Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Black Bear on campus?

Kelsey gets security alert texts from Kent State for anything from impending bad weather, canceled classes, events, etc. Since she's home for the summer she doesn't pay much attention to them - until yesterday when she received one indicating that there was a Black Bear roaming the main campus and warning anyone who sees it to not attempt to have contact or feed it. First off, this is not an everyday thing in Ohio so it was a little shocking - second, how sad that college students, or any adults, young or otherwise, have to be told to stay away from it.

Janice Maynard's THE MATING GAME

Janice Maynard has a new release, MATING GAME - check it out! I truly think this is my favorite of all of Janice's covers so far, it's gorgeous!
Nola Grainger needs a man...and fast. Her grandmother has left her everything in her will, with one small catch: Nola has to be married within a month. But if she's going to get married, she wants it to last. And for her, that means finding a man with as much passion as she has—who can take care of every desire, every day.
Nola finds three prime candidates: her high school sweetheart Billy, hard-dealing businessman Marc, and sexy handyman Tanner. Trying out three very different—and very desirable—men proves to be more fun than Nola imagined.
But she never thought it might prove fatal.Because someone in town is dead set against Nola sticking around. And with three new men in her bed, the danger might be closer than she thinks...
Janice's website has a great excerpt too - take a look!
My review:
Nola Grainger has thirty days to find a husband in order to inherit her grandmother's ancestral home. Trouble is, Nola doesn't even have a steady boyfriend. What she does have are three prospects who couldn't be more different if they tried. First is her exciting, occasional bed partner Marc, who leaves her breathlessly satisfied, next is her high school sweetheart, Billy, seemingly Nola's first choice, but he seems a little cool. Lastly, there's Tanner, the able bodied, hard bodied handyman her grandmother had hired to renovate her home. While Nola realizes that passion and sexual attraction are important aspects of marriage, she wants more. She wants a marriage that's real, with someone who will be her mate for life, not just for the one year required by the conditions of her grandmother's will. All three men sincerely care about Nola and their attentiveness is flattering to her as well as at times, confusing.
As if all of this wasn't difficult enough for Nola, someone has decided they don't want her around and increasing threats have her fearing for her life.
MATING GAME is a tad different than any romance I've read. It has Janice's trademark sensuality and classy, likable characters, but the premise of a young woman testing the waters, so to speak, in the beds of three different guys might be a bit of a stretch for some readers. I'll admit that my first thought when the heroine, Nola, slept with all three in a very short period of time, was "Man, what a floozy." As the story progresses, Nola's emotions are delved into more deeply, and while the concept might still be a little on the wild side for those of us who are strictly monogamous, remembering that this is fiction, written solely to entertain, will allow you to fully enjoy. On a side note, Nola ends up picking the guy that I fell for early on, so I was especially pleased with her happy ending! Way to go, Janice! Oh come on guys, you all know Nola's going to have a happy ending, the question was with whom!

Click here to go to Amazon - the last time I looked, Amazon's price was $11.25 - what a steal!
Big thanks to Janice for allowing me to read this for you - and my apologies for being so late with the chatter. You've hit yet another home run with MATING GAME!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm not here today - I'm Boogeying on the Bricks!

Today is the annual Boogie on the Bricks in Athens, home of Ohio University in southeastern Ohio - about two hours away from us. I have several family members in the Athens vicinity and spent a considerable amount of time there while growing up, and then oldest daughter Lindsay went to OU for her undergrad studies, so we're very familiar with the area. Athens is a nice little college town with about a dozen bars in its downtown and the majority of the streets have remained brick - very nice aesthetically, especially given the beautiful surroundings of the OU campus, but more than a little rough when traveling by car. There's an eclectic mix of galleries, shops and restaurants in the area too. The main street is closed off for Boogie on the Bricks, a stage is set up at the end of the street and several local bands play all afternoon and into the evening.
The Athens band that we enjoy most? The Royales - these guys are incredibly talented and great fun! For those of you who enjoy blues/funk, I highly recommend their CD! They're last up on the schedule and then will be playing an encore show at Casa Nueva, a bar/restaurant with beautiful hardwood floors and brick walls - a packed house is guaranteed. The only downside is that the encore show doesn't start until 11:00. Now I'm always up and awake at 11 pm, but I'm typically in my jammies by then, so this will be an unusually late night for me! Sad, I know.
We're spending the night and because there will most likely be beer along with the boogie, we'll be cabbing it to the downtown and back to the hotel.
I hope the weekend is treating everyone right!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm not old, I'm vintage!

VERY vintage! I'm a half century old today. Because I (mostly) don't feel that old, I've decided to declare instead that I'm starting on the second half century of my life! No special plans to celebrate. I'll be working all day and then going to a local pub for half price appetizers and maybe a beer, more likely a Diet Coke, with the girls and my mom.
A quick Google search indicated that Alaska, Barbie and Legos turn 50 this year too. When I mentioned this to my best friend and asked why Barbie has held up better than me, she said "Well, I think you and Barbie could be sisters." I'm not going to dissect that, but think there's a compliment there somewhere! Hey, the way I look at it she could have said "Well, your ass is the size of Alaska!"
Tomorrow I'm going to Athens in southeastern Ohio with Lindsay and my best friend Carla for "Boogie on the Bricks" - more about that in a post tomorrow. It should be a great time and I'm looking forward to it.
I hope everyone has a great day and a terrific weekend! As always, please be careful if you're out on the road.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Comment #13 - Robyn L! I asked Kelsey for a number between 1 and 25 - my regrets to all non-winners, but thank you all for stopping by and taking time to comment! Congrats, Robyn! Please email me at with your mailing info so I can get your books out! If I don't hear from Robyn by Monday, I'll have Kelsey give me another number.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

HEY STRANGERS! (sneaking in a giveaway)

I hope everyone had a great week last week and that the weekend is treating you right! We were on vacation all last week and while we didn't go anywhere far away, we kept busy enough that the week flew by in a blur. Back to work tomorrow, which totally sucks.
Last Sunday we went to Cincinnati to watch the Reds get absolutely creamed by the Cardinals. That beating was nothing compared to the beating they took a night or two later though, the poor guys. They've won their last couple of games though, which has to be a bit of a balm for them.
Monday morning Tim and I went to pick red and black raspberries. We froze some, ate some, and I made a one egg cake w/berries that was beautiful and yummy!
We spent took the Jet Express out of Port Clinton and went to South Bass Island for a day. We always have fun there. Spent time at Put-In-Bay, rented a golf cart to buzz around the island, went in some shops and sat by the water. Lake Erie is so beautiful these days - especially compared to the toxic disaster it was about 35 years ago.
On Friday we rented a pontoon boat at our local state park and took my mom, my best friend and her mom out for the day. It was incredibly hot, but there was a decent breeze on the water so we didn't suffer too much! We took picnic foods, sang the theme from Gilligan's Island (all but Tim, who laughed at our silliness), and we did word puzzles, read books and put our feet up while those who wanted (no thank you!) fished off the sides. It was a perfect day.
One thing I did that stretched out all week long was READ! I have reviews to write, review books to read, but did I touch them? Guiltily, I did not. I dipped into my TBR pile and devoured five books - I was on a serious romantic suspense kick. The books I read were:
  • Brenda Novak's TRUST ME and STOP ME - I've put WATCH ME on my birthday wish list, but will have to add the next three in the series too, releasing in August, September and October - THE PERFECT COUPLE, THE PERFECT LIAR, and THE PERFECT MURDER. The first two books in this series are excellent and I'm looking forward to the rest!
  • Bella Andre's WILD HEAT - the second in this series, HOT AS SIN, will be coming out in October and I absolutely cannot wait!
  • Jo Davis's UNDER FIRE, which follows TRIAL BY FIRE, both excellent. UNDER FIRE has a virgin hero, which was a first for me and I have to admit that while I looked forward to reading it (I've had it since the week it released, some time ago), I also dreaded it just a tad The whole virgin issue was nicely, sensually written. Next in this series is HIDDEN FIRE, and I am especially looking forward to it!
  • Cheyenne McCray's MOVING TARGET, which was enjoyable, but honestly? It wasn't anything spectacular.

I'm not keeping many books these days, having taken about six copy paper boxes crammed full to the library two weeks ago for their Friends of the Library annual sale, and I've decided to do a giveaway here for these five. It'll be up to you to check them out to determine if you're interested in them, I'm not taking time to put up any additional information. Now keep in mind that I've read these books so they're not pristine. They are clean but I'm pretty certain that all of the spines have creases and there are probably a couple of page corners w/fold lines. Sorry, but when I read a book I like to dig in and don't like worrying about being gentle, unless the book belongs to someone else, in which case I'm respectful and careful! If you're interested in these five books, simply leave a comment saying so. If you want to talk about your vacation plans, recent reads, etc., feel free! I'll draw a name on Thursday. Given the comments, I think I need to clarify here that the giveaway is for ALL FIVE books. If you're the winner and don't want a particular book or two, feel free to say so and I'll draw another name for them. I hope to have reviews for MATING GAME by Janice Maynard and DOUBLE PLAY by Jill Shalvis sometime this week, followed by a handful of Romance Junkie review books and Karin Tabke's MASTER OF CRAVING. No rest for the wicked, huh?
Have a great week!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy July 4th!!

Anyone have big plans for the holiday weekend? We'll be taking in our local parade, good wholesome fun, and then we're going to a cookout at my cousin's house this evening - I love getting out my stars and stripes platters and bowls!
My office was closed yesterday, which was especially nice, and tomorrow we're going to Cincinnati to watch the Reds play St. Louis. We haven't been to a Reds game for several years so we're really excited. Top all of that off by being on vacation next week and life's pretty good right now!
Have a great holiday, everyone! Please be careful if you're out on the road and whatever you do, don't drink and drive!

Friday, July 03, 2009


No kids home tonight to give me a number or draw a name so I drew the name myself, and the winner is SANDI! Yay, Sandi - congratulations! You're going to love TAILS OF LOVE - and it comes with the cutest book thong made by Carolyn Dietsch from Lori Foster's Bookjunkie group. Carolyn makes these every year for the "benefit book" - this year she came with over 200 of them. Please contact me with your mailing info by Monday, Sandi, so I can get your book in the mail - .

Thanks to everyone for your fun pet stories - I loved readin them! Booklover, it's so good to have you here - I hope you'll be a frequent visitor!

Vacation plans, anyone?

We're spending yet another vacation week (next week) mostly at home this year. Kids in college and cutbacks at Hub's work have forced us to cut back too.
We honeymooned in Gatlinburg (many, many moons ago) and returned to the Smoky Mountains for vacation almost annually for several years, even after we had the girls. A trip to Myrtle Beach was enough to hook us on the beach and we went there for several consecutive years. Sometimes we would venture on down to Charleston, SC and from there to Savannah. It's always obvious who are locals and who are visitors when you head that far south because the visitors are the ones who are red-faced, chugging water, and miserably wet with perspiration, while the locals are going about their business, dry and happy as can be. Another year we stayed someplace different every night for the week of our vacation - Mammoth Cave in KY, Graceland, the Gibson guitar factory and Beale Street in Memphis, The Hermitage in Nashville, a night in Gatlinburg, and lastly, the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. Not very relaxing for Hub, who is our designated driver, but great fun for the girls and I!

We visited Niagara Falls a couple of years ago and had a fun time there, but it just wasn't the same as our preferred trips to the beach. I did go in a casino for the very first time there though, and that was sooo fun - I can see how gambling is addictive for some. I was certain that the next pull of the arm on the slot machine was going to be the lucky one - every single time!

I grew up in a camping family and my parents would plan year-long for two week camping vacations every summer. I've been to 40 states as a result of those trips and have so many unforgettable memories. These days I'm admittedly NOT a camper, but I still love to plan vacations and travel the highways. Funny thing, no matter where we go or for how long, I love to get back home!

One thing about being smack-dab in the middle of Ohio is that you can drive about two hours in almost any direction and be in another state. I think we'll be taking some "day trips" next week that might take us to the aquarium in Newport/Cincinnati, maybe to Lake Erie for an overnight stay, and the remaining days will be spent in leisure at home. Hub's employer has a gorgeous recreation facility for their associates that includes a beautiful pool - odds are pretty good that we'll be spending a couple of days at the pool, lounging in the sun and dripping water on our paperbacks. Not quite the same as being poolside w/an ocean view, but relaxing just the same.

So what are your vacay plans? Anyone have any exciting trips planned? How many of you are forced to downsize your trips for now, just like the Damrons?

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Karin Tabke is guest blogging today, celebrating with us the release of her latest novel, MASTER OF CRAVING, available now from your favorite bookseller! This is the third in Karin's Blood Sword Legacy series and I seriously hope that you'll all check it out!
Karin will be here to chat about her work - backlist, current and future releases included, and anything else that pops up, and will be taking your questions! No reasonable question will be refused! At the end of the day, Karin will be choosing one winner to receive their choice of a copy of JADED or a copy of MASTER OF SURRENDER (first in the Blood Sword Legacy) - good luck to all!
I would remind everyone that Karin is in California, so those of us who are up and cracking with the early birds on the East coast and in the midwest, we'll have to be patient as we wait for her to get here!
Welcome, everyone, and a big welcome to Karin!!