Tag Archives: General

An Important, Simple Way to Do Some Good

Yasmine Galenorn apparently has an annual charity blog post. I had no idea she did this until a few minutes ago. (Yes, I’m “pre” dating this because I’m neurotic about … well everything.)

All you have to do is leave a comment, and she’ll donate $1 per comment, up to $100. I have no idea why I wrote that. I know she said 500 comments. I’m still loopy. Anyway, she’s donating TWO dollars per comment. All you have to do is say some words, and you’re helping out three different charities.  She’s only at ~72 right now, and it ends on Monday, October 17.

So please – go here and leave a comment. And I know I’ve asked a lot, but do you think another mini-charity drive would fly? I wouldn’t be huge like my annual one… and this one would have other options. Like… sending in those box tops for education. I don’t think I can resist.

Thank you all for being generous and amazing!

Reading, Category Romances, and Chatter

I need to start taking notes or drafting posts before they go live. Obviously I’m pre? post? scheduling this; as in, putting the publishing time as something earlier than when I physically typed it up. Ah, the magic of the internet.

I actually had some substantial things to discuss today, and had wanted to write a review. But I’m not in a review-writing mindset. I have however, actually been reading. You have no idea how exciting this is! I’ve read at least 52 books this year! Pathetic when compared to my “post slump” reading, but… I’m excited! October especially has been kind. I raved about a Helen Brooks category romance I read online, and have been glomming her back list since.

I’m a category romance reader. I always have been, and I see nothing wrong with it. I know a number of other discriminating and well-respected (as well as well-known) romance readers who enjoy them as well. I also know that category romances are looked down upon. The whole “yes, I read romances, but at least I don’t read those romances. You know, the trashy Harlequin ones.” I’m quite fond of the Desire, Blaze, and Presents line. Helen Brooks in fact writes for the Presents line and I think she’s fast becoming one of my favorite category authors. She’s up there in the ranks of Anne McAllister, and India Grey.

What’ve I been reading? A Boss in a Million. The Billionaire’s Marriage Mission. The Parisian Playboy. The Italian Tycoon’s Bride. And I’ve started The Greek Tycoon’s Bride but set it aside to mix things up a bit. No, I don’t love the titles. In fact that’s one thing I often rail against. The covers… on that I’m torn. They’re so clinch. A bit hokey, but so branded. In a way you have to respect that, even as you groan looking through them.

You can have too much of a good thing, though, because after reading four+ books by the same author in a row… you notice things. Of course, I don’t mind many of the tropes. But, the heroes just seem so very even keel to me. So actually, after I read A Boss in a Million I actually read two novels by Anya Bast back to back. Jeweled and Jaded. Both are most excellent. (Pst, Jeweled is only $6 right now – go buy it!) Lately, I read a few Jasmine Haynes shorts. I’m… going to be less effusive about those books, sadly. I’m disappointed as well. I did like her newest full length novel more, but but I’m wondering where the “series” is going. (The first is Past Midnight – I do plan on reviewing it… but we know how that goes.)

I’m contemplating jumping back into more novels, but then again I’m just not sure. I’ve always taken to watching psychological thrillers again, obviously because I hate myself… and even some horrors. Nothing too too bad, but the whole “American Horror Story” ads got my attention. And I don’t even watch horrors! I’m a total pansy. Can’t read them either. I think because I keep thinking “the makers of Glee made this show too! What?!”

I love category romances though because they pack such a punch. They seem to get shorter and shorter (though hopefully that’s changing? At least in some of the lines?) – but you know there’s going to be a happy ending. The heroes are tycoons and otherwise incredibly, intimidatingly successful. But what I love, is that the Presents titles that I read, at least, have equally impressive women. They might not have the power jobs and shatter glass ceilings, but they’re kind, generous, resourceful, smart, practical, and bring these men to their knees. There’s something powerful about that too.

And the emotional aspect of a couple working though a myriad of issues to form a lasting bond and relationship. I like that the category romance puts that at the forefront. It’s a romance, straight up, end of story.

Nice.

So what do you love about reading romances? Have you found what I’m talking about in category romances? Ever give one a try? Believe me – I’m picky about what books I read. I wouldn’t say “oh just jump in” for any of the lines. In fact I have strong opinions of where to start and what to read. I’m always happy to discuss and offer opinions. (You’re not surprised, she said dryly.) In fact I can happily recommend any of the Helen Brooks titles I mentioned.

And, if you love category romances, or would like to give one a try, remember to enter the Olivia Gates giveaway where you can win the backlist book of your choice. *NB I’m done with the contest whore-type answer. I want substance, so to enter you must answer my questions. I know, I’m such a picky bitch.

Winners and TV Shows

First up is Liz – email me to claim your LoveSwept e-book from Random House by next Tuesday, please!

And my other winner is Pat L.  – same deal – Tuesday, and there’s the contact form.

Sorry everyone. I had all these lofty ideas of writing these posts, and I mean to do one for Locked in Silence by Shiloh Walker – has anyone read it? And seriously now – honesty please. Do any of you care about reviews?

Updates on me… well I got a bunch of annoying/necessary calls done. The S Ct, insurance, UA, battery company, car repair dude, etc etc etc. As soon as I was free for the day the phone slammed me. Then I went to dinner, did chores, and sat and sulked. Yeah, I coulda done better. Alas.

Now when I do write something of substance, then you’ll be so impressed!

I’m also rotting my brain via the “boob tube.” Does anyone watch Archer? New shows… Revenge, Prime Suspect, Whitney… I like Prime Suspect most. I think The Office might get canceled soon – what about you? I can’t wait for Bones to be back. And… there’s yet another The Next Iron Chef coming up.

I saw the Playboy Club was canceled after what, three episodes? I haven’t bothered with many shows. Never saw that, and won’t watch PanAm. Although I do still watch Modern Family.

Got recommendations? Did anyone watch American Horror? (Is that the new FX show name?) I don’t have FX. I also don’t do well with horror.

Shannon McKenna’s Winners and Movies

So today, I wanted to write a post. In actuality, I wanted to write a bunch of book reviews, if you’d believe that. In fact, I’ve been meaning to ask. Do you guys even care about reviews? Would you have any interest in reading reviews? I’m asking because… well there’s no point in me writing them if you’re not interested in them, right? I could just… babble. Endlessly.

Hah. I really don’t mean that as a threat. Promise.

Then, I was going to discuss all the movies/shows I’ve been watching. O_o Freudian slip? I typed “shoes” out first. I do watch those and covet. Anyway… life is still kicking my butt. Although I did meet with someone who was supposed to be an insurance adjuster today but isn’t? Whatever. As long as my car is fixed properly. The rest I just don’t want to talk about.

What you care about, however, is the winners! Courtesy of randomizer.org, they are Mary G, donnas, and Bella @ BeguileThySorrow. Mary you get Blood and Fire. Donna and Bella, you each get a copy of Fade to Midnight. Please email me (there’s a contact form) and send me your address so we can get the book out to you.

Lastly, something for me! Finally! 😀 Got any suggestions for movies? I like getting them from my local library. I’ll watch pretty much anything, although I don’t really go for horrors. I don’t watch many at all, actually, so any recommendation is good. Although newer will probably be easier. Thanks!

How’s everyone’s week going?

And remember to check the blog for other wonderful giveaways from authors… and you know what? Why the heck not. Someone who comments on this post will get a LoveSwept e-book download from Random House. (So I guess you can/should also tell me if you read ebooks or not!) Oh – and check if you were a winner from the Social Media for Social Good post. Everyone needs to contact me by Saturday!

Winners Galore!

Okay, so I know I should have posted the winner to Carly Phillip’s guest post a while ago – sorry. As you know everything has been crazy. However I finally got my computer issues fixed! It’s awesome! I’m actually not used to having everything functioning properly it’s been so long! Anyway, courtesy of randomizer.org the winner is Cassandra Carr. Please send me your contact info so we can get your prize out to you!

Next, Ashley March had a great guest post, and she shared adorable baby pictures! (I’m counting both girls as babies.) She used randomizer.org and chose willaful as her winner, and has emailed her. Ms. March as you see, is a very hands on guest. Thanks!

For Lorelie Brown’s Teaser Tuesday excerpt… the lucky winner of Catch Me is Vanessa N! You can email her at [email protected] to get your e-book!

Remember my craptacular week last week? Sadly this one wasn’t so much better. On Sunday, my mom got two calls – a family friend was in the hospital and not doing well, and my uncle was in the hospital in critical care. On Monday, I was the victim of a “hit and skip” which I guess is the new cop lingo. Luckily that was resolved on Wednesday, after my trip to the kickass local PD. Xoxo, boys in blue! On Thursday we found out the family friend passed away. My uncle, however, should be more stable and in a regular hospital wing. So that’s good. Anyway – what you care about… the winners!

Randomizer.org tells me they are Lynne Silver, Melanie Carrico (@Kissablysweet1), and Karen C. Just use the contact form at the top please!

I *might* add to this post to have Jeannie Lin’s winner – she’s at a wedding today, so we’ll see how she wants that to go, so stay tuned!

And… everyone – if you’re supposed to contact me to claim your prize, please do so by October 1, 2011 at the latest. Otherwise, I’m sorry but you’re going to forfeit your prize.

Lastly, if you didn’t win this time, no worries! There’s still a giveaway open for Shannon McKenna books, and the wonderful Ms. McKenna is even answering questions and comments! (And as always, there will be more giveaways in the future.)

This [Sad] Week in Review

Well today, we were actually supposed to have a reader guest post from @kaoticbliss on twitter – but I hadn’t heard from her until this morning. It turns out she threw her back out, so, poor thing, no reader post. Did you remember those happen every third Saturday of the month?

Anyway. On Sunday… actually nothing that terrible happened, if I recall correctly. My Brownies lost their game… (The Cleveland Browns, in the battle of Ohio. Not surprising, so that doesn’t count.) Although Sunday did herald the first day of a full week with my parents. If you know anything about that, you’d know that’s enough.

Monday, I broke my toe. It’s not so bad, and I’ve broken a few toes. (No don’t ask.) But it’s still not something fun you know? It was also my first day at “Ghetto School #1” – normally I really like it. I still do, but this year is just so sad. My second class, half the students can’t even spell their names, much less say them. They’re in fourth grade.

Tuesday, this happened.

It’s not my car, so small mercies. And everyone is okay – which is really good. In fact, the airbag didn’t even deploy, and [a] mechanic said normally with this much damage the car is totaled. My car however, was commandeered for the cause.

Wednesday, the Fire Marshall. (Yes everyone is still okay.)

Thursday, I got [even] sicker. Not all that bad, so I consider it a fluke of sorts. I’m also still scared I’ll find out something awful happened that day.

Friday… this.

I don’t want to talk about why that happened. Worse, it was unnecessary. Imagine that square not being there though, and a lot of exposed plumbing. But without a faucet(?) or valve. I missed taking a picture of that though because I took some allergy meds that really knocked me on my ass.

Today, I got really bad news. I’m still sulking about it. I also just got fish gut juice on my hands and feet. At least my Buckeyes play tonight. But… it’s against Miami (of Florida) and considering how they’ve been playing… well I’m worried.

Next week has to be better, right? … Right? I mean… my sinuses can’t constantly be dead and stuff. No more spitting blood at least, yeah? Stupid body.

If you lasted through all this whining? Thank you. You should be rewarded for your perseverance, so I’ll give away three Loveswept ebooks – you’ll get a code from Romance at Random. Tell me how your week went. Or just commiserate with me. I’m not proud.

Yay Larissa!

She’s so generous! 😀 Although … >.> maybe I shouldn’t say that. You know, the whole moratorium on saying nice things to and about Larissa… 😛 Anyway, what am I babbling about? Well, because there were so many comments, she said we should have two winners! And they are…

June M and Helena(@xSuprux)! Please email me your info so we can get your prizes out to you! (There’s that nice little contact form at the top…)

Remember, there are still giveaways going on from Ashley March, and Carly Phillips! And… *shameface* I know, I’m behind on posting the prizes for my Social Media for Social Good charity post. Believe me – next year I’m doing things differently.

The Amazon Kindle-Tablet

So yesterday the tech blogs began the usual incestuous process of story sharing and reporting. (Can I call it that? When one place then another then another says the same thing?) I’m going to perpetuate it – because, well why not?

The next Amazon Kindle is going to be a tablet. 7″, touch screen, full color, no e-ink, backlit. And it’ll run Android. This from MG at TechCrunch who got to play with one, lucky boy. Gizmodo has more info as well, and an image!. Eric, who writes at Crave for CNet suggests, or hopes for a version where you can switch back and forth between e-ink and color. As in a dual-mode device? Two models? I don’t know. If Amazon can manage the Apple retina display… but if not, I think a lot of people will be disappointed.

Without, however, if Amazon keeps whispernet it’ll blow other tablets out of the water. The price point is $250 at the moment, and a 10″ version might be coming in October.

What do you think? Would you buy one? Are you an early adopter, or would you wait for a second version for some of the kinks to be worked out? Of course the iphone 5, and ipad 3 are coming out soon as well. I imagine the companies are vying for the timing – although Apple really seems to compete with itself because it’s products take a different share of the market.

Do you have an e-reader? I read on my phone and my ipod touch – the early generation. I have to admit I’m tempted by this kindle-tablet if it’s really everything everyone is saying. But I won’t buy it without hearing more about it first. And you know, saving up those swagbucks giftcards. 😛

Anyone have a nook color? Or other tablet? If you don’t have either (or even if you do) are you tempted? I have to say a few years ago kindles were so much more appealing because they were the only way to get the kindle freebies. Now with all the kindle apps it doesn’t matter. And even more… so many publishers don’t offer freebies now. The Christian publishers seem to have the most, which if you read religious books, yay! If not… well, enh.

A Request, A Nothing Post + Consolation Recipe(s)

Well, as you know, my Social Media for Social Good drive is over. I believe our grand total is $8,484.50. Isn’t that a fun number? I love how both years we’ve ended up with a fun result. 2010 was $1,337.00 and obviously you know 2011’s. Now my request – I asked people who donated to send me a header, headshot, book cover, avatar, whatever they wanted and the idea was to make a sort of collage. I don’t have photoshop, sadly, and was going to try to find something online that could handle it.

I guess my request is twofold. Is there any incredibly kind, generous soul out there who would be willing to do that for me? If not… got a suggestion? I was thinking fotoflexor but think it might die under the pressure/amount of images.

For the nothing part… an update on me! 😀 My blog, my universe. I’m sadly still sick. Getting slightly better, I think. But today I had some horrible allergic reaction rash thing. It actually ended up being a good thing though, because the benadryl I took knocked me out. I slept for nearly 4 hours, which is actually more than I had slept the past two days combined. Combined! Of course now the pup is going wild because omg someone to play with me!

Anyway, the sick + knocking out is why I didn’t write anything of more substance. I wanted to do another more in depth results post, about the good you all did for Save the Children, and other organizations.

Lastly… a fun summer recipe.

First, a mint-citrus simple syrup. I made mine with mine and lemon, because that’s what I had. You could of course make it with line, or orange. Perhaps a combination?

Ingredients:

sugar
water
fresh mint
citrus zest [lime, lemon, orange]

Otherwise, you only need a pot, and either a microplane/zester, or vegetable peeler. Add one part sugar, and one part water to the pot. (So if you add 3 cups of water, add 3 cups of sugar). For that amount, I added about 1 cup of fresh mint. I went outside, picked it, washed it, and dried it off – so I wouldn’t throw off the measurements of my syrup. If you don’t want to, you can just cook it longer to get the proper consistency once you add it. I then zested two lemons, and put that in immediately. Once the syrup had reduced by a third, I tossed in the mint. Once it had reduced by half, I turned it off – you could go longer if you want.

I strained the mixture, and put the syrup in small jars. They’ll keep in the fridge for quite some time as long as you don’t stick your finger in them, or a “contaminated spoon” or something. With the strained zest and lime… I actually made myself a drink – ice, the “syrup guts” – a splash of gin, and seltzer. A light and amazingly refreshing drink.

You could also blend the remains and make an amazing granita. Yum – I’m doing that next time.

I took the syrup and made myself a mango lassi smoothie yesterday.

Of course I eyeballed everything, and you can make it to taste… but let’s go with this recipe. It looked gorgeous but I was too lazy to take pictures of the process and style the end result. It was too good and I just wanted to drink it.

Ingredients:

plain yogurt
fresh or frozen mango
ice
mint citrus simple syrup

I threw about 3/4 cups of plain yogurt in a blender/container. I suppose vanilla could work if you want it even sweeter, or mango yogurt for extra flavor if they have it. Then I added 1/4 of a mango I’d cup up and frozen previously. (I like everything colder.) I actually blended this, before adding a glass of ice – and added maybe 2 tablespoons of the simple syrup. You can flavor to taste of course.

Blend. Done! If you want to be fancy you can garnish your glass with a sprig of mint, and maybe a citrus peel curl. For the mango lassi smoothie, I’d actually suggest a mint-lime simple syrup. I think that would taste even better. If you don’t want it to be a smoothie you can of course nix the ice, and just use water, and mix it well. Then it’d be a mango lassi.

Versatile! Enjoy. 😉

So – what’s your newest favorite summer drink?