Monthly Archives: April 2012

Extra! Extra! News- JK Rowling’s next novel coming in Sept. 2012

Amazon is now taking pre-orders for the new adult novel by J.K. Rowling, The Casual Vacancy.  It is a hardcover, of course, and the pre-order price is $21.00 or the Kindle edition for the outrageous price of $19.99.  The book is to be published in September, 2012.
Here is the blurb on the book:
When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…. Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.
*****
I think we can guess that this will be a best seller….In pre-orders alone it probably is already a best seller.  I can’t wait to see the numbers.  How about you?

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Deet’s Eats- Food Preferences

I’m late blogging today.  I was just coming up empty on a post and then I stumbled over this questionaire and thought I’d just give you all some idea of my not so great food preferences.

1. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Iced Tea, but coffee with half ‘n half is a close second, oh wait! Diet Pepsi!

2. What is your favorite alcoholic drink?

Manhattan, made my way with equal parts Canadian Whiskey and Sweet Vermouth

3. What is your favorite food?

Coconut Cake, Carrot Cake, Any Pie ala mode, Italian food, Homemade Burgers…I could go on and on.

4. What is your least favorite food?

Probably hot dogs although I do like them outdoors at a picnic or on the street in NYC. I probably don’t have a least fave.  I just don’t eat what doesn’t look appealing.

5. What do you eat that others think is really weird?

Can’t think of a thing that I eat that is weird. Unless it is hot, brown sugar oatmeal topped with vanilla ice cream. YUM!

6. What is your favourite thing to cook/bake?

Anything quick and easy for dinner. Roast Chicken, comes to mind.  You didn’t think that was “quick and easy” did ya?  But it is. Just S&P the bird and toss it in a roasting pan, bake at 350 degrees for 20 min/ pound.

7. If you could only chose one, would it be sweet or savory?

Savory or maybe sweet…..geesh!

8. What time do you usually eat your dinner during the week?

Around -6.30, sometimes 7

9. What kitchen item/s have you never owned?

a George Forman Grill

10. What tip would you give to a newby cooker / baker?

Get a good, all purpose cookbook.

11. What is the best vegetarian dish you have eaten?

Vegetable Lasagna, although my “Not Yo Mama’s Mac & Cheese” might win out. (Recipe Here)

12. What is the easiest meal you can cook?

Chicken Verdi, with rice and frozen veggie side dish. (recipe found here, just click.)

13. If you could only grow 3 herbs in your garden, what would you grow?

Basil, Sage and Parsley

14. What would you use as a substitute for salt?

For me there is no substitute, but if salt should disappear, then lots of garlic.

15. What 5 items would you pack for a quick and easy picnic or day out?

Ham and Swiss on rye sandwiches, apples and oranges, chips, cookies and Iced Tea. Oh good grief! That is so boring…..how about a chunk of Sharp Cheddar and a runny Brie, Crisp multigrain crackers, A bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, Gala Apples and Chocolate cake. Now that’s more like it.

Thanks to blogger Leeswammes for these questions.

http://leeswammes.wordpress.com/category/food/

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Review- Not Quite a Lady by Loretta Chase

Title:  Not Quite A Lady

(#4 in the Carsington Brothers Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Loretta Chase

Publisher: Avon, 2007

Source: purchase

Rating: 4-good read

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Irresistible Force

Darius Carsington is a spectacularly handsome rake with a rare intelligence and no heart, a man who divides his time between bedding loose-moraled women and writing scholarly papers. He finds society’s “perfect darlings” exceedingly boring. But there’s something intriguing, and not quite perfect, about faultless Lady Charlotte Hayward. He senses a crack under her polished surface, and finding it is a challenge he can’t resist.

Immovable Object

Lady Charlotte is so beautiful, charming, and gracious that no one has noticed what an expert she is at Not Getting Married. Early on, she learned a painful lesson about trust . . . and temptation. In the years since, she’s devoted her life to being all she ought to be—and she’s not about to let a man like Carsington entice her to do everything she shouldn’t.

A Splendid Collision

But the rules of attraction can easily overpower the rules of manners and morals, and sometimes even the best-behaved girl has to follow her instincts, even if it means risking it all.

**

This is a series that does not need to be read in order.  This offering is luscious, and full of romance and a shameful secret that could ruin lives.  It is wonderful how a consumate wordsmith like Loretta Chase can make us sigh with the romance and clutch with the fear of our heroine’s secret coming out.  All HR fans will love this offering in the series.  I can’t wait to read more.  I highly recommend this author for her wonderful Historical Romances.

You can find my review ofLoretta Chase’s second novel in this series, Mr. Impossible, click here.

The Carsington Brothers Series:

1.  Miss Wonderful

2.  Mr Impossible

3.  Lord Perfect

4.  Not Quite a Lady

5.  Last Night’s Scandal

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Sexy Man Tuesday- Romantic Times “Mr. Romance” former winners

RT (Romantic Times) Booklovers Convention 2012 starts tomorrow, April 11, in Chicago.  This is the 29th year of the convention that plays host to readers, authors, booksellers, publishers, editors, etc.  But one event will not be onboard this time, the “Mr. Romance” contest.  Each year for the past several years the attendees have voted on the models and actors and regular guys who have entered the contest and the winner has I believe received a modeling gig for Romance book covers.  I hear the contest was pretty cheesy with the guys having to strut their stuff and even dance on the stage.  Anyway, I thought maybe you would like to see a few of the past winners.  Here they are in chronological order from 2007 to 2011.

Mr Romance 2007-Jason Santiago

Mr Romance 2008- Chris Winters

Mr Romance 2009- Charles Paz (tortured and soulful, oh yum!)

Mr Romance 2010- Jamie Ungaro

Mr Romance 2011- Len

Let’s pick our own “SMT Mr. Romance 2012” from these past winners.

So would you have voted for any of these guys?  You can already guess my pick, but that doesn’t mean I only like one.

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Review- Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

Title:  Wife 22

Genre: Women’s Fiction

(I hate this designation, why is it just for women?)

Author: Melanie Gideon

Publisher: Ballantine Books,

May 29, 2012

Available for pre-order

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating:  3

Sexy Rating: 2

Description from amazon.com:

Maybe it was those extra five pounds I’d gained. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other.

But when the anonymous online study called “Marriage in the 21st Century” showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn’t long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101).

And, just like that, I found myself answering questions.

7. Sometimes I tell him he’s snoring when he’s not snoring so he’ll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself.
61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man’s children.
67. To not want what you don’t have. What you can’t have. What you shouldn’t have.
32. That if we weren’t careful, it was possible to forget one another.

Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor’s appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions.

But these days, I’m also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I’ll have to make a decision—one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I’m too busy answering questions.  As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.

 

**

I never got comfortable with the main character, Alice.  I just never managed to care for her or about her very much.  That made reading the book feel slow and not interesting to me.  I did like her e-mail conversations with the Researcher 101. The answers to the questionnaire were a bit annoying since you did not know what the question was, only her answers. (The back of the book did contain an appendix with the questions, but I didn’t find it until after I had read the book, another annoyance.)  The writing was good, the side characters of her husband and kids were fleshed out and believable. There is a twist so that added a bit of excitement but not enough to make the story a better book. It was just an “okay” book.

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Review- Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

Title:  Arranged

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Catherine McKenzie

Publisher: William Morrow, May 2012

Available for pre-order

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 3-4

Description from amazon.com:  Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, close friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share her life with, however, she just can’t seem to get it right. When her latest relationship implodes, and her best friend announces she’s engaged, Anne impulsively calls what she thinks is a dating service—only to discover that it’s actually an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. Anne initially rejects the idea, but the more she learns about the service, the more she thinks: Why not? After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world; maybe it could work for her.

A few months later, Anne is traveling to a Mexican resort, where, over the course of a weekend, she meets and then marries Jack.

**

Can two people find happiness in an arranged marriage?  That is the premise, an interesting and provocative premise.

Not every book I read keeps me up all night, this one did.  I loved this book!  The story is so well told and the characters so well developed that we become invested in each of their lives, in their happiness.  The only thing that would make this book better is some steamy love scenes.  You will root for Anne; you will laugh with her and cry with her.  You will love Jack and hate Jack.  Margaret will have you scratching your head.  Sarah and Mike will have you believing in true love.  You will end by feeling that you know these people personally.  Told in the first person Ms McKenzie becomes your good friend telling you her story.  That is the way this wonderful book reads and feels.

 

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Deet’s Life- Awesome Book Making Vid

Sometimes I just trip over the most delightful videos.  This one is less than two minutes long and shows how books should be made; with special care.  There is no quicky e-book, self publishing magic machine.  There are actual human hands creating a book out of an authors’ words.  Don’t let the music annoy you, it is only two minutes.

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Review- The Proposal by Mary Balogh

Title: The Proposal

(book#1, The Survivor’s Club Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Mary Balogh

Publisher: Random House, May 1, 2012

Available for preorder

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating:  4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Gwendoline, Lady Muir, has seen her share of tragedy, especially since a freak accident took her husband much too soon. Content in a quiet life with friends and family, the young widow has no desire to marry again. But when Hugo, Lord Trentham, scoops her up in his arms after a fall, she feels a sensation that both shocks and emboldens her.

Hugo never intends to kiss Lady Muir, and frankly, he judges her to be a spoiled, frivolous—if beautiful—aristocrat. He is a gentleman in name only: a soldier whose bravery earned him a title; a merchant’s son who inherited his wealth. He is happiest when working the land, but duty and title now demand that he finds a wife. He doesn’t wish to court Lady Muir, nor have any role in the society games her kind thrives upon. Yet Hugo has never craved a woman more; Gwen’s guileless manner, infectious laugh, and lovely face have ruined him for any other woman. He wants her, but will she have him?

The hard, dour ex-military officer who so gently carried Gwen to safety is a man who needs a lesson in winning a woman’s heart. Despite her cautious nature, Gwen cannot ignore the attraction. As their two vastly different worlds come together, both will be challenged in unforeseen ways. But through courtship and seduction, Gwen soon finds that with each kiss, and with every caress, she cannot resist Hugo’s devotion, his desire, his love, and the promise of forever.

**

Mary Balogh writes lyrical romances; this one hums with a somber musicality.  These two people, Gwen and Hugo, have tortured pasts that continue to impinge on their present.  It is a story of guilt and redemption and love.  It is about reaching across social barriers to embrace a life worth living, and it is told beautifully.

I didn’t always like Hugo.  He was often so wrapped up in his guilt that I just wanted him to snap out of it.  I also thought that Gwen should have taken more responsibility for the loss of her child.  But those negatives never lessened the desire for them both to heal and find love.

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Sexy Man Tuesday- Your ABC’s

Here are your ABC’s for this week.  Don’t say you never learn anything on this blog.

A is for Adam

Adam Levine of Maroon 5

Don’t let him fool you, he’s not all that shy……

B is for Brad

Brad Pitt, of course

C is for Chris

Christopher Evans, Captain America

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Review- Wanted Undead or Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks

Title:  Wanted Undead or Alive (Love at Stake Series, #12)

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Author: Kerrelyn Sparks

Publisher: Avon, 2012

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:  He’s a vampire from the big city . . .

Phineas McKinney thought New York City was tough, until he was attacked by Malcontents—evil vampires who consider mortals to be snacks. Saved by the good vampires, Phin swore to devote his now undead life to stopping the Malcontents. He’s got his job cut out for him when word comes that their enemy may be hiding in Wyoming. What does a city boy like him know about horses and campfires? Good thing he’s got Brynley Jones with him . . . if only she didn’t hate every vampire on earth.

She’s a werewolf princess . . .

Bryn believes vampires are seductive and charming, and that makes them dangerous. So she’s more than a little annoyed about teaming up with Phin, even if he is the only bloodsucker able to make her inner wolf purr. But as they hunt down the new leader of the Malcontents, danger threatens . . . and Phineas and Brynley discover a passion that will rock the foundation of their supernatural world

**

I have read other books in this series but not enough apparently.  I was sometimes (often) scratching my head wondering “What?”.  So, although the humor was there and the writing was as usual good, I still felt like something was constantly missing.  This was probably because I was not up to date with the series.  So for me it was just an “okay” read.  If you have read most of the series then you will undoubtedly enjoy this one.  If not then I recommend you start at the beginning of the series with How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire.  This is a light fun series.

 

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