Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From


Today, our reviewer, Thornapple, has offered up her “Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From”. Welcome, Thornapple!

Thanks for having me! When I signed on to do this post, I thought I had a pretty good idea of who would make my top ten list. One thing I should explain is that I collect vintage paperbacks. So, I have some large collections of some of my all time favorite authors. I couldn’t decide if I should leave those out or include them. I decided to add a few of the collections but mostly these are authors I have on my kindle or have saved my favorite books by them. Some the authors that made the list was surprising to me. I had no idea I had that many books by some of these authors.

So, without further ado: Starting at number ten…

10) Martha Grimes. I have the entire Richard Jury Series!

09) Barbara Michaels. ( aka Elizabeth Peters) I have a huge Gothic collection and Barbara was one of the best, I also have a large collection of her Amelia Peabody novels written under the Elizabeth Peters name

08) Dick Francis. One of my favorite British Mystery Series. I don’t have all of his work, but I have most of them.

07) Christina Dodd. Now this was a surprise. Christiana has written quite a few historical romances, as well as paranormal and romantic suspense. I have saved quite a few of her historical novels. I do not have the infamous 3 armed cover–check that out-it’s legendary.

06) Stephen King. Okay, no surprises there except that I guess I haven’t actually saved many of his books.

05) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This is a collection and I’m still working on it, but I have quite a number of Sherlock Holmes books, some are in a very nice collectors volume my son got me for Christmas one year.

04) Julia Quinn. Another head scratcher. I didn’t know I had kept so many of these. Julia is, along with Eloisa James one of my favorite regency period authors.

03) Sherrilyn Kenyon. If you have not read Sherrilyn Kenyon you might not get it. But, trust me when I say this is one popular author. If you manage to keep all the books she has written and try really hard to keep them in mint condition, you might have a small fortune on your hands. One of the best in Paranormal Romance.

02) Rex Stout. Sort of a surprise to me. I have collected Nero Wolfe novels for awhile, but I has no idea my collection was so large. I am really pleased to see I had so many because unless you want to pay a fortune for them on Ebay, they are really hard to find.

And the winner is…Drumroll please… A tie!! I know, what a rip off. However I have to be honest and this may be a little anti climatic, and no surprise to most…

01) Nora Roberts/ J.D. Robb. I have nearly all of the Eve Dallas “In Death” series and many, many, many Nora Roberts novels. I have collected the older Nora Roberts and still have quite a few of her paperbacks but I mostly have these in digital because I love her stories but simply do not have room for a collection of her books. Nora is the queen of romance–she can write anything: contemporary, romantic suspense, paranormal, and even science fiction.

So, there you have it folks- the strangest top ten list in history!! What’s on your bookshelf?

The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III — Excerpt and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will receive a $50 Amazon or BN gift card. The Rafflecopter is at the end of this post.

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Lightning streaked across a midnight dark sky, making the neck hairs of a five-year-old girl crouched beneath a cluster of twenty-foot pines in the Turquoise Mountains of Aztlan stand on end. The long wavy strands of her auburn mane floated outward with the static charge. It felt as though the world was about to end.

Seconds later, lightning struck a lone tree nearby and a crash of thunder shook the ground. Her body rocked back and forth, trembling with terror. She lost her footing, sandstone crumbling beneath her feet, and then regained it; still, she did not feel safe. There appeared to be reddish eyes watching from behind scrub oaks and mountain pines, scanning her every movement and watching her quick breaths. Then everything became silent.

The girl leaned against the trunk of the nearest tree. The night air wrapped its frigid arms tightly around her, and she wondered if she would freeze to death or, even worse, stay there through the night and by morning be nothing but the blood and bones left by hungry animals. Her breaths became quicker and were so shallow that no air seemed to reach her lungs. The dusty earth gave up quick bursts of sand from gusts of northerly winds that blew so fiercely into her nostrils that she coughed but tried to stifle the sounds because she didn’t want to be noticed.

About the Author:

Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

Amazon Author Page ~ Website ~ Blog

Purchase the book from Amazon or

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C.C. Humphreys — a guest blog

It is one of my favourite opening lines: “The End of Time came on a Wednesday – and Jack was missing it.”

As soon as I read that the English finally caught up with Continental time and switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1752 I knew I wanted to write about it. It would provide the perfect start to my depiction of Jack, in that year a semi-feral abandoned child living with his wicked Uncle in Cornwall. He would not understand why they had to take away 11 days to balance the calendars. He would just want to greet the change in a typically English fashion: by rioting! ‘Give us back our 11 days’ was the cry as tax offices were burned and unlucky foreigners tarred and feathered.

I always wanted Jack to begin thus – a tough childhood that would, in the end, stand him in good stead when as a young man he goes to war. Between which I wanted the contrast I depict in The Blooding of Jack Absolute: his teens years spent as gifted but lazy scholar at Westminster School in London, indulging in all the fun and sinfulness that the City has to offer. A different kind of training indeed!

I think that is why I am so fond of this book. Taking him from boy to man, from tough beginnings thru’ wild teenage, to the grim reckonings of the French and Indian Wars. It is a true ‘first novel’ – even though it is the second, the prequel to ‘Jack Absolute’. It is funny, romantic as well as tragic. Ultimately I hope it develops a character into a certain nobility, albeit a man with serious flaws.

11_22The prequel to Jack AbsoluteThe Blooding of Jack Absolute: A Novel

The novel takes readers on a journey back in time through Jack Absolute’s youth in the home of his drunk and wicked uncle Duncan, and his equally wicked cousin Caster, to his escape to London.

During Jack’s years at Westminster, he’s a terror on the cricket field; a dashing rogue loved by the ladies, including the daughter of his French tutor and the mistress of a member of Parliament; and the leader of a band of schoolmates who fancy themselves a tribe of “Moyock.”

Jack’s bright future is shattered during a night of revelry when his past and present collide and force him to flee England and find his fate in the dangerous New World during the ruthless French and Indian War.

Amid hostile Indians, fierce colonial rivalries, and a brutal North American winter, Jack struggles for survival. But to survive, Jack must be blooded for life. He must learn to kill.

Humphreys’s riveting prequel answers many of the questions readers had about Jack Absolute’s past and showcases the stunning transformation of a young dreamer into a daring, larger-than-life hero.

11_22 image003C.C. Humphreys is a novelist, fight choreographer, and actor who played Jack Absolute in The Rivals for a six-month run in London in the mid-1980s. When he became a full-time writer a decade ago, he decided to transform his leading man into a title character. Humphreys has written seven historical fiction novels including The French Executioner, which was runner-up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers 2002. The Jack Absolute series features three books: Jack Absolute, The Blooding of Jack Absolute, and Absolute Honor.

Praise for Jack Absolute

“An absolute delight! Swashbuckling adventure, eighteenth-century wit, hugely entertaining plots, and one of the most appealing military gentlemen ever to wear a sword.”

—Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander and Lord John Grey series

“The author’s affectionate, theatrical tale sets up his dashing hero and faithful sidekick for a long series. Much derring-do, told with panache.” —Kirkus

“Humphreys combines historical detail, a larger-than-life hero, clever plotting, and fast pacing to craft a thoroughly entertaining historical adventure.” —Publishers Weekly

“Although full of intrigue and accurate historical detail, the novel is ultimately a straightforward adventure story that sends readers racing through the pages of Absolute’s improbable but exciting captures, escapes, and fight scenes.” —School Library Journal

“A great introduction to what will surely become a long-lasting series.” —Library Journal

“Humphreys’s acting background brings drama to life in Jack’s legendary tale.” —Booklist

“Imagine if Dan Brown were to write historical fiction starring Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes. Got that? Now throw in a heavy dose of Shakespeare and theater humor, and you have this novel.” —Tara’s Book Blog

It’s the Little Things by Philip Johnsey + $50 Amazon GC Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Philip will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It’s the Little Things
By Philip Johnsey

That’s not good enough, clean it again!” barked the officer. Wow, this guy is a real jerk, I thought as I watched the show unfold. A cadet in the armed forces was tasked with cleaning a bathroom and his last task was to clean a small glass. Nothing fancy, just a glass that someone would use to rinse out their mouth and spit.

The officer kept finding issues with the glass; a spot, lint, a streak, etc. The poor cadet had to clean it again, again, and again. Normally I don’t watch such shows, but at this point I was intrigued as to the outcome. The glass was not fine crystal and he was cleaning the bathroom in the barracks, not a 5 star hotel. What’s the point of being so anal? No one will care, let alone even notice.

Finally the glass passed inspection, but what happened next is what made it unforgettable. The officer explained that if the cadet demonstrated excellence in something as trivial as cleaning a glass, he could be trusted with anything.

I never forgot that lesson, although I must admit at times I forget to have that same level of excellence. Although I have proven that time and time again.

One evening after a long day of volunteering at a state park, we were cleaning up the education center. It had to be cleaned and ready for opening the next morning. The ranger told us not to worry because she’d come in early. I grabbed a vacuum cleaner and vacuumed that place as if it was my house. When we asked for a ride back to my truck, the ranger said “we know where you are, you’re the last car here”.

Two weeks later I showed up for a volunteer event and guess what happened. That same ranger needed leaders for groups and selected me first. She tossed me the keys to the park vehicle, gave me instructions and off I went. My friend was like “I’ve been here longer than you, how did you get that gig?” I’m pretty sure it had to do with spending the extra time to vacuum and do it correctly.

As I look around at what’s worked well and what has not, I realize that the attention I give to the little things determines the quality of the outcome. I know that sounds obvious, but I often neglect that when it’s something I don’t want to do or can’t see how it will make a difference. Yet how I perform in those moments often lays the best ground work.

In summary, paying attention and doing my best in the little things results in great results. It’s not always easy or glamorous, but in the end at least I know I did my best.

MEDIA KIT Pjohnsey_author_photo (2)Raised on a farm and having been a volunteer at different animal rescues, it’s no surprise that his first two published articles were about animals. So it’s only fitting that Phil’s first book is about animals and the connections we share.

From Phil’s first high school job to present, he’s spent his career working with clients, explaining complex ideas in an easy to understand manner. In addition Phil enjoys exploring the world and sharing those adventures via writing, photography, and videography.

Phil’s credits include, multiple certifications, Reiki master, photographer, author of two blogs, author of a travel column, creates short segments for a local T.V. station and whatever else he can get into.

Kirkus Review:


Barnes and Noble:


MEDIA KIT Pjohnsey_bookcover (2)Edmund blasts across the yard against my calls to come in. He gleely runs off and I chase him across the grass only to find a unique butterfly or a sky filled with stars. As soon as I stop and admire, Edmund promptly comes to my side and rubs against me.

Do you ever wonder if there is more to your pet’s behavior than meets the eye? Sometimes their antics are more than just random behavior. Can we learn something about ourselves by watching them?

I believe so and Climb that Fence take that Leap is a compilation of personal, inspirational animal stories and the life lessons I gleaned from them.

After enjoying these stories, hopefully you’ll enjoy more quality time with your furry friend and know what it takes to Climb that Fence and Take that Leap!

Play Twenty Questions: Question 20

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 Enjoy these answers from a host of authors in multiple genres, from YA to mystery to romance — then enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or BN GC and more!

2013 Anniversary NON Questions 20
Tasarla Romaney  Duck Dynasty. I love Jace and Si. To sit and drink coffee with them would totally rock

Linda Palmer Reality shows are way too revealing. Though I’m a big fan of Survivor and Big Brother, no amount of money would make me be on either.

Debra St. John  I wouldn’t want to be a contestant, but I’d love to get a reservation for a meal at “Hell’s Kitchen”. We watch it with friends every week and always talk about going there. However, since many times the food doesn’t get served in a timely manner or the kitchen gets shut down entirely, we’d be sure to nibble beforehand and have a back up dining plan for afterwards!

Kaylie Newell The Deadliest Catch. Of course, I’d just make them give me a ride in the harbor and then take me back to the dock.

Judy Alter One of the cooking reality shows–unless someone starts on about mystery authors

Linda Rettstatt They’d have to create a new show for me. One where whoever could sit in a recliner and work on the laptop the longest without getting up would win. I’d suck at Survivor (see earlier note about spiders and snakes). I can’t play games well enough for Big Brother–I’d insult everyone. And Dancing With the Stars is really out of the question given my two left feet. Recliner sitting and typing is my forte.

Maeve Greyson Duck Dynasty. They remind me a lot of my own family. ;-)

Niecey Roy UFO Hunters!!! Because…we are not alone ;)

Tess Morrison The Apprentice. I’m sure I’d kick butt, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t take it so well if I was fired. Actually, I just want to get a gander at Donald’s hair. I think I could help him with that.

Tina Pollick Definitely not any survivor show. Nope. No singing shows, because that would be just mean. No cooking shows because people wouldn’t want to come over anymore to eat. No dating shows because I’m happily married. Are there any more shows left?

Debra Doggett That one where they put you back in time and made you go live on a farm without electricity or running water. I don’t think I’d last long but it’d be a great weekend and with the money they pay me I can buy a real house and pay the electric bill.

Nia Simone Anna Nicole Smith, but she’s gone. My heart just breaks for her. It always did. I get teary-eyed just thinking of her. I just always felt she was so vulnerable. And no one really saw it. She was so easy to ridicule. I would like to go back in time and make things turn out better for her. For her not to lose her son and then her own life to despair.

Virginia Crane  None. I really don’t like reality shows because they are fake. Think about it. There has to be a camera person and tons of film that will be edited. Everyday life is reality enough for me.

Graeme Brown I think anyone ho brought a camera into my house would be able to start their own reality TV show.

Nancy Fraser The Biggest Loser. I find most reality shows useless, but this one is life-changing. It would be nice to get a firm handle on good eating habits, a constant exercise routine and improve my overall health.

Robyn Bachar Ghost Hunters! It’s one of my very favorite TV shows. I’d love to go on an investigation with the TAPS team. I have a life-long interest in the paranormal, which is what first inspired me to write paranormal romance. I even have an homage to the TAPS team in my novella FIRE IN THE BLOOD.

Jeanette Baker I have no idea. I’ve never watched a reality show. Sorry.

Kim Hornsby I’d like to be on The Bachelor if I were young, single and gorgeous. If I was on the show with the wisdom I now have at the ripe age of 56, I’d be the most intelligent and appealing contestant in the history of The Bachelor. When I watch the show (and I’m a huge fan!) I play along and groan when the girls say and do something stupid, then remember how stupid I was when I was twenty-two. If you read my novella The Husband Hunt, you’ll see that I created a character who comes to her senses mid way through the first month on The Bachelor and tries to pull out of the competition.

Juliet Waldron Perhaps Dancing With the Stars. But only if I could have my 25 year old body back again.

Willa Blair One of those cooking shows where you get to sample all the great food they’re making. Maybe Dancing with the Stars. It looks like fun, despite all the injuries. On second thought, being in their studio audience would probably be sufficient.

Lynda J Cox Ice Road Truckers–but I’d be in the office lining up loads. As much as I love to drive (and as often as I drive over the road going to and from dog shows), there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of EVER getting me to drive a big rig across a frozen lake. NO THANK YOU!

Lynda Coker I hate reality shows. What an oxymoron, there is nothing remotely real about reality shows.

Brenda Gayle I am a big reality show fan, but think I would be a disaster on most of them. I’d never survive on the Island without my morning coffee, I have a terrible fear of heights so Amazing Race is out, and I’m not tactful enough to survive the Big Brother house. However, one reality show I think I’m perfectly suited to is Take Home Chef (I’m not sure if it’s still on TLC). I fantasize about being picked up by Chef Curtis Stone while I’m shopping for rutabaga in the vegetable aisle of my local grocery store. “Hello, beautiful. Can I take you home and show you how to mash that veg?”

Mary Hughes It’s not a reality show but I have a fantasy of driving the Reasonably Priced Car on Top Gear. Meeting Jeremy, James and Richard, being coached around the race track by the Stig? It would be the coolest thing ever.

Shannyn Schroeder I’m not a huge fan of reality shows, but I think it would be fun to be on The Apprentice. The Apprentice rewards not just business acumen and intelligence, but also creativity. Some of the best players on the show have been people I wouldn’t have pegged to be great. They’re not loud and outgoing; they stay in the back and observe, plan, and learn before attacking. I’m good at leading a group and taking charge, but I have little patience for the BS that gets tossed around, so I might not make it far in the game.

Lynn Crandall I can’t imagine any type of reality show I would try to get on. I watch one or two and they are entertaining, but I don’t know why people subject themselves to such situations. However, if I were going to pick one it would maybe be Ice Road Truckers. There’s a lot of drama on the ice roads and some interesting, though frequently volatile, drivers. I imagine enjoying a sense of accomplishment in surviving and getting the jobs done.

Weird that I picked driving. I don’t like to drive in bad weather. Maybe I have an inner truck driver waiting to be let out.

Barbara Meyers Survivor…except I’d probably get kicked off early on. Not because I couldn’t get along with everyone, but I might not be able to handle the physical distress of sleeping (or not being able to sleep) outside, not having enough food, getting eaten up by bugs, etc.

Carol Henry Actually, I don’t watch reality shows—well I did watch Survivor at first in order to see something of the romantic locations where they were filmed. I soon became embarrassed at how badly the people acted. I can’t imagine me taking part in any such show—I’d more than likely act just as stupid and embarrassing, and can’t stand the thought of my family seeing me as conniving, arguing, and acting so badly on live TV– world-wide. It’s just wrong.

Robin Renee Ray Swamp People….Why? Because I am part Hillbilly and helping catch then eating a gator would ROCK…then I could write a short horror read about some killer gator getting payback..LOL

Joya Fields “Survivor.” I’d love to see if I had what it took to survive in the wilderness with no modern conveniences.

Patty Campbell  The dog whisperer, to find out if Caesar is really as sexy as they say he is.

Genie Gabriel No thanks. Life is enough reality for me.

Pamela S Thibodeaux None, I hate reality shows because they (for the most part) are scripted…how is that real?

Elysa Hendricks Renovation Raiders, Kitchen Crashers or any HGTV show. My house desperately needs a kitchen remodel.

Allie Boniface The only reality show I watch (religiously, every episode since the first season) is Survivor. While I don’t know how well I’d do (I’m not great at manipulating and backstabbing people), the idea of putting all those different personalities together and watching how they interact is fascinating. So yeah, I might give that a try. Plus I hear it’s a great way to lose weight fast!

Ryshia Kennie I wouldn’t love to be on any reality TV show. Okay, was that not the right answer? But really, there are some reality TV shows I watch but none I’d want to get closer than the other side of my television set. I suppose if I wanted to break into show business I’d say American Idol – but I don’t. Besides, some of the reality TV I watch is a little bizarre and more than likely, that’s exactly why I watch it. It’s just a nice break and not something I want to participate in.

Troy Lambert I’ve already been on COPS, so I wouldn’t mind going back, I suppose. I just want to get away this time.

Jane Toombs Sorry, none. I don’t like reality shows.

Jaleta Clegg I want to invent my own called Chocolate Coma. The whole point is to see who can concoct the most chocolate dishes each episode. They have to taste good so no chocolate meatballs or chocolate lima beans. If I had to be on a real reality show, I’d love a shot at the next superhero one hosted by Stan Lee. I’m nowhere near buff or young or athletic, and I look terrible in spandex, but I liked the values they were promoting with that show.

Beth Trissel Not Survivor, that’s for sure. I’m not certain they’ve come up with the right reality show for me. Maybe life in a castle, and I would be the duchess, of course.

Helena Fairfax I’d love to be on a reality dance show. That would be awesome. Of course, I’d have to be able to dance.

Kelly Whitley Not a big fan of reality TV.

I suppose Bear Grylls Get Out Alive (not sure I’ve got the name exactly right). At least these people are facing real challenges and acquiring survival skills they could actually use some day!

Some of the stuff they have to do is gross, but compared to the angst of The Kardashians…no contest.

Paty Jager I think it would be fun to be on Dancing with the Stars. As I said before I love to dance, but I’m not sure I could stand up to the pressure of all those people watching and having to talk to people. And my klutziness would be a huge problem. But I find dancing fun and would love to learn how to be better.

Linda McMaken Oh, please, my life is reality enough! I want fantasy baby, that’s why I write romance. Give me a good, juicy fantasy anytime over reality. Get me lost in a book with great characters and a solid plot, and…..who needs reality?

Penny Estelle Wipeout! I’m sure it would kill me, but it looks like such a fun time!

Isabo Kelly Top Chef as a judge! Because while I may not do a lot of cooking, I do love to eat (which is why I have to lie about my weight).

Lynne Marshall Property Brothers – I’d love for those two strapping twin brothers to come to my house and fix it for me!

Melissa McClone I would love to be on The Amazing Race. I think the show itself is great and the things they put contestants through challenging. Traveling around the globe like that would be so much fun. I’d love to see how I would do against the other teams.

Aaron Speca Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – because to be deemed worthy of being on that show, it means I would had to have done something that really helped someone.

Pamela Turner Masterchef, although I suspect I wouldn’t even make it through the auditions. But I like Gordon Ramsay and how he inspires people to do their best.

Shirley Martin Sorry, I don’t watch reality shows. And even if I did, I wouldn’t want to be on them. Would not want the publicity.

Amy Corwin: None of them. Are you kidding? I’m not that masochistic. LOL Although I wouldn’t mind accompanying Survivor-man on a trip because I love camping and think it’s great to have good survival skills.



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Play Twenty Questions: Question 19

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 Enjoy these answers from a host of authors in multiple genres, from YA to mystery to romance — then enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or BN GC and more!

2013 Anniversary NON Questions 19
Linda Palmer I was in sixth grade and at a dance at the American Legion. The room was dark. My boyfriend of the moment sneaked in a quick kiss.

Judith B. Glad  I was five,so was he. His big brother told him he’d pay us each a nickle if we’d kiss each other. I close my eyes. He pecked at my cheek. I opened my eyes and looked into his. Swiftly i touched my lips to his (just like in the movies!), and we both jerked away almost as quickly. His face was bright pink, and mine was hot.

Popsicles cost a nickel in those days.I can’t remember what flavor he bought, but I got a Fudgesicle.

Kaylie Newell It was at my first boy/girl party in sixth grade. His name was Kenneth and he was a foot shorter than me. He also had really slippery lips.

Judy Alter Awkward with a geeky boy. I was shy, figured he was the only boy who would be attracted to me. Thanks heaven, I turned out to be wrong about that and went on to better things.

Linda Rettstatt  I played guitar in a band with two high school friends and, cliche as it sounds, the boy next door who had since moved to the next town. The four of us piled into my friend, Liz’s, big old Chevy Impala (it was a long time ago), and Frankie and I ended up sitting together in the back seat at a drive-in movie. To this day, I don’t remember what movie we saw. I know I only saw the first half.

Maeve Greyson Since I’m too old to remember my very first kiss ever, I’ll share the one with Hubby.

Hubby and I have been married nearly thirty-four years. Our friends all said it would never last because we only knew each other three months before we got married. But Hubby and I both knew it was meant to be as soon as our eyes met. Here he was a military man home on leave and I was a just graduated eighteen year old. When he brought me back home after our first date, he cupped my chin in his hand and while his lips were barely touching mine, he said, “You need to marry me.” The kiss sealed the deal.

Niecey Roy It was terrible. I was only in the third grade, I think. Good thing it was only a peck or I might have decked him.

Tess Morrison Behind the Donut Hole. Yes, you read it right – the Donut Hole. It was the most popular hang out when I was in Junior High. He was the most handsome guy in my class, but dropped me as soon as the new girl showed up with boobs three times the size of mine.

Tina Pollick It was my neighbor and he wasn’t cute, I think it was a dare. And this girl never has been nor never will be a chicken. *laughs*

Debra Doggett I was at a party when I was about sixteen and there was a guy I thought was the coolest guy ever. It was near Christmas and we sat down by the fireplace and talked then he leaned over and kissed me. Even after all these years I’d love to hunt him down and tell him how much that kiss stayed in my memory.

Nia Simone Like I said. I never confess. ;-)

Virginia Crane  Wow! You sure do want to take me back a lot of years. Well, back in the day we used to play spin the bottle at parties. That is where a lot of us, both sexes, got our ‘first’ kiss.

Graeme Brown It was to a girl when I was 17, and she and I both agreed: it was wet!

Nancy Fraser I was 15, I had braces. The boy had braces. Old-fashioned metal braces. (Yes, I’m that old!) It was not a good kiss. Neither of us knew what we were doing. It’s a miracle we didn’t get our mouths locked together. How embarrassing would that have been!

Jeanette Baker A friend’s older brother, 14, and I were walking on top of block wall fences. I fell into someone’s yard and a dog chased me. The brother reached down, gripped my hand and hauled me back to the top of the fence. Then he kissed me. I was 12 and I fantasized about that kiss until I had real ones much later.

Kim Hornsby  I don’t even remember. Isn’t that terrible? It was probably in 7th grade when we played spin the bottle at Christine Scott’s house. I wasn’t an early kisser and lost my virginity at a very late age (19). I was chubby from age 15 to 19 and that successfully kept the boys away from my lips, I guess. I was also very shy around boys. Now I’m a little too friendly with everyone and have to remind myself to use some control and not overwhelm people when we first meet.

Juliet Waldron All my friends were going out on dates and having romantic feelings about boyfriends. I didn’t really have those feelings about anybody of my own age–or even about anybody who was alive because my first crushes were on historical personalities–but I felt that I would be left behind by my peer group and so had to do something about it. A young man liked me, and asked me out to his sixteenth birthday party. This was in Barbados, and I didn’t realize that the custom there was for him to cut his birthday cake and then kiss his date. I was embarrassed when I realized, but, always polite and always in the “when in Rome” mode because I was a foreigner, I gave him the expected kiss. This was instant photographed and duly passed around among our classmates. I resigned myself to the teasing, because I had established myself as a girl who boys liked and one who went out on dates.

Willa Blair Sadly, I don’t remember it. It must not have been too earth-shaking.

Lynda J Cox This could get me in trouble…

I was sixteen and visiting my grandmother in Florida. I went to the city pool and was being hit up on by a guy who was in actuality a total jerk. I ended up shoving him into the pool and telling him to go do something anatomically impossible. When this guy said that he’d sooner do that than try to talk to me again, I said, “Thank God.”

The life-guard on the stand right above my head leaned over and told me, “You’re welcome.”

We started talking and when the pool closed that night, he walked me back to my grandmother’s house. He asked if he could see me again. I thought about it (for a millisecond) and said that would be nice.

Two nights later, after he walked me home again, he asked my grandmother if he could take me out on a date. I didn’t know if I should be angry because he didn’t ask me first or happy because he was so respectful. Gramma told him a date was up to me, not her.

After our dinner date, when he dropped me off at Gramma’s again, he kissed me on her porch. I still remember the butterflies in my stomach, the sound of the crickets and frogs chirping in the darkness, and then Gramma flashing the porch light. We jumped apart like two scalded cats.

He was my first kiss, my first love, and my first heart-break.

Lynda Coker It was awful!
It was stolen!
It led to marriage…

On my first blind date, which I wasn’t suppose to be on since my father forbade them, I was paired with a man four years older than my seventeen years. Later I found out that his boldness was due to the reputation of the girl I was with. You know the old adage, you’re judged by the people you hang with; that happened to be the case with me. He thought I had the same moral standards as my friend and saw no problem proceeding accordingly. Of course, I set him straight after that stolen kiss, which to my surprise, led to him taking a serious interest in me. We’ll be married 49 years in September of 2013. He really is a sweetheart and the love of my life.

Maryann Miller Actually, this is the story of the first kiss I missed. When I was in 7th grade I had a huge crush on a neighbor boy who lived on the corner of our street. He was Italian – and gorgeous – and a charmer. My best friend, Jan, and I decided to have a party in my basement and invite some of the neighbor kids, including gorgeous Joe and his friend Marvin.

During the party someone said, “Let’s turn out the lights.” So we did and we all danced in the dark. Then when I turned the lights on, I saw Joe kissing Jan. I was devastated. She knew how much I was hoping to dance with Joe and maybe get a kiss, so I blamed her, even though he probably instigated the kiss.

It took me a year to forgive her, and several more years to get over Joe. Kissing Marvin was not nearly the same thrill.

Shannyn Schroeder I’m going to ignore the junior high, fake kisses and talk about what I consider my first real kiss. His name was Jesse. We were both freshman, but we went to different schools. I was at an all-girl school and he went to the nearby all-boy school. We lived only a couple of blocks from each other, so we rode the bus together in the mornings and afternoons. A girl I knew from elementary school introduced us and he asked me out. I don’t think we even made it to a first date, but we walked the neighborhood a lot. One night he walked me home and we sat on my front steps and he kissed me. It was a sweet kiss and I remember all the churning nervousness and excitement.

Too bad Jesse didn’t turn out to be such a sweet guy. Within the next week or two, I discovered that he was cheating on me with the girl who had introduced us.

Lynn Crandall LOL! My most memorable early kiss was not my first. My husband and I were on our first date, but we were 30 years old, so not like we’d never kissed people before. We went out to dinner and saw a really amazing movie we both enjoyed. When he took me home we stood outside for a bit — and it was freezing! He kept looking at me and not making a move to kiss or leave. We were standing very close to each other and (maybe my impatience kicked in) finally I asked, “Are you going to kiss me?” He laughed, but then did. More than once.

Sheila Claydon It can’t have been a good one…not close to the quality of those in my romances…because I can’t remember it. I can remember the first kiss that turned me on though. I was on holiday and he was staying at the same hotel. It was sunny, the beaches were beautiful, I thought he was too. We were fifteen, and we went out together for another 3 years , travelling a 140 mile round trip every time we wanted to see one another, much to our parents’ consternation.

Carol Henry You really want to know about my ‘first’ kiss? Well, it wasn’t anything to write home about, that’s for sure. In fact I wondered what all the fuss was about. It took me a couple times to figure out that the right boy hadn’t come along yet. When he did, wow. We were all over each other—I learned what a kiss was and how to kiss back—my tummy is turning over just thinking about it now. Of course, I’m talking about my hubby—his kiss still makes my body tingle. And that’s all I’m saying about that!

Robin Renee Ray I was really 12 and it was my gay best friend…we just wanted to know what a french kiss was all about..LOL Never told that before! ; )

Joya Fields Teen Night at the local pool. It was very nice, and very sweet and I can’t tell you any more because my husband or the “first kiss” guy might be reading this. :)

Patty Campbell I was 13. Scholarly Donnie Dutton gave me a sweet gift for Valentine’s Day, then clumsily kissed me. He had to stand on tiptoe. I was taller.

Our family moved, but years later I saw him again. He was about 6’4″, a football player, and a total jock.

Genie Gabriel It was so mundane, I’ve forgotten. Which may explain why I write romances. I can make up hot boyfriends whose kisses make the heroine’s toes curl.

Elysa Hendricks Sad to say I don’t really remember my first real kiss. It’s been too long and frankly it must have been totally unremarkable. I much prefer the kisses I get from my hubby now.

Allie Boniface Ah… was with the guy I’d been crushing on for 2 years in high school. I went to a party with another guy – who ended up leaving that party with his ex-girlfriend – and my Crush offered to drive me home. Sigh. I missed curfew that night, but it was totally worth it. I still remember the kiss in perfect detail.

Ryshia Kennie My first kiss – wow I had to think really hard to remember that. I was six years old and he was the boy that would pick me up and double me on his bike to school despite my mother’s strict warnings. I remember walking to the end of the block out of her sight before getting on that bike. And the kiss – well it was a light peck and I believe it was on the cheek. I hate to admit it but my first kiss was kind of forgettable.

Troy Lambert I took a girl named Angela Peck behind the modular trailer that served as my mom’s first grade classroom, and I tasted the sweetness of her lip gloss. I was six, I think.

Jane Toombs I still remember it well. We were playing Spin The Bottle in someone’s basement. and I got chosen as the one to go into the furnace room with a guy I sort of knew from school . He kissed me and the world went a bit off kilter. It was the the first time I’d been kissed by a guy who knew what he was doing.

Beth Trissel My high school sweetheart, my first date, the man I married and have been with ever since. the love of my life.

Helena Fairfax My first kiss was with a really handsome young boy at school. Bright blue eyes, dark hair – he was gorgeous. Sadly, his name was Rex, and I couldn’t handle going out with someone who had the same name as a dog. (I was young then. Sorry Rex.)

Kelly Whitley The kid across the street–first grade.

It didn’t last.

The kiss was because his family was moving away. As I recall, it was BLECH! Didn’t try it again for a long time.

Paty Jager It was the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. I’d lost weight going from the chubbiest girl in my class to a regular size and was just enjoying the attention of boys. I was attending a Jazz Band camp at the nearest college and there was a boy with light blue eyes and dark brown hair who took my breath away. Especially because he seemed to only have eyes for me. Chubby(still how I thought of myself) me. He sat by me between workshops and the night we had a movie, he sat by me and held my hand. Afterward’s he walked me to the parking lot to meet the family I was staying with and he kissed me on the lips one soft kiss and walked away. I never saw him after that camp and we didn’t exchange addresses to write.

Linda McMaken It was ugly and shall never be repeated, ever, again. Twelve year old kids should never under any circumstances kiss — blech! It’s a wonder either of us ever dared to try and kiss someone again.

Penny Estelle Let me tell you about my first french kiss. I went out with this boy and I was probably 15. He gave me this big french kiss and I hated it. He asked me out again and I sobbed to my mom, “I don’t want to go out with him again. His tongue choked me, and it was huge.” It took me a while to get over that!

Isabo Kelly I was on a school ski trip (where I fell down a lot) and on the bus home we played truth or dare. I got dared to kiss one of the cutest boys in school. I never shirked from a dare. It was a sweet, lovely kiss. Years later when I told my best friend this story, she still squealed over the fact that I got to kiss that particular boy.

Lynne Marshall Ack – it’s pitiful! I was in a school play – sweet sixteen, never been kissed (we’ll almost was at fourteen but that didn’t pan out) I had the second female lead, and there was a scene where I had to be kissed. The guy who played oposite me was anything but cute and I don’t think he’d ever kissed anyone before either! We had to kiss on stage for four performances. Sorriest kiss I’ve ever had!

Shirley Martin If I recall correctly, it was at an amusement park, when I was 14 or so. We were riding something I think called “The Tunnel of Love.” Whenever we went through the tunnel, he kissed me. I still remember his name, but I’ll never tell.

Aaron Speca Working retail in high school – got grabbed from underneath a clothes rack by a girl who worked there. We went on a couple of dates. At least, that’s the first kiss I remember LOL …

Amy Corwin: I was in Scotland for a year abroad (school) and met this cute guy at a school dance. We went out on a date, which actually was getting together with other friends of his and playing a board game. It sounds weird but it was loads of fun. THen he walked me back to my room and well–you get the idea. :)



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Play Twenty Questions: Question 18

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2013 Anniversary NON Questions 18
Linda Palmer  I’ve lied about how good someone looks. Sometimes it’s nicer to be less than honest.

Judith B. Glad My weight. Always. While I could never convince anyone I only weigh 100 lbs, I can, and do, shave ten pounds off what i admit on my driver’s license. Now if I could only figure out how to bollix the scales at the doctor’s office…

Kaylie Newell I told someone that I’ve only seen Magic Mike twice.

Judy Alter my weight

Linda Rettstatt Telling someone, “I can’t hear you. You’re breaking up,” when I’ve wanted to end a phone call.

Maeve Greyson Hmm…I don’t know. With my faulty memory, I’ve discovered it’s a lot easier just to tell the truth.

Niecey Roy Exercising…ha!

Tess Morrison I was fifteen and my mother heard me say the word ‘horny’. I said I had no idea what it meant.

Jana Richards My weight. Enough said.

Tina Pollick That I’m still twenty-one. Yeah people kind of look at me funny now, but until somebody calls me on it I’ll be twenty-one forever!

Debra Doggett My real feelings, usually when someone has hurt them. I smile and say it’s okay.

Nia Simone I never confess.

Virginia Crane My weight. I’ll tell anybody my age but shave points when it comes to weight.

Graeme Brown If I told you that, then I’d have to kill you. <grin>

Nancy Fraser Years (and I mean years) ago, I was part of a group of students who painted large green footprints from the Atlas-like statue in front of City Hall in downtown Detroit across a busy main street to another statue of a naked woman in front of the Gas Company building. When questioned, I denied it. Now, since the statute of limitations has passed …. YES, I was there! I did it!

Jeanette Baker My age but I lied backwards. I skipped 2nd grade and thought no one would like me if they knew I was younger than everyone so I told everyone I was a year older than I really was. That actually lasted until after I graduated from college. I realized that no one cared how old I was.

Kim Hornsby  My weight. That is something I lie about whenever asked. I tend to say I’m way heavier than I am. Just kidding. I say I’m about 10 pounds lighter than I am but in my head I’m thinking “well I could be that weight if I’d just stop eating late at night or give up cheese” Then I resolve to get to that weight on Monday.

Willa Blair What do women always lie about? Their weight. Or their age.

Lynda J Cox I lie about my hair color–but only Miss Clairol knows for sure. Other than that, as I said previously, I’m a terrible liar.

Lynda Coker My weight. I detest being lied too and don’t know why I always fudge a few pounds when asked what my current weight is. The weird thing is, I’ve done this when my weight was just right as well as when I’ve been overweight. So what’s up with that? It’s beyond my reasoning curve.

Mary Hughes I don’t lie very well at all. Even my kids as youngsters could see right through me at gift-giving time. (No-o-o-o, that’s not a box of Legos…really!)

Denise Golinowski  Why would I confess if I’d gone to all the trouble of constructing and maintaining a convincing lie? Yes, it may be exhausting to maintain a lie, but sometimes needs must when the devil drives. So, after going to all that trouble and keeping up appearances all this time, I’m not about to flip on it now. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Lynn Crandall I say I’m fine all the time, because people really don’t have the time for an in-depth answer. How are you? is just a greeting. But I love it when people give me a sense of where they are in their thoughts and emotionally at any given time. People are fascinating and so complex!

Sheila Claydon Parking tickets. As far as my family is concerned I’ve never had one:-)

Carol Henry What? Me Lie? Not on your life. I’ve never lied. Ever. Really. You can trust and believe me on this?

Robin Renee Ray That I was 15 when I got my first kiss..LOL

Joya Fields Oh, wow. I used to lie all the time as a kid and I always got caught. Once, I gelled my sister’s hair with Dippity-Do (remember that stuff?) and when my grandmother asked if we got into her hair gel, I shook my head and said “no” even though my sister’s blonde hair stood straight up…stiff as cement.

Annette Bower I always under state the amount of time I spend writing a list, a note, a dedication in a book, a sympathy card, a short short story, a short story, a novel.

It appears to me that other writers accomplish these challenges a great deal faster than I do. How could I ever tell anyone that it has taken me at least an hour and a half to answer eight questions on this promotional event? So now you have to ask yourself is an hour and a half the truth or has she spent more time than this for these simple questions?

Patty Campbell I’ve told a happy new mother that her baby was adorable, even though he was homely as mud fence.
I lied to a friend when I said I liked her boyfriend, because it was important to her. I really thought he was a boorish clod.

I’ve often said “I’m fine,” when I felt like shit, because who cares?

Genie Gabriel You don’t really think I’m going to confess, do you?

Pamela S Thibodeaux That I’m okay when I’m really falling apart

Elysa Hendricks I lie about everything for goodness sake – I’m a fiction author.

Kate Robbins I’ve lied when I knew telling the truth was really going to hurt someone’s feelings. I really grapple with that. Oh I will tell you if you really, really need to hear the truth, but if the only result is that you will be hurt, I’m not gonna do it. I don’t ever want to be the cause of someone else’s unhappiness.

Troy Lambert Almost everything in this interview.

Jane Toombs Ooh, hard to say. Like most of us I ‘ve lied mostly to either save face or so as not to hurt someone’s feelings. But at least I’ve never told anyone I loved them unless it was true.

Beth Trissel My age

Helena Fairfax My age. When I was younger, I lied about my age to get into night clubs. Now I’m older, I lie about my age to appear younger!

Kelly Whitley Hmm…
I suppose pen names are technically lies. I’ve got three of them. With my job, I can’t have explicit stuff out there under my own name. If someone asked me, “Hey, are you so and so?” I imagine I’d lie about it.

Linda McMaken That’s the one Commandment that has suffered greatly. I have a list: age, weight, age, weight, age, hair color, weight,…..pretty much sums it up.

Penny Estelle My weight

Isabo Kelly I once told a kid in my college dorm I was a vampire. I’m such a good liar, he believed me for a little bit. Then I had to come clean cause I was afraid of waking up with someone standing over me holding a stake! Also I always lie about my weight.

Shirley Martin I hate to sound like a goody-goody, but I can’t remember lying.

Amy Corwin: “No, really, you look GREAT!” :)
I think you need to support the people around you and make them feel better, regardless of what you might think privately. Caveat: I ALWAYS tell people when their dress hem is stuck in their panties, collar is up, and that sort of thing. But when a person tries their best to look good, you need to encourage them. Social lies can be very important.



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Play Twenty Questions: Question 17

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2013 Anniversary NON Questions 17
Tasarla Romaney  Diet Coke, Peanut M&M’s, my husband, and my kiddos.

Linda Palmer  Potatoes, movies, music, and books.

Judith B. Glad  Books (of course!), Chocolate (a basic necessity of life), Diet Coke (caffeine free, because I really enjoy my chemicals), music (radio goes on first thing in morning, off last thing at night; jazz and classical are my favorites)

Kaylie Newell My iPhone (I’m a well known iPhone junkie). My lipgloss, my flip flops, and my wedding ring.

Judy Alter cottage cheese, chardonnay, chocolate, tuna

J.A. Garland  Lula’s chocolates, Wicked Wolf coffee…oh, and my family and friends, lol.

Linda Rettstatt Computer, Binky the cat, pizza on occasion, and walks in the woods on a fall day.

Maeve Greyson Family, Jasper, Coffee, Quiet

Laura Strickland Music, my dog, Shannon, time to write and chocolate.

Niecey Roy  My laptop, Internet, a book (so maybe my iPad so that I can have books all the time, though I prefer a paperback over eBook any day!), my kids, and heels.

Tess Morrison Chocolate, wine, music, and a push-up bra. Okay, forget the bra. These girls of mine are beyond help. A great book would round it out. And if I could have a fifth – flowers.

Anne Van I’m a chocoholic so chocolate is at the top of the list. Next is avocados. I eat them everyday. Surprised I haven’t turned green. My house. It’s a Victorian and I just love everything about it. And of course my husband. He’s my everything. Should be at the top of the list. : )

Jana Richards 1. Coffee
2. My computer
3. Sleep
4. My glasses

Tina Pollick  1. My family
2. My faith
3. Internet- I’m including the power and computer, LOL
4. Underwear- Yeah commando doesn’t work for me.

Debra Doggett I started to put chocolate, bacon, Coke and bread but I will give the serious ones as well: water (in some form or other); flowers; music and laughter.

Nia Simone A dishwasher. Greatest invention of mankind.
My laptop. Greatest invention of mankind.
It gets pretty hard after that. I guess I’d say the Internet. For a “Connector” like me, it is heaven.
My car. I didn’t have one for a long time as an adult. My first car changed my life, literally. It enabled me to go back to school, change careers, and meet my husband.

Zoe Forward Laptop. Internet. Family. Dog.
Those are the necessities of life for me, although food would probably be the most realistic answer…and water.

Virginia Crane Family, books, computer and car.

Graeme Brown Writing, reading, running and math.

Nancy Fraser 1. My grandchildren – they keep my heart beating!
2. The rest of my family and good friends – they keep me grounded!
3. My writing – it keeps me solvent (for the most part)!
4. Coffee – it keeps me awake (and sometimes manic)!

Robyn Bachar  In no particular order: caffeine, the internet, my best friend, and my mini van. I definitely couldn’t live without my best friend, because she is also my roommate.

Jeanette Baker  ice cream
sun block
hair color

Kim Hornsby The survivor in me wants to say air, water, my heart etc but let’s have a bit more fun with this, shall we?
1. I love to swim and be in water whether it’s a lake or ocean, or even our backyard swim spa. I feel best when wet and submerged and that’s why I was a scuba instructor for 10 years on Maui
2. I absolutely adore cheese. Feta, camembert, blue, cheese with little bits of peach (had that at a party last night on a rosemary cracker), almost any type of cheese. Oh yes CURD!
3. Dogs. I have two and they are my kiss and hug recipients when the kids won’t let me near them. I like all animals but dogs satisfy more needs for me.
4. Sunny days–I live in the Seattle area and sunshine isn’t a given. Having gone from living on Maui to Seattle was tough at first and this is why I write about women who live in the sunshine.

Juliet Waldron Music, computers, cats, vision. Computers have moved to the “books” spot these days, because it’s not only a tool I use every day, but because books can be accessed through them. A love of music has been with me forever. My Mom told me I could pick out exactly the gramophone record I wanted from the stack and then wind the old machine up to play long before I could read the labels. My husband was originally the cat person, but I’m a passionate convert. They are endlessly fascinating companions, and each as unique as children.

Mary Jo Burke Mint gum, books, music, and my reading glasses.

Willa Blair Chocolate, red wine, the internet, and hmmm, only four? Friends. Air, water, kittens, a good steak
A nap, a perfect fall day, berries, books
True love, art, color, music

There, that’s four sets of four. I could go on.

Lynda J Cox My DH–he truly is my soul mate.
My dogs–they make me smile and bring me so much happiness.
My imaginary friends–they know me there, so it’s okay.
My teaching career–I learn something from my students every single class I teach.

Lynda Coker My God, my family, my friends, my love of writing and reading

Brenda Gayle Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. And did I say coffee? If you ever have the unfortunate experience of meeting me on the way to the kitchen for my first cup of joe, you’d understand completely.

Meg Benjamin  My MacBook, my hubs (well he should probably come first), my sons, and string cheese

Mary Hughes  Food. Shelter. Clothing. Cat hair. Actually I probably could live a while without the first three but I think I’m doomed to the cat hair.

Shannyn Schroeder Avoiding the obvious things like my kids, the 4 things I couldn’t live without are:

1. Diet Coke – I’ve tried, I really have. Even knowing that too much aspartame will give me a migraine hasn’t convinced me to completely give it up. I have switched to the Splenda version at home, but there’s nothing like a fountain Diet Coke.

2. Popcorn – this is my all-time favorite snack. I eat it probably 4-5 times a week. I do air-pop it, so it’s a little more healthy than other versions, but I still use butter and salt.

3. My DVR – I love to watch TV. I watch way more than any person probably should, which is why I love my DVR. Lots of TV, no commercials. I can record any show and give it a try. If I don’t like it, I delete the timer. And I only have to set a timer once and it’s good forever (or until I get a new DVR). I no longer have to remember to set the timer (remember the days of the VCR when you had to do that?) And the DVR timer is smart – it will record only new episodes.

4. Music – I listen to music while I write, while I clean or cook, while driving in the car (which is a huge chunk of my time with 3 kids). I don’t buy tons of music, except for my playlists, so it’s usually the radio for me. But I like music as background sound while I do other things. I really hate silence. When I was younger, I did my homework in front of the TV. Whenever I had to work at the library in college, I always had my headphones on. I made quick photocopies of whatever I needed and went home to work with my usual background noise.

Denise Golinowski Air, water, warmth, & shelter. Once you get beyond those, I’d say books – I actually get cranky if I don’t have a good book on the go, sometimes two. Next, writing materials (can I make that “one” item?) – the nervous ticks are very unpleasant to witness. Love and family to keep me grounded and balanced.

Lynn Crandall I hate it when people answer this question with “air.” Not so fun but true. The “things” distinction rules out people, but of course I love my family and friends and don’t want them to disappear. There are so many pleasures that I could live without but would rather not. So I’m going to pick books, my computer, favorite foods, and favorite shows. I also wouldn’t want to be without my bike.

Sheila Claydon Radio, books, cosmetics and fruit.

Radio is my constant companion. It helps make housework interesting, it educates, it keeps me aware of what is happening in the world and it plays music too.

Books. I just can’t imagine living without them. I read when I first wake up, often at meal times, always before I go to sleep and at many other times during the day.

Cosmetics. Why not? I don’t look as if I use make-up because I favour the natural look but oh my goodness the difference if I don’t use it. It makes me look younger, fitter, healthier and who wouldn’t want to look like that?

Fruit because if I don’t eat fruit and vegetables during the day I start to feel sick, and I like fruit best.It’s a simple as that.

Barbara Meyers My cell phone. A good book. Coffee. My laptop.

Carol Henry I can’t imagine living without my husband of 48 years. We complete each other and although we both belong to separate clubs and organizations (as well as belonging to the same ones), we help and support each other at special events. I would be lost without his love.

I can’t imagine living without any one of my wonderful family—they are very special and precious to me.

I can’t imagine living without any one of my ‘5 senses’—having had a scare with a retinal vein occlusion that left me partially blind in my left eye, I’m more aware than ever of the loss what it is like to lose what everyone takes for granted.

It would be hard to live without that ice-cold glass of milk with a cookie.

And, of course, that first cup of coffee in the morning to get me going. Without it, I’d trudge through the day and get nothing done.

Robin Renee Ray My grands, my critters, my Dr Pepper and my laptop.

Joya Fields My family would be the first thing. They are there for the best and worst times for me. Secondly, since I need coffee to wake up (I am NOT a morning person), that’s next on the list. I’m addicted to my cell phone with its social networking and email, so that’s third. And lastly…chocolate.

Annette Bower 1. My bathtub, in the morning I plan my day as I soak.
2. My one cup coffee maker. I set it up at night and in the morning in two minutes I have piping hot coffee. It is a rudimentary maker, it doesn’t keep the coffee hot, and if I get distracted, I just have to make a fresh cup.
3. My runners. I live in downtown Regina and I walk to obtain my essentials for living as well as for recreation. I walk around a portion of Wascana Lake. When I leave my home and around the lake and back is approximately six kilometers.
4. My passport. I love to travel and experience life in other communities, whether they are in Canada, the United States or Europe. When I am in other cities, I join walking tours and experience communities on foot. I also go into the thrift stores, I get a sense of a community by what they donate to the less fortunate.

Patty Campbell Physically – food, water, air and shelter.
Emotionally – love, books, friends and family.

Genie Gabriel My dogs, my kids and my grandkids–which add up to more than four…

Pamela S Thibodeaux God, Books, Music, Love

Elysa Hendricks My family, dark chocolate, my writing, and laughter.

Allie Boniface Let’s see…besides food and water? OK, books, Zumba class, CHOCOLATE, and my friends and family (uh oh – does that last one count as two?? I suppose I could cut out the chocolate if I really had to)

Kate Robbins I cannot live without:
1) Coffee (it’s a sickness really. It smells and tastes like crap but I’m totally addicted to it)
2) My family (don’t tell them I put coffee first ok?)
3) Books (I have to have something to read always. Could be the back of a shampoo bottle, but I’d prefer a book)
4) My cat (he’s a fluffy savage called Freddie. Laziest cat on the planet who loves to nibble on my fingers)

Liana Laverentz My husband, son, hot tea, and chocolate….oh, and sleep. Don’t do well without sleep at all. I’m an essential needs person…as long as those needs are met, I am fine. Food, drink, sleep, safety, and warmth. As long as I have those, I can deal with anything.

Ryshia Kennie Well other than the obvious, air and food. Here goes:

I can’t live without books. Take away the television but don’t touch the books.
I can’t live without love and laughter in no particular order. There’s nothing better than having friends and family around and laughing and sharing stories.
I can’t live without adventure. That doesn’t mean I need to be on a voyage around the world but there should be something new and intriguing in every day. Sometimes it’s just someone new you meet around the corner from home and sometimes it’s something more dramatic.
I can’t live without my computer but only because my entire writing life resides there. So I suppose it’s not so much the computer I can’t live without but the ability to access my stories and the community of people that I have met and linked to in one way or another.

Troy Lambert Oxygen, water, food, and whiskey. Is that four? There are probably others too.

Jane Toombs My SO. Chocolate. A car. Friends.

Jaleta Clegg Toilet paper, chocolate, my computer, and a good book to read. Without those, who would want to live?

Beth Trissel Dark Chocolate
the internet
green tea (seriously healthful)

Heather Haven My husband, my cats, my writing, and chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.

Gail Pallotta Wow! I have lots of needs. It wasn’t easy narrowing this down, but here they are– God, family, outside interests and fun. God gives my life purpose, direction, comfort and hope. My husband and daughter give me love, support, comfort and encouragement. Outside interests give my life balance–writing, lunch out with friends, meetings, charitable endeavors and church groups. I’m going to include good health via taking care of myself by eating well, swimming and exercising in outside interests. Fun includes peaceful moments relaxing with family and friends, laughter, and activities I enjoy. It all works together to make a happy person.

Helena Fairfax Cups of tea. My dog. Reading. My family.

Kelly Whitley 1) Adequate sleep. Gone are the days of staying up all night and functioning well the next day.
2) Dark chocolate. It’s full of antioxidants, and people who like milk chocolate won’t steal it from your desk.
3) Coffee. Starbucks Blond Roast, brewed at home–black.
4) Companionship. Some day when I am old and gray, I want a person by my side, not a cellphone. You can’t argue over checkers with a phone.
I could live forever without seeing my phone ever again.

Laurel O’Donnell Coffee with lots of sugar.
My cat, Charming. He calms me and loves me so much! I just adore him.
Chocolate. I just want a little bit of dark chocolate every day. Just a little!
A good night’s sleep. I can’t function without getting a good solid night’s sleep!

Paty Jager  my family,

Linda McMaken  My hubby, my dog, my cowboy boots, and my blue jeans. Everything else pales in comparison to those. Although a large box of Dove chocolate with a carafe of chilled wine wouldn’t hurt.

Penny Estelle  my hubby, my kids, my grandkids, french fries

Keena Kincaid 1. Coffee
2. My laptop
3. My Westie, Melrose Abbey
4. My passport

Isabo Kelly My boys, coffee, pizza, and books.

Lynne Marshall My family, my faith, my friends, books!

Aaron Speca Easy – my wife and my three kids. I know it sounds like a canned answer but it’s true.

Pamela Turner Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee… Oh, wait, it has to be four different things? Okay, well, did I mention coffee? Let’s see. My computer, amulet… Hey, don’t laugh. One more thing. My cat. Yes, that’s it. Of course, if you ask me five years from now, my list might change.

Shirley Martin  Assuming we are taking for granted a place in which to live, with food and utilities, there are some things I really would have trouble doing without. There is tea and chocolate, but more important, books to read, friends and loved ones to talk to. The last thing listed is the most important for me. And just one more–church.

Amy Corwin: My husband.
My pets (we have 3 dogs and a cat)
My kitchen (I love to cook)
My garden

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Play Twenty Questions: Question 16

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2013 Anniversary NON Questions 16
Tasarla Romaney A dragon. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. Depending on the author a dragon can be either but they always have gems and what girl doesn’t want a giant stash of gems????

Linda Palmer A fairy godmother. I try to keep everyone in my family happy and help them in any way I can.

Kaylie Newell A unicorn.

Judy Alter Etta Plae

Linda Rettstatt Definitely not one of the Furies. They were created from the blood of Uranus–need I say more? I like to think I’m like the Phoenix because I keep reinventing myself.

Maeve Greyson The Phoenix. Life has burnt me to ashes many times but I keep rising to fly again.

Laura Strickland I feel I am most like Odin, because I wander endlessly through the landscape of my imagination, acquiring wisdom and sorting fantasy from reality.

Niecey Roy A dragon.

Tess Morrison Medusa on a bad hair day!

Anne Van Hands down the unicorn. They look like a normal horse but have a horn coming out of their forehead. They are unique like me.

Jana Richards A leprechaun, because we’re both short. Sure wish I knew where that pot of gold was.

Tina Pollick Maybe a shifter… I wear so many hats it’s sometimes hard to figure out which role I’m in.

Debra Doggett A brownie. I’d love to be able to come out at night and make mischief and never get caught.

Nia Simone A unicorn. Not really. I’m nothing like a unicorn. LOL But it is the most beautiful creature ever conceived, I think. But seriously, a Hobbit. I am Bilbo Baggins, happy at home with my huge larders of food. I’d probably be the reluctant adventurer, too.

Virginia Crane Haven’t a clue because I’m not into mythology.

Graeme Brown  I’d have to say a dragon, and as for why, ask anyone who sees me a few moments after I wake up.

Nancy Fraser The Phoenix. Due to other things in my life (having to work, family and my own serious health issues) I’ve come close to giving up on writing a number of times and then come back stronger, better and more successful each time. It (writing) gets under your skin, inside your soul, until it’s the only thing you want to do.

Robyn Bachar A vampire. I burn in the sunlight, and I’m much happier at night than I am during the day. I’m very pale, so my skin is either “corpse in winter white” or “boiled lobster red”. I’ve never had a tan in my life.

Jeanette Baker An elf because I’m small, freckled and have pointed little ears.

Juliet Waldron I would like to be a centaur. More exactly, I’d like to be a centauress, although I don’t think these creatures existed before the animated cuties in Disney’s “Fantasia”. I’ve always loved horses, and being part horse and able to gallop about would cheer me endlessly. Perhaps my granddaughters, who used to love those My Little Pony dollies, could be persuaded to come and comb and braid my long silver mane and tail.

Willa Blair A dragon. I can breathe fire when riled, enjoy curling up in my den, and love shiny things.

Lynda J Cox A dragon. Dragons have gotten a bum rap, you know. They actually have very big, generous hearts, but they’re also very easily heart-broken, so to avoid being hurt, they have long spines, breathe fire, and fly away to keep the things that would hurt them far away.

Lynda Coker None, I hope. I’m not a fan of mythological creatures. So many are based on concepts and traits that I find less than endearing. I know I’m probably in the minority on this, so please don’t yell at me…

Brenda Gayle I would like to think I’m most like the Phoenix who rises from the ashes of adversity. I look at each day as a gift, a chance to start again and create a new and better self.

Lesley-Anne McLeod I would like to think that I am most like a sphinx. I do have the face of a woman–that part is easy. My wings are my writing; they fly me to times and places I could not otherwise reach. The haunches of a lion, I am not certain of. They may perhaps symbolize my strength, which I did not know I had, but now need every day.

Mary Hughes Mermaid. I love the water. I love playing in it, especially jumping into ocean waves and being swept back to shore (even though I live nowhere near an ocean and have only done it twice). I love the feel of a cool shower steaming off my scalp after mowing the lawn; the warmth and silky smoothness of an evening bubble bath; the blast of chlorine diving into a lap pool. A glass of cold, clear water after working hard is the best nectar in the world.

Shannyn Schroeder This one required some research on my part. I’ve never thought about myself as a mythological creature (unless you count my kids calling me Medusa when I’m mad). I think I am most like a Kitsune from Japanese folklore. In Japanese, Kitsune means fox. In Japanese stories, the Kitsune are “intelligent beings possessing magical abilities that increase with age and wisdom” (Wikipedia). I certainly hope that this sounds like me. They’re also portrayed as “faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives” (Wkipedia). These are all roles that I play as a writer and in real life.

Denise Golinowski   The first thing that popped into my head is not really mythological, but fictional (Dr, Dolittle)- a “push me/pull you.” I blame my Pisces sun and Libra moon for my inability to make snap decisions. I have to weigh pros and cons, try to reach consensus, and yet leave room for changing my mind. It drives my darling husband crazy.

Lynn Crandall I think I’d have to pick mermaid, ’cause I’m frequently swimming in emotions and enjoying the feeling of spaciousness, that is when I’m not stressed. I’m not someone who tries to sabotage people, though, which if I remember correctly is a mermaid trait. You know, singing sailors to their death on a rocky shore, stuff like that.

Sheila Claydon An English Brownie – one of those legendary little creatures who carry out a lot of household tasks at night, when they can’t be seen, and who do this in exchange for food. If the householder tries to pay them they leave the house and go looking for another one. Well there’s no risk of me being paid for all the things I do for the various members of my family…not that I’m complaining. Better to be needed than not.

Carol Henry I am most like Eos—Titan Goddess of the Dawn. I’m a very early riser even without an alarm clock. These early hours is when I get the most done—whether it’s writing, cleaning house, working outside, and taking care of business, I’m more active in the morning. And I love the early morning air, especially when I’m still lying in bed and the birds start twittering outside my window. The time when it starts to get light is like God giving me a new day to set things right. And, of course that early morning coffee on the deck at dawn when the small wildlife starts to wake up and scamper around my back yard is special. Yep, I’m most like Eos.

Robin Renee Ray Most say the vampire…so I guess because I do stay in my cave until the sun goes down…I wear black tank tops all the time and I never cut my hair…down past my knees now…most really do call me a vamp or vamp like creature..LOL, Vamp!

Joya Fields Well, I might be cheating with this a little since she is a mythological figure, not a creature, but I’m going to say I am most like Demeter, Goddess of grain, agriculture and the harvest, growth and nourishment. I love farming, learning about nutrition, and growing things.

Patty Campbell I used to think I was Wonder Woman, but now think it’s more likely Oscar the Grouch.

Genie Gabriel The Loch Ness Monster. She’s reputed to be silent and elusive, but I think she’s just a shy, introverted writer who’s more at home with a computer than with a room full of party-goers.

Elysa Hendricks Depends on which time of the day. First thing in the morning I’m more like Bigfoot – all hairy and grumpy. By mid-morning, I’ve morphed into a elf/troll hybrid. In the afternoon I become a fairy, in the evening I’m all fairy and at nightfall I turn into a shape shifter.

Allie Boniface I actually think I resemble my zodiac sign, the Centaur, pretty closely. Half-man, half-beast, the Sagittarius Centaur is supposedly torn between 2 worlds, optimistic about life (I truly am) but intuitive enough about life to see the pain and suffering as well (yup, I do that too). It’s an interesting duality…

Troy Lambert An ogre: at least that’s what my kids would tell you.

Jane Toombs I’d like to think I’m like a griffin.

Jaleta Clegg The kraken. I love squids. I like destroying things when I’m upset. They’re usually virtual but sometimes I kill weeds and do pruning. I’m sure the kraken weeds and prunes her undersea garden. I also like hiding in my lair for eons at a time.

Beth Trissel I’m often mistaken for a Greek goddess.

Helena Fairfax A mermaid. I love to swim and snorkel. I once went diving in the Caribbean, and it was asolutely breathtaking. If I could swim under water all the time, I’d love it.

Kelly Whitley A vampire, I suppose. I like them best, and can’t imagine being anything else. In my writing world, they live among people undetected. It’s kind of like being a secret writer and living undetected, minus the super strength and the need for hemoglobin (the iron-containing protein in blood. If you want more details, check out Into the Red from Muse It Up Publishing.)

Linda McMaken I’m not crazy about flying, so Pegasus is out. I’m slightly cuter than Cyclops, but not cute enough to be a Unicorn….Oh, a Siren – they were gorgeous, beautiful femme fatales whose music lured men……oh, never mind.

I’m probably most like a Phoenix. I’ve risen from the ashes so many times, that ‘soot’ should be my middle name, and my scorched tail feathers are a dead giveaway.

Isabo Kelly Probably a European dragon. I have a really wicked temper when provoked, I tend to horde money and books, and I like my cave.

Aaron Speca “If someone asks if you are a god, you say YES!” — so that’s where I’d go with that *wink*

Shirley Martin Oh, dear. I think you have me there. I suppose I might most resemble Pandora. I never know what trouble I might be getting into.

Amy Corwin: A unicorn–because it’s just a horse with a birth defect. LOL
In other words, it’s just like all the other animals except it is slightly different. Some might say it is weird.



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Play Twenty Questions: Question 15

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2013 Anniversary NON Questions 15
Tasarla Romaney Cherry S’more – I put cherry pie filling on my s’mores. So I think an ice cream that would have cherries, marshmallow, chocolate, and crushed graham crackers would rock! And of course it would be calorie free – heck it would burn calories :)

Linda Palmer Chocolate Strawberry Swirl. (I love chocolate dipped strawberries.)

Kaylie Newell Orgasmic chocolate truffle.

Judy Alter raspberry with dark chocolate

Linda Rettstatt ChocoMochaCrackoLotta.

Maeve Greyson No calorie double fudge brownie better than sex sorbet

Niecey Roy Yumolicious. It’s chocolate…with chocolate…and fudge swirls…with chocolate chunks.

Tess Morrison Lick Me. It would be pink with strawberries and dotted with chunks of chocolate. Honestly, I can’t get beyond the fact that Almond Joy is my absolute favorite. Just mention ice cream and it’s all I can think of.

Anne Van There are so many crazy favors out there mine has probably been invented. I’d love a giant scoop of brownie, raspberry, Godiva chocolate swirl ice cream. I’d call it Heaven.

Jana Richards Vanilla Bean Supreme. It’s vanilla ice cream mixed with bits of chocolate covered coffee beans. Three of my favorite things, all together in one bowl.

Tina Pollick Chocolate chip mint moose tracks, with chunks of cookies and crème. Mmmmm :)

Debra Doggett It’s called the Kitchen Sink. It has chocolate, vanilla and a thin ribbon of strawberry with three different kinds of nuts, caramel, fudge and marshmallows. One bite and you throw up.

Nia Simone Really? It’s been done. It’s called Ben and Jerry’s. They really get it. GIANT chunks of whatever. No skimping. My favorite ice cream besides the heavenly creations out there by B&J, is mint chocolate chip. My husband hates it, which is perfect. More for me. I’ll eat any brand. When I was growing up, my dad and I used to share the mint chocolate chip ice cream. He bought Lucerne, the Safeway brand, in a half-gallon size, and he would scoop out a bowl for me and a bowl for him while I eagerly waited. I was always a “good eater” as my mom would say, approvingly. I was always proud of being a good eater and still am.

Virginia Crane Vanilla almond caramel crunch. It has all the flavors I love combined into one.

Graeme Brown Everyberry, with a bit of all my favourite berries: blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, saskatoon, and raspberry.

Nancy Fraser I’d take the ultimately rich dark chocolate ice cream, mix it with ribbons of solid white and milk chocolate and lightly salted pecans. I’d call it, Triple Super Choco-Pecan Heaven!

Jeanette Baker Rhombauer Zinfandel with fudge swirls.

Kim Hornsby Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Surprise. I know every yummy flavor in the world is already invented but the surprise part would be free tickets inside for a round the world vacation for 4! I’d take my 17 year old son, my 11 year old daughter and of course my hub and off we’d go on the adventure of a lifetime. Love to travel!!

Willa Blair I don’t think I can top Ben & Jerry’s Karmel Sutra. It’s perfect on so many levels. It’s also my favorite B&J combo flavor. Half caramel icecream on one side, half chocolate icecream with chocolate chunks, and a ribbon of caramel running down the middle. Yep, hungry again.

Lynda J Cox Wyoming Peaks–vanilla with just the tiniest bite of spearmint.

Lynda Coker Graham Crackers and Cream

Susan Fox Candied ginger ice wine. Ice wine is a dessert wine made from frozen grapes and the flavor is intense and fruity, in a kind of sophisticated way. It’s like the essence of summery sunshine in a glass. I think it would make a great ice cream flavor, enhanced with tiny bits of candied ginger scattered throughout.

Mary Hughes Death by Chocolate. Cocoa ice cream with dark and milk chocolate chunks, swirls of chocolate caramel and chocolate sprinkles.

Shannyn Schroeder Nutella ice cream. Doesn’t that say it all? Nutella is chocolatey smooth goodness and a bit addictive. Oooo…And I’d add chunks of brownie because I love fudge brownie ice cream. Adding brownies to Nutella–yum!

Sheila Claydon I don’t think this is possible. All the flavours have been created unless you’re into things like cabbage or meat flavours. yuk! But if you push me then how about sweet chilli? Of course somebody might have already created it but if not, then I think sweet chilli and the cold of the ice-cream just might be a good combination. Personally I’m still going to buy mint-choc-chip or coconut though.

Carol Henry That’s easy, I love Kahlu, Mocha and almonds, so I’d have it swirled together, put dark fudge on top and sigh with pleasure. I’d call it Dream weaver’s Delight.

Robin Renee Ray Double fudge swirl, chocolate cover peanuts, dark chocolate ice cream mix….called: Touch and Die

Joya Fields Wow, it seems like every ice cream flavor is already out there. I love nuts, chocolate and cheesecake, so maybe Chocnutcheesecake flavor? LOL.

Patty Campbell Peanut butter, dark chocolate and chili peppers. I call it Hot Nuts.

Genie Gabriel Paw Prints. It’s creamy vanilla and contains peanut butter and honey, plus a side of bones for the furbabies and another side order of chocolate for the humans.

Elysa Hendricks Dark chocolate with chunks of semi-sweet chocolate.
Chocolate Heaven
I know it’s not very original, but what can I say I like chocolate.

Allie Boniface Mocha Grey Goose Divine (in case you couldn’t tell, it combines 2 of my favorite things, chocolate and martinis!)

Ryshia Kennie I love, love ice cream. And I’ve never thought of creating an ice cream flavor. How can you improve on plain old soft ice cream drizzled over with hot fudge or cheese cake ice cream with blueberries or strawberry shortcake or a rainbow of flavours all on one cone? As I say that I’m imagining my favourite ice cream shop. The Milky Way – a little shack on a busy street that has a menu that is an ice cream lovers’ delight. There’s a lineup spring through fall – and as it’s done for years, it closes through the long cold prairie winter and we’re all forced to go elsewhere for our ice cream fix.

Jane Toombs Mine would be choclate raspberry, with little peppermint crunchies in it. I’d call it Decadent.

Jaleta Clegg Horribly Depressed – Use just enough vanilla ice cream to cover the following – raspberry truffles, peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, marshmallows, chocolate covered macadamia nut caramels from Costco, stripes of butterscotch sauce, hot fudge, almond roca, dark chocolate orange sticks, dark chocolate raspberry sticks, fudge, Twix bars, Butterfinger crumbles, mini Charleston Chew bars, and Junior Caramels.

Darn it! Now I’m hungry.

Beth Trissel mocha dark chocolate peanut butter mint

Heather Haven Wild Hopes and Dreams. Made out of a rainbow of colors and flavors, sprinkled with chocolate, non-fattening, sugar free, 0 calories, and absolutely delicious. Baskin Robbins, are you listening?

Helena Fairfax Shamrock. I’d create an Irish icecream, flavoured with Guinness, and coloured bright green. It would go down a treat on St Patrick’s Day!

Kelly Whitley Name: Dream Machine:
Vanilla frozen yogurt with chunks of spun caramel and dark chocolate-covered cinnamon imperials.
Ben and Jerry, if you could just whip that up for me I’d be much obliged.

Laurel O’Donnell Cinnamon Coffee. Sounds kind of Christmas-y, doesn’t it? I love cinnamon! And I love coffee! So, the two together would be delicious.

Paty Jager Peppermint pieces, chocolate wafer cookie pieces, and vanilla ice cream. Peppermint Paty Crunch.

Linda McMaken I’d call it – Paperback Writer – Creamy vanilla ice cream, swirled together with a lovely black cherry with bits of cherry in it. Served in an edible chocolate cup, covered with chopped nuts, and topped with a generous dollop of chocolate whipped creme – served with a good book.

Isabo Kelly Vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough, oreos, and peanut butter cups. Destructo’s Delight. (My oldest’s nickname is Destructo and those are all his and my favorite sweets.)

Shirley Martin Strawberry, mint, marshmallow, and chocolate. It’s pink and called “Pink Delight.”

Amy Corwin: The mango-ginger Thriller. Vanilla ice cream base mixed with chunks of sugared mango and ginger. Yum. And a real taste thrill!



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