Friday, May 31, 2013

Appreciation for the Unexpected

 It's Friday!Yippppeeeeee

What's been happening this week?

1. I'm having a mid-life crisis, which I think can be fixed by the purchase of an icy-blue convertible mini Cooper. (see photo above) I'm picturing myself tooling around town in this car, with mirrored sunglasses and a weenie dog sitting next to me in the passenger seat. I WILL BE SO COOL!

2. Must figure out strategy to convince my husband to purchase me an icy-blue mini Cooper.

3. Must plan new wardrobe which will nicely complement my new icy-blue mini Cooper.

4. I gave a presentation to Natty's 4th grade class about LUCY THE WONDER WEENIE! It was so much fun. The kids were adorable, and their two favorite things were our discussion of the "puke it out" technique for writing first drafts, and the LICKING LUCY LEMON LIP BALM by Be Greatful! When I left the class, all 22 of them were madly applying the lip balm! Hee hee.

5. I must clean out the garage so I have a spot to park my new icy-blue mini Cooper (hoping that I am able to complete #2 successfully).

6. I read a ton of books. Here are some quickie reviews for the ones that were unexpected in some way. Which I always love and appreciate!

What I was expecting... a sweet love story set at a ranch. What I wasn't intensely powerful portrayal of a mother's love and devotion for her daughter. Shelby's daughter is suffering from selective mutism, and the mom decides that a summer out west is just the thing to bring her daugher out of her silent shell. The scenes where Lizzie is interacting with the horses, and working up her courage to participate on the ranch, were so moving and emotional. I cried three times reading this...really cried. I also enjoyed the romance portion of the story, and the western setting is very authentic in Hayworth's talented hands. But the part of this book that packs an emotional wallop is the daughter's journey. I wasn't expecting that in a western romance, but I got it anyway. :^)

This has a superb HEA.

Grade: B+

Release date: June 4th, Signet

This was really unexpected! Why? Because the premise for the story (hero causes an accident that severely injures the heroine) is both the source of conflict and the source of healing. Excellent! Because the paranormal part I've never seen before...not really a ghost, but sort of a ghost? Because the hero and heroine pop off the page. They are fully formed with real emotional issues. I especially love how Gage made the hero a real, flawed, and yet likable character. He does a despicable act, but the reader still roots for him. That's a toughie for an author to accomplish. Slow beginning, but picks up the pace and has a storyline with a lot of suspense--you are dying to find out how this whole thing will resolve! Wonderful happy ending, too. Well done.

Grade: B

Release date: June 3rd, Lyrical Press

I have NEVER read a romance where an octopus attack is the source of conflict. That was unexpected! I saw this Harly recommended on an Amazon board about physically scarred heroines. This is definitely one of the better Harlies I've read. The heroine had a career as a successful super model until she was horribly scarred by an octopus attack, and then she chooses to devote her life to medical research (guess what about? hee hee). Anyhow, I really liked the relationship between the introverted heroine and the sexy Greek doctor. Fun read!

Grade: B

Finally, the book I got as a joke. A BBW (big beautiful woman, aka curvy girl book) with a troll as the heroine, and a centaur as the hero!


Well, guess what? This book was great! I'm not kidding. It was well-written, had very cool world-building details, and I loved the relationship between the alpha warrior centaur and the quirky troll. It even had some interesting commentary on ethnic discrimination. How about that? I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series. An unexpected winner!

Grade: B

(Bonus: the centaur has a goatee! Yipppeeeeee!!!!!!)

OK, everyone, that's it for now. I am off to purchase some bumper stickers for my mid-life crisis car. I'm optimistic about convincing hubby we BOTH need this car. *wink*

All my best,