Friday, June 28, 2013

Romance Novella: The True Story of Mattie Groves by Author: Barbara Samuel O'Neal

I was clueless as to a blogpost topic today until I hit facebook and saw this announcement from Barbara Samuel O'Neal:

"I'm so pleased to tell you that I've written a brand new romance for the first time in quite awhile. Check out novella, The True Story of Mattie Groves at @LunchHourLoveStories. When Rose arrives in Scotland to check out the claim that the bones of two people stabbed through the heart might be the lovers in an old ballad, she's shaken by her attraction to a brooding builder...who seems terribly familiar. Were they lovers in another life? Or did he kill her?" BSO on facebook

I'm going to buy it right now cause I don't think I can wait until lunchtime. It sounds way too intriguing.

Go here and you can click on places to buy it. It's only $1.99 and if I know Barbara it will be worth much more than that!

If you're not familiar with Lunch Hour Love Stories, I did a blogpost on the website. Check it out.

And now for the obligatory question:

What are you having for lunch today?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Romance Mystery Novel: Trouble In Mudbug by Author: Jana Deleon

Do you want your mother-in-law to haunt you?

That's what the witty, whimsical Jana Deleon created for her heroine, Maryse Robicheaux, in her Ghost-In-Law mystery series.

The first book, Trouble In Mudbug, is all about Maryse and the series of events that take place after the reading of her hated mother-in-laws will.

The book is littered with unexpected inheritance, uncovered truths, small-town, bayou culture, a light-hearted look at a compelling mystery, psychics and spies and a love story that has heartache and laughter along the way.

Maryse is a lovable, flawed character who gets herself into trouble and embarrassing situations with the help of her dead mother-in-law, Helena.

    "Helena rolled her eyes. “You weren’t interested in anything exclusive. You just wanted to get laid. You’re not even wearing underwear.”

     Maryse felt her blood boil. “I never wear underwear!” she shouted, at the exact same moment Christopher opened the car door.

     Maryse whipped around in her seat, trying not to groan. She could feel Christopher staring at her, but he didn’t move. Finally, he sank into the driver’s seat and started the car. As he pulled out of the parking lot, he leaned over and whispered, “Good to know.”      ---from Trouble In Mudbug by Jana Deleon

Luc LeJuene is undercover trying to determine if Maryse is the informant his office is looking for. He's a handsome ladies man who is used to women falling at his feet. Maryse is not his usual type but that doesn't seem to stop his lustful longings for her.

    “ He’d been with women who’d worn their stiletto heels to bed, and he had to admit, it was a huge turn-on. But on the occasion when his guard slipped and he allowed himself the luxury of that one-second vision of Maryse in his bed, damned if she wasn’t completely nude except for those rubber boots.
     He felt his pulse quicken every time that picture flashed through his mind and knew that he would have to be very careful with Maryse Robicheaux. Women who caused high blood pressure by wearing rubber boots were not to be taken lightly. If he made a genuine move in that direction, he knew there would be no going back. Maryse Robicheaux was no good-time girl or one-night stand. Maryse Robicheaux was the kind of woman who inspired men to make long-term plans.”  ---from Trouble In Mudbug by Jana DeLeon
Trouble In Mudbug is the first in the series. The next book, Mischief in Mudbug, which I haven’t read yet, centers around Maryse’s friend Sabine. Showdown in Mudbug is book three. Resurrection in Mudbug, which just came out 6/10/13, is book four.

Also available is: The Helena Diaries: Trouble in Mudbug (companion novella to Trouble in Mudbug).

I will be reading them all.

If you had to have a ghost companion, who would you want that ghost to be?


Friday, June 21, 2013

Mellow fog

Normally I work until 1am. Today, out of my normal routine I worked until 5am. I drove home just after the sun came up.

In the fog. I like fog.

It sparks my memories of good books.

I could be driving down the road and a viking could come breaking through the fog like all those vikings who traveled back and forth in time in Sandra Hill's viking books.

Geez I went looking for a Sandra Hill blogpost and I haven't done one yet. I need to remedy that. I loved all her books, vikings, cajuns, etc. I probably read them all before I started this blog. Ah well, soon...

What else could happen in fog?

I could find myself in an alternate universe like in Kristen Ashley's fantasy land books. Of course, her alternate universe is primitive and I'm not that kind of girl, but they had wonderful HEA's with virile, sexy men who adored them. Still, I don't know if I want to have them as reality or just read about them.

Dense patches of fog could be ghosts like the ones in Jayne Anne Krentz's ghost hunter series. Those ghosts were scary but I could totally deal with them if it got me a life in that world. I could have a dust bunny pet. I liked those men. And the women kicked-ass. I could live in a world where I kicked ghost ass alongside my badass ghost-hunting lover.

I could go on but you catch my drift.

I think this mellow mood I'm in is sponsored in part by the fact that the last song on my playlist I listen to while I'm riding the recumbent bike under the stimulights is Sheryl Crow's very mellow 'Drunk With the Thought of You'.

Here it is so you can be mellow too:

"Well, if love is a cocktail of all that you do
I get drunk with the thought of you."

Does early morning fog make you feel mellow?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Literary Novel: Ceremony by Author: Leslie Marmon Silko

Some years ago I stumbled upon the most amazing book. The name of the book was Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko.

Here's a paragraph about Ceremony taken from the wikipedia article on LMS:

The novel tells the story of Tayo, a veteran of Laguna and white ancestry returning from fighting against Japan in World War II. Upon returning to the poverty-stricken Laguna reservation after a stint at a Los Angeles VA hospital recovering from injuries sustained in World War II, Tayo continues to suffer from "battle fatigue" (shell-shock), and is haunted by memories of his cousin Rocky who died in the conflict during the Bataan Death March of 1942. Seeking an escape from his pain, Tayo initially takes refuge in alcoholism. However, with the support of Old Grandma, he is helped by ceremonies conducted by the mixed-blood Navajo shaman Betonie. As a result, Tayo comes to a greater understanding of the world and his own place within it as a Laguna man.
 One of the many reasons I found this book so amazing is that Leslie is a woman and main character Tayo is a male. A very troubled male. The book goes deeply into Tayo's head space and yet it felt entirely authentic.

Leslie has written many other books. My favorites are a novel; The Garden In the Dunes; and Delicacy and Strength of Lace which is the correspondence betweeen LMS and her friend James Wright.

While some of LMS's work is heavy reading, The Garden In the Dunes; and Delicacy and Strength of Lace are lighter yet no less genuine.

Ceremony is decidedly heavy. And at the same time hopeful. Time spent reading her work is time you will never regret..

In writing this blogpost I discovered she released a memoir which I have put on my list of books to buy as I find her fascinating.

This is what wikipedia says about The Turqoise Ledge: A Memoir

In 2010, Silko released The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir. Written using distinctive prose and overall structure influenced by Native American storytelling traditions, the book is a broad-ranging exploration not only of her Laguna Pueblo, Cherokee, Mexican and European family history but also of the natural world, suffering, insight, environmentalism and the sacred. The desert southwest setting is prominent. Although non-fiction, the stylized presentation is reminiscent of creative fiction.
I am eager to read what Leslie Marmon Silko has to say about her remarkable life.

 Born March 5, 1948.

Is there someone whose memoir you would like to read? 

Do you have a favorite memoir you have read already?

Tell us about them.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Alexander Henry and Kaffe Fassett

I'm going to have purses made. I say purses because you buy the first one with the handle which slides out. Then you buy other handle-less purses and use the handle for them.

So I'm looking for fabric.

Picture me rubbing my hands together with glee.

I thought I had settled on 2 fabrics by Alexander Henry that I found on the Hancocks of Paducah website.

Fabric one - Paris Love City (in charcoal)

Fabric two - Indochine Genmai Tea Cups (in Indigo)

Then on the Eclectic Gypsy blog she put up fabrics and a book by Kaffe Fassett. When I went to amazon to investigate the book, I found beautiful fabrics including this one - Millifiore Red

I don't really want a red purse but it comes in some other colors as well.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

If there is an alternate universe where I am doing something I love - I must be a fabric designer there. I'm not crazy about sewing. But I love fabric.

Do you love fabric?

Do you believe in alternate universes? If so, what is your otherworldly self doing?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Graphic Novel: A Wrinkle In Time adapted by: Hope Larson

Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Who

Does that ring a distant bell for you?

Picture it - 1962 -  Madeleine L'Engel's A WRINKLE IN TIME debuts.

Sigh. Good memory. Good book.

My granddaughter, Kat, had a similar experience recently.

She loves graphic novels so imagine my delight when the librarian suggested a graphic novel version of A Wrinkle In Time for her.

A WRINKLE IN TIME The Graphic Novel
Adapted and Illustrated By Hope Larson

Hope Larson is an award winning - comic and graphic novel artist-writer. 

A quote from Kat: "It's the kind of book where at first you're going - what in the heck is this about?"

But in the end she loved it, as did I. (And it's a whopping 3 x's on her summer reading program from the library.)

I read the graphic novel right after her.

It did not disappoint.

Imagine my delight when the next day a coworker who has made a lateral move in the company left a lovely hand made card on my desk telling me how much she missed me and included a sentiment with a saying that perfectly expresses one of the main themes from A Wrinkle In Time -

My coworker told me to keep being different because - Only Dead Fish Should Swim With the Flow.

Don't you love that thought?

Did you read A Wrinkle In Time?

Do you like graphic novels?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cary, Johnny and J3

I decided it was time to look at my blogpost stats.

It's always interesting to see what keywords people use to find me.

This time there was an inordinate number of Judy, Judy, Judy keyword searches.

In the section about me there's a paragraph on this. It's time to bring it out into the light of an actual blogpost.

 Did you know that Cary Grant never said "Judy, Judy, Judy" in a movie?

Johnny Carson did an impression of Cary Grant saying "Judy, Judy, Judy" and Cary Grant was thereafter harassed by people wanting him to say "Judy, Judy, Judy."

It will give you some insight into the murky waters of my brain when I tell you that little things like that fascinate me.

What fascinates you lately?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Gothic Romance Novel: Sommersgate House by Author: Kristen Ashley

I know. I know. Y’all are sick of hearing about KristenAshley. 

But listen up, I discovered a whole new nuance of her and it will be good even for those of you who don’t like gratuitous sex and excess cursing.

It’s not really a series. There are no reoccurring characters. On her website the books are listed under the titles heading in the category: Ghosts and Reincarnation.

There are 5 books. It doesn’t say if she plans anymore. I have read the first 3 and have the other 2 on my kindle app waiting. I will be reading number 4 probably starting tomorrow.

They have a modern gothic romance flavor to them. They don’t quite make the genre, though, because there are things missing. They have the alpha male. They don’t have the innocent female. They don’t have the kids at risk. They have the supernatural elements. So far, they have had houses and castles.

Yes, they are modern. These castles are in England and Scotland. Here is a quote from her website about the castles:

“An important FYI: Three books in my Ghosts and Reincarnation Series take place in my favorite National Trust properties. Penmort Castle is based on Dunster Castle. Sommersgate House takes place in a property based on Tyntesfield. And Lacybourne Manor in one based on Clevedon Court. If you ever have the opportunity, my strong recommendation is to see these beautiful properties and hopefully, one day, you can read these books that fictionally take place in them. To learn more about The National Trust, go to:

The books are full of funny situations and funny banter:

“Goodnight.” She turned to go but his voice calling her name stopped her. She turned back. “Yes?” she asked…
 “Last time you said goodnight to me in this room, it came with a kiss.”…
“I wasn’t annoyed with you last time,” she informed him haughtily….
“I’ll bear that in mind the next time we have a late evening conversation,” he replied, then he picked up the phone and she felt her best bet at that point was to flee the room. Which was exactly what she did. ------------------Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley

Crazy characters:

“Yes, baby, it’s your mother. Your sister phoned and told me you had a sure thing so I had to call.”
Sibyl dropped her forehead into her hand, rested her elbow on her thigh and closed her eyes in despair.
Her bloody, bloody sister.
Her bloody, bloody mother.
Who else on earth had two relatives that were so interested in their daughter/sibling’s sex life?...
“It’s midnight, baby, and I’m about to go out and commune with nature,” her mother answered. “I thought I’d give you a buzz before I draw down the moon to see how your night went but I guess I don’t have to ask.”
“Mom –”
“Is he cute?”
“Mom –”
“Did you have an orgasm?”
“What? Oh, yes, you probably can’t talk now, since he’s there. And if I take up your time, you might miss a morning quickie.” -----------------------Lacybourne Manor by Kristen Ashley

Viscous ghosts:

Vivianna came tearing toward them again. And she again slammed into the circle, more blazing lights burst and she sailed back.
They watched, everyone inching slightly nearer to the circle as she did this again. And again. And again.
Then she stopped, suspended in the air in the middle of the circle. Eyes on Cash then on Abby, she opened her mouth and screamed. This scream was different, still eerie but filled with frustration.
 “That’s it, wee ghosty. Scream all you want. We’ve got you now,” Angus’s voice came from a now visible body. He was standing at the edge of the circle, in full kilt, hands on hips, grinning like the lunatic he was at Vivianna. -----------------------------Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley

There’s reincarnation, legends, ghosts, modern day flawed, lovable characters all weaved through captivating stories in appealing, out-of-the-ordinary settings.

There are some f-bombs dropped but no c or p bombs and not nearly as much cursing as the rest of her books. There is detailed sex but not as graphic, not as much, and appropriate within context.

There are the required HEA’s and as usual for KA – lots of little chapters towards the ends that are almost postscripts and sometimes epilogues about the characters, ghosts, and creatures in the books.

I’ve read Sommersgate House, Lacybourne Manor and Penmort Castle. I’m off to gobble up Fairytale Come Alive and Lucky Stars.

I’m glad Kristen Ashley is so prolific because I love everything she writes.

Speaking of prolific – if you read Motorcyle Man from the Dream Man series or started the Chaos series with Own The Wind – book 2 of the Chaos series is out today – Fire Inside - $3.79 on amazon for Kindle.

Have you checked out Kristen Ashley yet? If so, what did you think?