Wednesday, August 30, 2006


In the next several days I will be making an announcement about an exciting new "Holiday for the Troops" project - most likely the largest campaign so far, to collect items for holiday shipments to the troops.
Info about the project will include what to send, where to send, and hopefully prize packages to be raffled off that will include author-donated books and goodies.
Keep an eye out for it!

Monday, August 28, 2006


I had dinner tonight with some of my very favorite women. In the front row of this picture are Lindsay's best friend since second grade, Eliza, who is also her roommate at OU, and my best friend since high school, Carla. In the back row is Lindsay, our friend April, moi, and Kelsey. We all had dinner tonight at The Old Bag of Nails Irish Pub. It was a great time filled with lots of laughs, memories, and catching up.
Some of you will recall my talking about April and asking for prayers for her. Last summer she successfully battled multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. After weeks spent at the Cleveland Clinic, she has been in remission. This form of cancer is never considered "cured" and may come back at any time, but her oncologist doesn't feel that is likely to happen. April and I grew up on the same side of town, she's three years older than me, but one of her brothers was my age. She married and moved to California where she lived until 16 years ago when she came back to Delaware and came to work as an attorney in the law office where I work. She has two boys the same age as my girls and her oldest son is friends with Lindsay and Eliza and the group of friends that they hung out with in high school.
Do you have friends that you would simply be lost without? Friends that you wish you were able to spend more time with? My 76 year old mother still visits regularly with friends that she has had since grade school, whichI think is pretty incredible. I would be lost without any of the women in this picture. But I would also be lost without many of the friends I have "met" online. Some I have met in person, others I have not, but certainly would like to. It's interesting how the internet has made my simple little world a little bit bigger and made my heart a little bigger too, to hold all of my friends!
I feel very fortunate to have each and every one of you in my life!

The Marcelli Bride

Ok, I have to admit that I bought this book back in June just because of the cover - something I ordinarily do not let myself get sucked into. I didn't even realize that this is the fourth book in a series until after I bought it. I typically prefer a nice hairy chest, none of that baby's butt smoothness for me, but I've gotta tell you, I could run my hands all over this guy's chest and abs!! Such a huss!
I read this over the weekend and while I don't have time to write a review for it (heck, I shouldn't even have been reading it in the first place), I have to say that I was blown away by the story - even w/out reading the previous three books - it is so well written that I didn't feel as if I had missed anything. This book is steamy, suspenseful and packs quite a wallop in the emotion department. Yes, I'll even admit that I got a little misty-eyed a couple of times over the heroine's painful relationship with her father, the President of the United States. The hero has his own family issues and the two are so tortured that you can't stop wishing for them to heal each other. I will probably go back and read the previous three books at some point in time, but can honestly say that you don't need them to love this one.
Anyone want this one?? Let me know and I'll send it to the first to ask. You'll love it, I'm sure.
Have a great week!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Back to school

These are my girls. I love them both to death. Well, most of the time, anyway. I hate having them go back to school. First, I have to get up earlier in the morning; second, Lindsay will be leaving Sept. 2 and we have to adjust to having her gone all over again; third, I have to come up with lunch ideas for Kelsey. Yes, at 16 she is unquestionably old enough to pack her own lunch, but she would grab Pop Tarts or a bag of Cheetos and an Entenmann's caramel snack cake. No apple slices, no strawberries, carrots or cheese cubes to accompany a healthy, nutritious turkey sandwich if she's in charge.
Lindsay will be starting a new job at the Ohio University library this fall - it even comes with a big title. She'll be an assistant curator in the archives and special collections department. Being a history major, she's very excited about it. She worked in the Athens County Clerk of Courts office her freshman and sophomore school years, giving her notice in the spring because of the new job. She stopped in at the courthouse for a visit one day last week while getting some things in order at the house she and her roommates are renting, and the women begged her to come back, saying that her replacement just isn't working out. She agreed to work there for five or six hours every Friday. No classes for her on Fridays this quarter and the library job is from 2-4, so that will work out. Tim and I worry about it being too much for her. Trust me, we want her to work, but hope she'll realize if she doesn't have enough study time. At least the clerk refuses to let her work during finals weeks, which is more consideration than most employers give their student workers.
Kelsey is doing marching band and loving every minute of it. Unless you've had a band kid, I don't think you realize how much time, hard work and dedication is involved in marching band. She played volleyball last year for the fourth year, and it was disastrous. A new male coach who had only been teaching for two years, no volleyball experience, who had never coached girls before. The poor guy was lost from day one, and then doled out playing time based on how much the girls fawned over him. Kelsey refused to suck up, leaving her high and dry on the bench most of the season. It is so wonderful for her to once again be a part of something where she is wanted, respected and appreciated! Just like Lindsay, I have a new title this fall too - Band Mom. These band parents do not take their positions lightly, I kid you not. I'm now a member of the Spirit Committee, Banquet Committee and an official Chaperone. I only hope that they don't make me wear one of the band parent orange polo shirts - our school colors are orange and black. I'm afraid I'll be mistaken for the Great Pumpkin.
I hope everyone has a terrific weekend. We are going to the first football game of the season tonight, and then driving to Cincinnati tomorrow or Sunday to bring my mom home from visiting her brother. I also have two manuscripts to finish proofing and two book reviews to work on. Wish I could buy just a little more time to tack onto each day!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Roxanne St. Claire's THRILL ME TO DEATH (Pocket)

I'm not doing a review of this book simply because I don't have time right now. I have a manuscript to proof for one author and four reviews due very soon - yikes! I still had to give a shout about how great this book is - a terrific follow-up to the first (KILL ME TWICE) in Roxanne St. Claire's Bullet Catcher's series. No worries if you haven't read the first book, this one stands on its own just fine. If anyone wants this book, all you have to do is say so and I'll send it to you. First to ask gets it. If no one is interested, I'll donate it to my local library, but I'd rather share it with one of my friends if someone wants it!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

OUT OF THIS WORLD? Most definitely!

(For some reason I'm unable to upload images so I can't put up the book cover, but I plan to keep trying! Grrrrr)

Anyone who visits here very often knows how crazy I am about Jill Shalvis - she was sweet enough to send me an ARC of OUT OF THIS WORLD, her latest release, available the first week of September. I remember Jill talking about this book some time ago, and asking her blog visitors for their thoughts on first person writing. I also remember responding that I typically steer clear of them (sorry, Jill). I’ve read two first person stories in the past three weeks, one was Jill’s OUT OF THIS WORLD and the other was Sasha White’s THE CRIB from the PURE SEX anthology. These stories couldn’t be more different in storyline or style, but both are very enjoyable and highly recommended. Jill’s first person isn’t limited to just one person, but both the heroine and the hero have their say. Sounds like it might be confusing, I know, but it isn’t. It’s always clear whose head you are in and there is never any doubt about what is going on. I think this breaks up what I’ve often found monotonous about first person storytelling.
Jill’s characters never lack incredible wit and sass, but in this book she has added a skillful touch of paranormal suspense. Here is my review for OUT OF THIS WORLD; I hope it will make you want to get your own copy! If you do, here's a link!
Rachel Wood has inherited a B&B from her Great Great Aunt Gertrude in, of all places, the Alaskan wilderness. Working as a muralist in LA and living paycheck to paycheck, Rachel decides she’ll go to Alaska and check out the B&B, see what is has to offer; maybe even sell it. Rachel thanks her lucky stars that her best friend’s brother, Kellen McInty, was able to go with her. After a harrowing, white-knuckled arrival in a float plane, and being left in the middle of nowhere by a pilot who apparently believes that a successful flight means landing with both wings intact, Rachel and Kellen hike their way to the B&B. The strange characters and even more strange happenings eventually push Rachel and Kellen together, and once Rachel begins to see things as she never has before, she begins to wonder why she has never seen Kel for the man he truly is.
Kellen has loved Rachel for what seems like forever, and being thrown together with her in such close quarters in the plane and later in her aunt’s cottage, is almost more than he can resist. He is determined to keep her at arms’ length, no easy feat given how she in all of her glorious girliness, is afraid of her own shadow and is constantly plastering her gorgeous self to him. Kel doesn’t know what to think about the weird goings-on at the B&B, the two on-site caretakers and two visitors who put the s-t-r-a-n-g-e- in strange, but he’s determined to get to the bottom of their bizarre behavior.
Rachel and Kellen are so wonderful for each other that readers will be crossing their fingers for them to get together. The secondary characters and their motives are questionable to say the least, but you can’t help but care for them and want them to all be happy. Excepting the bad guys that is – but with that being said, who would ever have expected pirates to show up in the middle of Alaska?
Jill Shalvis has outdone herself with the humor in this book - it seems as if she may have put a little bit of herself into Rachel's character - and as for first person writing? I’m a full-fledged convert and will never reject another book written in this style.
Thank you again Jill, for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book for you - you’re the best! I know I’ve told you before, but I truly hope I’ll get to meet you in person someday!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Get SWEPT AWAY with Toni Blake's latest!

I recently had the good fortune of reading an ARC of SWEPT AWAY by Toni Blake. Look at that beautiful cover! Having read and enjoyed *most* of Toni’s previous books, (I say most because yes, there are a few that I’ve missed), I was thrilled to have the opportunity. Thank you, Toni! I would add that I have met Toni on several occasions and yes indeedy, she’s just as beautiful and sweet as the photo on her website shows her to be. She also possesses a terrific sense of humor and is fun to be around!
Here is my review of SWEPT AWAY, to be released September 1, 2006 from Avon Red:
When Katrina “Kat” Spencer makes a solitary escape to her father’s private island one week before her wedding instead of going to Las Vegas for her bachelorette party, the last person she expects to appear, right out of the ocean mind you, is Brock Denton. Brock is the bad boy that Kat attempted, and failed, to seduce on the night of her high school graduation. Shortly after that night Brock unexpectedly and inexplicably left town and had never returned. Brock is the total opposite of Kat’s fiancĂ©, Ian; Kat has been having second thoughts about marrying Ian, and seeing Brock again after so many years makes her question the impending nuptials even more.
Brock can’t believe his eyes when he swims ashore and spots the grown up Kat, his “kitten,” looking even more beautiful than she was ten years ago, something he wouldn’t have thought possible. Brock had good reasons to leave town, reasons he had never shared with Kat and still would prefer not to share. He isn’t the bad boy any longer, now an FBI agent who narrowly escaped an undercover operation gone wrong just before washing up on Kat’s island.
When Kat and Brock act on the decade-old attraction between them, Kat needs to decide whether she will go through with her wedding. Any decision she makes will greatly impact her future as well as that of her family. Brock makes a startling discovery while on the island, one that places the security and success of her fiancé and her father in his hands.
Toni Blake has given readers yet another wonderful romance, complete with more than a bit of burning sensuality, just the right amount of action and suspense, and a handful of secondary characters that add realistic touches of family and friends. A satisfying side story delves into the troubled relationship of Kat’s parents and is a very nice touch. Flashbacks into Kat and Brock’s past successfully define the circumstances and heartache that helped mold them into the adults that they have become.
It is easy to recommend SWEPT AWAY to readers of sensual romance, you will not be disappointed.

Check out Toni's website and her previous releases at - Also, here's a link to the Amazon listing, in the event you want to run right over and do a pre-order, which I strongly suggest that you do!!
Have a great day!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

PURE SEX - Warning, it's hot!

I recently read Aphrodisia's PURE SEX for Romance Junkies review. The contributing authors to this anthology are Lucinda Betts, Bonnie Edwards, and Sasha White; I kid you not, these ladies are packing heat! All three stories are highly erotic and despite being novellas, all have satisfying endings and do not feel rushed as often happens with novellas. My RJ review is posted below, and I did note in the review that Sasha White's story, THE CRIB, is (excellently) written in first person and does not have your typical happy ending. There is the indication that the characters will get together, but the story does not end with them actually being together. I hope that revelation won't be offensive to Ms. White; I know some readers feel very strongly about first person and have happy ending issues, and thought that should be shared. I have never cared for first person stories in the past, but evidently I just wasn't reading the right authors! I have read two in the past three weeks, both done excellently, and I've been converted! How do you stand on both of these topics? Do you like first person writing? What about happy endings - do you have to have a solid happy ending with the characters headed to the altar or are you happy with them simply being together, or the implication that they will be together, at the end of the book?
Here is my review, with a reminder that the Aphrodisia line is intensely steamy - unapologetically in-your-face sexy!
This book is hot enough to come with a warning on the back cover, for good reason. It sizzles from the first page to the last.
THE BET by Lucinda Betts - Zoe Lauterbon is determined to get the promotion that is up for grabs at the investment firm she works for. She has worked impossibly hard and meets all requirements, but unfortunately, so has co-worker Phillip Kingdom. Phillip suggests a friendly bet with Zoe as to who will get the promotion - his bonus to her if she is promoted versus Zoe being his sex slave for twenty-four hours should he get the promotion - she agrees. The "good old boy" mentality of their company all but guarantees Phillip the win. After the two spend their twenty-four hours together, a very heated day and night, Zoe begins to think that maybe she didn't lose after all.
Phillip and Zoe are well-written as competitive co-workers with an attraction to each other, but neither could have guessed just how that competition would play out when they left the office.
SLOW HAND by Bonnie Edwards - When Teri Branton finds herself at the altar without a groom, she decides to take their pleasure cruise honeymoon by herself. When she sees Captain Jared McKay, she begins to think that this trip just might be a pleasure cruise after all, especially without her cheater of a fiance! From the first time Jared touched her, she felt an undeniable energy between them, one that deserves a closer, thorough, hands-on investigation. When Jared first spies Teri making her way alone onto his boat, he assumes that her groom can't be far behind. When he discovers that she has boarded his boat intending to take the cruise alone, his interest is peaked. Once he touches her and they both feel an unmistakable "zing" he wonders about the McKay family curse. Supposedly this zing is present from the first moment you touch your one true love. Despite the obvious attraction, Jared was burned in a prior relationship and is wary of taking the chance on a romantic future with Teri.
The romance between Teri and Jared sizzles from the beginning, and is very sweet. They are just plain nice, and so perfect for each other; readers will be rooting for them to admit their true feelings for each other and take a chance on love.
THE CRIB by Sasha White - Private Investigator Alexis "Lexy" Signorino has come back home to find a killer. A member of Lexy's family has been falsely accused and she is determined to prove his innocence, going undercover as a waitress in the family bar. When Devon Kaye becomes a part of that investigation, Lexy can't help but wonder whether their heated attraction is something that she should fear or embrace. When the real killer is exposed and Lexy learns that Devon isn't who she thought, she feels betrayed. Will she be able to put past hurts and heartache in the past and start living her life for herself?
This story is written first person, typically not my first choice, but it is excellently written, with an abundance of edge and grit, not your typical "boy meets girl" romance. Although Ms. White's story doesn't have the expected "happily-ever-after" ending, there is a hint of something more between the characters and I would very much like to read more of these characters and a continuation of their story.
This is an incredibly erotic anthology with stories ranging from sassy and sexy to down and dirty. It's a book you won't want to miss if you enjoy and appreciate sensually charged romance.
As always, thanks for checking it out!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lost days??

I don't know where this week has gone. It seems like just yesterday that I said I would be posting a review or two - and here it is Friday already and I've not even started them. I know, I suck. I had a review to wrap up for Romance Junkies and I had a difficult time getting into a review mindset to complete it. I just couldn't get my teeth into it and kept putting it off.
Let's see how many ways I can direct the blame away from myself - I'll go with working out three times this week, Kelsey, Jill Shalvis, Ciar Cullen and Kate Davies - everyone but myself -for not getting the reviews done that I had mentioned earlier in the week - Kelsey had (marching) band camp this week 8 am-9 pm everyday, with a "parent" band camp meeting Tuesday night that lasted two and a half hours, a banquet and competition program presentation tonight beginning at 6 pm, meaning I had to prepare a main dish and a dessert last night. Last night I went to WalMart w/Tim; the only reason I went along was to pick up JUST TRY ME, Jill Shalvis's latest Blaze, only to find that my WalMart doesn't carry the Blaze line anymore - what's up with that? No one there could tell me. Thankfully, the Kroger store in the same strip mall had it - curiosity made me open it to read just the first couple of pages before going to bed - I found myself on Chapter 7 at 12:40 this a.m.
I tried to download new books from Ciar Cullen and Kate Davies, Lords of Chi and Taking the Cake, respectively, without luck for three days. I was back and forth with customer service and finally tonight received them as pdf attachments since I'm unable to download from the bookstore for some reason. I spent at least two hours trying to figure out how to download before determining that it just wasn't possible. I admit to being a total computer idiot though and can't rule out said idiocy as being the problem. Amanda at My Bookstore and More is a real treasure and was quick to respond and assist.
We have a family party at Tim's cousin's house tomorrow and on Sunday we plan to take some things to Lindsay's house at school. Hard to believe she'll be taking off again in just a couple of weeks. Sniff. I have every intention of getting the reviews done for Jill's Out of this World and Toni Blake's Swept Away - both are excellent and should be in everyone's cart!!
I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Wild, insane camel sex??

I thought that might get your attention! Sasha White posted this on her loop this afternoon, and while it's not very nice, I thought it was funny and had to share. I hope no one finds it offensive - and that you get a chuckle out of it!
A new US Army Captain was assigned to an outfit in a remote post in the African desert. During his first inspection of the outfit, he noticed a camel hitched up behind the mess tent. He asks the First Sergeant why the camel is kept there.
"Well sir, as you know, there are 250 men here on the post and no women. And sometimes the men have "urges". That's why we have the Molly The Camel." The Captain says, "I can't say that I condone this, but I understand about "urges". The camel can stay."
About a month later, the Captain starts having his own "urges" and asks the First Sergeant to bring the camel to his tent. Putting a ladder behind the camel, the Captain stands on the ladder, pulls his pants down and has wild, insane sex with Molly.
When he's done, he asks the First Sergeant, "Is that how the men do it?"
"No not really, sir...They usually just ride the camel into town where the girls are".

Still laughing,

Fun at the Irish Festival!

Goodness, we had a great time! Except for it being hotter than blue blazes once again. We were very fortunate that the humidity levels weren't as high as last week, but I still sweat more yesterday than I have the entire summer! My Lady Speed Stick was working overtime yesterday - which is more than I can say for some people there! I even wore a hat to keep the sun off my face - can't tell you the last time I wore a hat, but it's been years. I wish I had a cute little straw hat, but had to settle for a ball cap instead.
We ate some beer battered fish and chips that were so delicious that I'm sure that any I eat in the future won't begin to compare. Three of us shared a beer - we're not big drinkers, but the beer was good and cold and went down easy! We shopped, watched The Prodigals perform; I'll admit to being a little disappointed in their performance, and we watched some teen Irish dancers - their costumes were breathtakingly beautiful - and one of the young men who danced recently competed in a World competition where he placed fourth - incredible. I wish I had been close enough to get a good picture, but the crowd at their show was huge. As soon as they left the stage and their crowd left, we rushed in to get our seats for the Gaelic Storm concert - we were able to get in the fourth row and saw an excellent show. They are great fun to watch and I'll probably be listening to my Gaelic Storm CDs all day now!
I've put up a picture of Gaelic Storm and one of Carla and I that Lindsay took in one of the shopping areas. Carla and I have been friends since driver's ed class in high school - we now work together every day, work out together three times a week and hang out together besides. Sounds like a lot of togetherness, I know, but we just have an easy, comfortable friendship and have fun together.
I hope everyone had a great weekend. I hope to be posting a book review or two in the next couple of days - Toni Blake's Swept Away is a fun, sensual read and Out Of This World by Jill Shalvis is also very good - it is written first person which I tend to avoid, but it is very well done with Jill's excellent sense of humor and I enjoyed it. I'll be chatting about both of them.
Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Weekend plans anyone?

Anybody have fun plans for the weekend? Our heatwave has finally hit the road, and while it will still be warm, in the mid-high 80's, the humidity is supposedly taking a brief respite, so it should be pleasant.
We will most likely hit a farm market or two on Saturday and I'm hoping to do some baking. I'm thinking a rhubarb custard pie and a berry cobbler will hit the old tastebuds just about right!
On Sunday we are going to the Irish Festival in Dublin, Ohio - Dublin is between Delaware and Columbus and the festival is always guaranteed fun! There is traditional Irish food, dancing and games, contests and prizes for the kids with the reddest hair, the greenest eyes, etc. - lots of beer flowing, and fun musical entertainment. Last year we saw Seven Nations, Bad Haggis and Flogging Molly. I loved Seven Nations, and while I can't say the same about Bad Haggis or Flogging Molly, they and their followers were very interesting! This year we plan to see The Prodigals and Gaelic Storm. Gaelic Storm is my absolute favorite Irish band; I have all of their CDs, my favorite being one titled "Special Reserve."
No, we have not red hair or green eyes but yes, we have Irish blood in our veins! My mother's maiden name was Bailey, and she has traced her genealogy back to Ireland. Somewhere along the way a great-something Irish grandfather and his Swiss bride came to America w/very few possessions. One of those possessions was a spinning wheel that came with that grandmother from her home in Switzerland - my mother gave it to me when she sold her home and moved into a retirement community - it is very, very special.
Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend - What are your plans?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hotter than Hell

I swear, I think the devil is licking at my heels! It's too hot to breathe. I know that a heat index of 105+ is nothing to people in the south - we've been in Savannah when it was higher than that and there were men and women in suits who weren't even damp. Me? I wilt like a week-old table arrangement. I admit to being a big ol' pansy. Heck, I could be the spokesperson for Pansies Anonymous. I'm one of those people who is typically chilly most of the time, never without a sweater or a jacket, but when it gets this warm I can sweat with the best of them. Not just a sheen of feminine dew mind you, I'm talking rivulets of hair-wetting, salty, construction worker-worthy sweat. I just opt to stay indoors as much as possible and I keep a small shaker of Crabtree & Evelyn Summer Hill body powder and a Power Fresh scent Lady Speed Stick in my purse! Where are you and how do you keep cool on these unbearably hot summer days?
Cool "air" hugs to you - it's too hot for real hugs!