Monthly Archives: July 2008

Ankle update

I went to the doctor in Dallas again today and this time, he liked the way the ankle, leg and foot looked, so the cast came off and I got put in a boot. Good part: I can shave my leg! Bad part: DEAR GOD it hurt when he moved my foot to almost the right position. 🙂 I still can’t put any real weight on it, but I do get to start working on ankle movement, and over the next two weeks I’ll be working to remove two wedges in the heel portion of the boot so my foot can be flat for my next appointment August 13. Very BEST part: I’m finally off bedrest. My five week hiatus from life is over. I won’t walk for two weeks, but I don’t have to stay toes above nose. The doctor said it will still swell, and when that happens, I need to rest, but I’ll be okay. I know the next few weeks will be painful, but it’s all part of getting better. I’m off the heavy duty painkillers now too, so I can carry on real conversations, remember talking to people and even make rational decisions. 🙂
Thank you all so much for the prayers, the food, the positive thoughts, the books and everything else. I wanted to keep you posted. I’ll never talk about Gladiator ghosts again, but I will go back to Italy one day.


Books I’ve loved this month of bedrest!

Stop Me

Stop Me

Brenda Novak

Who was the real killer?

Romain Fornier lost his reason
for living when his daughter was kidnapped and murdered. He used a
cop’s gun to mete out his own justice and spent the next few years in
prison. Once he was freed, he returned to his Cajun roots in small-town
Louisiana. But now he learns that he might have killed the wrong man.

Stratford, a psychological profiler, is convinced his daughter’s killer
is still alive—and that she and Romain have something in common. She
believes the same man kidnapped her sister, Kimberly, sixteen years ago.

What happens next?

is determined to track him down when she receives an anonymous package,
postmarked New Orleans—the bracelet she gave Kimberly for her eighth
birthday. She approaches Romain because she knows he can help her… if
he chooses.

But searching for the man who irrevocably changed both their lives means they have to rise to a killer’s challenge:

stop me.

OMG, this book is so amazingly good. It’s scary and fast paced, and sexy and it has depth, and I LOVED it. Now I have to get the one that came out in June and the next one, but I have to wait a month because I’ve completly blown the top off the book budget this month on bedrest.

The Mark

The Mark

Jason Pinter

Right as I’m about to die, I realize all the myths
are fake. There’s no white light at the end of a
tunnel. My life isn’t flashing before my eyes. All I can think about is how much I want to live.

I moved to New York City a month ago to become the best
journalist the world had ever seen. To find the greatest stories
never told. And now here I am—Henry Parker, twenty-four
years old and weary beyond rational thought, a bullet one
trigger pull from ending my life.

I can’t run. Running is all Amanda and I have done for the
past seventy-two hours. And I’m tired. Tired of knowing the
truth and not being able to tell it.

Five minutes ago I thought I had the story all figured out. I knew that both of these men—one an FBI agent, the other
an assassin—wanted me dead, but for very different reasons.

If I die tonight—more people will die tomorrow.

I read this because it was free to read through the Browse the Book feature. It’s great! Pinter’s descriptions are amazing. How cool that it was free. You can still read it for free. It’s available until Aug. 5. 

Slightly Suburban

Slightly Suburban

Wendy Markham

It seemed exciting at first, but after two and a half years in
New York, Tracey has to admit her life…well, sucks. Sure, she makes a
decent living as a copywriter, but Blaire Barnett Advertising is a
cutthroat world that basically swallows her life. If she does manage to
get home before nine, she’s usually greeted by husband Jack’s best bud,
an almost—permanent fixture in their tiny, unaffordable apartment. Add
the circus freaks stomping around upstairs, and Tracey decides it’s
time to move.

After quitting her job, she and Jack take the
plunge into the nearby suburbs of Westchester and quickly discover
they’re in way over their heads. Their fixer-upper is unfixable, the
stay-at-home yoga moms are a bore and Tracey yearns for her old
friends—she even misses work!

So which life does she really
want? Other than Jack’s wife, who is she? If Tracey merely has to find
her own Slightly Suburban niche, it had better be just around the
corner, because there’re no subways here!

 Slightly Suburban picks up with Tracey and Jack where Slightly Married left off, and it’s just a charming to read. The series reminds me a lot of Mad About You. SS is a great, fun, fast read. I highly recommend it.

A Soldier's Secret

A Soldier’s Secret

RaeAnne Thayne

To find out who was claiming ownership of the only place he’d
ever called home, Harry Maxwell knew he’d have to practice a little
deception. So the wounded lieutenant changed his name a little. Altered
a few facts. All for a good cause—get in, get the truth, get out.

he met the Brambleberry House heir presumptive. Anna Galvez was
captivating in ways he hadn’t even known existed. Still, after spending
time with her, he wanted the house more than ever.

But only if she was in it….”

A Soldier’s Secret is the PERFECT SSE. It’s emotional, sexy and fun, and it’s the perfect conclusion to Brambleberry House. I LOVED it.

My one problem is unique to me. First kiss takes place after Max takes a huge fall and has a severley sprained ankle. The whole time I was reading the kiss, I was thinking yeah, right, your mind’s there when you’re in that much pain. 🙂 Then I remembered it was fiction. I’ve probably read a million first kisses after breaks or sprains and never thought a thing about it until now. 🙂

This one is an August release. Hurry! You don’t want to miss it! 

The Darkest Pleasure

  • HQN
  • Jul 2008
  • Paperback
  • Category: Paranormal
  • ISBN: 9780373773107 

The Darkest Pleasure

Gena Showalter

Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is
forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford,
more than breath and will do anything to claim her—even defy the gods.

is on the run. For months she’s eluded the Lords of the Underworld,
immortal warriors who won’t rest until she and her family have been
destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose
searing touch she can’t forget. Yet a future together could mean death
to all they both hold dear.…

I don’t know how Gena does it, but each of these books gets better than the last. More creative, more exciting, just a little hotter. Great book!

Slightly Married

Slightly Married

Wendy Markham

All Tracey wants is to get hitched without a hitch—but as the calendar
marches toward her late-October wedding date, suddenly she and her
fiancĂ© can’t agree on anything. From where to get married (New York City
or Buffalo?) to how many attendants they’re going to have (she’s already
asked eight; he was thinking of just a best man). Meanwhile, Tracey’s friends
are caught up in their own dramas. There’s newlywed Raphael, who just had
his gay wedding; newly pregnant Kate, who is trying to adjust to impending
motherhood; and Buckley, who is acting inexplicably strange. When Buckley
unexpectedly breaks off his own engagement, all but leaving his fiancé at
the altar, Tracey is stunned to learn that he might be in love with

With plenty of snafus to keep them distracted, is being Slightly Married the
road to happily ever after, after all?

Wendy Markham’s books are the perfect escape. Her stories are always delightful and Slightly Married is no exception. If you want a lough out loud read, you’ll be happy reading this book. If you want to remember falling in love and the freak out moments that lead up to the big wedding day, you’re in for a real treat.

I highly recommend this book! 

and finally, one of my fave’s

A Mother’s Wish

Karen Templeton

Winnie Porter just couldn’t forget the child she’d given up for
adoption all those years ago…or the wonderful family that had taken him
in. Now it was finally time to see her son one last time.

reeling from his wife’s untimely death, the last thing Aidan Black
needed to deal with was the unwed mother who brought his beloved Robbie
into the world. Especially when she was all grown up into a beautiful,
vivacious young woman who’d immediately drawn his boy into her
spell—not to mention Aidan himself. Would Winnie’s secret shatter
Aidan’s family—or make it whole again?

 This book was very different from the other Templeton books I’ve read (a darker undertone maybe?), but it was still just as good. I highly recommend it, but hurry. It’s an August release, so you just have two months to pick it up.


There were more, but I think I’ve already blogged about them.

Once again, challenges you to new reading heights. IF we can read 100,000 books in total, we can beat our 2007 record and read a mind-boggling, and unprecedented 100,000 books! But the great news this year is that for every book we read, we’ll be donating a book to the National Center for Family Literacy to benefit their literacy programs. The stated mission of the NCFL is to create a literate nation by leveraging the power of the family. Since its inception in 1989, more than one million families throughout the country have made positive educational and economic gains as a result of NCFL’s work, which includes training more than 150,000 teachers and thousands of volunteers.

So…don’t just sit there…READ SOMETHING!!

To learn more about the NCFL click here
To learn more about how to add book review to the Challenge total, click HERE


You asked me out. I almost said no. My friend reminded me dinner and a movie. I changed my mind, said yes.
You drove though an ice storm to make that date.
And we laughed. And laughed. And laughed.
I think, somewhere, I fell in love that night. I just didn’t know it.
Th next week you introduced me to Monty Python. And watched Julia Roberts movies with me. And told me the grass grew backwards, and I believed you because, after all, you WERE in the lawn business. And all these years later, you still tease me about that. And all these years later, I still love Monty Python. And you still hate Julia Roberts, but I didn’t know that then.
A few months later while I sat on the phone crying and listening as someone screamed at me on the other line, you whispered, “hang up the phone, Babe. Just hang up.” But I couldn’t do it because I never had. And after a minute of that, you gently pulled the phone from my hand and quietly told the person on the line “goodbye,” hung up and held me while I cried some more. And when my tears were dry, you taught me about power and how with some people the only answer is to hang up the phone because to listen is to let them control the situation. It’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten, and one I’ve shared with others again and again.
Four and a half weeks ago, you agonized while I was stuck in the hospital in Italy and you were stuck here and insurance kept changing their minds about whether they’d let me come home or not, but finally decided no, I had to stay there for the surgery because the plane ride could kill me. And then you made me laugh, even though you were thousands of miles away, and I desperately, desperately needed to laugh.
Then I came home, and for the last three weeks, I’ve put the “in sickness” part of our vows to the test. And for the past three weeks, I’ve fallen a little bit more in love with you, every day, as you’ve helped me put all this in perspective. As we always say, “Hey, it could be worse. You could be that priest who fell under the riding lawn mower and died, or that tourist in South Africa who got eaten by the Great White and all that was left was her little red swimming cap, or, and really, this is the big one: none of it matters. Iran is on the fast track to nuclear weapons.”
Run away, run away. It’s just a flesh wound. Knights that say NI…We’re knights of the Round Table, we dance whene’er we’re able. She turned me into a newt. And me. And me too. And me! I’m not dead. Well, can you hang around for a couple of minutes? He won’t be long. Didn’t mean to? You put your sword right through his head. I seek the Grail! I have seen it, here in this castle! You’re foolin’ yourself! We’re living in a dictatorship. A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working class…Look, that rabbit’s got a vicious streak a mile wide! It’s a killer! I *warned* you, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, you *knew*, didn’t you? Oh, it’s just a harmless little *bunny*, isn’t it? Look, if he was dying, he wouldn’t have bothered to carve ‘Aaaauuuggghhhh’. He’d just say it.

Bedrest part 212

Things I’ve discovered this week on bedrest:
•If I look at my ceiling long enough, I see faces in the popcorn stuff sprayed up there. One of the faces looks exactly like Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
•The middle cushion on my couch is a little lower then either sides. (I paid a LOT for this couch! How can it already be uneven?)
•There’s this funky cobweb hanging from the top left corner of the linen closet.
•If you divide 5007 by 17, you’ll understand why the pattern is off by one. (Just joking. I’d never get that bored. I don’t even know if that made sense!)
•eBay isn’t always cheaper and it gets boring after twenty minutes.
•Purple toes are kind of cool looking.
•There’s a Reece’s wrapper under dh’s recliner. We haven’t had that candy here since 1969. Nah, we really haven’t had it here since Halloween three years ago.
•Karen Kelley’s blog is really funny.
•My baby toe hides under the toe next to it whether it’s swollen or not.
•Nine of the bricks in the broken fireplace are darker than all the others. Weird.
•I can listen to the Wicked soundtrack back-to-back three times and still not be tired of it.
•My pinky toe on the surgery foot still has the nail polish from the Europe pedicure I got the day before leaving for London even though they took off all the polish right before they did surgery.
•I have a freckle behind my left knee I never knew was there.
•My mom can do magic, also known as touch therapy. She can run her hands just above my leg up and down over the area where I had surgery and pull the pain out. DD and DH have tried without success.

Ankle update

I didn’t get the stitches out, but the doctor said everything looks good. I have a hot pink cast for 1 week. Next week I go back to get the stitches out and get a boot AND I get to start putting weight on the foot. One more week. Whew!
The only bad part of today was straightening out my foot. After five weeks, it wasn’t very cooperative!

Dark Shadows

I just started watching Dark Shadows. I’ve heard about the show my entire life, but I never paid attention to what people said about it. I’m still not exactly sure what made me click on the youtube link with the first mini episode. Talk about timeless. “My name is Victoria Winters…” From the first line on, I was totally sucked into the plot. The show debuted before I was born, but I think it’s as scary as anything I’ve ever watched. There’s this dark “presence” even though nothing bad has happened. I finally understand gothic.
My new book stars a teenager who sees dead people. But it’s the opposite of gothic. It’s more Buffy musical or even the first season of Angel or Scooby Doo than dark and scary. I think I thought Dark Shadows would inspire me. 🙂

New time sucks

 1. Dark Shadows minisodes on YouTube. I never watched the show, but I’ve heard about it my entire life. Creepy and good!
2. eBay. o**o beat me, but man, that was fun!
3. Facebook. You can spend HOURS on Facebook. Way more fun than MySpace.

Them bones, them bones, them dried bones

Honestly it’s a miracle I haven’t broken bones before now.
DH calls me “graceful” on a regular basis. He says it in that wonderfully sexy way with that wonderfully sexy smile covering his real meaning of “gee, dear, I can’t believe you had a problem walking and talking at the same time.” So when people see us together and I trip and he says I’m so graceful and I shoot him the bird, they don’t quite get it, but he and I totally understand each other.
There’s the truth.
I really can’t walk and talk or chew gum or think happy thoughts at the same time.
When I walk, I have to pay attention. To the road. Or my feet. Or the cars coming my way. Whatever. I’m the biggest clutz I know.
So it’s surprising, really, that I’ve never suffered the agony of broken bones before.
Now that I have, I have this awesome story to go along with the nasty scars. (Italian doctors don’t care about cosmetic stitches. The US doctor said it looked like they used kite string to stitch me up.)
How many people can say they were taking a group of kids back to the bathrooms at the Coliseum, talking about how many ghosts there must be in the place where so many died when, BOOM, down the stairs she fell resulting in a broken ankle and tibia and six weeks of bed rest, two surgeries (one in Italy!) and physical therapy?
One day this will all go in a book. For now I’m focusing on my “she sees dead people” book. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.
Something new I learned today: Hydrocodone makes me sleepy. Its sister OXY just wakes me up. Bummer.

The fall

Well, I did it. Somehow, last night getting into bed, I fell. On the broken foot and leg. I have no idea how. I tried replaying the moment a million times and I can’t figure out what I did wrong.
All I know is it hurt like a *** and scared the crap out of me. Getting up this morning my entire body shook like I was going out to face a Great White Shark or my mother after she caught me skipping school or God on Judgment Day. If this is what it’s like after falling on  broken leg, I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a soldier in Iraq or my mother who somehow gets back in her car and drives even though she was hit broadside by a semi that run a red light and was going 50 mph.
On a brighter note, I’m reading an AMAZING book: Slightly Married by Wendy Markham.

Wrong, wrong, wrong

For as long as DD’s had summer breaks, I’ve said the words “Bored is a choice. Find something to do.” I usually say the words the first time around July 5 and then a million times over until school starts again. ll these years I’ve totally believed the words.
After 23 days of bed rest I’ve changed my mind.