P.J. Fiala's Blog

June 5, 2015

Stalking Red

This story is a thrilling, edge of your seat kind of story. From the vivid descriptions of the Alaskan territories to a sneak peak at the life of a native, I pictured each new scene in my head.

Red is a tough, Alaskan woman who has had her share of heartache. Lucky for her, she has a hunky neighbor, PR Jones, to lean on in tough times. The problem? PR doesn't want to be a shoulder to lean on, he wants forever.

This story was a wonderful love story. A man like PR doesn't come along all that often in life. He was willing to sit and wait while Red dated another man. But, oh the day when Red notices him! I won't give away anything more, suffice it to say, it's a page turner. Stalking Red (Copper River Romance #2) by Cherime MacFarlane
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Published on June 05, 2015 16:14 Tags: alaska, cherime-macfarlane, pj-fiala, stalking-red

October 20, 2014

Suggested Etiquette for Fair Reviews

I just read a blog post by a friend, Blakely Bennett and felt so strongly about it, I had to share. Please take a moment to read these 10 simple steps to writing an effective review.

http://www.blakelybennett.com/suggest...

Blakely does a fabulous job of explaining what a review is for and the etiquette that should be followed when writing a review. Congratulations Blakely, excellent article. Blakely Bennett
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Published on October 20, 2014 04:17 Tags: etiquette, fair, reviews

September 14, 2014

Captured by a Laird

Captured by a Laird by Margaret Mallory
Bravo to Margaret Mallory on Captured by a Laird. She wove a wonderful story of historical facts and those left to her imagination.

Captured by a Laird (The Douglas Legacy, #1) by Margaret Mallory Captured by a Laird was full of history, love, angst, and the maturing of two people destined to be together. Both had experiences in life that made them feel less than the people they would become, they were able to grow towards each other and fall in love amidst family strife, war, uncertain allegiances and past hurts.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves historical romance and history.
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Published on September 14, 2014 17:06

September 1, 2014

Enforcer by Ryleigh Rhodes

Enforcer is a fantastic and timely book. Following the life of Claire Adams, through tragedy, watching her healing process and learning to love again after a devastating loss, Ryleigh, puts life into perspective. Showing the harsh realities of returning veterans and some of the issues and trauma they deal with when trying to get back to life, at the same time, life goes on. Falling in love isn't always easy, but, when it's right, it's worth the fight. Enforcer by Ryleigh Rhodes
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Published on September 01, 2014 12:30 Tags: hockey, ied, loss, love, tragedy, trauma, veterans

August 18, 2014

Great Book!

Perfect Stranger Perfect Stranger by Morgan K. Wyatt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Perfect Stranger by Morgan K. Wyatt

Cinda is a beautiful voluptuous woman with a problem. She had a chance meeting with a man named Jack in an airport and lost his number. She can’t stop thinking about him. She doesn’t know where he lives or how to find him and she feels lonely and sad.

Her friend Raven is the opposite of Cinda. She’s a beautiful model with a model’s figure and men lined up at the door for her. However, Raven’s focus is on getting Cinda out of her rut. She sets out to make her friend over and make her feel as beautiful as she is.

Walking into a masquerade party, Raven is positively bursting with a surprise. Is that surprise Jack or a perfect stranger to take her mind off of Jack?

This is a very nice story with a happy ending. I enjoyed reading it and look for more stories from Morgan Wyatt. Bravo!




View all my reviews
Perfect Stranger by Morgan K. Wyatt
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Published on August 18, 2014 19:54 Tags: cinda, full-figure, jake, love, stranger

July 26, 2014

Amazing!

"She goes out into the garden...There's a full moon. And another vision. She sinks to her knees on the lawn. Jack's words fill the sky, verse after verse. Only to crumble line by line until they are nothing more than a jumble of letters which then go their separate ways, back into the universe from whence they came."

Love the phrasing used in this paragraph. September Ends is as well choreographed as it is well written. The characters of Liz, Pete and Jack are so real, you will feel that you know them, or that you have had a similar experience of love and loss. You will want to add this to your TBR list. September Ends by Hunter S. Jones
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Published on July 26, 2014 11:40

June 17, 2014

My Martha Stewart/Angus MacGyver Moment

P.J. Fiala So, some of you may think I am tooting my horn much too loudly, but I solved a five-year problem in our house and I am quite pleased with myself.

Five years ago I was walking through a local, popular garden center here in Green Bay. I spied a wrought iron candleholder, something you would fit into a fireplace, with places for nine candles, all at different heights. It was marked half price and was an interesting piece, so I bought it even though I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. I don’t burn candles in my house; we have in-floor radiant heat floors, and if you burn candles, the carbon from the candles sticks to the walls and blackens them. But, I purchased it and happily carried it out of the store.

When I got it home, I decided to put my new purchase on the table on our deck. I had purchased nine candles at ten dollars each, and I proudly put the candles on each spindle and then stepped back to admire my work. Beautiful.

About a week later I looked outside and my candles were a melted puddle of goo. As I stood staring at my beautiful candleholder covered in melted wax, I fought the urge to cry. Dammit! I was so excited to get it home, but I hadn’t thought through the logistics and the sun. So, I pried it off the table and spent the day scraping the melted wax off my table while uttering a few “interesting” expletives. My neighbors stayed away--far away.

The following year, I decided to purchase glass containers for each candle and glue them to the holders, and I put brand new candles into the glass containers. Very nice. My husband and I sat outside by the candlelight to have a drink and enjoy my newest art project. Well, it looked nice, but even a slight breeze would keep blowing the candles out, so my relaxing evening consisted of jumping out of my chair every three minutes to re-light an extinguished candle. The other issue with this was, when it rained, the glass filled up with water and the candles still melted in the sun.

I gave it a rest for a year, trying to decide what to do with this interesting little candleholder that was NOT going to kick my ass. Yes, I can be very tenacious. I tried the little battery operated candles, again expensive, and they, too, were made out of wax and melted, leaving me with waterlogged, non-working candles.

This year, I was determined. I will have my stupid wrought iron candleholder working! So, I was walking through Home Depot, my husband on my heels, not wanting me to purchase another ninety dollars in candles, but knowing me well, and just hoping to mitigate some of the damages to our checking account. I walked past the garden section and eureka! I found cylindrical solar lights a couple of inches shorter than the glass cylinders I have glued to the candle holder. Sweet! My husband drilled a small hole at the bottom of each glass cylinder so the water would drain and I found some pretty glass marbles to support the cylinders in the glass. I set them on the table and admired my accomplishment. I couldn’t wait until dark to see how they would look.

Much to my surprise (as soon as it was dark enough to see) the little solar lights lit up and they even change colors! So pretty. I now have nine pretty candles in my candleholder on the deck where I can spend a relaxing evening or two with my man, have a drink, and enjoy the pretty lights in my candleholder.
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Published on June 17, 2014 03:52 Tags: candles, macgyver, martha-stewart

June 11, 2014

Remember the days of Biker Gangs?

Remember the days of the Highwaymen, Magnetos, Hells Angels, the Vagos, Banditos, and so many more? Those gangs were always associated with criminal activity--drugs, rape, murder, and pillaging—in every city they rode through. Some of those gangs still exist, but most bikers are hardworking, law-abiding citizens.

Today, it’s common to see hordes of bikes riding together for a common cause. That cause can be anything from the famous MDA rides, to cancer rides, to memorial rides, and so many more. This summer alone, my man and I will be riding in ten separate charity rides. We have two memorial rides we participate in every year; the Yancy Ride, which is in memoriam of Troy Yancy, an avid biker who passed away twenty years ago. Each year his family organizes this memorial ride and donates the proceeds to local charities. The second memorial ride is the Phil Wozniak ride. Phil was a good friend of my son, Zach’s, who was riding home from work after dark and hit a deer. The proceeds from this ride go to a local charity chosen by the family. Both rides attract hundreds of people who will ride in remembrance of people we have lost.

We participate each and every year in a local Veteran’s Ride. It’s truly the best ride I have ever been on. There will be hundreds of people joining this event, as area veterans are honored each year. Proceeds are given to veterans in need of anything from medical assistance, help with their homes, educational expenses, and more. A ceremony starts the ride and chosen veterans are honored with the presentation of the colors first. After echo taps is played, memorial trophies are handed out commemorating the day. The ride is photographed, recorded by both land and air, and DVDs are burned with the sales going into a kitty for the veterans.

Jerry Parins, is a former Green Bay Packers assistant coach, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. Each year he sponsors the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer, in which all the proceeds go toward helping local families, throughout Northeastern Wisconsin, who are battling cancer. Last year’s recipient organizations included the Angel Classic Inc., Bellin Health Foundation Inc. (Patient Assistance Fund), St. Mary’s Hospital (A Woman’s Place), St. Vincent Hospital (Child Life Program), St. Vincent Hospital (Compassionate Care Fund), and Unity Limited Partnership (Hope for Grieving Families). Since its inception, this ride has raised nearly $700,000 . This ride ends at Lambeau Field and brings thousands of people, throughout the day, to either ride or come and party and listen to great music, participate in raffles, and meet up with friends.

There are several MDA rides throughout the area, and we will participate in them as well. A local soldier, Shannon Flynn, who is actually serving in Afghanistan this year, holds an annual ride where all proceeds go to the Wounded Warriors Project. He owns a bike shop in the Gillett area, and his employees and family are organizing the ride this year in his absence.
P.J. Fiala
All told, hundreds of thousands of dollars are generously donated each year from these annual rides. From this point forward, when you see a group of bikers driving down the road, instead of being afraid, give them a wave and thank them for their generous donations of time and money for the many great causes they are supporting.
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Published on June 11, 2014 03:58 Tags: biking, cancer, charity, jerry-perins, veterans, wounded-warriors-project

June 3, 2014

Riding Through the Menominee Reservation

Yesterday we rode through the Menominee Indian Reservation. The day started out busy, working to finish chores so while riding we weren’t worried about what wasn’t being accomplished in our absence. That is the first rule of biking: when you’re on the bike, allow your mind to enjoy the moment.

My husband, Gene, and I began our journey from home in Green Bay. We climbed on our bikes around 12:30 p.m. and headed northwest to Doc’s Harley Davidson in Bonduel, WI to meet up with friends and family. Once our group arrived, we decided to eat before taking off. Doc has built a restaurant next to his dealership, called The Timeline Saloon, where I have eaten the best pulled pork sandwich ever found--truly!
We had eight people on seven bikes. My husband Gene, our friend Dennis, my oldest son Zach with cousins Hank and Earl, Zach’s friend Moochy and his girlfriend Laura, and me. By 2:00 we were off.

From Doc’s we headed west on Hwy. 29 to Shawano where we turned off the highway onto highway 47. When we ride, taking the highway is faster in getting us to the better riding roads. We cut across County Road H to hit Highway 55.
Highway 55 takes us through the best riding roads in this area. All in all, at this point we are only about 43 miles from home. We really are fortunate to live in such a beautiful area.

The roads wind through tall trees, giving intermittent shade from the sun. While riding along, music in my ear (I never ride without my phone pumping out tunes), the sun at my back looking forward and watching friends and family sweep through curves with ease, a smile spreads across my face. This is what we love to do! This is where I find my peace--my thoughts sliding through my next book or scene in a book--my mind is able to fully relax while at the same time, become more creative. The scent of camp fires, flowers and trees in bloom, food being grilled, or water off the lakes and rivers fill my senses with gratitude. Of course, there’s the occasional dead animal alongside the road, but that’s part of the package (I hold my breath past dead animals).

At the sixty mile mark we stopped at a little tavern north of Hwy 64 to have a drink and discuss the next road we wanted to take. We laughed at a few jokes, the guys teasing each other about anything and everything, snapped the picture you see in this post, and took off for our next destination.

Frequently, when riding the back roads we find animals, either alongside the road or crossing the road, paying special attention for deer and smaller animals that can throw a bike down in a heartbeat, like raccoons, beaver and, of course, dogs and cats. On this leg of the journey, we encountered the one thing I hate the most--SNAKES. I was riding in the back of the group, my son Zach and cousin Earl in front of me, and a huge yellow Pine Snake slithered across the road, and we simply moved over to avoid running over it. (I have hit a Pine Snake in the car and they are so strong and dense it felt like a speed bump. I definitely don’t want to hit one on the bike.) As Zach passed it, it reared up and hissed at him. I was directly behind Zach and moved over even further into the left lane--it looked furious with us. It must have decided we weren’t worth messing with as it turned and slithered into the woods.
P.J. Fiala
Next stop, only ten miles down the road, at Animals Bar in (what I believe to be) the Township of Riverview. We have stopped at this bar several times while riding the roads up there. Animal is a former Marine. Zach, Earl and Hank are all Marines, so there were a couple of drinks to the corps, a few war stories, and then we were off to the School House Bar in Mountain, WI. Some of us in the group had commitments for the evening, so we made this our final stop. Dennis and Hank shot a couple of games of pool, we had a couple of beers (Root Beer for me--I like the hard stuff) and Gene, Dennis and I made our way back to Green Bay to have a pizza at Sgambati’s Pizza. They have the best Chicken Alfredo Pizza--best pizza ever! Gene and I were home around nine thirty--dirty and tired, but happy.

Please feel free to check out the links to some of the spots we stopped.
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Published on June 03, 2014 17:16 Tags: bikers, bikes, marines, menominee, motorcycle, mountain, riders, riding

May 27, 2014

Why do bikers wear doo rags?

P.J. Fiala What the heck is a doo rag, you ask? A doo rag/Hoo Rag ® is material placed over the forehead and over and around your head and secured in the back, either by tying or Velcro. A Hoo Rag® is one piece of material which has many uses and ways in which you can wear it. You will find a link to Hoo Rags® at the end of this blog. Bikers wear doo rags/ Hoo Rags ® for a number of reasons: skin protection, style, comfort, and protection from the elements.

If you ride a motorcycle and don’t wear a helmet, a doo rag/ Hoo Rag®, keeps the sun and wind from burning your forehead. Prolonged exposure to sun and wind can result in skin cancer. Now, more than ever, we are all looking for ways to protect ourselves from the long-standing effects of sun damage. The doo rag/Hoo Rag® helps bikers do this. Over the course of a day of riding, sunscreen or sunblock will wear off.

Even though frequent stops are made (gas up, bathroom breaks, eating, drinking, and socializing), it’s easy to forget to reapply your favorite sunscreen.
The doo rag/Hoo Rag® is put on in the morning, and it stays on for the entire day.

Over the years, style has come into play as manufacturers and marketers have seen the increase in doo rag/ Hoo Rag® use. Now you can get them in many styles and colors to fit the needs of your business, wardrobe, or personality. There are brightly colored rags, blingy rags (my favorite), and personalized rags. Some are stretchy, some are stiff cotton, some are made out of bandanas, and some are a combination of all.
Rhinestones, decals, embroidery, and a combination of these can all be found in the many selections available.

If you attend any biker event, you will see booths selling doo rags/Hoo Rags®. Another style element is for helmet wearers. Throughout the course of a day, the biker will make frequent stops, and on these stops, the helmet is removed to reveal hat head. Hat head is not flattering—I don’t care how good-looking you are!

So now you can remove your helmet and replace it with your doo rag/Hoo Rag® and--Voila`!--no more hat head!
The necessity for comfort is important as well. If you are a helmet wearer, a doo rag/Hoo Rag® under your helmet can keep itching at bay. Sweating will more than likely occur when wearing a helmet in warm weather. Some doo rags/Hoo Rags® are moisture wicking and pull moisture away from your scalp.

Last, but certainly not least, is being protected from the elements. Besides the sun, which I previously discussed, there are many other elements we bikers encounter—rain, wind, dirt, road construction, and so much more. If you have never ridden on a motorcycle, this may be news to you. Rain hurts. Yes, when I’m riding down the highway and it starts to rain, trust me, raindrops hitting your face, or any exposed skin, feels like being poked with little needles. A Hoo Rag® or a bandana can be pulled up over your mouth and nose to help prevent needless pain.

Riding through road construction creates an enormous amount of floating dust and debris, necessitating the use of a Hoo Rag or a bandana. There isn’t an element I haven’t ridden in over the years, and I always carry extra Hoo Rags® or bandanas in case someone I’m riding with doesn’t have the protection.
So, now you know that bikers aren’t trying to look like old Wild West bandits with a bandana over their faces. We actually need the protection, but looking like a bandit can cause one’s imagination to soar!

Check out interesting ways to wear a Hoo Rag®: http://www.hoorag.com/whats-a-hoo-rag/
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Published on May 27, 2014 16:56 Tags: bandana, bikers, biking, breaks, doo-rag, drinking, hoo-rag, riding, socializing, sunscreen