Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Started NaNoWriMo today...1,900 words so far.

List of things I've been meaning to write about:

1. Once Upon a Pillow by Christina Dodd and Connie Brockway was a good anthology. A series of stories about a bed and the sex had, I mean the relationships forged, on the bed. Interesting way of connecting the stories together. Liked the first "medieval" (what DOES that mean in the context of a Romance) and the "Regency" stories the best--mostly for the characters. The Modern tale of the private museum tour guide and the fabulously handsome, fabulously muscular, and fabulously wealthy (OOOPS! It's a secret--but come on, a handyman wearing a close fitting black turtleneck? Anyone in a black turtleneck obviously is fabulously wealthy in Romancelandia.) lover did not, once again, ring true. I am hopelessly unable to deal with comtempt romances. Just can't suspend the disbelief.

2. Ordered Meljean Brook's Hot Spell from my local bookstore. I've been ordering a lot of books from them recently. Small town: I'm in the grocery store and one of the bookstore clerks comes up to me in the aisle.

"Your order is in," she says with a little smile.

"Oh, thanks. I've been ordering a lot. My daughter is devouring books this Fall."

"Oh, this doesn't look like a book for your dawww-terr," she says with a wink and a nudge.

Oh please! Oh pul-ease. It is a book, yes? Must we be so very catty about the fact that it has, ::gasp:: SEX in it? Enough to single me out in the grocery store??

3. I pick up Hot Spell from the bookstore later that week and two clerks (not the same one from the grocery, mind you) are behind the counter. "Oooo! That one looks good. Is it a romance? With Angels?"

"Well, it's an anthology, and I think one story involves an angel-like character, and at least one of the others has a vampire. I think."

Younger clerk says quickly, "I don't read romances." Older clerk looks as if she'd like to fess up to reading the occasional one, but is concerned about seeming to be unhip or a target of scorn from the younger clerk. She admits to having read them when she was younger, but not now.

"I read a lot of romances," I say, ensuring eye contact with the older clerk. "Some are good and some are simply awful. But there are a lot of good ones out there."

Older clerk is pressing her index fingers to her thumbs and rubbing them in circles. She says all in a rush without stopping to take a breath, "Will you let us know how it is? We'd be interested in hearing how you like it. The angel looks like an interesting idea. How did you hear about this one?"

"I read Meljean Brook's blog, so I ordered it for her story. I really don't know anything about the other authors, although I know that Emma Holly is supposed to write some fairly firey stuff." I can't stop looking at her hands. Is she warming her thumbprints? Is that some sort of secret sign that I should know? ("I am a reader of chick porn, but I cannot let it be known abroad. Leave your review handwritten in green ink at the back door of the bookshop between 2 and 3 am on Tuesday morning.")

The clerks and I have an entertaining chat about the rise of vampire and paranormal fiction. I do strenuously point out that many romance authors are writing about these topics fairly well, girls, if you'd like to take note. And then I leave.

4. I'm part way through Hot Spell and, eh, wow. It's like, you know, got a lot of sex in it. Like, eh, I told the clerks I would write a little reader review thing for the book. Which I like very much, but eh, I'm not sure I can write a reader review for this particular bookstore. Because eh, this has a lot of sex in it. Like, a lot.

5. I am trying to write a review for it---but finishing it would be a good prerequisite. I've read in this order, Meljean Brook's Falling for Anthony(angel-like Guardians are a cool idea, relationship works well because characters have known each other from long before the start of the story), then Emma Holly's The Countess's Pleasure (I am very very confused by the demon thing. I haven't read her before and I need a primer.), then Lora Leigh's The Breed Next Door (genetic engineering in contemp romance--what Beauty & The Beast could have been if Vincent had had testosterone). I haven't yet read Shiloh Walker's The Blood Kiss.

6. I survived Halloween. But only just barely. My son could not cope with the excitement of a parade and classroom parties. He woke up out of sorts, and finally we had to put our feet down and say, "Behave yourself or you don't go to the school parade." Well, he didn't behave, and I took his two sisters instead. He stayed home with his Dad. It is a mournful thing to watch a school parade by in their Halloween costumes and know that you are doing the right thing by setting boundaries for your child's behavior and that he will not be able to show off his joy that morning. I cried as his second grade walked past. (I did not know that while I was at the back of the school crying my son and husband were at the front of the school waiting to leap into the parade when it snaked across the front circle.) Later that afternoon I was called to come pick up my son from school since he had fought on the playground. I was weepy the rest of the day. Damn. I hate when I turn into a labile mommy, sniffling at parades and tearing up at commercials. Damn. Damn. Damn.


meljean brook said...

Laughing my head off about the clerk story -- that poor woman! So terrible to admit to reading romance :D

Whoo hoo! Glad you like it! RE: Emma Holly's story -- the demons were introduced in THE DEMON'S DAUGHTER, a book released last year. The demons are a technologically advanced race with kind of vampiric/psychic powers -- the humans call them demons, not because they come from Hell, but because they have superficial characteristics that resemble demons of myth. Also, there is a very strict class structure that goes along with it, but that is explored better in that book. I loved TDD, but I do know quite a few people didn't at all. The Smart Bitches had two very different reviews, for example. Sarah couldn't finish it, but Candy really enjoyed it.

I had the same reaction to Once Upon a Pillow -- I skimmed through the contemporary, but enjoyed the medieval and regency. And there was another one, right? Sigh. For the life of me, I can't remember the time period the other fell in.

Megan Frampton said...

I loved the medieval and regency stories in OUAP, too.

And Meljean's story was really good! I haven't read any of the others yet--I have an Eloisa James I'm working on, too.

Good job on the word count!

Suisan said...

Once Upon A Pillow--there's a "Renaissance" story, which didn't read ot me at all as if it were set in the Renassaince, but I suppose it was. It's the one with the scruffy night who kidnaps the chick down the lane and she whips his household into shape by doing the Mary Poppins act while baking bread. Didn't do much for me

Emma Holly & demons. Thanks for the primer. I think I still don't get it. (And I may just be over analyzing this--it's been known to happen.) I kept getting confused as to whether the Countess was a half-breed, and if she were, what did that mean. And if she weren't, then why did I think she was? Sometimes I have to admit to being a little dense.

CindyS said...


No, not dense. Just the same as that smart bitch Sarah from SB. I read the reviews when they posted and just reading Sarah's post trying to explain the world Holly created was enough of a headache. I'm still sooo going to read it but, you know, TBR pile and all that.

I told myself I couldn't buy any more books until I had time to read at least one from the TBR pile so a no go on Hot Spell but I am about to go browsing the online stores, never know where I'll end up ;)

I don't have kids but my best friends are very open about sharing their kids with me. Teary is okay. I can handle the teary stuff. It's when I am snapping or easily angered that I get upset with myself. Sue is a very liberal parent and I respect that but there are times when the God kids step out of line. Most times I can keep it to myself but on those rare occasions that I can't, it's awful. Nothing like feeling like shit because you yelled at the kids. On those days though, no one can do anything right. Luckily for me it's only about 1 day a month and it only takes about an hour out of bed for me to realize it. If I am not promised out, I don't put myself into a situation where those weird hormones can make your mouth spew what is exactly on your mind. No filter.

Sue has told me that she has the same thing so I don't think I'm odd. It's that day where stuff is flying out of your mouth and in your head you're thinking 'what is your problem?' and yet, you can't seem to stop it. Heaven forbid someone actually ask what your problem is! ;)