Monthly Archives: June 2008

Thirteen books on my TBR shelf (June update)

Yeah, I know it’s late, but I’m finally writing again (hallelujah!!) and I’m always amazed how much better that makes me feel.  No update until I get back from the RWA conference in the beginning of August, because I’ll have a new plethora of books to play with!!

 

  1. The Serpent Prince Elizabeth Hoyt
  2. Daughter of the Blood, Anne Bishop
  3. Wild, Wicked and Wanton, Jaci Burton
  4. Marked, PC and Kristin Cast
  5. Sugar Daddy, Lisa Kleypas
  6. First You Run, Roxanne St. Clair
  7. Dark Deeds at Night’s Edge, Kresley Cole
  8. The Darkest Kiss, Gena Showalter
  9. Chain Reaction, Dee Davis
  10. White Heat, Cherry Adair
  11. Tall, Dark and Filthy Rich, Jill Monroe
  12. Risky Business, Merline Lovelace
  13. The Inheritance, Jasmine Cresswell

 

The Kindness of Strangers…

So it’s weird the things that will kick-start not only your imagination, but your drive, both as a human and a writer (obviously specialized in my case *g*).  So here’s the skinny…hubby and I were looking to buy some porch furniture at Wally.  I was worried that it wouldn’t fit in the back of my Explorer, but was willing to give it a try. So we get to Wally, and the set we liked was $100 cheaper (too cool for us), so we bought it and the Wally folks helped us cart it out to the SUV.  A guy from a truck a few spaces down pitched in and tried to help us jam it into the back, but no doing.  The box was about two inches too tall.  Sigh.

 

So we ask the Wally folks if we can put our names on it and call one of our friends from the base with a traditional truck to help us out.  They said “sure” and our helper wandered off to his own vehicle.

 

I’m writing down all of our info on the box, and here comes our helper again, who asks where we’re going.  We tell him (keep in mind where we live is about 50,000 people, so everything is 15 minutes away…but still!) and he offers to pop the furniture in the back of his truck and follow us.

 

To say the very least we were completely floored at his generosity, as well as the other folks in the truck.  I’m sure they had someplace else they’d rather be on a beautiful Friday afternoon.  And it was Friday the 13th, no less. 

 

We accept their offer (because we’re not complete idiots) and sure enough, they follow us home and help us unload the furniture onto the lawn.  Handshakes and profuse thank you’s abounded and they went on their merry way.

 

Hubby and I put the furniture together then sat on the front porch and pondered.  In California (where we’re both originally from), an offer like that is unheard of.  Not only that, if the offer was made, your stuff would probably go in the opposite direction *g*!!

 

Soooo, long story short, THIS is why I absolutely adore Oklahoma, why we chose to retire here, rather than on the coast.  And damned if it didn’t totally reaffirm my belief in the kindness of strangers.

TABT…Silken Shadows by Jennifer St. Giles

In search of a vicious killer, a woman of psychic abilities and a sea captain are thrust into the realm of the supernatural. There they must trust in their own passion to survive the killer’s thirst.

 

A sensual, suspenseful takeoff from the Jack the Ripper mythos, St Giles completes her trilogy of the Andrews sisters with a bang.  Gemini and Dev light up the pages from their first encounter to their last.  Dev doesn’t quite know how to handle a strong woman he feels so much for, and Gemini’s outright refusal to bend to social mores is awesome.  The Jack the Ripper concept is nicely played and well-explained, adding a great mystery in addition to the hot lovemaking.  While you could certainly read this as a stand-alone, I recommend picking up the whole series…it’s simply fabulous, and the last chapter of the trilogy simply cements its total awesomeness *g*.  Yeah, I know that’s a goofy term (and a total Barney-ism) to apply to a series, but all of them are terrific!!

Movie/Music Monday…No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men (2007) — So we got back into date night (yeah!!!), and this was the first movie we chose.  It was totally worth it!!  I know some folks were disappointed with the ending, but to be honest, it worked for me because it was so brutally realistic.  Maybe I was just in the mood for something dark, and this fit the bill, but both the hubby and I loved this movie.  Llewellyn was an awesome anti-hero, as evidenced by his midnight desire to do the right thing, which only gets him in more trouble.  I was so into the movie and characters, I had no idea the actor portraying him was Josh Brolin, which tells you how believeable it was *g*.  Tommy Lee Jones was great as the laconic sheriff, totally in his element.  And Javier Bardem as the baddie…simply fabulous.  Seriously…hubby and I watch a ton of true crime stuff (as well as being serious students of the psyche) and they portrayed a psychopath to the Nth degree.  Woody Harrelson was great in his brief role, as was Stephen Root…yeah, they were minor players, but added to the whole quite well.

 

In the end, this movie is quite simply a battle between Llewellyn and Anton.  SPOILER…  The fact that neither wins the day…really…only makes it that much more realistic.  Hubby and I seriously debated whether the shootout toward the end was indeed the real deal, and I still have questions, but any flick that makes me actually think and ponder after the credits have rolled is great in my mind.

 

All in all, this is a seriously memorable movie.  Yes, it’s violent as hell (keep in mind one of my fave movies of all time is THE USUAL SUSPECTS, followed closely by RESEVOIR DOGS), but if you rent it thinking it’s gonna be hearts and flowers, then you obviously haven’t been reading enough reviews.

 

Keep in mind that this movie won the Oscar for best flick…when was the last time a feel-good movie did that?  Having seen The Departed, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, I can tell you it’s not often, at least not lately.

 

If you’re looking for a two-hour escape that’ll actually make you think and question both mores and morals, then this one is for you!

TABT…The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison

To save the lives of her friends, Rachel did the unthinkable: she willingly trafficked in forbidden demon magic. And now her sins are coming home to haunt her. As Rachel searches for the truth behind a terrifying murder, an even greater menace threatens, for the demon Algaliarept will stop at nothing to claim her, and the discovery of a shocking family secret throws Rachel’s entire life into question. If she is ever to live free, Rachel must first walk willingly into the demonic ever-after in search of long-lost ancient knowledge. But when you dance with demons, you lay your soul on the line … and there are some lines that should never be crossed.

 

What a fabulous addition to the Rachel Morgan world.  Not as wrenching as the last book, For a Few Demons More, this is more of a transition from Rachel’s old life to her new one, but damned if it wasn’t fabulous anyway.  Rachel has to deal with her grief (which I thought was done exceedingly well), as well as the host of problems she’s accumulated over the last year, to include her uber-complicated relationship with Ivy.  I have to say, Rachel is definitely one of my favorite recurring character in any series (she ties with Joanna Baldwin from Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series)…so much so that any of Harrison’s book are auto-buys for me.  I think her books are what I needed after ditching Laurell K. Hamilton’s books, and thank goodness for that!

Movie/Music Monday…Cash Cab

Okay, so it’s not a movie, or music, but hey, TV is a medium too *g*!!

 

Cash Cab is our latest obsession…seriously, we watch this show every weeknight.  If you’re unfamiliar with it, I implore you to check it out on the Discovery Channel.  The gist is this…a cabdriver (who happens to also be a stand-up comedian) picks up random fares throughout New York City, and then quizzes them on general knowledge questions for the duration of their ride…they collect cash with each correct answer or strikes…three strikes and they’re outta the cab with nothing but a free cab ride.  If they make it all the way, they can walk with the moola or go double or nothing on a video bonus question.

 

So why do we find this show so fascinating?  Because of the amazing range of folks who get in the cab.  The questions themselves range from pretty easy (the $25 range) to sometimes hard.  Hubby and I are serious history/current event nuts, so we get about 99% of the answers, but I can’t even imagine the pressure of getting into a cab, ready to head to your destination, when all of a sudden a bunch of flashing lights come on, and you’re being quizzed.  I’d probably totally blank even the basics.

 

 

This is the only true reality TV contest I’ve seen, because there’s no screening process, therefore the cross-section of players is hugely varied.

 

Not only is it fascinating, it’s damned funny in addition to making you think… I hope this show is still running when I hit the RWA Conference there in a few years, because if it is, wherever I go, I’m loading up with the smartest folks I know so maybe we can win some cash, baby!!

TABT…Overexposed by Leslie Kelly

Isabella Natale is living a double life.  By day she turns out desserts in the family bakery.  But at night she transforms into The Crimson Rose, Chicago’s hottest exotic dancer, an enigmatic siren whose velvet mask and G-string drive men wild.  Nobody knows about her secret—not even Nick Santori, the strip club’s hot new bodyguard…and her first crush.  He’d always treated little “Izzy” as just another sweet kid.  But there’s nothing sweet about his sizzling reaction to Rose… So what’s a girl to do but show the man of her dreams that while it’s okay to look it’s much better to touch?

 

This is definitely one of the best Blaze’s I’ve read in a long damned time.  The relationship between Izzy and Nick is hot as hell from their first meeting and gets more combustible with each encounter.  Both had issues to overcome I could totally identify with, and they acted like adults around each other.  The author could easily have slid into the tried and true “misunderstanding/miscommunication” plot line, but she didn’t…she made them face their mistakes and deal with them as grown-ups who are totally hot for each other.  Pick this one up, I can promise you won’t be disappointed!

Coming out of lurk for your book review! Thrill Me To Death by Roxanne St. Claire

So I’ve obviously been hiding under a rock lately.  Not sure what is up, I’m just in one of those funks where putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) isn’t working.  I’m sure I’ll get over it soon…I always do.  It’s not so much writer’s block (because I’ve already come up with a great idea for another erotic romantic suspense) but rather the whole malaise thing.  It may be the whole post-inspection, post-work trip thing (and I sure hope it is), so I guess we’ll see what the next few weeks have to offer. 

 

Now, having said allllll that, I HAVE been a reading fool, so it’s my total pleasure to give you a book review today!!

 

Thrill Me to Death, Roxanne St. Claire

 

Max Roper never lets emotion get in the way of his job—not since the tragic shooting that killed his fiancée’s father.  Now the former DEA agent is a Bullet Catcher, and he’s managed to block out Cori’s bitter goodbye—and their sizzling passion.  Those dangerous desires come back with a vengeance when Max is assigned to protect a recently widowed heiress who turns out to be Cori.  But Max must also discover his ex’s dark secret…and they both know she can’t hide anything from him.  Her luxury lifestyle suggests that Cori has gone from being trophy wife to a merry widow, but  nothing could be further from the truth. Suspicious of her billionaire husband’s sudden death, she hires a bodyguard.  But her protector is the one man who can melt her every defense—the one man she blames for her deepest sorrow, the one man whose six-feet four inches of solid muscle ignites a reckless passion in her.  And as they close in on a killer who hides in plain view their high-stakes affair could cost her everything…including her life.

 

What a fabulous book!  The storyline is complex and fluid and while I figured out who the baddie was about midway through, that didn’t detract from my enjoyment one little bit.  The heat between Max and Cori is combustible from the first moment they reconnect and made me fan myself more than once.  This was my first Bullet Catcher book, but it certainly won’t be my last…in fact, I picked up the first book in the series about five minutes after finishing this one!