Category Archives: Books

Reader Trip

It has been a couple of weeks since I have written a post and I’m so sorry folks.  It has been sooo busy in the Cork Household the last couple of months.  We had Babydolls birthday party in May and then the end of school (and I volunteered to chaperone the final field trip the last week of school).

I made cake balls for the Babydolls teacher that I were made from melted caramel and chocolate cake.  I then had my trip to the Lori Foster Author/Reader Get-Together to attend at the beginning of June followed by the surprise birthday party for my mother this past weekend.  I so wanted to post about the preparations for my mothers party but could not because she reads my blog and the surprise would be ruined.  I couldn’t put anything on Facebook or Twitter, because she would have found out about it.  It was a really weird week.  And to top it all off the Corks are off to sunny Fort Lauderdale this weekend so I might be slow in posting for another week. 😦  But boy do I need this vacation. 🙂

So let me tell you about the Lori Foster Weekend….

My book club mates and I left Thursday afternoon so that we could attend the Mystery Dinner hosted by author Duffy Brown that evening.  It was such a good time.  I don’t have pictures because I forgot to put the battery in my camera after charging it.  My character was Dee Dee Johnson (my maiden name is Johnson) who was a pick-pocketing waitress who might also be a little “slutty”.  I had on the shortest skirt ever (I hadn’t worn anything that short since I was 21) and it even helped us to an onion ring upgrade at Steak & Shake later that night. 🙂 

Friday we got up and spent some time at Jungle Jim’s. 

I was determined to purchase a few bottles of wine (five bottles of wine, one bottle of flavored vodka, three small bottles of Asti, and 5 small bottles of vodka and tea blends) and I had to buy some bar-b-que rubs/marinades for the hubby. 

The fire truck right above the hot sauce and barbeque section.

I also bought a few bottles of honey (need it for my hot tea). 

Aisle of Honey

 The store is such an adventure in itself, I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Cincinnati or surrounding area.  

Giant Pez HeadsYes...that is a pigs head. Who buys it I don't know.There's all kinds of iconic stuff like this throughout the store.i've never seen a bigger produce section in a store.The restrooms...they're really not Port-O's

The conference started on Friday and by the time we returned from the store it was time to register and join the festivities.  Along with the opportunity to meet the authors there are a large number of raffles that happen throughout the weekend with all proceeds going to the charity for the year (this years proceeds went to One Way Farm – a home for abused, abandoned, and neglected children).  You purchase raffle tickets (2 for $1) and place them in the bags for the baskets that you would like to win.  This year I decided to not get carried away with the raffle tickets because I do not win. 

My $20 worth of tickets

I have never won and I go to a couple of these events a year for the past four years.  I limited myself to $20 worth of tickets and didn’t have any high hopes for winning (I actually read during the drawings because I knew I most likely wouldn’t win), I just took it as an opportunity to donate to a worthy charity.   

Our group submitted a basket and this year it was big enough to warrant a spot on the big stage along with all of the other big gifts. 

 The big gifts usually include Kindle’s or Nooks and this year there was even a Pandigital. 

It was a great event.  I got the chance to attend “An Intimate Chat” with Nalini Singh – the author of the Psy-Changling and Archangel series. 

Nalini Singh

 Another member of our Book Club attended the “chat” with Mary Burton- whom I just happened to talk to at the continental breakfast line.

Mary Burton


I talked with a publisher and got information for my sister (who is writing a book) while standing in a line to get Nalini’s autograph (I’ve decided to get the cover for my Nook signed by all of my favorite authors which I will reveal after the RomCon event in August).    I did not win any baskets, but a few of the members of my book club did win (one won the most coveted SyFy basket).

We headed home on Sunday after making a stop at IKEA which was right across the bridge from our hotel.  Can you really be this close to an IKEA and not go in?  I think not.


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New reading

Happy Tuesday everyone,

It’s Spring Break for my baby doll and unfortunately mommy has to work and dad is out of town on business.  To top it all off, we are moving back to the house this weekend and I am having the hardest time getting myself motivated to really pack anything up.  I’ve gotten somethings packed up but friends and family that have visited in the past couple of days have commented that it does not look like I’m moving out by the end of the week.  I’m determined to get somemore done in the next couple of days…I promise.

I’m typically off on Mondays, so I actually had some time to hang out with my baby doll some yesterday.  We got up and tried to get my tags for the year, but I learned that the BMV is not open on Mondays (I went to two seperate locations and BOTH were closed).  If I got the plates after the 28th I would have to pay a late fee and I’ve had to do this for the past two years, so I was determined not to repeat the same process this year.  Okay, Okay…I waited until the last minute -yesterday was the 28th – but I wasn’t paying the late fee again.  I trudged home after making a quick detour to JoAnn’s and renewed my plates online – late fee avoided.

After that is was crafting for Kristian and I.  She scouted out her supplies at JoAnn’s while I perused fabric.  You see…I got the Nook Color this past weekend and after looking at the covers available at Best Buy and Amazon, did not see anything that struck my fancy.  I’ve made a cover for my Kindle so I thought I would make a temporary cover for my Nook until I found one that I really liked or until Stan “surprises” me with one.  On a side note, some of you may be wondering why would I buy a Nook when I already have a Sony eReader and a Kindle?  The answer is simple…technology upgrade.  Stan has been telling me that I need an iPad and I have been resisting it because I don’t want to give up on the electronic ink that is better on the eyes if you are a serious reader.  I’m a serious reader and my eyes have deteriorated over the years so that I now have to wear glasses all the time.  I don’t need anything that will contribute to the need for a stronger presciption strength.  I know that eventually our society will be leaning towards some form of tablet but I just don’t want to pay $500-600 for an iPad.  Research revealed that the Nook runs on Android technology and will soon have an upgrade (sometime in April or May)  that will allow you to use your Nook as an Android tablet.  Additionally, you will also be able to edit some Microsoft documents.  The Nook Color is $249…does anyone else see the practicality of getting the Nook Color and not the $500 iPad?  I initially thought to wait until Mother’s Day and hope that my husband got it for me with alot of hinting from me, but the more I thought of it, the more I became apprehensive that with this new upgrade the price may spike.  As I’ve stated numerous times on this blog, I’m all about finding the best deal.  If I waited around for Mother’s Day and the price went up, I would be kicking myself because I waited and I’m an instant gratification chick; once I make up my mind that I want something I usually have to get it.  I think it comes from the fact that I don’t gratify myself with purchases too often. 

I have to tell you guys that I really like my Nook.  So far I’ve only read on it, (and started a crossword puzzle) but so far I’m really happy with it.  I know someone may comment that the Nook Color has an LCD screen and not electronic ink, but I checked the reviews thoroughly (research people research) and there were no reports of eye strain or glare…even in sunlight.  Also for anyone that thinks I’m a little paranoid about the price going up with the new technology I just want to inform you that I’m not.  Last Friday, Stan looked up the Nook on HSN and they have the new Nooks with the Android tablet technology available for pre-order for $299.99.  Yep…the price went up. 

Here’s a picture of my new reader in the cover that I made. 


I’ll do a tutorial on how I made it later; it didn’t go as smoothly as I thought it would and I ended up exhausted and praying that I could be done soon.  Just thinking about typing it out makes me tired all over again. 🙂

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Superbowl weekend

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I hope that you had a great weekend.  I’m back to trying to post again regularly.  How was your Superbowl weekend?  Mine was quite relaxing.  This was Kristian’s weekend with her dad and I was determined to spend most of my weekend in the house.  You see  not only was it Superbowl weekend, but it was also rent weekend.  Everyone know that during mortgage and rent weeks there is not a lot of spending going on.  There may be those of you out there where this week is not a concern, but for most of the people that I know it is.  Add to the fact that it was rent week, the weather here in Indy has been VERY uncooperative and did not lend to getting out much. 

My plans for this weekend were to cook good, fun food, watch some great movies, and read, read, read.  Did I accomplish these plans?  Reflecting on the weekend, I have to say… yes.  Yes, I did. 

Friday I made pulled pork sandwiches with homemade bar-b-que sauce and coleslaw served with my weakness, French fries.  I had slow-cooked the pork Thursday night and Friday morning in garlic, onion, red peppers and a little beef broth.  I got home and quickly made a bar-b-que sauce (I added some North Carolina sauce that I received from a coworker…thank you Larry).  I made some coleslaw on top of the sandwich and man was it good. 

Saturday I did something that I rarely do…I slept in.  Typically I’m up early on Saturdays and I get to the grocery store and hurry back home to finish out my day.  Not so this weekend.  I woke up early (around 4 am) but went back to sleep (around 6am) and finally got out of bed at 8:30.  First, I sat down and updated my coupon book (it’s a thing of beauty I tell you and I will have to show you a picture of it in another post I promise I’m going to write about meal planning).  Then I made out my menu for the upcoming week (again another blog coming soon), a lot of which was centering around the Superbowl menu.  From this I made the grocery list.  It was snowing like crazy, but my Mom and I braved the elements; and 3 hours and 2 grocery stores later we were done.  I came home and had a light lunch.  For dinner I made steak (and chicken for my brother) tacos.  I had marinated the beef (and chicken) in a mixture of lime juice, canola & olive oil, jalapeño peppers, minced garlic, and cilantro for about 7 hours.  I cooked everything hot and fast in my cast iron skillet (I consider it a kitchen essential).  When you have steak tacos you need Margaritas.  My brother, his girlfriend and I had wonderfully delicious margarita’s that had to be made with my immersion blender because my blender was cracked and everything was running out of it.  OMG!…the margarita’s were great and they went perfect with the tacos.  I finished my J.D. Robb book, Indulgence in Death, and started the short story that follows it from the anthology, The Other Side, which had Possession in Death.  

Superbowl Sunday…I got up and pulled out the things required to make my dinner treats.  I went back to bed (can you believe it!!!) and finished the book.  Be still my heart, I finished the book.  Both books were a great read.  It was a lot better than the previous book, Fantasy in Death, it flowed faster and better and I wasn’t left waiting for the next big thing to happen or unfold.  For the superbowl menu I made buffalo chicken dip with homemade pita chips,

Buffalo Dip & Pita Chips


TGIFridays brand potato skins (they were only $1.66 a box), another fabulous pulled pork sandwich and pig cake.  The pig cake was a recipe that I got from The Pioneer Woman blog.  

A piece of pig cake


Can’t figure out why it’s called pig cake (actually I can…Kristian had some last night and she had the topping, made from whipped topping, crushed pineapple and vanilla pudding, was all over her face and hands – like she was pigging out on it – hence the name, I think) but man was it good.  Everything was good.  My brother complained that I didn’t make enough pita chips for the dip (cause it was really good), but I was completely satisfied.  I read some more of the book we are reading for counseling, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  I updated my book list and began reading the first book of a Susan Mallery series.  Now…I also watched two really good movies, The Social Network and RedThe Social Network is about the creation of Facebook and Red is a good action-packed, romantic-comedy that included great actors (Helen Mirren is the best, I want to be built like her when I’m her age.  My hips will be slightly bigger, but oh well.)  It was a great weekend…I don’t watch the game, so I can’t comment on it, nor the commercials, or the half-time show.  But I do know that congratulations go to the Green Bay Packers.  How about you?  How was your weekend?  What was your superbowl menu?

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Book Club

I belong to a book club that meets the second Tuesday of each month (Sugarbook Club).  This past Tuesday was our first meeting of the new year and we were fortunate to have an author visit.  What is an author visit you ask?  Well, we are fortunate (and we actually work really hard at it) to have local authors come to our meetings and hang out with us.  We are not your average book club that sits back and chooses a book to read for the month and then discusses the symbolism or does in-depth character traits.  NOPE…that’s not us.  We do have a set book that we are to read each month.  We do discuss the book more like a review…did you hate, did you love it and why.  We do talk about the characters…are they punks or alphas, are they deserving of each other, that kind of discussion.  No symbolism, no hidden meanings.  After we have discussed the book we are supposed to read, we start talking about other books we read during the month (this can be very heated and enthusiastic) as well as, what books are soon to be releashed and what we plan to read next.  We have found that most authors are initially overwhelmed with the unformated style of meeting, but once they realize the way of it all they think it’s loads of fun.

So about the author…  Her name is Carmen K. Glenn and she is the author of three published works and is currently working on a fourth.  He novels are: Overdrive, Ambition, and Office Gossip.  Carmen began writing in 2006.  The first story, Overdrive, was originally a journal that she was writing for herself that she later changed to a story for her own personal enjoyment.  Her sister pleaded with Carmen to let her view it and from there she persuaded her to publish it.  After the first book was published, she found that readers had questions about one of the characters from Overdrive and the second novel, Ambition, was born.  Again, readers had questions about another character that was addressed in Office Gossip.   All in all it was a good visit.

We also talked about the trips we will be making this year as a book club.  There are author/reader appreciations that happen throughout the year that are hosted either by an author or, in one case, a major bookstore chain.  This year we will be attending the Lori Foster Readers Appreciation weekend in June and the Borders sponsored RomCon in Denver in August.   There is so much planning to be done, hotels, car rentals, flight arrangements.  A couple of the ladies have been thinking about taking the train to Denver after hearing me talk about our train trip to Houston.  They think the scenary would be breathtaking.  The debate is that the cost of a coach seat on a train is a little more than the cost of a round trip plane ticket.  So do you want to have scenary or be there in a couple of hours and be able to relax in the hotel room?

As usual, I supplied the “treat” for our meeting.  This month was Red Velvet Brownies.  I had to make them without nuts because one of our members is allergic to them, but they were still awesome.  All of the snow started coming down that day so we didn’t have a full head count; but it just made it easier for everyone to take home the extra brownies.  Kristian always comes with me to my meetings (I’ve tried to leave at home a few times and she always has a fit.  She actually called me one time to tell me that I was in trouble because I left her at home. :)), and she was telling me to make sure that I get a some brownies too.  The presentation wasn’t the best, because it had been a crazy, busy day (the snow and Kristian had an awards ceremony at school in the middle of the day that I left work to attend, then took her with me). 

I love our meetings….I love being in the company of anyone who loves the written word.  🙂  Even if I’m now considered a snob because I will only read books in electronic format.  I’ll have to tell you guys about that another time. Happy reading to all my fellow readers.

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My favorite reading genre is…

ROMANCE!!!  Yes, I admit it, my favorite reading genre is romance.  There are many minor genres within the romance genre that one could choose from: paranormal, historical, futuristic, suspense, contemporary and so on.  I have favorite authors and have even attended some Romance Author hosted appreciation weekends.  I belong to a romance book club, Sugar Book Club, and we get together once a month and talk about all of the wonderful, exciting books that we have read; as well as the ones we are eagerly anticipating the release of.   

Some of my favorite authors are part of the New York Times Bestselling List: JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts), JR Ward (she is way cool and even remembers my kid) and her awesome seriesThe Black Dagger Brotherhood

Sherrilyn Kenyon who has her own conference, K-Con, and has a rock star tour bus writes the Hunters Series (Dark Hunters, Dream Hunters, Were-Hunters), 

Lora Leigh who writes the breed series, Lyndsay Sands (who is great for a good laugh), Kresley Cole who writes the Immortal After Dark series (she never releases her books soon enough for me), Gena Showalter,

Christine Feehan (I actually made her blush) writes the BEST vampire/carpathian novels EVER,Dark Series

Robin D. Owens, Shelley Laurenston, Lori Foster (aka G.A. Aiken), Shiloh Walker, and the list goes on.   I’ve met many of these darling ladies at Author/Reader get-togethers and have actually become friends with others.  It was amazing to learn that the women I so admire are some of the nicest people I could meet.

I think the problem is that when people think of romance novels they think of the novels of old.  The ones that really have no plot; just boy meet girls – boy gets intimate with girl – some tragedy happens to make boy and girl split up – then they realize they need each other and come back together for happily ever after.  The days of those novels are pretty much over; now most novels are part of an ongoing series that has multiple characters that you can’t help want to know about, villians that you hate but still want to know about, and great suspense/fight scenes/comedic scenes that leave you impatient for more.  Now don’t get me wrong there is romance and in some of the books it can get kindof racy, but there are substance to the novels. 

When I read a novel (I have two eReaders – Sony & Kindle – so I don’t read much hard copies anymore), I get frustrated if the content is one of the books of old.  I want some action, I want a strong heroine, I want an ALPHA male, and I don’t want any characters with a “victim” mentality (those woe-is-me characters that make you want to smack some sense into them and tell them to get a grip).  Nope my books are not the books of old. 

I need to address the negative stigma that is associated with romance novels.  Romance novels accounts for the third largest reading genre (Religion is first and mystery is second).  The majority of movies that are most popular are romance based and if you really think about it, there is a bit of romance in every book we read.  At some point a guy gets with a girl or has a love interest even if they can’t spend alot of time cultivating it.  The romance readers of the world need to come out of the closet and be proud to read one of the fastest growing readership genre’s in the world.  Stop hiding the covers of your books from your friends or coworkers…when someone ask you what you’re reading don’t pass it off as just a book.  Announce proudly…A ROMANCE NOVEL!

The pictures and logos are from the JR Ward and Christine Feehan Website.


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