Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Things I've Learned

Spending a week in a hotel in San Antonio made some things clear.

I miss SA.  A LOT.

Though we've been making do here in DFW with On the Border for Mexican food, it's really not Mexican food.  I miss having good-tasting, affordable Mexican food just about on every corner.  

I miss TV.  A lot.

I am fat.  Fatter than I think I am.

Doing anything that requires walking is a thing of the past.  I just can't do it anymore, not without paying for it later in ways that are unacceptable.

Driving more than about an hour is extremely uncomfortable, and by the end of two hours, is painful.  Six hours in the car was really not a good idea. I'm thankful I built in an extra day to recover before the "festivities" began.  Driving back yesterday was a big ball of notfunatall.

I miss being the structure of life I had as a military dependent - maybe that's a childhood thing.  Knowing what's expected of me, what behavior is unacceptable in public, being among other who think nothing of standing for the National Anthem, rather than looking at me like I'm crazy (which I am, but what do they know?).

The idea of being homeless terrifies me, maybe as much as the idea of going to jail.

My stepmother really doesn't like me.  No, I mean really.  She said hi to me at the graduation, from a distance, and otherwise stayed a minimum of ten feet away and ignored me.   At least I got a hug from my dad.

Being "home" again has made other things clear. 

Clearing out the remainder of the apartment is going to take longer than I have.  I will end up tossing perfectly good things, or giving away things I want to keep (like my mother's writings), just to get everything out of the apartment by the end of April.

I am going to have an extraordinarily difficult time living alone, IF I have a place to live.

I don't really like living here and want to go "home."

I'm really, really depressed, and have doubts that I'll come out of this one sane, or at least as sane as I've been claiming up until now.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

That's is for tonight!

I have at least another dozen books on which to post reviews or mini-reviews, but I'm too tired to keep on it tonight.  I hope to get a few more done before we leave for SA.

The Rest of the Books, Part I

I checked out all these books at the library, and no money changed hands anywhere.

Suzanne Brockman, Hot Pursuit: this is one of the FBI series I mentioned in another blog post about Brockman's books.  Turns out, I'd read this one before, and just didn't feel like re-reading, but I do remember that I enjoyed it the first time, so go, read!

Hot Pursuit: A Novel

Nora Roberts, Carolina Moon:  small-town girl survives an abusive childhood, leaves home and decides to return to the small town to bury some old memories.  There's action, romance, suspense, and a twist that I didn't see coming.  Good, solid, Nora Roberts read.

Carolina Moon

Jayne Ann Krentz, Smoke in Mirrors:  librarian leaves her full-time job to investigate the death of a friend.  Decent action, solid mystery and the killer is not who you think it is.  I'd read this one before, but didn't realize it until I was a pretty good way in, so I just kept reading.  I enjoyed reading it again.

Smoke in Mirrors

Carla Neggers, The Whisper:  blah, with an extra helping of blah, and a side of blah, to boot.  This was a continuation of another Neggers book, which I recall enjoying a lot.  This one, not so much.  There were too many references to past events (possibly two books, one for sure, because I read it), and too much of this book was taken with those references, leaving not enough of this book about this book's events and plot points.  Until near the end, I wasn't even sure there was a romance in this book, even though I know that Neggers writes romantic suspense.  Overall, this book was a disappointment.  It might even be a strong enough disappointment that I won't pick up another of her books for quite a while.

The Whisper

J. D. Robb, Fantasy in Death:  Nora Roberts alter-ego writes another Eve Dallas romantic suspense novel, and I enjoyed this one immensely!  I loved all the tech talk, knowing that some of this tech is available now, even if only to the military.  It's an interesting whodunit, and though the killer is foreshadowed, I wasn't sure until the end where Eve starts figuring it out and setting up her sting.

Just a few examples why I love Robb's Eve Dallas:

Peabody's dissecting the amorous activity of one of the suspects, and overloads Eve, who replies, "See now I've got this image of some cock sitting at a swim-up bar at a resort, wearing sunshades and drinking one of those stupid drinks full of fruit and paper umbrellas."  I actually laughed out loud at the visual!

Eve and Roark are finishing up some alone time and Eve tells Roark, "Lawyers and shrinks and suspects," to which Roark replies, "Oh my."  Eve just looks at Roark, puzzled.  I love that Eve is not afraid to not know something.  She knows that nearly anyone is more tuned into pop culture than she is, and she's OK with that.

And, last, her opinion on parties:  "...because that's the problem with parties.  You have to get dressed up then talk to a bunch of people you'll probably never see again and you don't care about their opinions or life stories anyway."  A woman after my own heart, though I tend to attend parties where I actually know someone.  If I don't know anyone, what's the point of going?  lol

Fantasy in Death

Maggie Shayne, Charlaine Harris and Barbara Hambly, Night's Edge:  three novellas about the things that go bump in the night.  I enjoyed each of these shorts, though I most enjoyed the last one, Someone Else's Shadow by Barbara Hambly.  Suspense, romance and action, in little bite-sized pieces.  lol

Night's Edge: Dancers in the Dark\Her Best Enemy\Someone Else's Shadow

Kay Hooper series of trilogies

I checked out all these books at the library, and no money changed hands anywhere.

Kay Hooper wrote a series of trilogies, featuring and building the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit of the FBI.  All members of the SCU are psychic in one way or another.  If this sort of thing does not appeal to you, move on along, because the whole psychic thing plays a huge part in these books.

Each book actually stands alone rather well, though reading them in sequence and within a fairly short time-frame makes for more suspense as the over-plot gets revealed or resolved, little by little, in each book.  I did not read all the books in order - in fact, I did not know there were so many until this last trip to the library.

The trilogies are, in order, Shadows, Evil, Fear and Blood.  Each title in each trilogy contains the name of the trilogy.

I read book 3 of Evil, Sense of Evil; books 1 and 3 of Fear, Hunting Fear and Sleeping with Fear; all three books of Blood, Blood Dreams, Blood Sins and Blood Ties.  I actually read Blood Ties first, and that's what set this whole thing off: it had a list in the front of the book of all of the SCU books, and I made a special trip to the library to get as many of these as I could.  I'd read several of the books before, and interestingly, remembered enough of those plots for the references in the later books to make perfect sense.

The only "complaint" I have is that references to the events of Blood Sins made them sound horribly traumatic and suspenseful.  In point of fact, the resolution of that piece was fairly short and simple, and therefore, a bit disappointing.  Had I read the books in order, perhaps I wouldn't have noticed this.

Stealing Shadows (Shadows Trilogy)
Hiding in the Shadows (Shadows Trilogy)
Out of the Shadows (Shadows Trilogy)
Touching Evil
Whisper of Evil (Evil Trilogy)
Sense of Evil
Hunting Fear
Chill of Fear
Sleeping with Fear
Blood Dreams (A Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novel)
By Kay Hooper: Blood Sins (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit: Blood Trilogy)
Blood Ties: A Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novel (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit: Blood Trilogy)

For me, these books were suspenseful and action-packed, with believable psychic "gifts," as well as believable struggles for the people learning to cope with their new (or old) abilities.  Each of these people brings something to the table besides being psychic, many are either military or police trained prior to joining the FBI and several have specialties that make them valuable to the FBI as a whole, not just to the SCU.   The love stories share equal time with the action, and yet are not given short shrift in the overall plot.

If you are one to read books about out of the ordinary abilities and gifts, I highly recommend any of the books in this series.

Ghosts Abound!

I checked all these books out at the library and no money changed hands anywhere.

Heather Graham wrote the Bone Island Trilogy, Ghost Shadow, Ghost Night and Ghost Moon, all set in and around Key West, Florida, and a small circle of friends who mostly grew up together.

Ghost Shadow (The Bone Island Trilogy)
Ghost Night (Bone Island Trilogy)
Ghost Moon (Bone Island Trilogy)

In the beginning of each book, there's a fairly comprehensive, bulleted list of historical events involving Key West and how it came to be Key West.

I've read many of Heather Graham's books, including several under her "pen" name Possezere (I think), which is actually her real name.  At any rate, I've come to expect a certain quality from her, including well-choreographed sex scenes.  These books were a big disappointment for me.  There were characters I particularly enjoyed, like the actual ghost who was a part of the family for the entire trilogy, but mostly, I kept expecting there to be something more to the story and there never was.  The sex scenes were so blah that I even thought the books might have been better without them.

At the end of the trilogy, and yes, I made myself read all three books, I was left with nothing but a serious jones to visit Key West sometime soon.  I cannot really recommend these books, though your mileage may vary.

I've been gone a while

I noticed the other day that it had been nearly a month since I wrote a blog entry.  Sorry about that.  I've been dealing with some personal issues, and just not feeling much love for the interwebs, so I took a break.

Next week, we'll be attending Mr Potatohead's Air Force Basic Military Training graduation, and seeing the "other" grandparents (oh, joy), and spending time as one big dysfunctional family.  I think that even my parents are going to be there for a day. 

All my library books are due before we leave, so I'm going to try to get at least a mini-review up for all those books.

Tall, Dark and .....

These three books represent the first six stories of Seal Team Ten, originally published as six separate books.  I checked these out at the library and no money changed hands anywhere.

Tall, Dark and Dangerous contains the stories Prince Joe and Forever Blue. 

Tall, Dark and Dangerous: Prince Joe\Forever Blue (Hqn)

Tall, Dark and Fearless contains the stories Frisco's Kid and Everyday, Average Jones.

Tall, Dark and Fearless: Frisco's Kid\Everyday, Average Jones (Hqn)

Tall, Dark and Devastating contains the stories Harvard's Education and Hawken's Heart.

Tall, Dark and Devastating: Harvard's Education\Hawken's Heart (Hqn)

I suppose it's the military brat in me, and I love stories about men in uniform and how they make families work.  I don't discriminate as far as the type of uniform, either.  I'm just as fascinated with other heroes, such as policemen, firemen and others.

I've read several of the Seal Team Ten novels, and have wondered about the relationships that were already established when I got to those books.   These six stories are the very beginning of the series, and I loved them all!  Some stories were more compelling than others, but at the end of all six, I couldn't tell you which were which.

Suzanne Brockman writes other novels, including some about FBI agents, and is a card-carrying member of PFLAG, which only endears her to me more.  Her novels include stories with gay characters, new mothers, confirmed (so they think) bachelors, and nearly always a suspenseful, action-packed plot.  On top of that, the sex scenes sizzle!

My kind of books, without a doubt.