Monday, August 30, 2010

Everybody loves cats

Even wild monkeys, apparently. Loving this story about a wild macaque who adopted a stray kitten. It does not get cuter than this.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Comparison shopping

Two ways to increase the wardrobe:

Bought for $40.00 at Dress Barn: two 3/4 sleeve button down shirts

Bought for $20.00 at garage sales: 2 fancy shirts, 2 gauzy shirts, 4 short sleeve t-shirts, 1 three-quarter sleeve t-shirt, 1 pair of pants, 2 button down shirts, 8 sleeveless t-shirts.

This is why I'd rather go to a garage sale than to the mall. Have you gotten anything awesome at a garage sale lately?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Guilty pleasures

Currently I’m reading The Island by Elin Hilderbrand. Her books have become autobuys for me and the funny part is, I realized I like her books so much because they’re so different from the books I typically read, edit and write.

Ms. Hilderbrand writes about the wealthy and privileged who tend to live on or near Nantucket – where she herself lives. She seems have great insight into the desperate lives of the people the rest of us may envy for their money, their opportunities and the views out of their beach house windows. Her books are compelling and the fascinating thing is, her characters are not likable. At least to me.

I’m a big one for reminding authors whose books I edit that their hero and heroine need to be likable and sympathetic. The worst thing you can do in a romance novel [aside from kill one of them off] is to make either of the main characters do something that will have readers jeering and hoping the other one kicks them to the curb. Secondary characters can be as nefarious as you want but the leads have to be people we would invite into our homes, serve a cup of coffee and insist they tell us all their woes. They need to be people we not only like, but that we like so much we root for them to fall in love and live happily ever after.

Ms. Hilderbrand doesn’t write romance. She writes women’s literature which often contains romantic subplots, but the stark beauty of her books is that I love them even though I’ve never once identified with or rooted for any of her characters. They all seem to have too much of everything. They’re wealthy, attractive, talented and usually sit within arm’s reach of all they ever wanted – yet they manage to find ways to screw up their lives and do a lot of whining about it and feeling sorry for themselves along the way. They’re people you want to smack.

Yet I can’t put the books down. And I realize I feel guilty about this because reading her books for me is like reading a gossipy letter from a friend – ‘remember so-and-so? Well, you’ll never guess what happened to her. Can you believe this?’ In real life, it’s feeding the green eyed monster, getting your jollies when someone who sits well above you on the ladder of ‘success’ turns out to have dirty clay feet. In real life, it’s bad – but in book form – pure heaven.

Do you have any favorite authors whose books make you feel guilty because you wonder if maybe you enjoy them for the wrong reasons? Is there a wrong reason to enjoy a good book?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Floccinaucinhilipilificate with me

Come on. You know you want to.

At lunch today my daughter handed me an index card with this word on it.

Floccinaucinihilipilification : noun, the act of declaring something worthless.

Apparently it's the longest word in the English language that does not contain the letter 'e'.

When I read this, I immediatley thought of this article which I'd seen last week. Nothing fits floccinaucin...whatever, better than the literary product of a member of the cast of The Jersey Shore.

So what would you like to floccinaucinihilipilificate? In addition to anything written by Snookie, I think we should consider nominating all sesquipedelian words for floccin...whatever...fication. Who's with me?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wonderland 2 ways

I've always been interested in viewing the same story from different viewpoints. I like to get a different take on things now and then and last week I was able to do that with the classic Alice in Wonderland.

I started out watching Syfy's rendition of the story - Alice, starring Caterina Scorsone as Alice and Andrew-Lee Potts as Hatter.

Then I watched Tim Burton's big screen adaptation of Alice in Wonderland with Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter.

I was very surprised to find I liked Syfy's version much better.

While I think Tim Burton tried to remain true to the original story, Syfy did one of their 'bold re-imaginings' which I normally don't enjoy. They made wonderland more of an alternate universe rather than a dream land. They gave it some science and ramped it up to the 21st Century. In addition, Syfy made their story a romance - by making Hatter the unlikely hero of the piece rather than just another bizarre character in a parade of bizarre characters.
While I'm not a Depp fan to begin with, I found that besides the wild makeup and merry-go-round of accents, his character didn't seem as invested in Alice as Potts's Hatter was. The growth of their relationship made the Syfy version a much more entertaining story, despite the relatively low budget when compared to Burton's visual smorgasbord.
If you've seen both movies, I'd love to know what you thought of them. In general do you like to compare versions of a story - or once you have a favorite do you prefer to stick to that?

Alice and Hatter from Syfy's Alice.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

New in Print!

My very first Ellora's Cave Print Book is now available!
TAMING A ROGUE includes:

Rogue Theta
Lilliana's mission is to neutralize a rogue super-soldier. Abandoned after an alien raid that decimated his outpost, the cybernetically enhanced Theta represents a threat to galactic security. When Lilliana locates her target, she discovers he's more than a rampaging war machine. His sensual touch unleashes her deepest desires and she begins to question the ethics of her mission the moment she looks into his eyes.Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Gaige gave up his name, his home and his freedom to volunteer for the Theta project because he thought he had nothing left to lose. Now, with his cybernetic implants on the verge of complete breakdown, his only hope is to avoid hurting anyone before his autonomic functions shut down completely.The beautiful assassin sent to kill him piques more than his curiosity, though. Her supple body and intoxicating scent set Gaige's long-suppressed needs against his enhanced survival instincts. The man he once was is drawn to the sexy huntress whose mission is to destroy him at any cost. Who will survive and who will become the hunted?

Rogue Heart
A Chi-series-enhanced human, Onika can seduce any man, but the fatal flaw in her biological programming is that she falls in love with her targets. When Zed, the enigmatic scientist who created her, wants to see her, she chances a reunion, determined to convince him to change her biological programming and free her from her enslavement to chemical lust.

When she finds Zed has been brutally murdered, she feels relief and terror. No one can save her now, least of all Aidan Fynn, the attorney assigned by Central Command to represent her. Given into Fynn’s mercurial care, Onika faces the greatest challenge of her life to not fall hopelessly in love and lust with the former soldier once he learns the only way to gain her trust is to take her to his bed.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

It's Deja Vu all over again

Do you read books more than once?

I used to. I had a number of books that I loved and read over and over again – chief among them, believe it or not, was Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster. This was a Star Wars story written back when no one even knew Luke and Leia were brother and sister. I devoured it and I could even recite the opening lines…

But I digress. After a while I gave up reading books more than once. I just didn’t have time and there were so few books I loved enough to go back and start at the beginning. Some that I’ve tried to read again haven’t kept my interest the way they did the first time around.

Yesterday, I finished Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs, and it wasn’t until the last chapter of the book that I realized I had definitely read it before.

In the beginning of the book there are a few details of a grisly murder that rang strangely familiar, but I figured hey, serial killers are often trite and cliché, they copy the crimes of others, so maybe this killer just happened to be similar to a killer in another book I’d read once.
I read happily on, actually enjoying the book and finally, when I got to the big reveal at the end, one of the details of why the killer killed struck me as completely unique. This wasn’t something two authors had come up with. I’d definitely read the whole book before.

I’m more upset with my failing memory than with the idea of rereading a book I’ve already read when I could have been reading something else. I enjoyed the book, and enough time has obviously passed that I really thought I was reading something new. Maybe I should start making notes on the books I read, because I tend to forget plots pretty quickly.

I haven’t forgotten Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, though. I can still picture the boggy jungle planet, the glimmering read crystal and the underground lake. I’d actually love to read the book again, but my dog eared copy is long gone.

Have you ever read a book twice without realizing it? Or do you have a better memory than I do. Good thing no one needs to know what I had for dinner last night. I’m not sure I can recall that either.