Got to the grocery store and got Advil, and a birthday card for Dad. I may wrap Dad's present while he's at work tomorrow, or find a cute little bag to put it in. It's a set of DVDs called "A Century of Warfare." He loves watching the Military History channel, and is a member of about five different veterans groups. I'm sure he'll get hours of viewing pleasure from that. I still owe Mom about three sets of earrings from her birthday. I have the beads for them. It's just a matter of laying out all the materials and making the earrings.
I'm really enjoying the jasmine. A couple of the buds on it opened today, and it makes the room smell so good. One of the African violets on the windowsill is blooming, the one that's white with a purple picotee. I walked around outside to look at the roses. I think 'Cardinal de Richelieu' and Rosa rugosa alba will probably be okay in their pots in the winter. Most of the Old Garden Roses on the north side of the house look like they have a lot of healthy canes. The majority of them are hardy to Zone 4, a few to Zone 3. We're in Zone 6b, so normally they take the winter fairly well. Personally, I'd rather be in Zone 8 or warmer for the winter.
Teddypig (www.teddypig.com) pointed out that All Romance e-Books (ARe: www.allromanceebooks) was offering a free e-book during the Days of Christmas. I got Dreamspinner's (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com) Advent Calendar several days ago. Apparently this year the stories don't open on a particular day, but are all available at once. Speak Its Name (http://speakitsname.com/) is having an Advent calendar, too. Since Erastes doesn't have her own personal Advent calendar this year, I think she's just a major collaborator on that one. I'm sure all the Macaronis (http://historicromance.wordpress.com) are participating. (Edited to add: They've got quite a number of authors participating. They're offering some very cool presents, too -- a lot of e-books.) The primary four Macaronis seem to be Alex Beecroft, Erastes, Lee Rowan, and Charlie Cochrane. Charlie neglected to mention that her new book in the Cambridge Fellow Mysteries ("Lessons" series) was out a couple of days ago. She's really way too modest. I only missed it by a couple of days, though. I still got the "new book" discount on it, although my main priority was just to get it. I also got the e-book version of Without Reservations. It was the only one in the "With or Without" series I didn't have in e-book. It also has possibly the only "Gay for You" storyline that's really worked for me.
Jules Jones (http://julesjones.livejournal.com) had an entry about an author reacting really negatively in response to a bad review on Amazon. No matter what she writes or has written, that thread is going to be thrown back at her for years. It's not like it was a professional reviewer. It's definitely one more reinforcement about how authors should take the high road in public. One of the links Ms. Jones put in linked to how to make a Schadenfreude pie (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2006/09/26/how-to-make-a-schadenfreude-pie/). My German-English dictionary translates Schadenfreude as "malicious pleasure." I follow some of these trainwrecks of commentary with a sort of fascination, but I don't feel malicious about it. Out of the blogs and LJs I follow, Teddypig is the one who most often finds these, but occasionally I'll see one on another site. An author who takes things graciously in public gets respect, or at least isn't seen as letting himself or herself get dragged into it. An author who argues with a reader in public is not going to win the argument. One way or another, they'll lose.
There are a number of e-book authors who know I have my opinions about certain plotlines and themes. I don't think forced seduction is at all sexy. If one of the protagonists hits the other, the book crosses the line from romance to domestic abuse. I don't care if the heroes use physical force to fight against the "bad guys" in the story, but fistfights with each other, no way. I'm not talking about BDSM with the sub's clear consent, I'm talking about one or both protagonists losing his temper that badly.
Wow, that got kind of dark. I'm really pretty cheerful about having a number of new things to read, some by favorite authors. I don't have anywhere I need to be during the predicted snowstorm. I have editing to work on in a series I like. I worked on the first book, and was eager to read the second book. This third one sounds really good. I have another day of my soap opera to look forward to, and blooming flowers in my room.