Sunday, November 29, 2009

Review: When His Kiss is Wicked

I've just completed Kaitlin O'Riley's, When His Kiss is Wicked, the
first book in a series of possibly five books about the Hamilton sisters.

The story takes place in London as society adjusts to it's social
mores moving from Regency England to a more liberal Victorian England.
It follows the eldest sister, Colette, in her struggle to be a woman
in Trade, working in her now-dead father's book shop.

Lucien, Lord Waverly is the hero who at the book's beginning is mired
in Regency beliefs about the place of women in society. His transition
toward a more enlightened Victorian gentleman occurs throughout the

At the beginning, Lucien enters Hamilton's Book Shoppe with the
intention of buying books to read to his father who was incapacitated
by a stroke. When he had last been there, the proprietor, a middle-
aged man had helped him. However, upon this visit he met the former
owner's daughter, Colette, who has taken over it's management after
her father's death.

The two, Lucien and Colette are immediately drawn to each other and
their relationship begins.

I enjoyed the book, appreciating how well the difficulties in a
woman's changing roles in society were examined.

The secondary characters were nicely developed, their parts in the
plot development well-placed. As the reader I learned to care for
these supporting characters and found myself anxious to know what
would happen to them.

I give the book a 4.8/5. I couldn't put it down, reading through the
night to find out how Lucien and Colette resolved their differences.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Thought This Disease Was Dead

My youngest son developed a high fever last weekend. Then came a sore
throat. A day later, spots. My first thought was Chicken Pox. But
this is the person whom I exposed to chicken pox when he was 4 and 5
when his cousins and friends had the disease. He never caught it. So
when the vaccine came out, I figured why bother since he obviously has
a natural immunity. Anyway, no one gets chicken pox anymore. No one
except my son. This Thanksgiving weekend will go down in family
history as another strange weekend.

I love Thanksgiving weekend, but maybe I shouldn't. Two years ago we
had the Great Gravy Disaster when four cups of beautifully perfect
turkey gravy was dropped from our prep table and fell to the floor
covering everything from the ceiling to the cabinets and drawers and
floor. We were cleaning for hours. We found previously undiscovered
gravy hiding places months later. Another Thanksgiving, I was 5-1/2
months pregnant. That weekend, I miscarried. That was an emotionally
crushing experience I'll never completely get over.

...Now chicken pox. Maybe I'll learn to like Halloween better and have
turkey and all the fixings after Trick or Treat.

Now we enter the Holiday Season. My family will be together again in
three weeks. That will be a wonderful time. I hope your holidays are
full of family, happiness, good health, and love.

Thanks for stopping by...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Now Reading

I am just beginning Kaitlin O'Riley's
When His Kiss Is Wicked. It is a Regency novel, one of my favorite
romance genres. I'll review it in a few days.

Candle In The Window

I just completed Christina Dodd's Candle In the Window. It was a beautiful love story of two people who had little in common and seemed completely mismatched except for a shared trait, their blindness. Saura, the heroine was blind from birth and due to the diligence of her mother and maid, Maud, learned to function as well as a sighted woman--so well, in fact, people who didn't know would never have suspected her handicap.

William was blinded in battle. Though the reader can sense that he will regain his sight eventually, it his trip through his handicap along with Saura's help that cements their relationship.

Threats to the couple are a side plot of suspence which moves the relationship along and keep the reader guessing throughout the book. The resolution is not a big surprise, but it is well done and not an insult to the reader's intelligence. There are no extraordinary, magical escapes, nor complex, unrealistic explanations. There is a logical conclusion which proves Saura's value to William, because of the skills she honed in her blindness.

The secondary characters were well developed and a varied group which helped detail life in a medieval castle. One character, Raymond, gets his own book, Castles In the Air. These are stand-alone books. I read them out of sequence and will reread Castles In the Air since I now know Raymond's backstory.

I give Candle In the Window a 4.8/5 rating. It's a lovely book, rich in medieval history, suspense, and romance. Miss Dodd's writing is once again captivating.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rearrange Furniture

We've lived in the same house since 1979. My sons call it the Old Homestead because it's the house in which they were raised.

There is something uniquely different about our house: once something enters its space, it becomes a permanent captive and never leaves again. I married one and raised a family of packrats. My oldest two sons moved out years ago, yet their closets are exactly the same as when they lived here. I was told to keep everything as is.

One of the most "lived in" rooms in my house is the family room. At this moment it looks like a tornado followed by a hurricane hit it. It needs reorganizing and stuff has to GO. There are stacks of clutter everywhere. In the midst are my dogs' toys, blankets, pillows, etc., which they insist on dragging into their favorite room.

I think it would be easier to move to a different house than it is to rearrange 8 pieces of furniture. I know just how I want the room. I've visualized it for over three months. It's too bad I can't interest anyone else in my vision.

It's frustrating to be disabled. It's doubly frustrating to NOT be able to do things by myself that I used to do. If I was still capable, the family room would have been done last August.

I have not given up hope...yet my hope is growing dim. I'll let you know if my vision becomes a reality!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cast Iron Pizza Pan

My latest obsession is kitchenware whether gadgets, tools or cookware.
After cooking since I was eleven, I've found that cooking has lost its
magic. I concluded that the magic was gone because I've been using the
same tried and true stuff as I always did. Time for a change!
Being wheelchair bound and therefore no longer able to work off my
counters, the first things I had to buy were items that allowed me to
cook from a prep table that was at a good working level for me. First
purchases: portable electric grill, portable electric griddle, toaster/
baking oven, and portable electric burners.
Next purchase was a cast iron skillet. Le grand experiment. It was
love at first cook. No more pouring off excess grease from browning
meat--the pan absorbs it. No more braising meats and having to
transfer them into another pat for roasting--the cast iron skillet
goes from cooktop to oven.
The next cast iron experiment was a pizza pan. The pan was said to be
perfect for the task--5 star rated on Amazon. I bought it and tried a
store-bought Digiorno four-cheese pizza. The results were amazing. The
pizza was evenly cooked and the crust was nicely golden and crisp
throughout. The pizza rivaled any takeout and went one step better:
it was hot!

I have some new enamel-lined Dutch ovens coming. After that? Who

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Welcome to my blog

This is my debut venture into the blogosphere. I rarely have nothing
to say and usually have my family's eyes crossing as I wax eloquent
and sometimes not so eloquent about topics that move me, books that
I've read, kitchen products that were helpful, and anything referring
to my pets.
As I write my first post, I ponder how significantly life has been
changed by the Internet. Not a new thought, but one which strikes me
Through the marvel that is social networking, such as my very
favorite, Twitter, Facebook, etc., I have met and converse with people
worldwide. Some share my love of romance novels, others my fascination
with Scotland, still others my obsession with my two toy poodles, and
others who share my health problems, my love of family and country.
My hope for this blog, which my son Mike set up for me, is to share my
myriad thoughts which come from the many voices in my head and thus
the name vox capita.
I can't guarantee that I'll blog everyday, but I'll try
Thanks for checking in friend.