Here We Go Again...New Adult Bandwagon Rambling

I caught a lot of flack about my post-RT rant regarding the Young Adult bandwagon back in 2011.  And now I see the same thing happening all over again with "New Adult".  I have the same reaction to "genre" trends that I do to overly-hyped books. I stay the heck away from them.

I think what upsets me about both Young Adult and New Adult is that it speaks to our laziness as  readers. These trends, which so narrowly focus on specific ages, seem to be less about helping readers find books they can relate to and more about manipulating them into shelling out more cash. And it also speaks to our increasing reliance on publishers and the book industry to tell us what to read.

Spring in the Mountains!

It's finally Spring in the mountains. Although I really shouldn't complain given the fact that two years ago, we still had feet of snow on the ground. But I'm so happy to be able to open the windows and let in that fresh breeze.

I was trying to take some pictures of the flowers in the front yard when this little bee decided he had prior claims. Would not leave me alone, so after snapping his picture, I left him to it.

I planted these anemones last fall. I was so surprised they actually grew, since I'm known in my circles as Ms. Black Thumb. I kill everything. Thank goodness for carefree bulbs!


Hump Day Classic Movie: The Stranger (1946)

I decided it was time to let (force) Oldest watch some film noir with me. After all, he's a bit of an unhappy ending junkie (not really sure how that happened since I tend to be all about HEAs myself). This is his cultural education we're talking about. His grandma has already perverted his film education with Godzilla and Mothra marathons. I've gotta do something!

Enter, a quick Google search of Film Noir classics. Every week, I'm going to torture  treat him to a new-to-him classic movie. I might even let him eat some junk food while we watch. I'm a cool mom, sometimes.

We're starting with The Stranger. Just because. I think we can mock the way nobody in this film is able to follow anyone else with any semblance of stealth. Plus I can sneak in some historical reference points, too.

You can find it on Amazon Prime for free or, if you're not a Prime member, for rent.

Here's the synopsis: The great Orson Welles directed and stars in this tense thriller about as a respected small New England town college professor who will stop at nothing to conceal his shocking and deadly past.


Review: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Format: Hardcover
Pub Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Ace
Length: 352 pages
Series: Mercy Thompson, Book 7
FTC: Purchased myself

I've been quite vocal about my feelings regarding the last Mercy Thompson book.  It just wasn't anywhere near as good as the previous books for a variety of reasons ranging from plot problems, atmosphere, character isolation... It's a misstep that's only so noticeable because Patricia Briggs is such a solidly good writer. Despite my lackluster feelings about River Marked, I picked up Frost Burned the day it came out.  I did enjoy Fair Game, the Alpha and Omega book set between River Marked and Frost Burned, so I was hopeful I hadn't just thrown away the price of a hardcover book.

I can say with great relief that Patricia Briggs is back in top form! I read this book in a single day after suffering through a months-long reading slump. It was the first book in a long time for me that was addictive, compelling, and just plain good. The biggest issue from River Marked that is "fixed" in this book is that the whole gang is here. RM suffered from the artificial isolation that Mercy and Adam had for most of the book. This book has the familiar cast of characters back with a vengeance. The interplay, the dialogue, the relationships are one of the reasons I read this series, and this book did not disappoint on that front.


TBR Challenge Review: Promises in the Dark by Stephanie Tyler

Format: Mass market paperback
Pub Date: 2010
Publisher: Dell (Random House)
Length: 388
FTC: Purchased myself [during the Borders shutdown clearance :( ]

This month's TBR Challenge theme is designed to whittle away at the long list of authors who elicit the  "You haven't read that author yet?!" incredulous cries from my friends. And also my 'I need to read that author someday' guilt-ridden TBR pile. It's  new-to-you author month at the Challenge, so I decided to do some serious digging into my boxed up TBR for an author I haven't read. (Go me!)

Since I began blogging back in 2009, I've heard nothing but good things about Stephanie Tyler's books. And yet, it took the closing of Borders in 2011 to force me to buy one of her books...which promptly got boxed up when we moved my office around. Sigh. So... *drum roll*

Guess who got a jury duty summons? Yep. I'm in court today. Whoopee!


Recipe: Fresh Apple Walnut Cake

Here is a recipe that's older than I am. It's one of the three cakes my mom has made pretty regularly over the last 30+ years. (The other two are her Black Joe cake and a scrumptious carrot cake.) If you don't look at the ingredients too closely, you might be able to fool yourself into believing this cake is good for you.

It has apples. It has walnuts. And best of all, You Don't Have to Grease and Flour the Pan!!!

*Snoopy Dance*

The ungreased angel food cake pan (You should have the kind with the removable center!) allows the batter to climb.  Yes, that's a lot of vegetable oil. But this is a big cake. And, while I haven't tried it, you could probably sub in a bit of applesauce for some of it. I also use this gizmo to peel, slice and core the apples. I hate to peel anything, but this gadget cuts down the prep time tremendously!

Fresh Apple Walnut Cake


1 1/2 cup vegetable oil (you could probably sub in some applesauce)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups flour
3 cups fresh apples, chopped (I use Granny Smiths)
1 cup nuts, chopped

Combine oil, sugar and eggs; beat well. Add vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and soda; stir on low. Gradually add flour. Stir in nuts and apples.

Pour batter into an UNGREASED angel food cake/tube pan (preferably one with a removable bottom). Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely on wire rack. Gently remove from pan. Store covered.

This is a moist,  yummy cake that is perfect with coffee. I admit it. I've eaten a slice for breakfast before. It's actually better if you let it cool completely, wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or foil, and let it sit overnight. But if you can't wait that long, it's good hot out of the oven, too.


TBR Challenge Review (March): Hunter's Prey by Moira Rogers

Format: ebook
Publisher: Samhain
Pub Date: March 2012
Length: 137 pages
FTC: Purchased myself

March's theme was a series you're behind in. That describes pretty much every series I read (with the exception of Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series and Ilona Andrews's Kate Daniels series).  But since last month was crazy busy with real life obligations, kiddo related craziness, and other time consuming "stuff," I'm just now getting around to posting the review.

I read the first installment in this series when it was an ARC. You can read my review here. I bought the next in the series, intending to read it immediately, but then...life happened. So, yea for this challenge, which guilts me into trimming down the pile.

While I loved the initial installment in this series, this one just didn't click with me. It could be because I had forgotten the details of the previous book, but all that means is that this really isn't a stand-alone story. And it isn't. I liked the atmosphere, the action and everything else, but the characters did not have any emotional depth for me. I wasn't invested at all in either character's story. That could be the result of my reading-slump-from-hell, but I suspect I would have liked this one more if I had gone back and refreshed my memory with Wilder's Mate.