RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? I am currently OPEN for review requests for review requests. I have promotional openings for July through November open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


2.26.2010

RhiReading Feature: Weekend Reading [02/26-02/28]

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What an exhausting week! I think I tweeted that I was going to put the baby's socks back on and write up my weekend reading post around 2pm but wouldn't ya know it? I got sidetracked with another blog post and the fun that is playing with a baby's toes. ;)

Yes, this week I decided to repurpose my old twitter account for the book blog! I've never been consistent with twitter or facebook. I think they serve a great purpose in the whole social networking thing but I don't even have a cell phone. No really. I could have one if I wanted one but I don't. Sure they're handy when you're out and about and someone at home needs you to bring home a jug of milk. The trouble is I feel like I'm on a leash and if you don't pick up when someone calls they wonder if you're mad at them, etc. Still, I thought I might try limiting my tweets to book and blog related stuff.

I remember when I first got it all my friends were confused about why I wasn't following all the celebrities. One friend even told me the only reason to be on Twitter was to read what famous people were doing. As much as I would love to know what the stars are up to every minute of every day—

Oh wait. Yeah. I really don't. Not any more than they want to know what I'm having for lunch, that my kid has a cold and how much I wish it was pedicure day.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter or just read my tweets in the blog's sidebar. :)

So what am I up to this weekend in the world of reading? I plan to finish Bite Me! by Melissa Francis. I emailed her earlier this month asking if she'd write a guest blog post for me but wouldn't ya know I didn't get back to her after she replied. *kicking self* So I plan to write her back this weekend too. I was thinking maybe she'd like to be interviewed instead of writing a guest blog post. If anyone has any questions they would like me to ask please email me with them.

I'm also slowly working my way through Lover Avenged still. While Zsadist is my favorite Brother, I was stricken by Rhev from the moment he walked onto the page. He's been a really fascinating character through the series so I'm taking this one slower than I have any of the others. That and I only read it when in bed since it's hard to hold it and the baby. hehe!

And on that note dear readers I'm afraid I must retire for the night. I'm oh-so-sleepy and a nice cup of Sleepytime Tea and a little Black Dagger Brotherhood sounds like just the thing to start the weekend with. Good night!
-- Rhi

A Faevorite Theme for March 2010

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I have a love/hate relationship with the month of February. I love Valentine's Day. I hate sub-zero temperatures. I love the slightly longer daylight hours. I hate the mud when the snow begins to melt on the few days we get sunshine. I love the perfect four week month. I hate scrambling to get the mortgage paid without those 2-3 extra days. The list goes on.

I'm not sad to see the arrival of March at all this year. When I was a kid my grandparents always pulled out shiny green garland, cheap plastic bowler hats and cardboard rainbows with crepe paper pots o' gold at one end to decorate their office. As proud Irish-Americans we made damn sure everyone knew about it. When my grandfather passed away in my teens the tradition stopped. But I've always been quite interested in the folklore of my ancestors so the arrival of March with its silly St. Patrick's Day traditions brings to mind not just leprechauns but fae stories in general.

Many authors have taken the idea of fairies and faery culture and run with it. And what better myth to work with really? You can make them cute or mischievous, evil or apathetic, romantic or erotic, ugly or androgynous. There is so much you can do with the different ideas of faery that it is easily one of the most usable races to use in urban fantasy and paranormal romances. For example Virginia Kantra's Children of the Sea series which are selkie romances or the faery reservations (think those given to Native Americans) from Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson books.

Which is why as February comes to an end and March begins I'm going to move from vampires to faeries! I have a stack of books I've been dying to get to including Rachel Vincent's first two Soul Screamers books (banshee!) and Richelle Mead's second Dark Swan book, Thorn Queen. Maybe I'll even pull out my Faery Wisdom deck and consult it daily too. Because we could all use a little bit of myth and magick in our everyday lives couldn't we? -- Rhi

2.23.2010

Personal Libraries

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After my parents divorced when I was five my model turned stay-at-home mom went back to school. She had considered getting a nursing degree but instead became one of the only female machinists in our area. I always admired my mom for taking on not only a job in a male dominated field but for the sacrifices she made to make sure my younger brother and I were cared for. We didn't have much but for the most part we never went without the basics. Cable TV wasn't something we could afford. New toys were something we got from our grandparents and at holidays. We rarely went out to the movies and renting VHS tapes wasn't a regular occurance. There were only two real ways to entertain ourselves; playing outside and reading indoors. We had a lot of outdoor adventures in the big field behind our house, in the space under the lilac bushes behind the neighbors house and catching tadpoles in the pond in the back yard. But reading became an escape as soon as I learned how to read my first word... BOOK.

Some of my early favorites were Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth, Morgan and Me and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. But we didn't have a lot of money to buy books, though my mom did her best to use the book orders we got at school when she could. Instead, we used to make a special trip once or twice a month...

I still remember that first time she took me the the library in my home town. To this day the smell of libraries evokes a euphoric feeling deep down to my toes! I don't recall much about the library's layout or anything special aside from that smell but I still remember the first library book I checked out. It was some version of "the little engine that could" story.

Ever since those days I've loved libraries. When my son once asked me what kind of room I would want at his mansion when he grows up and makes his millions as a robot-engineer/chef I said "a library". Then he wanted elaboration which involved me going on about 14' high ceilings, dark wooden shelves, a cozy fireplace and velvety wingback chairs. Yep, the sort of room you see in movies. Though I imagine the shelves of trashy popular fiction rather than first edition classics would give visitors pause.

Now that my husband and I have bought our first house I'm discovering that my own office, let alone a library, are years away from happening. (Although I will admit the temptation to buy an e-reader and start building a pocket friendly library is tempting). And with a mortgage, home improvements to be made, and two children we hope to help through college our extra cash flow isn't so much improved on the income I grew up on. But then who has lots of extra money in these financially uncertain times?

I don't get to our local library these days (their hours don't work for my freetime) because of this I do sometimes get my retail therapy—all women need this from time to time—through an odd sort of window shopping. As in browser window. Whatever 'net browser you prefer this is (for the most part) a great way to shop without shopping. I load my Amazon wishlist with books (and sometimes other stuff like the food processor I added yesterday) I like the cover on or that are coming soon in my favored genres and feel like I actually got something. By the end of one of these afternoons shopping I usually feel almost as satisfied as if I'd bought something with the added bonus of getting ideas of what is coming out soon.

Now if only I had some damned book shelves to put the books I do own on...
-- Rhi


photo credit: juliaf

2.22.2010

Review: How Not to Make a Wish by Mindy Klasky


How Not to Make a Wish (As You Wish #1) by Mindy Klasky
Contemporary Romance, Magical Realism
Trade Paperback (MIRA, 336 pages, $13.95)
ISBN# 077832737X
While cleaning an old lantern, Kira Franklin releases a genie. But this gender-morphing, appearance-bending creature doesn't do "big" wishes. So forget stopping world hunger or ending war. And still heartbroken from the jerk who dumped her, Kira doesn't believe in the perfect man.
So she wishes for her dream job. Stage manager at the hottest theater in town, the Landmark. And presto: she's running Romeo and Juliet. Except, like everything else these days, this is one crazy production. And now Teel, the genie, insists she finish her wishes so "he" can move on.
Her second wish is about her appearance, which isn't exactly catching her third wish's eye. And there's the rub.
Because that old saying about being careful what you wish for is so spot-on. And Kira is about to discover that moxie, not magic, is what can make all your dreams come true.

Author Site: www.mindyklasky.com


Magic but not quite magical. (3 stars)

Things haven't been too great in Kira Franklin's life for a while. Her ex-fiance dumped her, the dinner theater she's working at is a dead-end for her stage managing career and her lawyer father has been breathing down her neck trying to get her to give up theater and take the LSAT. But all that changes when she cleans up an old lantern found in the prop closet... and a genie pops out ready to grant Kira's wishes. Her first wish? Become the stage manager for the Landmark's newest production. Surely, stage managing the totally nouveau production of Romeo and Juliet will open doors for Kira's career.

Yet, as Kira enjoys her new job her genie begins putting the pressure on for her to finish up with her wishes. Catching the eye of one of her sexy cast would be a plus, if only she could get out of her sweats and back into her skinny jeans and voila! Having a genie on her side certainly has its perks but Kira is about to learn that sometimes you don't need wishes and magic to get what you want most of all.

Alright, so I assume most are wondering why the okay rating. I liked Klasky's Jane Madison book I read last fall a lot. So I was really interested in seeing what she could do with a story involving a genie. I mean, there aren't enough genie stories out there anyway! How Not to Make a Wish has a really good plot if you're into theater. I definitely recommend it for people who are into stage plays and theater who want to read a romance. All the technical stuff was a bit lost on me since the last time I was involved in a play it was performed by elementary school aged children. I found myself really wanting to call up a friend of mine who is heavily involved in this sort of stuff in college so she could help me picture some of the stage stuff. That is why I found it to be only okay. It can be frustrating to read something you expect to be entertaining and find yourself too unclear about the details to focus.

My other small issue was the romance itself. Most perceptive readers can pick up on it right away so they'll expect (or at least I did) a little more interaction and character development for the love interest. When the book ended I felt like I didn't know enough about him to be sure I felt any chemistry between he and Kira. That might not bug all readers but it's essential for me as a reader.

On the whole this IS a good book. It's just not the book for me. If you're an urban fantasy reader or paranormal romance reader looking for a fun genie story this really isn't it. BUT if you're in the market for a contemporary romance with a touch of magic this should be right up your alley.

Other Reviews:
A Passion for Books
Stephanie Draven


Notes: I received this book as a review copy I requested from the author.

2.20.2010

Review: Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

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Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead
Young Adult, Vampires
Trade Paperback (RAZORBILL, 512 pages, $9.99)
ISBN# 1595143106
How far will Rose go to keep her promise?
The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them. . . including Dimitri.
He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

Author Site: www.richellemead.com


From Siberia With Love (4 stars)


In spite of their spirit based bond, Rose has left her best friend Lissa behind at St. Vladimir's to go off in search of Dimitri. She knows that he wouldn't want to be Strigoi and is willing to go to any legnths to find him and slay him. Even if it means she might get killed trying. But finding the former guardian is tough when her only lead is that he grew up in a dhampir village in Siberia. Has he returned to the one place he could call home? As she seeks out Dimitri her path crosses that of some very interesting characters from a manipulative Moroi gangster to a shadow-kissed and spirit bound couple her adventure reveals more and more about the world of vampires.


Yet when she finally does find her former teacher, the man she loves, will she be able to kill him? Or could Dimitri be the one man who could convince Rose to turn monster?

I really love this series and Rose as a character. But I've never been a Dimitri fan. I've been wishing he'd get killed since Frostbite. I know, I know, hate me all ya want Dimitri fans I just don't like him and Rose together, okay? That said, I wasn't sure where Mead was going to go with this book. I mean... I may not like Dimitri but Rose loves him! Surely she'll hunt him down and something epic will happen. It doesn't quite happen that way. I was a bit frustrated with how slowly everything moved along and with the secondary storyline happening back at St. Vlad's it felt like I was swimming through literary molasses.

I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending (which I won't spoil but the synopsis for Spirit Bound will so be warned) but I like where the storyline of the series is going. I also really liked the places that the series is going with spirit users.

Overall I would almost rate this one as just okay but I see this as kind of a pivot point book. That lets me like it more than I would have if this were more of a stand alone. if you're a fan of the series you can't miss this one and expect to read the next. It might seem a little like filler but some important things happen in this one, even if the story isn't as kickbutt as the first three.

Other Reviews:
Persnickety Snark
J. Lee Moffatt @ Drops of Crimson


Notes: I purchased this book brand new.

2.19.2010

RhiReading Feature: Weekend Reading [02/19-02/21]

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Wow. Erm how can it be Friday already? :P

It's been a busy week around here. Mostly it involved me deciding to try and find a new (free) layout that could spruce it up a bit. If I had a following big enough that I could tell anyone besides me reads my posts it might be worth seeking out a designer to pay for a custom layout/design but for now it's too pricey. So what do you think of the one I finally settled on?

I was also busy trying to go through boxes of books in my garage. My mom-in-law is a fast reader. Way faster than I am. So I was trying to get series together so she'd have the whole of each to read. I don't know how much she'll like everything I gave her but she already finished the two I gave her last weekend. "The ending of that last one was so sad!", she told me this afternoon, referring to Richelle Mead's Blood Promise. Now I'm wondering whether she, her son or myself will be the first one to get Spirit Bound read when it comes out this summer.

I've only read the first three Immortals After Dark books by Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter is celebrating the release of the latest IAD book over @ her blog this week. One of these days I will get caught up! I promise! I mention these because I found the above mention trio in the garage boxes but can't find the other two I know are out there. *sulk, sulk*

So what fun stuff are you readers doing this weekend? I'll be celebrating my husband's birthday—he's getting Castle Season One, some books and a Mighty Muggs figure—and hopefully getting some solid reading time. I want to finish How Not to Make a Wish and I am getting there but I'm really mad at Kira, the heroine. Does that ever happen to any of you? You read a book and the heroine does something reeeeeeeeally annoyingly stupid even though you're mentally shouting at her not to do it?

Well, it's about time I start looking toward some dinner. I'm debating hitting up my favorite online pizza ordering place so I can relax over dinner and a movie with my sweety. Law Abiding Citizen, not sure if it's any good but hello... it's Gerard Butler! At the very least there'll be something to look at. ;)

Hope you all have an awesome weekend filled with the three R's... rest, relaxation and reading!
--Rhi

P.S. - I've seen these before and I am in LOOOOVE with them. Today I found this artist again by sheer coincidence and felt it was essential that I post a link to these beautiful one-of-a-kind steampunky jewelry bits. My favorites are Captain Nemo's Treasure and The Ghost of Lady Grey. Enjoy!

2.18.2010

Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen


The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel by Sarah Addison Allen
Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism
Hardcover (BANTAM, 288 pages, $25.00)
ISBN# 0553807218
Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. Such as, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? And why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew—a reclusive, real-life gentle giant—she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.
Everyone in Mullaby adores Julia Winterson’s cakes—which is a good thing, because Julia can’t seem to stop baking them. She offers them to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth but also in the hope of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Flour, eggs, milk, and sugar . . . Baking is the only language the proud but vulnerable Julia has to communicate what is truly in her heart. But is it enough to call back to her those she’s hurt in the past?
Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily’s backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in.

Author Site: www.sarahaddisonallen.com


Whimsical. Charming. Loved it! (5 stars)

Mullaby, North Carolina is home to many mysterious and marvelous wonders so why did Emily Benedict's mother never tell her about this place?

When Emily's mother left Mullaby she didn't look back. When she passed away after years of philanthopic efforts and a straight-laced lifestyle the last thing her orphaned teen daughter expects is to be shipped off to live with her grandfather in North Carolina. She's never even heard of the giant, Vance Shelby, or the strange light that flutters about in the woods behind his house. No one will tell her why she's looked on with a mixture of disgust and trepidation, at least not at first. Taken under the wing of her grandfather's neighbor, Julia Winterson, she begins to feel a little welcome until the mystery of why her mother left begins unraveling... and she has to question everything she knew about her mom and everything she's learned about the strange town she grew up in.

RT Book Reviews had an article about this book that sold me on it long before I was offered a chance to review it. It isn't every day that something this whimsical, magical and still substantial comes along. Every character in it plays a significant role and leaves an impression. But the town itself is one of the biggest characters. Every location comes alive through Allen's masterful storytelling. Emily's adventures in Mullaby are bittersweet at times and it wasn't hard to believe her when she painted a different portrait from the one others saw of her mother.

Like others I can't help but liken this story to the film Big Fish. While it's contemporary fiction at its base the magic woven into it gives it the flavor of a tall tale. Julia's cakes and the story behind why she bakes them actually had tears streaming down my cheeks and not many books can pull that off!

If you're looking for a charming, sweet read for a book club I think this would make an excellent selection. It has its sad moments and even some that are a little tense but on the whole it is a story about foregiveness, redemption and the value of keeping secrets. I really, really enjoyed it and hope to try some of Allen's other work in the future.

Other Reviews:
Joanna @ Goodreads
Chel Micheline @ Amazon


Notes: I received this book as an ARC through the Amazon Vine program.

2.13.2010

Seeking Suggestions: Steampunk & Zombies

Just a quick note dear readers...

I was out in my garage trying to find all the books of certain series to loan out to the mom-in-law. I am definitely putting book shelves at the top of my list of things to buy with my tax return. ;) As I was going through the boxes I got a couple of month theme ideas I want to work on for this year but both are themes I've wanted to dive into more over the last year but haven't had much luck finding books that appeal based on the blurbs alone. That is where you guys come in... I'm looking for steampunk stories with female leads and books that feature zombies in the storyline that lean more toward urban fantasy than sci-fi. I'm not having a lot of luck finding them on my own though I do have a couple of steampunk ones in mind already and one on the shelf. Your suggestions would certainly be useful to me since these are both quickly becoming popular yet aren't overwhelmingly large sub-genres.

Thanks a bunch! -- Rhi

2.12.2010

RhiReading Feature: Weekend Reading [02/12-02/14]

You can ask the question "why do you read romance?" in any given group of women and get largely diverse answers as a whole. One theme will prevail above all others though, escape. The fantasy of love as an adventure appeals to everyone. It is, just like life itself, all about the process and not so much the end result. Why do you think so many fairy tales end with "and they lived happily ever after"? Because if they continued beyond the chase into the story of how they lived happily ever after you'd see that love is as complex as the seasons changing.

A while back I was part of a forum discussion relating to this subject and many fellow readers were offended by my realistic take on romance and love. Don't get me wrong I love those happy endings where the hero and heroine ride off into the sunset blissful and ignorant as much as anyone. But I also love knowing that the hero and heroine ride off into the sunset and find out how sucktastic making love work really is. Why? Just like other readers enjoy the fantasy side of the chase and believing love is attainable, I like knowing that it isn't perfect. It makes me feel better to know that even fictional lovers can make it through the crapaliciousness of conflicts life throws at those who love. I mean... if Zsadist and Bella can survive rape, torture and hunting lessers surely they can get through the sleepless nights with a newborn Nalla?

Having been married for ten years and gone through multiple moves, lots of separations thanks to military service, scary health traumas, two kids of our own, his kid and his ex, sucky jobs and suckier paychecks, family dramas and the little everyday annoyances (seriously, why can't he put his underpants in the hamper one foot away from where he drops them?) it amazes me how fictional couples can ever truly live happily ever after. Even still I can't help but think that if my man and I were a star-crossed vampire and his moon-called werewolf bride we could make it work.

So this weekend while I'm stuck at home entertaining the three kids indoors—thanks to the yucky Montana climate—and my sweetie is stuck at work ('cause blood has to be processed 7 days a week) I might be diving into the fantasy world of the romance novel (Lover Avenged, because frankly I couldn't put it off any longer!!!) but it's my own real love that I admire. ♥ -- Rhi

2.11.2010

It's a dog eat blog world out there!

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I had all intentions of sitting down and working on one of my pending reviews while the baby was napping but I got a bit caught up in my blogroll. Primarily in reading something Katiebabs wrote. I feel like I have to share because I really sympathize and relate to some of her thoughts.

Don’t Play In Our Sandbox Because You’re Not a Part of the “In-Crowd”

I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her here but something in particular she said really resonated with me as a blogger:

"There are many blogs I hold up to a higher standard and are amazed at what they do. Because I respect them so much, I use them as an example and try to replicate their success with my own blog. Now this success isn’t because of who they may be or the position they have in this community, but mainly for my own personal reasons and gains."

I have to say I look at her blog in that way a bit. I can't imagine anyone thinking her blog wasn't amazing! I wish I had as much time and skill to put into RhiReading as KB does for her blog because her success, accessibility and creativity are things I admire and aspire to. But that's just it... I see her success not as a matter of numbers (as in the number of people who visit her blog) but as a matter of whether people ENJOY her blog. That fact is why I sometimes don't feel like my blog is particularly good. I can't tell if anyone enjoys it since I don't get a lot of comments and have few followers.

I'm learning though. You can have all the gimicks in the world and people won't love your blog if you're not posting anything worth reading. So I'll keep sharing my reviews and posting random thoughts about what I'm reading and life as a reader/blogger and if you like it cool, if not well... I won't lie and say I wish you loved my blog and wanna be my fan... but I'll try not to care too much if it's just not for you. Why? Because hey, I'm a reader and a reviewer. Sometimes a book just isn't for me! ;)
-- Rhi

2.09.2010

Jeaniene Frost Interview & Giveaway @ SciFiGuy's Blog

I think I've mentioned before that my husband got his hands on my Night Huntress books and read them last year. I had every intention of reading them from when they first hit the shelves and can't recall why I never did get them read. Needless to say he loves them and I should probably unpack them so his mother can borrow them and I can read them finally.

Doug, aka SciFiGuy, has an interview with Frost up this week and is giving away a few signed copies of her new book First Drop of Crimson which is a spin-off of the Night Huntress series. I'm actually sitting here debating snatching a copy up to give my sweetie for Valentine's Day. But in the meantime I'm hoping to win me a copy from the giveaway. ;)

Go check it out: Guest Author - Jeaniene Frost (Interview and Giveaway)

And if you happen to be one of the lucky winners let me know!
-- Rhi

2.05.2010

RhiReading Feature: Weekend Reading [02/05-02/07]

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A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb


I've found myself having a rough week. Just the results of a handful of situations sort of all becoming overwhelming at once. There's nothing like feeling you're failing as a parent, partner or simply as a responsible adult. I found myself sitting down and having a good cry in the middle of the night.

When life gets me down it is often a matter of timing. What can't be resolved today will sit and stress me out until I can't think straight. And as I get older I'm learning that sometimes there aren't happy endings in real life. Sometimes there are only somber ones. Sometimes there are downright ugly ones.

This is when I become really glad that I enjoy reading. You can easily lose yourself in someone else's problems for a while. I get a great sense of satifaction out of thinking the heroine would just get through everything if she'd follow my instructions. But then they never do and there's a certain satisfaction to watching her fall flat on her face for not taking your advice. ;)

So this week I've been butting my nose into the business of Vampire Academy's Rose Hathaway. The latest book is Blood Promise and though I think this is the slowest and most dull book in the series so far a lot of important storyline is happening. I'm hoping I can get it finished this weekend so I can work on a review next week.

I'm also still working on the Sookie Stackhouse series. I can't have my mother-in-law slip up and spoil anything for me so I am alllll over it. Now if only True Blood Season 2 was out on DVD!

And speaking of hot shirtless mens... did you guys see the cover art for The Darkest Lie (the next Lords of the Underworld book by Gena Showalter)? It's been ages since I've seen a cover with an actual head on it!!! Go check it out on her blog. This is the LOTU book I've been waiting for ever since Gideon walked onto the page. :D *drools*

Anywho dear readers... I have a super pile of laundry to fold and I really want to get back to Rose... she's finally found Dimitri! May you all have a terrific weekend without too much horrid weather (we've got freezing fog and frigid temps ugh!) and let me know what you're reading!
-- Rhi

2.01.2010

Love Bites... and other thoughts on reading in February.

No, I haven't forgotten you dear readers! I think I may finally be getting my writing groove back.

I don't recall if I've mentioned it before but not only did I have a baby last October, I bought my first house. After spending the past seven years in an apartment that could fit into the living room of my house the room to breath has been welcome if a little overwhelming. Of course, the small window-less basement room I had staked a claim on as my "writer's nook" ended up becoming my darling husband's "man cave". This left me with only one place to set up shop. The laundry room. Not the most ideal locale for a quiet escape where I can shelf my books, handle our household paperwork and kick back to write thoughtful reviews. But my sweetie went to the trouble of ripping out cabinets and counter, installing a new sink and finding a new home for the... pottybox for my furred companions. Now I just need to get some paint on the exposed wall, buy some book shelves and sneak my door length Legolas poster in—I did not just admit that—and it should be somewhat suitable.

It's great having a new "office" and it always smells really fresh in there but I don't get to spend much actual time in it. Why? Well, the baby isn't so fond of the rinse cycle on the washer even though her swing has a rather annoying and loud music track on it. This has resulted in a frequent hijacking of our older child's computer in the wee hours of the morning when the baby is wide awake. I am starting to suspect the baby is a vampire with her aversion to daylight hours and love of Rob Zombie music (thanks for killing Beethoven daddy).

So as January has been drawing to a close I was off for an afternoon at the spa with my truly awesome mother-in-law...

We always have a tough time buying her Christmas gifts so a few years back we started with the Harry Potters and then the Narnias and last year for her birthday we thought we'd be a little daring and give her Twilight. That crazy woman was hounding me about the New Moon movie and if we were going to the first showing for months! But how do you top that series? I decided to be even more daring and bought her the boxed Sookie Stackhouse set this past Christmas. I figured she hadn't had time to read them yet so as we were sitting there getting our feet pampered I asked her if she had started them. Wouldn't ya know it? She got this big sneaky grin on her face and looked a bit bashful.

"I've read them all. Twice. And then some."

My jaw about hit the floor. I own that same boxed set and I still hadn't cracked the plastic wrap on it. And here I was afraid she wouldn't like them! So this lead to me loaning her True Blood Season One. I thought her sensibilities would be quite shocked by all the man-ass (yes, this was the word I used to warn her which she found hysterical) and bewbies. Today she dropped by to bring over some cinnamon rolls and she had to double check with me that yes I had told her Season Two would be out on DVD/Bluray on May 2nd... and did I have any other books like those she might like?

Ladies and gentlemen... I have created a monster. A good one but one I don't think I can keep up with.

I had already planned to make February my month of romance and vampires so I hope y'all will forgive me for being very indulgent in any of my reading choices. I haven't had time to catch up on The Black Dagger Brotherhood or Vampire Academy thanks to their latest releases being hardbacks. But I do also owe an author a huge apology and a review of her latest release. I happened to start her book and then couldn't find it after the move. I am finally getting some of my books unpacked so expect to see a genie thrown in there for good measure!

I love Valentine's Day. Always have enjoyed it, even when I didn't have a love in my life. So here's to a month of romantic reads!
-- Rhi

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