Monthly Archives: October 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

Happy Halloween

 

Halloween witches

 

Witch saying

(from author Susan Anderson’s Facebook page)

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Carrying a Torch for Moonlight

Moonlight Alex 2

Confession time:  I’ve never gotten over the cancellation of the TV show MOONLIGHT (2007-2008).   The one about the vampire, Mick St. John, played by Alex O’Laughlin and the internet reporter, Beth, played by Sophia Miles.  Actually I never saw every show in the season until I got the total DVD collection.  I loved the whole concept of vampire romance and still do. And there is nothing like a handsome sexy vampire on Halloween.   Here are a couple of vids that will show you what you missed in case you missed the show back in the day.

I just want to make love to you (Etta James)

Love song for a Vampire (Annie Lennox)

So tell me, any of you still carrying a torch for an old TV show or movie or Alex O’Laughlin lookalike?

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, TV, Vampire, video, Wowsa Wednesday Sexy Man

Kindle Matchbook Launch Today

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I started buying books from Amazon back in 1998.  Now Amazon is giving me (and you) the opportunity to turn those books into Kindle books for FREE to $2.99.  If you go to the link below and click on the box, it will show you the books you have bought that you can now get for your Kindle at a reduced rate. Neat! You don’t even have to do the work yourself!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/ep-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=tsm_1_tw_s_kin_mvfll9

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Review- Season For Scandal by Theresa Romain

Title: Season For Scandal

Season For Scandal

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Theresa Romain

Publisher: Kensington,Zebra, October 1, 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating:  3

Sexy Rating: 5 (not explicit)

Description from amazon.com:

Jane Tindall has never had money of her own or exceptional beauty. Her gifts are more subtle: a mind like an abacus, a talent for play-acting–and a daring taste for gambling. But all the daring in the world can’t help with the cards fixed against her. And when Edmund Ware, Baron Kirkpatrick, unwittingly spoils her chance to win a fortune, her reputation is ruined too. Or so she thinks, until he suggests a surprising mode of escape: a hasty marriage. To him. On the surface, their wedding would satisfy all the demands of proper society, but as the Yuletide approaches, secrets and scandals turn this proper marriage into a very improper affair.

**

I have to admit that in the first half of this book I struggled with reading it.  The writing was certainly well done but the plot just seemed to be going nowhere.  I was thinking that if I had not committed myself to a review I might not have plodded onward.  But something happened at about the half-way mark; the story started to come alive.  Perhaps it was due to more action because the heroine continued to whine about her entitlement to a perfect marriage when she was basically rescued from ruin by a handsome, kind and wealthy good Samaritan, the hero.  Now the hero had his secrets and had kept them so close to the chest for so many years that he didn’t know how to trust or share, even with a wife who loved him.  These characters were well developed even if they frustrated this reader with their inability to be honest with each other.  The villain was dastardly indeed but his comeuppance was a bit too easy.  If it was that easy the hero should have figured it out much earlier….oh right…he couldn’t tell anyone his secrets so his smart wife couldn’t help him earlier.  This would have been a 2-star book except that the second half redeemed it to be an “okay” read.  I don’t know how other reviewers found this book to be “witty”. 

 

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9 Fridays Til Christmas Review- The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Kaufman, Angell and Kincade

Title: Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap (Anthology)

the sugar cookie sweetheart swap

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance anthology

Author: Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, Kimberly Kincade

Publisher: Kensington, Sept 2013

Source: Free For review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

This is an anthology with stories that are linked by an introduction/prologue. The  Introduction to this book starts the stories at the annual holiday cookie swap at the village community center where Clara, Lily , and Abbey have brought their cookies to be auctioned off.  We are introduced to each of the young women which gives a good jumping off point to each story.  The stories are all unique with the cookie theme running through each one.  This anthology is delightfully filled with the holiday spirit, AND three mouthwatering cookie recipes.

   Descriptions from amazon.com in bold type:

Where There’s Smoke by Donna Kauffman:

When flames from a recipe gone disastrously wrong send hunky fire-fighter Will Mason to pretty Clara Parker’s rescue, the sparks really begin to fly! And once Will gets a taste of Clara, he aches for more than just a little sugar from the famously single food columnist…

**

Deet’s Review: Clara travels over the mountain to a bookstore even though it is starting to snow.  At the bookstore there is a book signing taking place and she is shocked and surprised to see that it is her college friend, Will, signing his Volunteer Fireman’s Calendar.  They have not seen each other for ten years and agree to coffee  after the signing…  Will helps Clara get home in the storm but shortly after that Clara has a kitchen fire and Will saves the day.

This is a rather predictable romance although it is sweet to see friends become lovers.  Some men need to save their women, this is a good depiction of that premise.  Ms Kauffman has written many contemporary romance novels and her ability with prose and plot shine in this offering.

Deet’s Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 3

The Gingerbread Man by Kate Angell:

Folks have always told fun-loving Abby Denton that her anatomically correct Gingerbread cookies are…impressive. But those erotic cookies have nothing on the sexy stranger Abby saves from a snowy country road. Could Lander Reynolds be the Christmas treat she’s truly been longing for?

**

The premise alone would rate this high on my list because I’m a sucker for a stranded in a blizzard romance.  However the writing in this novella is terrific, along with the sizzling romance.  Both the hero, Lander, and the heroine, Abbey have had recent losses of close family.  It is not hard to believe that those loved ones arranged for these two to meet and fall in love.  A heartwarming story of love at Christmas.

Deet’s Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating:5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Sugar And Spice by Kimberly Kincaid:

When caterer Lily Callahan goes up against hotshot pastry chef Pete Mancuso in the bake-off of the season, the stakes are high – and scandalously passionate. Will the gorgeous gourmand steal Lily’s heart – and the top prize in the Christmas cookie competition?

**

You better have a glass of milk and a plate of cookies ready to eat when you read this story.  The cookies that these two bake will have your mouth watering.  The character development is really strong, the plot is delicious and the romance at first surprising then delightful.  I have not read this author before but I will seek out her books.  This story was also perfectly suited to the Christmas theme.

Deet’s Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

**sexy_santa_4-257x400

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Filed under Anthology, Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Food, Holiday, Novella, Romance

Some Entertaining Phrases in History

History

Awhile back a good friend sent me the following in one of those forwards that travel the internet.  I can’t verify the authenticity of the information but it all sounds truthful to me. But I just wanted you to know that I’m posting this as I received it and have not researched the purported facts. In fact it makes so much sense that I’m wondering where and how other phrases originated.

(I originally posted this on my blog on March 29, 2012 but it deserves repeating don’t you think?)

Interesting History

Where did “Piss Poor” come from?

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor.”

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot —

they “didn’t have a pot to piss in,” and were the lowest of the low.

Here are some facts about the 1500s:

 The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature

isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

 Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a “bouquet of flowers” to hide the body odor.  Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies, by then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.  Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.

It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.  When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.  Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.  Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.

That’s how “canopy beds” came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.  Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.”  The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance way. Hence: a “thresh hold.”

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.  Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.  Hence the rhyme:

“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.  When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.  It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.”  They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the fat.”

Those with money had plates made of pewter.  Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status.  Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the “upper crust.”

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey, the combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the

family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.

Hence the custom of “holding a wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.

So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (“the graveyard shift”) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell”, or was considered “a dead ringer.”

Now, whoever said History was boring!!!  If you have any “curious facts” post them in the comments.

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Filed under Fun, Historical Romance, History, Humor

Advance Review- When The Marquess Met His Match by Laura Lee Guhrke

Title:  When The Marquess Met His Match

When The Marquess Met His Match

Genre:  Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Laura Lee Guhrke

Publisher: Avon, Oct. 29, 2013

Source:  Free For Review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

She’s the matchmaker . . .

Lady Belinda Featherstone’s job is to guide American heiresses to matrimony, and away from men like Nicholas, Marquess of Trubridge. But the charming, disreputable marquess needs a wealthy bride, and he hires Belinda to help him find one. Her task seems easy: find that scoundrel the sort of wife he so richly deserves. But Nicholas’s hot, searing kiss soon proves her task will be anything but easy.

He’s the perfect match . . .

Nicholas plans to wed a rich, pretty young darling to restore his fortune, and he’s happy to pay a marriage broker to help him. But one taste of Belinda’s lips and Nicholas’ sensible scheme to marry for money goes awry, and he yearns to show his beautiful matchmaker he’s the perfect match . . . for her.

**

Nicholas has had his income cut off by his controlling father.  That is why he is desperate to marry a wealthy woman.  He has an estate to maintain and peers of the realm are not supposed to actually work for a living.  He also has a dissolute past and Belinda wants nothing to do with him, but when he accidentally meets her sweet, young wealthy friend who seems to find him fascinating….well, she must strike a bargain with the marquess.  She will help him find a wife, if he stays away from her friend.

This is another delightful romance from accomplished author Ms. Guhrke.  She has created a very proper, conservative heroine who maintains that personality throughout the book even when she finally succumbs to temptation.   The marquess is everything we want in a romance book hero, he’s handsome, intelligent, confident,  strong, has a bad boy past but is willing to reform all for a woman he loves….sigh.

This is a slow building romance with a bad man throwing obstacles in the way of true love and a heroine trying her best not to give into her desires. Delightful.

This book publishes on October 29th but is available for pre-order.

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10 Fridays Til Christmas E-Book Review-Mistletoe And Magic by Katie Rose

Title:  Mistletoe and Magic (Novella)

mistletoe and magic

Genre: Historical Victorian Romance

Author: Katie Rose

Publisher: Random House/Loveswept, Oct. 14, 2013

Kindle e-book  available $.99

Source:  free for review from the publisher

Rating:  3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from amazon.com:

set in Victorian New York City, a remarkable woman with the gift of second sight must learn to trust her visions while following her heart.
 
Blond, angelic Penelope Appleton possesses breathtaking looks—and a troublesome secret. She and her two charming—and newly married—sisters have inspired quite a following posing as spiritualists. However, unlike her clever sisters, Penelope actually does glimpse the future. On the eve of her coming out at a Christmas ball, Penelope sees a vision of a rakishly handsome dark-haired man who she knows is her destiny. But her premonition comes with a terrible price: She also foretells his death.

Jared Marton takes one look at Penelope and his fate is sealed. He must possess her, heart and soul, even if his efforts to get close to this ethereal beauty are thwarted by her determination to deny the magic between them . . . until a perfect kiss dissolves all barriers to sweet surrender. But when Jared discovers the burden she carries, a perfect love is challenged by the cold winds of fate.

**

Penelope does not want to give her heart to a man who she thinks will die soon.  Jared will do anything to win her love.  There are those who want to thwart the couple and those who work to see the match succeed.  Well written if a bit predictable and a twist ending that felt a little contrived.  This was still a lovely bit of Christmas romance with love at first sight.

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Coming next Friday: The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap

the sugar cookie sweetheart swap

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Filed under Book review, Books, E-Book, Historical Romance, Holiday, Novella

Advance Review- Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

Title:  Sense & Sensibility

Sense & Sensibility

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Author: Joanna Trollope

Publisher: Harper, Oct 29 2013 (available for pre-order)

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from amazon.com:

John Dashwood promised his dying father that he would take care of his half sisters. But his wife, Fanny, has no desire to share their newly inherited estate. When she descends upon Norland Park, the three Dashwood girls—Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret—are faced with the realities of a cold world and the cruelties of life without their father, their home, or their money.

With her sparkling wit, Joanna Trollope casts a clever, satirical eye on the tales of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood.

Reimagining Sense and Sensibility in a fresh, modern new light, she spins the novel’s romance, bonnets, and betrothals into a wonderfully witty coming-of-age story about the stuff that really makes the world go around. For when it comes to money, some things never change….

**

This is truly the same story that Jane Austen wrote in the early 1800’s.  The only difference is that we have fast-forwarded to the 21st century.  But as much as all things change going from horse drawn carriages to sports cars and iPhones, all things emotional really stay the same.  Joanna Trollope has brought the delight of Austen into our modern day and shown that true love still conquers all.  Anyone who has read the original or seen the movies will recognize the attention to plot detail.  Characters are well developed in the same personality pattern of Austen’s characters.  Austen aficionados should enjoy this translation from Regency to the Electronic age.

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Review- The Trouble With Being A Duke by Sophie Barnes

Title: The Trouble With Being A Duke: At the Kingsbourgh Ball

The Trouble With Being a Duke

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sophie Barnes

Publisher: Avon, Aug. 2013

Source: Free for Review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from amazon.com:

Sometimes happily ever after . . .

Anthony Hurst, Duke of Kingsborough, knows the time has come for him to produce an heir. But first he must find a bride. When he meets the most exquisite woman at his masquerade ball, he thinks his search is over . . . until the breathtaking beauty runs off. With few clues other than her figure, her scent, and the memory of her kiss, Anthony must find his mystery lady.

. . . needs a little bit of help.

Isabella Chilcott can scarcely believe it: she is finally at the Kingsborough Ball. As a child, she dreamed of dancing a waltz here, and now, thanks to a gorgeous gown she’s found in the attic, Isabella is living her fairytale fantasy. And she’s waltzing with the Duke of Kingsborough himself! But she must escape before he discovers her secrets . . . for she is not who she pretends to be, and falling in love with Prince Charming is the last thing she can allow herself to do . . .

**

Definitely based on the Cinderella story we find Anthony, Duke of Kingsborough falling in love at first sight at his sponsored ball with Isabella.  Isabella is masked and beats a hasty retreat while the Duke is otherwise occupied.  Isabella is falling for him too but her parents expect her to marry boring Mr. Roberts.

This is a sweet and delightful confection of a love story.  Anthony pursues relentlessly, far longer than anyone could reasonably expect.  Isabella continues her rejection of him far longer than she or we want.  The mystery of her gown is very predictable and perhaps a bit too obvious. The sex is steamy but not too over the top.  I recommend this to all Sophie Barnes fans and of course to all of us Historical Romance lovers.

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