Friday, June 11, 2010

Kiss Me if You Can by Carly Phillips ( a review)

I got an ARC (Advance Reader Copy, aka Galley) of Kiss Me if You Can because I was the lucky blog reader whose name got pulled out of the hat. So I read it and figured I'd post a review for all five of my loyal readers, only one of whom reads romance novels.

Let me just say that I will probably pull a few punches because it was free and because the author comes across as genuinely nice.

It's OK. About 6/10. I liked it better than her "Lucky" books which were her series before this one.

The heroine seems so much more put together and balanced than what everyone says about her. I know some of that is meant to be that her family always treated her fairly shabbily because she wasn't as uptight and as much of an overachiever as her parents and sister, but it still came across as odd. She has a website business and is successful and travels a lot for the joy of it - doing some of her best work in Timbuktoo and Outer Mongolia and so on.

She always patterned herself instead on her wacky grandmother, but when Grandma ends up not having always had much of a moral code and the heroine (no, I can't remember her name) is thrown for a loop.

The hero feels like he failed at everything. He meant to be a cop, but had a shoulder injury and had to give it up. He was married to a stewardess who cheated on him and left him. He wants to be an author, not a journalist, but almost no one bought his first book and he has writer's block. His main problem with the heroine is that she likes to travel and sometimes goes on long trips, so he decides he shouldn't fall for her because she is therefore just like his ex. Neurotic much?

I mean, they almost break up because the heroine asks him to travel to Australia with her. Even if he doesn't want to quit his job so he can he becomes a fabulously rich author overnight (because surely we all know that's how it works!), surely he has some vacation time coming up? She usually travels for long periods of time, but even she should know she can take shorter trips and doesn't have to give up all travel forever.

When they have long conversations, the author pretty much says "they had a long conversation" instead of making it about anything, which would at least show us that they were sharing a bit about their interests.

They're brought together because he foils a jewelry robbery and the store owner's daughter offers him a reward, so he takes the ugliest, cheapest thing he sees, and it turns out to be a ring that was stolen in the 50's and it matches the ugly, horrid necklace that the heroine's grandmother only wears at home. He's also in the news and then featured on a blog of handsome, available bachelors (which subplot pretty much falls off the map about halfway through), and the jewelry store owner sees the ring and has to get it back so no one knows.

I felt the stolen ring plot was a bit silly, with the grandmother and her best friend providing geriatric laughs and being a bit over the top.

The sex scenes were hot, but we all know that good sex does not a great relationship make, right?

So it was a light read and a bit of fluff. Fun, but a bit frustrating.

Monday, June 7, 2010

revision, revision, revision, books, kids, and other stuff

My class started yesterday!

I'm taking Lani Diane Rich's StoryWonk Revision class. She's an excellent writer and has been running these classes for a while - and I need all the help I can get with editing for plot, structure, and story.

So first week, we have to read the story without editing (hard to do, so I have made it a pdf and put it on my eReader) and write all the scenes on note cards, then identify the major turning points and where the Acts are (ideally 4 acts). It doesn't sound like too much, but, *ulp*

I'm still waiting for the critique of 10 pages that I won in the raffle at a day-long writer's conference I went to a couple of months ago. I need to email.

PLUS, I got a CC of the email to Joanna Bourne, whose 10 page critique I won in the Novak diabetes auction, informing her that I am the winner, so I need to get in touch with her and decide if I want the same 10 pages critiqued or a different 10.

And my laptop is ailing and is in the laptop hospital. I might just be dirty and overheating, might need a new video card. We should have news today, I hope. Definitely slowing me down on writing and revision, though...

And yesterday, I was reading one of the huge number of books I got at the library book sale (half price day on Saturday as I was helping at the sale and then I helped pack up the leftovers). I was wandering around the house with it and kept picking it up and thinking, "Hey, I already read this part. How in the world did I manage to put the bookmark in the wrong spot?" until I finally noticed that I had two of them - one from the sale and one from the library.

I did get some other doubles of things already on my shelf so wasted a whole - whoooo - $2.33 or something. I will either donate them back to the library for the next sale or else sell them at the used book store for more than I paid for them. (method to my madness).

DS1, my 10 year old, 4th grader, went to camp for the next two nights. My ickle baby boy! Strangely, there were nine kids out of the two classes (43 kids, according to ds1) who are not going along. One I know really didn't want to go and another his parents were worried about less-than-optimal supervision. I just remember having loads of fun at camp with my school (though sometimes being homesick) and I helped him pack and waved bye-bye. So we won't see him again until Wednesday, which isn't all that far away. And who knows? They're panning for gold up by Sutter's Mill, so he might end up making us all rich (hahahahaha).

DS2 got his thumb slammed in the hinge side of the bathroom door yesterday. DS1 was just closing the door - a bit too hard because DS2 was right there, so he's not completely blameless, but it wasn't one of their running and slamming times - and he somehow got his right thumb in the hinge. I really don't know how his right hand was in the hinge area, which is on the left side of the door, but there it was. I just heard the thump and the scream. So his thumb is swollen and achy and bruised around the knuckle, but he can move it, though not all the way, so I'm trying to decide if he needs an X-ray.

DD is potty training. It's going well. Mostly. Accident on the floor yesterday, but generally, if she has her diaper off, she remembers to use the potty without too much prompting. I'm not totally comfortable with her running around nakey-bop with older brothers, but that's more in my head than in theirs.

So that was our weekend :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

school pics

not the good ones. just amusing :)

Maybe too late for my mom to see before she goes to conference!

Friday, June 4, 2010

lots and lots of PICTURES

the neighbors got some patio chairs, so we got a new box!