Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Olivia, forever seventeen

My catsitting charge/officemate/cuddlebuddy, Olivia, went to Rainbow Bridge last night. She went as quietly as only she could, in her carrier on my lap in the vet's office, with her humom, Linda beside us.

It's been a hard year, and Olivia helped me get through a lot of the ick that year had to offer. She was herself right up until a couple of days before the end, and the decline on her last day was quick. We will miss her, but are forever grateful for the years we had together. Happy trails and fair winds, baby girl.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Romances

Those who know me well know I am a fool for Christmas. I insist on putting up the first decorations immediately after Thanksgiving dinner is over, and one less holiday minded friend insists I put up her tree because it's fun to watch me get that into it. All this, I admit freely. I also admit that I can be a very cranky kitty when a reading slump hits. When the two collide, and they do, I can stomp about and fume about needing a good book now, but other times, happily, there are other cures.

One night last week, I found myself awake at an unacceptable hour and chanced upon a copy of the A Stockingful of Joy anthology. Faster than a stray spark can ignite a carpet, my Christmas romance monster awoke. Must. Have. More. Next, the all-Mary Balogh Under the Mistletoe anthology, and Harlequin Historicals' Christmas Wedding Belles (Christmas stories themed around the high seas? Be still my heart.) by Nicola Cornick, Margaret McPhee and Miranda Jarrett (oh how I would love, love, love more colonials by her. Please? One more Sparhawk? Surely there has to be at least one more? Or a Fairbourne? Pleasepleaseplease?) Signet's Regency Christmas Wishes (all right, I admit it, Christmas is the one time of year that I won't complain about an abundance of Regency settings, and I do grumble about Signet ceasing with the anthologies. They can't get us hooked and then cut us off. Perhaps expanding the time frame? I know there was at least one Victorian anthology, and how about Tudor, Medieval or boldly going into the early 20th century?) and Michelle Styles' novel, A Christmas Wedding Wager waiting their turn. Jo Beverley's Forbidden Magic is also calling me.

After that? I do have a sizeable TBR pile, and a bunch of new/current titles, but for me, the Christmas bug lasts clear to January sixth at the very least, so I may need to go digging in the attic for books from years past. I know I have the Christmas Revels anthology that contains Mary Jo Putney's classic "Black Beast of Belleterre," which I am positively hungry to reread in the very near future. I'm also in earnest search of Time Travel Christmas, which is around here somewhere, and it's probably cozying up to Flora Speer's Christmas Carol. I'll hunt them down, never fear.

Then while not exactly Christmas themed books themselves, there are wonderful Christmas scenes in many books by favorite authors. Bertrice Small's Skye O'Malley series has some memorable holiday scenes and how could I possibly not mention the vast array of inspirational romances that shine light on the spiritual side of the season? I even remember a few Hannukah, New Year and Kwanzaa stories over the years, so it really is the season. If I pace myself, I can make the Christmas books last until Valentine's Day, my next holiday fix.

What about the rest of you? Christmas or other holiday romances, good, bad, or meh? What titles have I missed or not mentioned here that are must reads? What do you like to see in such books? Come sit by the fire, grab a hot chocolate and dish.