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Good Reads for a Good Cause

Good Reads for a Good Cause
Hot on Ice Blog Tour

cover4b-1A word about the anthology from contributor Kimberly Kincaid!

Hello, romance readers! I cannot even tell you how excited I am to tell you all about HOT ON ICE: A Hockey Romance Anthology (18 hot hockey romances! How can you go wrong?) and my story in the collection, which is titled DEEP CHECK. 20% of our royalties will be going to Homes For Our Troops, and I couldn’t be happier or more humbled to donate to such an incredible organization. Homes For Our Troops mission is to support severely injured veterans (post 9/11) by building mortgage-free and specially adapted homes for them and their families so they can focus on rebuilding their lives.

DEEP CHECK is a steamy second chance love story between hotshot hockey center, Finn Donnelly, and feisty firehouse administrator, January Sinclair. Finn wants nothing more than to bring the Cup to his best friend’s grave after the team’s victory—but going back to his hometown also means seeing January, a.k.a. the woman he left behind. Finn and January’s sizzling reunion is not only part of the HOT ON ICE anthology, but it’s a story set in my edgy, sexy Station Seventeen series, where hot firefighters and cops come together to keep their city safe. Many of the characters in this series bring their military backgrounds to the firehouse, where my DEEP CHECK heroine, January, has deep ties.

Like firefighters and first responders, the veterans helped by Homes For Our Troops made the choice to serve and protect those around them at all costs, even when those costs were grave. Being part of a project that supports these veterans as they focus on recovery, family, and rebuilding their lives was a driving force in my choice to participate in HOT ON ICE. I hope you enjoy the stories!

Learn more about Home for Our Troops here: https://www.hfotusa.org/

About Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology…
The New Orleans Cajun Rage professional hockey team just won the Cup. No one thought they’d do it. They were a team of shoulda beens, never coulda beens and a star or two. They’d only been in the Crescent City for three years before this year’s Cinderella run that had them skating off the ice with the championship. Over the following summer, each player gets to keep the Cup for a day. Nobody knows why, but whoever has the Cup falls in love. USA Today bestsellers Robin Covington, Desiree Holt, Kimberly Kincaid, Nana Malone, and Virginia Nelson, Publisher’s Weekly bestseller Angi Morgan, along with Xio Axelrod, Christi Barth, Andie J. Christopher, Avery Flynn, Kim Golden, Lena Hart, Robin Kaye, Katie Kenyhercz, Heather Long, Kate Meader, Susan Scott Shelley, and Misty D. Waters bring you 18 romances with smoking hot heroes—both on and off the ice.

Pre-order now on…
Kindle: http://amzn.to/2idJVbl
Nook: http://bit.ly/2gC6ceJ
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fOCS8g
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ggBnyg

Read more about the stories in Hot on Ice: http://bit.ly/2h6k2cH
Add us to your Goodreads shelf: http://bit.ly/2ggRF8e
Like us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HotOnIce/

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Bout of Books – Day 5

bout-of-books-18

Yesterday turned into one of those days – all i heard the whole day at work was will it snow, will it snow…coupled with friends in other parts of the US who had snow days and my introduction to the WTForecast app on my iPhone (trust, me, take a look – as long as profanity doesn’t bother you – which ultimately lead to probably my most unsuccessful day in Bout of Books 18 so far. I think I listened to a sum total of about an hour in audio and finished up the one book I was reading (but I only had like 20% left of a 200pg book…so like 40 pages). Here’s hoping that today (Friday) will be a better reading/listening to…I have to say after my little bit of reading in the car this am – its already looking up

Day 3 Tally:
Sarah’s Key – currently at 33% (from 22%)
The Coffee Girl – currently at 42% (from 31%)
The Gift – currently at 38% (from 25%)
What Stands In A Storm – listened to 3hr 10min – currently at 36% (from 12%)
Seduction in Death – audiobook/re-read – listened to 7hr 29min – currently at 58% (from 49%)
Then He Showed Up – currently at 6%

Books Finished
Fire and Ice – Finished (from 73%)

Bout of Books 18 Challenge – Day 5
If you like this – try this
I always struggle with providing book recommendations to people because often times all i get is recommend me a book – no delineation on fiction/non-fiction; sub-genres in fiction etc…so it often takes a bit of back and forth dialogue to get to a point where I feel I can make a recommendation without feeling like I’m leading someone down the wrong path – that being said – when I give recommendations, especially romances – i tend to say if you like this trope, then you might like this author; rather than a specific author to author recommendation (since so many authors nowadays are diversified in what they are writing).

If you like small town romance, then you might like Kimberly Kincaid’s Pine Mountain series or if you like series where family is important then you might like Avery Flynn’s, Sweet Salvation Brewery series. Finally, if you like real-life military romance (compare to the very popular special forces romance storylines), you might like Jamie Farrell’s Southern Fried Blues or Jessica Scott’s Coming Home series

What about you guys – what is your favorite, if you liked that, try this book recommendation?

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2017 in Bout of Books

 

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Review – Designed for Murder – Avery Flynn

designed for murderDesigned for Murder
Author: Avery Flynn
Series: #4 in the Killer Style series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Author

Description:
Some fashion statements can kill…

Mika Ito combines her two favorite things in life—textile design and live-action role-playing (LARP)—by creating costumes for her fellow Magic Battledome gamers. Lately, someone’s been assaulting LARPers and stealing their costumes. Concerned for the safety of her friends, Mika hires Maltese Security…only to discover that the lead investigator is the super-hot stranger she just hooked up with.

Carlos Castillo is all too familiar with Magic Battledome. A former legend in role-playing circles, he was all about gaming, until things went very, very wrong for him. Now he’s forced to return to the game undercover—as Mika’s boyfriend—to find some answers. Only playing “boyfriend” with his gorgeous one-night stand is more temptation than a guy can withstand…

Someone wants the costumes enough to kill for them. And when it comes to murder, nothing is what it seems…

Review:
So this is my second attempt at writing a review for Designed for Murder because wordpress decided to eat my original one (and its still lost somewhere in cyberspace…I wonder if that is like a parallel dimension that is where missing socks and tupperware lids also end up?) But back to the adventure that was Designed for Murder. So being that this was the fourth book in the series, it was like coming back to visit a family – or rather, turning to a trusted company to help you out of scrape.

Anyways, when I finished the previous book in the series, I wondered if Carloes (or ‘los) was going to get his own book. He had had a pretty tumultuous ride in the previous books, ending it a pretty massive betrayal and making decisions that separated him from things that he loved and was known for. But then Mika, the heroine in Designed for Murder comes along and it is Carlos’ unique skills that she needs to help her solve the case of who is assaulting the members of her court. Yes, her court because the basis of Designed for Murder is LARP or live-action role-playing. I’ll admit that I know like next to nothing about it, but I love that non-traditional hobbies are starting to make more of an appear in genre fiction.

I found the mystery element of the story to be well-done and kept me guessing until not long before it was revealed. One of the things I enjoyed the most about the series was how looking back there were small clues, that I just completely missed in my initial read. But at the same time, that is one of the things I love about Avery’s writing – she always keeps me guessing until the very end. I gave Designed for Murder a solid 4 stars with Avery’s normally witty writing style and smexy scenes.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Review – Dodging Temptation – Avery Flynn

25935349Dodging Temptation
Author: Avery Flynn
Series: #1 in the Retreat series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
Dodge Loving wants revenge…and he’s about to get it. On the cusp of closing a multi-billion-dollar luxury resort deal, Dodge can’t afford for anything go wrong. But then a fiery redhead shows up, the paparazzi hot on her trail, and throws his world into chaos. He has to get rid of her. Immediately.

Harper Conner just wants to be left alone, but after slapping her cheating senator ex-husband during a televised press conference, she’s a hot commodity. The ultra exclusive resort in Wyoming seems like the ideal place to hide—and work—so there’s no way she’s letting the Type-A jerk who runs the place fire her.

Despite the animosity sparking between them, Dodge and Harper can’t keep their hands to themselves. This thing between them can’t happen. It won’t. But his mother has other ideas…and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Harper and Dodge fall in love.

Review:
It’s weird, I always seem to struggle writing reviews for books that I enjoyed, especially if the author is one of my go-to ones, like Avery Flynn is – I wish I could explain it. Case in point, I have had a draft of this review sitting in draft format on my blog page for about 3 weeks now (yes, you read right, three weeks)….I mean, this was an Avery Flynn book, so I knew it was going to be good, but at the same time, since it was kicking off a new series, I was kind of skeptical as well (since first books in series don’t always work for me)…but anyways…let’s talk about the Loving brothers and their HEA’s (or rather, just about Dodge)…

I’ve commented before that enemies to lovers is a favorite romance trope of mine, I love seeing these couples overcome their differences and hatred of each other to have a relationship and for me, Avery hit so many happy buttons with the Dodge/Harper romance. I mean, seriously, what wasn’t there to love about Harper, giving her ex what was due to him on national TV, even if it did turn her into a scandal and had the paparazzi chasing her. And what better place to try and escape said scandal than an exclusive resort…Dodge is the owner of said resort and to say sparks fly between the two of them is an understatement…

I’ll admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Dodge at first, he kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but as the book progressed he did grow on me. Of course, it helped that he had some awesome scenes as the relationship between him and Harper developed (and I can safely say, I don’t know if i’ll be able to look at pistachio ice cream the same way again…). Of course, he did exhibit typical dumbass male tendencies, including exceeding stubbornness (which is both a blessing and a curse it seems…). Dodging Temptation was full of Avery Flynn’s trademark sass and snark, as well as spicy love scenes and I’m intrigued to see how the rest of the series is going to turn out.

Purchase Links (Amazon):

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Book Review, Uncategorized

 

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ARC August – Intro and Goals

arc-august

So i’m not sure how I missed out on the awesome-ness that is apparently ARC August, but I was just saying to a friend (cough, Naomi) the other day that I had a ton of ARC’s off Netgalley that I needed to get read and reviewed, but I tend to get distracted with BSN (bright, shiny, new) books (yeah, I know ARC’s are BSN as well, but i’m easily distracted, what can I say!). So when I came across a Facebook post about ARC August (thanks Melissa!), I was intrigued and my explorations soon let me to the originators of this event, Octavia and Shelley at Read Sleep Repeat. So even though I’m a few days late, I’m throwing my book pile in the circle and joining in the fun!

It took me some time to examine all the books on my Netgalley account and try to figure out which ones I wanted to tackle during the upcoming month. Part of it was determined by which authors I really like and who get precedence from me when I get ARC’s of their books and others in part to fitting requirements for different reading challenges I am doing.

Planned ARC’s for August:

24737833After the War – Jessica Scott
A terrible loss…
Captain Sarah Anders lost her husband to the Iraq war and has nearly lost the career she loves. Sent to Fort Hood, she only wants to do her job and take care of the daughter she’s raising on her own. She never counted on running straight into a memory she’d tried to forget.
A love he never forgot…
Captain Sean Nichols never got over Sarah. He simply tried to forget her amidst the war and the chaos of combat. But when she’s assigned to investigate his unit, he comes face to face with the woman no war or any amount of time could make him forget.
A dark secret…
As Sarah gets closer to the truth, Sean must accept that actions he took during the war may end the tentative love building between them. And even if Sarah can forgive him, Sean may never be able to forgive himself.

22551743The Truth According to Us – Annie Barrows
In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues of ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business that occupies her charismatic father and the reason her adored aunt Jottie remains unmarried. Layla’s arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a new tale about the Romeyns. As Willa peels back the layers of her family’s past, and Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed—and their personal histories completely rewritten.

25570582Rescuing an Angel – Ann Jacobs
One fateful misstep for Gayla Levine was all it took for her once-adoring fiancé to walk away and her demanding father to disown her. Determined to finally turn her life around and embrace her newfound independence, she wants nothing to do with men or relationships—until she meets Dan Newman, a sexy surgeon who sends a shock of electricity through her every time they touch.

Dan Newman has spent his life struggling to overcome his own crippling past by devoting himself to healing others who have suffered. Now a world-class surgeon, he’s confident in his ability to face anything life throws at him—until he meets a headstrong Texas beauty who has his pulse racing and fills his dreams with impossibly sensual visions.

As they fall into a passionate romance that takes them both to the burning edges of pleasure, these two damaged souls must both confront their darkest demons. Because Gayla is haunted by the echoes of being called a failure and torn by the fear that she’ll be rejected once again, and Dan, who has proved his worth to so many others, now must convince himself and Gayla that they deserve the powerful love they’ve found.

25528536Forget Me Not – Erika Marks
When aspiring-writer Mallory Reynolds packed up for New York City, she ditched more than her quiet hometown of Magnolia Bay—she left her high-school sweetheart, Josh Loveless, behind. But when the big city didn’t deliver big contracts on her novels, she turned to writing erotica under the pen name Farrah Ivory to spare her family any embarrassment. Soon, her scandalously-sexy series, The Lost Diaries of Scarlet, is a break-out hit. Just as Mallory begins to enjoy her sweet success, her publisher leaks her true identity and a media firestorm ensues. Exposed, she decides there’s nowhere to hide—except for home.

For Josh Loveless, getting over Mallory Reynolds hasn’t been easy, but he’s done his best to move on. For starters, he’s turned his love of the outdoors and rock-climbing into his own business. And just as things are starting to settle for him, he learns Mallory’s coming home to ride out her scandal, and suddenly his world is turned upside down again…

Can Mallory convince her friends and family that she’s still the same good-hearted girl they knew? And more importantly, can Josh trust the woman she’s become, and give her a second chance to rewrite their love story with a happy ending?

25935349Dodging Temptation – Avery Flynn
On the cusp of closing a multi-billion dollar deal, Dodge Loving can’t afford for anything go wrong at his ultra-exclusive luxury resort, where privacy isn’t just promised it’s guaranteed. So when he finds paparazzi hiding in the bushes, he’ll do anything to get rid of them-even if it means firing their target: the sexy, stuck up bookworm his mom hired.

Harper Conner just wants to be left alone to catalog the resort’s rare cowboy diaries. But after slapping her cheating senator ex-husband during a televised press conference-she’s a hot commodity for the tabloids.

Alone for the first time, without the protection of her political dynasty of a family, she can’t afford to get fired-especially by the Type-A jerk who runs the place. And she definitely should never have kissed him. Now Harper has two choices: get outta Dodge…or fall in love with him.

22009625Best Bi Short Stories – Sheela Lambert (Editor)
Best Bi Short Stories is the first book of its kind, a literary anthology bringing together the very finest representations of bisexuality in fiction. The bisexuality of characters, like in real people, can be invisible to readers unless explicitly brought to their attention. Invisibility leads to underrepresentation, and on bookstore shelves that has certainly been true. Best Bi Short Stories hopes to change that by presenting the very best quality, cast in a bold light. With an all-star author lineup ranging from Katherine Forrest to Jane Rule, Ann Herendeen to Jan Steckel, and curated by longtime bi activist Sheela Lambert, Best Bi Short Stories encompasses several genres. The authors are a diverse group, as well, and Lambert sought representation across age groups, cultures, ethnicities and sexualities in both the authors and stories, demonstrating the richness of bi experience.

18453252Delectable – Adrianne Lee
Montana real estate agent Quint McCoy will tell you that the most important thing is location, location, location. It’s a lesson he learns all too well when he goes incommunicado for a four-week fishing trip to Alaska. While he’s away, his mother Molly turns his office into the pie shop she has always dreamed of, Big Sky Pie. But that’s not the only surprise in store for him.

On her way out of town, Callee McCoy only wants to say a fond farewell to her beloved mother-in-law. But Molly soon persuades Callee to stay and lend a hand at the new shop, even if it means heating up the kitchen with her soon-to-be ex. As Callee and Quint rediscover their recipe for love, they realize that some couples are so sinfully good together that one delectable taste is never enough . . .

18484795A Million Miles Away – Lara Avery
When high school senior Kelsey’s identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn’t know about the tragedy is Michelle’s boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can’t bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can’t deny that she’s falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn’t want.

So there it is, my list of books for ARC August…of course, I have some special books set aside to reward myself if I finish these ones, but you’ll just have to come back and see what they are – because I’m not going to reveal them until I reach my goal 😉

Happy Reading!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in ARC August, Reading Events

 

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Review – Trouble on Tap – Avery Flynn

25465775Trouble on Tap
Author: Avery Flynn
Series: #3 in the Sweet Salvation Brewery
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
What fun is life without a little bit of trouble?

Retired supermodel and forever wild child Olivia Sweet is nothing but trouble. The youngest Sweet triplet is back in her hometown, but instead of a triumphant return it’s a parade of humiliations. She’s broke, homeless and dealing with the fallout from her scumbag ex-boyfriend publishing naked pictures of her to a revenge porn website.

Staid and stalwart veteran Mateo Garcia has seen more trouble than a man ever should in his lifetime. He’s gone from pretty boy Marine to a small town police chief with a chip on his shoulder and scars covering the left side of his face. Now his former lover, Olivia, is back in town and living next door.

When the two are forced to work together to fix up the crumbling veterans’ center, the sparks fly between the beauty and the man who sees himself as a beast. Not everyone is happy that Olivia is back home though and Mateo has to choose between the town who wants her gone and an uncertain future with a woman who he thinks could never love him…

Review:
There are always series that I am sad to see end and the Sweet Salvaltion Brewery is one of them. Over the last year, I have highly enjoyed the adventures of the Sweet sisters, but I kept waiting for Olivia’s story – I guess because she is the wild child and while I am more similar to Natalie as a character, I harbor an inner wild child (or at least, I think I do). And i’m a sucker for second chance romances, so Trouble on Tap hit all my happy spots. I will admit that I am honestly trying not to go all fangirl on my review because this book was what I needed after a series mediocre reads.

I think what I enjoyed the most about Trouble on Tap was seeing Olivia’s struggle to find her place in the world. As a former model she had been top of her career and then having to make a transition and essentially start over again – its something that many of us have to face – be it a new job, transitioning from the military (like Mateo) or any other kind of scenario where a major change occurs. I found her struggle to be real in a way that was almost scary to me. I saw so much of myself in that struggle from when I changed career fields a few years ago – that idea of how/where are you going to land and will I/you succeed?

And Avery did a great job of continuing the theme of small town hatred for the Sweet sisters – I felt so bad for all of them throughout the series. Maybe because I grew up in a small town and know how they operate, but everything just hit home – the behavior of people to those they consider outsiders (in my home town, if you didn’t have a certain last night it didn’t matter what you or your family did to contribute)…it was almost like at times, Avery was channeling some of my experiences growing up.

I loved the relationship between Mateo and Olivia and how they reconnected. There is something about a wounded solider realizing that they aren’t just their injuries that makes them attractive. That Olivia was able to look past his injuries and see him for the guy she loved way back when (even if he had been a dick to her)…

Trouble of Tap was a roller coaster of emotions for me (thanks Avery!) but I don’t regret it for one second. I would say make sure you have time to sit down and read, because if you are anything like me, once you start, you’ll read through to the end (and that made for a sucky day at work the next day). I gave Trouble on Tap 4 stars and am sad to see the series end (although hopefully my craving for Pecan Pie will now disappear – since I don’t even like the stuff!).

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Dishing with Dee….GNO (the May edition), AKA, I have very sneaky friends

dishing with dee 2

So it took me a little while to get this post up, mostly because I failed epically in the taking photos aspect and had to hit up some of the participants to see if they had any from our awesome GNO evening. Sub-title of this, should be, I have some very sneaky friends who probably need careers in the spy industry. the plans for GNO started out like they do every month – the 4 (or 5) of us getting so busy that we forget until a few days prior; Jamie setting up an invite on Facebook (even though we had been smart enough to do that the previous month) and finally settling on a place – previously, we’d done a chocolate bar and then a farm to table type place, so for May we decided on Sushi. I will admit that i’m relatively new to the sushi eating world- its only been a couple of years since I tried it, but when I do manage to drag friends out with me to have it, my goal is to always try something different – so I was excited to have a group of people going with me. Fast forward to Saturday night, and after a hectic day of workouts, errands and an insane desire to skip because I was so exhausted, followed by a hike from the metro – I showed up at MoMo Sushi in Old Town Alexandria.

avery selfieAs I walked up the stairs to the restaurant, I realized that there was not only 1 but 2 extra people at the table from our normal group. I knew about the one (a friend bringing her sister who was in town), but the second was a total surprise and thus the comment about my sneaky friends. An author that I love (Kelsey Browning) had been touring the country as part of a Free Little Library tour with her writer cohort in crime and she just happened (magically of course) to be in the DC area on the same night as our Girl’s Night Out (funny how those things work out right?). And Jamie in all her secret squirrel wonder had invited her along as a surprise for me (because I had been asking her when Kelsey was going to be here). I’m amazed that none of the people spilled the beans…I mean, that was some serious secret keeping…lol! Not long after that, we were joined by our pseudo party-crashers (they were expected, we just didn’t know when), Kimberly Kincaid and Avery Flynn – both authors who I totally fangirl over, if you have read my reviews of their books). Avery even managed to get a selfie with all of us in the picture – which took some considerable skill since she didn’t even have a selfie stick!

sushiOf course, it wouldn’t be a sushi meal without a funny sushi story – which of course, revolves around me being an idiot/nearly choking on a piece of sushi. but first, an awesome sushi picture (this wasn’t my roll, because I ate it too quickly to take a photo) – but mine was as visually pretty as this one that Kimberly and Avery shared. but back to the funny sushi story – although, I can safely say, that is wasn’t actually my fault…I blame it all on Kelly! There I was, sitting innocently next to Kelsey, working on my Spider Roll (which was awesome BTW). Jamie/Kelly and Kelsey had just gotten done talking about kids antics and a comment had been made about people and how they deal with visual sighting of half eaten food. But back to the story, I had literally just managed to pick up a delicious piece of sushi from my roll and shove it, in its entirely into my mouth when Kelly turned to me and asked me a question about the shrimp in the roll, I think, whether it was tempura shrimp. For some reason, this was insanely funny (i have no idea why) and I started laughing, while I had a piece of sushi in my mouth. Comments were made about people being waitresses in former lives, because of their ability to ask questions as soon as you try to eat. In the meantime, I’m laughing so hard, I was trying to not choke on my sushi or spit it up into somebody’s lap and the folks down the other end of the table were trying to figure out what I was laughing about. Never fear, I did survive both the laughing bout and the piece of sushi.

A fabulous night of frolicking fun was had by all and I can’t wait for the next edition, even if it will likely be back to our smaller group

kk af dee
GNO all

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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