Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August in Review

I think it's safe to say that it's been a good month for books. I picked up a lot of oldies but threw in some new ones for variety, which turned out to be exactly what I needed. I like buying my books. I like having them on my shelf for whenever a sentence or a scene or a character pops in my brain to remind me why I loved them. I feel like there are probably more than a few missing from my list unfortunately, just because I was picking up this one or putting down that one all the time. Still it's a good list with some great books, so I say if you picked anything from here to read you're going to enjoy yourself.

Old Dogs are the best dogs
by Gene Weingarten
Loving the Highlander
by Janet Chapman
Wedding the Highlander
by Janet Chapman
Tempting the Highlander
by Janet Chapman
Slave to Sensation
by Nalini Singh
Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh
Mine to Possess
by Nalini Singh
Hostage to Pleasure
by Nalini Singh
Love Me If You Dare by Carly Phillips
Absolutely Positively by Jayne Ann Krentz
Wild Card
by Lora Leigh
Tanner's Scheme by Lora Leigh
Water Bound
by Christine Feehan
Kitty Goes to War
by Carrie Vaughn
Take a Thief
by Mercedes Lackey
After Dark
by Jayne Castle
After Glow
by Jayne Castle
Bengal's Heart
by Lora Leigh
by Jayne Castle
Dark Light
by Jayne Castle
Lion's Heat
by Lora Leigh
Street Game
by Christine Feehan
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Cast in Chaos
by Michelle Sagara
The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop

Reviews/Books Read: 13/25

Top Ten Dragon*Con Greats - #3

#3 - Star Trek Panels

If any of you could have been here with me when I went through the guest list for Dragon*Con you would have been very afraid. There was more than a few maniacal smiles and definitely some outbursts of laughter that left my coworkers confused. But can you blame me? Most of the casts for Voyager AND Next Generation are going to be at D*C this year!

Riker! Troi! LaForge! Data! Chakotay! Tom Paris! Harry Kim!


For most of the year I am fully able to assume the role of socially acceptable Trekkie. I watch an episode here or there, I talk about this favorite character or that one. And yet, when D*C comes around and I see who's going to be there I totally freak out. I get so excited and worried about what if the panels conflict? What if I can't see everyone? I tried going from one event to another last year and it didn't work out so well, so what happens if it goes on again this year?!?!

The answer? Epic TNG-Voyager battle royale.

Teaser Tuesdays (8/31)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

'Happily ever after? Cimorene wasn't sure about that, though she was certainly hoping to enjoy herself.

--pg 211, Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Monday, August 30, 2010

No Mercy Book Trailer!

It feels like forever since I've read the latest Sherrilyn Kenyon greatness. Unfortunately her new book No Mercy doesn't come out until September 7th (which means I can't get her to sign it at Dragon*Con - DANG IT!), but here's the trailer to hold you over until next Tuesday!

Top Ten Dragon*Con Greats - #4

#4 - James Marsters

James Marsters.


Buffy the Musical Sing-a-Long.

The end.

Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Norville, Alpha werewolf and host of The Midnight Hour, a radio call-in show, is contacted by a friend at the NIH's Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology. Three Army soldiers recently returned from the war in Afghanistan are being held at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs. They're killer werewolves—and post traumatic stress has left them unable to control their shape-shifting and unable to interact with people. Kitty agrees to see them, hoping to help by bringing them into her pack.

Meanwhile, Kitty gets sued for libel by CEO Harold Franklin after featuring Speedy Mart--his nationwide chain of 24-hour convenience stores with a reputation for attracting supernatural unpleasantness--on her show.

Very bad weather is on the horizon.

I've got to say that I'm really enjoying this series. Vaughn has done what is unquestionable hard to do: created a unique character that almost effortlessly distinguishes herself amidst the heroines of urban fantasy/paranormal novels. And that's a lot of competition.

Kitty isn't just another kick ass alpha werewolf - ala Shelly Laurenston - she's taken on this role due to abuse she and others suffered in the past; it gives her a different view about what it means to be pack, to be people not just animals. When you combine that with the interesting day/night job of being a radio DJ to her own paranormal show you get a lot stuff to play with. Additionally Vaughn has gone the extra mile in creating a world that is now starting to show its depth. The good and the extra extra bad are stepping forward and making themselves known, so in recent releases like this one Kitty doesn't just have Harold Franklin to contend with - she has secret uber-powerful vampires who are using their ability to take the long road to make some not so nice changes in the world.

But what made this particular book great was that Cormac was back!! Out of prison and able (mostly) to help Kitty with her various paranormal problems, I'm happy to have one of my favorite people back in action. I do find it a little weird that they at one point had this attraction that got overtaken by Kitty and Ben's relationship - they find it awkward too - but it's just one more element to this intricate world that makes it so appealing because things don't always end up the way you expect and you have to deal with the outcome either way.

(Yes there's this whole interesting plot involving the government and werewolf super soldiers - which was cool and done very well done- but I like Cormac so he was the big plus for me when reading this book)

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - 1) Kitty and the Midnight Hour 2) Kitty Goes to Washington 3) Kitty Takes a Holiday 4) Kitty and the Silver Bullet 5) Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand 6) Kitty Raises Hell 7) Kitty's House of Horrors 8) Kitty Goes to War

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Top Ten Dragon*Con Greats - #5

#5 - SG-1 Panel

There are a lot of people I'm looking forward to this year. Hopefully most of them will take pity on me and do panels devoted to the shows they were most popular on. Following that line of thought I am really looking forward to a Stargate SG-1 panel.

Now ideally Richard Dean Anderson and Amanda Tapping would be attending Dragon*Con and a
ll my girlish dreams of an SG-1 reunion would come to fruition.

Alas - it is not to be.

Still D*C has quite a few cast members to tempt me this year - Ben Browder, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, Corin Nemec - and they're enough to keep me going. Though I can't admit to being the bestest fan in the history of bestest fans (I've somehow still not managed to watch fully the last two seasons) I love this show. Another of my sci-fi favorites and Shanks and Judge are WAAAY enough to get my out to ATL and show some Stargate love. If only I had a costume....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Top Ten Dragon*Con Greats - #6

#6 - Cosplay Contest

Every year the Cosplay Contest is a huge event. It's one of those
events that, even held in the largest ballroom, has a line that goes out of the hotel and around the block.

Yes that's right - around the block.

Before I've let that line deter me, but this year, come hell or high water, I want to see that contest. The only thing I can see stopping me is some one of kind panel or waiting in line to get a book signed, but I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope that everything works out!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Top Ten Dragon*Con Greats - #7

#7 - Buying a Real Corset

I have always played around with the idea of owning a real corset. I've picked up a few here or there at Hot Topic or Torrid, but this year I'm going all in. Full on silk with steel boning corset. I got fitted for one with the help of Scarlett's Corset last year and this time around I'm making my dream a reality.

Yes it is an investment piece. No I wouldn't just recommend that Joe Schmoe off the street buy one (unless Joe had the figure and the disposable income, which if both of those are true he needs to come holler at me). I consider it a personal gift to myself, which after YEARS of wanting I'm finally in the place in my life to buy.

After Dark & After Glow by Jayne Castle

Life is tough these days for Lydia Smith, licensed para-archaeologist. Seriously stressed-out from a nasty incident in an alien tomb, she is obliged to work in Shrimpton’s House of Ancient Horrors, a very low-budget museum. She has a plan to get her career back on track, but it isn’t going well. Stuff keeps happening.

Take the dead body that she discovered in the sarcophagus exhibit. Who needed that? Finding out that her new client, Emmett London, is one of the most dangerous men in the city isn’t helping matters either. And that’s just today’s list of setbacks. Here in the shadows of the Dead City of Old Cadence, things don’t really heat up until After Dark.

Life is complicated for Lydia Smith. She's working at a tacky, third-rate museum, Shrimpton's House of Ancient Horrors, trying to salvage her career in para-archaeology-and dating the most dangerous man in town. Just when she thinks she might be getting things under control, she stumbles over a dead body and discovers that her lover has a secret past that could get him killed. Just to top it off, there's trouble brewing underground in the eerie, glowing green passageways of the Dead City.

Descending into these twisting catacombs, Lydia will learn just what it's like to put her heart-and life- on the line...

I know I haven't done a ton of reviews lately, I've been distracted by my upcoming Dragon*Con adventures, but I did want to highlight a couple of books that I picked back up off my shelves last week. Jayne Castle (Jayne Ann Krentz) definitely has a winning series with her futuristic romance ghost hunter books. With each book we get a great look at the physical environment, social and cultural mores, and personal choices that motivate her characters. In particular with these two books it's even more engaging as the story is not really complete (no confirmed HEA) at the end of book 1.

Between the two readers have the opportunity to learn more personally about Lydia and Emmett and what makes them tick as a couple. Both have pasts that come back to affect their present, and there's a good bit of murder mystery to keep things interesting. Throw in Guild politics and hidden alien chambers and you've got a rollicking good time. I'd recommend to anyone that they go and pick up these 2 stories (along with the other books Krentz has released as Castle), but even without the rest these are very much worth your money and your time.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - 1) After Dark 2) After Glow

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Top Ten Dragon*Con Greats - #8

#8 - Farscape Panel

There are three actors slated to attend Dragon*Con from
Farscape - Ben Browder (so hot!), Virginia Hey, and Raelee Hill. While I do have to deal with the disappoin
tment of not seeing Claudia Black (she went last year), I'm still excited about going to another Farscape panel. This was a show that was canceled before it's time; in fact, Sci-Fi canceled this show at the height of its fame and made me the creators so mad that they didn't rewrite the season finale - they just left the viewers to deal with the cliffhanger.

Now luckily for all of us a few years later Sci-Fi released
The Peacekeeper Wars, a miniseries (I want to say 4 hours?) that tied up most of the loose ends and gave fans the HEA they were looking for. I consider it one of the best science fiction shows ever produced and if you get the chance to watch it from the beginning I definitely recommend it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top Ten Dragon*Con Greats - #9

#9 - Kevin Sorbo

I know you'll think I'm crazy, but I love Kevin Sorbo. All those years of Xena and Hercules and there's just nothing like him for me. He's great at action and humor and even when he did that sci-fi show Andromeda I didn't feel gipped. I might not have loved it like I loved his past work, but I didn't feel gipped. He was one of the very first (if not the first) person/panel I saw at Dragon*Con when I attended for the first time and I'm so excited he's going to be there again!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (8/24)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Hold on," Simon said. "Why are you meeting the new Guild boss again this afternoon?"

She opened the door. "I forgot to tell you that I'm marrying him."

--pg 73, Dark Light by Jayne Castle

Top Ten Dragon*Con Greats - #10

As ridiculous as it is, Dragon*Con is something I look forward to the entire year. As soon as I've left Atlanta I start thinking about how great it's going to be the next time - and this is only after going for 2 years! It's made THAT big an impact on my life so far.
The first time my friend and I went we were so excited because we'd been stalking Laurell K Hamilton and it was the first time she'd gone in years (though usually she went every year). I think our expectations were more than surpassed by what we experienced, with the authors we saw and t
he panels we attended - not to mention the awesome costumes.

In honor of Dragon*Con this year (which is only 10 days away!!!) I'm going to do


A series of posts designed to showcase all the great things I've already seen and the great things I hope to see this year. Let's get started shall we?

#10 - Goth in the Mainstream Panel

The first year Jessica and I went to this panel it was a complete fluke. I saw that her favorite bandleader - Rogue from CruxShadows - was a speaker and suggested it as an activity because we didn't have anything else planned. I suggested is something fun to do for her, not really because I th
ought I'd enjoy. Instead of sitting and reading in the back I became engaged in a very intelligent discussion on peer groups, acceptance, fashion - it all came up. It was such a memorable moment from my first year that Jessica and I attended the same panel last year. I highly recommend it to anyone attending D*C, as it does a lot to show 'goth' - both the people and the culture - in a much more tangible light, as something that any person can approach.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Water Bound by Christine Feehan

The last thing Lev Prakenskii remembered was being lost in the swirling currents of the ocean and getting sucked deeper into the nothingness of a freezing black eddy off the coastal town of Sea Haven. Just as quickly, just a miraculously, he was saved—pulled ashore by a beautiful stranger. But Lev has no memory of who he is—or why he seems to possess the violent instincts of a trained killer. All he knows is that he fears for his life, and for the life of his unexpected savior.

Her name is Rikki, a sea~urchin diver in Sea Haven. She has always felt an affinity for the ocean, and for the seductive pull of the tides. And now she feels drawn in the same way to the enigmatic man she rescued. But soon they will be bound by something even stronger, and their tantalizing secrets will engulf them both in a whirlpool of dizzying passion and inescapable danger.

A new Feehan series is almost always a good thing in my book and this one doesn't disappoint. From reading the first book it sounds like this series is going to similar to the Drake Sisters, with Rikki and 4 others (I think) living on a farm in Sea Haven, thus encountering most of the same cast of characters from before. Rikki is a water elemental, but I didn't get enough book time with the rest of the sisters to make an educated guess on what their powers will turn out to be, though it wouldn't surprise me if they were tied to the elements as well.

What stood out the most for me in this particular book were the uniqueness of the two main characters. I think I can safely say that I've never read a romance which starred a heroine who was autistic (high functioning or not). It speaks incredibly well of Feehan's writing ability and sensitivity as a person that she could create a character like Rikki and make her both sympathetic and strong. Lev could have been typical - the bad boy turned good - but there was something about his personality that made him very unique. He did some very bad things (or at least things that weren't very good). In fact we saw him in the last Drake Sisters book and after that I don't think it would have even occurred to me that he would show up as another hero later on. Due to his past Lev remains mostly unapologetic and Rikki's acceptance of who he was, who he wants to be, is a beautiful thing.

I loved this book and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one - highly recommended!

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - 1) Water Bound

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Straight Women and Gay Porn

So the topic of why straight women like/read/consume different types of gay porn is something I've read about for awhile. Originally it came up during college, when in a Japanese pop culture class we discussed obsessive fandom - otaku - and slash fiction. This then snowballed into slash fiction as it related to American cultural icons and questions about the audience for these particular artistic expressions.

Now maybe it was the crowd I hung out with in high school, but straight women liking gay porn was not much of a surprise to me. It was just something I knew of and accepted as one of the things some of my friends liked - I didn't think too much about the 'why' behind it.

In the article a friend forwarded me from GAWKER the researches discussing the topic seemed to meander around one conclusion the most, that straight women like gay porn because some women are gay men trapped in women's bodies and aren't able to express this aspect of their sexuality in any other way. I kind of take issue with this assumption.

Instead I'd like to bring into discussion a reason I read about in relation specifically to Spock and Kirk slash fiction - that women are jealous of other women but when they read about two men going at it they're able to see themselves in the storyline without feeling inadequate in comparison to some fantasy character. It's less that a woman reader feels better because they know they could never have attained a certain crush (because the person only likes other guys), and more that when relating to a story that stares one person in particular that you lust for, having a M/M relationship depicted gives the reader a chance to take on the other persona and place themselves in the story without getting distracted by the idea of there already being a woman.

Am I making any sense?

It just seems much more straightforward to me that instead of having a lot of straight women who are actually frustrated gay men in women's bodies, you have women who might like one man enough that they feel more comfortable picturing themselves in a particular relationship when the other half is another man and not a woman - who they might feel the need to compete with.

Does anybody else think about this? Or is it just me?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

True Blood in Rolling Stone: Too much?

A friend of mine just linked to this People magazine's poll about the new True Blood Rolling Stone cover:

I don't know if I should really be commenting - I don't watch the show anyway (I purposefully don't watch it in fact) - but I have to admit that this is a bit much for me. For me, but maybe not for the people who follow the show. I caught a clip of one scene on Jezebel and was like 'Woah ok then HBO!' and realized how adult it really was. I'm just more of a 'visualize inside the privacy of my own mind' type of person, so seeing it onscreen doesn't do a lot for me. When I look at this I might appreciate Skarsgard's abs, but I also don't feel like I need to see them plastered on the cover of a major magazine.

What about you? What do you think about this new racy cover?

Fly by Nighters

Hey Everyone!

You might not have noticed but I've been slacking a bit in the review department lately. I'm getting over my slump but still reading a lot of oldies from my shelf so I couldn't decide if they should get full write ups or not. Since I'm a little lazy but still want to be helpful, here's a quick thumbs up/thumbs down look at what I've been reading lately:

Once Upon a Holiday by Beverly Jenkins - Thumbs Down

1022 Evergreen Place by Debbie Macomber - DNF (I found out too late that it's 10 years into a series)
Tanner's Scheme by Lora Leigh - Thumbs Up
Take a Thief by Mercedes Lackey - Thumbs Up

Water Bound by Christine Feehan - Thumbs Up *Full Review Soon*
Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn - Thumbs Up *Full Review Soon*
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh - Thumbs Up
Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh - Thumbs Up
Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh - Thumbs Up
Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh - Thumbs Up
Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh - Thumbs Up

Hope that helps!! Look for actual substantive reviews from me soon and a special Dragon*Con series because that's coming up Labor Day Weekend!

Discord's Apple Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway! It's always so much to be able to share my books with others. Also if you didn't win this time make sure to check back soon because there are more books sitting on my shelf itching to find new homes!

1. Michelle G.2. Patti (Book Addict)
3. Tea Gal
4. Tonic RDT
5. Maribel

With help of Random.org, the winner of Discord's Apple is.......drum roll please.................

#1 Michelle G.

Congratulations! Please check your email for my message and to send me your shipping address.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (8/17)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"She touched the blood that ran in a slow, crooked stream down his hard cheek. She touched it, fingers trembling, and bringing it to her lips, closed her eyes."

--pg 5, Bengal's Heart by Lora Leigh

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday in Review

Let's think. What have I done today?

I got up. I went back to bed. I got up - brushed my teeth, washed my face (woohoo!) - and got back into bed to watch videos on YouTube.

Following this I eventually got hungry enough to get out of bed so that I could make myself some stir fry tofu, but I then took this and sat on my couch to watch Bridal Sunday on WeTV. And stayed there for a few hours. That's right - hours.

(in between these two chunks of time I did manage to finish
Water Bound by Christine Feehan)

The only thing I've done so far that even pretended to masquerade as a chore were the two loads of laundry I finished. But since there's still a small pile of clothes on my living room chair that I haven't figured out where to put yet I'm not sure this really counts.


Friday, August 13, 2010

What Your Desk Says About You

On her Random Friday post Fiction Vixen recommended a quiz by Kittling Books that paired people's desk tendencies with their personalities. Her answers sounded interesting enough (and she said they were true to character) so I went ahead and took the quiz myself!

You Are a Creative Worker

You are a very personally expressive person, especially outside of work. Your individuality matters to you.

You draw a lot of inspiration and energy from your own internal world. You get bored easily around other people.

You are confident and competent. You tend to not make mistakes, and you
trust your judgment.

You are down to earth and practical. You achieve success one step at a time, by paying attention to details.

I think for the most part I have to agree with FV - these do seem hit the nail on the head, though the no mistakes thing? Hmmmmm....

The only thing that would have made this quiz better for me is if they'd had some cool illustrations to demonstrate what a person 'looked' like if they were deemed to be a creative worker. So I Googled and found one that I liked:


Copyright Hair Transplant Blog

Yep, that's me right there. The Creative Worker.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (8/10)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"They'd been her most secret, most precious treasure. In those dreams she'd been who she might've been had she
not lived the life of a Psy."

--pg 220, Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Monday, August 9, 2010

*GIVEAWAY* Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

I won a copy of this title through LibraryThings Early Reviewers Program, but for some reason they sent me two! Who knows why now but what matters is that I'm passing this extra copy onto you. It's going to be a quick little giveaway, open for about 2 weeks, and the rules are simple:

1) Have to be a subscriber
2) If you're younger than 18 years old you have to have your parents permission
3) Leave a comment on this post (with your email address please)
4) Giveaway ends August 16th at 11:59pm EST

That's it! Easy peasy right?

Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope’s Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items. But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done.

And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in.

Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse.

Highlander Series by Janet Chapman

A tempestuous passion begins with a battle of wills...

When Sadie Quill comes upon an unbelievably gorgeous man lying naked beside a lake, she can't resist taking his photo -- and is quickly trapped in a passionate confrontation with the fierce stranger. Discovering the identity of this irresistible warrior will complicate Sadie's search for a legendary gold mine. For he is Morgan MacKeage, a medieval highlander in modern-day Maine, a man with the fury of the untamed wilderness pounding in his veins -- and the power to unlock Sadie's fragile heart.

A runaway beauty finds love in the brawny arms of a handsome stranger.

Talented surgeon Libby Hart is fleeing to Pine Creek, Maine, when her car spins out of control and crashes into a pond. She is rescued by Michael MacBain, a medieval highlander trapped in the modern world by a wizard's spell. Wounded in love once before by a modern woman, Michael wants nothing to do with Libby, but he can't resist the intense desire she stirs within him. Can this proud warrior pledge his heart to a woman whose secret threatens to change their lives forever.

She has the power to tempt him beyond all reason....

Catherine Daniels arrives in Pine Creek, Maine, at just the right time for Robbie MacBain. She is on the run from her ex-husband, and Robbie is a sexy, single foster parent who needs a housekeeper while he travels back in time to medieval Scotland. Unbeknownst to Catherine, Robbie's looking for a book of spells to save the future of his family...and little did he expect to find a burning passion in Catherine's arms. Can Robbie seal his family's fate while enticing Catherine to follow him and her own heart wherever love will take them?

I picked this series back up when my reading rut began, because I knew I liked them. I'm not going to lie, the Scottish Highlander thing is definitely one of my favorite genres in the realm of romance, but instead of that being a negative I think it means that I'm pickier than most! I know what kind of strong alpha male + loveable romantic works the best. Janet Chapman is one of the best, because while usually it's the woman that's sent back in time, here the male leads are brought forward and they have to deal with a suddenly changed world and women that are forthright and independent. Each book in the series might have similarities in regards to how the men feel like women should be treated, but in each case the relationship is very distinct and the supporting characters keep the plot fresh and interesting. I don't own the whole series, though at this point I think I've read them all, but I highly recommend them to anyone whole likes a bit of magic and mischief with their romance.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up!

Eleanor's Secret *Movie Review*

Seven-year-old Nathaniel goes to spend the summer vacation in the seaside villa that belonged to his old aunt Eleanor. Nathaniel's parents inherited the villa and Nathaniel also received a gift in his aunt's will: a whole library of old books. The inheritance doesn't much interest him until he discovers that the books are inhabited--Captain Hook, Alice and even the Wicked Fairy all live inside. These tiny heroes of children's literature need Nathaniel to protect them and all he has to do is to read the magic inscription in the library to keep them alive. But Nathaniel still has problems with reading and before he can decipher the inscription the books are sold to a secondhand dealer. Nathaniel, now shrunk by the Wicked Fairy to the size of the storybook heroes, must try to save his tiny friends and their stories.

So I'm not sure what it says about me that I went out of my way, way out of my way, yesterday to go to the free viewing of this movie at the National Gallery of Art. This original showed up on my radar due to the Free Things to Do in DC blog and once I realized it was about books/reading I was hooked. I probably should have been deterred when I saw that it was a kids movie, but it is a foreign kids movie, which in my opinion usually means it's more suitable to be enjoyed by people of all ages.

It was so cute to walk into the auditorium at the Gallery and see all the kids with their parents!

When the movie began I was hit with two things right off the bat- 1) the film's artwork was very interesting to see, with its very obvious tie to the illustrations in picture books, and 2) Nathaniel's sister was a brat! (she redeems herself in the end, but still!) The movie is rated for 6 years old and up I think, but I did notice some of the younger children pop up with cries of being afraid, so keep that in mind if you're interested in taking your kids to see this. Eleanor's Secret didn't quite hold my attention, I think the storyline's a little slow in places, but it is a kids movie, and if you're looking for something inspiring to watch then this movie definitely fits the bill. I think as we age we forget how scary reading can be if you don't pick it up immediately. Nathaniel is an incredibly sympathetic character, one the viewer is rooting for right from the beginning, and when he's combined with funny renditions of well known childhood literary heroes, the whole thing hits just the right emotional notes.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Love Me If You Dare by Carly Phillips

The perfect catch is about to fall for the the one woman he’s always resisted … until now!

When hostage negotiator Rafe Mancuso takes a bullet to save Sara Rios, his ex-partner, his actions make him a bona fide hero—and New York City’s newest most eligible bachelor. Then Rafe admits that Sara is much more than just another woman he’s rescued. Suddenly, a firestorm of gossip turns him into exactly what he doesn’t want to be: the Bachelor Blog’s new hottest topic. His only solution is to leave town and get himself out of the spotlight… and sexy, jaded Sara out of his mind.

*I requested a copy of this title to review through netGalley*

This was a quick, fun, little contemporary romance to read on my hump day (Wednesday). Rafe and Sarah used to be partners on the force, until his feelings for her forced him to ask for reassignment. When the book starts, both of them are working as undercover security for a jewelry auction, which turns out to be necessary when this guy disguised as a waiter tries to make off with a ring. During the scuffle Rafe gets stabbed and says some very indiscreet words about how he feels getting hurt saving Sarah - and thus the craziness ensues.

My favorites for this book were the scenes where Rafe and Sarah were joined by Rafe's large and boisterous family. In a contemporary romance I love the small town communities where everyone knows everyone else and is all up in their business. The only con for me is that I didn't like the use of the 'Bachelor Blog' as a plot device, though I understood its purpose, and second - maybe it's because I'm less of a forgiving person - but if someone I thought was a friend ratted me out to what is essentially the paparazzi, I would no longer be their friend. But that's me.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - 1) Kiss Me If You Can 2) Love Me If You Dare

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Inevitable Results of a Slow Day

Blog tag! I haven't done a lot of them - or really any of them I think- but I ran across this one today and actually felt inspired to join in. It's got a good mix of questions and seems to actually result in you knowing a bit more about the person filling it out. I'd love to read some responses from others, so if you like what you see feel free to join in!

**Tea Gal at A spoonful of sugar and spice and everything nice picked up the baton and filled out her own '50 things'. Don't miss out!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:15am - though I hit snooze until 6:40 (and it was totally worth it)

2. How do you like your steak? Medium

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? The Last Airbender (I don't recommend though - I'd say go
check out the cartoon as it's a LOT better)

4. What is your favorite TV show? It's probably a toss up between Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and Say Yes to the Dress

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I haven't lived enou
gh places to know yet! I'm really enjoying DC at the moment, but I could definitely see spending more time in Ireland or Scotland later.

6. What did you have for breakfast? Yogurt covered pretzels

7. What is your favorite cuisine? This is another where I'd have to pick two: American and Asian are my favorites

8. What foods do you dislike? Whole tomatoes, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, peppers (BLEH)

9. Favorite place to eat? I've just fallen in love with a sushi place - Nooshi - in downtown DC. I also love a Korean restaurant in VA called Honey Pig.

10. Favorite dressing? Caesar

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Toyota Camry (at least this is the car I will be driving soon)

12. What are your favorite clothes? A lot of my clothes at the moment come from Torrid, New York & Co, Express, and Forever 21

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? East Asia

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Half full

15. Where would you want to retire? North Carolina

16. Favorite time of day? Mid morning

17. Where were you born? Brooklyn, NY

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? College Basketball

19. Who do you think will not tag you back? Most people?

20. Person you expect to tag you back first? I have no idea, especially since I'm tagging anyone who wants to do it!

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Anyone, really!

22. Bird watcher? No

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? I would have said morning a few years ago, but I think I'm slowly but surely turning into a night person

24. Do you have any pets? No

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? I just got a lot of makeup for cheap off a blog sale! Woohoo!

26. What did you want to be when you were little? A lawyer

27. What is your best childhood memory? Going to the library with my mom

28. Are you a cat or dog person? I'm slightly more of a dog person right now

29. Are you married? No.

30. Always wear your seat belt? Always

31. Been in a car accident? Yes - though really it was just a fender bender

32. Any pet peeves? Mouth breathing, loud chewing, and those people who don't le
t the elderly and handicapped sit down!

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Sausage and Pepperoni

34. Favorite Flower? Daisies (because they're the friendliest flower of course!)

35. Favorite ice cream? Vanilla

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Wendy's

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? I haven't taken it yet - I guess we'll see!

38. From whom did you get your last email? Lillie, regarding available items from her blog sale

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Torrid

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? The blog sale purchases were pretty last minute, but completely worth it!

41. Like your job? Not really

42. Broccoli? Definitely.

43. What was your favorite vacation? Dragon*Con - the first year I went (2008)

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? Co-workers for a happy hour/dinner

45. What are you listening to right now? YouTube guru on drugstore and department store makeup

46. What is your favorite color? Purple

47. How many tattoos do you have? None

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? Everyone!

49. What time did you finish this quiz? 5:12pm EST

50. Coffee drinker? A little - I like coffee as long as it's 90% milk and sugar (does that still count?)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (8/3)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

'"It's a moot point, because I am not going."

"Then I suggest ya enjoy what little time you have left with your papa and uncles," Daar said, turning away and
walking into the woods.'

-pg 14, Tempting the Highlander by Janet Chapman

Monday, August 2, 2010

Old Dogs are the best dogs by Gene Weingarten

Anyone who has ever loved an old dog will love Old Dogs. In this collection of profiles and photographs, Weingarten and Williamson document the unique appeal of man's best friend in his or her last, and best, years.

This book is a tribute to every dog who has made it to that time of life when the hearing and eyesight begin to go, when the step becomes uncertain, but when other, richer traits ripen and coalesce. It is when a dog attains a special sort of dignity and a charm all his own.

If you've known a favorite old dog, you'll find him or her on these pages. Your dog might go by a different name and have a different shape, but you'll recognize him or her by the look in an eye or the contours of a life story. There is the dog who thinks he is a house cat; the herder, the fetcher, the punk and the peacock, the escape artist, the demolition artist, the patrician, the lovable lout, the amiable dope, the laughable clown, the schemer, the singer, the daredevil, the diplomat, the politician, the gourmand, and the thief. Plus, as a special bonus, you will find the first Latvian elkhounds ever photographed.

Old Dogs is a glorious gift book and a fitting tribute to that one dog you can't ever forget.

I bought this book last year when I still worked at Barnes & Nobles and I love it. I don't usually go in for the mini picture story type release, but this one spoke to me. Weingarten does a tremendous job at using just a few words with a candid black and white shot to connect the reader to the dog. Some are sadder than others (this book is about old dogs), but each story is almost sickeningly heart warming and I love having this book on my nightstand because I can read a few pages and relax into sleep with no problem.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - None

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Looking Back: July & Being a Little Selfish

July has been a hard month for me book-wise. Near the end there I wasn't as excited as I usually am about books - I couldn't believe it! I'm still not sure what's up, I might have to start going back to not forcing myself to read things to post about them - reading what I want without the pressure will probably be good for me.

You know what? That's what I'm going to do in August. I'll try my best to complete the books I've requested to review through NetGalley, but I'm going to put a lot of focus on just reading what I want when I want. Novel concept I'm sure, but I think somewhere along the way I got confused about what I was doing.

This is a mostly complete list of what I read this month, though I admit that this is probably less complete than others. When I'm randomly jumping from book to book because I'm not very happy with what I'm reading it turns out I'm not very good at keeping track ;)

Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
Wildest Dreams by Jayne Ann Krentz
Derek's Bane by MaryJanice Davidson
Family Man by Jayne Ann Krentz
Obsidian Prey by Jayne Castle
Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston (x2)
Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh (x2)
Night Myst by Yasmine Galenorn
Her Heart's Divide by Kathleen Dienne
Dawn in Eclipse Bay by Jayne Ann Krentz
The Search by Nora Roberts
When He Was Bad by Shelly Laurenston
Hidden Talents by Jayne Ann Krentz
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
McKettricks of Texas: Austin by Linda Lael Miller
Motor City Fae by Cindy Spencer Pape
Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

Reviews/Books Read: 12/19
(counting rereads)