Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm Freaking DEAF

Okay, so maybe not really but it sure seems that way right now.  Yesterday in itself was a crazy day, and I'll post about that later (I need to take some more pics first), but while Zan and I were out doing something, we get a call from his boss asking what we were doing.  Well, it was Saturday, so it's not like we really had anything going on, so we stated the obvious: nothing.

He had tickets for Toby Keith.

Yeaaaah.  I know!  *does happy dance*

So, first to perform was a group called Trailer Choir.  Zan had found them on iTunes one night so we were slightly familiar with them.  They are DEFINITELY hillbilly rockers.  But VERY good.  They actually perform the theme song from Toby's upcoming movie, Beer for My Horses.

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Next up was a group I was more familiar with: Carter's Chord.  They have a song out on the radio right now called "Different Breed" and, while it's growing on me, I'm still not all that sure about it.  Zan loved it live last night and I must agree - it sounded good.  The other song they performed rocked though.

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Carter's Chord was followed by an amazing set by Montgomery Gentry.  These two freaking ROCK.  And Eddie?  Oh.  Mah.  Gawd.  I'm amazed he's ever actually able to sing anything.  He's too busy dancing with his mic stand and acting out what Troy's singing.  ROFL.  But they sounded GREAT and were having so much fun that the audience couldn't help but join in.

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And then on to the main act... TOBY KEITH!  Okay, so I've been a Toby fan since the first time I heard "Should've Been a Cowboy" but haven't ever been able to see him live.  I can generally swing ONE concert a year - and I try to save up to see my favorites (mainly Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw, but you probably already know that LOL) so I've never had the chance to see Toby before.  Oh my god - I can't believe what I've been missing! 

Like MG, Toby puts on a great, high-energy show that keeps you on your feet.  And he assembled a great group of people, both established and up and coming, to get us all geared up and ready for him.  About a third of the way into his show, he brings out Mica Roberts to do a few songs.  She sounded great - and I had to laugh when she did "Lady Marmalade".  I was disappointed because she has this amazing ballad out called "Things a Mama Don't Know" that she does with Toby, but instead she did a couple upbeat songs, which is cool too.  If you'd like to see what kind of actor Toby really is, hit CMT.com and check out her video.  It gave me chills. 

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Toby rocked into the night and did two encores.  The only warning I have is this: don't go if you have a bad heart.  LOL  Between all the fireworks and confetti blasters, I think I about had to have my heart jumped four times!  I was so impressed though, never have I been to a show where ALL the acts impressed me as much as these did last night.  If the Biggest & Baddest Tour is headed your way, I highly suggest catching it!  Despite the outrageous prices (here they were $89.50 and $103.50, or something like that), you got five acts, two of which who were headliners.  But then, considering where I live, tickets are always expensive anyway.

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I'd do it all again in a heartbeat (especially for free LMAO).

~Your exhausted, deaf, voiceless Crazy Lady

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ashes to Ashes

Wow! All I can say is these books keep getting better and more intense with each installment!

Ashes to Ashes is the third book in the Blood Ties series by Jennifer Armintrout. I was happy to see Max and Bella take a front role in this novel as I've loved Max from the very first time he was introduced. Bella, well, she had to grow on me, but really developed into a likeable character in this novel. I think my dislike of her could have been because of Max's extreme reaction to her in the last novel, but who knows.

I've already pulled All Soul's Night off my bookshelf to read next!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Three Short Scorchers

Last week I read three short, but extremely hot stories from Changeling Press. Two were a part of their Heat Stroke series, while the third was a novel to begin a new series.

Solar Flare by Elizabeth Jewell was the first of my reads. Blurb: It's the one place in the universe where a vampire can bask in full sunlight without danger of death -- a red star, deep in open space. Kristof's newly purchased ship will take vampires there, to experience the novelty of constant day. But he himself is afraid to take that last step into the light. Until Tomas arrives to show him just how arousing the sun can be.

I love vampire stories of all kinds and this really appealed to me. Every vampire is looking for a way to see the sun again, to sunbathe and feel its warmth. She gave them just that and then some. It was well-written and very, very hot. Great fully-developed story in just a few pages. Well worth the read. I was looking for more by the end. J Note to self: bug author for more!

Sanctuary by Fire by Hunter Raines was the second of my short reads for the week. It is also part of the Heat Stroke series. Blurb: Vampire Lord Theodore Grantaire is hopelessly in love with his human thrall. But being with Reed means turning him into a vampire, and no bliss is worth that price. The only solution is to find an ancient relic and become mortal himself. What he finds instead are vampire hunters.

After a morning of torture, the unmerciful sun's rays have claimed Theo as their own. But the memory of Reed's touch has the power to soothe, even as it engulfs the vampire Lord in a different type of flame.

Can a scarred vampire find sanctuary in the arms of a human? Reed believes he can. Over and over and over again…

First, I love Hunter as she is the alter ego of a very dear friend, Lacey Savage (who also has a Heat Stroke title out, go on, you know ya wanna buy it…). In what could have been a terribly dark story, Hunter takes the dark situation and infused light into it. I'm always amazed at how someone can establish a relationship and such tension in so few pages. Very well done.

Missing You by Belinda McBride was the last of my weekly reads for last week. This is the first of the Imperative series, with two more at least (or at last count, right Belinda?) to come. Blurb: In the future, we don't choose our mates; Nature chooses for us. Nature doesn't make mistakes. And if you don't pay attention to Nature's Imperative, you suffer.

Aquamarine Davis has an exciting future. The up and coming young choreographer is leaving town for a new job when she feels the unwelcome call of the Imperative. Hounded by an intense, biological compulsion to find her mate, Marina reluctantly attends the local mating assembly.

Artist Con Montgomery is thrilled that the Imperative finally called! At 32, he believed his time had passed. For years, he's been haunted by visions of blue which he knew symbolized his mate. The Imperative leads him to Duncan Sinclair, and Con immediately recognizes his future in the smiling blue eyes of this man.

When Con and Duncan walk out of the Assembly together, they leave something behind: Marina. Their mate.

This, I believe, is Belinda's first published work and wow, she really amazed me with this. Great world building and she made it very believable. In a world like ours that cherishes free will so much, you were wanting and hoping for this to happen to you. I cannot wait for the next in the series! And so nice to see Mother Nature is so hip – she doesn't just pick traditional couples. She picks male-male as well as female-female couples too. And on that special occasion… maybe a trio?

Accidentally Dead

I have been waiting and waiting for this book since I first read The Accidental Werewolf way back in February. And let me say this – Nina's story doesn't disappoint either! As a matter of fact, it's even better than Marty's story and that's saying a lot.

Nina, after abandoning Bobbie Sue Cosmetics for a life as a dental hygienist, is bitten on her first day of work. She wakes up with a desire to taste her neighbor's annoying dog and wanting her life back. Her human life back. Through many pitfalls and comedic scenes, Nina, with the help of Marty and Wanda, track down the one who did this to her and extracts her revenge. Or does she?

I am SO excited for Wanda's story coming next spring. Why Dakota – why make us wait? LOL Both The Accidental Werewolf and Accidentally Dead are worth the read. Great story, fun characters, hot steamy love scenes and Dakota Cassidy's own brand of humor.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tell Me

I've been feeling really crappy lately, and have no idea why. I don't know if it's just ME having one of those weeks, or if it's something more. All I know is that I feel like I don't fit in anywhere anymore, even in places that I have been very comfortable in the recent past. Am I the one changing or is it everyone else? And what's worse is no one seems to care. Maybe I'm being left behind for a reason and they all forgot to tell me. LMAO.

But I can't help but feel like I'm a third wheel, just chugging along trying to keep up with the cool kids, ya know? And failing miserably at that.

Anyway, I wrote this to kinda help me work things out. Silly as usual, but then, where Blake's concerned, things usually are. J As for the rest of the world? Nah, I don't expect you to come to my rescue. But slowing your step and walking with me for awhile might be nice.

~TCL, having her own little private pity party, minus the packets of blood…

Tell Me

(July 10, 2008)

"Please," she whispered in his ear, lips just brushing his lobe.

"Anything, Cookie, just tell me what you need," he muttered, nuzzling her throat.

"Tell me you love me."

"What? You know I love you."

"I know, but tell me anyway. Tell me you need me, that you can't live without me. That my life here has some kind of purpose, some meaning that I'm missing because right now, I'm not so sure."

He pulled back from her neck, forcing her to look him in the eyes. "You know I need you, and I shouldn't have to tell you that. The state of this house every day when you return home ought to be more than enough proof of that." He smiled at her soft chuckle of agreement. He did have a point there. "Good, I hate when you get so serious, you scare me."

"Sorry," she muttered, cuddling against his warm chest again, avoiding his questioning gaze. "I feel so disconnected these days. Like I don't quite fit in anywhere that I used to. I know I've changed, that you and the children have forced me to change, but…"

"But?"

"But, I don't know. Did I really change that much that I don't have anything in common with anyone anymore?"

Blake wrapped his arms around her shoulders, pulling her closer to him. "You fit perfectly, right here," he told her, squeezing her tightly for emphasis. "I know you need more than this, the three of us, but aren't we a good enough place to start?"

She smiled into his chest, feeling his heart pounding against her cheek. "You three are more than a good enough place to start. You're where I want to end, each and every day."

"And?"

"And what makes you think there's an 'and'?"

"Because, like buts, there's always one around."

"Quit picking on my butt."

"I'm so not falling for that."

"Now there's a first, Cowboy," she teased. "I thought you always fell for my butt?"

Blake laughed, despite himself. "Nah, but it sure does help." He kissed her forehead, smiling. "Do you feel better now?"

"Yeah, even though I still feel like I'm standing on the outside, looking in. Like I've been set in a display case for everyone to look at and talk about, but not interact with."

"I'm sorry, and I wish I knew how to help you. All I can say is that we love you, and we need you and that I most certainly couldn't go one day without you."

Ali smiled and pulled at the dark hair covering his chest. "Well, that's a given, Cowboy, but it's always good to know. Thank you."

"Anytime," he assured her. "Um, Ali?" He lightly stroked her hair, keeping her near.

"Yeah?" She muttered into his skin, reveling in the smell of his cologne.

"Wanna make me some breakfast?"

"Aaaaah!" she screamed, pushing him back, and watching in glee as he fell off the side of the bed and onto the floor.

"Ouch," he muttered, pulling a Tonka truck out from under him. "I guess that's a no then?"

"You are so smart," she quipped, turning over and pulling the covers over her head.

Blake just grinned from the floor, happy to have his Cookie back to normal.