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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Samantha Gentry

Picnic Preparedness

Planning ahead for a picnic outing gives you plenty of time to make a list of everything you need and then collect all the items together and pack them to go. But what about a spontaneous, last minute decision that says "It's a perfect day for a picnic…let's go right now."

If summer picnics are an activity you enjoy and participate in regularly, then the always ready picnic basket should be a part of your picnic preparedness.

What type of things should be included in the "ready on a moment's notice" picnic basket?

First, there's the basket itself although some might prefer a large canvas bag to carry everything. The traditional picnic basket, sometimes referred to as a picnic hamper, is woven wicker with a lid that fastens and handles to make it easy to carry. Size varies depending on the number of people who usually participate in your picnics…a cozy couple or an entire family.

There are items that should be a permanent part of your picnic basket, always inside the basket ready to go. The utensils consist of plates, forks, knives, and spoons. You can purchase picnic kits, usually consisting of four sets of utensils, or you can use paper plates and plastic cutlery purchased at the grocery store. You'll want to add napkins or paper towels, sharp knife, bottle opener, and maybe a cork screw to your utensils.

Your permanent picnic basket supplies should also include a large trash bag for cleaning up the mess, small packets of condiments such as mustard and catsup like those you find in fast food take-out places, salt and paper, a small zip lock type bag for such essentials as sun screen, insect repellent, matches or lighter, hand sanitizer, bandages for cuts and scrapes, and maybe an ace bandage for that sprained ankle. And possibly not a permanent part of the basket, but at the ready to grab and go should be a flashlight with fresh batteries, and bottled water.

And something else to think about is that tablecloth for the picnic table or a blanket to spread out on the ground, a portable grill and charcoal, and activity items such as a Frisbee or ball, camera, radio or music player (iPod, mp3, etc.), deck of cards, and a book or eReader.

And last but not least…if you're taking the family pooch, don't forget the dog dish, dog food, and water bowl.

With your picnic preparedness kit always at the ready, all you need to do for that spontaneous last minute decision to go on a picnic is stop by the grocery store to grab the fried chicken and potato salad from the deli section, ice for the cooler, and everyone's favorite drink. Then head for your favorite picnic spot.

DÉJÀ VU by Samantha Gentry, a romantic suspense from The Wild Rose Press ( Excerpt First Kiss:

Consciously he knew he needed to back off. Intellectually he knew he didn’t dare start something that might side track him from his all-important primary agenda. But he didn’t seem to be able to stop himself from twining his fingers in her hair. He heard her quick intake of breath and saw a combination of confusion and what he hoped was desire dart through her eyes. The silky tendrils fluttered across his skin, accompanied by a tightening in his chest. His gaze dropped to her slightly parted lips, a mouth that beckoned to him. One that needed to be kissed thoroughly and often.

Gable’s grasp on his will power had been tenuous at best. In an incendiary flash, the final traces of self-control totally deserted him. He brushed his lips against hers, not knowing what to expect from her in return. There was a moment’s hesitation on her part, something more akin to surprise than uncertainty. Then he felt her soft touch on the back of his hand as it rested on her cheek. She didn’t pull away from him. It was all the encouragement he needed.

He pulled Lexi into his embrace as he lowered his mouth to hers again. It started out as a gentle kiss, one having as much of a surprisingly emotional feel to it as it did a hard rush of physical desire. Her arms wound around his neck and her mouth responded. She tasted of sweetness and passion, an enticing combination. And he wanted more.

Much more.

But years of planning and preparing could not be set aside. He had initiated his carefully worked out scheme. There would be no turning back until he had achieved his goal. Nothing…and no one…would deter him.

He threaded his fingers in her hair again. As much as he needed to get on with his own business, he was not ready to stop the delicious kiss. He came within a breath of exploring the recesses of her mouth with his tongue, of tasting the tantalizing essence of the woman who had continually intruded into his thoughts from the moment the boat delivered her to his island.

He held her tighter, caressing her shoulders and running his hand down her back. Knowing he needed to step away and put some physical distance between them pulled at him equally as strong as the knowledge that he couldn’t relinquish his hold on her.

Lexi was the one to break off the kiss, but she did not step away. The spell she cast over him had not been broken. He quickly captured her mouth again, but held the kiss for only a couple of seconds before relinquishing his hold on her. Even though he took a step backward, he couldn’t bring himself to eliminate all physical contact. He continued to clasp her hand, slowly lacing their fingers together.

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

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