Musings From MommyLand

Because sometimes there is more to Mommy…

RITA Winners Announced

As promised, here is the link to the RITA winners which were given out last night.  It appears that I missed the mark on choosing the winner of the Regency Historical Romance Category, but I am okay with that.  The winner was………

Tessa Dare and her book A Night to Surrender.

Photo credit: Raphael Maglonzo via

As I said, I am in no way upset about this book being chosen the winner.  I really enjoy Tessa Dare’s books.  I actually had read all of her books before this one and am happy to see that she was recognized for her talent.

If you are looking for some new romance author’s, I would recommend that you take a look at the list of finalists in all of the categories.  You are sure to find something that you will enjoy.  The next time I am in need of a new book and don’t know where to look, I know I will be turning to this list for a suggestion.

Happy Reading!

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RITA Reading Challenge Update

Well, I am finally ready for an update on my RITA reading challenge and none too soon considering the annual RWA conference is well under way and the awards being given out…well tonight.  The bad news is, I only managed to finish all the books in one category. The good news, I managed to finish all the books in one category!  What can I say, life happens and sadly-so sadly- reading does not make it to the top of my list as much as I would like.

The category that I did manage to make it through was Regency Historical Romance.   And, if there was one I wanted to get through it was this.  It probably isn’t a shocker that historical is my sub-genre of choice and while I enjoy any historical romance, the ones set in Regency England are the ones that really pique my interest. They are a nice escape from reality every once in a while.  

I know that I don’t have the time to do each of these books justice with a review here, but I have linked each book to its Goodreads page where you can find some amazing reviews and I have also linked the authors names to their websites so you can visit there and find out more information about them and the other books they have written.

And the finalists are…

The Devil in Disguise by Stephanie Sloane (also nominated for best first book),  Heiress in Love by Christina Brooke,   How to Marry a Duke (another book also nominated for best first book) by Vicky Dreiling,  How to Seduce a Scoundrel also by Vicky Dreiling, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes, A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare, To Seduce an Angel by Kate Moore, and finally When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James.

I should start by saying that I enjoyed all of these books and can’t say that I would be upset by any of these being chosen as a winner.  That being said, of the nominations, my favorite in this category had to be Vicky Dreiling’s How to Marry a Duke.  This book is also nominated in the Best First Book category where I can imagine it also has a good shot to win.  The book was fun, witty and of all the nominations this one made me want to read the next book by this author more than any of the others.  This book was sort of a take on the Bachelor television series and while you know in your head just how implausible this would have been during the real regency time period, it is so well written and fun that you can just look past that aspect.  Luckily, I actually got to read the next book in the series as it was also nominated in this category.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book as well and look forward to reading the next and final book in this trilogy.

So the main goal of this exercise was to find some new authors to read and I definitely did that.  I will be returning to several if not all of these authors in the future.  I can’t wait to see which one takes home the RITA and will be sure to post an update once the winners are announced tonight.

Happy Reading!

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Genealogy Research Trip…A Connection With the Past

I am still relatively new to genealogy, but one of the things I love most about it is the research.  This has always been what is appealing to me about history in general and I am glad to have found something that gives me my history fix in the midst of mommy duties.  During my recent trip to WV to visit my family there, my grandma, mom and I decided that we were going to take an overnight trip somewhere to work on genealogy.  We had a couple of options of places to visit within driving distance of my mom’s house, but in the end we went with the closest.  So we armed ourselves with lots of pens and notebooks, packed the kids off to my sister’s for a slumber party, and headed out to Logan County, Ohio.

Whatever I was expecting from this trip, it was so much more.  Now, we didn’t exactly find a wealth of new info or anything like that, but the experience itself was one that has me already chomping at the bit for our next excursion.  We visited cemeteries, scoured courthouse records, and invaded the local Genealogical Society and in the midst of our hunt, I realized the two most important things I would take away from this trip.

The first and the one I will be looking at for this post is a sense of connection to your past.  You can find information online, but there is nothing like seeing things associated with your ancestors first hand.  This goes for documents as well as things like headstones or the house in which they may have once lived.  I knew the date of my 3rd great-grandfather’s marriage.  I even knew that he was married in a double wedding with his sister.  But, to open the huge book at the courthouse and to see his and my 3rd great grandmother’s names in fading ink on a worn and fragile page listed directly below his sister’s name with the same marriage date from more than 160 years ago, that was something that has definitely stuck with me.  Now this may be just me (the woman with an obsession for old books), but touching, seeing, smelling, these old documents, this is what makes me feel connected to history.

Even more than marriage records, or wills, seeing the headstones of my ancestors connected me to my past like I hadn’t ever really been before.  We knew which cemetery they were buried in, but as we pulled up next to it, we were grateful that the cemetery wasn’t too large because we had no idea where exactly they were buried.  After some frustrating searching, we finally found the graves.  Now, my third great-grandfather and mother whose marriage we had found earlier, weren’t here.  They are in Missouri which is another trip all together, but his parents and their first child who died in infancy was.  And, as I stood next to the headstone of my fourth great-grandparents and put back together the cracked headstone of my fifth great-grandmother I was awed and amazed.  It isn’t the same as standing in front of a headstone of someone you actually knew or were close to.  You don’t mourn for your ancestors like you would a close loved one.  You just feel a bond and a realization that these people were the ones who came before me, who made it possible for me to be…well me.  Yes, I know I sound a bit fanciful, but the connection that existed in that moment was really amazing.  You almost don’t want to leave the cemetery because you know when you do, you lose a little of that feeling of closeness.

The internet has made genealogy so much easier to find out about your ancestors and your past.  You can find scanned documents and strangers can post pictures of family members graves for you to see.  And this is all great.  On an almost daily basis I am thankful for technology in regards to family history.  BUT, I am telling you, there is nothing like the connection you feel when you are up close and personal with the documents and things associated with an ancestor.  So if you were ever considering going on a genealogy road trip…DO IT!  It is definitely worth it!


Bad Guy Target Practice

Life is finally returning to a bit of normalcy here and I am ready to get back in the blogging saddle.  I have come up with a new rotation of topics and starting today, every other Monday will feature a Craft Time post.  Enjoy!

So, The Boy Child has a dress up box that can rival any little girl’s costume chest.  At any given time he can be any Avenger (with the exception of black widow)  an X-men, a Transformer, or a Jedi.  In order to give him an outlet for these superpowers – besides his sister or the dogs – Jay and I came up with “Bad Guy Target Practice”.

What you need:

  • Large board of some sort (we found a 2 foot by 4 foot smooth, thin board at Lowe’s for $12)
  • Craft paint and paintbrushes
  • Acrylic spray to seal the paint when you are finished

We did this project last fall when the boy child’s costume repertoire was considerably smaller and consisted of only Iron Man and Captain America, so Red Skull was sort of our obvious villain choice.  We found a picture of Red Skull in one of his books (based on the Disney Avenger’s series) and then went to town.  Jay drew it all out (he definitely has the superior drawing skills) and then I painted.

I love what we came up with but, there are so many other ways you could go for your little ones.  One or more targets or even a stick figure of some sort if you want something a little less elaborate.  If your kids are older you can even let them get involved in the planning and painting.  A good project to do together.  We also used this at his superhero themed birthday party last year and the kids had a blast taking turns  blasting him with Iron Man’s repulsars, throwing Captain America’s shield at him, and hammering him with Thor’s Mjölnir.

When you are finished painting, spray with acrylic sealer if you like and then set it up outside somewhere (this is definitely an outside activity by the way.  The rebound from Captain America’s shield is quite destructive).  We usually just lean it up against a tree or a chair but you could certainly add base of some sort for stand alone capabilities.  And now your little hero or heroine is ready to keep their super powers well honed and will be ready to save the world at a moment’s notice.

Happy Crafting!

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