Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Sex Doll

Sex Doll
Sex Doll by Sapphire Scott

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Did you ever finish a book that made you wonder how did that end up in my library. This is one of those stories. I was expected a more of a one on one domination. This story was really more about being used and liking it. If that's your kink I have no problem with but I found the story just a bit disturbing. I have read others that seemed that way but they seemed to turn around in the end but this one was pretty stark to the end. Rebecca comes to work after the death of her father and is met with resentment and hostility. This touches something in her that needs to be not only submissive but humiliated as well it seems.

There were also a few things I found a bit hard to believe and that don't fit with what I've come to enjoy in a good erotic BDSM story of safe, sane, and consensual. There was a lot of unsafe sex with known and unknown partners. Situations involving heavy play with a total stranger with no negotiation and no safe word. And while Rebecca supposedly has a safe word at the factory the few times she tries to use it she is no position to be able to. Finally, just the fact that everyone in the factory is getting on with the action even in a small work force of 75 seems way over the top.

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Review: The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale

The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale
The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell (aka Chloe Cole)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actually a 3.5
While not my normal choice this freebie that I picked up about a year go was a fun read. Stormy is out to retrieve her brother's property from the Looney Duke. She is surprised to find out that they actually have a history together and although she's sure she's in love she doesn't see anyway to make it work. The ending is a bit of a surprise and just about perfect.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: His Bare Obsession

His Bare Obsession
His Bare Obsession by Lacey Thorn

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had a really hard time coming up with a rating for this book. It was not badly written and the story was a riveting one but it just didn't do it for me on several levels. The first is that looking at the cover (yes, I'm a visual learner) I was expecting something very different from what the story turned out to be. I got it as a freebie so I did read the whole thing although I did skim a bit more through parts of it. I found the violent nature of the crimes so well described a bit too much for me. This is why I'm not a fan of CIS type crime drama. Also, it seemed that there were so many underlying issues that Moira had been ignoring for years and to suddenly blurt them out to one person and then share everything with another who she had just met seemed a bit over the top. Further Moria has just met detective Gil and she completes changes everything in her life in days of meeting him. And finally, I think that if I had an encounter with a crazed killer who was stalking me so he could rape and murder me I don't think I would be so eager to explore a sexual relationship with a near stranger.

The biggest irony or maybe lesson to be taken from this story is that no matter how much you know or how well prepared you can still be taken unawares and become a victim. More than one woman in the story had been trained in self defense and anti-victim classes and they were still in danger. In addition a loaded weapon beats self-defense.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Exposed and Pleasured

Exposed and Pleasured
Exposed and Pleasured by Lisa Renee Jones

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting story where I think both Kimberly and Dr. Blake are taken by surprised at the depth of their feelings for one another. It was a quick read and proves the point that a lot can happened when you begin to explore your own sexuality.

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Playing as A Child

"What kind of indoor and outdoor games did you play as a child?"

When I first saw this prompt I'm thinking oh that would be easy but then when I started thinking about it, it seemed a bit harder.  I mean in school we played the standard school yard stuff like tug-a-war and Red Rover in elementary school. And I really hated middle and high school where you were forced to play team sports for PE.    But I was taking this question more of as at home home voluntary kind of thing.  

So indoors - I liked board games.  Sometimes my mom played with me but I was just as likely to play by myself moving for two players.  I loved playing with my Barbie's at least through middle school.  And I loved to read.  Reading has been my passion for as long as I can remember.

Outdoors - Well I did mention that reading was my passion and I could be found reading outside usually hiding in the Brazilian Pepper Tree in our backyard as doing anything else.  I like to ride my bike and would ride for hours at a time.  I had a half built playhouse in the backyard (that is a story all by itself) and I would imagine all kinds of scenarios up in my head.  Sometimes I put myself in situations of my favorite TV shows where I would be a different character who interacted with my favorites.  Or I would make up my own stuff.  I really was by myself more than I was with others.

When I did play with others it was mostly boys.  My neighbor was lacking in girls.  And the few girls who  moved in didn't stay long and I could not stand how silly they seemed.  Seems I was in training to be the mom of 4 boys.  I was always the pal or one of the guys and by high school that was pretty frustrating but that's the way it was.  We usually rode bikes or played kick ball in my backyard.  Kick ball was the one team sport I seemed to be able to play without embarrassing myself, getting hurt, or pissing off my team mates.  

So there's my complicated answer to the simple question of childhood games.

Waiting on the Geek

Well I dropped off my computer with the Geek who built her several years ago on Monday.  They said they had a three day back up on checking out the computers so I am impatiently waiting to hear back.  I probably won't have the money to fix it yet but at least I will have an idea of what the damage is and how much fixing it will be.  I miss my big computer.  I'm thankful for my net-book that is allow me to stay in touch but I really miss my big computer with my big monitor.  This tiny screen gets hard on the eyes after a while.

Here's to hoping the fix will be simple and won't break the bank.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Pour Some Sugar On It

Pour Some Sugar On It
Pour Some Sugar On It by M. Rode

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very sweet anthology. Every story seems really complete for such short stories. Great blend of sugar and steam. Of course my favorite was Brownies. It was fun to see Tanny and Jim from the Hammer series in such a fun little story.

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Review: Just One Bite: Volume One

Just One Bite: Volume One
Just One Bite: Volume One by Scarlet Blackwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would actually give it a 3.5. This is a great anthology of short stories with a lot of variety in the themes.

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Review: Yes, Mr. Collins

Yes, Mr. Collins
Yes, Mr. Collins by Charlotte DeCorte

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Natasha and Mr. Collins are very interesting characters. They have established a working relationship and Natasha holds the distinction of being the only PA to last more than a few weeks. But now after 15 months Mr. Collins seems to be making a major change in their relationship.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review: Little Girl Found

Little Girl Found
Little Girl Found by Fiona Wilde

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting take on the age-play theme. Most stories that I've read in the genre have been from the perspective of an established couple who are looking to add another element to their lives, an older person seeking to find a way to help out a younger person settle and make better choices, or the historical vein where it seems to be more a matter of almost non-consent.

Little Girl Found is different in that everything not only completely consensual but also features a way to pair up young person with another adult that wants to take care of them.

Barbara is the star of the story who struggles feeling lost and it interesting to see her both embrace and yet struggle with her inner child. This is the first story in a series so the story focuses on Barbara and her search and adjustments to this type of lifestyle. My favorite scene in the story is when she is given a chance to pick out certain items that will be hers to keep no matter what she decides to do. I really loved how the writer lets us peak inside Barbara's head as she makes her choices.

While I would never desire to be treated like a young child this sub-genre can be interesting to see the ways that people play out their feelings in non-traditional ways.

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Review: End of the Line

End of the Line
End of the Line by Sean Michael

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actually more like 3.5

No matter the sexual orientation of the characters I really enjoying reading a story where the characters are a bit older. Sam has been out of the military for a couple of years and has never really had a relationship before. Chance is a small town guy who has been heading out of town for hook ups. When Chance gives Sam a job and a place to stay the dance begins. Each guy is interested in what he sees but both have been used to keeping things close to the chest for fear of retribution. It is fun to see the friendship develop and the guys get braver as the story progresses. The story seems to develop at a good pace that makes the story both fun and believable.

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Review: Well Traveled

Well Traveled
Well Traveled by Margaret Mills

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first time I read a true historical romance in the m/m genre. I really like the way the characters slowly build up their relationship. Gideon is a bit different from those around him due to his life growing up in a traveling wild west show. Jedediah has not has an easy life in the growing up on a reservation and being forced to attend school with the missionaries. On the surface they are an unlikely pair but their relationship builds up as they story progresses. They find themselves challenged in all kinds of ways in all kinds of situations that allows both of the them to learn more about the other man but to also grow personally as well. The ending will really pull at your heart strings. I look forward to read more of their on going adventures in the next installment. [b:Earth and Sun, Cedar and Sage|7265323|Earth and Sun, Cedar and Sage|Margaret Mills||8359834]

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Review: Family Dinner

Family Dinner
Family Dinner by Sean Michael

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actually I'd give this one a 3.5.

Took me a minute to catch on to the laugh in the twins names so watch for that one its really cute. This is another short read that was very enjoyable. It highlights the first real hook up between two guys who have been friends. Sweet read.

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Review: On This Day...

On This Day...
On This Day... by Kim Dare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actually more a 3.5.

This is a short story but has a lot of great emotion and feeling to the story. This is sort of a peak into one special day in the life of an established sub and his master. It was touching to see Denny put some much work into his surprise for his Master. Then to watch Tayton try to figure out what anniversary his forgetting and getting upset when he thinks the anniversary might not be about him. Quick but satisfying read.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: Dark Desires: Bought

Dark Desires: Bought
Dark Desires: Bought by D. Cristiana

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story seemed to have such a dark premise. I was surprised by the ending and the romantic moral to the story.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Between reading a longer book that is a download from one of the sites I'm a member on so it doesn't show up on Good Reads and having a crazy week I feel like I haven't been around my blog much.  Sunday of course was sick and it was fun to get a call yesterday to find out one if the 5 kids I had in my nursery tested positive for strep.  Monday I was up at 5 am and left the house by 7.  I had to drop of the princess at her all day class and the next 2 boys off at their MLK Day of Service project.  They were part of a group of over 200 that helped plant over 1800 trees at a local nature preserve.  This land had been cattle land for several generations but was donated to the county.  They have slowly been restoring it a natural state.  Then I dropped off the oldest at home at his friends house on the other side of the county and went to a board meeting.  Then I had to pick up the boys from their service project.  The princess had a ride home so I got to go home and get something done.

Yesterday I just had the two youngest at home so we went out for pizza.  Then they had meetings last night.

Today back to church for kid's choir and nursery duty.

Thursday - Field trip to Alafia River Rendezvous (ironically no longer located near the Alafia.)  The Florida Frontiersmen camp out for 2 or 3 weeks living the old life and this weekend they are open to share it with the public.  Thursday is for the school kids.  My husband is actually going to take the day off and go with us.

Friday - Legoland field trip.

Saturday - Poll worker training so I can work the primary.

Hopefully next week will be a bit less crazy.

My newest project as I get more settled into my Good Reads account is to try and get the books I own marked with the store of purpose so I can do a better job of getting the reviews not just here and Good Reads but also copy them to the stores where I made the purchase.  This was one of my goals for 2012.  So I'm starting to get a move on toward that project.

Also found a new online back up for my main computer.  Current projects it will take up to 47 days to back up my data.  I think I might have just a few pictures and layouts there.  The computer is over 4 years old and every once in while it acts funky so I'm hoping to have the back up done before it completely goes nuts on me.

A week ago Friday I got to chat with my oldest and it looks like he might be coming home from Africa sooner but getting married early and then going back.  Actually dates and all are still out up in the air.  Told him if he did that they could go where her family is have the wedding and traditional reception then come to Florida and we can have a wedding blessing/commissioning service and a down home southern BBQ/pot luck party.  Then they can have another party when they get back to Africa.  That way neither family has a lot of travel costs and their friends that are scattered far and wide can choose which event best fits their location or travel plans.  We have friends that do professional BBQing and others who make cakes as a side job so we can get things covered at our end.

Well I need to dash.  Need to get my hair washed before I pick up the middle child from school and then head to church.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review: Contractual Obligation

Contractual Obligation
Contractual Obligation by Tymber Dalton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one a bit of everything I love in the books I read. There was some guy love, a dash of domination, a splash of spanking, mix-up menage, and a hard to believe happily ever after. And to top it all off it takes part in a part of Florida I'm familiar with. It was fun to read a place or road mentioned and be able to picture it immediately.

I don't think I can fully explain why I really loved this one and what made it so different from other menage story lines.

So stop here if you don't want a spoiler*******
What really made this story different was that unlike other manege story line I've read in the past. In most of the stories I've read either all the players seem to come together altogether at the beginning or you have a couple who decide they want to add a third to their mix. But in CO Doug and Tate have a relationship. Doug breaks it off for the sake of the job. Then he ends up in a relationship with Harper. Then Harper finds out about Tate and sends Doug away to give her thinking room. Then Harper and Tate form a relationship. It was interesting to me to see three separate relationships blend into the perfect triad. It made the blending all the more special because you could tell that everyone really loved each other separately as well as part of a unit.

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Review: Daddy, Daddy and Me

Daddy, Daddy and Me
Daddy, Daddy and Me by Sean Michael

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actually 4.5. While I really enjoyed I can't say it would be on favorite of all times list but close.

This was such a sweet story. This is the first non-Hammer story I've read by Sean Michael so I wasn't sure what to expect. I could tell from the description that it would be different. I've always loved romance story with kids and this one didn't disappoint. Donny enters Jeff life as it is coming apart at the seams and his steady calm presence seems to set stage for their soon budding relationship. They are just seem to be made for each other. I also liked the fact that the kids were really a central part of the story and not just sort of minor characters to the story. A lot of romance with kids seem to be the kids bring the couple together and then sort of become minor characters Kimmy and Robbie also are a big part of the story. So not only are Jeff and Don form a true partnership all four of them form a real family.

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Review: Master of Mine

Master of Mine
Master of Mine by Lauren Gallagher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this anthology quite a bit. There are plenty of great stories and while they are short many of them are a bit longer than the standard anthology and even the shorter ones really seemed like a complete story. I've had this one my to read shelf for a while and I'm finally got around to finishing it up.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: A Lesson in Passion

A Lesson in Passion
A Lesson in Passion by Jennifer Connors

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story started out confusing because you knew there was to be sometime of switch and I kept waiting for it happen when all the strange vacation stuff was happening and then it didn't happen. When it finally it did it came as a surprise. I loved the story line of Ginny and Ian a modern girl in her mind but a book character in her body.

Stop here if you don't want to read a spoiler ****** It was an a wonderful story but frankly the ending left me feeling disappointed. I know that this book is supposed to be part of a series and it because clear with the preview of the next book at the end of this one that Ginny "leaps" in a Sam Becket (Quantum Leap for non-nerds) kind of way but instead of righting past wrongs hoping each leap would be the leap home - she seems to be learning new lessons about love. I'm not sure if I want to continue the series or not. Just like the ending of the Quantum Leap series left me a bit sad that he never got home. I think if I knew for sure there was a happily ever at the end I might try more of the series but not knowing for sure makes me hesitate.

I might come back to more of the series when I get my TBR list whittled down a bit.

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Review: Eastern Ambitions

Eastern Ambitions
Eastern Ambitions by Jayne Rylon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I tried to decide if this was a 3 or a 4 so it's really a 3.5 for me and I usually go with the lower number in the stars themselves but because I love the series I went with 4 stars.

I enjoyed the story but for some reason Sam and Cindi both didn't reach me with the same emotion as the characters in the rest of the books so far. Both of them come full of baggage and secrets and both seem reluctant to reveal themselves. Even when they get together it still seems like they are not as close as the other relationships in the story. I was expected to need tissues with installment like I have with the rest but it didn't happen. It might be because the impart of Dad being sick and then fining out how bad it was had already happened in the previous stories. I just felt less connected reading this installment.

I'm looking forward to the final installment when we finally met the final Compton brother.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: Taming the Brat

Taming the Brat
Taming the Brat by Sean O'Kane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow this one a bit different from what I expected from the description when I bought it. I expected it would be a bit darker but wasn't ready for how dark, twisted, and non-consensual the story started out to be. The premise seems simply enough a British gentleman who prefers the women he works with to be very submissive and able to take a bit of pain meets up with an American man who has a brat for a daughter. You start out feeling for this poor dad and wondering how he could have let things get to this state. Sam the dad asks Al to take his daughter in hand and bring her to a state of obedience. From the there the tale because darker and somewhere along the line you realize there is a whole other agenda at play besides the stated on on the surface. But in a real twist, despite all that happens the story takes yet another unexpected turn.

So while this was a bit more than I usually enjoy and parts made me uncomfortable the ending almost makes it worth getting through the rest of the story.

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Review: Demon's Fall

Demon's Fall
Demon's Fall by Karalynn Lee

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would actually give this book a 3.5. While it was so not my cup of tea I still thought it was well written and the ending was very sweet. To see the Demon Kenan work so hard for his love the Angel - Jahel made for a nice story. I received this book soon after getting my nook and it felt good to accomplish getting it crossed off my to read list as well.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Surprised to Know

"What is something that people might be surprised to know about you?"

Well I think the most obvious would be that I like to read romantic erotica and have a whole secret identity to support this habit.  I think the rest of the stuff would be pretty much common knowledge stuff that is used for party icebreakers.  Stuff like I'm a Florida native, I saw real snow for the first time at the age of 44 and I had to fly to Norway to do that, I have five kids, I homeschool, and other stuff like that.  I never ran wild in my youth. I didn't have a garage band.  Nothing exciting.

Okay, maybe something that people don't know is that when I was younger I wanted to grow up and mom and have six kids.  I also wanted to be a teacher.  At one time I considering going into the air force.   So how did that turn out.  I did grow up.  I have 5 living children and 1 that was born into heaven for a total of 6.  I ended up teaching my own children.  I gave up on the air force but I have a child who is considering it.  So maybe that's the most interesting thing about me is that the dreams of my childhood actually came pretty close to working out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Personality Trait

Wow this one is a tuffy.  This is what happens when you let your 10 yo pull a prompt out of the jar and you have to take what she gives you.

"What personality trait of your has gotten you into the most trouble?"

I think that what gets me into the most trouble can often be a positive trait unless you take it too far and that is the trait of wanted to be a peacemaker.  Maybe a more negative name would be people pleaser.  I'm not talking about brown-nosing to get ahead or to make yourself look better in someone else's eyes though.  I'm talking about not wanting others to be upset, to see everyone happy, to have people come together, to not wanting someone else to be disappointed, and/or wanting to make things all okay for the other person.  This tendency leads to saying yes to things you should say no to and that is where I can get into trouble.  It's getting in the middle or trying to fix things so that the normal consequences might be blocked.  It can lead to feeling burned out and burdened.  It can leave me feeling like I'm always giving and not always receiving.  That sentence sounds selfish and self serving but that's not how it was meant.  (Or maybe this is just a example of what I'm trying to say.  I don't want someone to think I'm being selfish or putting myself ahead.)  I will have to be honest here and say that in last few years I've gotten better about taking a stand but it's also easy to fall back into old patterns of behavior as well.  I don't want to large and in charge because frankly that's not how I'm wired and maybe in trying to fix it, smooth it over, or get it done so everyone is happy that I end up taking on the position of being in charge and after a while I'm worn out from the effort.  The reaction to this is to sort of shut down and then not take care of anything even the stuff that is under my "job description".  Not sure of the answer but maybe thinking it through and being more self aware is a good first step.

Review: Don't Read in the Closet: Volume One

Don't Read in the Closet: Volume One
Don't Read in the Closet: Volume One by Jade Archer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This collection has a little bit of everything in. All though there did seem to be a high proportion of first love, newly out, friends to lover plot lines. I think the only thing I will different when reading through the rest of these volumes is to break it up with other books. This is a great volume with tons of stories and at least in Nook pages over 600 of them. I think breaking it up would take away some of that oh here's the same kind of story feel. The concept was wonderful and how wonderful to be able to enjoy these great stories for free.

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Review: Man Law

Man Law
Man Law by Adrienne Giordano

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While this was a good book with a great story and plot I just didn't feel as drawn in as I have in other similar stories. I can't even put my finger on why. I found myself speed reading through the book with a very rarely do because I felt like I got bogged down in the details. Also, for me the story was more a suspense story than and romance and maybe therein lies my problems with it. It wasn't a bad story but I doubt I'll go looking for more in this series.

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Review: Double Blind

Double Blind
Double Blind by Heidi Cullinan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow Ms. Cullinan created another great hit. Double Blind is a sequel to [b:Special Delivery|7697602|Special Delivery (Special Delivery, #1)|Heidi Cullinan||10382646] which I also loved. This book lets us catch up on old friends and make new ones. Double Blind focuses mainly on Mitch and Sam's friend Randy. The action starts with the very first chapter when Randy is captivated by "Roulette Man" while watching the security feed. "Roulette Man" turns out to be Ethan a man who appears to be at the end of his rope. For reason's even Randy can't explain to himself he seems to not always be able to read this guy as easily he usually does. Like Special Delivery you are never sure what is really behind the thoughts and actions of the characters as they move through the story. While there doesn't seem to be the same dark angst of the first story with a bit of Vegas magic and a gangster through in for local color double Blind is full of mystery and intrigue. Like Special Delivery when you finished the journey and end up at the end of the story the surprise and unexpected twist is wonderful fun. The best part was seeing Randy who was just so much the player in Special Delivery develop into such a interesting character with tons of depth.

While I think you would miss some of the insight into Sam, Mitch, and Randy's relationship if you did not read Special Delivery first it is possible to read Double Blind as a stand along book.

I'm so glad this is the book my M/M Secret Santa sent me. It was a great read.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012


How do you feel about tattoos?  Do you have any?  If so, what are they and where?  If not, have you ever secretly wanted one?

Until this past years tattoos were really a non-issue for me.  I knew I saw them on people and that the number of people you saw sporting them had seemed to be on the increase but I had only known one person who actually had one.  My dad had a horse on his calf muscle that he had gotten during his stint in the Navy during the Korean war in some Japanese port.  When I was younger he could make the horse appear to move my flexing his leg muscle and I remember thinking it was cool.  After I started reading erotic romance the issue of tattoos came more to the forefront of my thinking.  I started noticing them more on people in real life.  I hope I didn't offend anyone by checking out their ink.  After noticing that one of the dad's of the kids at church seemed to sometimes have his lower arm tattoo covered and sometimes uncovered I had to ask because it didn't seem to be offensive.  He was very happy to answer my question.  He had gotten his tattoo during his military service and was not a deputy sheriff.  Our sheriff is nothing if not a colorful character and that could be a whole 'nother post.  Anyway, our sheriff has decided that he does not link ink on his deputies.  He has now made it a matter of rejection of future employees.  For those already employed they are required to make sure any visible ink is covered during working hours.  So when he comes straight from work he usually still has is cover on.  Seems like such a very silly requirement.

Also, I know have some great online friends who have ink and they have shown off pictures so that has given me more food for thought.

As you can probably guess by now I don't have any tattoos myself.

But there is a part of me that thinks I might like to have one.  Two things holding me back.  One I don't like pain a whole lot and mostly I know that ink is permanent so I want to make sure that if I go under the needles it needs to be something special and meaningful that I want to spend the rest of my life with.  I probably want it to be something small at least to start with.  One thing that I've considered is something like an ankle bracelet style, but not sure what I would want it to look like.  Finally, I need to find a good place to have it done and since I'm not sure I know anyone locally I'd want to ask this could be the biggest roadblock.

Review: Punish Me, Please Me

Punish Me, Please Me
Punish Me, Please Me by Ashley Zacharias

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Having a hard time with this review and had a hard time with the book itself. I got this because it was the Erotica groups free download for this month. And I'm stubborn enough to keep reading something because I started it. The author states herself that this is a collection of work written over a two year period and are presented in the order they were written. You can clearly see Ms. Zacharias' skill as a written increase with each story. But with the exception of the final story which I actually enjoyed I found the rest of the stories to be very disturbing and very dark. If you like a story with HEA or even a HFN this collection of stories would not be even remotely close. But I ended up giving the book a 3.0 rating. While it was not my cup of tea it was well written and as I said the writing got progressively better as the story went on. But as I finished the whole collection of works some of the conclusion I came too were interesting. This work was not so much a collection of erotic tales but had more the flavor of an intellectual thriller. The lines between victim and abuser seemed to blur and even shift through the story. As I read through the stories I found myself asking who is the real "criminal". The abuser, the almost willing victim, the person who manipulated the situation in the first place, or maybe society and our views as a whole. For this reason despite its dark and disturbing subject matter there was still a pull to think about not so much the actions of the story but the motivations and thoughts behind them. So I wouldn't want to read another collection quite like this one again but it was an interesting mind game anyway.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Woman You Admire

Today's journal prompt is:

Write about a woman in your own family whom you admire.

Well I'm nos sure that grandma L is in my "family" or not but we adopted each other so I'm going to count it.  I married her grandson after her own advice not to.  Things ended badly but since continue to be a friend and mentor to me until the day she died.  She was the best great-grandmother to my son and was he caregiver until he was 4 years old and she was in her 80's.  When I started dating my husband I took him over to meet Gram she loved him immediately and even gave me advice on how to treat him right.  She was young when she lost her mother after the birth of her baby sister and the day she turned 14 the legal age at that time her father pulled her out of school to be the caregiver for her family.  She had only a few weeks more of school to graduate from grammar school and he still made her quit.  Despite this she continued to read and learn and was very literate on many subjects.  She married young and had three children right away.  She helped her husband run a diner in Brooklyn and was feisty enough even as a young wife to stand up to anyone.  She saw the lost of everything one day after her husband's gambling had gotten out of control.  And only the discovery of a fourth pregnancy gave her the courage to give him another chance.  He never made the same mistake again and they ended up opening up a diner on Long Island until they retired and moved to Florida.  When her daughter was widow with four young children she helped to raise them as well.  And when she found out everything I had been going through with my ex she said she wished she had known so she could have helped.  After I remarried she supported my husband's decision to adopt my son and even persuaded my ex to sign the paper and allow her grandson to have a safe and stable home.  When I got pregnant she offered to buy us a new crib because she knew my ex had pawned the old one.  We quick went and got one so she wouldn't feel obligated but she still showed up the next week with the crib mattress.  She never showed any difference in her love for my second born then she did for my first born despite the fact that the were not related by "blood".  That never mattered to her in the least.  Family was family and she considered me and mine family.  Her was sad to see her body failing and it wasn't until the very end that her mind also started to slip.  Thankfully, she didn't suffer for too long and her strength of character will always be an inspiration to me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Once Piece of Advice

So today's journal prompt is:

If you could give one piece of advice only to your children or future generations what would you offer?

Create your own holiday traditions for your own immediate family.  You should not feel obligated to visit with anyone else or spend you holidays anywhere but in your own home.  Now if visiting is what you want to do or inviting others is you bag that's cool.  BUT it is what you decide you want for your family.  You should not have to feel like every holiday is a command visit.  If it's not where you want to be then don't be there.  I promise I won't get mad.  I love spending time with extended family and sometimes its great to share a holiday meal around the table with tons of relatives but there are other times when you yearn for something simpler.  I would just as soon know that I can see you and yours anytime it works for all of us then be obligated by a date on the calendar.  So that's it create your own guilt free holiday traditions for your household.  Love, MOM

Monday, January 2, 2012

Review: Under the Lash

Under the Lash
Under the Lash by Carolyn Faulkner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the story of Cassie and Anjel. I appreciate that this story was very unique and not like a lot of other "spanking" stories. This one was dark with a pirate who acted well like a pirate. And a young lady who while confused by her physical reaction still acted afraid and there was no instant love match like you see in so many other ravaging pirate tales. While this story is not super long it packs a lot of plot and emotion into the 120 pages by my Nook's count. I really loved the development of Anjel as a character and to see his true moral fiber both when doing something you thought was horrible to something very sweet and of the two Anjel was the much stronger character to me (no pun intended.) This was a great book and a wonderful way to start the new year off.

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Review: Heartbreak Highway

Heartbreak Highway
Heartbreak Highway by Emma Daniels

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am so excited to get this book finished. It's been on my to be read shelf since I got my first nook almost two years ago. The story of Emma and Dean seems a bit dark in places and both of them keep stumbling over their own baggage and insecurities. In some ways they are their own worse enemies. It's easy to see where the title from the story comes from because there is plenty of angst in this story. But the HEA does make the story a worthy read but it does feel good to get something off my list that has been there a while.

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Florida has it own Wild West

I love a good cowboy romance but I want to dispel the myth that cowboy stuff only happened in the west.  Florida has it owns wild history.  And while there are lots of similarities there are also some differences as well. This is not an exhaustive research project on Florida history but more some anecdotal information that might wet your appetite and give you a reason to seek out more information.

First Florida cattle like much of the cattle out west were descended from cattle brought in by the Spanish.  While the cattle out west developed into the long horn cattle the Florida cattle developed more of a short horn. Here's a link for Cracker Cattle.

While out west in Florida you had cow hunters.  They were cow hunters because there weren't the wide open plains of the west but scrub land full of oak, pine, and palmetto.

Cattle were free range and had to be gathered up out of the brush to drive to market.  Because they had to be hunted down the name was born.  Whips did play a part in scaring up the cattle and getting them moving just like out west.  Cattle were driven down central Florida to the Gulf coast near Ponte Rosa then loaded onto ships and sold to Cuba.  You can still check out the experience with modern cattle drives as well.

We had cattle and land barons as well, too.  One of the most famous is Jacob Summerlin.  During the early years of the civil war he was "encouraged" to sell his cattle to the Confederacy for Confederate script.  He used this script to buy up land all over central Florida.  Toward the end of the war when it got to hard to get the cattle up north he went back to selling the the Spanish in Cuba for hard cash.  So when the war ended he had lots of land and hard money to keep up with the taxes.  Pretty shrewd if you ask me.
And we had our own Indians as well.  The Seminole were a very real presence in Florida.  They were descended from Creek Indians from the southeastern US and also runaway slaves from the south.  There adapted well to life in Florida and learned to use the swamps to aid them in their survival.
Florida also had all kinds of crazy characters and there are lots of stories and legends just as big as any western tall tale.  Checkout the Cracker Storytelling on Facebook for more information.  Another site for more information is the Florida Memory Project.  This site has some great historic pictures so check it out.  And if you would like to learn more about Florida cow hunters and are planning a trip to Central Florida make time to visit Cow Camp located at Lake Kissimmee State Park.  When you visit cow camp you are literally stepping back in time.  If you ask about modern things like cars and roads they will give you a strange look.  Love to visit when there are those "rude" tourist who get all upset because the guy stays in character and you start playing along with the cow hunter.  Best day ever was the day we were there to witness the birth of a short horn calf, very cool.
So maybe this has given you a bit of insight into Florida's natural cattle history.  Make sure to check out some of the links above to learn about our rich wild history.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Review: Twelve Kinks of Christmas

Twelve Kinks of Christmas
Twelve Kinks of Christmas by Sean Michael

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a short read but a lot of fun. I loved how Kit used the series of naughty 12 days of Christmas pictures to get his friend's interest but was still to shy to come right out and tell Jasper how he felt. This was a wonderful book to start the new year with.

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Review: The Lord of Misrule

The Lord of Misrule
The Lord of Misrule by Sullivan Clarke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mary's curiosity and growing love for Edmund seems sweet but so impossible. I loved the old fashion value of honor that Edmund portrays. Even when he could easily take advantage of Mary he does the right thing. It seemed so bitter sweet because you could tell he had feelings for Mary as well. The surprise twist at the end made this a great read.

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