A few weekends ago I went with my friend Mallory Braus to the Los Angeles Romance Authors chapter meeting of RWA (or LARA RWA for short). Mallory was giving a seminar on the author/editor relationship and what each side brings to the table. It was pretty interesting. I’m not an author. I’ll never write fiction. Not my thing, and, really, I just don’t think I’m that creative. LOL. But I DO write. I write here. I review books. My words are out there in the world and some days I wish I had an editor to keep me from looking like an idiot.

But a funny thing happened. Let’s go back a few years, shall we?

WAAAAY back in 1999 I had two cousins in Chicago who were getting married. I flew back for a quick weekend for one of the weddings, but I knew I’d be back about a month later for the next wedding. And look at that. The second wedding was the weekend after RWA National in Chicago. So since I had intended to stay for a visit with friends and family, I planned to arrive before RWA so I could attend the literacy signing. I had checked out the list of all the authors who were planning on being there and I packed a LOT of books to take to be signed. A Lot. So many. LOL. God bless the days of no airline baggage fees, eh?

One of the authors who was going to be there was Elda Minger. I had discovered her and her backlist a while back and was in love with her books. They were funny and sexy. Really sexy. This was before Harlequin Blaze or Ellora’s Cave and before erotica was anything more than a half-filled shelf at a bookstore with books written by “anonymous.”

I rushed over to her nearly first thing, and pulled out some tattered, well-loved books for her to sign. Since there was a bit of a lull, I stood there talking with Elda for a little bit and we discovered we were both from the LA area! And after a little more discussion, discovered we had both traveled all the way to Chicago from Los Angeles only to discover we both shopped at the exact same grocery store. She was lovely and wonderful and we promised each other we’d connect when we got back to LA.

For various reasons, moves, etc., we never did, and I lost touch with her. She’s been an auto buy for me ever since, though, and I keep looking and hoping she has more books out! And there have been some over the years, but not nearly enough for my tastes. LOL (Sorry, Elda).

So there I sit, on this sunny Sunday, in this tiny little school library crammed full of authors waiting for Mallory to give her talk, and they do the announcements about individual author milestones, and they mention Elda! And there she is! One row behind and a couple of seats over from me!

Obviously I couldn’t get up in the middle of the meeting to go to her, so I waited until after Mallory’s talk was over and everyone was mingling and I moved down to sit more or less directly in front of Elda.

Me: “You may not remember this, but we met YEARS ago–“

Her: “Oh, my god! Yes! In Chicago! I have your face on my wall! I look at it every day!”

Me: *dies*

Elda said as soon as I spoke she realized she knew me because of our picture. I had forgotten that I took pictures with the authors at the signing and then sent the authors copies of the pictures. Elda apparently has mine hanging up in her office and has had it up there this whole time. *gulp* I’m not sure if I should feel embarrassed or proud. LOLOL. But either way, it gave me a good laugh, and I’m so very happy we reconnected.

Now if she would only WRITE FASTER.

And, Elda, honey, can we talk about getting you a website? Please? LOL. I can help.

Lynda the Guppy
aka A Mingerite? Mingerette? 
aka The Fish With Sticks

If you’ve been reading my reviews at all, you know I’m a huge Shannon Stacey fan. What you probably don’t know, however, is I’ve been a Jennifer Greene fan from WAAAAAY back in the day. Like back in the 1989 Night of the Hunter day. She’s written some of my all time favorite books over the years and I will buy anything with her name on it. Barbara Dunlop is new to me, as far as I know, but I’ll be keeping an eye on her in the future.

I was really looking forward to these three stories. A snowed in anthology? Two of my all time favorite authors writing in a short story format? A format in which they both excel? How could I lose?

Well, I didn’t LOSE per se, but it wasn’t a home run either. The first two stories, Heart of the Storm by Shannon Stacey and Seeing Red by Jennifer Greene were good. Both Ms. Greene and Ms. Stacey did the Exes Reunited tropes with some success, but here’s the big problem I had with both stories.


These guys both broke their ex-girlfriends’ hearts when they walked away, and they both did it suddenly and without any reasonable explanation. Without even so much as a conversation. Then they come back years later and decide they want their women back and they’re just going get what they want? Oh, HELL no. These guys, ESPECIALLY Brody in Ms. Stacey’s story, needed to crawl naked over broken glass in the town square in the snow uphill both ways. And they needed to do it NOW and A LOT. And I wouldn’t say no to a good swift kick in the junk just for old times’ sake. (Bloodthirsty? Me? No. You’re thinking of a different guppy)

Brody didn’t seem to really care at first about Delaney and her feelings. He KNEW starting anything with her in front of the whole town would make it uncomfortable when he left (and he WAS leaving), but he did it anyway. Red at least acknowledges his mistake to himself and tries to make it right with Whitney as soon as he can. He DOES grovel a little bit (especially with the duffel bag) but still. As I’ve said MANY times, There Can Never Be Too Much Grovel. Ever.

The last story, Ms. Dunlop’s Land’s End was my favorite of the trio, I think. There were some quirky characters and I still wanted to smack Tessa’s brother Barry into a snowbank, but overall I enjoyed it. It was less about exes getting a second chance and more about a couple just figuring out where they stood with each other and really taking the blinders off to see each other as they really are and not as they want to be seen. I wish we could have had a little more closure with Colton’s father, but I was still happy with the resolution.

Overall, I give the book 3 stars. I’d still probably read it again when I need a quick fix of an entertaining winter story, but, honestly, if I’m looking for a Shannon Stacey book, I’ll always start with Mistletoe & Margaritas or any of the Kowalskis (of DOOM). Honor Bound Groom or Kiss Your Prince Charming are my go to books for Jennifer Greene.

In fact, I think I’ll just curl up with Kiss Your Prince Charming right now. I could use a little friends-to-lovers, ugly-duckling-to-Prince-Charming, injured-hero romance right about now.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Burrowed Under the Blankets Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks

Rating: 3 Stars


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