Monday, November 28, 2005

Falling for Anthony

Falling for Anthony is a novella by Meljean Brooks in the Hotspell anthology.

All I can really say is WOW!

I'm not a gusher. No really. Unless you're Anne Stuart I try not to gush. Uh, there have been other authors I have gushed over but, I try not to do it too much because I'm afraid of coming off as a rabid stalker fan.

Long story short, I stopped buying anthologies a few years ago because the stories were becoming so short that I didn't believe in the HEA that they depicted. (Should mention it is 10:30am and I haven't gone to bed yet so I hope I will be coherent) H/H would know each other 3 days and wham, love, marriage, HEA. I just couldn't buy into the fantasy anymore.

Why did I buy Hotspell?

Meljean's blog.

Okay, and maybe the cover. Oh, but the price alone would have made me back off the cover so it is definitely because of Meljean's blog. Hey, I'm nothing if not specific.

So there you go, blogs do work.

I'm not going to sum up Meljean's story because it really is complex for a short story. It's the first time in years I have finished a novella and felt like the H/H were going to make it! This was not a story that happened in a few short days. Brooks was able to create a realistic timeline not just by saying a few months had passed but by having the heroine and hero go through life changing moments during their time apart. Can you believe that I would start to get anxious because the characters were apart? It's a novella and I still got anxious! That's good story telling.

I have to mention the world building. (authors will correct me if I am wrong because maybe it isn't world building as much as an alternate reality .... can you tell I haven't slept?) There are demons, guardians, the middle guys nosferatu who are evil in the extreme and they can create vampires who aren't evil. Cool. Then there is Heaven and Hell. Yep. I got all that AND a love story. Sweet.

Okay, I have to sleep.

Edited: It's almost midnight now and the day from hell will soon be over. I created this post this morning after deciding to just stay up until the contractors got here instead of going to bed at 4am and getting roused from sleep at 9am. The guys were late. Really late. At that point I was into the over tired state and it took me a while to calm down. I'm figuring, 4 to 5 hours of sleep this afternoon. I'm about to climb into bed now but wanted to get this up before I drifted off.

I'm not sure if this has come across in this post but, this is the type of story I *used* to buy anthologies for. This was the way that I discovered Anne Stuart (what, did I mention her already?), Linda Howard, Justine Davis and Connie Brockway. Back then short stories were a vital part of finding new authors. Nowadays, it feels like if the publisher can throw a *hot* name on the cover then they don't care about the quality. Just write now, faster, c'mon we need to make more money! And that is probably a whole different post. Let's not even bring up the subject of so called erotic anthologies. Bad Boys? Please. Again, another post later.

So, bravo to Meljean! I enjoyed your story and the sex scenes you wrote were hot! (aside: that first sex scene, holy crap, you about killed me! And because it wasn't followed by a 'oh, it was perfect and I love you and we must always be together' moment it completely worked for me.) I will definitely be out scouting for you next book!

I would write more but I don't want to hit on any spoilers for those who haven't had the chance to read it. I am looking forward to the other entries in the Anthology and for those on the fence, I will be reading the rest over the week (a story a day if I am lucky) and will report on the overall quality of the book. With Emma Holly in there, I'm thinking there is at least one more really good read. I'm also excited to try Shiloh Walker's story.

Okay, I should head in.

Final Decisions

I have a hard time every year buying for Bob. I usually buy 3 big gifts and then we do stockings. So I think I have finally figured out the gifts.

Number 1

Bob loves Calvin and Hobbes and while out shopping this special edition hardcover set caught his eye. It was listed at $200.00 and I was in a bit of shock. I took note however, because it's not often Bob wants something from a bookstore.

I ended up ordering it from the same store only online. It was $127.00! This is where I think people need to know what is going on. My parents who shop in stores wouldn't know to look online at to discover the major discount that they can get. I guess it really is buyer beware. Still makes me want to grind my teeth.

Number 2

This is the piece that Bob found just this weekend. He has been looking for a Hamilton Beach milkshake machine for years. There are the originals but they can be as much as 400 bucks. Not only that, the old ones are usually green (and not the new pretty colour) and give me flashbacks to my waitressing days and they were not pretty.

This is sooo new that there is only one site that I can find it at and seriously, if you love kitchen gadgets you should go check this site out! Also, check this page out to see all the colours you can buy this new line in.

Bob's all about quality and this beautiful piece made of metal and not plastic is just what Bob has always wanted. I was trying to see if I could find it in another colour or even on sale but I think we were lucky to have seen one at all! Looks like I have to go out this week.

Number 3

Oh, alright. I lied a bit. I have not been able to decide between these two things. Bob has asked for the jobsite radio/battery charger to the left. Pretty. I think he really needs a demolition hammer drill pictured to you right.

Now, so far, every tool I have ever bought has turned out to be the best thing since sliced bread. On the last job I insisted on buying a Nail gun thingie. Yeah, I know, technical. Anyways, this thing puts up baseboard, casing, everything lickity-split. Hell, I can even do carpentry now!

The only other thing I insisted on is a special nailer to put down hardwood floors. Bob wanted my dad and I to pre-drill and then gently nail every tongue on a piece of oak strip. I got exactly one piece done in an hour. I was fuming and kept saying we needed to get the special nailer that I have seen the DIY shows use. Bob kept saying there was no such thing. Well, I went looking and sure enough I found the nailer, rented it and got that floor laid in less than the year it would have taken me otherwise.

Bob has insisted ever since that he didn't say it didn't exist, he said, Depot didn't have it. Yeah, Depot can kiss my .... ooops heading into dark territory there. So very, very long story and no shortening in sight, I'm thinking of getting him the jack hammer thingie. I mean, we already have a radio and all the drills we have come with rechargers so it's kind of a wasted thing.

Oh, oh, did I tell you that I could buy cartridges for the drywall screw guns we bought! I know! You're doing the snoopy dance! No? 'What the hell am I talking about?' you ask. (c'mon, the curiosity is killing you)

That was another Cindy suggestion. They make these special screw guns that drive a screw into the drywall at the perfect setting once you calibrate it. See, dad and I were famous for going too far in (tearing the paper, bad) or not going in far enough so Bob would be working behind us and that's just a waste of time. Therefore, drywalling was an art form that my dad and I could not do and once again, it would slow our progress. So I see these screw guns on TV (OMG, this is a Bob Villa video where you will see them using these screw guns - too cool!) and I'm all, we so gotta get these! Turns out to be a great purchase because even a tool like me can't screw it up.

The only thing is the guys (Bob and dad) bought the guns and they bought the cheaper ones where you have to load a screw onto the bit every time. Turns out you can buy cartridge holders (not like the one in the link but you get the idea) for the screws so you would literally get a room done in about 20 minutes! Sweet! Apparently the cartridges separate from the drills cost 600 bucks. Ouch. Now, if it had been me buying those guns, I would have only bought one gun and it would have had the cartridge.

Ah, well. I'm obviously perfect and must suffer fools. *snort*

See the crap you can get away with when your blog is anonymous? On that note, I'm going to go and google the name of this blog. I may be easily found by those who decide to go looking. In that case, I may have to start changing everyone's names!

Edited: I just priced out that demolition hammer and Santa's decided it's a no go. Funny how I see stuff and just think, hey, I can get one of those. Doh. And I think I am golden on the whole, 'no one can find me' thing but that's always the kiss of death so...I'm not saying anything.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Christmas Shopping

Here come some serious revelations about my character.

When I was a poor, poor student it was all I could do to buy Christmas gifts for my family. I had 7 people to buy for but, I would try and spoil my cousin who was still a kid and my parents because they spoiled me. Now that doesn't seem so bad but, 5 of those people had birthdays in November and December. My mom's was in January and by then my credit card was too clogged to get her much. So, there were twelve major gifts to buy and I made minimum wage while paying my way through university. To say December was a hard month financially is an understatement.

Then I met Bob and my list grew by a whole, whole bunch. Twelve more major gifts were added to the mix and then I had to buy Bob Christmas gifts also. Early in the marriage things were tight and when we got hit with Christmas it took us almost three months of bill re-arranging to get through the holidays. Back then my Grandmother did Christmas cards in the tree that were opened last. There would be her $20 to get ourselves a little extra something. Gram spoiled us rotten as it was but that $20 would get Bob and I groceries until payday back then. Thank God for Gram!

Now, I may have mentioned that Christmas is not a delightful time for me because my brain likes to throw some chemicals around for shits and giggles. Holiday shopping just seemed to ramp up that almost manic anxiety. I think this kind of shopping lasted for the first 5 years of our marriage.

Here's where I should mention that for some reason, mall's are horrifically hot for me. More so at Christmas time. Yeah, you want your employees comfortable but most people have to go shopping with warm clothes on so, standing in lines 20 deep waiting for your turn in a winter coat that causes rivulets of sweat to pour between your cleavage is a recipe for disaster.

Attention to Mall management: Turn on your frickin' air conditioning and make sure your employees are properly clothed in warm attire. This will keep the crowds from turning on you. Course, it just could be me that gets the overwhelming urge to start physically moving people the hell out of my way so I can get out of the store ASAP.

Bob has seen one too many of these episodes and it ain't pretty. I was once a cashier so I know that there is a certain amount of time that needs to be spent checking someone out but, I used to be able to blow through a line in minutes compared to the one customer per 10 minutes that these malls seem to be running at.

So, too much heat and I get bitchy. This wouldn't be a problem but then I get mouthy. Not loud enough to get caught because I try to be sympathetic to the people who are checking us out but, if there is a line of 10 people and there is a group of check out girls (you know you've seen them) all standing at the next till over talking about anything except the fact that a till needs to opened, well, I get loud. Zellers where I live blows so bad at this that they have actually been standing at their till while telling someone to go to an empty till because someone will be there shortly. Meanwhile, this other person is moving shit around and acting like she doesn't see you. Yah, things get said. Uber bitch comes out and she's not worried about not getting heard.

Tonight, at American Eagle Outfitter, I just asked quite politely if the other girl (who was standing at her till doing what she considered work) was open. The girl turned to her and asked and she replied 'you're almost done with your customer'. I didn't even hesitate, I just walked my ass over to her till and dropped my stuff with a huge smile on my face. I'm beginning to think that there are people who don't want to work the tills. Me, I loved working the tills when I did it. Made the time pass much faster.

This is a long story to get where I am going! Anyways, for the past five years Bob and I have bought our Christmas gifts all throughout the year. That way it would cost us about a 100 bucks a month, we weren't shopping in crowds and we were usually done by end of October. December would be wonderful because we would actually have money not only to eat, but to go out and buy ourselves something fun after Christmas because we weren't flat broke!

For some reason, that plan got blown to kingdom come this year. I'm not sure what happened, oh wait, I remember now. We *couldn't* shop because all our spare time was being sucked up by the reno house. Phew, I'm actually glad that I just realized this because I was calling myself all kinds of names for not starting early. Now I know it wasn't because I was lazy!! Woohoo!

Oh, and I'll mention now that our Christmas list from 10 years ago seems like a dream now that our gift buying list has grown exponentially over the past 8 years. My friends are not allowed to have anymore kids!

So, this past weekend Bob and I are forced to go out to the malls. I didn't know what kind of a mess we were getting into but I prepared like I was going into a building on fire. That's right. I wore shorts and the skimpiest tank top I could find. Bob couldn't stop laughing but he thought it was a good idea to keep C-Rex (other people use honey and cutie pie but this nick name suits me to a T) from emerging while we were out. (I had my winter jacket on so I was warm because my legs can take quite a beating.)

We arrived at the mall to discover that every parking space was filled. Bob realized we were in trouble right off. I just figured we were on the wrong side of the mall. Anyways, he finally parks and off we go to the doors. I entered the mall and quickly tied my winter coat around my waist. The looks I got were hilarious but I didn't care.

The people. OMG. Intimidating! We've obviously been doing the right thing for the past few years because holy crap, people were hanging from the rafters of the building. But, I am keeping focused, not panicking (serious work to keep that in check while surrounded by way too many people) and need to get some shopping done. Guess what? I was hot within the first 20 minutes in the mall. I don't say anything to Bob because he would insist we leave and we need to get some stuff done. So off we go, beating our way through the throngs of people to get to some of the stores. Turns out some of the stores were hotter than others. I didn't know how Bob was holding it together but then he has never had the same problems as I have.

Twenty minutes later Bob turns to me and says we have to leave. 'Oh, are you okay?' I ask. 'No, you could fry french fries in my pants.' Point made. We booked.

I've been smug about my short expedition ever since. I wonder if I'll be smug when I get pneumonia?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Pity Post

I'm a woman with champagne tastes and a water budget.

No. I got the saying right.

Lordy, I'm getting tired just thinking about the bends that are going to happen in this post. Buckle up!

Eleven or so years ago I met and fell in love with a man named Bob. Bob lived in a little bungalow about 5 minutes from my parent's home. I spent my entire life living in two story homes. (not the same one because we moved a few times) Now, I was a bit of a snob but, the fact that the house Bob lived in was once the family home of his first wife was a bit off putting and I said I couldn't live in his house. The house search began that year but there were major budget constraints as Bob did not want to have a huge mortgage. Being a person who never owned a home I supposed that Bob was right.

Everything that we saw that year was so horribly depressing and downtrodden that when the year was up and we were going to marry I moved into Bob's house. I made short work of changing the decor of the house and soon people were oooohhhing and ahhhinng over the changes.

Still, it wasn't my dream house and Bob had decided that it wasn't his dream house either so we continued to look at other houses.

Ten years and we are still here.

Our saving grace is that we have bought and sold 2 other homes that we renovated and flipped with our real estate agent so he has received 4 commission sales off of us and that's more than most people do in a lifetime with one agent.

Living here wasn't bad until last year when Bob, while being sick with pneumonia, was forced out of bed and into our little shed to get our snow blower out for our neighbour. The shed is in the backyard and it takes a while to let the snow blower warm up and then you need to trench your way around the house.

Bob snapped.

Suddenly the house was too small and there was no garage and our neighbour's were changing over and the new people were setting up campers on the front lawn. Bob was a bear. Thing is we had already bought the reno house so I said I wasn't looking until we finished the other house.

Well, that house closed and my life is now a living hell.

Bob found a house that is the splitting image of my parents house which you would think would be good only, these people bought from a different builder who upcharged for every change so the house was not of the quality of my parents. Didn't matter. Bob was sold.

Suddenly, I'm feeling like Cruella DeVille because I don't really want to move to this house.

It's 20 years old and nothing has been done for upkeep. Guess what? These people are moving to a brand new home! No wonder! The carpets, trim, kitchen, windows, garage door all need to be replaced. It's just something that home owners have to do and these people (the lucky bastards) have decided to move on instead of updating.

So, Bob is pumped and says he wants to see the house again. Fine. I'll go and if Bob is moving then you better believe I'm going with him. I'm just seeing a ton of work to get the house up to snuff.

Damn. I knew my train was going to jump tracks! Hold on!

Bob and I paid off our mortgage a year ago. *trumpets blare* Yeah, we were stoked. Bob wanted to be mortgage free by the time he was 40 but there was this divorce thing so he ended up being mortgage free when he was 45. Pretty damn good. *big happy sigh*

Yeah, all was good until Bob decided we had to move. Now, I'm a logical girl and my math skills are pretty sweet AND you can't get something for nothing unless you are Paris Hilton or some other richy poo who doesn't need what you got but you give it to them for free anyways because their hawt. I'm not Paris Hilton and neither is Bob.

Bob wants a bigger house with a big garage with a big lot. No mortgage.

That's right, my brilliant husband whats some free champagne! Now, me. I would buy my dream house in a second even though we would have a mortgage. We can afford to buy a brand new home with all the stuff we want but, we would have a mortgage.

So, no.

Let's see if we can find that other track.

*grumbling, other house, not keen, no mortgage...ah!*

While revisiting this house we are set up to see another house.

Yeah, I know.

Welcome to the life of the 'significant other of a hobby house shopper'. (Bob gets grumpy when I tell him he is a hobby shopper - c'mon, ten years people!!)

Bob's thinking about what we are going to offer on the house until we pull up outside of the second house. I'm already in love. Bob falls in love.

We go inside and everything is country. I don't like country but, whatever, I can redecorate. The house has a soul which I so didn't feel in the other house. Bob is sold. I'm thinking we may have done it.

Then *I* get slammed by the asking price (emphasis on I because Bob already knew what they were asking). Whadya say? Are you friggin' kidding me!? But, then I'm thinking it's okay because we can go in and offer firm and we might be able to get it. Problem is the house has been on the market for a week so they are not going to accept our offer because they haven't even had an open house. Not only that, the house is 18 years old and there are some issues.

Remember the no mortgage man? He's saying we can buy it and all I can think is that Bob doesn't want a mortgage and this will tie him to a job he hasn't been enjoying for a while and, well, okay, I started panicking (not a panic attack, just normal stuff).

The story ends with Bob flip-flopping between which house he would like to live in and me saying forget the first house because I'm not moving there. By the time we hit our driveway (5 minute drive) I've decided I'm not moving anywhere and I'm never looking at houses again.

Bob calls our agent to get the lay of the land on the second house and comes to tell me that the agent thinks the house will go for asking price. I was thinking 40 grand below asking.

That's it. I'm done. Tears are being shed because I don't have a job and don't contribute and well, pity party erupts.

On that note, I'm not looking at any more houses for a very long time. I can't say never because I have before and Bob has wheedled me into going but, I really don't need to look at houses that we aren't going to buy because we'll have a mortgage. Hey, if we are going to have a mortgage then I want to buy a lot and have our dream house built. That idea has been falling on deaf ears.

Pity party is now over. Well, I haven't started singing yet. (Get it, fat lady, singing ... am I the only one who thinks I'm funny? Yeah, I thought so.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

We Got Good Gifts and Bad Gifts

I have done two types of baskets that have gone over really well with family and friends.

Each start with a wicker laundry basket which I have found at Zellers. I'm not sure there are Zellers in the US so maybe Target (I'm very jealous of these stores) or Walmart would carry them.

For my brother and his girlfriend when they moved in together and for our friends Mark and Sue I did a kitchen basket and I bought everything from the dollar store.

Spatulas (like 3 heavy duty ones), wooden spoons, measuring cups, dish clothes and dish towels (actually Walmart sells nice ones for a fair price), measuring spoons, tongs. For Mark and Sue I bought a huge non-stick wok like pan because Sue's was on it's last legs. Baby Brother got the rest of the dollar store in his basket. Plates, bowls, salt and pepper shakers, juice glasses.

This gift worked for my brother and girlfriend because they were starting out and weren't married or anything like that so no showers or wedding gifts. For M & S, they very often go without as many parents do and since I cook with Sue all the time I knew she was in need of some serious kitchen implements. They were both very happy.

The first incantation of the gift basket happened two years before that. I did one for my mother which was filled with her favourite bath products, face creams, perfume, books etc. My aunt's was also filled with much the same but with a few bath products that are for display purposes. I think I may have added a craft to her gift because she appreciates that kind of stuff. The third I did for Helen. Again with bath products, soaps, chocolates, wine and a framed copy of her favourite soliloque from Shakespeare that she had spent a year perfecting. Each basket had a touch of something for the specific person.

How did this fill up a large basket? I also made bath pillows from small travel pillow forms I found and sewed covers for from face towels I bought at Zellers. Hey, I own a few so I'll run and take a picture! It is the only craft that I have ever seen Martha Stewart do that I knew I could do also. Okay a chimp could do this but gimme a break!

I'm not sure how this will turn out because it is kind of hard to see. You basically take a 12" wide towel and fold it almost into thirds. As you can see the folds end 2 inches before the edge. (Pic 1). You pin and then sew the two short edges closed. You now have a pocket. (Pic 2)

Now, you have the pillow form:

So you stuff the pillow form into the pocket on the back:

And Voila!

Yes, there are two pillows in the picture above because I thought it looked better with two. For a more masculine feel, I found a stripped towel with dark brown and a toffee colour. I may make one for my brother's family. Hey, your not family until I've made you something wacky for Christmas.

Now, I should mention, that before you think I'm all that, most of my crafts come off as a great joke. One year I decided to plaster a few clay pots. I was expecting a nice smooth finish that I could paint all nice and rustic. No. The stuff hit the pot and basically dried on contact. I figured what the hell, it was art. My mother, aunt and Gram couldn't stop laughing for 10 minutes after my mother opened the gift. The laugh was on my mom because I told her I expected to see the pots in her garden. They lasted five years before the plaster finally gave up and fell away from the pot. One night we were over and I was saying how artistic the pot looked and that if my mother wasn't careful I might be forced to make a few more. My Christmas gift that year was a framed picture of the pot. Classic. I know that picture is around here somewhere. I'll have to see if I can find it. Damn, I can't.

Now for some zany and yes crude fun (you've been warned):

For the jealous writer in you. A perfect gift for the writer who shines so bright she is stealing your light.

For those of us waiting for our knight's in shining armor. Let's give 'em some guiding light.

I know! Why didn't *I* think of this. So bloody clever. I kinda want one.

Be sure to keep some of these handy. I mean, he needed the light to find you and you are bigger than...

Oh, for those of us not willing to commit! Tatto tape! Where can I find this stuff? I could look super cool without any pain. I wonder if people would know it wasn't real?

But I just can't resist awarding the dumbass gift award. I just didn't see this one coming. For 8 bucks of your hard earned money you too can have a minute of fun before becoming abysmally bored of your new toy. Course, we're women. We'll give the men an hour.

That's right. It's the Pro Thumb Wrestling Ring. That's it, I'm done. I officially give up on humanity.

Crap I just saw this while hooking up the links and I think it would be friggin' hilarious if it doesn't kill someone. Namely me. By being beaten to death with my own limbs for scaring the beejeesus out of 'someone'.

Bob'll never see it comin'.

On a whole other note.

Hi, my name is Cindy and I am a Blog Aholic. (My time thingie tells me I have been working on this one post for 2 hours. Course there were a ton of pictures and I needed to take them and then I had to search through a gigantic box of photos and got distracted by pictures of my basement when it was beautiful. Then there were puppy pics and kitty pics and pics of my Godchildren when they were babies. Not only that, I wasn't nearly as fat as I thought I was back then.) Am I in denial? Gonna need a verdict here. Am I obsessed or is this normal. Weigh in.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Book Meme Stolen from Jay

Jay came up with a book meme where you pick 15 or more book things about you. I have read Jay's list but I have a bad memory so I hope I won't steal any of her ideas although I remember nodding my head to some of them.

Here we go:

1. I read almost completely from the romance genre. I have wandered out into horror and comedy-mystery but for the most part, if there is no romance in the book, I'm bored.

2. I buy books about arts and crafts, decorating and building that I have yet to read. I have an entire shelf of books on decorating and organizing but I haven't pulled them down yet. I want to do them justice and I don't think just glancing through is reading the book.

3. I add to the above collection whenever the mood strikes me. If I see a book that has great pictures of rooms or homes I love then I buy the book.

4. If a store has 14 books that I really, really want I think nothing of buying them even though I know my TBR pile is enormous.

4 1/2. If a store only has one title I won't buy it unless I have been looking for the book for ages.

5. I prefer new books to used books. I discovered this when I started to lend books to one of my friends. They would come back and they were obviously read. I have to fight the urge to go and buy these books again new.

6. Now that I am in a booktrading group I have faced my fear of used books and it no longer bothers me.

7. All the same, auto-buy authors have to be new.

8. I fold down the corners of the page when I need to stop reading.

9. I have tried bookmarks but if you knew me you would laugh at my efforts. There are days I can't find my car keys, let alone something that I might be using from time to time. Also, when I made an effort they would fall out of the book and then I would get grumpy.

10. I take books every where I go.

11. My husband woke me up at 4am because he was having trouble breathing and wanted me to drive him to the hospital. I got dressed scrubbed my teeth and ran into my book room and grabbed a book I knew would hold my attention. The nurse came in, saw Bob sleeping and me reading a book and said 'at least you came prepared'. You bet your ass!

12. I prefer dialogue to pages and pages of introspection.

13. I can't seem to get into books where the H/H have sex at the beginning of the book. The sexual tension gets lost.

14. I don't want to read a book with children. I used to not mind until I read a book where the 7 year old girl sounded like a old wise man. Nope.

15. Secret baby stories blow.

16. I avoid reading books where the ratings are subtle or kisses. I need hot sex in my books.

17. I have never been a person who felt the need to finish a book I didn't like but, lately, the loss of money because of the bad book purchase is starting to creep up. Let's not even talk about trade size books that turn out to be meh.

18. I buy multiple books by the an author I have never read based on recommendations and reviews. I have tried to stop this in case I discover I don't like the author's books.

19. I alphabetized my bookshelves and have completely freaked myself out. I can't stand in the room for too long because the shelves look funny to me. I like the eclectic look.

20. I think I have bought a romance book for it's cover but it has to be damn good. This year it was Liz Carlyle's latest. I have yet to read Carlyle and I have 5 of her books.

21. I don't believe I have ever bought any other type of book for the cover alone. Otherwise I would have millions of non-fiction books in my house and I don't read such.

22. I have gone out on a limb to try these so called erotica anthologies by Brava and have found most of what I have read to be tempid at best. I have yet to read an erotica that works for me. This from a woman who likes sex in her books but I think what I really want is sexual tension.

23. If they published a book on blog topics, and memes I would probably buy it.

24. I have bought cook books that I have never read. Okay, I read them but I don't like fish and many of the low fat diet books deal with fish. Yetch.

25. I recently packed away a bunch of books to make more room on my shelves. Again, it's freaking me out. My husband is now looking for a house where he can build me a library so I never have to pack books away again. It will save him money because with me, out of sight, out of mind. Duplicates.

26. I will skim over descriptions of rooms, clothing and food being served. Most of the time, the scene is already set in my head. Also, reading about food makes me hungry.

27. If a H/H has a physical attribute I don't find appealing I forget about it. My husband has a mustache and beard but I don't picture heroes like that.

28. Heroes of all books look the same in my head. There are two. One is lean and wiry while the other is bulkier. I don't prefer the bulkier guy but I like his character traits. More protective and gruff. All of Anne Stuart's heroes look wiry in my head. Butch from Dark Lover by J. R. Ward is the bulkier guy in my head.

29. Now that I've admitted that, I don't know how heroine's register in my head. I guess I think of them as my perfect ::cough:: 19 year old self. When all the body parts were great but I didn't know it.

30. I have two books on hand-binding books because I was going to start making leather journals. I never finish anything I start business wise so now I have these books for something I haven't done.

31. My newest books that will probably mock me from the shelf are on how to get your idea into product form. This time I figure I got a winna! I just know nothing. Actually, I know less than nothing and I even went to university. For History. Good thing I didn't study something as weirdly obtuse as business (I had no clue what one would study to major in business) or I could've done some serious damage by now.

Okay, I'm not sure I got the gist of the book meme but this is where I got to. I'm starting to think I may be revealing way too much about myself ;)

Wait. I did write those friendship posts.

Monday, November 21, 2005

If Angels Burn

Edited: Sorry about the layout of this post. Blogger won't save the spaces for some reason so I have changed the colours with each paragraph so you don't get overwhelmed.

Woohoo, finally found some me time. Okay, most of the time is *me* time but this time I got to sit and read.

Lynn Viehl's If Angels Burn

The saving grace for this story was the heroine Alex (Alexandra) Keller. Course she was also a bit of a pain. Let's start with the blurb:

She Restores the Light of Hope.
Dr. Alexandra Keller is Chicago's most brilliant reconstructive surgeon.
He Dwells in Shadow
Michael Cyprien is New Orlean's most reclusive millionaire -- and in desperate need of Dr. Keller's skills.
A New Dawn Awaits Them Both
Beneath the foundation of a mansion in the heart of the Garden District, Alexandra will perform an illegal surgery. Her patient's disfigurement is beyond medical repair. But his body's ability to recuperate from his wounds borders on the miraculous.
Alexandra knows Michael Cyprien is no ordinary patient. Intrigues by how his remarkable physiology might benefit medical science, she is even more compelled by his presence -- and the mystery surrounding him and his associates, a cadre of immortals who call themselves the Darkyn...
Some first thoughts. This is not exactly a romance story although I am assuming the book ends HEA. I'm not sure exactly if all the characters that we have met will have continuing story lines but I am guessing not. For example, we won't be seeing things from their POV any longer.
The blurb is of course deceiving.
The opening of this story is brilliant and Alex is obviously someone so dedicated to her very real work of reconstructive surgery that she eats, sleeps and breaths it. No question, with her upbringing and her absent brother she has made surgery her home and she works hard at her skill. Viehl brings this aspect of Alex's character to full life. You meet her patients and you feel her dedication to helping them anyway she can. Even when she knows that for some, they will not have a great life.
This leads to a mysterious offer for 4 million dollars to fly to New Orleans to operate on Michael Cyprian. She considers it for a full 2 seconds because of all the pro bono work she could do but decided against it because it was obvious this guy needed a new face to escape authorities. So you can see here that we have a smart, overacheiver heroine.
What happens next, a kidnapping and then a made up disease that would explain this man's fast healing and a riddle for a doctor. She's not happy to be kidnapped but does the surgery. Things go bad and Michael attacks her.
It was at this point that the story kinda fell apart. We experience what can only be called the Rapture through Alex's eyes but it is weird in it's imagery and hard to follow where everyone is standing.
I found this to be a problem for the rest of the book. Especially the climax which was over the top and reminded me of a movie ending. By this I mean, I could actually see how this was written to appeal to an action movie/vampire crowd. I was no longer in the story but watching it from afar.
Alex is lippy to say the least but she is a character who seems to runaway all the time. I don't know about you but if I was suddenly turned into a vampire I would be sitting and asking a whole bunch of questions. Instead, this intellectual woman goes about figuring out what is wrong with her through her medicine. Okay. Maybe getting as many facts as possible and then doing the medical research would have faired better. Just saying.
As for the romance it was the typical, 'I made you and you are mine' for the hero Michael and 'I'm not going to be your slave for eternity' heroine. There was no friendship built between these two characters so when love was declared I was skeptical.
The other part of the story, which was the whole reason the Dr. became involved with Michael, was the idea of reconstructive surgery. Michael literally has no face when she first sees him. Alex reconstructs his face based on a painting of him. She has to re-create the bone structures in his face and move the muscles and create eye-lids and the whole bit. Now, the reader knows he is a vampire or Darkyn and thus, heals but I was just creeped out every time Alex noticed what a good job she had done on his lips or cheeks or some such thing. It was peppered throughout the story to the point where I didn't really *see* Michael. I just don't know enough about reconstructive surgery and much of it is phenomenal in real life but, they can't fix everything. So how did she create lips? Were they a different colour from the rest of his skin like most people's lips are?
I have the next book in the series which I *think* is Thiery's. After knowing what he has gone through it is hard to think of him as hero material. Heck, most of the character's shown in this series are far from hero material. Except for Phillipe but then, I would guess his story would be boring. From the spine of this book, it says it is a paranormal series. I hope that there is more romance in the next book and I *know* there will be less thoughts about reconstructive surgery, if I'm lucky!
Also, I should mention that this book is not for the faint at heart. I thought I had dealt with some gruesome stuff reading Laurell K Hamilton and yes, I have skimmed over parts I couldn't deal with but how these Darkyn are tortured is unbelievable and sickening. We're used to our vampires just healing. These Darkyn heal but they heal around damaged bones and such so that they are completely damaged and yet there are no wounds on the exterior. Neat take on the idea but, gah, painful.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Holy Cow!! An actual post about books. Have aliens landed? If they have, can I send them over to your house because I need some time to read before I get zapped.

I finally, and I do mean finally, found Hot Spell. Woohoo! Was it in one of those gigantica stores? Hell no! That would be to easy. I found it in one of the smallest bookstore I have ever been in, in a mall I visit maybe three times a year. Ah, well. I got the book! Side note, I have only ever read one book by Emma Holly and have never read the other authors. I have been visiting Meljean's blog for about the past 9 months and when I realized she had a book coming out I couldn't wait to read it. I'm real excited about this BUT, I must finish the book I have on the go before I can get into it.

Also, miracle of miracles, they had the next book in Lynn Viehl's Darkyn series, Private Demon.


I am beginning to really get sucked in by the first book in the series which I should have done soon. There are a few things that are bothering me about the first book but I will reveal that later. All the same, I am interested enough to see where the next book will take me. After all, Tara Marie told me to keep at it. I'm nothing if not obedient ;)

I've noticed an odd thing about myself lately. I won't just buy one book when I am in a store. Hey, if you don't have the brass balls needed to stock the books I am there to buy then I am not going to stand in some line for the one measly little book that you did manage to have on hand.

Okay, maybe if it was an Anne Stuart.

Still, I've noticed this. Viehl's book was at my local gigantica store but I refused to buy it because it was the only book that they did have in stock. Why in the world am I going to stand in line for this one book. You are supposed to have one hundred thousand titles in this store!!

I'm considering counting.

Anyways, just thought I would let you in on the newest odd quirk to surface. Next thing you know I will be cooking dinners at home. Anything you would like to share? I won't bite.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Today in General

I've noticed that burnout is happening all over blog land and maybe I should be one of those people who takes a hiatus until I at least finish another book.


You aren't so lucky.

Today the demo crew came for the basement at a rocking 9am. Now, for those of you who are new, there is a reason the blog is called Nocturnal Wonderings. I sleep during the day. I was getting better but it's stuff like this that can throw my whole system into chaos.

I end up not sleeping at all before 8am, fall asleep for an hour and then am woken up by knocking. I answer in my jammies because, I'm not proud. I get them all set up and back to bed I go where I have trouble falling asleep because I didn't take any sleeping pills. I believe I drift off at 10am and am rudely awakened at noon by hard banging on the side door. When I opened the door the guy actually jumped at my appearance. 'Ah, just wanted to let you know we're going to lunch.' 'Okay, just let yourself back in when you get here'. This time I am out of it and fall back into bed. Next time I wake up I hear industrial fans and stuff. No one is here. I guess they learned not to wake the beast.

So, here are some semi-before and 'Holy Crap what have I got myself into, middle pics'.

Okay, things to know. In the back there you might be able to see where I had Bob rip out the lower cabinets where the worst of the mold was. That big doorway you see is where the fridge was and of course, extremely hot lights to help dry out the area and bottles of bleach.

This was what it looked like this morning.

I'm hoping this is the mid way point and that all things get better from here on in. The flooring came up and the underlay (DRIcore) but they left the stuff they thought didn't get wet. I may get Bob to take up just a bit more. Also the drywall all around the room was removed from the bottom third of the walls. One section where I knew the water was bad is kinda gross. The two by fours have black on them but apparently they paint them with a special paint that seals the mold in. Yeah. I'm thinking I will be down there with the bleach!

So they cleaned the floors and I assume the two by fours with some sort of agent. Then they put up 2 huge fans and a dehumidifier.

Road Trip!!

I was spoiled growing up. I know! Who could tell?! My mother did all the cleaning, cooking and picking up. I remember trying to do my laundry once and my mother showing up over my shoulder. 'Whacha doing?' 'I'm going to try and do my laundry' 'Ah.' I filled the laundry tub and turned it on. By the time I got back my clothes were dry, ironed, folded and put away. Okay, maybe I was gone for a bit but not like days! So, I knew nothing about housekeeping, cooking or general practices of household maintenance when I got married. My mother even tried to scare Bob off by telling him I knew nothing and that I was hopeless. Apparently my mother pictured me living with her and Dad for the rest of their lives. GAH!! Oops, threw up a little.

Anyways (how do I end up on these tangents?), the first time I went to clean the concrete floor and the wooden dog pens we had constructed for the pups I used an entire bottle of bleach and poured it straight on the wood. Now, I saw the fumes rising but I thought that was the chemical killing all the dirt and stuff. 10 minutes later I am calling my mother and telling her how it's hard to swallow and I can't really breath. She calls poison control and tells me to get out of the house and get some fresh air. I did this but then I figured I was being a woose (?) and went back in to mop up the bleach.

Since then even the slightest whiff of bleach will get my nose aching (not just running but it actually burns) and then gunk builds up in my throat. I still clean with bleach but I try to clean with all the windows open and then leave the house for a few hours.

Why this jaunt along this side road? Well, they've used some sort of chemical but I can't smell any bleach. Problem is my sinuses are aching fierce and my eyes are just starting to water so out of the house I must go.

Dang, I really wanted to just sit and read!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Things to Be Grateful For

At least the furry little Miss picked the dirty clothes hamper to shed in!!

Okay, I can't help myself! SQUEEEEEEEE!! And yes, that is my bra, get over it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Lightening Up!!

I found out from one of the lists I am on that Liz Carlyle is having a contest to win one of eight signed arcs of her new book Two Little Lies. It will be released the day after Christmas but since I have never won anything as a prize and have not ever seen an arc, I thought I would try out. Also, I find her website very visually pleasing. Makes me wish I had a clue about web design ;) Also, I love this cover!

Good news. I have started the peppermint oil regime and have already started to reap the benefits. I would also suggest that writing my crappy few days down last night on the blog helped to bring the anxiety down a few levels. Tonight I started to have a break through panic attack but was able to stay the course. (Because I take medication, I shouldn't really get panic attacks but they can suddenly surface if you are under a lot of stress. Seeing as how Christmas is my Achilles' Heel I guess it is just the norm.) every time you are able to stand in front of the panic and win means that you are less likely to have an attack. Makes me happy when I think of it later and realize that a full fledged panic attack was not only averted but stomped into the ground! Hmm, may not want to get too cocky ;)

Reading wise I just haven't had the time. I got a hold of my insurance company today and they will cover the damage of the pipe that burst in our basement. Phew! That only took about 14 hoops but if there is one thing I have, it's the tenacity of a pitbull. I have a feeling that everyone with an insurance policy will soon get a definition for 'seepage'. The guy read the line in the 'contract' that they were stuck on. I looked at him and said, 'seepage is like an oozing and you can tell from just looking at the damage, that there was no oozing going on down there'. I think he knew I wasn't going to back down and the fact that they would use a specific word and then try to fit a situation to it was just ridiculous. I know what seepage would look like and so did he so they didn't have a leg to stand on. Again, lucky for me because they could have decided against me. I couldn't believe when the adjustor told me that if I didn't agree with the decision I could sue. When did companies decide they would rather be sued than to do what is right? What it came down to was whether they thought I would do the leg work and I guess they figured I would ;)

I'll have to take a few pictures before they demo so I can do the semi-before and then after shots. Even though Bob does renoes I have decided to have the insurance company's team come in and do the work. A) because it will get done maybe before Christmas B) Bob already has two other places he needs to finish up projects before he could get to this.

I'll have to tell you all the story about Bob's first wife, my now best friend and her and her husband's house. Long story. Let's just say she's hoping Bob will finish what he said he would by Christmas of this year. I told her he may have meant Christmas 2007, just to see her reaction ;)

I have decided that tomorrow must become errand day. I have 2 pairs of new jeans that I can't wear because the legs are too long. (Note: I am about 5'7" and am considered long in the leg. Who in the hell are they making these jeans for!? I guess they figure if you have a big waist your legs will naturally be longer. Uh, no. I'm just fat!) I just found out tonight that my husband needs me to iron something (I iron about 2 times a year) but, he used my good iron to put edgebanding on something which means there is glue on the element. Therefore, a new iron needs to be bought. I would also like to go to a used bookstore to find some books for my book trading group. I'm feeling guilty because I haven't been able to get out. Ah well, a step at a time.

Last but not least! A wacky Christmas gift for a man because I don't know many woman who can eat hotdogs the way the men in my life do.

Behold: The Hot Diggity Dogger!!

That's right. A toaster that not only toasts your hot dog buns but also cooks your hot dogs! My husband saw this last year and wanted one immediately. I may not have mentioned but our downstairs kitchen (which is now demolished) was in the style of a 1950's diner. I could handle him getting this as a gift and knowing that it would be relegated to the lower level kitchen. Now, I'm afraid to buy him this because it just might end up on the counter of our upstairs kitchen wedged in between his Kitchen Aid Mixer in blue and his horribly expensive Dualit Toaster. Bobby loves those kitchen gadgets. Doesn't do anything with them but loves to buy them ;)

If you have someone on your list that would absolutely love this gift, Amazon seems to have the best price I have seen so far and yes, I have been trying on Ebay.

Since my train of thought is all over the place I will now wrap up and go surfing. I love to see what others are up to!

Anxiety the Bitch!!

I haven't blogged in about two nights and now there are a million things buzzing around in my brain. I guess that'll teach me.

Let's start with my nemesis and body partner anxiety. The bastard decided to wake up Thursday and throw all my sensory terminals to code red. Fucker.

It all started with my new found resolve to not get sick. Last year was a bust and I am so not doing it again. So off I go to the local flu shot clinic where I get to read the sheet that explains how some people had a bad reaction to the 2001 flu shot (note, I have only ever had one flu shot in my life and I believe it was in 2003) and that if you were one of them you should get your flu shot from your doctor. Nope, not one of them so I get ready.

The shot was nothing but then I have to sit and wait 20 minutes. Twenty whole minutes to look at the list of symptoms that I am to watch for. Now, the last time I got a shot I was more concerned about my panic attacks coming out to play so a little thing like anaphylactic shock seemed like nothing (trust me, a severed artery would come as a welcome relief from a panic attack. Hey, at that point there *is* something wrong and you know it's not in your head!). This time I'm not worried about my panic and I settle in to read the book I brought.

Are my lips starting to swell? Would someone notice if I was having a reaction to the shot? Can I still swallow? So it goes for the next 20 minutes. I have no idea why my brain decided to react like this but I guess it needed something to do. I am currently reading Lynn Viehl's If Angel's Burn and it is really good but there is a lack of romance so far so maybe that's why my brain decided to play with me. After the twenty minutes I decide to go to my friend's house because she will talk me down and everything will go back to normal.

Now at this point I would like to point out to the crowd that I may have been able to shake off this doom and gloom feeling I was having. Afterall, I'm with my best friend and her kids and there isn't a moment to wonder if you have broken out in a rash.

My friend's friend (who is my friend also but I don't see her as much as my friend) has asked if she can ask me a bunch of questions. Being the people pleaser I am and not knowing how I would later react, I say yes.

The questions were about God and my belief system.

Ouch! Sonofa..!

Now, I will openly talk with anyone who wants to discuss beliefs and how theirs might differ from mine, etc. as long as I know they are coming in with an open mind just like I am. Here's the thing - I know that this friend believes that only through Jesus can someone go to Heaven. That's it, that's all. Jesus = Heaven. I don't believe this. In the rounds of questions, I ask her what she thinks happens to those who have never heard of Jesus. She responded by saying, 'do you really think there is someone left who hasn't heard of Jesus?'. I was floored. When pushed on the issue of those who have not heard of Jesus the answer is, 'I can't know what is in a person's heart'. Uh, okay. Needless to say the conversation took a few twists I didn't foresee and by the time I got home I was wondering if I had just blasphemed my way into Hell. Geez, my stomach is getting upset just thinking about it.

I just erased everything I typed about what I said. It's bad enough my friend wrote down my question to ask to her minister. Did I mention I'm not all that well?

So I guess I was jumpy after that (you think!) and during the night I decided to become a hypochondriac (I just scored a 40 but, but....If I only checked a medical encyclopedia once in 35 years, does that count?!). The next day I could no longer lift my arm above my shoulder without great pain which of course led to me wondering if my muscles were dying. Isn't anxiety a wonderful thing? StupidCrudyMcCrap....

So there I am Friday night in a heightened state of anxiety when I realize my bestest friends are coming the next day to spend the afternoon and evening with me. I hit high octane anxiety and have the phone in my hand ready to call and tell them not to come. What keeps me from dialing is realizing that if this *is* all due to anxiety and is not really a stomach virus then I will have it even worse the next time they come down. Yep, that's right. You cower in the face of anxiety once and that bitch'll make you scream for mercy on the next round. Lucky me, my husband talked me down off the ceiling and I was very happy to see my friends the next day.

They taught me to scrapbook and that's a whole other blog ;)

Now it's Sunday night and I have had another round with my stomach. IBS. Yeah, I don't want to get into the TMI territory but this is your follow up prize when you have anxiety! Nausea, hot flashes, cramps, (as I get older the urge to puke gets stronger) and well, yetch. Oh, and my new lovely, fear of fainting. Or maybe it is the wish to faint. I'm not sure. I get worse with milk (I stopped drinking it when I was 21) and nowadays it's murder if something is made with real cream. Ice cream has also become forbidden (I decided that tonight) :(

So there you have it. My anxiety has decided to deck my halls and somehow I know it is only going to get worse as the season progresses. This is the worse it has felt in a long, long time.

It's okay though. I'm not giving up! Peppermint oil pills will be taken twice daily to keep the tummy from wanting to explode. Smaller meals will be eaten so I don't get that overstuffed feeling. Walking will be employed to work off excess energy from anxiety. And, uh, yeah. I don't know what else but, I will do it with great zeal! Yeah, I will!

Screw anxiety!

Did I mention that my only brother (who I love, love, love) who is lucky to have a live in girlfriend with two children, a rental place, a brand new truck and mustang up and quit his job last Monday but only told us this weekend? Any job opportunities? No.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Reading and Stuff

Okay, I am back to reading which I am very happy to report. I am currently reading If Angels Burn by Lynn Viehl, a new to me author.

Her writing is fantastic and her character's are compelling but.... I'm getting the urge to put the book down. I'm on page 116 and the hero/heroine have spent about 8 of those pages together. I'm beginning to think this book is not a romance even though it is marked as one. My other problem is that so far there is not enough back story for me to figure out exactly what's going on. I get that there are the Darkyn and the Brethren. The hierarchy of the Darkyn has been alluded to but I don't understand it. They talk of a man named Richard who I think is their leader but he is in Europe while the hero of this book is not a leader of the American Darkyn, it looks like he is a shoe in. But, now there is a talk of the man who destroyed the hero's face and he is the enforcer for Richard. So, friend or foe?

Maybe this book is above me ;)

Anyways, just wanted to step up and let you know what I am currently trying to read.

I am also searching our city website to learn about building permits and fees. Apparently my husband needs a project and he has decided on a two phases. Phase one is the addition of a library with a main floor laundry room. Someone loves me ;) I'm terrified but hey, if this will keep him from buying another house to renovate and spend more time with me, then I'm all for it!

I am going to see if Bob can make the plans he has come up with in excel much more blogger friendly. That way you can see the depth of my fear .... and yet, I am excited. More on this later. Still have to track down some information and I am soon off to bed.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

More Gifting

This one is for the people on your list who love Christmas. You know that ones. They deck their halls, floors, walls even their bathrooms with decorations. Oh, and the tree goes up in November. What? You don't have anyone like this!? I have THREE people like this and they scare me. Easy to buy for, not so easy to keep from smacking them in all their 'Martha like' glory.

Uh, yeah. Look at my Christmas cheer ;)

Anyways, I wanted to put up a picture of The Night Before Christmas dining set. (Actually, it looks like they are called A Christmas Story)

My husband found these plates last year at a local gift shop and went nuts. There are 4 different sets of four plates and he bought the first one for my parents, the second for my Aunt and the third for my brother and then a few for his side of the family. He wanted my family to bring their dinner set every year so that we could eat off of them. I didn't want to crush my poor husband's feelings by telling him that my mother would not allow us to eat off of anything but her good china. I mean, she bought it for a reason.

Not this Christmas but next, Bob and I tell a white lie to the families where we tell them we are at the other families (does that make sense) and we stay home for dinner. Just the two of us. Since dinner is such an anxious time for me (Christmas day is the very worst and it can start a few days before and just grow moment to moment until I can't think of anything else but dinner - has to do with panic attacks - For years I had to deal with the Trinity of Meals. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. I'm just starting to enjoy these holidays!) Bob put his foot down and said I would get to enjoy at least one year out of every three. I'm really wishing it was this year ;)

Wow, time to get back on track!

We went out on Monday and picked up a few more items we found that were not available to us last year. I am in love with - Holy Cow! I cannot find a picture of the square serving dish we bought! I am absolutely in awe of it. That's the second gift I have been unable to show you guys! I may have to dig the gifts out of my closet! (edited: sometimes Google doesn't get it done. From a Yahoo search I give you the picture to the left. Yeah!!) Onward. We also bought a serving bowl that would be perfect for mashed potatoes and a covered bowl for veggies. This two tier piece we bought last year and is perfect for those friends and family who bring out the cookies and chocolates when anyone visits.

The good news is that there are pieces that are not too expensive and can be used in those Secret Santa swaps. The plate sets (4 plates) are 40 bucks Canadian. (you may be picking up on my budget techniques as the last gift I talked about was also in this ballpark)

Hmmm, was this one too obvious? Hey, sometimes you have to go with what works!

Undead and Unreturnable by Mary Janice Davidson

I cheated.

I grabbed a book that I knew would be a quick read so that I could say I have read, at the very least, one book so far for November. What's funny is that I did it deliberately and read faster than I ever have in order to get a book read. Not exactly what I was going for but, now I have jumped the hurdle and hopefully I will relax and be able to read without over thinking.

I read Undead and Unreturnable and I loved it. No other way to say it really. Yeah, there are things that bug me but I just really enjoy the world that Davidson has created and her humour is so very me.

I'm sitting here trying to think of how to summarize the story and I don't have a clue! That may be a really bad thing. So what happened in this book...



*picks up book to read the blurb*

Okay, it says something about Christmas, it was mentioned in the last few pages. Planning a wedding to Sinclair, bit of a stretch but okay.....ghosts and serial killer, yep, they were there.


You know what, the book is like a few days in the life of Betsy the Queen of One-liners, no....Vampires, Queen of Vampires. So yeah, Sinclair is there and her best friend Jessica gets a date and her sister Laura (the daughter of the devil) gets to play and George the fiend is in the basement and ....

This is brutal!!

What I liked about the book is that the relationship between Sinclair and Betsy does get deeper. Things happen that are funny and well, if you enjoyed the last book in the series then you will enjoy this one.

It is hard, however, to justify the price of this book. To say that I am kooky for buying a hardcover book that is a whole 250 pages with print that could easily be read from across a very large room would be accurate. I really do need to reign myself in when I see these books. I would just have to let my book buying schedule go back 6 months and then I could buy these books in paperback.

Things that are bad. 1) MJD needs a better copy editor. Words are missing, sentences get jumbled and characters that are not dead refer to themselves as dead. 2) She needs to clean up her writing so that the reader knows who is speaking. It gets busy and things are said and I don't know who said them and character reactions are no hint.

Wow, I started this thinking I would buy the next book but I'm thinking I should become a bit more frugal.

I enjoyed the ride, just not sure it was worth the price of admission.

Edited: I am such a sucker!! I went to do the linking thing and saw this at Amazon. I swear shiny objects can distract me! It shows the book will be 368 pages and a paperback. So I'm thinking the text will look like an eye exam chart ;)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Another One Bites the Dust

I was just at Tod Goldberg's blog and saw that Dean Koontz managed to offend a good number of people at a luncheon for the Men of Mystery over the weekend.

I then had to go and read Lee Goldberg's blog because he received a phone call from Koontz telling him how very unhappy he was about Lee's thoughts on his speech.

The problem is, if intelligent people can sit in a room and get even a notion that what you are saying *could* be racial prejudice then you have said something you shouldn't have. I have not seen a response from Koontz but, there was a suggestion that he was trying to be funny. Let's hope that he will realize that he can't do funny and change his speaking engagements to something more along the lines of writing.

As a side note: I have not read either of the Goldberg's books but I do enjoy going to their blogs every once in a while. Tod's blog is less formal and words like fucktard are used in copious amounts. Just my kind of person. He has a relaxed style that makes his reader (of his blog) very comfortable. Lee's blog however, is very intimidating but can also be informative about the writing process.

Anyways, it was a bit of a relief to see that other genres have some of the same problems as those of romance community. RWA Rita Awards anyone?

Monday, November 07, 2005

For the Sci-Fi People in the Crowd

Thought I would quickly let you know that my free time has been getting sucked up by the newest Battlestar Galactica series.

I have only seen the last hour of the mini-series movie and it was enough to let me know I wanted to see more. If I haven't mentioned it lately Canadian television BLOWS!!

So I'm out last week and I see the Battlestar Galactica DVD Season 1 and I'm left thinking, 'Get out!! They have a series?!' So I bought it for myself because I was celebrating.

Every night now I have gone downstairs to watch a few episodes of this series. I'm loving it!

If you know someone who loves sci-fi movies or if you do yourself and you haven't seen this series, it is well worth it.

There. No reading. TV watching instead. I only have 3 more episodes to watch which I will probably polish off tonight. It's getting to the point where I don't know how I would watch a series show anymore!

Season II will be released on Dec 20th which I am considering ordering from Amazon so it will show up on my doorstep before Christmas. Then again, my husband might want to spend some time with me ;)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

In the Need

I have an idea and I'm hoping all of you who drop in are game.

Christmas is coming and I get so stressed out about gifts it is crazy . I ask people what they want and they say 'surprise me'. I'm thinking of getting those people coal but Bob has said that might mess with our karma.

So here is what I am asking. I am going to put up the gifts that I have bought family and friends and I am hoping that if you have found the best Mom gift or cousin gift or anybody gift that you will post it here also. We can do a weekly update thing. I will even post some of my best gifts to others over the years to help others out.

Just so you know, nobody who knows me knows this blog exists so I won't be ruining anyone's surprise. My Aunt said last year that she wanted Christmas ideas that did not involve DVDs. So far, we've all been stumped. Also, I try to suggest reasonable gifts as I don't want anyone to over spend on Bob and I.

I have asked my Aunt for anything white (like birdhouses) that can be put on my bookshelves. So if you have someone who's picky and they have shelves for everything except books then a knickknack of some sort might be a good idea.

First up: A gift for Anyone but I bought it for my Aunt who loves everything Mexican.

A chili pepper fajita grill (yikes, I can't find a pic but here is the Quesadilla maker, which is also fun). I think my Aunt will love it and if I get a kick out of it then I hope she will enjoy it. It was 40 dollars Canadian and was at The Bay. My Aunt also loves crafts so my husband found these old wood windows which I am going to paint in beautiful Mexican colours. I was thinking of either frosting the glass and putting three Spanish words on them or making it more of a large picture frame. I can post a picture of it when I finally get it done at 5am Christmas morning ;)

(Side story! You knew it was coming ;) . Bob and I are shoppers (even though we rarely buy, we like to browse) and we have been in some exclusive places and I noticed that old window sashes were being painted white and sold for a huge amounts of money. So we buy the first reno with all the old wooden windows and I'm psyched because I have seen what others do with them and I know I can make a bunch of fun presents. Hubby hears about this for weeks and has promised umpteen times that the wood windows are to come home. Ah, no. He actually threw them all away! I was busy putting the new windows in with my dad and didn't notice Bob loading them into the pickup to take to the dump! He hasn't heard the end of it since. New reno house, no old windows. Bob on his way home one night notices that someone is throwing out two old wood windows and he stops and picks them up. He says, 'I've never dumpster dived until now.' Good thing he loves me!)

I know that Christmas is about more than the gifts. I get that. Doesn't mean I don't get stressed. Also, apparently people are sick of me asking for book gift certificates or anything to do with books. They think that there must be something other than books that I want. They're kidding, right?

P.S. I am going to be reading for the next week so I don't know how much blogging I am going to get done. I figure most people who come here are coming for book suggestions and since I read two whole books in October I figure I better get cracking! I have to break past my book blues or I won't read for another month. Can't have that.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Odds and Ends

I had a post written last night but blogger ate it so I'm hoping this one works!

Just wanted to let you know that I have landed back on the planet and all things are good. Pool closers came and shut that down. The insurance rep came and looked at the damage that I had left in the basement and I am hoping to know by tomorrow afternoon. (Wouldn't want them to rush it or anything). And my husband fell asleep at 9pm Tuesday night for the first time in about 3 months. It was good to see him relax.

On Monday night I went book shopping online but I kept myself from over purchasing. Now I am regretting that decision ;) I really, really want like 10 books to show up on my doorstep.

I ordered:

The Hunger by Susan Squires
The Companion by Susan Squires
Undead and Unreturnable by Mary Janice Davidson
Perfect Waltz by Anne Gracie

Yeah, yeah, I made a big deal about connected books in this post but it is clear, I'm a masochist ;) The Squires books are part of a connected series. At least, I think they are because I have only been skimming the reviews. No big deal, right? Okay, I'm in denial. Not only this, I have two books by Squires in the TBR pile. That's right. I've never read Squires. What if I don't like Squires? I will now have 4 books by her. Crazy. That's what I am.

Undead and Unreturnable was an easy choice except for the hit to the bank account. I loved the last book in this series and I am hoping that Davidson was able to keep up the magic. The others in the series are good but there was no meat. *fingers crossed* Here I can proudly announce that I am not buying the second book in her Royal series because the first one was such a mess and I know I read somewhere that the mess continues. So, not quite a fangirl because if I was, I wouldn't be able to resisit.

Anne Gracie. I've read Anne Gracie and really enjoyed one of her books. It was *this* close to being a keeper but then, I don't like to be kept out of the bedroom. For more on that, this post here explains. So, Gracie goes on the do not buy list and I'm fine with that decision.

Now, I'm browsing on Amazon as I like to do and looked at the books it recommended for me. Anne Gracie's latest is high on the list. I'm thinking, 'Why in the world would this book be on my recommend list'. So I click on that little button that tells me why the book is being recommended to me. Passion by Lisa Valdez. Yes, I loved this book and it is extremely sexy so I am intrigued as to why Gracie would be recommended on the basis of enjoy a 'hot' book. These authors are so far apart in the sexual spectrum that it's impossible to understand the recommendation. Unless, the recommends are not so much about whose books you like as to the quality of the writing. I mean, Amazon has never had the gaul to recommend any of the current bestsellers to me (that's right, I consider many of the bestselling authors to write very simplistic stories and that they appeal to a common denominator in the reading population but I guess that should be a whole other blog).

Here's hoping these books show up tomorrow. It used to be that I could order a bunch of books and they would arrive on my doorstep two mornings later. Now, it can take upwards of a week. Some may suggest going to the local bookstore to buy these books but it is very rare for me to find the books I am looking for. I don't know how a bookstore can have close to 50' of retail space for romances and still not have the books I am looking for. Of course, Roberts, Krentz, Quick, Coulter and others take up a good half of that space.

I'm off to bed soon. It's 5am. Not happy. Hey, the daylight hours were a blast and I hope I can pull out of this tailspin I am in but the weekend is upon us and I don't have time to work on it. Too many people want to see us after the 9 months of nights and weekends we worked.

On Sunday night I will give it my all. I enjoy the daylight too much and with winter about to set in. I'm going to need all the help I can get ;)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Let's Get This Party Started!!!!!


*Get OUT!! I was going to get a huge picture of something, anything dancing a crazy jig (I knew robots had come a long way but, this?) and (in my limited knowledge) add it here. Yeah, I don't know what I am doing and there is no blogger help for adding animated gifs.*

Am I going to let this bring me down?


Start your brain's turntable because you are about to be slammed with 80's, 90's and today's tunage to mark the occasion.

Join in if you know the words!!! Ya know ya wanna! *starts singing* Yah, Celebrate good times, C'MON, we're going to cele....We are the champion's my fri...eeeennnds *da, da, da* and we'll keep on fighting to the....Let's get it starrted, yeah! let's get it started, in here!.....*yelling* Since you've been goo-one (background vocals echo - since you've been goo-one) I can breathe for the first time!....We're not gonna take it. No, we ain't going to take it. We're not going to take it, annyyymoorreee!!...Take this job and SHOVE IT!


You're welcome ;)

Do you know what happened today? YEAH, you do! The Reno House Sold!!! (ohh, ahh, look at the pretty fireworks) I'm telling you, it's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel so very free...*breaks into song* as free as the wind blows, as free as .... Wheeee!

Okay, seriously, have any of you done a delirious blog because, MAN!, I'm flying by the seat of my pants here.

You know how I love books and authors and anything to do with books or authors? You know how you see the blogs of people who have suddenly 'got the call' and they are all happy and stuff? TOTALLY know what they are feeling because it is like I 'got the call' only, I'm completely loopy and letting it show whereas newly crowned authors have that demure ' I got the call - woohoo ' post and then they sign off. No more I say! Let us see the JOY!!

Serious Guy Voice-over begins.

This message brought to you by the makers of butt-loads of back breaking labour, realtors, buyers, lawyers, movers and profit margins baaaybbeeee! Results may vary but, if you are Cindy Smith you will react like a complete loon. Other's may experience nausea, vomiting, eye-rolling and general embarrassment to be anywhere near this area. Avoid onslaught of symptoms by removing said blog from your list of acquaintances. If symptom get worse go immediately to your nearest 'stick in the mud' blog and get your bearings. If you can read this liability clause without a magnifying glass, the print is too big. If you can actually hear a voice reciting this list, welcome to the dark side ;)