Thursday, April 19, 2012

2012 RT Convention

Chicago was all I had hoped for and then some! Let me start out by posting my highlight …..that would be meeting Charlaine Harris!! 2012 RT Covention 020

I have been a Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire fan since book one, and have now met the brilliant woman who put this world together for us to enjoy.

The Giant Book Fair was something else. Hundreds of authors, who would sign books you purchased from them or brought from home. Here are a few at the signing that we managed to see: Gennita Low, another long time favorite of mine, Jody Thomas, Mia Marlowe, Cathy Maxwell, Renee Bernard, Hope Tarr, Christina Skye, Kat Martin, Lorelei James, Heather Graham, Sabrina Jeffries, Kiernan Kramer, Roxanne St. Claire, Rebecca York, Monica Burns, Jade Lee, Meg Benjamin, Shayla Black, Sylvia Day, Jennifer Blake, Tessa Dare, Beth Kery , Sherrill Bodine who was dressed to the nines!

We attended an author Q & A, called Romance Readers Town Meeting, where Dani won the grand prize of a gift basket from none other than Cherry Adair. Sue and I were awarded books for answering fun questions. Beth Ciotta, Cherry Adair, Katharine Ashe, Isabelle Drake, Cindy Holby, Sabrina Jeffries, Kiernan Kramer & Deb Marlowe hosted this event.

Sue attended Boner Doner Bingo hosted by Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books Blog. While she was there, Dani & I attended Who Wants To Be A Duchess, hosted by Sabrina Jeffries, Lydia Dare, and Deb Marlowe. We didn’t make it past scullery maid, but it sure was fun. You really must know your history to compete in this one!

2012 RT Covention 013 Last of all, we attended the FAN-TASTIC DAY PARTY, where we picked up even more free books, and finally had a chance to sit down. We slogged our way to the car, happy and content, but exhausted after 12 hours of walking and standing. Dani and I had a blast. Sue was not at all sure what she was getting into, but being an avid reader, she really enjoyed the entire event, along with meeting Dani.

There was also the SOS (Support our Servicepeople) mixer we all attended. Kim who gets this event going every year for military families really puts a lot of hours and effort on this, and the event was awesome. We met up with other RT Board posters here, and that was nice to put a name to a face.

Only snafu that was apparent to me, was that Lora Leigh was a no show. We were at the book fair, and her table was all set up, ready to go, but no Lora. No one had much to say, as I think her following is getting sick of her excuses and probably could care less at this point in time.

Another fun factoid – JR Ward travels with security, and this even extends to the ladies room! They cleared it out once on Saturday so she could use it – alone!!! And seeing her in person was not quite the same as seeing her picture on the back cover of all her books.

Great recap Teri, I couldn't say it better. I had a great time meeting some of my favorite authors and meeting new romance fans.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Perfect Storm, by Lori Foster

Review date: 4/18/2012

Rating: *** (3 stars or C)

The Men Who Walk the Edge has been a good series. I have been a big fan of Lori’s writing for a long time, so it was disappointing that this book was not the perfect storm for me. Let me start out by saying that Spencer is widowed, and loved his wife very much. There was a bit of a zing between him and Arizona at the end of book 3 in this series, but in all honesty I was not sure that Arizona’s character could support an entire book. She didn’t, and at least half of the book revolved around all of the other characters we have met in the course of this series. Arizona was sold to traffickers by her father when she was very young, so she has been used and abused, with no idea what love and compassion are. She’s got it bad for Spencer, and Spencer does like Arizona, although she is at least 11 years younger than him. In the beginning his thoughts are to teach her to love, accept compassion and compliments from others so she can move on with her life. But it is very obvious Arizona has no plans for moving on from Spencer.

Arizona is happiest when she is smack dab in the middle of a fight. She knows her weapons, and is bored doing research for Jackson. The story started out with human trafficking being the main plot line, which slid off the slope somewhere along the line. The story is not action driven, it totally focuses on Arizona and Spencer. Even though Arizona has come to Spencer with a job opportunity on a business she has scoped out and believes to be a front for traffickers, it takes about half of the book for this story line to materialize. When she has her opportunity to shine during the confrontation, her impatience doesn’t do her any favors, along with all the alcohol she consumed because she couldn’t figure her way around not accepting the drinks. The morning after the great caper could have provided some much needed humor, but was sadly lacking. Spencer has a neighbor Maria who he has done the tangled sheet dance with, and I almost felt sorry for her when confronting Arizona. In defense of Maria, I too would have been left standing there wondering what the…….!!!

Trace, Dare & Jackson want Arizona to become a member of “the family”, although she resists with everything she’s got. Her temper tantrums and attitude are often that of a 12 year old, so her age really did become a factor for me in this setting. She came across as a bratty little girl, which made one wonder what Spencer saw in her, other than the fact she is stacked to perfection. The sex scenes were hot, but I did have a hard time feeling the love. It was more like Spencer was preparing Arizona for her future loves, and he didn’t plan on being that person.

Being able to revisit the rest of the cast was the highlight for me. As the trafficking plot ebbed away, everyone gathers at Dare’s for a 21st birthday party for Arizona. The very best part? Chris, by a long shot! The guy is amazing! He is the one who should have been in charge of rehabbing poor Arizona, since she really could relate to him and felt very comfortable with him. He helped her through the entire party, and his explanations of why the guys were doing this for her was the only way she was able to come to terms with her new found family. Chris also gave her the perfect gift, again bringing home the point of how well he knows Arizona, and people in general. While the rest of them are all watching this scene with their mouths hanging open, because they all tried so hard to buy the perfect gift, Chris bats another one out of the park. Go team Chris!!

OVERALL – this was not a horrible read by any means. I was left to ponder if Lori Foster is trying to appeal to a new audience, say young adults in the 18 – 23 year old age bracket? If you have been a long time reader of hers, I think it’s fair to say we all ache for characters more like those Buckthorne men, or a place called Visitation. I am not a re-reader and won’t go back to visit them, but Lori was the master in those books of creating the perfect everyday man, someone you could relate to, know or work with in your own life. The trafficking theme is getting old too. Every morning when I open up my laptop, there is Lori’s wallpaper with “the perfect man” taking up my entire screen, starting out my day just right!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In Memory of Our Dear Friend Debra

Debra and dogs Early Saturday morning, March 31st, Debra lost her battle with cancer. Debra leaves behind her mother Ann, brother Bruce, numerous other family members, and her much loved fur babies Dozzer and Tucker.

The mutual love of books is what brought Dani, Debra and I together. Debra had many, many authors that were her favorites, and many that were her friend. Her reviews inspired me when I was in a slump, encouraged me to explore new genres, and to buy way more books than I will ever read in my lifetime! Oh yes, and we all have a love for our pets and animal rescue organizations.

Debra is the brightest star shining up there in the sky tonight, her battle with cancer over. A lot of tears have been shed today, and now I am going to find a way to smile, because she has lived, and open my eyes to see all she has left behind.

Dear Debra, it’s truly been an honor to call you friend!

I meet Debra on the RT Boards and through our love of books we became good friends. I always gave Debra credit for reading outside her comfort zone -- Debra would give any genre a try and she would try to talk me into reading a paranormal and I would say NO NO NO! I had so many wonderful conversations talking to her and her mother on the phone. Debra always knew how to make me laugh especially when I was feeling down and never had a bad word to say about anything. We both love the "The Real Housewives" show and spent time on phone discussing what happened.

One of our favorite authors was Diana Palmer and oh how we would laugh after reading her books, that the hero always wore black silk shorts and drove a Jaguar.

I know Debra is smiling down from heaven on us and she will be missed by all who knew and loved her. I for one will miss our every other day chats on the phone and her laugh.

RIP Debra you might be gone but you will not be forgotten. Love ya girlfriend, Dani