In today's society, a picnic is a meal eaten outdoors, usually in a nature-like setting such as a park, a lake, the beach, or at a public event such as an open air theater or concert. They are generally thought of as being a summer activity. And picnics usually mean picnic baskets filled with food and coolers full of cold drinks.
Picnics can be a family outing or a large gathering such as a company picnic. Games and other forms of entertainment are often part of the large gathering type of picnics—things like horse shoes, softball, tug-of-war, and foot race competitions. It's not at all uncommon for the traditional picnic to be combined with a barbeque cookout. A portable grill is added to the picnic basket and cooler for cooking hamburgers and hot dogs. In established parks and picnic areas, a picnic table is usually part of the location along with large trash barrels and water faucets.
Picnics can also be a romantic occasion between two people at a secluded location with a beautiful view. And an ice chest with fresh fruit and chilled champagne.
The first usage of the word picnic is traced to 1692 in France where "pique-nique" is mentioned as being of recent origin. It was used to describe a group of people dining in a restaurant who brought their own wine. It was 1748 when the word first appeared in English and was associated with card-playing, drinking, and conversation.
And let's not forget Yogi Bear, that steadfast cartoon resident of Jellystone Park, and his love for picnic baskets.
Picnics are associated with fun and good times (just ask Yogi). So much so that in American and British English the slang phrase "no picnic" is used to describe a difficult or trying situation or activity such as, "Having to drive through all this road construction every day going to and from work is no picnic."
DÉJÀ VU by Samantha Gentry, a romantic suspense from The Wild Rose Press (www.thewildrosepress.com) Excerpt #3:
Then the image exploded in her mind again. The mud sliding toward her, the out of focus face, the skull, and finally the skeletons—this time more vivid than any of the previous assaults on her senses. A cold shudder moved up her spine, followed by a lump in her throat and a churning in the pit of her stomach. She hugged her shoulders in an attempt to fend off the shivers, but not from the cold. Her insides trembled to the point where she felt as if she had no control over her own body. Even though she still didn’t understand the message trying to get through to her, this time the vision truly frightened her on both a physical and emotional level.
This time it felt very real...and very personal.
She tried to shake off the uncomfortable feelings, but without much success. Then a new sensation hit her, an eerie awareness of someone watching her. Someone obscured by the fog. Someone laying in wait. Someone wanting to harm her? The possibility sent a hard jolt of fear racing through her veins. It played on her already tautly stretched nerves. A genuine sense of alarm welled inside her. She fought the desire to run blindly down the road. But toward what? And away from whom? One thing loomed abundantly clear…she needed to move on, to get away from this spot that radiated a feeling bordering on evil.
Lexi hurried down the road toward the mansion as she fought against the almost uncontrollable urge to continually glance over her shoulder. The panic built, layer upon layer. The danger close on her heels, almost as if it could reach out and grab her. Only the paved road under her feet offered any comfort or relief from the overwhelming sensation. The large Victorian mansion became visible through the fog, but would it provide a sanctuary? A safe haven?
Blurb: When Alexandra Caldwell is hired by a reclusive author to research the thirty-year-old disappearance of a big name newspaper tycoon and his wife, she wasn't sure what she would discover. As she embarks on this project, she finds herself in the middle of a series of frightening events and an unexpected attraction to Gable Talbot, the current owner of Skull Island where the disappearances occurred...a man with a magnetic sex appeal and a past as mysterious as the case she's researching. Will she be able to do the job she was hired for, or has she stumbled too close to the truth?
LASR Review: Samantha Gentry creates a riveting story as she weaves together vivid characters, dark secrets, deceits, murder, and unswerving dedication to reach goals. Moreover, she weaves a love that will not be denied into the mix — an intense, breathtaking love that brings completeness to both Lexi and Gable.
Long and Short Romance Reviews
reviewed by Camellia
May 3, 2010