Saturday, October 28, 2006

Review: Playing With Fire

Sometimes it doesn't matter that a book's title is an overused euphemism. "Playing With Fire: Tales of an Extraordinary Girl" by Gena Showalter easily overcame that small handicap and was an enjoyable over-too-soon read.

I've begun dabbling in the Paranormal Romance genre, and Gena's book is the second that I've finished so far (meaning yes, I picked up another by a different P.R. author and couldn't get past sixty pages of stilted, head-hopping prose by a well-known author of this growing genre). "Play With Fire" tells the tale of Belle Jamison, a girl who just wants to keep a full-time job, take care of her dad, and maybe get a boyfriend. When a mysterious man dumps a secret formula in her latte, Belle wakes up a week later with powers of control over the four elements.

And as hokey as the premise could be, Gena pulled it off brilliantly. Belle's powers are controlled by her emotions (fire from anger, ice from cold, etc…), which provide some amusing scenes early on. The handsome hero is Rome Masters, an agent who tracks down paranormal disasters and neutralizes them. It's love at first sight (and first singeing, apparently) as Rome decides to go against orders and help Belle, rather than turn her in. But he does have a secret power of his own (which I picked up on almost right away, so it wasn't any sort of shock when Rome finally reveals it to Belle) and an ulterior motive (and it's not just sex, which was refreshing).

Speaking of sex, holy cow, does this book sizzle! But with the promise of eroticism, of teasing, taunting lovers who can't consummate their intense emotions without Belle burning down the house (or car, or cabin, or wherever they are at the time). And the fun is in how they deal with their searing attraction, while helping Belle learn to control her newfound powers.

I've already picked up another of Gena's books ("Awaken Me Darkly") and definitely recommend the author to anyone who likes stories of the paranormal. The romance is just a perk.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rummage Sale!

They are just the best thing ever. Like a huge, chaotic yard sale, but cheaper and with more people.

My town is hosting one this weekend at the local equestrian center to benefit a local hospital. I drove down this morning and spent almost four hours walking around the two huge rooms of donated stuff. The two sections I scoured the hardest were Books and Women's Clothing.

Dozens of tables and boxes of books. Hardbacks for $1, paperbacks for fifty cents (even the large trade!), kids book for a quarter. After a full hour poking and pilfering, I had nine new books for my collection (a modest number when many people were filling up boxes!), including One Hundred Years of Solitude, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Stranger Than Fiction, and a collection of JD Salinger stories. I found a kids book called The Empty Grave that I remembered by the cover alone, but have no idea what it's about. Plus a copy of the film Sheena. All for six bucks.

Then I wandered some more before entering the fray around the Women's clothing. Talk about a free for all. In boxes, under tables, on top of tables. This is from where the term RUMMAGE sale was taken. I ended up at the T-shirt/blouse table for over an hour, sorting through tops from Old Navy, Gap, Abercrombie, Aeropostale, JCrew, Nine West, Liz Clairborne, and more. Name brands. I bought nine new shirts for three bucks. Three dollars!!!

Ecstatic over that one I kept going, ignoring my lunchtime hunger. I browsed other sections, such as Linens, Collectibles, Framed Art, Lamps, Holiday Items, and Toys with no luck. On my way out, I poked into a few boxes in the Housewares section and landed some new Tupperware containers for fifty cents each (sandwich size, small bowls, and butter stick holder). Another four bucks.

Not a bad haul for four hours and thirteen dollars. I'm tempted to go back tomorrow morning, since it's only a two day event. And my wallet definitely isn't cringing.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Deep Core Armageddon Day

Time for another round of the AW Chain. Number seven, to be precise. Previously, on Peregrinas, quidscribis wrote moving from Quebec to Sri Lanka. The differences in language, culture, landscape, and tradition. Things that make one human being seem so different from another, even though beneath those surface items, we are all the same.

The irony of writing this now is that while I read the previous post, the film Armageddon was playing on the TV behind me. The specific sequence of events was the launch of the shuttles into space, when the President gives a voice-over about saving ourselves from extinction, over half a dozen shots of men and women around the world, listening to translations of the speech. The eyes of the world are on the drillers, and we are all in it together.

Ever notice that it's always America that saves the world? We did it in The Core, Deep Impact (with a little Russian help), Armageddon (another token crazy Russian), and Independence Day (no Russians). Granted these films are made with an American audience in mind, but talk about self-aggrandizing. I want to see a movie where Tibet saves the world. Just because they haven't yet.

Let's share the wealth. Make someone else a hero for once. After all, every one of these movies make a point of showing just how similar Americans, French, Russian, Dutch, Japanese, and Egyptians are to each other. Prove it, Hollywood. Let Denmark save us all from a nuclear winter, or show how China blows the Boston-sized asteroid out of space.

I have only one request: no Ben Affleck.

Next up is Oswann at BCOM.

And the rest of the chain:

Atomic Bear
XThe NavigatorX

Thursday, October 05, 2006

In For It Now

It had to happen sooner or later.

I didn't want to, but felt I had no choice.

I turned on the heater. It's just too darn cold without it.

Oh the joys of autumn.