Sunday, July 11, 2010

Of Ants and Antics

Two nights ago, in the midst of a sweet tooth attack, my Nicholas decided he wanted a chocolate chip cookie cake. Fortunately, Kroger has many varieties and Nick got to choose the one he wanted most. The cookie cake in question was designed to look like a watermelon covered in ants.

No, I'm not kidding.

Nothing says delicious like an ant infestation

As you can see, the cookie cake is decorated not just with any ants, but with giant, plastic ants the size of prehistoric bugs I can only imagine pestered the dinosaurs. Once home, these ants were quickly repurposed from cookie cake decoration to cat toy. Well, that was the intention at least. I have yet to see the cat approach said "toys."

Last night, sometime after midnight, I took the dog outside for his nightly walk. Upon reentering the house, a scream the likes of which I haven't emitted since riding the SkyCoaster tore itself from my vocal chords. Notice the verb tore, because I had no control over said scream. It's my body's natural reaction when I narrowly miss contact with what I believed to be a large, overturned roach on my living room floor.

I think you can see where this is going.

Sure, this may not look like a roach now,


but flip it upside down, where its little plastic legs are free to stick up the in the air, exposing its segmented plastic body.


Mix it in with a bunch of dog toys near the poorly lit back door where I'm going to stumble upon it, half asleep late at night, and you've produced a scream-worthy menace.

Of course, my hysterics quickly ended when I realized what the roach-like fiend actually was and Nick spent the next 10 minutes laughing at my expense.

Tell me I'm not the only one to mistake something harmless for something far more sinister.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Of Road Trips and Reading

With my family clustered around the Mason-Dixon, and the soon to be in-laws in Georgia, holidays are always spent traveling. I’ve grown accustomed to long hours spent in cars. At this point, even the dog and cat are tolerant, well versed travelers.

Brady occasionally uses Simon as a travel pillow

For me, the best thing about long car trips is the hours of unscheduled time when I’m allowed to indulge in one of my favorite hobbies without guilt. Of course I mean reading. What writer wasn’t first a reader? But, more often than not, I feel guilty when reading, like the time I spend reading should be put to outlining/writing/editing/revising my current writing project. Reading has become something of an elusive pleasure since I started writing professionally, one that I save for rewards and trips. This trip, I rewarded myself twice with a pair of books I thoroughly enjoyed.

First up is paranormal romance A Safe Harbor: Building Sanctuary Book #1 by Moira Rogers.

During the bite of the Great Depression, sole female dominant Joan Fuller struggles against the rise of cruelty among her alpha counterparts. The men tolerate her interference--until she breaks from the pack and allies with a witch and a vampire. Now the Boston alpha intends to bring them all forcibly back into the fold--and teach her a lesson she may not survive.

Seamus Whelan and his werewolf bootleggers intend to retire from smuggling and savor their fortune, but first they must do a favor for an old friend: escort some female wolves to safety. An easy job, if their leader wasn't a prim ex-debutante with enough power to challenge Seamus himself. Chance makes them allies; powerful need makes them lovers.

Together, they have the opportunity to build a sanctuary for their kind, but first they must free themselves from Joan's past, and the powerful man who would see her destroyed.


The second is a time travel romance set primarily in the old west, Desperado’s Gold by Linda Winstead Jones.

When her Mustang Convertible's blown gasket leaves Catalina Lane stranded in the Arizona desert, all she hopes for is a tow truck to carry her to the nearest gas station. After being left alone at the altar, Catalina certainly doesn't expect to be swept off her feet any time soon. But when Desperado Jackson Cady whisks her away into the sunset and leads her back in time to the Old West, Catalina joins him for the ride. After all, this infamous gunslinger better known as "Kid Creede" never dreamed of a lovely 20th century lady falling into his hands. But the longer they're together the more she finds herself paralyzed by his dangerous touches, and he hungering for much more than what they have.


Both were fantastic, quick reads I highly recommend. Now back to the grindstone, until my next road trip when I can lower the TBR pile just a bit more.