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,


Unknown said...

Good luck with the car! :)

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the shout out, Penny, and I'm perversely happy I made you cry ;)

Loove the little blue car. They get decent mileage, have surprisingly good head room, are easy to park ... you totally need one. And, hey, its cheaper than a 'vette or six months in Paris!

Sheri Fredricks said...

A friend has a mini Coop convertible and LOVES it over her Cadillac SRX!! You totally need one! Fantastic books, great reviews, and thank you for mentioning mine: Troll-y Yours.

Jessi said...

Okay, the troll-centaur romance...I am so all over that. This will be my first book purchase in June!

Unknown said...

I can just picture you in your open top Mini Cooper hair blowing in the wind and just been kept in place with a diamond tiara whizzing down the street with Lucy in the passenger seat waving a paw at the adoring minions genuflecting as you pass in all your majestic glory, oh my!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Girrrrrrrrrrrrl you need that mini!

Good luck convincing the hubs.

Julia Barrett said...

I'm with you on the car - and we need to talk - both in crisis mode! I don't want a car, I want a house in Montana!
You've read some very interesting books this week, young lady - may have to check them out!

Heidenkind said...

Oh dear. When I get ideas in my head like a mini-Cooper, I'm not satisfied until I get a mini-Cooper. Fortunately the last obsessive idea I got in my head was making broth from scratch.

Penny Watson said...

Thanks, Amber! So far, hubs is NOT on board with my idea. Gotta keep working on him.

Penny Watson said...

Hi Jesse! You are very welcome. I'm glad you made me cry, too. :^)

I will use these arguments about the car with Mr. Hubster.

Penny Watson said...

Hi Sheri! I just got #1 in the series. Can't wait to read it!

I love that the Coop is fun, sporty and sassy at the same time.

Penny Watson said...

Hi Jessi! The troll book is fun!

Penny Watson said... are sooooo right. I need the diamond tiara, too! Lucy can get a matching diamond collar. Yee haw! Can a dog have a mid-life crisis? ;^)

Penny Watson said...

Hi Juju! Vroooooom vroooooooom!

Penny Watson said...

Hey do need a house in Montana. I hope you get one!

Penny Watson said...

Tasha...broth from scratch sounds like another good mid-life crisis project. Hmmm. I can go pick up the ingredients in my NEW CAR! Woo hoo!

pamela1740 said...

OK, now I think I really want to read a troll romance. That is a sentence I never thought I'd type. Thanks for the snapshot reviews! Going troll book shopping now...

Scarlett Parrish said...

Where's the review of my books, telling everyone how brilliant I am? WAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

(I'm in training to have an author meltdown and your blog is as good a place as any.)

Oh hey. Nice car. I can't drive, though, which is probably just as well. You can just imagine the carnage I'd cause. Heh. Geddit? CAR-nage?

Oh, I despair. Some people just don't appreciate talent when it's forced on them.

Penny Watson said...

Hi Pam! This was my first troll book! :^)

Penny Watson said...

Scarlett is here! TAKE COVER! I will be mentioning your smoky hot erotica story next week. I LOVED the Swedish naughty talk!