Thursday, January 31, 2008

Back from vacation

Well, I'm back. We had a wonderful time. The first day at sea was a little rough since were sailing though the middle of a storm. I woke up around 3:00 AM and it was rocking quite a bit. I looked out the window and saw lightning striking all around the boat. Okay, I had a brief feeling of anxiety about being hit by lightning but I talked myself out of it and went back to bed. The next day the weather cleared and the rest of the trip was fabulous. Weather was around 85 degrees and the water was about 85 degrees and crystal clear, turquoise. Lovely. We sailed on a catamaran and went snorkling and played on a white sandy beach. Here's a picture of me on the beach in Jamaica after swimming & snorkling (lovely hair - don't ja think):



We did the Cayman Island tour and visited the turtle farm and the Tortuga Rum Factory (the rum cakes come in about a dozen flavors and I bought a bunch to bring home). Here's our ship in the Cayman Islands. The water is so clear you can see the white sand at the bottom of the harbor.



We went shopping in Cozumel and I only bought a T-shirt for Bob. The water was the most beautiful there and I would really love to go back there some day and stay in a resort. On the last day at sea the Gulf of Mexico was a smooth as glass (to make up for the rough first day).

I ate too much but I managed to avoid the midnight chocolate dessert buffets. Most of the nightly entertainment was pretty good for the most part but the motown singer sucked (who told him he could carry a tune?) and the ventriloquist/comedian was not funny at all. But the dance reviews were wonderful. Our cruise director was a hoot with his British accent. Very funny guy. Overall a great trip .... I didn't want to go home. Got home at midnight Sunday night and woke up the next morning to 4 inches of snow. ... Sigh, the vacation was officially over.

What I Read:

The Duke by Gaelen Foley Grade: A-
Started this before we left on the trip and finished it on the plane to Houston. Great book with a wonderful hero and heroine. Turned out to be a keeper.

Lord of Danger by Anne Stuart Grade: B+
Another great anti-hero but this time in a medieval setting. The hero is fascinating along with the heroine. And a great secondary romance.

Lord of My Heart by Jo Beverley Grade: B
I haven't read Jo Beverley in quite a while and have forgotten how much I enjoy her work. This book was set shortly after William of Normandy invades England in 1066. There are several misunderstandings made by both the hero and heroine that take awhile to get ironed out but I enjoyed this book overall. It seemed very realistic for the time and well-researched.

Lethal Lies by Laurie Breton Grade: B
This is another romantic suspense set in a small town featuring the hero as the chief of police. Heroine returns home to care for her niece who has been orphaned when her mother is killed. No violence and the story focuses more on the relationships than the mystery.

I stayed home from work on Monday to get unpacked and do laundry. Now I need to get back to Weight Watchers. I've got to lose some weight before going shopping for a dress for Angie's wedding. Sigh.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bon Voyage

We're leaving tomorrow for the Houston to catch a boat to the western Caribbean. It's a 7-day cruise and we will be stopping in 3 ports of call:
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  • Cozumel, Mexico



Here's our ship... Carnival Conquest. It's bigger than the Carnival Pride we were on last year. We are staying in a room with a balcony on the stern of the ship so we will look out over the back wake.




I have packed 6 books from my massive TBR mountain. I also downloaded some ebooks to my PDA along with some games (Sudoku and Bejeweled 2). The flight from Seattle to Houston is about 5 hours, then we have to drive from Houston to Galveston (another hour).

I may not have a whole lot of time for reading once we are on the ship except in the evenings. I'd like to do more walking and exercising than I did last year on the Mexican cruise, but Bob has screwed things up with his sprained ankle. It is MUCH better but he still is limping a little and he shouldn't walk for long periods of time. We are going with a group of 15 people so I'm hoping to get someone to walk and exercise with me.

I've got butterflies about flying tomorrow but it's more excitement than nerves. There is so much to pack and get ready.

Sorry I've been such a terrible blogger lately. I will resolve to do better when I get back. (I keep saying that but I never improve.) I really want to get my 2007 AAR poll done as soon as we get back.

Reading now: The Duke by Gaelen Foley ....... Excellent so far!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Driven by Eve Kenin

My review writing has been pretty sparse lately. So I thought I would write some quickie reviews to get caught up on some good 2007 books that you may have missed and should consider reading.

TITLE: Driven
AUTHOR: Eve Kenin
COPYRIGHT: 2007
SETTING/TYPE: Futuristic Romance
THOUGHTS / OPINION:
On my weekend trip to frozen, snowy North Dakota I took this book along which by coincidence takes place in a frozen Siberian-like world with extreme subzero temperatures. The setting is a futuristic post-apocalyptic world (after a nuclear war) where a third of the world population has been decimated. This is a fabulous action/adventure well blended with a hot spicy romance.

Raina is an independent trucker who hauls much needed supplies between the scattered outposts of the Northern Waste. She intends to compete in a contest with a group of truckers who are basically pirates who will kill other drivers and hijack their cargo. In the opening scene Raina shows us what a kick-ass heroine she is. She pairs up with Wizard and they get chased across the frozen icy wasteland in her completely self contained truck. Wizard is a robot like character with some strange abilities and very enigmatic until his background is slowly revealed. I really enjoyed this book. The action is non-stop and the sexual tension really heated things up. The character development and dialogue between Raina and Wizard were great and brought them to life. Eve Kenin is a going to be an author to watch.
My grade: B+

Her next book is Hidden (July 2008) which features Wizard's sister (I think). Found the cover: