Friday, February 29, 2008

KATE DAVIES - Have you read her work?

I had only read one Kate Davies book, TAKING THE CAKE, until a couple of days ago. It was an enjoyable read, with a satisfying mix of emotions and sensuality. When Kate spent the day on the Samhain Cafe loop the other day, she offered a copy of her newest release, LESSONS IN TRUST, as a contest prize. Excerpts that were posted from this book and the first in the series, LESSONS IN LOVE, intrigued me and I knew that I was going to buy them. I was fortunate enough to be her contest winner; I immediately purchased a download of the other so I could read them back-to-back. I did just that and would highly recommend that you do the same!
These two books are very entertaining romance without any fluff. The characters are intelligent and extremely likable, their situations are believable and captivating. Ms. Davies is excellent at describing her characters' surroundings, successfully pulling you into each scene.
Check out Kate's website where you'll find excerpts from her most recent releases and an upcoming summer release,HOOKED, as well as the bookshelf of all of her work.
While I sometimes prefer a paperback in my hands, I truly don't mind reading on my Palm the way some readers do. There's something about the instant gratification of an ebook download that is extremely satisfying - also, ebooks don't take up any physical space and you can boast that you're being "green" - maybe you won't feel quite as guilty when you forget to recycle today's newspaper.
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I thought I'd share a recipe for Lean Lasagna with you this week. With all of the cold temps and snow we've been having, there's nothing I like more than comfort food, including lasagna. This is an excellent recipe and your family will never know that the fat and calories have been whittled down. Enjoy!

Serves 8
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lb ground turkey breast
3 cups tomato sauce
3 tsp Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp each dried basil, parsley and oregano)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
6 cups chopped fresh spinach (or chard)
2 cups fat-free ricotta
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 package whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 8 oz, or 9 noodles)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a medium-sized nonstick skillet with cooking spray. SautĂ© onion for 2 minutes, then add turkey and cook an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomato sauce, all seasonings and mushrooms and simmer 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. In a bowl, combine spinach, ricotta and nutmeg. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water. Coat a 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange 1/3 lasagna noodles (3 noodles) on the bottom of the pan. Spread a layer of ricotta mixture, then turkey mixture, then 1/3 mozzarella. Repeat layers, ending with mozzarella. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese bubbles. Cool at least 5 minutes before cutting.

310 calories per serving
6 g fat (3.5 g saturated)
31 g carbs
4 g fiber
33 g protein

Have a great day!

Monday, February 25, 2008

BEAST OF DESIRE - now available from Lisa Renee Jones!

This is an update of my previous entry about Lisa's latest book - please check it out - you'll have to search long and hard to find an author who writes with Lisa's creative imagination and wonderful characters!
Lisa Renee Jones has a new release, BEAST OF DESIRE, second in her Silhouette Nocturne Knights of White series. Just as exciting is the news that Lisa will be writing books 3, 4, 5 and 6! The heroes of this series are each intriguing in their own very different way, and Lisa has a knack for writing just the right heroine to keep things interesting!
A blurb:
Desire can be dangerous…
As a leader of the Knights of White in the war between Good and Evil, the demon warrior known only as Des walks a fine line between beast and man. Sent into battle now to reclaim the ancient Journal of Solomon containing a list of angelic bloodlines before the Darkland Beasts find it, Des feels an overwhelming connection to its guardian Jessica Montgomery. Vibrant, alive, seductive….only she has the power to draw out the beast, soothe the man…and endanger them both.
Des can’t resist her touch, craving it like an addiction. Jessica might be his salvation. Or he might destroy them both….

* * * * *
“Des, one of the Knights of White, men who are turned into beasts and then given back their souls so they can fight evil, is assigned to steal an ancient journal with directions leading to a box that names the descendants of angels. In order to protect it from the Darkland Beasts who would use it to kill those descendants, he must work with museum employee Jessica Montgomery, a woman whose mother spent her whole life searching for the journal. Des and Jessica are instantly attracted, but Des’ past makes him believe he’s not worthy of the wealthy senator’s daughter. Lisa Renee Jones’ BEAST OF DESIRE (4 1/2) is an exciting continuation of her Knights of White series. Des is the perfect hero - flawed and sexy, needing the right woman to complete him. The sexual tension between Des and Jessica is compelling, as is the excitement of their quest to find the journal and escape the beasts.”
— Romantic Times Magazine, Alexandra Kay

My review:
Museum curator Jessica Montgomery carries on her late mother's almost desperate interest in an ancient journal, not fully understanding her mother's dogged determination in searching for it. When Des from the Knights of White appoints himself Jessica's protector, she is even more confused, not understanding the darkness that threatens her. The Darkland Beasts want this journal to carry out their own evil intentions, and will stop at nothing to get it, just as the Des and the other knights are willing to die trying to keep Jessica and the journal safe. It turns out that the connection between Des and Jessica and the journal runs much deeper than either of them could have imagined.
Des, like all of the Knights of White, has just enough beast in him to make him fear losing control. There is an immediate attraction between Des and Jessica, but his reluctance to completely let go when he's with her is troubling. When all of the pieces fall into place and it begins to look like Jessica is his intended mate, Des has some monumental decisions to make. The biggest of which is whether he can get past the notion that he doesn't deserve someone like Jessica.
I have enjoyed the first two books in this series very much and I feel confident in recommending them. While they are satisfying reads by themselves, I can't help but feel that they will be enjoyed much more if read in order, starting with THE BEAST WITHIN.
I hope you'll pop on over to Amazon to order a copy of this great book before they're gone - you'll have no regrets!
Thank you, Lisa, for allowing me to read and review BEAST OF DESIRE!
Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I'm keeping it very simple this week because I'm a tad pressed for time. The following is a little blip about the positives of walking, taken from another one of the daily emails I get from Ladies Home Journal.

It's hard to motivate for exercise when you're feeling down and out. But your bad mood is actually the best reason to increase your activity level. Studies show that something as simple as a 10-minute walk can ease depression and boost your mood. In fact, walking can help decrease feelings of tension, anger, stress, and confusion -- it even gives you energy. Try it and see for yourself!

So grab your sneakers, bundle up, and go for a walk!


SWEET!! Denyse Bridger's latest - an Italian love story - and a contest!

Ok, I've never heard from acdaisy95, so the new winner is LAURA! Please email me by Saturday at and I'll get your download right out to you!

The winner of the Bella Signorina download is acdaisy95! Congratulations! Email me by Tuesday so I have an email addy and can get your download off to you. Thanks everyone who played. If you didn't win, I recommend that you think about getting a copy - for $1.50, it's a sweet deal.

Sweetly Sensual contemporary romance
From The Wild Rose Press
My good friend Denyse Bridger has a new release today - BELLA SIGNORINA from The Wild Rose Press. I suggest everyone snag a copy of this book. At $1.50 for the download, it's a steal. Even if you prefer more erotic romances, this book is the stuff we all cut our romance reading teeth on. Denyse poured her heart and soul into this book and says that it's the best she's ever written. Trust me, this coming from an author who has written something in practically every subgenre, this is no small statement. I'm heading over right now to order two downloads - I'll draw a name from all who comment here and forward one of the downloads to the winner. I'll draw a name on Saturday evening. Tell your friends! If they post a comment and mention that you sent them, I'll give you an extra entry.
Here's a blurb:
In one of Rome’s trendiest caffè’s, Bianca Marino comes to dance, and escape the loneliness that haunts her world. For many weeks she's been watching a special man, a handsome, charming stranger who dances, flirts, and leaves alone. Bianca is not anxious to fall in love, and yet… Something about the enigmatic Stefano Esposito has captivated her heart, and she is drawn to him in spite of herself. When she finally gathers her courage to approach him, and ask him to dance, little does she know that her entire world is about to change…
Check out an excerpt here.
Go here to order.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

GO RED Notecard winner is . . .

Ok, I didn't hear from ddurance, so I've chosen another name - Wendy, come on down! Email me with your name and address and I'll get the cards and a lapel pin in the mail to you. I've only had one person contact me with their name and address for a lapel pin so far. If anyone else wants one or two, they're still available! I guess if I don't hear from anyone else I'll just put them up until next February.

ddurance! Please email me at by Tuesday evening with your name and address and I'll get your notecards and lapel pin in the mail in the next few days. Anyone else who wants a lapel pin, email me, ok? If you're interested in an extra one for a friend or relative, let me know.

Thanks, everyone, for your interest in this wonderful cause.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Pamela Clare has an upcoming release, UNLAWFUL CONTACT, and it is an excellent continuation of her romantic suspense series. I've read and absolutely loved the first two books in this series. Good friend Lori Foster had this to say about UNLAWFUL CONTACT: “Powerful, sexy and unforgettable, Unlawful Contact is the kind of story I love to read. Pamela Clare is a dazzling talent.” Cool, huh? I couldn't agree more. It will be a real struggle to be patient until the next one releases. I literally begged the powers that be at Romance Junkies for this one - I think I may have offered both legs and an arm. Luckily, I was given the book and all extremeties remain intact. Here's my Romance Junkies review (I gave this one FIVE Blue Ribbons!):

The characters in UNLAWFUL CONTACT, the latest in Pamela Clare’s romantic suspense series, have backgrounds that couldn’t be more diverse. The intensity of their love brings them back together after a decade apart. Now they must stay one step ahead of the good guys, because in reality some of them aren’t so good, in order to stay alive. Romantic suspense lovers shouldn’t miss this book.

Newspaper journalist Sophie Alton’s investigative reporting on women in prison introduced her to Megan Rawlings, a young woman convicted on drug charges who hasn’t seen her baby since giving birth to her in prison seven months prior. Sophie has followed Megan’s story closely and intends to be present when mother and child are reunited. She is shocked to learn that Megan has fled with her baby and that drugs were found in her room. Soon after, Sophie receives a request from Megan’s brother, also in prison for murder, to visit him for information about Megan. It isn’t until after she is taken hostage by the brother that she learns he is Marc “Hunt” Hunter, the same guy that she fell hard for in high school. The bad boy that Sophie loved back then pales in comparison to the man Hunt has become, except for the underlying tenderness and genuine caring that unmistakably remain a part of his personality.
Hunt has resigned himself to the fact that he will be in prison for the rest of his life, using inside connections to provide extras for his sister’s comfort and care, until he learns that his sister and her baby have disappeared. He’s determined to find Megan, feeling certain that there are details about her incarceration and disappearance that the authorities are hiding. Sheer desperation is the driving force behind his abduction of Sophie and escape from prison. And while he is full of guilt over taking her, Sophie’s sweet softness is something Hunt has thought about every single night in prison; the attraction between them is undeniable. It isn’t long before Sophie and Hunt are on the run, fighting to stay alive while they search for Megan and her baby, and rediscovering a burning passion that never died.
This book literally took my breath away. Pamela Clare has done a brilliant job of interweaving characters, emotions, and has written spine-tingling twists and turns in the plot while maintaining rich intrigue and clarity, making the many layers of this book that much more incredible. Sophie and Hunt are intelligent, extremely likable characters who never forgot each other despite having lost touch. Not only does this book have intriguing suspense, but it smolders with intense sensuality and passion. The romance between Sophie and Hunt is deeply touching.
And for Ms. Clare’s readers who fell in love with Julian in HARD EVIDENCE? You only thought you loved him before – I guarantee that you will be head over heels by the end of UNLAWFUL CONTACT! Characters from EXTREME EXPOSURE and HARD EVIDENCE return to play an integral part in this story and catching up with them is a sweet bonus. I cannot give this series a high enough recommendation, and while you can read and enjoy each book on its own, my suggestion would be to read them in order.

I know you're going to want to get your own copy - here's a quick link to Amazon so you can pre-order a copy.
Thanks for stopping by - I'm going to go find something to help bide my time while I wait on the next release! Pamela Clare has several historicals that have received a considerable amount of acclaim - I intend to check them out while I'm waiting!
Have a fabulous weekend!

My current/future reads

These are some books that I've read recently, but really don't have time to fully review.
REAL GOOD MAN by Kimberly Raye - definitely the "fluff" of this anthology. Former lovers rediscovering each other. Lighthearted and sweet.
UNBROKEN by Alison Kent - without a doubt the meatiest of the three stories. Edgy and intensely heated, this cowboy story is especially good, but you all know how much I adore Alison Kent.
I CAN STILL FFEEL YOU by Cara Summers - perhaps a little more erotic than the other two and a touch of suspense.
HOT IN HERE by Susan Lyons - one in a series which, typical of me, I've started out of order. I'm itching to get my hands on Champagne Rules and Touch Me, previously released, and the upcoming She's On Top, all guaranteed to be excellent. These are in-your-face erotic with characters who know what they want and aren't shy about getting it. I've also read Hot Down Under by Ms. Lyons in The Firefighter anthology - another steamy read that's worth checking out if you haven't read it. I'm especially glad that I listened to a friend's recommendation to check out Susan Lyons - I've discovered another autobuy author!
A LITTLE HARMLESS PLEASURE and LESSONS IN SEDUCTION by Melissa Schroeder - ALHP follows A LITTLE HARMLESS SEX (which was great fun) - it's the interracial story about an unlikely couple with a D/s theme (no, not typically my fav), but it's a little on the gentle side and I enjoyed it. LIS is a historical that is especially good. I don't know Melissa Schroeder's favorite genre, but she is extremely talented with historicals.
THE MERCENARY by Cherry Adair - this is a rerelease and while I think it had some updates, it still has a 90's flavor and I was a little disappointed. I love everything Cherry Adair, but would be hesitant in recommending this one. It's just not the Cherry Adair we're used to reading these days.
DANGEROUS GROUNDS by Shelli Stevens - Ok, I have to admit that the cover on this one caught my eye on the advertising column at Romancing the Blog. It's a romantic suspense and enjoyable, although I found the heroine, who grew up pampered and spoiled, to be a touch inconsiderate and irritating. It wasn't so bad that I won't give Ms. Stevens another try.
TAKING CHASE AND MAKING CHASE by Lauren Dane - TC was my favorite of the two of these - great storyline and suspense. MC has a heroine who's on the short side and a little overweight, which I (obviously!) don't have a problem with, but felt that it, and the attitudes of townspeople about her no account parents were a little overdone and unrealistic. On the other hand, the matter of an abusive situation at home is very well written. I'll definitely read more by Lauren Dane.

Upcoming reads include HOT AND BOTHERED by Dianne Castell, which I'll be chatting about and reviewing next, DON'T TEMPT ME by Sylvia Day (for Romance Junkies review), COSMIC SEX by Karen Kelley, which is a win from HelenKay Dimon's blog - thanks HelenKay!, and Jacki Bentley's The Horseman's Heritage - Jacki, you're such a doll to send me this - thank you! I also have in the top portion of the TBR pile, NEVER ON A SUNDAE, ananthology by Wendy Markham, Lynn Messina and Daniella Brodsky, DEMON'S FIRE by Emma Holly, and PLEASURES OF THE NIGHT by Sylvia Day.
Now I'm off to post my review of Pamela Clare's April 1 release, UNLAWFUL CONTACT. I can't find enough good things to say about this book! I hope you'll stop back to read my Romance Junkies review.
Don't forget the drawing tomorrow for the Go Red notecards. Anyone who wants a Go Red lapel pin, all you have to do is tell me! I'll be asking for names and addresses tomorrow.
Thanks, everyone - have a terrific weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Man oh man, where did the past week go? I can't believe it's Thursday already. My post today is about H20 and how beneficial it is to our bodies. This comes courtesy of Ladies' Home Journal, who sends me a healthy living email every single day. I find them extremely informative.

Water is one of the most important elements of the human body. It makes up approximately 70 percent of our muscles, and about 75 percent of our brains. It is also an essential part of a healthy diet and plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the body. Some of water's many benefits:
Transports essential nutrients throughout the body and rids the body of waste
Acts as a lubricant for the body, moistening eyes, mouth, nose, and skin
Helps maintain adequate blood volume
Helps regulate body temperature, especially in warm weather
Helps prevent constipation
Helps medications to work
Helps prevent urinary tract infections
Acts as an appetite suppressant
Is calorie-free
Boosts metabolism when drunk cold (we burn 2 calories per glass as we warm it up to body temperature)

A Dieter's Dream
Drinking water also forces fat to be used as fuel. How does this work? Without water, the kidneys are unable to function properly, so the liver picks up the slack. But the liver cannot properly metabolize stored fat as energy. The result is a decrease in fat metabolism, leading to more fat stored in the body. So, drinking lots of water helps avoid extra fat deposits.

How Much Do You Need?
The standard advice from nutritionists is to get at least 64 ounces of water daily. This is called the 8 x 8 rule (eight 8-ounce glasses). If you are trying to lose weight, it is especially important to stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb, experts say, is to drink half your daily water consumption between the time you wake up and lunch, and the other half between lunch and bedtime.

If you are exercising, you might want to drink a bit more. Drink 8-10 ounces approximately 30 minutes before exercising. You should also drink some water while exercising; about 3-4 ounces every 15 minutes. Finally, when you're through exercising, drink another 8-10 ounces to make up for the water you lose through prespiration.

Healthy adults of all ages need at least 8 cups of water every day. Children should have 6-8 servings, but the serving size depends upon the child's age. For children age 2 and under, a serving is half a cup; for kids age 3-5, it's 3/4 cup. For kids 6 and up, a serving is one cup.

Bottoms-up, everyone - go grab yourself some water!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

RAD booksigning today

In the pic - L to R - Barbara Smith, Judy Flohr, moi, Kaleen Cooper and Lori Foster. (My daughter Lindsay was with us and acted as photographer.)
Today was Reader Appreciate Day (RAD) at the Barnes & Noble in West Chester, Ohio. Lots of authors there - I hate to name names because I'm bound to forget someone, but relying on my sometimes feeble memory, there was Toni Blake/Lacey Alexander, Jenny Crusie, Gia Dawn, Lori Foster, Rosemary Laurey, Marcia James, LuAnn McLane, Donna MacMeans, Kay Stockham, Shiloh Walker, and about a half dozen others whose names either escape me or I don't know! It was a great time and a handful of us went to Panera Bread after for lunch. We sat around and chatted for a couple of hours and it was so nice to relax and spend time with these wonderful women. Some of us only see each other once a year so it was especially sweet. Shiloh Walker joined us for lunch but left before I thought to get the camera out. She doesn't like her photo taken so it's just as well!
I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, February 08, 2008


Update: I've decided to send a lapel pin to everyone who comments - or until I run out! So no worries of anyone being left out - I'm thrilled with the response!

February is Women's Heart Health Awareness Month. The American Heart Association has a great website that's chock full of information about healthy living and womens heart health. Take a moment to stop by and see what you can do to keep your heart in good shape!
I'm going to run a little contest for a pack of "Go Red" notecards and lapel pins. I will send out lapel pins to the first ten commenters and draw a name next Saturday for the pack of notecards and a lapel pin. If you're one of the first ten to leave a comment, I'll ask for your address next Saturday - please don't post your address here. These aren't expensive items, I know, but the notecards are pretty and they do make a nice statement; I've worn my little red dress pin everyday in the month of February for the past two years with the hope that it might make others aware of how important our heart health is.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

BEAST OF DESIRE - the winner is . . .

thewildtwo! Please contact me by Sunday evening (2/10) at with your name and mailing addy. I'll mail your book as soon as it's released next month! Congratulations!

Thanks everyone for playing. Ill have another fun contest in the next few days - I hope you'll stop back!

Have a great Friday and a terrific weekend!


Wednesday, February 06, 2008


In conjunction with Sasha White's Slim Camp blogs every Thursday, where she and others in search of a healthier lifetyle share tips, recipes, frustration and celebration, I've decided to do "Think Thin Thursdays" I'm in a battle with the bulge myself and while several years ago my goal would have been a svelte physique, these days I'm more realistic and simply want to get and stay healthy.
This week's post is a few facts about exercise. Feel free to share your thoughts and/or ideas, ok? We're all in this together!
Some exercise facts taken from The Calorie King Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter:
* Persons who exercise regularly lose more weight and keep it off longer than non-exercisers.
* Exercise also improves general health and well-being. Mood, confidence and self-esteem are enhanced by a sense of control and accomplishment.
* Exercise increases the metabolic rate of the body even for hours after exercise - a good way to "wake up" a sluggish metabolism and burn extra fat. Exercise compensates for any decrease in metabolic rate with increasing age and also in some heavy smokers who stop smoking.
* Strength training further builds muscle and aids body reshaping. You can also eat a little more food! Note: Each extra pound of muscle burns an extra 50 calories daily - even while you sleep! Weight from exercised muscles is okay. It is surplus fat (particularly abdominal fat) that is potentially harmful to health.
* Avoid injury by beginning with walking, low impact aerobics, or weight-supported exercise (e.g. swimming, cycling).
* How Much? Start with 10-20 minutes/day and progress to 30-60 minutes/day. Also, walk up stairs instead of using elevators. Take a brisk walk at lunch. Use an exercise bike, treadmill or stair machine while watching TV. Walk the dog.
* How Often? While aerobic fitness requires only 3-4 sessions weekly, weight control is a daily event which requires daily exercise.
Have a great day and think thin!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

HARD TO HANDLE - It's here !!

This is a repost of a November review for Lori Foster's HARD TO HANDLE, which released TODAY - woohoo! Don't miss out on this great book!

I think that everyone knows that Lori Foster is a good pal and I love her to pieces, so I’m not going to gush and get all messy in this post – however, I would like to chat about her upcoming book, HARD TO HANDLE, scheduled for release February 5, 2008. This book continues Lori’s popular SBC fight series.

HARD TO HANDLE is the story of Harley Handleman, yet another gorgeously beefy SBC fighter who has taken some time off from fighting to strengthen himself mentally and physically after three failed title attempts and the untimely death of his mother. Harley rents an isolated cabin from Anastasia Bradley, but has never really paid much attention to his landlady. That is, until he sees her out of the bulky coats and heavy clothing that she usually dons, and then every inch of him stands up and takes notice. Stasia knows of Harley’s wild ways with women and although she finds him very attractive, being the wise woman she is, refuses to be taken in by his charm. When Stasia is the victim of an unknown attacker, Harley is determined to keep her safe, but he refuses to get close enough to let her get a read on him.

Anastasia is a professional life coach, guiding her clients through difficult situations and helping them discover the best direction for their future. She finds Harley in serious need of guidance and understanding and offers assistance, but he dismisses her, unwilling to share that part of his life. When threats are made against Stasia, she reluctantly accepts Harley’s offer of protection, but only to a degree that allows her to maintain independence and control. Harley’s Uncle Satch, his manager and the person closest to him, requests her help and she reluctantly agrees, not realizing that she has been misled. It’s a given that Harley and Stasia will become intimate, but immediately after they do so, a serious misunderstanding erupts, dividing them. Stasia then realizes that she’s in love with Harley. The trouble is, she knows that he has no interest in sharing his feelings, or his life, with anyone else.

Lori Foster fans practically hyperventilate over any upcoming release; this one will have them grabbing for paper sacks. This series has been incredibly popular, whether readers are ultimate fighting fans or not. I think it’s Lori’s eager to please “I know what you want” heroes, and her no nonsense “But I don’t need you” heroines. It’s a potent combination that readers simply can’t seem to get enough of. Harley and Stasia are excellently written, and visits from characters of the previous books are great fun. The side romance of the ever popular Barber is heady stuff – an especially sweet little bonus. Lori’s regular readers most likely already have this book on order or in their hot little hands, but in the event you haven’t – what are you waiting for?
Pop on over to Amazon and pop a copy in your shopping cart!

Thanks as always for stopping!