Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Guess What Just Landed on my Kindle?

Mary Tudor:  Princess, Bastard, Queen by Anna Whitlock

The Lake House:  A Novel by Kate Morton

Lady MacBeth:  A Novel by Susan Fraser King

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice:  or, On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King

Sunshine?  Check
Comfy Deck Chair?  Check
Fabulous Cocktail(s)?  Check

I can’t wait to get started!

Happy Weekend to you all 🙂




I’m Just In That Kind of Mood Today

I read something earlier today on Le Interwebz that made me howl with laughter and reminded me of this scene, from THE BEST ROMANCE EVER WRITTEN IN THE HISTORY OF EVER AND YES I WANT TO BE BURIED WITH A COPY….

Le Background – Nora Beckett, lady in waiting to Queen Mary I (yes, that one), is rather despondent at the news her (asshat) father plans to marry her off to one Percivale Flegge (I’d be despondent, too if the rumors turned out to be true) and also that she is far too plain for any man to want to marry her and she can’t even drum up any enthusiasm for attending the de Rivers’ banquet.

Here is Her Majesty’s take on cheering her up!

“The Queen made a grumbling noise. “Look you, Nora. It’s true that women are inherently the Devil’s instrument and not God’s, but as long as a girl is chaste, obedient, and intelligent, there’s no reason she can’t also be pretty. God delights in beauty devoted to His works.”

“Think you so, Your Grace?”

“My father used to say so all the time.  And he was, after all, the great King Harry.

Nora contemplated this new idea. If England’s powerful and fearsome Henry VIII approved, it wasn’t for her to question.”


Lady Gallant, Suzanne Robinson (yes it has “those scenes” – none particularly gratuitous IMHO but then I’m flat out of delicate sensibilities, soooooo…..skip “those” pages if you must, but by all means, read it).



Friday Rant – Author Edition

One of my guilty pleasure authors just jumped the shark and it pissed me off so much I’d have thrown the book, but it was an e-novella and I’m willing to destroy my Nook over that BS .

I don’t get too wrapped around the axle if authors slide some of their political/sociological/cultural/religious viewpoints in to their fiction, as long as it’s in keeping with story line and is with consistent with the characters as developed.  But, if you’re going to neuter (and that’s what she did) a hitherto fore well-defined character just so you can fling  about your prog-in-good-standing-card (or con card, but that wasn’t the case in this particular instance), well, EFF You.  I’m not buying your stuff anymore!

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced this author didn’t even write the novella.  Clumsy execution and boring as well.  Dammit!



Book Recommendation – The Bees

Big Fat Disclaimer: I can’t write a review to save my life, but this was just too good for me to keep to myself, so we’ll call it a recommendation with some of my thoughts and just leave it at that.  Maybe I’ll work on writing reviews – there are a number of books I’ve lately and I’d like to share my thoughts about them.

Do yourself a great big favor and secure yourself of a copy of The Bees by Laline Paull (I just corrected the spelling of her name – Le Sigh).  This came as a recommendation to me (thanks, Ms. BC), and I’m damn glad I didn’t pass it over as it has to be one of the most unusual, gripping, and satisfying reads I’ve had in a very long time.

The Bees is told through the eyes of Flora 717, a bee born into the sanitation cast of her hive.  But she’s not like the other sanitation workers.  In fact, she’s not really like any of the other bees and therein lies the wonder and excitement and despair and danger.  I loved Flora.  I simultaneously ached for her and cheered her on and held my breath and yes, I cried like a baby a couple times.

I want to talk about this book; I want to share my reactions to the bee culture as portrayed and to the characters – and let me tell you, Paull does an amazing job of creating real characters (I had to keep reminding myself that they were bees). I want to talk about Flora’s struggles and her triumphs, her losses and her gifts.  I want to talk about the inner workings of the hive and the habits of the bees.  At the same time, I’m reluctant to divulge even the smallest of details and ruin the story for a potential reader.  Stay away from reviews – there is a huge spoiler in the Washington Post review (read after the fact) that would have seriously diminished my experience , which ran the gamut of delight, horror, anxiety, tears, joy. [Edited to add – don’t even read the description on Amazon – I was going to link there, but then I realized that TMI!!!  Just download it and start reading – you won’t be sorry.]

I know this much – I’ll never look at bees the same way again and I’ll be planting plenty of brightly colored flowers next spring.


Is He a Dreamboat?

Over at AAR is an interesting column about Max DeWinter (He of Rebecca fame) and whether he’s a D-bag (I abbreviate because I actually hate that expression) or Dreamboat (OK – that just cracks me up).

For a time I was quite the DuMaurier junkie (right after the first time I saw Rebecca), but I haven’t thought about her writings in a long while.  I think a re-read of the novel is in order, as there may be too much of the movie rattling around in my mind to be able to come to clear opinion on the matter.  Anyway, if you’re looking for a little something different to consider, hop over there and join in the discussion – some of the comments are quite interesting.  I may just write a little more on this after I read the book again.  Sometimes a re-read results in an entirely different appreciation, and after reading the article, I’m wondering just if my thoughts about him will change.

Oh and that reminds me – I just downloaded The Woman in White – can you believe I haven’t read it?  I remember my mother telling me that she read it while my Dad was on a business trip when we lived in Finland.  My brothers and I were really little at the time and she was so creeped out  she could only read it locked the bathroom!  I think that sounds like my kind of book.

Lest there be any question about it, Laurence Olivier IS Max DeWinter (just like Daniel Craig IS James Bond).


I’m Cranky Today

And so I’ve allowed myself to get into a bit of an argument about why Outlander IS NOT my cup of tea (so much to choose from – adultery; beating your wife; rape; the list is just endless).  I’m actually really very liberal in my reading – as in, there ain’t much I won’t read (just finished re-reading The Bees – FANTASTIC and I might write a review of it – Thank You Miss BC for the recommendation), but even I have some “nope – not going there” territory.  Part that gets me is that there are CATHOLICS making excuses about the adultery because of “time travel” – and this with CATHOLIC “hero/heroine” (I deliberately use the quote marks because I don’t find any of it particularly heroic.

Anyway – I’m annoyed.  Mostly I’m annoyed that my objections are being dismissed as “not fair to the books” and “you shouldn’t talk about them if you haven’t read them” – well, I think it’s fair to say I don’t want to read them because there are elements which just revolt me (I’m certainly not saying others can’t read or even enjoy the books; I’m just stating WHY I don’t want to read them – and that is apparently not fair or some such BS).

So anyway, I’m annoyed.

[Edited to add – really – I’m very broad in my reading tastes:  Mystery, Romance, SciFi, Fantasy; Historical Fiction; Biography; Dystopian stuff; PNR; Urban Fantasy – yep – I read it ALL with great pleasure]

[Edited again, because clearly I’m not done here.  It’s not that I can’t read a book with rape in it – quite the contrary; in fact, one of my favorite series has the main character suffer a terrible rape, but – and this is the salient point – IT’S NOT BY THE MAN WHO CLAIMS TO LOVE HER, it’s by the villain.  I consider this a rather important distinction.  Also, I don’t mind Le Sex in my reading either (I’m not actually a prude) – but there just isn’t anything romantic or sexy about adultery – deceiving your spouse and violating your marriage – yeah – uh, nope.  And finally – man hits his “beloved” – I’m DONE; just NONONONONONONONONO.

I might be back again.  I’m not sure.]

[Yet another addition – And apparently I can’t keep away from the discussion.  Maybe getting some work done would be a nice diversion, no?? Le Double Sigh]

[Also I am a glutton for punishment, apparently, because I can’t keep my mouth shut; er, fingers off the keyboard.]


I’m in Reader Purgatory

Why Purgatory?  Well, you see, patience is a virtue and I’m not all that patient, so the time spent waiting seems so infinitely long.  In short, purgatory (at least for me).

I hate waiting for new releases.  I get all twitchy and anxious.   I keep checking to see if my Nook somehow downloaded a new release just a few seconds early , which never happens (why yes, this does strike me like the behavior of girl who has just met new guy… always checking the cell phone – will he call?  Won’t he?  Why doesn’t he?  You get the picture).

One way I manage to cope is by rereading the entire backlist of each series, so that I finish right about the time the new release hits (at the moment, I’m all over the Mercy Thompson series to that I can dive right into Night Broken).  Not sure how I’m going to manage with Dresden, and actually have time to, you know, work, that is.  And I’m going to need to get started on Katherine Kurtz’s stuff no later than October.

One pet peeve though…why do they have to release on Tuesday?  Why can’t they release at 1201 Saturday ?  That way I can just stay up all night and read until I’m done.  None of this having to go to bed because work the next day nonsense.  What am I supposed to do, really?  Get the new release and WAIT until the weekend?  Read only in bit and pieces for four whole days?  Rubbish! 

Anyway, here’s what’s on my preorder list at the moment:

Patricia Briggs                    Night Broken                     11 March 14
Jim Butcher                        Skin Game                          27 May 14
Kevin Hearne                     Shattered                            17 June 14
Ilona Andrews                   Magic Breaks                     29 July 14
Hannah Jayne                    Under the Final Moon     05 August 14
Kat Richardson                  Revenant                            05 August 14
Brian Herbert                     Hellhole Inferno               12 August 14
Katherine Kurtz                  The King’s Deryni             02 December 14


So, what latest books are you anxiously waiting for? 


Reading Update

I’ve been reading several books lately (yes, all at the same time) and it’s just time for a status report.

“And Only to Deceive” – Um, I’m done.  Emily continues to annoy and I just can’t waste any more time on her.

“The Scarlet Letter” – Skipping over all scenes that do not involve Chillingworth and well-deserved torture of the loathsome Dimmesdale (can you tell I hate cowards?)

Thomas Sniegoski’s Remy Chandler novels – well, I’ve decided to read them all from the beginning, because they’re actually a little complicated if you don’t have the backstory.  Plus, in spite of the hate, I really do love them – and I have all six, so that should keep me good for a while.

My newest cookbook “Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey” (by Jill O’Connor) – I think the title speaks for itself.  I’m drooling all over the pages, but that’s OK.

Finally, Dame Agatha’s “Death Comes as the End” – my favorite Christie of all (maybe because it’s set in ancient Egypt?)

Anyway, that’s where I am. Not great but not terrible either.  I probably should make something sticky, chewy, messy and/or gooey.  Will post a pic if I do.



I loved this month and now I hate it.  It can’t pass by quickly enough.  I’m miserable and because I’m miserable I’m reading my most loathed book of all time, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”. And I’m only reading it because it makes me so furious that it burns away the sad.  So I guess, in the end, the stupid book good for something besides breaking the windows it lands against.

[Ed. – so I just noticed that I can’t spell Scarlet.  And I’ve corrected it.  At least I’m fessing up.]


Sometimes I Just Can’t Help Myself

Instead of going to the grocery store today like a good mother, I went to the local B&N. The reasons were twofold: I needed a latte and I needed Thomas Sniegoski’s newest Remy Chandler novel. It’s been out for a while, but today I simply caved – it had to happen sooner or later.

I should explain that I have an intense love-hate relationship with these books. On the one hand I absolutely devour them – I start reading and the world just stops. I can’t put it down and I desperately want to know what’s going to happen next. At the same time, they absolutely infuriate me (the Catholic in me keeps screaming “No, dammit! No! No! No!”).

Book Four, “A Hundred Word for Hate” was a particularly frustrating read. Near the end, I literally threw the book – which was kind of awkward since I was sitting in my car at a raised drawbridge and I ended up hurtling it out the passenger side window. Thankfully there was enough time for me to run out and retrieve it. And yes, I really did need to retrieve it, because I really did need to know how it ended.

After that, I resolved to abstain from Remy. Which I did. Until “In the House of the Wicked” it came out. I bought it, but I still haven’t read it. And now, today, I went out and bought “Walking in the Midst of Fire.

I just don’t understand myself sometimes.

(For those of you unfamiliar with the series, private investigator Remy Chandler is really the fallen angel Remiel. Now, these are not works of Christian fiction by any stretch of the imagination and require suspension of pretty much everything you ever learned in CCD. My less than successful ability to do so is why I have such a contentious relationship with the books.)