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Posting on the Sugarbook Club blog site.  Please visit it to see my thoughts on the new New Adult genre.  Have a great day.

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…in Death

After reading enough “erotic” novels to need a mental cleansing, I decided I wanted to read something light and funny. Don’t think I only read erotic novels, I have a wide range of reading left in my TBR, although most it seems that there are a lot of paranormal novels on the list (could that be because the genre is “hot” now. I love to read about vampires, werewolves, dragons, etc.). It just seems that I’ve reviewed stories that have a lot of erotic notes to them. I did the reviews because I was excited about the books and I felt the need to give my thoughts. Also, so many people were going on and on about the fan fiction written by E.L. James like it was the very first novel of its kind and now everyone is running around buying books in the genre and comparing them to E.L. James like she was the first erotic author ever. I think I just started ranting…did I start ranting? No ranting…I apologize guys. I’ve digressed.

So, I read a couple of novels by Dakota Cassidy (part of The Accidental Friends series), these gave me a laugh when I really needed it and I have now gone on to detective stories. Now, I am not a huge fan of mysteries anymore. I read them a lot in my late teens and early twenties (I actually read Silence of the Lambs and Jurassic Park as well as most of the Mary Higgins Clarke and most of the John Grisham novels up till The Client), but I don’t read them much anymore. There is one exception to that…the JD Robb ..in Death series. JD Robb is the pseudonym for Nora Roberts and it is only used for the ..in Death books.

in Death

The main character of the series is Lieutenant Eve Dallas who is a homicide detective for NYPSD (New York Police and Security Department) in the mid-21st century. There are very human-like droids, flying cars, lots of interplanetary travel and living, and all kinds of technological advanced gadgets. Eve Dallas was found in an alley in Dallas bleeding, beaten with broken bones and without memory of her circumstances when she was eight. Social Services named her Eve after the first woman on earth and Dallas for the location where she was found. When the series begins Eve is very much a loner with the exception of her very close friend, Mavis. As the series progresses Eve acquires more friends, a husband in the form of multi-billionaire, Roarke (who was a suspect in the first book), a fat cat, Gallahan, the butler – Sumerset, whom she inherited when she married Roarke and is also her verbal sparring partner, and a gaggle of acquired friends that she never meant to have, but now doesn’t know what she would do without them (although she would reluctantly tell them so). The best thing about this series is the mystery and the characters. There are a total of 45 novels in the series eight of which are actually novellas. They always pick up within a week, sometimes days of the last book. I just finished New York to Dallas. This is one of the first full books that did not end with in Death. This book had been out for quite a while – the in Death books come out twice a year in February and September and this book came out in September 2011. Why did it take me so long to read a book that is part of a series that I love so much you ask?

I took some time away from the series because I knew this book would have a lot of information about Eve’s past that had the potential to take me on an emotional rollercoaster ride. It did not disappoint. I had started this book once before last summer but had to put it down after the first 20 pages because it began so intense and I found I didn’t want that intensity at the time. This time I set out to soldier through it all. I have said numerous times that I don’t give spoilers, but I think I can give this tidbit without giving the story away. Eve had to go to Dallas to apprehend a suspect who had escaped from prison. This “person” was a pedophile, murderer, and rapist and he had fled to Dallas hoping to trip up Eve because he knew that she was originally from Dallas and she had a very rocky start there. The emotional ride came when Eve had to deal with the memories of her mother. From previous books, we know that Eve’s father was a sick person who abused her until she killed him (in self-defense) when she was eight. We had never known anything about her mother. In this book we learn more about who she was.

The thing about these books are that you really fall in love with Eve and her kick-ass approach to her job and life, but also the vulnerability that comes out when you least expect it. In this book I knew I was going to see major vulnerability, I just didn’t know how it would affect me. Along with Eve’s vulnerability came Roarke’s awesome compassion, understanding and his need to protect. Even when he wanted to help, he knew he had to allow her to deal with some of it her own way. Only when he saw the cracks in the façade she held for everyone else did he step forward and bring in the reinforcements that she needed even when she didn’t know she needed it. Can you love a hero more?

I probably shouldn’t have reviewed this book being that it is the 33rd book in the series, but I ask you not to think of it as a review (because I really didn’t review the book), but as a recommendation. I’m recommended the in Death series to everyone. The series is so good my good friend and I have said on many occasions that we should petition HBO, FX, or some other cable network to make it into a television series. But then we (fans that I know) inevitably begin to argue about who would be best suited to play the characters.  Smile 

So go out and get them folks…start reading it today and let me know what you think. 

P.S. I will also be posting this on my book clubs website.  If you are seeing this post there, come over and check me out at Red Oven Creations, I’d love for you to join me. 

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Reflected in You

Reflected in You

 

I should have written this review about four months ago when I first read this book and I apologize for not doing so. In my defense, I’ve been busy and reading a ton of stuff.   Someone mentioned that I seem to review the books from this series and not many others.  I chose to continue to review this series because: 1) I reviewed the first book and since I’m reading them all it made sense to review them all; and 2) it seems that lately the BDSM millionaire/commoner (I know that’s not the right word to use but oh well) genre seems to be hot right now and why not give my opinion on something other than Fifty Shades.  I mean someone may actually open up their mind to something other than what is trending in the media and fall in love with another author they may not have explored without my review.  BUT…I’m digressing…I’m getting off my soapbox right now and writing my review.

I read the second book in the Crossfire Series as soon as it came out. I really enjoyed the first book and was extremely curious about the characters and where they were going to go.

The second book, Reflected in You, delves further into the relationship between Gideon and Eve. This book picks up right where the last book (Bared to You) ended. Gideon and Eve are committed to making their relationship work. When the issues that they suffer from (Eve’s insecurity and Gideon’s violent nightmares) threaten to tear the relationship apart, they commit to therapy. I really love their commitment to the relationship, it lets the reader know that although it is a very sexually charged relationship, it is not based upon just sex alone. They have feelings for one another. During one of the therapy sessions after a particularly violent dream by Gideon that also coincided with a nightmare that Eve was having about her past abuse; the therapist suggested that they stop sleeping together and date only to allow the relationship to grow. Gideon and Eve both said that wasn’t an option.

I don’t want to tell the story, because I’m not one to give spoilers. There were two things in the book that were really frustrating to me. Early on in this book, Eve is invited to a concert by her friend who is also the sister of her supervisors partner. Her friend has four tickets and her boyfriend is out of town, so Gideon invites a friend so that it will be an equal four. Now this is Eve’s first time meeting anyone that remotely resembles a friend to Gideon, you’d think she would be on her best behavior. You would be thinking wrong. It turned out that the lead singer was an “ex-boyfriend” and she didn’t reveal it to Gideon once she realizes it, nor did she react properly when she came in contact with her “ex”. Again, I don’t give spoilers, but you will be shaking your head saying, “girl you know you wrong for that.”

Gideon and Eve get over that hurdle and just when everything seems to be going smoothly for Gideon and Eve, Gideon starts acting flukery. He starts blowing Eve off, he’s being seen with his ex-girlfriend, just making stupid relationship mistakes. You are thinking to yourself as your reading…”Man what are you doing? Are you having commitment issues?” You get to a point where you can’t stand Gideon because he is acting like an ass and his only excuse to Eve is “trust me”. You are screaming at the book, “trust me, trust me what do you mean trust me?” I have to give a big thumbs up to the reactions of Eve. She did not sit around wallowing and acting like her world was going to end if Gideon didn’t start acting right. Of course there was a response…she did cry over it and do some yelling and accusations thrown, but once it seemed that he just wasn’t going to do right,; she made up her mind to let it go. Even when Gideon started yelling her to trust him, she didn’t fall for it. It is not until the end of the book that she understood Gideon’s actions and you want to high five him and you are left saying he is a true “ride or die” dude. The last couple of pages of the book left me with my mouth hanging open wand then I wanted to pump my fist in the air and yell, “YEAH!”

So that’s my take on Reflected in You.  I LOVE LOVE LOVED the book.  It was a great follow-up to the first and again I’m anxiously awaiting the third.  I will try to review other books that I read.  If you missed my post about my favorite genre check it out here.  This will let you know that I read a lot of romance.  BUT these are not the romance books of old, they actually have plots beyond the Millionaires Baby (sorry Harlequin Sad smile) and if you can name me one movie that does not have a romantic scene in it (or just a scene where someone is getting kissed) then I will admit admit something.  I don’t know what I’ll admit, because I don’t think there isn’t anything out there.  I watch all types of movies, action, comedy, musicals, independents, Sundance, even some documentaries; I don’t watch horror because I’m a chicken-butt, but everything I watch, and they all have romance so DON’T KNOCK ROMANCE NOVELS.

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Book Review

Check out my review of Sylvia Day’s Bared to You on the Sugarbook blog.

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Books, Authors, and Mexican

This past weekend was my book club scheduled monthly meeting.  Because we were scheduled to do a phone interview with an author I volunteered to host because I had a speaker phone.  My good friend and fellow book club member asked what I planned to prepare for dinner.  She mentioned that she really loves my guacamole and Pico.  So Mexican it was.  I decided to make an enchilada casserole, black bean & corn salad, and yellow rice with cilantro, tres leches cake, guacamole and Pico de Gallo  with chips, and strawberry margaritas.

We talked to a new author, Casey Holloway, and talked about his book, Get’ N Hammered, which is the first of a series.  The meeting and interview went very well and you can check out our blog for more details.  

The food was fabulous (as usual).  Everyone always seems to get caught up eating the main courses and then is stuffed by the time dessert roles around.  I told everyone to stop eating and save room for dessert, I had a 13 x 9 pan of cake and I didn’t want to have it left after everyone went home. 

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As we were sitting discussing our next moves I heard something in the kitchen that sounded like my dogs tags jingling.  I call her into the room and guess what?…she has a beard full of cake crumbs.  Sad smile  My dog has never gotten up on the cabinets and tables….why did she decide to do it on this day?  I couldn’t be angry with her because I was the one who left the cake out on the table.  I didn’t get to try any of the cake because I never have an appetite after cooking.  Does this happen to anyone else?  So the next day I made myself a pan of peanut butter, caramel brownies. Smile 

I’m glad everyone enjoyed dinner (Stan and my baby doll included) and our book club has made another author friend.  Sugarbook Club is becoming a well recognized club within the Romance Writers world.  

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The busy season

I always knew the month of May was a busy one for me with the Babydoll’s birthday, ending of the school year, Babydoll’s choir Spring concert, Mother’s Day, etc.  This particular May I also had to add my annual Book Club trip to West Chester, OH for the Lori Foster Reader/Author Appreciation Event (check out sugarbookclub.wordpress.com for more about that) to the schedule as it is always the 1st weekend in June and that ended up including the last few days of May as well.  Oh yeah…did I mention my sister, her husband, and eldest daughter graduated this month.  My sister and her husband finished up Bachelor degrees and my niece from high school.

I was prepared to tackle this month.  I had my game plan ready.  One thing I could not, nor had I not, plan was the death of my grandmother.  My grandmother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago when we had brought her up her from Louisiana for a visit.  She had doctors here because we just didn’t feel that she was getting adequate diagnosis where she was.  Not to say that the doctors where she was were not competent, just that here there was more thorough testing done.  Anyway, Mrs. Lady as I ended up calling her along with the formal Grandmother, lost her fight with the disease the same week of Babydoll’s choir concert and birthday (yes, there were in the same week – dress rehearsal and concert Wednesday & Thursday and party that Saturday. Surprised smile).  My family had to coordinate massive travel arrangements because we had to go back to Louisiana for the funeral and burial and we had quite a few of us coming from various locations.  It turned out we headed out the week in-between the birthday party and my trip that was already paid for.  But ended up missing Aleesha-Boo’s graduation (she’s going to get me for saying that – she Tweets that I always find a way to embarrass her; but I remember her as my beautiful niece who stole my stuffed bear when she visited before going to Italy.)

The funeral was very nicely done with a minimum amount of drama.  And I stress the word minimum – this could have been a colossal event that went down in the history books of drama.  Better than any episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I’m going to really miss Ms. Lady and her quick wit, sharp tongue, and abundance of love.  My dad used to call her the 4 foot general (I think she was around 4’10” or 4’11”, but she was a short one compared to my 5’10.5”)

My Babydoll’s spa party was another big success.  We had sent out 10 invitations, but I’m really glad only half of that showed up.  The girls had a good time getting facials,

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getting mani’s and pedi’s

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and drinking “champagne” from champagne flutes (plastic of course).  I spent three weeks making face mask and spa robes and they really didn’t wear them long.  You see, the control panel for the HVAC battery went out and so we were unable to adjust anything until we had a battery.  It had been cool enough throughout the week that we didn’t need to have anything on, but Saturday it got HOT.  By the time we found a battery it took a “minute” to get the house cool again.  The girls just didn’t want to wear the robes longer than what was needed for the facial.  I hired a wonderful young lady to do the mani’s & pedi’s and I did the facials.  It was loads of fun for everyone.   I can’t wait to hear what her thoughts of next years party will be.  She’ll probably coming to me soon with her thoughts on the matter.

Another big event was my Babydoll receiving a “Personal Best” award from the school Superintendent.  It was a surprise for her, and Stan and I had to act like it was school as usual that morning.  What made it super crazy was the fact that there was a lot of construction going on on the way to school that morning and I got her to school just in time to walk down with her classmates to the gymnasium.  I had to run back out to the car to get my purse and camera and find us a seat.  The only bummer was that I didn’t get a good picture of her getting her award.  The zoom lens that I’m currently using is not for my camera; it’s my husbands old lens and it was made for a Nikon that has the focus built into the camera and my camera requires the zoom to be in the lens.  I have to manually adjust the zoom and tight focus and sometimes my camera does not recognize the lens as being attached to the camera – usually at a crucial time like when I’m ready to take a shot.  Can you say birthday gift boys and girls?  This is what I did get (excuse her attire…it was PE day and I couldn’t dress her up without giving away the surprise)

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Memorial Day was spent relaxing and doing laundry (I had to go to work the next day and leaving for Ohio two days later.), but we did spend several hours in the French Quarter before we came home.  Can you say HOT?  I mean HOT!!

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I had every intention of sitting down to have Biegnets at Café du Monde and getting a Shrimp Po’Boy.  The line at Café du Monde was way too long.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen the line that long.  I just kept walking on by.  We went to the shopping part of the market and I was able to find a few things (a gift for my Mommy’s birthday & a couple of souvenirs for Babydoll – she loves to bring home something for every trip we take.)

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My husband and daughter was able to get a crawfish Po’Boy, but we could not find a FRIED shrimp Po’Boy for me. Sad smile  I did get a icee – Tigersblood is the bomb, and found my Po’Boy once we got of the Quarter Smile man do I love those things.

With all of the traveling that I did, I’m glad I’m back home (for now) and I had a great time.  Even my grandmothers funeral trip was enjoyable because I had the opportunity to spend some time with family members that I had not seen in a while.  Aren’t we a handsome group (this wasn’t everyone either –  more like half)?

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My handsome brother in his suit (everyone wore a touch of purple because it was my grandmothers favorite color).

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The one I married 14 years ago…be still my heart.  He cleans up so nice.  He really isn’t a drinker…I think that was iced tea. Smile with tongue out

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My cousin from New York husband…all the men looked really good.

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The month of June promises to be just as busy (my Mothers birthday, my nieces baby shower, MY BIRTHDAY!!, MY ANNIVERSARY!!, family vacation) you know how my life is. Smile

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A Book For My Nook

I think I have mentioned several times that I have a Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet.  And I have to say that I am very happy with it.  Yeah, yeah, yeah the iPad is great if that is what you need, but for the most part I just want to have an ereader that occasionally allows me to surf the web or play a game.  I don’t want nor do I need a lot of apps.  That’s just me…it’s what pops my panties.  Me.  If you want an iPad or a Kindle Fire then go for it, do you.

Having said all that, let me get to the reason for this post.  I am all about accessorizing.   I like shoes (no I love shoes), watches, earrings (the bigger the better because I have REALLY short hair), makeup, rings, purses (I call them my bags), just accessories.  So I’m always thinking of cost effective ways to accessorize all my gadgets.  I’ve made camera bags for my camera, covers for my Kindle (the DX – the big one), and my Sony, etc.  I hadn’t done anything for my Nook because I was treating my baby to special treatment, nothing but the best for my girl.  The problem with wanting the best and me loving accessories is that I cringe (mean really cringe) when  look at something that is gloriously beautiful that is right up my speed but cost $70.  I can’t do it.  Nope won’t do it.   Not spending $70.  The other problem is that there is not as many pretty covers for Nooks as there are for the Kindle Fire and iPad (I wonder why that’s so?).  About a month ago I went on a rampage looking for a cover and found that I can make this amazing cover for less than $5.00.  People are selling beautiful covers on Etsy for $60 (and I’m not knocking anyone’s business) and I can do it myself for around $5.  This is how I did it.

First I went to Goodwill, Nook in hand and found a book that was around the same height and width of my Nook  and paid $2.50 plus tax (I actually bought three books because my girlfriend begged me to make one for her and I wanted to make something for my mother).  I then went to JoAnns and spent some cash (about $30) for fabric (I just couldn’t just buy one), felt in various colors, elastic (in two widths), batting, and buttons.

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Then I went home and got to working.

I cut the insides of the book out,

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I cut and measured my fabric,

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trimmed up the batting to layer between book and fabric then I used my trusty hot glue gun to glue the fabric and batting and to the book,

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then I added my button on the outside and elastic that would attach to the button

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cut the elastic to hold the book in place

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This is what the final project looked like.

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Afterwards, I realized my mistake.  And I made improvements.

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Then I realized that I need to make another improvement.  After three attempts, I had perfected it and this is my final.

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I added pockets and an elastic band instead of the button to see how it would work.  I also made one for my daughter’s Nook.  I couldn’t keep making them for others and not one for her.

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I will be spending some time soon making covers for members of my book club and maybe anyone else who wants to order them.

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I haven’t quite figured out what to charge for them yet, but it won’t be $60.  I couldn’t do that to someone else.  They will just have to know that I will be picking the fabric (based upon their description of what colors they like) and it may not be a rush job if I have my mom/wife/business owner stuff going on.

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