Input Requested

Imagine you were using the web to find good deals on cars. The site you've chosen has all the requisite feeds highlighting cool cars, and new cars, and all that, but they also have original content.

What are the top five things you'd like to see on such a site, article-wise?

Your answer may help me in a writing gig I've been offered.

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Temperatures today are supposed to reach the mid-to-high 90's, and what am I contemplating? Not sunning by the pool, not splashing IN the pool, and not any of a thousand and one activities involving the creative use of ice cubes.

I am contemplating peach cobbler.
Specifically, I am contemplating BAKING peach cobbler.

I blame this fluffy mystery I'm reading, The Peach Cobbler Murders, (or something like that) one of those mysteries with recipes included. The writing isn't great and the plot is taking FOREVER to move forward, but oh my god, the baked goods.

Books like this should come with a basket of tasty treats, one per chapter.

It's probably a good thing I have no peaches, at the moment.
Although tomorrow is grocery day…

(I have just remembered that there is a bag of frozen strawberries in the freezer. I have no idea where they came from. Is there such a thing as strawberry cobbler?)

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While the people of Louisiana, with which we share a border, scurry and scramble to protect themselves from Katrina's forceful arrival, I am sitting on my bed, with my laptop propped on two pillows, watching lightning arc across the night sky.

Earlier, I stepped outside to supervise the dogs pre-bed elimination break and rain fell in soft droplets that fell like soft kisses on my bare shoulders. I let the breeze caress my hair, and lifted my face, smiling into the flickering light turning the grey clouds briefly lavender.

My voice was laughing, while my head considered the irony.

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A Garden in Paris

A Garden In Paris

Stephanie Grace Whitson

I have to be honest. If I'd realized at the library that this book was marked as Christian fiction, I wouldn't have taken it home, because I find most overtly Christian fiction to be smarmy and insincere and I dislike being preached at.

This is a case, though, where that would have meant missing a great novel, a fictional travelogue about a woman who returns to Paris, where she'd been a foreign exchange student as a young girl, after losing her husband, and rediscovers not only romance, but her pre-marital adventuresome self.

Yes, there's relationship angst between the main character and her daughter, but there's also music, and dashing French men, and cute cafes.

And yes, there is talk of god and religion, but it's organic, and true to the characters, and didn't strike me as being preachy or smarmy at all.

I'm not sure I'm willing to read the sequel, but I quite enjoyed this book.

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One For Sorrow, Two for Joy

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

Clive Woodall

If you enjoyed Watership Down chances are good that you'll like One for Sorrow, Two for Joy, as well.

Set solely among the denizens of Birddom (the world of birds that co-exists with our own), this is an epic tale of politics, romance, and the courage of a young robin named Kirrik. Pretty typically the magpies are evil, the owls are wise and ancient, and the birds in between are all, well, in between.

Enjoyable, if a little tiresome.

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The Third Witch

A Novel

Rebecca Reisert

It's The Scottish Play from the point of view of the youngest of the weird sisters, a young woman who shocks her elders by bathing twice a week, and doesn't care for robbing the dead on the battlefield. Has all the requisite romance and heroism, as well as a fairy-tale ending. Cute, but unsubstantial.

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Off Balance

Off Balance

Mary Sheepshanks

Mary Sheepshanks usually writes manor house stories laced with humor. In Off Balance, however, the humor is sadly lacking, and it ends up being an unexceptional story of relationships (mainly dysfunctional) in a country house in Scotland. Lovely scenery, depressing story.

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