Saturday, July 30, 2011

NJ Bloggers: Dinner, Books and the Heat!

Christine, Mariana, Natalie and I decided to have our NJ Bloggers Summer's get together last Friday, July 22nd. It was the single, hottest day of the month in our area... that day the heat index hit 114℉ or 45.5 ℃ in our area. It was brutal! But, we were determined and met anyway.

Christine was coming from home, Mariana and Natalie were lucky enough to be working from home that day due to the heat, I had to go to the office but was released early -- by 3:30 p.m.  Unfortunately, buses were breaking down left and right because of the weather, and by the time I caught one and arrived home it was 5:00 p.m. and I was feeling a bit fried from commuting. Brutal!

After a quick shower and change, Christine and the ladies picked me up and we took off for our meeting place, Houlihan's in Weehawken. We sat inside because it was too hot for enjoying outdoor sitting that day, but our table had a wonderful view of New York City and the Hudson River, and soon we were all relaxing. We had a cozy, lazy time and all had tasty dinners and great drinks (I'm having one of those martinis next time, Christine!), and shared one of their delicious desserts (they're huge!). Our conversation strayed toward the personal, but I can say that we were all quite proud of Christine's dedication, persistence and how brilliantly she has met her athletic challenges. She was still sporting the identification number from her last endeavor, which was temporarily tattooed by the sun on her arm while she biked... I wanted to take a picture of it, but if you haven't figured it out yet, this is not a picture-taking group. [grin]

We left our bookish discussion and book exchange for later. This all took place after dinner while we sat on a bench by the Hudson River. Christine brought a whole box of books so we looked through those, chose our books and left the box in the trunk of her car. Mariana and I brought tote bags brimming with books, so all four of us settled down on a bench to check out what we wanted from each other.

Despite the sheer amount books available, this time I only chose six books that I've not previously read. From Christine's box I chose four historical romances:
  • With Seduction in Mind by Laura Lee Guhrke
  • The Seduction of An Unknown Lady by Samantha James
  • The Highlander by Heather Grothaus (new-to-me author)
  • Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer

From Mariana's books I chose two romance suspense novels by Linda Howard, plus a few first edition romances by Nora Roberts for my collection -- I've already read these books by NR and still have them all, most of them in collections of three, but I still wanted these! I split those with Natalie who is a great Nora Roberts fan and is still making her way through her backlist. Here's the list.

  • Open Season by Linda Howard (Hardcover)
  • Now You See Her by Linda Howard (Hardcover)
  • Local Hero by Nora Roberts
  • Untamed by Nora Roberts
  • Blithe Images by Nora Roberts
  • One Summer by Nora Roberts
  • Sullivan's Woman by Nora Roberts
  • A Will and a Way by Nora Roberts
  • Unfinished Business by Nora Roberts
  • Genuine Lies by Nora Roberts

I read Genuine Lies a long time ago and thought it was part of my collection, so when I saw it in the bunch I past it along to Natalie, who past it back to Mariana, who gave it back to me and somehow remained in my possession. I thought of giving the book to my daughter, but when I went through my books at home realized it was not there. How could that be? I MUST do an inventory of my NR books! So, thanks Mariana for insisting. You all know what that means, right? Now I have to re-read it. LOL!

Anyway while all this was going on, Christine, Mariana and I exchanged and shared impressions from our RWA experience about authors and books with each other and with our sweet friend Natalie who didn't attend. Plus, we shared our thoughts about our latest favorite books and reviews, grading reviews, ARCs, publishers and publishing... all of it as we perused and discussed some of the books we were exchanging, and tried not to think of the heat! By that time it was almost 10:00 p.m. and I'm pretty sure we were all thinking: water! shower! So, we finally drove away and said so long, hopefully until our next get together in the Fall.

One last thing... Happy Belated Birthday, Natalie!


  1. Ahhhh fun! But I don't envy you the heat at all - I can't imagine what it must be like.

    And I love those NR books - retro covers ;-)

  2. I sounds like a fun booking evening!

    But that heat!!!! I don't envy you the buses and city in 115 degrees. I remember the humidity was bad last Friday too.

  3. What a great time we had! That Melon Colada was the best thing I've ever had. Christine's martini was excellent as well.

    ALL THOSE BOOKS! It was better than the library ;) I'm so glad I could find homes for all those NR books :)

    And again, we forgot to take pictures... it must me the theme :|

    Let's not discuss that heat... it was beyond brutal.

  4. Looks like you guys all had a great time! I love getting together w/my fellow bloggers. Such fun.

  5. Li, we did have fun! But the heat was almost unbearable. I was fried. LOL

    Those NR covers are gorgeous! I should highlight at least one of the books so I can feature, not only the cover, but the meaning behind the flowers. They're beautiful and I love having them. :D

    Reny, I love those evenings with the ladies. We do have fun. :D The heat? I'm not going to forget that day anytime soon -- that was the commute from hell! Ugh.

    Mariana, what fun! Oooh and I forgot about your Melon Colada. ;P So refreshing in that heat. *g* ALL THOSE BOOKS!! We really did bring load this time. But yes... the NR books were a highlight for me. I know that Natalie really appreciated them too.

    Lori, it was wonderful to see Natalie again as it had been a while, and just sitting down and having a peaceful conversation without interruption. Just a fun, relaxing evening. Love it.

  6. What fun. Wish I knew some book bloggers around here :-(

    Anyhow, I liked the Dreyer book very much. I'll be anxious to here what you think too.

  7. OK, the heat doesn't sound like fun, but the catch-up sounds amazing! One day I want to get to NY and hopefully meet you all!

  8. Awww thank you for the greetings and the wonderful recap. I really had fun and enjoyed the company, hope we can get together again in the fall.

    I was overwhelmed coming home with a box filled with books I haven't counted them yet but maybe close to 100!!!
    Thank you and will surely share them to my cousin.

    Know what I am huge with picture taking but we never took pictures the four of us!!! I have to remember that next time!

  9. Sounds like you ladies had a great time! Lucky! I wish I could have come by LOL.

    Isn't it fun to do book exchange with friends? I just love it LOL. And you got lucky on the NR, Hils!! Hmmm, there are a few titles there that I'm not familiar with... need to check them out! :)

  10. It sounds like you had a lovely time, despite that heat! And believe me, I know hot weather. LOL

    Nice Nora Roberts haul. :)

    And Happy Belated Birthday to Natalie. :)

  11. Phyl, you don't have anyone close to you? That's too bad! We would love to have you near us. :) Thanks for recommending the Dreyer... I will definitely read it.

    Orannia, you're in the middle of your winter, right? Well, when you do come to NYC, we have a date! :D

    Natalie, did you really rake up over 100 books?! Good for you! :D I knew we brought a lot of them... but wow. O_o Next time... pictures. LOL!

    Nath, it was fun, fun... I wish you'd been there too! You remember the place, right? We went there with Christine when you came by in October. :) I LOVE those old NR books... those titles are old, old... check them out. :D

    Leslie, yeah... the heat was horrible... the humidity made it even worse. Bleh... The NR's are an indulgence since I already have them, but who can pass up those originals? Not me!

  12. Hey Hils :) Yes, I remember the place :) And guess what? That last day I was in NJ? We went to Hooligans to eat LOL. Not the same one of course, but the one in Secaucus ;)

  13. Oh, I've been there often, Nath! There's a great sushi place right next door too. ;P


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