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Karen’s Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions…

Thursday, December 30, 2010
Posted in: Happy New Year

I don’t usually have New Year’s resolutions because I normally end up breaking over 90% of them, but I’ve decided I’ll give it a go this year.

The following are things that I will achieve this year:

1. Get pregnant and stay pregnant (I know I don’t have much of a say in this, but I may as well aim high eh?)

2. Be less tolerant of stupid people (Seriously, I have been much nicer than usual this year. I have!)

3. Buy more books and actually read them (2010 has been my worst year for reading yet)

4. Have two major holidays this year, instead of just one (US and one other, subject to TTG)

5. Visit at least two of my friends who live abroad

6. Blog at least three times a week (baby steps people, baby steps)

7. Buy at least one pair of shoes or a handbag every month

8. Travel by First Class a lot more often (Travelling Peasant Class makes me rather angry)

9. Spend as much time with my family and friends as possible and call my best friends at least once a month

10.Be happy.

All perfectly achievable methinks. What are your top resolutions for 2011?

A trivial occurrence for many, I’m sure…

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

but rather a thrill for me.

What, you ask?





One of my items made it into an Etsy treasury! *happy dancing* (it’s the baby cardigan and booties on the far right, second row).


Thank you so much, sedgeworks!

Yes, it’s the small things that make me happy.

Anybody know how true this is?

ok, folks – here’s the update. I regret to inform you that Tina/Patty/EC have considerably p.o.’ed Her Honor, the Judge(27+ pages worth)and Crissy has won the Judgement on all counts and that the EC world is currently scrambling to liquidate assets.

Yep, I live in the same County as Tina/Patty/EC and I’M WATCHING IT HAPPEN, so if you’d like to verify go to the Summit County Courts Website and find the latest – you can search on Crissy, Tina, Patty or EC and search dockets. Best wishes to all – and Happy New Year. Ciao!

The comment was from an old thread at Dear Author.


A day late…

Monday, December 27, 2010
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks, Christmas

Was taking a quick look at the blogs I follow and saw the immensely funny silent monks video over at the SmartBitches, which reminded me of this one–much more traditional, but oh so lovely!

And of course, this one:

For those who celebrate it, may your Christmas have been filled with joy and lovely memories.

DADT – Why Did It Take So Long?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Posted in: American Politics, DADT

I was pleased to learn that the vile DADT legislation has been repealed at last. It’s a policy that has always baffled me. I’ve just never understood the point of it? Like someone on Twitter pointed out, why ask somebody who’s willing to die for their country to hide who they are?

What difference does the sexuality of the person who you’re fighting next to make, when the enemy is spraying bullets at you? What difference does the sexuality of the person who’s willing to give up their life for yours make in the throes of war?

In my opinion, the existence of DADT was one of the things that kept America a step behind the rest of the western world. George Bush was the other, but you guys already got rid of him.

Like I’ve already said, I never got it, but I’m glad it’s being finally kicked to the curb, even if it has taken nigh on seventeen years to get here.

Now Obama just needs to hurry up and sign the damned bill already.

For more enlightened thoughts on the subject, go read Angry Black Bitch’s blog, as well as Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish.

I’m left handed.

Like all left-handed people, I have learned to cope with a world where everything is designed for right-handed people, from scissors to ice cream scoops, to shift stick cars to computers’ mice. For the most part, truthfully, it’s no biggie, and it has make me less dependent on my dominant hand–closer to ambidextrous, you may say.

However, there are certain activities for which nothing but my left hand will do, most of them related to crafting. I cannot hold a sewing needle with my right hand unless it’s to thread it–for sewing, it’s all about my left hand. For knitting, I use both hands but I recently discovered that not only do I knit completely left-handedly (is that a word?) but that there is a bias towards right-handedness in knitting.

Apparently, most left handed knitters knit the same way right handed knitters do, up to and including knitting from right to left.

I don’t–I knit as I write and read, from left to right. This is, once again, no big deal, right?

Well, not quite… apparently there is a right and a wrong way of knitting from left to right, particularly with things like cables, so that the twist in the cable goes from right to left instead of (insert expression of horror here) “backwards” (aka, how I do it).


Honestly, does anyone really cares whether the cable twists ‘right’ (image on left) or ‘backwards’ (image on right)

(first image, detail from Lion Brand’s free pattern for Mixed Messages Scarf–second image, extreme close up of one of my hand knit scarves)

I’m a huge fan of Maya Banks’ work, and I have been ever since her first book. The Darkest Hour did nothing to buck that trend.

Here’s the blurb from Maya’s website:

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the US government can’t…

It’s been one year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly last saw his wife Rachel alive. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over his failures as a husband, Ethan shuts himself off from everything and everyone.

His brothers have tried to bring Ethan into the KGI fold, tried to break through the barriers he’s built around himself, but Ethan refuses to respond… until he receives anonymous information claiming Rachel is alive.

To save her, Ethan will have to dodge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise. And even if he succeeds, he’ll have to force Rachel to recover memories she can’t and doesn’t want to relive—the minute by minute terror of her darkest hour—for their love, and their lives, may depend on it.

One of the reasons that I love Maya’s heroes so much is because as a reader, I’m never left in any doubt that they would be prepared to die for their heroine. You know that they would literally struggle to function if anything heinous happened to their women. And Ethan, the hero in Darkest Hour is no different.

From the first few pages, I could feel the pain that he was going through. It was the anniversary of his wife’s ‘death’, so the pain for Ethan was keener than usual. I could feel the utter despair of a broken man, and I couldn’t wait for him to learn that Rachel was indeed alive.

This is a quick review, so all the things that I want to say about this book can be condensed into just a few short sentences: Brilliantly written hero, terrific capture and rescue plot device, terrific characters that I’m looking forward to getting to know better in the upcoming books, good quick sharp dialogue, and a fantastic emotional buy-in.
The heroine was a little tame for me, but after her ordeal, it was totally understandable, and she eventually did manage to find some backbone towards the end of the book. Having read the follow-up to Darkest Hour, I know that Rachel wont be typical of the KGI heroines, so those who prefer a little kick-ass with their heroines need not worry.

Overall a fantastic read, and I’m impressed by how much better the author gets with each new book. Maya Banks, I salute you:)

You can buy The Darkest Hour HERE, and read an excerpt HERE.

So I read Sarah Mayberry’s Her Best Friend the other night.

Check out the blurb from the back of the book:

What’s a girl to do when she’s secretly in love with a friend and he’s married to someone else? She gets over it. That’s what Amy Parker has done. Rather than lose her best bud Quinn Whitfield with an ill-timed, crazy confession of affection, she’s taken the smart route. She’s eased away from him. Just enough to get past the unrequited bits.

And you know, it’s working. Until the day Quinn announces he’s now single. That’s right. He’s single.And he wants to hang out. With her. Get reconnected the way they used to be. Oh, this is so not good for Amy’s equilibrium. Daily doses of Quinn remind her of everything she loves about him. But if he’s free and she’s free,well, maybe the time has come for one of those crazy confessions.

I really loved this book. It was utterly fab-u-lous. Loved the storyline, loved the heroine and the hero, loved the setting, loved the characterisations, loved how real the book read. Loved that the author didn’t take a shortcut and make the ex-wife, Lisa, into a monster. Loved the friendship between Quinn and Amy, it felt wonderfully real, and honest and beautiful.

I’m a real sucker for friends-to-lovers romance books anyway, so HBF was always going to work for me on a basic level, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the depth that Mayberry managed to achieve with this book. It was great for the first time in ages to read a book that I just didn’t want to end. Sarah Mayberry, I salute you:)

You can buy HBF from here and read an excerpt here.

Once again, with feeling...

Once again, with feeling…

Friday, December 10, 2010
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks, Christmas

For the past couple of months (or longer, I honestly can’t remember) I have been promising myself to get back online, to write reviews for the books I’ve read (or re-read) and to comment on a number of issues that have exercised my imagination (or elevated my blood pressure, as the case might be).

Yeah, so not successful there, as you can see by the cobwebs in the corners and the dust devils rolling around the place.


See, for all my good intentions I just haven’t had the energy, mental or otherwise, to do much more than exist–I’m working as many hours as I can get on the paid job, training for another job, knitting and crafting like a mad person

(shameless plug: go visit my etsy store! lots of pretty and warm things for you and your loved ones!)

so that by the end of the day, when my supposed ‘free time’ arrives, all I want to do is crawl into bed and crash for as long as the blasted alarm clock will let me.

However, being stubborn as a mule, I am determined to come back… starting in January (card carrying member of procrastinators R us right here), though I may manage something between now and then.

Just in case I don’t, have a happy and safe holiday season everyone, no matter what you celebrate, or whether you celebrate anything at all!