Saturday, May 31, 2014

-- back to business

I have read many, many books these past 2 weeks. In fact, I've even got 3 going at the moment (Winters Heat, by Cristin Harber; I Only Have Eyes for You, by Bella Andre; and The Devaney Brothers: Ryan & Sean, by Sherryl Woods).

So... in this order (as it is the order they've been read)... the books I'll be reviewing:

If You Were Mine, by Bella Andre
Let Me Be the One, by Bella Andre
Come a Little Bit Closer, by Bella Andre
Savage Secrets, by Cristin Harber
Blind Faith, by Rebecca Zanetti
The Cowboy's E-Mail Order Bride, by Cora Seton
Seven-Day Fiance, by Rachel Harris
Hard As You Can, by Laura Kaye
Winters Heat, by Cristin Harber
I Only Have Eyes for You, by Bella Andre
The Devaney Brothers: Ryan & Sean, by Sherryl Woods

When I'm through with these, I'll pick at the ones I read in late April.

Also, Maya Banks' When Day Breaks (book 9) releases June 24th! In celebration, the entire week leading up to it will feature a review from each KGI book before it. Re-reading that series specifically for reviewing will not be a hardship... trust me.

...and just like that, 1st personal post...

For all my harping and going on and on (ok, in maybe 2 posts...) about whether or not I should have personal posts on here, or if I was just going to stick to reading, writing, and photography... not even 5 posts into this baby and wham, bam, thank you, ma'am, numero three is going to be personal.

...I needed some place to write that wasn't going to be a long, no one's going to read it, Facebook timeline post.

......not that anyone's going to read it on here, any time soon, but so be it.

Sometime between 10 pm and 4 am, the night going into the 30th, my dog passed away. He was the family dog and was living with my mom, after spending a year or two with me. My mom says that he'd been acting weird that day (Thursday) and she had a feeling something was wrong. She feels he'd been having strokes for the better part of the year plus (not that they're truly "strokes" in dogs) and Thursday was bad. His hind legs were shaky, he was slightly discombobulated. She lay beside him for a few hours at bedtime and finally left him after a few hours; when she woke at 4 to check on him, he was already gone. She thinks it was about midnight.

Two years ago, we had to put down my other dog, Sebastian. He was old and likely full of cancer. It was a very difficult decision to put him down, and it was actually a few months in the making before it was decided we couldn't keep him suffering. The entire week leading up to his "appointment", I kept praying and praying he would just go in his sleep. But he didn't. And my mom and I were there, hugging on him and whispering to him the entire time the drug was administered, until he closed his eyes peacefully.

It was a terrible day.

My mom text me while I was working on Friday morning (I work nights) and told me I needed to call her when I was finished. I just knew something was wrong with the dog. I was hopeful, though, that maybe it had something to do with her and her fiance's wedding in August, but why would a "call me when you're done working" be a 5 am text when it was something like that? I was terrified that my dog had been hurt, or even worse, had died. I was afraid that he'd gotten out of the new house and was hit by a car or something (Sebastian had been hit by a car 5 or so years ago, and we waited in agony all night for the news that he wasn't going to make it through the night at the vet).

Just as I made my way to my car, my mom called me and broke down, "Kooch passed away this morning." I was hardly in my car before the tears just started pouring.

It's really not any easier when your pet passes away in their sleep. You just don't have to feel guilty for making the decision to more or less end their life.

My brother is a Marine and was home last month, between bases. He saw Kooch three or so times when home (my mom lives a few hours away from me and where my brother was staying on his leave), and he and I both saw him on Sunday, 5/17. We were checking out my mom's new house, and quite honestly, I wasn't even thinking that I'd be seeing the dog. But the brother and I got out of his (big, huge, totally country boy, lifted) truck and out the Mutt comes. barrelling towards us in his crooked, excited fashion. He was so flipping excited to see us. His siring is questionable, as he was a farm mutt, but while he looked like a mastiff who came out of a golden retriever (mama was indeed a golden), there were rumors his daddy could have been a pit. If anyone knows a loving pit, you would know that they love to put every single ounce of their body weight into the person they're vying for attention from, and that was Kooch to the T.

The brother and I took him for a ride in the truck later that afternoon, just like both dogs used to get on a daily basis. It took him a minute to get his 'road legs' back, as it had been a good year or two since he'd been in the back of a truck, but he appeared to enjoy every moment of it.

I can't help but smile and remember when we had first gotten him.

If you've ever seen an ugly puppy........

The Mutt was it. He was this roley poley thing that fit in the palms of your two hands. He didn't have a nose, and his tail was this scrawny rat-tail looking thing. I was fifteen and had seen cuter puppies. Heck, Sebastian had been an adorable puppy. This thing my mom brought home? Not a cute puppy. And she wanted to go back and get one of it's litter mates.

But he grew on me, and truth be told, a few weeks later he was one of the cutest puppies ever. As he grew through puppy-childhood, and teenager-hood, and adult-hood, he was a fine dog. Not the brightest dog (he once raced in figure-8s in our back yard, going to town in high speed fashion, only to stop to smell a dandelion, before racing on), but he was loyal and loving. He loved people and loved attention. Probably wasn't the best guard dog, but then again... There was a night when he was about 2, that a car randomly stopped in front of our house and crept slowly by. The Mutt growled and paced by the door for hours. So while he was afraid of thunderstorms and things that go bang, I'm sure he would have protected his people if the need arose.

He was a follower. Not just my shadow when he was living with me, but when Sebastian was alive, he had to do everything Sebastian did. If Sebastian (wrongly) made his way to the field that didn't belong to us, well, by darn, Kooch was going with him. When Sebastian was hit by the car, Kooch barked frantically and came back to the house to alert me (now, this may sound bad, two unattended dogs and one hit by a car, but for the full context, whether it be right or wrong, I lived in the country on a large lot on a very quiet road. This is country living, and that is what people do/did).

He was a good boy.

He had turned 12 in January.

Even with as white as he had turned, it was very, very easy to forget he was old. The way he went on and on, my brother and I joked that he had a good five years in him still.

When Sebastian was 12, he seemed like he had a year in him on a good day, and he didn't have many of those. Kooch really did come out of no where.

Man, oh, man, am I going to miss you, buddy....

Thursday, May 29, 2014

When choosing a (romance) book that is work appropriate...

I have a slew of books I've read this last week that I'm dying to put up a review on, but first thing's first... 

Yesterday (Wednesday), I bought 2 books. True paperback format (the previous 6 I bought this week were all Nook books). 

I bought Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye -- totally taking a gamble on her. I'm very much a stick-to-authors-I-know type of reader, but now and then I venture off and find a new author. I typically do this by route of a) the cover is enticing, and b) the last 20 pages are written well and I like the happily ever after. Yes, I'm an epilogue first reader. I like to know what happens -- it's what drives me insane with my own life (I just want to know that I meet a guy and he loves me... That is all).

I realized at home that the cover isn't really work appropriate.... Not that I see anything wrong with a half naked man with a delectable back pinning a wanton looking woman against the wall.... Heck, sign me up to be her. .....but I also work at a pediatric hospital. 

So I ventured to another store on my way to work to find another new read (I have plenty of old reads on my phone, and am in the process of rereading a Maya Banks KGI book) and found a reissue of two Susan Wiggs books. The cover is blah (but very Susan Wiggs) but the back blurbs drew me in... as did the 2 pages I read (and no, they weren't the epilogues). Granted, I know and like Susan's writing style -- I just haven't picked up a book of hers in awhile.


So perhaps my first review will be this book... Maybe the Laura Kaye book... Or maybe one of the other 6 I read this week.

I have lots to review.

"...I just want to read, and write, and take pretty pictures"

I'm torn between what to make this blog 'about'...

Do I make it specifically about reading, writing, and pictures, and only that? Do I make it a full-fledged personal blog (about my boring single-ness, kidlessness, so very exciting life)? But if I do make it just book reviews, what I'm writing, and personal pictures (because my professional ones should be on their own space), what happens if I slide into personal posts?

Then, if my writing goes somewhere... do I change this to be just a review blog?!

Oh me, oh my... Decisions.

So for now, I will focus on book reviews, what I'm writing (and an insight to the whole entire schpeel of books I have lined up), and pretty pictures that don't have a home on my professional site.

...and if I post something regular and personal, something about my current-day-hatred of side job #1, or the fact that I've lost my passion for photography for the simple reason I had an upset client... well, then, I'll deal. I'm only human.