Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Duckies Do Oscar

OOPS! My bad. I got so wrapped up yesterday trying to find scoopable pics from the Oscars that I forgot to post over here!

The Duckies threw a (mini) Party in the Pond over at The Good, the Bad, the Unread yesterday and rumor has it that the Contest Duckie (aka ME) has been hovering around The Duckies Do Oscar posts while avoiding Sybil, who forgot to fire me as Contest Duckie. Now if I can just keep her out of there for the rest of today, it will be too late for her to stop my nefarious plans! BUHAHAHAHAHA

Btw, kisses from actors might be involved.

Just sayin'

Friday, February 22, 2008

Book Nerd? Now there's a Surprise

Got this from Kris:

Me, a book nerd? Say it ain't so!

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.

It's okay. I understand.

Science/Math Nerd
Social Nerd
Drama Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

But what's a Social Nerd? That SOUNDS like someone who is awkward socially, but in this context, it would seem to be someone who is addicted to socializing or social issues... maybe?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

HELLO Hello hello... *crickets*

Holy Mayhem, duckies! Valenduckie Week on The Good, the Bad, the Unread was INSANE!! And if you think the fun was fast and furious ON the blog, you should have seen what was happening "backstage". Yeah, yeah, I suppose it would be less chaotic if we had it all planned out and the posts ready to go ahead of time, but really, what would be the fun in that?! We've still got more posts to do for all the winners of the Guest Cupid contests, but we're getting there slowly but surely.

Downside was that, since I went straight from end of month/ end of fiscal year work crunch straight into Valenduckie week, it meant I had no time to visit anyone else's blogs so I have no clue what's happening around Romancelandia. Worst part is I've had no time to *gasp* READ BOOKS. I can feel the need, almost like a physical craving, certainly an emotional craving, to lose myself for awhile in a stack o' books. But looking at the calender, I realize it's almost time for end of month work again. ::is depressed::

However, I DID make a point of getting to Borders because I had coupons for 30% off, 25% off, 20% off, AND a $15 rewards coupon, PLUS they were running that "Buy 4, get 5th free" Romance book sale. SCORE!! No way was I letting all those expire!

Thanks to Kris, I went looking for Mathilde Madden's The Silver Crown at Borders and WOOT! They had it! Well sorta. They had The Silver Collar, so I looked at their computer and it said they SHOULD have The Silver Crown. So over to the help desk I went and they verified that they should have 4 copies. Turns out they did, but they were BEHIND other books on an entirely different shelf! WTF? The helpful Borders boy said they can only have so many copies of a book out at one time. HELLOOOOO, you had NO copies out and no space to put them! So, words of wisdom-- never leave Borders empty-handed without first making the help desk... you know... HELP! And I've told you before how my Borders shelves hardcovers and trade size on shelves that aren't even in the Romance section, right? If you look at sales figures for the Romance genre, I feel safe in saying that Romance readers are keeping their doors open, so you would think we might be given a little more attention and consideration. And don't get me started on the mess that is their audio book section. I've seen kindergarteners shelve their toys better than that!

So why do I continue to go there? Because, as much as I prefer my Waldens, it is inside the mall and sometimes I just don't have time to park and walk, whereas Borders is in a stand alone building with front door parking. Waldens is also smaller and I end up spending a good deal of time waiting while my OMG-I-luvs them Waldens peeps climb ladders in search of the books on my list. Hands down, Waldens is better for browsing and discovering new books though, because the books aren't all jammed tight in the shelves- they display new books up front and often the newest book for an author is displayed on the shelf cover out. Plus, they know me at Waldens. They suggest books to me, and often ask ME for suggestions or if I know when an author's next book is due out.

Ah well, time to take Monkey-Butt to the orthodontist. Three out of four demon spawn with braces. Two of them have them right now. When the last one is done, that will be more than $17k we've shelled out to this guy. *sigh*

Friday, February 15, 2008

STICKY: Valenduckie Week on TGTBTU


Romance and Mayhem rule over on TGTBTU this week. We've turned the site over to Guest Authors disguised as Cupids and they're hosting contests and awarding prizes!

To join the fun, click here.

Our Valenduckie host is Sabrina Jeffries-- come add to her round robin story.

And don't forget to come back and enter contests sponsored by all the Guest Author Cupids!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

It's Hofftastic!

Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

Now icanhascheezburger brings us the next big internet craze---

Chuck Norris Facts

*okay, it's new to ME, anyway*

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mona Lisa Craving by Sunny

Book CoverMona Lisa Craving by Sunny
Fiction novel published 02 Jan 2008 by Berkley Trade

1. Mona Lisa Awakening (see previous commentary)
2. Mona Lisa Three - Over the Moon anthology (see previous commentary)
3. Mona Lisa Blossoming (see previous commentary)
4. Mona Lisa Betwining - On the Prowl anthology (see previous commentary)
5. Mona Lisa Craving

Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 4.5" out of 9"

PhotobucketGo read my rant review over on The Good, the Bad, and the Unread

This Just In...

TGTBTUWOOT! Phil Gigante news over on The Good, the Bad, and the Unread!

Congrats, Phil!

And, oh yeah... there's news about some other audio book narrators, too.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Amazon is Scaring Me

Amazon bought Audible.com. Read the story at Switched.

This disturbs me. Oh, not in and of itself-- when you purchase downloadable audio books from Amazon you are automatically redirected to Audible, so the acquisition makes sense from that standpoint.

But in light of Amazon's acquisition of Brilliance Audio last May (Dear Author; Publisher's Weekly), it raises all kinds of warning flags for my ability to feed my audio book addiction.

I might be wrong, and I hope I am. After all, I've noticed that AudioBookStand (Brilliance Audio's direct sales outlet along with AudioBookstandDL) frequently offers pre-release discount prices on some of their upcoming releases on CD just like Amazon does. So, that was a post-acquisition improvement. And AudioBookstand still has clearance sales on older/overstocked audio books, so Amazon didn't take that away from them.

The downloadable audio book prices have me a bit concerned, though. AudioBookStandDL's download prices remain at full, outrageous list price. Combine that with the fact that downloading an Audible audio book through Amazon is usually more expensive than downloading through Audible directly at member pricing, and I have to wonder if Amazon is going to ratchet up Audible's prices to list price, too.

Audible's reasonable prices were one of the main factors in creating my audio book addiction in the first place. If you go to Recorded Books and look at their list prices, then compare them to what Audible sells the same book for at member pricing, you'll see that there is a HUGE difference. For example, Stephanie Laurens' The Lady Chosen (unabridged) sells for $61.95 on CD from Recorded Books, buy it in download format from Audible and the price is $41.97 for non-members and $29.38 for members. And that is one of the higher priced Romance books at Audible. Most audio books I've bought from them are under $20 and they send periodic sale emails where I can stock up at even bigger discounts.

Maybe I'm concerned over nothing. Maybe Amazon will let both companies continue to operate autonomously. Or maybe Amazon will fold AudioBookStandDL and instead offer downloadable Brilliance audio through Audible with Audible's discount pricing. On the one hand, that MIGHT benefit consumers, but on the other hand, it might mean, now that Amazon controls the audio book market, they can set prices wherever they damn well please. Maybe even lower prices for their Kindle audio format (yes, there is one now) with higher prices for the rest of us that aren't interested in that damn thing.

♥ ♥ ♥

Speaking of Amazon and their Kindle ebook reader-- they are screwing up my book searches, dammit! I have my Index by Author set up to automatically do an Amazon search by publication date for each author because it's the easiest way to find new and upcoming releases. Well, every time they convert an ebook to Kindle format, it shows up as a new release and I have to weed through all those to find the REAL new and upcoming books. I need a way to say "-Kindle" in the search so it will ignore all of those. And if there IS one, and I haven't figured it out, quit laughing at me and TELL me how to do it!

QB's Quickies

"So, read any good books lately?"
"What did you think of...?"

Here's the Quickie answers to those questions. Click on the Links for more info.

Book CoverMathilde Madden - The Silver Werewolves (Virgin Black Lace)

1. The Silver Collar
2. The Silver Crown (releases 02/05/08)
3. The Silver Cage (releases 04/01/08)

Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 6" out of 9"

I was luckier than I thought when I won a copy of The Silver Collar! Madden gives this blend of paranormal romance and urban fantasy some new twists on the werewolf legends. Throw in some outrageous erotic scenes, a dark atmosphere, and a heroine whose reality changes more than once through the course of the book, and you can see why I'm looking forward to reading where Madden takes us with the next two books in this series.
Piquant Opines: ERWA,

Book CoverKeri Arthur - Riley Jenson, Guardian series

1. Full Moon Rising (see previous commentary)
2. Kissing Sin (see previous commentary)
3. Tempting Evil (see previous commentary)
4. Dangerous Games (see previous commentary)
5. Embraced by Darkness

Series Category: Peanut M&Ms - mmmm...devour... sigh... then reach for the next one. My daily dose of Insanity-B-Gone. Most books fall in this category. (A-,B+,B)
Flame Height: 6” out of 9”

Book Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 5" out of 9"

Without the conflicted passion between Riley and Quinn, Embraced by Darkness is not quite as engaging as the previous books. Because Riley is ambivalent about her feelings for Kellen, so are we. She wants what Kellen represents to her-- her dream of a soul mate and white picket fence- but there's something missing in her feelings for him. I don't know if her emotions colored the rest of the story for me, but I just didn't find this book as edge-of-my-seat interesting as the others, even though Riley and Rhoan's former pack is on-stage in this one.
Piquant Opines: RT, VRB, AAR,

Book CoverSusan Sizemore - Prime series

1.0 I Burn for You - Alec and Domini
2.0 I Thirst for You - Marcus and Josephine
2.5 A Touch of Harry - The Shadows of Christmas Past - Harry and Marj
3.0 I Hunger for You - Colin and Mia
4.0 Master of Darkness - Laurent and Mia
5.0 Primal Heat - Mathias and Phillipa
6.0 Primal Desires - Jason and Sofia
6.5 Tempting Fate - Moon Fever anthology - Jon Coyote and Desiree (see previous commentary)

Series Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 5” out of 9”

Book Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 4.5" out of 9"

Sizemore's Prime vampire/werewolf series is an auto-buy for me, but I'd say they are second tier TBR. But they are always enjoyable and a pleasant escape. Sizemore has interesting world building and each book is different-- she has not lapsed into formulaic story output at all.

In Primal Desires, we meet Jason Cage, a magician in Vegas-- and a Prime vampire. Sofia is a member of a family of Wolf Tamers, but the ability to control werewolves is such a closely guarded secret that even SHE doesn't know about it. Interesting read.
Piquant Opines: RT, LV,

Book CoverCarole Nelson Douglas - Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator

1. Dancing with Werewolves

Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 3" out of 9"

This is a tough one to comment on. Here's the problem-- immediately after reading this book, I picked up Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (see previous post) and every single detail about Dancing with Werewolves was pushed right out of my brain by Frost's can't-put-it-down book.

So, what DO I remember? Uh... let's see, I remember that it was interesting and different, but that it needed a little "oomph". When I look at the cover (UGH! Sorry, sorry cover model pic on this one) I remember that it was set in Vegas and old-time movie stars were sort of re-animated, but not really (I recall that I never quite understood that). And let's see... she hooked up with a hot detective (but I don't remember if there were any hot scenes, so that's why I gave it such a low flame height). Howard Hughes is still in Vegas, but he's an ancient vampire. Oh, and I think there were werewolves and the main character adopted a stray dog with weird powers.

I'll probably buy the next book... if I remember to look for it. My bad.
Piquant Opines: RT, DR,

Book CoverMandy Roth - The Darkness Series (New Concepts Publishing)

1. Gwyneth Stevens: Daughter of Darkness
2. The Enchantress
3. Bella Mia (coming to NCP)

Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 5" out of 9"

This is another book that floated right out of my head because the next book I read was just so damn good. In this case I ordered two older books from Amazon- this one and Forever Crossed by A. Leigh Jones (see previous commentary). Well, the Jones book was just so freakin' good that Roth's book, although enjoyable while reading it, just didn't stand a chance.

So, let's again play "What DO I remember", shall we? Gwyneth is a detective(?) investigating some deaths. She goes to a theme park and meets the owner, a sexy vampire, and also meets his... uh... friend(?), who turns out to be fae. The fae friend realizes that Gwyneth is part fae too and opens some magical gate/curtain/whatever to show her that the fae live right there in the theme park. Oh, and Gwyneth and the fae and the vampire have some kind of history in a previous life-- they recognize her immediately, but she doesn't have a clue. I THINK there were some hot scenes, or maybe I'm just assuming there was a menage scene.

Uh... that's it. Can't remember more except that it was entertaining while reading it.
Piquant Opines: RT, FAR,