I’m trapped in a glass case of EMOtion

This past weekend was my bestest bestie’s wedding. Love was in the air, God gave us a beautiful day, everyone was on time, and the bride and groom have a romance to envy.

So naturally I spent the day being so EMOtional I should have looked like this:

emo girl

emo girl

Well I looked like that on the inside. On the outside I was a preppy, pink silk wearing, matching pearl necklace and earring sporting, tears into a pink and white handkerchief dripping, in the front pew sitting-bridesmaid.

I got a little emo at the reception also. All the love and romance made me a little schmoopy, hubby humored me and what resulted was a picture that maybe just maybe could be on the cover of a contemporary romance novel. What do you think?

(be warned, this pic is disgustingly FULL of schmoop)


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Nothing beats a real life romance story. I didn’t need or want to read one romance novel this weekend, well I didn’t have much time to read at all, but I got all my romance-jollies off on the twue wove that was everywhere I looked at this beautiful wedding. When I told y’all about my fridge full of STDs (don’t worry I’ll have an update soon) I shared a few real-life-real-love links and have a few more for your perusal today as well.

Well starting with an update, Pioneer Woman Ree completed her Black Heels to Tractor Wheels story compilation of her an her husband’s whirlwind romance culminating in the four part story of their wedding. The SECRET is that her everyday life is so full of romance in every blog post she writes. I get a little misty eyed at her writing and pictures at least once a week.

Also, Cassie from Southern Domestic Goddess had a super-cute post up today about her wedding anniversary. And, much like Pioneer Woman, in all of Cassie’s posts about her family, the love they share shines through.

Lastly, like the appropriate fangirl I am, True Love blossomed on TrueBlood with costars Anna Paquin and Steven Moyer taking their onscreen romance home with them. Oooh lala this makes my heart go pitter patter.

Temporary lusty replacement (guest post)

Since my life belongs to my bestest bestie for her wedding weekend I invited a Really F*cking aMazing blogger (in army speak that would be shortened to corresponding acronym Romeo Foxtrot Mike) mylittlebecky to guest blog! [see what i did there? yes i’m clever] Not only did she accept my invitation, but she flattered the heck outta me. No wonder I heart her.

Even though I do NOT heart one of her favorite authors, without further ado, may I present her amazing guest post…

~~~~~~~

hello. *sweeping arc with right hand* i’m becky, you can find me at my lil’ abode here. today the illustrious lustyreader has asked me to entertain you all while she’s being pretty at a wedding (it’s a skill). i’m flabbergasted she asked me to be her backup singer and i will try to live up to the lustyreader standards. *coughnotlikelycough*

when i first clicked on some chick named lustyreader i was like, “romance?” you see, i don’t like romance. i don’t like squishy things about love and dieing and shit (which is of course what romances are all about you guys). i like the funny and i like messed up. i’m a bad, bad example of a girl. except! i do wear make-up, high heels and i usually smell fantastic. but THEN, shattering my preconceived notions, i found out this blog was abso fab!

i mean who else mentions spanish moss in a blog post? lusty. who can go against the “man” and speak out for the rest of us about the absolute poopiness of the twilight? lusty. who can get songs stuck in my head with her blog titles? lusty can. who can make you jealous of a ride on public transit because of the reading op? lusty! and finally, who can make me interested in possibly reading about love and shit? nobody else but lusty. she is badass. obviously.

now that she’s really gone… *whispers* luuuusty? we can talk about… augusten burroughs! she loves that book, running with scissors? i think? she has an autographed copy. she also said that she has a crush on his french bulldog.

oh, wait. that was me. i love french bulldogs.*

i like books. i’ve always liked books. i know. i am too cool. my first favorite book was “bread and jam for frances.” how can you go wrong with a raccoon (i think) eating bread? you can’t. coming in a close second was alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” we’ve all had bad days, it’s good to know i’m not alone. finally, there was “if you give a mouse a cookie.” i’ve tried and tried to explain this concept to the uninitiated, (chuck) but it’s a hard concept to grasp. for your information, in case you don’t know (shocking), chuck is the man i “hang out” with “most all of the time.”

for example we were in the car, listening to the radio, on the way to the pool. “if you give a mouse a cookie,” i said, in witty response to  someone taking advantage. chuck answers with “yeah?” “he’s going to want a glass of milk,” i counter. then chuck says, “so give him some milk!” “but then he’s going to ask for a straw! chuuuuck!” i desperately try to explain. “i just don’t see the problem, mice are pretty small,” chuck will respond generously. “it just never ends. those dirty, dirty, greedy mice,” *sigh* i’ll sadly reply. you know what its like? it’s like pete and repete on the boat and pete falls off and who is left? that’s what it’s like: repeat. except with mice. eating cookies.

when i started reading on my own, i read everything i could get my hands on. my mother was a THE librarian at my school. we always had sacks and stacks of books. literally. this woman will check FIFTY (50!) BOOKS out of the library. i’m not even exaggerating a little. she always read to us every night. all three of us, gathered around, hanging on her every word (i was the middle child, weep for me). i will have children for the sole reason of reading to them every night. i will force them to listen to me until the wee hours because “we’re having fun! tell mommy we’re having fun! this is fun, right?” they’ll be crying. i’ll be doing that whole joker fake smile thing. i’m just kidding i won’t torture my kids. with books.

my favorite book now, you ask? “ender’s game.” it’s by a mormon.** oh, mormons when will you ever steer us wrong? ahem, we’ll have to overlook twilight. anyshoozle, it is awesome! i LOVE this book. seriously. you should go read it right now. you need to branch out. i have read every SINGLE book of OSC (that’s what i like to call orson scott card, we’re tight like that). i even read the one that he wrote about MORMONS! that’s how much i love ender’s game. through this book my world was widened to include sci-fi and fantasy. and rainbows. and standing in the sci-fi section getting checked out by the barnes and noble employee who coincidentally has to re-arrange the books on a shelf near me every three minutes. happens more than you can imagine.

did i tell you about the time i got hit on in the library by a high school student? i swear to skittles that he was like all like, “what hs do you go to? [my rival hs]?” i, of course said, “eew. not in hs.” he smoothly came back with, “oh, when did you graduate? i probably know some of them.” through clenched teeth, i said, “i graduated almost TEN years ago! from [much cooler slash classier] hs!” chuck’s response: “how come i never get hit on in the library?”

in conclusion. i apologize for the general sliding of the high standards of this blog today. i hope nobody was too traumatized by my lack of grammar or spelling or you know, “intelligence.” it was a super, happy fun time to hang out with you all and talk about my love of books. thank you for having me! “say hello to your motha for me.” and to our beloved lusty, may she have the prettiest dress at the wedding! except the bride. not really. unless she really likes the bride then, yes, really. ok, that was awkward

*i also loved magical thinking! tip! start with something written by burroughs that’s NOT horrifying. he’s really a good, funny writer. i promise!
**now, now, let’s not get offended. some of my best friends are mormons. it’s ok if i make fun. it’s with love.

I’m writing, but just not here

I am tap, tap, tapping away at the keyboard, but unfortunately (for y’all) not for the blog. I’m writing a toast for my bestest bestie’s wedding! We met 8 years ago the first month of freshman year (gasp! so long ago) living in the same dorm and I’ve been feverishly scribbling down the perfect way to honor her and her faboosh fiance when I do my toast this weekend.

But don’t worry y’all, even though I’ll be at “America’s First Cathedral” tomorrow,

night-wp-pd

I have a lusty surprise for you! Check back tomorrow, you won’t want to miss my guest poster!

Her Only Desire, Gaelen Foley

  • only_desire_180Title: Her Only Desire
  • Author: Gaelen Foley(prob one of the best rom author websites I’ve seen, in fact in my imagination that’s what I wanted my blog to look like)
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • Release Date: March 2007
  • Standalone or Series: First book in the Spice Trilogy, and cousins to the Knight Miscellany series.

Why I read this book: The best book I read in the month of May was Lord of Icealso by Gaelen Foley, and I had never read anything by her before! Although I had been missing out, I always love discovering new-to-me fabulous long-standing authors so I can glom all their backlist. Her Only Desire was the only other Foley book available at my library so I picked it up!

Summary:

From the exotic splendors of India to the elegant ballrooms of Regency London, celebrated author Gaelen Foley pens the enthralling tale of a luscious beauty who has sworn never to call any man her master, and the powerful marquess whose passion threatens to conquer her. . . .

Born into the wealthy British ruling class of India, Georgiana Knight is as unconventional as she is beautiful. She has sworn not to marry till she meets a man who will treat her as an equal–but that vow doesn’t appease her sensual curiosity. When Ian Prescott, the Marquess of Griffith, arrives on a mission to defuse the threat of war, she is immediately drawn to the mysterious and darkly handsome diplomat, and cannot resist provoking the hidden lust that smolders beneath his cool surface.

Ian is mesmerized by Georgie’s alluring mystique but burdened by a dark secret. And she is a temptation he cannot afford. But when she becomes entangled in his mission, she must be secreted away to England for her own safety. Georgie finds herself in the unfamiliar world of aristocratic London, where Ian becomes her guide, her confidant . . . her seducer. His incendiary kiss sets her soul on fire, and Georgie knows she will never be satisfied until she has made this magnificent man her own.

Review:I was enchanted from the very first page. I could smell the spices in the Indian market, feel the hot, sandy wind, and fell in love with Ian and Georgiana. This book had everything I hope for in a romance novel, excellent characterization, gripping storyline, and a believable, passionate relationship.

I can’t decide who I have a bigger crush on, Ian or Georgiana. “Georgie” is really my perfect romance novel heroine, between her yoga skills, independent streak, caring nature for her brothers, progressive views on women’s rights in the 1800’s no matter what country you live in, and humorous nature I fell for her hard.

When I read this quote I had a huge fat smile on my face of just pure liking her:

“I’ll be good,” she hushed him, and with a mischievous glance, suddenly unfastened the top button of his waistcoat. Before he could protest she stepped past him and headed for the door.

“Trying to undress me?” He called in a soft murmur

She glanced over her shoulder and sent him a naughty half smile. “I can’t say it hasn’t crossed my mind.”

Ian also super-impressed me with his strength of character and dedication to his country and justice. I mean just check out how awesome he is from this conversation:

“I didn’t know if I could trust you” [Georgie said]

“Let me first assure you that I am not the East India Company’s lackey, nor the Crown’s.” His tone turned steely, for after all, she had insulting his pride. “I have no interest in ‘lining my pockets’ with the wealth of the East…you’ll pardon the vulgarity of my informing you that I already happen to be extremely rich.”

Georgie absorbed his terse chastisement with a downcast gaze. “Oh.”

“Furthermore, if I thought our aims in this matter were unjust, I would have refused the mission. In short, I don’t do this job for the pay, Georgiana. I am here for the good of my country, in the hopes of saving lives. If there is any meaning to my life, I’ve dedicated everything to trying to make the world at least a slightly more civilized place, so I really don’t appreciate your insinuations about my character.”

 *Swoon* Oh Ian Prescott, Marquess of Griffith, won’t you be mine?

The dark, shameful secret from his past and first marriage was very sad, and it lingered over their heads throughout the whole book. When revealed at the very end both we the reader and Georgie could understand his motivations and emotions so much better, it ended up being a very tender scene and one of my favorites.

I was also intrigued by many of the secondary characters, including Georgie’s twin brothers who are featured in the last two books in this trilogy. I need to do a bit more digging to find out if their mad sea-faring relative Jack gets his own book, basically I want to read all of Ms. Foley’s books!

Verdict: When I was getting ready to write my review I tried to think of anything wrong with the book, or something that didn’t work for me. That’s when I realized if I had to think about it so hard, there isn’t anything! So I would HIGHLY recommend it! Especially for the cool setting in India.

Grade: A

New Release: Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, by Janet Evanovich

If someone is holding a book in public I BLATANTLY stare and crick my neck until I can read the title. I will also read over their shoulder.

This morning on my commute to work I saw two women with bright-cherry-red hardcover books but no matter how I strained my eyeballs or craned my neck (I don’t like how strained and craned rhyme, but they are the most apt descriptors for my actions) I couldn’t see the title or author!

On my lunch break today I saw a THIRD women with the SAME book and finally saw the cover:

fifteen_evanovich

Which makes sense, because today is it’s release day!

Now I must admit, that USED to be me with Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books, but I am over them. I read up to Eleven On Top and was burnt out. Nothing specific really, even though love triangles aren’t my thing, I accepted it was part of the series, but I just have ZERO interest in picking up any more of them.

It’s nice to know they are there, though, just comforting to think I can pick up where I left off and still have new releases to read too!

Sweet potato pie and I shut my mouth

Although I’m from Chicago and the hubby is from God’s Country (as he calls his home state of New Jersey) we heart the south and we definitely fist pumped to Song of the South this weekend at our friend’s wedding in Wilmington, North Carolina. And even though we guzzled sweet tea and brought some Cheerwine back to DC with us I still want more things Southern, so I’m looking to add more to my reading diet.

Since I don’t live there and can only travel so often, books are the easiest way to immerse myself in the Southern culture. Doe anyone have any good recommendations for me?

Here are some that I love:

Savannah Blues, by Mary Kay Andrews (check out my shiny-new-fangirl review here)

Carolina Moon, by Nora Roberts

A Time to Kill, by John Grisham

Sullivan’s Island, by Dorathea Benton Frank (I highly, highly recommend it)

North and South, by John Jakes (I never read the rest of the series but this is my fave book out of the 5 of his books I’ve read)

Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier (must mention the movie is also fab)

And don’t EVEN get me started on the movies, I could watch Sweet Home Alabama and Something To Talk About every day happily.

There are 2387 million more I could list, it’s just something about the southern twang, sassy southern ladies, history, traditional family names, family traditions and pride in general, and pace of life that just sets the romantic tone for me. Just check out my pic from Saturday at the gorgeous church where my friends got married, note the spanish moss!

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Famous figures in historical fiction

How do you feel about famous figures in your historical fiction?

And no I don’t mean famous as in Scarlett O’Hara or Mr. Darcy, even though I can quote them and talk about them like they are real people.

I mean like King Charles II, or Abraham Lincoln, or the Duke of Wellington. What happens when they show up in your historical fiction and start interacting with the fictional characters?

In keeping with my post about my tolerance line for paranormal protagonists, I find that I am only comfortable with real-life famously prominent historical characters on stage in my novels up to a point.

 Any regency romance novel will have Prinny in the background somewhere, being fat and making one or two debaucherous remarks to the Heroine. I am fine with that, because that’s just it, he is in the background.

But when the author writes a whole conversation between Abraham Lincoln and the fictional main character of the novel about how Lincoln thinks he’s the best, gives him a medal, gives him a tour of DC, rides with him on the train to Baltimore, etc. it is too much for me.

I see famous historical figures as part of the background, part of the scenery to set the stage of the novel, but they can’t be given too much characterization. It feels fake. I feel sort of affronted that that famous person isn’t being respected and is being “made” to do and say things they didn’t actually do and we KNOW they didn’t since it’s a matter of famous public historical record!!!

Does that make sense? Like I said it can be done right but sometimes it feels wrong to me. Examples ahoy!

     1) On Secret Service,by John Jakes: although this book contained scenes with Lincoln, he followed my rule of being in the background with little or no interaction with the characters, just following high-level actions exactly how historical records portray him as doing.

BUT in the book Jakes does write a few scenes with Allan Pinkerton, head of the first US Detective Agency, and I was fine with that because I really didn’t know anything about Pinkerton, other than the name sounded familiar, so my suspension of disbelief wasn’t jarred at all by his actions or conversations.

     2) Savannah, by John Jakes: In this Jakes novel the mainly story follows a little 12 year old girl named Hattie. As a true “rebel” when she meets General Sherman in the streets of Savannah she kicks him in the shin! Hard! Then he invites to dine with him and they have a HIGHLY PERSONAL conversation about his son who died and how it makes him feel and he gets sort of teary.

That was just too much speculation on his character, it didn’t work for me.

     3) The Prince and Me: yes I mean the Disney film. I reeeeally didn’t like how they just MADE UP THE PRINCE.  Guess what, there IS a frickin REAL prince of Denmark and he his name is NOT Eddie, it’s Frederik, and he did not marry an American girl, and his father is not dying.

I also get annoyed with authors make up these tiny kingdoms in the Alps/Pyrenees/Russia/Persia so their heroine can be a lost princess or the hero a sheik, because for a moment there I doubt myself and think, wait is there REALLY a princess of Montalusia?

And those of you who know me in real life might guess why I think this, but my heart will only belong to one royal family of a tiny, real country: 

princess_charlotte

Monaco Royal Family: Princess Charlotte and brother Prince Andrea Casiraghi

Especially Princess Charlotte:

I have SUCH A HUGE CRUSH on her

I have SUCH A HUGE CRUSH on her

     4) The Other Boleyn Girl, by Phillipa Gregory: Even though this was CLEARLY a very fictional work for me, it still crossed my boundary line. Although Henry VIII was a background character, it personified Anne too much for my comfort level. Mary I didn’t really know much about, so like Pinkerton above, her scenes, thoughts, and actions didn’t affect me quite as much.

What books or movies marketed as FICTION haven’t portrayed a historical figure well for you?