Friday, July 14, 2006

My All-Time Favorite (Next to Cannavaro)

I read this book in 3rd grade, thinking it would be about my obsession of the moment: creepy witchcraft. It became my most favorite book ever, the book that made me fall in love with New England.

To this day, I'd like to be Kit Tyler. And not just cause she ends up with the hunky son of a ship's captain.

I once helped a friend devise a paper defining the heroine's character arc within Erikson's 8 Stages of Man. Back then, I was too nerdy to see TWOBP as what it is: a marvelous romance. My bad.

What heroine, from which romance would you like to be?
What kind of heroine do you find unappealing?

So sue me; he's not Canna. But you Bellas deserve a Friday Treat for being so welcoming to Anna DeStefano and her friends yesterday. To thank you -- and Anna for her fabulous GuestBlog -- I give you...Raol.

Congratulazioni! Julie in Ohio, you're the winner of Anna's Guess purse and wallet combo. Send me your email addy at and Anna will be in touch to send your gift!

Encore! I'm off to a little Cape Cod town called Wareham to see friends and will have no Inet connection to you, my e-friends til Monday. Yikers. I'll miss you and look forward to checking in to read what you've got to say about the women of romance.


Julie in Ohio said...

WOO, HOO!!!!

Thank you, Michelle!

Thank you, Anna!

It was so much fun yesterday, traveling to different countries with various hotties. I'm not just saying that because I won (but it didn't hurt *g*). Truth is: I love to travel. I do it mostly in my mind, while watching the Travel Channel, which is what we were doing yesterday. It so much more fun day dreaming with friends. :o)

Anna Destefano said...

Raol...not that's what a writer girl needs to wake her up in the morning and get those creative juices flowing ;O)

I had a wonderful time yesterday, Bellas. Am checking in quickly before hiding in my manuscript today. Julie in Ohio, congrats!!!!! Can't wait to get you your goodies.

I have so many places to travel to now. So many shopping, sugar daddy dreams... And the 24 hr. Kroger was lovely, last night, BTW. Hmmmmm. Pringles and store-bought cookie dough (with the choc. chips for me).

I'm finishing the book today, and you've inspired me, Bellas!

And I'm thinking about heorines...will check back in when I've put my finger on it... Can't wait to hear what this group thinks!

Grazie, i Miei Tesori!!!

Stacy~ said...

Congrats Julie! You deserve it. You're one of the people that makes it so much fun here :)

You know, I've never read that book Michelle, but it sounds pretty good. I might have to hunt it down. I like witchcraft stuff.

Anna, it was nice to chat with you, at least as much as I was able LOL. You're welcome anytime. I actually missed seeing you at Lori's event last month since your dh got sick. Hope the family is all good. Thank you for spending time with us. I plan on getting your latest book. A friend sent me "The Runaway Daughter" and it's near my bedstand, so one of these days...

We'll miss ya Michelle - see you when you get back. Have a great day everyone :)

Rach said...

Mornin' all! Julie, congrats, bella! How awesome!!

Michelle, see ya later alligator! Have fun =).

Stacey, see ya tonight?

Anna, hope the manuscript stuff goes well. Come out and play whenever you can =).

Okay, TWOBP. Oh, TWOBP!!! Only my most favorite book EVER!!!! It took me three tries to get into it, but I didn't give up and boy am I glad I didn't! Kit, Nate, oh, what a story.

I would say Kit is my favorite kind of herione. She's smart, sassy, and not afraid to buck the system if she needs to.

I can enjoy a TSTL herione, but it has to be in the right setting. You know, if she only has a couple of TSTL moments, kinda like the "blonde" moments I have.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it is my first time here. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Rach said...

Hi Patty! Welcome! =)

Kati said...

Yay Julie! You'll be the hippest mama out there!

Here are three favorites (in no particular order):

Kate Sheffield from Julia Quinn's THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME. She's industrious, smart, surly and adores her family. I love how sneaky she is when getting the best of Anthony.

Alaina MacGaren from Kathleen Woodiwiss' ASHES IN THE WIND. She's also smart and loyal and she gives Cole Latimer a run for his money. My favorite scene, when she bursts into his study after he's been injured.

Absolute favorite: Jennifer Merrick from Judith McNaught's A KINGDOM OF DREAMS, which is also my favorite romance of all time. She epitomizes why McNaught is such a beloved author, she's beautiful, adores her family, is sassy as all get out, and she is married (unwillingly) to the most powerful man in England. The payoff at the end is truly one of the best in romanceland!

amy kennedy said...

Wait a minute, I thought I already was the heroine of each book I read.

Julie--congrats! I've missed so much, and now Michelle is incomunicado (is that even remotely close to how you spell that?) Anyway,back to the discussion.

TWOBP--yes, yes--she was who I wanted to be (when I was under 20)

Marykate, all your heroines are top choices, I would add the heroine from Julie Ann London's The Spy Who Loved Me. Can't remember a name to save my life.

I know I'll come up with more.

Julie in Ohio said...

Thank you, all of you wonderful Bellas, you!! You are the reason I come here everday. :o)

Patty, welcome. Come play with us. But be is addictive. :o)

I don't know if I can pick ONE fav heroine. I like them all as I'm reading their book.
My fav would be strong, sassy, can hold her own against the devil, I mean hero...and can still cook a fine meal. *g*
I'll think about it and see if I can find a handful that stand out.

I have not read TWOBP but I do enjoy a bit of magic. I will have to look it up. Does anyone know if it is still in print?

Julie in Ohio said...

I was just saying I wonder where Amy is. Glad to have you back! :o)

Rach said...

Yay, Amy's back!! Hope vacation was fantabulous!! =)

Julie, TWOBP is still in print, and as it is a YA book, it is fairly inexpensive.

Do you bellas find that it is often easier to focus on the hero than the herione in some stories? I really like the way JQ writes her heriones. Typically they are tough as nails, take no prisoners kinda chicas (read: Kate!), but other heriones are sorta just there. Am I mistaken in this?

Oh, and just so ya'll know, I've heard nothing from the interview. But, I received a lovely email from my current principal who said she had spoken with the principal I had interviewed with and had had nothing by wonderful things to say about me. So, keep your fingers crossed--I won't hear anything before Monday b/c the HR offices are closed on Fridays during the summers. GRRRRRRR. To top it off, today is the last day my current school system will willingly accept my resignation. After that, they will hold me to my contract until a suitable replacement can be found. Hmph, as if they could replace *me* ;oP. Sorry to go off topic, but I had to vent...

Kati said...

Rach - I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you! I know it's going to work out for the best!

It depends on the novel as to whether the heroine affects me. Generally they don't, unless she's the driver of the story. I find that I really like Nora Roberts' heroines. And of course her heros are DELICIOUS! I love Anna Spinelli from SEA SWEPT. She kicks Cameron Quinn's a$$ all over the block and you love her for it.
But I do agree that sometimes it seems like the heroine's are more kind of the "set piece" for the hero.

Ohhh! How about Xylara from WARPRIZE by Elizabeth Vaughn? I love her! She's another favorite heroine! I think that Vaughn is doing an amazing job of having her grown as a person through the two books. I can hardly wait for WARLORD, the final in the trilogy!

Vivi Anna said...

Congrats Julie!!! Cool prize!

I'd wanna be Eve Dallas from JD's In Death books...carry a gun and f*&^ Roarke, what could be better?

I liked Anita Blake from LKH's books, sleep with Jean-Claude adn Richard, carry a gun, and kick-butt, but when they mysteries stopped and the ardor arrived, I was done and didn't want to be Anita Blake anymore...espeically when whimpy, I-could-kick-his-ass Micah showed up!!! EWWWWW! Hate that guy!

I'd be any heroine that got to kick ass and sleep with sexy men.

Kati said...

Vivi - How 'bout Merry Gentry? I'm not crazy about AB, but I love the Meredith Gentry series.

Rach said...

There ya go, Vivi. Kick ass, hot sex. What could be better?

MK, I had completely forgotten about Anna, but I sure did like her. She had no trouble keeping Cam in his place. I think I need to revisit those old friends =).

Monica Burns said...

Welcome not lurk...we love chatter

YAYY!!! Amy and Vivi are back!!! I know both of you had good reasons for being out.

Rach, I seem to recall telling you the other day that it was in the bag. I saw it. So will you relax and trust me.

Michelle, I reread TWOBP a month ago. I enjoyed it again, although when I read it years ago, I don't remember if I did or didn't want to be her. I do know I always wanted to be the heroine in Barbara Cartland's books. HOWEVER, my ultimate heroine, the one I will love forever because of her spirit, her strength and not to mention her to-die-for husband Percy is Marguerite St. Juste from the Scarlet Pimpernel. I can read the book over and over again and I still fall in lover over and over again. I've had past life regressions and I understand my connection to this period and why I adore this couple. And NO the regression was not a pleasant experience. *sigh*

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Bellas! Welcome, Patty. Take your time, browse, see what looks good to ya, then tell us what yu think.

We're checkin out of our place in Provincetown, so I wanted to say hi before I can't for the weekend. can I tell you how much I love me some gay guys? I just don't have enough in my life any more. Although I always seem to worry a little more about my hair and clothes when I'm around them.

I don't have time to tell you any other heroines than Kit, but I will tell you that I like when heroines are petite and the heroes are BIMBAWS. I have trouble relating to heroines that are tall cause I'm not. But I read em anywayz. I know, shallow, cause heroines should be adored for themselves and their stories, but there you have it. TYHI?

Have fun, girls. Make me laugh when I come back Monday. God, I hope I can survive without my Bellas till then.

Rach said...

Blogging *is* an addiction, isn't it, Michelle? And I TOTALLY get the gay guy thing. I have a few gay friends whom I love and adore. A couple are really flamboyant--aren't they the best??

Alright, Monica, I promise to chill. I swear it!

I realized I didn't really answer wich herione I would want to be--only hit on the ones I really liked. I would love to be Sara Fielding from LK's DREAMING OF YOU. Derek Craven is the most awesome Alpha hero! Maybe I need to approach this from the who would I like to be my hero tack, not who is the best herione...

Lucy Monroe said...

As usual, Vivi, you crack me up! I have to admit that though I read A LOT of books, I haven't read most of the stories mentioned. Just goes to show how many good books are still out there waiting to be discovered. :)

When I saw Michelle's question, Phoebe from "It Had to be You" by SEP immediately came to mind. Who doesn't want to own her own football team, not to mention dance the horizontal mamba with the gorgeous and uber muscular coach?

The only kind of heroine I don't like is the one not well matched with the hero. You know, so when she's with only see her worst side, her weaknesses. Drives me nuts. And heroines who blame themselves for everything. I want to shake them and then hug them and tell them they deserve better. LOL

Hope you have a great time this weekend, Michelle!

Hugs to all,

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, I know all will work out as it should, but I understand you anxiety. Just sit back with your computer on and we'll take care of taking you mind off of things. :o)

I like heroines to match to heroes and when they don't the book flounders.
The heroines I enjoy are sassy, can hold her own with the devil, I mean hero...and still have dinner on the table at 5pm.

I'm with Vivi, I like a heroine who can really kick a$$ and take names, who gets the hottest guys and doesn't care if she breaks a nail.

Christmas in July came early for me. I was expecting my Amazon packages beginning today and three of them came yesterday. Don't ask how many there are total. YEAH!!
I have begun reading JR Ward "Dark Lover". The word HOT comes to mind at this moment. Thank you, Bellas, for making me get them. :o)

I have come to the conclusion any heroine who is matched with a vampire for a hero has to be tough. No willy nilly TSTL heroine will do.
I don't mind a TSTL but she has to have something special to make up for the screw that is loose. A smart mouth or sassy hair cut.

Rach said...

I love Amazon. You buy, they bring it right to your doorstep. No leaving the house or nuthin' =)!

Another sassy herione that comes to mind is Honoria from DEVIL'S BRIDE by Stephanie Laurens. Talk about taming the devil ;o).

Kati said...

Oh Julie! I'm so jealous of you reading DARK LOVER for the first time. I remember tearing through it so bloody fast and flipping it over when I finished and starting again. Wait til you get to LOVER ETERNAL. SIGH. MmmmmRhage!

Don't forget to feed your kids while you're enjoying the book. The world tends to fall away in those books!

Manda Collins said...

Morning, Bellas! Michelle, have a great time on the Cape! And don't worry about us. We won't trash the place:) But we will miss you.

Rach, crossing fingers for you!

Congrats, Julie! You are going to have so much fun with the JR Wards!

Amy! We've missed you!

Loved, loved, TWOBP. But haven't read it since teens so don't really remember finer points from it. As for heroine I'd most like to switch placed with? I'll go with Evie from Lisa Kleypas's DEVIL IN WINTER. She has hidden strength and having St. Vincent around to scratch the itch would definitely be a plus;)

Rach said...

You know, Manda, I was going to say Evie and then didn't. I agree though, she sure had hidden strengths, and to tame St. Vincent...Wow, what a woman =).

Okay, you guys have talked me into it, I'm going to finally *finally* get DARK LOVER. I've just really never had a thing for paranormals, and vampires in particular, but ya'll keep waxing so rhapsodic over them I'll have to read 'em. =)

Kati said...

Rach - Have a fire extinguisher on hand. It's HOTHOTHOTHOT!

I'm starting to think JR Ward should pay me some kind of commission! I pimp these books out constantly! ;oP

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, I am not even half done with it and it is HOT. I can't wait to get back home to finish it. I have to work today. :o(
But the good part is that the DH as to feed the kids. :o)

I honestly don't know what I did before Amazon. I may have at some point had to change out of my jammies. :o)

As much as I liked Evie (and I loved her) I would have to go with Lily for my fav Wallflower. I think it is because Lily says what she thinks. She is bold, spontaneous and sassy and doesn't care what anybody thinks. I envy that in anybody. Evie is too close to my own personality, which makes me love her but I like to lean towards the opposite of me. And although bringing St.Vincent to his knees is absolutely admirable, breaking down Westcliff's walls and making him become more spontaneous wins the day, IMHO. :o)

Rach said...

Ah, see, I wasn't even *thinking* about the *other* wallflowers. Lilian was pretty spectacular, and as arrogant as Westcliff was, he definitely needed to brought down a few notches--which Lilian did quite nicely ;o).

I loved her spunk and sassy spirit, but for me there was something about shy little Evie bringing St. Vincent to heel that just did if for me.

Julie in Ohio said...

I argue her point and then I get her name wrong...Lillian.

I can't wait to see what Daisy has up her sleeve. Her story comes out August 1, isn't it?
I need a calandar. :o)

Rach said...

Julie, in your defense, Lily is a nickname for Lilian =). And, I too am anxious for Daisy's story.

Also can't wait for Josie's. At least they put out more than one story a year, so they don't leave us hanging too badly. =)

Manda Collins said...

See your point, Julie, but oddly IHOA was *hangs head* my least favorite wallflower book. Perhaps I was uncomfortable because on some level I identify a little too much with Lillian's sometimes gauche behavior? I don't know what it was really.

Am looking forward to Daisy's book and Josie's book. Thank goodness LK and EJ have twice a year releases:)

Julie in Ohio said...

That is very considerate of EJ & LK to have more than one book a year. :o)

I can't wait to see what kind of woman Josie turns into. I love her wit and frankness. It is refreshing after the dramatics of Imogen.

I like a story where you see the heroine grow.
In Laura Kinsale's "Shadowheart", Elena starts out being a sheltered girl not sure what the future holds and ends up with her assassin hero. She was always strong but she had some growing up to do.

Rach said...

Not only will it be nice to see sharp tongued, sharp witted Josie as a herion, isn't she a little plump? I seem to recall that from TTOTD.

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I like to read books where the heriones are a little more *real*. Does that make sense? Not all women are beautiful, buxom and blonde. It is nice to see a plumper herione portrayed as someone who can "get the guy" if you will. Not to mention, it is nice to read about heros who like their women as a little more than a handful. (Said Rach who needs to go on a diet--someday...)

Julie in Ohio said...

I know exactly what you mean, Rach.
That is what brought "Romancing Mr.Bridgerton" all together for me. Yes, the unrequited love is always a heart string puller but the fact that Penelope was less than perfect and Colin was the most charming of the Bridgerton brothers was what hit me the most.
(said Julie who is pigging out on M&M's as she types.)

Manda Collins said...

Definitely, Rach! It's nice to put myself in the shoes of a gorgeous heroine but like everything else it gets old after a while. I just finished Mary Jo Putney's THE MARRIAGE SPELL last weekend and the heroine has issues about her height and weight. Esp. b/c hero has previously thought his type was petite blondes (she's a brunette). And her mother in law calls her a "great cow"--she was ensorcelled at the time though so she didn't really mean it. But still.

Julie, I loved that about RMB. And I thought it was great that once Colin fell in love with Penelope he didn't "see" her bad clothes and couldn't understand why everybody else didn't see her as he saw her. Sigh. Such a good book!

Rach said...

Oh, guys, my fave Bridgerton book of all. Sigh. I *loved* that story just for the reasons you named. It was so wonderful.

MK, I'm checking out THE MARRIAGE SPELL. Thanks!

Julie in Ohio said...

I've been doesn't happen often, don't worry...but all of the Bridgerton woman were not considered great beauties. They were pretty and well liked but remember in Daphne couldn't get a serious proposal because everyone saw her as a friend but not a bride. Same with Eloise and Hyacinth. I think that Francesca may be the exception but I can't recall.

Rach said...

Nope, I think you're right, Julie. All were pleasant looking, even pretty, but not *beautiful*.

Isn't that nice?

Kati said...

I think that Francesca was a beauty, but I also can't really remember. Gues I'll have to throw WHWW on the top of my TBRR (re-read) stack.

Julie in Ohio said...

Gee, don't you hate it when that happens, Mary Kate? *g*

Kati said...

It's SO hard being MK! ;oP

Julie in Ohio said...

Just make sure you don't hurt yourself. I hear you can get carpal tunnel from holding a book or sprain a finger. You are so brave to risk this on a re-read. :o)

I have been having pretty good luck with the word verif but now today they are back to out of control.

auldrdqp ???

Julie in Ohio said...

Did anyone read "Birthright" by Nora Roberts?
There was a heroine with brains and brawn and I love the fact that she creeps out her ex-husband by playing the "Jaws" theme on her cello.

Vivi Anna said...

I liked the first two Merry Gentry books...HATED the third..even threw it against the wall a few times....but I love love Frost and Doyle. Merry should stay with those two sidhe hunks!! She's an okay heroine, but I'd perfer her tougher...

I think the next heroine I write is goign to be big boned, with an ample ass...and she's going to be gorgeous and tough, and sassy, and gets the man! Maybe more than one.... ;-)

Rach said...

Vivi, I *definitely* like the way you think. You write a big boned, big assed, kick ass herione and I'll buy multiple copies =).

MK, don't hurt yourself with WHWW! Paper cuts can be excruiatingly painful! ;o)

Kati said...

Thanks girls! I'm on my way to Hotlanta next week to run a seminar, so I'll be a bit more in and out.

Vivi - If you write it, we will come! (Hah! Dirty mind...) Anyway, you write it, I'll buy it!

Rach said...

Have fun MK!! Keep us posted! =)

Unknown said...

I have trouble relating to heroines that are tall cause I'm not.

LOL! You’re not the only one. I’m nearly six feet tall, and I just can’t relate to petite little things. LKH’s books always bug me cause the leads are always tiny (Anita and Merry) and every women over 5’6” is either a raging bitch, or a die-away wimp. What gives with that?

As for a heroine I’d want to be? How about any of Julia Ross’? Love them all.

Manda Collins said...

Welcome, Kalen! LOVE Julia Ross. The Seduction and The Wicked Lover are two of my all time favorites.

Definitely keep us up to date, MK. Our consolation for not going is that we're going to get some sweet insider info from those of you who go:)

Rach said...

Hi Kalen! Glad you could join us! I too enjoy Julia Ross' heroines. Great suggestions! =)

Kati said...

Manda - Sadly, I'm not attending Nationals, I'm actually running a program (about tax, sexy, huh?!)

I wish I were going to Nationals! :o(

Word ver: gngja (lol!)

Anna Destefano said...

Hey ladies!!! Told you I'd find my way back...the draft of the revisions is done, yay!!!! The weekend will be filled with reworking specific points I want to make sure are perfect for the reader...sigh...then I get to send it in next week, more yay!!!

Put me on the list going to RWA Nationals!!! I'd love to be an honorary Bella and hang with you ladies a bit. That's my week to have fun, fun, fun before it's back to work.

Now, about which heroine I'd most want to be. There are so many, but my current fav. is Megan Fields in Lora Leigh's latest, Megan's Mark. This woman kicks serious butt, falls in love with a man whose genes were genetically designed as a cross between man and lion, she's psychic, has the perfect body and gets to tame the lion!!!!

It's of course erotica, because it's LL, but it's also an amazing emotional action adventrue journey (again, becaue it's LL). And Megan gets the Alpha man of your dreams at her side and showing her how to harness her powers. And get this, because they'r mated, her DNA begins to change to absorb some of his powers...her life sizzles, her love sizzles, her abilities sizzle...

I think I need to get our of my office more ;O)

Smooches, Bellas...I'll be hanging around during the day as I whip the revisions into shape...

Julie in Ohio said...

Hey, Anna! Glad you made it back.

Last week I was doing some re-reading of old favorites and read Karen Marie Moning "Kiss of the Highlander". Gwen is a present day heroine who ends up being sent back to 16th century Scotland without her consent and takes it in stride. She has a job to do and goes full speed ahead.

amy kennedy said...

I should have known you guys would have all sorts of great comments and I missed checking in constantly--I missed you guys.

Hi Lucy!

Rach--I missed the part where you wanted to teach at a different school--they make the whole process so easy for you...good luck.

Vivi, I still read all the LKH books, even though they make me mad and I roll my eyes. Micah, I get--Nathaniel, I don't.

And Kaleh, what's with all the short heroes in her books too? Short heroes with hair down to wherever. Still, I read 'em.

Looks like I have to read me some Lora Leigh.

I thought of another heroine--don't know if I'd want to be her, but I loved her--Merry, from Emma Holly's Beyond Seduction. She was plain and smart and could ride a horse like nobodies business.

Gotta get back to work,
Hey I want you all to know, I won my bet with my husband and went on the treadmill every darn day of my vaca. Ha.

Anonymous said...

Yay, Amy!! Once I realized it was for a bet, I *knew* you could do it! =)

Anna, good to see ya! =) I'm sure the Bellas would love to see you at Nationals. Wish I was going...

Anonymous said...

P.S. at my sister's house, using her account, so if something comes up funny, I'm sorry!

Julie in Ohio said...

Alright, Amy! You are a better person than me, bet or no bet. Hope the prize was a good one. I won't ask any questions. :o)

Rach, I know that we will get to see pictures.
Lots and Lots of pictures. Hint, Hint...

Julie in Ohio said...

MK, I get it now. I understand your position on the Brotherhood and I am right there with ya, sister. I have just finished "Dark Lover" (and wonder why I waited so long to read it). Now I am going to devour "Lover Eternal" because, really, that is what I am going to do.
I have my cookie dough and wine and I'm locking myself in my room until I am done. :o)

Rach said...

Jules, how did you manage to escape your girlies?? I want to know so that I may employ the same technique when I need to escape with cookie dough. Although I would substitute magaritas for wine ;o).

Pictures Julie? What are you speaking of?? ;oP

Rach said...

Maybe something like this?? ;oP

Kati said...

Seeee Jules, I TOLD YOU SO! I've seriously turned into the biggest fan girl about these books. I envy you just coming into it now, though because you have a much shorter wait for LOVER AWAKENED, the new one due in September. I've been dancing a jig to get it!

Let me know what you think of Rhage. He's so delicious. Better then a warm Krispy Kreme!

BTW, I kept my best friend's 7 month old today. Jeez, what a work out! I'm not sure I'm cut out to be a mama! He's adorable, and really was an angel most of the day, but I couldn't get a single thing done (and I was having 8 for dinner tonight!). I honestly don't know how you mama-bellas do it!

I'm off to Atlanta tomorrow, but will try to check in when I can as the week goes on. Don't have too much fun w/o me!

Rach said...

MK, have you lost your mind???? Dinner for eight and keeping a seven month old??? And, off to Atlanta??? You are nutso! =) But in a good way, of course! =)

Have a safe flight, and we'll see ya when we can! =)

amy kennedy said...

Rachd, I love the pic, at first I was confused--thought, didn't she have just two, how did she get three--but you were at your sisters--see, nothing gets past me.

Julie, Thank goodness you've finally read Dark Lover, I felt the same way, hadn't read either of them when JR Ward blogged with us--now I have--now I understand--now I too am a fan girl just like Marykate.

Marykate, I was pregnant with my first (many years ago) when I said I'd keep my sisters 9 mo. old and 2 year old overnight. I can't tell you the fear I felt after that...but then you have your own and you still don't get anything done. Dinner for eight? Yeah, I'm not sure I could do it with my 7 year old.

amy kennedy said...

Oh, and Anna, I've got your latest and your recomendation of Megan's Mark on my TBR pile. Yay.

Wish I were going to RWA.

Wish I could finish writing something. Anything.

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, What you can't read my mind? (I am just joking. I don't even want to know what goes on up there.) :o)
I was referring to pics at RWA. I guess I didn't finish that thought before I typed it. Sorry.

The way I escaped the girls was...I used the ancient art of bribery. Yes, ladies, I am not ashamed to say I bribed them with some of my cookie dough and a movie which kept me free for an hour and a half. After the movie was over, it was bed time. There are times when you have to pull out the big guns and this just seemed the time to do it. :o)

Amy, I know what you mean about the fangrl. I'm thinking of running for secretary of the Brotherhood fan club, seeings how MK is already the president. :o)

MK, good luck in Atlanta. I hope all goes well with you progam.
I am over half done with LE and, yes, the KK are history when Rhage is in the house. Although I have to say Z is starting to pull at the heart strings. He has that tortured routine down to an art.

OK, respite is over. Back to the book.

Rach said...

Okay, I'm so getting the JR Ward books. You guys are the biggetst fangirls ever, so, I'll have to do it =).

Julie, I'm stayin' put--no Nationals for me. Sorry to report. But, there are now like four or five Bellas headin' out, so we should be able to see some GOOD stuff! =)

Oh, and Julie, totally get the bribery thing. Happens all the time at our house--when necessary of course ;o).

Amy, LoL, thanks! =) The niece is a cutie pie. =)

Stacy~ said...

Hey Rach, just wanted to let you know I just started "Dark Lover" - you HAVE to get this book! And the next one! And then there's at least 2 more waiting in the wings. Yes, yes, yes! *g*

Julie in Ohio said...

I finished "Lover Eternal" at 4:30 am. I couldn't put it down. WOW!
Now I have to wait until September for the next one, but there are some good books coming out in a couple of weeks that should hold me over. :o)

I'm glad to see that I am not the last one on board the Brotherhood bandwagon, but hurry up! :o) They are the best vampire books that I have read.

My favorite part of the books are the guys names: Rhage, Wrath, Phury, Vishous, Zsadist, Tohrent.
I couldn't read their names with out smiling. :o)

Now speaking of heroines, I think that Ms.Ward gave us some really strong and tolerant ones. If you think about it, you have to be strong and tolerant to be in love with someone named Rhage. :o)

Monica Burns said...

JulieO - I'm with you on the names. I love it when a writer makes a unique twist in their books. I'm still waiting on Rhage to get here, because it's with an order for some items that aren't due for release until mid-August. Yeah, I'm into free shipping. LOL

Hey MK, let me get you to babysit my two (almost 16 & 9). We loan them out to friends without kids just so they can test drive. BEST form of birthcontrol there is IMHO. ROFL Are you going to Altanta THIS week or next for RWA? I've seen so many names come across Blogs, email, email loops and BBs that I'm cross-eyed trying to catch up. I'm gonna be soooo embarassed when people come and say Hi, I'm so and so, we talked on pick a medium. I'll be clueless not becasue I don't care, but because I've yet to master the full utilization of that extra 90% of my brain, and I'm lousy with names *sigh*, but I never forget a face.

Ok, back to customizing the new laptop. Whoo zips along. Paying the bill will be painful next month, but for now I can easily push THAT to the back of my mind. *grin*

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Monica, I try to use the free shipping but end up upgrading to get them here quicker. Patience is not something I have much of. :o)
I cringe when I think about my Visa bill coming in next month. I went hog wild at Amazon a couple of weeks ago, but I think it was worth it. At least for the next week. *g*

Julie in Ohio said...

Does it bother anyone else when musicians who have been dead for YEARS suddenly have a number one album YEARS after their death?

I don't know why it bothers me but when I read about Johnny Cash or any number of rap artists who have been dead for quite some time it makes me crazy.

OK, that is my PSA for the day.

amy kennedy said...

Rachd! Get the books girl.
I, too, love the names and can't wait for Zsadist's book--Julie, Z being so damaged--I can hardly stand it I can't wait for his book in September.

Monica--don't worry about the names, just have a ball, and you will with some of the bellas.

Julie, I'm so proud of you for finishing--they do lend themselves to being gobbled. Stacy, I'm thinking at least eight books--don't forget Butch and the new kid on the block...

word ver: qshat! huh?

Stacy~ said...

Monica, I'm so jealous. I want a new, speedy laptop! I've only had mine a year, and it suits my purpose, but I want something with a little more kick. And next week when I go to RWA, I will be sure to say I'm Stacy from Romance by the Book, fellow bella, and I won't be offended if you forget my name 2 seconds later LOL.

Julie, the books are important to your state of mind. If dh asks, tell him it's either that or therapy (make up a reason), which we all know is way more expensive.

Amy, love that there's at least 8 more. Z is really damaged, but I think that's the total appeal of this series - the heroes are more like anti-heroes.

Julie, I'm okay with the music thing. I think it's sad that it happened after their death, but it doesn't bother me.

Now back to "Dark Lover"....

Julie in Ohio said...

Monica, the best thing about names is that everybody has one. If you run into someone who is sure they met you before just call them whatever name pops in you head. Even if it is wrong, they will not feel like you forgot them, just got their name mixed up. :o)
Hey, I call my own kids by the wrong name all the time. *g*

Stacy, therapy? That's a good one. I'll have to remember that.
You are a better person than I if you don't mind music from the grave. I find it creepy.

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy, I'm trying to decide whether I am going to pre-order Z's book or go to the store on the day it is out.
PRE-ORDER *pro*- it comes to my house. *con*- I have to wait until it is delivered, which could be a couple of days after it comes out.
GO TO THE STORE *pro* I get it the same day it comes out. *con* It might not make it to the stores around me. To be honest, I don't remember seeing any of them before. I wasn't really looking for them either.

The trials of being me...

Rach said...

Hi guys! Back from a five hour trip down the road. Yuck!

I see the JR Ward discussion continues. Okay, okay, okay, I've got it--they're on order from Amazon =). Thanks guys. Sometimes I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone when it comes to exploring new things.

Besides, I hate being left out, and well, I'm feeling left out...;o)

Rach said...

Julie, just how small *is* your town??

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, you won't be disappointed. This is of course unless you were hoping to get some sleep once they come in. *g*
I know what you mean about being pushed outside your comfort zone. I just ordered Vivi Anna's "Hell Kat". I have read some steamy books before but nothing that would be considered erotic. :o)

To answer your question about the size of my town, I believe at the last census taken about 2 years ago we reached the 4000 mark. WOO,HOO we are movin' on up. :o)

The biggest town near us is Toledo and that is where I go when I need to *go* to a bookstore or the mall but that is a 45 minute jaunt so I do that only when a JQ or LK new release come out. *g*

Julie in Ohio said...

I usually don't go Amazon crazy like I am right now but my dh leaves next Sunday for a week on his golf trip. I am stacking up the books to keep me warm at night...and you can take that any way you wish. :o)

If you all can think of any I need to add to my collection, let me know. Thanks!

Rach said...

Ah, that's pretty small, Julie. My hometown was 10,000--35,000 when the students were there. You just gotta love a college town. =)

We had a *very* small mall so had to hike 45 minutes to get to *good* shopping.

Okay, minor rant here so skip it if you must--I left my glasses at my sister's house and am now trying to wear some that are 5 years old (at least) and making myself sick. Anyone else ever do something as brain-dead as leave behind the items with which you need to see?? Feelin' pretty stupid here...

Oh, and Julie, I can't think of any books to add, unless...have you tried Monica's stuff? It's classified as erotic historical romance, and I have to say I've really enjoyed it. (No, really, Mon, I'm not just saying that because you're a Bella =). )

amy kennedy said...

Rach, I was going to ask Julie the same question--I'm so used to having everything I need close by...I lived in a small town for a couple years in Jr. high school, nothing was in walking distance, except for the barn. Sometimes I think it would be nice again...And then I snap out of it and drive to Target.

Stacy! I didn't know you were going to RWA too. Too, as in many other people, but alas, not me.

Rach, I'm so excited for you--of course, I hope it's not one of those things where everyone tells you something is great, and it's been built up so much that your expectations outweigh the reality...naah.

amy kennedy said...

You guys, I have never ordered from Amazon--but I think I might have too--I need to read Vivi's and Monica's stuff.

Julie in Ohio said...

Actually I ordered her "Forbidden Desire" just today. I through in some Lucy and Eve and a Teresa Mederios also just to make it well rounded.

Oh, boy. I really need to hide that Visa bill when it comes in. :o)

amy kennedy said...

Oh, and Rach, I do stupid stuff constantly--I blame it on the fact that my brain is too involved in other esoteric things rather than where my cell phone is.

amy kennedy said...

Julie, Eve Silver? Is her new one out?

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, I have left my glasses places but not lately. The blessing of contacts. :o)

Amy, we have a Target, too...a couple towns over. My husband and I were born and raised here and will no doubt die here. But I will get to NYC...someday. :o)
You have never ordered from Amazon? You don't know what you are missing! (Didn't we just say the same thing to Rach about the Brotherhood?) It is like Christmas every time a package is delivered. My kids get jealous and wonder where their's are. *g*

Amy, you are in good company because Rach and I aren't going to RWA either. We will have to just have to go to cyber Margaritaville and throw our own party. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy, according to Amazon Eve's next one is out in November.
That gives me time to catch up. :o)

Stacy~ said...

And if you order $25 or more, no s&h charge! Amazon is great, even for me, who lives within 5-10 miles of 5 bookstores, not including Wal-Mart/Target, etc. Every once in awhile the bs doesn't have a book I'm looking for.

I have Monica's book Forbidden Pleasures, and Vivi's Hell Kat. I'll have to remember to bring them next week....geez, with all the books I'll be bringing to have signed, where will I put my clothes? LOL.

Julie in Ohio said...

AH, Stacy, the hard decisions you have. :o)
My suggestion is to buy clothes there. After all, you don't know *exactly* what the weather will be like.

I like that no s & H option with Amazon except for the fact that you have to wait FOREVER (7-20 days) to receive the books.
I did it *once* and found my lack of patience coming on strong. Now it may be different with different books, I don't know. *shrug*

-Julie, the pessimist coming out to stretch her legs.

Rach said...

Amy, you're an Amazon virgin??? I ADORE Amazon. Having to lug two kids to a bookstore is a nightmare--especially when the oldest is already a budding bookworm! So, I pop on Amazon, they *always* have what I'm looking for, and within a couple of days, a week at most most of the time, there's a happy package waiting for me on my doorstep. Who doesn't like to get packages??

Julie, I've never had to wait that long for the free S&H. Must be that small town thing. Honestly, I loved growing up in the boonies, would love to be there still, except I've grown used to having the convenience of EVERYTHING within a five mile drive. Yup, I'm spoiled.

Stace, I only wish I had your dilemma (sp?)! I'm with Jules, buy the clothing there!=) Or, just take an extra suitcase for books. Have you been to RWA before? I saw Teresa Medieros's advice on the Squawk blog the other day. She said to take an empty bag with you to the author signing. In fact, she said some people bring wheeled suitcases. Just to let you know =). Ahhh, ya'll are going to have SUCH a blast!

Cyber margaritas for those of us left behind? To drown our sorrows? I've got a *killer* 'rita recipe ;oP.

amy kennedy said...

Okay, okay, already on the Amazon. But, seriously, my problem is if I want it NOW--I have to have it. Of course, that's kind of silly, since I always have about ten books (on hand) that I want to read. I do use the library as well--how could I not, when I work there.

Rach, let's have the 'rita recipe--Julie and I are ready. They are my favorite summer cocktail.

Okay, Stacy, packing 101. Swimsuit. Nice black pants. Fitted black t-shirt. Fitted white t-shirt. Jeans. Summer jacket. sandals. Flouncy skirt and/or summer dress. Any thing else--buy there. Especially cool accessories.
And I agree with bringing an extra case for books.

Stacy~ said...

Thanx ladies, but you know, I'm sure I'm going to be bringing 1/2 my wardrobe anyway. I'm weird that way.

Have a great day, all, and stay cool. I'll see ya later tonight...

Kati said...

Mornin' Bellas! I'm so glad that everyone is enjoying the JR Ward's! She's like romance crack!

Jules - I say wait and buy it. In DC, there are several bookstores :cough:BooksAMillion:cough: that put out books before the street date. Then you can spend the weekend, rather than Tuesday night devouring Z's book. Personally, I'm a Tohr girl. I HATE that she's writing Tohr's story because it means something happens to Wellsie. I don't think that's a spoiler, since she's said as much.

If you're jonesing for a little fix, she's got an excerpt from Z's book up and TWO excerpts from Butch's book up and ready for reading on her site.

Also, just FYI, MICHELLE HAS READ Z's BOOK. Don't you think she should give us just a little something?!?! I know she really can't because of reviewing it, but I can't help grovelling!!

Julie in Ohio said...

Stacy, I am not a good packer, either. On an overnight, I always have at *least* 2 different outfits. :o)

Amy, I know what you mean by wanting it NOW. I have the same problem which is why for any new releases I go to the store to get. :o)

Rach- Bottoms up! Love a good margarita. What do you put in yours? :o)

Rach said...

Okay, Bellas, the World's Greatest 'Rita Recipe:

1 1/2 cups GOOD tequila (at least 1800 Gold)
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1/3 bottle cheap American beer (think Bud)
1 can frozen limeade
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
ice to fill up the blender
sugar to taste (we don't ever use sugar)

Magaritas are my most favorite mixed drink, and honestly, this is the best one I've *ever* had!

MK, this should help ease the anxiety over the wait for Z's book ;o).

So, to those of us left behind from Nationals--cheers with the cyber 'ritas =).

Julie in Ohio said...

MK, she can't write Tohr's story! He already has one!

But I love that Butch is getting a book. I was going to ask for one if he didn't. :o)

Michelle, I have finally gotten my act together and now am in need of a Z fix. Just a couple juicy tibbits wouldn't hurt anything. Not to mention that you can trust us to keep our mouths shut. We won't tell a soul if you wanted to share a chapter or ten with us. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, beer? I have never heard of using that. As soon as I get home tonight, I need to go to the store.

Rach said...

I know, Julie, it's sounds crazy, doesn't it? But, there's some kinda chemistry involved where the beer's basic and the tequila is acidic, and they kinda neutralize each other. Something like that--I think.

But, doesn't matter anyway 'cuz the stupid things are AEWSOME! =)

Julie in Ohio said...

I'm at work right now. Is it wrong that I'm thinking about making 'ritas and getting thirsty? Particularly at 9:35 am? :o)

Rach said...

Not a thing in the world wrong with that, Julie! ;o) I'm tellin' ya, these 'ritas are killer!

Visions of a warm tropical beach, scantily clad, muscular, gorgeous men serving me, an ice cold 'rita...ahhhhhhhh.

Julie in Ohio said...

Don't forget the sunscreen, Rach!

Kati said...

Where IS Michelle? Is she back yet? Or are we on our own today?

Rach said...

I think Michelle was supposed to be back at some point today, but well, it seems it's just us at the moment.

Oh Michelle, I have a magarita with your name on it...where are you??

Manda, a limerick perhaps?

Lucy Monroe said...

Just checking in this morning. :) Be back later to see if a new blog is up.

Hugs to all,

Julie in Ohio said...

MK, are we no longer good enough for you? I feel so used! :o)

Rach, bribery. Good call!

Hi, Lucy!!! *waving*

Michelle, relaxing time is up. We gave you a week. Now get back here and give us another guy to stare at and drool all over. :o)

Kidding aside: I hope your vaca was great. I was watching the news yesterday and there was a reporter in Revere, Mass talking about the heat. I thought of you instantly and wondered how you were surviving it. I hope it didn't put a damper on the fun.

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, I was meaning to ask you, how much does that recipe make?

Sorry, alcohol on this Monday morn is really looking good. :o)

(Julie says while trying to figure out how to smuggle some into the office. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

I have been wondering, when is RWA? I've heard alot of people going but when is it actually and how long does it last?

No, I'm still not going to make it but curiousity killed the cat; satisfaction brought it back. :o)

Rach said...

Julie, it makes a TON!! You might want to half the recipe. We get about six nice sized 'ritas out of the batch.

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, that's my favorite size! No halfsies here. :o)

Rach said...

I was never happier than when Little Bit got to be over three months old so that I would feel less guilty having an adult beverage--nursing mom and all.

The world's biggest lushes are teachers. No, really, it's true. We walk around after school and go, "I need a magarita as big as my head!" while stumbling around in a haze =).

Julie in Ohio said...

You could always use the excuse that it helps the baby sleep. :o)
Teachers deserve to be lushes. After they deal with my kids for the day, I'll buy. :o)

I'm the lush in my family. Not that I'm proud of the fact but someone needs to give Dad a little competition. :o)

My littlest is four and has informed me that she is no longer a baby. I tried to counter with "Well you'll always be my baby" and she flat out said "No, mom, I'm not anymore". I don't think I have cried so much or so hard ever.
I would give up my margarita to have my baby back. At the same time, I am NOT having any more kids. She starts school this fall and I am looking forward to between sobs.

Julie in Ohio said...

Before this self pity party goes too far, I should add that my darling who says she is no longer my baby one time, will then state that she is the princess or the angel.
At church one Sunday, someone went to shake her hand and asked her her name. She told them "I'm the princess", in the matter of fact way that only a child say it. The woman looked at me and we both started laughing. Her actual name is Gabrielle but we call her Gaby. We couldn't have been more accurate when we named her.

Julie in Ohio said...

I just read my horoscope for today and it says "attitude is the missing link; if you will it to happen, it will happen".

How funny is that?
It sounds a little like those 8 ball predictions or something that a fortune teller at the fair would tell you. *g*

amy kennedy said...

Julie, they get past that--and then want reassurance that they are in fact your little baby.

My friend Julia and I are always Talking about having great big 'ol margs after work--actually we want one at work--but the funny thing is we have never done it. Hmmm.

Even though I like mine on the rocks--I'm gonna try your crazy recipe with beer--I used to be a bartender, so the beer thing throws me for a loop, but I trust you.

I think RWA is a week from friday.

Stacy, I talk a good game--but I'd probably bring half my clothes too.
A girls gotta be prepared.

Jess said...

Hi ladies- it is RachD's sister again.

Two things:

1) The Margarita recipe is STRONG! One glass is plenty or you will be drunk off your a$$!

2) Thank goodness someone is able to push her out of her comfort reading zone. I've been trying to get her to read lots of great authors FOR YEARS but she has kept to her specific romance-fantasy parameters and hasn't ventured out very far. I can't believe she is going to read a vampire romance! Push Susan Squires and Elizabeth Vaughn on her next please!

As for the blog question, I would want to be Desdemona from As You Desire by Connie Brockaway. She is a smart, strong, adventurous heroine who likes history. That is my kind of girl. Plus, she gets Harry in the end and who could ever top Harry as the best hero of all time? Ok, I'm found out- AYD is my favorite romance novel!

Rach said...

Nice, Jess, thanks for giving up all my secrets...

Amy, I SWEAR it's good! ;o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy, I know she'll get over it but it is the initial shock of her telling me. *sniff*

Jess, welcome back!! It is easier for someone else to do the pushing. If my sister tried to get me to do anything new I would be draggin' my feet all the way. *g*
As for the drink, I'm hearing you say drink a couple of glasses for lunch so you can finish your day on a good note. Is that right? :o)

I have not yet read AYD but have heard many people say it is fabulous. I think I need to go back to Amazon. Thanks, Jess!
As for Susan Squires and Elizabeth Vaughn, I have not yet read them so I can't push their books but while I'm at Amazon maybe I need to look into theirs...

My name is Julie and I am an Amazon/bookaholic.

Jess said...

Never read Susan Squires? Oh, she is wonderful and a nice change of pace from the usual romance fare that is being published. Her book Danegeld is one of my favorites.

Elizabeth Vaughn is wonderful too. She is a good world builder which I really appreciate in an author. Her herione, Lara, is a bit too "good" for my tastes. She is a healer... blah, blah, blah. I'm sure we all know how insanely driven to heal romance novel healers are. With that said I am still looking forward to the conclusion of the trilogy!

Kati said...

Jules & Rach - What am I going to do with you two?!?! You need to be reading Elizabeth Vaughn. I can't agree on the Susan Squires, I think her books are way too convoluted, but I adore Warprize and Warsworn. I agree, Lara is a little too good, but Keir makes up for it in a big ole way! Both are keepers for me, and Vaughn builds a heck of a world.

I just finished the new Nora, ANGEL'S FALL. I swear, that woman is a freak of nature! How is it that every d*mn book she puts out is a keeper? This one is terrific. Great tortured heroine and the hero is surly as h*ll! I loved him. He just didn't put up with her bag of neuroses! I really, really enjoyed it. The setting is new too, although it's like she and Linda Howard both decided to write about quirky little towns this time. But NR's is more fleshed out and complete. I highly recommend it, if you're looking for something to read and don't mind paying hardcover price, although I'm a member of Barnes & Noble and had a coupon, so it only cost me $12. Nice!

Julie in Ohio said...

Baby steps, MK. We just take baby steps. :o)

I agree with you on NR, she is one in a million. I have yet to read a book of hers I didn't like. I will have to check out "Angel Falls". I love her surly heroes.
Come to think about it, I need "Blue Smoke" too. HMMMM...

Rach said...

One new author at a time please, Jessie and MK!

Julie, I completely missed that whole baby no longer a baby thing. I'm so sorry. My four year old tells me the same thing almost daily. But, then, she gets jealous of teh baby and wants to be "nuggled". Go figure. BTW, is your four year old a handful? I think I may be forced to murder mine...

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, my four year old is the third on the totem pole. There are two ahead of her that are in line for the firing squad before she get it.
But yes, she is is a handful.

How sweet is that!! Is that at the beach?

I really need to figure this picture scanning thing out. *sigh*

Rach said...

Jules, the pic was taken this morning at Jamestown Beach on the James River. Thanks =)!

Julie in Ohio said...

How can you say those *angelic* faces are a handful? They look like perfect little ladies.

Don't worry, I know that if you look close enough you can always find the horns. :o)

Rach said...

Handful?? You should read my blog sometime... Let's just say that Monkey's horns are hidden under all that hair.

anne frasier said...

oh my god!
i LOVED witch of blackbird pond. i would check it out of the library and read it again and again. i loved it so much i actually thought about stealing it -- or at least never returning it. i'll bet i read it 20 times. maybe more.

Rach said...

Hi, Anne, it *is* an awsome book, isn't it?

Julie, Amy, let me know about the 'ritas =).

Jess said...

Julie- I assure you that Rach's four year old has horns hidden under her hair. I have a guest bedroom that is beautifully decortated with hot pink nail polish to prove it. :-) It's a good thing she is so cute and snuggly!

Rach said...

*Again* with the secrets, Jessie?? ;o)

amy kennedy said...

Jess, thank goodness you came back--now we're getting all the dirt on the angelic Rach.

I thought I had read EV--but now I don't know if I have, maybe I just meant to read her. Now I will.

Rach, love the new pic.

Hi Anne--I'm getting TWOBP from the library again to read it again.

Julie and MK--it's funny, but I only read Nora's JD Robb books--don't know why. But anyone who can write , what, maybe 5! books a year is a goddess in my book.

Julie in Ohio said...

Ah, the joys of sisters!
Thankfully mine would rather chew on her own tongue than log on the the internet. :o)
If it makes you feel any better, I have the alphabet (which consists of 2 letters written over and over again) written in permanent marker on a newly painted room. And my eight year old when she was five, wrote her name on her bedroom wall and tried to blame it on her little sister who was one at the time.
Rach, hate to break it to ya but it has just begun. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy, I haven't read her JD books yet. What makes them different from her NR books?

Julie in Ohio said...

Alright, it is the end of the day now. Where is Michelle?

Come out, come out wherever you are...

We miss our Queen Bella!!

Rach said...

Micchhhheeeeeellllllleeeeee??? Where aarrrrrrreeeeeee you???

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, I have to tell you that my eight year old (and only blonde) saw you kids pic and said "hey, what's that picture of me doing there?". I laughed and told her who it was and that she was only four. But between the resemblance and the fact that she is four years older than her sister, she is sure that that picture is her and Gaby. :o)
Hey, did you want another one? I actually have a couple of older ones that are really good with little ones. *g*

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

OK. Here I am. I've been trying all day to get Inet access and failing miserably. Not sure our GuestBlog will work out tomorrow and I'm crazed. Kind of. Cause I spent most of the day in my sil's pool wth my kids. Very fun. 90s here in Boston area.

I've loved readin g your posts and have to say: I love love A YD and can't beieve I never mentioned it before. Ahhh Harry. And Desdemona; to be beautiful and nerdy and not realize how beautiful you are and have all the officers and everyone else in Regency Egypt falling at your feet (then stepping over them to get to the nearest artifact).

did I mention, aahhh, Harry?

I have to see what's up for tomorrow. I so knew these glitches were going to happen, but am glad youz are keeping the place nice and tidy while imbibing what appears to be the Mother of All Margaritas.

Ciao for now.

Rach said...

Hey Michelle, glad to know you are alive! =)

Julie, LOL!! And, nope, don't think I need any more, but thanks for asking =).

Jessie introduced me to AYD, and yes, Michelle, you are absolutely right, ahhh, Harry!

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle, we have missed you!! Glad to see you are keeping cool in the heat.

Guest blog? Who is guest blogging?
Have I done my homework?

Rach said...

Don't stress about the guest blogger, Michelle. We'll hold down the fort. I'll just give out more killer recipes for adult beverages, we'll imbibe, and see how it goes ;oP.

Julie in Ohio said...

I ordered my copy of AYD today as well as a couple Loretta Chase books. I couldn't remember which one you guys said was great so I got "Lord Perfect" and "Miss Wonderful". They looked like a cute couple. :o)

Rach said...

I really enjoyed LORD PERFECT, Julie, and you are SO gonna love AYD. It is wonderful =)

amy kennedy said...

Julie, you really are an Amazon/ bookaholic. I'm gonna get AYD too.

Yah! Michelle! Glad you're having so much fun. Think zenlike thoughts about getting on tomorrow--be the blog...ohm...

Stacy~ said...

Rach, love the new pic! Just adorable. But you're breaking my heart about Tohr & Wellsie - I'm not liking that one bit :( Haven't read LE yet, but it's next...

Michelle, welcome back! Glad you were enjoying yourself in the pool (oh, that doesn't sound right, does it? LOL) Today was brutal, weather-wise. The a/c went out at work and everyone was cranky, and God knows, a bunch of women do not need another reason to be cranky!

Man, I want my marguerita! Save some for us! I'll be in Atlanta from Tues - Sat, and I think there's something going on w/ Suzanne Brockmann, so I'm hoping to get with that. Lucy won't be there though :( She's a sweetheart.

Yeah Jess, spill the dirt on Rach (fyi: I am so glad I don't have a sister just for this reason *g*)

Okay, back to my cappuccino blast - no alcohol, but oh, is it yummy!

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy, you heard my rationalization of my Amazon attack, didn't you?

My DH is leaving on Sunday for a week on his golf trip, so I need to have something to keep me warm at night. *g*

Are there any books that I may have missed? If so, don't tell me. :o)

Rach said...

Amy, again, I say, AYD is fabulous!

Stacey, don't encourage her, she'll just get worse...=) (love ya, Jess!) Oh, and Stace, I was gonna say you didn't really get a 'rita since you were going to play in Hotlanta (wish you a very fun and safe trip, btw) and leave us behind, but well, you suffered through no a/c on one of the hottest days of the year, so yeah, you earned it =).

Hope you are able to get on and dish the dirt. If not, save the good stories up--I'm living vicariously through you! =) (okay, you and Vivi and Monica and Michelle and, oh, geeze, I'm missing someone, but them too!)

Manda Collins said...

Hey guys--jumping in late in the day but had to comment on AYD. I only read it a few months ago for the first time and LOVED it! So good.

And Julie, you need to get Mr. Impossible too--it comes in between Miss Wonderful and Lord Perfect and is (to me) the best one in the series. Though all three are good. But there's just something about Rupert Carsington that makes me grin whenever I think of him...sigh. Similar circumstances to AYD--set in Egypt, heroine is a scholar, but the relationship is very different.

Mmmm. Good stuff!

Colleen Gleason said...

Oh, I loved that book too! I wish I could get my daughter to read it.

What memories...thanks for bringing it up. I'm going to have to read it again.

My other favorite book I read during about that time was Step to the Music by Phyllis A. Whitney. I just found a copy on eBay and bought it and reread it--loved it so much more as an adult, too.

Julie in Ohio said...


Oh, man, I told myself no more Amazon. But I can't get the first and last book in a series. SHEESH.

Thanks for the heads up, Manda. I would've been a mess if I didn't read these right. :o)

Rach said...

Colleen, I'll have to look that book up, I don't remember it as a kid. Sounds like a good one though!

Manda, I'm with Julie--I didn't realize it was a series. Man, now *I'm* going to be maxing out the credit card on Amazon, what with the Ward books and now these two additional Chase books! And, I don't have a husband heading out for a golf trip...Julie, Bellas, I need an excuse, help me here!

Jess said...

Julie- Ah, to be able to newly discover the delights of AYD. Let me just tell you, there is one scene in which Harry describes how he sees Dizzy and it is so perfectly done it is breathtaking. Every woman should have the man in her life tell her something just that wonderful once.

I wasn't too impressed with Loretta Chase's recent releases though everyone else on my two romance listserves that I frequent L O V E D them, so I am in the minority. Her book, Lord of Scoundrels, is considered by many romance readers to be the perfect romance novel ever written. In fact, the few times that AAR has done a 100 top reads poll it has always ranked #1. So, you better order that title too!

OK, heading back to lurk mode so I don't torture Rach anymore. :-)

Rach said...

Jess, at least when you post, I know where you are and what you are up to...;oP

As for that scene in AYD, you are absolutely right, it was fabulous! Hmmm, methinks I'll be digging out AYD this evening...

As for LORD OF SCOUNDRELS, I didn't think it was *that* wonderful, but I did enjoy it. Go for it, Julie, why not?

Jess said...

Rach- Yeah, I didn't see what all the hoopla was over LOS. I also never got the hoopla surrounding Devil's Bride by SL. Both were fine reads but nothing earth shattering!

I find that I am regularly in the minority when it comes to tastes in romance novels so I always figured the problem was with me not the books! :-)

Rach said...

Oh, yeah, Jess, it's definitely you...:oP

amy kennedy said...

Colleen, it's been years--YEARS--since I read Phyllis Whitney, I used to love her.

Julie, I forgot to answer your question about J.D. Robb books--they are a series, remember Vivi talking about wanting to be Eve Dallas--she's the Heroine of Robb's "In Death" series. They're set in the future (but not too far in the future) she's a detective. These you absolutely have to--I said HAVE TO read in order. And the Hero...Rourke. I have no words, only size, er, sighs.

Nora writes two of those a year--love that.

Manda, I knew they were a series, but I'm reading Lord Perfect right this very second--out of order. It's the rebel in me. But now since you have sung the praises of Rupert--I of course will read that one as well.

Jess, did you consider LOS to be one of the greatest?

And Julie, how long is the golf trip?

Rach, I'm getting AYD. I can't belive how many books I want to read.

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy, he will be gone for 5 days. Why? Do you think my Amazon spree is overkill? :o)
You said you can't believe how many books you want to read...that's how it all starts. First it's just AYD, next the Brotherhood comes a knocking. Then you find out you bought a book in the middle of a series. After that it is all down hill. Amazon needs a frequent flyer plan. :o)

Jess, don't stay a lurker. Come play! :o)

Rach said...

Mornin' Julie, ain't it the truth about Amazon??

I'm not sure what we can do to lure Jess from lurkdom. Maybe she will take pity on our poor lonely hides and visit. =)

Did you do the 'ritas?

Julie in Ohio said...

Hey, Rach! I didn't have a chance to do the 'rita last night. I think I'm going to wait until Friday. That seems the safest course of action, seeing how Jess said that it was strong and I seldom can drink just one. :o)
Going to the beach today? I am sunning myself vicariously through you so I am imagining myself nice and brown instead of pale pink. :o)

Rach said...

No beach today, unfortunately. Instead I'm getting together with two colleagues and we are planning out the school year. Sounds fun, no? =)

Julie in Ohio said...

Did you hear back from your interview?

Rach said...

Just called this morning and the lady I needed to talk to was out--of course! So I left a message and am now on tenterhooks waiting...keep your fingers crossed! =)

Julie in Ohio said...


What grade do you teach? I am amazed by teachers. You really do have the toughest job. Brain surgery is a cinch comparatively speaking. I know my kids and for the most part they are good kids but they have their problems. I can only imagine the variety pack you get every year. I raise a cyber toast to ya. And from a mom, thanks for what you do. :o)

Rach said...

Thanks, Jules! If only all parents appreciated how tough the job really is. =)

I teach second grade and love it! It does however cut into reading time...=)

Julie in Ohio said...

My eight year old is going into second grade. What a fun age. They are still cute at this point. :o)

Rach said...

Yes, and they still love their teachers. It's a happy age and they are most eager to please =). Enjoy!

Manda Collins said...

Julie, I thought you were one of those who liked to read series in order. What's cool about that series too is that the books get progressively better. Not that Miss Wonderful is bad, it's just that they build to a crescendo of me anyway;)And don't feel bad about you little book habit! Golf clubs and greens fees are much more expensive;)

Rach, keeping fingers crossed for you on job front. {{{good vibes}}}

Amy, you rebel! Just don't let Benedict's opinions of Rupert sway you. They are brothers after all and Benedict is the "perfect" one. Of course he thinks Rupert is impossible!

Jess said...

AmySFK- No I wasn't particularly impressed with Lord of Scoundrels. It was an entertaining read but nothing that has stuck with me. All I can really remember is that the heroine had my name and the hero had a big nose!

With that said, I've read four Loretta Chase novels and none of them have really done it for me. I appreciate her ability to write good dialog but I still always feel removed from her stories. I am certainly in the minority with my opinion though.

For all you ladies who have yet to read As You Desire- move it to the top of the pile! It is a tingle down to your toes, heart exploding kind of read. CB is talented but all the stars really aligned when she wrote this book making it exceedingly special.

Rach said...

Okay, the word is, nope, that wasn't the job I was meant to have.

Oh, well, cest la vive. =) I've got a great job I love and am only trying to move so I can be closer to home. My thoughts are I'm going to be where I'm *meant* to be. Make sense??

Manda Collins said...

Bummer Rach. But you're right. If you were meant to be at that other place you'd be there. Maybe you aren't finished where you are now...

Jess, I understand what you mean about the Loretta Chase books. (Though I don't feel the same:)

I do feel that way about Victoria Alexander and Stephanie Laurens. I know that they are good writers but I just don't "connect" with their characters. Esp. Laurens. I liked Devil's Bride, but every hero after that (except Vane) seemed like a variation on Devil. Even the Bastion Club guys seem the same. And yet, I keep buying her books...guess hope springs eternal!

Rach said...

LOL, Manda, I feel the same about SL's books. I liked Devil, but well, you can only read Devil's story once =). I too keep buying her books hoping for something more.

Actually, I'm the same with VA as well. I just can't seem to get into her books. I know she writes well, and tons of people love her books, but she doesn't *do it* for me.

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, I'm sorry. But you are right it wasn't meant to be. They probably have horrible school lunches, not to mention trying to put 25 kids in a room the size of a closet. You lucked out. :o)
(says Julie always looking on the bright side)

Manda, I DO have to read books in order which is why I was upset that I ordered LC missing one. Sheesh, can you imagin a worse fate? Me, neither. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

I guess we are in agreement about SL. I haven't read her Cynster books so I can't comment on those but I got the first book of the Bastion Club and really liked it. Even the second was good but the third was like "didn't I just read this?" Now I'm stuck getting the rest because you have complete a series (OCD strikes again). I keep waiting for their commander's story because I know he has a good one to tell.

Rach said...

Julie, you? An optimist?? ;oP

I'll tell you, I usually have an OCD about completing books in a series, but, I just couldn't manage the Bastion Club books past number two.

Manda Collins said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Manda Collins said...

Okay, glad I'm not the only one who thinks that about the Laurens. Cause some people swear by her.

Julie, I too am looking forward to Dalziel's story. But if it turns out to be a rehash of the others I'll be disappointed. Illogical given what I've just said, but like Julie I'm an optimist. Well,
sometimes I am;)

Glad you were able to escape, Rach. Though I have to say that I thought this last one (Jack Warnefleet's) wasn't so bad. But I was bitterly disappointed in Charles book. (Third one, I think.)

Julie in Ohio said...

What can I say, Rach? You caught me on a good day. :o)
You were good to stop with book two because the third was the worst. She did come back a little with book four so I'm holding out hope.
Optimism strikes again. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Manda. We overlapped our posts and ended up saying the same thing. It must mean that we are right. :o)

Rach said...

Okay, so here's a question or point to ponder if you will. Some authors, like Nora, are able to crank out a blue million books every year, and each one is good. Then, there are other multibook authors who don't seem to be able to manage it.

Do you think the pressure from publishers and us the readers creates a problem with some authors trying to force something to happen for them?

amy kennedy said...

Rach--absolutely you are where you're meant to be. And Julie, my youngest is going in to 2nd grade as well--that's kind of cool, maybe we can ask Rach what a second grader needs to know.

Mandacoll--I have gotten so better at OCD with series, actually OCD with any book, now, if I don't like it, I don't finish it.

Jess, I have AYD on reserve. I'm digging the LC I'm reading right now, but I know what you mean about being emotionally involved--there are some writers who I know do not write perfectly, but my involvement in there books is a given--I am immediately sucked into their world and can suspend all disbelief.

amy kennedy said...

Rach--good question. You betcha, publishers force all kinds of things on writers and we as readers are no better--we want the next installment now. Sometimes it was years in between an authors books--but now as a society we all want instant gratification.

Plus I think some writers have minions typing away in a dank basement to shell out those multiple books a year.

word ver: luvyt--love it!

Jess said...

I agree about SL. Some of her later works seem to be nothing more than gratutitous sex scenes tied loosely together with a light weight plot.

I am being such a negative nelly on this blog! I promise I do love romance novels, lol!

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, I have actually thought about this alot lately because I am as impatient as a two year old when it comes to new releases. I know that I am one of the worst when it comes to wanting the next book from a fav author (LK, are you listening?). At the same time I feel guilty because, they want to publish only the best story and we readers demand only the best from them. That doesn't happen overnight. It takes time to develop a story and characters.
I don't know how these authors who have several books out in one year do it, not to mention the authors who write under different pen names, like Nora Roberts/JD Robb and Jayne Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle.
I think Amy is on to something with her minions in the basement theory.

Rach said...

So, why is it you are el negativo Miss Jess? Let's talk about what you *do* like. Hm, is it possible your romance parameters are just as strict as mine?

Lucy Monroe said...

Julie...*my* baby came home from her trip to CA with my sister's family to inform me that while there, she and her "just friend" were now "dating" (though this was all decided over the phone). Talk about a huge step. But then I cried at her 8th Grade graduation. I'm such a sap. LOL

RachD...GREAT attitude and you are right, darn it. If it were the right job for you, you'd have it. Maybe you need the down time in the car commuting. Teaching *is* a stressful job and quiet time is a premium for mom's, isn't it?

As for your question about the publishers and readers pressuring authors to produce...could be. I don't know. I know that I write as many books a year as I do because I've got these characters screaming in my head to have their stories told. Every time I try to cut back the number of books I write in a year, another one of them comes begging and pleading for a book. LOL

And the thing I've noticed is that while some readers find one author consistent, other find another one. Some of my faves get dissed by other readers while the ones they tout as always delivering a great book leave me cold.

I firmly believe that a book's intrinsic value is like the eye of the beholder. :)

Jess...I've decided to share my "Book Pimp" title with you because you definitely qualify. LOL

Amy...Elizabeth Lowel blogged about the whole giving yourself permission not to finish a book you aren't enjoying on "Running With Quills". I skip to the end. ;-)

Don't remember who mentioned that RWA National was coming soon, but it gave me an idea. I'm not going this year. Weird for me, but good with my writing schedule. (Those demanding characters again...) Anyway, I think maybe I'll have a party at my blog that week, give away books by me and other authors every day and in general make it fun for those of us not going.

What do you all think?


Rach said...

Lucy, fantastic blog idea!! I would come even without the prizes ;o). There are going to be so many authors MIA at RWA that it will be nice to be with someone at home with us =).

I just finished THE PRINCE'S VIRGIN BRIDE. I just love your stories, I'm glad you have characters clamoring to get out! =)

Jess really is a "Book Pimp" =).

Thanks for your insight into the publishing industry =)!

Manda Collins said...

Julie, great minds think alike;)

Amy, good for you escaping the tyranny of bad books. I am able to stop a book in its tracks...or my tracks...or whatever...when I don't feel like it's "working out" between us. But there are some who at one time wrote something I like and for some reason I keep hoping that they'll be able to do it again.

Rach, good question. I do think that some authors are pushed into writing for the market rather than from the heart.

Laurens for instance seems to hinge her books on the notions that readers love: series and alpha males. I think the reason why Vane stands out in my mind is because he was the closest thing to a Beta she's written. But then again, maybe this is the kind of hero Laurens herself likes so she writes what she likes. Not a crime. I just don't have to like them. And like I said before, some people love her.

I think writers have a very hard row to hoe. They've got to stay within the parameters of the genre, but keep it fresh and new, in addition to making themselves happy in what they write. Some authors are just better at it than others. And maybe we like it better when we don't see the "strings" or the woman "behind the curtain."

As for the ghostwriters in the basement, Danielle Steele novels have been written for the past several years by a team of ghostwriters. She comes up with the idea for the story but the ghostwriters write it.

Manda Collins said...

Lucy, good idea re: the party.

And I definitely know what you mean. It makes me sad when people dis my fave authors, but in the same way I think there's someone out there for everyone, I also think there is a reader for every book. If I don't like something, I know there's going to be someone else out there for it. I love book matchmaking:) It does make me feel better to know, though that others agree with me regarding certain authors. It's hard to be the odd woman out:)

Julie in Ohio said...

Lucy, sign me up!! I love a party!

Alright, I am feeling bad about coming down on SL. I am liking her Bastion Club series for the most part and I will continue to get them.
I am such a hypocrite. Last week I was coming down on reviewers who are less than favorable when it comes to books they didn't like and here I'm doing it myself. I'm sorry. From this point on, there will be no more badness from my words about a book.

word verif: hownd

Jess said...

Rach, I don't think my reading parameters are quite the same as yours. I know that I am becoming a *much* pickier romance reader but I think that is a product of having read in the genre for the last 13 years or so. I will reread a book that I remember that I loved several years ago and I will find all sorts of annoying things (sloppy writing, trite plot, TSTL heroine, etc.) that change my perception of the book. The book clearly worked for me in the past but I've changed, so my tastes have changed along with me!

I will try romances in almost any subgenre or time period because I am always looking for the next author who will make me fall in love. At this time I am very hesitant to buy regency historical romances because they have been done to death and it is hard to find one that knocks my socks off. Laura Lee Guhrke is doing a great job in that genre (though her older books are really excellent as well!) and I still enjoy Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and some Lisa Kleypas. All those authors are very talented at writing dialog and they each have their own distinctive voice, so their books don't feel run of the mill. I like authors who write well, suck me emotionally into their story and make me fall in love with their characters. That magic combination is harder and harder for me to find.

Lucy Monroe- You wrote The Real Deal, right? I LOVED that book even though I wasn't expecting to and I have passed it on to my aunt and a few friends. I am very eager to try more of your backlist!

I guess I am a book pimp for As You Desire, lol. I am also pushy about The Passions of Emma and Heart of the West by Penelope Williamson!! I won't get started on those though (*wink*).

Sheesh- I really need to get back to lurking, lol!

Rach said...

Lucy, I'm not trying to diss books, really. Some books by some authors work for me, and then the same author may have a book I don't exactly gobble up.

Jessie, I didn't mean to suggest we had the same taste, only that we both have a fairly strict set of parameters by which we judge what we will enjoy. And, nah, don't lurk, hang out with us. You add a another point of view. =)

Julie, there is a difference between you and the reviewers, you are not being nasty in your views, while often they seem to take pride/revel in their cruelty. You are NOT a nasty person, I promise =).

Julie in Ohio said...

Sorry, Jess, but you have crossed the point of no return. You can't go back to just being a lurker anymore. HA,HA. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Thanks, Rach. You're a sweety. :o)

Did you get those JR Ward books yet? You really, really need to. No pressure, though. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Poor, Michelle. She was worried yesterday about a guest blog that was supposed to be up today. Looks like it didn't work. :o(
She must be very upset. Too bad we couldn't send her one those 'ritas. That would help her gain perspective on the problem. :o)

Rach said...

Yes, Julie, I know she was worried. And on vacation, too. But see, we managed to keep ourselves entertained. =) Oh, the JR Ward books are in my shopping cart awaiting purchase =).

amy kennedy said...

Jess, try Julie Ann London, esp, The Spy Who Loved Me--but they're all good. I love Pennelope Williamson, but I've only read her historical suspence fiction set in 1920 (?) New Orleans--romance involved as well.

Lucy, sounds great--also, I think some writers are better suited to large quantities of writing--so many ideas, such nimble fingers--and others are not.

Manda--I new it! DS really does have minions.

I love it that there are books for everyone--I try not to dis: if I can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all--but I know sometimes the claws come out.

Lucy Monroe said...

Okay, it's official! We will have a party during RWA week (July 24-29) on my blog. We'll chat, enjoy fab food and drink without gaining weight and I'll give away lots of books and covers and other fun stuff!

And I've never seen anyone be mean on this blog. Not once. Not ever. I can honestly say I've never read any of the authors you all are chatting about on this thread, but a friend did send me Lord of the Scoundrels to read, so nobody dissed my faves. I was just saying it does happen and vice versa. Authors get lauded as "it girls (or guys)" and I try reading them and the books just don't work for me.

I've been reading romance for almost three decades and I know what I like. I know what I don't like and I know I LOVE being surprised by a new author who catches my attention. Most recent ones have been Lora Leigh and JJ Massa. I went on total binges for both authors once I discovered their books.'s pretty clear, I like *sexy* books. LOL

I'm gonna hop over and comment on the guest blog now. Hurray for Michelle getting it up!

Lucy Monroe said...

Oh, and RachD and Jess, smooches to both of you! Rach - I'm so glad you liked "The Prince's Virgin Wife". I had a ton of fun with that trilogy.

And Jess, glad you enjoyed "The Real Deal." When I was done with it, I realized there was a lot of my hubby in Simon, making it one of my top personal faves for a long time to come. LOL

Hugs to all,

Jess said...

So sorry to you all if you thought my posts were unkind about certain books/authors. I am not trying to "dis" any particular author or another reader's preferences.

I am a regular poster at AAR and I participate in a private yahoo group for romance readers. I am used to very candid opinions from readers and that is how I generally discuss books too. Just like if I ate a dessert at a restaurant and didn't like it I would say, "Ick, not my style!" and then offer it up to my husband who would probably happily gobble it right up and enjoy it too.

I certainly didn't mean to step on anyone's toes!

Back to lurking now (for real this time!). Thanks for letting me stop by and chat. :-)

Manda Collins said...

No, no Jess! You didn't say anything out of line...we'd tell you;) Well, maybe Julie wouldn't, hehe.

Come back anytime! We like many voices in the mix!

Julie in Ohio said...

Jess, it was me that was being mean not you! And I believe I already explained to you that you can't go back to being a lurker. Once you make two posts your lurker status gets revoked. :o)