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 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?"