Monday, July 30, 2007

Reading uncorrected proofs

Not long ago I was chosen to receive The Principessa by Christie Dickason as part of the First Look Program run by Harper Collins. This is the second book that I have received as part of the program, and on both occasions they have been labelled as uncorrected proofs.

The first time, which was for Black Diamonds by Kim Kelly, the fact that the book was an uncorrected proof did not bother me at all, but this time it really did, to the point of distracting me from the story at times. It really wasn't that there were lots of mistakes, it was just that some of them were corrected but others weren't! It just made me want to get out my red pen and start doing my own corrections! If they were all corrected, or if none of them were corrected, it wouldn't have bothered me as much as only some being done!

Does anyone else feel the need to correct errors in books?

By the way, you can read my review of The Principessa over at Historical Tapestry - and I only concentrated on the book itself, not the editing!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Yesterday at work one of my colleagues was asking if there was such a word as absenteeism. I said yes, and then had to spell it for him. He then suggested that I may have been making it up! So off to the handy dandy online dictionary to prove that I was not in fact making up words for the fun of it!

What the trip to the dictionary did provide though was a link to the word Presenteeism, which I have to admit is one I hadn't heard of before.

Definition: the practice of always being present at the workplace, often working longer hours even when there is nothing to do;

I definitely am not guilty of presenteeism workwise (I can work from home..don't have to be present!), but it could be a word that fits my internet habits! Even when I have read all my feeds, checked all my groups, I will go through the links again...just in case someone has posted something!

I love words!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Blogging Tips Meme

I've been tagged twice to do the Blogging Tips Meme, firstly by the girls at Twisted Kingdom and then by Coversgirl from Between the Covers.

Blogging Tips

It’s very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (Check out especially the * starred ones.)

Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers. Try to make your tip general.

After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends!

Just think- if 10 people start this, the 10 people pass it onto another 10 people, you have 100 links already!

1. Look, read, and learn. ***

2. Be, EXCELLENT to each other. *

3. Don’t let money change ya! *

4. Always reply to your comments. ****

5. Link liberally — it keeps you and your friends afloat in the Sea of Technorati. **

6. Don’t give up - persistance is fertile. *

7. Give link credit where credit is due. **

8. Pictures say a thousand words and can usually add to any post.*

9. Be Brave, some of the best posts are when you step out of your comfort zone.

10. Follow the links in posts and comments. You never know what blog gems you will find! -

Now I am supposed to tag 10 people, so how about:

Ana from Aneca's World
Ana(Virgulina) from CosyWorld
Clare from Confessions of a Bookworm
Holly from What Were You Expecting
Cindy from Nocturnal Wanderings
Daphne from Tanzanite's Shelf and Stuff
Susan Higginbotham
Karina from Fire Bad, Book Pretty
Kristina from Kristina's Book Blog

and you!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mister Monday by Garth Nix

The Keys to the Kingdom

Arthur Penhaligon is not supposed to be a hero. He is, in fact, supposed to die an early death. But then he is saved by a key shaped like the minute hand of a clock.

Arthur is safe - but his world is not. Along with the key comes a plague brought by bizarre creatures from another realm. A stranger named Mister Monday, his avenging messengers with blood-stained wings, and an army of dog-faced Fetchers will stop at nothing to get the key back - even if it means destroying Arthur and everything around him.

Desperate, Arthur ventures into a mysterious house - a house that only he can see. It is in this house that Arthur must unravel the secrets of the key - and discover his true fate.

Mister Monday is the first book in the breathtaking Keys to the Kingdom series.

This author is a new author to me, but he is one that I have heard some quite good things about. Usually the good things are in relation to his Old Kingdom series, but I decided to have a look at audio books when I was at the library one day, and this one caught my eyes. I really went into this book not knowing what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised by the book.

Arthur Penhaligon is having a terrible Monday. It's his first day at his new school. His gym teacher is making him run cross country in his school clothes, and then he has a terrible asthma attack and collapses, not knowing that he is perilously close to death. Whilst lying on the ground Arthur sees two strange people coming towards him, one of whom we eventually find out is Mister Monday. They offer him a mysterious book and what appears to be the minute hand of an old fashioned clock. Little does he know, the reason that they are making this offer is that they believe that Arthur is about to die, and that they will then be able to recover the items. Unfortunately Mister Monday's plan doesn't quite go to plan, as Arthur starts to feel much better, but as some of Arthur's classmates approach him the mysterious people disappear.

Whilst Arthur is confused by his encounter with Mister Monday, it isn't until he returns to school that he realises that all hell is about to break out in his world. Mister Monday is desperate to get back the little book and the minute hand, and he is sending all of his resources to get them - including the very scary dog faced fetchers. The problem is that whilst the fetchers are after Arthur, they are also infecting the world with a horrible sleeping plague.

Arthur finds himself drawn into a very strange world, where Mister Monday is the sinister master who is letting the world become somewhat chaotic, and where it appears as though Arthur is the one destined to save the many strange characters in the world. Of course, if he makes it through Monday in this world, he still has to try and figure out how to stop the plague before it kills everyone that Arthur loves.

The world that Arthur is drawn into is complex, and full of fantastical adventures and trials, some more gruesome than others. This is definitely not a book for really young kids, although my son enjoyed listening along with me.

At the beginning of the book, Arthur is the very opposite of a hero, yet as time draws to an end he finds himself having to make decisions on which the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of people are reliant.

A fun read! I will definitely be seeing what happens to Arthur in the next book in the series, which is called Grim Tuesday.

Rating: 4/5

Other Blogger's Thoughts

Books and Other Thoughts

Bookworms and Tea Lovers

Best Moustache Twirling

This week's Booking Through Thursday question:

Who’s the worst fictional villain you can think of? As in, the one you hate the most, find the most evil, are happiest to see defeated? Not the cardboard, two-dimensional variety, but the most deliciously-written, most entertaining, best villain? Not necessarily the most “evil,” so much as the best-conceived on the part of the author…oh, you know what I mean!

I am still feeling pretty crap, so my brain isn't really functioning properly tonight, so I am going to fall back on an old favourite and say that the worst villain is Black Jack Randall from the Outlander series. He is really evil, but Diana Gabaldon made his reasons for being like he was quite complex.

Poor Jamie......sigh!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Books Alive 2007!

Every year there is a promotion run in Australia called Books Alive, and today was the launch day.

There is a Books Alive Great Reads Guide that lists about 50 books in all different genres, and including some local authors. There are some okay reads listed in the brochure too. On the website, there are also statements by celebrities about why they like to read, and feature authors amongst other things.

One of the bonuses is that if you buy one of the 50 listed books, you receive a free book by an Australian author. This year, it is a biography written by Peter Fitzsimmons about Les Darcy who was a famous Australian boxer. Whilst I am not all that fussed about whether or not I get the free book this year, I do like the promotion as a whole. Anything that encourages more book, is good in my opinion!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bag of books!

One of my work colleagues is an avid collector of Jean Plaidy books, and she stopped me in the corridor last week before I got sick to say that she had bought a box of old Jean Plaidy books. Some of them were duplicates of editions that she already had and she said that I could have those ones, so today at work I picked up a bag of JP books. The ones I got were:

The Revolt of Eaglets
The Goldsmith's Wife (x2)
Victoria in the Wings
The Queen's Favourites
The Road to Compiegne
St Thomas's Eve
The Third George
The Wandering Prince

Some of those are part way through a series, but I'm not complaining seeing as I got the books for free!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Beckham Mania!

Has the whole world gone mad for David Beckham! Apparently so!

On Sunday morning our time we are getting live coverage of the exhibition match between LA Galaxy and Chelsea on terrestrial TV! Not bad seeing as you have to have cable to be able to watch the games featuring Australia in the Asian Cup! And no, we didn't get to see the first two exhibition matches that Chelsea played in the US.

I actually watched the Victoria Beckham show, and I have to say that I thought she was pretty funny - completely off the planet, but funny! I was surprised to say the least. It does say something about the sad state of affairs in TV land when I couldn't find anything else that I would rather watch!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Firemaster's Mistress by Christie Dickason

I've posted a review of The Firemaster's Mistress by
Christie Dickason over at Historical Tapestry.

Go take a look!

And done!

And now I really am going to go and lay down, or maybe I should get some lunch....something really comforting and bad for me, or something healthy! What a dilemna!

Counting down...

Less than 500 to go...but I am going for a lie down I think!

Counting down...

I'm in the triple figures......and I think I am going to get this one. It seems to be a fair compromise between cost and performance. Now if I could be bothered to get up and go to the store and see if they have it...or perhaps even a better deal!

Counting down...

In the 1400s!

To add to the excitement I am also looking for a new vacuum cleaner at the same time!

Counting down...

Now less than 2000 feeds to go through!

Guess what I am doing today!

No, not reading Harry Potter....

My Bloglines seems to have had some kind of breakdown, and so even though yesterday morning I was completely up to date with reading blogs, this morning I have a mere 2368 feeds to go through...some of which will actually be new! I've been feeling really crap all week with a stupid cold so I am not sure if I am going to be able to sit here long enough to get through them all in one go, but I am sure that I will be able to do it by the end of the day if I break it into sections!

In other news, I've been nominated as a Rockin' Girl Blogger by Bookworm Kiki, Daphne from Tanzanite's Shelf and Stuff and Kailana which is a real honour!

I think everyone I would have nominated has probably already been nominated, but I'll do it anyway! There are loads of blogs that I love to read daily, and if I don't have time to read anything else I read these ones: Ana from Aneca's World, the girls from Dear Author, Clare from Confessions of a Book Addict and Rosario.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Just Wild About Harry

This week's Booking Through Thursday question:

1. Okay, love him or loathe him, you’d have to live under a rock not to know that J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, comes out on Saturday… Are you going to read it?

2. If so, right away? Or just, you know, eventually, when you get around to it? Are you attending any of the midnight parties?

3. If you’re not going to read it, why not?

4. And, for the record… what do you think? Will Harry survive the series? What are you most looking forward to?

I will be reading it, but not for a while yet! I actually haven't read books 5 and 6 yet! I own them. Part of the reason why I am not in any hurry is that I own all the other books in paperback, so I am going to need to wait for another year at least before I can get the book that matches my set!

Luckily for us, the release time here in Australia is a very dignified 9am on midnight parties here, although there is going to be a large event in one of the public spaces in the city, and when I went to the bookshop today there was a notice saying that they were going to be open 2 hours earlier.

As far as what's going to happen, I think Harry will survive, and I just hope that Ron does as well! Having said that, I am sure that I will know by early next week exactly who did die....people can't seem to stop themselves from sharing those kinds of spoilers.

Just as an aside, I went to Barnes and Noble online today, and there are already 625 reviews up, and the first 5 are all rated 5 stars....hmmm. I thought they were meant to be REviews!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Mysterious Miss M by Diane Gaston

The Mysterious Miss M is a living male fantasy - alluring, sensual, masked. But when Lord Devlin Steele finds himself responsible for her - and her child - he comes to know the real Maddy: the loving, passionate woman who drives away the nightmares of the Waterloo battlefield.

But this aristocratic soldier can’t support his new family. He’ll only inherit his fortune on marriage to a suitable lady - and Maddy is far from suitable. With the dangers of London’s underworld closing in, how can he protect the woman he has come to love?

I have only read one other Diane Gaston book, but I am well and truly on the path to fangirl status!

Before going off to battle, Lord Devlin Steele wins time with the beautiful prostitute known as the Mysterious Miss M. Memories of their encounter sustain him throughout his time as a soldier. What he doesn't realise is that her memories of him are sustaining her through her own unhappy life.

When he finds her again, he takes responsibility for looking after Maddy, her daughter, and Maddy's friend, even though he really can't afford to, and really doesn't have the space. Devlin will eventually come into quite a lot of money and property, but at this time it is held in trust by her older brother, who will only release the money when Devlin has agreed to marry a suitable young lady of the ton, even as he knows that he is falling desperately in love with Maddie.

Just as in A Reputable Rake, the characters were well developed, complex and unusual, but there are two things that stopped it from being a perfect read for me. One was the way that Devlin just completely accepted responsibility for Madeleine, Linnette and Sophie, and that it was so total and rapid, without even much consideration of the fact that Madeleine was an ex prostitute. The second was that the bad guys were pretty two dimensional, especially in Lord Farley's case (Lord Farley was Maddie's owner before she became Devlin's responsibility!).

The secondary love stories featuring Maddie's companion Sophie, and also Devlin's brother and sister-in-law were both really good as well!

Overall though, this was a really fun read, and I will definitely be reading more from Gaston! By the way, I got this in a two for one book which also included The Captain's Lady by Margaret McPhee, and there will be a review coming for that one shortly!

Rating 4.5/5

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Pleasure by Connie Brockway

Connie Brockway draws readers into the breathtaking love story of a dashing Scotsman who is duty bound to protect the one woman who incites in him a wild passion. How exactly can he save her from himself?

By day, celebrated beauty Helena Nash works as a proper companion to one of London's most disagreeable ladies. By night she acts as an illicit messenger between two separated lovers. Masked and disguised, she falls into the path of a shadowy stalker. Fearing for her safety but unwilling to halt her nocturnal forays, Helena seeks out Ramsey Munro—one of three men who pledged years earlier to serve her family in times of need. Handsome and elusive, the notorious Scotsman is London's most accomplished swordsman and represents everything Helena wants but can't have—freedom, adventure, and passion. Now she demands that he teach her his formidable skills, a commission that may prove cool, collected Helena's undoing. For Ramsey has seen through her disguise...and soon vows to teach her both the way of the sword and the deliciously wicked pleasures of the flesh.

This the second book in the Rose Hunter trilogy by Connie Brockway, following on from My Seduction, featuring the middle Nash sister, Helena and Ramsey Munro. I actually finished this book ages ago, so the details are a little hazy in my mind!

Helena has a reputation as something of an ice princess, someone who is untouchable within the ton, but when she finds herself in a very dangerous situation whilst incognito, dashing Ramsey Munro comes to her rescue.

Eventually Helena convinces Ramsey that she needs to be taught self defence, which leads to a series of very enticing sessions of fencing! In fact if I was going to summarise this novel in just a few words, then they would be Masquerade and Sword Play!

I enjoyed the thrust and parry of the dialogue in this novel (sword play pun completely intended!). I have ended up rating both Brockway novels I have read so far the same. They are good, but not in my opinion, completely fantastic! Still, I like them enough to keep reading the series!

Rating 4/5

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Last Reilly Standing by Maureen Child

Only three more weeks and he'd be the winner of the no-sex-for-ninety-days bet he made with his brothers. Aidan could almost taste victory! Then he'd met Terry Evans...

Her voice was just the kind a man liked to hear coming from the pillow beside his. Aidan groaned from the absolute misery of having to look at this gorgeous woman and not be able to turn on his usual Reilly charm. It would not be easy to be the last Reilly standing.

This book was actually part of a 2-in-1 book that I borrowed from the library because the other book was Nalini Singh's Craving Beauty that I wanted to read. If it wasn't for that, I doubt that I would ever have picked this book up! That would have been a shame because I really enjoyed it.

Aidan Reilly had made a bet with his two brothers - no sex for 90 days - and he was only 3 weeks away from claiming his prize! His other two brothers had already given up on the bet, and if he could last the distance he would get not only a fair sum of money, but also bragging rights forever!

And then he met Terry Evans. Terry had come to town on a kind of vacation - she was going to look after her friend's bookstore for just a few weeks while her friend had a well deserved vacation! Terry was normally a high flying career woman and so some time in a sleepy town was just what she needed. It does begin to appear as though her friend might have been trying to play matchmaker when Terry meets Aidan for the first time, and they start talking.

Pretty soon, the hurricane warnings are not the only warnings required as Terry and Aidan become very close, very quickly!

Terry and Aidan both had some baggage from the past, and so whilst they fell in love very quickly, it did take them some time to come to terms with their feelings.

I loved the repartee that Aidan had going with his brothers, particularly their brother who was a priest (whose name escapes me right at this moment!) who seemed to know far more about the way women's minds worked than his worldly brothers. Also, the tension between Aidan and Terry was just sizzling!

It quite surprised me that I did enjoy this so much. I mean, I have never read a Navy Seal/Marine/Coastguard type romance before, even though I know that there are many popular authors out there that write these types of books. I don't read a lot of contemporary romances, and I don't normally start a trilogy with the third book. Then again, sometimes books just work for you and other times they just don't!

I am now on a mission to track down the first two books featuring the Reilly brothers!

Rating 4/5

Craving Beauty by Nalini Singh

Marc was dangerous to her in the way that only a strong, sexy male could be to a woman.

Even knowing that, she'd agreed to marry him. Hope blossomed in Hira's heart. Perhaps she'd married a man with whom it might just be worth building a life. Her mother had worried that he was scarred, but the lines on his face did nothing to lessen his raw masculine appeal. If anything, they gave him an even more dangerous male air, enticing the feminine core of her to thoughts that shocked her.

What did a man's face matter anyway? She had no use for handsome men.

But for a man with a heart?

For such a man…she might risk everything

This is the third Nalini Singh book I have read, with the first two being the very enjoyable Slave to Sensation and Awaken to Pleasure. On the basis of enjoying those two books I have also bought another couple of books which I will read eventually.

My reason for saying all of that is because, if it was that I had of read this book first I doubt I would have continued to read more of Singh's work!

This book didn't work for me on a number of levels. The first was the fact that the book started in a fictional desert kingdom. If the book had of been all set there, I probably could have lived with it, but then the author took the characters out of that setting and put them into Louisiana. It kind of made the desert kingdom unnecessary, although it certainly helped give Hira a few "fish out of water" kind of moments.

And then there was the angst...oh my goodness was there angst. Our heroine Hira is portrayed as being drop dead gorgeous, and clever but having been downtrodden by her outwardly modern, but internally very traditional family. She is also incredibly insecure, and believes that no one could possibly love her because she is basically too beautiful. And then there is the hero, Marc, who has the opposite problem. He has been outwardly scarred, and he believes that no one could possible love him because of that.

And so for most of the book, we have the two of them angsting left, right and centre (yes, I know that angsting isn't a real word, but you get my meaning!). Marc had fallen in love with Hira the first second he saw her, and set about obtaining her, by negotiating with her father. Hira was therefore mistrusting of him, until she began to see the man inside, and then she loved him, but he couldn't love the real her because she was too beautiful...oh wait, I said that already!

There were some touching moments - particularly in relation to the orphaned children that Marc was involved with, but even then there was a need to suspend disbelief in terms of the resolution...although I guess anything is possible if you are rich enough. I did also respect the fact that Marc gave Hira all the time she needed before the marriage was consummated! He was definitely more developed as a character in my opinion

Singh does know how to write some great dialogue and good scenes, there was just too much insecurity in this one for me! A little bit is fine, but any more than that is too much! It is, however, something that works for other readers! I note from Singh's website that this book was voted "Best Silhouette Desire" for 2005!

Apparently, a couple of the characters who had bit parts in this novel were from an earlier book called Desert Warriors. I will read it eventually, but I think I will be reading the others in Singh's backlist before I get to that one!

So while this wasn't a great read for me, it certainly wasn't completely terrible.

Rating 3/5

Is it too early to start queuing now?

Paullina Simons is coming to Australia in November! Wooo-hoooo! And her visit is being timed to coincide with the release of her new book, Road to Paradise!

For more details, visit her website

Saturday, July 14, 2007


This week's Booking Through Thursday question.

1. In your opinion, what is the best translation of a book to a movie?
2. The worst?
3. Had you read the book before seeing the movie, and did that make a difference? (Personally, all other things being equal, I usually prefer whichever I was introduced to first.)

And, by all means, expand this to as long a list as you like. I’m notoriously awful myself at narrowing down to one favorite ANYTHING. So, feel free to list as many “good” or “bad” movie-from-books as you like. (Heaven knows that’s what I’ll be doing….)

To be honest, I am probably the worst person to try and answer these questions, because I watch movies so rarely these days!

I do, however, know that I prefer to read the book before I see the movie!

Book Quiz

Saw this over at 3M's blog and thought I would have a go!

You're The Poisonwood Bible!

by Barbara Kingsolver

Deeply rooted in a religious background, you have since become both
isolated and schizophrenic. You were naively sure that your actions would help people,
but of course they were resistant to your message and ultimately disaster ensued. Since
you can see so many sides of the same issue, you are both wise beyond your years and
tied to worthless perspectives. If you were a type of waffle, it would be

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Not sure that I agree with the description...but I did like the book! LOL!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Historical Tapestry - something new and exciting!

I am so excited to announce that I am now part of a group blog called Historical Tapestry, along with four other people:

Ana from Aneca's World

Kailana from Kailana's Written World

Stephanie from Stephanie's Confessions-of-a-Bookaholic

Louise, who used to have a blog for a while, but currently doesn't have one!

The plan is that Historical Tapestry is going to focus specifically on Historical Fiction of all eras, including Historical Fantasy. Hopefully with a good group of people we will get an interesting mix of different eras and subject matter including our different countries. We are also hoping to have a mix of Author Spotlights, book reviews and general info on the Historical Fiction that we like to read.

I am very excited that this is now off the ground, and hope you will drop by and have a look at:

Monday, July 09, 2007

One Night with a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries

Continuing her irresistible Royal Brotherhood Series, bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries introduces the third of three half-noble half brothers — the brashest rogue in all of London.

Proper Lady Christabel, the Marchioness of Haversham, is desperate to regain some letters that could destroy her — so desperate that she pretends to be the mistress of notorious gaming-club owner Gavin Byrne to accompany him to a scandalous house party where she can reclaim them. But when she agreed to let Byrne coach her on how a true mistress behaves, she never suspected how very...persuasive his wicked lessons would be.

Gavin is secretly determined to find the letters himself and use them for revenge against the noble sire who abandoned him to grow up in London's worst slums. He's also delighted at how very successful his "mistress lessons" are: it won't be long before the luscious young widow is in his bed. But when Christabel catches Gavin in his own seductive net, he faces a difficult choice: to wreak the vengeance he's planned all his life, or to protect the woman he may — to his own astonishment — need more than revenge.

And we get to the final book in the Royal Brotherhood series. I hadn't read any Sabrina Jeffries before I started reading this series.

This book was definitely a better entry in the series than the last one, In the Princes Bed, which I thought was pretty average.

I do tend to enjoy the mistress at a house party plot, and have enjoyed several over the last couple of years. In this book the chemistry between Christabel and Gavin is palpable - they fight, and they love, Gavin reveals more of himself to her than he has to any of his previous mistresses and Christabel learns to love as well.

The whole searching for letters thing was possible a little overdone, as were the gambling reference, but the final scenes were definitely suspenseful and well written.

Whilst I did like the three books in this trilogy, I am not yet completely enamoured with them! I liked them enough to start reading another series from her, and to see how they go!

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wordpress help

Never mind! We'll stick with Blogger which is what we know!

At the moment, I am trying to figure out how to get a new theme onto a wordpress blog, not because I really have one at the moment, but rather that I might be getting one soon (still working out the details on this, but you will know about it when it is all worked out!). I can't work out though how it is you upload a new theme. On Blogger I know that you copy and paste into the Template page, but I can't see anything similar anywhere on Wordpress.

Can anyone help?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

It's in His Kiss by Julia Quinn

Meet Our Hero ...
Gareth St. Clair is in a bind. His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth's sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past .. and the key to his future. The problem is -- it's written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.

Meet Our Heroine ...
All the ton agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton. She's fiendishly smart, devilishly outspoken, and according to Gareth, probably best in small doses. But there's something about her -- something charming and vexing -- that grabs him and won't quite let go ...

Meet Poor Mr. Mozart ...
Or don't. But rest assured, he's spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual -- and annually discordant -- Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth's every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other ... and that there is nothing as simple -- or as complicated -- as a single, perfect kiss.

This is the seventh entry in the long running Bridgerton series that I have been slowly working my way through, following on from When He Was Wicked. Once again, the style returns to the tones that were prevalent during the early parts of the series - somewhat light and frothy but still with really good dialogue and intensity between the characters. I really loved Hyacinth and Gareth together, and the fact that Gareth is Lady Danbury's grandson was an added bonus as it meant that we got to see plenty of the crotchety old dragon!

Gareth was great! I really liked him. Hyacinth was good too, but for me this novel really was about him. The fact that he was trying to make his own way without relying on his very hostile father, but still knew not to take himself seriously was fantastic!

If there was any note that was a bit discordant, it was that the sneaking around that took place with Hyacinth and Gareth trying to get into his father's house to try and locate a mysterious treasure from his mother's side of the family was a bit much. The other thing that threw me a little was when Gareth was goaded into proposing to Hyacinth. I definitely understood her concerns.

With just one more book in the Bridgerton series (not counting the two Lady Whistledown anthology spin-offs), I will definitely be sad to say goodbye to this family!

Rating 4/5

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Chill Factor by Rachel Caine

In Rachel Caine's Ill Wind and Heat Stroke, Weather Warden extraordinaire Joanne Baldwin, who protects the human race from monster storms, was killed, reborn as a Dijinn, and then restored to her original form. She's been through a lot - and stuck her neck out many times - to save innocent lives. Now she's rolling the dice to stop an infinitely powerful, deeply disturbed kid from destroying the world....

A teenager named Kevin has holed up in style at a Vegas hotel with the most powerful Dijinn in the world, planning who knows what kind of mischief. The Wardens' senior leadership is dead, Djinn are disappearing, and a secret society wants to help Joanne destroy Kevin, even if doing so kills her (again). But everybody in Vegas has a game going, and Joanne has to learn the rules fast because the stakes have never been higher - and all hell is about to break loose....

In this one, Joanne finds herself in Las Vegas, location of a terrible event in her past, and it seems that those events are about to come together with current events, leaving Joanne stuck in the middle of a dangerous situation!

Caine is really good at putting her main character into very dangerous situations, and then having to extricate her again. Not only does Joanne have to worry about whether the Wardens are going to catch up with her, and perhaps permanently alter her forever, but there is also a new group who have entered the fray, known as Ma'at, who believe that the Wardens are completely corrupted. Unfortunately they're not exactly on Joanne's side either.

When I read this I quite enjoyed it, but it was so long ago now that I can't say much more than that! I guess the thing is about this series, is that I like it.....but I don't love it! I'm not quite sure what it is that I am waiting to happen, but there's just something that stops the series from being a Must Read Right This Minute kind of series.

I was interested to see exactly where one thing that has happened with Joanne will go in this book, but I'm sure all will be revealed in the next book, which I have sitting here on my shelf ready to go.

Rating 4/5

Great Australian Novel

I was so busy last week that I somehow managed to miss doing BTT but I am back on track with this week's Booking Through Thursday question!

What with yesterday being the Fourth of July and all, I’m feeling a little patriotic, and so have a simple question:

What, in your opinion, is the (mythical) Great American Novel? At least to date. A “classic,” or a current one–either would be fine. Mark Twain? J.D. Salinger? F. Scott Fitzgerald? Stephen King? Laura Ingalls Wilder?

It doesn’t have to be your favorite book, mind you. “Citizen Kane” may be the “best” film, and I concede its merits, but it’s not my favorite. You don’t have to love something to know that it’s good.

Now, I know that not all of you are American–but you can play, too! What I want from you is to know what you consider to the best novel of YOUR country. It might be someone the rest of us haven’t heard of and, frankly, I think we’d all like to get some new authors to read.

This question has had me thinking ever since I read it, and there have been a few different titles that I have thought of. My first thoughts were of books like All the Rivers Run by Nancy Cato that tell stories of early Australia (in this case about life on the paddle steamers that run on the inland river system in Australia), but then if Australian history was going to be my focus then my choice would have to be For the Term of his Natural Life by Marcus Clarke - the story of a convict sent to Australia.

Another good one is A Fortunate Life by AB Facey:

The remarkable story of an 'ordinary' man. Bert Facey's childhood ended when he was eight years old. That was when his grandmother had to send him away to work for his keep. Bert grew up tough in the vast, wild outback of Western Australia. He lived to eighty-seven, and wrote down his extraordinary story for his grandchildren. In spite of its difficulties and sufferings, he always believed he had had 'a fortunate life'.

For other good examples of the battling Aussie spirit, another option would be Ruth Park's classic books that include Harp in the South and A Poor Man's Orange, set in the slum suburbs of Sydney during the Depression. Ruth Park also wrote one of Australia's classic children's stories The Muddle Headed Wombat.

I am sure that there are other books that I should be mentioning but that's a start!

Romance Novel!

I saw this over on the Eloisa James and Julia Quinn message board! Thought it was pretty funny, so now I am sharing it with you all!


God I love pirate romances! LOL!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Presentation is everything!

Well maybe not everything....but wouldn't it be nice if every time you received a book it came presented like this?

In case you are wondering the book is Mermaid in a Bowl of Tears by Cindy Brandner and there is also a bookmark in there! You can find out more about her work on her website.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Half way done

So, we are basically at the halfway mark in the year, so I thought I would do a quick check of where I am at in comparison to the goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year.

My goals for the year were to:

Read 200 books
Read 15 books that I already owned as at 1 January 2007
Read Dorothy Dunnett
Read more Australian Authors
(at least 10)
Read shortlists for the Booker and either the Orange Prize or the Pulitzer Prize
Blogging - specifically not getting so far behind on reviews or putting pressure on myself if I do.

So how am I going? Let's just say it isn't pretty!

Read 200 books
- actually this one isn't too bad. As at June 30, I had read 98 books, so I am not too far off of where I need to be in order to meet my goal, however, at this point last year I had read 109 books.

Read Dorothy Dunnett - I borrowed the first book in the one of her series. Didn't get to read it though! Does that count?

Read 15 books that I already owned as at 1 January 2007 - Um...well I've read 2, so I might need to work on this one a bit! It's especially a bit of a worry seeing as I have bought more than 15 books in May and June alone!

Read more Australian authors (at least 10) - Surprisingly on target on this one! Maybe I need to go and check my spreadsheet to make sure that I counted right!

Read shortlists for the Booker and either the Orange Prize or the Pulitzer Prize - Well given that the shortlist for the Booker isn't out yet, I am not failing that part yet, but as for the Orange and the Pulitzer...well...I've read both the books that won! I will be reading a couple more of the Orange prize nominations really, I will be!

Blogging (specifically not getting behind on reviews) - There was this brief moment back in April when I was all caught up. Unfortunately, that wasn't something that I was able to maintain, and I am currently a terrible 22 reviews behind!

So I might be being a bit harsh on myself at this stage to say:

but it isn't that far off!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Busy, busy, busy!

30th June is the end of the financial year here in Australia, and so for's been a busy few weeks, as we have to get ready to close off the old year, and get ready for the new one! Of course that means working on the weekend, so I have barely had time to read anything for ages!

Not only that, but I seem to be reading slower when I do get to read. No idea why, but just seems to be the way it is! Wish I did know why, because I have a gazillion books on my TBR piles at the moment!


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