Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I am exhausted! I sure don't have the stamina or strength I used to. Mary and I could go shopping all day and then still have energy to do something that evening. I spent a couple hours in Kohl's doing Christmas shopping for the grand kids and I am wiped out - and so is my charge card! Found lots of cool stuff for all four of them and even a couple things for McKinley who isn't even here yet. I am sure the fact that it was a one day only 50% off sale made the store more crowded than usual on a weekday afternoon, but it was also senior citizen day and they were meandering around the store at a leisurely pace slowing down all us type A personality moms and grammas who move as fast as we can without taking anyone out in the process.

Then I sat on hold with the doctor's office to find out that yes they had faxed the request for an appointment to the pain clinic and it might be a few more days before they contact me. How hard is it to pick up a phone and call to set up an appointment? I am not supposed to do it - I am supposed to wait until they call. Yes, I am getting a bit grumpy with doctor's office, waiting 2 hours to get in for appointments, etc.

Okay, deep breath - AHHHH!! Now to talk about another gentle book. I really love Norma Fox Mazer's writing. A search on B&N shows 127 items. I am delighted to see Out of Control still in print as I think it is one of best YA novels available about ostracism of a teen who is the victim. Valerie is accosted on the school stairs by three jocks who sexually harass her, grabbing and roughly fondling her. When she reports it, she becomes the victim. I also love When She Was Good - a very raw and difficult look at a teenage girl who has been victimized for so long her mentally unstable older sister that she does not know what to do when her sister is dead. On a much gentler side is Baby Face, which I wrote about in the blog a bit ago. Mazer has written so many other wonderful middle grade and YA novels and a few picture books too. I couldn't resist Ten Ways to Make My Sister Disappear when I realized it was by Mazer. Not only do I love the title, I love the cover art as well - it just calls to girls in 3rd-5th grade. A girl sitting with her arm around her dog , with her sister's feet floating off the page above her in a cloud. Love the smile/smirk on her face. Sprig is ten and her sister Dakota just turned twelve. "Boom!" Just like that, like something fell out of the sky and hit her on the head, she also turned bossy and know-it-all." This change in her sister's personality is difficult for Sprig as she wears her heart on her sleeve and when she is upset she cries, making Dakota tease her even more. But, Sprig has good reason to cry as they find out their father is going to be working in Afghanistan for several months and Sprig is worried he might not come home. Mazer explores the fears of a shy 10-year-0ld who loses her anchor, her father, and is dealing with a preoccupied mother and a bratty sister. I have never had a sister so I don't know how accurate the depiction of interaction between sisters is, but this book works for me. :-) And, I think the 8 -10 year olds with older sisters, and the older sisters who read it, will enjoy it as well.

I am enjoying the first Christine Feehan novella about a reclusive rock star who was terribly burned in a fire trying to rescue his children, who were already out of the house. They are now young teens and the woman who has cared for them for years will reawaken feelings in him. Remember - these are paranormal romances!! I forgot how sensual these books are. She never uses any private anatomy terms but you know exactly what she is writing about. I have to chuckle when I see teenage girls, some tweens even, walking around with romances written for adults. They can be downright steamy. I snuck the ones that were around our house growing up but most of it went over my head.