Archive for September, 2012

Spouse Speak

September 28, 2012

So, me and my beloved spouse (or rather my beloved spouse and I), are out and about running errands, and he is filling me in on all the details of his week he forgot to tell me.  Sigh.  I love this man, but he can sure talk your ear off.  I have several default settings I refer to when he gets on a roll – depending on my level of interest.  Yawning, reading the newspaper while he maunders on, napping, and rolling my eyes usually don’t do much to slow him down.  When he wants to tell me something, it gets told.  Since I do find much he says interesting (okay, but maybe in smaller sound bites), I ask questions and express enthusiastic opinions when I am invested in our conversations, so he can generally tell the difference.

On this occasion he detours from his monologue to tell me the person he is speaking of is “perfectly delightful”.   Now this is an attention grabber.  Mr. GG is a big, tough, macho brute (who dotes on his daughter and is a cat person, but few people know that).  It is hard to even imagine him saying “perfectly delightful”, much less hear him describe another woman that way.

I immediately jump into this conversation to find out more about the woman who is “perfectly delightful”, and what exactly makes a person “perfectly delightful”.  I think we were driving to Home Depot, which is a relatively short trip, so I had to get to the gist fast.

“Am I perfectly delightful?”  I am not sure how I want him to answer this – I guess it depends on his definitions.

It turns out he does not think I am perfectly delightful in the main, although there may have been occasions in the past, when I was.   Offhand he can’t recall any such occasion.

I come at it another way.  “So tell me somebody I  know who is perfectly delightful”.

He gives that some thought and mentions a woman who is kind, courteous, thoughtful, gracious, and lady like.  Okaaaaaay, then.  We’ve got our parameters outlined and I can live without being perfectly delightful.  Maybe.  I do like to push the envelope sometimes, so I put it on my “To do” list.   Mostly to scare him.  By this time we have arrived at Home Depot, so we bag the whole conversation, and go off in search of furnace filters, or hose clamps or whatever.  We have more important things to discuss.  There is a new Bruce Willis movie out, and you all know how much I love the Bruce.  Betcha Bruce don’t like no stinkin’ “perfectly delightful” ladies.  My world is back on its’ axis.

The Lost Weekend or A Book Review

September 19, 2012

Mr. GG has been out on a fire detail for a while, so it’s just me and the cat keeping the home fires (heh) burning.  Mostly we’ve been eating (and the vet says the cat weighs 18 pounds and must lose a half pound a month to get to his goal weight.  Do I have to do Weightwatchers for Cats?  How many points is kitty kibble?).   And I have been reading a lot, so the cat keeps me company as I loll about.  Last week I read all my favorite new releases – the Meljean Brooks, the G. A. Aiken, the new J. D. Robb.  As the weekend crept up on me, I considered downloading the new S. M. Stirling or Julie Garwood to my Kindle.  But the price was outrageous for those two – and you have to draw the line somewhere.  So I went searching for free Kindle downloads and on a whim ordered “A Hidden Fire“, by Elizabeth Hunter.  Whoa!  I think I started that one in the evening, and I finished it at some ungodly hour of the morning.  Before I fell asleep, I ordered the next in the series of 4 books.  I HAD TO.

Frankly, I am awfully tired of vampires.  I mean, I will still read the next J. D. Ward book when it comes out, but I am maxed out on tortured heroes, blood, sex and eternal life.  But.  But, Elizabeth Hunter goes where no world builder has gone before.  Her vamps are…. People.  Some likeable, some despicable, some in between, and some your basic nutjobs, but they are all unique and fascinating and they interact with humans.  These vamps have the whole range of emotions: especially humor, joy, regret – and are capable of love.  They are not brooding Transylvanians, they are from all the classic cultures, Tibetan, Persian, Ethiopian, Greek, Roman, et al.  The hero, Giovanni Vecchio, is a Renaissance scholar copying an ancient book for a friend.  Which means he has to go to the university library at night.  And B, the heroine, is the librarian.  Yes, that’s right!  The Heroine is a Librarian, woohoo, yippee, about time!  She’s human.  She’s smart.  She excels at research.  She wears Doc Martens.

This is not a fast moving story.  There are lots of relationships to explore – and it takes forever to get to the Big Reveal.  And after the Big Reveal, there is no HEA.  Everyone has a story.  And a backstory.  But these characters grow on you.  You care about everybody.  And there are mysterious manuscripts, missing people, and puzzles to research.   And though this book doesn’t end up HEA, it does finish with some Ever After, and a promise of more.  You won’t get to a cliff hanger and pitch a fit or the Kindle at the wall.  You’ll do what I did, and immediately download the next book.

This free book was the kind of story that you savor, and if Mr. GG had been around, I might have taken the time to have regular meals, do laundry, run errands, etc.  And I would have savored.  But it was just me and the cat.  I binged.  I binged on this book, bought the next, binged on that one, binged more, and finally bought the fourth and final in this series.  I read nonstop, folks.  Then I googled Ms. Hunter to find out if she had anything else I could devour.  And right now I am having severe withdrawal.  If I don’t reread these books right away, I am probably going to have to go find some vintage Linda Howard, or Jennifer Crusie, or Susan Elizabeth Phillips to ease me into a gentle transition.

I am a voracious and not particularly discriminating reader.  I will read “The Sheik’s Pregnesiac Virgin Mistress”, and then a biography of Amelia Earhart, or a DIY mosaic book.   But I am here to tell ya, this “Elemental Mysteries” series by Elizabeth Hunter is special.  If you ever read the Williamsburg novels by Elswyth Thane – it is sorta like that.  Or maybe like the first time you read the Dragonrider books by Ann McCaffery.  Or if you read the ”Novels of the Change”  series by S. M.  Stirling,  kinda like that.  But not.

Since I have already raved about this series to the cat (who licked his butt and then went and yowled by his food bowl) I had to tell someone who would care, that I found this terrific series.  I am not a shill, have no dog in this hunt, no ax to grind, and never heard of Ms. Hunter before this weekend, and just want somebody else to metaphorically (or actually, for that matter), hop up and down, do the happy dance, and love these books as much as I do.