Friday, May 30, 2008


Our youngest daughter graduates tomorrow morning, one of 345 in her class who will be embarking on the next phase of their young lives. I remember this sweet-faced little kindergartener's first day of school. All she wanted was to learn how to read. I read to the girls non-stop from the time they were babies and they were both anxious to read by themselves - more than the few simple words they had learned at home, that is.
They've predicted thunderstorms through mid-late morning tomorrow, so our commencement will most likely be held in the gymnasium with each student getting four tickets for family/friends in the gym, and an additional two for the auditorium where the ceremony where be shown on a large screen. The majority of Kelsey's friends are having their open houses tomorrow in the afternoon and evening; I hope the weather might clear up for them. Fortunately, our open house is Sunday and it's supposed to be partly sunny.
I'm waaay behind on reviews because of open house planning and prep, but my next two reviews will be for Shiloh Walker's THROUGH THE VEIL and THE POWER OF LOVE by Lori Foster, et al. I will be buying an extra copy of both at Lori Foster/Dianne Castell's get together next weekend and plan to have them autographed for a giveaway here, so I hope you'll check back for that.
Have a great weekend, everyone - and if you have a minute to do a sunshine dance or send some fair weather wishes, it would be much appreciated!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NEW WINNER - Jill Shalvis contest

Well, Tuesday came and went without a reply from Maureen - I'm just now finding time to post a new winner. Barbara Jo - you're it! Email me your mailing info and two or three choices from Jill's backlist. I'll then provide your info to Jill and your book will come directly from her. I'll ask Barbara Jo to get back to me by Saturday evening, but won't promise that I'll draw a new name that day as that's my daughter's graduation day and we have several graduation open houses to attend and will be putting the finishing touches on our own open house on Sunday.
I hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

BOGO from Denyse Bridger!

From Denyse Bridger - a BOGO special on her books! Here's her info:

So, we're going to have some fun for the next week or so. Life is good, why not share? So.... here's the deal. Anyone who buys one of my books between now and June 7th, send me your receipt, and you can pick a second eBook as a personal gift from me! That simple.

Pop over to my website, have a look around, and see if there's something there that appeals to you. You will find a lot of genres represented, so if your thing is sexy vamps, hot spies, smouldering cowboys, or just plain breath-taking romantic heroes - I've got them all!!

AND, for anyone who signs up for my fabulous newsgroup family, or my newsletter, which comes only once every 6-8 weeks, I'll have a special thank you surprise for you there, too!!

Hope to see you soon!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May we never forget

This Memorial Day, we all need to keep in mind that this holiday weekend isn't solely about cookouts, car racing, or the obscene price of gas for those who are on the road. It's to remember those who bravely served our country to protect our many freedoms and privileges. Sadly, the Memorial Day parade in our city has always been the least attended of all. The past two years they haven't even had a parade, and this year aren't even having a recognition service at the soldier's circle in our largest, oldest cemetery. This has been a tradition since before I was born and I think it's a shame. The head of the veterans' services administration for our county said that WWII vets are too few and too old to head up these events any longer, and the younger veterans don't seem to care. He went on to say that there are a significant number of younger vets around, enough to keep five veterans' facilities such as the VFW and Amvets in business in our immediate area. He said these men need to get off their barstools and show some interest in remembering those who served before them. At first I thought this was a pretty strong statement, but the more I thought about it, I had to agree. The parking lots of these establishments are crammed full several nights a week and on the weekends, but they can't take the time to recognize their fellow veterans.
What are your plans this holiday weekend? Does your community recognize its veterans? We're getting the house ready for a graduation party next weekend. I'm off the rest of the week in order to prepare. We're expecting approximately 100 people, which means having lots of food ready! We'll have a tent, tables and chairs set up in the backyard by a party rental business as our house simply isn't large enough to accommodate that many people.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend - please remember our servicemen and women and if you see a veteran, thank them for their service to our country, I guarantee you'll get a proud smile in return.

TO BED A BEAUTY - by Nicole Jordan

Nicole Jordan is without a doubt one of the most-loved mistresses of historical romance. I've read and loved her books for years - sighing countless times as her heroes stole my breath away. This is the first time I've had the privilege of doing an official review for one of Ms. Jordan's books and I'm pleased to give you my Romance Junkies review of TO BED A BEAUTY.

A blurb:
Clever and charming Roslyn Loring, the middle child of three beautiful, independent sisters, knows that true happiness lies in a marriage of the heart – and she has hers set on a love-match with a neighboring earl. Yet her sharp mind has observed an undeniable truth: Gentlemen lavish passion on their mistresses, not their wives. Roslyn realizes that to win her future husband's devotion, she must learn the secrets of kindling a gentleman's ardor. Fortunately, she finds a willing tutor in Drew Moncrief, the Duke of Arden, a notorious rake whispered to be London's most magnificent lover. If his searing kisses are any indication, the duke is the ideal man to teach Roslyn how to be the perfect mistress.Drew begins schooling Roslyn while coolly guarding his heart. But as best-laid plans are thwarted by unexpected events – including a night of unforgettable passion – Roslyn and her wickedly arousing tutor discover how easily lessons in pleasure can become lessons in love....

My review:
When an independent beauty asks for lessons in love from a rake who is notorious for his extraordinary lovemaking skills, a tale of sensually blistering passion and unexpected emotion is guaranteed to follow.

Having seen her parents destroy themselves in a loveless marriage, Roslyn Loring is determined to marry for nothing less than true love. She attends a Cyprian’s masked ball in an attempt to find out what makes a man fall for a woman. It’s there that she meets Drew Moncrief, the Duke of Arden, who is on the prowl for a mistress. Roslyn successfully evades him for a short time, but doesn’t escape him altogether until after the two have shared a briefly passionate encounter. When Roslyn is confronted by Drew at her sister’s wedding to his best friend, she has no choice but to admit to the suspicious Drew the true reason behind her attendance at the ball. When she goes so far as to ask him for lessons in seduction so she can seduce her handsome neighbor into proposing, Drew cannot refuse.

When Drew sees the familiar face of Roslyn Loring at his friend’s wedding, it doesn’t take long before he places her as the young woman he met at the ball. He threatens to expose her to her family if she doesn’t tell him the truth behind her risqué behavior. Once he gets past the initial shock of Miss Loring’s request to teach her the ways of seduction, he finds he cannot refuse her. When those lessons go beyond simple instruction and the two become intimate, Drew can no longer bear the thought of continuing to prime Roslyn for another man. He wants her for himself, but convincing Roslyn that he is ready to put his rakish ways behind him won’t be easy. It appears that Drew may well have a lesson or two to learn from his delicately beautiful pupil.

TO BED A BEAUTY is the second in a three-book “Courtship Wars” series by Nicole Jordan. I read this book before reading the first book and enjoyed it very much as a stand-alone novel. I didn’t feel as any details were missed by my not having read the first book. Roslyn is an independent, highly intelligent woman who is determined to marry on her own terms rather than those set out by society. Her strong feelings after the heartache and pain she and her sisters experienced at the hands of their parents are excellently written. Drew is a rake, a real ladies’ man who is determined to never marry. Having been raised by a coldhearted mother he has his own reasons to avoid shackling himself to a woman. Watching these two fall for each other, incredulous at the deep emotions the other has stirred, was highly enjoyable. Secondary characters and events serve to enrich this wonderful story without detracting from Roslyn and Drew. Ms. Jordan is undoubtedly one of the masters of historical romance and I highly recommend this book as well as any of her previous work. I did go back and read the first book in this series, TO PLEASURE A LADY, and equally enjoyed it, but haven’t yet read the third book, TO SEDUCE A BRIDE. If you enjoy fine historical romance, I hope you won’t miss this latest series from Nicole Jordan.
You can also find Nicole at The Goddess Blogs - there's always something fun going on over there, so be sure to check it out!

Thanks for stopping! I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend!


Saturday, May 24, 2008


is MAUREEN! Congratulations, Maureen! Email me at with your mailing information and two or three choices from Jill's backlist - I'll pass your info on to her. If I don't hear from Maureen by Tuesday evening, I'll draw another winner.
Thanks everyone for stopping by and playing!
I'll have a review for Nicole Jordan's TO BED A BEAUTY later today, I hope you'll stop back and check it out. And I'll have another contest soon, so stay tuned!
Have a great holiday weekend - travel safely if you're on the roads!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

HelenKay Dimon's HARD AS NAILS

HelenKay Dimon has a new book scheduled to release on June 24 - can you hear readers pawing the ground in anticipation? I have read all of her previous releases, but this is the first time I've been fortunate enough to get my hands on one for review. Needless to say, I was thrilled! I was also excited to finally meet HelenKay at the RT booksigning - my HARD AS NAILS arc now bears her autograph!
Take a look at HelenKay's Coming Soon page - there's even more good stuff coming in '08, including a holiday anthology with pal Jill Shalvis and Donna Kauffman! And while you're at it, you might as well check out HelenKay's blog - there's always something interesting and fun going on there.
Here's my (4.5 blue ribbons) Romance Junkies review:
An anthology that takes readers into the lives (and loves) of the characters who were secondary in her earlier novella (Hardhats and Silk Stockings) in the WHEN GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO BAD BOYS anthology, HelenKay Dimon has written another winner with HARD AS NAILS.

Aubrey Matheson is desperately determined to remain in her aunt’s historic home for just a bit longer. Yes, the beautiful old house has been sold and her elderly aunt comfortably settled into a retirement home, but Aubrey has her own secret reason for staying. When Cole Carruthers shows up, he’s confident that he’ll have Ms. Matheson out on her cute little butt in no time at all. He wasn’t counting on her coming at him with a sledgehammer that weighs almost as much as she does. When Aubrey argues that Cole’s company took advantage of her poor old aunt and refuses to leave until they make it right, Cole wonders what she’s up to. His determination and stubbornness equal hers and he vows to remain in the house with her until she tells him the truth or leaves. What he didn’t count on was an undeniable attraction to Aubrey that packs a punch that’s more powerful than her sledgehammer.
After a seven day fling that ended with the disappearance of Rebecca Carter, Adam Thomas has unsuccessfully done everything possible to get in touch with her for the past eight months. When he finds Becky waiting in his firm’s conference room to discuss negotiations for her friend’s purchase of the historic home he’s part owner of, he’s excited at the opportunity to reconnect with her. Becky’s experience with men hasn’t always been pleasant though and despite Adam’s dogged resolve to get her back in his life, it won’t be easy to get her to drop her guard. When Becky finally does open up to let Adam in, she tells herself it’s just to prove that he’s a minor distraction, certain that once they’ve been intimate she’ll be able to move on. If only it was that simple. Both of these hard bargaining attorneys are in for the experience of a lifetime - when they finally stop opposing each other!
Erin McHugh, having faced the consequence of her controversial parents for her entire life, simply wishes to live quietly and without incident. When Ray Hammond, the job foreman overseeing the restoration of the historical building she recently purchased, shows interest in her she blows him off, mostly because he’s younger than her. Ray refuses to be dissuaded by a measly seven years and he sets out to win Erin over. But Erin soon discovers that Ray has a secret of his own and fear of negative public attention have her backing away. When she realizes that she’s in danger of losing the most special, solid thing in her life, she knows that nothing short of a grand gesture will do in trying to get him back – but will she be too late?

This anthology will satisfy the romantic notions and needs of even the most seasoned romance reader. The stories are not rushed or incomplete and mesh together nicely, almost giving the feeling of being one full-length story. Ms. Dimon always provides readers with characters who seem like warm-blooded acquaintances rather than simply characters written in ink on paper. HARD AS NAILS has my highest recommendation for all contemporary romance fans.

Thanks for stopping - I hope you're all having a great week! (Don't forget the Jill Shalvis contest running through this Friday - see below)

Friday, May 16, 2008


I'm the columnist at Romancing the Blog today. Take a minute and pop over! Better yet, take a minute and pop over and then take another minute and leave a comment!

Have a great day and a great weekend!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Many of you are familiar with my good pal Cindy, aka Lil Cinny - check out her new Myspace contest page - it's brand spanking new and will soon be chock full of author contests. I don't know any reader who doesn't like contests - make sure you keep checking back to see what Cindy has going on!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SUPERB AND SEXY, the latest from Jill Shalvis - and a contest!!

Great news! Jill Shalvis has a new book releasing at the end of this month - SUPERB AND SEXY. Jill's readers have been impatiently waiting for this next installment in her "Sexy" series, and trust me, no one will be disappointed.
Here's a blurb from Jill's website:
When you want to fly the best, you fly Sky High Air. And when you want spectacular adventure and scorching seduction, Jill Shalvis’s tantalizing, talented pilots Noah, Shayne, and Brody will get you there-fast, slow, or any way you want it.
Despite his brooding bad-boy attitude, Brody knows life has treated him pretty well. His luxury charter airline, Sky High, has given him financial security and the means to take to the skies whenever things on the ground get complicated. And lately, things have become very complicated, thanks to the insanely passionate, or perhaps just insane, kiss he shared with Sky High’s gorgeous, wisecracking concierge, Maddie. He’s tried to keep his distance, but now Maddie desperately needs help, and it’s triggering protective alpha-male urges Brody didn’t even know he had.
For months, Maddie hid her crush on sexy, exasperating Brody behind a cool, kick-ass exterior and then blew that to smithereens by jumping him in the lobby. Yeah, real smooth. She’s tried to break her ties with Sky High, but Brody won’t let her walk away-especially now that he knows that Maddie and her twin sister Leena are in big-time trouble. To save Leena, Maddie and Brody must pose as husband and wife, and Maddie is amazed that the man she thought was oblivious to her existence knows her very well indeed. But that’s nothing compared to the way she’s about to get to know him-intimately, in depth, and over and over again.

My review:
When the three owners of the incredibly successful Sky High Air can't reach their concierge, Maddie, they become concerned and it's decided that Brody West should go to Maddie's home to check things out. Sparks have always flown between Brody and Maddie - so much so that one of the last times he saw her, Maddie plastered herself against him in a soul-stealing kiss. It was nothing short of incredible. Not so incredible was that she promptly ran out and ended up getting shot by a jealously unstable Sky High client; she's been on medical leave since then. When Maddie refuses to open her door to talk to him, Brody becomes suspicious that she's in some sort of trouble. After he meets her identical twin, Leena, and there's double the strange behavior, he's determined to get to the bottom of what has them so jumpy.
The next thing Brody knows he's on his way to a private island, posing as Maddie's husband (while Maddie poses as Leena), facing goons with more brawn than brains that work for the girls' criminal uncle. It isn't long before Brody realizes that the emotions he's experiencing while spending so much time with Maddie run much deeper than simple anger at the blackmailing uncle. Maddie can't deny that the things Brody makes her feel are very new to her, and more than just a little frightening. She and Leena haven't had the best of luck with guys and are wary, to say the least. But the way Brody jumps in to protect them, and the passion and emotion he has stirred in her, have given Maddie second thoughts . . .
Jill has once again served up a book that's full of fun, quirky characters who simply don't seem to understand that she knows what's best for them by putting them together. SUPERB AND SEXY has danger, desire and humor, and while it is a romance, it delves into the love and devotion of twin sisters as well. I highly recommend this book for all romance readers.
To celebrate the release of SUPERB AND SEXY, Jill is offering a prize to one reader here - a book from her backlist (subject to availability/limited to U.S./Canada addresses). All you have to do is post a reply - maybe share what you've enjoyed most about Jill's "Sexy" series, or any other book of hers that you've loved. Heck, you can even just say that you want to be entered, we're really not that picky! I'll draw a name next Friday, May 23rd. Send your friends over to enter too - if they mention your name I'll enter them and put your name in the hat an extra time for each friend.
Thanks for checking out Jill's book!


Saturday, May 10, 2008

PROM '08

Tonight is Kelsey's Senior Prom. Our last formal high school dance - more than just a little bittersweet. Between two daughters, we've had twelve formal dances over the years. Winter formal and prom, both formal, and that's not counting Homecoming, which is a semi-formal dance. We have more gowns hanging in the backs of our closets than Macy's. The girls have talked about donating those dresses for needy girls next year. Evening purses, glittery sandals, sparkly rhinestone jewelry - you name it, we've got it!
These two look like little kids, don't they? Kelsey's boyfriend, David, has been in the Army reserves for close to a year, already achieving a Pvt. First Class ranking while he's still a student - pretty impressive from what I'm told. The scary thing is that he'll most likely be deployed somewhere that involves a war zone by this time next year. He's doing it for the education; I hope everything goes well for him so he can take advantage of that.
My next review will be for SUPERB AND SEXY by Jill Shalvis - and there will be a contest, so stay tuned!
Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


This Saturday, May 10th, is the National Association of Letter Carriers annual
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. It only takes a couple of minutes to toss some food in a bag and set it out for your postman/woman.
We've participated in this for several years now - I think I've told the story here about my daughters (when they were much younger) and how they kept going out to add food to the sack I had placed by the mailbox. I thought they were just being sweet and thoughtful, until I looked in the cupboard later and discovered that every single can of vegetables was gone!
One additional thought - please make sure the expiration dates haven't passed on the food items you put out. Some people simply don't understand that just because these families are in need doesn't mean they don't deserve fresh food. Our local food pantry has to throw out an unbelievable amount of food because it's past the expiration date when it's donated - don't donate anything you wouldn't give your own family.

New from Erin McCarthy - FALLEN

has a new book, FALLEN, available from your favorite bookseller now! This is the second in her Seven Deadly Sins series and shouldn't be missed. Here's a blurb from Erin's website:
New Orleans, 1880s. Sent to watch over the decadent city, the angel Gabriel loses himself in the liquid pleasure of absinthe. So when his mistress, Anne, is murdered—and all evidence points to him— a foggy Gabriel cannot be sure he didn't do it. His penance: to be forever denied love. Should he seek pleasure with a woman, she'll know the depths of despair.
New Orleans, today. Hoping to unlock that unsolved mystery, forensic scientist Sara Michaels, Anne's great-great-granddaughter, meets the ageless, tormented Gabriel. To work together would mean suppressing their mutual attraction—he can't allow himself to touch Sara, for her own sake.
And for Sara, already familiar with the dangers of addiction, Gabriel poses the ultimate threat to her self-control. But can the desire burning between them turn into their salvation—or lead them both to destruction?

My review:
FALLEN, the second book in Erin McCarthy’s Seven Deadly Sins series, shouldn’t be mistaken as a continuation of the introductory book, MY IMMORTAL. This book stands alone and is written around an entirely different sin (gluttony), in the form of addiction. Angel Gabriel St. John is a watcher, whose purpose on Earth is to protect humans in the dark, sinful city of New Orleans. When despair and pain become too much to bear, he turns to the mind-numbing pleasures of absinthe and opium. One morning after an evening of excesses of the mind and body, Gabriel awakes to find his mistress, Anne Donovan, murdered in her bed. Gabriel has no recollection of the night and soon finds himself transformed into a fallen one, doomed to the immortal life of a demon.
The book moves forward in time to present day, with Gabriel sober and working on a book about Anne Donovan. He's determined to find out what happened to her. He joins forces with Sara Michaels, whose mother Jessie was killed in an identical manner to Anne. After her mother’s violent murder, Sara turned to pain medication to mask her grief, so she too is familiar with addiction. Sara finds herself strongly attracted to Gabriel and he’s equally attracted, but refuses to act on the undeniable passion between them, leaving Sara to feel the ache of rejection. Gabriel has his own reasons for denying them both pleasure; he knows that Sara will endure a lifetime of deep despair should they give in to their desires.
When it becomes apparent that someone intends to harm Sara, Gabriel realizes that he will do anything to keep her safe, even at the risk of losing his only chance at redemption. What Gabriel doesn't know is that Sara is keeping a secret of her own.
As one would expect of any book from Erin McCarthy’s vivid imagination, FALLEN has an abundance of dark intrigue and intense sensuality. The dialogue between Gabriel and Sara draws readers into each and every scene and her descriptions allow the mind’s eye to see every detail with clarity. Flashes from past to present together with old newspaper articles serve to give the story depth and set the foundation for Gabriel and Sara's passionate story.
I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a deeply emotional romance. Be sure to keep an eye out for the next book in this series, THE TAKING, with the sin of choice being greed - guaranteed to be another winner!
Thank you, Erin, for giving me the opportunity to read FALLEN!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mom's Weekend at OU - woohoo!

Depending on Lindsay's grad school intentions for next year (still up in the air), this may be my last Mom's Weekend at Ohio University. We have always had such a great time, with lots of fun activities. There are so many things to do that we can't begin to catch them all, but we do have some fun things planned. And before you ask - no, we won't be going for tea with the President's wife on Saturday morning. Sorry, but that just doesn't sound like much fun to me.
My best friend since high school is going with me again. On Friday night Lindsay, her friend Eliza, my friend Carly and I are going to Lui Lui for dinner - I've only been there once before; it's an ecclectic little place with great food. Then we have a date with The Royales, a local Athens group who will be playing at a fun bar/restaurant, Casa Nuevo. Lindsay is very familiar with this group, never missing a performance, and she's especially anxious for us to see them. One of the guys in the band ("Junebug") told her that he'll be happy to get to meet her Mama! I'll try to get a picture of us with Junebug.
Saturday morning we'll be participating in the 5K Walk for the Cure, benefitting the Susan G. Komen and Stephanie Spielman Breast Cancer Foundations - weather permitting. I'm buying the t-shirts anyway, but I'm not walking if it's storming, which there's a good chance of. We'll shop for crafts at The Dairy Barn which unlike it sounds, is a beautifully restored barn, chock full of booths where local craftspeople sell anything from wrought iron yard art, jewelry, woodenware, fiber arts and glassware to handmade soaps and lotions. We might take in a student stand up comedy show or some other student music acts, or we might just hang out at Lindsay's apartment for the evening.
Sadly, there won't be a synchronized swimming exhibition like in the past. Laugh if you want, but I love synchronized swimming! The only thing that makes missing it tolerable is that we saw an exhibition they put on just a couple of months ago.
I'll be gone from Friday around noon until Sunday afternoon, leaving Tim and Kelsey to fend for themselves. Kelsey's high school is putting on the musical "Fame" and she's going to the matinee on Saturday to see it, so I guess Tim will be the one fending for himself for a bit!
I'll have bunches of reviews coming up over the next few weeks. I've been fortunate enough to get some excellent books for review and while I haven't yet read them all, I can't wait to get to them so we can chat about them! Two that I have read are Erin McCarthy's FALLEN and HelenKay Dimon's HARD AS NAILS - both are excellent, totally different flavors, but I highly recommend both. Those will be the first two reviews coming up.
Have a great weekend, everyone! Be safe if you're out on the road.