Nov 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for ...
. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I hope that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and that you enjoy the time spent with friends and family.  I know in our case we spend the day with friends that have become as family.  We provide the turkey and everything else is brought by the rest of the group.  It makes for a fantastic day with NO football.

It is the time of year to count our blessings though I do try to be thankful for them other times too.  For myself, I am thankful for a job that I enjoy and allows me to work from home.  I am thankful for the health that I enjoy.  I am also thankful for my husband and my animals.  And let's not forget all of my friends that have part of my 'chosen' family.

How about yourself?




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Nov 22, 2013

Book Review: Delia's Shadow




A dark, romantic fantasy set against the backdrop of San Francisco devastated by the Great Quake...

It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again. 


* * * * *

It's not often that a book will entrance me from the very beginning but DELIA'S SHADOW was one that succeeded.  Part of what caught and held my attention was the time period itself.  This was the first time that I have been introduced to California in the early 20th century.  Cars are beginning to take over for carriages and some of the homes are now equipped with telephones.  Electric lights are becoming common, and the city has recovered nicely from the Earthquake and is getting ready for the Fair.

Women are starting to starting to claim some independence and Delia is used to making her own decisions.  I really enjoyed the character of Delia as she has a level head even though the ghosts are starting to wear upon her.  A lot of her ideas were rather progressive for that time and the fact that she talks to ghosts...  Well let's say, it's good thing that her best friend's fiance and his partner believe in her.




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Nov 19, 2013

Book Review: The Rogue's Proposal




Lord Lukas Hawkins, the rakish second son of the House of Trent, has never found a wager he couldn't win or a woman he couldn't seduce—until his search for his missing mother leads him to a mysterious encounter with a beautiful stranger.

Luke's mother has been missing for months, and while his honorable older brother Simon, Duke of Trent, leads the official investigation from London, Luke sets out on a somewhat seedier path. Sources have told him his mother was last seen with a scoundrel named Roger Morton, but their association isn't clear. Was she kidnapped or did she go willingly?

While searching for Morton, Luke meets Emma Anderson, a secretive beauty with her own reasons for hunting Morton. At first Luke laughs at the idea of allowing a woman to join him in his search, but soon Emma's insights into Morton—like the woman herself—prove impossible to resist.


* * * * *

I swear that I will have times that I go almost a month without picking up an actual book.  Now mind you that I am still listening to my audio books but I just can't seem to sit still long enough to read a full book.  Thank goodness that I also go through periods where I am devouring everything in sight.  And as you have probably guessed, I am starting to get caught up on some of my reading.

I do adore reading historical romances if they have a spunky heroine and Emma is definitely spunky.  She is determined to find and kill Roger Morton who murdered her husband as well as stealing her father's fortune.  And she doesn't care what she has to do for find justice.

When Lord Lukas, Luke, first meets Emma he is a mess.  He has been trying to find his mother who left with Morton under mysterious circumstances.   He is also trying to drown his pain in ale and women.  Meeting Emma however lights a spark in Luke and he is determined to be a better man.

What I really enjoyed out THE ROGUE'S PROPOSAL is how both Emma and Luke grow throughout the story as they strive to be good enough for the other.  It also didn't hurt that there were some rather hot sex scenes with a bit of kink such as bondage.  I was rather disappointed when I reached the end because I enjoyed the characters so much.  

I do recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy historical romance with a bit of spice added to it.  I rate this book a 4.1.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Nov 16, 2013

Lampwork and Clay Blog Hop



I really love participating in blog hops and one of my pet peeves is when someone is late posting their post.  And then I do so.  Twice even.  The first time I had technical difficulties with my computer but this time is all on me.  I had written down the wrong date for the hop and I am really sorry about that.

So I might be a day late but I wanted to show off my creation.  Lisa, the wonderful hostess for this hop, had sent me a focal and a couple spacers from Ema K.   I had a dickens of the time with this focal.  It just screamed of times gone by and I was thinking a bracelet for the longest time.  In fact, I still have everything laid out for a bracelet but the idea just didn't pan out.

Okay...so now I am suffering a total block.  Never had that happen before.  I mean, yeah, I have been lazy and not made it down to my studio before. Yet once I make it down there though and put away the goodies I had acquired, my muse would be awake and ready to go.  Not lately though.  Oh I have been making things.  I just am not satisfied.  Yet.

I have remade this necklace a couple times and I still don't feel that I have done justice to this beautiful lampwork.  I don't have any more time though so I will show it in its present incarnation and I will be sure to show it off once I am satisfied.

Now that you have seen mine, be sure to see what everyone else has come up with.  I know that is where I am heading now.  And be sure to check out Ema K's shop.  I just love her copper focals!

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Annette Rivers, MamaOwl's Mess
Shaiha Williams,   Shaiha's Ramblings
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Lori Jean Poppe, Lorillijean Creative Corner
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl's Jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Linda Aspenson Bergstrom, TBD
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Judy Turner, Silver Rains
Gloria Allen, Gloria Allen Designs
Kathleen Douglas, Washoe Kat's
Connie Tipton, TBD
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
Michele Dotson, Star Jewels
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Jennifer Clifford, TBD
Kathleen Breeding, 99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyns Creations
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
Bonnie Coursolle, Jasper's Gems
Alice Craddick, Alice's Artisan Whimsy Blog
Nov 15, 2013

BOC Art Charm Swap



I am so sorry that I am running behind.  As I said earlier, I was having technical difficulties and I wasn't able to access any of my pictures.  Thank goodness that has been resolved.

One of the hops I look forward to every year is this one as it is so much fun and benefits such a great cause, Beads of Courage.  As part of the swap, each of us makes up an extra charm which then gets auctioned off and donated.  And boy are there some gorgeous charms!  I have just been drooling over them so be sure to click here to bid on these awesome works of art.

Now this is where I normally get wordy but since I am posting this so late, I will let my charm pretty much speak for itself.  It is pretty tattered but doesn't all hearts that are open to love subject to that?

Also be sure to check out all the other charms and the story behind them.



Jen Cameron: http://glassaddictions.com/blog/
Toltec Jewels: http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com
Vanessa Gilkes: http://culturezine.com/blog/
Caroline Dewison: http://blueberribeads.co.uk
Lesley Watt: http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Susan Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Nancy Dale : http://www.nedbeads.blogspot.com
Alicia Marinache: http://www.allprettythings.ca
Cassi Paslick: http://cassisbeads.blogspot.com
Alenka Obid: http://www.pepita-handmade.blogspot.com
Renetha Stanziano: http://www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com
Shelley Graham Turner: http://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart: http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com
Shai Williams: http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Lennis Carter: http://windbent.wordpress.com
Cheri Reed: http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Moriah Betterly: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com
Perri Jackson: http://shaktipajdesigns.com/blog/
Mallory Hoffman: http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com
Ginger Bishop: http://lilmummylikes.blogspot.com
Jean Peter: http://jeanpdesigns.blogspot.com
Linda Florian: http://lilysofthevalleyjewelry.blogspot.com
Patricia Pulliam: http://rusticstudio.blogspot.com
Karin Grosset Grange: http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr
Julie Bowen: http://blog.autochthonous-evolved.com
Susan Delaney: http://ladyflowersbysusan.wordpress.com Emma Todd: http://www.apolymerpenchant.blogspot.com
Carolyn Chenault : http://carolynchenault.wordpress.com
Terri Del Signore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com
Cory Tompkins: http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Cheryl (Lee) Koopman: http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Lori Bowring Michaud: http://artfullyornamental.blogspot.com
Andrea Glick: http://zenithjade.blogspot.com
Jacqueline Carlson: http://www.beadgypsy.blogspot.com
Michelle McCarthy: http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Charlene Bausinger Jacka: http://clay-space.com/blog/
Kristi Bowman: http://dreamsomedesigns.blogspot.com

Technical Difficulties

If you are here for the Art Charm hop, I am sorry.  I am having technical difficulties and will have my post up by tomorrow.  But don't let that stop you.  Just click here for a list of participants.
Nov 13, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Danger





Could Her Sworn Enemy Lead Her Out of Darkness?

As a member of an ancient order of vampire hunters, Lark has found that eliminating dangerous vampires is about more than duty. It's personal—a kill for every day her husband was held captive before his death. Staking her prey isn't a challenge until she confronts Domingos LaRoque. Mad with vengeance and the blood of a powerful phoenix, Domingos tests her skills...and seduces her soul.

Once a talented musician, Domingos can't escape the constant music in his head...or his need to destroy the werewolf pack that tortured him. Though trusting the hunter ordered to kill him can be his gravest mistake, the dark desires between them can't be refused. Yet as he and Lark become allies to defeat a mutual threat, loving the enemy may be the ultimate sacrifice.


* * * * *

One thing that I really enjoy about Ms. Hauf's books is the fact that there are no  monsters.  Yes, there are werewolves and vampires but first and foremost is their humanity, or in some cases their lack of humanity.  The outer casing really doesn't matter, it's all about what is in the heart or soul.

This is really brought home in the person of the vampire Domingos.  Yes, he is out to destroy a werewolf pack yet they wronged him first by starving him and using him for blood sport.  Yes, he is mad but he was driven so by hunger and poisoning, and he controls his madness enough to not harm any that haven't harmed him first.  Before he became a vampire, he was a gentle man, a musician, and that man is still within him.  And Larks helps that man to come forth more and more.

I really enjoyed BEAUTIFUL DANGER.  It is a fast paced paranormal romantic suspense that sweeps the reader away to the streets and roofs of Paris.  The tale has a delightful tension to it that kept me from setting it aside once I started reading.  Oh and let's not forget the hot sex scenes that don't get too explicit yet had me reaching for a fan to cool off.  

I do recommend this book to my readers that enjoy paranormal romance.  It is a quick read and one that will have you looking for further books by Ms. Hauf.  I rate this book a 4.2.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
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Nov 11, 2013

Book Review: Accidentally in Love with...A God?




Twenty-two-year-old Emma Keane has a secret friend. He’s powerful, mysterious, and devastatingly handsome. In her dreams, anyway.

In real life, he’s an enigma. Maybe just a teensie jealous. Definitely overbearing. He’s also a voice only she can hear.

So who or what is he? He won’t say. But if she wants to be free, to be normal, Emma will have to trek to the jungles once ruled by the Mayans and find the forgotten ruin holding the answers.

However, the ruthless deity she’s about to unknowingly unleash on the modern world might not be so easily extracted from her life. Bottom line, he’s got enemies, and now, so does she. 


* * * * *

I can't remember the last time I have had so much fun reading a paranormal romance.  The communication errors between Emma and her 'friend' had me rolling.  After all, she is a modern day young woman who just happens to have a voice in her head and he is an ancient god who has been imprisioned for the past seventy years.

If you are looking for an unusual paranormal romance, I really do recommend picking up ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE WITH...A GOD?.  It is equal parts humor, and danger all mixed up with sexual tension.  Just the perfect recipe for a great read on a cold day.  I rate this book a 4.2.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
 

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Nov 7, 2013

Book Review: Phantom Wolf




Some fires still burn when star-crossed lovers reunite...

When a dangerous mission leads him deep into the jungles of Honduras, Navy SEAL Sam Shaymore is confronted with his fiery past in the form of Kelly Denning. Once their romance had been forbidden because of class differences. Then a tragedy drove them apart. But the minute he looks into her eyes, Sam knows he's never forgotten the sultry kisses and luscious curves of the beautiful Enchanter Mage. Nor can he turn his back on helping her.

Sam's unit has been charged with arresting Kelly. But if he can believe her, Kelly needs his help now to save some kidnapped Mage children and to stop a conspiracy with far-reaching implications.

Threatened with being kicked off his SEAL unit if he does not follow his orders, Sam must risk everything... even his heart.


* * * * *

With a name like PHANTOM WOLF,  I really was expecting a romantic suspense with one part of the couple being a werewolf.  Instead I discovered a hot romantic suspense. between mages of two different factions.  Now don't think that I was complaining because I very much enjoyed the ride.

I would compare PHANTOM WOLF to Romeo and Juliet except that it isn't between warring families. When Shay and Kelly were younger, their love paid no attention to their differences in station until a tragedy drove them apart.  Brought back together again to rescue some children, they find that the heat between them is hotter then ever but they can't manage to overcome past hurts and misunderstandings.

I found it easy to empathize with both of the main characters even though I did just want to shake them both when they allow the prejudices of their classes interfere with their relationship.   There was just enough tension and danger to keep me engrossed along with some hot love scenes that aren't too explicit.  I do recommend it to my readers who enjoy a paranormal romantic suspense.  I rate it a 3.5.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Nov 5, 2013

Rants

Lawyer
Lawyer (Photo credits: www.mysecuritysign.com)


I am not one to stress.  If I am not able to fix something, then I tend to let it go and concentrate on the next thing that needs my attention.  For some reason that has changed over the last few weeks and I am not sure why.

That isn't quite true.  I have added a few stressful things into my day lately such as caring for my husband.  We are in the process of trying to get him on disability since he is no longer able to work.  And of course, the claim was denied so we had to go get a lawyer. In fact, I have learned that in my state is is almost an automatic denial unless one is dying. It's not that I don't like lawyers but more along the line that I think it is ridiculous to have to go to one.  All we are doing here is feeding the lawyers.

I am also going to meet with a friend that is a mortgage broker tomorrow.  I am going to attempt to get a mortgage on the wonderful house that I have been living in the last 3 years.  This really shouldn't stress me as I have been working on improving my credit for the last three years and I have a nice down payment to help things run smoothly but yeah I am stressing about that.

This stress has also been following me down into my studio.  It has spooked my muse so I haven't really been that productive there.  This last weekend, I managed to only make one necklace that that is for a blog hop that will be happening later this month. 

So wish me luck on being able to get a home loan and overcome this stress I have been going through lately.  Oh the plus side, I am not a stress eater so I have been loosing that weight.  Hopefully I can get rid of that  extra five pounds that seem to have taken up residence.
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