Saturday, February 28, 2009

DIK Authors

Hello everyone!

I'm Nath, Tracy's latest victim guest blogger :P When Tracy asked me to be a guest blogger, I said "Sure, why not?" and then asked her what other guest bloggers usually talked about... She said that most listed their 6 DIK. Again, "Sure!" I can do that :) Right... narrowing all the wonderful books I've read in the past 10 years to six. Hmmm. Let's admit it, my biggest problem, beside being impatient, is being greedy! If I'm going to be stranded on a desert island and I can only have 6 of something, well the something will be authors' books collections!!! LOL :) So here I am cheating a bit and will list 6 authors whose backlists I would bring with me... and trust me, if I ever get on a boat for a cruise or something, my backpack will be full of books :)

1) Nora Roberts

There is a reason why Nora Roberts is known as La Nora or the Queen of Romance and she totally deserves the nickname. I read many of her books and enjoyed almost all of them, even the earlier ones. Ms Roberts has a wonderful writing style and it just keeps improving and improving. She's also one of the most prolific romance writers at the moment, often having 4 or more books released a year. What I liked the most though is her level of consistency. Every book she writes is a solid, well-told, well-written and interesting :) I mean, it is very amazing after so many books written. Also, Ms Roberts is the only author I know who could write such a long series like the In Death series and still maintain such a high level, enticing the readers.

My favorites of hers: Homeport, True Betrayals, Honest Illusions, Angel Falls, the In Death series and the Chesapeake quartet.

2) Katherine Stone

I looooooove Katherine Stone! All her books are very emotional, real cry-jerkers. She has a very different and unique writing style, very passive that suits well the stories she writes. I also like the fact that all of her books focus solely on relationships. I read that Ms Stone is actually a doctor and it shows when reading her books as she has been able to use her medical background. I have to say though, it's quite unfortunate that Ms Stone has not released any books in the past few years. I dearly miss her.

My favorites of hers: Pearl Moon, Imagine Love, Love Songs, Rainbow and The Other Twin.

3) Jennifer Crusie

If Katherine Stone is my favorite author for cry-jerkers, then Jennifer Crusie is my favorite author for laughs. Her books are simply HILARIOUS. Crazy characters and crazy situations that make for tons of laughs. Again, my only complaint is that Ms Crusie hasn't come out with any solo book lately, although that could change in the next year.

My favorite of hers: Crazy for Her, Welcome to Temptation, Strange Bedpersons and Getting Rid of Bradley.

4) Kay Hooper

Ms Hooper is another of my favorite. I discovered her through her FBI SCU series. I really enjoy her take on psychic abilities and her mysteries are simply bone-chilling :P The greatest thing about Ms Hooper though is that she originally started off with straight romance and has an extensive backlist as well. Although most are out of print, they are being re-printed and so I get to discover her all over again :)

My favorite of hers: Stealing the Shadows, Out of the Shadows, Touching Evil, Whispers of Evil and Hunting Fear.

5) Robyn Carr

Ms Carr is a relatively new author to me. I discovered her two years ago after reading Virgin River. She was a revelation to me and had me looking up for more. I absolutely love her Virgin River trilogy, but also her Grace Valley trilogy. I had to look for almost two years in order to get my hand on the ending, Down by the River, but it was great. She also has an extensive backlist which is a bit difficult to get my hand on, but hey, I love challenge ;) When it comes to small community romance, I think that Ms Carr is the best :)

My favorite of hers: Virgin River, Temptation Ridge and the Grace Valley trilogy

6) Kelley Armstrong

My favorite urban fantasy author, Kelley Armstrong. Besides the fact that she is Canadian as well (go Canada! LOL), I simply love her books. She has created a supernatural world that I'd like to be part of. I love the Women of the Otherworld series - the characters and settings. I like the fact that she doesn't sugar-coat her novels and she is clear in her ideas of the world. Also, she has proven to be a diversified author, foraging into Young Adult and mystery fiction. I just can't inhale her books fast enough :)

My favorite of hers: Stolen, Industrial Magic and No Humans Involved.

Of course, I could add another 6 authors to this list, but for now, at the moment, these women are the ones that made my 6 DIK list :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

My Secret Revealed!

Aloha, DIK Ladies! 'Tis I, Bev (QB)! I received a surprise invitation from Tracy to Guest Blog today. I KNOW... that's exactly what I thought too... Tracy was apparently doing some glue-intensive crafts in an unventilated room that day.

Back when the DIK Ladies first formed, I followed the goings on and negotiations with endless amusement. My favorite part was that so many comments appeared for each post that the Blogger Word Verifications turned over to words with like 38 letters in them.

Bev's Secret Path 1I think it was Lisabea who asked me why I didn't join you in your DIK picking, and I basically told her that, when presented with too many choices, my memory comes up a big fat blank. Really, I'm cursed with a memory for names that sucks big hairy ogre balls even in real life. So, I couldn't think of any specific DIKs in some of the categories until one of YOU would mention one and it would shake loose a dust bunny or two out of my memory.Secret Cove- 1st path

As it turns out, I may have found the best of both worlds. I can choose any DIK I want because I'm a guest and you have to be polite to me (*neener-neener*), AND I can come and go from my Secret Cove on DIK Island whenever I want.Secret Cove- 2nd path

Yes, that's right, on the other side of your island, there is a hidden cove. It allows me to drop by and visit you and then disappear. Ever notice how I just happen to be around when there's a party going on? Ever wondered where some of your menz wander off to when they're feeling neglected because you've been playing favorites? Well, there's a special path (revealed here in these 4 pictures) and a few of the menz have followed it to discover my Secret Cove. What, you may ask, transpires in my Secret Cove? Sorry, but it's not called a SECRET Cove for nothing.

Bev's Secret CoveHowever, since Tracy was crazy drugged kind enough to issue me an invitation to Guest Blog over here, I've decided to go legitimate and come up with my very own Deserted Island Keepers. Of course, I'm still exercising my prerogative as a guest to choose whatever DIKs I fancy without regard to who may or may not have already laid claim to them. Yes, I know... my bad. Besides, unless you are one of the very few around here that are as old as I am (*coughKristiecough*), there's a good chance I laid claim to these heroes before you were over David Cassidy, Shaun Cassidy, Duran Duran, New Kids on the Block, or basically any teen idol after the original Monkees.

With so many unforgettable books to choose from, my DIK books were selected only if I have experienced the uncontrollable urge to re-read them and cannot imagine not having them available when that urge strikes. I have a feeling that there are some more recent books from other authors that will one day turn out to be my DIKs also.

Christian Bonello as Devil CynsterDevil's Bride original Book CoverCloser to perfection than any other romance book I've ever read, the only glaring flaw in Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens is that unfortunate original back cover pic. I mean, come on, Joey Tribbiani on a really bad hair day as Devil Cynster?! What were they thinking?! Besides, I KNOW that Devil looks like Christian Bonello (at right) and it was an excruciating choice to omit him from my DIK Heroes list that is cruelly limited to only six men. I wouldn't mind bringing the rest of the Cynster series along either, particularly the five other original Bar Cynster's stories that make up the crème de la crème of Regency era historical romances.

The Harlequin Book CoverNarcissus in Chains Book CoverHonestly, I consider the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton to be one ongoing story broken up into multiple books. So couldn't the series count as ONE BIG, LONG DIK? Okay, if I must play fair and choose one, then book 10, Narcissus in Chains, but I claim a special dispensation for a copy of book 15, The Harlequin, because I'm a vampire victim in it. Whenever I finish an ABVH book, it takes me a while to wrap my head around the fact that I can't just go to St. Louis and catch up with what's been going on in these people's lives.

A Gentleman's Wager Book CoverTo anyone who has ever visited my blog, it should be no surprise that A Gentleman's Wager by Madelynne Ellis is on my DIK list. I think I've rec'd this Georgian romp to so many people that the only thing I haven't tried is door-to-door sales. Really, life without Vaughan just wouldn't be worth living. I certainly wouldn't say no to bringing Phantasmagoria or any of the other upcoming AGW sequels and/or spin offs along to my Secret Cove either.

Lara Book CoverTough choice between Bertrice Small's Sky O'Malley series and her World of Hetar series, so I'll choose the World of Hetar only because it's fantasy based. And if I must choose only one book in that series, it would be the first one, Lara. But really, it's so hard to choose one book in either of these series because it's the cumulative story over successive books that weaves the rich tapestry of each heroine's life.

Dead and Gone Book CoverDead to the World Book CoverJohanna Parker's brilliant narration brings Sookie and all the other characters to Southern fried life in the audio books of Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series. If I must choose just one, it would be either book 4- Dead to the World (the one with Eric's amnesia) or book 8, From Dead to Worse (Eric remembers!). However, I claim another dispensation for a copy of the upcoming book 9, Dead and Gone because I'm a vampire fashionista in that one.

This final DIK slot is tough to choose. I was going to say Karen Marie Moning's Darkfever, but really I'd only want to bring it if I could have all 5 books in the Fever series. The cliffhangers would make me fugbuckin' nutso otherwise. Ditto for LKH's Merry Gentry series, although if I had to choose just one, it would probably be book 3, Seduced by Moonlight (the one with the Chalice Dream).

The Immortal Highlander Book CoverThen I thought about Phil Gigante's eargasmic narration of KMM's Highlander audio books, and I realized that it would be nice to have a second "hands-free" DIK, so I could sit with a tall, cold MAL-EEE-BOO and Pineapple Juice in one hand and... uh... someone something else in the other hand. But how can I choose just one? This is an impossible task you have set before me! Alright, alright, I guess it would be The Immortal Highlander (Adam Black and Gabrielle O'Callaghan) because we also get Phil G's Drustan and Dageus voices plus Adam's human and fae voices. There's also Fae intrigue, a tear-jerker HEA, and even dashes of humor.

Well. there's the first six books on my Deserted Island Keeper list. But I'm sure what you're all REALLY waiting for is my list of heroes that can be found romping in my Secret Cove. So without further adieu, these are the DIKs of my dreams...

VaughanVaughan, Marquis of Pennerly from A Gentleman's Wager by Madelynne Ellis: One of the most deliciously complex characters I’ve ever read. When he is “on stage” (and often when he’s not) he demands- and receives- the attention of everyone in the room… man, woman, or reader. He smirks, he sulks, he lies, he seduces, he pouts. While he often DOES amuse himself at the expense of others, he just as often lashes out in retaliation for his own pain or to cover his own vulnerability. Oh, I'm well aware that the emotional whirlwind that is Vaughan might exhaust me, but watching him work his seductive skills on my other men, and YOURS, should prove highly entertaining. I've no doubt that Vaughan can seduce anyone he sets out to, male or female.

Marcus Schenkenberg as RichardDonovan Lewis as Jean-ClaudeJean-Claude (at left) from the ABVH series by Laurell K. Hamilton: Calculating, pragmatic, hedonistic, and seductive, but with a touch of Lost Boy to him. Unlike selfish Anita, I have no qualms about sharing this bisexual vampire and can't wait to see Jean-Claude and his look-a-like, Vaughan, frolicking together. Since he owns all those male and female strip clubs, I also can't wait to see the productions he directs for my our enjoyment. Too bad that smexy Ulfic, Richard Zeeman (at right), doesn't play well with other boys.

These next two are right about my height and will be a welcome respite from all the towering egos in the hut:

Orlando Bloom as MicahMicah Callahan (at right) from the ABVH series by Laurell K. Hamilton: This Nimah-Ra, or alpha were-leopard, offers no drama; he's practical and quietly goes about doing what needs to be done. The kind of easy going guy you can just enjoy hanging out with, he's the one I'd go to if I needed to bare my soul or harmlessly vent some anger. Extra points for being a cuddler.

Marcus Schenkenberg as RhysRhys (at left) from Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series: Sure he's a Death God that's thousands of years old, but it's his humor and irreverence that win his space on the island with me. Not to mention his killer abs. His training as one of the Queen's Royal Guards, and now one of Merry's guards and baby-daddies, means he's used to sharing. Merry and Andais may not appreciate him, but I certainly will.

Savitar from Sherilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters series: An omnipotent beach bum? What's NOT to love! Problem is that I can't find a picture that's close enough to how I envision my Savitar, so you'll just have to suffer through more than one. I know, I've asked you to endure too much, haven't I?

Josh Wald as JeremyJeremy Danvers from Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Underworld series: I hope I don't regret this choice. I think our cool, calm alpha werewolf with the hidden passions could provide the kind of quiet strength and confidence that the rest of the men will look up to. Or, if he doesn't unleash his tight control over his alpha hungers, he could turn out to be as fun as morning breath. Okay, full disclosure- Jeremy is getting this spot in my secret cove because he looks so much like Josh Wald, aka MY Josh. But if he DOES decide to keep that stick up his ass instead of... well... NOT a stick up his ass, then I reserve the right to put him in charge of the island accounting department and I'm bringing in either Adam Black, one of The MacKeltars from KMM's Highlanders series, or Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series instead. Gratuitous Celt pics to follow:


So, there you have 'em. My Desert Island Keepers. Thanks for letting me come play in your sandbox, Ladies, it's been an honor! And, btw, my Secret Cove is now open for sharing too, so stop by anytime!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My DIK's

Hello, fellow islanders. If you don't know me, my name is Barbara and like most of you, I'm an avid romance junkie. Shamelessly so. Over the last twelve years I've read more than my share of wonderful stories. After I got past the initial fit of excitement that followed Tracy's invitation email, I began to wonder how in heaven's name I was ever going to narrow that list down to six books. Six? She can't possibly be serious!

It was a daunting task to say the least, but below you will find what I came up with as the top six DIK's I just could not imagine surviving on the island without...

1.) Madeline Hunter's, By Possession...

A Common Lady

For years she had thought he was dead. Yet when Addis de Valence strode into Moira Falkner's cottage, there was no mistaking the sharp planes of his face, and the scar she herself had helped to heal. The young squire who had once been her hero was now her lord, a hardened man who returned to claim the son she had raised as her own. But Moira couldn't deny that Addis roused a passion she never thought to feel--and a perilous hope for a future that could never be....

An Uncommon Love

Addis returned from the Crusades to find his lands usurped by his stepbrother, and his country on the brink of rebellion. Determined to reclaim his birthright, Addis could not afford to be distracted by a woman--even one as tempting as Moira. Yet the only living part of his contented past lay in Moira--and his desire for her was more dangerous than his deadly battles with the king's men. By law, Moira belonged to him...but possessing her heart might be far more difficult.

First of all I'm a sucker for forbidden romance so absolutely LOVED this story. I immediately sympathized with the heroine, Moira. Her silent love and admiration for a man she knew she could never have broke my heart. Initially, Addis was not someone I would consider to be the perfect hero. But, as time passes and we are given a more in depth view of what this man had suffered through, and what he suffers still, I couldn't help but fall in love with him. This was a romance of two people whose love broke the barriers of propriety of that time. It was truly a passionate love story and also happens to be the very first that had ever brought me to tears.

2.) Lisa Kleypas', Scandal In Spring...

After spending three London seasons searching for a husband, Daisy Bowman's father has told her in no uncertain terms that she must find a husband. Now. And if Daisy can't snare an appropriate suitor, she will marry the man he chooses—the ruthless and aloof Matthew Swift. Daisy is horrified. A Bowman never admits defeat, and she decides to do whatever it takes to marry someone . . . anyone . . . other than Matthew.

But she doesn't count on Matthew's unexpected charm . . . or the blazing sensuality that soon flares beyond both their control. And Daisy discovers that the man she has always hated just might turn out to be the man of her dreams. But right at the moment of sweet surrender, a scandalous secret is uncovered . . . one that could destroy both Matthew and a love more passionate and irresistible than Daisy's wildest fantasies.

Yes, yes, I know it's not Devil In Winter. What is it about Sebastian that has everyone all crazy? I mean, yeah, he was devilishly wicked and all that good stuff but,, he was by far my favorite Wallflower hero! Sigh...I fell in love with the hero of this book the moment he revealed his handsome face by the wishing well. The love story that transpires between these two characters was just perfect. Matthew is not your typical hero in the sense that he is simply--normal, lol. He's not the lord of the manor or the dark and brooding sort. No, Matthew Swift was simply a man, and one who just so happened to be madly in love with a woman he never in a million years believed he could have. This was the ultimate tale of the underdog getting the girl and I LOVED IT!

3.) Toni Blake's, Tempt Me Tonight...

Trish Henderson has returned home to Eden to take care of some family business…and some personal business, as well. Though she’s achieved remarkable success as a high-powered Indianapolis attorney, Trish has never forgotten her small-town high school sweetheart, Joe Ramsey, or the devastation of heartbreak.

Now she’s come face-to-face with the gorgeous sex god Joe has grown into, and she’s determined to get him out of her system once and for all – and maybe take a little revenge, too. And this time, she has all the power. After all, where is it written that only men can explore and enjoy a physical relationship without commitment? Her plan: seduce him for just one night, then walk away…But there’s just one problem. Trish is about to find out that one night with Joe may never be enough…

This story is without a doubt my all time favorite contemporary romance. I wanted so desperately to root Trish on when she plotted her revenge against Joe. But once you get to know Joe, really get to know him, suddenly the tables are turned and you want nothing more than for these two to finally have their happy ever after. The love scenes in this book stole my breath. The intensity of emotions was brilliantly written. I have yet to read another contemporary that can be compared to this one.

4.) Lisa Kleypas', Because Your Mine...

Because the Dream...Young, high-spirited Lady Madeline Matthews is expected to wed an aging, lecherous lord. But she would rather shame herself in the eyes of society than sacrifice her freedom, and resolves to render herself unmarriageable by indulging in a torrid affair with Britain's most acclaimed actor and notorious womanizer, Logan Scott.

Because the Heart...He is legend in the footlights and in the bedchamber. But when the curtain falls, Logan is an intensely private, guarded man still tormented by past betrayals that cut deep into his pride and his heart. Now a forward little minx who seems completely out of place in the bright, sophisticated world of the London stage is disrupting his orderly existence with her constant presence, her unspoiled beauty and vibrant charm. And what begins with an onstage kiss threatens to blossom into something more rapturous and real. But first Logan and Madeline both must drop the masks they hide behind...and reveal their true selves in the golden glorious light of love...Because You're Mine

This wasn't easy it was a toss up between this one and Again the Magic. To tell you the honest truth, I don't know exactly what it was that I loved so much about Logan Scott. I think perhaps it was the fact that hidden beneath that seemingly impenetrable façade, lay a man who really wanted nothing more than to love and be loved in return.

Although reputed to be a master in the bedroom, Logan treats Madeline attentions with cold indifference. But that doesn't stop our heroine from getting what it is she has set out to have. Mr. Scott in her bed. Logan may appear to have a heart of stone, but ever so slowly, Madeline chisels her way into this man's heart. And when she finally achieves her goal, the passion and need to love that lay beneath captured my heart.

5.) Julia Quinn's, Everything & the Moon...


It was indisputably love at first sight. But Victoria Lyndon was merely the teenaged daughter of a vicar. . .while Robert Kemble was the dashing young earl of Macclesfield. Surely what their meddlesome fathers insisted must have been true-that he was a reckless seducer determined to destroy her innocence. . . and she was a shameless fortune hunter. So it most certainly was for the best when their plans to elope went hopelessly awry.


Even after a seven-year separation, Victoria-now a governess-still leaves Robert breathless. But how could he ever again trust the raven-haired deceiver who had shattered his soul? And Victoria could never give her heart a second time to the cad who so callously trampled on it the first. But a passion fated will not be denied, and vows of love yearn to be kept. . . even when one promises the moon.

Sigh...I know I've seen it on someone else's list and I do apologize, but I couldn't possibly leave this one behind. Julia Quinn in my opinion is the queen of sweet, make you giddy as you read romance. Everything and the Moon had me laughing and sighing all the way through.
The hero of this tale, Robert, had to be one of Julia's funniest yet. The things he says and does to get the woman he loves is hysterical. And Victoria, well, she's just as funny with the things she does in order to dissuade his interests. If you are looking for a sweet, heart warming romance this is the book for you.

And last but not least...

6.) Samantha Kane's, At Love's Command...

A child when they were betrothed, Sophia Middleton has been waiting twelve years for Ian Witherspoon to return and marry her. Preyed upon by her vicious father and older brother, Sophie longs for Ian to rescue her.

Ian Witherspoon and Derek Knightly became best friends during the Peninsular War, and returned as lovers. Two more years pass before the desire for a wife and children prompts Ian to recall his little fiancée. Ian is determined to make a marriage work between the three of them. Derek opposes the marriage despite Ian's determination, but how long will he be able to resist love's command?

Sophie's vulnerability hides a core of strength and the combination enthralls and seduces both men. An apt pupil, Sophie learns trust and passion from Ian, and Derek tutors her in the ecstasy of surrender. Love will conquer their fears as they fight those who would tear them apart.

Well, come on people! Who knows how long I could be stranded here! I need something to keep my mouth salivating in the dry desert heat. Not only is Sam Kane a wonderful author, but I can't even begin to express how much I enjoyed Ian, Derek and Sophie's story. Ms. Kane managed to take a situation that normally I would believe to be impossible and turn it into a jaw dropping, tongue waggin', smokin' hot romance.

So there you have it, my keepers! I hope you enjoyed them as much as I do :)


Friday, February 20, 2009

so bad, so good

Ok, clearly I'm late to post today. And for some reason I have bad boys on the brain. Specifically one very bad boy, Guy of Gisbourne as played by the delicious Richard Armitage.

And then it got me to thinking about his voice and how smooth and silky and even DANGEROUS it is. Click here for proof.

So what is it about the bad boys that makes them so....good? Is it just that we like to believe we will be THE ONE to make his heart melt and find the secret key to changing him? Or some other hidden reason? I'm curious to know what you think. And who are some of your favorite hero bad boys?

For fun, here's random photos to whet your appetite.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sharpe to the rescue

So I kinda forgot about my upcoming hostess duties here until Tracy so kindly reminded me. Being in the midst of a very busy month at work plus MBA homework and planning a trip to Africa (3 more weeks!), I admit that my creativity and blogging zen is not all there. So for today I'm taking the easy way out.

I had heard tell of this TV series from the great land of British television. Why they always get the great period dramas, I do not unfair. But anyways, today at the library I picked up a couple of episodes and watched one while eating supper. And let me just say, even if this is a Napoleanic war soldier epid, it features the verrrry easy on the eyes Sean Bean. This is one more man I would be happy to drag off to the island. He looks very rough and ready...probably would be a very handy (ahem) sort of guy to have around.

So for your viewing pleasure, a bit of Sean Bean as Sharpe!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Let's Go Back In Time...

Remember In Living Color?

Remember the skit- Men on Books? All I have to say is Moby Dick.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Post Valentine's Day Fun: Eat, Sleep and Jacuzzi in an Igloo

For those who didn't go anywhere with their "hunny bunny" on Valentine's Day. Why not go to this travel destination for next year's day of love?


Say hello to Switzerland's Iglu-Dorf, a decidedly chillier alternative to your usual chalet lodgings. Right off the Hauptertäli lift, at a cool 8,600 feet, is a full-scale igloo village—a resort carved right out of the snow each December, melting by spring and, in the interim, waiting for your reservation. Your ice-carved beds are covered in insulating foam, sheepskin rugs and high-performance sleeping bags. Conquer the mountain on a snowshoeing expedition, or take an igloo-building class from a resident snow architect. Then pop into the igloo restaurant for fondue and a few rounds of heady house-mulled wine.

If you're still short on Valentine's inspiration, we recommend the not-so-subtly-named Romantic Igloo Suite—with champagne on arrival and an en-suite Jacuzzi. Rest assured, lest you fear an early thaw: each suite is sculpted around giant custom-built plastic molds, lending the structure support in all conditions. This suite could be yours for under 350 Eur a day!

Just watch where you put your tongue.

You have your choice of taking any of the heroes in any of the huts for a few days away from the DIK island to this chilly vacation destination for a few days. Who would you pick to snuggle in your igloo?


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ha you thought I forgot

But I didn't February babies! This is for you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Here's our toast to you! I hope you all have/had a wonderful birthday!

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