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Book Reviews
S.G. Cardin
Friday, 8 May 2009
Where has the time gone?
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Sirius XM Radio
Topic: Life

It's been a busy week. Writing wise, I'm been working hard on my edits for my WIP, "The Hungarian," a paranormal romance and I'm about 1/2 done.  I'm very pleased with the edits and as soon as I'm done I'll be ready to query. However, Jillian Hunter's Boscastle series has been a distraction.  I've really become engrossed with it.  It's a romance series, but I'm impressed with Hunter's writing. I picked up "The Wicked Games of a Gentleman" on a lark and I was hooked.  Over the course of the next couple of blog entries, I'll share my  Reviews on the series at the end of the entry.

I've also just finished putting together my next Angel Army Newsletter on WDC and my Official Newsletter.  My official newsletter has some good stuff. If you get a chance, check out BookEnds Literary Agency & Blog online.  The agents there are Jessica Faust, Jacky Sach, and Kim Lionetti and their blog is a great tool for aspiring writers who are looking to query.  Just the other day Jessica lamented that one author sent her a query on a project over 20 times from 20 different emails, after she passed on it.  Poor thing!  What amazes me is how ignorant some people can be when they are querying.  That ignorance, laced with a touch of arrogance will never get them an agent.


As usual, we've been busy at the house. I'm looking into gymnastics programs for Joe to help channel his enegry. I'm trying to listen to Breaking Dawn on Audio book on my way to work, but it's been hard because while I think the reader embodies, Bella, the tone tends to grate on my nerves and I can only listen in doses.

I'm also a little disappointed to hear Manny Ramierz was taking HcG, a female hormone that stimulates the natural production of testorone in the male body.  You take after you come off steriods.  Steriods STOPS the natural production of testosterone in the male body so when you come off, you have to take HcG to jumpstart your body into stimulating testosterone use. It's sad, really. It can also be taken for thyroid problems, and I'd like to think that was why Manny took it, being the optimist that I am, but I need to be real here. Steroids is a problem in baseball.  Manny on steriods is not a stretch for me. I'm disappointed, but I am impressed with how Manny has handled it, taking responsibility and taking his suspension.

Just some miscellenous thoughts

LISTENING TO: Nothing really - Sirius XM Radio.
READING: Guilty as Sin by Jillian Hunter
DVD: Last one I saw was BOTTLE SHOCK
MOVIE:  Brent and I are going to movies on Monday! I think we'll see Star Trek, but we'll have to go in shifts because of the kids.  I also want to see Wolverine, but we'll have to see how that goes.
MOTHER'S DAY:  I just want to hang out and BBQ, but we'll playing it by ear.

Smiles, Steph



Book Review for “The Sinful Nights of a Nobleman”

Written by: Jillian Hunter

Ballantine Books

ISBN 0-345-48761-3340

340 pages


4 Stars 

Hunter weaves a masterful tale of seduction and passion in “The Sinful Nights of a Nobleman.” Devon Boscastle is a rakehell who has no desire to settle down and find a wife – until he’s forced into a marriage of convenience with a young debutante, Jocelyn Lydbury. For Devon, there’s nothing as passionate or as sexy than falling in love with his own wife! 


The novel opens with Devon attending a social party in Essex. Several games and events are planned, and the party is scheduled to last a week. At the party he encounters a young debutante, Jocelyn Lydbury. Four years ago her father invited Devon to dinner to meet her and Devon stood her up. After all, he has no desire to get married. Devon trades barbs with Jocelyn and finds her to be enchanting. Later that night, Devon and Jocelyn each receive letters to meet in the castle’s tower – masked. While masked, they share an intimate embrace. It’s then they realize who each other, are and that they didn’t write the letters that lured them to the tower. Too late – Jocelyn’s father, a tyrant of a man, finds the couple in a compromising position and insists they marry. 

Devon does the right thing and agrees. Despite himself, Jocelyn has made a dent in his carefully constructed armor. She’s sweet and demur. His heart goes out to her when he discovers how her father has mistreated her. He also finds her inexperience appealing. Throughout the novel, Both Devon and Jocelyn are harassed by minor incidents which are meant to make them look bad, but both rise above the incidents. Devon tries to identify the culprit, but to no avail. Devon takes his new bride to his house. Their lovemaking is passionate and intense. Devon vows not to take a lover, but it’s hard for him to give up his night owl ways. He spends long hours out of the house, consorting with friends, not really getting to know his wife. Jocelyn is hurt. 


Chloe, Devon’s sister, takes Jocelyn out to the park where several young men flirt with her. Devon watches the scene unfold, jealously flaming his disposition. When he discovers his cousin, Gabriel Boscastle, talking to Jocelyn late at night, it’s the last straw for his jealousy. He takes his wife to bed and thoroughly makes love to her. He stops going out with his friends, spending more time with Jocelyn. Still, he’s reluctant to admit to himself that he’s falling in love with her. Devon’s brother, Grayson, arranges a party for him and Jocelyn. While at the party, Jane, Grayson’s wife, deduces Jocelyn is pregnant. While Jocelyn is in the nursery, she’s kidnapped by a man who hates Devon, Matthew Thurlew. Devon leaves the party to find out who has been harassing him.  He discovers it was Thurlew who wrote the letters to him and Jocelyn luring them to the tower. Thurlew hoped the incident would disgrace Devon.  When Devon realizes Thurlew is at the party he races back to save Jocelyn. Devon shoots Thurlew. Then he takes Jocelyn home where he admits he loves her. 

 This is the fifth in the Boscastle romance series, and I’ve enjoyed all the novels so far.  I didn’t think I would like this one as much as the previous ones because Devon seems so self-absorbed in the others, but this one really highlighted the complexities of his character. Devon was very likable and romantic. The novel is fast paced and moves quickly. The plot is credible, but there were a couple of holes. Devon and Jocelyn are interesting, but I would have liked to have seen more “bonding” scenes between the couple, especially regarding how Jocelyn’s family treats her.  I was also surprised to see that Jocelyn’s father, who insisted on the wedding, wasn’t there.  The last “hole” in the plot, is making Thurlew the instigator of the harassing incidents between the couple. It would have made more sense to have Jocelyn’s brother write the notes and be the harasser of the incidents. Not only that, it would have been good fuel for more bonding scenes between Jocelyn and Devon.  The supporting cast is engaging and interesting. Hunter’s love scenes are passionate, yet tasteful; erotic and sensual. The scene where Devon makes love to Jocelyn after finding her with Gabriel is especially erotic and powerful. It’s not just a sex scene, but it’s Devon giving into the love he’s found with Jocelyn. 


 “The Sinful Nights of a Nobleman,” is a romance that will keep the reader turning the page.


Posted by sgcardin at 12:25 PM
Updated: Friday, 8 May 2009 12:26 PM
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Saturday, 25 April 2009
POEM - Shattered by the Light of the Moon
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Just finished watching "Bottle Shock" on DVD
Topic: Writing

This is a French form of poetry similiar to the Kyrielle.

 There are 16 lines, 4 quatrains.
 A refrain is in a different line each quatrain. In the 1st quatrian it is in line 1, in the 2nd quatrain, it is in line 2. in the 3rd quatrain, it is in line 3, in the 4th quatrain, it is in line 4.
 There are 8 syllables per line.
 It does not follow a set rythme scheme.

Shattered by the light of the Moon

Shattered by the light of the moon,
I dropped to the forest ground.
His words were icy and bitter.
Heartbreak's cold arrow would not come out.

I shivered, stung, pricked by ice,
shattered by the light of the moon.
Once done, my nocturnal lover
walked away, no compassion

splayed upon his face, no cold grace.
My brittle bones ached, my skin quaked,
shattered by the light of the moon.
Rejection, so cooly done rent.

Dark hours past, sunrise's twilight peeks
out over an obsidian cloud.
My doomed heart, beating still, was
shattered by the light of the moon.

Posted by sgcardin at 11:05 AM
Updated: Saturday, 25 April 2009 11:06 AM
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Saturday, 18 April 2009
Book Review for "The Other Boleyn Girl"
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Book Reviews

MUSIC: Currently enjoying the "Twilight" Soundtrack, but I'm looking for new stuff.

SATELITE RADIO: Fav channels: 80's on 8, The Pulse, Classic Rewind, and 1st Wave

BOOKS: Currently reading: "Eclipse" by Stephenie Meyer

MOVIES: Last one saw: Underworld III, The Rise of the Lycans

RENTALS: Sideways - which takes place in the backdrop of the Santa Barabara Wine Country in California. It's a GREAT character driven movie that was lots of fun to watch - especially for wine enthustists.

AUDIO BOOKS: Just finished THE BOLEYN INHERITENCE.  I enjoyed it very much. I loved hearing the 3 narrations of Anne of Cleaves, Jane Boleyn, and Katherine Howard. The girl reading Katherine Howard was a lot of fun. The girl reading Anne of Cleaves was very authentic. The reader for Jane Boleyn really captured the "angst" of the character.

FAN OF: Philippa Gregory. Her historical fiction is great. It wrapes you up in history and never lets go.  Here's a review:



Book Review for: “The Other Boleyn Girl”

Written by: Philippa Gregory

Touchstone Books

ISBN: 978-0-74322744-5

661 pages


5 Stars  

Gregory crafts a masterful tale of ambition, lies, deceit, and heartbreak in “The Other Boleyn Girl.” As a young girl, Mary Boleyn becomes Henry VIII’s mistress. It’s a sweet relationship, but not without its price. Mary loses her innocence as the Boleyn family travels down a path which will force the members of it to lose their souls. Gregory’s characters are rich and vivid. Her account of Henry and Anne’s relationship will keep the reader riveted to the page. Gregory starts her story in 1521. Mary Boleyn, newly married to William Carey, is fourteen, but she soon captures the king’s eye. This does not escape the notice of her family, headed by the Duke of Norfolk who conspires with the Howard and Boleyn sides to have Mary become Henry’s mistress. William Carey takes the family decision well, and soon Mary becomes Henry’s lover. Henry is initially besotted with Mary, even naming one of the royal ships after her. Young Mary falls in love as a teenage girl would fall in love with an older man. During the period Mary is Henry’s mistress, she has two children which Gregory implies was sired by the king.    

        As Mary recovers from the birth of her son in 1525, the family conspires to have Anne hold his attention until Mary can resume her duties. Anne performs her task all too well, sparking Henry’s complete fascination with her. Soon, Anne takes over Mary’s role in Henry’s life and Mary is allowed to go back to her husband.  Initially, Mary’s relationship is strained with William, but as the months go by they become reacquainted. Unfortunately, William dies of “the sweat” and Mary loses her chance at happiness.  As Anne’s star ascends in Henry’s life, Mary is all too happy to watch. Soon, she falls in love with a commoner, William Stafford. Sadly, Mary has a ringside seat to her sister’s fall from grace. Mary, however, by bucking her family’s orders and marrying for love, manages to escape the devastation brought on her family by Anne’s fall.  


Gregory tells the story in the first person from Mary’s perspective. She captures a rich voice which allows Mary to endear herself to the reader. The book is full of lush descriptions and gripping emotions proving Gregory’s done her homework. The dialogue is easy to read and doesn’t slow the reader down. “The Other Boleyn Girl” will leave the reader with a unique perspective of Anne Boleyn’s rise and fall in Tudor England. 



Posted by sgcardin at 10:40 AM
Updated: Saturday, 18 April 2009 10:42 AM
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Friday, 17 April 2009
Book Review for The Seduction of an English Scoundrel
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: The Boleyn Inhertiance, Audio Book
Topic: Book Reviews

Sometimes at work, usually around 3 in the morning, when I'm really dragging I pull out my romance novels and read to get me through.  It's easy, light reading and I don't have to think that hard - just enjoy. Here's a romance book that's just "fun."

Book Review for “The Seduction of an English Scoundrel”
Written by: Jillian Hunter
Ballantine Books
ISBN 978-0-345-46121-6
371 pages
5 Stars

Hunter dives into regency England, weaving a delightful heart-warming romp of seduction and romance. Set in 1815 England, Hunter introduces the roguish Boscastle family – four men and one girl full of passion and a desire to live life to its fullest. “The Seduction of an English Scoundrel” tells the story of Grayson Boscastle, the fifth Marquess of Sedgecroft. Grayson has it all – charm, wit, and style, yet he wants to set an example for his roguish siblings and he’s not quite sure where to start.

The novel opens with Grayson hosting a wedding between his cousin, Nigel, and Lady Jane Belshire. Unfortunately, Nigel never shows up. As Jane waits at the bleak altar, Grayson notices her and is impressed by her ability to weather such a devasting event. He admires her fortitude and her physical attributes. His heart goes out to the jilted bride and he offers to save her reputation with the ton by being seen with her. Her parents agree. Jane, who had conspired with Nigel to be jilted at the altar so neither of them would be forced to enter into a loveless marriage, is stunned by Grayson’s offer. She has no recourse but to agree to his plan.

For Grayson, this offer is a bit out of character for him. He’s a scoundrel, not a knight on a white horse. He begins to escort Jane out on the town and quickly finds her alluring. The scoundrel in him can’t help himself – he boldly takes kisses from Jane – kisses that hint of a deeper hunger between them.

As Grayson “falsely” courts Jane for the ton, the courtship takes an unspoken deeper meaning for him. He aches to be with Jane, to show her how desirable she is, and Jane, despite herself, revels in his attention. The white-hot chemistry between the two leads Grayson to take indecent liberties with Jane who gives in with little protest. After all, she’s falling in love with him.

Grayson soon realizes his “false” courtship is real to him. He wants to make Jane his wife – even after discovering how she plotted with Nigel to bring about her wedding disaster. Jane wants to tell him or her duplicitous wedding plot, but fears Grayson will leave her if he does.

Grayson soon contracts with her parents to marry her. Then he takes her to his family’s villa near the sea. They consummate their relationship in a pleasure filled night of bliss. The next day, Jane realizes Grayson knows what she did to wreck her wedding to Nigel. She tries to disentangle herself from Grayson, but it proves a challenge. When Grayson finally admits to it, Jane says she wants him to court her for real or she won’t marry him.

Hunter’s writing is sharp. The plot moves at the right pace, keeping the reader turning the page. Grayson and Jane are perfectly matched and the supporting cast also have their own interesting stories to tell. The love scenes are tasteful and passionate.

Hunter writes in a point of view that shifts between characters within scenes. Known as a “Lonesome Dove” perspective, (after the same novel) this point of view can be confusing to readers, but the romance genre in general is forgiving of it.

“The Seduction of an English Scoundrel” is a wickedly sinful romance that the reader will enjoy.

Posted by sgcardin at 2:24 PM
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Thursday, 16 April 2009
Book Reviews and Movies
Topic: Book Reviews

With my son, Joe, having SID, I had to educate myself on what SID was.  Here's a great book I highly recommend.

Book Review for “Raising a Sensory Smart Child”
Written by: Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske
Penguin Books
ISBN: 014-303488
399 pages
5 Stars

Biel and Peske share their personal stories dealing with Sensory Integration Dysfunction in order to help other parents cope with sensory integration issues. SI Dysfunction is separate from autism, but often presents with autism and autistic spectrum disorders.  In SI Dysfunction, a young child receives sensory input correctly, but misinterprets the information. The most likely cause is a neurological condition, but the authors spend a chapter discussing reasons why SI Dysfunction would present, including genetics, head trauma during birth, and fragile X syndrome.

Biel and Peske explain there are seven senses a young child uses: touch, taste, smell, hearing, vestibular, and proprioception. Vestibular involves one’s sense of balance and proprioception involves the compacting/expanding of joints. Without careful integration, a young child might seem a little off and in a child’s young development, they might present with speech and developmental delays.  When SI Dysfunction presents by itself, a young child will usually make all their physical milestones on time, like sitting and walking, but when it comes time to start to use utensils and start talking, they’ll demonstrate delays.

Biel and Penske explain that children with SI Dysfunction have hypo or hyper sensitive symptoms. Hyper means they tend to avoid an activity and hypo means they seek out behaviors to calm themselves down. A hyperactive sensitivity to touch might have a child pulling the tags off his shirt because he can’t stand the way it feels against his skin. A hypoactive sensitivity to proprioception might have a child jumping up and down to feel the compression of her joints.

Biel and Penske’s explanations are easy to understand and help give the reader a sense of what the dysfunction is, how it’s caused, and what to look for in your child.

The book also discusses intervention options and how to best help those children with SI Dysfunction. An occupational therapist plays a crucial role in helping parents and children manage their sensory seeking or avoiding behaviors. Most children with SI Dysfunction can lead productive lives. There is also a list of resources and tips on how to create a sensory diet. A sensory diet is used to manage a child with sensory issues.

Biel and Penske write in a conversational style that’s easy to read and understand. The book is full of knowledge for parents who have children with sensory issues. The writing is crisp and sharp. The book is well organized. “Raising a Sensory Smart Child” is a good read to learn more about SI Dysfunction.


Easter was okay. We went to grandma's and had Easter dinner. I made an Italian Chopped Salad for the occasion. The highlight of my off days included watching Dancing with the Stars and watching the movie, "Sideways."  Being a wine lover, and near the Santa Barbara wine area, I was so tickled to finally watch this movie!  I loved seeing the familiar sights, as I've been to the area.  "Sideways" itself is a very character driven movie, and I have to admit, I didn't care for Miles's friend. He was a big heel, to put it mildly.  Two thumbs for a great movie.

Posted by sgcardin at 3:17 AM
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Monday, 13 April 2009
Highlights & a Book Review
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Book Reviews

Just a couple of highlights plus a book review to hopefully catch up.


Andrew's birthday party was on 28 MAR. He turned 7.  We had a party at Scooter's Jungle.  20 Adults and 25 kids! It was great, but expensive.  Joe had a great time at his brother's party and went down the giant side a milion times!

We went to Sacramento to see the State Train Museum. It was nice to get out for a little bit.  Joe did okay (he's 2 1/2) but he fussed when we let.

I made Easter perogri's on 4 Apr. We had a great time - it took all afternoon. It was a nice family day.

Easter was okay. I hit my head on a tree in the back and now I have a big lump on my head.


My children's short story, "THE GIVING MEADOW" is set to be published with 4RV Publishing in May 2011. It's two years out, but I'm very excited by the news.

Writer's Bump featured my story, "The First Flag of New Hampshire" in Issue #7, 7 APR 2009.



Book Review for “New Moon”

Written by: Stephenie Meyer

Little, Brown, and Company

ISBN: 0-316-02496-1

563 pages


5 Stars


Meyer weaves a tale of true love, rejection, deceit, and suspense that gives “New Moon” a resounding bite and vibrant potency. Meyer’s crisp writing allows her supernatural world to encompass the reader, leaving them breathless and hungering for more.<p>


The novel starts with Bella celebrating her eighteenth birthday. The Cullens have something planned for her at their house. As they shower her with gifts, Bella, in all her clumsiness, cuts herself. Jasper can barely contain himself and attacks her. Edward fends off his brother. Carlisle attends to Bella’s wounds, but Edward is shaken by what has happened. He becomes moody and after much thought, breaks up with Bella. The break up is swift and decisive, leaving Bella emotionally naked as she crumbles, lost in the forest that surrounds Forks. One of the local Native Americans from La Push finds her after an extensive search. Bella’s dad is grateful, but Bella is only a shell of her former self.<p>


Months go by before Bella can even emotionally “feel” something again. Wanting to take up extreme sports to drive out the pain of losing Edward, she buys two motorcycles that don’t work. She seeks out Jacob Black at La Push to help her fix them so she can ride them. Bella and Jacob become quick friends. Soon Bella realizes that Jacob is essential to her – at least his friendship is, and she can’t lose it.<p>


Unfortunately, Jacob gets sick and tries to alienate her. Bella is unrelenting. After confronting Jacob with his friends, Jacob is mean and Bella is forced to walk away from him. Jacob visits her room the following night and apologizes. He encourages Bella to guess his secret. She does – he’s a werewolf. The La Push Indians have a certain few tribe members who are bred to change when their tribe and land are threatened by vampires, and Jacob has changed.<P>


Bella accepts him and is soon, reluctantly, accepted by the other wolves. They have a problem – a vampire has been attacking the area. Bella and the wolves quickly figure out it’s Victoria, wanting to avenge James’s death on Bella. The wolves manage to keep Bella safe, but they can’t catch Victoria. One day at La Push, Bella decides to go cliff diving. Jacob saves her, but this action was “seen” by Alice Cullen in her mind’s eye. Alice thinks Bella might have tried to commit suicide and rushes to Forks to find out.<p>


Alice finds Bella alive and is grateful for it. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding between Alice’s vision, Rosalie, and Edward leave Edward believing Bella is dead. Edward goes to Italy in the hopes that an old vampire family, the Volterra, will kill him. Alice, with Bella in tow, rush to Italy to save Edward. They do so, but only after the vampire family captures them. The head vampire, Aro, agrees to let them all go after witnessing one of Alice’s visions. When Bella returns to Forks, Edward stays and Jacob is devastated by her romantic rejection.<P>


“New Moon” offers what “Twilight” didn’t – tight characterization. Meyer knows her characters better in this sequel and it shows. Bella easily carries the novel. She’s less “whiney” as she deals with heartache, an emotion that many readers can connect with. Jacob’s development as a character is a delight to read.<p>


What young adult readers will be able to relate to are the “Romeo and Juliet” comparisons throughout – this made it easier to understand why Bella is so set on Edward, despite Jacob’s consistency and friendship.<p>


The book moves at a quick pace and the plot is tight. There’s plenty of action and mounds of suspense – especially on the trip to Italy. Meyer’s dialogue captures the essence of her characters. The book doesn’t dwell on a natural, sensual appeal that vampires and werewolves bring to a story, in fact there are only a couple of kissing scenes. It’s this innocent, yet, smoldering sensuality which will engage the reader’s imagination leaving the reader ready for Edward and Bella to take their relationship deeper.<p>


While “New Moon” is lengthy, Meyer’s brisk writing will make it impossible to put down. “New Moon” is a sequel that delivers a charge which accelerates past “Twilight” faster than the moon’s light reaches Earth.<p>



Posted by sgcardin at 10:07 AM
Updated: Monday, 13 April 2009 10:09 AM
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Monday, 9 March 2009
Book Review for The Wicked Games of a Gentleman
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Book Reviews

Here's a recent book review I'd like to share.  Any other Jillian Hunter fans out there?  Can to share?  What was your latest Jillian Hunter book you read?  Love to hear your thoughts. I really enjoyed this book and I'd love to read more.



Book Review for: “The Wicked Games of a Gentleman”
Written by: Jillian Hunter
Ivy Books/Random House
ISBN: 0-345-48760-5
371 pages
5 Stars


Hunter plunges the reader into the Regency period of England in this deliciously sinful romance, “The Wicked Games of a Gentleman.” This novel is a continuation of her Boscastle series. Drake Boscastle is a scoundrel who has everything – money, good looks, and charm. However, he believes he’s incapable of love until he meets a woman who challenges him in ways he never thought possible. Hunter’s pacing never lets up. “The Wicked Games of a Gentleman” is a gem of a romance that’s hard to put down.

The novel starts with Drake planning to meet famed courtesan, Maribella St. Ives. Before he does, he attends a party and immediately becomes involved in a scandal when he’s unwittingly drawn into a duel against his cousin, Gabriel. As Drake stalls for time, he meets Eloise Goodwin, a ladies’ companion who has temporarily lost her charge, Thalia Thornton. Drake coaxes Eloise into a dance and they share a spontaneous kiss. Drake then leaves to meet Maribella, but his mind lingers on Eloise. His evening with Maribella is spoiled when Gabriel shows up with Eloise. Eloise asks Drake for his help in finding Thalia. He agrees to help, leaving Maribella.
The next morning, Eloise discovers her employer, Lord Thornton, has left, due to his gambling debts. She’s got her hands full trying to manage the house, keep the creditors at bay, and finding Thalia.
Drake, to his chagrin, finds himself irrevocably drawn to Eloise. She’s beautiful and clever, two traits he can’t resist. To win points with Eloise, Drake finds Thalia and brings her home, ignoring Maribella. Eloise thanks him appropriately, but Drake steals not only a kiss, but intimate caresses as well – caresses which Eloise simply can’t resist.

Soon Drake finds himself spending more and more time with Eloise. Maribella creates a bit of a stir when she leaves Drake, but its Drake’s family that threatens his growing romance with Eloise. After an old boyfriend comes into Eloise’s life and attempts to blackmail her, she agrees to let Drake be her protector. Their physical consummation is all consuming. Drake wants to make Eloise his wife, but is apprehensive about his family will react.
Hunter writes in a third person omniscient point of view, changing perspectives with no clear line breaks or divisions. This is known as a “Lonesome Dove,” perspective and most professional editors discourage it, but the romance genre is very forgiving of it. The story moves fluidly. Drake, Eloise, and the supporting cast are likable and interesting. Hunter’s dialogue is crisp and sharp. Her descriptions put the reader in the moment, and her love scenes are vividly passionate. The story’s ending gives the reader rich satisfaction. “The Wicked Games of a Gentleman” is one romance that can’t be put aside easily.

Posted by sgcardin at 10:10 AM
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Saturday, 7 March 2009
The Soul of an Isle - A poem about St. Patrick's Day
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Writing

Thought I'd share this poem about St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy. Steph



From Dublin to Derry,
there's one day to make merry.
Top o' the mornin' to you
on St. Paddy's Day.

It's time to wear green,
and revel in the dreams
of an Irish saint,
on St. Paddy's Day.

Irish raiders took a young lad prisoner,
but that didn't stop him from becoming a minster.
He'd walk'd the forty shades o' green
with no fear or malice
on St. Paddy's Day.

He paid homage to Easter with bonfires,
musical notes on a lyre.
A sun on a cross;
three leaf shamrocks
honor St. Paddy's Day.

Three leaves of clover,
found in Dover,
helped explain the Holy Trinity
to those on St. Paddy's Day.

Four leaves of clover be rare,
yet they compel care.
Hope, Faith, Love, Happiness all,
bring joy on St. Paddy's Day.

Maewyn now Patrick;
no ill-will to prick.
Visions from God,
began his good mission,
on St. Paddy's Day.

A man's soul bound tight,
An Emerald Isle bathed in light,
A tale woen in myths and legends
inspire all on St. Paddy's Day.


in Honor of St. Patrick's Day.

Posted by sgcardin at 12:20 PM
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Monday, 16 February 2009
THought of the day - Life & Ebooks
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Sirius XM Sat. Radio
Topic: Writing

I know it's been a while as usual, but last week was crazy.  I didn't have Monday off as I usually do, so that threw me off. Then I had to stay up on Tuesday while we paid a visit to the taxman.  I wasn't too happy with our tax returns but a little something is better than nothing.  We're supposed to get 400 back from California. {e:laugh} Cold Day in Hell, I suppose. The state is tetering on bankrupcy. Well, let it go. Every poltician in this state is corupt - but that's a post for another time.

I couldn't even find time to make my gym appointments for my trainer last week. I did make it to Weight Watchers were I droped 1.2 pounds.  This week has been a challenge for me.  We visited our favorite French restaurant on Friday in early celebration of Valentine's Day. I had my usual, the filet mignon which was delicious as usual. (Actually, it was a little red in the middle. I asked for medium and well, it was rare,) but I ate anyway. It was a nice dinner, but I'm still recovering from that.  If I lose .2 this week I'll be thrilled.

The weekend wasn't too busy, but it rained and it's torture for two boys under 6 to be in the house due to the rain. Joe's doing good w/his therapies. His child development therapist has evalutated him at 23 months which is fantastic from his first eval.  (He's now at 30 months) There's still work to be done, but thrilled at the progress.

That said, I thought I'd share the thought of the day with you: EBOOKS.

So, how many have ebooks?  How many ebooks do you have? How do your read them? On your computer or on a Kindle or a similiar ebook reader?  Why do you like ebooks. What's the appeal to you?

I ask because I don't have an ebook. Well, I have two ebook short stories, but that's about it. They're on my computer. Personally, ebooks don't appeal to me (right now) because I love getting my hands on a paper book, but that's not to say I'm not totally turned off by ebooks.

So what's happening with ebooks? Amazon is releasing Kindle 2 on 24 and it's going to have a new "controversal" feature - text to speech. What's text to speech? It's where the Kindle will read the text of the book outloud in a computerized voice.

The Author's Guild calls this a violation of copyright law since only an audio book has rights to read a book out loud.  BUT DO THEY? That's what they claim. Amazon says this is different. This is a computer reading the book, not actors giving voice to a story. Amazon and a lot of the experts in the field think they have the law on their side, but if they go ahead with Kindle 2 then their might be a lawsuit from the Author's Guild.

So why buck the trend? Is ebooks the next BEST Thing?

Well, heck, there was unhappiness with CDs and and the Internet when they first started out, too.  A lot of the Author's Guild complaints stem from the fact that they don't want to open the gates to an area they can't control. Even the publishing houses are afraid of change.

Think of it this way - if you self publish and offer a book through your website - you take 100% (or most of) the profit without having to go through the publishing gatekeepers.

Is that cool? Well - self publishing doesn't have a good rep. Sadly, most of what is self published is not up to par, suffering from editiorial and proofreading mistakes. Self published books like "The Shack" are few and far between. Until self publishing gets a better rep, ebooks (at least the self published ones) won't take off.  The crux: Most ebooks are self-published.  Traditional publishers are afraid to go there - yet.  That said, if they could jump on the techno bandwagon, they might see their profits increase at a time when the traditional market is suffering right now.  Heck, Harper and Collins just recently laid of 25% of it's workforce.  Not Cool.

If the publishing industry wants to be innovative in this publishing downturn my advice would be to explore ebooks. But that's just me.  Anyone else have any thoughts on ebooks?


Posted by sgcardin at 5:40 PM
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Friday, 6 February 2009
Catching up, life, reading & writing
Topic: Life

Just thought I'd log in and catch up with you all. 
Well, I've been on Weight Watchers for a month now and I've lost 3 pounds.  It hasn't been easy, but it is a life style change and I have to remember that. I also  have to remember my 40 year old body just don't have the same pep as it used to.

I don't mind being on AM watch at work. (10 pm to 6 am) My hardest struggle is to stay awake a 3 am.  The work load is easy though.  I have a trainee at work, so I'm not getting much writing done. Hope to work on stuff tomorrow while my rug rats run wild around the house! haha.

Writing:  I'm working on a short genre story for the 77th Annual WD Contest.  I've got two projects pretty much done, a script/play called "War and Wine" which takes place in France in WWII and a horror one called "The Cat."  As far as my WIP, "The Hungarian," I've got some more work to do, but I've pretty much got the plot shored up and I just have to find the time to write.

Reading: Immediately: The Other Boleyn Girl. Next up: New Moon.

Music: I'm hooked on Coldplay. I hope they do well at the Grammys. I recently got Sirius Sat. Radio and I love it. I love the selections. I'm hooked on the "1st Wave" channel which focuses on the 1st Wave of alternative music.  Anyone remember Echo & The Bunnymen, OMD and Souxie Soux and the Banshees? Consider me a fan.

Movies: I haven't seen any recently. I re-watched Underworld 2 the other night. I found "Tristian and Isodole" and I'll watch that one next. Hehe. I love James Franco.

Here's my book review on "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer. Thanks for hanging out with me.

Book Review for “Twilight”.

Written by: Stephenie Meyer

Hachette Book Group.

ISBN: 0-316-03838-5.

498 pages.


4 Stars.


At “Twilight” those paranormal forces beyond our control come out, and Isabella Swan (Bella) must suspend all reasonable belief to accept those forces exist – and to fall in love. Meyer’s writing is brisk, easy to read, and readers will discover they’ve turned over more pages then they’ve realized..

.. ..

The story actually starts a bit slowly as seventeen-year-old Bella moves to Forks, Washington, to live with her father. As she establishes her routines, she notices a strange family of teenagers, the Cullens. They are all beautiful with pale skin and chameleon-like eyes. They also tend to stick to themselves. Bella is surprised by Edward’s initial cold treatment of her. She doesn’t know what to make of it – or him. It’s only when he saves her life with his lightening quick reflexes and unexpected strength does she begin to think there might be something unusual with him. When her Indian friend, Jacob, tells her about the “cold ones,” his story inspires her to do some research. With all the evidence in front of her, Bella concludes Edward is a vampire.

.. ..

When Bella confronts him, he admits it. He’s fallen in love with her and tried to push her away, but he can’t fight the attraction anymore. Edward gives into his love for her and Bella gives into her love for him as well. There’s no physical consummation of their love, it’s a love cultivated through feelings and emotions which provides an intense high for both.

.. ..

Edward discusses some myths and truths about the vampire world with Bella. He tells her how Carlisle created him during the Flu outbreak in 1917. Carlisle, Edward, and the vampires who live with them have learned to curb their blood lust for human blood, but some vampire covens and families haven’t. To that end, Edward’s family meets three vampire strangers while playing a game of baseball and one, James, decides to track Bella. Edward and his family try their best to protect her, but James tracks Bella to Phoenix, Arizona. James does bite Bella, but Edward draws the venom out of her. The book ends with Edward taking Bella to the prom. Bella asks for the bite of immortality from Edward who refuses to give it.


The book is written in the first person from Bella’s perspective. Meyer does a great job staying in perspective, but there are times when Bella’s determination crosses the line to irritating whininess, and it’s hard to understand how Edward finds this trait of hers attractive.

Edward is “tempted” over and over again to taste Bella’s blood and he does an admirable job holding his temptation in check. In that regard, that aspect of his character wrestling with temptation seemed a non-issue since temptation really wasn’t an issue.


The book is geared for a young adult audience. The plot comes together well. It’s easy to read and a page-turner. While there are some suspenseful elements, especially with James on the hunt for Bella, toward the end they are overshadowed by the melodrama teen angst that emotes throughout. Meyer does create an original world and gives her vampires twists and nuances of their own. “Twilight” is an interesting read just to devour Meyer’s creative spin on the vampire world. 

Posted by sgcardin at 7:27 PM
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