Thursday, May 26, 2005

Shaving Is A Sexual Act? Since When?

I’ve discussed heroines swallowing buckets of love juice AND enjoying it, in my To Swallow Or Not To Swallow blog entry, but I read a book last night that made me question a certain fetish that kinda creeps me out.

Shaving. What’s so sexy about shaving? Not just the shaving of the heroine’s bush either, but her hair too. Apparently there’s something about having a buzz cut that’s sensual. What? I don’t get it, I just don’t get it.

There is a certain author out there, who always has in-depth shaving scenes in her book. These scenes have been known to last for up to 4 pages, and usually culminates in the hero going down on the heroine’s freshly shaved love-box.

Have I missed a popular growing trend here?

I think I’ll ask The Tall Guy, if the thought of shaving me turns him on, although in all honesty, I can’t see it, as far as I’m aware, his preferences when it comes to pubic hair, is that he doesn’t find any unwelcome visitors whilst he’s down there. (grin)

Paris Is A Bust!! Sheesh!!

*Sob* we can't get a flight or a train to Paris that wont end up costing us over £600 ($1050) for just the journey there and back!! (The last time we were there we paid £99 ($173) each, so I refuse to fork over that much money just because it's a bank holiday!

I've told hubby that we cant justify spending that much money for a two night break, so we'll either end up in Amsterdam, or we'll book a proper holiday to either, Egypt, Mexico, Brazil Cuba or Dominican Republic, and go for a week next month.

I would love to go to Egypt, but I don't think hubby is too keen. He has visions of us getting kidnapped by fundamentalists. (trainspotter, yech!)

Can you believe we can get a package holiday to Egypt for just £225 ($394) per person? How fab is that!!

Hubby is still considering Cuba, I'll let you know where we decide to go once it's been booked!!

I know for sure that I dont want to go to Amsterdam, I'd rather stay home. After you've been to the red-light district, and marvelled at old women flashing their pussies at you in their respective windows, what's left?

Turkish Delight For Liverpool Football Club As They Win The Champions League Cup In Dramatic Fashion!!!

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! I watched the most amazing football match last night!
Liverpool Football Club produced an incredible comeback to win the Champions League on penalties in one of the most remarkable finals of all time.

Trailing 3-0 after a first half dominated by AC Milan, Liverpool club scored three times in six minutes early in the second half to take the match into extra time and eventually a penalty shootout which they won 3-2.

I’m a staunch Manchester United supporter, but I have to take my hats off to the boys in red across the motorway, they were absolutely magnificent in Istanbul, and dare I say that last night’s match, was even more gripping than our injury time come back against Bayern Munich in 1999.

They say that it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, but as far as I was concerned, the bitch had started warming up her tonsils before the end of the first half, when AC Milan lead the Reds by 3-0.

The Scousers showed guts and immense determination to overturn this deficit. Unfortunately for the Italian side, they’d started polishing the Champions League cup, before it was won, and hence paid dearly.

I’m happy as larry, the Cup has returned to the North of England once again!! As bitter Italian, Gabriel Marcotti said last night, God was a Scouser for 120 minutes!!

God Bless Steven Gerrard and Jerzy Dudek!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm Off To Gay Paris!

So The Tall Guy comes home today, and casually asks me if I’d like to go to Paris for the weekend, seeing as it’s a Bank Holiday, and he’s not at work until Tuesday.

I, of course very casually say, “Why not, we’re not doing anything else”.

So there ya have it, we’re going to Paris for the weekend, now all we have to do, is to book the flights, and organise which hotel we’ll be staying at… Or we could go via Eurostar, but to be honest, I hate the thought of being underground for any length of time, so we're gonna plane it I think. Sheesh, decisions, decisions..(grin)

Are Traditionally Published Authors Snobs?

I recently read an article written by Karin Gillespie, on Romancing the Blog, that grated on my nerves a bit, and thus, made me ask the question, do N.Y.C publishees consider themselves above authors who are published by E-publishers or small/vanity press?

I’m not really sure what the answer is, but I can tell you something, there is a definite air of superiority amongst some traditionally published authors vs authors from lesser known publishing houses. Karin’s comments probably shouldn’t have really surprised me.

She starts off by writing:

“There’s another author that lives in my same city. We’ve both been on the same noontime talk shows: we’ve both been featured in articles in the newspaper. At the bookstore both of our hardcover novels are displayed together at same local-author table. Most people assume we are colleagues, but there are some very important differences between us.
My novel was published by a large New York City publisher; his novel was published by a vanity press masquerading as a legitimate publishing house. As a result his novel is rife with errors, lacks a plot and is clearly the efforts of a novice. I doubt it would have been accepted by a traditional house.”

Do you get the feeling she doesn’t want to be associated with this author? (grin) When she states that she’s been published by a large N.Y.C company, is it me, or does she come off sounding a little superior?

She then goes on to add:

“I spent fifteen years learning to write until I felt ready to submit my work to an agent. I went to writers conferences, read tons of craft books and joined a novel critique group. He’d never written anything before his first novel and pounded out it out over a period of six months.
So why does this bother me? His novel will probably go nowhere beyond the small city where we live, and he won’t make a dime off of it. But still the situation grates my nerves.

When I was recently introduced to him at a party, the host said to me, “Bill is an author, just like you!”
“No, he isn’t!” I wanted to retort.”

Wow, you go Karin!! I get the fact that she honed her craft to the nth degree before she submitted her work for publication, and maybe it pisses her off to see somebody who obviously isn’t as talented as her getting a free ride, but come on, she’s made it, that’s good right? Why worry about a lesser mortal than herself? She’s already admitted that he probably wont make a dime, so what’s she so worried about? Him tainting her work? Hello?

She assumes that because of his publishing status, he’ll probably amount to nothing, which really annoyed the hell out of me. I can’t imagine that there aren’t really talented writers out there who for one reason or another have been refused by some of the big publishing houses, what are they to do then? Curl up and die, until Mira comes a-calling?

“Writing a book doesn’t make someone an author anymore than applying a Band-Aid to a skinned knee makes someone a doctor. Reviewers of large newspapers, publishing people and most media outlets can spot these so-called “authors” fairly readily, but how can the average Joe tell the difference between a real writer and a dilettante?”

If someone truly believes that they are talented, and they manage the great feat of finishing a book, why can they not be considered an author? The book that they’ve written may not be very good, in fact it might be flush-down-the-toilet bad, but that would just be an opinion, wouldn’t it, because as we all know, one man’s meat, is another man’s poison. Who’s to say that people won’t enjoy his book, as badly written as it may be?

The comment about reviewers spotting the chaff from the wheat, also hit my hot button, have I told you recently that I think reviews are just other people’s opinions, and that they NEVER influence my buying choices?

As an Average Joe, does it matter to me that an author is published by a main house, or by a vanity press company? Not really, do you know why? Because if the book sucks, I just don’t buy that authors stuff again. It certainly doesn’t make me turn me against a whole genre, or judge other authors on somebody else’s crap writing. I think I know better than that.

“I know I sound petty, but as a writer who went through a great deal of trouble to learn my craft, I’m annoyed that my efforts and other authors’ efforts are diluted by not-ready-for-publication authors.”

You know what Karin, I think you do sound petty, in the great scheme of things, how is this small guy gonna affect your sales and readership? People aren’t as stupid as you may think, they buy what they like, and if it’s a big disappointment, they shrug their shoulders, and never go there again.

“After all, the public is deluged with plenty of traditionally published books; it shouldn’t have to sort through the efforts of amateurs as well.”

Karin, I hate to say this, (ok, no I don’t) but there are plenty of crap traditionally published books out there, it may be that the ‘amateur’ one is just the thing that we’re looking for to get us out of a reading rut. Who’s to say otherwise?

“If I sound like a gatekeeper to an exclusive country club, I apologize. In fact, I’m glad to help aspiring writers and always take the time to answer their questions and give advice. I’m also thrilled when authors I’ve counseled finally see success in the publishing world.”

Yep Karin, you do sound like the gatekeeper to an exclusive country club. Not everybody has your patience, some people want success yesterday, and are maybe willing to pay to get it. This doesn’t make them bad people or in fact bad writers, but if they can’t get their work out there by traditional means, who’s gonna know how brilliant they actually are?

I think that everybody deserves a shot at their dream, and I think it’s pretty harsh to look down your nose at somebody just because they’ve chosen to take a different route to you. If they suck muchos big time, then they wont sell anyway, and the world can be free of such dastardly heathens.

So my question is, do you think that there is an almost sub-conscious snobbery amongst N.Y.C published authors, about small/vanity press or e-published writers? I know that some authors are probably too polite/politically correct to tell me what they really think, but readers, what do you think?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

My Weekend Tales of Woe, and Other Stories

Well I’ve had another fairly busy weekend, I wont bore you to death reiterating the ins and out of everything that I did this weekend, so here are just a few of the more noteworthy activities.

Friday Eve: It was another of my friend’s birthday, so we all went out as a big girly group (there were two men there, who were honorary girls, but that’s just cuz they were gay) into Leeds city centre.
I got quite drunk (four Budweisers and a Malibu and coke and that was me done) and I was also propositioned by a lesbian (when we were dancing, I assumed that she was just a really friendly girl) whom I didn't know was a lesbian, until it became obvious that she was looking at me as a potential shag for the night. Nice.

Saturday: Woke up with a hangover which hubby insisted on making worse (he was jealous cuz I’d gone out and he hadn’t) He persisted in trying to make my head hurt more by playing Lynard Skynard’s Sweet Home Alabama very loudly (train-spotter) until I screeched at him, whereby he promptly took off to our local leisure club, to escape my wrath.

Saturday Afternoon: We all went to the pub to watch the FA Cup final on the big screen, we were all Manu Supporters apart from one Rear Gunner, who obviously felt a bit intimidated (so he should have).

We then spent the next 120 minutes on the edge of our seat whilst Man United played the Gunners off the park, but in the end lost the cup to a Paul Scholes penalty miss. Cue lots of blubbing and screaming, and a sly self-satisfied smirk from the only one of us who wasn’t a Reds supporter. I took the high road, and ignored him for the rest of the afternoon, and tried to drown my sorrows with alcohol-free beer.

Saturday Eve: The Eurovision Song Contest was on TV. This Has got to be the worst singing contest in the history of singing contests, but in this country, it’s always worth watching, just to hear Terry Wogan’s sarcastic and bitchy comments about the contestants from the rest of Europe. United Kingdom, France, Germany, and another major European country came last. Greece won the entire contest as per the bookies predictions.

The way the contest works (for my American Amigo’s) is that each European country selects a singer or a band to represent them in the finals. On the night, each nation then cast votes on who they like best.

To cut a long story short, what generally happens, is that instead of voting for who was the best, all the voting countries award points to their neighbours (e.g. Greece awards maximum points to Cyprus, and vice versa, all the Baltic countries stick together, Andorra awards maximum points to Spain, and they in return do the same) Nobody ever votes for United Kingdom these days due to the fact, we’re such a force in world politics, and also because of our involvement in the Iraq War. It’s all very political, and completely farcical, and I’m not sure why it continues, but from a British point of view, I do think most people tune in just to hear Terry’s witty repartee.

Sunday Morning: Went to visit a friend of mine who is almost like a surrogate Grandmother. This lady is called Flora, she is 92, but she totally looks fantastic for her age.

When I got to her apartment, I noticed she didn’t look as cheery as she normally does, and so I asked her what the problem was. She seemed reluctant to tell me, so I jokingly asked if she was having men trouble (her husband had died 20 years earlier) she looked at me, and nodded her head.

Hopefully I didn’t look as amazed as I felt (who knew that people over 80 still had boyfriend issues?) and encouraged her to tell me the tale.

Basically she’d been dating this gentleman who was twenty years younger than her (still trying to pick my jaw off the ground at this point). This guy and her had been dating for ten years (she was good friends with his mother, that information alone had me reeling).

This guy, who was called Edward, was the minister of her church group where she attended regularly (Church of England no less, I tell ya those religious types, yech!) and had been calling on her for ages (apparently he did all the chasing when they first met).

Last week a couple of new ladies joined the church group, (Flora seemed to think they were there just to find men, the Jezebels), and these “mutton, dressed as lamb” (her words not mine) made a beeline straight for Edward (Floozies), and apparently last week, Aida, who’s a friend of Flora’s saw Edward with a lady (who wasn’t Flora) at a concert.

Well as you can imagine, Flora was devastated, and has been miserable all week.

Edward The Cad, usually calls on her on Sunday afternoons for tea and crumpets, but this week, he hadn’t called round, and there was no phone call or anything to explain his absence, which lead Flora to believe that he’s thrown her over for one (or both) of the new ho’s who’d made a beeline straight for him last week.

Flora told me that Aida (her best friend) had heard one of the ladies asking about Edward, apparently at that point, one of the members of the congregation had piped up and told this ho, that Edward was Flora’s and the slut had replied “well he wont be hers forever will he?” Gasp, what a brazen hussy!!

So Flora didn’t go to church as usual this morning because she felt that she couldn’t face him, and also she wanted to avoid pitying looks from all the other congregation members.

When Flora told me her tale, my initial advice to her was “Dump the bastard”, but then I had to back-track, and recall that Flora was actually 92 years old, and that things were different when she was a young woman, so I had a rethink, and came up with a much more sensible piece of advice.

I told her to stick her foot out, (the next time she was in church), and trip up the bitch (es) he’d been cavorting with. What? I thought that was sound advice.

Hopefully this is all a misunderstanding, but Flora’s tale of woe, brought it home to me that man trouble doesn’t only affect young/middle aged women, the bastards cause misery even when they’re in their dotage. Great, just what you needed to hear. Sheesh!

That completes my tales for the weekend. I’m off to see my mother in a while, to see if she’s cooked anything worth stealing. If so I’ll bring said food item back home and pretend to hubby that I’ve made it myself.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Tagged: A Book Meme

I was tagged by Meljean Brook

Last Book I Bought:
Princess By Jean P Sasson, A true story about the life of a Saudi Arabian Princess

Total Number of Books I own?
Erm…. 2.5 rooms worth?

Last Romance Books I read
Arm Candy, By Jo Leigh

The Last New To Me Read
The Sweet Gum Tree, by Katherine Allred, fabulous book

Last Non-Romance I read
Keane, the Autobiography – Roy Keane, (Manchester United’s Captain) Only Soccer fans will know who he is

5 Books that mean a lot to me

Anne of Green Gables, L.M Montgomery
This is a love affair that’s been going on since I was ten years old. I recall disobeying my parents when I was 11, and running all the way into the nearest town centre (12 miles there and back) to fetch Anne of Avonlea from the library.
I have every single ‘Anne’ book that was ever written by L.M Montgomery.

Just William, Richmal Crompton
I remember always laughing hysterically at Williams antics, plus I won an art contest in which I drew a fabulous picture of William!

The Way To Yesterday, Sharon Sala
A Fabulous book that when the world is grey, and books are crap, I turn to, to help rejuvenate my love of romance.

Rats, by James Herbert
The very first book that I read that had the term “her moist warmth” in it! I didn’t sleep for weeks after I read this book.

The Secret of Little Tanglewood
I read this book when I was 8, and I haven’t been able to find it since, I can’t remember who wrote it either! All my google search just comes up with Tanglewood Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but this was not the same book I’d read at 8!

Tag 5 people to do this: Sheesh I don’t know… erm… Oh well, here’s my list::

Sarah McCarty


Sam Winston


Monica Jackson

My Fave Read of The Week!

I haven’t read so much this week, but I did enjoy Isabel Sharpe’s book, sheesh, I forget the name of it, I think it was a Blaze title. I have read quite a few autobiographies this week, I read Victoria Beckham’s ‘Learning To Fly’, which was very interesting, mind you, the pictures of a gorgeous looking David Beckham helped hugely. I also read Roy Keane’s autobiography (He’s the captain of Manchester United Football Club), which was a revelation.
Apart from the obvious ‘Sweet Gum Tree’, which was worthy of it’s very own blog, I can’t say I’ve read anything else noteworthy, so I’ll give you a list of the books that I’m looking forward to buying as soon as they come out.

Sarah McCarty’s ‘The Others’ from her newly birthed ‘Conception’ series, hurry up and finish it already!
Lori Foster’s ‘Jamie’ , it feels like I’ve been waiting for this book forever Lori!
Jaci Burton’s ‘Spring Rain’ this is the final book in the Storm for All Seasons series.
The next Patricia Cornwell ‘Scarpetta’ novel, ‘Trace’ didn’t live up to the other books, so I’m looking forward to the next one!
Chey McCray’s next ‘Wonderland’ book featuring Lord Kir.

I haven’t read any books that I wanted to flush down the toilet this week, so, we’ll keep my Worst Book of the Week award, till next time. I can almost hear the sighs of relief from here (grin).

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

My Final Word On the DianatheidiotGate Scandal

I can’t be bothered going into chapter and verse about the latest idiot to hit the blogwaves (yep, my blog, I can now be as rabid as I please) I believe JaynieR perfectly echoed my sentiments in her blog, but the one thing I learned in the past 24 hours, is that there’s some really stupid people out there.

I’m not an author, so the worst thing that can happen to me if I piss somebody off, is that they stop talking to me (and let’s face it, sometimes that’s more of a blessing than a curse) but as an author, NO, NO, NO. NO!!! You can’t say just say what you want, or should I say you can, but what happens, is that you lose readers. There are huge double standards at work here, but let’s face it, this is the way things work, you have books to sell, I don’t.

If Ms Buy Yourself a Clue, had critiqued certain elements of the erotic romance genre, I don’t think many people would have had a problem, because many of the things she had to say, do apply to some erotic romance books, but she didn’t really do that did she? She put every single erotic author out there in the same boat, which was mistake number one. Mistake number two, was calling erotic romance readers Fetish-Ridden Verbal Crack Whores, yep, nice going Bitch! Can I interest you in a copy of Dale Carnegie’s, ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People’?

And Melissa Alvarez at NAD, yeah actually, I do think that the Preditors and Editors Poll was an absolute farce. You won 8 of the categories including Best Art Cover,(cue burst of laughter) Best Editor, and Best Publisher in your first year, even though nobody could actually figure out who you were, and had twelve top ten places? Whatever! I thought it was fishy at the time, before I actually cared, now I know it’s definitely fishy, yeah I’m calling you on it, wanna know the name of my lawyer?

If anybody disagrees with me, that’s completely ok, it’s a free world, but do me a favour, don’t post anonymously, because that kind of negates anything useful you have to say. Have the courage of your convictions, and don’t hide behind a false name either.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Pie and Chips For Ms Zellwegger?

I like Renee Zellwegger , she always strikes me as being a genuinely likeable person, BUT what I do not like is how damn skinny she is.

Having watched both Bridget films, I’m absolutely astounded by the comparison. In Bridget, she looks like she’s been well fed, but it certainly doesn’t detract from her sexiness. Post-Bridget, she seems to turn into a skeletal ghost.

For some reason she seems to think that the see-through and bony look is the new black, no honey, Halle Berry’s beautiful curves are this season’s must-have item.

Whenever I see Ms Zellwegger, I want to introduce her poor skin to a sun bed, and sit her on my table and feed her fish, chips and curry sauce, until her arse pads out a bit, and her boobs, go past the eggs-on-an-ironing-board stage.

Renee, the emaciated look went out with Dave Chapelle’s mental health, so I suggest you get yourself a family sized KFC bucket, and proceed to eat it all by yourself, I promise you, Kenny will love the results.

Kylie Minogue, Get Well Soon!

Kylie Minogue has breast cancer, shit, I hope she’s ok, I’m thinking of you Kylie, rock on bird!

Monday, May 16, 2005

To Swallow Or Not To Swallow, That is The Question...

Warning: The following post has a high Ewwww Factor!.

As women, how many of us actually swallow cum? I mean really? (Rocio put your hands down!)

As I was re-reading Camille Anthony’s ‘Fortrayn’s Forbidden Fling, (read it last week, didn’t enjoy it, but I was in a funky mood, so I decided it was short enough to warrant another try with a more open mind) I got to the part where the heroine gets down on her knees to sample the hero’s love schtick, when this rather typical paragraph jumped out at me:

“Rosa licked her lips to gather up the last bit of Fort’s come. Por Dios, he tasted divine -- thick, salty, and slightly sweet, the perfect protein cocktail.”

Now let’s examine the above in detail. When was the last time any of you actually swallowed your man’s cum, and loved it (Having a high gag factor, enjoyment doesn’t even come into it for me), let alone comparing it to a cocktail?

Every single romance/erotic romance book that I’ve ever read, where the heroine gives the hero a blow job, she never spits the damn thing out, is this realistic?
Is there no way of positively writing that the heroine had an aversion to cum, so she generally spat, rather than swallowed? Would this wreck the fantasy for you?

It’s not enough that authors always make their heroines swallow, but do they really have to make them enjoy it too? There’s too much of a high ‘ick’ factor for me to suspend disbelief and be persuaded that all these heroines actually like that bleachy, funky disinfectant-type smell/taste (or maybe this is just me) that I personally associate with men’s sperm. It would be a nice change to read a book where the heroine spits the man’s love juice out rather than heartily swallowing it down to the last drop.

I’ve also noticed that some authors make the hero’s ejaculation, comparable to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, where he seems to come for about an hour, and the heroine ‘tirelessly’ drinks his seed. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time my hubby threw out more than a thimbleful (sorry Paul) of that foul smelling stuff!

So, do you think that it’s necessary for the heroine to swallow her hero’s love juice, or could you live with the fact that she spat?

"I'm Desirous of A Hard Ride"

“I’m desirous of a hard ride”. I read that in a historical romance a while ago, and some how today, that sentence has been going round and round in my head. I’m not sure why though. I told hubby about it, he just looked at me hopefully, but I soon disabused him of that notion.

Hubby and I went swimming this morning (I think the chlorine must have gone to my head cuz I feel like shit) and as I was getting undressed in the ladies, there it was again, “I’m desirous of a hard ride”, Uggghhhhhh!! Get out of my head already, the ladies changing room is sooooo not the place to let thoughts like that run round my brain.

When I joined hubby in the hydrotherapy pool, it started again, round and round in my mind it went.

So in an effort to get it out of my system, I’m just gonna post it a few times if you don’t mind!!

“I’m desirous of a hard ride”
“I’m desirous of a hard ride”
“I’m desirous of a hard ride”
“I’m desirous of a hard ride”
“I’m desirous of a hard ride”

Phew, hopefully that should help, I’ve got a presentation to some potential clients tomorrow, so the last thing I want is to have that running round my head, whilst I’m talking about what my company can do for them.

Thanks for letting me share, much appreciated!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

How Come This Dude On The Cover is White…He Was Black In The Book?

Monica Jackson’s most recent blog, where she bitches about the latest cover for one of her books got me thinking.

How does it happen, that an author can write a romance featuring a black hero/heroine, but once the cover is unveiled, it depicts a completely different looking person. More often than is comfortable, the colour changes to a whiter shade of pale.

I was once told that this is because romance books with covers of African American/or any other black contingent, do not sell as well as book covers with pictures of Caucasian heroes/heroines.

Huh? *Cue mouth falling open in amazement*. Wow…. Who knew?

Then I thought about it some more, and I decided that this person was right, book covers with heroes/heroines of colour probably don’t sell as well, but why?

Well after having mulled this over for oh...several seconds, I decided that publishers were to blame for this sad state of affairs.

The fact that some of them still feel that the best way to market a romance book is to have white heroes and heroines on the front cover, regardless of whether or not the actual characters in the book are white, tells me all I need to know about how far we’ve come in the whole equal opportunities debate.

Surely if we saw more romance cover books showing actual black heroes/heroines, the status quo regarding sales would change.

People hate the unknown, and subconsciously, publishers out there who practice this kind of marketing, help perpetuate the notion that black people falling in love is a rare and uncomfortable occurrence, and thus one that must be avoided at all costs.

The first time I saw the word ‘cock’ in a book, I nearly fainted in dismay (you can imagine my initial reaction to discovering that people actually indulged in anal sex) , in fact I actually gasped out aloud, I was so shocked. The obvious reason for my surprise, was because prior to this occasion, I’d never seen the word used anywhere else. His ‘hardness’, his ‘manhood’, and other equally politically correct descriptions, but never “cock”, I mean shit, that was like a dirty word!

Now of course things have changed, I gasp out loud if I don’t see the word cock in my romance books. Now I revel in its liberal use. The more cocks, the merrier as far as I’m concerned.

I think the same can be said for romance books featuring people of colour on the front cover. If those out there, who happen to be less enlightened than us, don’t see such covers often, how are they ever going to be given the opportunity to get used to it, and eventually stop gasping at pictures of black people on romance covers?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Oh At Last... I've Finally Read a Fabulous Book!!

Well I’ll be, I just read the most amazing book that I’ve had the pleasure to read in a while. The book was called The Sweet Gum Tree, and it can be found at the newly birthed Cerridwen Press, the main stream division of Elloras Cave.

I usually hate waxing lyrical about books, in fact, I don’t think I’ve done so since I read Sarah Mccarty’s
Promises Prevail, but when a story is this good, what the hell, I’m just gonna gush away!

This is the blurb from Cerridwen:

Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.

Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick's abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick's abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she's starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her until the day she looks up-business is booming, and she's content if not happy and sees Nick standing across the counter.

He's back…and he's not alone.Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she's built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson's death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well as heal.

Katherine Allred did something with this book, that no other ‘new’ author (as in new to me) has been able to do in quite a while. She made me care about all the different characters within this story.
First of all she made me absolutely love Alix, our heroine, who we first meet as a feisty eight year old, who’s determined to save Nick from all things evil, whether he wants to be saved or not. We then follow her through the trials and tribulations that she goes through during the process of falling in love, and there after. There were times during the book I just wanted to shake her, and will her to listen to her heart, but this wasn’t a negative for me at all. My desire to kick her up the ass stemmed from a place where sisterly concern dwells.

Allred then made me fall in love with Nick, a boy who has been physically and emotionally abused by his father for as long as he can remember. We first meet him as a scared but proud little boy of ten, but of course we also get to know him as a fine upstanding man later on.

There were other characters, who far from being mere afterthoughts, like sometimes secondary characters tend to be, were critical to the overall feel of this story.
There was ‘The Judge’, who is Alix’s beloved grandfather. There is Alix’s mother, who appears to be one thing when you meet her, then you discover later that she too has skeletons in her very deep wardrobe.

There’s also Alix’s aunts, who also play significant roles in the story, and last, but not least, there’s Lindsey, who we meet right at the beginning of the book, and throughout the book, plays a crucial role in Nick and Alix’s relationship.

This book was hugely character driven, which is probably why I loved it so much. I haven’t cried over a book in a long time, and it was almost cathartic to do so now. It was huge relief to me that I was able to at long last be able to emotionally engage with a book, rather than just going through the motions.

This story was presented in the first person, but in no way did this detract from the overall quality of the book, and as a staunch hater of literature written in the first person, dare I say, that it was almost essential for it to be told from Alix’s point of view.

If you want sex and titillation, then this book is clearly not for you, however, if you want to be taken on an emotional journey, with all kinds of surprising twists and turns, then I suggest you RUN, don’t walk, RUN, to get your copy of The Sweet Gum Tree from Cerridwen Press.

PS, if any of you read this book, and don’t like it, then don’t bother leaving a comment, cuz I might start wondering what you’re smoking!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

More Scandal From American Idol

Wow, check out the inside scoop on American Idol shenanigans as relayed by Mrs Giggles , it makes for very interesting reading, who knew huh?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Promo's On Other People's Lists, Tut, Tut

I’ve just seen something on one of the lists where I mostly lurk, that has absolutely amazed me. A while ago, I posted an entry about an over-enthusiastic group member who started promoting one author on a lot of other author’s lists, she got verbally smacked for doing it last time. Well she’s at it again, I had to rub my eyes to make sure that I was seeing what I thought I was seeing, but yep, definitely promo on somebody else’s list, sheesh, I can only assume that she’s had permission to do it, cuz nobody would be that stupid twice right?

My Favourite Read of The Week

I’ve had another weak reading week. I read Camille Anthony’s ‘Wild in The City’ and ‘Fortrayn’s Forbidden Fling’, both of which I could have lived without. I also read Rafe and Sheila by Shiloh Walker, which was very average, so much so in fact, that I struggled to finish it if I'm honest.
I’m in a reading funk, and in this mood, it’s hard for me to tolerate anything less than brilliant.

I got so fed up this week, that I turned to a couple of my favourite Sharon Sala books, The Way To Yesterday, and Sweet Baby. My interest in romance was then rejuvenated for about twenty seconds until I started reading Adrian J Matthews’, ‘The Ninth Wave’. Sheesh, that book was hard work, and I have absolutely no inclination to finish it.

With not many books to choose from, my read of the week goes to…. Drum roll please….. Snowflakes on The Sea, written by Linda Lael Miller in 1984. Here’s the blurb:

Girl Actress is Married to Boy Singer.
Girl Actress and Boy Singer’s marriage is threatened by a scheming she-devil who wants Boy Singer for herself.
Girl Actress and Boy Singer’s marriage is also threatened by a scheming he-devil who wants Girl Actress for himself.
Girl Actress wants to settle down and have children, but doesn’t think that that’s what Boy Singer wants.
Boy Singer wants what they once had, but doesn’t know how to make things better.
The Scheming Duo set up Boy Singer, which results in some cross-country action.
Boy Singer and Girl Actress obviously love each other, but lack of communication is their worst enemy.
Girl Actress and Boy Singer eventually work it out, and live happily ever after!

I liked this book, because it was simple, no werewolves, no vampires, no ménages, no BDSM, no anal, no blowjobs, no aliens, with both sets of sexual organs, no nothing!! It was a very simple love story about one man, and one woman which I was able to read in one sitting, thank God!!!!!

Hollywood Gossip

Tom Cruise with Katie Holmes (Joey in Dawson's Creek) when did that happen, and more to the point whyyyyy!!!!!!!

Sick, Sick, Sick!!

Wow, I just found out that somebody tried to contact Laurell K Hamilton whilst she was at RT, to tell her that her sick grandma, had just had a second stroke, and was about to die. What the fuck?

Apparently it may be a disgruntled fan? Excuse me? Fan? I don’t think so, this was done by a bunny-boiling, card carrying fruitcake. How cruel can a person be?

Blow Jobs, Anal, and BDSM in Romance Books

I recently read a blog on the Smart Bitches website, which talked about blowjobs in books. Back in the 1980’s the nearest the heroine’s mouth got to the hero’s love stick was usually when she was undoing his trousers, but then she promptly came back up, and did something inane like kiss his chest or chew on his ears or something.

Vicki Lewis Thompson introduced me to blow job scenes in one of her blaze titles, up till then, it had been just plain, kiss, thrust, tweak nipple, kiss, thrust, tweak nipple and then finally some more thrusting.

As for anal sex, what the hell was that! I have to say though that as a fourteen year old reading romance books, I don’t think anal sex was an education I was quite ready for. Going from Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High, to an Emma Holly-type book would have probably been too much for my teenybopper brain to comprehend.
Up until last July, when I discovered Elloras Cave, I had never read any books, which had anal sex scenes in them, so thanks Lora Leigh *g*

As for BDSM, Once again, EC introduced me to the art of using whips, chains, and nipple clamps, and the whole pleasure/pain principle (my knowledge of these things have vastly improved) but generally, I prefer the lighter stuff. As for Dom’s and Subs, I’m too much of a feminist to truly enjoy such books (assuming that the female is made to be the sub).
In memory I can’t think of any Dom/sub books that I have ever truly enjoyed.
People tell me that Joey Hill’s Natural Law, was excellent, but I have yet to be swayed enough to buy it.

Which romance books introduced you to blowjobs, anal sex, and BDSM?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Nora Roberts: Has She Got The McDonald’s Syndrome?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been reading Nora Roberts’ books for years now. I remember glomming her MacGregor series years ago, and re-reading them to death!!
In fact, up until last year, I used to read her stuff constantly. Since then though, I’ve found myself taking longer and longer to finish her books.
In fact there was a particular Nora book that I started reading, and never got round to finishing.

In terms of her best work, I still have many of her stuff from 1985, and I have to say, in my opinion that year saw her produce some of her best books (this may just be nostalgia talking). Books like, One Man’s Art, All the Possibilities, Tempting Fate, Nightmoves etc, were amongst my best ever reads (they were then anyway) but I find that her more recent work almost has a lazy feel to them. Does that make sense? I honestly don’t believe that she has the same passion for writing as she used to.

I re-read ‘For The Love of Lilah’ about a month ago, and I still enjoyed it as much as I had the first time I’d ever read it, the same cannot be said for her more recent offerings.

I can’t really put my finger on it, but there is definitely something missing for me personally.

I wonder if she has been hit by the McDonald’s syndrome. Millions of people still eat Big Macs, but how many people really enjoy them? Personally my reasons for going to a McDonald’s rather than any other burger restaurant is because I know exactly what to expect, the food is bland, but it fills a hole, and I know that there wont be any nasty surprises waiting for me. I can’t help but make the comparisons with a Nora Roberts book.

So, what’s your opinion on Nora? Is she at the top of her game, or just living off her name?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Blast From The Past – Reading Faux Pas

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!! Pardon me whilst I stop rolling about on the floor, after reading Meljean Brook’s most recent blog, where she revisits old Harlequin books that once upon a time she cherished and adored.

I know that a lot of us often find ourselves re-reading books that we once loved in the hopes of re-igniting our passion for romance. This seems to be happening to me more often than not. I find myself liberally mixing up my genre’s at the moment in the hope that romance and I will become firm friends once more.

There are many books that I can read over and over again, and still find them as fabulous as the first time I read them, but then there are others which I read and like Meljean, can’t understand what the hell I was smoking at the time.

One of my favourite Harlequin Silhouette Desire reads of all time is a book called Just Joe, by Marley Morgan.
Every time I read a book like JW Mckenna’s Darkest Hour, and find myself despairing that I’ll ever read a decent book again, I run straight into the arms of this 1987 publication for tea, sympathy, and comfort.

Just Joe still has the power to move me to tears no matter how often I read it, and I believe that this is the mark of a truly good book, (I probably need to step in here and add that this is my opinion, and not necessarily the opinion of others). Joe, who was the hero, was just the most amazing man, and he probably made the book for me. I can’t be arsed telling you what it was about so if you want to look it up, go to Amazon.

However, not so long ago, I went back to a Mills and Boon offering (I wont name and shame this author as some of her books are amongst my fave reads now) that I used to absolutely love, and Oh. My. God. What the fuck was I thinking! Not only was the heroine the kinda gal that you’d cheerfully strangle for being such a weak-assed dick, the hero was the epitome of all the things I hate in a badly-written alpha male.

He was arrogant beyond the pale, and treated the heroine like shit (she deserved it for being so damn stupid, but that doesn’t excuse the author for writing characters that most readers would hate with a passion) whilst accusing her of sleeping with every Tom, Dick and Harriet, she took a fancy to.

I mean come on, can a girl who does voluntary work at a shelter for children (she probably sounds likeable, but believe me, she wasn’t) a girl, who shook in her boots every time the hero gave her a “thin-lipped disparaging smile” and “blushed wildly” whenever his royal masculine thighness/bearer of “an aura of raw sexuality” got to within a few feet away from her, be the kinda chick that opens up her legs to all and sundry? Yeah right. Yet funnily enough, the hero seemed to miss all these nuances, and ridiculously came to the conclusion that she was hiding something, most probably a secret lover, as if! Yech!

Having said all of the above, I remember reading this book as a young teen and absolutely loving it, it may have been the “smoldering looks” that the hero kept throwing the heroine at every given opportunity, or the way the girly against her better judgement couldn’t control her baser instincts, and let Alpha Dickless continually “imprison her body against his” whilst she “moaned in ecstasy”.

Do ya get what I’m saying yet? The book muchos sucked, and I’ve hitherto come to the conclusion that all my taste was in my mouth as a teen!

I know you must have read books like this in the past, care to share?

My Weekend Shenanigans!

Afternoon folks! I’m feeling especially lazy today. It’s a sunny day here in the North of England, and I’ve had a pleasant weekend thus far.
On Friday, hubby and I went to watch Beauty Shop, with Queen Latifah and Alicia Silverstone, which was hilarious!

Last night, he and I attended a 30th birthday party which was fabulous. We stayed at the hotel where the party was being hosted, and was lucky enough to get a four-poster bed in our room, it was pure luxury.

Hubby got quite drunk, and turned into his version of Romeo, when we went to bed. Sex and alcohol don’t mix well with me, so he had zero chance of getting any action last night!!

During the party, we were sat with three other couples, two of whom hubby and I knew really well. I also kinda knew the other couple, but I hadn’t seen them in 13 years since I attended their wedding! It didn’t even click that I knew them until she started reminiscing about our local majorettes team (baton twirling folks!) of which she used to help out with.

Well how time changes some people. The last time I saw Nancy (her name) she was an ecstatic and joyous bride. I always remember thinking how lavish her wedding was thirteen years ago, and how happy she was to be marrying her husband. Things have certainly changed.

Nancy and her husband were terrible together, every time she looked at him, she shot him daggers, and he just laugh it off. At one point, she even said out loud that she wished she was single, which obviously created quite an uncomfortable silence, and Paul being Paul just had to pipe up, and say “Well, that was a conversation stopper wasn’t it!” I groaned inwardly at his lack of tact (I know, I know, Pot calling Kettle) but funnily enough it broke the tension a little bit, to my relief.

As the evening wore on, the situation between Nancy and her hubby (I forget his name), didn’t improve. They barely said more than two words to each other all night, it was almost like she hated him, God knows what he had done, I mean he seemed ok to us, but obviously he must have pissed her off big time! I wonder if he’d been caught shagging somebody else, that’s the only explanation I could come up with, for the venomous looks she was sending his way at every given opportunity. I tell ya, if looks could kill, he’d have been lying on the floor, screaming for mercy!!

I do think though that if I had been in Nancy’s situation, I would have either attended the party with somebody else, or pretended that everything was ok, instead of washing my laundry in public. It was just too uncomfortable for the rest of us! Paul however thought it was hilarious, the cad!!

This morning we had breakfast in the hotel with the two couples who we knew, which was very nice!
We then drove home at a leisurely rate (In fact the hotel was only ten minutes away by car, lol!)
When we got home, we went to our local healthclub, where we swam, well actually I swam, and Paul just laid in the hydrotherapy pool, nursing a hangover. We spent two hours there, and then came back home. Paul went off to his parents house after that!

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend, but I feel quite exhausted now!!

I hope you all had a good weekend, please feel free to share any stories of your escapades!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Are We As Sexually Adventurous As We Think We Are?

I travelled to Sheffield this morning to meet one of our Dutch clients at the airport.
I went and sat in the business lounge, whilst I waited for her flight to come in.

I took out my notebook, and started thinking about topics for my blog. I looked to my right, to check if my client had arrived yet, and a lady wearing a red suit, with killer high heels, walked into the lounge. She made me think of Anal sex. Don’t look at me that way, I have no idea why she made me think of anal sex, I just did. Sheesh, you’ve got to get your inspiration wherever you find it.

Up until late last year, I was a backhole virgin. As far as I was concerned, ‘that’ hole wasn’t for anything other than an exit strategy. The thought of putting anything remotely phallic up there was a completely alien concept to me. Until one dark night…

I foolishly took one of those ‘How Adventurous are You in Bed’ sexual quizzes, written by nymphomaniacs and single men , in order to make us lowly vanilla-type personalities feel inadequate and unexciting! You were either exciting in bed or a dud, based on how much you scored on your answers to specific questions.

The quiz asked questions like, would you ever have a menage with two men, which I promptly ticked yes. Would I ever involve food during lovemaking, which I double ticked (Muillerlight strawberry yogurt is a special favourite as it’s ninety nine per cent fat free, so no guilt there).

The quiz asked a few more searching questions which I was able to give affirmative answers to, then guess what? I got a whole series of questions based on anal sex. What? Je ne comprends pas. What the hell?

Well seeing as I was an A-Hole virgin, there was no way I could answer yes to any of the questions, so I got deducted quite a few points for that. Yech!

The quiz moved on. The next questions were based on girl-girl experiences, which took me aback a little bit. Would it be politically incorrect to categorically state that the thought of my muff munching another female’s love bits makes me want to vomit over and over again? No? In that case, the thought of muff munching another female’s love bits makes me want to vomit over and over. Sorry, my idea of experimentation is limited to deciding whether to have gurkins in my Big Mac, rather than get the staff to take them out.

As you can imagine, I didn’t score anything for Girl-Girl experiences. When all the answers were given, the computer made a weird whirring noise, which I presumed meant that it was calculating my scores. My score came out at something like 22 points out of a possible 100. Sheesh, it was official, I was rubbish in bed. Oh the misery.

I decided to do something about my non-adventurous sex life.
I was never gonna try muff-diving, so that notion was disabused immediately, so I thought about trying anal work (I’m clenching my buttocks in rememberance), I mean how bad could it be?

I was advised by people who shall remain nameless that the best thing to do was to either practice with my own finger, hubby’s finger, or a toy. I opted for the toy as you can imagine, so I went to our local Anne Summer’s shop
where I purchased a Maestrobator thingy. I was also advised to get a lube for the session. I bought this from an out-of-village pharmacist cuz I didn’t want the girl at the counter, who I’ve probably baby sat at one point or another, to give me the same looks that I’ve been given in the past whilst buying condoms. It’s a look that says, “I know what you’re do-ing” in that irritating sing-song way.

That night, I prepared, I bathed in beautiful smelling bath oils, I had Lionel Richie on the radio telling me that I was three times a lady (this was all more for me than hubby) and I was wearing a nightie that made the most of my 36 B’s. I was a love machine and sex Goddess waiting to be unleashed… Arrrrr…
To cut to the point, Hubby played, I played, and my ass was never the same again. (after the initial nervous hysterical laughter).

Did I enjoy the experience? Honestly? I have no idea, but what I can say is, thank God for KY jelly!
I remember thinking at the time, man, Lora Leigh makes it seem much easier than this!

So have you done, or would you do anal? Go on, you can tell me, I promise, I wont breathe a word to anybody (grin).

Tony Blair Wins The British Election

Well the election is over, and the party that I voted for have scored an historic third term in government, however, I have tosay that they have returned to power with a nominal majority in comparison to the 2001 elections.
Michael Howard of the Conservatives made significant headway, by gaining something like 33 of the parliamentary seats that were originally Labour holds.

The Liberal Democrats, headed by Ginger Charles Kennedy, gained 11 seats.

It was a somber Tony Blair who took the stand at his Sedgefield constituency to thank the voters for his re-election. I believe he’s learned some important lesson from the results of this election. I’m happy to say that I don’t envisage that the next four years of leadership will be approached in quite the same somewhat lackadaisical way.

I think that the people have made their feelings clear by the objection votes that went to the other parties. Britain has been in a state of turmoil over the whole Iraq issue, and quite frankly, I’m sick to death of hearing about it. I realise that there are families out there who have been directly influenced by the events in Iraq, whether that be from losing a loved one in the war, or being worried sick about relatives in that part of the world, but my heart-felt feelings are, that we now have to move on. Life goes on, this is a fact. We moved on from World War 1, World War 2, Falklands War, Apartheid, the dissolution of Yugoslavia, and the subsequent war in Bosnia, September 11th, and the Tsunami disaster. The world will keep turning, no matter what tragedies occur, hence we need to keep turning with it.

I’m personally happy that Tony Blair is back at the helm, the Iraq issue was his potential banana skin, on which he slipped, and slid about for a while, but in the end, he regained his balance, a little shaken, perhaps a little disoriented, but inevitably, it’s been a good lesson learned.

I say this to Mr Blair, cheer up Prime Minister, as with Winston Churchill, who was called a war-monger during his ministerialship, history and rose tinted memories will recall that you took a brave decision to take your country to war under the most difficult of circumstances. In years to come, the media will wax lyrical about what a good strong leader you were, and reminisce about those old glory days, when we had a statesman who wasn’t afraid to make tough decisions, remember Margaret Thatcher?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

What Constitutes an Unprofessional Author?

I was doing some blog hopping earlier, and I came across Alison Kent’s Blog. Her most recent blog caught my eye. Basically, there’s been some discussion over what is deemed as unprofessional behaviour from authors, and get this, apparently, authors shouldn’t criticise each other’s work for fear of getting black-balled by publisher A who publishes Author B’s work, whom you un-wisely criticised. What?

I wasn’t sure if I’d got this right, so I went back and re-read the blog to find that I’d read what I thought I’d read.

Here is a sample from the discussion in question:

What the heck is up with authors who insult and demean my work and/or me (or other authors!) either to my/their face or on Amazon or on their own blogs? Don't they realize that by criticizing people's work that they are potentially shooting themselves in the foot? I may not be a New York Times bestselling author, but I sure as sugar know more than one or two of them. And I sure and sugar don't mind telling them EXACTLY who's been naughty and who's been nice. And so when the time comes for that cover quote, do they think they'll get it after hearing what I have to say about them? Or what about that anthology deal someone trying to put together? Do they honestly think their name is going to come up as an author who should be included? And what about when I'm having drinks with my editor and we're chit-chatting about authors we'd like to work with. If Insulting Author #1 is mentioned, do they think I'll say to my editor, "Oh, yeah, she's a sweetie." Hah!Not all writers are savvy enough to realize that bashing ANYONE can come back to bite them in the ass, especially if they're not NYT bestselling writers.

I was absolutely flabbergasted by the above excerpt, who knew that there was such narrow minded ejits within the romance writing community? As If it's not bad enough that the rest of the literary world snub their noses at you cuz you write 'those kind of books', you have to fight between yourselves too?

Are there really authors out there who are so sensitive that they cannot cope with constructive criticsm from a fellow author? Really? Wow...

Just my opinion of course, but isn’t it almost better to receive feedback from somebody who knows exactly where you’re coming from? The comments may be negative, but only insofar as what didn’t work for that particular author. How are you supposed to improve if you only hear glowing reports about your work? Especially if in reality it’s absolutely pants!

Are publishing houses and authors that shallow and hyper-sensitive? If so, I suggest you need to get a grip!

It's The General Election In England Today

Well today in England, it’s our General Election. Which means it’s time for us lowly citizens to go and vote, in an effort to elect who we wish to lead us for the next four years. These are the main candidates, and my thoughts on each of them.

Charles Kennedy, Liberal Democrats

Do I want a ginger minger to be our next statesman? Charlie boy, you need to dye your hair and lose some weight, don’t you know that if you got into number 10, you would immediately become the likeliest person to suffer from a heart attack?

Can I remember what your manifesto was based on, apart from calling Tony Blair a liar? Erm, shit what do you stand for again?

Was I moved by the fact that he took paternity leave at the beginning of the election because his wife had just given birth? Not really, that just says to me that he hasn’t got the killer instinct, and that he would put his personal situation above that of the country’s, al la David Blunkett.

Am I impressed that Charles Kennedy didn’t want us to go to war with Iraq? Not really, I believe if he’d been in charge, he would have done the same thing.

Do I trust Charles Kennedy to do the right thing? Yes I do (score one for you Charlie Boy)

What’s my verdict? Well I trust him, and he means well, but I just don’t think his policies hold up under close scrutiny, and what’s this about cutting taxes? We all know that you can’t afford to do that, no matter how much we crave it, so nah, not this time Charlie Boy.

Michael Howard Conversatives

Do I really want to vote for somebody whose smile doesn’t ever reach his eyes? He smiles with his teeth (a la Victoria Beckham... but I like her) and comes across as being fake? Nope, he looks too predatory..

Do I want to vote for somebody who’s now 60 years old, does he understand what I need? I think not, he’s from Margaret Thatcher’s era, but with none of her presence or charm.

Do I really want to vote for somebody who made a hash of things the last time his party were in power? Yes Mr Howard, I’m old enough to remember what your legacy as Home Secretary was.

Do I want to vote for somebody whose campain slogan was “It’s not racist to discuss immigration” Hello, what about education, health, and crime bozo? That’s it, alienate the few people of colour who were thinking of voting for you. To be fair on him, he did change his campaign emphasis once the Bleeding Hearts criticised him for his approach.

So what’s my verdict? Fuck that, no way, Jose.

Tony Blair, Labour Party (Present Encumbent)

Do I think he lied over the Iraq war? Nope, I still believe he had dud information.

Do I think he’s in President Bush’s pocket, nope, he’s strong enough to make up his own mind about things, plus no matter what the other leaders might say, they would have taken the same action.

How’s our economy at present? Well, the Pound is strong (we get nearly two dollars for our pound) interest rates are low, unemployment is at an all time low, and has been for years. I know for a fact that unemployment in America has been rising steadily for a while now, so our economy is A-ok thank you very much.

How’s our health system? We English don’t know how good we’ve got it, if we get sick, we don’t have to worry about having paid up insurance before we can be treated. Waiting lists have been cut substantially since Tony Blair came into power.

Do I trust him? Implicitly, I believe he will always do what he thinks is right. I hate wish washy people, so he’ll do for me!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A Not-So-Short Rant On Rubbish Review Sites

There are two review sites that are currently in operation, that I just don’t get.
Cupid’s Library and and Mon Boudoir have to be the worst review sites that I have ever had the displeasure of visiting.
To be fair on Cupid’s, their website is actually quite nice, it’s easy to navigate, and the cupids are a nice touch. However that’s where it ends.

Having read quite a few of the reviews, I’ve decided that ‘some’ (not all mind you) of the reviewers, either haven’t read some of the books they are charged with reviewing, or they have clearly misunderstood the premise of some of the books.

I find it jaw-droppingly amazing that they extoll the virtues of some books, that I myself would have relegated to my toilet bowl, whilst at the same time condemning books, that I, amongst others have cherished.

There is a particular reviewer at Cupids who really needs to rethink her status as book reviewer, she has reviewed several books, and all of her reviews have a common theme. They are unprofessional, in the main, and dare I say, make no sense whatsoever. If you don’t believe me, check out her review on AQ Fredrichs’ ‘Joanna’s Challenge’, which wasn’t the greatest book by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m not sure it deserved the unprofessional review that it received from this reviewer. I’m allowed to use words like ‘crap’ to describe a book, but I’m not putting myself up there as a professional reviewer, plus this is my own personal blog, so I can say what I want.

There was also a review of a book that I personally thought was fantastic, (JERR had given this book 2 Goldstars) but the reviewer seemed to disagree (I say ‘seemed’ due to the fact that she gave the book 4 cupids, whilst at the same time made some strange comments on the content...) This review got me so mad, I went to their site and left a message in their guest book, telling them that I completely disagreed with the reviewers analysis of the story.

I noticed that there were other negative comments too, and guess what, I just went and visited their review site, and noticed that they had deleted my comments, as well as the other negative comments. It struck me as particularly funny that the last positive comment they had about their website was left on the 12th April by an author, I think that says a lot don’t you?

As for Mon Boudoir, what can I say? It made perfect sense to me when I found out that the same reviewers who had been at Mon Boudoir, were the same ones who had decided to break away and form Cupid’s Library. Therefore, all of the above comments apply.

No wonder I’m particularly scornful of reviews, they are just far too subjective. Everybody’s got an opinion, it’s just that some people express them better than others!
I would strongly advise the editors of both, Mon Boudoir and Cupids Library, to actually do their job, and edit the reviews before they are released, this may save them some embarrassment in the long run. Oh, and also sack at least two of the reviewers there!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

My Fave Read of the Week

My reading has been fairly weak this week (huh, huh, see what I did there?) I have read a few books that I enjoyed moderately if not blown away by. This week though, the honor of my book of the week goes to…. *drum roll please*… After The Fire, by Jaid Black, writing as Tia Isabella.

The blurb goes something like this:

Girl Botonologist is from the future.

Girl Botonologist’s race will die unless she can retrieve a plant that only exists in the past,circa 1700 AD.

Girl Botonologist time travels to the past and lands in 18th Century England.

Boy Earl of Dukedom comes across Girl botonologist bathing naked in the river (of course…how else would they meet?)

Boy Earl of Dukedom is entranced by Girl Botonolgist and endeavours to make her his.

Boy Earl of Dukedom and Girl Botonolgist fall in love by Chapter four (no messing about here.)

Girl Botonologist and Boy Earl Of Dukedom, know that Girl Botonolgist cannot stay, because she has to save her race.

Girl Botonologist saves her people and her and Boy Earl of Dukedom live Happily ever after.

Now, this was my Read of The Week, mainly, because it made me laugh out loud. My favourite scene in the book, is when Girl Botonolgist tries teaching Boy Earl Dukedom’s mother the art of Kung Fu in secret!

Technically speaking, it wasn’t perfect, and there was some dodgy English language used, but on the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I thought it worthy enough to deserve the high plaudit of being my Read Of The Week! You may disagree.

My Worst Book of The Week, has to go to, As You Wish, by Myra Nour, the blurb was good and showed much promise, the book however was a snoozefest, I have read better from Myra, but this book wasn’t my cup of tea, and that’s as much as I’ll say.

My Current Top Peeves

Thanks for the inspiration Eve!

People who say that ‘It’s not the winning that counts, but the taking part” What a crock of shit. Nobody remembers who came second guys. We British are especially good at patting losers on the head, and rewarding them for coming last. This may be the reason why our athletes never win shit (except maybe rowing competitions).

Old People who still drive even though they can barely walk or speak. They cut you up, and blithely drive on, never bothering to check the mirror, to see the ten- car pile up they just caused behind them.

McDonalds staff who have really bad acne. (don't they all?) Ever heard of Clearasil? Yes? Well use it for Christ's sake!!

Bleeding Heart Liberals and Tree Huggers
I know you mean well, but damn it, I will buy make up that’s probably been animal tested, I refuse to eat tofu and houmous, just because you say I should, I will probably not buy Dolphin friendly tuna, just because it doesn’t occur to me to check the label. I will keep buying products in packages that aren’t necessarily biodegradable, I will wash my hair with that environmentally unfriendly shampoo, just because I want to avoid getting head lice, I refuse to wear tie-died clothes in order to prove that I don’t care about how I look, the fact is that I do care, and if you were to come down from your tree for long enough to have a shower, you too would recognise the usefulness of high alkaline soap.
I’m still annoyed that I now buy nothing but free range eggs, just because I saw a programme on TV about the treatment of caged hens. I have a high guilt trigger factor, and damn it all, you lot are ruining everything I used to enjoy and take for granted, so quit lecturing me already!

Pro-Life Campaigners. Everybody is entitled to their opinion on abortions, but geez, did ya have to set fire to that abortion clinic in protest? Do you realise that one of the doctors who was there at the time was seriously injured? Does this convince me that you people are passionate about your cause, or am I really left with the impression that y’all are nothing but vandalistic animals, who just want an excuse to cause mayhem? Let’s hope that you are never raped, and impreganted by your assailant, and end up with the difficult task of having to choose whether to keep the baby or not.

Jude Law. A more irritating man, I have yet to meet, highly over-rated and as far as I’m concerned, his movie ‘Alfie’, proved it. Michael Caine, you are not, dahhling!

Disabled parking spots. Have you noticed that the amount of Disabled Parking slots are increasing in numbers? The problem isn’t the parking slots themselves, it’s the fact that for the majority of the day these spaces will remain empty, whilst you drive round town like a lunatic trying to park and avoid the onslaught of road rage.

Grown women who use phrases like “hugs to my bestest pal”! ‘nuff said.

People who say stupid things.
I’ll come home from having been to the local supermarket, and my lovely next door neighbour will look at the legions of shopping bags and ask me if I’ve been shopping. Need I say more?

Pigeons. I hate them. What use are they? They mess up your newly washed car, they shit on your freshly laundered clothes, and they converge in the road knowing that you are unlikely to ever run them over (oh but I have been tempted…) They’re really nothing more than flying rats, Yech!

Oscar Nominations for films, I have neither heard of nor seen, and even if I was to watch said film, it’s basically guaranteed that I would leave the cinema, wondering how it ever got nominated for such a prestigious award.

Group List members waxing lyrical about authors they’ve met once. Why can’t they just say, this author is fabulous and leave it at that. Wax lyrical about their books all you like, cuz, this is really the reason why you love them so much. Don’t tell me that this person has an “inner beauty that’s there for the world to see” You don’t know shit about them, and let’s face it, after one meeting, the likelihood is that you still wont have a clue what they’re really like.

People who announce they are going to the toilet. Thanks! that's an image I really didn't need.

Jehovah’s witnesses – (At the risk of offending many people out there) Do I really want to buy your Watch Tower, and hear you tell me that if your son/daughter was dying, you wouldn’t let her have a blood transfusion that could save her life because it’s against your religion? Is this likely to make me want to join your cult?
Don’t come to my door, wearing an out of season trench coat, that you’ve had for years, and are just too tight to buy another. By all means do what you need to do, but stay the fuck away from my doorstep whilst you’re doing it!

People who are willing to get off their arse to search the entire room for the TV remote because they refuse to walk to the TV and change the channel manually.

Sales People and Cataologue Promoters in department stores.
Have you noticed how they always seem to target you as you’re walking past? There were huggings of people who they just watched walk by, and so you feel relatively secure that they wont stop you, but no, they somehow seem to know that you have a high sucker factor, and are very likely to stop and answer their ridiculous surveys, or at the very least listen to what they have to say before you very politely tell them no.

Women who use public bathrooms and don’t flush the toilet... this is so gross... I go into the ladies and I have to pass over 5 or 6 because 3 are not flushed... one is out of paper... and the others don't have locks... and I know this is not just a few choice toilets... it's everywhere,... don't get me started on the ventilation systems either...

Miss World Contests. Bring back the days when we used to be able to laugh at the fact that they loved children (we all know that generally the only children you’ll really love are your own ) and wanted to save the world (one false nail at a time). Nowadays, all of them are either brain surgeons or scientists, where’s the fun in that?

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
The ink isn’t even on his divorce papers yet, and already he’s met the woman of his dreams, even though less than a year ago, he already had the woman of his dreams. Oh how fickle Hollywood folks are. Let’s face it, this relationship wont last any longer than the end of the year, cuz Angelina and Lips just aren’t cut out for a normal relationship. Rebound (allegedly) relationships don’t work Brad, geez, didn’t your therapist tell you that?

People who ask "Can I ask you a question?"...... Didn't really give me a choice there, did you sunshine?

Monday, May 02, 2005

A Short Rant On EXTREMELY Boring People!!

Have I mentioned lately how boring some people on group lists are? In case you missed it, THERE ARE SOME INCREDIBLY BORING PEOPLE ON GROUP LISTS!!!!
There is a certain group member that every time I see their name pop up in my in-box, I just wanna go and slit my wrist because I know they will just not have anything remotely interesting to say!! Sheesh!! No wonder I mass delete so much!!

American Idol Conspiracy?

Sheesh, what's going on with American Idol this series? I didn't particularly liked Constantine and Hair, but he was more talented than that Anthony Federov creature (AKA as Backstreet Boy's Missing Member) who seems to have more lives than a cat!

Scott the Psycho should have gone by now seeing as he's been doing a good imitation of a strangled hyena for the last few shows. Ryan Seacrest keeps harping on about how the votes this year have surpassed the votes from previous Idol shows, so what the heck does it mean when the above two are still in the line-up? Who in America is voting? This show's getting as bad as the UK equivalent, where we tend to vote for the contestants we feel sorry for, rather than based on talent!

You have to wonder if the show's producers are rigging the results!! SCANDALOUS.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Wedding Woes, and Dirty Ho’s!

Hubby and I attended the wedding of dear friends yesterday, the ceremony was lovely and I even had a tear or two, much to the chagrin of Paul, who still can’t understand why people get emotional at weddings (the heathen that he is).

I have a very low threshold for alcohol, so I generally try to stay away from red wine and champagne, but obviously at weddings it’s quite hard to stay away from alcohol altogether, so I imbibed just a little bit, hence the hangover from hell.

At the beginning of the day, everybody looked wonderful, all spruced up and dignified, but by 8pm that evening, social niceties had gone to hell in a handbasket, all of a sudden everywhere you turned there was somebody doing something they shouldn’t be doing, usually with somebody that they shouldn’t be doing it with, ergo bridesmaid in clinch with bestman, whilst bridesmaid’ significant other was lying on the men’s toilet floor covered in his own vomit (I only discovered this because I hate queuing for the bathroom, so I usually go into the men’s where although it’s smellier, there isn’t usually a queue).

All of a sudden, people who looked harmless in the light of day (alcohol free as they were then) turn into predators of the worst sort. The fifty something uncle who’s been married approximately five times, and still hasn’t discovered that in order to have a happy marriage he needs to avoid sleeping with other women who aren’t his wife, starts looking at you in ‘that’ way. At first you think that he has some kind of involuntary tic in his eye, then it dawns on you that he’s actually winking suggestively at you whilst hubby is standing next to you. You of course find this extremley hilarious due to the fact that, said uncle has a big-assed stomach, and still thinks that the tight flares look is in.

Hubby had his share of female attention as he generally always does, which normally doesn’t bother me because on the whole most females will stay away from the married ones, but you know there’s always one bitch who has to take things too far.

I forget her name now, but for the sake of this blog, we’ll dub her Miss I’m Single and In Heat. Sheesh, she’s the kind of broad that makes you ashamed to be female.

Anyway, for most of the day Miss Single behaved herself, and didn’t try to engage hubby into too many conversations (well if she did, I didn’t notice earlier in the day)
But by that evening she’d turned into the kind of grasping, desperate excuse for womanhood, that I do so hate to see in heroines.

I noticed that she started following hubby all over the room, at first it didn’t really bother me because I knew that she knew he was married, so I just assumed that she’d soon get bored with being ignored in lieu of talking about Michael Schumacher’s performance in this years Formula One championship. Well, all I can say is that the lady was persistent. She doggedly followed him everywhere he went (hubby of course no doubt loved the attention) and kept trying to insinuate herself in the conversation.

I finally had enough and went over to where she was stood with hubby and his friends, I tried to be nice, really I did, but the devil and the alcohol made me do it.

I smiled at her and politely asked her if she was planning on trying to sleep with all the married men at the wedding, or was it just my husband she was after. I did warn her that if this was the case, then she’d better be prepared to be severely wounded. She looked at me in shock (I guess she’d never been confronted before) and tried to bluster her way out of the situation, at which point, I held my hands up in the air, and said “save it bitch, and just keep away from my husband” a la Ricki Lake.

I then dragged hubby (who was enjoying the drama immensely, drat him!) away, I socked him on the head, and and then as punishment for being so bloody stupid, I made him do the Time-warp with me!

Needless to say, Miss Single didn’t go anywhere near my husband for the rest of the night. I later found out that she was a divorcee who had cheated on her husband, with a work colleague the night before they were due to be married. Why am I not surprised?