Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Top 10 Heroines-I had to list mine as an exercise on one of my groups and I had to post them here. It was very hard to narrow down my favorites to the ten on this list. Here these amazing heroines are...

1. Jessica Trent-Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
2. Bailee McKoy-The Texan’s Wager by Jodi Thomas
3. Cristabel Gaines-Lawless by Diana Palmer
4. Guinevere Mary Fairchild-A Well-Pleasured Lady by Christina Dodd
5. Lady Caroline-My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth
6. Anne Wilder-All Through The Night by Connie Brockway
7. Lady Lily-Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
8. Hester-Indigo by Beverly Jenkins
9. Nora-Lady Gallant by Suzanne Robinson
10.Mary Potter-Mackenzie’s Mountain

Thursday, July 08, 2004

I was thinking about those heroines who definitely go against the sweet, innocent type and absolutely captivate the reader. They might be very sexually experienced, just plain wild, or perhaps even have a violent or tortured past that has made them lose their emotional innocence. Perhaps they are pure in body but have impure motives. Or they are neither pure nor have pure motives. They are the women that could possibly be a villain in another book or have enough anti-hero in them to make them interesting. Which ones stand out in your mind? These are the ones that I like. Feel free to elaborate on why you added them to the list.

1.Madeleine Dumais-Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth
2.Ghislaine de Lorny-A Rose At Midnight by Anne Stuart
3.Lady Alyx-The Rake by Mary Jo Putney
4.Serena Riverton-Forbidden by Jo Beverley
5.Lily Lawson-Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
6.Sophia Sydney-Lady Sophia's Lover
7.Anne Wilder-All Through The Night by Connie Brockway
8.Tippy-Lawless by Diana Palmer
9.Can't remember her name-The Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale
10.Elizabeth Chatworth-Velvet Angel by Jude Deveraux (she's a manhater so that's why she's on the list)
11.Jessye Kane-Never Love A Cowboy by Lorraine Heath
12.Prisoner of Desire-Johanna Lindsey (basically she raped a man-under duress but it was rape)
13.Emmaline-The Enchantment by Kristin Hannah (I really didn't like her at first but she eventually won me over)
13.Moonlight Becomes You by Meagan McKinney
14.Lady Emma-Once Upon A Scandal by Barbara Dawson Smith
15.Lady Julianna Myfleet-Wayward Widow by Nicola Cornick
16.Lady Lilith-A Game of Scandal by Kathryn Smith

Sunday, July 04, 2004

I finally watched Kill Bill. I was great! Let me tell you, I am not a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino. But he made one heck of a movie. It was amazing. Uma Thurman did a great job. I can totally see why she got an Oscar nomination. You can see that QT is definitely a lover of movies. If there was a genre that he enjoys, he put in the movie, but it made a lovely collage that was definitely stronger for the sum of its parts. The blood was a bit over the top, and that was one of the reasons I hesitated watching it, but it could have been worse. The scene that would have been really bad was in black and white so that it wasn't too excessive. I loved the swordplay, because that's my thing. Put a samurai sword and a good swordsman/woman in a movie and I'm there. Uma was a natural with the action and swordplay. And my girl Lucy was splendid as always. There were some great characters in the movie. Some were almost over the top and some played to excellent precision like Lucy Liu's O-Ren Ishii. I liked her bodyguard, the young and psychotic Gogo. That was a great fight scene. As was the scene with Lucy Lui. My other girl Vivica did a great job too. After the scene in the kitchen I knew was going to like the movie. Definitely the best scene was when The Bride takes on the whole Crazy 48's yakuza and kicks some major A@$. And then she tells the ones that are still alive that they can leave but they have to leave their body parts that they lost behind. All I can say is DAMN!!!! I love a kickass heroine. I guess there was no way I wouldn't like this movie despite QT's tendency for bad language. Can't wait to see the next installment. Definitely have to add them to my collection.
I give this one an A+++!

I watched Spiderman-2 yesterday and I was totally feeling Peter Parker. He is in a terrible place in this movie. He is feeling overwhelmed on all sides. He is feeling like the world is falling apart. He keeps getting fired from jobs because he's chronically late, he is not doing well in school because of missing class and not having time for homework. He can barely pay his rent, and his friends are angry at him. Mary Jane doesn't understand why he can't be there for her. Aunt May feels disconnected from him as well. The problem is that his mission has overtaken his life. I feel that because that's where I am. My life is overwhelmed by obligations. Demands of people at work and at home. But he can't tell them why he seems like an unreliable person. He's too busy out there fighting evil. Isn't that more important? Not to the people who think you let them down personally. Poor Peter. He had a great journey to undertake. One of self-discovery. I am personally on that same journey. I was sitting in the movie theater and thinking that the writer wrote Spiderman-2 just for me!!! It's a great movie. Full of action, character driven, and emotionally wrenching. The villain was incredible-menacing, possessing motivation, and dramatic enough to have a comic book flare. Personally I liked Dr. Octopus much more than the Green Goblin. The Green Goblin was more annoying than anything else. Dr. Ock was scary but also sad in a way. He wasn't a paper tiger. He was a villain that could have easily killed Spider Man except Spider Man was meant to prevail. Tobey Maguire's acting was incredible. He was able to pull off the Peter Parker aspects and the Spider Man elements too. I cried for him, cheered him along, and struggled along with him. Sam Raimi did an excellent job with this movie and did what we all hope for, making a sequel that is better than the first movie. Definitely check it out! I'm glad that I didn't buy the first movie yet, because I can now buy the two pack in a few months. Yay.

I have always liked to read older books, because of my love of history and days long past. I read Louisa May Alcott's books, Edith Hamilton's Mythology, Jack London's White Fang and Call of the Wild, All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot, C.S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and others, including those I read in class and enjoyed. However, I am endeavoring to read more classics. Part of the reason is because I want my period stories to be authentic in writing style. Also I think there are a lot of great classic stories out there that I haven't read. I am particularly interested in classic horror and adventure stories. Here is my list, not in alphabetical order:
1.Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
2.Dracula by Bram Stoker
3.The Last of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
4.The Invisible Man/The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
5.Selected Stories of O Henry
6.Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
7.Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
8.The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson
9.Selected Short Stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne
10.Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (I'm a big fan)
11.The Signet Classic Book of American Short Stories
12.Best-Loved Short Stories of Nineteenth-Century America
13.King Solomon's Mines/She/Allan Quartermain by H.Riger Haggard
14.Tales From The Arabian Night Collected by Andrew Lang
15.The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot
16.All Things Great and Beautiful by James Herriot
17.All Creatures Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot
18.The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
19.The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien
20.The Return of the King by JRR Tolien
21.Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
22.A Grief Observed by CS Lewis
I probably will take some time to read these as I tend to gravitate towards romance books most of the time. But we shall see...

Thursday, July 01, 2004

My June Reads

Great reading month although I hit a slump near the middle to end of the month. My highlight reads are starred.

1. Lady Defiant-Suzanne Robinson. (Historical Romance-Elizabethan) A+. Lovely story and characters who win your heart. (Roguish hero)
2. The Kissing Gate-Fiona Carr. (Historical Romance-Regency) A+. I really liked the writer’s style and it was enjoyably sensual. (Plump heroine)
3. The Perfect Wife-Jane Goodger (Historical Romance-Edwardian) A. Good book but I found some of the interactions between h/h annoying. (Ex-plump heroine)
4. Rightfully His-Tracy Grant (Historical Romance-Regency). A. Good read but a little slow at times. (Friends to lovers)
5. *Almost Like Being In Love-Christina Dodd (Contemporary Romance). A+. Another winner by a favorite author of mine-passionate, deep, compelling. Two characters that you want to end up together. (Tortured heroine)
6. *Lawless-Diana Palmer (Contemporary Romance). A++. Wonderful, excellent, engrossing. I could not put it down. So in love with Cash Grier. I almost rooted for him to end up with Crissy more than I did Judd. Can’t wait to read Renegade. I’m actually buying a hardcover  (Marriage of Convenience, Secondary character steals the show)
7. England’s Perfect Hero-Suzanne Enoch (Historical Romance-Regency). A+. Loved it. Robert is one of my favorite types of hero, tortured. Glad that things work out for him. (Tortured war hero, Beta hero)
8. *For The First Time-Kathryn Smith (Historical Romance-Regency). A++. One of those books you want to read again right after you finish. Definitely on my list of favorites. I really liked the h/h and wanted them to be together. And I like how it was sort of a forgone conclusion that they were meant for each other. Devlin really saw the beauty in Blythe, in a way that no one ever did. He had a bit of the tortured hero too. Very touching book. (Plump heroine, Tortured war hero, Beta hero)
9. Ben Morgan’s Mistake-Victoria Aldridge (Historical Romance-Victorian set in New Zealand). A. A compelling read that I couldn’t put down. Very interesting h/h. Not exactly the typical. Hero was definitely of the anti variety. Interesting look into the history of colonial New Zealand. You really don’t know if the h/h will get together until the last page. (Amazing heroine)
10. The Abduction of Julia-Karen Hawkins (Historical Romance-Regency). A. Good read. (Marriage of convenience)
11. *Playing By The Baby Rules-Michelle Celmer (Contemporary Romance-Silhouette Desire). A+. I really liked this book. It tugged at my emotions in a way that few short reads can. Very much an emotional journey and featuring two people who’s love and caring for each other came right off the page in its intensity. Definitely recommend. (Friends to lovers)
12. The Bridesmaid’s Reward-Liz Fielding (Contemporary Romance-Harlequin Romance). A-A+. I enjoyed how much the hero really admired the heroine despite her flaws. He was most interested in her regaining her self-esteem instead of losing weight. Bravo! (Plump heroine, A hero to die for)
13. A Belated Bride-Karen Hawkins (Historical Romance-Regency). This is the sequel to The Abduction of Julia. A. I was a bit disappointed with this one as I was looking forward to reading Lucien’s book. But it was pretty good. Had some really funny moments and I admired the heroine for her resilience in some really tough circumstance). (Plumpish heroine, Reunited lovers).
14. The Viscount Who Loved Me-Julia Quinn (Historical Romance-Regency). A. Very funny but also poignant.
15. To Marry The Duke-Julianne MacLean (Historical Romance-Victorian). A. Complex characters with three-dimensionality. Sensual and compelling. I admired Sophia for her willingness to stand by her choices and fight for what she believed in. (Amazing heroine)
16. An Affair Most Wicked-Julianne MacLean (Historical Romance-Victorian). A-A+. Sensual, interesting characters. Both are flawed but they are fighting their way back from their falls from grace. Interesting twists. Loved it.
17. A Game of Scandal-Kathryn Smith (Historical Romance-Regency). A-A+. Very emotional and poignant. Although there was a lot of I love you, I hate you gymnastics, I could see why because of the painful history between the characters. (Reunited lovers. Beta-ish hero. Plump heroine).
18. Rafferty’s Bride-Mary Burton (Historical Romance-Western, Harlequin Historicals). A. Nice, quick read.
19. *Fantasy Lover-Sherrilyn Kenyon (Contemporary Romance-Paranormal). A++. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!! Wonderful book. I fell in love with Grace and Julian and wanted them to have a happy ending. Great history with some cool twists on mythology. I didn’t want it to end! Must Read! (Plain Jane Heroine, Hero To Die For).
20. *Seduced-Pamela Britton (Historical Romance-Regency). A+ My first book by this author. I was very impressed. She’s hilarious, but also capable of great poignancy. Definitely fell in love with the h/h. The end of the book has a great twist. Must Read.