Friday, November 28, 2008


Some of you are likely aware that romance author Jo Leigh lost her husband Dotes to cancer earlier this year. Their love story came in two parts, the second resulting in a marriage that was definitely the stuff of romantic dreams. Lacking health insurance, Jo is solely responsible for some hefty medical expenses and the romance community has come together on her behalf putting up books, critiques, mentoring opportunities and bunches of other great stuff up for auction.

Jo is a talented writer, offers instruction to up and coming authors, and is basically a kind soul. When I was putting together a troop project a while back, she sent a box of goodies the likes of which I'd never seen before and haven't seen since. I came home from work and saw this huge box on my front porch - I thought maybe my husband had ordered a new washer or dryer without telling me. I could barely drag it into the house by myself and reaching the bottom was no easy task. To say that I was deeply touched is an understatement.

I hope you'll all check out the auction and keep checking back as I feel certain more items will be added as word of the auction spreads. And if you're able, please provide the link to the auction on any loops you're on or blogs you post to.

Thanks so much!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been looking forward to this long holiday weekend for a very long time, it seems. Tim left early this morning for Kent to bring Kelsey home and I can't wait to get my hands on her! My boss is buying us pizza for lunch today and we'll be closing the office early, but haven't heard what time yet.
We're going to my cousin's house for Thanksgiving tomorrow and I'm taking a three-layer chocolate cake (yum!), so I don't have much prep. Friday evening we'll be having our own small Thanksgiving dinner with a turkey breast and the trimmings - so we will have leftovers! That's always been Tim's gripe about going somewhere else for dinner, so this year he has no room to complain!
Saturday we'll be going to the Scott Antique Market in Columbus, something we do once a month in the winter. They're only in Columbus (once a month) for six months, so we've been waiting since April for this weekend - woohoo! This is the biggest show of the season and there will be loads of Christmas stuff and old ornaments - my fave! Can you tell I'm super excited?
What are all of you doing for the holiday? What are you most thankful for?
I'm thankful for my family, of course, our health and our jobs. I'm also thankful for the many friends I've made online - each and every one of you are so very appreciated!
Please be careful if you're out on the road!
Bless you all,

PS - Check back this weekend for a contest for Jill Shalvis's Christmas (Blaze) anthology - I picked up an extra copy at WalMart last night when I went to buy some new cake pans.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Given the circumstances with Fred the past two-plus weeks, I'm a little (ok, more than a little) behind on review reading. I've just started Sasha White's PRIMAL MALE, which I believe releases in a couple of days. I'm also about to start Karin Tabke's MASTER OF TORMENT, which releases today! I adore the different flavors of both of these authors and hope that these books just fly off the shelves for them. I'll have reviews for both up soon, hopefully in the next week. My apologies to Sasha and Karin for being so late.

I was in the Cincinnati area over the weekend and after a fabulous brunch at Dianne Castell's house on Saturday, went to a booksigning at Barnes & Noble - I spent a fair amount of time browsing around and picked up Karin's holiday romance, HAVE YOURSELF A NAUGHTY LITTLE SANTA and my pal Jill Shalvis's HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS. Gotta love those Christmas romances, right?

When you look at all of these covers, I'm wondering if you see the same thing I did when I put them up? Other than the Santa jacket hanging loose, there's not a shirt to be found! Hmmmm . . .
I hope to get these holiday books read in time to share the good word, but in the event I don't - Karin and Jill couldn't write anything bad if they tried, so I encourage you to go ahead and get a copy of each for your December reading.

I hope everyone is having a great week and looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday. Thank heavens it will be a short work week!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Alison's winner is Lori T.! Congratulations! Contact me with your mailing info at by Wednesday and I'll get it to Alison. Thanks to everyone who entered - I hope you're all planning to get your own copy of MAXIMUM EXPOSURE. I promise you'll be glad that you did!
Thanks, Alison!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm the one with the broken heart

Yesterday was the most heartbreaking day we've had at our house for a very long time. We had to have our dog Fred put to sleep. Freddie was approximately 11 years old and had been with us for 10 years. We got him through the Ohio Basset Rescue after the death of our first basset hound and we loved him from the very first day. Fred hadn't felt good for the last couple of weeks, had lost a considerable amount of weight and was obviously in pain. We took him to the vet last week and he gave him a cortisone shot and some pain pills, thinking he had arthritis in his spine, not uncommon in older bassets. When he continued to fail, they did bloodwork and after it didn't show anything significant, did an x-ray where they found a softball sized tumor in his bladder. This explained the repeated urinary tract/lack of control problems that were also thought to be age-related. According to Doc Franks, this type of tumor is always cancerous and would grow back if removed. At Fred's age, surgery really wasn't an even an option. We decided that he had suffered plenty and silly as it may sound to some, he had a look in his eyes that seemed to say that he'd had enough. We will miss our Freddie desperately and certainly wish we'd had more time with him. Many of you know about all of the kittens we've "fostered" at our house over the past couple of years - of all of us and our cats, Fred was always their favorite and he seemed to always have a cat in his dog bed with him. Our cat Lottie especially loved to be close to him. All of you who have a dog - maybe you'll take them for a walk in memory of Fred and make it all about them, letting them sniff as much as they want.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Alison Kent's MAXIMUM EXPOSURE - she's giving away a copy here!

Alison Kent has a new book releasing soon - the latest in her SG-5 series, titled MAXIMUM EXPOSURE. The hero in this book is Finn McLain, who was introduced in DEEP BREATH. I don't know about you, but I would be thrilled if this series was known as SG-INFINITI! Anyway, I was extremely fortunate in getting an early peek at this one and have posted a review below. Alison has also been so kind as to offer a copy for giveaway here - those detatils are also below.
Check out the blurb -
Finn McLain is no stranger to unusual assignments. But the gorgeous stranger who just asked him to photograph her for an erotic art exhibit—that’s definitely a first. Finn came to Miami to dig into the personal life of boutique manager Roland Green for a lovesick gallery owner, and hadn’t planned on sticking around. But the boutique’s owner, Olivia Hammond, has just made him a proposal that’s as hard to ignore as Olivia herself. She’s got caramel-kissed skin, a body that makes grown men tremble, and a wild sideline as an exhibitionist. Ooookay. Yet despite her willingness to “let people look,” Finn’s convinced there’s a hell of a lot Olivia’s not revealing. And that’s the most intriguing prospect of all…
Olivia has never been shy about using her sexuality to get what she wants. But then, she’s never wanted a man quite the way she wants Finn. What he thinks about her shouldn’t matter, yet it does. Through every candid photograph and every heated encounter, Finn is getting closer, intent on getting beneath her shell—and for once, Olivia is tempted to let him. But first they have to contend with the fact that Finn’s simple investigation into Roland Green is getting dangerously complicated…and Olivia isn’t the only person in town who’s not what she claims to be.
In a city throbbing with sex appeal, two wary lovers are about to play the ultimate game of show and tell, where temptation is raw, wild, and hot enough to make you sizzle…

And if you really want to be tempted, here's a great excerpt.

My review:
Finn McLain is in Miami on a private investigation stint when he is approached by a breathtaking woman. When she offers to hire Finn to take some erotic photos of her for a friend’s gallery, he is instantly intrigued. Olivia Hammond is the owner of a trendy boutique and it turns out that one of her managers, Roland Green, is the subject of Finn’s investigation. It’s apparent to Finn early on that both have secrets, and while a portion of Roland’s secrets were easily figured out, it’s the ones that Olivia is keeping that have Finn wanting to stick around. She is deliberately brazen about flaunting her body and equally deliberate in attempting to hide the pain that is shadowed in her eyes. Their photo shoot is especially revealing as Olivia’s sultry passion and the hidden pain from her past make for stunningly candid shots. The two soon become intimate and their hearts are quickly, although somewhat reluctantly, involved but when Finn’s investigation of Roland takes an unexpected twist, neither is prepared for the consequences.
With each and every new Alison Kent release, I feel certain that it is her most intriguing and sharpest release to date. MAXIMUM EXPOSURE is no exception. This book has teeth. Finn and Olivia don’t simply become romantically involved, there’s a connection of hearts and souls; their emotions are meticulously written. There’s no fluffy sweetness or unnecessary filler in this book, just the rich goodness you would expect from Alison Kent. There is a secondary romance involving Roland Green that is a bonus of sorts, possibly a tad more erotic than that of Finn and Olivia, and very satisfying. MAXIMUM EXPOSURE comes with my absolute highest recommendation.

And now for the giveaway (Note: US addresses only for this one, please). If you'd like your name in the draw for a copy of MAXIMUM EXPOSURE, please leave a comment here and let us know what your favorite Alison Kent book is, or your favorite character, scene, etc. My favorite remains The Beach Alibi, but it's followed closely by oh, say, everything else she's ever written! If you've been unfortunate enough to have never read any of Alison's work, that's ok too, just say you'd like to start with this one! The winning name will be drawn by Alison herself on Sunday, November 23.
Here's a quick link to Amazon so you can order your own copy - or you can be kind and remember the romance readers on your holiday shopping list!
As always, thanks so much for stopping!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Ok, this is a little naughty, but funny.

A little girl is in line to see Santa. When it's her turn, she climbs up on Santa's lap. Santa asks, "What would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?"
The little girl replies, "I want a Barbie and a G.I. Joe."
Santa looks at the little girl for a moment and says, "I thought Barbie comes with Ken."
"No," said the little girl. "She comes with G.I. Joe, she fakes it with Ken."

No wonder Barbie's always smiling, huh? I hope everyone has a great weekend! I'll be putting some holiday boxes together for the troops, a sure sign that Christmas is coming! I'll also be doing some review reading - Alison Kent's MAXIMUM EXPOSURE, followed by Sasha White's PRIMAL MALE.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Jamie Denton's THE MATCHMAKER has been reissued in mass market size. I was very lucky to get an arc from Jamie for review when this book was released before in trade size and I decided to repost my earlier review. If you missed this one the first time around, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy. Romantic suspense just doesn't get much better than this.
Here's a blurb:
The dead always have a story to tell. All he has to do is wait for the truth to be revealed to him. The living trust him with their grief – and their dirty little secrets. Only then can he set about playing matchmaker, uniting the dead with their true soul mates. . .for all eternity. . .
Exhuming a boy is the last thing former FBI profiler Greer Lomax wants to do. Just the thought of it brings on the panic attacks she’s fought for two years. Now, as deputy sheriff, Greer Lomax is going to have to face her darkest fears. Because the body she’s exhumed isn’t alone. He’s joined by a young woman whose name is on a missing person’s list.
The one person Greer can call for help is FBI agent Ash Keller. Ash hasn’t forgotten the hot blonde with the too-sexy smile and he hasn’t forgiven her for leaving him behind when she quit the Bureau. Working the case sparks the attraction they’ve tried to deny for too long and unleashes a passion they can’t control – one that could blind them to the most dangerous mistakes of the past.

My review:
Greer Garson Lomax is attempting to put her life back in order after a bungled FBI case that nearly killed her. It successfully destroyed her marriage to fellow agent, Ash Keller, and ended her stellar career with the FBI. She abandoned both to return to her hometown of Magnolia, North Carolina to heal, both body and soul. Barely maintaining a grip on her tortured sanity and physically exhausted, Greer buys and begins renovating a dilapidated old house into a bed and breakfast, and for some much-needed money and as a favor to the local sheriff, an old family friend, she agrees to take on the temporary position of deputy sheriff. When it looks as if a serial killer has targeted the sleepy town of Magnolia, flags are raised at FBI headquarters, and Ash soon arrives on the scene to check things out and to make sure that Greer is holding up okay. Seeing Ash after two years is a total shock to her system, and Greer isn’t certain that she can handle the stress of a serial killer and her estranged husband at the same time.
Ash wishes he could take back his actions of two years ago, as he was the one who put Greer in the dangerous position that almost cost her life. He hasn’t seen her in almost two years and is shocked at the gaunt, tormented, shell of a woman that Greer is now. He tries, and fails, to take over her investigation of the gruesome killings. Greer eventually concedes and accepts Ash’s assistance in catching “The Matchmaker,” the serial killer who apparently knows secrets from Greer’s long-deceased father’s past, and who may have now set his sights on her sister. Ash can only hope that Greer might also accept his still-strong love for her and give their marriage a second chance. But first they will have to catch the madman who is a deadly menace to the people of Magnolia; hopefully they can do so before he kills again. What they don’t know is that he has his sights set on Greer.
Jamie Denton has given readers an incredible treat with THE MATCHMAKER. Greer and Ash are tortured souls, both holding Ash responsible for their pain. Greer’s troubled relationships with her mother and sister are excellently written as neither of them can begin to understand the hell that she went through or why she has pretty much cut herself off from them and from life in general. Ash is eaten up with guilt over his failure to keep Greer safe from the lunatic two years before and is determined to be there for her this time. The secondary characters in this book are as real as the people in your own town, and their interaction with Greer and Ash is realistically written. The suspense is intense and spine-tingling, but it's not so gruesome as to be a turn-off. Don’t miss this latest offering from Jamie Denton, especially if you like romantic suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
If you are tempted to snag a copy for yourself, here's a link to Barnes & Noble to make it easy for you!
Thanks for checking it out!

THE MISSING - Shiloh Walker's latest

Shiloh Walker has a new release, now available, titled THE MISSING and I guarantee that you won't want to miss it. I was fortunate enough to get a copy for review and was drawn into the story immediately.
A blurb:
Her psychic gift drove away the man she loved— and years later has drawn him back to her…As a teenager, Taige Branch hated her psychic gift. No one could understand—except for Cullen Morgan, the boy who stole her heart. He did his best to accept her, until his mother was brutally murdered—and he couldn’t forgive Taige for not preventing it.
Now a widowed father, Cullen Morgan has never forgotten Taige. But what brings her back into his life is another tragedy. His beloved little girl has been kidnapped, and Taige is his only hope of finding her. Working together against the clock, Cullen and Taige can’t help but wonder whether—if they find his daughter in time—it isn’t too late for the overpowering love that still burns between them. . .
Shiloh has an excerpt on her website. You'll also find a link for her Myspace page, a fabulous contest, and info on other books, available now and upcoming. Check it out!
My review:
Taige Branch was blessed, or maybe cursed, with the special gift of vision. She certainly doesn’t feel special though and has had more than her fair share of pain - emotional and physical. Losing both parents and being sent to live with her fire and brimstone preacher of an uncle, she was constantly berated and regularly beaten because of the “evil” that supposedly had taken residence in her young body. Despite all of this, Taige uses her gift to the best of her ability, saving more than one person from certain death and then suffering the physically ravaging consequences in private after. When a wealthy boy’s family buys a vacation home in the Alabama gulf where Taige lives, the teens are instantly attracted and it isn’t long before he witnesses her gift first-hand. Unfortunately, she is unable to predict Cullen’s mother’s violent death, only to be blamed by him and cast aside.
Taige and Cullen may have been separated for several years but they never forgot each other. When Cullen’s young daughter is kidnapped, Taige is the first person the single father turns to for help. Now officially working with the FBI to find missing children, Taige’s abilities are maximized to the fullest. Cullen’s daughter is found, but in doing so, Taige discovers and connects with a multitude of other murdered children who have been missing for decades. Cullen soon realizes that his daughter has the same gift as Taige, as did the children whose remains were recently discovered. He knows that in order for his daughter to ever have true peace in her life he will have to work with Taige in finding the man whose evil is responsible for the sheer hell these children endured. They won’t have to look far though because he has Taige in his sights and he’s bent on total destruction.
Shiloh Walker has outdone herself with this book. It’s dark, sensual and suspenseful, but most of all it’s chock full of excellently written emotion and turmoil. Taige and Cullen are damaged souls, and while their backgrounds couldn’t have been more different, their hearts and their love for each other are very much the same. They both regret what could have been for their relationship all those years ago, but celebrate what the future may hold for them. I personally feel that this just might be Shiloh Walker’s best work to date and I highly recommend it.

Tempted? I hope so - here's a quick link to Amazon so you can grab a copy!
Thanks, Shiloh, for allowing me to read and review THE MISSING for you - I hope it flies off the shelves!


Sunday, November 09, 2008


This is Tony and I love him. You might remember that this summer a stray cat showed up on our porch, very pregnant and nearly starved. We fed her and made her a bed on the porch, but she left. She came back the next morning, no longer pregnant. Knowing she had kittens somewhere, we started feeding her canned food morning and night, with dry in between and almost six weeks to the day, she brought the kittens to our house. We had the mother and all of the babies fixed and had them vaccinated, eventually finding homes for two kittens. Three of the babies were taken to the Humane Society when they had an opening in their kitten surrender list. This little tiger was a bit of a social misfit, not fitting in with the other kittens, very dependent on his mother despite being the biggest of the litter, and we decided to keep him. The mother was with us until last Thursday when my name came up on the adult cat surrender list at our Humane Society. Before you think I'm cruel for taking her there, let me tell you about the cat facilities at our H.S. They are a no-kill shelter with two huge cat rooms with windows, perches and cubbies all over. They have an outdoor area, approximately 15 x 20 feet that is enclosed by all-around fencing accessible via a "doggy door" where the cats can spend as much time as they want. There are kitty hammocks and perches outdoors as well. It is a very nice facility. We would have considered keeping the mommy but she and our cat Sophie did not get along - at all. We had brought the mommy inside to live with us and they got into it at least once a day. She and Lottie tolerated each other, but there was still a lot of hissing between them. We tried everything we could to find her a home without success. I hope she will find her forever home through them, but even if she lives out the rest of her life at the H.S., she will be taken care of and live comfortably.
We now have a full house with three cats and a basset hound. The whole mother cat/kitten process was fascinating and we had a lot of fun with the kittens, but I'm glad things are finally getting back to normal.
I hope everyone had a great weekend. We ended up going to watch the Columbus Bluejackets play the Calgary Flames (hockey) on Saturday night and the Jackets won! It was a great time. I did some baking today and we went to the Veterans Day parade. Did it rain on our parade? No, but it did snow. We were bundled up with winter gear and blankets though, so we weren't too uncomfortable. There were 26 WWII veterans and they were each in a convertible (brrrr) and were each a "Grand Marshall" - lots of other veterans and current servicemen too, so it was a very nice salute to them all.
Have a great week!

Friday, November 07, 2008

The naked dude

My youngest daughter is a freshmen this year at Kent State U, majoring in fine art. The other day she texted me that her drawing class started figure drawing that morning. In response to my telling her that figure drawing should be really interesting, she texts back "Yeah, but we had to draw like, this naked dude." I reminded her that she knew this was part of the course and that I knew she would do fine. I didn't want to make her uncomfortable with too many inquiries. End of conversation.
Until, that is, I mentioned it to her older sister who then started teasing that she was a perv, etc. Oldest then asks if the guy was cute or not. Youngest replied "No, he was kind of homely actually, which made it lots easier to remember that it was for art." Too funny.
Don't get me wrong, we're not some kind of backwoods family who doesn't understand or appreciate fine art. Nudity is a huge part of art and art history, and we know that the human body can be beautifully illustrated. This was just the first time we've encountered it on a "personal" level.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. It's cool and rainy here for the next couple of days, then partly cloudy on Sunday which is perfect because there's a Veteran's Day parade here on Sunday afternoon and we're all hoping for no rain! I'm planning to stay inside and do some baking.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


First off, Stacy S. has already picked up a copy of KISS & TELL so I've pulled another name - Anna, you're the new winner (you can thank Stacy!)
Winners of Lori's books are as follows:
Winners, please contact me with your mailing info ( by Saturday evening. After that, I'll pull a new name for each winner I don't hear from.
Thanks to everyone for playing!

HOT AS HELL - the latest from HelenKay Dimon!

HelenKay Dimon has a stellar new release, HOT AS HELL and I promise that you won't be disappointed. The cover is just the beginning of goodness in this book - every page from beginning to end is enjoyable.

Here's a little blurb:
Lexy Stuart is nobody's fool...not since she wised up to the fact that her fiancĂ©, Noah Paxton, wasn't just sporting the hardest bod this side of the Ironman competition. No, he was also harboring enough secrets to make a CIA operative blush. Little things he never thought worth mentioning like, oh, a previous marriage. So Lexy gave back the ring—with extreme prejudice—and made sandy tracks straight to a remote desert spa. Problem is, with a man like Noah, a girl can run, but she can't hide. Nor does she particularly want to...
Alexa Annabeth Stuart. The stuffy name couldn't be less suitable for a woman as fiery and free as Noah's Lexy. And Lexy is his—always will be—the tricky part will be getting her to realize it. Of course, Noah's always up for a challenge. Which is a good thing, since between the crazy heat at this god-forsaken “retreat” and the looks Lexy's shooting him (not to mention the shockwaves he's getting from her hot-pink bikini), winning his ex back could be one dangerous mission. But if Noah doesn't survive it, well, he intends to die a very satisfied man...

My review:
When Alexa “Lexy” Stuart breaks her engagement with security specialist Noah Paxton, it isn’t strictly because he has secrets he won’t share, although the fact that he evidently forgot about having been married before remains a bit of a sore spot. She goes to a spa to get away and do some investigative thinking of her own only to have Noah follow, trying to talk her back. When a dead body shows up in Lexy’s room and she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, Noah sticks by her. Noah knows about and accepts Lexy’s weaknesses and insecurities from being raised by parents who are hoarders, and he goes above and beyond to make her feel safe and secure. The inexplicable need to be surrounded by her belongings is something Lexy battles constantly, sometimes more successfully than others. If only Noah could see that Lexy needs some truths from him before her mistrust will be completely set aside so they can return to the loving, passionate relationship they had before.
Noah has secrets, yes, but Lexy is being plenty secretive herself, breaking their engagement and then inexplicably bringing some of his work files with her to this Godforsaken health spa, where he’s forced to eat sprouts and go on endless hikes in the scorching sun. When the subject of those files is found murdered in Lexy’s room, Noah’s instincts are to keep her safe while doing his own investigation. Lexy is the most intriguing yet frustrating woman he has ever known and he knows that being the one steady constant in her life is his only hope for recapturing their relationship, despite the craziness surrounding them.
HelenKay Dimon always gives readers the most fascinating characters. Her storylines are always fresh and new and I have yet to not enjoy one of her books. Lexy is a wonderful heroine who is an interesting mix of strength, self-sufficiency and vulnerability and while she may think she doesn’t need Noah, the truth is she’s incomplete with him. Noah, on the other hand, readily admits that he wants and needs Lexy and that his life is empty without her. I find the hoarding issue to be especially interesting and think it goes far in making this story incredibly realistic. Kudos to HelenKay for daring to bring this topic to light in a romance! I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys contemporary romance with a touch of humor and mystery.

Thanks to HelenKay for allowing me to review HOT AS HELL for her - I hope you'll all be more than tempted go grab a copy - here's a quick link to Amazon so you can do just that! If you've already read it, please share your thoughts with us (but no spoilers, please)!
The week's half over - I hope it's treating everyone right! I doubt that I'm the only one who's relieved that the election is said and done - I hope our nation will unite now in making the future better for everyone - not to mention that we can return to our regularly scheduled programs (and commercials)!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I'm so embarrassed!

I have a group of friends that I get together with for dinner once a month and tonight was my night to host. I've been busy the past couple of nights getting my house and food ready and totally forgot to draw a winner for Alison Kent's KISS & TELL last night. My apologies.
Lindsay drew a winner for me and that winner is STACY S!! Stacy, please email me with your mailing info at by Thursday. Thanks to everyone who participated! Don't forget the Lori Foster prizes being drawn for tomorrow evening - there are four altogether so you'll want to get your name in the hat!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

ONE MORE DAY of political mumbo jumbo

Thank heavens the election is tomorrow! I never thought I'd hear myself saying that I've missed the commercials for Bounty, GM and Viagra! I'm sick to death of politicians on every governmental level insulting, slamming and putting up unattractive photos of each other. We are averaging no less than 11 political phone messages each day and I feel certain the trees are screaming over the number of flyers that are being left between our doors and under our doormat.
That said, I do hope everyone in the U.S. is planning to vote tomorrow - it's our right and a privilege to vote - let your voice be heard!

Happy Election Day!