Saturday, February 25, 2012

This n' That: NJ Bloggers + Surprises & Thanks!

A week ago today, I had the pleasure of meeting with my fellow New Jersey bloggers. We are trying to meet at least once per season, if not more often, depending on our busy schedules. It was a pleasure meeting with Christine, Mariana and Natalie again!

This time Mariana chose the place and we met at The Melting Pot in Hoboken where they serve everything fondue! Cheese fondue -- just look at Christine's smile in the picture above! ;p We ended up having a yummy lunch filled with ooohs and ahhhs. Lunch was good, but the dessert was the piece de resistance! The Yin & Yang combination of melted white and dark chocolate was a sight to behold and I don't think there was enough left at the end to lick the bowl. LOL! We all loved it, and I walked away dreaming of strawberries and cheesecake dipped in chocolate. Check out my grainy pictures, doesn't that dessert look yummy?

Of course we also discussed books and our latest reads. Christine shared how much she enjoyed her latest read Eon by Alison Goodman, and she and Mariana recommended it to the rest of us. Natalie shared her surprise with her enjoyment of latest read Homefront by Kristin Hannah, and that turned out to be great because I just happened to have a book by this author in my bag of goodies that she took home with her! Mariana was all about our latest Internet Book Club read The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan, and I was waxing poetic about He Will Laugh by Douglas Ray and the merits of poetry (lol), plus the latest release by Victoria Alexander, My Wicked Little Lies.

We didn't exchange books this time, instead I just brought something for everyone and that helped me make room in my bookshelves. It worked out perfectly for all of us. :)

Thank you ladies for a great time! It was a wonderful, wonderful afternoon!


I do have two other great ladies I would like to thank. Back in November I put up two posts -- one post was about Pamela Morsi books I purchased and the other post about Mary Balogh books I received from my friend Reny. In one I mentioned that I had been looking for a particular book by Ms. Balogh, and in the comments area of the other there were some great recommendations from the wonderful readers/bloggers that visit.

As a result, I received two books in the mail from two generous and thoughtful ladies!

In the comments area of the Morsi post, JenM recommended The Charm School by Susan Wiggs (1999). When I mentioned that I had only read contemporary romances by this author, but had never read her historical romances, she offered to send me the book and did so immediately. I was quite touched by Jen's generosity!

At that time Jen also recommended Conor's Way by Laura Lee Guhrke, the latest rage around the web (going by all the reviews, lol). Hey Jen! I finally got that book at a great price... 0.99 cents for my Kindle. Thanks for the recommendation. :D

Then! I mentioned that I was missing Indiscreet (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse #1) by Mary Balogh (1997), to complete the series, but that it was next to impossible to find the book at a reasonable price. Well, I received a wonderful surprise on Valentine's Day when a copy of this book arrived at my door all the way from Canada from sweet Ames! She found it at a used book store and thought of me. She made my day!

Thank you JenM and Ames for your generosity and thoughtfulness!


  1. How fun, to meet up with fellow bloggers! I wish I knew more readers around my way, seems like such a great thing to do. Glad you all had fun, everything looks yummy.

    One thing I love about the reader community is the helpfulness and the generosity, especially with Romance readers. When we love something, we want to share it.

  2. I hope you like Charm School, I remember I read that one a few years ago and thought it was nice.

    I do need to read Connor's Way too, I got it somewhere :D

    Thanks for sharing this post, looks like meeting fellow bloggers was awesome :D

  3. Oh man, you haven't read any of Wiggs' historicals? I'm still working through her mammoth backlist, but I've really enjoyed a great many of them!

    I liked The Charm School, but I actually prefer the sequel, The Horsemaster's Daughter, a wee bit more. She took a few years off, then came around with a few more books within that family tree (Calhouns?). I'm thinking of pulling one of them out of the TBR for the March challenge (series you are behind on....)

  4. I'm glad you picked up Conor's Way. I loved it and I've now got a few of the author's Victorian set romances on my TBR. Too many books, too little time....

  5. Pictures!! Yes! LOL. Good thing Christine was done with her cleansing detox LOL. And oh, it looks so yummy! :)

    Now, I'm curious about Eon... and Homefront, is that the newest book by Ms Hannah, because that one looks good.

    And I love blogland!! The friends make it all worth it! :)

  6. Aw, Hils! What a nice post!
    Why am I the only one in the photo?! LOL! I'm glad your pics are a little grainy... it hides the drool that was probably leaking from my mouth in that picture! And yes, nath, Thank goodness I was done with my cleansing detox!!! I think I ate more than everyone else for sure! ... and the chocolate? I think we would have licked the fondue pot clean if it wasn't so hot! Although there wasn't that much chocolate in it anyway. :P

    I loved seeing you, Hils, and Mariana and Natalie, too. Can't wait to get together again... soon, I hope!

    Thank you again for the books. You're so generous. Thank you! xoxo

    Miss ya already! xo

  7. Sounds like a wonderful catch-up! One day I'm going to get myself to NY!

    And I've heard some good things about Conor's Way and have a note to buy it - I must get on to that as it sounds great!

  8. Fondue was popular when I was a kid - everyone had fondue pots! It looks like such a fun way to spend the afternoon. Fondue and friends. :)

    Agree with Wendy about Wiggs' historicals. Love them! The Lightkeeper is one of my favorites.

  9. Brie, we're lucky to be close enough to meet and exchange thoughts personally. It's a great experience. :)
    And you're right, there's nothing like book lovers, particularly romance readers, for their generosity. I've found it to be so too. :D

    Alex, I'm looking forward to reading both those books. They're great recommendations! We had a great time. :D

    Wendy, no I haven't! I missed out on 90's historical romances and authors... and am STILL catching up. I read mostly contemporaries (and other genres) during that time. I'm less behind now, but still... so many great authors and books! I'll look for The Horsemaster's Daughter. Thanks for that recommendation. :)

    Jen, thanks again for the book and for both recommendations. I'm hoping to read The Charm School as part of the TBR Challenge and Conor's Way won't be in there too long either. I also have a few of Guhrke's Victorians in my TBR... should get to them!

    Nath, pictures! Just for you! LOL! Eon and Eona were highly recommended (to me) last year, and now both Mariana and Christine too! So yeah, look it up. Homefront is Ms. Hannah's latest... Natalie really, really enjoyed it! :D

    Christine! I hope you don't mind being on the photo! You're the only one there because you're the one staring at the gooey, yummy, melted cheese... and you were sitting across from me when I took the picture. LOL on the detox!!! (And my diet)... more chocolate would have been great! (except for the diet) *g*

    Can't wait to you, Mariana and Natalie again. Soon, I hope!

    XOXO :)

    Orannia, come by NYC! You would love it. I'll look forward to YOUR thoughts on Conor's Way too. I'll be reading it soon.

    Leslie, I remember the fondue days too... it seems they're coming back? It was such fun! Particularly the chocolate part. *g*

    Oh... thanks for recommending The Lightkeeper by Wiggs, I'm reading The Charm School and then you know me... I'll be checking out that extensive backlist.

  10. I'm tempted by Eon, but I'm afraid that for me, it'll be deja-vu. the story sounds very familiar... perhaps I'll give it another go :)

    By the way, I've been meaning to comment on the picture! LOL, it seems Christine has something hanging from her hair... till you realize that it's the fork and cheese!! LOL

    Christine - Well nobody would have blame you! It looks ultra yummy! :P

  11. I'm going to give Eon a shot! I don't enough of those to make it passe. LOL!

    Ohhh... Click on the picture to make it bigger! You'll see the gooey, yummy, cheese!

  12. I stalled on Eon as well, but want to give it another some point :)


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