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 story...buy 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 RoxyRocksMe.com

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 functioning...it 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.
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HG1F7G2/
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124016228?ean=2940153092669
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/645333
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-mindmates-2068656-140.html
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mind-mates/id1127456235
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mary_Hughes_Mind_Mates?id=KAFqDAAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/mind-mates
Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HG1F7G2/