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Showing posts from February, 2010

Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole

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If you're a fan of Kresley Cole's Immortals after Dark series, you should enjoy Pleasure of a Dark Prince (2010), the story of Lucia the Huntress (Valkyrie) and Garreth, who is a Lykae (werewolf) prince.

Remember Lachlain MacRieve from A Hunger Like No Other? Garreth is his brother. That fact alone should catch the interest of fans of the series.

Saved from near-death by a goddess, Lucia is under a vow of celibacy. As part of being saved, she has the goddess' power as a supreme archer, which is very useful for a Lore warrior. And what Valkyries aren't warriors?

Throw Garreth in her path, and what happens to her vows? And her power as an archer? Power she needs to kill Crom Cruach, the Evil, Bloody One. (Yes, he's as charming as that implies.)

Throw in a quest to find a special arrow in order to defeat Cruach, and you have plenty of adventure mixed in with the romance and witty exchanges.

My two disappointments: the time jump and the ending. There's a jump of…

The Winner Is

Stitchin Time

Drop me a message at Choco223@aol.com, and we'll make arrangements for getting a gift card to you.

Thanks to everyone who commented.

And keep commenting because I'm planning a year of random, though smaller, gift surprises. Maya's all ready to just keep drawing from the big pot of names. :)

Off to enjoy my birthday. . . .

Posting Negative Blog Reviews

I read a posting on one of my librarian discussion lists a few months ago that stayed with me, though I can't remember the identity or location of the poster. I know she was a female librarian living somewhere in the United States.

She mentioned having a personal book blog, and she said that she never posts negative reviews. If she doesn't like a book, she just doesn't write a blog posting on that one. Paraphrasing her, she said there are enough good books out there that she doesn't need to waste her time blogging about ones she doesn't like.

Obviously, I'm perfectly willing to blog about all of the books I read, whether I like them or not. I give a lot of books a personal rating in the B category, but I definitely have C and D rankings for some of the books I've read.

Aside from what I personally do, my instant reaction to her message was that I wouldn't know to trust her views if I stumbled across her blog. If she only blogs about what she enjoyed r…

Lulu in Marrakech by Diane Johnson

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[Please note that today is the last day for leaving a comment on one of my blogs for a chance at winning the $40 bookstore gift certificate. Winner announced tomorrow, so please check back.]

I'm so glad I bought Lulu in Marrakech by Diane Johnson (2009) for a bargain price at Barnes & Noble, though even that approximately $5 was too much to spend on this one.

Lulu Sawyer, not her real name, of course, is an American spy living with her English lover, Ian, in Marrakech. She stumbles around through most of the book, seeming rather clueless about Ian and everyone else who comes across her path. She seems to lack any ability to determine the credibility of others, and I kept thinking she had no idea of what was actually happening all around her.

And don't expect lovely backdrop details about life in Marrakech as an ex-pat or anything else remotely positive in this book. Middle Eastern characters don't fare well, though, again, I can't say Lulu and Ian fare well in …

Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne

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Twenty-two years ago four teenage boys were convicted of a young girl's murder. Now, in the form of a beautiful woman, the "victim" is seeking vengeance. And only one man dares to dig into the past to uncover the secrets. . . and set her free.

I admit the blurb for Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne (2010) on the back of Heart of Darkness left me a good deal short of excited to read the story. I bought the collection entirely for the Gena Showalter piece.

Imagine my surprise to find myself very impressed with Shayne's story. My only complaint? This is a plot that would lend itself very well to a full-length book. I actually wish she had chosen to go that route instead, though I definitely enjoyed the short story.

What really happened on the night of the fire all those years ago? Who is this young woman, Sara, who looks so much like Sierra, the young woman who died in the fire? And can Sara help right the wrongs of Sierra's past while forming a relationship wi…

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

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I wish I had an advance reading copy (ARC) of The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott and could do a review. I can't wait to see how she makes me "like" Sarah, who definitely violates the strongest rule of girl friendship. Sigh.

From Scott's site:

In stores on March 16th!

Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like your best friend's boyfriend.

Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is…

Please Vote in My Poll

Running a poll about who you think is more likely to cheat in a marriage--wives, husbands, or both equally.

If you vote in the poll and then leave a comment to this posting saying that you voted, that will give you an entry in the $40 bookstore gift certificate giveaway.

The Darkest Angel by Gena Showalter

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Insert my usual comment about how absolutely annoying having part of a series be included in an anthology is. Sometimes I completely miss the anthology with the story, and I think when reading another book in the series, "Wait a minute, x didn't have a significant other in the last book. How did that happen, and who is this mate?" That's one of the reasons I'm not a fan of series, always worrying about keeping up with the various books and anthologies, though I seem to be reading a great deal of them these days!

That being said, I definitely enjoyed the latest entry from Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series: The Darkest Angel (2010) from the Heart of Darkness anthology. The other entries in the anthology, to be blogged later, are Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne (liked it) and Lady of the Nile by Susan Krinard (severely disappointed).

The Darkest Angel is the story of Lysander, the angel who serves as a demon assassin, and Bianca, the part-Harp…

Price of Desire by Leda Swann

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I wanted to like Price of Desire by Leda Swann (2007) because I liked the heroine, but I just couldn't get my mind around the hero. And, when I can't see the appeal of the hero, I usually don't like the book.

After the financial ruin and suicide of her father, Caroline Clemens finds herself responsible for her four younger siblings. Abandoned by her fiance, who now thinks he can have her for just a mistress, Caroline decides death might be the only option for herself and the other children. Before taking that route and dying a virgin, she wants one night of passion.

After an interlude with a woman he believes is a young widow, having mistaken Caroline's loss as being her husband instead of her father, Dominic Savage can't get the woman out of his mind. When he learns the fate of Caroline and her siblings, which isn't death and is likely worse, he sees his chance to make her his mistress.

And there's my problem. Maybe Dominic wasn't quite noble enough …

Love Actually Movie

My take on Love Actually.

Favorite Couple: Colin Firth and Lucia Muniz (Jamie Bennett and Aurelia)

Favorite Relationship: Liam Neeson and Thomas Sangster (Stepfather and Stepson)

Favorite Character: Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister

Most Fun Characters (tie): Bill Nighy as aging rock star Billy Mack and Kris Marshall as "sex god" Colin

Most Depressingly Realistic Story: Emma Thompson as Karen

Some of my favorite exchanges/one-liners:

Natalie: He [her ex-boyfriend] says no one's gonna fancy a girl with thighs the size of big tree trunks. Not a nice guy, actually, in the end.
Prime Minister: Ah! You know, um, being Prime Minister, I could just have him murdered.
Natalie: Thank you, sir. I'll think about it.
Prime Minister: Do. The SAS are absolutely charming. Ruthless trained killers are just a phone call away.

Colin: I am Colin. God of Sex. I'm just on the wrong continent, that's all.

Karen: So what's this big news, then?
Daisy: [excited] We've been given o…

Valentine's Day Movie

For purposes of full disclosure, I'll let you know that Love Actually is one of my all-time favorite movies. Maya and I absolutely love Love Actually. Even though I went into Valentine's Day on Saturday knowing this movie couldn't possibly match the magic of Love Actually, I still managed to be disappointed.

Valentine's Day doesn't even attempt to hide being a knock-off of Love Actually, from the cast of stars to the surprising connections between various characters and their story lines.

Unfortunately, the "sincerest form of flattery" doesn't necessarily lead to quality.

One of my biggest complaints is that there are so many different stories going in Valentine's Day that some of them aren't really developed at all. There just isn't enough time for everyone.

And the movie isn't funny. Not at all. And there isn't even much in the way of real surprises. Sigh.

Without providing any spoilers, here's a brief list of my views:

*…

The Key to Happiness by Gwyn Cready

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I've been reading The Mammoth Book of Time Travel Romance (2009) and The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance (2010) recently. Surprisingly, I liked the time travel anthology much, much better than the Irish romance anthology. There are only a couple entries from the time travel book that I didn't appreciate at all, and almost the exact opposite for the Irish stories. Pretty surprising since many of my favorite authors' books are set in Ireland.

Anyway, over the next couple of weeks, I plan to write postings on some of the short stories from those two collections.

I really enjoyed Gwyn Cready's The Key to Happiness. A man goes back in time to stop the woman he loves, an unrequited passion, from making a life-altering decision. She'll have the appearance of every happiness for years, but then one action causes everything to crumble around her, destroying the essence of who she is and leading to complete misery.

There are rules to his time travel episode. He can't …

MedlinePlus

[And don't forget to leave a comment on this post to enter for your chance to win a $40 bookstore gift certificate. Winner announced here on February 23.]

My day job is as a medical librarian, and I know how important current, accurate information is to anyone recently diagnosed with a disease or illness with which they aren't familiar. Turning to Bing, Google, chat rooms, and so on can add to the concern.

Always remember that the medical professionals directly involved with your case serve as the best resource for learning more information. Coming with questions and concerns based on your research at reputable medical sites is an excellent way to start the conversation.

How do you find those reputable medical sites? There's an easy, one-stop information shopping answer: MedlinePlus. Created and maintained by the National Library of Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health, basic information is provided on many diseases and medical conditions. All of…

Birthday Giveaway

In honor of my birthday, I'm planning a giveaway to blog readers.

The prize: $40 gift certificate to the bookstore of the winner's choice

How to enter: Leave comments on this blog and my personal blog (http://mayaford.blogspot.com) between now and Monday, February 22, at 5:00 p.m. CST. Each comment counts as one entry, with the only limit being one comment per person per blog posting, please.

How the prize will be awarded: I'll have my daughter draw the winner!

Check back to see the announcement of the prize winner on my fortieth birthday, February 23rd.

Bachelors of Highbury Quiz

Found this link to the the Bachelors of Highbury Quiz over at the blog Kwana Writes.

In honor of Jane Austen's character Emma's matchmaking skills, why not see which of the bachelors fits your test score? Sorry, the results are men only, so no need to take the the test if you're a heterosexual male.

My match is Mr. Knightley because. . .

"You're looking for the complete package: a man with brains, good looks, a great job, perfect manners and a sizeable fortune to boot. Well, today's your lucky day."

And why not? Isn't that what every woman dreams of having??

I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It by Adam Selzer

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In I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It by Adam Selzer (2010), Alley Rhodes is an intelligent, witty high school senior so ready to leave her life in Iowa. Des Moines is too small to contain her hopes and dreams, or so she thinks, and she certainly doesn't have time to date a local boy, at least not one without plans to leave after graduation.

Then Alley sees Doug at a show, where he sings a couple of songs with the band. He understands and shares her interest in Cole Porter and Leonard Cohen, and Alley the Ice Queen finds herself seriously interested in dating for the first time.

Imagine her surprise to learn that Doug isn't the Goth she thinks--he's a zombie. That makes her the second student in her school to fall for a post-human since Michelle is already dating Freddie, a vampire.

What can happen between a girl with plans that don't involve turning post-human and a zombie? And how much will Alley grow, change, and learn about herself just from opening herself to the p…

Temptation by Leda Swann

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Temptation by Leda Swann (2009) begins with the innocent request of Teddy Clemens that his older sister Beatrice send a letter to lonely Captain Percival "Percy" Carterton. Fighting for the English in the Transvaal (part of South Africa) against the Boers, the entire regiment is far from home and lonely.

Practical, kind Beatrice, working as a nurse, soon has all of the women in her boarding house exchanging letters with soldiers from Teddy's regiment. Yet hers is the most fiery, explicit correspondence for Percy has fallen in love with her.

At the same time, Beatrice is "walking out" with one of the doctors from her hospital. She has a very common-sense plan of marrying him, guaranteeing a comfortable life for herself where she won't be a burden on her sisters and brother.

So what happens when Percy, released from the current campaign due to an injury, suddenly arrives in London unannounced, intending to claim his beloved Beatrice, a woman who has been enga…