Show Her the Money and She’s on the Money by Stephanie Feagan

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I hadn’t intended to read these books right now, although they were on my TBR pile, but a series of coincidences convinced me that I was supposed to. And boy am I glad. Stephanie Feagan penned two Bombshells that feature a fun, unintentionally kick-ass and slightly quirky heroine, Whitney “Pink” Pearl.

In the first book, Show Her the Money, we are introduced to Pink, a CPA who has blown the whistle on her former employer. Unfortunately for Pink, all but one copy of her evidence against the company has been destroyed. The last copy? Sold by her aunt during a garage sale- in a box with Mr. Bob. Wondering about Mr. Bob? You’ll have to read the book! I don’t want to share too many spoilers. While Pink is waiting to get the evidence back, she goes to work for her mom- a fate not quite worse than death but running a close second.

Here’s the blurb:

CPA-with-an-attitude Whitney “Pink” Pearl has just blown the whistle on the accounting scam of the decade. And in true scapegoat fashion, she’s lost her job and reputation and has moved back home to start again at the bottom of the pile, working as a forensic accountant for (gasp!) her mother. There’s no money trail too cold for Pink to follow. But trouble sure follows her — because Pink’s not taking back her accusations, no matter how many death threats, abduction attempts and steamy kisses from lawyers of questionable ethics she receives.…

Think accounting can’t be hot? Then you haven’t met Pink…

This book has a bit of everything, great heroine, a fun plot and mystery, enjoyable secondary characters and several hunky, intelligent, and intriguing love interests for Pink. Yep, Pink has the Stephanie Plum Syndrome– more than one man to choose from 😉

The second book, She’s on the Money, picks up several weeks after the first ends, with Pink still working as a forensic accountant in her mom’s business.

She’s Whitney “Pink” Pearl, the world’s most fearless…accountant?

Her boss gave her the ultimatum — bring in more clients or else. So when the town’s stingiest man asks Pink to investigate his mysteriously dwindling oil assets, Pink takes the case. Bad career move.

Suddenly strangers are asking for her help on “matters of national security” — then dying at her feet. A little dog — which may belong to an infamous assassin — keeps following her around. Add to that two amazing men vying for her attention and a case that’s pointing to terrorist activity, and Pink’s time sheet is full of things that won’t get her promoted, and just might get her dead.…

I enjoyed the second book almost as much but slightly less than the first- not significantly less but there were a few things that made me pause and go hmmm… the first had to do with Spiderman, which is all I’ll say so as not to give spoilers! Book two finds Pink still having the problem of too many men. Oh that we could all have that problem at some point in our lives! Another entertaining caper, with a bit of a twist at the end, I still found myself captivated with Pink as a heroine, despite the things that made me go hmm, lol.

I recommend these books to fans of Janet Evanovich, Sarah Stroymeyer and Nancy Bartholomew’s “Strip” series (we won’t talk about her less than fabulous Bombshells). In other words, fans of caper mysteries with fun heroines and hunky heroes should read these books! An excellent pick for laying on the beach or soaking in the tub.

I looked to see when we could anticipate the next book in Pink’s story but didn’t readily find any information. I did find Ms. Feagan’s blog, however, and did discover that Pink goes to China in the next book. Sounds intriguing! Maybe Ms. Feagan will stop back here and let us know when the next book is due out because I look forward, very much, to reading the next installment and discussing it here!

As an aside, I want to say that I visited Ms. Feagan’s website after she visited my blog and I found that she is the member of an interesting group of writers, The Wet Noodle Posse. They describe themselves:

In 2003, a group of about sixty women met each other online for the first time. They were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award – the top measure of achievement for unpublished writers in the industry. Like finalists before them, they formed an internet loop to discuss the upcoming awards ceremony at the national convention, held that year in New York.

Most of these online loops dissolve shortly after the convention, but something happened on the way to the Big Apple. This particular group found they had a level of camaraderie unknown to them before. Instead of breaking up after some finalists won their category and some lost, they stayed together – through births and deaths, the inevitable agent and editor rejections, and giddy-making first sales. At some point, one of them expressed doubt about her worth and talent, and another one threatened to cover the miles between them, picking up other members along the way, to thrash her with a wet noodle until she remembered that she was a good writer with good friends.

That’s how the Wet Noodle Posse was born, and this e-zine is its public face. Our goal is to take the support and silliness we get from each other and share it with a larger audience of women. All the things we take comfort from are here: food, crafts, books, good advice, and lots of humor.

They have a neat website with recipes and stories and things to make, along with links and information about each of the members. It’s quite a fascinating thing, that they maintained their friendship for so long. I hope you’ll venture over and check out their website!

Derek’s Bane by Mary Janice Davidson

Derik’s Bane by Mary Janice Davidson

Let me start by saying that I have thoroughly enjoyed MJD’s Undead series. I’m starting with that because I don’t want anyone thinking I’m a MJD hater. Because I seriously did not like Derik’s Bane. At all.

I think the best way to describe how I felt about this book is by telling you about my reading of it. I started Derik’s Bane a week before I left for RT. It had been on my TBR pile for several weeks and I was looking for a light-hearted read so I picked it up. I wasn’t immediately enchanted and found it easy to put down. A day or so before I left for RT, I got within 20 pages of finishing the book but didn’t feel urged to finish it. I left it at home rather than take an almost finished book with me and add weight to my bags. And I completely forgot I was reading this book, despite meeting MJD at the book fair and getting one of my Undead books signed. It didn’t enter my head that I had reached the climax of the book and basically left myself hanging. I had little to no interest in finding out what happened. And it didn’t come to my attention that I hadn’t finished it until I saw it sitting on my bedside table when I got home. And still I wasn’t compelled to grab it and read the last 20 pages (which, when I did finally pick it up took me all of 10 minutes). I’m telling you this so you can see how thoroughly uninterested in this book I was.

I found the protagonists to be silly and shallow. I had absolutely no interest in their objectives, their romance, or their characters. The humour was adolescent and slapstick- which I can appreciate when it’s done well- but MJD missed the mark with this one. I found myself thinking, “Oh gee, look, she did something that’s supposed to make me laugh. How much more of this am I going to have to take? Is the whole book going to be like this?” Yes, much to my chagrin, the whole book WAS like that. Full of situations which seemed loosely connected to each other. Scene changes which were awkward and jarring, with time elapsing unexplained and from one paragraph to the next.

And the big climax? No not THAT kind of climax, the kind that comes at the pinnacle of the story? It seemed like something that MJD wrote in because, well, a story has to have some sort of arc, right? Even if it is getting in the way of the comedy routine. And we won’t even talk about the epilogue and the last few sentences, which had to be the most worthless ending ever that left me going WTF?

In discussing this book with a friend, it was pointed out to me one other reason this book is a Miss. Bad research and poor editing. Rachael Ray is mentioned several times throughout the book as she is Derek’s idol. Notice how I spelled it? Rachael Ray. In the book, it’s spelled RACHAL Ray. Bad author. Bad editor. Google is your friend and is only a click of the mouse away. Use it, feel it, know it. It will save you from looking silly and as if you just threw the book together.

I think I’ve made it pretty clear but give this book a Miss unless you’re a die-hard rabid MJD fan who thinks everything she writes is award winning. If that’s the case, perhaps you can point out the redeeming features of the book to me, I’d love to hear them.
Grade: Miss (narrowly escaping Wallbanger status because I don’t like to be too harsh)

EC rules the world and other bits from RT…

EC rules the world:

Okay, this is totally secondhand since I didn’t attend any of the talks at RT, just a few of the parties. But on Friday, there was a luncheon and Sue from Waldenbooks (some executive there) apparently gave a talk and part of it went something like this:

Waldenbooks had been seeing a decrease in purchases of romance. Then last fall, something happened and there was an increase in sales again. It was the release of Ellora’s Cave print books. 2 million dollars in sales…

Keep in mind I’m loosely paraphrasing something I got secondhand from more than one very excited person but I thought it was interesting information worth sharing. Especially given the blogging world’s uproar over the latest RWA gossip (namely the letter to the editor by a disgruntled member who felt that it was a mistake to lower their standards and include an…ahem… unnamed publisher). Perhaps this author should have instead been writing a thank you letter to the unnamed publisher for giving romance a shot in the ass (pun intended).

And on that same note, perhaps publishers should consider their authors also writing for Ellora’s Cave a blessing and encourage them to promote both at the same time. After all, it seems that romantica is the rising trend and I can imagine that readers discovering an EC author is also a mainstream author will at least buy one of their mass market books. So publishers, I’m sure you’re all reading my blog and I just want to say: rip up that secrecy clause and let your authors shout to the world that they write for Ellora’s Cave as well!

Overheard at RT in the elevator:

“There are some authors here who probably make oodles of money who have the class of hookers.”

Kathryn Falk is my hero.

For those who don’t know who she is Kathryn Falk is the Founder and CEO of Romantic Times magazine. On Saturday at the Book Fair, the line to check out was HORRIBLE. Probably the worst experience of the whole conference. The wait was around 2 hours to pay for the books picked up at the book fair. So I was in line, with books, a stroller and a baby who had already been jostled around for four hours at the book fair and not allowed to sleep because when she finally fell asleep in her stroller some FREAKING STRANGER grabbed her leg to feel her “soft skin” and woke her up. My head just may have rotated 360 degrees. Anyhow, I digress. So there I am in line with Brianna who is beginning to be not happy. There’s another stranger beside me who keeps insisting she will hold Brianna to “give me a break”, completely disregarding me when I politely tell her my child will scream bloody murder if I hand her off (not to mention I don’t know this woman) because she is fussy and she doesn’t even like her father to hold her when she’s fussy and I’m in her eyesight. I’m facing at the minimum an hour in this line but probably closer to two when this woman walks up to admire Brianna, takes one look at me and pulls me out of line and puts me in a chair behind the cash register. Where I got to pay for my books immediately. It was Kathryn Falk and words cannot even begin to describe how grateful I was to her in that moment. I’m sure the people who had to continue to stand in line were not as appreciative of her generosity towards me since that just made their wait slightly longer, but for my baby’s sake I could have kissed her feet. She was the personification of generosity and kindness and is my new hero. If anyone out there knows Kathryn Falk, make sure you tell her she’s the BOMB-DIGGITY!

Things I learned at RT:
** Brianna is much more memorable than I am. I heard from at least 5 people that met us at Celebrate Romance that they recognized Brianna first when they saw us at RT.

** I would not particularly care to date a model. The majority (and I say majority because there were a FEW exceptions) were quite enamored of themselves. My favorite was hearing about the model who turned towards a mirror to watch himself drink some water. Whatever dude.

** Yes, you probably CAN get too many books. And no, they won’t always fit in your luggage- even if you drove. The bellhop told me a story of 2 women who drove to the conference and insisted they were going to get three boxes of books in their car despite his assurances that they would not. They ended up shipping them home via UPS.

** Floggers and chocolate cocks WILL attract attention in a bar. Who knew?

** That the people you meet online are just as wonderful as you could hope for them to be. And that when you have to leave to go home, you will wish they all lived on your block so you could see them tomorrow, not next year.

Excuse me while I expose myself…

My political self that is 😉

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Bush’s Barberini Faun

Don’t laugh but I just got around to reading my Sunday Paper. One of the things I frequently read in our local paper, The Salisbury Daily Times, is an Opinion Column they have from the New York Times. It’s written by a journalist, Maureen Dowd and to give you some idea of her political views, Josh hates her and I think she’s quite entertaining and interesting. For those of you who are wondering what that means, let me give you another hint: We live in a household of opposite political views. Josh is a Bush supporter (and yet I still married him.)

I always find Ms. Dowd’s opinion pieces interesting, although I don’t consider myself any expert in the arena of politics (so if you accidentaly stumbled on my blog and are reading this, please don’t start a political debate with me because I won’t bite.) Mostly I like them because she does such a fine job of pointing out the current administrations shortcomings, goofs, gaffes, and cover-ups.

This Sunday she discussed the administrations, the Secret Service, and the White House security’s apparent lack of care in admitting a “journalist” (if you read the piece, you’ll see that I use the term loosely) without properly vetting him. Despite subjecting Ms. Dowd herself to a lengthy background check when the administration came into power 5 years ago (and this despiter her having been on the White House political scene for a number of years).

Who is this “journalist” who has been attending White House press conferences? “someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the ‘Barberini Faun’ ” Yep. He used an ID with one name to enter the White House, and then assumed another name while asking questions during press conferences. He seems to owe some dollars for past taxes, and he has been posing nude for some gay website (which I don’t personally have a problem with but it does seem odd that the Bush administration, conservative and “family value” as they are, would be so chummy with him).

Anyhow, Ms. Dowd levels some interesting accusations at the Bush administration in reference to their apparent “jihad” against certain reporters. “buying them off so they’ll promote administration programs, trying to put them in jail for doing their jobs and replacing them with ringers.”

I haven’t really done the article justice but it was interesting enough for me to share. Visit the link and check it out for yourself (and don’t be put off by the registration- it’s free and then you have access to the New York Times articles).

And for another interesting read, check out her newest opinion piece: Where’s the Road Beef It’s about some of the recent gaffes about women. There are some fascinating goofs from the head of Harvard, Jose Conseco, and a hotel in Atlantic City that has started weighing its waitresses and have said: {waitresses} ” ‘who gain more than 7 percent will lose their jobs unless they lose the weight’.”

Purple Poetry…

So I didn’t get to blog yesterday and almost didn’t today either. Whoever says that stay at home moms don’t have anything to do but sit around, watch soaps, eat bon-bons, and read smutty romance novels, has obviously never actually held this job. Or if they did, they had a housekeeper, a chef, a nanny, a butler, a personal assistant, and a chauffer helping them out.

Yesterday I swung by WalMart and Barnes and Noble. While at WalMart, I broke down and bought Stella, Get Your Man by Nancy Bartholomew even though I wasn’t crazy about the first one. I also got Deadly Illusions by Brenda Joyce which I was very excited about. I know a lot of people thoroughly dislike her Deadly series, but I look forward to each new book. So sue me 😉 I picked up Dead by Dusk by Shannon Drake and as a gift for a friend, one of those cute picture books that Mel likes so much; The Meaning of Life by Bradley Trevor Grieve.

I actually only bought one book for myself at Barnes and Noble; Bitten – the anthology with LKH, MJD, Charlaine Harris, Angela Knight,and one other author whose name I can’t recall 🙁 I started that one at the doctor’s office and since I had to wait an hour and a half, I’m halfway through it. I got Brianna 3 little board books for us to read at bedtime. They’re so cute. I just love being able to buy her books and she gets almost as many as I do these days!

But I got distracted in Barnes and Noble. Happened upon a display of two poetry books, both edited by Daisy Goodwin ; 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life and 101 Poems To Get You Through The Day(and Night) I had a few minutes to kill so I browsed through them. The premise is that the editor, Ms. Goodwin has selected poems to fit different times or themes. Like sex. Yeah, for when you’re trying to get in the mood. Like this poem by Selima Hill:

A SMALL HOTEL

My nipples tick
like little bombs of blood.

Someone is walking
in the yard outside.

I don’t know why
Our Lord was crucified.

A really good fuck
makes me feel like custard.

Or this one by e.e. cummings

may I feel

may i feel said he
(i’ll squeal said she
just once said he)
it’s fun said she

(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let’s go said he
not too far said she
what’s too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you’re willing said he
(but you’re killing said she

but it’s life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she

(tiptop said he
don’t stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she

(cccome?said he
ummm said she)
you’re divine!said he
(you are Mine said she)

But there were also poems for when things just aren’t working out. Although…it seems like things worked out just fine for the two in this verse 😉

cake by Roger McGough

i wanted one life
you wanted another
we couldn’t have our cake
so we ate each other

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