Thursday, November 15, 2007

Albuquerque, NM

The family and I spent a long week-end in Albuquerque, NM with our favorite pathologist. She was there taking advantage of the large number of questionable deaths to explore her interest in Forensic pathology. In between seeing the sights, we were regaled with stories of suicides by the Rio Grande and heroin hotels in the area.

One entire day was spent in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. The seismosaurus (the longest land animal that ever lived) skeleton was particularly impressive, and it was found just outside of the city of Albuquerque. The kids really enjoyed the display of the animals that lived in New Mexico 150 million years ago when the whole state was covered with a shallow sea. Our younger daughter's favorite thing was the 'cowboy movie' in the large screen theater and both girls enjoyed the full replica of the Mars Rover. You can control the camera on it and zoom in to see your own nose hairs if desired.

We stopped in at El Morro and El Malpais national monuments which both deserved more time. El Malpais has this lovely natural arch, La Ventana. And the lava tubes are very cool.

Probably my favorite stop was the Acoma Pueblo, otherwise known as Sky City. The visitor center is a really lovely building on it 's own and the setting of the pueblo up on a high mesa is wonderful. We didn't visit the casino, if you know my husband, you'll know why.

And we managed to fit in a visit to the Wild Spirit Wolf Santuary which does good work taking care of captive-bred wolves and educating people about the dangers of trying to have wolf-dogs as pets. It was an action packed trip, so no, I didn't get any reading done!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Madeline Hunter 'Lessons of Desire'

Madeline Hunter is the man. If you've read this blog a bit you'll know I'm in love with Julia Quinn's books for their humor. Well, I'm in love with Madeline Hunter for her angst. And I'm not a great lover of angst, but she does it so amazingly well. She's the frickin' master. Phaedra is the daughter of a free thinker. Her mother never married her father and she wrote pamphlets on women's rights and free love. When Elliot's family's secrets are included in her father's memoirs, he has to go to her to ask that she not publish them.

Not every Madeline Hunter book has been right on. Sometimes her historical accuracy gets in the way of her story, this one is damn near perfect. I really can't imagine a Madeline Hunter book that could be better than this one.

Historical Romance 2007: 5 out of 5 incredible stars.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jayne Castle 'Silver Master'

Jayne Castle aka Jayne Ann Krentz aka Amanda Quick is a very good writer. She has a decent formula where the two protagonists team up to solve some sort of mystery/crime/murder. In this case the story is set in a future colony on another planet. The major change here is the psychic abilities that humans have developed on this planet.

If you like Castle's stories, this one's very acceptable but like many of her books, the romance, sexual tension and development of an attraction between the two main characters is lacking. The new world and the plot are distractingly entertaining, but that's not enough for me.

Paranormal Futuristic Romance 2007: 3 out of 5 stars.