Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bookwormom's Texas Red Chili

Due to requests, here is my recipe for traditional Texas red. Chili is often a catch all dish here in the US. Recipes vary greatly by region. Texas, being its own country, has strict rules as to what is allowed in chili. I can't give you exact amounts as I cook this by sight & taste. This chili is supposed to be extremely spicy- make sure you have lots of your favorite beverage ice cold & ready.


Butter or canola oil
Well marbled beef roast, cut into small bite sized cubes
4 oz. tomato paste
1-2 bottles Beer- Mexican for authenticity, if not use a light tasting beer
1 mug (11-16 oz depending on taste) very strong brewed coffee
2 large white onions, minced
chili powder (maybe 1/4 cup)- Make sure it's good quality & fresh
cumin- 2 Tbsp? This is available as either seeds or ground. I've no preference.
salt to taste
1-2 fresh HOT peppers (Scotch bonnet, habanero, etc), cubed, whatever is best quality & easily bought. If desired, seed before adding to pot- use gloves & seed under running water if this is your preference. Be very careful. The oils are very painful if you get them in your eyes or nose or mouth.

NO BEANS or other veggies allowed. No exceptions.


Rule #1~ Do not use ground beef. Buy a good quality roast. How much roast you buy depends on how many people you're feeding. I usually buy 5 lbs minimum for the 5 of us. Lightly brown (not thoroughly cook) the meat in butter or canola (not olive oil). A cast iron pan is best because of even heating & browning. Brown in small batches. Set aside. Brown onions in remaining juice. In a large Dutch oven or crock pot, combine beef bites & onions & hot peppers. Blend beer, coffee, tomato paste & spices. Pour over beef mixture. Stir thoroughly.Rule #2~The chili should be thick & meaty, do not add so much liquid that the chili is soupy. Taste once or twice & adjust spices as needed. If you're using a Dutch oven, cook at 200 F overnight or at least 8 hours. In a crock pot, set on low and cook 8-10 hours. Chili should cook up very thick and extremely spicy.


This chili is spiciest if you serve it straight out of the oven without letting it rest in the fridge. I often cook this overnight a day ahead, two if I can arrange it. Let it rest in the 'fridge 10-12 hours, preferably a day. Rewarm slowly and serve with cornbread, tortillas, Fritos, etc. Whichever way you serve it, it's great. Excellent with sour cream & cheese & extra onions. If you can let it rest the spice factor will tone down as it cools in the fridge.

The Dragon King's Palace; L. J. Rowland

Written by Laura Joh Rowland in and published in 2003 by St. Martin's Minotaur. This is the eighth in an ongoing series. Set in 17th century Japan the sleuth is Sano Ichiro, often aided by his wife Reiko. I love this series because Ms. Rowland carefully maps out the interconnected spiderweb like relationships between all of the characters. Pluck one string on a spider's web and many others vibrate with it, if you see what I mean.

Reiko is one of the ladies in waiting for the Shogun's mother. When Lady Keisho-In decides to take a vacation Reiko & 2 others must go as well. Staying in Edo Palace without Lady Keisho-In isn't an option; never mind that one of the women is pregnant and due any day. During their travels the ladies are kidnapped by a well armed, well trained group of mercenaries. Who are they and what do they really want? Having the Shogun's mother is a powerful political chip- what is the agenda?

The husbands were left behind with the Shogun in Edo Palace. Too late they discover the kidnapping. Finding and rescuing the 4 women is problematic. The Shogun is weak minded and easily led. Sano and one of the other men are political and personal enemies who are very reluctant to have to work together, to put it mildly. The fourth man is Sano's assistant. Who among them has enemies powerful & wealthy enough to kidnap these women?

How far would you go to ensure your survival and that of your friends? How many bridges can you either build or burn, politically and personally, to rescue your loved ones? How much of your own integrity can (or should) you compromise to ensure you survive? Is the price you must pay worth it?

ETA~This is the first book in the series that really pushed my ick factor. I won't reveal why or how because of plot factors. I did finish reading it and there is some resolution to particular issues raised by the kidnapping. As in 'real life' however, other factors are left grey. I appreciate having a few strands left hanging loose. A little detail, but one I felt added to the realism.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Weekend Recap

A tiring weekend. Glad it's a new week.

The other four drove down to see Niece #1 for her birthday & have pizza at Chuck E. Cheese's. After that, further south to see FIL. He's in the middle of the paperwork blizzard trying to get approved for hospice care. Husband, who has worked hospice in the past, says insurance companies can be difficult (surprise, surprise) about who & what is covered. Meanwhile, I was off to Arlington for various errands. Endured the heavier than usual traffic streaming towards DC, which I attributed to the demonstrations. Link to photo gallery. Which incidentally, one of Son #1's friends attended & returned to show off a cap full of buttons. After the gang returned we curled up together and channel hopped between the X Games & shows we DVR'd earlier in the week.


Son#2 sings in choir at the 'early service'- earlier than our usual service anyhow. Today is annual meeting day, when budgets are laid out & business that requires approval of the entire congregation happens. After much to-ing and fro-ing and seemingly endless attempts at amendments and motions and whatnot, democracy prevails. Our church has new leaders, new budget numbers and approval to seek financing for $1.2 million in repairs to various systems in our buildings. The most exciting of which will be a new, state of the art pipe organ & loft for the choirs and the organ. Then we have a short intermission, long enough to drive home, have a snack and a short snooze. Return to church for the annual chili cookoff. One of the most anticipated social events of the church year. Hotly contested with much ballot stuffing & attempts to vote early & often (Chicago Style). Each chili has a 'tip jar' in which tasters leave donations. The chili whose tip jar has the most cash is then voted 'People's Choice'. Our chili, made by Hubby & I, won- we had $2,400 in our jar!! All money, BTW, went into a fund which will help to pay expenses for the new organ. A mere drop in the ocean, but we tried. Returned home to watch some spectacular crashes in the X Games & went to bed.


So far, it has been blessedly quiet. All of the children are home. The school system having mercy upon the teachers so they can grade exams without the little darlings underfoot. Daughter and older Son are collaborating on a sexual harrassment display board Son must turn in Thursday. Younger son has watched Wallace & Gromit, practiced piano, played X Box & is currently reading Sir Thursday by Garth Nix. Laundry is swishing around & around. The radio is blaring. Older Son's application fee for teeny tiny college in Maine has been waived so he will doublecheck that his application & transcripts have been mailed. I have been maid of all work, cook, dishwasher & chauffeur so far- more roles to come I'm sure.

Friday, January 26, 2007

First Nations Prayers

I am tired today & stressed. So I offer the following as a sample of what is on my mind & hope they give you food for thought also.

Hey-a-a-hey! Hey-a-a-hey! Hey-a-a-hey! Hey-a-a-hey!

Grandfather, Great Mysterious One,
You have been always and before You nothing has been.
There is nothing to pray to but You.
The star nations all over the universe are Yours,
And Yours are the grasses of the earth.
Day in and day out You are the life of things.
You are older than all need,
Older than all pain and prayer.
Grandfather, all over the world the faces of the living ones are alike.
In tenderness they have come up out of the ground.
Look upon Your children with children in their arms,
That they may face the winds,
And walk the good road to the day of quiet.
Teach me to walk the soft earth,
A relative to all that live.
Sweeten my heart and fill me with light,
And give me the strength to understand and the eyes to see.
Help me, for without You I am nothing.

Hetchetu aloh!

Oglala Sioux prayer- Black Elk

I do not think that the measure of a civilization
is how tall its buildings of concrete are,
but rather how well its people have learned to relate
to their environment and fellow man.

Chippewa medicine man - Sun Bear

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Snow Covered Seneca Trail

This photo is of the Seneca Trail (ie: not anywhere nearby), but closely resembles the scene this afternoon when Husband & I took a walk in the national park near our home. It was just barely flurrying & we had a wonderful time. We saw four whitetail deer on the edge of the road & the hawks that live in the park soared overhead looking for lunch. I think we shall be taking more walks together in the near future.

FIL Update

My MIL is currently starting the paperwork needed so my FIL can receive hospice care. He suffers with several different diseases, but they think the one that shall claim his life is metastatic lung cancer. We don't have an estimate on how long he has left. Hubby will drive the kids down to see the family Saturday morning & return the same day since I have responsibilities at church that day.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Passport Update

The new regs were pubbed this morning by the state dept. Link in the title. According to the statement, land & sea travelers won't need passports until Jan. 2008. Supposedly, the gov't wants passports to let us back into our own country if we manage to escape I mean travel outside our borders. In other words, they'll let you out, but-like the dog on the wrong side of the door, you won't be allowed back in.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Passports anyone?

Last Wednesday Karen put up a post about Americans' apparent dearth of passport ownership. I admit the subject rarely came up here at Bookwormom Central, despite living in Washington DC. It surely must be odd to Anyone Else living on our little blue marble, but until this month we Americans didn't need to have a passport to travel just about anywhere on this entire continent. Canada, Mexico, numerous little Carribean idylls? All passport unnecessary.

Not only that, but the individual American states do not require passports as official documnetation for various legal purposes. It is an option, one of many, on lists of acceptable documents in situations where we might need to prove our identity. Until January 2007, passports haven't been a necessary expense.

According to the official State Department website, a passport for an Adult costs $97 as of March 2005. In other currencies- 75 Euros, 123 Australian dolars, 114 Canadian dollars or 49 pounds Sterling per passport.

As a child I grew up in northern New England, very near the Quebec border. Once upon a time, all you needed to drive into Canada & return home was a US driver's license. As recently as 1994 & 1995 I've driven into Mexico (via South Padre Island) without needing any documents to drive up & down the island. Two years ago we went to the Bahamas for a week. None of which required us to have passports.

Speaking strictly for myself- international travel is increasingly expensive & out of reach for your average Jane America. The exchange rates alone are a killer, especially for the UK! The cost of 2 passports would be $194 plus processing time. It's cheaper to remain in country and have that 'extra' $194 to spend on food, drinks, souvenirs, etc.

For example, if Mr. Bookwormom & I wanted to drive up to Niagara Falls NY & Canada, a mere 503 miles (809 kilometers) from my home, a hard day's drive if you do it right; we can't take a boat over to the Canadian side unless we have passports. Now, I don't know how strictly they enforce these things, but technically we'd need a passport to simply float over the border under the Falls. That added $194? Could be gas money. T shirts. Chips at an Atlantic City casino.

For myself it has less to do with xenophobia than simple economics. As made obvious in Hurricane Katrina, there are many, many Americans living on the knife's edge of economic survival. Yet we all need to get away. The new passport laws make even quick getaways more expensive even for those who live right on the border. We are a country deeply divided between the haves and the have nots. Travel is rapidly becoming another symbol of this divide.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Hallowed Hunt; L.M. Bujold

The Hallowed Hunt written by Lois McMaster Bujold and published by Eos in 2005 is available in both paperback and hardcover. Again, as in the last two books in the Chalion series, the cover for this title is gorgeous and seems consistent with descriptions in the text. I was overtaken by life events (see FIL posts) which interfered with my ability to concentrate despite being very much in need of a good story and b) being fascinated with this little corner of Bujold's world. THH is not directly linked to the first two titles The Curse of Chalion & Paladin of Souls other than being set in a coniguous country.

The novel is based in a country where the inhabitants were organized into family clans and whose society was based on a shamanistic totem religion. These clans then chose a king etc. A neighboring country, apparently more advanced than the clans, invades, massacres the king and his spirit warriors (the totems) and imposes a new religion- the same one as found in the other 2 Chalion books. I found much of this story similar to the invasion histories of several American countries and the subsequent decimation of their first peoples.

Anyhow- Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliff is sent off to investigate the death of Prince Boleso and return his murderess, Lady Ijada dy Castos, to the capitol for trial. Except, there is more to the murder than meets the eye. It has been over four hundred years since the country's original religion was almost totally wiped out. What forbidden ritual was Boleso attempting?

The currents in the story are deep: political, religious, romantic, inheritance, the weight of history. The question is- will the polar bear, named Fafa, kill anyone before Ingrey can return him to the Vikings who brought him? Why won't the wound on his arm heal? Is there a way Ingrey can finesse Ijada's trial so she won't be hanged or burned or worse?

THis is a library edition, but I plan to buy my own copy. Keeper.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Another Drive By

Tried commenting (4 separate times!) on Karen's passport post from a couple of days ago, but damn Blogger wouldn't let me. So I'll try that here tomorrow. Bought 3 books at the library sale; 2 older Anne McCaffrey & 1 YA Elizabethan mystery. Nearly adopted an adorable Cairn terrier pup, but came (returned?) to my senses in the nick of time. Uh what else? Reading Lois McMaster Bujold's The Hallowed Hunt and The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. The last one? Terrifying.

FIL update- still in ICU. Not improving, barely- barely holding his own. Thanks to all for your good thoughts prayers & kind words. They've helped tremendously.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Hi all. Just a drive by to let everyone know, my FIL is very ill & in intensive care in his hometown, which is 120+ miles from here. He may be there for quite some time. If I disappear for a couple of days or three, I've likely gone to see him.

If you are willing to pray or send good thoughts, please do so. While this is not unexpected, it is still heartwrenching- especially for my MIL.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

strange fruit

Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday is the background music to this short documentary about lynchings.

Not enough has been done to right the wrongs.

Warning: Graphic images

Monday, January 15, 2007

It isn't over

The struggle for civil rights in this country still has far to go. In order that we progress as a society, we adults have an obligation to ensure our children understand our recent past history. There is much yet to be done. Below are a few children's books that will help our youngest understand.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Paladin of Souls, L.M. Bujold

Written by Lois McMaster Bujold and published in 2003, Paladin of Souls is second in a trilogy. In the previous novel, Curse of Chalion, Ista was the half insane, God touched yet cursed mother of Royina Iselle. Time has moved on a little since then; both Betriz and Cazaril and Iselle and Bergon have young children.

If most of your life roles have been taken away from you- what is left? Your husband is dead, one of your children is dead, your parents are dead, one of your siblings is dead & you're no longer mentally ill, who are you? This is Ista's conundrum. Now forty, she is trapped in the dual roles of Royina Iselle's mother and of mentally unstable invalid. Therefore, she has no privacy, no choice in her daily routines- basically Ista is viewed as an invalid.Even a young child has more freedom and choice than Ista does. But Ista isn't crazy anymore. How can she find enough freedom to become her own woman for the first and probably only time of her life? This is likely to be her only chance.

Ista contrives to begin a pilgrimage, conceived and begun with the sole intention of not returning to her 'keepers.' Many things happen to her along the route- a former courier becomes a lady's maid, a Learned who is not what he seems to be, becoming a political hostage, two men held hostage by nefarious means because of a young woman's desperate and immoral need. Seige, demons and esoteric theology abound. Can Ista become her own woman at long last, at the ripe old age of forty? Will the border fort of Porifors survive the invaders' onslaught? Will Ista at last be allowed to choose her own path? And can she find happiness and contentment and purpose and a partner to share it with?

This novel was a Hugo award winner. I enjoyed it tremendously, there are a distinct tones of woman's fiction & adventure romance and epic fantasy in this novel. BTW, for those of you who keep track of such things- the cover art accurately depicts Ista as she is described in the book, including her clothing. IMO Paladin of Souls is a multigenre novel worthy of attention. The third bookof this series is The Hallowed Hunt and is currently available. Keeper.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Food for Thought

by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

My Heart Leaps Up
by William Wordsworth

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A-Z Meme

Stolen from Reynolds at Random Reality. Tagged- Mailyn, jmc & CindyS.

A - Available/Single? - Neither. Married
B - Best Friend? - Yes. I do too have friends.
C - Cake or Pie? - Either
D - Drink Of Choice? - Coffee or diet Dr. Pepper
E – Essential Item You Use Everyday? - Cell phone? My purse? The 'puter? My TBR?
F - Favourite Colour? - Red or purple
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? - Worms. Sours preferably.
H - Hometown? - Holderness NH
I - Indulgence? - Blogging & Surfing the 'net.
J - January Or February? - Both. With snow. Lots of snow.
K - Kids & Their Names? - 3 kids. No names. Son #1, Daughter & Son #2
L - Life Is Incomplete Without? - Pizza Coffee Ice Cream & the newspapers
M - Marriage date? - Sept 1987
N - Number Of Siblings? - 2
O - Oranges Or Apples? - Granny Smith Apples
P - Phobias/Fears? - Afraid of spiders
Q - Favourite Quote? - "Never never never quit." Winston Churchill
R - Reason to Smile? - Moonlight on snow. Husband. Children. Winning lottery ticket. Great sex.
S - Season? - Autumn
T - Tag people? - jmc, Mailyn, Cindy
U - Unknown Fact About Me? I want to move back to San Antonio TX
V - Vegetable you don’t like? - Brussels Sprouts
W - Worst Habit? - Husband says I am perfect.
X - X-rays You’ve Had? - Full spinal series, chest
Y - Your Favourite Food? - Ice Cream
Z – Zodiac Sign? - Taurus

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #24- 13 New Links

13 new links added to my roll on the sidebar. All of these people and places have been bookmarked on my 'puter for a while, but I've dragged along about putting them here. So- enjoy.

BTW- If you've posted a Thursday Thirteen leave a link in the comments & I'll link to you here.

1. Paperback Writer~ Great stuff about the writers' side of publishing.

2. Sara Donati/Rosina Lippi~Author site

3. My Cat Hates You~ Hilarious photos

4. Risky Regencies~Multiauthor blog

5. Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers~News and reviews

6. Flylady~ Need more time to surf & blog? Speed up & improve your housecleaning here.

7. Chocolate & Zucchini~ Fantabulous recipies from France

8. Holly~ Reader blog

9. Everyone Needs Therapy~ Family therapist offers great advice for those of who are stressed. And who isn't, these days??

10. My favorite source

11. Unusual Historicals~ Author blog

12. MeganomicsArticulate & funny blogger, via Sum of Me, who is the source of pupdates.

13. Green Man Review~ Review site

Valiant; Holly Black

Written by Holly Black (link in title above) and published by Simon and Schuster in 2005, Valiant is a young adult urban fantasy. The first in this series is Tithe, which I read a while ago, and the next is Ironside which is coming in May.

Valiant, ultimately, is a tale of a teenage girl too easily led, too often betrayed and who finds her backbone and sense of purpose very nearly too late. Ms. Black mentions somewhere in the first few pages that someone close to her likes ‘angsty heroines’ or something similar. I didn’t find Valerie Russell angsty, but I found myself alternately cringing and wishing I could reach out and grab Val and haul her to safety.

Val stays in NYC one night instead of returning home to Jersey. Next day she hooks up with a little band of runaway teens and stays in the city. Living precariously (to put it mildly) on the fringes, Val makes a series of bad decisions simply by going along with the crowd. She ends up couriering drugs for a fey troll named Ravus because she’s snooping around where she doesn’t belong and ends up owing him service for a month.

Bad goes to worse when fey beings of various types start dying all over the city. Who is killing them? Why? Meanwhile Ravus begins teaching Val swordsmanship. Eventually she’s proficient, but makes another error in judgement and mires herself deeper in threatening circumstances. She still refuses to return home, more out of pride and malicious manipulation rather than anything else, IMO. It’s hard to go against the grain when you’re a teen- especially someone like Val.

The situation with the murders becomes dire. More and more fey blame Ravus, which perplexes Val because she’s too blind to see what’s actually going on around her. In the end Val finds her wits and courage and backbone just barely in time to save both her friends, Ravus and herself.

Valiant is much more heart wrenching and painful than Tithe, partly due to the circumstances Val finds herself in and due to Val’s mistakes in judgement that cost her so dearly. My maternal side popped up often and I wanted to pull Val to safety and shake her for being such an idiot. Roiben shows up again, in what seemed to me to be a very ambiguous light (just like the best antiheroes, lol). There are positive events at the end, which really made me hopeful. Poor Val goes through a hell of a lot before getting herself back on track.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Curse of Chalion; L.M. Bujold

Written by Lois McMaster Bujold (author of the Vorkosigan series) and published by Harper in 2001. This is an epic high fantasy. The first in a trilogy set in the mythical land of Chalion which seems to be roughly analogous to Spain and the Mediterranean. Political intrigue, vengeance, fate, religion madness, possession and sainthood meld into a page turning saga par excellence.

Cazaril, a thirty five year old former aristocrat betrayed into slavery, has managed to return to the well born family where he was fostered to beg a job. Any job. Due to his facility with languages and the politics of the country the family matriarch creates a secretary/tutor position for Cazaril. The young lady under his charge is second in line for the throne of Chalion. A terrible series of events left Iselle’s mother a young widow, her children at the mercy of the king (Iselle's older half brother). Therefore Iselle has been groomed and trained for a strategic and political alliance that will have the maximum benefit for her kingdom.

The problems in the capitol are manifold though. Why is the king so ill? What has prompted him to cede so much control to the chancellor? Why is the queen frozen and isolated? Can Cazaril navigate the treacherous political waters and ensure both his survival and that of his charges?

On top of all that, the gods have bestowed a terrifying fate upon both Cazaril and the royal house of Chalion. Somehow, some way,a path satisfying both the gods requirements and ensuring the future viability of all involved has to be found. It is up to Cazaril. Can he accomplish it all and survive? Oh and BTW- what about his personal happiness? Will the gods eventually have mercy on him and provide a means to a peaceful and secure livelihood? Or is he doomed? And Betriz? Shall her prayers too be answered?

The Curse of Chalion is tightly plotted and fast paced. Deep world building. Asks quite a few thoughtful questions. Which is what I expected of an author of Ms. Bujold’s caliber. The romance reader in me wishes some elements had been fleshed out a little more, but really- CoC is wonderful as it is. The Paladin of Souls is the second in this group and is currently available. Keeper.

Monday, January 08, 2007

2 Books

The Perfect Husband~

A traditional regency written by Jeanne Savery in 2001 and published by Zebra. This book worked for me primarily due to the matchmaking tiger. Let me back up. A young woman, terrified the gossips will discover her family's financial insolvency, traps a man in marriage. Not the man she hoped for either. He 'does his duty' and marries her and rescues her brother by buying him a commission in the military. However, he is naturally very angry and resentful of the flibbertigibbet he's been forced to marry. The young lady, eyes opened to helpful resources too late, resolves to be a proper wife and not complain and not push. The couple ends up falling in love with the helpful manipulations of a 'pet' tiger owned by friends.

A Sprinkle of Fairy Dust

An anthology with stories by: Elizabeth Bevarly, Elaine Crawford, Maggie Benson Shayne and Marylyle Rogers, published in 1996 by St. Martin's. Not a success, I'm afraid. Only Maggie Benson Shayne's and Marylyle Rogers' stories worked for me- and then only with reservations. The Marylyle Rogers short story because I've read all of her other novels in this series & like them because of the fairytale qualities (as oppposed to the realism). The M.B. Shayne story because- well, we all want love to win in the end, don't we??

Friday, January 05, 2007

Romance 2006 Stats

Romance Statistics:

Contemporary Romantic Suspense- 1
Fantasy romances- 4
Historical Romances (Incl. long format Regencies)- 14
Mythology based romances- 1
Love & Laughter/Paranormal- 1
Paranormal Romances- 18
Science fiction Romance-3
Traditional Regencies- 28

DNF- 7 novels & 1 short story:
1.Lady Scandal- Shannon Donnelly
2.Fire Song- Catherine Coulter
3.Warrior's Song- Catherine Coulter
4.The Dark Lord- Patricia Simpson
5.A Patriot's Heart- Stobie Piel
6.Rebellious Desire- Julie Garwood
7. Glynnis Campbell's short story in Knight's Vow.

Best New to Me Romance Author Alicia Fields

Best paranormal- Dark Demon by Christine Feehan

Best long historical- Duchess in Love by Eloisa James

Best Traditional Regency-
1.A Bird in Hand by Alison Lane
2.One Good Turn by Carla Kelly

Best Tearjerker- None this year

Best Adventure/Road- Road to the Isle by Megan Davidson

Favorite hero-
a) Tortured hero-
1. Valerius, Seize the Night by Sherilyn Kenyon
2.Rath Roiben, Tithe by Holly Black

Favorite heroine-
1.Liria, One Good Turn by Carla Kelly
2.Fleur Avondale, The Mystery Kiss by Judith Lansdowne.

Favorite couple-
1. Grey MacKeage & Grace Sutton, Charming the Highlander by Janet Chapman
2. Adrian Tomas & Nell Harris, Sex, Lies & Vampires by Katie MacAlister
3. Vikirnoff von Schreider & Natalya Shonsky, Dark Demon by Christine Feehan

Honorable Mentions

Touched by Time by Leane Shawler for a unique combo of two of my favorite genres- traditional regency and paranormal.

Valentine's Change of Heart by E. Fairchild for one of the more true to life depictions of alcoholism's effects on family.

Dark Demon by Christine Feehan, for me, was everything I'd hoped the Dark series could become- strong, positive characterization, advancement of the overarcing subplot. The Dark series very nearly got dropped off of my TBB lists & Dark Demon renewed my hope that maybe Ms. Feehan has turned a corner.

What books coming out in 2007 am I most looking forward to? Last of the Red Hot Vampires by Katie MacAlister in March, Dark Possession by Christine Feehan, Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James in June and Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas in March.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thursday 13 #23- Coming Soon

This week's Thursday 13 is a list of this year's new books I'm most eagerly awaiting. In no particlar order they are:

1. Fair Folk- Contains a short story by Patricia McKillip & Tanith Lee, among others. February

2.Belladonna- Anne Bishop. March

3.Ironside- Holly Black. May

4. Legacy- Lois McMaster Bujold. June

5.Ysabel- Guy Gavril Kay. February

6. Whitethorn Woods- Maeve Binchy. March

7. Scandalous Lovers- Robin Schone. February

8.In at the Death- David Wishart. March. This is a UK author, I don't know if this is a UK or US date.

9. Dancing with Demons-Peter Tremayne. March. Again, he published by both a UK and US house. I don't know which country (or both) this is for.

10. Harry Potter- J K Rowling

11.Ice Blue- Anne Stuart. April

12. Angelica- Arthur Phillips. May. Same comment as #8.

13.Beatrix Potter-Linda Lear. January

Leave a link in the comments & I'll link to you. CLick link in title above to see other TT participants.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2006 Reading Statistics

Erotica- 1
Fantasies- 13
Fiction- 1
Horror- 2
Mysteries- 2
Science Fiction-3
Thrillers- 2
Young Adult, various subgenres-4
Contemporary Romantic Suspense- 1
Fantasy romances- 4
Historical Romances (Incl. long format Regencies)- 14
Mythology based romances- 1
Love & Laughter/Paranormal- 1
Paranormal Romances- 18
Science fiction Romance-3
Traditional Regencies- 28
DNF- 7 novels & 1 short story

Total Books read- 104

Last year I read 102 books, so at least I beat it! Although I was hoping to get much closer to 200 I had several spells during which I didn't read much at all. Romance stats will have their own post tomorrow or Friday.

Best new to me author Anne Bishop, Robin McKinley, Lois McMaster Bujold

Best 2006 book
Contemporary Fantasy- Solstice Wood by Patricia McKillip
Historical Fantasy- Sebastian by Anne Bishop

Best new to me book
Urban Fantasy/Vampire~Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Urban Fantasy/Young Adult (Faeries)~Tithe by Holly Black

Book I wish I’d skipped and spent the $$ on Starbucks and a muffin Mistral's Kiss, Laurell K Hamilton

Honorable Mentions
Sorcery & Cecelia by Wrede & Stevermer- Best Traditional Regency/gothic/paranormal/young adult multigenre

What books coming out in 2007 am I most looking forward to? Bella Donna by Anne Bishop March; Lois McMasters Bujold's The Sharing Knife, vol. 2- Legacy June; a short story by Patricia McKillip in Fair Folk, coming in February; Ironside: A Modern Faerie's Tale by Holly Black coming in May.

Notes~ My TBR is too big to finish books I don't like, therefore I don't have categories like 'worst book of 2006' or whatever. My thoughts about specific books mentioned are linked by author's last name on the sidebar. All DNF's are romances & therefore will be discussed on the romance summary post.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

For our older son, on the occasion of his 18th birthday~

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
the frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the maxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought.

As in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came.

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack.
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"Has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Calloh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.