Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What I Need To Work On

I have noticed that some bloggers have mentioned 'blogging challenges' that are for cleaning up your blog or making it presentable.

I might be able to follow Marg's links to find what I'm looking for but does anyone have some links to help me out?

I have to add people to my sidebar as I keep stumbling over new blogs and even older blogs that I've been to but haven't added to the sidebar. Bad Cindy.

I know I'll put up books on the right hand side of the blog (KristieJ and Nath showed me how, I just have to get my lazy self to move on out)

And tagging. I've never really gone back and re-tagged in fear of breaking people's Google Readers or something like that. Maybe I'll just send a warning post before I start that and by start I mean before I turn 75.

At least this is a blog and something manageable.

Not crazy sized like my house but we'll skip that for now.

Edited: My computer is starting to act like a jerk so I need to do some maintenance. If you don't hear from me for a while I'm working out computer issues.

As to reading I picked up The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley but I can't say it's working for me. I wish I had gone into the book without knowing what *might* be wrong with Ian because it's affecting how I perceive him. If I can finish the book I'll explain in review with 'spoiler' marks.

Ohhhhhhh. I just read what he *might* have and I confused it with something else. Makes better sense to me now.

Hopefully this helps me with the perception issue. Gah. Sometimes I worry myself!

I'm owning idiocy at the moment. Anyone care to take the SOB off my hands?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

To Beguile A Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

I spent the whole day reading. Talk about bliss!

So I just finished To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt and decided to get some of my thoughts down cause I'm awake and it's day light and I'm hyper.

Good times.

Cindy Blurb: Helen Fitzwilliam is a wonderful heroine in the fact that she is nothing like what I have read before. Sure she's all good and sweet and stuff but get this. She's the long time mistress of a Duke and has two children from the relationship.

I know!

Then, the hero is a tortured (literally) soul with a horribly scarred face who has holed himself up in a decrepit castle.

So down to brass tacks and all that, the heroine has decided she must flee the Duke and knows that the Duke will try and keep her by stealing her children from her.

A friend of the H/H sends Helen to Scotland to the above mentioned castle to act as a housekeeper for Sir Alistair who is of course a grouchy grump but true love will prevail and all that.

The good news is that I enjoyed the story for the most part.

Anyone that knows me knows I don't like kids in my romance books. Not only were these kids not just a peripheral thing, they had their own little stories within the bigger story. Ugh. I powered through and enjoyed the little boy Jamie only because he seemed right for his age whereas the girl Abigail was 9 and moody. Basically too much like me as a child. Poor thing.

I liked that the heroine had a past and it wasn't something anyone was going to be able to sweep under the carpet. She makes no apologies for who she is or how her life has turned out. She just knows that she needs to move towards happiness before it's too late.

Sir Alistair could have become one of those heroes you've read about more than once. A small scar on the face and they feel marred for life and unworthy of love. Alistair's scars were immense and people fainted when they looked at him and children screamed. He knew what his reality was and had somehow etched out a way of life that was lonely and sad but was his.

He also wasn't charming or overly sentimental. He was rough spoken and like I said above, a bit of a grump which made him wonderfully different from most heroes. I was also surprised at his reaction to Helen's revelation later in the story. Most heroes would hold their tongue and maybe leave the room for a few hours. Not Alistair. He was brutal, not to be evil but because he is so immersed in reality that he sees everything Helen's revelation means.

All that said, the story was missing something for me. That zip that makes a book a keeper and one you'll want to re-read again. As much as I enjoyed this book I can't say I would re-read it but if you love historical romances and don't mind kids in your story then I say give it a try for something different from all the other historicals out there.

C+/B- Can't decide. So I guess I'll have to tag this one under both grades.

Cause I'm lazy.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

TSTL - Really?

This post got me thinking and laughing.

What some people consider actions that make a person Too Stupid To Live can actually be some of my daily rituals.

So. Let's share shall we?

1. I have seen it too often said that a heroine without a cell phone in this day and age is TSTL.

I'm a 38 year old woman who can jump start a car, change a tire (if forced to at gun point), and in general find my way to a gas station without any help thank you very much. I also own a cell phone. I don't however, carry it on my person cause seriously, it's just one more thing I have to remember to pick up on the way out the door.

Oh! But now I have a purse so I can carry it always. Only there isn't a permanent plug on my person so it's dead almost every moment of each day.

That said, you come up on me in the middle of the night on some dark road with my car broken down, you better believe I'm carrying a big ass crow bar.

2. Hearing a noise in the basement and knowing there is a killer on the loose and you go down those stairs.

There have only been a few times where a 'killer' has been on the loose and that is usually well televised and I've always had dogs so figured no one would even try. Still, I'll go down those stairs to prove to myself there is nothing to worry about. And yes, there is a baseball bat in an easy to reach place in the house. (I'm not sure how I would react without dogs now. Hopefully I won't be puppy-less forever)

Oh! and I always get mad at movies where the people walk around in their house in the dark - just turn on a friggin' light! It was something of a mind hit the other night when I realized I walk around in the pitch black all the time. Now, I do hit the lights the minute I get in the front door. After that, darkness happens.

3. Heroine out in snow storm in her car.

I'll drive in anything. I'm so not afraid of snow, water, winds. Don't bother me in the least. And yes, I'll be the only person on the road and you better believe I'm heading out to get french fries when the going gets blasted.

I'm also a person who will get out of her car to help someone push their vehicle off the road, or to offer her cellphone (if it's not dead), and one time I got out of my car at a light to help an elderly couple cross the road to catch their bus (they couldn't figure out the walk light & were starting to panic). Sure the light had turned green my way and other people wanted me to move but screw off, I'm helping people here!

That said, I live in a town/city so I wouldn't pull any of this stuff in the country. Although I have driven through a snow storm on unplowed country roads for an hour without flinching once. I thought my mother was going to throw up (she had an accident in the snow) and she was floored that I was so relaxed. (My father took me out when I had my permit and had me do donuts in a snow storm in the back parking lot of a grocery store - once you learn how a car will move in most situations the fear is gone)

So this just covers a few things. The number of times I've almost killed myself because I didn't think something through is probably greater than a cat's number of lives.

Have you ever taken a knife to something not realizing it's actually pointing straight at you? I've almost stabbed myself in the stomach a few times. And I'm careful with knives cause they scare the crap out of me!

Almost broke my leg with a sledge hammer. Once again, didn't think it through.

In demo mode I didn't realize I was hammering towards my head until the damn hammer skipped off the wood and hit me in the noggin. Bob was not pleased.

So 'stupid' happens.

Now, if I got a call from some gravelly voiced serial killer telling me to meet them or else, I'd go with the 'or else'.

I'm just saying, just because 'stupid' happens doesn't mean I happen to be 'stupid'.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Buddy Review!! Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh


I finished this book shortly after it was published (there be no slumpville when my auto-buy authors come out!) but boy there is a lot of work in doing up a buddy review!!

Thanks to Nath for letting me play and having the patience for it all and for doing all the 'techie' things that need to happen to get a review like this up.

Without further ado:

Breezing Thru and Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh

You still here?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Seduced By A Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt

Yikes. I never reviewed this book and with my stupid memory I need to make a record of it.

This is where my record keeping with books gets murky. Sure they side bar says I read X number of books but if I forget to change it when I finish a book it's likely I won't ever remember to change it. Thus, lost books. Okay, not lost but not on the fore front of my memory either. I'm using 'Read in 2009' as a tag so at the end of the year I can go back through and remember what it was I read. Now I just have to make sure I review the books or at least make a note somewhere.

Course, I lose notes.

So keeping track would be better.

Instead this will be a note.

I know I liked the book enough to want to dive into the next book To Beguile A Beast which is currently ensconced in my gorgeous new purse.

But Singh's book arrived and stuff happened.

Translated, I can't remember a thing about the darn book except I remember 'seduce a sinner' was in the dialogue somewhere.

Yes, I'm lucky to remember where I live most days.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Things I Don't Find Funny

Okay, with that kind of title this post could be one long-assed missive but I'll try to keep it to the one thing that is pissing me off right now.

The Weather:

Canada's summer is short. Shorter than I wish it was. Basically to me there are two seasons, Winter and Swimmer. Swimming has not been happening nearly often enough to keep my ire from rising and killing those in the vicinity.

The Weather Network (how I hate your new smarmy ways) hasn't got a friggin' clue lately. I used to rely on The WN like it was gospel, now it's like they are pissing in the wind and if something hits then they figure they did a good job.

I'm not sure what is going on that they (WN) don't know there is a ginormous cold front with a bunch of rain heading our way instead of the HOT and HUMID weather they are reporting. Seriously, 39 C is what they are saying we should be feeling (humidity) and when it doesn't show up they put it to the next day like oh, it'll show up.

Well it's now late July and I'm calling BULLSHIT.

Poor Bob is keeping C-Rex tied down so she doesn't go on a rampage through hither and dale cause she wants to do some serious damage.

Bob says August will be hot and beautiful. Again, hoping to keep C-Rex from knocking over buildings on her way to Mother Nature's place to ask what she did to piss her off.

To top it all off it was miserably wet and cold tonight. So cold my hubby asked me to turn the furnace on as he went to bed. I was all 'hell no, the bedding and everything in the house is dripping from the humidity in the air' to which my extremely brave husband mumbled 'the heat will dehumidify the house because there is a dehumidifier on the furnace.'

My house is now a sauna.

Hot, miserable in it's current wetness & my brain has decided to misfire and have me smelling burned up cigarettes. (If I was smelling burned toast I would think this horrid summer had finally caused a stroke but I'm hoping the smell of stale cigarettes means my body is feverishly burning off tons of fat) Looked in mirror and my ass is still huge along with the rest of me so that one is a big NO.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take my soggy PMS C-Rex upstairs to mope in front of the TV until my poor unsuspecting husband get ups and I can whine to him as he dresses for what will turn out to be a long day.

Bonus for him, he will re-discover his love of going to the office.

Bonus for me, once he leaves I'll turn on the A/C and blast the wet out of the air.

Next up, prepare yourself for a strongly worded post on meat lockers.

Monday, July 20, 2009

AND - We're Back

With RWA running this week and weekend I figured nobody would miss me if I was too busy to post and well, I was!

My Dad is home from Malaysia so we were there Saturday night for a BBQ and then last night (Sunday) Bob and I took the family out for dinner at Boston Pizza. Sure I had to chew some panic pills but I did it and I'm bloody proud of myself! (small note to newbies - I have panic attacks and my biggest triggers are my parents and food so restaurants with parents in tow are dangerous places for me).

Today was the first Cindy day in about 14 days. Poor Bob had to go back to being a working man after his one week vacation. I told him I didn't get enough Bobby time (he put up fencing and is still custom building wood sections which take about 2-3 hours just to build) so I want him to take a week off in August so we can do day trips and hopefully spend time by the pool and hide from people. Yeah. Sometimes I just want it to be Bob and I and I'm spoiled rotten most of the time so I know I'll get my Cindy week with Bob yet!

I'm going to post a few before and after pics here of the backyard. Keep in mind that Bob did most of the fencing by himself and fencing is usually a two - three man job. Thing is, Bob rarely quits when he's on a roll. I'm also hoping by the mid point of August he'll be closer to finishing up at his family's home.

This week I should get some reading done for sure. Okay, I have Dad to visit and make sure he gets plenty of family time but I can't see why I can't pull out a book every once in a while.

We (most of Southern Ontario) are hoping that we do get the promised heat wave this week cause I so want to go swimming more often. I dove in tonight and swam for bear/bare (?) to warm up. It's the time after (the past two hours) that you sit with a chill all over. Bob just got up to go to bed and mumbled that he is freezing. Yeah, me too!

Dang I was going to load photos but there are every where in my computer and I have one spot where there are no previews so you end up having to go through hoops and I'm not in the mood to jump.

And finally, there is no food in the house.

Sure, there are crackers but no peanut butter. There's bread but no PB, meat, etc. There is not one potato in this house (I'm a potato addict and not having any in the house is making me queasy with hunger), I drank the last coke hours ago and the stuff I did find had mold starting. So I found a lonely frozen dinner in the back of the freezer and I'm heating it up. I told Bob we had to go food shopping tonight but he was tired after a day at work.

So he's sleeping and I'm up like normal and starving. The things I do for love.

And no, I'm not heading to McDs or anything although I'm dying to just so I can stop thinking about food!

I'm in my jammies and lazy to boot so no going out at 2am for me.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cooling the Jets

I've been scrolling through a bit of the RWA coverage (AAR and Kristie J's so far) and figure most of you will be busy catching up for the week so rambling will now commence.

Did you know painting your own toe nails is hard?

I had no clue. I don't normally polish cause I have that 'Oh, shiny!' factor and get distracted by my own hands. The feet however are fun to catch every once in a while but I've only ever had it done at the spa (one time). For two weeks I would be doing something and would catch a colour out of the corner of my eye and see my toes. Stupid stuff makes me smile so yeah, I would smile.

So my Gorgeous Cousin came to stay overnight with Bob and I and shopping was done in the extreme.

Side Trip!

My cousin can shop. OMG can this girl shop. Even as a teenager and young adult I could not have done the kind of shopping my cousin can do. She will shop an entire mall and then decide what she wants to buy. Me? I buy stuff as I see it. So halfway through everything I'm the only person who has dropped some major coin. Grrr.

Poor Bob decided to come with us (I told him he could stay home and continue building the fence but he chose to come) and the poor guy would find a chair in the mall and fall asleep only to have us poke him awake to move on to the next set of chairs. Geez, he even got two new shirts without moving out of those chairs!

Then he followed us into a few stores because he had had a good snooze and discovered what shopping with women can be truly like.
Gorgeous Cousin finds 12 things to try on and then comes out to pose while I laugh and point, thumb up or OMG NOOOOOO! her. Bob was quite impressed and asked if his job was to give the thumbs up. I asked him how old he was (51) and told him he had no business telling a young woman what she could wear. He agreed.

OMG - Train of thought off the track, run for your lives!!

Can you say 1980's? Every where I looked were the clothes that I shopped for when I was a teenager. Seeing my 23 year old cousin get all excited about stuff I have seen before and was terrified of has put a new spin on my getting old. I just never thought the 80's fashion would come back in style. I actually grabbed a dress and put it over my head and sang Love is a Battlefield cause seriously, it was the dress! Obviously, my cousin didn't know what to make of me.

Even if I were a skinny mini (I wish), I wouldn't wear the stuff again.

Back to the side trip:

On the way out of the mall (stores were closing all around us) Bob keeps on with lines like 'I'm not sure I can make it, I've aged years while being in here!' and 'you tried on 43 outfits and you didn't buy anything!?' get outside 'Holy crap, the seasons have changed while we've been in there.' and continuous witty comments ad nauseum.

Dang, I'm so off topic - what I was planning to say was that my cousin has worn polish on her hands and feet since she could wield one of those little brushes. So like, 5 years old.

Okay, how'd we do? Everyone still conscious?

I have a bit of a head ache so we'll list that as a side effect of reading the above. Ooops, should have put that in first, ah well, we'll take some Tylenol together.

Let's get this cart back on the path already!

I don't like most nail polish colours. Bright red? Forget it. Pink? Ugh. I tell my cousin I'm looking for something with a hint of purple in it. She intreprets this to mean PURPLE. Yikes. I thought her head was going to explode while I hummed and hawed over the colours but I finally picked one. (I think I'm more in the brown tones)

My big toe looks like an anvil was dropped on it.

Me, thinking it would take about 10 seconds to put on some polish learned the hard way that that shit has a mind of it's own! So I was able to wipe most of it off but it's all in around the edge of the nail and on my toe.

It looks like a dead zombie toe. Course, my cousin has gone home and I have no one (and no I'm not asking Bob) to put the polish on.

Can you tell I learn on a curve?


Purse Porn for Ames:

You got me with your latest purchase and I had to find the perfect purse for my wallet, keys and a book without it looking like a purse (cause I feel like I'm playing dress up and everyone knows).

The pictures aren't doing the bag any justice so go here to see it professionally photographed in all it's cuddly goodness.

The leather is like budda!

And it came with it's own cozy sweater that is called a dust jacket for when the purse isn't in use!

Seriously. That's just too funny.

So my keys, wallet and a book will fit nicely and maybe I won't forget any one thing while out shopping like I did last week.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Bob's off this week and I have already inked in my 'Bobby time'.

See, he's putting up a fence and then I told him to go help my Mom with some stuff and then my Gorgeous Cousin is off this week also and wants to get together and then....


Yes, I'm a wee bit feral on this point.

The weather is holding up but it's cool again, as in the pool should be 83 so that I don't jump from cold air into colder water. Seriously, I have a pool heater for a reason and this brisk summer is the exact reason for it!

Oh, I cooked dinner tonight too!

I know I'm shocked also but then I really just threw some frozen burgers on the grill with some hot dogs, boiled up some Ontario potatoes (crack as I like to call 'em) and tossed a pre-packed Caesar salad that I add tons of bacon bits and croutons to. And some pepper/onion pack for the BBQ that was new at the store. I was the only one who at the veggie stuff so I'm guessing that part wasn't a hit.

I finished the book and I have the Great Book Blues.

Yep, I'm having a tough time breaking from Singh's world as there are a few characters I want to see stories for TODAY.


I'm fine.

No really, I'll figure this one out.

I just don't think massive reading will get done this week but I can still try, right!

I put an exclamation point on that sentence to see if I could get my sorry butt to pick a book to read.

Not working.

The GBB's suck when you don't have 17 more books in the series to grab at.

Just saying.

Friday, July 10, 2009

In Just A Minute

So many things going on you lose track of time.

1. I finished the book and will have a joint review up with Nath at Breezing Through as soon as we write it. Aside: I'm so excited to write a buddy review as I've never done one and hey, I get to be a guest over at BT!!

2. You think I'm a slow reader, you should see how long a review takes to write!

3. I have no idea where the week went.

4. I think I have a video of Emma that I can upload for ya. If you haven't seen her in her new 'cropped' look be prepared to laugh.

5. One of my best buds is coming for a visit and I haven't cleaned the house. Like, at all.

6. My sleep is weird. I'm going to bed at 5am and waking up before noon. That's just not right. Then I wake up tired and spend hours sleepy but I can't fall asleep. Jacked up is what that is.

7. Bob's off on vacation next week so we'll see how my reading goes. Although if you know me you know I'm in the GBB (hint to my grade for the review but if you don't know what GBB means you'll have to wait)

8. Oh, and since you know Bob you probably won't be surprised by how many projects he has on the go. Helping at his brother's house (I can show you a video of where they are at) building the apartment they need to rent, putting up fence at our house, plans to rip off existing deck and build a new one and my favourite - an ensuite bath. The ensuite bath thingie means I have a bathroom I can't use but there is no progress as Bob is working outdoors at the moment.

The more I think about it the more I realize this could become a separate blog post so I'll leave it at that for now.

8. You poor bastards, I do have a video of Em!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Bruce Willis Baby!

Why are you all messing with me?

Why was I not alerted to the next hottest movie starring my Bruce?

Not only does it star Bruce Willis, it's like a sci-fi movie. Matrix on crack if you will.

SURROGATES trailer in HD

Just a little summa-summin.

Back to reading. Shhhhhh.




I didn't want to say anything on Wednesday but uh, yeah, had Branded by Fire showing as IN STOCK!!

I was floored so what did I do? I bought 40 bucks worth of books to fill out an order and bloody hell, it shipped today and if I'm really lucky it'll be here tomorrow!!

Loretta Chase is a hit or miss author for me. While she has written one of my favourite romances of all time - Mr. Impossible, she's also written Miss Wonderful and Lord Perfect - ow, ow. Still, I'll keep coming back hoping for another hit hence, Don't Tempt Me.

Meredith Duran's Bound by Your Touch is a book I have only heard good things about and hey, it was also in stock so one easy click and it was in the online basket.

What Happens In London by Julia Quinn also fell into the virtual cart but this is another hit or miss author with me. I'm not a lover of the title but I think it's because it's contemporary - course, maybe the book is contemporary - yeah, I don't normally read back blurbs. Still, I was able to buy this one despite the title (amazing how that 39 bucks and it ships free can work out).

And, of course, I have to mention Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh. I love this author and have been waiting too long for this one. Sure enough, after ordering the book online on Canada Day (Wednesday stores were closed) I checked stock at my local bookstore late tonight and they now have 38 copies.

So yes, I will admit it to one and all, if I don't have a book package in the mail tomorrow I will end up at the bookstore to buy Branded by Fire. I'm not proud of my inability to suppress my 'gotta have it now' impulse but obviously I'm not horribly shamed by it either.

Where I know I'm crazy is that I won't actually have any reading time until Sunday night when Bob has to leave on business. Reading palooza begins immediately afterwards, which is why I will have the book in the house on Sunday night even though the mail might not show until Monday morning.

Bad Cindy.

But I'll have the book.

And in my brain that makes all things equal.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Reviews and Different Media

I know book reviews are often discussed, yelled about and eventually sobbed about in romance circles. I find it such an odd occurrence but then I was watching movies long before I became a romance reader.

How does this relate?

I don't know how it works in other countries but here in Canada, if a movie reviewer pans a movie as the most horrid thing to have ever been made for the big screen, I know I have to get my ass to the film as soon as possible. In fact, if a movie that I have been really looking forward to gets a good review from any of the Canadian media I'm almost beside myself with disappointment.

Most sci-fi movies before now have been panned by movie media and I smile knowing I'm in for a treat. I'm pretty sure I've seen horrid reviews for all the Indiana Jones movies including the one with Sean Connery and have been personally insulted by the idea that a viewer would have to be a moron to enjoy such films.

I learned early on with movie reviews that the reviewers were looking for something in the film that I myself was not the least bit interested in. The Oscars only furthered this conclusion with such winners as Fargo (hated the film), American Beauty (seriously, the whole film was ridiculous) and The English Patient (bleck). Also, if anyone can explain to me the meaning of the movie The Virgin Suicides, I would greatly appreciate it.


So, seeing today's Yahoo story on the most recent Transformers movie made me laugh.

'Transformers' sequel could become worst-reviewed $400 million blockbuster ever

Basically this movie has received horrible reviews yet it's making a killing at the box office. Those reviews that have praised the movie have the added caveat of 'check your brain at the door'.

Now for some honesty, I didn't care for the first Transformer movie and thought it was quite juvenile and since it is about toys that were created for young boys back in the 80's I understood my 'meh' feeling about the film.

Silly me now thinks I have to see this sequel.

But I'll wait until it's out on DVD, just in case.

I do have to say however, that I think movie reviewing has finally started to change over the past few years. Not all critics aren't looking for that artsy fartsy film that'll make me gag (although they still love those things) to fall all over. New reviewers are popping up here and there, probably sick of the blood bath of normal movie reviews, and adding in a voice of the person who is just looking for a grand time at the movies.

I just don't need a moral lesson from every film I watch, in fact, I would prefer not getting any kind of lesson from a film!

Still, it takes some getting used to, for example, the latest Star Trek movie received great reviews from critics and I almost fell to my knees in horror. What saved me was that normal everyday people were also saying it was a great movie and thankfully it was a great movie.

How does this relate to romance books and their reviews?

Good question. You know me and how my train of thought unravels in mid---

Basically, romance reviews years back were the complete opposite of how movies were reviewed. I remember the first time I saw reviews for romance books and was surprised at just how many were 'gems' and 'perfect reads'. A few purchases later I discovered that romance book reviews were not to be trusted.

Please keep in mind this was the mid-90s before blowing your load in the comments. Just saying.

We've come a long way in regards to reviews for romance books.

There's that dark part of me that wants to do a test like the movie one above. How many positive reviews are written for a book that most people think is horrid or even how many 'OMG NOOOO' reviews are written for a book that sells like hotcakes. (and how well do hotcakes sell?)

Keep in mind it's a statistical thing in that out of 100 reviews 93 were rave reviews or whatever, we all know a review is only one person's opinion but group 100 together and you have some information to draw from.

Okay, I'm boring myself now.

Thoughts, rants, name calling?

Damn, I lost you at the word 'review' didn't I?

I knew it.