Saturday, March 27, 2010

You like me.. you really like me!

I don't normally follow any type of Awards shows, but the 2010 Rita Finalists are up and I thought I'd comment.  I don't have top picks for all categories, but here's who I'm rooting for:

2010 RITA for Contemporary Single Title Romance Finalists:
Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl

2010 RITA for Historical Romance Finalists:
Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

2nd Pick:
To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

2010 RITA for Young Adult Romance:

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
(You can read my review for this a few posts back here)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grade Inflation

I'm quite excited.  What The Librarian Did just arrived from Amazon today.  I'm hoping I'll get a chance to read it in the next week or two.  I'm still swamped with work.  I'm just coming off of mid-terms, which is why I haven't been posting much recently.  It looks like for the next two months things are stacking up, so I might be going a week or so between posts.  *Sigh*  This semester is turning into a total roller-coaster.  Summer is looking more beautiful by the minute...

Something which popped into my mind earlier today when I was browsing on Goodreads is grade inflation.  And I don't mean the academic kind (though I really wouldn't mind if someone pumped some air into my chem grade o.O).  Goodreads has this nifty little stat on everyone's profile that says what their average rating is.  Mine is 3.40, which is fine considering 3.00 is about average.  In my boredom I began to hop through my friend's profile's and look at their stats and I began to see a trend.  Not only was the average "average" rating well over 3.00, but most were over 4.00, and even 4.50!  I know everyone has their own way of rating a book, but come on, is every book really that good?  What's so wrong with rating a book as average?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More Happy and Some Reads

How could I forget this on my Mega Post of Happy Things?!?! I don't know how many other peeps are into web shows, but I love them.  It might be that they come in awesome bit size time portions (which can also be really annoying when you just want to find out what happens).
-Blue Movies is one of there really funny series.  Season One ended a while ago and I'm not sure when Season Two is starting up, but all the episodes are still posted.  The show centers around the dramas of a low budget rising pornography company and one of their new-to-show-biz interns.
2) Take180:
-They did this really great series a year or two ago called My Alibi.  Since it's over all the episodes are up and there's no need to wait for new ones.  That was possibly one of my favorite web shows ever.  Sort of a Breakfast Club spin off- a bunch of high school kids held in detention on suspicion of a prank.
**The other show of there's I really love is I <3 Vampires.  If you're into the paranormal scene at all check this one out.  I recommend it.  It's currently in the middle of Season Two, which is turning out to be much darker than Season One.  It plays off of the Twilight craze quite a bit.  I <3 Vampires is about two girls who are obsessed with a series of books about vampires, except the books turn out to be a little too real...**

Reading Update

Title: Her Secret Fling
Author: Sarah Mayberry
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: None
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Jake Stevens--star reporter and celebrated literary genius--is a snake. How else to explain the way he turns Poppy Birmingham's hero worship into loathing with a single conversation? So what if she's got a lot to learn about journalism? Aren't they coworkers now? On the same team? Jake can take his attitude and...

Then during a job-related road trip, their relationship goes from antagonistic to hedonistic in no time flat. And suddenly Poppy can't think of anything more delicious than having a secret fling with Jake. But with all this intensity, can she really keep it no-strings-attached?

I know a lot of people are big fans of Ms. Mayberry, but I just wasn't feeling it.  I couldn't really connect to either character, and that just made the book fall flat for me.  This really comes down to personal taste, but Poppy was too bubbly and optimistic.  It might have been the Olympic athlete in her that had her always keep going, never give up, and keep her chin up high.  While Jake was a bit of a prick, I could relate to him more. 

I felt that Jake was justified in being annoyed with Poppy for getting the job at the newspaper.  There were tons of people who worked really hard in journalism and deserved that job.  Poppy worked really hard in her field and did deserve recognition, but didn't necessarily deserve rewards that she wasn't qualified for.  She didn't have a college education, and a full time job at the paper didn't seem to fit.  It seemed more like a midlife crisis.  I don't know.  I think I sound I bit mean, but it's mostly because Poppy spent most the book being stressed out rather than achieving something meaningful.  Other than being a big fan of Jake's works, there didn't seem to be anything pulling Poppy to a career at the newspaper, and I don't think writing was her passion.  

All in all, while Her Secret Fling didn't click with me, I'd be willing to give Sarah Mayberry another try in the future because the writing was ok and the sex was steamy.

Title: Lessons in French
Author: Laura Kinsale

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: None
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

"It was quite settled by now. She was born to be a spinster. The gentlemen would have to declare their undying devotion to other ladies. Callie would be too much occupied with developing a delicate constitution and a dependable recipe for tapioca-jelly."

She is, after all, Lady Callista Taillefaire, jilted three times in spite of her fortune and her father's best efforts to find her a husband. Now her greatest desire is to win the silver cup at the agricultural fair with her gigantic prize bull, Hubert. But when Callie's only old flame returns from his long and mysterious absence in France, her quiet spinster life turns upside down.

Dark-eyed, elegant and a magnet for trouble, Trevelyan d'Augustin has given Callie lessons in more than his language in the past. Her father put a harsh and humiliating end to any dreams of romance with a French émigré scoundrel, however, and Callie never thought to see him again. Swallowing his pride, Trev has finally come home to care for his failing mother, but his secrets and misdeeds follow him.

Callie soon remembers that nothing is ever peaceful with Trev around. The enormous Hubert vanishes into thin air, one of her former jilts comes back to woo her in a most determined manner--and her bull takes the town by storm! In the midst of these misadventures, Callie finds herself falling in love again with the worst possible man for her...

(Dear God, for the life of me I could not find a shorter summary, and honesty I was too lazy to write one myself.)

**warning, mild spoilers!**

I had mixed feelings about this book, but overall I really did like and enjoy it.  It was the first Kinsale I've ever read, though I do have a copy of Flowers From the Storm waiting patiently on my shelf.

It worked well as a light comedy, though a times I felt confused about what was going on.  Either too much action was going on too follow or it seemed like characters were saying (or thinking) one thing and doing another.  Often Callie and Trev seemed to be having these internal angst moments where they swore it was too tormenting to be near each other, and then go right along with their witty banter and flirtations.  Either I was seriously misreading or they were being over the top.

I really did like all the characters though, especially Trev and Hubert (the bull).  For a bull, Hubert had a lot of personality, even if he mostly was just stubborn and ate buns.  Admittedly, I have a soft spot for farm animals.  Trev, on the other hand, I didn't want to like, but I couldn't help it (sort of like Callie).  He bungles almost everything up, and makes more messes to cover for those.  Total boyish charm *sigh*.

Here comes the spoiler...
Something that did bother me though was that Trev was supposedly a virgin (if I managed to interpret that part of the story correctly). I don't know what it's supposed to add to the story, especially since it's rather awkwardly tossed in there.  Also, it's not believeable.  Trev wasn't in love with Callie until they met again, so what was he saving himself for?  Especially with so many chances?  It just seemed too contrived for me.

Nevertheless, Lessons in French was a fun, light read for me which I would recommend to anyone else who likes historical romances.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mega Post of Happy Things

I've been out of the blogosphere for almost two weeks now.  Like most of the population I've been under the weather, and then got backlogged with life and had no time to update.  So, to make up for that, I'm doing a Mega Post of Happy Things.  In other words, a big list of things that make me smile with as many links as possible.

Non-Romance Blogs I Follow
1. Lolcats: Who doesn't follow this one?  I'm also going to mention the numerous associated blogs I check out on a regular basis: ROFLrazziPundit KitchenGraphjamKludgesFailblogFailbook, and Hacked IRL.
2. Nathan Kamp: Book Covers: Ok, so this is sort of related to romance, but more under the hot men category.  You can probably recognize him because he's on tons of romance covers.  Did anyone else watch the pilot for Royal Pains just for Nathan's two-second cameo...?
3. Odd News: Mainly from the UK, but the articles are universally funny.
4.Oddly Specific:  I think this one is also associated with Lolcats, but I like it enough to give it its own line.
5. Picture is Unrelated: Another golden Lolcat cousin filled with WTFckery.
6. Sleep Talkin' Man:  From the UK as well, but this guy must have hilarious dreams.
7.  Stop Making That Duckface!:  You know someone who does it, and please, just stop.
8. manvszombies:  I've never really gotten into the whole zombie thing, but I get a kick out of this.  If you've read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies you might like it.
9.  WEDINATOR: Snark-worthy wedding moments.
10.  Cake Wrecks: This goes well with WENDINATOR.
11. XKCD: Geeky jokes for the nerd in all of us.
12. Autocomplete Me: When Google suggest goes awry.
13. Hunk du Jour: Self-explanatory.  Hot Men make me happy.
14. 5-Star Men:  More hot men!  Both this and Hunk du Jour are targeted for gay men, but I see no reason a straight woman can't enjoy it.
15. Indexed: Clever messages on index cards.
16. PostSecret: Sometimes funny.  Sometimes tragic.  I've been following this blog for almost six years and have gone to a few signing events.
17. FMyLife: As most this list proves, life's fails are entertaining.

On My YouTube Account
1. CommunityChannel:  Apparently spunky Asian-Australian girls make big youtube sensations.  Usually posts every 3-7 days with easily to relate to self-deprecating humor.
2. CollegeHumor:  I'm pretty sure MTV owns this.  They post pretty frequently with a variety of ongoing shows and series.  Really funny and some of the stuff is very well done.

Blog Awards
Tracy was really awesome and tagged me (quite awhile ago) for the Sugar Doll Award.  I'm supposed to list 10 things about myself and pass it on.  To be honest, I'm horrible about tagging other people so I'm just going to encourage anyone who wants to do this to post it on their blog.

My ten things:
1.  I'm obsessed with the Iditarod.  For those poor souls who do not know what the Iditarod is, it's the dog sled race up in Alaska.  (Anyone seen Balto?)  I've been known to get pretty big crushes on some of the younger mushers, my two favorites being Rohn Buser and Dallas Seavey.  Rohn isn't in the race this year, but Dallas is and I'm definitely cheering him on.  The race is still going on now, so check it out!
2.  I want to become a flight attendant.  Most people look at me funny for this.  Would I really want to deal with the insane hours and crabby passengers.  Well yea, I do.  I'd be awesome at it (I have amazing customer service skills) and the benefits would be sweet.
3.  I love the movie Repo! The Genetic Opera.  It's hard to describe, except that it's as campy as Rocky Horror and you get to see Paris Hilton's face fall off.
4.  I'm terrified of relationships.  I love reading romances, but there's a big difference between enjoying the story and actually being ready for a relationship.
5.  Cary Grant is my hero.  I have a nice little collection of his comedies, my favorite being The Philadelphia Story.
6.  I'm focusing on school right now, but one day I want to write romance.  Probably contemporary romance.  I already have a few ideas bouncing around my head.
7.  Red and black are my favorite colors.
8.  I have three stars tattooed on my body.
9.  I have two cats, Jesse (James) and Aby (which is short for Abyssinia, the source of the Nile), and a betta fish named Napoleon.
10.  I am not a morning person, whatsoever.  When left to my own devices I become completely nocturnal. This happened to me for a few weeks during my freshman year at college.  It was very inconvenient.

Just Friggin' Awesome
A couple weeks ago over at Smart Bitches there was a contest to promote The Marriage Ring.  The winner got a $1,500 gift certificate to Fragments jewelry.  My friend won!  I was in a state of shock for the first few minutes after she told me.  I'm so happy for her!

Whether you love it, whether you hate it, most of us can't take our eyes off it.

Yea, I'll be there.

Hot Men
Would any make-you-feel-better blog post really be complete without them?