Monday, September 19, 2016

Roxy's #CheapDate with Riunite Lambrusco

Tonight’s wine is Riunite. (Ree You Nee Tee? I think that's how it's pronounced. This is why I read rather than talking to people. Too many ways to pronounce things.) 

I noticed Riunite had a lot of social media on their bottle so I figured I would check them out in case I liked it so I could tag them. Or avoid tagging them if I hated it. LOL.

Legit, THIS is what comes up when you input the twitter address on the back of the bottle.

Something tells me they didn’t spend much cash on their marketing budget.

At least it looks like their INSTAGRAM is okay.

Screw on cap. Good for people who may have already pre-partied a bit. Or those of us who are re-modeling our house and have absolutely no upper body strength left after painting four DAMN ROOMS.  I fall into the later category. I abhor painting. And I’m not good at it.

This wine is 8 percent alcohol. I think the last one I tried was a little less. At least this stands a chance of getting me a little warm and toasty even if it’s bad.

**Sober Roxy here. The previous wine actually had more alcohol in it, but tasted like it didn't. Maybe reds just hit me harder for some reason? Or I forgot to eat before this review. Either way, the previous review actually had more alcohol but tasted like it didn't. Interesting....Back to slightly buzzed Roxy**

The label says Riunite is a “Soft, Lively, Red Wine”. Soft…hmmm. We may be in for more flavored water.

I think I remember ordering this wine when I was at an Olive Garden with my mom. It was one of the first times I was out to eat after I turned 21, and had NO idea what to order. I think they had this labeled as their house wine. Pretty sure even back then it was 4 or 5 bucks a glass. Little did I know I could have had a whole bottle for that price.


Yes, I sniffed the bottle. It has a little punch to the smell. Which is good. This won’t be water wine. Pretty sharp taste in the back of my sinuses. Not quite "medicine injected with a needle sharp"…more like "hit in the head with a cough drop" sharp. One of those sweet cough drops that don’t really do anything. Basically, it's got something in it that makes me think of those Luden's Cherry drops I used to pretend to have a sore throat to get.

As I poured the wine a few bubbles formed along the sides of the glass. Nice deep red color. The smell I got from sniffing the bottle is pretty much gone though, now that it’s in the glass. Of course that could be because I stuffed my schnoz in the mouth of a bottle and inhaled alcohol, effectively killing off some of my cells that smell things, but we won’t go there.

At this point in the process Hubby walks by and shakes his head. He's not scolding me for drinking wine. (drinking wine is kind of my thing) But that I didn’t try the Boone’s Farm yet. That’s the $3 bright pink bottle. (I'll be asking which booze to try on Twitter for future reviews. Follow me @RoxyMews) 

I ask him why he cares what I'm drinking. He tells me that Boone's will be funnier. I’m now slightly scared of the Boone’s Farm. Why will it be funnier? And more importantly why is my husband amused by my suffering?

This calls for drinking wine.


I DEFINITELY had this in college. I can almost smell the steak house restaurants and not quite Italian restaurants that I frequented during that time. (Back when I had money because I was borrowing student loans rather than paying them off.)

It’s almost carbonated. I can feel the bubbles against my tongue. Not unpleasant, but definitely not as smooth as I usually like. This is a sweet wine, but it’s not skimpy on the flavor. It tastes like deep red berries that are pulled just a little early so they have a nice bite to them.

I like this! Woo Hoo!

I better pour some more in my glass just to make sure. Yup. Really like this one.

This I would buy again. And this comes in a big momma bottle too. If you and your wino friends are looking for something to split, you can get a big bottle and only drink half to make it sound better the next day when you say you only had a half a bottle.

I should make sure I still like this. You know…for science. *pours more in my glass*

This is when I realize I should have eaten first. Off to scrounge for left-overs. But seriously, this is a pretty cheap wine, especially if you buy it on sale, in a big jug, or as part of Kroger’s 15% off of 6 bottles deal.


I'd buy this one again. This has a sweet taste, went down easy, and has some flavor to it. This was an easy wine that most of us who enjoy a sweet red wine will tolerate/enjoy. It barely hit the #cheapdate limit at $6 for the bottle, but it's cheaper per glass if you buy the big momma bottle. 

This is a wine for the power drinker.

So...have you had this one? Do you like sweet reds? Most importantly, which wine should I try next?


To find Roxy's books with buy links and what she has coming up next check out her website at

Monday, September 5, 2016

When Meet Cutes Go Bad

photo credit: Monta tanto, tanto monta via photopin (license)
I wrote a story about a matchmaker, and she paired two people who were perfect for each other.

The end.

Okay, nobody would pay for that story. So I put in a few obstacles, one of which was, the first client was convinced the matchmaker was a con, and so rejected every match she suggested. Including His Perfect Match.

Yay! But now I was faced with my matchmaker having to bring two bickering clients together.

Did I mention this is a romantic comedy? So I had to find funny ways for her to bring her clients together.

How about invite one to dinner and "accidentally" invite the other too? Yup, nobody'd see that coming. Not from a mile away. Or even outer space. Uh huh.

So in the middle of the night a brilliant idea came to me, as brilliant ideas are wont to do. I scribbled it down on the Post-it pad I keep by the bed for such brilliant middle-of-the-night notions. Waking the next morning excited, I read my wild scribble: "Porn movie setup."
Scantily-clad woman sashays to door. Sings, "Who is it?"
"Pizza delivery, ma'am."
Throws open door, revealing cute guy with closed box over groin. "Here's your pizza!" Pops box lid to foot-long hotdog ringed by hot mozz.
 At this point, I decided to put the story away for another day. Or year, the way my schedule is going, lol.

Read a story that came together well instead! Mind Mates now available.

When a powerful wizard prince comes out of hiding to save his sister, he is forced to team with a pretty shifter—one with ugly, dangerous powers of her own. As vengeful enemies close in, a forbidden attraction flaming between them, the two race to find a mysterious key.

Kindle | Nook | Smashwords | All Romance Ebooks | iTunes | Google Play | Kobo | Kindle UK

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Flip Flop Wine: #CHEAPDATE Review

Who is ready for another #cheapdate review? *waits patiently for the crowds to stop cheering* ;)

I would have posted this last night, but honestly, I worked all day and cleaned for quite a while after that. So, I figured I'd be a little more apt to be nice in the morning. I over estimated myself. LOL.

My local Kroger has a really decent selection of wines, and some days they have a wine expert to help you with pairing selections. I ate left over pizza last night, so I figured, going with a #cheapdate wine would be perfect.

I have a good stash of wines to work through (mainly because if you buy 6 or more bottles at Kroger, they give you a 15% discount.) Moral of this large quantities of alcohol to get the most for your money.

Disclaimer: My opinions are that of a mildly uncultured individual and are not meant to be taken seriously. I am not a professional reviewer, which will become obvious in a paragraph or two.

OMG. The lid was adorable.
Tonight's wine is FlipFlop Wines Left Coast Riesling. I bought it because I was wearing flip flops, and I like Riesling. My wine selection reasoning is infallible. 
It was also on sale for $4.99. So I tossed that bad boy in my cart.

Great twist off top. Not usually a sign of high quality, but twisted off easy. Which is always good when going for a cheap wine. Also means you don’t have to have a corkscrew. A definite money saver if you don’t own one.  
Smell from the bottle…super super light. I stuck my nose in the top and got a tiny hint of fruit, but that’s it.

Poured in a glass, it looks like water. And yes, I know it’s not a wine glass. I haven’t found that box yet. Or put up my wine glass rack. It’s been a busy month, okay?!?!

Still not much of a smell when I have it in the glass. Which is a definite improvement over the medicine smell of the last disaster. But this is a Riesling.

Can you really fuck up a Riesling? (Takes a minute to realize I said the same thing to myself about the Sangria…)

Coats the glass evenly, has a nice drag down the side. No weird bubbles or pitting. It still looks a little like water.  Time for the first taste!

Wine drinking face.

First taste…also tastes a little like water. Water that makes the back of your throat a smidge warm. And water that they threw a few pieces of fruit in to diffuse before pouring it. And sugar. This is really sweet.

Is there any alcohol in this?!?! Huh. Not much. 11%. I'm realizing here, that bargain wine might not be a bargain if you don't taste it.
Hubby asked me how it was. So I had him taste it. I asked if it tasted like water to him. He said it tasted like wine. Hubby is not allowed to help review any more.

I tried to push the issue.

Me: Doesn't it taste a little watery to you?

Hubby: It's not as strong as some.

Me: So it's not just me, it does taste watered down?

Hubby: I like it better, because I don't like wine.

Hubby is REALLY not allowed to help review anymore.

I’m a quarter of a bottle in. Okay. This doesn’t suck. It’s definitely not going down the drain, and I will keep it in the wine fridge because it's not bad enough to waste. I probably wouldn't buy it again, but it would be decent wine to make your non-wino friends drink with you if they needed convincing. It might also be a good wine to bring non-wine drinkers over to our side of the liquor aisle.
In conclusion. It's okay. Not bad. Not strong. Might be good to cook with and let the flavors concentrate. If you dig fruit infused water, this is for you.

Have any other wines I should try for my next #cheapdate? Do you have a spouse who doesn't understand the gloriousness of wine? Do you like this wine, or are you wrong like hubby? ;)


To find Roxy's books with buy links and what she has coming up next check out her website at

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

When Project Management Becomes Emergency Management

This is going to be more of a personal blog for me. So bear with me.

Believe it or not...Authors are real people.


I know. It shocked me too when I became one.

Summer is a busy busy time for me. Family is crawling all over my house like ants discovering a dropped ice cream cone on a sidewalk.

So what did I decide to do during the busiest time of the year? I decided to move. I know exactly what you're all thinking.


With a new house, comes a lot of coordinating, a lot of paperwork, and in my case, demanded overtime for hubby. The universe wanted me to have a melt-down this summer. LOL.

So I took some time off.

I took a lot of time off.

And although I have had a release with Samhain Publishing this year, I have to say, I don't have any future plans to publish with the company. There are some negotiations that have to occur on the business side of things, and frankly...after my house, I am negotiated out.

So I could put together something in a rush, without half of my brain cells would look something like a city burning behind me...


Or I could take a break. Which is what I've decided/been forced to do.

I won't have anything new out for a little while, but I'm going to try and get back into social media.

Because I miss you guys. A TON.

I have a couple of fun projects I'm working on, and one of them is even a new book. ;)

A new house, a family illness, a more than full-time job, and feeding myself hasn't left much creative juice. (I'm more of a wine gal, anyway.)


How has your summer been? Did you get a break? Or did the craziness ramp up for you too?

Let's talk about it. And then let's have a glass of wine together. Or if your summer has been like mine, let's break out the moonshine. We deserve it.


Monday, August 1, 2016

The Importance of John Barrowman

photo credit: John Barrowman via photopin (license)
If you've seen John Barrowman on television, it's probably as Malcolm Merlyn in Arrow or maybe Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who or Torchwood. These are both gritty, serious characters, befitting Barrowman's almost ethereal 6-foot handsomeness.

But if you've read anything else about Barrowman, you know he's an entertainment powerhouse--and fun. Dressing up as Squirrel Girl for Comic Con? Come on, that takes a sense of the absurd that calls to my heart.

I recently had a trailer made for my August 23 release, Mind Mates. And when I got the proof, I was floored. I thought, "This is the most awesome trailer I've ever seen." Problem was, there was absolutely no sense of the absurd. And though Mind Mates is packed with sizzling sex and high-octane action, there's fun too.

My question to the hubby was--do I accept it as is? Or do I ask for something funny in there and possibly ruin it?

We often value serious and gritty over sparkling and fun. We often choose things based on the gritty, real pull of the conflicts in the blurb. Hubby said if there's sass or wit, that's a bonus. Smart guy.

So I accepted the trailer as is (though next time I'll remember to ask for the other vendors at the end). Here it is. What do you think? Did I make the right call?

Here's an excerpt, one which shows a bit of Gabriel's somewhat skewed sense of humor (and my sense of absurd language, lol). Was hubby right? Is the fun a bonus?

Enjoy this excerpt from Mind Mates (Pull of the Moon book 2)

Gabriel has just rescued his employee, wolf shifter Emma Singer, from a nasty fall. She's on her feet but still wrapped in his arms when Emma's alpha Bruiser stalks in.

Bzz-bzzt. A buzz like an angry hornet stung wizard prince Gabriel Light’s ears the moment the predator slunk into the store. 

Cap’n Crunch me. Gabriel had magically alarmed the door for just such an event, but why now, when he’d finally gotten a semi-innocent excuse to wrap his arms around this warm bundle of soft, sweet-smelling heaven?

Emma. It felt like he’d been dying to hold her forever. Now, with her in his arms, was the first time in months he could breathe.

But that buzzing alarm told him the approaching beast was male, a wolf shifter, and, from that level of sting, Emma’s alpha. The beast was not going to appreciate seeing her in another man’s arms.

She started trembling, no doubt in response to the alpha’s rampant fight-club stench, a musk even Gabriel could smell. He tried to ease her tension with a joke. 

“Hey, Emma. How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?”

She skewered him with a disbelieving stare, icing his flesh. He’d blundered, she didn’t understand he was trying to comfort her, nobody gets my skewed sense of humor… Then she gulped and said, “Eight? Like, um, eight legs?”

Immediately his world brightened. “Nope. Ten tickles. Get it? Tentacles?”

She managed a tiny laugh, tinkling bells to his ears, and her body relaxed slightly under his arms. “That was such a dad joke.”

He loved that she, of all the people he knew, actually laughed at his jokes. He smiled into her eyes like a besotted fool.

Of course, that was when the he-wolf prowled into view. 

Gabriel wondered how far he could get with the wolf by protesting his intentions were honorable. Probably not far. The creature was only barely in human form. 

The wolfman was medium height but had a face like a dented shovel and a body like a trash compactor, his muscles-on-muscles popping in a stringy T-shirt that barely qualified past no-shirt-no-shoes-no-service.

Worse, with the hair sprouting everywhere, nose elongating like a snout, and lengthening canines, this alpha was dangerously pissed.

Hard to reason with a pissed-off wolf. They tended to bite first then ask questions…never.
Yet instead of releasing Emma, Gabriel’s hand dropped from her clenched jaw to open protectively on her back.

“The fuck?” the wolfman snarled.

Something inside Gabriel snarled right back.

When a powerful wizard prince comes out of hiding to save his sister, he is forced to team with a pretty shifter—one with ugly, dangerous powers of her own. As vengeful enemies close in, a forbidden attraction flaming between them, the two race to find a mysterious key.
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