Archive for the Category »Guilty Pleasures «

I got an iMac

I’ve been a Windows/Microsoft user in the desktop/laptop department for over 20 years.  In fact, the first desktop I had was built for me by a friend and Windows based.  Yesterday, after a few years with an iPad and an iPhone I made the jump to an iMac.

She’s beautiful! 27-inches, crisp display and no tower to try to find a home for.  Just a huge monitor and a wireless keyboard and mouse.  Both of which (the mouse and keyboard) are taking a bit to get used to.  I’ve always had a number pad on my keyboard.  Even on my laptops.  Most likely because I come from a data entry background and spent hours with a keypad.  It’s always going to be just plain strange to use the numbers at the top of a keyboard.

And this keyboard is smaller. And my fingers are a bit all over the place.  But that’s something I’ll get used to.

And the mouse is….flat.  Which is strange.  And there are no actual buttons.  Also strange.

And I totally had to Google how to right click because I was going nuts.

Overall I love it.  Like really love it.

And then I tried to hook up my iPad, update my books via Calibre and…no joy.  It took some research and trial and error but it seems that Apple/Mavrick/iTunes no longer plays well with others.  I have to get to my Calibre library by opening a Safari window and putting in an IP address and port.  Then it’s all there and when I click “get” I’m given the option to open in iBooks.  And voila – there the book is.  It’s actually a bit cumbersome for me.  I have Calibre set up so I can see right away what books I’ve read already.  And with a library of over 1400 books that’s quite helpful.  In my Safari window I need to click on “details” to find out if I read it.  *shrug*  Just something new to get used to.

Off to read more stuff about being a new Mac owner…

Category: Guilty Pleasures, Scraps, Tech Lust  Comments off

342 – TWDP – Henna

Since May of this year I’ve been using Henna as my exclusive hair color.  I love it with a passionate love and frankly don’t think I’ll be changing any time soon.  Henna gives me a wonderfully saturated red color that is especially amazing in the sunlight.  Since May I’ve applied Henna 3 times and it is a MAJOR pain in the butt! Especially when you just want to touch your roots up.  Maybe I’m a Henna dork but I haven’t been able to figure it out.  My mix (for hair just about chin length) is 100g of Henna (I used Celebration but that particular batch is gone now so my next Henna will most likely be Rajasthani Twilight), enough warm water to make it the constancy of mashed potatoes and then enough lemon juice to make it about the consistency of yogurt.  I let that sit overnight, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place.  Once ready I’ve tried applying it but just glopping it on and twice by using a zip lock bag with a hole in one of the corner.

Every way is messy.  And makes my arms hurt!  But while surfing the internets for heaven only knows what I found Faces of Astarte! It’s run by my neighbor! And they use Mendi Henna!  And they’ll apply it.  Oh joy!

So I’ll be making an appointment in the next few weeks, it’s nearly time for a touch up!  I can’t wait!  I lurve my henna’d hair!

Oh, hai….

Thank you People. That is all…

 

Category: Freeking AWESOME, Guilty Pleasures, Scraps  Comments off

Moira Rogers – Southern Arcana 1-3

I am a seriously tough audience.  I am also an unwaveringly loyal fan.

As a reader I am voracious, my sole purpose being complete and utter escape.  Take me out of my world.  Put me in the one you’ve created.  Help me forget my responsibilities for a little while.  If I am jarred out of something I’m reading because of poor writing or poor editing that author only gets two more chances.  I don’t know, maybe that is not fair, but in my mind I figure that by the third book if things haven’t changed they’re most likely not going to.  Over the years I’ve found that even new authors can make amazing strides over the course of three books.  And as the mother of three teens, a wife, a full time college student and a full time employee I don’t like to waste my escapism time on bad books that don’t get it done.

Thanks to a mild case of OCD I am crazy about reading books in the correct order too.  If I’ve been browsing a web site and find a book that sparks my interest, before I buy I ALWAYS go to the author’s web site to research where something falls in a series.  Digital (and book & mortar) stores are not always consistent with their labels and are not always clear regarding series and book order.  I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time online over the past 10 years and sadly I don’t have the patience to click a million times on poorly designed web sites.  So an author with a clean, easy to navigate web site makes me squeee.

Finding an author who’s books rock my world and who has a kick ass web site?  That is a serious bookgasam people.  Serious bookgasam!

Enter Moira Rogers. With authority. Kicking asses and taking names.

I <3 Moira Rogers with an unholy love.  A desperate, I wanna be like you when I grow up, please write books faster, OMG you are fantastic, amazing, awesome sort of  love.  Complete and utter fan-girl. Devour the back-list like there are no other books on earth. Obsessed but not in a creepy stalker sort of way.  Promise!

Last year, in my e-book infancy, I discovered Moira Rogers on the Samhain Publishing site.  The awesome cover of Crux, the first book in the Southern Arcana series, caught my eye. After making sure where it fell in the series I clicked and committed.  And loved it!  Went back and got book two –  Crossroads and at this point most of the back list.  When book three – Deadlock – was released I, of course, purchased it.  But it’s been about a year so I had to re-read Crux and Crossroads to make sure I followed everything.  God, I love these books!

Published By: Samhain Publishing
Purchased At: Samhain Publishing Store

Other Titles in Southern Arcana:
Book One – Crux
Book Two – Crossroads
Book Three – Deadlock

Crux (Southern Arcana 1) by Moira Rogers
5 out of 5 stars

Jackson Holt makes a decent living as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn’t crack…until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire.

New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn’t explain why he always finds her no matter how far she runs.

When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating.

With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as he struggles to uncover the truth of her past-and her destiny.

I loved this book so much I almost don’t know where to start! Crux introduces us to Rogers’ world of shapeshifters, wizards, and psychics and their complex society.  The immediate depth of this world captured and has kept me engaged through three books.  The world-building and history are skillfully shared and there is nary an info dump to be found.  The non human characters and their nature makes sense.

All of the characters are full bodied, three dimensional, even the secondary characters.  Everyone has a purpose, a place.  Their interaction is rich and believable.

The relationship between Jackson and Mackenzie develops in the pressure cooker of life and death circumstances.  It develops quickly yet feels real.  Rather than a crisis induced romance it’s visceral, instinctual and feral.  Jackson is a southern gentleman with a warrior’s heart and Mackenzie is an alpha female coming into her own power.  The smex is smokin’ hot!

While the romance focuses on Jack and Kenzie we are also introduced to quite a few other characters that I fell in love with.  Derek, Alec, Kat, Nick, Michelle, Luciano, Mahalia, and I could go on and on and on…

Crux sent me to Moria Roger’s backlist with my credit card and mouse ready.

Crossroads (Southern Arcana 2) by Moira Rogers
5 out of 5 stars

Derek Gabriel was born human in family of psychics, aware of the supernatural world but never a part of it…until a rogue shapeshifter took humanity from him in a vicious attack. He’s spent two years struggling to adjust, not just to a change that’s driven many insane, but also to the prejudices of a culture where transformed wolves are considered inferior. A serious struggle, indeed, when the woman who attracts the man and the wolf inside him is the daughter of the most powerful wolf in the country.

For Nicole Peyton, nothing is more important than escaping the stifling confines of elite shapeshifter society, an old-fashioned world where women are valued only for their bloodlines and bank accounts. In New Orleans, she has a bar she loves, friends she cares for, and a smoldering, unspoken tension with an unsuitable but incredibly attractive man.

Neither could predict how quickly forbidden longing would erupt into burning need, but Nick and Derek have more than themselves to think about when Nick’s sister arrives in the city with a shapeshifter strike team hard on her heels. The only way Nick can save her sister may be to play by the Conclave’s rules–but it will mean giving up the man she’s falling in love with, unless he’s willing to risk everything in a challenge that will shake the foundations of their world.

Alpha men are sexy! I wanted 600 pages of Derek he was so hot!  His struggle to do what is right by Nicole while facing the wildly vicious world of shapeshifter politics is amazingly attractive.  That was one of the best things about this book, how the relationship between Derek and Nicole developed while we learned more about shifter council. It takes a strong man to step away from the woman he loves because he believes that it’s the right thing to do.  And to walk into a situation that is practically no-win for the same woman.  RAWRRRRRRRRR

While building Derek and Nick’s smokin’ hot relationship Rogers also builds up some of the secondary characters and gives us a glimpse into how Jackson and Mackenzie are living in their HEA.  As I’ve mentioned before one of the strongest draws in series for me is the continuing threads of past characters.

Crossroads put Moira Rogers on my auto buy authors lists.

Deadlock (Southern Arcana 3) by Moira Rogers
5 out of 5 stars

Abandoned by her wolf shifter father and raised by her human psychic mother, Carmen Mendoza can’t deny she’s different. She craves things most women shy away from–and she has a trail of shapeshifting ex-boyfriends to prove it.

Working at a clinic for supernatural creatures, she’s escaped the notice of her father’s legacy-obsessed family. Until they need a pawn in their bid for power. Snared by a vicious spell designed to wake her inner wolf, Carmen’s only hope is to trust the one man strong enough to soothe her darkest instincts.

Alec Jacobson was once the heir apparent to the wolves’ ruling elite, until he walked away to marry the woman he loved. She paid with her life. He lives as a rebel, a black-sheep alpha who protects the supernatural residents of New Orleans from the wolves’ barbaric class system. Too bad he can’t protect himself from his need for Carmen.

Yet staking his claim on his enemy’s niece will turn his city into a battleground. Unless he can find a way to stop breaking the rules–and start making them.

Oh Alec, my wounded hero, you strong silent types are so sexy. A caretaker Alpha who cares deeply Alec really is the walking wounded.  Kicked in the teeth by life over and over – Carmen is his perfect foil.  She’s strong, fearless, hopeful and as an empath she knows exactly what makes you tick.

The stakes are higher in Deadlock as we continue to see just how low supposedly civilized shapeshifters will go to get power.  Escalating violence in New Orleans and attacks against his nearest and dearest continue to push Alec towards a role he has no desire in occupying.  As he moves deeper into a world he had rejected Carmen is having her eyes opened to a reality she ran away from.

Again secondary characters are expanded and more groundwork is laid for future installments to the Southern Arcana series.  Thank goodness! Because at the end of the book I died a little inside at the relationship (or lack thereof) between Andrew and Kat.   The position that every one was left in screams for resolution.  I’m glad that Andrew and Kat are next – September can’t come quick enough for me!

Thankfully there are a slew of Moira Rogers titles coming out between now and then.  Deadlock though has cemented me as a squeeing fan girl!

Publisher Twitter: @samhainpub
Publisher Blog: On main website – Samhain Publishing
Publisher Facebook: Samhain Publishing Ltd.

Author Twitter: Donna @donnajherren Bree @moirarogersbree
Author Blog: http://moirarogers.com/blog/
Author Facebook: Moira Rogers