That sound you hear...
8.30.2006 me!

Guess what found its way into my cart at my Wal*mart this afternoon???

Bwhahahahahahaha!!!! My reading is set for the weekend!

Oh, I'm on the road this weekend - off into dial-up land - so I won't be online much. Anyone who has a long weekend this weekend (like me) Happy Labor Day!!!

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posted by C2 at 7:34 PM | Permalink | 4 comments
...there isn't enough fluffy, cuddly, fuzziness in the world (and because I'm too lazy to blog about anything), I give you Cute Overload!!

Go forth and enjoy the snugglage!


posted by C2 at 10:52 PM | Permalink | 6 comments
Another contest - yippee!!

Playing With Fire by Gena Showalter

Earth, Wind and Fire aren’t just a band anymore…

Used to be my greatest achievement was holding a job more than three days. Now suddenly I can shoot fireballs, chill your drink, or blow-dry your hair at fifty paces with a blink of my eye!

It all started when this crazy scientist dropped something in my grande mocha latte. Of course I got wicked sick. Next morning I’m waking up with this total hottie bending over me. He tells me 1) his name’s Rome Masters, 2) he’s a government agent and 3) I can control the four elements with a thought.

He seems even less pleased by my (apparently irreversible) transformation that I am. . . because now he’s supposed to kill me. The only good news: I didn’t make this bed of trouble, but Rome sure seems to want me to lie in it. With him.

Read an excerpt

Order your copy from Barnes and Noble or Amazon or Books A Million

And if you’d like a chance to win signed copies of *all* Gena Showalter’s books, all you have to do is post this entry, too. Post the cover, the blurb, the links, and this contest announcement, then head over to Gena’s blog ( ) and let her know you posted the material. A name will be randomly selected on September 3rd from those who do!!

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posted by C2 at 6:56 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
I'll play too -
...AAR's Top 100:

BOLD - I've read it
BLUE - in the TBR
everything else - nope

1. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
2. Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale
3. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
4. As You Desire by Connie Brockway
5. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
6. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
8. Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
9. All Through the Night by Connie Brockway

10. Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
11. It Had to be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
12. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh
13. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
14. The Proposition by Judith Ivory
15. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

16. Ravished by Amanda Quick
17. Frederica by Georgette Heyer
18. Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly
19. MacKenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard
20. Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard
21. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

22. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - I've seen the mini-series, does that count??
23. The Bride by Julie Garwood
24. Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens

25. To Have and to Hold by Patricia Gaffney
26. Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
27. Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth
28. Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann
29. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
30. Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
31. My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway

32. In the Midnight Rain by Barbara Samuel
33. The Windflower by Laura London
34. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
35. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
36. Nobody's Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
37. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

38. Paradise by Judith McNaught
39. The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
40. Dream Man by Linda Howard
41. Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann
42. Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo Putney
43. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson
44. Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney
45. Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney
46. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
47. Heart Throb by Suzanne Brockmann

48. For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale
49. Honor's Splendor by Julie Garwood
50. Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh
51. Untie my Heart by Judith Ivory
52. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
53. The Secret by Julie Garwood
54. This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland

55. Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
56. One Perfect Rose by Mary Jo Putney
57. To Love and to Cherish by Patricia Gaffney
58. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
59. Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
60. Venetia by Georgette Heyer
61. Daughter of the Game by Tracy Grant
62. The Prize by Julie Garwood
63. Reforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla Kelly
64. Prince Joe by Suzanne Brockmann
65. The Notorious Rake by Mary Balogh
66. Heartless by Mary Balogh
67. Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
68. Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory
69. Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas

70. The Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer
71. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
72. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegar
73. With This Ring by Carla Kelly
74. The Lion's Lady by Julie Garwood
75. The Rake by Mary Jo Putney

76. Fallen from Grace by Laura Leone
77. Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath
78. Castles by Julie Garwood
79. One Good Turn by Carla Kelly
80. Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts
81. By Arrangement by Madeline Hunter
82. Perfect by Judith McNaught
83. My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth
84. The Defiant Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
85. The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann

86. Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke
87. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
88. Kill and Tell by Linda Howard
89. After the Night by Linda Howard

90. More than a Mistress by Mary Balogh
91. Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
92. Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase
93. The Charm School by Susan Wiggs

94. Scoundrel by Elizabeth Elliott
95. How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn
96. Angel Rogue by Mary Jo Putney
97. Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz
98. Dancing on the Wind by Mary Jo Putney
99. Once and Always by Judith McNaught
100. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

If I counted correctly, I've read 64 of the top 100 - yikes! Go me!!

Also, because Kristie did it, I will too:

My top 25 with only one book allowed per author (in alphabetical order):

1. Kiss and Tell by Cherry Adair
2. Bewitching by Jill Barnett
3. Devilish by Jo Beverely
4. Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann
5. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
6. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
7. The Windflower by Sharon and Tom Curtis
8. The Morning Side of Dawn by Justine Davis
9. A Well Favored Gentleman by Christina Dodd
10. Princess by Gaelen Foley
11. True Confessions by Rachel Gibson
12. After the Night by Linda Howard
13. The Proposition by Judith Ivory
14. Mine to Take by Dara Joy
15. Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon
16. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
17. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
18. Stardust of Yesterday by Lynn Kurland
19. Born in Sin by Kinley MacGregor (hey, if she can write under two names, I can pick two books)
20. Breath of Magic by Teresa Medeiros
21. The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
22. Heart Thief by Robin D. Owens
23. Heaven Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
24. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (it was this or The Duke and I but I LOVE Colin!)
25. Dark Lover by JR Ward

Anybody else wanna play??

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posted by C2 at 6:11 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Big happy sigh...
8.21.2006 there anything better than finishing a long-awaited book and being completely happy with the way it turned out?

I finished reading Into the Storm over the weekend and so enjoyed it! I won't try to review it for you...there are many others around the web that do a much better job than I ever would (plus writing a review seems a bit too much like writing a book report). Besides, I'm lazy!

Instead I will offer a few thoughts about the latest installment of Suz's Troubleshooters series:

> It was great to see so many old friends around! I think she handled the glimpses of previous lead characters very well. Readers always ask her what's going on with the other characters and this time she let us see.

> I thought Mark and Lindsey were a good match - in stature and in attitude.

> I am now completely intrigued by Izzy! I had never given him much thought...just, you know, "oh, that's an unusual name for somebody nowadays", etc. Who knew he would be so entertaining?! What an internal (and external) monologue he has!

> Was this book more gruesome than usual?? Yikes!

> I love the interactions between all the SEALs! You can tell Suz spends a good bit of time with some very silly men. :o)

> It's always fun to look for hints on whose story might be next (except those of us who lurk on Suz's bb already know) or not too far off in the future.

> There's never just one good story line - I loved seeing the whole Dave/Sophia/Decker thing unfold.

> No World War II sub-plot! The only one I really enjoyed was the one in Hot Target and I think that's only because it was handled differently (movie plot!!).

> We got a glimpse of Jules!

And speaking of Jules - thoughts on the short story at the end of ITS:

> I loved seeing Sam - even in such a difficult, sad situation. LOL

> I'm glad Alyssa has loosened up about their relationship

> JULES! He breaks my heart! I don't think I could ever explain how much I love this character! And there are bad times ahead for our boy (scroll down a bit for a conversation between him and Suz)...he has to suffer for his HEA, just like everyone in the Suziverse. The only reason I think I can stand it is because I know Suz loves him more than I do and will make sure he gets all the happiness he deserves.

> And foreshadowing much about Robin??? (Okay, maybe I'm just projecting how I want things to go...SO?!)

So, gentle readers, do you have a supporting character that you LOVE and so want to have his/her own story?

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posted by C2 at 6:51 PM | Permalink | 2 comments
Hey, cool! An experiment AND a contest...two of my favorite things!
This was already on my TBB list so I'm glad to share the info!


Nalini Singh

Berkley / September 2006

Slave to Sensation

Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.

Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.

Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.


I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.

  • $200 Amazon gift certificate

  • Signed copy of Slave to Sensation

  • New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh

  • ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game

You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.

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posted by C2 at 1:53 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
While I'm off reading...

...Into the Storm, I thought I would leave you with some eye candy for your enjoyment. :o)

O Captain, my Captain!

Travis (yeah, he isn't in his undies in this one...but I like it)!!

Of course, if you'd rather see his whole face, who am I to argue?

See you after I finish reading Jenk's story!

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posted by C2 at 9:55 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Pardon me while I play...
8.14.2006 I was reading the Tech Space blog at USA Today (an excellent blog, by the way) and saw a bit about SnipShot. I decided I should experiment and see how it goes.

So here is a picture BEFORE:

And here is the picture after I resized it with SnipShot:

Yay!! I've been looking and looking for an easy way to do this! Wanna see it again?? This time with something I'm so looking forward to - and it's coming to a store near you tomorrow (and mine better be in my mailbox - do you hear me B&N????):



Sure, making it bigger made it lose some detail but it was low-res to start with.

A new toy!! Yippee!!

And in other Suz related news - in the Into the Storm countdown today, Suz dropped some hints about Jules' book! I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait!! Who is Jules?? Read the Troubleshooters series and you'll see. :o)

Sorry. Where was I?? Oh yeah, a question for you, gentle readers - is there a recurring character that you just LOVE and can't wait until he or she gets her own story??

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posted by C2 at 7:10 PM | Permalink | 9 comments
James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser
Ha! That got your attention, didn't it??

I've noticed some chatter (mostly in the latest meme floating around) in the blog-o-sphere about the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. It seems that lots of people have heard of it but have put off reading it (perhaps due to the sheer size of the books) or have heard of it and have no interest in reading it. There are also those that have read the series many times and revere it to a disturbing degree. :o)

I thought I would offer my two cents to those who have the books (or at least Outlander) in their TBR piles.

I have read the first five books - Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn and The Fiery Cross - and have the A Breath of Snow and Ashes in my TBR. Yeah,yeah...I'll get to it. :o) So, see, I understand about the intimidation factor when dealing with these books. I look at ABOSAA every so often and consider reading it but so far it is too much for me to take on (please no SPOILERS - for any of the series -in any comments!!).

You know what the main appeal is? My title for this blog might be a clue. :o) JAMIE!!

You'll probably hear people talking about the attention to detail and the tons of research that obviously go into the books, the characterizations, the plotting...yada, yada. You know what hooks people in and makes them stick with series?? Our hero - James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. Jamie is the lynchpin for the books. He is, simply stated, the most perfect romantic hero ever. (And I'm not even one of the scary, reverent fans!) Just look at the polls for favorite hero - he's always number one!

*Some brief examples of Jamie's wonderfulness:

From Outlander -
"I'm sorry," Jamie said. "I dinna mean to wake ye, lass."
"What are you doing? Why are you awake?" I squinted over my shoulder at him. It was still dark, but my eyes were so accustomed that I could see the faintly sheepish expression on his face. He was wide awake, sitting on a stool by the side of the bed, his plaid flung around him for warmth.
"It's only....well, I dreamed you were lost, and I couldna find ye. It woke me, and....I wanted to look at ye, is all. To fix ye in my mind, to remember while I'm gone. I turned back the quilt; I'm sorry you were chilled."

Chapter 24: By the Pricking of My Thumbs - Page 513

And in case you think he's a bit sappy:
"Looks as though it was a hard ride, Sassenach," he said, lightly touching a blue bruise on my inner thigh. "A bit saddle-sore, are ye?"
I narrowed my eyes and traced a deep bite-mark on his shoulder with my finger.
"You look a bit ragged around the edges yourself, my lad."
"Ah,weel," he said in broad Scots, "if ye bed wi' a vixen, ye must expect to get bit." He reached up and grasped me behind the neck, pulling me down to him. "Come here to me, vixen. Bite me some more."

Chapter 23: Return to Leoch - Pages 438-439

From Dragonfly in Amber (my least favorite of the books, actually but, oh, this quote sigh)-
"Well, I'll tell ye, Sassenach, 'graceful' is possibly not the first word that springs to mind at thought of you." He slipped an arm behind me, one hand large and warm around my silk-clad shoulder.
"But I talk to you as I talk to my own soul," he said, turning me to face him. He reached up and cupped my cheek, fingers light on my temple.
"And, Sassenach," he whispered, "your face is my heart."

Chapter 11: Useful Occupations - Page 205

And, finally, from Drums of Autumn (just so you know what we're dealing with) -
I glanced at the slightly bulging front of his breeches, and then up at him. Broad-shouldered and tall, with bold, clean features and a Highlander's proud carriage, he drew the glance of every woman he passed, even with his bright hair covered by a sober blue tricorne. The breeches, which were borrowed, were substantially too tight, and did nothing whatever to detract from the effect---an effect enhanced by the fact that he himself was totally ignorant of it.
"You're a walking inducement to harlots," I said. "Stick by me; I'll protect you."

Chapter 1: A Hanging in Eden - Page 9
*Copyright by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.

Yes, it is certainly not light reading - literally or figuratively. Yes, it is written in first person (mostly) and some people don't like that. Yes, there are paranormal elements (not many, really). So, should you tackle it?? Well, to those of you who are on the fence, I say "Try it! You may like it, Mikey!" Start small (-ish) Outlander (and give it a good 50 pages or so before giving up, I'll admit it starts off a bit slow). That way you can judge for yourself whether it is or is not a romance (my opinion?? YUP!) and whether or not you're willing to continue through the rest of the series.

What do you think??

For more info on all things Outlandish visit the Ladies of Lallybroch.

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posted by C2 at 8:37 PM | Permalink | 15 comments
Impulse purchases...part 2
So, I finished The Return of the Highlander. I'm not sure how to describe it. The premise was interesting (the chance to right a great wrong, remember), the characters weren't cardboard, the plot wasn't too involved or too boring or too stupid...but will I read the next book in the series?? Eh. Maybe. If I find it at the UBS.

I should have liked the book more than I did. I mean, it is so the type of thing I normally like was just okay. I kept wanting to pick up something else but I made myself stick with it. I think my main problem was with the pacing. At least, I'm going to blame the pacing. Things just seemed to move too slowly or drag or something. If anyone else tries this book, I'll be interested to hear what you think.

Up next, Susan Grant's Your Planet or Mine? - I'm about halfway through and enjoying it. :o)

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posted by C2 at 1:23 PM | Permalink | 4 comments
Word of the day...
...from, today's word is:

concatenation - \kon-kat-uh-NAY-shuhn; kuhn-\, noun:
A series of links united; a series or order of things depending on each other, as if linked together; a chain, a succession.

So I, of course, started thinking about book series. :o)

Some of my favorites series:

Lynn Kurland's de Piaget series
Jo Beverley's Malloren series
J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series
J.D. Robb's In Death series
Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series
    By the way, Into the Storm is out week after next (the 15th)!! Woo hoo!!

Of course there are tons more that I enjoy - Julie Q's Bridgertons, Lisa K's Wallflowers, Sherri's Dark-Hunters and a zillion more. :o)

What are some of your faves?? Any hidden gems that need some good words scattered around the Blog-o-sphere?

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posted by C2 at 5:38 PM | Permalink | 8 comments