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Shaving Is A Sexual Act? Since When?

Thursday, May 26, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

I’ve discussed heroines swallowing buckets of love juice AND enjoying it, in my To Swallow Or Not To Swallow blog entry, but I read a book last night that made me question a certain fetish that kinda creeps me out.

Shaving. What’s so sexy about shaving? Not just the shaving of the heroine’s bush either, but her hair too. Apparently there’s something about having a buzz cut that’s sensual. What? I don’t get it, I just don’t get it.

There is a certain author out there, who always has in-depth shaving scenes in her book. These scenes have been known to last for up to 4 pages, and usually culminates in the hero going down on the heroine’s freshly shaved love-box.

Have I missed a popular growing trend here?

I think I’ll ask The Tall Guy, if the thought of shaving me turns him on, although in all honesty, I can’t see it, as far as I’m aware, his preferences when it comes to pubic hair, is that he doesn’t find any unwelcome visitors whilst he’s down there. (grin)

Paris Is A Bust!! Sheesh!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

*Sob* we can’t get a flight or a train to Paris that wont end up costing us over £600 ($1050) for just the journey there and back!! (The last time we were there we paid £99 ($173) each, so I refuse to fork over that much money just because it’s a bank holiday!

I’ve told hubby that we cant justify spending that much money for a two night break, so we’ll either end up in Amsterdam, or we’ll book a proper holiday to either, Egypt, Mexico, Brazil Cuba or Dominican Republic, and go for a week next month.

I would love to go to Egypt, but I don’t think hubby is too keen. He has visions of us getting kidnapped by fundamentalists. (trainspotter, yech!)

Can you believe we can get a package holiday to Egypt for just £225 ($394) per person? How fab is that!!

Hubby is still considering Cuba, I’ll let you know where we decide to go once it’s been booked!!

I know for sure that I dont want to go to Amsterdam, I’d rather stay home. After you’ve been to the red-light district, and marvelled at old women flashing their pussies at you in their respective windows, what’s left?

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! I watched the most amazing football match last night!
Liverpool Football Club produced an incredible comeback to win the Champions League on penalties in one of the most remarkable finals of all time.

Trailing 3-0 after a first half dominated by AC Milan, Liverpool club scored three times in six minutes early in the second half to take the match into extra time and eventually a penalty shootout which they won 3-2.

I’m a staunch Manchester United supporter, but I have to take my hats off to the boys in red across the motorway, they were absolutely magnificent in Istanbul, and dare I say that last night’s match, was even more gripping than our injury time come back against Bayern Munich in 1999.

They say that it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, but as far as I was concerned, the bitch had started warming up her tonsils before the end of the first half, when AC Milan lead the Reds by 3-0.

The Scousers showed guts and immense determination to overturn this deficit. Unfortunately for the Italian side, they’d started polishing the Champions League cup, before it was won, and hence paid dearly.

I’m happy as larry, the Cup has returned to the North of England once again!! As bitter Italian, Gabriel Marcotti said last night, God was a Scouser for 120 minutes!!

God Bless Steven Gerrard and Jerzy Dudek!!!

I’m Off To Gay Paris!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

So The Tall Guy comes home today, and casually asks me if I’d like to go to Paris for the weekend, seeing as it’s a Bank Holiday, and he’s not at work until Tuesday.

I, of course very casually say, “Why not, we’re not doing anything else”.

So there ya have it, we’re going to Paris for the weekend, now all we have to do, is to book the flights, and organise which hotel we’ll be staying at… Or we could go via Eurostar, but to be honest, I hate the thought of being underground for any length of time, so we’re gonna plane it I think. Sheesh, decisions, decisions..(grin)

I recently read an article written by Karin Gillespie, on Romancing the Blog, that grated on my nerves a bit, and thus, made me ask the question, do N.Y.C publishees consider themselves above authors who are published by E-publishers or small/vanity press?

I’m not really sure what the answer is, but I can tell you something, there is a definite air of superiority amongst some traditionally published authors vs authors from lesser known publishing houses. Karin’s comments probably shouldn’t have really surprised me.

She starts off by writing:

“There’s another author that lives in my same city. We’ve both been on the same noontime talk shows: we’ve both been featured in articles in the newspaper. At the bookstore both of our hardcover novels are displayed together at same local-author table. Most people assume we are colleagues, but there are some very important differences between us.
My novel was published by a large New York City publisher; his novel was published by a vanity press masquerading as a legitimate publishing house. As a result his novel is rife with errors, lacks a plot and is clearly the efforts of a novice. I doubt it would have been accepted by a traditional house.”

Do you get the feeling she doesn’t want to be associated with this author? (grin) When she states that she’s been published by a large N.Y.C company, is it me, or does she come off sounding a little superior?

She then goes on to add:

“I spent fifteen years learning to write until I felt ready to submit my work to an agent. I went to writers conferences, read tons of craft books and joined a novel critique group. He’d never written anything before his first novel and pounded out it out over a period of six months.
So why does this bother me? His novel will probably go nowhere beyond the small city where we live, and he won’t make a dime off of it. But still the situation grates my nerves.

When I was recently introduced to him at a party, the host said to me, “Bill is an author, just like you!”
“No, he isn’t!” I wanted to retort.”

Wow, you go Karin!! I get the fact that she honed her craft to the nth degree before she submitted her work for publication, and maybe it pisses her off to see somebody who obviously isn’t as talented as her getting a free ride, but come on, she’s made it, that’s good right? Why worry about a lesser mortal than herself? She’s already admitted that he probably wont make a dime, so what’s she so worried about? Him tainting her work? Hello?

She assumes that because of his publishing status, he’ll probably amount to nothing, which really annoyed the hell out of me. I can’t imagine that there aren’t really talented writers out there who for one reason or another have been refused by some of the big publishing houses, what are they to do then? Curl up and die, until Mira comes a-calling?

“Writing a book doesn’t make someone an author anymore than applying a Band-Aid to a skinned knee makes someone a doctor. Reviewers of large newspapers, publishing people and most media outlets can spot these so-called “authors” fairly readily, but how can the average Joe tell the difference between a real writer and a dilettante?”

If someone truly believes that they are talented, and they manage the great feat of finishing a book, why can they not be considered an author? The book that they’ve written may not be very good, in fact it might be flush-down-the-toilet bad, but that would just be an opinion, wouldn’t it, because as we all know, one man’s meat, is another man’s poison. Who’s to say that people won’t enjoy his book, as badly written as it may be?

The comment about reviewers spotting the chaff from the wheat, also hit my hot button, have I told you recently that I think reviews are just other people’s opinions, and that they NEVER influence my buying choices?

As an Average Joe, does it matter to me that an author is published by a main house, or by a vanity press company? Not really, do you know why? Because if the book sucks, I just don’t buy that authors stuff again. It certainly doesn’t make me turn me against a whole genre, or judge other authors on somebody else’s crap writing. I think I know better than that.

“I know I sound petty, but as a writer who went through a great deal of trouble to learn my craft, I’m annoyed that my efforts and other authors’ efforts are diluted by not-ready-for-publication authors.”

You know what Karin, I think you do sound petty, in the great scheme of things, how is this small guy gonna affect your sales and readership? People aren’t as stupid as you may think, they buy what they like, and if it’s a big disappointment, they shrug their shoulders, and never go there again.

“After all, the public is deluged with plenty of traditionally published books; it shouldn’t have to sort through the efforts of amateurs as well.”

Karin, I hate to say this, (ok, no I don’t) but there are plenty of crap traditionally published books out there, it may be that the ‘amateur’ one is just the thing that we’re looking for to get us out of a reading rut. Who’s to say otherwise?

“If I sound like a gatekeeper to an exclusive country club, I apologize. In fact, I’m glad to help aspiring writers and always take the time to answer their questions and give advice. I’m also thrilled when authors I’ve counseled finally see success in the publishing world.”

Yep Karin, you do sound like the gatekeeper to an exclusive country club. Not everybody has your patience, some people want success yesterday, and are maybe willing to pay to get it. This doesn’t make them bad people or in fact bad writers, but if they can’t get their work out there by traditional means, who’s gonna know how brilliant they actually are?

I think that everybody deserves a shot at their dream, and I think it’s pretty harsh to look down your nose at somebody just because they’ve chosen to take a different route to you. If they suck muchos big time, then they wont sell anyway, and the world can be free of such dastardly heathens.

So my question is, do you think that there is an almost sub-conscious snobbery amongst N.Y.C published authors, about small/vanity press or e-published writers? I know that some authors are probably too polite/politically correct to tell me what they really think, but readers, what do you think?

Well I’ve had another fairly busy weekend, I wont bore you to death reiterating the ins and out of everything that I did this weekend, so here are just a few of the more noteworthy activities.

Friday Eve: It was another of my friend’s birthday, so we all went out as a big girly group (there were two men there, who were honorary girls, but that’s just cuz they were gay) into Leeds city centre.
I got quite drunk (four Budweisers and a Malibu and coke and that was me done) and I was also propositioned by a lesbian (when we were dancing, I assumed that she was just a really friendly girl) whom I didn’t know was a lesbian, until it became obvious that she was looking at me as a potential shag for the night. Nice.

Saturday: Woke up with a hangover which hubby insisted on making worse (he was jealous cuz I’d gone out and he hadn’t) He persisted in trying to make my head hurt more by playing Lynard Skynard’s Sweet Home Alabama very loudly (train-spotter) until I screeched at him, whereby he promptly took off to our local leisure club, to escape my wrath.

Saturday Afternoon: We all went to the pub to watch the FA Cup final on the big screen, we were all Manu Supporters apart from one Rear Gunner, who obviously felt a bit intimidated (so he should have).

We then spent the next 120 minutes on the edge of our seat whilst Man United played the Gunners off the park, but in the end lost the cup to a Paul Scholes penalty miss. Cue lots of blubbing and screaming, and a sly self-satisfied smirk from the only one of us who wasn’t a Reds supporter. I took the high road, and ignored him for the rest of the afternoon, and tried to drown my sorrows with alcohol-free beer.

Saturday Eve: The Eurovision Song Contest was on TV. This Has got to be the worst singing contest in the history of singing contests, but in this country, it’s always worth watching, just to hear Terry Wogan’s sarcastic and bitchy comments about the contestants from the rest of Europe. United Kingdom, France, Germany, and another major European country came last. Greece won the entire contest as per the bookies predictions.

The way the contest works (for my American Amigo’s) is that each European country selects a singer or a band to represent them in the finals. On the night, each nation then cast votes on who they like best.

To cut a long story short, what generally happens, is that instead of voting for who was the best, all the voting countries award points to their neighbours (e.g. Greece awards maximum points to Cyprus, and vice versa, all the Baltic countries stick together, Andorra awards maximum points to Spain, and they in return do the same) Nobody ever votes for United Kingdom these days due to the fact, we’re such a force in world politics, and also because of our involvement in the Iraq War. It’s all very political, and completely farcical, and I’m not sure why it continues, but from a British point of view, I do think most people tune in just to hear Terry’s witty repartee.

Sunday Morning: Went to visit a friend of mine who is almost like a surrogate Grandmother. This lady is called Flora, she is 92, but she totally looks fantastic for her age.

When I got to her apartment, I noticed she didn’t look as cheery as she normally does, and so I asked her what the problem was. She seemed reluctant to tell me, so I jokingly asked if she was having men trouble (her husband had died 20 years earlier) she looked at me, and nodded her head.

Hopefully I didn’t look as amazed as I felt (who knew that people over 80 still had boyfriend issues?) and encouraged her to tell me the tale.

Basically she’d been dating this gentleman who was twenty years younger than her (still trying to pick my jaw off the ground at this point). This guy and her had been dating for ten years (she was good friends with his mother, that information alone had me reeling).

This guy, who was called Edward, was the minister of her church group where she attended regularly (Church of England no less, I tell ya those religious types, yech!) and had been calling on her for ages (apparently he did all the chasing when they first met).

Last week a couple of new ladies joined the church group, (Flora seemed to think they were there just to find men, the Jezebels), and these “mutton, dressed as lamb” (her words not mine) made a beeline straight for Edward (Floozies), and apparently last week, Aida, who’s a friend of Flora’s saw Edward with a lady (who wasn’t Flora) at a concert.

Well as you can imagine, Flora was devastated, and has been miserable all week.

Edward The Cad, usually calls on her on Sunday afternoons for tea and crumpets, but this week, he hadn’t called round, and there was no phone call or anything to explain his absence, which lead Flora to believe that he’s thrown her over for one (or both) of the new ho’s who’d made a beeline straight for him last week.

Flora told me that Aida (her best friend) had heard one of the ladies asking about Edward, apparently at that point, one of the members of the congregation had piped up and told this ho, that Edward was Flora’s and the slut had replied “well he wont be hers forever will he?” Gasp, what a brazen hussy!!

So Flora didn’t go to church as usual this morning because she felt that she couldn’t face him, and also she wanted to avoid pitying looks from all the other congregation members.

When Flora told me her tale, my initial advice to her was “Dump the bastard”, but then I had to back-track, and recall that Flora was actually 92 years old, and that things were different when she was a young woman, so I had a rethink, and came up with a much more sensible piece of advice.

I told her to stick her foot out, (the next time she was in church), and trip up the bitch (es) he’d been cavorting with. What? I thought that was sound advice.

Hopefully this is all a misunderstanding, but Flora’s tale of woe, brought it home to me that man trouble doesn’t only affect young/middle aged women, the bastards cause misery even when they’re in their dotage. Great, just what you needed to hear. Sheesh!

That completes my tales for the weekend. I’m off to see my mother in a while, to see if she’s cooked anything worth stealing. If so I’ll bring said food item back home and pretend to hubby that I’ve made it myself.

Tagged: A Book Meme

Thursday, May 19, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

I was tagged by Meljean Brook

Last Book I Bought:
Princess By Jean P Sasson, A true story about the life of a Saudi Arabian Princess

Total Number of Books I own?
Erm…. 2.5 rooms worth?

Last Romance Books I read
Arm Candy, By Jo Leigh

The Last New To Me Read
The Sweet Gum Tree, by Katherine Allred, fabulous book

Last Non-Romance I read
Keane, the Autobiography – Roy Keane, (Manchester United’s Captain) Only Soccer fans will know who he is

5 Books that mean a lot to me

Anne of Green Gables, L.M Montgomery
This is a love affair that’s been going on since I was ten years old. I recall disobeying my parents when I was 11, and running all the way into the nearest town centre (12 miles there and back) to fetch Anne of Avonlea from the library.
I have every single ‘Anne’ book that was ever written by L.M Montgomery.

Just William, Richmal Crompton
I remember always laughing hysterically at Williams antics, plus I won an art contest in which I drew a fabulous picture of William!

The Way To Yesterday, Sharon Sala
A Fabulous book that when the world is grey, and books are crap, I turn to, to help rejuvenate my love of romance.

Rats, by James Herbert
The very first book that I read that had the term “her moist warmth” in it! I didn’t sleep for weeks after I read this book.

The Secret of Little Tanglewood
I read this book when I was 8, and I haven’t been able to find it since, I can’t remember who wrote it either! All my google search just comes up with Tanglewood Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but this was not the same book I’d read at 8!

Tag 5 people to do this: Sheesh I don’t know… erm… Oh well, here’s my list::

Sarah McCarty


Sam Winston


Monica Jackson

My Fave Read of The Week!

Thursday, May 19, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

I haven’t read so much this week, but I did enjoy Isabel Sharpe’s book, sheesh, I forget the name of it, I think it was a Blaze title. I have read quite a few autobiographies this week, I read Victoria Beckham’s ‘Learning To Fly’, which was very interesting, mind you, the pictures of a gorgeous looking David Beckham helped hugely. I also read Roy Keane’s autobiography (He’s the captain of Manchester United Football Club), which was a revelation.
Apart from the obvious ‘Sweet Gum Tree’, which was worthy of it’s very own blog, I can’t say I’ve read anything else noteworthy, so I’ll give you a list of the books that I’m looking forward to buying as soon as they come out.

Sarah McCarty’s

‘The Others’ from her newly birthed ‘Conception’ series, hurry up and finish it already!
Lori Foster’s ‘Jamie’ , it feels like I’ve been waiting for this book forever Lori!
Jaci Burton’s ‘Spring Rain’ this is the final book in the Storm for All Seasons series.
The next Patricia Cornwell ‘Scarpetta’ novel, ‘Trace’ didn’t live up to the other books, so I’m looking forward to the next one!
Chey McCray’s

next ‘Wonderland’ book featuring Lord Kir.

I haven’t read any books that I wanted to flush down the toilet this week, so, we’ll keep my Worst Book of the Week award, till next time. I can almost hear the sighs of relief from here (grin).

I can’t be bothered going into chapter and verse about the latest idiot to hit the blogwaves (yep, my blog, I can now be as rabid as I please) I believe JaynieR perfectly echoed my sentiments in her blog, but the one thing I learned in the past 24 hours, is that there’s some really stupid people out there.

I’m not an author, so the worst thing that can happen to me if I piss somebody off, is that they stop talking to me (and let’s face it, sometimes that’s more of a blessing than a curse) but as an author, NO, NO, NO. NO!!! You can’t say just say what you want, or should I say you can, but what happens, is that you lose readers. There are huge double standards at work here, but let’s face it, this is the way things work, you have books to sell, I don’t.

If Ms Buy Yourself a Clue, had critiqued certain elements of the erotic romance genre, I don’t think many people would have had a problem, because many of the things she had to say, do apply to some erotic romance books, but she didn’t really do that did she? She put every single erotic author out there in the same boat, which was mistake number one. Mistake number two, was calling erotic romance readers Fetish-Ridden Verbal Crack Whores, yep, nice going Bitch! Can I interest you in a copy of Dale Carnegie’s, ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People’?

And Melissa Alvarez at NAD, yeah actually, I do think that the Preditors and Editors Poll was an absolute farce. You won 8 of the categories including Best Art Cover,(cue burst of laughter) Best Editor, and Best Publisher in your first year, even though nobody could actually figure out who you were, and had twelve top ten places? Whatever! I thought it was fishy at the time, before I actually cared, now I know it’s definitely fishy, yeah I’m calling you on it, wanna know the name of my lawyer?

If anybody disagrees with me, that’s completely ok, it’s a free world, but do me a favour, don’t post anonymously, because that kind of negates anything useful you have to say. Have the courage of your convictions, and don’t hide behind a false name either.

Pie and Chips For Ms Zellwegger?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

I like Renee Zellwegger , she always strikes me as being a genuinely likeable person, BUT what I do not like is how damn skinny she is.

Having watched both Bridget films, I’m absolutely astounded by the comparison. In Bridget, she looks like she’s been well fed, but it certainly doesn’t detract from her sexiness. Post-Bridget, she seems to turn into a skeletal ghost.

For some reason she seems to think that the see-through and bony look is the new black, no honey, Halle Berry’s beautiful curves are this season’s must-have item.

Whenever I see Ms Zellwegger, I want to introduce her poor skin to a sun bed, and sit her on my table and feed her fish, chips and curry sauce, until her arse pads out a bit, and her boobs, go past the eggs-on-an-ironing-board stage.

Renee, the emaciated look went out with Dave Chapelle’s mental health, so I suggest you get yourself a family sized KFC bucket, and proceed to eat it all by yourself, I promise you, Kenny will love the results.

Kylie Minogue, Get Well Soon!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

Kylie Minogue has breast cancer, shit, I hope she’s ok, I’m thinking of you Kylie, rock on bird!

Warning: The following post has a high Ewwww Factor!.

As women, how many of us actually swallow cum? I mean really? (Rocio put your hands down!)

As I was re-reading Camille Anthony’s ‘Fortrayn’s Forbidden Fling, (read it last week, didn’t enjoy it, but I was in a funky mood, so I decided it was short enough to warrant another try with a more open mind) I got to the part where the heroine gets down on her knees to sample the hero’s love schtick, when this rather typical paragraph jumped out at me:

“Rosa licked her lips to gather up the last bit of Fort’s come. Por Dios, he tasted divine — thick, salty, and slightly sweet, the perfect protein cocktail.”

Now let’s examine the above in detail. When was the last time any of you actually swallowed your man’s cum, and loved it (Having a high gag factor, enjoyment doesn’t even come into it for me), let alone comparing it to a cocktail?

Every single romance/erotic romance book that I’ve ever read, where the heroine gives the hero a blow job, she never spits the damn thing out, is this realistic?
Is there no way of positively writing that the heroine had an aversion to cum, so she generally spat, rather than swallowed? Would this wreck the fantasy for you?

It’s not enough that authors always make their heroines swallow, but do they really have to make them enjoy it too? There’s too much of a high ‘ick’ factor for me to suspend disbelief and be persuaded that all these heroines actually like that bleachy, funky disinfectant-type smell/taste (or maybe this is just me) that I personally associate with men’s sperm. It would be a nice change to read a book where the heroine spits the man’s love juice out rather than heartily swallowing it down to the last drop.

I’ve also noticed that some authors make the hero’s ejaculation, comparable to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, where he seems to come for about an hour, and the heroine ‘tirelessly’ drinks his seed. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time my hubby threw out more than a thimbleful (sorry Paul) of that foul smelling stuff!

So, do you think that it’s necessary for the heroine to swallow her hero’s love juice, or could you live with the fact that she spat?

"I’m Desirous of A Hard Ride"

Sunday, May 15, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

“I’m desirous of a hard ride”. I read that in a historical romance a while ago, and some how today, that sentence has been going round and round in my head. I’m not sure why though. I told hubby about it, he just looked at me hopefully, but I soon disabused him of that notion.

Hubby and I went swimming this morning (I think the chlorine must have gone to my head cuz I feel like shit) and as I was getting undressed in the ladies, there it was again, “I’m desirous of a hard ride”, Uggghhhhhh!! Get out of my head already, the ladies changing room is sooooo not the place to let thoughts like that run round my brain.

When I joined hubby in the hydrotherapy pool, it started again, round and round in my mind it went.

So in an effort to get it out of my system, I’m just gonna post it a few times if you don’t mind!!

“I’m desirous of a hard ride”
“I’m desirous of a hard ride”
“I’m desirous of a hard ride”
“I’m desirous of a hard ride”
“I’m desirous of a hard ride”

Phew, hopefully that should help, I’ve got a presentation to some potential clients tomorrow, so the last thing I want is to have that running round my head, whilst I’m talking about what my company can do for them.

Thanks for letting me share, much appreciated!

Monica Jackson’s most recent blog, where she bitches about the latest cover for one of her books got me thinking.

How does it happen, that an author can write a romance featuring a black hero/heroine, but once the cover is unveiled, it depicts a completely different looking person. More often than is comfortable, the colour changes to a whiter shade of pale.

I was once told that this is because romance books with covers of African American/or any other black contingent, do not sell as well as book covers with pictures of Caucasian heroes/heroines.

Huh? *Cue mouth falling open in amazement*. Wow…. Who knew?

Then I thought about it some more, and I decided that this person was right, book covers with heroes/heroines of colour probably don’t sell as well, but why?

Well after having mulled this over for oh…several seconds, I decided that publishers were to blame for this sad state of affairs.

The fact that some of them still feel that the best way to market a romance book is to have white heroes and heroines on the front cover, regardless of whether or not the actual characters in the book are white, tells me all I need to know about how far we’ve come in the whole equal opportunities debate.

Surely if we saw more romance cover books showing actual black heroes/heroines, the status quo regarding sales would change.

People hate the unknown, and subconsciously, publishers out there who practice this kind of marketing, help perpetuate the notion that black people falling in love is a rare and uncomfortable occurrence, and thus one that must be avoided at all costs.

The first time I saw the word ‘cock’ in a book, I nearly fainted in dismay (you can imagine my initial reaction to discovering that people actually indulged in anal sex) , in fact I actually gasped out aloud, I was so shocked. The obvious reason for my surprise, was because prior to this occasion, I’d never seen the word used anywhere else. His ‘hardness’, his ‘manhood’, and other equally politically correct descriptions, but never “cock”, I mean shit, that was like a dirty word!

Now of course things have changed, I gasp out loud if I don’t see the word cock in my romance books. Now I revel in its liberal use. The more cocks, the merrier as far as I’m concerned.

I think the same can be said for romance books featuring people of colour on the front cover. If those out there, who happen to be less enlightened than us, don’t see such covers often, how are they ever going to be given the opportunity to get used to it, and eventually stop gasping at pictures of black people on romance covers?

Well I’ll be, I just read the most amazing book that I’ve had the pleasure to read in a while. The book was called The Sweet Gum Tree, and it can be found at the newly birthed Cerridwen Press, the main stream division of Elloras Cave.

I usually hate waxing lyrical about books, in fact, I don’t think I’ve done so since I read Sarah Mccarty’s Promises Prevail, but when a story is this good, what the hell, I’m just gonna gush away!

This is the blurb from Cerridwen:

Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.

Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick’s abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick’s abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she’s starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her until the day she looks up-business is booming, and she’s content if not happy and sees Nick standing across the counter.

He’s back…and he’s not alone.Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she’s built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson’s death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well as heal.

Katherine Allred did something with this book, that no other ‘new’ author (as in new to me) has been able to do in quite a while. She made me care about all the different characters within this story.
First of all she made me absolutely love Alix, our heroine, who we first meet as a feisty eight year old, who’s determined to save Nick from all things evil, whether he wants to be saved or not. We then follow her through the trials and tribulations that she goes through during the process of falling in love, and there after. There were times during the book I just wanted to shake her, and will her to listen to her heart, but this wasn’t a negative for me at all. My desire to kick her up the ass stemmed from a place where sisterly concern dwells.

Allred then made me fall in love with Nick, a boy who has been physically and emotionally abused by his father for as long as he can remember. We first meet him as a scared but proud little boy of ten, but of course we also get to know him as a fine upstanding man later on.

There were other characters, who far from being mere afterthoughts, like sometimes secondary characters tend to be, were critical to the overall feel of this story.
There was ‘The Judge’, who is Alix’s beloved grandfather. There is Alix’s mother, who appears to be one thing when you meet her, then you discover later that she too has skeletons in her very deep wardrobe.
There’s also Alix’s aunts, who also play significant roles in the story, and last, but not least, there’s Lindsey, who we meet right at the beginning of the book, and throughout the book, plays a crucial role in Nick and Alix’s relationship.

This book was hugely character driven, which is probably why I loved it so much. I haven’t cried over a book in a long time, and it was almost cathartic to do so now. It was huge relief to me that I was able to at long last be able to emotionally engage with a book, rather than just going through the motions.

This story was presented in the first person, but in no way did this detract from the overall quality of the book, and as a staunch hater of literature written in the first person, dare I say, that it was almost essential for it to be told from Alix’s point of view.

If you want sex and titillation, then this book is clearly not for you, however, if you want to be taken on an emotional journey, with all kinds of surprising twists and turns, then I suggest you RUN, don’t walk, RUN, to get your copy of The Sweet Gum Tree from Cerridwen Press.

PS, if any of you read this book, and don’t like it, then don’t bother leaving a comment, cuz I might start wondering what you’re smoking!

More Scandal From American Idol

Thursday, May 12, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

Wow, check out the inside scoop on American Idol shenanigans as relayed by Mrs Giggles , it makes for very interesting reading, who knew huh?

I’ve just seen something on one of the lists where I mostly lurk, that has absolutely amazed me. A while ago, I posted an entry about an over-enthusiastic group member who started promoting one author on a lot of other author’s lists, she got verbally smacked for doing it last time. Well she’s at it again, I had to rub my eyes to make sure that I was seeing what I thought I was seeing, but yep, definitely promo on somebody else’s list, sheesh, I can only assume that she’s had permission to do it, cuz nobody would be that stupid twice right?

My Favourite Read of The Week

Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

I’ve had another weak reading week. I read Camille Anthony’s ‘Wild in The City’ and ‘Fortrayn’s Forbidden Fling’, both of which I could have lived without. I also read Rafe and Sheila by Shiloh Walker, which was very average, so much so in fact, that I struggled to finish it if I’m honest.
I’m in a reading funk, and in this mood, it’s hard for me to tolerate anything less than brilliant.

I got so fed up this week, that I turned to a couple of my favourite Sharon Sala books, The Way To Yesterday, and Sweet Baby. My interest in romance was then rejuvenated for about twenty seconds until I started reading Adrian J Matthews’, ‘The Ninth Wave’. Sheesh, that book was hard work, and I have absolutely no inclination to finish it.

With not many books to choose from, my read of the week goes to…. Drum roll please….. Snowflakes on The Sea, written by Linda Lael Miller in 1984. Here’s the blurb:

Girl Actress is Married to Boy Singer.
Girl Actress and Boy Singer’s marriage is threatened by a scheming she-devil who wants Boy Singer for herself.
Girl Actress and Boy Singer’s marriage is also threatened by a scheming he-devil who wants Girl Actress for himself.
Girl Actress wants to settle down and have children, but doesn’t think that that’s what Boy Singer wants.
Boy Singer wants what they once had, but doesn’t know how to make things better.
The Scheming Duo set up Boy Singer, which results in some cross-country action.
Boy Singer and Girl Actress obviously love each other, but lack of communication is their worst enemy.
Girl Actress and Boy Singer eventually work it out, and live happily ever after!

I liked this book, because it was simple, no werewolves, no vampires, no ménages, no BDSM, no anal, no blowjobs, no aliens, with both sets of sexual organs, no nothing!! It was a very simple love story about one man, and one woman which I was able to read in one sitting, thank God!!!!!

Hollywood Gossip

Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

Tom Cruise with Katie Holmes (Joey in Dawson’s Creek) when did that happen, and more to the point whyyyyy!!!!!!!

Sick, Sick, Sick!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

Wow, I just found out that somebody tried to contact Laurell K Hamilton whilst she was at RT, to tell her that her sick grandma, had just had a second stroke, and was about to die. What the fuck?

Apparently it may be a disgruntled fan? Excuse me? Fan? I don’t think so, this was done by a bunny-boiling, card carrying fruitcake. How cruel can a person be?