Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Husband~ Continues in the same routine. Sounds boring I know, but for many years while we were active duty we wished for 'the same old boring routine.' And now we have it & we're treasuring it, believe me! His family is having a mini reunion on the 5th of August and he plans to go with the kids. I have a previous commitment I can't change, but I expect to hear all about it upon their return.

The Graduate~ Is finally taking formal drivers ed lessons. The State of VA has enacted many changes to the teenage ritual of licensing (all of which I think are a great idea). Combine this with Graduate's noncommittal shrugs whenever you ask him if he wants to drive and..voila. I have a late teen who is just now getting on the road. I don't know if my nerves or our insurance budget can stand it. He's likely moving out of the house for college the first week of August so our summer is eventful.

Daughter~ She informed us she will be going to Otakon 2008 as soon as she returned from Otakon 2007 a few days ago. She squirreled away her pennies for months so she could buy anything she wanted. The trip was one of her GF's bday gifts & so Daughter only had to pay admission. Apparently the trio spent most of their time waiting in lines, but it seems she enjoyed herself and that's all that matters.

Son #2~ LOVED camp. Had a wonderful time and wishes to return next year. Claims he never showered. Claims he kissed two girls from the camp next door. Hard to believe two girls let him close enough to kiss them if he didn't shower, but those were his claims. Has returned to practicing piano with verve and gusto. Thank god, because his whining was getting on my nerves. Is eating me out of house and home and has no clothing whatsoever that actually fits him.

Me~ I'm finally reading again, as you can see via the book reviews. I hope the trend continues because my TBR is actually shrinking a bit. Not alot, but at least it looks presentable now. LOL ;) About 300 titles I think. Nearly all of which I bought on the cheap at the UBS (used book store for the uninitiated) or at library sales over the last 5 years. Ok. TBH, those are only the romances. I have TBRs for fantasy, sci fi and mysteries as well, but those are less than 50 total. Honest.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Snow in Summer; Tess Farraday

I found this in a library sale bin and bought it for ten cents. SIS was published by Jove in 1999. I guess it wasn't too bad for the price, but this is much more a gothic than a romance and thus I feel cheated. Ms. Farraday did fine writing it as a gothic, and as such I would have enjoyed it. However, I was expecting a romance and from that genre perspective I was very disappointed, TBH.

Miranda Fairfield is living in her aunt's estate in rural, mountainous California while said aunt and Miranda's parents are away on a cruise. This is a typical American small town- everybody knows you and your family and every time you breathed ever since you were a tiny child. It goes without saying that these same people don't mind rehashing your past whenever it is inconvenient. Miranda was raised in this town and up until now had been happy teaching in the city several hours away.

Christopher Gallatin is a ghost in search of his heart. Without his heart he is unable to move on to whatever afterlife there might be. He's been hunting for it for about 500 years. Hercule Poirot he isn't. Somehow, Christopher discovers Miranda may have his heart, but he can't find it on the estate. So he coonvinces her he's an author writing a book and rents the upper floor of the barn to use as a studio. All the better to search for his lost heart.

That's the set up. Mysterious, vaguely threatening happenings abound as soon as Miranda arrives in the little town. Her past is dredged up by a local harpy working at the village paper. However, Miranda can't decide which guy wears the white hat and which guy wears the black hat. Will Christopher convince her he's on her side in time? And how might it be possible for Christopher and Miranda to end up together? I was disappointed the amber necklace wasn't featured more. I was also disappointed that the method whereby Christopher becomes 'real' wasn't discussed more.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Jacob; Jacqueline Frank

This is the first in the Nightwalker Series, written by Jacquelyn Frank and published by in. I've had it on my shelves quite a while & I have the next one, Gideon. I've heard there was some controversy surrounding it, but I didn't follow it at the time and now that I've read it I don't see what it might have been. This is fiction after all- the author's creation & wht she says goes, etc.

Anyhow- Isabella Russ is a librarian living in NYC with her sister. One night she literally falls out a window into Jacob's arms. Thus triggering her initiation into the heretofore unknown world of the Nightwalkers. My biggest issue is that Isabella takes everything in stride without much trouble assimilating all of the new &, to my mind, what should've been controversial or at least hard to believe, information and lifestyle. And she doesn't make much fuss over skipping out on her sister without any notes or phone calls, no matter that the Nightwalkers 'planted a suggestion' that Isabella was out of town.

Jacob is in charge of protectiong humans from monthly predations by the demons in the Nightwalker world. He is the most honorable, upright, just, etc. and is resposible for dealing out punishments to those who transgress. Thus he is somewhat isolated and lonely, as he isn't necessarily popular. In some quarters he is a bogeyman type figure. After rescuing Isabella, amazing and unlooked for changes occur which stem from Isabella's appearance.

I enjoyed it alot. Then again I love paranormals & my quibbles weren't too bad. I hope Gideon is just as good.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday 13 #30-Around the Capitol Building June 2007

The Capitol Building, Washington DCPhoto courtesy of Webshots.

About five weeks ago the kids and I went downtown so the Graduate could sit through a job interview at an environmental NGO on Capitol Hill. Link to info about Capitol Hill as a neighborhood, as opposed to what you hear about in the news, HERE. The rest of us walked a few blocks away and sat on a bench in the shade to see what could be seen. It was a Wednesday between 5:40 and 6:45 pm. He was offered the job but ended up declining it due to commute problems. He was bummed 'cuz it sounded fun, but the hours were bad. Even though he's 18 I was not comfortable with the thought that he'd be downtown as late as 10 pm nightly. Fortunately he agreed with me!

The purpose of Thursday thirteen is to get to know fellow bloggers better. Click link in the title above to see a list of other participants. Leave a link in the comments and I'll link to you here.

1. Joggers- 56

2. Rollerbladers- 2

3. Police Dog- 1

4. 1 Sparrow trying to fly away with a tissue to build a nest

5. Cyclists- 53

6. Motorcycles- 4

7. Buses- 30

8. Motorcade- 1

9. Photographers- 4 Mostly with the tourist group, no 'pros' as it were

10. Joggers with their dogs- 3

11. Helicopters- 5

12. Cabs- 63

13. Segway tourist groups- 1 Segs in the City looked like tremendous fun!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yours Until Dawn; T. Medieros

Published in 2004 by Avon, this is the first Teresa Medeiros novel I've read in quite a long time. Link in the title is to Ms. Medeirios' page about this book. And I was very pleasantly surprised, TBH. The older ones I'd read left me..stale I guess. To use a more current word- they were *meh*. Not great, not awful, and they didn't leave me wanting to read more Medeirios books either. However, YUD remedies my impressions & quickly. I have quibble or two, but nothing that truly put me off.

Gabriel Fairchild, Lord Sheffield, returned from the war blind & with facial scars. Like many societies, he was then shunned by his peers and by his family before being forced to convalesce at a remote estate. Two of his most loyal retainers have been given the job of hiring 'nurses' (and I use the term lightly) to care for him. Miss Samantha Wickersham, former governess, is hired to help nurse him back to health. Gabriel is wallowing in self pity and blunders about his shrouded and filthy home like a bear who has hurt his paw. Samantha, through sheer stubbornness, helps turn Gabriel around mentally which helps him learn to cope with his blindness and scarring.

BUT- is she who she seems? What is she hiding? Gabriel eventually realizes there is more to Miss Wickersham than there appears, but he is content with her as she presents herself and refuses to push her for details. I had a quibble or two with how Gabriel's blindness is dealt with and I also had a quibble or two with Miss Wickersham's scheming and plotting, but in the end- Ms. Medeiros trumps me and deftly and with great heart hands us all an HEA. First keeper of 2007.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Quiz Time!

Via Marg at Reading Adventures, I took this little quiz & it came up with the following:

You're The Things They Carried!

by Tim O'Brien

Harsh and bitter, you tell it like it is. This usually comes in short,
dramatic spurts of spilling your guts in various ways. You carry a heavy load, and this
has weighed you down with all the horrors that humanity has to offer. Having seen and
done a great deal that you aren't proud of, you have no choice but to walk forward,
trudging slowly through ongoing mud. In the next life, you will come back as a water

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Quite a downer aren't I??

A Lady of Expectations; S. Laurens

This is an older title by Ms. Laurens. It was published by Mira in 1995. Her page says they are hard to locate, but I found mine in the drugstore down the road. I find that I like Ms. Laurens' older, shorter works more than many of her new ones. A fellow romance reader pointed out that this might be because they aren't part of her Cynster series & I think that is a valid observation. This is a medium length Regency- longer than a traditional but shorter than standard long Regencies here in the US. I understand these were written for the Harlequin Mills & Boon in the UK so I surmise that is why they are different from the others in this subgenre.

Jack Lester and his brother have a reputation around the Ton as needing to marry a wealthy heiress as their family circumstances are 'straightened.' However, Jack Lester has been playing the Exchange and *gasp, horror!* with the assistance of Mr. Webb Jack has managed to recover the family fortunes. Now the problem is, he needs a wife and an heir. Poor Jack- he wants a wife not a gold digger. How to find one before word gets around that his family fortunes have been resurrected?

Sophie Winterton is a young woman in her early twenties whose mother died shortly after her society debut and thus was forced to retire to the country for mourning. Her father is a paleontologist (or archeologist, I can't remember which) who has at long last come out from mourning and gone abroad to study. Unlike many other romances where the daughter is either dragged along or abandoned or whatever other unlikely circumstance, Sophie's father leaves her with her maternal aunt and her family. A loving and caring family setup which isn't often seen in fiction. Too boring maybe? Anyhow. Sophie has no money, but wants a marriage where she loves her husband.

The plot is a chestnut in the romance community and yet Ms. Laurens portray Jack and Sophie as real, three dimensional people who have legitimate goals and needs and viewpoints. Sophie seems a bits stiff at times and I missed a taste of Ms. Laurens' spiciness, but overall I think this better than many other Regencies I've read (and they're some of my favorites).

Friday, July 13, 2007

Much Ado in the Moonlight; Lynn Kurland

Published by Jove in 2006, MAITM is a contemporary paranormal ghost & time travel romance. Link in title is to Ms. Kurland's bibliography page on her site. Before reading this I looked over all of my keeper & TBR shelves and realized that other than Christine Feehan I have more Lynn Kurlkand books than any other romance author. That's not to say all of her books are keepers, but you can't beat consistency either. A huge plus, IMO. Ms. Kurland is an autobuy though, a feat Ms. Feehan was demoted from.

Victoria McKinnon is an off Broadway NYC theater director who is given an opportunity to direct Hamlet in her brother's castle in Scotland. Unfortunately, Connor MacDougal is the resident garrison commander/laird in charge. Never mind that he's a ghost. Can Connor get rid of Victoria? Will Victoria fall prey to the schemes of one of her actors? Will the Boar's Head Inn trio of matchmaking ghosts succeed again?

I love Ms. Kurland's books and as usual she delivers again.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ironside; Holly Black

I finally got around to reading this one after it sat in my library return pile for two weeks. Ironside was published this year by Margaret K. McElderry Books. The sequel is Tithe, although Valiant comes between and is linked. Click title above for link to Ms. Black's page about Ironside. Click here for my thoughts on Valiant. Click here for my thoughts on Tithe.

Kaye continues to grapple with being a changeling: feeling out of place everywhere, insecure, etc. Luckily she still has Corny and Gram on the human side and Lutie-Loo and Roiben on the fairy side. Feeling pretty much like a teenage human that she was Kaye makes several errors in judgement leading to the main adventures in this book. Corny shares the spotlight with her- a nice touch I thought. He's a unique character and as Kaye's friend deserves fleshing out. Roiben also struggles with resposiblity and duty and conflicting feelings about both his sudden ascencion to the throne and about his relationship with Kaye.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit, although I wish the story centered more on Roiben as opposed to Kaye & Corny. Not necessarily their relationship, but his conflicts and political struggles within the courts. More insight into his psyche would have been a nice touch too. Still, I am very satisfied with this episode in the story. The ending was a deft touch I thought. Wrapped up and yet with a hint of uncertainty about the future. Very nice.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Good Omens; Pratchett & Gaiman

I'm finally reading!! YAY~ This book is hilarious and yet manages to sneak in a serious thought or two. Good Omens reminded me of Piers Anthony's work, in the sense that there are lots of puns & cultural references. Similarities end there though. FYI, I've not read Terry Pratchett's books so I missed any and all references they may have made to his work. I think I need to borrow a few of his books from the library, though. I love satire. Plus my lovely Sister reccommended him to me ages ago. For some reason I can't get the link field in the title to work so here is a link to Terry Pratchett's page about Good Omens.

Good Omens is satire disguised as a comedy of errors. What happens if the antichrist is born, but is then 'misplaced' into a normal family? What happens when two angels, one fallen and one of the heavenly host, become friends after millennia on earth? Is it possible to be so far on opposite ends of the spectrum to be able to turn around and find your opponent metaphorically and ideologically standing beside you? Ultimately- can the Armageddon be stopped once it has begun?

Much much lighter in tone and content than it sounds, I promise you. A couple of budding romances thrown in for good measure. An excellent beach read. Highly recommended.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thursday 13 @29- Observations about Germany

Brought to you by Daughter, newly returned from Munich and Berlin Sunday evening. Please keep in mind, Daughter is 15 & this is her first trip outside the U.S. Click here to read my previous post about Daughter's trip.

Thursday 13 is a regular feature on Technorati whose purpose is to enable bloggers to get to know each other better. Leave a link to your 13 in the comments and I will link to you here. Click link in title above to see a list of other Thursday 13 participants.

1. The ice cream is much, much better than ice cream here- even Ben & Jerry's. Favorites are mango and tropical.

2. Veal blood sausage is gross. *Mom aside: Daughter is pretty much vegetarian anyhow, but apparently this came as part of a meal*

3. America is filthy. Germany sparkles. *Mom again: The Graduate said this about Scotland too. It would seem that we're pretty much the armpit of the industialized world as far as litter and general cleanliness goes.*

4. There is quite a bit of green space within the city limits & it's easy to feel like you've escaped into the countryside.

5. More people use bikes or walk or take public transit than in the U.S.

6. Every *Mom- EVERY??* department store has a food store in the bottom.

7. The hostels were very clean and don't deserve the "dirty" reputation they have. * I think she means hostels in general, not German hostels specifically*

8. Schnitzel is excellent as is German macaroni and cheese. *I told you she'd figure out how to ask for macaroni and cheese while she was there!!*

9. Fresh cheese and bread are the best way to begin a meal.

10. Minerwasser is everywhere.

11. Nuclear bunkers are very claustrophobic and dark. Not to mention scary.

12. Always sleep on a 9 hour flight.

13. German subways are much more efficient than ours. *DUH!*

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

6 Month Statistics & June Synopsis

Below is a compilation of everything I've read this month (in the order I read them), also listed are three DNFs. Below is a little breakdown of what I've read by genre & subgenre. The goal was to have completed 55 books by July 1st.Which I failed by 9 titles.

1.The Perfect Husband, Jeanne Savery

2.A Sprinkle of Fairy Dust, Elizabeth Bevarly, et al

3.The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold

4.Valiant, Holly Black

5.Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold

6.The Hallowed Hunt, Lois McMaster Bujold

7.The Dragon King's Palace, Laura Joh Rowland

8.The Sharing Knife:Beguilement, Lois McMaster Bujold

9.If Angels Burn, Lynn Viehl

10.Once A Knight, Christina Dodd

11.Ithaka, Adele Geras

12.The Wind Dancer, Iris Johansen

13.My Wicked Fantasy, Karen Ranney

14. Clerk's Tale, Margaret Frazer

15. To The Castle, Joan Wolf

16.A Play of Isaac, Margaret Frazer

17.The Bastard's Tale, Margaret Frazer

18.The Widow's Tale, Margaret Frazer

19.The Hunter's Tale, Margaret Frazer

20.The Semptster's Tale, Margaret Frazer

21.Hunter's Moon, O.R. Melling

22.The Summer King, O.R. Melling

23.Wildwood Dancing, Juliet Marillier

24.They Call Me Naughty Lola, ed. by David Rose

25.The Traitor's Tale, Margaret Frazer

26.Blood Red Horse, K.M. Grant

27.P.S. I Love You, Cecilia Ahern

28.The Faery Reel, ed. Datlow and Windling

29.Oceans of Fire, Christine Feehan

30.Green Jasper, K.M. Grant

31.The Dark Mirror, Juliet Marillier

32.Waifs and Strays, Charles de Lint

33.The Summer Country, James A. Hetley

34.Dreaming of You, Lisa Kleypas

35.Hannah's Garden, Midori Snyder

36.Monsoon Summer, Mitali Perkins

37. Fortune's Fool

38.Skinny Bitch, Barnouin and Freedman

39.Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman

40.Turtle Diary; Russell Hoban

41.A College of Magics; Caroline Stevermer

42.Dangerous Tides; Christine Feehan

43.Face Down Beside St. Anne's Well; Kathy Lynn Emerson

44.American Gods; Neil Gaiman

45.Assassin's Apprentice; Robin Hobb June read

46.Deadly Game; Christine Feehan June read


1.Dream Hunter; Sherilynn Kenyon

2. A Factory of Cunning; Philippa Stockley

3. Secrets of the Night; Jo Beverley

Total Books Read- 46
Chick Lit- 1
Historical Mysteries- 11
Literature- 1
Thrillers- 0
Mythology based romances- 0
Fairytale Romance- 1
Fantasy romances- 1
Traditional Regencies- 1
Historical Romances (Incl. long format Regencies)- 3
Paranormal Romances- Vampire-1
Paranormal Romances- Wicca- 3
YA Paranormal/fantasy-7
YA romance-1

DNF- 3

I'm off by 1 & can't figure out what I miscounted or forgot. I'm too cranky to sit here and recalculate a third time- so like it or lump it! LOL ;) Husband wanted to know how many pages it adds up to, but I'll have to go back later & add that in.