Thursday, July 31, 2008
Today I'm reviewing Lord Scandal by Kalen Hughes at RNTV.
It's the kickoff of my blog time at the Desert Island Keepers blog. Come see which books I chose to go in the library, and which heroes I got in the DIK exercise. I'm there today through Saturday.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday night I met up with Amy and we had dinner at Coastal Flats and went to see Mamma Mia!. We get to see each other pretty often, but usually when we do her hubby and/or son are with us. It was really nice to get a chance to catch up just the two of us and chat about our upcoming trip to Hilton Head and just to see what was going on with each other. We both ended up singing along like lunatics to Mamma Mia! But fortunately, no one seemed to notice. Or, maybe they did and were just too polite to say anything.
Anyway, prior to dinner I popped into Barnes and Noble (it's SO convenient to have a humongous B&N right inside the mall!) and picked up Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs. The book is a spin off from her Mercy Thompson series, which is one of my favorite urban fantasies. This series features Charles, the enforcer for his father's werewolf pack. His father is the Marrok, or the head of all werewolf packs everywhere. Charles was sent to Chicago to deal with a werewolf pack that is having problems, and there he meets Anna, an Omega wolf, who has been badly abused by her alpha and the rest of the wolves. Charles's wolf recognizes Anna as his mate, and Charles is struggling for his human nature to catch up. He has this primal need to be with her, and yet, she's been badly abused and is struggling to adjust. He convinces her to come back to Montana where he lives with him, and the adventure goes from there. The book is MUCH more romantic than the Mercy Thompson series, and just as compelling. What I like about it is that as an urban fantasist, Briggs doesn't shy away from the seedier side of things, the adventure part of the book is harrowing and scary, but the romance between Charles and Anna is undeniably sweet and tender. It's a terrific juxtaposition. I'd imagine this series will end up being tremendously popular. My only complaint is that I wish Briggs wrote faster. If you decide to pick this book up, fair warning, we first meet Anna and Charles in the anthology On the Prowl, in the short story Alpha and Omega. But the books are absolutely worth the money. I'd give Cry Wolf a B+.
On Saturday, H. and I took her brother out to Redskins Training Camp. What a fiasco! We were in heavy, heavy traffic for an hour and 45 minutes. People were literally pulling off Loudoun County Parkway and parking pretty much anywhere to get into camp. They, like us, wanted to see the inter-team scrimmage which was scheduled for 2:00. When we finally got through the gates of Redskins Park, it was an absolute sea of humanity (28,000 spectators showed up). You can see from the picture where we ended up sitting, which was easily 120 yards from the field. But we did get to see first and second strings play. They focused on red zone offense, which is definitely something that we've struggled with in the past. The first string looked good, especially the defense. Coach Zorn is stressing tempo, so things moved along much, much faster than they did under Gibbs. Anyway, despite the heat and the incredible crowd of people, it was really fun and totally worth the trip. H.'s brother always loves going, and he had a blast, even if we sat in the car for ages. He was a total trouper and he got a new Redskins t-shirt out of the deal, so I think he was happy.
Saturday night Tracy and I went out to dinner. She started a new project this week and it was great to have a chance to catch up. Sounds like she's going to enjoy the position, if not the commute. I also ended up giving her a humongous bag of books for her friend Jess, who is a breast cancer survivor, to donate to a local chemotherapy center. A chemo treatment takes a while, and Jess was complaining that there is nothing good to read while you're receiving treatment. Jess is a fan of romance, so I gave Tracy a big bag of books for Jess to leave at the treatment center so others have stuff to read.
Yesterday was really hot and humid in DC. Which pretty much is par for the course. I stayed in and watched a couple of movies. But more than that, I finally cracked open Linda Howard's Death Angel, which I'd been hoarding both looking forward to reading it, and dreading it, since I wasn't crazy about her last couple of books. I would describe this book as vintage Howard. The story is incredibly fast paced and exciting, the sex is hot, and the hero is to die for. The most interesting part to me was the heroine, Drea, who is the mistress to a drug kingpin. She likes the lifestyle, the gifts she receives, the clothes she wears. She grew up poor and has sworn that she'll never live that way again. She plays dumb and is content to be arm candy. Until her boyfriend hands her over to an assassin for a night of hot, mindblowing sex. Sure, she loved the sex, but is totally humiliated and frankly, pissed off. So she plots her revenge, stealing over $2 million from him, and pulls it off brilliantly, considering that her boyfriend considers her to be fluff. Of course, once he discovers her double cross, he send the same assassin after her. What follows is a terrific cat and mouse game where Drea earns the assassin's respect and admiration as she tries desperately to out run him. I barely put this book down yesterday. The pages turn incredibly quickly and easily. The tension between Drea and the assassin is smoldering (trademark Howard) and the story is full of twists and turns. I'd give this book and A-.
I hope all of you had a good weekend. What are you reading? Did you see any good movies? Do anything exciting?
PS - Michelle Buonfiglio from Lifetime TV's Romance B(u)y the Book, is hosting a radio chat show on Friday night featuring hot Avon historical authors, Jenna Petersen, Sophie Jordan, Lorraine Heath, Gayle Callen/Julia Latham, and Elizabeth Boyle. Michelle is encouraging folks to call in with questions for the authors, (347) 826-9686. You can read all about the program here.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Seriously, I can't even type that without making the icky face. I think this might be the definition of OMGWTFBBQ???
As a regular and passionate fan of the pedicure, this would turn me off the whole procedure, that's for sure. I am more than happy to dish out $25 every few weeks to have Lisa do my toes, but given how ticklish I am, she and I have an understanding: get in, scrape off as much of the dead skin as you can without making me wet my pants with laughter, paint my toes and get out.
I seriously hate feet, and my feet in particular. But no way in hell and I letting a fish suck/nibble/chew on them. but apparently, this is a new (and completely disgusting) fad.
Would you do it??
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Usually, the BRG is the exact moment that I fall in love with a movie. Where I realize that this movie is one I'll have to own. I love the little romantic moments too, like from Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Darcy helps Lizzie into the carriage, just so he can have the opportunity to touch her bare hand. As he walks away, you see his hand flex, as if to remember the moment always.
But, what is it about the BRG that makes us swoon? What are your favorite BRG's from movies or books?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I find that listening to a book on tape makes the driving time fly by so I've been pondering the idea of joining one of those audiobook club things. I ride the Metro each direction to and from work, which is about a 25-40 minute ride each direction (depending on whether the Orange line is actually in service). I have an iPod that I listen to when commuting. Multiple times I've gone to the iTunes site and gazed longingly at the unabridged version of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which I just know would be absolutely fantastic! But here's the thing -- the stupid thing is $35! I can buy a hardcover and paperback version of the book for that kind of money. Plus, I hear from LeeAnn that the recordings of Harry Potter are fantastic, and it would be fun to get to listen to them too. But I'm just too cheap to buy the recordings, so I've been thinking about trying out an audiobook rental service. The thing is, I'd like to be able to download them to my iPod, rather than having the CDs. I know there are a couple of services that provide iPod versions of audiobooks.
Then, if I do it, the question is, what do I get? Usually I love to listen to stuff like Sidney Sheldon or a really good mystery or sometimes Michael Crichton. I'm not so much a romance fan when it comes to audiobooks, although I've listened to some Jenny Cruisie books.
Does anyone have a favorite? What kind of audiobooks are your favorite? And recordings stick out to you as particularly fantastic? Or particularly bad?
Updated to add: I decided to go with Audible. They have over 40,000 titles, and their fee is $7.49/month. Plus, they give you a widget to change your audiobook files to iPod compatible files. *fingers crossed* Let's see how this works.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I did make a delicious blueberry cobbler-ish dessert on Friday night, that I thought I should share the recipe to, since it was so yummy. All the credit for this recipe to goes to Tracy and her mom, who introduced it to me!
Preheat over to 425 degrees
3 cups of blueberries (rinsed and picked through for stems and any overripe berries)
1/3 cup of lemon juice
3 tbps of sugar
Double batch of Bisquick strawberry shortcake batter (we use the Heart smart kind)
In a square casserole, mix the blueberries, lemon juice and sugar. Top with bisquick batter (I just kind of plop spoonfuls on top of the blueberries, it's not spread over the whole casserole).
Bake for 20 minutes or until the topping has turned golden brown. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream and whipped topping.
It is truly delicious.
Anyway, almost all of my family came over on Saturday to swim and then for a cookout. We had a great time, but PHEW was I tired by the end of the day! Yesterday we went to see Mamma Mia, which was cute, but DEEPLY cheesy, and had dinner at Gordon Biersch (yummy!). Then we went home and watched Justin Timberlake host the ESPYs, which was lots of fun. He was terrific and did this song and dance number that was hysterical and very witty.
On other notes:
I'm so proud of Rachael and her family for getting through Saturday. Thank you so much to everyone who tossed up a prayer for her. Sounds like the celebration of Hannah's life was wonderful and touching. I'm so glad she made it through! Rach, you're an inspiration to me. Love you!
Also, it's the most wonderful time of the year again. The Redskins reported to training camp yesterday. This is my favorite time of year. As a Redskins fan, I'm accustomed to the heartbreak that goes with football season. But when training camp begins, all things are possible. Unfortunately, we lost a fantastic veteran defensive end yesterday, Philip Daniels, for the season to a torn ACL. The good news is, we very quickly bounced back and signed among the hottest players in the NFL (both in technique, and also in sheer physical beauty), Jason Taylor. While I'd never leave my boyfriend, Chris Cooley, I might have to cheat on him a little with Jason Taylor. The man is just gorgeous!
In other news, I learned the "Cupid Shuffle" this weekend. Reaffirming to myself that I have no dance ability whatsoever. Oh well, I have other gifts.
I got no reading done at all this weekend, although I did re-read one of my favorite romances (just the good parts), Sugar Daddy. I basically started when Gage gets the flu. SIGH. I love this book! As a result, I cracked open my ARC of Seduce Me at Sunrise, Lisa's historical due out in October. I only got about a chapter or two in this morning, but I can already tell I'm going to love it. I can hardly wait to get home to read! Yay!
What did you do this weekend? Anything good?
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
That being said, on Tuesday I picked up Larissa Ione's newest Pleasure Unbound, thanks to Ciara's GUSHING review. And, damn it! Now I'm totally hooked. I started reading it last night during my pedicure and this morning I missed my Metro stop because I was SO wrapped up in the story. Ciara said in her review that this book evoked JR Ward, and I totally agree. Demon heroes, kickass heroine and unbelievable sexual tension. Yowzer! If you're looking for an awesome read, I think this is it. It might be my favorite read of the summer so far.
In other news, I FINALLY finished Tribute by Nora Roberts last night. I can't remember the last time it took me a week to read a Nora book. I attribute this to the fact that the heroine is a home renovator and there is really very little, except perhaps professional bowling, that bores me more than any kind of home renovation. Now, I think it was genius of Nora to write this storyline, with so many people addicted to any kind of Do-It-Yourself projects and the HGTV phenomenon. I loved the hero, Ford though. Total nerd. But a hot nerd. I appreciated that tremendously, I'll tell ya! I wasn't quite as warm and fuzzy on the heroine and the mystery confounded me. I just didn't pick up the breadcrumbs, I think. Anyway, I'd give this book a B-, I think. I didn't love it. But hey considering that I adore 95% of what the woman writes, I can't really complain.
I also finished Julia Quinn's May release, The Lost Duke of Wyndham, which I really enjoyed. It really reminded me of Dancing at Midnight (probably my favorite JulieQ), great dialog, wonderful hero, smart heroine. Good stuff. I'd give it a solid B.
OK, other than that, I'm having a crazy week, and have now determined that I'm going to need to take tomorrow off in order to get all the crap done that I need to get done before I have company tomorrow night and all day Saturday. Oh and on the puppy front, thanks everyone for all the sympathy. Roxie is doing great. Her swelling in her nose went down completely and she's back to her usual feisty self.
Also, if you have a moment, and prayer is something you do, I'd ask you to please toss a prayer or at least good thoughts up into the ether on Saturday for my wonderful, and really strong friend, Rachael. This Saturday is a horrible anniversary for her. Her daughter Hannah was lost last July 19 in a drowning accident. This Saturday, Rachael, her husband Brien, and their daughter, Lily, will be marking a truly terrible anniversary, but doing it surrounded by friends and family. If y'all will keep them in your prayers, it would be wonderful.
I'll wrap up with a little Gerry pretty.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
By the time I got home, H. was there first and had let Roxie out while she dealt with an unsightly bout of algae in our pool. For those of you who have owned pools, you know it's like an ongoing very expensive chemistry experiment. Given that my family is coming over on Saturday for a cookout and pool party, we needed to get the pool situation straightened out. But I digress -- apparently while H. and Roxie were outside, Rox was stung by something, H. was doing other stuff, so she didn't notice. By the time I got home, Roxie's muzzle was swollen, itchy and pretty painful. She was eating like a champ and wanted to play, but couldn't stop rubbing her nose all over the carpet to scratch it. I remembered that dogs can take Benedryl, so I zipped downstairs and looked up the dosage information on the internet (for those wondering, it's 1/2mg/pound). Of course, all I had were capsules. So we ended up cutting one up and smearing the treatment on a piece of hotdog. Rox scarfed it down like a champ. About 15 minutes later, she was tapped out. I ended up putting her in bed with me because I was concerned that her nasal passages could close up because of how swollen her nose was. I dozed with one hand on her side so that I could tell if her breathing became labored and a visit to the emergency vet became necessary. About 1:30 I turned on the light and realized that the Benedryl had finally worked and the swelling in her nose had gone down completely. I popped her into her crate and tried really hard to go back to sleep. The last time I looked at the clock it was about 3:45. I was just too wound up from worrying. Anyway, time to get up came really early this morning. I ended up leaving Rox at home today, but I felt like given the fact that we had our usual struggle over her taking the antibiotics she was on from LAST week's pet drama, a UTI, and the fact that she ate this morning, I think she's fine. But I really wish I knew what she'd gotten into so we can avoid this drama again. Hey, I'm just glad to know that the Benedryl worked. I'd prefer not to go through that again!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Friday night, after my workout, I finished up a book I was reading in order to review, Lord Scandal by Kalen Hughes. My review will post soon over at RNTV, but I'll say this, I think Hughes has a really terrific voice and has a really bright future in romance. It's interesting to me though, I was speaking with another romance fan who said to me that she couldn't get over Hughes' online personality, which she perceived as snarky. Clearly, I don't hang out the same places as Kalen, I see her over at the Bitches occasionally, but I don't know her at all. But I got the point. I definitely am a reader who judges authors by their online personas. If I think they're bitchy or confrontational, it will automatically put them on my "Do Not Buy" list. How do you guys feel about that?
Saturday it was HOT in DC! We hung by the pool for a portion of the day, although I had to go inside because I was getting a little toasty. But we definitely had a great time watching the kids play. Then my roomie went to her folks house for dinner, and I grilled a really yummy steak and asparagus and dove into Nora Roberts' new book, Tribute. I didn't get too far along before I decided to head for bed.
Sunday morning, we got up and began work on tearing down our deck, which should be getting replaced as I type this. It was incredibly hot, sweaty work, but man! Beating the shit out of something can be quite satisfying! I ended up with a blister on my hand from wielding the hammer, but it was good to get some aggression out. Sunday afternoon I went to Sara's and began campaigning for us to go to Disney World in January. My niece, Meghan is working for Westin these days, which means she gets tremendously discounted hotel rates. Sara was pretty resistant to the idea at first. Until I played my trump card -- I asked Brad. I knew Brad would be on board! So we're tentatively planning to go to Disney right after the Christmas holiday, January 4 - 10. That's if Sara and I can get the money saved. But it should be fun. We've refined our strategy from last time we went and think we'll only do Disney this time. And we'll do Animal Kingdom first. And we'll pace ourselves better. Anyway, the prospect of a really fun vacation has gotten me all perked up! I'm definitely excited at the idea of having something fun to look forward to. And not that far away!
So, what did everyone else do this weekend?
For those of you who perhaps haven't seen the movie, it is a love story. But not a traditional one. William Miller is a young, hypersmart kid, who is being raised by his slightly nuts single mother in the early 1970s. His mom is protective and loving, but also quite eccentric. As William grows up, he's ostracized by his classmates for being weird (and three years younger than most of them), so he loses himself in rock music. He's an aspiring writer and he strikes up a friendship with the founder of Creem magazine, Lester Bangs. One day, he goes to see Lester Bangs, who is doing a guest spot on a local radio station. The two hit it off and Lester gives William an assignment to write an article about Black Sabbath. William goes to the concert, but doesn't have either a ticket or press credentials to get himself backstage to interview the band. He ends up waiting at the back door with a group of young women, who he quickly comes to learn are NOT groupies, they're "Band-Aids" -- they inspire the music. He immediately connects with the leader of the Band-Aids, Miss Penny Lane. While the girls are able to get back stage, William is left outside, waiting for Penny to get him a backstage pass. As he waits, the opening act for Black Sabbath, Stillwater, arrives. He strikes up a conversation with them, and they bring him backstage with them. William gets his story, and more importantly, is invited by the band to join them in LA at the "Riot House" (the Continental Hyatt House).
Meanwhile, Rolling Stone gets a copy of William's story and contacts him to see if he'd be interested in writing for them. He pitches Stillwater to them, and they agree to underwrite him going on tour with the band for an "inside" story. And thus begins the journey. William and Russell, the guitar player becomes quite good friends, although Russell continues to avoid giving William the interview so that he will stay on tour with them. The band travels with the Band-Aids, including Penny Lane, who is with Russell. The more William travels with them, the more indoctrinated he becomes into their lives.
OK, so that's the set up. The movie is semi-autobiographical for Crowe, who indeed did join Rolling Stone's staff just after he graduated from high school at the age of 15. He was a contributing editor for years before becoming an screenwriter and director. In fact, he still writes for them on occasion.
The movie has an amazing soundtrack, which is assembled by Nancy Wilson, Crowe's wife and a member of the band Heart. The music that Stillwater plays is all composed and written by Crowe and Wilson. In fact, the soundtrack has over 50 songs on it, and it featured one of the largest music budgets for a movie up until that time. The music though is classic 70s rock: Elton John, Simon & Garfunkel, Rod Stewart, the Allman Brothers, and The Who. It's amazing.
The dialog is unbelievable and witty. The movie has one of my all time favorite exchanges, which is an early scene in the movie where Anita, William's sister comes home with a Simon & Garfunkel album, which their mother objects to:
- Anita Miller: We're like nobody else I know!
Elaine Miller: I am a college professor. Why can't I teach my own kids? Use me!
Anita Miller: Darryl says that you use knowledge to keep me down. He says that I'm a "Yes" person and you are trying to raise us in a "No" environment.
Elaine Miller: Well, clearly "No" is a word Darryl doesn't hear much.
Anita Miller: I can't live here! I hate you! Even William hates you!
Young William: I don't hate her.
Anita Miller: You DO hate her! You don't even know the truth.
Elaine Miller: Dramaqueen.
- Anita Miller: FECK YOU!
- Elaine Miller: HEY!
- Anita Miller: This is a house of lies!
- Elaine Miller: Well there it is, your sister used the "F" word.
- William Miller: I think she said "feck."
- Elaine Miller: What's the difference?
- William Miller: The letter "u."
Oh. And the love story? It's William and Russell. William loves Penny. Russell loves Penny. But she sees that really, the two of them need to be together (as friends).
If you've never seen it, I really recommend this movie. It's one of my favorites.
Friday, July 11, 2008
That must be a record for me!
Or...more likely, I have nothing to say.
Anyway, one of the driving reasons behind my deciding to watch Bones is my abiding love of David Boreanaz, who I think is one of the most beautiful men in the world. He was terrific as Angel, Buffy Summers' love interest in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and then Angel. But he's even better as Seeley Booth on Bones. We get to see him use his humor a lot more on Bones, and he's gets to be a badass too, which I love.
It's nice that he's clean, no?
1- I'm very gullible. I'll believe pretty much anything someone tells me.
2- I'm a little OCD. For example: all of my romance novels are alphabetized by author. And I own about 700 of them. (Sara seems to think this is unusual.)
3- I have perfect handwriting (my niece, Meghan, says).
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Just in from HBO: A new series about vampires will take over the old Sunday night Sopranos slot in the fall. True Blood kicks off a 12-episode season on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 9 p.m. The story: In a backwoods Louisiana town, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) works as a waitress, but she's also a mind-reader. One day, she meet 173-year-old Bill Compton, a vampire (Stephen Moyer), and the two outsiders are immediately drawn to each other.
Personally, I'm not a fan of Charlaine Harris (her work borders on that "funny ha-ha" thing that I don't like), but I know alot of people (ehem, CJ) will be thrilled to hear this. I do kind of have a hard time picturing Anna Paquin, who I still think of as the little girl from The Piano as a heroine. But that's just me.
But they left a big one off of the list:
Driving a stick shift car. I definitely judge a guy who can't drive stick shift. No seriously. I automatically deduct points from their manliness quotient. Now granted, I drive a manual car, and I've taught a bunch of people to drive stick. And if we're being honest, I think think all women should know how to drive stick.
I also think that every man should have one solid meal in his repertoire. One meal that is NOT half cooked on the grill. Every guy should have that one meal that he can make in impress a new girlfriend, his inlaws, someone.
ETA: Know how to dress himself. I knew my friend Jim had a girlfriend immediately one day because gone were the beaten up docksiders and slightly too short jeans. Now he's the epitome of a sharp dressed man, and it's all because of his girlfriend/now wife, Janey.
Important skill. For goodness sake, if nothing else know a color that you look good in. You have at one point in your life had a woman say to you, "You look great in that color."
What else did they leave off the list? What other skills should a man have?
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Sara and Lauren came over last night and visited. Apparently Lauren had cabin fever, so they came over and we went and got ice cream cones at Baskin-Robbins. I wonder if it's a taste bud thing, but we all got mint chocolate chip. B-R makes the best mint chocolate chip ice cream on the planet.
I'm starting to really look forward to JJ Abrams new show, Fringe. Abrams created Alias and LOST. He also directed MI:3 with Tom Cruise. He's a brilliant innovative director and the master of the mind f*ck. I'm not even sure of what the show is about, but I'm in. On this show and Joss Whedon's The Dollhouse, which comes out in January. SIGH. I already can't wait for TV season to start again. We were robbed last season!
This weekend is my last free weekend until August 23. I'm going to enjoy it by vegetating all weekend. So I'm declaring it "The Weekend of Kati." Which means I have to do nothing whatsoever that I don't want to do. It's a rule.
I finished C.L. Wilson's King of Sword and Sky last night.
Yeah. That tells you something. About 2/3 of the way through the book I was really not enjoying it. But all of a sudden, she made something happen that changed the dynamic in the story. I finished it and immediately was all "Wait! I want more." And now I have to wait for February to read more (unless a certain someone, who is the prettiest redhead I know, gets a copy early again that she'd like to share).
( HINT! HINT! HINT!)
Now I'm reading Kalen Hughes' Lord Scandal. This is one of those lush, wonderfully written romances that is for smart chicks. Seriously, in the first chapter, she used two words I'd never heard of. I had to look them up when I got in to work. The first word I didn't know was in the second sentence. Cynosure, which according to dictionary.com is "something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest." On top of that, the heroine is wonderful. The hero stumbles upon her in the garden and engages in a battle of wits with her that culminates in a kiss, where she ends up stomping on his boot and walking away. It's awesome. So, you go Kalen Hughes. I'm digging your book already!
Other than that, I'm thinking that I really am not in the mood to work today, so I'm doing this instead.
What are you thinking about today?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
In my teen years, I received two mix tapes. One from my first serious boyfriend and one in college while I was having a long distance relationship. I listened to those tapes over and over. I don't remember much about the first tape, except that it had a lot of New Order, Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Psychedelic Furs on it. But the second I remember vividly. It was titled "Wonderful Tonight" which of course was one of the featured songs. It also had "When I See You Smile" by Bad English, "Beautiful Girl" by INXS, and "Never Say Good-Bye" by Bon Jovi on it. In fact, if I looked through all of my shoe boxes full of stuff, I might still be able to put my fingers on it. Alas, finding a stereo that plays cassettes would be more difficult.
Did you ever get a mix tape? Or make one? What classic songs were on it? Who made it for you?
Here's the blurb:
Virginia's Shenandoah Valley is a long way from Hollywood. And that's exactly how Cilla McGowan wants it. Cilla, a former child star who has found more satisfying work as a restorer of old houses, has come to her grandmother's farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin. Sadly, no one was able to save her grandmother, the legendary Janet Hardy. An actress with a tumultuous life, Janet entertained glamorous guests and engaged in decadent affairs,but died of an overdose in this very house more than thirty years earlier. To this day, Janet haunts Cilla's dreams. And during waking hours, Cilla is haunted by her melodramatic, five-times-married mother, who carried on in the public spotlight and never gave her a chance at a normal childhood. By coming east, rolling up her sleeves, and rehabbing this wreck of a house, Cilla intends to find some kind of normalcy for herself.
Plunging into the project with gusto, she's almost too busy to notice her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer, but his lanky form, green eyes, and easy, unflappable humor (not to mention his delightfully ugly dog, Spock) are hard to ignore. Determined not to perpetuate the family tradition of ill-fated romances, Cilla steels herself against Ford's quirky charm, but she can't help indulging in a little fantasy.
But love and a peaceful life may not be in the cards for Cilla. In the attic, she has found a cache of unsigned letters suggesting that Janet Hardy was pregnant when she died and that the father was a local married man. Cilla can't help but wonder what really happened all those years ago. The mystery only deepens with a series of intimidating acts and a frightening, violent assault. And if Cilla and Ford are unable to sort out who is targeting her and why, she may, like her world-famous grandmother, be cut down in the prime of her life.
But even more than that, I'm REALLY looking forward to saying I told you so, when Amy comes back and says she liked the book.
I'm shallow like that.
Monday, July 7, 2008
So, here's what I'm thinking about:
I'm reading C.L. Wilson's September release, King of Sword & Sky. It's book 3 in the Tairen Soul series. I'm enjoying it...sort of. There's a ton going on, and since Rain and Elly have already married, the focus is much less on their romance, and much more on the more epic nature of the story. I'm about 2/3 of the way through and I find myself having no problem at all setting the book down to do other things. I think this is a symptom of the romance being much less in this book. I'll have to finish it of course, Wilson is well known for her climactic endings, so it's very possible that my impressions will be completely wiped out by the end of the book. But I devoured the first two, and I'm definitely not experiencing that this time.
I also read the third in Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series, The Darkest Pleasure. This is definitely my favorite of the series so far. The heroine is actually sensible. And the hero is one of my favorite kinds. He is completely single minded in his love and adoration of the heroine. He reminds me a bit of Rhage, from JR Ward's Lover Eternal. Rhage remains my favorite of Ward's heroes.
I'm loving the Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown duet, No Air. I'm not sure why, but it's probably the harmony. I really love it when two singers have voices that mesh together perfectly.
On an opposite note, shut up, Coldplay. I've had enough of you and that stupid song. Ugh!
This weekend Tracy made a version of shrimp scampi that was to die for. So delicious and really not fattening at all. I've decided I need to start keeping frozen shrimp in my freezer. They're so easy to cook and really quite versatile.
I loved watching the men's finals at Wimbledon yesterday. I'm definitely NOT a Rafael Nadal fan, and was very sorry to see Roger Federer, who I think is an absolute class act, lose. But Roger, as expected, did it with grace. He is a true champion. Now I'm in the doldrums until July 20, when it becomes the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" -- football season. Yeah baby! Just two more weeks, and hope begins to spring eternal again. SIGH. I love football.
What are you thinking about? Reading anything good? Did you have a nice weekend?
PS - Happy Birthday to my very sweet friend and actual Yankee Doodle Dandy, LeeAnn! I hope you had a wonderful birthday, sweetie! Sorry I missed sending you good wishes on the day!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
For example about two years ago, while at Leesburg Outlets, I found the CUTEST pair of black boots in the Nine West store. I loved them. They were kicky and fun and just the right height to go under jeans. But I'd already spent a ton of money that day, and I'd hit the wall. So I didn't buy them. I was regretting it by the time I walked in to the parking lot.
Recently, I bought new pillows for my bed. Which I understand is supposed to be a once a year thing, but I buy new pillows about once every five or six years.
*pauses for disgusted groans*
Anyway, I recently bought a new Wamsutta pillow and a new "Hotel" brand pillow for my bed. One was $14.00 and the other was $30.00. The $30.00 pillow is now my favorite pillow I've ever had. And the $14.99 pillow works great for between your knees (I'm a side sleeper). So when I heard our Linens-N-Things was going out of business, I immediately went over to see about buying one more of each. But when I got to L-N-T, the pillows weren't marked down at all. There were plenty of them still in the store, but I just decided I didn't want to spend that much money on the pillows, and cheaped out. I went back today, now that everything in the store in 25% off, and guess what?? Yup, there literally wasn't a single pillow in the ENTIRE store. SIGH. This is what comes of being cheap.
Now, don't get me wrong, I can also spend money like it's going out of style. But somehow I tend to hit a wall where I won't spend any more. And it almost never pays.
I'm sure there's a lesson here somewhere, but in my 37 years, I still haven't learned it.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I went to Border's yesterday and cleared out the rest of my gift cards. I bought:
A striking beauty with a taste for diamonds and dangerous men, Drea Rousseau is more than content to be arm candy for Rafael Salinas, a notorious crime lord who deals with betrayal through quick and treacherous means: a bullet to the back of the head, a blade across the neck, an incendiary device beneath a car. Eager to break with Rafael, Drea makes a fateful decision and a desperate move, stealing a mountain of cash from the malicious killer. After all, an escape needs to be financed.
Though Drea runs, Salinas knows she can’t hide–and he dispatches a cold-blooded assassin in hot pursuit, resulting in a tragic turn of events. Or does it?
Left for dead, Drea miraculously returns to the realm of the living a changed woman. She’s no longer shallow and selfish, no longer steals or cheats or sells herself short. Both humbled and thrilled with this unexpected second chance, Drea embraces her new life. But in order to feel safe and sound–and stop nervously looking over her shoulder–she will need to take down those who marked her for death.
Joining forces with the FBI, supplying vital inside information that only she can provide, Drea finds herself working with the most dangerous man she’s ever known. Yet the closer they get to danger, the more intense their feelings for each other become, and the more Drea realizes that the cost of her new life may be her life itself–as well as her heart.
I also bought My Lord & Spymaster, which Katiebabs and Ana both did comprehensive reviews of. And I bought book three in Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series, which I'm quite enjoying.
I'm headed to Lewes, Delaware with my friend Tracy this weekend. I'm taking Roxie with me. It should be fun, since this will be her first time ever at the beach. I'm looking forward to seeing her reaction. Tracy's dog, Lucy, is one of Roxie's best friends, so they'll have a great time together.
I'm glad to be going, because Roxie is terrified of fireworks, and I'd imagine that we won't hear that many in Lewes, so it should be a slightly less terrifying day for her. Usually she's a wreck on the 4th.
I hope each of you have a wonderful long weekend, whatever it is you're doing.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
And, because I haven't had a list in a while, I now give you the 10 episodes I'd use to convert you to a Buffy lover.
1- Welcome to the Hellmouth (Season 1, Episode 1) - 1st episode ever. Sets up the story.
2- Prophecy Girl (Season 1, Episode 12) - Last Epi of season 1. Buffy has to do the first REALLY hard thing.
3- Passion (Season 2, Episode 17) - This is after she and Angel have sex. And he does something horrible to Giles's girlfriend.
4- Becoming Parts 1 & 2 (Season 2, Episodes 21 & 22) - Buffy makes the ultimate sacrifice.
5- Faith, Hope & Trick (Season 3, Episode 3) - Introduces Faith, the BAAAD slayer.
6- Hush (Season 4, Episode 10) - The silent episode. Also features The Gentlemen, the creepiest of the bad guys on Buffy.
7- Fool For Love (Season 5, Episode 7) - Buffy & Faith switch bodies. Features the best exchange between Buffy (Faith) and Spike EVVVVAR!
8- The Body(Season 5, Episode 17) - Buffy's mom.
9- Once More With Feeling (Season 6, Episode 7) - The Musical episode.
10- Chosen (Season 7, Episode 22) - The last episode of the series.
Eek! Even this list was hard. I'd also include: I Only Have Eyes for You (Angelus and Buffy inhabit the bodies of a teacher and student from the past), Band Candy (Buffy's mom and Giles do the nasty), Something Blue (Buffy and Spike are engaged), Dopplegangland (the episode where Willow becomes a vampire) and Tabula Rasa (the episode where everyone forgets everything).
So, what are your favorite episodes of Buffy? What would you add to my list?
EDITED: to add which episodes are which that I picked