Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Well, I've succumbed to Twitter-mania finally. I've discovered that I just don't have enough interesting to say for a blog so it's micro-blogging for me now. 140 character is just about my speed. I hope you'll join me over at Twitter along with all of the other interesting peeps like Smart Bitches and just about every author I can think of. Cheers!

Here's my Twitter page: www.twitter/shannzu (Thanks Jessica for the reminder)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kindle Covers

Feeling crafty? Got a Kindle? Sew your own Kindle cover by following Junie Moon's tutorial. It's lovely, practical, and way better than the dorky covers that Amazon sells.

Don't sew? Check out these great handmade Kindle covers from Etsy.

Red Kindle Kozy - $20

Padded Kindle Case - $39.99

The Original Kindle Bag - $25.00

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Loose Teeth Vintage Inspired Sundress with Petticoat GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Loose Teeth Vintage Inspired Sundress with Petticoat GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

OMG, I love vintage style and this gifted seamstress has the most fantastic dress to give away. I seriously want to marry this woman just for the awesome clothes! Even, better she sells her stuff on my favorite site of all time, Etsy. Heather, I think I love you...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

People at Amazon Have Lost Their Minds

My favorite bloggers at Smart Bitches have created a new definition for Amazon Rank based on Amazon's ridiculous decision to apply some whacked out "adult" definition from all kinds of LGBT books in addition to romance novels. The hypocrisy is just too much for me. You can join the Smart Bitches and help Google bomb Amazon. Click on the link above for more info.

Amazon Rank
amazon rank
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): amazon ranked

1. To censor and exclude on the basis of adult content in literature (except for Playboy, Penthouse, dogfighting and graphic novels depicting incest orgies).
2. To make changes based on inconsistent applications of standards, logic and common sense.

Etymology: from 12 April 2009 removal of sales rank figures from books on Amazon.com containing sexual, erotic, romantic, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or queer content, rendering them impossible to find through basic search functions at the top of Amazon.com’s website. Titles stripped of their sales rankings include “Bastard Out of Carolina,” “Lady Chatterly’s Lover,” several romance novels, GLBTQ fiction novels, YA books, and narratives about gay people.

Example of usage: “I tried to do a report on Lady Chatterly’s Lover for English Lit, but my teacher amazon ranked me and I got an F on grounds that it was obscene.”

Alternate usage: “My girlfriend wanted to preserve her virginity, and I was happy to respect that, then she amazon ranked and decided anal sex was okay.”

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sewing Books: A Rant

An interesting new sewing book came out this past week called Weekend Sewing. It instantly piqued my interest and I browsed a copy at Barnes and Noble. I decided to check out some reviews prior to buying it and I can't seem to find more than one person who has reviewed it and actually tried to sew something from the book. Seriously people, how can you possible "review" a sewing book without having sewn anything in it???

I've read several reviews by bloggers who thought it was a great book and talked about wanting to try some of the projects. Huh?? The most important part of a sewing book is the projects! #1 - Are they interesting? Do you want to actually try it? #2 - Were the instructions clear? Were you able to actually construct the item? If you don't do that, then that's a seriously half-assed review. Who cares if the pictures are cute or the writing is clever if the projects suck or the directions are confusing? If anyone out there has actually tried to sew something from Weekend Sewing I would love to hear about it. In the meantime I'll wait and see if some real reviews come out and it's worth buying.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ten Things Your Romance Novel Heroine Should Never Do

Lynn Viehl, author of several successful series and a true maverick in the world of publishing, has written another funny and sarcastic post about the hypocrisy of the one of the biggest romance writer groups. I love her wry sense of humor. She's always true to herself and doesn't fall for the publishing industry b.s. that they try to cram down authors throats.

Click here to go to her blog and read: Ten Things Your Romance Novel Heroine Should Never Do (If You Want to Win a RITA)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Gentle Rain by Deborah Smith

I am so thankful that I got this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program as I'm pretty sure that I would never have picked it up otherwise. And boy, I really would have missed out on something special.

The characters in A Gentle Rain are so interesting and very well crafted. Kara Whittenbrook is an heiress to a fortune built by her environmentalist parents. She discovers after her parents are killed that she was really adopted. This realization sends her on a mission to find her birth parents who she learns are mentally retarded. They are living and working on the northern Florida ranch of Ben Thocco. Ben is an equally fascinating character. He is part Seminole, takes care of his younger brother who has Downs Syndrome, and is a former luchadore and telenovela start. He and Kara meet in the most amazing way and it's pretty much love at first sight (even though they both fight it). Ben brings Kara back to his ranch where she meets her parents along with the other differently-abled ranch hands. Kara struggles with the decision to reveal her identity to her birth parents while she stays at the ranch where she earns the love and admiration of this eclectic family. The plot is engaging and a variety of "villains" keeps the story moving along. The third major character in the novel is Florida. The author paints a nuanced and seductive picture of a little known part of Florida that is wild and beautiful, populated with the exotic and the mundane. This is the old kitschy Florida predating Disney World.

I really enjoy books where the author completely immerses the reader in a culture and a place and is so well done that you feel as if you've been there. Deborah Smith accomplishes all of that and more in A Gentle Rain. I highly recommend this book.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Interview with MaryJanice Davidson

MaryJanice Davidson is one of my favorite authors. Her books never fail to crack me up. This month Romantic Times Magazine has an audio interview with her where she talks about how she became a best-selling author. Go here to listen.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I discovered Susan Elizabeth Phillips this past summer and glommed a bunch of her backlist books. She writes great straight up contemporary romance for the most part. I grabbed this newest release, Glitter Baby, a few days after it came out and I didn't even read the cover blurb. It wasn't what I was expecting at all and it was completely fabulous.

Fleur Savagar is the most beautiful woman in the world . . . to everyone but herself. With her oversized hands and paddle-boat feet, her streaky blond hair and funny green eyes, she lives a life filled with secrets that began before she was born. That was when her bewitching mother left home to find James Dean and met Errol Flynn instead. Now Fleur has to grow up quickly, and life won't make that easy.

Jake Koranda is both New York's most brilliant playwright and Hollywood's hottest actor. Difficult, talented, and tormented, he has no patience for international glamour girls, not even ones with beautiful bodies and smart-aleck mouths. But there's more to the Glitter Baby than shine, and Fleur's tougher than Jake expects. Even with the odds stacked against her, she's fiercely determined to discover the woman she's destined to be.

An ugly duckling who can't believe she's turned into a swan . . . A tough-guy movie star with a haunted past . . . In a land of broken dreams, can two unlikely lovers trust their hearts?

This is such a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed it even though most of it took place in the 70's and 80's. The flashbacks to Fleur's mom's past are a fascinatingly seedy glimpse at Hollywood of the 1950's. SEP also borrows from the great dramatic traditions of early 80's romance novels with it's ecstatic highs and tragic lows. Really good stuff!

If you want to enter a drawing for a free copy of Glitter Baby, Jayne Anne Krentz is giving one away here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What to Read Next?

I tend not to have a problem deciding what to read next because my TBR stack always seems to keep growing. If you need some ideas on what to read next or just want to try something new, check out WhichBook.net. It's pretty fun to use; you can choose up to four settings on a sliding scale according to the characteristics of what you want to read. It returns a list of books that are the best match to your settings with a quick synopsis and similar books.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sewing Books: Sew What Skirts vs. Sew Everything Workshop

I got a sewing machine for my birthday a few months ago and have had a lot of fun re-learning how to sew. My mom always sewed a lot and taught me how but I haven't sewed in about 15 years. It was cool to find how much I remembered. I picked up two books on sewing and thought I'd share my experience doing some of the projects.

The first project I tried was a simple a-line drawstring skirt from Sew What! Skirts by Francesa DenHartog. The premise of the book is that you don't need no stinkin' patterns, just draw on the fabric and make your own for a custom fit. Well, I followed the instructions exactly and ended up with a puzzlingly gigantic skirt. I was able to alter it along the way but the final result was unflattering and discouraging. I kept second guessing myself and ended up feeling like I wasted a lot of time.

The second sewing book I tried was Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp. This book starts out with the basics and contains a bunch of clever home and clothing projects along with 10 paper patterns. I made the "Breezy Easy Wrap Skirt" which was in fact easy but took a bit of time. I only got lost once but plunged ahead anyway. If I had read further in the instructions I would have been able to get my question answered so I blame myself. The skirt turned out adorable and very professional looking. The only complaint I have is that with equal length ties it doesn't really function as a side-tie wrap skirt. It looks best either tied front center or back center and can be worn either way which is a plus. Overall I think this is a better book and I'll definitely be making this skirt again and trying the other projects. Right now I think I have more confidence in paper patterns.

Monday, January 5, 2009

More Awesome Free Books from Harlequin

...And the giving never stops! Harlequin is celebrating their 60 year anniversary and starting January 29th they are giving away 16 ebooks to download, read and share.

Can't remember to go download stuff on January 29? Click here to fill out this form and Harlequin will send you an email reminder.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Harlequin Free E-Book: Day 9

Happy New Year! Today's free book from Harlequin is Once Upon a Christmas by Holly Jacobs. Download it here. And now, the book blurb....

"Are three people about to get their Christmas wish?

When her nephew announces he's going to find his father, Michelle Hamilton never dreams the man's actually going to show up at her door! Only a paternity test will determine whether Daniel McLean has a legitimate claim. But that doesn't stop the much-too-appealing potential dad from throwing Michelle's well-ordered world into upheaval.

Daniel is thrilled to discover he might have a son. Now the boy's aunt and legal guardian is making him want even more. And the longer he spends with Michelle, the more Daniel feels he's finally found a place to belong.

With the town gearing up for the annual Christmas fair, what better gift could three people give--and receive--than the chance to be a real family?"