Friday, February 28, 2014

Binge-Watching

I binged-watched all 5 Twilight movies yesterday. This was my reward for finishing the first draft of Blind Temptation and the first day I was able to do it! Have to say, it was kind of cool watching them back-to-back like that. Now I’d like to re-read the books, but I probably won’t. I mean, I’ve already read them 4 times. Time is limited now (since I write) and I have more books to read that I’ll probably never get to!

I do like binge-watching, though. Sometimes we get a show so backed up on the DVR that we just wait until the end of the season and then watch them all at once. No cliff-hangers for us (well, except for the season finale--which I hate when they do that).

Then there are the TV series we own. We’ve put in a DVD of The Big Bang Theory and just hit play. The episodes play until it reaches the last one on the disk. Kind of neat. One of these days I’ll have to do that with The Cosby Show (I have the whole series). Ah, but that’ll have to be for another reward, I suppose!

So, what would you like to binge-watch?

Happy Friday! Hope your weekend weather isn’t going to be a mess like ours will be. I'm beginning to think winter will NEVER end!

Stacy

 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Reads

Hey! I’m getting caught up in my reading! Here’s what I read during the week:

Feb 20: “Kiss the Dead” by Laurell K. Hamilton. This is the 21st book in the Anita Blake series, an urban fantasy. Blurb from book: When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people--kids, grandparents, soccer moms--all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more… But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them… I love this series. I enjoy the world. But… This book was a bit on the thin side (story-wise), and it appears to be bulked up (word count-wise) by repeating descriptions and events. Descriptions that bordered on excessive (especially when it came to her lovers). Events that weren’t really needed for this story and would have been known by the readers of the series. Even so, I still love the series and will continue to read on. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Feb 21: “Ghost Lover” by Liza O’Connor, a paranormal romance. Blurb from book: Completely broke and with a criminal record to boot, Senna Smith is one day from eviction from her apartment when Brendon, her promiscuous roommate from London, suggests she go to England, marry him and manage his fortune. With few other options, she agrees to an open marriage. But she’ll never, ever, have sex with him, knowing if she falls in love with him, he’ll break her heart. As trustee of Brendon’s family fortune, there is no way Brendon’s older brother, Garrison Durran is going to let him marry a self-professed American gold-digger. As Senna tries to embrace castle life and English society for Brendon’s sake, Gar discovers Senna is the perfect woman for him--beautiful and intelligent, kind and caring. Now, if she wasn’t already engaged to his brother…The ancestral ghost of Durran Castle has to intervene if the Durran brothers have any chance of an heir. He can’t leave them to fix matters on their own. They are useless buggers when it comes to love. As counselor to Gar, matchmaker for Brendon and lover to Senna, a ghost’s work is never done. I enjoyed the story, but it took awhile before the ghost came into play. In fact, the beginning of the book seemed to resemble the movie “Sabrina.” So if you liked that movie, you’ll probably enjoy this book. I certainly breezed through it. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Feb 24: “Unite Me” by Tahereh Mafi, young adult dystopian shorts, 1.5 & 2.5 of the Shatter Me series. Blurb from book: Juliette will not stand alone in a battle that will decide the fate of her world… In Destroy Me, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45, refuses to let her go. In Fracture Me, Adam, Juliette’s first love, will do anything to get her back. This book included two shorts, as well as Juliette’s journal. The shorts were POVs from two other characters of the series. Not sure they were really needed as the events overlapped those of the first two books. This is why I’m not a fan of first person. If these POVs were really necessary, then why wasn’t the book written in third with these character views included? Plus, the “action” scenes (moving of body parts, mainly) were kind of clunky (I pulled my leg/I moved my head, kind of wordage). I thought I’d need to read these before the final of the series, but they didn’t offer anything I didn’t already know/suspect. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.

One good thing about walking on a treadmill--I read more! I’d still rather it was warmer so I could walk outside, though. What are you looking forward to doing once the weather warms up?

Happy reading!

Stacy

 

Monday, February 24, 2014

It's Back to Work for Me!

Okay, the Olympics are done. The weather is getting warmer…uh, no it’s not. Rats! Anyway, things will go back to normal now. That means going back to the gym. I plan on going four times this week. Let’s see if I can do it! Someone want to kick my butt out the door? I might need it.

It also means working on a project. I have too many unpolished manuscripts, so my next project is fixing up GHOSTLY LIAISON (my fourth book). Doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about what my next book will be, though. Will I continue with my vampires or write another ghost one? It’s a decision I don’t need to make right away, at least.

After I polish GHOSTLY LIAISON, I am going to attempt a novella. I basically have a lot of it written. My second book, SARAH’S TURN, is pretty much junk (the events are no longer relevant as it used to be the sequel to BITE ME, I’M YOURS), but there is this nice wedding in it and some funny scenes I’d love to use. I’m excited about going through SARAH’S TURN and see what’s salvageable. I haven’t decided whether or not I want to keep the title. We’ll see…

Hopefully by then my daughter will have told me whether or not BLIND TEMPTATION is a hit or miss. Hopefully it’s a hit and I can work at beefing it up. If it’s a miss, well…then I’ll have to go back to the drawing board on that one and see where I went wrong. Right now it feels like a hit, but I’ve been known to be wrong before (like I did with SARAH’S TURN).

I think I have enough projects to look forward to. Of course, all that can get out of whack if I get a contract for BITE ME. Heck, I HOPE it all gets out of whack!! I’ll keep you posted.

So…who else is going to get hit with another polar blast? I think the temps drop down into the single digits on Wednesday. Ugh!!! In two weeks I’ll be in Santa Barbara (visiting my parents). I can’t wait for some warmer weather.  

Stacy

 

Friday, February 21, 2014

If I Knew How to Skate...

Watching the women’s gold medal hockey game (USA should have won, damn it!) made me realize something: if I had known about the sport, I would have loved to play ice hockey when I was younger. Of course, that meant learning to ice skate, too. It’s all about having the correct footwear, right? I mean, I could roller skate easy enough. Well, except for that whole going backwards thing. Never could figure out how to do that.

I might not have known about ice hockey, but I loved figure skating. Or the idea of it. As a little girl I’d dream of skating and jumping and twirling on the ice. Of course, I also dreamed of being a gymnast until I stood on a balance beam. Uhhh, no thank you.

But skating was fun. Well, fun until I strapped on a pair of very used boots and my ankles would wobble after one trip around the rink. And then I’d fall on the hard, COLD, ice. Then it wasn’t so much fun. Neither were the blisters I ended up with. But that’s because I had the wrong footwear. Right?

Maybe if I had grown up in the northern climes, instead of Southern California, I would have learned to skate at a young age. I would have had stronger ankles. I would have had boots that fit. Didn’t mean I would have been able to play ice hockey, though. Did they even have women’s teams back in the 70s? I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved growing up in Southern California and wished we could have retired there. But I think I would have loved to have played ice hockey, too.

I’m glad the sport is more popular now, so a girl growing up in Southern California might discover the sport and get the chance to play if she so desired.

Is there something you wish you could have done when you were younger, if you’d known about it, that is?

Stacy

P.S. Happy Birthday, Sweetie! Yep, it's my hubby's birthday. He's mumble-mumble years old today!
 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday Reads

Seems strange not writing and I’m not sure I’d have lasted this long if not for the Olympics. Still hooked. Can’t seem to turn off the TV. But when I’m not watching I’m reading and here’s what I read during the week:

Feb 16: “Worst Week Ever” by Liza O’Connor. This is the first book of the Long Road to Love series, a romantic comedy/farce. Blurb from Goodreads: What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with an egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable? Book 1 of the 3 book series A Long Road to Love, named Worst Week Ever. Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant (or as his driver refers to Carrie: 'Trent's brain, left hand, and right hand.'). He's had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry this brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he's threatened to fire her, he's not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction, that happens to coincide with Carrie Hanson's Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form. (Hilarious to the reader, Carrie is not having much fun this week.) This book is whacky. And I mean that in a good way. Not sure Trent is worthy of Carrie’s love and devotion, but I do love the way his mind works (or doesn’t work, as the case may be). If you like crazy humor, you’ll like this book. And I’d read the next in the series, but that most likely won’t happen. I won this copy as a pdf (which did not exactly make for optimal--or fun--reading) and the series is only available for a Kindle. I own a Nook (and don’t go telling me I can read it on my computer--reading should be FUN). If the series ever shows up on B&N (or in print), I’ll certainly buy them. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

While I’m watching the Olympics, I started crocheting again. It had been so long, I forgot how much work it is (and how much my hand hurts), and I’m just making a book mark! I hope it turns out well. I’ll take some pictures when I’m finished.

So…have you ever read a pdf on an e-reader? What was that like for you?

Happy reading!

Stacy

 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Awesome News--I'm Happy Dancing

Valentine’s Day ended up being an AWESOME day for me.

No, I didn’t get any flowers or candy. My husband did bring home some cookies for me, and we went out to dinner, but that’s not the awesome news (mainly because he usually brings me goodies home if someone brought goodies into work and we always go out for dinner on Friday).

The awesome thing that happened? Finding My Sunny Vampire on Amazon for sale in the Kindle format! Then I found it on Kobo. Yes! It’s back! (Links are located on the sidebar, for those looking for them.)

Let the happy dancing commence!

So while I didn’t have an official release day, it’s so nice to see my book out there again. I’ll be happier when it’s everywhere (like, B&N), and in print, but I’m sure it won’t be long now.

To celebrate my release, my friend Paula Millhouse is featuring me on her blog (link: http://wp.me/p2LqsK-gQ). You can always stop by and say hi so I look more popular than I am. Looks are everything, right??? J

Have a good Monday! I know I will.

Stacy

 

Friday, February 14, 2014

To Rant or Not to Rant

I wanted to rant about e-readers, but I think I’ve done that before. Then I wanted to rant about authors who only sell their books in one format, but I think I’ve done that before, too. Then I wanted to rant about trying to read a damn pdf on my e-reader, but that would be a short rant:

I may never read another pdf on my e-reader! Reading should be fun and those things aren’t.

See? Short.

So then I decided that maybe I shouldn’t rant at all. But if I don’t rant, I won’t have anything to write about. What to do? What to do?

How about I rant about Valentine’s Day? Do you celebrate? I don’t. Never have. When I was single the “holiday” only depressed me. Once I was married, it became unnecessary. I know my husband loves me and he knows I love him. We don’t wait for a holiday to tell each other, either. So what’s the whole purpose of the “holiday”? I truly believe it’s to sell candy, flowers, and cards. There’s no other purpose to this day! Really, people. Do you need a fake holiday to tell your sweetie you love them? Do you need a fake holiday to make you feel lonelier? I don’t think so.

Hmmm…maybe I have the start of another book here.

So, what do you want to rant about?

Stacy

 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday Reads and a Finished Project!!

Hurray, hurray, hurray! I finished the first draft of BLIND TEMPTATION. The wrap-up finally (FINALLY) came to me (it’s one thing to know the ending, another to wrap-up all those pesky plotlines). Less really is more! Now I’m reading it over one last time and today I will print it out and give to my daughter to read. I sure hope I didn’t write total crap. I mean, it’s a first draft, sure it’s crap, but hopefully the story is solid. That’s what I need to know. That’s what I’m hoping. Now I can relax. Now I can clean the house. Ugh. Now I can clean the house!!

Well, maybe I’ll get some more reading in, too. Anyway, here’s what I read during the week:

Feb 7: “Beautiful Redemption” by Kami Garcia and MargaretStohl. This is the fourth and final book of the Caster Chronicals, a YA paranormal. Blurb from cover: Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves. Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan’s return, vowing to do whatever it takes--even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect. Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series. I really enjoyed this series and the final book did it justice. I’m one happy reader. I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads.

After I clean the house (again--ugh, but I’ve got company coming Saturday, so it has to be done), I’m rewarding myself with finishing the first draft by watching a marathon of all five Twilight movies. What kind of reward do you give yourself when you finish a project?

Happy reading!

Stacy

 

Monday, February 10, 2014

I’m On a Library Event


This Thursday I’ll be at the Wilmington-Stroop branch of the Dayton Metro Library with Jennette Marie Powell, Jessica Lemmon, AthenaGrayson, CD Hersh, and Catherine Castle. We’ll talk about romance writing (and show off our books!). Probably the best part…they’re serving CHOCOLATE! Oh yeah.

I’ll take my camera, but since my husband is teaching that night he won’t be there to take any pictures. We’ll see what kind of crowd we get and if I know anyone I can trust my camera with!

You know I’m watching the Olympics. I turn it on when I get up in the morning and watch some of the events live. I discovered something strange, though. Take the figure skating. The live event was announced by one crew featuring Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, but when it was repeated in the evening, it was announced by a totally different crew featuring Scott Hamilton. Why? My husband thinks Tara and Johnny are in training. I think it’s just strange. That’s spending an awful lot of money to TRAIN someone (they could do that in this country). What do you think?

I was really hoping to say “I’m finished!” with my first draft by now, but, I swear, sometimes stories just don’t want to end. I mean, the couple’s story has ended, but I have these subplots that need to be wrapped up and I’m trying to do it in an entertaining way. I’ve already tried it a couple of ways, but it’s not working. I’ll give it one last try and then give the story to my daughter to read. She’ll tell me if it works or if it fell flat. Heck, maybe she’ll have a better idea!

I find it funny that this is happening to me now. Just last week Lori Foster posted a status on Facebook that said she was having problems with her ending and wished she could just say “And they lived happily ever after.” I understand her pain now!
 
On Sunday I saw Vampire Academy with my daughter. It stuck to the story fairly well, but lacked the chemistry and emotion of the book. Did you go to the movies this weekend? What did you go see? 

Stacy

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Winter Olympics Are Upon Us

Have you ever dreamed of being in the Winter Olympics? I was never much of an athlete. I loved to play softball and golf, but there were no high school team sports for girls at that time (1970s), only during P.E. And growing up in Southern California, winter sports were unthinkable. But when the Winter Olympics came around, I dreamt of being a figure skater. Didn’t matter that I didn’t know how to skate!

I still enjoy watching the Winter Olympics, even though winter sports are still unthinkable for me. I mean, it’s COLD out there! Give me the summer, please!

I’m keeping this short, mainly because my mind is fried. I’m almost finished with the first draft of Blind Temptation. Just have to wrap up some plotlines, so I guess I’m in the last chapter (yay!). When your mind is so wrapped up in a project, it’s hard to think of anything else. Heck, I had problems with the Facebook page this week. So much for promoting myself. Yeah, look at me. I’m a flake! Haha!

I do want to share something with you that made me laugh when I first saw it. The high school in my town has an electronic sign. It’s usually used to announce testing or game times. Well it now states: Coming Soon! Spring.

Yeah, right! I’ll believe it when I see it!

So, do you plan on watching the Olympics for the next couple of weeks?

Stacy

 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday Reads and a Voting Contest

Today is my son’s birthday. Happy Birthday!!! I can’t believe he’s 32! I feel old.

The cover to My Sunny Vampire is up for a Readers Choice vote on the Judge a Book By Its Cover contest. If you're interested in voting, here’s the link: https://jabbic.hbarwa.com/readers/. My cover is in the paranormal genre. You vote a grade for each cover (if you so desire). Lots of covers! I think I’m in cover overload!

Here’s what I read during the week:

Jan 30: “Beautiful Chaos” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This is the third book of the Caster Chronicals, a YA paranormal. Blurb from cover: Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena’s Claiming. Even Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals is affected--and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What--or who--will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin? For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He’s being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn’t by Lena--and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself--forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn’t know why, and most days he’s too afraid to ask. Sometime there isn’t just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there’s no going back. And this time there won’t be a happy ending. I have to say, this book is much better than the third. I prefer Ethan and Lena working together than apart, so sue me! J But the ending? Hmmm… Don’t like it when it leaves you hanging, and this one definitely did. Good thing I have the fourth (and final) book waiting for me. However, it’ll have to wait until after the next (shorter) book I read. I have a goal to get caught up on! Haha!

Feb 3: “High Frequency” by Jocie McKade. This is apparently the first book in a series, an action comedy with semi-romantic tones. The blurbs I found were way too long, so I truncated it: Lauren Jacobs is a journalist with amazing powers. Able to leap cranky receptionists in a single bound, she can simultaneously suck down a doughnut hole, drink a cup of coffee, add info to her iPad, and shift gears in her car on the Chicago freeway during rush hour. Her byline has made Edition One a digital news sensation, and her fiery expos├ęs draw a huge readership. A routine stop for morning coffee and doughnut holes gives her the story of her career and will send Chicago's
"dirty" city officials to jail, and a fair number of mobsters into hiding. With Chicago suddenly too hot for his headstrong reporter, her editor assigns her to a mundane story on crop circles in England during the rainy season. Enter Derek Rourke, a reporter from the worst of the "yellow" tabloids - The Lens. The crop circles turn out to be evidence of a vibration frequency weapon being tested by a terrorist group, and Derek seems to be trying to "scoop" Lauren on this story of Pulitzer Prize-winning proportions. As bullets rain down, crop circles multiply, earthquakes shake London, and lightning strikes more then twice, they are forced into an uneasy and untrusting partnership. With help from Lauren's con artist father and a few good Druids, they might just be able to save the world - if they don't kill each other first!
I met this author at a book club meeting and the book sounded really funny, so I purchased it. I do try to help the indie authors. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t my “cup of tea.” If you enjoyed the movie “I Love Trouble” starring Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte (which I did not), then you’ll probably love this book. They both have that screwball scenario going for them. But don’t expect an ending. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s book one of a series. I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.

One last thing. I love sharing the books I read, because they are books I want to read. And while I’m flattered some of you think I’m a review site, I am not. I don’t do requests. I just don’t have the inclination.

So…it looks like I might just finish the first draft of Blind Temptation this week (yay!). What should I do to celebrate?

Happy reading!

Stacy

 

Monday, February 3, 2014

The End is in Sight

Nothing like going to bed and then realizing how your story will end. And not just the ending. All the other parts that will get to the end.

To say I got ANY sleep at all on Friday night would be a lie.

To say I woke up and wrote like a fiend on Saturday would also be a lie.

To say that frustrated me to no end would be the truth.

I did, however, get up at one in the morning and write out the summary of all the events to occur. You know, just in case all that tossing and turning and playing those scenes in my head didn’t solidify the story for me. I also thought if I wrote it down, I’d stop thinking about it so I could get some sleep.

Yeah, that didn’t happen, either.

It is a wonderful feeling, though. To know how the book will end. Especially when earlier that day I didn’t have a clue. Not. One. Clue.

I believe my creative juices like to toy with me, though. It seems on those mornings I wake up with a revelation I can’t write like I want. That’s because I’ll have plans I can’t (or won’t) cancel. It never seems to fail.

Which is why I didn’t write on Saturday. I had plans to meet up with friends in Cincinnati I didn’t want to cancel. Then the family got together to celebrate my son’s birthday. It’s not like I get to do things with them all the time as it is. I’ve gotta have a life other than writing!

So, now that I’m armed with the ending of my book, my goal is to finish it by Friday. Except…This week I’m also hosting the Sizzle and Sass page on Facebook. See what I mean about my creative juices toying with me???

By the way, I hope you’ll stop by the page and say hello! Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sizzle-and-Sass/213212842173895

I have more good news to share! While MY SUNNY VAMPIRE is still awaiting a release date, LOVE'S A BEACH, the anthology I’m included in, is now up for sale! Yay! Book cover and buy links are located in the sidebar.

So…did you watch that boring Super Bowl game until the end? I didn’t. But I had a good time at Buffalo Wild Wings’ VIP Party. Even won a “bar” picture for Samuel Adams that says: For the Love of Beer. Don’t know where I’ll put that.

Stacy