What's up with me

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Work drama/overload continues. Nothing new on that score.

Survived the G20. It was very surreal downtown in the last week, particularly on Friday. Very little foot/car traffic, the place was pretty much a ghost town (I'm talking the financial district here, which is usually bustling with activity. And there were packs of police and/or security guards everywhere.

On my way home on Friday I swung by the Eaton Centre (huge-ass 5-level mall smack in the heart of downtown), just in time for the mall to evacuated by police. Not sure what the threat was.

Of the books from the last library haul, I read the trad, skimmed a bit of the Graham Hurley book and put it down (can't remember why now) and I did start reading Precious Dragon, but while the world-building was awesome, at some point I realized just wasn't engaged, there were three separate storylines going on, and I didn't feel vested in any particular protag. If I owned this book I'd probably try reading it again, but back to the library it went.

I did however pick up another book I'd DFN'd awhile ago. The Secret To Everything, because I wanted that connection to the character and I wanted romance, but not typical romance.

The odd thing about this book is, it turned out to be a keeper. The type that has you staying up late into the night reading, and yet I still skimmed great swaths of it. There were several povs and subplot I wasn't too interested in. And while I love magical realism, it didn't quite work for me here. But I LOVED the hero. Vince is powdered sugar awesome. Hands down one of my favourite heroes ever. Deep-fried Yum, with creamy yum dipping sauce. Oddly he's one of the few characters I couldn't picture clearly. For instance from the author's discriptions I pictured the heroine as Amanda Seyfried.

And the heroine's laid-back, former hippy father as Sam Elliot.

I really liked the heroine. She was practical and confident and not perfect. Also liked hero's kids (and I'm not a big fan of kids in romance, but here the kids felt like kids, but they were also complex and not just little cardboard people that showed up to be cute and/or bratty. I'm looking forward to re-reading this one.

So I hit the library again yesterday because a Hold came in:

The Long Song by Andrea Levy.

From Publishers Weekly:
A distinctive narrative voice and a beguiling plot distinguish Levy's fifth novel (after Orange Prize–winning Small Island). A British writer of Jamaican descent, Levy draws upon history to recall the island's slave rebellion of 1832. The unreliable narrator pretends to be telling the story of a woman called July, born as the result of a rape of a field slave, but it soon becomes obvious that the narrator is July herself. Taken as a house slave when she's eight years old, July is later seduced by the pretentiously moralistic English overseer after he marries the plantation's mistress; his clergyman father has assured him that a married man might do as he pleases. Related in July's lilting patois, the narrative encompasses scenes of shocking brutality and mass carnage, but also humor, sometimes verging on farce. Levy's satiric eye registers the venomous racism of the white characters and is equally candid in relating the degrees of social snobbery around skin color among the blacks themselves, July included. Slavery destroys the humanity of everyone is Levy's subtext, while the cliffhanger ending suggests (one hopes) a sequel.

Also picked up:

What's Yours Is Mine

Like a princess in a fairytale, Grace Hamilton has been showered with blessings: professional success, a happy marriage, and she even lives in a beautiful castle. But the only thing she really wants - her heart's desire - is the one thing she can never have. Her sister, the beautiful Susannah, has made a mess of her life. Like a reverse Midas, everything she touches turns to shit. But the Fate puts Grace's future in Susannah's hands, changing the balance of power between the sisters forever.

The Red Necklace

From Booklist:
*Starred Review* A Gypsy boy, Yann, and the dwarf who has raised him are caught up in drama on and off the stage, where they work with a magician and his automaton. Outside their Parisian theater, revolution is beginning to boil. Inside, the magician is murdered by the villainous Count Kallovski, who has Yann in his sights as well. So begins a finely crafted tale that crosses years and crisscrosses countries, as Yann becomes a young man with a mission: to save the lovely Sido from her heartless father, even as he struggles with the extraordinary gifts bestowed upon him by his Gypsy heritage. If the success of historical fiction depends on how well setting and story mesh, this is a very successful book, indeed. Gardner sweeps readers into a turbulent time, dissecting eighteenth-century French society and the evolution of the revolution, from a yearning for liberty to a chaotic bloodbath. The history becomes personal when seen through the eyes of an astoundingly rich, carefully drawn cast, whose lives are interwoven like pieces of string in an elaborate cat’s cradle. Scores are waiting to be settled on every page; this is a heart-stopper. Grades 9-12.

And I Can See You Now. I started this one last night and stay up pretty late reading it. Karen Rose is one my favourite romanantic-suspense writers and it looks like she's written another winner.

From Publishers Weekly
Virtual reality meets bloody reality in bestseller Rose's spine-tingling 10th thriller, which introduces the Minneapolis PD's Hat Squad, whose members earn snappy fedoras for successfully fighting crime. Almost six years have passed since Eve Wilson, a former runaway introduced in Rose's debut, Don't Tell (2003), moved from Chicago to the Twin Cities after a vicious assault. Plastic surgery has improved her looks, and she's begun researching a Web role-playing game, Shadowland, and how it can be used to build self-esteem. Eve also connects with a homicide detective investigating the Red Dress Killer, who finds some victims through Shadowland. Samantha Altman is the killer's first victim, but she's not identified until the second, Martha Brisbane, is found. When Eve learns Martha was a fellow research participant, she becomes a Hat Squad confidential informant. Rose keeps the action popping as the psycho claims more lives, hoping to add Eve to his list.

Currently playing the waiting game on the werewolf book and thinking about the next story I'd like to write--which should be book two of the werewolf series, but that book was such a grind I need a break.
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raine said...

But I LOVED the hero. Vice is powdered sugar awesome. Hands down one of my favourite heroes ever. Deep-fried Yum, with creamy yum dipping sauce.

Guess you kinda liked him, huh? :D
Frankly, I'll take the heroine's father, lol.
Sam Elliot? Oh, yeah, any day!

vanessa jaye said...

Raine, I love me summa Sam Elliot. Those eyes, that voice. Dang.

But my,my,my,my,my, take my word for it ::fans self:: Vince is in a class all his own.

I think one of these days I'll have a *Let's hear it for the boys* read-a-thon and read all the books with my favourite heroes.

After which I'll expire with a smile on my face. lol.

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