MJ’s MUSINGS: BOOK BINGO–UNDER REPRESENTED AUTHOR

For my “under-represented author” square on the BOOK BINGO card, I chose Tikka Chance on Me, by Suleikha Snyder. Several people had recommended it as a good read, not necessarily for book bingo.

I loved it! It’s the story of an Indian girl who works in her parents’ restaurant and a biker bad boy, neither of whom are all they seem.  They’d known each other in high school, but their lives took divergent paths. The story is actually a novella, but it reads longer because it’s packed and fast-paced. And it’s hot.

Five stars.

 

 

 

 

MJ’s Musings: Talking to Your Family

When my children were young, we had a habit of dinner together every night. No TV, no radio. Each meal began with a toast, “Happy <<insert day of the week>>.” Then we went around the table and shared one good thing that happened to us that day. We ate we talked, we shared the low points as well as the high points of our days. Often times it was the only chance we had to reconnect as a family.

When X-Chromo (the youngest) invited a friend over for taco Tuesday, we didn’t alter our habit. Her friend was shocked that we conversed. And laughed. At her house, her parents listened to NPR during meals, and there was no talking allowed.

I was stunned. I understand not every parents’ workday mirrored ours. I knew other parents did other things with their children, running them to and from activities and such. But to not allow them to speak at a meal so they could listen to the radio outraged me.

We enjoyed discussing current events with our children. We would explain why famous people who had died were important. When drama club would select a play, we would discuss the realities behind the play. We tried to teach them history and why it is important to know.

I’m glad we did meal time our way, and I hope my children are, too.

 

Even now that we are empty nesters, TV Stevie and I still do “One Good Thing” when we manage to sit down together for dinner.

MJ’s Musings: SEP-Dream a Little Dream

Dream a Little Dream is my least favorite of the Bonner brother/Chicago Stars books. I don’t like Gabe (hero), I don’t like Rachel (heroine), I don’t like Edward/Chip (Rachel’s little boy). I don’t like that a favorite character from Nobody’s Baby But Mine  was dead. Maybe Rachel and Gabe’s respective backstories are too bleak and dark and need the comic relief the dead character provided in Nobody’s Baby. I don’t know.

The humanizing of Gabe is well done. My heart breaks for him. But he’s not a romance hero. Rachel’s return to the scene of her late-husband’s crimes is well-motivated, but I still can’t warm up to her.

I’m the first to complain when so many romance novels conflicts seem trite (to me), so I’m not sure why the grim premises of this story bother me so much. It is a testament to the author’s skill that I feel this so strongly.

There were things about the book that I did like: I liked that the evangelical huckster got his (before the story opened); I liked that Gabe’s parents weren’t in the book (Jim & Lynn Bonner from Nobody’s Baby But Mine), and I loved Gabe’s brother Ethan and the subplot involving him and his secretary.  I love that God speaks to Ethan with Oprah’s voice.

Three stars.

MJ’s Musings: Early Bird or Night Owl?

I am what is known as an early bird. I get up early. It’s my best time to think because the distractions of the day haven’t yet attacked.

But I often wonder if I am naturally an early bird or was my circadian rhythm warped by my upbringing. When I was a child, even a teenager who often babysat until the wee hours of the morning, my mother made sure I was out of bed by 9AM every morning. People who lingered in bed were lazy and slothful.

Part of this could be my dad having to get up at 4AM to work in a factory every day. So naturally bedtimes at our house were early.  I get that.

But since being an adult and with my children adults, too, when I’m not bound by the alarm for the day job, I do tend to stay up later at night–and to write and write well.  So perhaps my natural cycle is that of a night owl.

Maybe when I retire I’ll find out.

MJ’s Musings: SEP-Match Me If You Can

MATCH ME IF YOU CAN is one of the Chicago Stars series. I have to admit, I’m not that fond of it. I enjoy it while I’m reading it, but there was nothing about the story or the characters that compel me to compulsively reread the book. In fact, I didn’t own a copy until a couple of years ago.

The premise is great: a professional matchmaker vs. a professional sports agent. Two tenacious characters. But I don’t know them. I don’t understand their foibles. I don’t love them. Maybe I need to read the  book a couple of more times in order to plumb their souls. I had to do that with Natural Born Charmer, and it worked.

Here’s the thing: I don’t hate the characters. They don’t make me uncomfortable (something I’ll explore next month). I’m merely indifferent to them.

Can you convince me to care?