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Dilemma Friday: For Richer Or Poorer?

Friday, February 27, 2009
Posted in: Dilemma of the week


This week’s dilemma is as follows:

There are two guys who are interested in you. Guy 1 (Let’s call him Peter is really hot. You and he have a lot in common, and he makes you laugh. He’s a really sweet guy, who describes himself as a lover, not a fighter. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have tuppence to rub together, and you know that if you go on a date with him, he’ll treat you like a queen, but you’ll probably be the one footing the bill. But he is supercute though, and you and him have great chemistry.

Guy 2 (Let’s call him Nathan) is also really hot, but he is slightly reserved, and he has a dry sense of humour that can be quite cutting at times. He’s generally a nice guy, but look out anybody who gets in his way. Nathan is a self-made millionaire, and wouldn’t think anything of flying the lady of his life to paris for the night. The chemistry between the both of you is superhot too, although it does take a lot to get him to forget about work. Sometimes you feel that business comes first with him, which frustrates you somewhat.

So, who do you choose? Poor Peter, or Rich Nathan?

confused-baby-2I’m not sure if this is a rant or just a musing.

Why is it that people driving cars and trucks—and the bigger the vehicle, the more prone the driver seems to be to this—feel the need to crowd the bike lane on the right hand side of the road?

It’s not that they are driving already on the right side of their lane, no—they swerve right as they come close to the lone bike rider dragging a loaded bike trailer in a four miles plus stretch of road.


And they swerve close enough so that I feel the push of the wind on my left side and have to compensate with the handlebars.


I mean, does it offend them that I’m riding the bike on their road—in a lane that is no more than 30 inches wide, by the way—instead of on the broken and bumpy sidewalk? Which, just an FYI? is not continuous the whole way; I would have to stop, get the bike and trailer down to the road, walk or ride for a few yards, stop, get the bike and trailer up to the sidewalk, ride a while… lather, rinse, repeat.

But really, why?

Or perhaps they don’t see me (despite it being the freaking middle of the freaking day—after twelve and before four in the afternoon, people, bright daylight)? And so, they suddenly realize that yes, that thing? It’s a person and “whoa, swerve left, don’t hit her! That was close!”?

Yeah, moron, it was close, thank you for noticing.

Anyway… if you drive a vehicle and see a bike rider around, try not to do that, okay? It’s not just annoying, it’s dangerous.

Oh, and while you are at it, perhaps you could answer the question: why?

Thank you.

Circuses Using Live Animals Still Exist?…

Thursday, February 26, 2009
Posted in: ban circuses

I thought that circuses that used live animals for entertainment, had been banned years ago.

Apparently not.

2007 Promo

The Great British Circus are coming to town, and they have live elephants, camels, and tigers that perform tricks for people.

These animals are caged for days, and then transported from pillar to post, under cramped conditions. (more…)

AztecLady spea… okay, it’s a rant.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

wtf-pandaSo first the Walmart near my house stops carrying DVDs. Fine, it’s not like I was buying them there anyway.

But now they have done away with the measly book shelf they had near the entrance. They still have three shelves full of greeting cards and an aisle of party crap, but not. one. book.

What the fuck?

So, because I’m looking for a book–a specific title, mind–I ride a bit further, to the it’s dying, not it’s not, yes it’s dying, no actually it just bought SEARS Kmart in the area… And they don’t have the book either.

Mind, it was not a total waste of time or energy–I did get Larissa Ione’s Desire Unchained–but I’m still looking for Beth Williamson’s The Education of Madeline.

Seriously, people how hard are you guys*** gonna make it for readers to find books?


*** You guys: stores, publishers, etc–definitely NOT authors.

(WTF panda image grabbed shamelessly from Ann Aguirre’s blog)

Divorced Heroes…

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Posted in: Uncategorized


I know that divorce is a fact of real life, but I have to say, I generally don’t like reading romance books, where the hero was previously married.

I’m not altogether sure why, but it seems hard to believe in the HEA, when the hero already tried for his HEA, and failed. I know that Happy Ever Afters can be found after several marriages in real life, but I really do prefer my heroes to be untainted by divorce.

Now, having said that, if the hero married his first wife because she got pregnant, then I don’t mind so much, but I’m not sure how popular those types of storylines are these days. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I read a book where the hero got his first wife pregnant, and so did the honourable thing by marrying her.

What say you?

Simply Perfect, by Mary Balogh

Once upon a time, a wee innocent reader discovered a used book by one Mary Balogh. A couple of days later, an obsessed reader scoured used book stores, libraries and bookstores (both online and brick and mortar) for Ms Balogh’s backlist. After a long glomming session, my appreciation of this author’s work became somewhat mixed-there are books I can re-read often and others that left me so indifferent I have to read a few pages in the middle to remember whether I read them or not.

Fourth and last title in Ms Balogh’s Simply series, Simply Perfect harkens back to what I like about her writing. The conflict is realistic for the characters involved-even if some of the reactions from secondary characters were a tad too accepting, open-minded, happy, and so on, to be consistent with the main character’s motivations for his secrecy.

Here’s the truly awful back cover blurb: (more…)


Apparently there’s a bit of a kerfuffle over Lori Foster including paranormal elements in her latest book, My Man Michael.

The problem is, the original series is a contemp, (which I’ve actually liked a lot so far) and so readers who love their contemps and are sick of paranormal this, and time travel that (Read: Me), are pissed off.

Check out the Amazon reviews, if you don’t believe me.

Man those people are beyond pissed.

This review by somebody called She Reads, made me chuckle. (more…)

Ooooh, Handbags At Dawn!

Sunday, February 22, 2009
Posted in: Uncategorized

I got sent a link to Jaid Black’s website. The following quote was posted on her home page:

“If you happen to be the centre of a Gossip! Remember, Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” – Author Unknown

Oh gee, I wonder who those barbs are aimed at. *g*

Thanks to you-know-who for the heads-up.

Dee’s sister Daphnee died unexpectedly just a week ago, orphaning four children under 16 years of age.

As Dee explains over at her blog, a death in the family not only wrecks emotional havoc–more so when it’s sudden–but also upsets the often precarious financial balance of a household.

We all know that it is not easy for the immense majority of us right now, but you can help Dee and her family, even with just a little bit.

Godspeed, Daphnee, we are keeping you in our thoughts and your family in our prayers.


The Desert Lord’s Bride, by Olivia Gates


Second in Ms Gates’ Throne of Judar trilogy, The Desert Lord’s Bride tells the story of Shehab, the second oldest Aal Massod brother. He and Kamal, the third and youngest brother, were introduced briefly in The Desert Lord’s Baby, Farooq’s story (review here).

Once again, this is a short novel-not quite 200 pages long-and it contains a number of category romance tropes and clichés that most usually put me off. We have deception on a grand scale on the part of the hero, fueled by a false image of the heroine. We have a heroine whose singular previous sexual and relationship experience has convinced her she’s frigid. We have love at first sight.

And, amazingly, it works. Not without caveats (yes, I do have quibbles), but it does work.

Here is the back cover blurb, which happens to be better than most: (more…)


This week’s dilemma is as follows:

You and your best friend, Mia, have been friends since you were little girls. You’re unfailingly loyal to her, and cherish her friendship more than anything, and vice versa.

When you are both twenty years old, Mia meets this terrific guy (let’s call him Christian), who you are wildly attracted to. You of course do your best to hide how you feel about him, but it’s hard.

Mia and Christian are very happy, but every now and then, you feel a certain chemistry between the two of you, whenever you’re alone with him. You can’t tell if you’re just imagining the mutual attraction, so you try to avoid being alone with him as much as possible.

A couple of years later, Mia and Christian announce their engagement, and you are utterly devastated. You feel incredibly guilty about the way you feel about him, and being around both of them becomes increasingly painful, so you start staying away from both of them.

You can hear the pain in Mia’s voice whenever you make excuses to not hang with her, but you just can’t help it, their happiness is killing you, and you can’t bear the way you feel.

A year later, Mia and Christian break up, and the wedding is cancelled.

Mia is devastated. Apparently he told her that he couldn’t marry her because he was in love with somebody else.

You give her all the love and support that she needs, whilst dealing with your own secret sorrow, and try your best to put Christian out of your mind.

Six months later, you bump into Christian whilst shopping, and he asks if you want to have a coffee with him. You assume he’s probably dating somebody else, and you refuse because being around him is as painful as ever.

Months later, you get a phone call. It’s Christian, and he wants to speak to you.

You reluctantly agree to meet with him, fearing that he wants to get back with Mia, and wants to use you as a route to her.

When the two of you meet, he tells you that he’s been in love with you for years, and wants to know if you feel the same way.

What do you do? Do you make your feelings known and agree to go out with him, knowing that Mia will probably be heartbroken, or do you refuse him, knowing that it would be the hardest thing that you’ve ever done, but Mia’s friendship is too important for you to mess up.

What do you do?

Hello, I’m azteclady, and have been a fan of Ms Brockmann for close to ten years. She is, in fact, one of only two authors whose books I get in hardback. Oh, and the following review is long-yes, longer than usual even for long-winded me. You’ve been warned.

Dark of Night, by Suzanne Brockmann


The fourteenth title in Ms Brockmann’s very successful Troubleshooters series, Dark of Night concludes a seven book story arc for a number of recurring characters. It is also an extremely difficult book to review without giving away spoilers for long time fans of the series-and entirely impossible to talk about without spoiling those who haven’t read Into the Fire, the previous novel (reviewed here).

Then again, it seems that most hardcore fans (otherwise known as rabid fangrrrrrls) have either read it already or sought out all the possible spoilers leaked by those in the know-including some that proved to be utterly wrong, put out by many people who didn’t know jack-while the more casual readers who aren’t as invested in any one character (or pairing thereof) really don’t see what the big deal is.

(Yes, there are casual readers who enjoy Ms Brockmann’s books quite a bit but are not so invested in a particular character that they would vow to trash/not read/hate a book if so-and-so don’t end up together-my significant other, for example.)

All of the above to say, with quite a bit of pain, that there be a few spoilers in this here review. I consider them very small spoilers, but still. So consider yourselves warned.

In fact, the blurb gives away more of the plot that I would normally share in a review, so read at your own risk: (more…)

I really love…

Thursday, February 19, 2009
Posted in: Sony Reader Rocks


My Sony Reader.

I take it everywhere I go, and it’s a great way to spend time when I’m stuck in a traffic jam.

You should all get one.

Just sayin’.

Question Number 7999…

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Posted in: Opal Carew, Uncategorized


If an erotic romance book has a heroine who goes off and sleeps with a group of her friends each year, (despite having a boyfriend) does that count as a romance?

I’m currently reading Opal Carew’s Six, and I have to say, it’s probably the most sexed up, erotic romance I’ve ever read. That of course isn’t a bad thing, and since Carew knows how to write hot ER, without bringing on the need for a bath, it’s all good. Total mind candy good.

I guess I better add that the boyfriend decides to go with her, when she tells him about her annual sex-fest, with her college pals, and by some amazing coincidence, his ex shows up at the resort, desperate to win him back, which strangely enough, makes Harmony (our heroine) very jealous. The irony of her sleeping with two guys at the same time, then getting jealous because Aiden’s (our hero) ex-missus shows up, didn’t pass me by.

A warning for those of you contemplating buying this book, Six really isn’t for the faint of heart, and you’ll probably need plenty of ice to help cool you off, but once again, not a bad thing. *g*

You can buy Six, from Amazon.com here, and learn more about Opal Carew here.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Posted in: Venus Press is alive, Venus Press Is Dead

…Is Venus Press really trying to relaunch?

Surely it would have been a better idea to open up under a different name, with the current name being so tainted and all?

Thanks to KS for the heads up.

There are probably hundreds of help initiatives out there, focusing on many different aspects of the losses so many people are facing right now, consequences of both the horrible bushfires and the floods.The romance community is also doing their part. We can help through donations of books (see note at bottom) and donations of items (including books) for the Bushfire Silent Auction organized by author Stephanie Laurens. Follow this link for more information on this one.

Romance Writers of Australia Bushfire Book Appeal:

I’m just popping in briefly to thank all of you who’ve expressed concern about the bushfire disaster we’ve had here, and to tell you that Romance Writers of Australia are launching a book appeal. We know that for many affected families, books will not be high on their list of necessities for some time to come.

But… We also know how valuable books can be in providing time out when reality gets tough.

So… With the aid of some wonderful volunteers, we’ve put together a Romance Writers of Australia Bushfire Book Appeal.

What we need?

FICTION BOOKS! Romance books, children’s books, genre books, whatever – either new or in sparkling condition.

Please send them to:

RWA Bushfire Book Appeal
c/o 89 Rennie St
Thornbury Vic 3071

When to send them?

Now! And any time over the next few months. The books will be boxed and delivered to the appropriate neighbourhood centres/community centres/libraries in batches as soon as practicable.

Feel free to pop a note inside, or if you’re the author, sign the book.

With thanks

Anne Gracie

Forwarding this message on behalf of Romance Writers of Australia Inc.

(Above information taken from the comments at Michele Buonfligio’s blog)

Thirteen Year Old Becomes A Dad…

Monday, February 16, 2009
Posted in: Uncategorized


Seriously, what the f*ck is wrong with the world today?

This little boy has become a father at the tender age of thirteen. The girl was just fifteen.

BOY dad Alfie Patten yesterday admitted he does not know how much nappies cost — but said: “I think it’s a lot.”
Baby-faced Alfie, who is 13 but looks more like eight, became a father four days ago when his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman gave birth to 7lb 3oz Maisie Roxanne.

He told how he and Chantelle, 15, decided against an abortion after discovering she was pregnant…

The shy lad, whose voice has not yet broken, said: “I thought it would be good to have a baby.

“I didn’t think about how we would afford it. I don’t really get pocket money. My dad sometimes gives me £10.”

Jesus. Effing. Christ.

I wanna know where the parents were, whilst this baby-faced little boy was having sex with a fifteen year old.

speak-up-smallHie thee forth to Dear Author and to the SmartBitches, and help make noise about what women readers want as it pertains to ebooks and ereaders.

Because while I lust heartily over a Sony reader, seeing the readius via the SmartBitches video (and of course, Angela James’ interpretive dance of the same), made me salivate to own one. If I can read books in it, of course. Otherwise, it’s just a pretty piece of electrojunk.


This week’s dilemma:

You’re invited to a party, which you happily attend. Deep into the party, you recognise your six year old’s school teacher. You smile at her, but you realise that she probably wont recognise you, so you start walking up to her, only to realise, that she’s lighting up a joint.

You’re thoroughly disgusted, because you don’t believe that people who hold such important positions in children’s lives, should indulge in such lifetsyles, on the other hand, you wonder if it’s any of your business what they do out of school.

What do you do? Do mind your own business, or do you report her to the school?

What do you do?


I can’t tell you how thoroughly disgusted I was when I found out that the woman who gave birth to eight babies, already had six children. Children, that her parents were already looking after. Also she was on welfare, and could barely afford to raise the kids she already had.

It is unclear how Ms Suleman’s family will be able to help care for them, given that they recently filed for bankruptcy and abandoned their home. It was revealed yesterday that Ms Suleman had previously received about $165,000 (€127,000) in disability payments between 2002 and 2008.

She has insisted that she will not take government welfare. “I know I’ll be able to afford them when I’m done with my schooling,” Ms Suleman said.

It was confirmed that Ms Suleman had hired a publicist and was reportedly seeking up to $2m for her story.

She’s gonna need every penny of that $2m to look after all those children.

Talk about beyond selfish. She also admitted to breaking infertility treatment rules by having six embryos implanted in her womb. You’d think that the doctor would have at least known better.

I was also equally shocked to find out that her first six kids were all conceived through fertility treatment. So no father in the picture, and she still decides to go for broke again.

What the hell is wrong with some people?

Listen, I understand the desperate desire to have a child, but surely after the first six, she should have been satisfied? And even if she does want ten million kids, shouldn’t she able to at least be able to provide for them?