Saturday, October 30, 2010

Great Heroines

What characteristics make a great heroine? Besides girl parts, she has to be brave, kind, emotionally and mentally strong, smart and capable of taking care of herself and the people she loves. Every single heroine of my favorite books has these traits. What they are not is naïve, pouty, sobbing Sue’s, TSTL, whiney, cruel, weak and helpless.

Every now and then, the planets align and the powers that be create the perfect heroine and conspire to make a perfect book for my keeper shelf.

Even better? When this happens in real life. If I were an author, there are some real life heroines that I couldn’t help but draw inspiration from when writing my heroine. Women who have stood up for what they believe in. Women who didn’t wait for a hero to rescue them. Women who try to make a better life for themselves or the people they love despite unbelievably difficult circumstances.

One of my favorite real life heroines is Jeanne Fourquet, also known as Jeanne Hachette, or Jeanne the Hatchet. Ok. How cool is that name? Jeanne was born in France in 1456. She was living in the town of Beauvais, when Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy decided to gather his troops and attack the town.

Ben Thompson has a much longer and much funnier version of Jeanne’s story at badassoftheweek.com. This is my much shorter and less funny version ala Ben Thompson style.
If you like history, you will love his web site.

Charles the Bold, had been making quite a name for himself by attacking towns that made disparaging remarks about his mother and who laughed at his long fingernails and unfortunate chin, and killing every man, woman and child. So in 1472, he and his posse of thousands rode up to Beauvais. Beauvais was only protected by 300 men-at-arms and a sad bunch of villagers, armed with only day-old croissants and empty bottles of a very dry French wine. Needless to say, the Beauvaisians were getting the shit kicked out of them. They were seriously bummed. They didn’t want to be murdered.

Then one of the Hamburgunders went too far. He planted the Duke’s flag a little prematurely. Heh. Jeanne saw this and said “oh hells to the no!” “OMGWTFBBQ?!” She grabbed a hatchet and ran up to that dude, hacked his head off, and shoved that flag down his bloody neck hole, and yelled “Eat this! You Poserburger!” This brave 16 year olds action was the 15th century version of “Let’s win one for the Gipper”, and effectively rallied the townspeople’s, especially those with girl parts, flagging spirit. They opened their last can of whoop-ass and sent Charles the No Bold Chin and his Loserburgers home.

King Louis XI heard about Jeanne and as a reward for her heroism gave her a parade with floats and creepy French mimes, her choice of husband and a bunch of money and stuff.

HEA ACHIEVED!

Jeanne reminds me of a couple of Johanna Lindsey and Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse heroines. Women who are just trying to live their lives, but will step up to the plate, violently if necessary, when those lives or the lives of the people they love, are threatened. They aren’t afraid of a little blood.

For a more recent example, I give you Marisol Valles Garcia. Marisol is a 20 year old criminology student living in Praxedis G Guerrero, a violent city in the border state of Chihuahua, Mexico. This is a town where Mayors and police officers don’t have a very long life expectancy. In fact, the last chief of police was beheaded 8 months ago. Crack addled dickbags have made life here a real nightmare of epic proportions. The drug cartels, who are pissed off all the time for no particular reason, go from town to town in the state of Chihuahua and murder and rape and pillage on the daily just to try and prove whose wang is bigger.

So when the new Mayor asked the town folk “Who wants to be the new police chief?” nobody raised their hands. Finally, Marisol said “Enough of this bullshit!” She took the job proving she had balls of steel and promptly formed a police force of women to take back her town. The people are excited and are supportive of her. Her incredible bravery has given them hope. Her machismo is encouraging them to stand up with her and take no more shit. She vows to bring peace and tranquility to the good citizens and she will do it unarmed.

That’s right.

Unarmed.

Balls. Of. Steel.

So suck it drug mofo’s. There’s a new sheriff in town and she isn’t playing your reindeer games. Marisol’s story isn’t finished yet but she’s a smart and courageous heroine and I hope she achieves her HEA This area of Mexico has seen a lot of heartache and bloodshed but I have faith that Marisol, with the towns support, can succeed because they are united. From the stories I've read, I don't think that's happened before. Marisol stepping up, may make all the difference. At least I hope so.

Marisol reminds me of a Julie Garwood historical heroine. They are selfless, smart and brave. More often than not, they will try to diffuse violent situations in a non-violent manner and much to the chagrin of their hero, their default setting is self-sacrifice to protect their loved ones.

Who are your favorite real life heroines?




Sources:
Wikipedia
CNN.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Stephen Fry-day

Love. This.









I think there is a retired English teacher that checks out the same books I do at the library. She hasn't retired her red pencil yet because she is constantly correcting grammar on the pages of the books, but instead of using her red pencil she uses an ink pen so no one can erase her corrections.

I'm surprised she doesn't autograph her corrections so that everyone knows she is the smartest person in the room.

I use the word "she" here, but it could be a "he". I don't know. I just know it's annoying.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top 5 Thrilling Reads


Halloween is just around the corner and it's the perfect time to grab a spooky book to cuddle up with on a cool Fall evening.

Here are a few of my favorite scary books. These have all given me goosebumps and inspired a or two.

Top 5 Thrilling Reads:.

5. The Shining

The Overlook Hotel is more than just a home-away-from-home for the Torrance family. For Jack, Wendy, and their young son, Danny, it is a place where past horrors come to life. And where those gifted with the shining do battle with the darkest evils. Stephen King's classic thriller is one of the most powerfully imagined novels of our time.




4. Interview With the Vampire

In the now-classic novel Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice refreshed the archetypal vampire myth for a late-20th-century audience. The story is ostensibly a simple one: having suffered a tremendous personal loss, an 18th-century Louisiana plantation owner named Louis Pointe du Lac descends into an alcoholic stupor. At his emotional nadir, he is confronted by Lestat, a charismatic and powerful vampire who chooses Louis to be his fledgling. The two prey on innocents, give their "dark gift" to a young girl, and seek out others of their kind (notably the ancient vampire Armand) in Paris.


3. Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas, who narrates, is odd indeed: only 20, he works contentedly as a fry cook in a small fictional California town, despite a talent for writing. The reason for his lack of ambition? A much rarer talent: Odd sees and converses with ghosts, the lingering dead who have yet to pass on, a secret he has kept from nearly everyone but his girlfriend, an eccentric author friend and the local police chief, whom he occasionally helps solve terrible crimes. Odd also has the ability to see bodachs, malevolent spirits that feast on pain and whose presence signifies a likelihood of imminent violence.



2. Anything by Edgar Allan Poe

Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction.




1. The Ruins

Four American friends on vacation in Cancún, Mexico—Jeff, Amy, Eric and Stacy—meet a German tourist, Mathias, who persuades them to join his hunt for his younger brother, Henrich, last seen headed off with a new girlfriend toward some ruins. The four soon regret their impulsive decision after they find themselves lost in the jungle and freaked out by signs that they're headed for danger. Smith builds suspense through the slow accretion of telling details, until a deadly menace starts taking its toll, leaving the survivors increasingly at each other's throats.



Those are my top favorite thrilling reads. What are yours?


posted by The Bookworm.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cover Attraction

I'm a sucker for a nice book cover, I always have been. The cover is what will initially draw me to a book. Then I will read the blurb on the back and make my decision as to whether I want to read the book or not.
What kind of book cover grabs your eye? What are some of your favorite covers?
Is there anything on a book cover that you find distasteful or that might even change your mind about reading the book?



















posted by The Bookworm.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Winner, or should I say WinnerS of The Ghost Hunter by Lori Brighton

Lori Brighton is a doll and decided to give ALL the people who commented on her post a copy of The Ghost Hunter - wasn't that nice of her? Yeah, I thought so too.


Tracy
Mamatoabunch
Estella
Sarah

Congratulations!

To claim your ebook just email Lori at loribrighton@yahoo.com and she'll send it your way!

Top Ten Guilty Pleasures

Hello ladies. I'm The Bookworm and I'm up at the lovely D.I.K. blog for the next three days.
Today I'd like to discuss Guilty Pleasures.
You know, those favorite things that make life oh so much sweeter.
Here are my Top Ten Guilty Pleasures:



10. Johnny Depp
My longest running Hollywood crush. He's talented, sexy and is aging like a fine wine.




9. Cosmopolitans
One of these on my girls night out with good friends, and I'm a happy lady.




8. Chocolate
I could live off chocolate.




7. Hugh Jackman
Another long time running Hollywood crush. He's tall, delicious and has a sexy Aussie accent.




6. Books
I do enjoy my books and cherish my reading time.



5. Yarn
Yes yarn. I crochet and always love going to the yarn shop and picking out something nice then creating something unique with it.



4. Romance
I'm a sucker for romantic books and movies.




3. Shoes
Oh, pretty shoes! One can never have too many.




2. Dunkin Donuts
There's always something at Dunkin that I like. Whether it's coffee, hot chocolate, muffins...donuts....ok, now I'm sounding greedy...lol.




1. Sleeping in late
One thing I always enjoy is sleeping in late. There's just something awesome about getting up out of bed at my own leisure.




Well, those are my Top Ten Guilty Pleasures. What are yours?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Harris Channing--To Be a Cougar or Not To Be...


Hello, my name is Harris Channing. I'm an author and I'm addicted to romance.


Today I'm happy to be guest blogging here at DIK! Thanks so much for having me.

Now, I'd like to talk a little about my latest release and to ask you all a question...

I hesitated to make YESTERDAY’S INDISCRETION into a May-December romance for the simple fact that I wasn’t sure it would sell. I mean, so many women relate romance with an eighteen year old virgin and the ‘older man’.

At the time I started to write it, however, I was in my late thirties. I was thinking, am I so old that a twenty-something wouldn’t look at me twice? I guess it’s my vanity that wouldn’t allow me to fully accept my status as middle aged soccer mom. Besides, what the hell is wrong with being a little bit older and wiser?

What turned out to be a worry actually became a joy to write. I could identify with Lindy and her insecurities. After all, I knew how she felt!

I also wanted the book to be more than simply a romance between an older woman and a younger man. I wanted it to be a suspense, so I added Steven to the mix and with Steven, I actually wrote my first “Gee, that sucked” sex scene. I had fun making him lousy in the sack. Served him right…I already knew what sort of person he was!

Even though YESTERDAY’S INDISCRETION is first and foremost a love story, it’s also a story of accepting passion and tenderness in non-traditional forms. It touches on the double standard that hey, it’s cool for a sixty year old man to have a thirty year old trophy wife but a woman ten years older than her lover is nothing but a cradle robbing whore.

Before I insert a sample chapter, I want to thank you for visiting. Please, tell me what you think about older women/younger men. Do you think women should keep to their traditional roles or is being a ‘cougar’ acceptable too?

And now for the BLURB:

Thirty-something kindergarten teacher Lindy Whittaker has decided it’s time to marry and start a family. Steven Hamilton, a successful businessman, seems to be "Mr. Right."

But when Michael "Mac" MacIntyre, her former lover, who happens to be ten years her junior, comes to town, will he ruin all of Lindy’s well-laid plans? Will she find love in stability or in passion? And will the choice she makes lead her into blissful happiness or terrifying danger?

Excerpt:

“Oh, Coach MacIntyre, you’re so funny…” Pam gushed.

Lindy rolled her eyes, wondering if it would be rude to move
across the classroom and shut her door. Really, who flirted in the
hallway of an elementary school anyway?

She could just imagine the new gym teacher ogling Pam’s huge
boobs. Most men did. They were entities unto themselves.

Still, she couldn’t blame Pam. She’d gotten a sneak peek at the
coach all the teachers were talking about while passing the gym
earlier. If his face was as good looking as his backside, well, Pam was
doing what came naturally. She flirted and probably tossed the
silicone girls in his direction.

But honestly, did Pam need to make yet another conquest right
outside Lindy’s classroom? Thank God the children had left for the
day. After all, sex education didn’t start until middle school.

“Call me Mac,” he said. The words were innocuous enough, so
why was it they rang in her ears long after the pair had gone and she
had begun the tedious chore of removing nametags from desktops and
cubbyholes?

“Mac,” she said suddenly. “Oh, my God.” She jumped from
behind the cluster of student desks and stared at her empty doorway.
No one was there. Had she imagined the familiarity of his voice? Her
mind reeled. “No, it can’t be,” she mumbled, flopping down on her
chair and staring at her desk.

“What can’t be?”

She jerked her head toward the sound of his voice. A tall,
gorgeous man leaned against the frame of her open door. A man much
younger than her thirty-five years. He grinned and set his arm over his
chest. For one long moment, the entire world seemed to stop.

“Hi, how are you?” he asked., The deep timbre of his words
seemed to reach across time, and a tingle of déjà vu whispered across
her skin.

But, was it really him? He appeared different, yet she wouldn’t
mistake him for anyone else in the world. She had to be dreaming, he
couldn’t be here. Not now.

“Have we met?” she replied, flustered, but she knew the answer.

He crossed the room and set his hands palms down on her desk.
Then came the stare so intense, so familiar, it left her breathless. The
glorious mane of chestnut hair, the beautiful blue eyes that smiled at
her from behind thick, dark lashes, oh, yes. It was him.

The flash of recognition that shot through her nearly knocked her
to the ground. Skin on skin, her body arching against his, the touch of
his fingertips, his sweet taste. Her gaze dipped to his mouth, sensual
in its fullness.

He tilted his head, and a knowing smile spread over his face. A
shiver sped through her. Her nipples hardened beneath their silky
confines, and moisture flooded from her core. Whether or not her
mind was willing to connect the dots, her body remembered him
instantly…every touch, every scent, and every inch of him.

A gasp escaped her lips. “Mac.”.

“You do remember.”

How could she forget?


Wanna read more? I HOPE SO!!! You can pick up a copy here.

You can learn more about YESTERDAY'S INDISCRETION by visiting my website

or my blog (by the way I'm hosting a contest for a free download so go here to grab your chance)

And if you wanna, e-mail me at harrischanning@yahoo.com I would love to hear from you!

Have a great weekend!
Hugs,





Friday, October 22, 2010

Thank you to my teachers....and YA Books

I was thinking the other day about all of the wonderful teachers that I had that truly encouraged me to read.

First there was my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Buck – who was also a good family friend so I had to mind my p’s and q’s. I still remember her telling us to just keep reading and we would get better and better. Little did I know that A Duck is a Duck would have such an impact on my life.

Then there was my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Galbraith. I think I had just a leeetle bit of a crush on the man so was anxious to please. Since he was a man who pushed reading I was all over it like it was the best thing since sliced bread. And I’ve learned that it IS! lol

Sixth grade took me to Mr. Sweeney and though the man had grey hair I think back now and think he was probably only in his mid 50’s, if that. He was kind and patient and had a love of reading as well which showed me, at that time, that there was something other than boys around.

Mr. Campbell was my 8th grade social studies teacher and he really nailed home that wonderful insight…knowledge can be found in books. *gasp* It’s brilliant isn’t it? I know. But even to a girl who had been reading on a regular basis it truly was a light bulb moment.

Though I had many great teachers after that none of them pushed reading like those four had and I have to thank them for all of their pushing.

So did you have any teachers that impacted your love of reading? Who were they?



Speaking of reading…

My oldest daughter is now in Junior High School or middle school (depending on where you live) and much to my delight they are really pushing reading. In elementary school they were required to read 20 minutes a night and turn in Read Sheets every month but until her 6th grade year I don’t think any of her teachers really pushed reading.

Not only is her school pushing reading they actually have a 30 minute period set aside every day after lunch so that the kids can read (called S.U.R.F. aka silent uninterrupted reading for fun). Yes, it’s required, and I’m sure some kids, including my own, scoff at having to participate and don’t really think it’s fun, but what a great idea.

Her English class also requires her to read and then take AR (accelerated reading) quizzes after she finishes. (My daughter doesn’t quite grasp that she should be reading her AR book for S.U.R.F. but that’s a whole other subject) Anyway, there’s a whole boatload of books that they have quizzes for but unfortunately none of the books that she wants to read are on the list! Very frustrating.

So I want to pick your brains. I need names of good YA books (I don’t normally read YA) that aren’t sexually in-depth if you know what I mean (she’s only 12.5), that you would recommend. I’m trying to compile a list and then I can see if any of them are on “the list”.

Thanks and Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

Halloween is drawing near. For those of you who don’t celebrate, let me explain Halloween in the simplest of terms. Halloween is a time of year when children dress in costume and go door to door saying Trick or Treat in exchange for candy. But it’s also a time when adults can act like children and believe in the unbelievable. Halloween is rooted in ancient Celtic festivals as well as the Christian All Saints Day; both holidays focus on the afterlife and those who have passed away. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, spirits, or the afterlife, come October a person tends to think twice about that spooky sound or that shifting shadow.

When I was a child we lived out in the country near a Victorian era mansion. People came and went, but no on ever lived in the mansion for long. For thrills, we’d sneak over when the place was empty and tiptoe around the grounds, hoping to spot a ghost or two. Alas, we never did.

A couple years ago I searched for information on that mansion to see if it was still there. Funny enough, I found it mentioned on a site for haunted places. The history of the mansion is varied…the owner was crazy and killed people, or some people believe the owner was a saint who helped with the Underground Railroad. A few people mentioned seeing odd, inexplicable lights in windows when the building was empty.

But what really caught my attention was a post by someone who mentioned not the mansion, but the insignificant house across the street. It is a plain, one story home and its origins are as mysterious as the mansion across from it. More importantly, it’s the house where I lived until I was eight. I don’t know how old the house is, or why it brings about such anxiety in people who drive by, but I do know they’re not the only ones to have felt something supernatural near the place.

When I was a child I saw more than one bizarre thing while living in that one story home. Toys floating across the room and yes, ghosts. An old man who appeared and then disappeared just as quickly. Dark shadows that showed up in the middle of the night. One evening a pack of dogs arrived out of nowhere. Standing outside of our home, they barked and growled like they’d gone mad. I can still remember how shocked and terrified we were. The neighbor came over to scare them off. A little while later they were back. Of course the ghosts and the toys floating across the room could have just been my overly active child’s imagination.

But I’m not the only one who has had odd experiences. Years ago a distant relative (Aunt Cha, we call her) was fast asleep. In the middle of the night she was woken by a friend who was standing at the end of her bed, shaking Aunt Cha’s foot. The friend told Aunt Cha that she had died. Aunt Cha woke up the next morning and I’m sure you’ve guessed it, finds out her friend, the very one who paid her a midnight visit, had died. I swear even now I think twice before sticking my foot outside the covers at night. Because I’m such a firm believer in traditions, I told my son Aunt Cha’s story and then called my nieces and nephews to tell them. So now none of them will sleep with their feet outside the covers. Gotta love tradition.

Recently we went on two ghost tours in which a guide walks you around a historical town, tells you stories and shows you sights where spirits have been spotted. It got me thinking, if there are so many stories and so many people who have seen ghosts, is it a product of our overly active imaginations, or could they possibly be real?

So I’m eager to hear your thoughts about ghosts and other inexplicable things! Any weird experiences? Any ghostly encounters? Leave a comment, two people will win an Ecopy of my newest release, The Ghost Hunter.

Eager to get in the mood for ghosts and other things that go bump in the night? Read the blurb for The Ghost Hunter below!

When Ashley Hunter inherits the Inn where her father mysteriously vanished years ago, she jumps at the chance to finally uncover the truth about his disappearance. But soon after taking ownership of the decrepit building, Ashley realizes she’s in for far more than she bargained. Not only has she inherited answers to many sought-after questions, she’s also inherited spirits, demons and even fallen angels! Then Cristian arrives, a gorgeous man who insists he merely needs a room to rent. She believes him, until one by one her ghosts start disappearing...

As a fallen angel destined for a life of servitude, Cristian Lucius is relegated to protecting earth from unwanted spirits. But he can’t accomplish this daunting task alone. He requires assistance from the very woman who frustrates him as much as she intrigues him. Cristian is determined to ignore his intense attraction for Ashley, and focus on his mission. If they don’t work together, they won’t have a chance in hell of defeating the demon threatening their lives. The problem is getting Ashley to trust him. No easy task, considering Cristian is the very man responsible for her father’s disappearance.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fun facts about Halloween

For my last day on the island I thought I'd share some fun facts about Halloween!


Before Christianity was introduced to Ireland, Halloween as we know it dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. November 1st was the end of summer and their harvest, and the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that on October 31, the line between the world of the living and dead blurred and that a veil was lifted. The Celts needed their harvests to survive so out of respect, they built huge bonfires and sacrificed animals. In addition, they dressed up in various ghoulish costumes in the hopes of disguising their human form to spirits roaming the earth. Interesting, but I like the idea of dressing up as a pirate or bar wench and drinking vampire martinis a lot more.

Here are some more cool facts about this impending holiday:


1. The next full moon on Halloween will be October 31, 2020 so get ready!


2. A pumpkin is a fruit.


3. Orange and black are associated with Halloween because orange is associated with the Fall Harvest and black with death.


4. Bobbing for apples is thought to have been derived from the Roman harvest festival that honors the goddess Pamona.


5. Halloween was brought to America by European immigrants.


6. Black cats are connected with Halloween because they are thought to help witches.


7. In Mexico, they celebrate Dias de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 2nd.


8. Are you afraid of Halloween? You might have Samhainophobia.


9. The original Halloween movie was made in only 21 days.


10. Some ‘vampire bats’ actually do drink blood but they don’t feast on people. In South and Central America they chow down on cattle and other animals.


11. Eighty six percent of Americans decorate for Halloween. (And I'm one of them)


12. Halloween is the second most celebrated holiday after….you guessed it, Christmas!


13. Orange isn’t the only color of pumpkins. They also come in blue, white, and green!


14. Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 at the age of 52 from peritonitis.


15. Supposedly if you see a spider on Halloween, it’s the spirit of a loved one watching over you. (Too bad if it’s one of my relatives cuz they’re getting squished if they’re in my house)


Thanks for hanging out with me these last few days! Halloween is fast approaching so I hope you've got your costume and fun cocktail recipes ready! :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Vampire Martini

I don’t know about you but I LOVE this month. Technically I think Fall starts in September but not where I live. Only in the past couple weeks has the humidity died and the air conditioning shut off on a permanent basis. And the weather changes are just the icing on the cake. October is all about Halloween which means fun costumes, old school (and newer) horror movies, Fall decorations, and…candy! Lots and lots of candy! I don’t have kids but I don’t need an excuse to buy all the fun treats. Forget about the Christmas month, October is usually when I pack on a few extra pounds.


In addition to the chocolately goodness, let’s not forget the fun cocktails! Solely for this blog, I did a bit of research (see the pictures!) and found the vampire kiss martini. It was tough but I suffered through making and drinking this awesomeness. I actually tweaked it a bit and if I’d been able to find something called the lycan or werewolf martini I’d have gone with that but this is still good too.



Vampire Kiss Martini Ingredients:

1 ½ oz. Raspberry Vodka,

1 ½ oz champagne,

Red food coloring,

Sugar,

Black licorice (or strawberries),

Cranberry juice (optional)



How to make this: Mix sugar and red food coloring together on a small plate. Pour corn
syrup on another small plate, then roll the rim of the martini glass around the corn syrup plate. Next, roll it on the sugared plate. The corn syrup will slowly drip along the outside of the glass creating a funky, ‘bloody’ look.


In a shaker mix the raspberry vodka and champagne, (and I added a splash of light cranberry juice for color) then strain into the glass. Garnish with a stick of black licorice or with a cut strawberry. After testing it I realized the black licorice tastes a bit gross so my vote is to
go with the strawberry. In addition, you can slice up additional strawberries and drop them in your cocktail to soak up the vampire goodness. They’re a delicious snack and healthy!


The original recipe is found here but please note that I tweaked it for my personal preference.


After I made this drink I remembered why I don’t miss bartending! It’s slightly more time consuming than making a regular martini or a simple mixed drink, but it’s fun for the upcoming holiday! Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The 'Haunting'

Since this is October, I figured chatting about all things paranormal (or mildly related to it) seemed appropriate for my blog days. Despite my love of this time of year, a seriously freaky thing happened to me a few years ago, not too long after I’d gotten married. At the time my hubby and I were living in Swansboro, NC, just north of Camp Lejeune. Brief factoid: Ever read Nicholas Sparks’ The Guardian? I haven’t but apparently the story takes place there. It’s an adorable little coastal town rich in history. Anywho, somehow we’d managed to get a house right downtown within walking distance of everything. They were always having cool festivals so it was perfect. I know the word ‘old’ is relative but the house we lived in was fairly old (maybe late 1800s/early 1900s) and while I loved it, there was always an odd vibe to it.


The house was a small two bedroom place with all (real) hardwood floors. The kitchen and living room were separated by swinging doors and the living room and bedrooms were separated by an arched entryway. In that arched area, I’d hung a cute, ornate antique-looking lantern which was purely for decoration. A tiny tea light came with it so I left it inside it. One night the man and I were bundled up on the couch watching a movie (the heat in the place sucked) and the tea light flared to life. Holy crap, it scared the hell out of me. You ever get that really sick feeling and your whole body turns cold and hot? I still shiver thinking about it.



I thought for sure the man was playing a trick on me (even though he was sitting next to me and we lived alone). I punched him in the arm and started to yell at him until I saw the horrified expression on his face. My husband—a former Marine (sniper) who earned his nickname Tracer from running directly into enemy fire in the dark of night and the only thing his peeps could see were tracers flying all around him—looked ready to run out the front door and never come back. Not that I blame him. I think if our fireplace (which barely worked) had flared to life, we’d have both probably hightailed it, but in the end we just blew out the candle and it never mysteriously lit after that. Looking back maybe it’s not soooo scary, but at the time I found it hard to sleep the next couple days. Later we found out that the lady who had owned the house had died there so who knows what that little fire-flare was all about.



Anyone have any ghost stories or just creepy paranormal stories? Please share!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Age.

I think as I've aged, I've definitely developed some old curmudgeon traits. I'm less forgiving with stupidity in the books I read and can't stand wimpy heroines/heroes who need a boot in the ass.

What got me thinking about this was Rachel Gibson's book Nothing but Trouble. I so desperately wanted to like Chelsea, but she was such a wimp. I found the end of the novel just so infuriating and frustrating, I guess because I've adored several of her previous books, but the ending of this one made me quite cross. Chelsea just folded in the end and I kinda felt like she gave up. Crikey. Maybe I was having a bad week. O-o

I wonder if it's just me getting older and less forgiving? Do I just enjoy different traits in a character as my reading tastes have changed.? I'm not sure. I don't know if I could even go back and read something like Shanna and enjoy it. But in my early 20's I read it over and over again. Loved it!

This is something I've thought a lot about in the last few months. I've wondered if other readers tastes change, or do they stay pretty much the same? Are old favorites always old favorites?

Change.

Over the past couple of years my reading habits have changed hugely. I now primarily read ebooks and very few paperbacks. I think I'm a little choosier about what books I do buy for my shelves and I'm cheap too. Huge fan of the Book Depository!

What genre's I read has changed a great deal too. I now read mainly gay fiction and occasionally erotic comics, paranormal romance and urban fantasy. I feel so very out of touch with other romance genres. Case in point, I wanted a paperback to read for a weekend away and just stood in Borders like a bump on a log. Out of touch much? I finally picked up Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost after furiously trawling my way through my good reads app. Unfortunately, I have to say I was pretty disappointed. I have 3-4 paranormal authors I do read like Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris and Kelley Armstrong and Frost just didn't cut the mustard.

So, my question for you is... In the last 18 months, what are 2 or 3 of the best books or series that you've picked up? When I need a paperback fix, what do you recommend I try?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

kris' confessions of a bookstore nazi #3


The last of my bookstore gripes is one associated with the Twilightification of book covers.

You're probably more than aware of this phenomenon:


Yeah.

Katiebabs chook pointed out this complete WTFery to readers a couple of years ago.

Then, it was relatively new.

Now, well, there's absolutely no escaping it:


And if you look closer...


Cassandra Clare and Charlaine Harris?

LKH next to The Vampire Diaries??

Teenage?!

I didn't realise the Dewey system came with an 'if-they-have-black-covers-and-are-about-vampires-they-should-be-shelved-together' classification.

How silly of me.

Obviously I owe the fucktards an apology.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

kris' confessions of a bookstore nazi #2



Yeah, I have plenty more to say about bookstores and the way some of them classify their books.

Look at the blog title.

Now look at the picture.

Get over it or go away.

Now where was I...

I don't know about you, but it annoys the absolute crap out of me when I have to go to a gazillion different sections to try and find a book.

Maybe it's only me who doesn't think it's always the case that any story with a vampire or a werewolf in it has to be horror?

Or perhaps, book goddesses forbid, that different genres such as romance might even have sub-genres like paranormal or historical?

Or that some authors might *clutches pearls* write both adult and YA, which means that, no, actually you don't bloody shelve them together?

I mean, seriously?? How fucking hard is it to get this shit right?!

*mutterfuckingfucktardsmutter*

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