Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nalini Day 2!

Day two of myNalini Singh books mini blurbs. More gushing and personal enjoyment. I seriously love this series a lot. Am I glad that they've all been brought onto the DIK Island. Great minds, I tell ya, great minds. The Book Smugglers were having an awesome Nalini Singh Spotlight.
Go! They're awesome!

Caressed by Ice
Do one thing before diving into any of Ms. Nalini’s book, always read the Prologue. They always mean something.
Here, we move into the Wolves territories (my favorite!!! What? I’m a dog person ^_^). Brenna was the changeling kidnapped during Slave to Sensation and she’s matched with Judd, one of the Arrows (okay, I do chuckle every time I read this, but it’s cute).

Brenna was captured by a psychopath and survived- that says it all. She’s dealing with what she could (such a strong character) and her attraction to the man of Ice, Judd Lauren, was just too adorable. One thing about their relationship that I felt was driven more so than the others; Brenna and Judd really needed each other to survive. All of the couples did in their own way(Sascha’s shield breaking/Lucas’ extreme need to protect, Vaughn’s own past/Faith’s fear of the future-not going to talk about the other three books *cheeky grin*), but Brenna and Judd was a bit more extreme. Brenna’s was partially her own strong will in pulling herself out of what Enrique did. Judd was his training (and the whole situation with Silent made a lot more sense) actually killing him.

Of course, how can we not appreciate the Ghost. Heh.

There were parts in the book where I’d giggle to myself, but the explanations of the Psy world turned into greater development that sucked me right in. More characters were added (some more so than others) and previous characters made great appearances without being cluttery. I’m so glad we’re able to learn more and more about both about different Changeling societies (goodness knows we love Snow Leopards, but I do want to see more…lots more…lots) and the Psy society.

Once again, the worlds were realistic and even the small characters have their own layers.
I love Brenna. I love the wolves and I love the Lauren family. Have I mentioned I love Sienna and Indigo? I don’t know what it is about Ms. Nalini’s work, but the women in there are just so awesome. If I had read these when I was younger, maybe I would have turned out better with these sort of role models.

Of course, then I’d have unrealistic expectations of men, but I call these books hope. I have hope for them yet. *stares at the book dreamily*

Mine to Possess
This was an incredibly book and I loved it, but Mine to Possess is one of my lesser favorites of Ms. Nalini’s book. Still wonderfully rich and detailed, I sometimes felt the information overloaded my wee brain just a bit. Not that it mattered.
In truth, I only read this book twice. Once the first time and the second time to do this mini review. Let me repeat, it is a great book. I must insist for everyone to read this because it is an incredibly good book, but that being said -even before I picked it up I already suspected the intricacies of the two main character backgrounds (this is what happens when a little girl does nothing but think and speculate over and over and over…and over…and over…again of all the possibilities-I do not recommend thinking that much). Tally was sweet and wonderful and I can fully understand and relate a lot of the reasons behind her behaviors. It just wasn’t much of a surprise given the subject. This is an insanely hard subject to write about, especially to write it well and with great justice. It’s just years of studying and being around the situation does not make picking up the book any easier. BUT, I believed in Ms. Nalini’s writing and I am glad I didn’t skim or skip out.

Clay and Tally were down to earth and understandable. Both irritated me, made me cry, and made me laugh. It’s a great book dealing with different issues and all were portrayed and written extremely well. Of course, seeing humans and the various…er…possibilities made the series much more interesting.

One thing that did kind of made the novel a bit slower read was the jumping between the multiple situations. So many things were occurring at the same time that it was a little hard to follow where I couldn’t really pause through the book. Not that I should stop, but reading during working nights…eh… worth it though.
...onto Tomorrow! :D

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nalini Weekend!!!

Remember I said I had a surprise in store?
Welcome to my Nalini Singh spotlight special!!!
Right before the *exclusive *grand interview from the DIKLadies coming soon!


Well, it was supposed to be a “Nalini Singh Week,” but my writing has digressed so badly I couldn’t write. I tried really hard to write reviews. I really did, but I’ll admit it now, I’m horrible at it. There are already tons of great reviews out there so I’m going to focus on personal thoughts of why I enjoyed or didn’t enjoy the book (pshaw, like the latter actually happened). Yes, it’s lame, but too bad. This blog is copyrighted to me, so Ha! ;) *kisses*
I’m not going to go into too much background. Let’s be honest, there are a lot of better reviews out there from years gone past. I’m mostly here for celebration of all that is Nalini Singh. Well, focus on the Psy/Changeling world at least.

~~~~~~
Slave to Sensation
This was the book that started it all and after all this time, should I pick up the book, it’s near impossible to put down.I’ll admit. I didn’t get this book when it first came out. Oh no, no no. I saw it and put it on my to-buy list. I waited and waited. It’s going to be a series and if I’ve learned anything, it was to not consume and drive myself insane. Then I waited some more and I waited. And I caved and bought it along with the coming of the third book. Even glancing at it I knew this book was a keeper. I didn’t know HOW great it was until I dived in and never came back up.
Aside from the very inventive and completely creative world these characters lived in, the character themselves were beyond awesome.
If I must pick one thing out of Ms. Nalini Singh’s novels that I love and would hope all writers somehow glean, are the heroines. Strong, independent, feminine and real. Sascha Duncan fits that like – I quote from my little cousin, “a fat kid in spandex.”
Sascha doesn’t come from a perfect home. She’s not the typical overly gushy-loving tender-hearted type (note the “overly”) martyr. Sascha has a temper and she shows it without being too much of an irrationally stubborn self-righteous @$$. Instead, she occupies the spot of being realistically perfect. Heh. Oxymoron anyone? But no, it's true. She's perfect in a real way.
Lucas Hunter…ah, Lucas Lucas Lucas. I would not mind if men like him were real. Far from perfect with his own tragedies, but not held down by them. Nothing irritates me more than an overly tortured unchanging stubborn (to stupidity) male. He’s just so perfect. Protective, compassionate, with a sense of humor (super important even in the darkest series I read), Lucas and Sascha together makes me so happy.

And the next book!

Vision of Heat
Vaughn D’Angelo- the Jaguar sentinel of the DarkRiver pack. He’s rough and tough and completely sweet. Faith NightStar, an incredible F-Psy, seemingly fragile, but completely kickass in her own way. This couple seems like a bit of an odd mix on the surface, but completely perfect together. Throwing in a bit more changes and turns, increase in the character count and makes the story all that more intense. Hot couple (well, they all are).

I loved the development of these characters- they really change in a realistic manner. Faith gave such a true reasoning as to why she wanted to stay it really made me love this series more. Vaughn’s decisions just made this tough guy turn into little baby where you want to cuddle him. Heh. The characters never had that one moment of change where thereafter they become a completely different person.
Vision of Heat really was a hot read, although not as well read at the others, it definitely jumped started the larger story arc (IMO). A deeper look into the Psy world and of course, the two lead characters were the ideal “opposites attract.” :D
~~~~~
Yeah yea, this was a short one. Trust me, most of my reviews are short because aside from constant gushing of fawning love and clutching the books to my tiny bosom, I don’t have much else to say except I love them.

Until tomorrow!!! You know where this is headed right? ;)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Real Men Love Animals

I saw these pictures and I had to read the articles. Real compassion shows and you don't have to look it to be it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Innocent Men, Experienced women

Is it wrong to be rather interested in hot virgin men? They're pretty much an extinct breed, but hey, a girl can dream.

Lately, I've noticed an increase with more experience women in books and all I can say is "finally and thank goodness!!!"

Within the romance genre, it is very often that when the H/H finally get to do the body squelchie, it's the first time the woman has ever experienced some mind boggling, out of body orgasm thus nailing (pun intended) the hero (total pun) as the one. And what's most annoying? They get an orgasm on their first try...especially the virgin heroine. Is that realistic? Seriously? All that throbbing and shattering from those hard thrusting and filling with the usually enormous girth of our well endowed hero.

Huh.

Anyhoo~~~

Inexperienced and virgin heroes have suddenly filled my bookshelves (okay, I only have like three). Those overly virile males oozing their smexiness. And so untouched! Be still my *pause*...heart. *ahem*

In truth, I'm not a big fan of overly experienced characters. The pragmatic part of me just cannot turn off that little voice inside my head about disease ridden dangly male parts. No matter how safe, the constant plowing just does not bode well for the eventual heroine. How can I believe a character being sexually indiscriminate, an act that brings two (or three) individuals to extremely close proximity, to be some incredibly smart and discerning person? Eh...

For the women. I usually like the characters to be much stronger and self sufficient. Nothing annoys more than a woman waiting to be rescued or someone dependent on a man. Even in fiction. The heroine knows what she wants and goes after it. Understands her body and sexuality. Yes, it should be making love-the physical example of the closeness between our lead couple. A physical manifestation of their love and compatibility. Especially if the heroine has a better understand of herself and not expect the hero to "read" her moans, groans and little mewing sounds. Heh. I'm happy with virgin females, yes, but please, let her at least enjoy herself once in a while to have a better understanding. And, ya know, enjoyment.

I really prefer the characters to be equals. Even sexually. Sure, have one or two experiences. Three or four. Have normal relationships that doesn't work out. Have no relationships at all. But please, why does heroes tend to have only no-strings-attached physical relations? All the time. Once in a while? Sure. Go for it. But strings of unattached sex for years and years? Uh...a) self control anyone? b) self punishment? and c) really really bored? Or heroines whom only had bad sexual experiences. Or just the one and never again. Is this interesting to read?

Is it really important to go to extremities? Over doing it (no pun intended this time) in either case for both the hero and heroine kind of takes the tension and tenderness out of the union for me.

For me, the recent changes are a great change of pace and revealing the growth of the romance novel industry. I'm enjoying it quite a lot, but these type of stories are still darn rare. How many virgin heroes can you name?

Just a bit of random thoughts over recent reads. I'm having a little something brewing in the upcoming week. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

error in connection

It was a beautiful sunny day, with just a touch of chilly breeze. The day was going well and I had a chance to swing by for some much needed skincare...on sale.

So, I run along home (to the library) and try to log on. Error in connection. Very well. I fix a little song and sing to my little laptop. It works! Horray! I click a few clicks to log onto a chat and wooo, error.

Error. More errors.

It was Marjorie M. Liu's chat today!

Error in connection. Try again later.

Freakin pieces of stinky cheese on a stick!!!

I run along home, praying that it'll be vacant enough for me to enjoy the net. Woolala, the internet works wonders.

Error connecting to server.

What the heck?!?!!! I just wanted to go to an internet enclave full of faceless individuals discussing the deliciously goodies of book happiness!

After the week I've been having (okay, it really wasn't that bad...just creepy), I deserve my bits o' happiness.

Alas, not for little me.

Fine, I'll just go eat some chocolate by myself, hug my dog, put on some skincare then fall into dreamland.

Hugs and Kisses all!
Miss ya!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nancy Drew Cometh

It's that week we've all been looking for!

For this entire week the wonderful CJ will be hosting fun tibits, essays, and surprise interviews. All for the collective stories about a young woman, smart and sassy, solving crime and entertaining us in our impressionable childhood/youth.

Nancy Drew week has begun over at The Thrillionth page!!!

Go visit!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Summer Weekends

I'm going to be on and off the net these days. Started my new job and I'm so exhausted. It's a good thing. :D Tons of new stuff to learn and I'm looking forward to every day. Just worried about taking things too personally when I know I'll be getting yelled in the future. Must learn. >_< In the meantime, I'll be studying for work as well as look for a car, a place to live, and a phone with internet connections. The new place has a lot of sites blocked off.

It's been a week and I still miss the RWA friends and festivities already. Need to figure out how to request next year off. Probably wait until I've worked there a while (half a year or so) before I attempt. LOL. Nowadays, I spend most of my free time by myself. Not many people to hang out with, but am slowly getting my friends addicted to romance novels. Hehehehehe.

A few of the gay romances are actually pretty good and I'm going give a few of the good ones to my gay friend. I think he'll actually like them. Good writing transcends everything.

Another friend is slowly getting tempted by my constant talk of romance novels so she's going to give a few a try. Except, she's hardcore romance comedy fan so I have to find some great ones.

Aside from that, I'm going shopping (even though I really should be saving the money) for some shoes, new clothes and books. I'm actually running through my RWA books rather quickly. Scary. Now I just need to buy books to fill in the different series. Although, if I had more willpower, I'd wait until next year, but who am I kidding.

Missing all of you very much and don't worry too much if I'm lurking more than I'm commenting or posting. I'm alive, just very tired.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

RWA 2008 reflection

I cannot believe RWA is over. While sitting on the return train of the North California BART, the melancholy grew. No longer will I be surrounded by fellow romance readers, in a 30-some story hotel overflowing with books, and late nights of freedom and individual choice.

Recaps:

Thursday
First Keynote luncheon. The food was wonderful and the keynote speaker was Victoria Alexander. She was hilarious. I've begun reading her books. Hehehe. It was an enriching speech that made you really think twice about sneaking out of the lunch. For fear of being recognized and publicly asked as to why one as such as myself would try to sneak out. Yes, Victoria Alexander was hilarious and gave a great breakdown of the various romance genres via "what would happen should [Victoria] be hit by a trolley while walking out of [the Marriott]..." so we should all try our best in life and write. Sorta. I'm basing this on memory and it's not that good.
Seriously, the past few days have been merged into a huge bundle of happy memories with no division of days or nights. Just happiness.

Friday
Book day! I went to the Avon, a bit of Grand Central, and the end of Harlequin book signings. So many books. I'm so happy and have already read a few.

The Luncheon speaker was Connie Brockway. I found her speech to be incredibly moving. It was encouraging and realistic. Preparing writers and giving us a glimpse at the hardships and diversity of the writing experience. Katiebabs and I also sat next to Meredith Duran. We all laughed, joked, and stole some chocolate dessert. Or, I did. Hehehe.

Later that evening, many of us went to the Harlequin party. It was fun, but I'm not used to going to parties for one and was already extremely exhausted to fully enjoy myself.

I did crash at Katiebabs, Kristiej, Wendy and Rosie's room. Heh.

Now, author photos. Feel free to name the one's I asked. :D Hehehe. Also, an incredible thing (IMO). I met Christine Feehan at least 3 years ago and while she was sitting next to Marjorie M. Liu, I smiled at Christine and made some random comment about myself and she said she remembers me (I think I was more than shocked)! And Marjorie said I was so adorable/cute that no one could forget me! I'm flattered and worried, not that I worry whether or not it's true (cuz a compliment is a compliment, no complaining hehehe), but more in the sense...do people remember me more often than I do others? Am I that forgetful? Should I eat more fish?!?!! ;)


Now, to the authors! (No, I'm not linking all of them, not because I don't love them. I'll be doing individual review post = links, in the future. I'm just tired and lazy...and hot, horray to SoCal weather!)
It's Robin D Owen! Can you believe it? I accidentally knocked over her water bottle and she just hugged me and told me not to worry. Did I mention how loved I felt at RWA? Everywhere I go.
I had tears in my eyes and was physically trembling with joy when I met Lisa Kleypas. If a trolley had hit me on the way out, I would have floated away with happiness. If I can meet any author before I die, it would be Lisa Kleypas. And I've met her. I could cry just thinking about it. Am I stalkerish? No, just really moved by her writings.
Thus, my top 3 ever.
Marjorie M. Liu was one of my major 3 authors I really wanted to meet. She's awesome. Beautiful, sweet, (incredibly smart) and let me babble with her. Heart her.
Nalini Singh was so nice. She recognized me. Me! A completely random little girl who then rambled forever about how much I love her books and contents within her books that she already knew. Also one of my 3.
These three ladies made my day: every day! Love them. See how tense I was just thinking I could be with all three at the same time?
The table was also in my way so I could hug all three at the same time. Darn table. Meredith Duran. Love her. End of story.
Love her. Also love Ciaralira, sorry about the bad photo.

She let me go into the back!!! I am half in love with Kalen Hughes. She's hilarious and so wonderfully outspoken.
If you don't know her, the you haven't been on Katiebabs and Kristiej's blog.

I'm so happy I saw her. Know who she is?
Can you guess who she is?
I love her hair. And I'm covering her batman pin, darn! Batman forever!
Julia Quinn! So happy to be able to see her again.
Two authors! Together! I read them both, ya know.
Was I seriously glowing in these pictures or what. :) Absolutely glowing.

My plane landed late Saturday night and I am still physically suffering for the wonderful time at San Francisco. I really didn't want to leave, but alas, real life still intrudes.

Kate and I on Monday before the event. Now, some group pictures. A very dark photo of first blogger dinner.

















Random action photos of more bloggers.













Final Thoughts.
I will definitely be doing this again and cannot wait for next year where more people will come, like Christine, Sarai, and Thea. Maybe even Ana. Ciaralira was the sweetest, I must visit her someday-not just because of the author she and I mutually loves. Kristiej was so quiet and motherly. I'll visit one day, but moving might not happen. Too much of a career girl I am. ;) Rosie and Wendy, oh these two ladies, I look forward to seeing the often in the future. Especially finding ways to annoy Wendy through inter library messages. Hehehe. As for Rosie, she's so wonderful and puts things into perspective. All of you have helped me out so much.

After Tracy left, I looking for her red hair. When Sula left, every person with curly back hair made me thought she was back. Seriously, every person. Do you know how many people there had curly black hair? A lot. Lisabea was wonderfully funny and candid (so happy for you!) that in my head, I convinced myself you hadn't left. And Katiebabs, I teared up a little after she left. If it wasn't for her (and Christine...and Nalini's blog), I wouldn't even be here. Then, once again, I kept looking for a redhead in the crowds despite knowing she was already on a plane going back to Christine.

I also met quite a few other wonderful bloggers; Sarah and Candy from SmartBitches. They both were so straightforward it was wonderful. And Jane from Dear Author was just brilliant. Jill Myles was so wonderful to talk to and I've found her online now. Heh. Sadly, I was unable to get the contact information for Marcella because I was an idiot and forgot due the all the excitement.

Although the authors at the convention have given me so much in sharing the books and stories they've developed, pulling me through and giving me hope, it's really these blogging ladies here that made the best impact ever. I'll also need to get a better camera and take more pictures. These are about the max of photos I have. Need more. Also need to do this blogging thing more consistently and better. No worries, this experience has taught me a lot. :D

To the future. With all my heart.