Thursday, October 1, 2015

Digital Review: Hillbilly Heaven
Truly, I do understand why the historical romance sub genre is littered with Dukes.  It's the exact same reason why billionaires are currently overrunning contemporary romance.  Call it escapism. Call it the quickest and shortest route to Fairy Tale Land.  Whatever.  Romance readers love Dukes and I don't see this ever changing.  Ever.  And hey, I've been known to like a Duke or two in my day.

But what I really like?  Are historical romance characters that could have possibly fallen out of my family tree.  To put it nicely?  Salt-of-the-Earth, working class sorts.  To put it another way?  Hillbillies and Rednecks.  Scarred Hearts by Bonnie Dee takes place in the Kentucky hills just after World War I, right before Prohibition kicks in.  It's a book not without some issues (and red flags for some readers), but was a breath of fresh air for me all the same.

Samuel "Shadow" Robeson is the baby brother in a clan of disreputable characters.  To give you a small taste of how disreputable, one of Shadow's brothers is "slow" because Daddy got violently drunk and threw him down the stairs when he was little.  He's got another brother who likes to torture small animals and harass women.  Shadow's chance of getting away from this band of miscreants came with World War I.  Unfortunately, he got sucked back into the family when he returned from France with a bum leg and a missing eye.  His brothers are looking to take over the family's moonshine operation, and against Daddy's wishes - expand the operation.  They see Prohibition looming and want to position themselves.  Shadow is the only one in the family that can make a moonshine that won't pickle your insides, so he's the one in charge of the still.  He keeps his head down, talks as little as humanly possible, and dreams of the day when he can get the hell away from them.  Then he goes and does a fool thing like falling in love with Lettie Calloway.

Since her Mama died, Lettie has been on her own and trying to live down her reputation.  Mama was essentially the town slut and when Lettie was younger (way young) - she got her head turned by a married man. 
But all those things she'd done were in the past now.  She'd stopped dallying with boys when she realized those few minutes of feeling good weren't worth the whole lot of feeling bad that came later.
Even though Lettie's legs have firmly been closed for a good long while, nobody in town lets her forget - and it doesn't help that she works at the local watering hole slinging whiskey.  She spends just as much time dodging grabby hands as she does serving up biscuits and gravy.  And she tries as much as possible to go unnoticed by the Robeson clan - a hard bit of business to do given that they're moonshiners and she works in a bar.  The one bright light?  Shadow.  He's quiet.  He's circumspect.  And he's nothing like his vile brothers.  She likes him and he seems to like spending time with her - to the point where he actually starts talking.  It doesn't take long before the spark ignites and they start making plans to get the hell out of the hollow.  But can they get away before his family gets wind?

I have a soft spot for heroines like Lettie.  Women who made bad choices, are trying to right the ship, but can't seem to get past their reputations - whether they were earned or not.  Lettie's reputation was mostly earned, but it was a path she started down when she was young, naive, and was fool enough to believe the sweet words that an older man whispered in her ear.  Shadow is the perfect foil for her.  Sweet, tender, quiet, and not the sort who would hold her past against her.

The story, the dialogue, the setting - there's, to put it bluntly, a strong hillbilly vibe going on, which I suspect will not work for some readers.  The biggest pitfall I think will be the fact that Lettie is 19.  Which means that married man she hooked up with?  The other men that came after?  Do the math.  Lettie was pretty darn young.  We are talking 1919 Kentucky.  In hill country.  14-year-olds getting married and having babies wouldn't exactly have been uncommon.  That said, I can recognize that Lettie's past and her age are going to be stumbling blocks for some readers.

There's also the matter of Shadow's brothers, who are vile.  They do make very credible villains.  From the oldest boy who wants to use the family's moonshine business to drag the clan into respectability (he has aspirations to run for political office), to brother Tommy - the torturer of small animals and women.  It's Tommy who serves as the biggest threat to the couples' happiness, and brings about the second bit of problematic elements in the story that could be a bit much for some readers (Spoiler Alert: He shows up at Lettie's cabin, snaps her cat's neck, and almost rapes her.  Meanwhile, another brother, seeking revenge, carves his mark into Lettie's skin using a switchblade. /End Spoiler)

Which probably makes you wonder how I could possibly like this story.  Well the romance is actually really sweet, and sprinkled throughout are some pretty steamy sexual encounters.  Lettie isn't stupid and realizes that getting pregnant is the last thing she wants to do.  I liked that this was a conscious thought for both characters.  Even Shadow, who isn't experienced, recognizes that pregnancy would be....not a very good idea.  I love historical romance, but even I give the side-eye to heroines who hop into bed without nary a thought of consequences - especially when back in those days an out-of-wedlock pregnancy basically ruined a woman's life.  So Lettie and Shadow find other ways to have some fun (Yay! Reindeer Games!), before they succumb to temptation and Lettie begins employing mountain herbal remedies and vinegar douches to get the job done (Sorry if this offends folks - but we're talking social history so....OK, I'm not sorry).

It won't be a book for everybody, certainly.  Hillbillies. The villains. It's very backwoods country.  But I enjoyed it all the same, and am glad I stumbled across this particular unusual historical.  Worth a look the next time you find yourself burnt out on taffeta and ballrooms.

Final Grade = B

Saturday, September 26, 2015

College Girl, RT and Baseball

It's been a week since I've blogged something (anything) - and since my reading has ground to a halt thanks to the previous week's shenanigans, y'all get an update post.  So what's going on at the Casa de Bat Cave?  Well....

In a previous post I mentioned that I was tapped to do this "leadership class thingie" for work.  Well, that's started.  What I've learned so far?  There's no way in heck I could be a "non-traditional student."  You know, those folks who go back to school in their 30s, 40s, 50s etc.  I was very traditional.  College right out of high school, four years to my bachelor's degree, straight to grad school, full time for three semesters to my graduate degree.  Done.  With no desire to ever, ever go back.  Ever.  This small taste of "back to school" has me wondering how the heck I ever did this the first go around.  My current theory is ignorance (I didn't know anything else at the time) and alcohol (self-explanatory).  So if you're a non-traditional student reading this post?  My hat's off to you.  Because there's no way I could do it - and I don't have children to wrangle.


Registration for the RT Booklovers Convention (in Las Vegas) opened this week and yours truly will be there.  For my first RT ever.  Why now?  Vegas is close for me (I can drive - huzzah!) and I'm going to be on a panel (definitely one, possibly two, but jury is still out).  The definite panel has to do with "voice" in blogging, reviewing and advocating for the genre.  So if you want to experience the Bat Cave live and in person (and really, how could you not?) - be sure to look for me at RT. 

I have no clue yet day or time of my panel(s) - but more information will be forthcoming as soon as I have it.


Baseball.  My Tigers have been dismal this year.  Last place in our division dismal.  Our General Manager got "let go" and fled to Boston (boo! hiss!).  Miguel Cabrera got hurt.  Justin Verlander forgot how to pitch until recently.  Ian Kinsler has been - well, I don't even know what's going on with him.  One day he looks great, the next he looks like a guy who found out his wife is cheating on him with his best friend.  Jose Iglesias and James McCann got into a fight in the dugout - on camera.  Bruce Rondon (for the record, a relief pitcher I have loathed from day one) got sent home for the season due to "lack of effort."  Yeah, it's just been bad.  But hey, doesn't mean I still don't want to talk about baseball.

Word came out today that despite rumors to the contrary that Brad Ausmus will be back as the manager for 2016.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  While our terrible, awful year isn't entirely Brad's fault, the Tigers have shown over the years that they just play better under managers who are cranky, old, and smoke like chimneys.  Leyland (with his Marlboros).  Sparky (with his pipe).  I'm not sure Detroit can handle managers who are as hunky and dreamy as Brad.  Sigh.  So hunky.  So dreamy.  For God's sake - the man surfs.  SURFS!!!  Now figure out what do with this nightmare of a team Brad and we'll be gold.

When Dave Dombrowski was "let go" - Al Avila was promoted to General Manager.  Fans of the Bat Cave's Tigers Meet Harlequin posts will know that Al is (now back-up) catcher Alex Avila's Daddy.  He also looks like Tony Soprano's cousin.  I mean, look at him.  If that doesn't scream "I work in waste management" I'm not sure what does.  If I was an under-performing player I'd sleep with one eye open.  Otherwise you might wake up next to a severed horse's head.  Just sayin'.

Could future Tigers Meet Harlequin stories be in the future for these two potential heroes?  Brad's dreamy and Al looks likes a villain (which in certain corners of the genre these days = prime hero material) - so don't count them out. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Little Miss Crabby Pants Walks The Line

Oh Romancelandia, you make it so hard to like you sometimes.  And yet here I am, once again, stepping into the fray of the latest outrage du jour.  Will Little Miss Crabby Pants never learn? 

Apparently not.

Yesterday the bomb was dropped that Josh Lanyon is a chick.  For those of you who don't read m/m (male/male - as in, no vaginas to be found in the romance) - Josh Lanyon is a fairly prolific author who specializes in mysteries (as far as I can tell).  Over the years I've seen positive reviews and apparently there has been speculation (for many years now...) on whether or not Josh is male or female, gay or straight, whatever.  Speculation I totally missed because I'm not widely read in LGBT romance (I have nothing against it, have actually read some of it, but Little Miss Crabby Pants is not "widely read" ergo, she's no expert).

Some folks are not happy about this, for a variety of reasons.  The revelation in general.  How the revelation was made.  The use of a pen name to appropriate an identity or experiences you haven't actually lived.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Little Miss Crabby Pants cannot comment very intelligently on any of this since 1) she's never read Lanyon and 2) hasn't exactly been hanging around the Internet with bated breath reading everything Lanyon has ever said or written regarding her identity.  I don't have first hand knowledge of the history.  So I'm not about to say that people who are upset shouldn't be upset because hell if I know everything that has been said over the years on the subject up to this point.  So this latest kerfuffle was orbiting around the periphery for me and frankly I was staying out of it because honestly?  I don't care.

And then, it happened.

I made the mistake of going on Twitter. 


For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you'll probably notice that my participation on the forum is pretty hit or miss.  I pop in for a little bit.  I pop out.  I go days without participating.  I lurk a lot.  Frankly I engage when I have time, and time is a precious commodity in short supply these days.  But hey, I had time so popped into Twitter which from here on out I'm just going to call The Outrage Machine.

Look, I get it.  Lanyon has managed to piss some folks off.  And honestly?  I'm fine with that.  Like I said, I don't have a pony in this race, plus I don't know the back history.  So if you're pissed, hey - more power to you.  I'm not going to tell you you're wrong.

What I am going to tell you however is to look in the mirror.  So much of the commentary I'm reading on this drama comes down to Little Miss Crabby Pants' favorite topic of the moment: Disclosure.

The irony is so rich here that I'm practically choking on it. 

Someone pass me more wine.

What exactly is Little Miss Crabby Pants implying?  The simple fact that if you're going to talk the talk you sure as shit better be walking the walk.  And certain corners of The Outrage Machine?  Yeah, go to the back of the line and sit the F down.  Or better yet, look in the mirror and start taking stock of your own baggage before wading into the fray.  Was Lanyon in the right or in the wrong?  In this instance it doesn't rightly matter much.  If your own house isn't in order, I'm not sure you're the best voice to be weighing in on the subject.

Little Miss Crabby Pants will end this missive with a tweet that speaks so much truth about the current state of Romancelandia that I'm thinking of cross-stitching it on a sampler.  An observation she wishes she had made, and I thank Kat so much for succinctly capturing my annoyance in less than 140 characters.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

#TBRChallenge 2015: Nobody's Darling
The Book: Nobody's Darling by Teresa Medeiros

The Pariculars: Historical Romance, 1998, Bantam, In Print

Why Was It In Wendy's TBR?: Oh who the hell knows anymore!  I've had a print copy of this languishing in the TBR for at least a decade.  Seriously.  My guess?  Someone on a listserv a billion years ago recommended it.  Or it could just be the old standby Wendy excuse of "It's a western. Like duh." 

The Review: Here's a perfect example of what can happen when you let books sit in your TBR for close to a decade.  Had I read this back when I actually, oh you know, bought it - I think I would have really, really liked it.  But I've been reading romance for 16 years now and have gotten jaded.  Also there are things that bother me now that didn't bother me 16 years ago.  But I'm getting ahead of myself....

Esmerelda Fine is an orphan.  Her mother was the daughter of a Duke, but instead of marrying the man Daddy had handpicked for her, she ran away from home to elope with her one true love.  They settled in America and had two kids - Esmerelda followed by baby brother Bartholomew.  Then Mommy and Daddy get cholera and die.  Like her mother before her, Esmerelda keeps up the correspondence with her grandfather even though the old goat has effectively disowned the family and raises Bartholomew on her own.  Then one day in merry old England, Grandpapa gets the letter that strikes fear in his shriveled-up, miserly heart.  Bartholomew is dead and Esmerelda is heading to New Mexico to track down the outlaw who reportedly killed him. 

Billy Darling is a bounty hunter, which in the eyes of most makes him no better than an outlaw.  He's actually a wanted man at the moment thanks to a job gone bad, but the sheriff of Calamity, New Mexico isn't about to arrest him.  In fact, they're playing cards together in the saloon when in walks a slip of a woman who pulls a derringer on Billy.  She's spouting off about him killing her brother, which he most certainly did not - but convincing Esmerelda Fine of that is going to take some doing.

What follows is Billy and Esme getting things mostly squared away so we don't have too much of a Big Misunderstanding mucking up the plot.  Esme wants to find her brother's whereabouts however, and it's apparent that Billy is the best tracker in the area.  We all know where this is going, right?

I've read several books by Medeiros now and I've liked all of them to varying degrees, although all-out Squee! has eluded thus far.  The dedication before the start of the book makes mention of the John Wayne / Maureen O'Hara movie, McLintock! which should give those of you who know anything at all about that movie what to kind of expect here.  I suspect that's why I waited so long to read this - so scared I am of The Slapstick Humor Nightmare that can descend on "funny" romances.  But Medeiros keeps it more charming than funny ha-ha and it mostly works.

The problem comes in from outside factors - namely the secondary characters.  Billy is the baby of a family that is full of disreputable characters.  After he and Esme hit the road, his outlaw brothers find them and Billy tells Esme to trust him, ties her up and gags her in order to protect her.  Why?  Because Dear Old Brothers ask if they can have a go at her after Billy is done with her.  Esme proceeds to be terrified, Billy says no I don't like to share, and then they proceed to fool his brothers with some well placed moaning and groaning.  And throughout the course of the book, as the plot advances forward, Esmerelda keeps having to spend time in the company of the Darling Gang.  And as the reader I'm just to supposed to forget about this introduction?!  Not to mention baby brother Bartholomew who....ugh.  I could get past most of it during the reading of the book, but then we get a rosy, sunshiney sort of ending and I'm sorry - I can't get over the fact that Bartholomew is an asshole and Billy's brothers wanted to rape Esmerelda - well at least until they found out she could play "purdy music" on her violin.

Child, please.

Oh, and did I mention the Darling boys (including Billy) rode with Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson?  Look, I get it.  History is written by the victors and just as many people believe Quantrill and Anderson were folk heroes as those who believe they were psychopaths.  Here they are merely name-dropped.  They are neither addressed as villains or heroes - but they are addressed in relation to the hero of a romance novel.  Did I mention I was born and raised north of the Mason-Dixon?  Yeah, issues.  I haz them.

If you can get past the secondary characters who put the "problem" in "problematic elements" - the main romance itself is fairly light and charming.  Esme and Billy have a nice banter and I'm a sucker for a road romance.  There are moments in the story where both characters have to reconcile with their pasts and also address the fact that a Duke's daughter is just a wee smidge out of the league of a bounty hunter who wants to be a lawman.

I did feel at times the pacing suffered a bit (Part III of the book dragged on too long for me) and the villain is pretty thinly drawn, mostly serving as a device to move our couple through the plot and towards the happy ending.  All of this sounds like I disliked the book, which I didn't.  What ended up elevating it for me?  The actual text.  The actual book.  We live in a world where yes, self-publishing is wonderful and traditional publishers are asking authors to keep up frenetic writing paces.  As the reader?  I don't always get a quality product.  I'm sorry authors - but y'all know I'm speaking some truth right now.  Nobody's Darling reads like a book that everybody took their time on.  The author took time and care writing it.  Her editor took time and care EDITING it.  It's not even the best book I've ever read, but it reads like a frackin' masterpiece now - 17 years after it's publication date.  It is, creatively speaking, a well-put-together story.  Start to finish.  I had real, obvious, issues with the book - truly I did - but not once did I contemplate DNF'ing this.  I kept reading it because Medeiros MADE ME want to keep reading it.

So for that reason alone?  I'm probably going to slap this with a higher grade than I suspect most of you think I should.  The issues that bothered me (ugh, the Darling Gang!) are things that probably won't bother other readers and admittedly probably wouldn't have bothered me 16 years ago.  But I'm older and crankier now - and bother me they did.  Still, I think this is one worth reading and could totally see it as a "gateway western" for romance readers who don't normally go for the setting.

Final Grade = B-

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mini-Reviews: You Don't Have To Be Lonely...

I know a number of readers don't care for them, but I happen to love novellas.  When they're done well, they're tasty bite-size morsels of satisfaction.  I also happen to be a sucker for continuity series.  Those multi-author series that sometimes (but not always) feature an overarching story arc. is a continuity novella series from Samhain about an online dating site that caters to country folk who have already been around the block (they're widowed, divorced etc.)  There are currently three novellas in the series (no idea if there will be more?), and I zipped through two of them over the weekend.  As far as I could tell, the only thing holding them together as a series is the dating site concept.  No reoccurring characters or plot elements that I picked up on.
Nothing Like a Cowboy by Donna Alward starts out just fine, but once the conflict kicks into high gear it slid south for me.  Um, to the point where I was shaking my Kindle and calling the heroine not-so-nice names.  Out loud.  In other news, My Man now officially thinks I'm insane.

Brett Harrison was married to a woman who thought being a rancher's wife would be more glamorous than the reality turned out to be.  Baggage he has it.  His twin sister is sick of seeing him mope around, so she signs him up for a dating site and sets a coffee date with Melissa "Melly" Walker, also a divorcee.  Melly was dazzled by her ex, who turned out to be a liar - so baggage, she has it.  Brett agrees to keep the date, mostly because his sister's deception isn't Melly's fault and he comes clean the moment they meet at the coffee shop.  They like each other, they share a smoldering kiss.  A future date leads to them hitting the sheets and that's when all hell breaks loose.  Conflict turns up in the form of an Amazing Coincidence.  The problem being that Melly doesn't think it's an Amazing Coincidence so much as a Big Secret.  Given that she has trust issues already?  Yeah, she freaks out.

This starts out as a very nice read.  It's kind of fun to read about an awkward first date (essentially a blind date) in a romance novel where we're often subject to suave heroes who ooze charm and charisma.  What didn't work for me had everything do with the conflict in the second half of the story.  I get that Melly is upset.  I get that she has baggage.  But her reaction and her subsequent treatment of Brett struck me as extreme.  As in, pull yourself together you stupid, selfish b*tch extreme.  Yes, the groundwork of her trust issues is laid well before, but ugh - I intensely began disliking her and no amount of Her Ex Done Her Wrong could wash the bad taste out of my mouth.  Frankly I could not for the life of me understand why Brett was so patient with her.  I'm sorry, no sex is that good, no matter how long of a drought you've had.  Alward has written better and if you're curious to try her work, I recommend following this tag for recommendations.

Final Grade = D
Disclaimer: Anderson and I presented a workshop together at RWA 2013.

 Something About a Cowboy by Sarah M. Anderson is a surprisingly tender and OMG HOTT! story.  If I wasn't sitting in front of a fan, I was wiping away tears.  It's a real winner.

Six years ago Mack Turner's wife died of cancer.  They were high school sweethearts, got married young, had babies young, and now his three sons are grown and worried about Dad.  He's 46 and alone on his ranch.  Winters get mighty lonely.  It's his youngest son who sets him up with a profile on the dating web site and gives Karen Thompson his Dad's number.  They talk and agree to meet in Billings (a three hour drive for Mack) for dinner and possibly more.

Karen is divorced and her self-esteem is in the toilet.  Her ex was totally incapable of being faithful and Karen just wants to feel desired by a man again.  She's not looking for love.  She's not looking for marriage.  Which is good because neither is Mack.  What she wants is for a man to look at her with passion in his eyes - and when Mack gets a load of her in a slinky red dress?  Yeah, wish granted!

The complaint I think some readers may have about this story is that it's very steamy and that it's short.  It's borderline erotic romance as far as content goes.  There's some "getting to know you" stuff to the romance, but honestly that's not why these two characters hook up initially.  They're there to get back, figuratively, into the saddle.  Naturally when the cold light of morning dawns, Mack finds himself confronted with his past, and needless to say he doesn't handle it well.  It's the resolution to his baggage, the emotional heft of it, that made this short novella such a winner for me.  A picture perfect afternoon read.

Final Grade = A

On a final note, I think it's worth mentioning how well I thought both authors handled the happy endings in these stories.  Again, they're short novellas and I loved that neither one tried to do too much with them.  They're basically happy-for-now, but the reader is left with the solid impression that both couples are together, in a relationship, and will, probably, down the road, make the whole thing official.  Praise the saints that neither of them crammed in a marriage proposal or pregnant with twins epilogue.

Note: The third book in the continuity series is Anything for a Cowboy by Jenna Bayley Burke (sorry haven't read, no review).  You can purchase the stories separately, or in a 3-for-1 edition.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The State Of The Bat Cave

Back in the day, when I wasn't seemingly exhausted all the time and could string semi-coherent sentences together to create interesting blog posts (no comment from the peanut gallery...), I would routinely put together chatty round-up style posts about what was going on in my life.  Hey, you're reading a one-person blog here.  Come for the narcissism, stay for the occasional romance novel reviews!  So what's going on at the Bat Cave these days?  Oh my, what isn't?


So, yeah - work.  I'm not sure I disclosed it here yet, but I got promoted.  For those keep track at home, yeah - I've been working for this particular employer for a little over a year.  And yes, I was promoted.  This has largely been a good thing.  I mean, how can it not?  I'm Good Old-Fashioned Midwestern Worker Bee, so it's nice to be appreciated and to have my superiors believe in my abilities.  On the other hand?  There are days I sit in my new office and think to myself, "Self, what made you ever think you could possibly do this?!"  And then there are days when I feel like the master of my own universe.  Which I figure is just about par for the course whenever one takes on a new job, new responsibilities yada yada yada.

On top of this I just found out last week I've been tapped for a "leadership program."  Which means - more work. I know this blog hasn't been a hotbed of scintillating content of late, and while I LOVE my new job and am SO HAPPY I made the switch a little over a year ago now.....

I'm exhausted.  Not gonna lie.  I'm going to try to not have the blog dip down to one post a week, but this fall?  It could happen.  Seriously.  Busy, busy worker bee thy name is Wendy.


So yeah - the Detroit Tigers.  My Last Place In Their Division Detroit Tigers.  Needless to say my baseball watching has mostly come to a close this season (there's masochism and then there's self-loathing) - although My Man is starting to watch more of his suddenly relevant Toronto Blue Jays and his favorite childhood team, the New York Mets.  So it's not a totally Baseball Free Zone at the Bat Cave just yet.

In light of my team imploding, I've taken to binge-watching Archer, an adult cartoon from the fine folks at FX.  My Man got hooked on it while I was away at a conference this summer and when I got home I got sucked down the same rabbit hole.  I've been binging via Amazon Prime and just started Season Four.  Favorite episode so far?  The Man From Jupiter from Season 3 which guest-stars Burt Reynolds.  I loved everything about that episode.


My latest Unusual Historicals post went up last week over at Heroes & Heartbreakers.  A lot of Takes Place In England But Some Slightly Different Elements For A Change books.  Also, an appearance from The Dark Ages and some American settings (including two westerns).  Head on over and check out the shopping list.


I haven't been very active in my usual Romance Land haunts of late because I'm finding myself more easily irritated than usual.  As in grabbing my computer monitor, shaking it senseless and sputtering, "Why?! Why?! WHY!?!?!?!?!?!?!" As I see it there are a few possible solutions to this conundrum for me:

1) I start writing scathing blog posts that would make Little Miss Crabby Pants blush and possibly alienate folks.

2) I swallow my irritation into a tight ball of rage and limit my time online for the sake of my own sanity.

3) I learn to let it go like everyone else seems to have done and instead write passive aggressive blog posts like this one.  Oh...wait a second....

Given that my Real Life is very full at the moment, and I'm still struggling to find some sort of reading groove, it's just easier for me to take the easy way out and lurk on certain corners of the Interwebs for a while.  Or, you know, just not visit at all.  Otherwise we're back to Passive Aggressive Wendy, and Lord, even I don't like her. 


Back to sports - American football kicked off this week and....meh.  I used to really like football, but it's been on a downhill slide for me since the New Orleans Bounty-Gate fiasco which I found so repugnant that it makes my brain hurt.  Then there's the whole concussion thing.  Then there's the domestic violence thing.  Then there's the fact that I think the commissioner is a scumbag and I had to spend the whole off-season hearing about Tom Brady's deflated balls and honestly?  Tom Brady is a scumbag (IMHO).  So hearing about two scumbags fighting over deflated balls?

Yeah, I'm out.

On the bright side, maybe while My Man is watching football Wendy will actually get some reading done?  Hey, anything is possible, right?


Lord, that was a big ol' pile of cranky.  Let's blame the heat, shall we?  The Bat Cave is located at the center of Hell at the moment, I'm convinced of it.  Days on end of 100+ heat.  As in, after dark - Wendy's going to bed - and it's still like 90 degrees outside.  I'm completely and totally over it.  And it's obviously making me a crankier crank than usual....which is just scary.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Reminder: #TBRChallenge for September

For those of you participating in the 2015 TBR Challenge, this is a reminder that your commentary is "due" on Wednesday, September 16.  This month's theme is Historical Romance.  Any historical romance.  This one should be pretty easy, unless of course you don't read historical romance.  In which case, no problem!  Remember - the themes are totally optional and are not required.  It's not about the themes but reading something (anything!) out of your TBR.

Note: This month's challenge falls on a crazy, busy hectic day for me. I'll get my own commentary scheduled to post in advance, but I suspect I'll largely be "off-line" that day. 

For more information, or just to follow along with all the participants - check out the 2015 TBR Challenge Information Page.