Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Toni Blake's TEMPT ME TONIGHT - available now!

I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of an arc of Toni Blake's latest release, TEMPT ME TONIGHT. This book has all of the ingredients of a wonderfully written romance - sweetness, sexiness, and heartfelt emotion. I encourage all readers who love women's fiction to get a copy of this beautiful story. My review for TEMPT ME TONIGHT:
When attorney Trish Henderson returns to her hometown to help her aging parents close and sell their diner, one of the first people she runs into is the last person she wants to see. Joe Ramsey broke her young heart several years before and Trish took her bruised emotions with her to college, literally crying herself to sleep every night for two years. Trish went on to law school and her pain eventually quieted to a tender ache, but not even her position with one of the most prestigious law firms in Indy could prepare her for the rush of emotion she experiences when she finds herself face to face with Joe. It was as if she was a teenager again and had never left. Trish boldly decides that the trick to forgetting Joe, with the admittedly nasty benefit of payback, is a cleverly planned seduction - a passionately mind-blowing night together – followed by her walking away. What she doesn’t count on is Joe’s refusal to let her go this time. He turns the tables and sets out in pursuit of her, effortlessly crumbling any idea she has to just “love him and leave him.” Trish begins to wonder just how much she wants a partnership in Indy, thinking she might like to return to small-town living, until a misunderstanding fueled by past mistakes and present doubts threatens to tear Trish and Joe apart before they even have the opportunity to begin a true relationship.
Joe can’t believe his eyes when he sees Trish Henderson standing in front of him. Still capable of taking his breath away, still the most beautiful girl he has ever seen and undeniably the only girl he has ever loved, Joe wants her just as much as he did as a randy teenager. When Trish refuses his advances, Joe becomes even more persistent, determined to treat her right and make up for the wrongs in their past. Joe doubts his small-town wooing can compare to the highly successful men Trish is used to dating these days, but damned if he isn’t going to try. Just when the two seem to have put all hurt behind them, having dealt with all of the issues standing between them, the past comes hurtling back, and it looks like their future together is doomed. Joe pulls out all the stops and makes one last grand gesture to profess his love for Trish, but once again misunderstanding rears its ugly head and Joe is left crushed in defeat.
Toni Blake has a true knack for writing the sweetest characters, complete with realistic lives and life issues, and then blending them with incredible passion and sensuality into a wonderful mix that can only be called true romance. Trish and Joe are continued evidence of this knack. They aren’t larger than life or immune to pain and heartache, and they deal with the same trials as the rest of us with jobs that require long hours and hard work, Trish’s aging parents, Joe’s worry over his sister’s relationship with a guy with questionable morals, and a 13 year old girl whose paternity is assumed to lie in Joe. Readers will be drawn into the story of Trish and Joe from the start and will find it difficult to put this book down. I’m curious as to the average amount of time it takes readers to complete this book – my money is on the very shortest amount of time possible!
Thank you all for stopping by and special thanks to you, Toni, for giving me the opportunity to review this great book for you! Check out Toni's website at .

Sunday, May 27, 2007


In honor of Memorial Day and our troops past and present, I'm reposting this from a month or so ago - I hope you'll read to the bottom of this post to see how you can support our troop program. If you don't like to cook or can't use the cookbook as a gift for someone, you can also mail a check or gift card to me as I do shopping for and shipping to the troops. I can understand how you might be reluctant to send a total stranger your hard-earned money, but I can guarantee that every penny sent to me goes to support our troops. I have shipped out over 600 pounds of much appreciated supplies to the troops to date. If you have questions, feel free to email me at and I will try to answer your questions. If you would prefer to support the troops yourself, please visit - this is an excellent website that provides all of the necessary information for sending packages to our brave men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bless you all.

My previous post:
How exciting is this? Many of you may remember my pleas a while back for recipes from authors and readers alike. The simple little recipe book that Lori Foster decided to put together, with proceeds (or the majority of the proceeds) to benefit our troop shopping program, has turned into a full blown beautiful cookbook, printed by Samhain Publishing. A portion of the proceeds may also be used to benefit the YWCA Battered Women's Shelter and a homeless pet shelter in Cincinnati. Below are links to Amazon and Samhain for purchase of this cookbook (available June 1); it will also be available in brick and mortar bookstores that choose to order it in. The cookbook will be available at Lori's Author/Reader Get Together in Cincinnati in June, with many of the contributing authors available for autographing at the booksigning on Saturday.
I hope you'll all check it out and keep in mind the wonderful causes this cookbook will support. Please help us spread the word - tell your friends!
Thank you!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cindy Gerard's INTO THE DARK

I recently read Cindy Gerard's ( upcoming release, INTO THE DARK, and suggest, no insist, that if you love romantic suspense as much as I do, you get your hands on this book and all previous books in the series - immediately! I started this series totally out of order, as I seem prone to do with most series. I feel that the books in The Bodyguards series are all stand-alone books, but your reading experience will be enriched muchly if you're aware of the prior happenings. You're going to want all of the others anyway, so you may as well get them all right off the bat!
I was very excited to have the opportunity to review this book for Cindy - and I gave it five blue ribbons - something I rarely do. I can count on one hand the times I've given a book five ribbons! This is my Romance Junkies review:

A woman seemingly made of the finest tempered steel and an intensely strong man with a soft spot only for her hit the road running in search of answers to secrets about her past, and find much, much more during the journey, in Cindy Gerard’s INTO THE DARK.

When Amy Walker is forced off the road by a huge SUV on her way home from work, adrenaline and sheer terror take over and she finds herself fighting for her life. When she takes the life of the assassin chasing her, she knows that a situation this serious will require the assistance of the man who rescued her from terrorist kidnappers several months prior, regardless of the fact that she doesn’t want to involve him. After spending a passionate night with Dallas, Amy has second thoughts and tries to sneak out so as to not get him tied up in her troubles. When that fails and he’s determined to help her, she tells him an incredible, almost unbelievable, story about her grandfather and the atrocious acts he has committed against Amy and her mother. Amy is determined to save her reporter friend Jenna, who is missing in Argentina, while settling the score with her grandfather, despite the heavy risk to their very lives.

There wasn’t anything that Dallas Garrett wouldn’t do for Amy Walker; he never stopped thinking of her after his team rescued her months before. She immediately and inexplicably disappeared after her rescue. When Amy shows up at his door during an icy rainstorm and collapses in his arms, it is obvious that danger has once again found her. Dallas is battling his own personal demons, but can’t refuse Amy anything. He thinks the story about her grandfather is pretty incredible, but so is the evidence that she has against him. Dallas agrees to help Amy find Jenna and shortly after they set out, he realizes that the risk and intrigue have only just begun. He only hopes that he can keep them alive long enough to convince Amy of how much he loves her.

Amy Walker has filled the minds of readers and Dallas Garrett alike, since she first appeared in INTO THE BRINK, earlier in this series. Readers have been waiting for her story and it was well worth the wait. Amy and Dallas are both deeply damaged and the strengths that they bring out in each other may be their only saving grace. Cindy Gerard has written a passionately sensual book; the love scenes in INTO THE DARK aren’t simply about sex. They are beautifully written and emotionally fulfilling. Some of the characters from previous books in this series make appearances and it is fun to catch up with them. A new, somewhat dark character plays a role that will leave readers wondering what, if anything, might be in store for him in the future. We can only hope!

This book is an excellent wrap-up to a stellar series and I would give it more than five ribbons if possible!

Thanks for stopping - I sincerely hope you'll check out this excellent series.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I received an email last week that plans were being made for my 30th class reunion. Good heavens, I honestly don't know where the time has gone since we were fresh-faced kids; excited and more than a little anxious about our futures! The four of us in this picture spent a lot of time together in and out of school - I'm the one on the far right. The friend in the dark gown graduated from a different high school. So much has happened to all of us since this picture was snapped in June of 1977 - relationships, jobs, broken hearts, marriages, children, divorce, even three grandchildren for one of them! One of these women was the perfect stay-at-home mother of three girls, always making me feel guilty about being a working mother, until the day about seven years ago when she left her husband and daughters and moved out of state with a guy she met on the internet. This was shocking and totally tragic for her family; many broken hearts and continued brittle feelings over that one. You sure never know . . .
I've never gone to a single one of the previous reunions for my class. To be honest, I just haven't cared to. My opinion, small-minded as it may be, is that I see everyone I care to as it is. I wasn't friends with most of the people who attend the reunions when I was in school. I wasn't extremely popular or active in school and wasn't concerned about it. I loved to be with my friends, and the cuter I looked while I was hanging out with them, the better, as far as I was concerned! I was an average student, something my mother always told me I would regret. Who knew that mom was right and that someday I'd wish that I'd had higher expectations of myself. I've wished for years that I'd had the drive to go to college so I could be an elementary art school teacher. Girls didn't seem to be pushed towards higher education as much back then, and most were happy to settle into a secretarial job, just as I did. I took every office education class you could take - bookkeeping, typing, shorthand, and attended the local vocational school my last two years of high school in a secretarial course titled "High Skill Steno" - I enjoyed it and was good at it - that was enough for me then. Now I wish that I had wanted more. With two daughters to educate and weddings to someday pay for, I know that I will never do anything different. To be honest, right now I'm thinking more towards retirement than a career change. As much as I enjoy my job, I look forward to the day that I don't have to do it any longer!
Do any of you attend your class reunions? How have you changed or grown since leaving high school? Anything you wish that you had done differently?

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Don't forget to set out a bag of non-perishable food for your postman this Saturday - it's once again time for the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
I think I made mention last year about the time my girls kept going out and adding cans to the bag I had placed by the mailbox - I thought they were being so thoughtful - then realized that they were pulling out of the cupboard all of the veggies that they weren't so crazy about. Too funny!
We're very fortunate to have what we need and then some. Unfortunately, we tend to forget about those who are less fortunate, often only thinking of them during the holidays.
So open your cupboards and fill a bag to feed the hungry - and smile when you set your bag out, because you're doing a good thing!
Big hugs,

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mom's Weekend '07

Another Mom's Weekend is in the books. It was a little less hectic than those in the past, but we still had loads of fun. I went alone this time - last year my friend Carla went as stand-in mom for Lindsay's roommate, but she had obligations at home that didn't permit her to go. Lindsay's roommate's mother didn't come again, so I was "it" for both of them - nothing new since they've been friends since second grade and her mother typically never has time. Very sad.
Friday evening I took them to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, which is always very good. After that we went back to their house and hung out for a while before walking uptown for a drink.
Saturday we did the Walk for the Cure, an invigorating way to start a Saturday morning! The girls then took me on a tour of the new student center at OU, which is simply stunning . Linny took me to the school library to show me the vaults she works in - her title is Assistant Curator of Archives and Special Collections - how cool is that? Saw some works from the 1100's - very impressive. We stayed downtown and had lunch and went to a craft fair. I headed home around 4:00, coming home early because Linny has a huge project that she's working on. Because there was no one else home before I left, Lindsay stretched her arm and took the above picture of the two of us in her room.
Other than my battling a serious cough for the past week as a result of allergies/sinus, it was a great weekend. Hard to believe that Lindsay is about to wrap up her third year of college! I'm so very proud of the wonderful young woman she has grown up to be.

Monday, May 07, 2007


I'm the columnist at Romancing the Blog today - - hope you'll check out my article and take a moment to comment - I'd love to know your thoughts on the subject!
Have a great day!