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Friday, August 25, 2006


The AAR Top 100 Romance Novels Meme

Actually this is a pretty sad (and dare I say, limited?) list. But in the spirit of playing the game, I'll bold those I've read.

1. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
2. Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale
3. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
4. As You Desire by Connie Brockway
5. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
6. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon Oh, to be so wordy.
8. Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
9. All Through the Night by Connie Brockway
10. Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
11. It Had to be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
12. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh
13. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
14. The Proposition by Judith Ivory
15. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught A lovely romance. A fabulous plot.
16. Ravished by Amanda Quick
17. Frederica by Georgette Heyer
18. Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly
19. MacKenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard
20. Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard
21. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
22. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
23. The Bride by Julie Garwood
24. Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens
25. To Have and to Hold by Patricia Gaffney
26. Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
27. Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth
28. Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann
29. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
30. Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
31. My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway
32. In the Midnight Rain by Barbara Samuel
33. The Windflower by Laura London
34. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
35. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
36. Nobody’s Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
37. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
38. Paradise by Judith McNaught
39. The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
40. Dream Man by Linda Howard
41. Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann
42. Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo Putney
43. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson
44. Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney
45. Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney
46. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
47. Heart Throb by Suzanne Brockmann
48. For My Lady’s Heart by Laura Kinsale
49. Honor’s Splendor by Julie Garwood
50. Lord Carew’s Bride by Mary Balogh
51. Untie my Heart by Judith Ivory
52. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
53. The Secret by Julie Garwood This book set me back on the romance tracks after years of abstaining due to completely prickish Heroes. Thank you Ms garwood for giving me a hero I worthy of being loved.
54. This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
55. Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
56. One Perfect Rose by Mary Jo Putney
57. To Love and to Cherish by Patricia Gaffney
58. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
59. Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
60. Venetia by Georgette Heyer
61. Daughter of the Game by Tracy Grant
62. The Prize by Julie Garwood
63. Reforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla Kelly
64. Prince Joe by Suzanne Brockmann
65. The Notorious Rake by Mary Balogh
66. Heartless by Mary Balogh
67. Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
68. Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory
69. Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas
70. The Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer How this beat out 'These Old Shades' is beyond me
71. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
72. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegar
73. With This Ring by Carla Kelly
74. The Lion’s Lady by Julie Garwood
75. The Rake by Mary Jo Putney
76. Fallen from Grace by Laura Leone
77. Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath
78. Castles by Julie Garwood The beginning of the end. Heroines too sweetly perfect for words.
79. One Good Turn by Carla Kelly
80. Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts
81. By Arrangement by Madeline Hunter
82. Perfect by Judith McNaught
83. My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth
84. The Defiant Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
85. The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
86. Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke
87. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte One of my favourites. 1st person POVers could learn from this example.
88. Kill and Tell by Linda Howard
89. After the Night by Linda Howard
90. More than a Mistress by Mary Balogh
91. Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
92. Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase
93. The Charm School by Susan Wiggs
94. Scoundrel by Elizabeth Elliott
95. How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn
96. Angel Rogue by Mary Jo Putney
97. Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz
98. Dancing on the Wind by Mary Jo Putney
99. Once and Always by Judith McNaught
100. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Fat Bottomed Girls

Does obesity = obscene?

I've listened to at least three pieces this week on obesity. Two were local news snippets on their 'health beat', and one was an interview piece on a radio talk show talking to a nutritionist.

Now I'm not disputing any claims or statistics spouted during these pieces, (although I tend to dispute statistics fairly regularly). What I'm curious about is the overall message so gently said and repeated on nearly every network and radio channel on the continent at one time or another. 'Being overweight is bad for your health.' Now according to all these programs an overwhelming number of people in this small town, or that Province, or even North America, are obese. I want to emphasise how gently these health reprimands are couched. It's not the person of larger proportions that's the problem. no no. it's the fat's fault. That's what we're attacking here. The fat. not the person.

At least, not yet.

I really wonder about why the message is out there? Is it so everyone will live a long and healthy life, surely that's a noble motive, a message we as society can all get behind? But then I have to ask myself.. well, why do you care how any one else chooses to live their life? Is it perhaps because obese people may be a drain on medical resources? in which case the message isn't nearly as noble or gentle.

No matter how caring it's portrayed the gentle drip drip drip method of the message gets louder and more insistent: YOU MUST CHANGE. I am becoming increasingly convinced that it is an intrusion and judgement in and on people's choices. It's a cruel and relentless attack on a 'large portion' of society.


Friday, August 18, 2006


Don't Worry. Be Happy.

Of Conferences and things.

Just to give you a little bit of background, I worked in the telecommunications area for 10 years, and attended several conferences and trade shows wearing that cap. So RWANat wasn't the huge shock to me that it is to some, although many aspects were (and still are) real eye openers.

RWA National Conference is an interesting beast to attend. This year in Atlanta was my fourth time experiencing this phenomena and for purely personal reasons it was also my best.

New York was the first Nationals conference I attended. It was in an unofficial capacity as I missed the registration deadline, and frankly I went there to meet all the people who had assisted me in my writing over the years. I had a wonderful time, and, listening to all the glowing reports on what the seminars offered, I vowed that next year I would attend officially.

Next year the conference was in Dallas (shudder). I was official, I was caught up in all the excitement along with everyone else and basically acted like a hick. I tried to cram in every seminar on offer (simply not possible) and was disappointed in about 95% of them because they were a rehash of knowledge I'd already gathered in my quest to improve my writing. Not the seminars fault... more my ability to select pertinent seminars. Then came Reno... I had a bit more experience now, (and a few more books under my belt) and feeling much more comfortable about how to comport myself at these events. I chose seminars focused on the publishing industry instead of writing techniques and got far more out of that conference experience than previous.

Then came Atlanta. In many ways Atlanta mirrored my New York experience except now I had many more contacts to meet and greet. I only attended two seminars both were a disappointment to me, BUT, beyond the seminars there was the social aspect. And this is where my previous (otherlife) conference experience finally kicked in. You hear time and again how networking is vital in this business (writing). Well, that's what I did this year. I was relaxed, I talked to everyone and anyone--and rarely about their books. I slipped back into my familiar hostess mode, asking about their lives etc and generally felt as if THIS year I came away with some solid benefit. By listening to these people I learned about what was happening in the industry and for the first time felt myself on solid ground.

To bring this back to my original comment about conferences.

With those conferences or trade shows I was the customer. My business was being courted or my expertise being sought. I learned about new trends, technoligies, and regulations at the seminars that may affect my business or how we operate. RWA Nationals is the total opposite. I (the writer) am the vendor. RWA gathers potential customers (publishers, agents, booksellers) together for me to strut my wares. The 'industry' and its inner workings is spoken of in hushed tones for fear of potentially offending our 'customers'. These conversations inevitably take place in small social gatherings. Never in an official fact giving seminar. Industry news from publishers are given in their 'Spotlight' sessions. Essentially glowing press releases which doesn't exactly arm the writer with the pros and cons.

It's an oddity, and I'm not sure it can change to better meet and educate the budding author (I'm not even certain if it should). What I do know is that I'm finding it increasingly frustrating to gather the information I feel I need at this time.

I probably will not be attending the conference next year (it's in Dallas (shudder) again) unless I sell. In which case I may have to revisit the idea. Anyway thems is my thoughts on RWA's National Conference.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Hotel California--Inuvik

'cept we don't kill anyone with our steely knifes.

Many (urban) friends have shared their amazement at my house-come-bed and breakfast.

So, here's the 411. We live in a very remote, very unique area of the world. You're all familiar with the term 'six degrees of separation', well that's how many folks come to us. A friend of a friend knows someone who's travelling to this region and gives our name and or number as a contact when they get here. Nine times out of ten these people end up staying with us, not because of obligation but more because that's the way it is. We meet them, we talk, and we convince them that staying here is more comfortable than the alternatives--hotel, bed and breakfast, or camp grounds.

We meet the most interesting people. from US Senators, to oil execs, to plumbers, and contractors. (whom we try very hard to convince to hang around and help with our remodelling). Regardless we tend to enjoy them all, and oddly enough, they seem to enjoy our slapshod hospitality.

So if you're ever up this way, give us a call... we're in the book.



ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER (or, yes I really am a lazy bitch)

It's been nigh on two months since I last posted.

Yikes what a time I've had. Since then I've hosted a houseful of guests attending the oilmans conference. Had one of the Spawn's friends stay for two weeks (and two teenage boys are hell on wheels to entertain, even though I did encourage them to build a raft and act like Huck Finn. Celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary--twice.(we got the date wrong). Took a week long trip to Yellowknife. Had more guests after we got back. Did the arts festival annual deck and drinks extravaganza. and finally did RWA Nationals.

There. now we're all caught up.


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