Showing posts from June, 2009

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman Blog

I enjoy reading blogs, and I like to click on the links to other blogs. Through that kind of link, I found Ree Drummond's Confessions of a Pioneer Woman blog last week.

In addition to lots of current entries with photos of the four kids and all about life on the ranch, there is a link to the story, told in a series of blog postings in 2007, of how Pioneer Woman met her Marlboro Man.

To read the story:

1. Go to

2. Click on Black Heels, where you can choose to read the Complete Story or by Chapter (blog posting) of Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.

There's something magical about discovering a new-to-me blog!

Enchanting the Beast by Kathryne Kennedy

I can't help thinking I would have enjoyed Enchanting the Beast by Kathryne Kennedy more if I had read the first two installments in the Relics of Merlin series. Instead, I felt a little lost about the world created by Kennedy, one where shapeshifters aren't susceptible to magic, the aristocracy looks down on shapeshifters, and so on.

Besides being a little lost, I did enjoy the development of the relationship between Lady Philomena Radcliffe, a forty-year-old woman who can see ghosts, and Baronet Nicodemus Wulfson, a twenty-seven-year-old werewolf who isn't quite buying into Phil's ability to communicate with ghosts.

Women around Grimspell, Nico's family castle are being killed, including Nico's fiancee, years earlier. Is he the culprit, or is another werewolf the murderer? And who's harming Nico's brother, Royden, the person Nico brings Phil to Grimspell to help? Are the happenings connected?

The chemistry between Phil and Nico is real and fun to read, …

Secrets, Volume 9: The Best in Women's Romantic Erotica

Secrets, Volume 9: The Best in Women's Romantic Erotica includes stories from Kimberly Dean, Kathryn Anne Dubois, Bonnie Hamre, and Lisa Marie Rice.

The inclusion of Rice's Sequestered prompted me to purchase the Kindle download. As usual, Rice didn't disappoint in her story of gangster-turned-successful business man Nicholas Lee and sweet Isabelle Summerby. I would have loved to read a full-length novel about them, especially since Nicholas is the most "bad boy" hero I've ever seen from Rice.

Dean's Wanted is about a Dani, a computer whiz falsely accused of being a spy, and the Special Agent chasing her. What happens when he finally finds her working in a strip club after six months of chasing her and exchanging nightly messages via computer?

Hamre's Flights of Fantasy is about Chloe, forced to go on a cruise arranged by a former college classmate that she doesn't even recognize. Throw in the two men that Chloe was the most serious about in her pas…

No Dress Rehearsal by Marian Keyes

No Dress Rehearsal by Marian Keyes is the story of Lizzie, who runs into a car while on her bicycle and, although she doesn't realize it, dies. There follows some odd (lack of) interactions with her live-in boyfriend, people on the phone, and co-workers before two spirits who help with the transition of the dead tell her what has happened. I'm a huge Marian Keyes fan. I love Watermelon and Anybody Out There? I think I might have loved No Dress Rehearsal if it hadn't been so, well, short. I was just getting into the drift of the story when, boom, everything was done.
Buying this as a Kindle download, I didn't realize, as I would have while holding a physical book, that No Dress Rehearsal is much more a novella than a book. Drat. For a $7.96 download, I expected more story. My overall personal rating of No Dress Rehearsal is a C.

Black Eagle by Gen Bailey

Set in 1755, Black Eagle by Gen Bailey is the story of Marisa Rathburn, leaving on the trip of a lifetime to get her best friend/companion away from Marisa's step-uncle/guardian. Unknown to Marisa, Black Eagle, who is enthralled with her, agrees to be their guide. Unknown to all three of them, the man hired to be their escort by her step-uncle has also been given the task of killing the two women.
Will the women reach their destination? Will they even survive the book? [I suspect there's a sequel coming to deal with what happens to Marisa's friend.] And will love blossom between Marisa and Black Eagle? If they build a life together, where will they fit?
Marisa seemed shallow, spoiled, and very self-absorbed to me. Besides thinking she was too good to be with Black Eagle, she showed an extreme lack of interest in the life details of her companion/indentured servant/best friend. How can you say someone is your best friend and not even realize how she came to be an indentured s…

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

I have a new book to add to my list of all-time favorite reads, Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols. I loved this book so much that I don't want to reveal too many specifics because I hope you read the book yourself.

After trespassing on a bridge where a couple was killed years earlier by a train, three small-town Alabama high school seniors face an interesting punishment. They have to spend nights riding around in a local ambulance, fire truck, or police car instead of going on the annual spring break trip to Florida. (The fourth teen on the bridge, actually a year older, gets off because his dad is the local big-deal attorney, though you just know that his punishment of never having to face consequences for his actions, along with having parents who probably don't even care about him, is much worse in the final analysis.)

As a result, Meg and John, the police officer who arrests them and chooses to have her ride around with him, have one of those permanently life-altering weeks.…

Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan

My second blog posting about a book read via Kindle is for Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan.
I'm really annoyed with myself over this one. I've read this book before, something I didn't realize until the third chapter of my re-read. Worst of all, I wasn't fond of the book on the first read, let alone the second time around. Ugh! Very frustrating.
Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman begins with Rose living a rather conventional life with her husband, Nathan, and keeping busy with her career as a book review editor. Their two children are in their twenties, out of the house and just beginning their own adult lives.
Then (can we all say "midlife crisis" now?) Rose learns that Nathan is leaving her for Rose's younger assistant, Minty, and that Minty is also getting her job, which Rose obtained due to being Nathan's wife in the first place a decade earlier. What does a woman do? Why, retire to her lovely home and garden, of course, and cry.

Seducing Jane Porter by Dominique Adair

My first blog post for a book read via Kindle happens to be (1) a free download and (2) available only by Kindle. There is no printed version of Seducing Jane Porter by Dominique Adair.

Thirty-six-year-old party planner Jane Porter, coming off of a year of self-imposed chastity, meets Antonio Villareal at the erotic weekend party being thrown by Antonio's half-brother in honor of Antonio's twenty-ninth birthday.

More like a novella, this very quick read is long on erotica and very, very short on plot and character development. Don't bother reading this one unless you're interested in domination/submission, bondage, and graphic sexual descriptions. There is also a cliffhanger for an ending, which would have truly annoyed me if I paid regular book rates, yet isn't a problem for a free (or even inexpensive) download.

The second and third installments in the series are called, respectively, Educating Jane Porter and Reinventing Jane Porter. At a bargain $2 each for the d…

Kindle Love

To say that I'm absolutely loving my Kindle isn't going far enough. I'm wondering why I waited so long to buy one. The price was the problem, of course, but you get the point.

I'm thrilled with the immediate gratification of using one-click ordering in Amazon to have a book downloaded virtually instantly. I like the fact that the Kindle is flat, meaning I can actually read while working on a mailing or something else repetitive at work. There are also some books available to download at no charge. How can you beat free?

Surprisingly, I'm not really missing having a book to hold in my hands. I really thought I would miss that sensation, and maybe I would if I had more time to sit in a bathtub to read. That's one of my favorite little pleasures, and I know I won't be taking a Kindle near water with my personal level of clumsiness.

I know my husband isn't going to be sad to have fewer actual books cluttering our house, either, and deleting a Kindle book is so…

Obsessed by Ted Dekker

p. 200 "You're right to treasure the picture, Stephen," the old man said, turning back. "Wherever she is now, Esther is worth more than all the Stones of David together. Now, there would be an obsession worth dying for, don't you think?"

Stephen felt his face blush, and he shifted his gaze. "I don't know. It's just a picture."

"No. It's an idea. A memory. Perhaps a hope, but not simply a picture. I'm sorry I can't help you find her."

"That's not--."

"Of course it is. If I'm not mistaken, you're quite taken by her, which is understandable. I'm a Jew. I was there. She deserves your obsession, dead or alive. Your obsession gives her life value." Gerik smiled politely and left.

Obsessed by Ted Dekker is a story that moves between two time periods to cover two generations. Martha and Ruth are pregnant women in 1944 in a Nazi concentration camp under the command of a man who drinks the blood o…

Kindle in the California Public Schools?

The AP (Associated Press) is reporting a potential change that could impact the entire United States public school system. When large states like, say, California and Texas make significant changes in what's happening in their public schools, the rest of the country is often forced to follow. Publishers and suppliers follow the money.

"In the state that gave the world Facebook, Google and the iPod, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says forcing California's students to rely on printed textbooks is so yesterday.

The governor recently launched an initiative to see if the state's 6 million public school students can use more online learning materials, perhaps saving millions of dollars a year in textbook purchases."

Here's the link to the article as it appears in The Washington Post:

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

I finally waded through Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward. That's so sad to write when I absolutely love the first two books in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. They are two of my all-time favorite books ever, so I'm really disappointed to say that I won't be reading another Ward book ever.

No, really; this time I'm done with Ward's books. Lover Avenged was my final chance for her as a reader. Fortunately, her pocketbook won't even notice the loss of one of her legions of readers (and, often, strong fans).

Lover Avenged is allegedly the story of Rehvenge, the drug dealer sympath, and Ehlena, the nurse. In my opinion, there is so much else going on in the book that (a) their sparkless "romance" gets lost and (b) there would still be a substantial Urban Fantasy book with the complete elimination of their story from the book. I didn't feel fully immersed in their story with all of the subplots.

And, actually, if this had been a book about John Matthe…

Amazon Widget

I just joined the Amazon Associates program. For full disclosure, that means that I'll get a small referral fee if a reader happens to buy a book through clicking on one of the items displayed in the widget on this blog.

This won't in any way affect my personal reviews (as if anything could do that!). I just thought it would be interesting to see if I earn anything this way. Another blogger mentioned earning $300 in a year. Seems like very little effort for a potential return.

I selected Amazon gift cards as my form of payment, and I'll let you know if/when I receive my first $10 card.

The Vampire's Kiss by Cynthia Eden

The Vampire's Kiss by Cynthia Eden is a quick, interesting read.

Savannah Daniels finds William the Dark, vampire for almost 1000 years, in order to ask him to turn her into a vampire. Why? Because she wants to avenge the deaths of her brother and sister-in-law, and the only way to kill the rogue vampire who murdered them is to become a vampire herself.

Lonely William the Dark has been tracking the same vampire, who happens to be his half-brother Gregory, for centuries. More than willing to aid Savannah with her search, his only requirement for turning her into a vampire is that she spend "forever" as his companion.

Sigh. Gush. Romance.

William is exactly my kind of romantic hero--tall, dark, handsome, scarred by life, but a marshmallow when it comes to "his woman." Savannah is the epitome of the strong heroine--intelligent, warm, and willing to brave her fears in order to avenge her brother and sister-in-law's deaths. They make an engaging couple, and I…

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie from Jennifer Ashley's new Highland Pleasures series was a surprise. There is a great deal of depth to the characters, fairly graphic sex scenes for an historical romance, and just enough about Ian's brothers to make me anxious to read their stories in future books.
Mrs. (Beth) Ackerley, having inherited a fortune from the woman for whom she was a paid companion after the death of her husband, chooses the wrong man to be her fiance. Lord Ian Mackenzie, the "mad" one of the notorious Scottish Mackenzie brothers, proposes to Beth the same evening he warns her about her fiance. When Beth breaks her engagement, sends a note to Ian thanking him, and heads from London to Paris, Ian follows her.
From the description provided by Ashley, the reason that Ian is considered the "Mad Mackenzie" is due to Asperger's syndrome. The way he interacts with people provides an interesting twist to their romance. He is also the prime suspect …

Third Book for Pre-school Library

We chose Babar's USA by Laurent de Brunhoff as the third book to donate to Maya's pre-school library.