Monday, April 30, 2007

Fabulous things...

*Oh how I love The Good, the Bad and the Unread. There's always fun reviews, rants and news of note there. Plus, Sybil's got many authors posting (and giving away free stuff!). So go and read and comment. Today's guest was Jennifer Estep, whose debut novel, Karma Girl, looks cute. Her next guest is Kelley Armstrong, one of my favoritest authors ever. So I shall be there once again, babbling away. Also she's got a sneak peek at the cover of Lover Unbound. (I haven't made any references to JR Ward in awhile, so I figured I better throw that in before I get my fangirl status revoked.)

*Found this at Alison Kent's, by way of AngieW. It appears to be some kind of hub for romance-related blogs. It's under construction, but it's pretty neat.

*In the Snorting Coffee Out My Nose" file: Check out Jane and Karen Scott's reviews of Carol Lynne's Ben's Wildflower. Now I haven't read the book, and doubt I will, but it sounds like a satire of an Ellora's Cave book, complete with a bored blonde chick riding naked piggyback on some dude on the cover. You must read to believe the magic! Of course the comments turned to a discussion of mean girls, but I will leave that alone for now (except to say, if someone's opinion is so insignificant, why would you take the time to read and comment? Just ignore it.) Lacey Thorn, a friend of Ms. Lynne's and a fellow EC author, pointed out how dismayed she was that someone would bring the review to the author's attention, which apparently happened. And I agree, that sucks. But I'll bet you a hundred bucks that it wasn't Jane or KarenS or any other meanie, mean blogger. No, I bet it was one of Ms. Lynne's "fans," who so ardently jumped to her defense. I've seen this sort of thing before on message boards, and it totally burns my ass. What is a more classic "mean girl" behavior than telling somebody about the nasty shit that someone said about them, "But that's okay, because I still like you?" Hypocritical and hurtful behavior in my opinion. That's not helping your favorite author in any way. It's one thing for an author to come across a harsh review, but you don't need to help her find it. Start your own damn blog with only glowing reviews or something.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Getting myself organized...

Recently, JMC talked about the ever mounting TBR pile over at Reader's Gab. I realized that I'm starting to have a bit of a problem. I'm constantly buying stuff off the Friends shelves at the library, plus checking books out of the library, plus coveting stuff I'm reading about at the various blogs I stalk. Then it always seems like I'm not in the mood for something once I get it home. So then I pick up more stuff. I've got to get myself organized, because there's a lot of stuff I want. I'm going to take a little inventory of stuff I need, and I'm going to try not to get too distracted by other stuff.

Here we go *(edited to add more stuff that I forgot):

To be released on May 1st, a wonderful day:

No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

The Demon You Know by Christine Warren

No Commitment Required by Seressia Glass

Recently Released and other stuff:
Not Quite a Lady by Loretta Chase

The Object of Love by Sharon Cullars, as well as Again

Castle of the Wolf by Sandra Schwab

Demon Moon by Meljean Brook

Books that I checked out, returned, but now might be in the mood for:
Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

Things in Ebook-Land:
Fallen: Celeste by Tiffany Aaron

Measure of a Man by Bonnie Dee

Love My Way by Bridget Midway

Go Fetch by Shelly Laurenston

Not Quite Dead by Sela Carsen

Midnight Sun by Rene Lyons

Jaded Hunter by Michelle M. Pillow

Anyone ever read anything by Ciar Cullen or Gia Dawn? I'm kind of in a fantasy mood.

So is that enough to start? Ooh, ooh, also Undead and Uneasy (I'm never giving up on this series). There'd be even more, but all my contest entering has finally paid off and I won a copy of the Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt and the entire Coxwell series by Claire Cross. Must stop blogging and start reading.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bringing some things to your attention...

The ladies over at one of my favorite review blogs have decided that a fresh start is in order. Holly, the artist formerly known as Dylan, and Isabel, have started Book Binge, a place for their reviews and discussion of things romance book and blog related.

Nicole has started Escape With Me, a place for her reviews. Beautiful template!! Best of luck to everyone! Sometimes a fresh start is what you need to recharge the creative batteries.

Also, if you haven't seen it yet, AngieW is giving away many awesome things at her place. Definitely enter, and soon, I think the contest ends this weekend. Get thee there now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Short and Sweet...

...Or rather sexy.

On Sunday evening I read Michelle M. Pillow's novella Talons: Seize the Hunter. It only took about an hour to read, but it was an enjoyable hour. Seize the Hunter takes place on the planet of Falconia, where women rule, and men who can turn into falcons are the warriors and protectors of the planet. On the eve of her wedding, to be followed by her coronation, Princess Ari dreads seeing her childhood nemesis again. Commander Rurik, a natural born shifter, isn't looking forward to seeing Ari either. She seems to have it out for him, sending his men on the most dangerous missions. According to Falconian tradition, a female drinks from a chalice, which then brings her her chosen mate. You know what that means...will fate intervene for Ari and Rurik?

Novellas are a tricky proposition. Often they seem too rushed and I don't buy the connection between the h/h. But this one worked pretty well. I liked the sparks between Ari and Rurik. They went together well, and I liked each character individually. It did seem a bit rushed, particularly the misunderstanding and reunion at the end. But my main complaint was that I wished it was longer, and that's a good thing. I give it a B, which means more glomming for me.

I think somebody watched every season of Charmed...

Persecuted by Lisa Childs is another Silhouette Nocturne (they're 25% off at Target, $3.93, and I just can't help myself), Persecuted is the second in the "Witch Hunt" trilogy. You're okay with not reading the first, because much of the info is reiterated (over and over). This trilogy follows three sisters who have inherited special powers from their Gypsy mother. Long ago, their ancestor was burned at the stake for witchcraft by a crazy, vengeful fellow named MacGregor. The girls' mother gave them up in order to protect them. Now the sisters are finding their way back to each other, because someone has begun the Witch Hunt again. Persecuted features the eldest sister, Elena Jones, who has visions of the future. Elena ended up back with her father (mama was a rolling stone, apparently all three girls have different fathers) and her wealthy, controlling, bitch of a grandmother. Elena is rather cold and controlled herself, as a result of the efforts of keeping her visions hidden. As the book begins, Elena is estranged from her husband and haunted by a dream lover. The lover of her dreams is Joseph Dolce, her grandmother's right hand man. In real life, Elena dislikes Joseph, but will have to trust and depend on him to save the lives of her daughter and herself.

This book was one of those experiences where I noticed a number of things I didn't like, even as I devoured it. It was very readable, especially in contrast to the other book I was slogging through. But there were certain elements of which I just wanted...more. I find this happens to me often with categories. It seems like a length limitation, trying to squeeze in plot, world building and character development. Let's to explain...oh, like Joseph was supposed to be this former street kid who had made his fortune strong arming clients for the nutty grandma. But he just wasn't enough, never seemed tough enough or controlled enough, y'know? There were also hints that he had lusted after Elena (a married woman) for a long time, but again, not enough. I just think that being a little more in depth about it and the darkness and angst that it suggests, combined with Elena's dreams about and mistrust of him, would have made their connection more tortured and sexy, stronger. As it was, when he makes his speech about not being the type for family and commitment, I was like, whatever dude, you're not fooling me. I also thought the witch hunt thing a little silly, and the three sister who each have a different power? Who literally each have a charm to protect them? Inspiration comes from all over. I give this one a C+, because while I found it flawed, it also kept my attention. A little more depth and intensity would've made it really good. I noticed that this one and the first, Haunted, are both sold out, so others must've enjoyed it as well. I'm sure I'll check out the third and track down the first at some point.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Stop It!", Part Deux (Spoilery)

I think it's time to give up on For a Few Demons More. Every time I sit down with it, I start thinking about other stuff I could be reading, and indeed, I've read two other books before getting halfway through this one. Question is, do I give up on this series entirely? I couldn't finish the second one either (The Good, the Bad and the Undead) but I really enjoyed the third (Every Which Way But Dead). There are things I really love about Harrison's universe, like the secondary characters, and some of the little, funny, mundane details that make the Hollows come alive. But at the time, with all the detail and exposition involved, there are still sentences like this (p.149): "I took a quick breath and narrowed the inflow before my chi overflowed and I'd have to spindle it." And, five books in, I don't get it, the line stuff, the chi stuff, and I feel dumb. But many, many people love this series, so mebbe I am. So for now, this is a DNF (I'll skim the rest and I already read the end).

But I must address one thing. My biggest problem by far is Rachel Morgan, the protagonist from the series. I've gone from merely thinking the girl's kinda dumb, to full-blown dislike. I'd like to put my fake therapist hat on to try and help a fictional character. Just to refresh your memory:

Rachel, please try to learn from your mistakes. It is time to look before you leap, think before you act, take a deep breath before opening your piehole. Yes, you have pissed off half the critters in Cincinatti, as well as half the demons in the Ever After, but you've got no one to blame but yourself. Have you ever considered that there might be consequences to your actions? Stop it, you knucklehead. As for your relationships, you're starting to come off like a manipulative user.You know Ivy has strong feelings for you, and you appear to for her, but you don't do girls. So instead, you've turned to the closest thing to Ivy: Kisten. Fine, Denial Girl, but don't keep goading Ivy, asking her to drink from you, but that's all, no funny stuff. It makes you seem like a mindfucker. Have you ever heard the expression "Shit or get off the pot?" Just stop it! [Wo]Man up, get yourself some Birkenstocks, and Indigo Girls albums, and book a little weekend for you and Ivy in Provincetown. It'll get you what you both want.

Whew, I feel much better. Seriously is it just me? Hope I didn't get too spoilery.

Monday, April 23, 2007

If I had any sense of self-importance...

I would take this as a shout out. From The Midnight Hour: Funny vamp romance blurb alert! I've never read any of Ms. Love's books, as I'm a bit leery of funny vamps, having been burned one too many times, but I do believe I've read some good reviews. Maybe I shall give her a whirl.

For those who enjoy YA lit, I found a fun blog: The YaYaYas. Over at Sybil's, of course. BTW, an author I'd never heard of, Claire Cross, is blogging over there. Her books sound pretty interesting. I wouldn't mind winning one of her fantasy romances. Go forth and post.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Few Interesting Things...

I'm currently reading For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison. This series doesn't work nearly as well for me as it does for others, but there is something that keeps me going with it. I looked at my review of Fistful of Charms and a lot of the same things are bothering me about this one. It started off o.k., but now it's starting to drag. I think I've reached my limit with Rachel also. I just don't get why everyone is so enamored of her. I'm determined to finish and review, though.

Other things that have been distracting me:
**I was lucky enough to win an e-book of Claiming the Courtesan from Dear Author. (Have you checked out the forums, BTW? They're just getting going, but look to be fun.) This was especially awesome because I was planning on giving this one a pass, until all the controversy erupted. Now I must read it for myself. I think Campbell's next release sounds good too. Now I don't have an EBook reader, so my method of choice for reading e-books is Microsoft Reader. When I popped on over to Fictionwise to claim my book, I was told by the site that I didn't have the proper software. Huh? Apparently, my copy of MS Reader has never been 'activated' and thus cannot get downloads from Fictionwise (a security measure. Moreover, I cannot activate my copy because I lack "Active X" controls. When I attempted to find out more about this Active X nonsense, I got pages and pages of jargon I could not understand. Has anyone ever faced this issue? I tried to backtrack and get it in Adobe Acrobat instead, but no dice. Arrrghhh!

**Elizabeth Hoyt guest blogged at Sybil's and Rene Lyons guest blogged at Sanctuary's Finest. Must get on reading their books. [Woo-hoo, I'm having good karma lately, and my love of leaving comments for authors is paying off. I won a copy of The Leopard Prince.] I love it when authors do the guest blogger thing.

**Has anyone read these?
Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn

Night Life by Elizabeth Guest

When Darkness Comes by Alexandra Ivy

**Things I'm excited about:

That's all. I shall return when I make it through the next round of birthday madness. And when I finish off the Harrison book.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

More books and a meme...

I've read the next two installments of Michelle M. Pillow's Realm Immortal series: Faery Queen and The Stone Queen. All titles can be found at Samhain Publishing. I enjoyed both, although the first book (see review below) was definitely the best. I liked Faery Queen the least. It focused on Juliana's older brother Hugh, and the queen of Feia, who first appeared in the King of the Unblessed. Hugh dislikes the Queen, whom he holds responsible for his sister's marriage. He also lusts after her. Queen Tania is lovesick for Hugh, and Lucien, the King of the Damned, seeks to use her pain to his advantage. I did not particularly like either Hugh or Tania, and never felt that there was more than lust between them (especially on Hugh's part). It did get me excited for the next one, and I pretty much focused on the parts with Merrick (the hero of the first book), and the evil but interesting Lucien. I give it a C+. I enjoyed The Stone Queen much more, which returned the focus to Juliana, Merrick, Lucien and Mia. In this one, the pregnant Juliana ends up encased in stone. While Merrick tries to find a way to free her and their child, the war rages on between the Blessed and the Unblessed, and Lucien plots to overthrow them all. This one was paced well, and I just love the gloomy but hot Merrick, and sexy, evil Lucien (I'm really fascinated by his weird relationship with his nymph mistress Mia). I did feel that Juliana was borderline TSTL (but how many fairy tale princesses are?), and I wasn't thrilled with the explanation of how Juliana ended up within stone. It didn't really make much sense to me, seemed like the author rushed through it to get on to more interesting stuff. But all in all, this was another fun tale. I give it a B. I don't know if this was a trilogy or if there will be more, but I'd definitely be up for Kalen (Merrick's ally) getting a story, as well as more Lucien/Mia.

Any other Pillow recs? I'm in a definite paranormal mood. Anyone read her vampire books?

Okay, I wasn't going to do this, but the more I saw this on everyone and their sister's blog, the more curious I was to see what I've read. I don't know where this list came from. It's a mix of classics and good and bad bestsellers.

Red=Ones I've Read
Green=Haven't read, but may attempt at some point
Purple=No interest in reading
Pink=Seen the Movie Only

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) (I was forced to listen to an audio on the way to NH and I hated it.)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18 The Stand (Stephen King) (well, the mini-series)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44.The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible (well, not the whole thing)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58.The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)9
96.The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce) (Okay, I actually only read huge excerpts of this for a class, and I loved them (love the Molly Bloom section, but somehow I doubt I'll ever be picking it up again).

33 read. If I were honest, most of the greens are probably purples, but I like to think I'd read 'em at some point. Kind of a random list, if you ask me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dance, Magic, Dance!

What movie is the post title referring to?

(Answer to come later in the post.)

I stayed up into the wee hours reading Realm Immortal: King of the Unblessed by Michelle M. Pillow. This is a dark fantasy romance set partially in a Medieval type England, and partially in an "Otherworld" populated by Elves, Faeries, Goblins and other folkloric creatures. Lady Juliana of Bellemare has always had a very active imagination, preferring stories of magic and mystery to the life of duty that awaits her as a noblewoman. On the eve of her marriage to a much older neighbor, Juliana asks somebody, anybody, to give her one adventure. Unbeknownst to her, Merrick, the King of the Unblessed (it's like the kingdom of mischief, bad luck and stuff that ruins your day) has become fascinated by Juliana, and has already planned on making her his. So he decides to give Juliana her adventure, ensure she doesn't marry the old guy and trick her into going to his palace, where he will keep her. So he goes to Juliana, and tells her he has kidnapped the village children. In order to save them, Juliana must journey to the palace of the King of the Unblessed and ask him a simple question. Horrified and fascinated by Merrick (not knowing his true identity), Juliana sets off.

First off, I am a monkey's uncle if Ms. Pillow did not get her inspiration for this book from the movie Labyrinth. Does anyone remember this movie? A teenage Jennifer Connelly plays a girl with her head in the clouds, who wishes for something to happen to her little brother. The Goblin King (David Bowie with big hair) listens to her plea and steals baby boy. The Connelly character, Sarah, must solve the Labyrinth in 13 hours or her brother will be turned into a Goblin. Musical numbers (including the catchy "Dance, Magic, Dance) and slightly creepy Jim Henson creatures abound.

This is not a carbon copy (I'd call it a homage), but there are definite parallels. Like Jareth/Bowie, Merrick rules over the Goblins. Neither king understands why the heroine is so angry with them, when they are only giving them what they want. Each want to rule over the heroine, and gain power from her fear. As for Juliana/Sarah, their "adventure" is really a journey of leaving childhood fancies behind, and realizing that things are not always black and white and not always what they seem.

I should admit that I adore Labyrinth. It is a wonderful, surreal movie, and I can't wait until H-Bomb and the Destroyer are old enough to watch it with me. As a twelve year old watching this movie, I wished that Jennifer Connelly had stayed with David Bowie and been his Goblin Queen. Icky as that may be, it may explain why I liked this book so much. Merrick was a great dark, tormented hero. He wanted Juliana, but he couldn't quite understand her, and despaired of her ever understanding him. Plus, why would she want to stay in his dark kingdom and share the burden of being disliked. Juliana was annoying at times, but overall I liked her. I also liked and was intrigued by the secondary characters like her brothers, Lord Kalen (Merrick's ally), Lucien, the Demon King, and the Faery Queen Tania.

Ms. Pillow's writing was very smooth and assured. I found the setting and world to be very vividly described. Sometimes the language had a bit of that stilted "Methinks" and "Whilst" thing going on , not a personal favorite, but then it would go away (in "reality" vs. "the Otherworld", I think). The sex scenes were well written, nothing more extreme than found in most mainstream romance. I found the ending to be a little perky compared to the rest of the work, but there are two sequels, so we'll have to see if Merrick gets all sweet. All in all, this was a compelling grownup fairy tale and lots of fun: B+. If you like, say, Kinley MacGregor's Lords of Avalon series, or if like me, you think they miss the mark, give this one a go. I'm going to buy the next two installments now, because I want to see what happens next. And I think I'm going to email Ms. Pillow about Labyrinth thing. I'm so curious.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's difficult to read when you can't stop rolling your eyes...

So I made my first purchase from Samhain Publishing yesterday. I got Sacred Places by Mandy Roth and Realm Immortal: King of the Unblessed by Michelle M. Pillow. BTW, isn't it interesting how the book lengths and prices vary from site to site? Not a lot, but just enough to get me wondering who provides the most words for your money. Samhains seem to be really well priced.

I've already read Sacred Places, a short story. And, well, to be honest, I thought it blew chunks. That may sound a little harsh but I was very disappointed. Very. I understand that in a short story, there is only a limited amount of character development, relationship development and world building (this is a paranormal) that can be accomplished. But a little should be attempted! I bought this because it appeared to be the prequel to the author's newest release, which I thought sounded interesting. As an introduction to an alternate universe, this failed, being a choppy, cheesy mess.

It is essentially a sex scene wherein Coyle O'Caha (Scottish brogue alert!) finally "claims" his "soulmate", Deri Sullivan. Yeah,one of those. We get no sense of them as people aside from the fact that they're hot for each other, or any real explanation of how their powers work, where they come from, or why. Every so often info's dropped like, oh yeah, he's a seven hundred year old Druid sorceror, or oh yeah, he's covered in tattoos (any significance to them?), or oh yeah, he can create storms. But even though this oh-so-powerful Druid's duty is to train witches and he recognized Deri as his mate three years ago, he had no idea she was a witch. This despite the fact that he regularly enters her dreams to sex her up. And she had no idea that he had magik (not a misspelling), either. Why weren't they able to sense each other? How does he find other witches? Why does Coyle hang around his bar shirtless? So he can flex his muscles in the mirror? Instead, we get a whole lot of mental lusting, replete with creaming pussies and very hard, huge cocks. Too many body fluids get me thinking about panty liners. Not sexy.

I just found this to be clunky, cliched and uninteresting. It's too bad because it sounded interesting. If had just been a sex scene without anything else, it would've just been boring. But the meager attempts at worldbuilding elevated it to annoying. Now I don't think I can invest in the sequel, too risky. Oh well, there was plenty of other stuff I wanted to buy.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter, all!!

We now have a huge amount of candy at my house, between going to the in-laws yesterday, the Easter Bunny hitting my house this morning, and then my parents this afternoon.

After spending many, many hours on it, I almost have the blog back the way I want it. And I've finally made the expandable post thing work again. It was a big learning experience in HTML for me. I think I'll be more comfortable making changes from now on.

Haven't been doing much reading. I've been so sleepy, and just not feeling anything. I actually think I'm going to hit some e-pubs once I get this post done. Something short and sexy, to get me going. I figure even if it stinks, it'll spur me onto finding something better to read.

I've only read one book so far this month, Anything for You by Sarah Mayberry.

I'm always drawn to Harlequin Blazes, but in the past I've found them disappointing. The relationship always seemed to be more about sex than love, and too rushed. This is the first one that really worked for me. Anything for You features a friends to lovers theme. Delaney Michaels and Sam Kirk have been best friends since they were teenagers, and are not only neighbors, but partners in an Australian extreme sports magazine. Sam is a footloose and fancy-free sorta guy, while Delaney is the former tomboy who has long been in love with her best friend. While Delaney is away on her annual holiday, she realizes that her unrequited love is getting in the way of finding other relationships, so she decides it is time to cut her ties to Sam. So she tells the gobsmacked Sam that she's leaving the magaazine. While Delaney tries to convince herself that she's doing the right thing, Sam is hurt by her sudden desire to distance herself from him. After getting the requisite makeover, Sam is stunned by Delaney's hotness, and the tension between them explodes.

This was a really fun read. Sam is a truly clueless hero. I would've been annoyed that he so quickly jumped Delaney's bones, just because she got a new hairdo and a clue. But it always seemed very clear, right from the beginning, that Sam completely adored Delaney and that his whole world revolved around her. We are given a hint about why he compartmentalizes his emotions so much, with a glimpse of his unpleasant mother, but it's not angst ridden or overanalyzed. Right up until the end, he doesn't seem to know what he's feeling, but it's pretty clear through his actions. He just has a horrible view of romantic relationships, and so believes his feelings for Delaney are just deep friendship. They seemed like real thirty year olds to me, and acted like people their age. And the sex was hot! I blew right through this one. A B. If you like friends turned lovers, give it a try.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Trying something out...

I'll be amazed if this works. Please let me know if you see something that's broke, or if I'm missing something good.

Happy Easter! I want my list of books read back.


And I thought missing the first half hour of the first new "The Office" in a month was annoying.

Since I'm totally suffering from ennui (love that word!), and spurred on to creativity by Sybil's new look, I decided to try some changes. I found this fun site at CindyS' blog, and figured it was time for a new look. I had to revert to a classic template, which was a bit of a bummer, since I find the new blogger quite easy to use, but oh well. As suggested, I saved my previous template before downloading the new one. But I saved it in the XML rather than the HTML, so when I went to try some cutting and pasting I was SOL. I can't make heads or tails of that crap. So I'm currently in the process of reinventing the wheel. Hopefully I will have everything back the way I want it it later tonight.

Everything's a learning experience, I guess.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Blah, blah, blah

Friday I went to Borders so that H-Bomb could use up his gift card, and I was wandering around looking at all the new book displays, and I was feeling awfully underwhelmed. Lots of vampires and vampire slayers. It looks like Urban Fantasy (less focus on the romance) is on the upswing. But nothing calling to me. I'm definitely suffering from book ennui. I feel like I had a couple of really good, different reads in the past couple of weeks. Now I'm looking around at the piles and piles sitting around and just...bleh. I'm looking for a "dare-to-be-great situation." I think I'm going to have to hit the e-pubs.

I almost bought The Dream Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon, just to get something, but I'm so glad I didn't, because the anonymous paranormal reader struck again. I bought it for 75 cents at the library yesterday, along with Dead Sexy, by Amanda Ashley. which got some bad reviews on Amazon. I thought they had the same cover image there for a minute. Not sure if I'm feeling the close up cover. The guy on TDH looks like Adrian Grenier, and the DS guy looks like he's going to cry. See? The chin, it's almost trembling.

I was surprised to find myself genuinely offended by something in Romance Blogland.
I usually am amused, and sometimes interested by the various debates, but I have to say I really disliked the title of this post. You know she wanted it, Part the second,deals with the book Claiming the Courtesan by Anna Campbell, which has been garnering a lot of attention. I'm not too into the "forced seduction" trope myself, but I could care less if others are. But the title of this post, oy! I find myself unable to take what's written seriously, because of the reference to the mindset of date rapists everywhere. Ewww. As for the post itself, eh, but Jane said it better than me. Anna Campbell herself was at Sybil's recently. Although I wasn't planning on reading this, I may have to, just to make up my own mind.