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Things that scare me…

There will be no pictures in this particular post.

Cause while these things scare the bejeesus out of me, I can look at pictures without a panic attack. But some of my online friends cannot.

And screwing with someone’s phobias is mean. Don’t do it.

Anywho. I don’t like bugs and other creepy crawlies. There are exceptions, of course. Lady bugs are adorbs. I rather enjoy pill bugs too, cause they’re cute.

But as a general rule, I have issues with anything that has more than four legs.

The ultimate in creepy, crawly things that will make me scream like a little girl = Spiders. These things aren’t of this earth. I’m absolutely certain they are some sort of alien spy, figuring out our weaknesses and plotting the invasion and ultimate enslavement (read: making us food) of the planet.

I watch that one part of LotR with my hands over my eyes, or I just get up and wander out of the room for a minute.

There’s a reason for this!

When I was nine, we were living in a rural place that just begged for child eating critters to sneak in and nom my limbs in my sleep. There was always something with too many legs hanging around. I coped okay, stomping upon them with extreme prejudice. Until…

My bathroom was all tile and the shower took up a whole wall. Not like a shower/tub combo. A huge open shower, with a little wall to shield it from the rest of the bathroom. It was also slightly sunken, so that I didn’t flood the bathroom every time I showered. Incidentally, it was also pink and this might have something to do with my aversion. Just saying.

I was innocently showering one evening. All lathered up and bubbly. MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS!! And over there, against the far wall, a huge spider decided to take its evening constitutional. In. My. Bathroom.

I usually have a live and let live policy here. I don’t bug the critters, as long as they stay in their area, which is NOT IN THE HOUSE. Once they set multiple legs inside, I have the right to smoosh.

So, of course, I smacked it with a shampoo bottle.

That really should have been the end of things, and I lived happily ever after, blah blah blah.

Yeah no.

The little bastard BURST spewing millions of baby spiders all over the wall and floor. And if that isn’t enough to cause terror in the heart of any child, I don’t know what is. Unless of course it’s Tim Curry crawling out of a freaking drain. But that’s a whole different post.

There I was, huddled in the corner farthest from the nasty spider invaders, screaming like I was being murdered. My grandparents came running in to see who was killing me. My grandfather (obviously a very smart man) took one look at the spiders, did an about face, and hauled ass out of the bathroom, leaving my grandmother to dispose of the eight-legged terrors and calm the screaming child.

I can’t really blame him. I’d have run and left me to die, too.

So there you have it folks. I will scream like nobody’s business over a spider. Fake spiders. Real spiders. Spider pictures. You name it, I need a flamethrower to kill it.

How about you?

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Desire by Design – Paula Altenberg

View the details here.

Once again, I had the privilege of reading an early copy for review purposes. Naturally, I am totally honest in these reviews. So it’s good that I enjoy the books, cause I’d really feel awful if I didn’t and had to give one a less than favorable review. So thank you, authors, for writing entertaining stories that I can totally get behind!

And also, wordpress has totally wonked with my layout and control screens and they look like pewp and are making me cranky. *shakes fist* Anyway. Back to the book!

DesireByDesignThe Story:

Evie is a driven project manager, with some mad design skills. She’s finally landed a terrific job working on the new City Hall building that will do great things for her career.

It seems like everything is going swimmingly until the Mayor starts “helping” things along. He brings in a professional architect to design the new building. Not only does this do awful things to Evie’s budget, it sends her heart (and hormones) sky high.

Matt thinks he’s just doing Uncle Bob a favor to repay him for all his help and support over the years. He has no idea the mess he’s walked into. Not only is he working with a super hot project manager, he’s also replacing her as the designer on the project. It turns out, that isn’t the only reason that she’s prickly and hard to get close to.

The Good:

I really enjoyed reading Desire by Design. It was a fun and fast read. The characters were sweet and watching them get to know each other and get close made me want them to end up together.

I liked that Evie was a tough cookie and could hold her own on a construction site. I also appreciated that she really wanted to be independent and make her family proud of her as well as being proud of herself.

Matt is a sweetheart. He’s just an upstanding kind of guy who tries really hard to do the right thing and live up to his expectations of himself.

Uncle Bob, the Mayor, steals the show for me, though. He is so totally offensive and over the top with how he treats Evie. It’s like he goes out of his way to be “that guy” and push every last one of her buttons. Obviously, you aren’t supposed to like him at the beginning of the book, because he comes off like a jerk. But as soon as I figured out what his real agenda was, everything he did was pretty hysterical. Uncle Bob’s talent for manipulation is epic and I love the twist to the title in light of his hijinks.

The Bad:

Evie, while a good character, kind of irked me a bit. She did things that made me want to smack her and yell at her to smarten up. As much as she made me cranky, her actions were consistent with her character and her internal motivations. So I can’t complain TOO much about it.

Overall:

Desire by Design is a fun read and leaves you feeling good after you’ve finished. Even without that, it’s totally worth reading just to watch Uncle Bob work his crazy manipulating magic.

Famously Engaged – Robyn Thomas

View the details here.

As always, the lovely women at Entangled Publishing provide me with some of the best ever reading material! I really love getting the opportunity to review books for Entangled, because they are, without fail, well written and famouslyengagedentertaining.

Famously Engaged, by Robyn Thomas, is a fun read.

Super famous rock god, Jake Olsen is just looking out for his baby sister’s best interests when he decides to very publically engage himself to Beth Carlisle. What could go wrong? Only lots, of course!

The Good:

I liked the premise of the book. It was unique and a lot of fun. I liked the fact that Jake was doing his best to look out for his family, even though his sister didn’t know they were related. It was touching that he went to such ridiculous lengths to try and head off a problem that really wasn’t even there. Sure, there were probably easier ways to do it, but then there wouldn’t have been much of a story there!

I loved that Beth was such a sweetheart. She really deserved the happily ever after that Jake gave her and she wasn’t so sickeningly sweet and perfect that you ended up not liking her. She was a real trooper through all the media nonsense and it was easy to admire her pluck. Nothing beats a sassy heroine! I also got a kick out of the fact that all of Jake’s band and entourage immediately adopted Beth as one of their own.

The interaction between Jake and his friends was great. It’s exactly how guys who have been friends for a long time treat each other.

The dialogue was snappy and the descriptions didn’t drag.

The Bad:

I know that they’re secondary characters and all that, but Brad and Skyla kind of irked me. I get that Beth is a great person and all that. Like I said, almost too great.

Skyla being friends with Beth is cool. I like that she’s able to be friends with her fiance’s ex. But Brad? He’s obssessed. Like way more so than any normal person should be. They got divorced for crying out loud. Yes, it’s possible to still be friends with your ex, but it was really beyond what I’d tolerate in my fiance. So I wanted to kick Brad in the ding ding because he was stalkery in the extreme.

So, while Jake’s approach was a little heavy handed and ridiculous, it was totally understandable given the epic creepiness of his future brother-in-law. Honestly, in Skyla’s shoes, I’d have been looking for a new fiance long before the time he suggested moving in with his ex.

Overall:

It isn’t an instant classic or the next Harry Potter, but Famously Engaged was a good read. It was quick and entertaining with a sweet outcome for two people who deserved to be happy.

 

Today’s post is brought to you by…

Far too little sleep. And possibly sugar. If I’m lucky, anyway.

It’s been a lot of book reviewing here lately and not much else. Which, all things considered, is only half reflective of what I’ve been doing with my time.

Yes, there’s been a ton of reading. Sort of makes sense and all, seeing as how I do that writing thing and I’ve been reading since I could say beer. Don’t ask me why the two are related, because they’re probably not at all.

Other things!

TV. Yes, I know it’s a time sink with little to no redeeming value, but darnit, I love my shows!

Started watching BSG (the new one) for the first time ever. A put it on and said “It’s good. Watch.” So I did. Way less cheesy than I remember the original (via reruns, thank you, I am not THAT old) being. Pretty darn good actually. I love Boomer and I don’t CARE if she’s a toaster. So HAH! We’re almost to the end of season two. After we’re done with BSG, I’m gonna make A watch Caprica with me again, cause I really liked that, too. It makes perfect sense to me that drug dealer Jesus (also known as Eric Stoltz – don’t judge, that’s really what he looks like in Pulp Fiction) would be the one to start us on the road to destruction. Sort of like the people who invented Watson (I for one, welcome our new computer overlords) have laid the groundwork for Skynet.

We’re also watching Hell’s Kitchen, OF COURSE!! I’m calling Mary or Jon. Gordon Ramsay is the poo. And then there’s all that drama from Kitchen Nightmares. Seriously people, why ask to be on the show if you don’t really want him to fix your shit? He’s Gordon f***ing Ramsay. Trust me when I tell you that he knows more about running a restaurant than you do.

The day job has been… interesting to say the least. I know that I was tearing my hair out when I was juggling all the management, but I can honestly say that I’d rather go back to that than deal with the inanity I have now. I guess details will have to wait for the individual causing the havoc to be immortalized as a character in a book. Cause good grief. The person is almost unbelievable.

There are probably other things. Like A and I saw Iron Man 3. OMG! Loooved it. Need to do so many TV and movie reviews. Obviously I need to win the lottery so that I can update all the stuff I need to. Yeesh.

Special treat tomorrow! And on the 22nd. Guest blogs from Jenna Bennett and Diane Alberts. Squeee! I love guest blogs. And their books. You should totally go read their books!

And so that this post isn’t beyond boring… I leave you with:

avenger-dogs

Tall, Dark, and Divine – Jenna Bennett

View the details here.

I often get bogged down in my day job and life in general. That’s one of the reasons that my posting is sporadic (try as I do to keep it somewhat regular). It’s also one of the reasons that I read. I find that it settles my mind and gives me a little bit of escape (I always here this in my head as es-cap-ay, thank you Finding Nemo!) from the stresses of life.

I received a copy of Tall, Dark, and Divine for review from the lovelies at Entangled. Thus far I have been a huge fan of everything I have read from them. They publish quality work and I love that I am able to give honestly glowing talldarkdivinereviews about the books I get to read. I liked TDD so much that I jumped at the chance to host a guest blog post by the author, Jenna Bennett. That will appear on the 16th!

So let’s get going!

The blurb:

Annie Landon has given up on finding Mr. Right, and has gone out looking for Mr. Tonight instead. A conversation overheard in the bathroom of Dionysus’s Bar about a jilted and lonely “Greek god” in need of a quick pick-me-up sounds like just what she’s looking for.

But picking up the god of love for a one-night stand is easier said than done–especially when he’s sworn off mortals forever.

Eros has been down and out since his ex-wife left him, and falling for another mortal woman is the last thing he needs. Which means a maddening desire for the woman across the street is not in the cards. Thus begins his quest to find a match made in heaven for Annie. It’s the perfect plan … if only Eros can bear to let the girl of his dreams go.

Can a woman looking for love, and a matchmaking god who wants her to find it—with someone else—have a shot at a happy ending, or will Eros’s golden arrows miss their mark, for once?

The Good:

I’m a huge fan of mythology of just about any flavor, but the Greeks are my first great love. (Third grade school library for the win!) Bringing the Greek gods into the modern era is usually a big hit with me. Jenna did a terrific job with this! I thought she really captured what made each of them tick and showcased the personalities in a fun way.

TDD made me giggle at several points, which is always a huge plus! I liked Eros (Ross) and Annie. They were a cute couple and I was happy for them to get together. There were times I wanted to shake Ross for having his head up his ass. You’d think that after thousands of years and being the god of love, he’d have gotten a clue. But in keeping with mythology, while a god and exceptional, he really is just a glorified mortal with all the faults and foibles of a man, somewhat exaggerated.

The best part of TDD, for me anyway, was Dionysus. The god of wine and debauchery and all that other good stuff that comes from getting a snootful now owns a bar. Totally makes sense. He totally steals the show. Dion is snarky, brutally honest, has this awesome habit of telling Eros exactly what he doesn’t want to hear. He’s hysterical and made me laugh throughout the book.

The Bad:

While I really liked Annie, I sort of wanted to shake her for not putting her foot down a little more firmly about Ross being a moron about whatshisbutt guy that he was trying to set her up with. Not that I don’t understand why she didn’t. I totally do and it really would have been out of character for her to pitch a fit about it. I mean honestly, who WOULDN’T doubt that a FREAKING GOD would want them. She’s totally believable and relatable. Which is why I wanted to shake her 😉

Overall:

This is a great read. I love how Jenna nails the characters of the gods and makes the whole thing light and fun, while at the same time telling a sweet love story. It was totally worth putting off that pile of paperwork that’s breeding on the corner of my desk!

Love Me – Diane Alberts

View the details here.

I was out of reading material the other day.

I know, I know. It was traumatic. I don’t know how I survived.

Then, the lovely and amazing Heather Riccio bailed me out with a copy of Love Me for review! Huzzah! I’ve read other awesomeness by Diane (who I also religiously stalk on Twitter) so I knew that I was going to love it. loveme

I was so right!

The Blurb:

Thomas Jones has come to Vegas to win yet another account for his marketing company. But when he sits across from beautiful and sensual Brianna Falk to deliver his pitch, his desire to leave Vegas as quickly as possible is replaced by the need to get closer to her. Yet she resists his charm.

Brianna knows a date with Thomas could jeopardize her job, but he’s so maddening and insistent, she has a hard time denying him just one date. But that’s all it can be: one date. Because she has to protect her job and her secrets, even if it means giving up a chance at a life she never thought she’d have again.

The Good:

S.T.E.A.M.Y! Whew! Goodness gracious. I had to fan myself while I was reading, and I couldn’t stop reading, which totally blew my “read and work at the same time” plan out of the water! There was a lot of fanning and blushing going on that day.

I really enjoyed the interactions between Thomas and Brianna. There was so much snarky goodness as he flirted with her and she shut him down. It was so much fun to read. I also loved the way that Thomas bravely threw himself into getting to know her kids and getting along with them. He was totally committed before he could even admit that he was. It was just adorable!

They were totally sweet together and Diane did a terrific job showing how their past hurts affected their current relationship. It was also heartwarming how committed they both were to overcoming all that and learning to trust someone again.

I love Diane, she’s a darling. I love her writing, she really gets in there and makes you feel all the feels, so I’d love her writing even if I didn’t love her. That’s really just not a problem though, cause she’s really awesome and you should follow her on Twitter too!

The Bad:

S.T.E.A.M.Y! I got NO work done! Oh and I totally got choked up at the end. *sniffle*

Overall:

Read this! It’s a fast, fun read and it leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy afterward.

For Anna

So there’s this lovely woman on twitter. Her name is Anna Meade. She dresses like Hermione Granger for Halloween and she’s a Dark Fairy Queen. She’s also getting married, sings, and is totally adorable.

Being a writerly type, it only makes sense that she has a writerly type bridal shower online with other freaky people.

Because I heart her tons, here’s my entry!

Moss flitted between the three tables of fairies making wedding favors. Everything had to be perfect, not just because she was coordinating the wedding of the year, but because the Dark Fairy Queen was the one getting married! If ever there was a time for perfection, this was it.

“Excuse me. Are you or are you not supposed to be making sugar swans?” Moss tapped her dainty foot and glared about her. “These look more like ducks! DO IT AGAIN!”

Checking her list, she drifted past the other tables. Snowdrop and bluebell centerpieces were coming along nicely, as were little balls of nectar shaped into small suns.

“Um, Moss? I’m not quite sure… That is – I think there’s a problem.” Cowslip cringed and held out a note.

Snatching the leaf from her assistant, she read the note. With each word her face fell further and a dark cloud started to gather above her head. Moss’s delicate green-brown wings beat furiously.

“What do they MEAN no unicorns?!? There have to be unicorns! The whole opening ceremony depends on them!”

All the work stopped as her wail of despair carried through the meadow.

“It’s all ruined. We may as well call it all off right now!” Moss threw herself onto a tree stump and burst into tears.

Cowslip looked at her fellows for help, but none would meet her eyes. They bent industriously to their tasks, leaving the pale blue fairy to smooth everything over. Sighing and vowing to remember their cowardice, Cowslip settled gingerly next to Moss on the stump.

“You’re the best there is, Moss. This wedding will be splendid, with or without unicorns. All because of you.”

A small sniffle greeted her words.

Encouraged, Cowslip reached out and smoothed Moss’s tousled curls. “In fact, I just know that you’ll come up with something far better than some smelly unicorns. They’re probably not even house broken. Imagine if the Queen ruined a slipper in a pile of unicorn mess!”

A choking laugh escaped the pile of miserable fairy next to her.

Moss sat up and threw her arms around her friend. “I’ve been a little crazed, haven’t I?”

“Oh… not so very much.”

“Liar.” A radiant grin transformed Moss’s face. “You’re the best friend a fairy could have. I don’t know what I’d do without you!”

“Get buried by a distressed unicorn, no doubt.”

“Quite right! So we need something just as whimsical with much smaller droppings. What can we get in a hurry?”

“Size of droppings should always be a consideration in our planning from now on.” Cowslip’s face was perfectly straight. Not even the hint of a smile, although her eyes twinkled like stars.

Moss nodded. “Oh absolutely. I can’t believe that we didn’t think of it earlier.” She’d missed the joke entirely.

“I KNOW! We’ll use wombats! They’re soft and fuzzy and we’ll be able to corral them to minimize the chance of stepping in anything!”

“Yes, I’m sure that will be so much better.”

The crisis had been averted. For now. There were still four more days until the wedding and so much more could happen. Cowslip made a mental note to stock up her mother’s headache remedy. It was going to be a long week!