The Well-Read Wife


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I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
June 30, 2011
I've Been Romanced
Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: RWA 2011
Topic: Book Reviews
Around the age of 10 years-old, my aunt got a subscription to the Harlequin’s romance book club. When she moved out two years later, she left a few copies that I devoured under the covers with a flashlight. (I moved into her bedroom.) I mostly flipped through them to find the “good parts” but slowly got into the stories. I also read excerpts of stories by Barbara Taylor Bradford and Danielle Steele  in my grandma’s Ladies’ Home Journal magazines. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was reading romance novels and Tennessee Williams plays at a pretty steady clip since there were only a handful of young adult novels to speak of. (True story, my high school librarian didn’t mind me checking out romance but when I wanted a book on puberty/sexuality, she said I needed a permission slip from my parents.)

By the time I went off to college and started working in the magazine biz, I shook off my juvenile reading habits for feminist lit, African-American memoirs, and literary fiction. But there’s only so much proper literature one can read before they get burnt out on it and now I find myself back in the loving embrace romance (and its naughtier sister erotica). The last 8-months of rediscovering it has been a wonderful journey, where I have found fun new blogs, my preference for cowboys, and lots of free books & e-books. This past Tuesday, I reached the pinnacle of my journey by attending the Romance Writers’ Association Librarians Day--a day of networking, professional development, and getting free stuff!  My favorite items? The romance trading cards and bookmarks. I know have a photo album bursting with these collectibles (

Some of my favorite Romance Twitter Feeds & Blogs:

My favorite moment of RWA2011? Romance author Julia Quinn declaring that librarians are saints. Like you didn’t know that already.
Last month, I also got to let my librarain-geek flag fly at BookExpo 2011 at New York City's Jacob Javitis' Convention Center.  Not only did I attend several professional development seminair like the pulishers preview of middle-grade fall 2011 fiction, but I also got to walk up and down the aisles of the expo and examine several publishing houses' booths. One of my favorites was the erotica publishers Ellora's Cave (which is celebrating its tenth anniversary and from whom I got an autographed beefcake calendar and a deck of playing cards featuring their male cover models).
At the Harlequin booth, I got to meet African-American romance novelist Gwyneth Bolton. Her book, Sizzling Seduction, was the first Kimani romance ever read and dispeled any misgiving I may have had about Black-themed romance novels. (Number 1 being that it would be more about race than about romance.) While I was getting my autographed, I babbled on about how great I thought Sizzling Seduction was by uttering over and over "Fireman, sexy, great, intense, fireman!" The only sad part about that moment were how non-exsistent the autograph lines were for the Kimani novelists. The lines were so short that I thought I had shown up while they were still setting up. 

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Updated: July 1, 2011 9:05 PM EDT
June 16, 2011
Kiss My Nail Art
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Kiss Goldfinger Great Strip Nail Color Stickers
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

Kiss Goldfinger Great Strip Nail Color Stickers Review & Demo

Rating: 4 stars

After a very stressful week of  M.I.A. nanny and lack of back up childcare, I splurge on some cute and inexpensive make-up from my local Brooklyn beauty store on the way to work. My cuties, 6-year-old Dew and 4-year-old Jo-Jo, pick out $1 headband & scarf combos. I get lavendar and periwinkle blue eye shadow duo by Nicka NK and, my favorite find, Goldfinger nail decals for $5.99. They are basically an inexpensive version of Sally Hansen's version. For $3 less, I give it a whirl. In the video below, I demonstrate the application. It was pretty good for a beginner, IMHO. See below and let me know!

Pros: inexpensive, easy to use, on trend Money mouth

Cons: not available at mass retailers, hard to apply for non dominant hand

Where did I buy this? local beauty store (You can also buy them on eBay at various beauty storefronts, like this seller.)


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June 8, 2011
What You Reading For?

Currently Reading:

To Love A Wilde by Kimberly Kaye Terry

The Welcome Home Garden Club by Lori Wilde

Personal Demons by Lisa Desroscher

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (audiobook) 


To Read:

Carrying the Ranchcer's Heir by Charlene Sands

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowen


Just Read:

The Wit and the Wisdom of Mark Twain ( a book of quotations)

Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia (A magical retlling of a Liberia creation story)  Won-Ldy Paye


Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia



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June 7, 2011
Tasty Teaser Tuesday
Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
Topic: Book Reviews

Even Jack saying my name never made me feel so--

Stop it.

I promised myself all that was gone, forgotten, and it's going to stay that way. I made myself strong, I taught myself to know who--and what--I am. 


pg. 35, Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott 

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June 1, 2011
Watcha Reading Now?
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: What I'm Reading, What I Will Read
Topic: Book Reviews

What I'm Reading Now


YA paranormal novel, Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers. An angel and a demon fight over the soul of a teenage girl in a literal battle of heaven over hell. I'm on page 21 and I'm enjoying it so far. I met Lisa Desrochers last week at BookExpo 2011. She told me that she decided to write Personal Demons for her daughter who was a huge Twilight fan.


I'm also starting to get ankle deep in the romance/family drama, The Welcome Home Garden Club. I just got to the part where our heroes have reunited in nearly ten years. It was an intense scene. I'm on page 87.


While watching my daughters in the bathtub, I started reading the Kimani Romance To Love A Wilde. It is the second Harlequin romance I've purchased this year, and the first I bought just based on the cover--an interracial couple on a ranch. Black chicks and cowboys. Yeehah! I'm at the set up portion.


What I Will Be Reading In the Future

Elizabeth Scott's teen romance novel Between Here and Forever. I also met her at BEA. She promised me that this will be a far lighter read than her intense, intensely creepy, and well written Living Dead Girl.




Planet Middle School--a YA novel told in verse by Nikki Grimes.



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May 31, 2011
Personal Demons Not Belonging To Me
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Topic: Book Reviews


Chapter 13

A Cold Day In Hell


My hear is pounding s I wait at my locker 'cause, after last night with Luc, I'm not sure what to expect. I stare blindly at my books and shift my weight from foot to foot, failing spectacularly at trying to appear casual.


page 177, Personal Demons by Lisa Deroschers

(from my autographed copy!) 




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May 18, 2011
Watcha Reading?
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Books I'm Reading Now?
Topic: Book Reviews

What I Am Reading Now

 Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger; Jazz's traditional Indian family want her to chose a spouse from a list of predetermined candidates, but Jazz has her eyes set on a school cutie. What will Jazz do when her desires clash with her family's wishes?

Mr. Fix-It by Crystal Hubbard: Khela Halliday, an award-winning romance writer who doesn't believe in love, meets her match in a gorgeous handyman who is determined to find the perfect tool to shatter her defenses and win her heart.

Witch Baby and Me by Debi Gilori: It's a rainy spring-time, coming up to Witch Baby Daisy's second birthday. Her nursery class are putting on a musical performance, helped by the older children, including big sister Lily. Meanwhile Mum is trying to potty train Daisy, unaware that as soon as she succeeds, Daisy will be reclaimed by the witches who live on the hill.

How I Changed My Life by Todd Strasser: Overweight high school senior Bo decides to change her image while working on the school play with a former star football player who is also struggling to find a new identity for himself.

The Welcome Home Garden Club by Lori Wilde: Returning home from the Iraq war with battle scars, soldier Gideon Garza discovers that the timid girl he left behind is now an independent single mother whom he still has feelings for, and the father who refused to acknowledge him has left him a vast cattle ranch.


What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished reading Jane by April Lindner and Vegas Two Step by Liz Talley.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I plan on reading To Love A Wilde by Kimberly Kaye Terry; Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowen; and Exposure by T. Fowler

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Updated: May 18, 2011 8:52 PM EDT
May 17, 2011
Mama Need A New Pair of Shoes
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Zappos Gift Card Giveaway @ I'm Too Fancy
Topic: Contests

Diana at the I'm Too Fancy blog is hosting a fabulous giveaway--a $100 Gift Card to Zappos.  What's not to love about Zappos? They have shoes, bags, clothes and accessories. They also have free shipping and free returns. So go ahead and enter! Need incentive? Here are some lovely things you can buy for $100 or less! Zappos Giveaway!

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Teaser Tuesday-- Mr. Fix It
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Book Reviews

"Romance novels are just soft porn for women," Carter stated flatly.

"--romance is the ultimate escape," Khela continued as if he hadn't interrupted. "Men are perfectly happy with sex. Women want romance."

"And sex," Carter put in.

"And tenderness."

"And sex."

"They want honesty and bare emotion!"


p. 146, Mr. Fix It by Crystal Hubbard



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April 27, 2011
What I'm Reading Wednesdays
Mood:  hungry
Topic: Book Reviews

What Am I Currently Reading?

Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse #4) by Charlaine Harris

Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger

Vegas Two-Step by Liz Talley


What Am I About to Start/Continue Reading?

Jane by April Lindner

Friction by E.R. Frank

Mr. Fix-It by Crystal Hubbard

Tempting Faith by Crystal Hubbard

The Welcome Home Garden Club by Lori Wilde


What Did I Just Finish Reading?

Rogue Stallion by Diana Palmer

Barnyard Banter by Denise Flemming

Sizzling Seduction by Gwyneth Bolton

The Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez

Currently Reading

Weird But True"I'm Not Cute!"What's New Said the Gnu?What's the Matter, Bunny Blue?Sizzling SeductionThe Chicken Thief

More of Rakisha's books »
Rakisha's currently-reading book recommendations, reviews, quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

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April 11, 2011
Oh So Blue Said the Gnu
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Children's Books
Topic: Book Reviews
What's the Matter, Bunny Blue?What's the Matter, Bunny Blue? by Nicola Smee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A cute rhyming story about a little blue bunny rabbit who has been separated from his grandmother. He and his animal friends look high and low for her. This is a delightful "preschool" mystery with wonderful simple yet colorful illustrations. Perfect for read alouds and snuggle readings.

What's New Said the Gnu?What's New Said the Gnu? by Wendy Ecklson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although the description on Good Reads calls the book "What's New Said the Gun?", the actual title of the book is "'What's New?' Asked the Gnu."

This is a pop-up book of "rhyming wordplay," in which a curious gnu inquires about 16 of his friends' doings. Each of their answers will surprise you and make you chuckle for they are not the typical answers. The pull tabs and pop-designs add to the chuckles. Great for reading to small groups or for what I like to call "snuggle reading" with a child. It's very entertaining. Plus, I have a soft spot for stories that feature rhyming Gnus.

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April 5, 2011
Book Teaser Tuesday
Mood:  hug me
Now Playing: Jane by April Lindner
Topic: Book Reviews




"At night, though, I would drift into dreams so vivid I felt I was actually reliving moments Nico and I had shared--his hands on my back, his smell, his taste on my tongue, his voice calling my name, his weight beside me in the bed--and I would startle awake. For minutes afterward, I refused to believe it had only been a dream."-- Jane, by April Lindner 

(I'm so silly, I closed the book before I wrote down the page. lol.)

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March 29, 2011
For All The Pretty Horses & Their Riders
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Cowboy, Take Me Away by Kathleen Eagle
Topic: Book Reviews

Cowboy, Take Me Away (Harlequin Special Edition)Cowboy, Take Me Away by Kathleen Eagle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kathleen Eagle transforms the title of a Dixie Chicks’ song into a wonderful albeit somewhat lightweight romantic novel featuring the likeable characters of Skyler and Trace. Skyler is an older woman with a past, a late husband, debts, and a love of horses. Trace is the younger rodeo cowboy with miles of cocky swagger who catches her eye from behind the camera lens. (Skyler is freelance photographer hoping to make some extra money.) Trace and Skyler hit it off immediately. Their chemistry literally jumps off the page as much as their coy dialogue--some phrases are so ripe with double meaning you’ll giggle. Ms. Eagle certainly has a way words, and developing likeble characters. This story is all about two adults taking a chance, and going in a direction they usually avoid. It’s a fun read without as much of the middle-act heartbreak that some romance novels include. If you love a good romance novel, handsome cowboys, and ladies who take a chance on love, “Cowboy, Take Me Away” is the book for you!




Mighty Quinns: BrodyMighty Quinns: Brody by Kate Hoffmann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Payton is a socialite on the run from her fiance and seemingly empty life in the outbreaks of Australia. Brody is an ex-footballer (Aussie rules) nursing an career ending injury at his family's herding station. Unfortunate nights for both Payton and Brody lead them to a night in the pokey, and that is where the sparks begin to fly.

Brody, desperate to get over his ex and out of his pity bag, bails Payton out of jail and brings her home with him to work the ranch. Throwing caution to wind, Payton agrees and finds joy and satisfaction doing a good day's work and falling into the muscular arms of Brody. The two lovers keep their secrets, and live only for the moment until their hearts become involved.

You'll enjoy Payton and Brody's steamy encounters, and enjoy Ms. Hoffmann's ability to transport us to Australia. Although the book gets a long-winded near the end (about 15-20 pages could have been trimmed), I stay hooked as I wondered what the future held for the heroes. I was disappointed by the inclusion of a two subplots and secondary characters, because it felt like they were shoehorned in to set the reader up for the spin-offs.

View all my reviews

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Updated: March 29, 2011 11:29 PM EDT
March 12, 2011
A Sailor Went To Sea to See What he Could See, See
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Children's Books
Topic: Book Reviews

This Little Piggy with CD: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games and Pantomime RhymesThis Little Piggy with CD: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games and Pantomime Rhymes by Jane Yolen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perfect for librarians, teachers, day care workers, and parents of children under the age of three years old. The children will enjoy the pictures in the colorfully illustrated book, and enjoy the repetitive lyrics featured on the accompanying compact disc. Educators and caregivers will enjoy the squeals from their charges.

The Tushy BookThe Tushy Book by Fran Manushkin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very cute book celebrating the uses of children's tushies from babyhood to adulthood. With colorful illustrations featuring children of all colors in different scenarios, toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy relating to how they use their tushies every day. The rhyming verses make it an excellent book for story times. Beware, there are some semi-nude tushy illustrations that will have your little ones squealing and falling over in laughter.


The Three BearsThe Three Bears by Byron Barton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Byron Barton's picture books can do no wrong in my book. I've been sharing them with my children and children at the library for the last 5 years. The colors are bright, virbrant, and a joy to behold. The text is always bold, black, and easy to read. He covers subjects that all little ones like to read about over and over again--trains, planes, dinosaurs, cars, trucks, astronauts. Now, he brings his brillance to the classic tale of The Three Little Bears with great success. Definitely a wonderful introduction to the tale that can be read to children as young as 18-months to children as old as 7-year-olds. (Once your child gets to 2nd or 3rd grade, definitely introduce them to all of Paul Galdone's interpretations of the classic fairy tales and fables.)

View all my reviews

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March 7, 2011
From the Sweet to the Sultry
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo and Taming Blackhawk by Barbara McCauley
Topic: Book Reviews

Just Being AudreyJust Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo (and illustrated by Julia Denos) is an adorable children's biography of film star and human rigts activist Audrey Hepburn. In a scant 32 pages, Cardillo presents the life of Audrey Hepburn as a collection of qualities that children should strive to achieve--hard work; kindness; helping others; and self-acceptance. The illustrations are soft-colored and almost dreamlike. It is a beautiful book for every Audrey Hepburn fan (like myself) to own or a beautiful book to gift every children who ever felt as though they were too awkward (or untalented) to fit in.

View all my reviews

Taming Blackhawk (Secrets!) (Desire, 1437)Taming Blackhawk (Secrets!) by Barbara McCauley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished Taming Blackhawk last night, and boy was I ever pleased! It was a brisk and sensual love story featuring a modern working girl and her cowboy lover, Rand Blackhawk. The family secrets of Rand were wrapped up quickly and tidily, and gave the book a little more gravitas. I was a bit disappointed that the heroine was a virgin, and felt her life would be incomplete without a husband and a "passel" of children. However, I forgive the book for those characteristics for this is a romance novel not a post-modern feminist theory text book. (Hmmm, I suppose, as a feminist, I would say that it is okay for a woman to chose to want to have a family.)

View all my reviews

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