village was my greatest joy. I'd not returned to the area, other than flying visits for funerals, since I was a young teen. Both my father & my husband were military personnel & we moved often, but I always felt a very strong sense of place & belonging to my small village. I returned a few years ago with my husband & went hiking & took long walks & went to the last country fair of the fall. It sounds corny I know, but a part of my soul sighed in contentment & happiness & said, "You belong here. You will carry me in your heart forever."

5.If there was a time machine, which time period would you visit and why?

I think I'd probably go back to golden age of the Roman Empire. I'd love to see the Coliseum & the Forum in their glory. The US is often described as 'the evil empire' & I'd enjoy comparing & contrasting the two.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Miss Timothy Perseveres; E. Hendrickson

Much of this is standard romance scripting and yet it worked. Orphaned young woman used as an upper servant & companion, named Persys Timothy, is summarily kicked out of her aunt's home when her cousin gets married. Fortune smiles on Persys the day after the wedding when the Duke of Eddington hires her to be a companion to his invalided mother.

Although immediately attracted to her, Eddington realizes Persys needs time & space. His mother is an astute & friendly woman who isn't above scheming ( alot!) to bring Persys & Eddington together. Throw in Eddington's scheming cousins, Charlotte & George, Persys' attempt to start a school for girls & Eddington's reticence & you've a touching comedy of errors & manners.

I enjoy Ms. Hendrickson's work as it rarely fails to make me smile.

Friday, May 19, 2006

One GoodTurn; Carla Kelly

Color me slow. Carla Kelly has quite a following among traditional Regency fans. Yet somehow I'd not found her. Finally I found one at my one & only UBS. Scooped it up & brought it home. Then it got buried in my TBR. For a very long time. Yesterday, however, the Romance Goddess smiled upon me & said, "Go forth to thy TBR, pull out Ms. Kelly's book & READ it. Today. I demand it."

And all I can say is, wow. This book really worked for me. The heroine, Liria, is a Spanish woman traveling with her young son, Juan, a few years after the War. The mail coach overturns & she sets out in a driving downpour carrying her son & her luggage making for the next inn. Along comes the Duke of Knaresborough, Benedict Nesbitt. Traveling to his seat with his niece & his butler, Knaresborough stops to pick Liria & Juan up, although only after his butler prods him. From there, chicken pox, unexpected guests & fate step in.

Liria's character is revealed mainly through Knareborough's thoughts & observations as opposed to her own actions. She appears to be all that womanhood ought to be- loving, maternal toward her son, organized, a good nurse. Attractive, although not in the classic English mold. If I may say so (speaking from personal experience), Kelly did an excellent job writing a character who had all of the traits of an excellent military wife.

Knaresborough is not revealed in the best light- in love with a married woman he can't have, a recovering alcoholic, obsessed with Liria's supposed status as a 'fallen woman' yet is also a man who eats with his staff belowstairs. Even so, his love for his niece & Juan clearly comes across, his (eventual) concern for his men upon their return to civilian life all speak of a man returning to life after the horrors of a vicious war.

Knaresborough & Liria must reach across the bounds of culture, personal history, class & the long term effects of war to make their dreams come true. Liria's history becomes Knaresborough's obsession. Will she, can she, tolerate his digging into her past? Can each individual grow enough to allow love to flower between them? Can the horrors of war be healed?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thursday 13 #10- Keeper Authors M-Z

Finishing last weeks's theme, this week rounds out the alphabet M-Z on my romance keeper shelves. I've only listed authors who have two or more titles on my shelves.

1. Amanda McCabe

2. Judith McNaught

3. Nadine Miller

4. Karen Ranney

5. Marylyle Rogers

6. Anne Stuart

7. J.R. Ward

Obviously I've six more to go so I've decided to list authors in my TBR who have two or more titles on the shelves.

8. Rexanne Becnel

9. Jo Beverley

10. Marsha Canham

11. Loretta Chase

12. Claire Delacroix

13. Christina Dodd

Click on the link above to see a list of other Thursday 13 participants. If you leave a link in the comments I'll link to you here~

The ever efficient Doug at Balls & Walnuts has his 13 up. Fickle Fiona has hers up too!

Sidebar Addition

Please stop by Fickle Fiona's & say hello.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sidebar Additions

I've added three more people to my sidebar, please stop by their blogs & say hello. Cranky and Evil Auntie Peril I found via Smart Bitches. Marg I've seen at Maili's & Avid Reader's (Keishon).

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Great Book Covers

In Spain, that is. Squawkradio has a beautiful selection of book covers done up by Spanish publishers. I like many of them much more than ones I've seen here. Why must we suffer with such horrid covers? Obviously someone somewhere can compose nice covers! Just not here in the U.S. I think.

Which Squawkradio covers do you like & which are meh? My favorites are Lisa Kleypas' covers. Also the Christina Dodd cover on the very bottom. Medeiros' real estate covers are pretty too, but I always think they're (real estate covers, that is) a 'safe' choice. Maili has a beautiful first cover up on her blog.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Pillars of the World; Anne Bishop

Remember a few days ago when I discovered I'd started Anne Bishop's Tir Alainn series third book first? Well, I finished the first one Saturday (The Pillars of the World) .

I enjoyed it after a while, but I discovered that the impressions I already had were very hard to set aside. It only goes to show how hard it is to overcome first impressions! Truly, first impressions are crucial. I also discovered that Bishop's villains are equally horrifying in this series as her other series (The Black Jewels Trilogy).

I enjoyed the background details offered, but so far my impression is that these aren't strung quite so tightly together. The characters are just as compelling, especially the pair who are in a position of responsibility to the wider community, but who allow their own frailties & foibles to lead them (& many others) down the road to hell. You know that road- the one paved with good intentions.
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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Bewitching; Jill Barnett

Just a quick skim through for this one. None of it was truly appealing and yet I couldn't put it down. Compelling enough to skim through, but lacking enough oomph to cause me to read every single word.

Alec Castlemaine, the hero, emotionally abused & neglected through his childhood, has retreated into a cold & calculating shell. Joyous MacQuarrie, an inept white witch from the wilds of Scotland, becomes a wife of convenience through Alec's one impulsive act.

Things go downhill from there. Alec is overbearing, controlling & emotionally walled off from his wife. Joy, whom Alec calls 'Scottish' through the book, has no backbone whatsoever & tries whatever she can to attract/appease him without results.

There were several things I disliked about Bewitched. One- Alec cannot be bothered to call Joy by her given name or by her title. Two- she does not seem to have a backbone at all & accepts whatever crumbs he casts her way. Three- They finally come together through outside intervention, not their own efforts.

The positives- Alec's best buddies take Joy under their wings & help her as much as they can. Alec tries to protect Joy from the 'gossipy old biddies' of the Ton whenever he can. Alec & Joy both love, nurture & protect Stephan as much as they can, despite their estrangements.

So- enough to keep me occupied me for a couple of hours, but just barely.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Reading Update

Wednesday Husband & I ran around doing this that & the other. Luckily, I'd brought The Pillars of the World with me to tide me over a long wait. The down side, I left the book under the seat of his car & didn't find it until just now. Meantime, I'd hunted high & low for it.

Thursday I gave up & started The Changeling, which is a reread & therefore doesn't count toward my annual book total. Changeling is another young adult fantasy. Light in tone, yet sounds & feels like a folk tale or legend.

Young serving girl in a fishing village becomes infuriated with the sea that took her fisherman father & won't return him. Peri determines to hex the sea, hoping it will return her father. The King's son, Prince Kir, discovers her plot & helps her having a hidden motive of his own. Who succeeds & who fails & how even the smallest actions can make large ripples round out this little tale. Well worth a quick afternoon read.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Sorcery & Cecelia; Wrede & Stevermer

What a treasure! A gothic, paranormal traditional Regency wrapped up in a young adult package. According to the copyright page, it was originally published in 1988 by Wrede (author of the series Dealing with Dragons). Stevermer has published a book called River Rats. In the authors' notes at the end, it seems it began as a type of creative writing exchange). Which by the end of the summer they realized might become a book.

Told in first person as a letter exchange between two cousins. Each girl's voice is unique & easily identifiable as her own. The period details are all there & I found this story to be very close to the tone & feel of a well done traditional Regency (Alison Lane & Judith Lansdowne come to mind) as opposed to a young adult paranormal.

Cecelia is mired in the country with her family while her cousin Kate is bundled off to London for her first season. They stumble into an odd little conundrum entirely by accident. Things develop from there. Quite well, as a point of opinion. Lady Jersey & the Countess Lieven both make appearances. I have to say though, Lady Jersey is less favorably portrayed than is common, while Almack's is descibed in altogether a rosy fashion. Which I supppose is only to be expected as Kate is from the country & does not pretend to have 'town bronze' as it is usually described.

The next book in the series is The Grand Tour already available. Another, The Mislaid Magician comes in November of this year. The back cover is sufficiently enchanting that even Daughter, the 14 year old anime fanatic, is intrigued.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thursday 13 #9- Keeper Shelf Authors

Authors A-L whom I have two or more titles, on my romance keeper shelves, in alphabetical order:

1. Shana Abe

2. Mary Balogh

3. Jill Barnett

4. Jo Beverley

5. Christine Feehan

6. Gaelen Foley

7. Sandra Heath

8. Michele Jaffe

9. Lisa Kleypas

10. Lynn Kurland

11. Allison Lane

12. Judith Lansdowne

13. Elizabeth Lowell

None of the Laurens titles are Cynster series. The Lowell titles are very old historicals.

Hope you liked a little peek at my reading life!
*Edited to add- Balls & Walnuts has his 13 up!

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Do Over

Yesterday I said I'd started on the third book in Anne Bishop's Tir Alainn trilogy. This morning I started the first one. I hope filling in the backstory goes quickly, I want to return to the third book ASAP. I'm not as patient as I pretend to be!

Very interesting discussion over at Avid Reader's about Tearjerkers. Everyone had a different viewpoint, which is always fun.

I need to go out & find Paullina Simons' Tatiana & Alexander series. Which, according to Amazon UK, the third book will be out in the UK this summer. I've not heard of these, but they seem to have a loyal following & hopefully the third one will be just as great as the first two.

Off to the UBS & lunch out with Husband.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Webby Awards

The 10th annual Webby Awards have been decided- click the link above to see 'the best of the best.' I have to say, I surf quite a bit & have only seen a few of these, but it'll be fun visiting the sites & poking around.

Currently Reading:

The House of Gaian by Anne Bishop, book three of the Tir Alainn series. I guess I likely ought to begin with the first one, which is Pillars of the World, but I'm 140 pages into this one & don't want to stop. We'll see. I'm sure the story would arc & resonate better in order.

Monday, May 08, 2006

April Synopsis

Following is a list of titles I read during April. Some new, some old, some romances, some horror, & some fantasies. One DNF.

1.Silver's Bane by Anne Kelleher~Fantasy Romance

2.Solstice Wood by Patricia McKillip~Fantasy

3.Sunshine by Robin McKinley~Horror

4.Lover Eternal by Robin McKinley~Romance

5.Dark Demon by Christine Feehan~Romance

6.Minion by L.A. Banks~Horror

7.Love's Reward by Jean R. Ewing~Romance

8.A Noble Resolve by Sara Blayne~Romance

9-11.Lady Scandal, Her Perfect Earl & Under the Kissing Bough. Lady Scandal & Under the Kissing Bough by Shannon Donnelly. Her Perfect Earl by Bethany Brooks.~Romance

12.A Singular Lady by Megan Frampton~Romance

The DNF was Lady Scandal by Shannon Donnelly.


Stolen from Tara. There's only one question, but lots of reading so I suppose it isn't a quiz, but game isn't quite right either.

You Are 52% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.
Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.
But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.
You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

Try it & see!

The Black Jewels Trilogy; A. Bishop

In this series, the good guys are very very good & the bad guys are very very bad. I have to say though, that I felt the 'good guys' were more rounded, complex characters- fuller human beings. The bad guys, I saw as similar to historical people like Hitler & Stalin. Totally out of touch with their own humanity, morality, compassion. Completely warped out of recognition by the pursuit of power & wealth. People who enjoy the subjugation & suffering of others.

I only managed to read 'the bad guys'parts through the first book. After that I found them too ..evil, over the top, something like that. They made me too uncomfortable. Besides, I was too much in a hurry to see what everyone else was up to. Where they were going & how they wanted to get there.

The major themes arcing across these books, as I see them, are: proper use of governing power; relationships between men & women, humans & animals, magically gifted & 'regular' people, parent & child; the whys wherefores & how tos of maintaining faith in a person or idea during a time of struggle. Last, but not least~ we get to watch a man & a woman develop the friendship & trust & openness necessary to a strong relationship. Subsequently you alternately laugh & cry with them & for them as they & their relationship are pushed to the ultimate limit.

The plot is this- a variation of humans gifted with differing levels of magic rule over a small group of countries in a medieval type setting. In one particular country, the ruling women subjugate the men in their court via pain & torture & degredation. A pair of brothers is held separately, in different courts, in this manner. It turns out they are awaiting a prophesied all powerful queen who, according to legend, will restore the power balance & morality of the magical race.

She finds each brother while a small child & visits them in their cells. We then watch her grow & suffer until she accepts her tutor's offer to live with him in his court. The brothers manage to make their way either to her at her family estate or to their father's court where she ends up as both his adopted ward & his pupil. Once she has fully come into her power, she is obligated to cleanse her people of the evil taint. How she does this, the price she must pay & the price her loved ones must pay totally absorbed my attention & captured my heart.

I strongly recommend this series. I ran around like a crazy woman last week hunting for Anne Bishop's books & it has been well worth my time, effort & and money.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Day on the DC Mall

My mom is visiting over the next day or so specifically so we could see the Cezanne exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. Advice- don't be cheap. Rent the audio tour. They're very good & well worth the money (in this case $5). My favorite is a watercolor, rarely seen, of a bridge with the barest of outlines of bathers in the water. Unfortunately, I could not find a print of this watercolor for sale in any of the books in the shops. *Waah* :(

It is also National Public Service Recognition Week- a fact I didn't know until we arrived on the Mall & saw a huge display of military & police vehicles, tents, police dog demos, helicopters, etc. Tons & tons of assorted vehicles to climb on, Navy divers in a tank to play tic tac toe with (via waterproof markers & plexiglass) who are VERY EASY on the eyes ladies. Mounted police. It's a kids heaven. Unfortunately, they weren't on any of the events calendars I looked at while hunting around for this post so whatever traffic they get will be purely by happenstance.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thursday 13 #8- Fav. Themes

Romance novel themes that is. Clink the link above to see more participants & their lists. Ready? Set..go!

1. Emotionally wounded hero
a)Lord of Ice Gaelen Foley
b)The Duke & I, Julia Quinn
c)Once A Warrior, Karen Monk

2. Guardian & Ward
a)Kissing Cousins, Nadine Miller
b)Four in Hand, Stephanie Laurens

3. Abduction/Captive
a)Promise the Moon

4. Highwayman/thief
a)My Lady Notorious, Jo Beverley

5.Time Travel
Any Lynn Kurland

6. Paranormal
a)Vampires- Susan Squires, JR Ward, a few Christine Feehan
b)Fairies- Marylyle Rogers, The Fairy Godmother Mercedes Lackey
c)Other Creatures- Melanie Jackson; Dream of Me, Lisa Cach; Smoke Thief, Shana Abe

a)An Arrainged Marriage, Jo Beverley

a) Guilty Pleasures, Laura Lee Guhrke
b)Lord Stanhope's Propsal, Jessica Benson

9.Second Chances
a)The Bedeviled Duke, Judith Lansdowne
b)Borrowed Dreams, May McGoldrick

a)My Lady Notorious, Jo Beverley
b)Promise the Moon, Linda Lea Castle

a)Scandal, Brenda Joyce

12.Marriage of Convenience
a)The Reasons for Marriage, Stephanie Laurens
b)The Deception, Joan Wolf

a)Dark Champion, Jo Beverley
b)Lord of Danger, Lady Fortune- Anne Stuart
c)Wild, Wonderful- Jill Barnett
d)Secret Swan, Shana Abe

IMO, what this list proves, more than anything else, is that sometimes even the most overused Romancelandia cliches can be well &/or uniquely done. Sidenote- none of my Laurens titles are the Cynster series. Hmmm.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Math Game

Fun & easy- I promise! I found this here. Ready? No calculators allowed.

1. How many times per week would you like to eat some chocolate? IOW, pick a number between 1-10.

2. Multiply by 2. After all, you can never eat enough chocolate!

3. Add 5

4. Multiply by 50. No cheating. Use scratch paper.

5. If you've had your birthday already add 1756. If your birthday is coming add 1755.

6. Subtract the four digit year you were born

You should end up with a three digit number. The first number is your original number from step one. The second two digits are your age. According to the site where I found it, 2006 is the only year this game will work. I don't know about that, but it was a fun few minutes. I tried this with our children last night & it works every time! Have fun!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mudslinging time

A big thank you to Lindy on the Romantic Times for bringing this to my attention. Click the link above. Read the section titled, Over the Ocean. The part you're looking for is at the bottom. Are you pissed off yet? You should be. Here, here's the most judgemental part, in case the link is bad. Ready:

"I don't write romances, where there is nothing more than the man and woman getting together and then being torn apart and the rest of the book is about their getting back together. My books are too complex for romance readers.."

This is a link to her website, in case you don't know who she is.

I'm actually surprised the magazine didn't edit out that segment of her reply. We may not get much respect *nods to Rodney Dangerfield*, but our dollars do. I would have thought (who knew I could think? I read those trashy romances after all) the editors of this magazine wouldn't want to offend a huge segment of the book buying public. Did they think this obviously inflammatory quote wouldn't get around?

Romance reading women are apparently stupid cows who lack the intelligence to buy superior fiction, ie: hers. Or could this be a slam on the editors who feel this woman won't sell in the US? A slam on the publisher's PR deptartment? In other words, if we (that is, US readers) haven't heard of her, whose fault is it- ours or her publisher & marketer's? Slamming the biggest spending segment of the book buying public is not the way to go.


I think I'm in danger of becoming Tara's most despised creature- a rabid fangirl!As soon as I dropped Son #2 off at school & tidied up the house I rushed out to the UBS to grab up all of their Anne Bishop books. Luckily I found four of the six & scooped them up. So I only had to pay full price for two. Husband's sigh of relief can be heard all 'round the globe at eight pm tonight when he finds out. LOL

I bought a new to me author based solely on title alone- a very, very rare event for me I have to say. It's Sir Apropos of Nothing by Peter David. I love puns & word games & puzzles. I couldn't resist. Besides, I'd just saved all that money on the Anne Bishop books. Right?!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sebastian; Anne Bishop

Have you seen a print of Rind by MC Escher? Or maybe you like Salvador Dali's thought inspiring world where the usual laws of physics don't apply? Anne Bishop's new novel, published this past February by ROC reminds me strongly of these artists.

Ephemera (which means anything short lived or transitory, according to Random House) is a totally unique world & Bishop peopled it with strong individuals who must follow their own paths toward a common destiny. A world where gardeners hold the fate of many in their plots & where bridges are men. Where all of the usual rules suddenly no longer apply.

Sebastian, my favorite hero type of all- wounded & tormented- must think on his feet & with his heart when world shattering events begin unfolding all around him. Lynnea finds Sebastian's piece of the world & brings light & peace & humanity to the place more important to Sebastian than almost anything else. Together they will have to face their innermost hearts to defeat a common enemy. Will they have the courage to grasp their destiny?

I'd not read Anne Bishop previous to this. Boy, what I've missed, let me tell you. Now I'm compelled to run around like a maniac & glom all of her backlist. She reminds me of Robin McKinley or Anne McCaffrey. Sebastian is an excellent fantasy with strong roamntic elements. Highly recommended.