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December Top 5: Our Favorite Christmas Shows

At Christmastime, we Broads love to watch Christmas movies and specials.  It puts us in the mood for tinsel and trimmings, and there's nothing like the smiles we get from Ralphie, Miss Piggy, and Opus.  So for our December Top 5, we give you the Christmas shows that make the holiday for us.


Alexandria/Moira

1.  The Year Without A Christmas/A Christmas Story
2.  The Muppet Christmas Carol/It's a Wonderful Life
3.  A Wish For Wings That Work/The Bishop's Wife
4.  Scrooged/White Christmas
5.  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation/The Muppet Christmas Carol



1.  Alexandria:  When I was a child, my favorite Christmas cartoon wasn't Rudolph or Frosty but the one with the Miser Brothers-I'm Mr. Heat Miser; I'm Mr. Sun.  I'm Mr. Heat Miser; I'm Mr. Hundred and One.  I just loved those brothers!  As someone who hates the cold and snow, of course I liked the idea of a green Christmas, but the Freeze Miser was just fantastic too.  Still now, years later, I watch …

Interview with author Katrina LaCroix

We are happy to welcome Katrina LaCroix, author of Loose Lips Sink Ships, to the Brazen Broads Book Bash today.  To read our review of Katrina's darkly humorous book, click here.  
BB:
  Where did the inspiration for Avery Leigh come from?
KL:  I've come to the conclusion that there are far too many sane characters in fiction, and that's a shame because crazy people are the most fun to read about! I just wanted someone who had no inhibitions, no morals, no restraints to keep her from getting what she wants. That's how Avery was born. Looking at her on the page, the most shocking part about her might be how confident she is despite being completely out of her mind.
BB:
  What is your favorite scene from Loose Lips Sink Ships?
KL:  This is a hard question. I can't tell you how many times I laughed thinking some of this stuff up. I do love the sex scene, but I also love the scene when Avery finds out her younger sister is pregnant. Part of me wonders if Lori…

Euphemania-Ralph Keyes: Review and Giveaway

A Book About Why We Speak As We Do

We tend to read a lot of fiction here at the Brazen Broads Book Bash, so it's always nice to get our hands on some good nonfiction books almost as a way to cleanse our palettes sometimes.  Ralph Keyes book, Euphemania,  is the perfect mix of informative yet interesting.  In it, he shares the reasons why we use euphemisms so often in our daily speech. 

The main idea behind the book is that euphemisms are used to make the uncomfortable more comfortable.  Therefore, they're very common in discussions about sex.  One anecdote offered in the book refers to Jesse Jackson's threat during the 2008 election in which he stated he wanted to "cut off Barack Obama's nuts."  Keyes explains that the major news organizations struggled with how to report this, using euphemisms such as Jackson wanted to do something to his sensitive areas.  (It escapes the Broads why they couldn't just say Jackson wanted to castrate him.)

Euphemania is qu…

Life In The Slow Lane-Thomas M. Sullivan

Tales Of A Part-Time Driving Instructor, Or Personal Manifesto?.........

Life in the Slow Lane is mostly a collection of Thomas Sullivan's high-falutin' ever-so-progressive ideals; ideals which he implies all lower forms of evolved species (a.k.a. conservatives, rednecks, and those bastard capitalists who drive large SUVs) should embrace.  One example of which is found on page 81.....
".....town reeks of boredom and teenage pregnancy.  This is the type of place where people vote for republicans who don't care about them after the elections....... "
Sullivan spends much of the 166 pages of his book staring down the end of his nose, most certainly clad in hemp trousers, a chai tea concoction (in a recycled cup, no doubt) in his left hand while hugging trees and chanting some mantra about saving bacteria from extinction at the hands of greedy mega-corporations and their damned super-antibiotics - all the while certain that readers actually give a damn about his persona…

Down Home With The Neely's: A Southern Family Cookbook, by Patrick & Gina Neely with Paula Disbrowe

Some Eat To Live.....Others Live To Eat

Pat and Gina Neely, with Paula Disbrowe, share their recipes and their life experiences in their humor filled way.  Pat chronicles his family's humble beginnings and the love filled home he was raised in.  Losing their father at a young age, the Neely boys worked hard alongside their mother to make ends meet.  With their Grandmother's help, the brothers opened their first restaurant on February 29, 1988, and their success story is well known. 

The couple share their love story - which is quite endearing.  It is obvious as one progresses through the book that the couple have a great deal of love and respect for one another, for their girls, and for their families.  Both Gina and Pat share anecdotes on each double page spread along with a recipe or two.  Some are sweet, remembering a favorite Aunt, some informative, and many are seasoned with terrific wit and humor.  There is an additional section on barbecue meats handled by Tony Neely..…

Loose Lips Sink Ships-Katrina LaCroix

Now That's a Brazen Broad.......... 
Avery Leigh's life is in turmoil after her boyfriend, Carter, breaks up with her, and she determines that by hook or by crook, he will be hers again.  And so begins LaCroix's dark comedic glimpse into the life of a dysfunctional teen aged girl.

From the first, LaCroix writes with unabashed black humor.  Her main character, Avery, is pure malevolence, dealing friends and foes alike her brutal tactics to achieve her goals.  The character works, however, as LaCroix writes a hilarious version of the truly unrepentant bitch.  Avery becomes laugh-out-loud likable throughout the story as the reader discovers the bizarre home environment she must deal with and its effects on her young life.  LaCroix also scores a win - in that Avery, while ultimately remaining a true brazen broad, does grow (just a bit) over the course of her hysterical adventures with her minions....ahem, I mean friends.

Katrina LaCroix's story will not appeal to everyone …

The Man I Should Have Married, by Pamela Redmond Satran

Should Have, Could Have, Would Have.......

Shocked when her husband of ten years, Frank, announces that he is leaving, Kennedy Andrews must pick up the pieces of her life and start over.  With a teen aged daughter in open rebellion, partly because of the separation of the only parents she's known, and in part from curiosity at finding her biological father, Kennedy agrees to help Maya locate him.  When both Maya and Amanda, the younger daughter, visit Frank for a weekend, Kennedy decides to revisit the neighborhood she used to live in with Marco, Maya's father, and then alone with Maya after their breakup.  Walking the changed streets, she hopes to rediscover the bold independence she felt during that time of her life.  But Kennedy gets more than she bargained for when she visits McGlynn's, the restaurant and bar she worked at all those years ago, for her former boss, Declan McGlynn, is still the man that sets her heart a flutter, and he's single. 
Kennedy had loved De…

November Top 5: What We're Thankful For This Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving, we Broads went traditional on you and did a Top 5 things/people we give thanks for.  Some are to be expected since we're both mothers, but others may seem a bit off the wall.  We wanted to list things we truly enjoy, so those things that may seem minute or inconsequential to others but bring us some measure of pleasure are here too. From both the Broads, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Alexandria/Moira

1.  Family/Family
2.  Friends/Friends
3.  Writers/Books
4.  David Gilmour's music/Cooking and enjoying food
5.  Nir Lavi/Mixed Martial Arts


#1 You Can't Pick Your Family, But We Would Have Anyway


Alexandria:
  I'm fortunate to be the mother of two wonderful children, a 21 year old daughter and a 14 year old son.  They both bring me incredible joy.  My daughter and I are the best of friends, and no one can make me laugh like she does.  She's funny, witty, and sharp as a tack, all things that make her one of the best people I've ever had the …

Marie Treanor Interview

We would like to welcome Marie Treanor to the Brazen Broads Book Bash today.  Her book Blood On Silk, out now from NAL Signet Eclipse, is a favorite of both Broads, so this is real thrill for both of us. (Click here to read our review.)

A little bit about the author:  Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband and three much-too-smart children.  Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing sensual stories of paranormal romance and fantasy. 

Brazen Broads:  When did you first understand that you wanted to attempt writing as a career?

MT:
  While I was doing a job I really hated!  I began to think of alternative ways to earn my living, and to consider what I actually enjoyed doing.  And since I'd been writing fiction constantly since childhood, with varying degrees of secrecy, I began to wonder if I shouldn't try it with a serious view to publ…

Perfect Score-Susan Roebuck: Review and Interview with the Author

Perfect Score by Susan Roebuck is in many ways a romance, but certainly not your typical romance.  The two main characters, Alex Finch and Sam Barrowdale, are males, but Susan Roebuck handles the romantic relationship that sits at the core of the story very adroitly.  Perfect Score isn't just a romance, however.  It's a story about the powerful and the powerless.

Alex Finch is the adopted son of Timothy Finch, his uncle.  He lives what seems like a charmed life on the surface, but he gets little love from his adopted father. A musician and sentimental heart, he meets Sam Barrowdale when they are both just young teens. Sam is a homeless boy, but despite his ragged appearance, Alex falls in love with him at first sight. Alex's chapters are told in first person, which is a successful technique to show how self involved he can be, but it also works to show Alex as the protagonist who causes much of the relationship between him and Sam to occur. 

Sam's story is much diffe…

Secrets of Harmony Grove, by Mindy Starns Clark

Harmony Grove, a quiet community nestled in Amish country, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, becomes the center of an intense investigation after a murder takes place at Sienna Collins' quaint bed & breakfast.  The victim is Sienna's former boyfriend, Troy, and as the investigation progresses, Sienna learns that Harmony Grove has a history and secrets of its own.  These secrets have Sienna under investigation by the federal government.  Facing the possibility of losing her career, home, and prosperous lifestyle, Sienna turns to her family and her faith to find peace, hope, and forgiveness in her heart, while using her intellect to solve a mystery in order to clear her name.  When an intriguing and gorgeous detective working the case takes an interest in her, Sienna must decide what she truly wants out of life & love.
Mindy Starns Clark serves up a terrific mystery in Secrets of Harmony Grove.  She created interesting characters within and without the Amish community.  Sie…

Unbelievable-Lori Foster

Unbelievable? Lori Foster's two story compilation entitled Unbelievable includes the stories Fantasy and Tantalizing.  Interestingly, these stories are from the late 1990s, which means certain things in the stories seem odd, such as the car phone one of the men has and the impressed reaction the female in the story has to it.  Overall, however, it's not the anachronisms that damage the stories but the basic ideas of the stories themselves.

The first story, Fantasy, involves an incredibly sexy man named Sebastian Sinclair who is taking part in a charity auction of handsome men and a woman named Brandi who sees him and is enchanted by him.  When her sister "buys" him for a five-day vacation for her birthday, Brandi is introduced to a world of romance and seduction that helps her to become a real woman after a trauma years earlier. Cue the wedding bells. 

The second story, Tantalizing, involves a woman named Josie Jackson who goes on a blind date with a man her sister…

The Bridal Quest, by Candace Camp

After her father's death, Lady Irene Wyngate vowed she would never marry.  Her alcoholic father terrorized her family while she was growing up, and Irene determined she would rather remain a spinster than to put herself at the mercy of a man, even if that meant enduring the whims and self importance of her brother's wife, Maura.  Fate, and Gideon, the Earl of Radbourne, however, have something other in mind. Gideon, who had been kidnapped as a child, survived on the streets of London never knowing his good breeding.  His uncle, the Duke of Rochford, manages to find him, Gideon no longer a child, but a grown man and successful businessman.  Of course, the 'ton' hesitates to accept him, as he lacks the refinement they deem appropriate, but Gideon's Aunt Odelia believes everything will be remedied once Gideon marries well.  She enlists the help of successful matchmaker Lady Francesca Haughston, who allays with Gideon in his quest to woo the resistant Lady Irene, believ…

Night Pleasures-Sherrilyn Kenyon

One Immortal Greek General Plus One Conservative Accountant Equals Mojo & Magic In The Big Easy.....
Ancient Greek Legend, Kyrian of Thrace cries out for vengeance against his betrayer while dying a horrific death, and his request is heard by Artemis, goddess of the hunt. In exchange for his soul, Kyrian is inducted into her army of Dark-Hunters, immortals who roam the earth exacting revenge on vampires and daimons, protecting an unknowing human race from the evil that preys upon them. Both a blessing and a curse, Kyrian's powers enable him to battle dark forces skillfully, but prevent him from gaining his heart's desire, real love.

Amanda Devereaux, one of nine sisters in a family of paranormal junkies wants nothing more than to be normal. Denying the supernatural gifts she possess, Amanda works as an accountant, loving her quiet life and hoping to meet Mr. Right, settle down, and have a family.

Irreconcilable as light is to dark when they meet, the pair, under the ven…

The Ruthless Charmer-Julia London

The Bad Reputation Of An English Rake ........Is So Very Good...
Lady Claudia Whitney is disturbed at the re-appearance of Julian Dane, Earl of Kettering and notorious rake, during her visit to France.  Harboring hidden love Claudia flees, returning to England, unable and unwillilg to trust herself in his presence.  Julian is the unrepentant rake Claudia imagines, with one curious problem of his own.  He has loved Lady Whitney for the last few years.  The memory of tragic events their shared history evokes, and each one's belief that their love is unrequitted threatens to keep them separated until the fateful party at Harrison Green's London home.  Julian pushes further than he should with a proper lady of Claudia's social standing when he realizes her desire matches his own; and when gossip-monger Mrs. Frankton happens upon them in a questionable position, Claudia's reputation is bound for ruination.  Julian proposes the only acceptable alternative, marri…