Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wednesday Reads and My Reading Statistics

Ahhh, my last post for 2015. Nice to end on a reading day, too.

It appears that my total books read this year is 92. I do not expect to finish the book I’m currently reading, mainly because I’m binge-watching “Gotham.” If it weren’t for that, I could easily add another book. Here’s what I read this week:

Dec 23: “Blood Kiss” by J.R. Ward, first book in the Black Dagger Legacy series, a paranormal romance at 397 pages. Blurb from book: Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomable difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, aka the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life. And that’s before Paradise falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field and off.  Oh wow! As soon as I started reading this, I got sucked back into this world and had a hard time putting the book down. I loved it. This is a spin-off of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It features a brand new couple (Paradise and Craeg) and revisits Butch and Marissa. Simply wonderful. I can’t wait to read more in this series.

I love statistics and comparing reading from year to year. Goodreads helps me do that (one of the reasons I like it so much). According to Goodreads, the average length of book I read this year was 313 pages (those novellas didn’t really diminish that number so much, now did they?). And while reading 92 books in a year is a goodly number for me (I only read 88 last year, missing my goal of 90), it’s not the most. That would be in 2013 when I read 93 (which was why I thought I could reach 90 in 2014!). The 26,620 pages I read this year aren’t the most, either. That would be in 2012 when I read 30,966 (from only 87 books—bet I didn’t read many novellas THAT year!).

I started keeping track of my reading in 2010. Would you believe I only read 39 books that year? Then again, I did have a day job. The following year I began taking the reading challenge (my goal was 50 and I read 59). 2012 was the only year I adjusted my goal (from 50 to 80) and that was because I had lost my job and knew I’d be reading more (I did; I read 87).

So… Do you like setting reading challenges low (knowing you’ll blow right over that number), realistic (because you’ve done it in the past), or high (just to see if you can do it)? I still haven’t decided what I want my goal to be next year. I don’t think I’ll go low, but I really don’t want to fail another challenge (and I refuse to adjust the number lower). I hate losing. Especially to myself!

I will most likely post something on Friday. If I can figure out what I want my goals to be, I’ll list them. Of course, it would help if I actually thought about what goals I want to achieve next year, huh?

Happy Reading and have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!

Stacy

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas, My Laptop, A Movie, and Big Sales


Ho ho ho! If you celebrated Christmas, I hope it was a good one for you. I was able to spend it with my kids and friends, which made it a good one. The presents were just a bonus! J

Hubby got me the watch I wanted (it has the Pittsburgh Penguins logo on the face). I had been wearing his huge Steelers watch since my old watch crapped out on me. It’s nice to have a smaller watch on again. And it’s really great to see the Penguins logo!

I mentioned earlier that my laptop was due to be delivered on Dec 31. Well, it arrived on the 24th. So guess what I did all weekend?

I really hate setting up a new computer. I sure hope I don’t have to do this again. I’m doing my best to like Windows 10, but they make it hard. At least I found out how to use Internet Explorer instead of Edge. I really do not like Edge. I can’t see my favorites like I can on IE. Plus, the right column of blogspot blogs jiggles on Edge. That pretty much sealed Edge’s fate right there, since it wasn’t happening on IE. The jiggling was driving my eyes nuts!

But I do like my new computer. The keyboard lights up and is more responsive when I type, plus now I can use my printer without having to turn the sucker off and on (it kept going off line on my old computer, as little as 5 minutes after I used it, too!). And the monitor is sharper, too. So sharp, the images and print on my AOL software is teeny tiny. I’ve tried messing with several settings to make it bigger, but it ruins everything else, so I’ll just have to get used to it (or use a magnifying glass). Maybe I’ll get lucky and AOL will upgrade soon for newer computers/monitors! I can only hope.

Best news, though… Word and Excel 2003 work on Windows 10! You don’t know how relieved I am that I don’t have to go looking for new software to write with. Okay, maybe you do. I’m sure you’re glad I’m not ranting about that, huh? Whew!

On Saturday I went and saw the new Star Wars movie. I could easily watch it again (and again and again). Great movie. I haven’t enjoyed one this much in quite awhile. I really am shocked that I haven’t read any spoilers about it, and super glad, too. Now I just have to watch what I say!

Last week I received my royalty statement from Kensington and just about fainted in shock. The statement covered the time My Sunny Vampire was offered for free for 30 days. Approximately 30,000 people downloaded it! Sure, I didn’t get any money for that, but then a little over 1,000 people bought it after the sale. Those sales made it possible for me to move from Provisional PAN (in RWA) to General PAN, which means I can be a voting member now. I really didn’t think it would happen this soon. Heck, I wasn’t sure it would ever happen with that book. Whoo hoo! Yeah, I was doing some happy dancing last week.

Now, if those 31,000 people would buy my other books… Gee, wouldn’t THAT be something!

I gave my daughter A Vampire Wedding to read, so I guess you can say I’m done with it for now. That means I can watch last season’s Gotham (daughter got it from the library and it’s due back on the 2nd) without any guilt. I’ll be glad to get caught up to this season.

So… Did you get the present you wanted this year? What was it?

Have a great Monday!


Stacy

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wednesday Reads and Merry Christmas

I did it! I reached my goal (and then some). Whoo hoo! Here’s what I read this week:

Dec 16: “The Best Revenge” by Anne R. Allen, # 3 in the Camilla Randall Mystery series, a novel at 257 pages. Blurb from Goodreads: In this prequel to Anne R. Allen's Camilla Randall mysteries, a young debutante loses everything: fortune, love, and eventually even her freedom when a TV star's murder is mistakenly laid at her feet. Through it all, Camilla perseveres, however, and comes to learn that she is made of sterner stuff than anyone might have imagined, herself included. In typical Anne R. Allen fashion, the plot twists and turns from one breathless misadventure to another, leading to a finish sure to catch the reader by surprise. I follow Anne’s blog and never read any of her work before, so when this one came on sale, I decided to give it a try. Not sure what genre it falls under, but it was an enjoyable read and hard to put down. However, I will not read the rest of the series. I see that they’re written in first person (this one was in third) and she’s divorced—not my HEA after all (not that this was a romance, but still, disappointing to discover). I did like this book, though and I’m glad I read it, even if I don’t know what genre it falls under (because this isn’t your typical mystery since Camilla isn’t trying to solve anything—only survive her naiveté).

Dec 20: “Sudden Death” by Allison Brennan, #1 of the FBI Trilogy, a romantic suspense at 424 pages. Blurb from book: When a homeless veteran is found dead in a squalid Sacramento alley, FBI special agent Megan Elliott vows to find the murdered hero’s killer. Her investigation gets complicated fast, for the victim, a former Delta Force soldier, is just one link in a nationwide spree of torture and murder. Straight off a job rescuing medical missionaries, solder-for-hire Jack Kincaid returns to his home base in the Texas border town of Hidalgo only to receive the news that one of his closest colleagues—also ex-military—has been brutally murdered. Faced with an inept local police force, Jack takes matters into his own hands. Now, as part of a national task force to stop the sadistic killings, by-the-book Megan and burn-the-book Jack form a tense alliance, sparked with conflict and temptation. But they struggle against more than passion, for a vicious pair of killers has only just begun a rampage of evil…and the primary target is much closer than Megan suspects. Whooo! Quite a page turner. I loved getting to know Jack better since I only knew him as a minor character in the Lucy Kincaid series (he’s her older brother). I’m such an addict for this type of book. Give me more!

I will not post anything on Friday, so let me wish you a Merry Christmas now.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

I’ll be back here Monday (and I’ll let you know how the new Star Wars movie was—I’ve already got the tickets for Saturday!!).

FYI – Last night we watched “Love, Actually.” “Die Hard” has been selected as the Christmas Eve movie. Guess that leaves “While You Were Sleeping” or “White Christmas” for tonight. Hmmm… Hard to decide. Maybe we can watch both!

So… What do you normally do on Christmas Eve? Watch movies? Play games? Open presents? When the kids were small, I used to give them a gift to open on Christmas Eve (something fun or goofy). It was a good bribe to get them to go to bed early. Don’t need to bribe them anymore. They don’t live here! Haha!

Happy Reading and Merry Christmas! Hope you get LOTS and LOTS of books!

Stacy

Monday, December 21, 2015

I Bought a New Laptop—Again

Yeah, I bought a new laptop this time last year, but getting it was a huge mistake on my part. Impulse buy, anyone?

I hate the keyboard on this. I hate that the wifi keeps cutting out on me. I hate that it’s still slower than molasses. I just hate this HP ProBook!

Still, it told me what I DON’T want in a computer and what I DO want, so I started looking and found one. And since it was currently on sale and Hubby said to buy it…I did!

I won’t get my Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series until the 31st, though (I ordered it through the manufacturer and that’s the date they gave me). I didn’t get a touch screen (don’t want one), and I got it in red (nifty!), but it comes with Windows 10, so I’ll find out soon enough if Word 2003 will work on it (I sure hope it does). I did check out the Mac computers, but you know what? They don’t have a backspace key!! I need a backspace key. So that pretty much decided it for me. I’ll just have to tolerate Windows 10, I guess, and whatever word processor I will have to get if Word 2003 doesn’t work. I don’t want the newer version. The menu section takes up too much of the screen. I prefer the smaller icons and drop-down menus, thank you.

*******

This is the week that I’ll probably start pulling out the Christmas movies to watch. Here are some I hope to see:

  • “While You Were Sleeping”
  • “Love, Actually”
  • “White Christmas” (Daughter has not seen this and I must rectify that!)
  • “Die Hard”
We have way more than that, but those are the ones I’m most interested in and the ones I’m pretty sure Hubby will watch with me (he doesn’t like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and I don’t feel like watching it alone). We’ve already watched “Donovan’s Reef.” Did you know that movie has spanking in it? So did “McClintock!” (the movie we watched next—Hubby was on a John Wayne kick Saturday night). Who knew John Wayne could be so kinky?

Too bad it wasn’t considered kinky back then, though (both movies were released in 1963). It kind of irks me that men felt they had that right. So glad it’s not that way now (at least, not that I know of!).

So… What Christmas movie(s) do you hope to watch this year?

Have a great Monday!

Stacy

Friday, December 18, 2015

Physical Therapy and My Novella

Today I’m going to my first physical therapy appointment. Seems kind of silly now, since I’m not feeling any pain (yay!), but who knows what I’ll end up doing to myself later on! I’m hoping they’ll be able to tell me what my limits are (or should be). I need more cardio in my exercise program and I don’t necessarily want to use the pool (those aren’t my favorite things). I believe if I’m going to stick with a program, it has to be somewhat fun and easy for me. If it isn’t, I won’t do it. I know myself too well.

^^^^

I’m so darn close to finishing the revision (in other words, adding meat) to A Vampire Wedding (that title is starting to grow on me). I’m working on the second to last chapter (which is kind of an important chapter since the next chapter jumps ahead several months) and it’s just about done. I think I’ve filled all my holes. At least I HOPE so!

I came up with a tag line to go with my title:

What’s said in Vegas won’t necessarily stay in Vegas.

What do you think? Too corny?

So…Hubby is on vacation starting today (he’s using use-or-lose vacation), so I’ve got him until the 28th. Think I’ll get any writing done? I sure hope I do.

Have a great weekend!

Stacy

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday Reads

Okay, maybe I cheated a little. I read a couple of novellas to boost my quota so I’d reach my goal (and I only have to finish one more to do that!). I still read more pages than last year. That should count for something, shouldn’t it? Plus, I still have weeks left to read more (like at least finish that 90th book!). Maybe next year I’ll lower my goal so I don’t go all crazy at the end of the year. Yeah, right. Who am I kidding? I'll go crazy regardless. Here’s what I read this week:

Dec 9: “Wolf Tales VIII” by Kate Douglas, #8 in the Wolf Tales series (duh!), a paranormal erotica at 265 pages. Blurb from book: In the shadows they transform into beasts and possessed of boundless sexual energy, with the strength and stamina to indulge every primal urge. Now, six new Chanku have appeared—bold, brash, and very much in need of their elders’ wisdom. It is decided to split the young pack: three will travel to Montana to learn from Anton Cheval, and three to Colorado to be mentored by Ulrich Mason and his mate, Millie… Having weathered a series of vicious attacks, the Montana pack welcomes the distraction of breaking in the novices. But everything changes with the arrival of a mysterious stranger whose connection to Millie will bring the she-wolf, her partner, and their protégés—including Matt, the sensitive alpha Millie has brought to his sexual peak—to Montana. The time has come for Millie to confront her past, even as the young Chanku prepare for a future of power, pride, and pure pleasure… This one didn’t hold my attention like previous books in the series. I wasn’t really sure what the book was about. And the ending left me wondering even more. I own the rest of the series, so I will continue reading it. Plus, I like a lot of the characters, so there is that.

Dec 10: “Treasure on Moon Lake” by Amy Gamet, #1 in the Love on the Lake series, a contemporary romance at 118 pages. Blurb from Goodreads: Jewelry designer Tori Henderson’s first year in business was far more expensive than she could have imagined. Faced with closing the doors of Tori’s Treasures, she sinks her last dollar into one final promotion—a widely publicized treasure hunt for a chest of fine, handmade jewelry that could drum up enough business to get her back in the black... or kill her shop once and for all. The last thing she needs is her mother's announcement that she's preparing to marry Edward Trainor, the father of Tori’s long ago summer crush, Gabe - a man who regularly makes his way into Tori's dreams some ten years later. Corporate tycoon Jed Trainor has no intention of attending his estranged father’s wedding, and he certainly doesn’t need to see his half-brother Gabe after the other man put the moves on Jed's one-time fiancée. But with business problems looming, Jed needs time to think, and the small town of Moon Lake seems like the perfect place to hide away while he figures out how to save his empire. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a beautiful woman who thinks she’s in love with his idiot half-brother. Tori is determined to win Gabe’s heart, but Jed has other plans. When they learn Gabe is bringing a date to the wedding, Jed offers to bring Tori himself, knowing any woman on his arm is sure to be on Gabe’s radar. But his ploy for her attention just may blow up in his face. Can Jed prove to Tori he’s the Trainor brother she really belongs with? All I can say is that I’m not the audience for this book, but I gave it a try.

Dec 12: “Ready to Were” by Robyn Peterman, #1 in the Shift Happens series, a comedic paranormal/urban fantasy at 108 pages. Blurb from Goodreads: I never planned on going back to Hung Island, Georgia. Ever. I was a top notch Were agent for the secret paranormal Council and happily living in Chicago where I had everything I needed – a gym membership, season tickets to the Cubs and Dwayne – my gay, Vampyre best friend. Going back now would mean facing the reason I’d left and I’d rather chew my own paw off than deal with Hank. Hank the Tank Wilson was the six foot three, obnoxious, egotistical, perfect-assed, best-sex-of-my-life, Werewolf who cheated on me and broke my heart. At the time, I did what any rational woman would do. I left in the middle of the night with a suitcase, big plans and enough money for a one-way bus ticket to freedom. I vowed to never return. But here I am, trying to wrap my head around what has happened to some missing Weres without wrapping my body around Hank. I hope I don’t have to eat my words and my paw. This was a cute and funny story (with a steamy sex scene) and ended a lot better than I expected (no cliffhangers—yay!). Some people might call this a romance, and in a way it is, but it’s in first person so I never know what Hank is thinking and I need that for it to be a good romance for me. Still, I enjoyed the story very much and I’ll check out the next one in the series.

So…It’s nine days until Christmas. How ready are you? I’m just about done with the shopping. Next is the wrapping. Ugh. I bet I wait until the last minute to wrap. I usually do. Haha!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pictures From the Madrigal Dinner

I don’t have much to say today, so I’ll just post pictures from Saturday night’s Madrigal Dinner (not that I have a lot of them).

Clockwise from left: Daughter, Son, Son's Girlfriend, and Girlfriend's Daughter (who I think is sticking her tongue out at me--haha!)

Wright State University Carol Singers

Two of the performers

The musicians (not that you can see much of them!)

Daughter and Son dancing a skit (it was quite humorous)
 

So… Are any of you planning on seeing the new Star Wars movie this week? I might wait until the day after Christmas. I know I’ll get tickets as soon as they go on sale (once I determine just how many of us are going--should know tonight).

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Friday, December 11, 2015

I Did It, My Afghan, and Pills

Well… I did it. I entered Blind Temptation in the Judge a Book By Its Cover contest (in the paranormal category). We’ll see how it does. Once I’m informed that it’s up for the online voting portion (it has two: online and judges), I’ll post the link here. You know, in case you WANT to vote for little ol’ me. The judged portion is completely separate from the online portion, but I wouldn’t mind winning either. Okay, I do mind. I want to win the judged portion so my cover will show up in the ad in the RWR (Romance Writers Report—the magazine RWA sends out to their members). Why else enter, right?

Of those that commented on Monday’s post, no one knew what design is on the afghan that shows up in my tree picture. Here’s a better picture of it (should be able to enlarge it by clicking on it). Do you see the kitty cats?

 
I had made this afghan for my mother-in-law (many, many years ago). When she passed (in 2001), I made sure to get it back (since her stuff was being given away). I love that thing. Hopefully she did too.

I saw my physician assistant (PA) yesterday and got that referral for physical therapy. He also suggested I take glucosamine chondroitin, to help with the cartilage (or lack thereof) in my knee. I have a feeling one of these days I’m going to be taking just as many pills as my hubby does. Except mine will all be supplements.

Have I ever mentioned I hate swallowing pills? Ugh.

I’m already taking iron, calcium, and vitamin D. I was taking magnesium, but I think that was the cause of my stomach problems (they have since ended since I stopped taking the pill—a pretty good indicator if you ask me). I know I wouldn’t have to take all those pills if I ate right, and maybe one day I will, but until that day…I’ll stick with the supplements.

Tomorrow night hubby and I will be taking my son’s girlfriend and her daughter to the Madrigal Dinner (held each year at Wright State University). Why aren’t we taking my son? Well… He and daughter are performing as dancers (son used to be part of the choir when he attended the college and before that he was one of the trumpet players). It’s a nice Christmas party. Lots of music, singing, and dancing (performance, not participatory). All the participants are dressed in madrigal style (1500s?) garments, and the food’s not so bad, either. We’ve been going since 2000 (man, that’s a long time!). Sure, it’s the same food and usually the same skits, but it’s a fun time, plus I like seeing my kids in action.

So… What are you up to this weekend? Shopping? Parties? Whatever, have a great one!

Stacy

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday Reads and My Decorated Tree

I only finished reading one book last week and I still have four more books to read to reach my goal. Man, I hope I make it. I’m beginning to have my doubts (I must have some short ones around here somewhere). Here’s the book I read:

Dec 3: “No Good Deed” by Allison Brennan, #10 in the Lucy Kincaid series, a suspense/thriller at 461 pages. Blurb from book: Lucy Kincaid understands the dangers of corruption. As an FBI agent, she has witnessed some very bad deeds committed by seemingly good people. That’s why she’s glad to see corrupt DEA Agent Nicole Rollins behind bars for murder, conspiracy, and gunrunning. But when Rollins makes a daring escape—jeopardizing a busload of children and killing five officers—Lucy become the key to the biggest manhunt in Texas history…and the target of a brilliant killer. Some believe Rollins has fled the country. But Lucy suspects her plan is far more sinister—a taunting game of cat and mouse that hits much closer to home. First, an FBI agent with a connection to Texas is killed in Washington. Then, Kane Rogan disappears on a mission. When Rollins ups the ante again, Lucy is determined to save the people she loves—before her enemy strikes again. Time is running out. The body count is rising. Rollins wants more than revenge—she wants to destroy everything Lucy holds dear… Whoo boy! What a ride. Ups, downs, twists, turns, and some really sick characters. What’s not to love? This is still one of my favorite series (even though I would have loved to smack Sean upside the head in this book—if he were a real person, that is).

I promised an updated picture of my decorated tree, so here it is…

Hey, can you tell what design is on
the black/white/grey afghan (shown on the
lower left)? I made that!

After I decorated the tree on Monday, I then addressed and signed 79 Christmas cards. By hand (I prefer the personal touch, you know?). Doing all that took all afternoon. Whew! You wouldn’t think that would be exhausting, but it was. I’ll have to plan better next year. That’s if I end up sending out that many again. But I won’t print out labels. Or buy pre-signed cards. Nope. Not me. Some of my recipients may get a form Christmas letter, but not a Christmas card. I’ll only resort to that when I can no longer hold a pen.

Even though I sent out 79 Christmas cards, only 27 of them got my form Christmas letter. See… I don’t torture EVERYONE! Only my closest relatives and friends. I mean, isn’t that what friends and family is all about? Torture?

So… Do you send out Christmas cards? What kind and how many? Share, share, share! How else am I going to get comments? J

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, December 7, 2015

It Didn’t Look That Big in the Store

On Friday, Hubby and I went to Lowe’s to buy a new Christmas tree. I wanted the narrow one. He didn’t like it. And to be honest, the narrow one would have looked better if it didn’t look GREY. Or if it had colored lights. Found a wider, greener one with colored lights. But the Lowe’s in our town didn’t have any stock (yet they still had the display up—why??) and told us the one in Troy had five. Didn’t feel like driving up to Troy, so we drove over to Meijer’s to check out their tree selection.

Again, they had a display we were interested in (actually, they had two of the one we wanted up on display), but no boxes. You’d think they’d put a note up or something indicating they were out of stock, but no. They wouldn’t sell us one of the displays, either. Not until next week, even though they weren’t expecting another shipment in. I didn’t want to wait for next week, so we drove up to Troy.

Good thing we didn’t have anything else planned for the day.

Yesterday I finally pulled the tree out of the box, by sections, of course. Man, the middle and bottom sections were heavy! Heavier than our older tree. Turns out to be a LOT larger than our older tree. Don’t believe me? Here’s a comparison.

This was last year's tree.
Only 1/2 the lights worked.

This is our new tree.
There's no room for the topper!

Oh well… So much for wanting a narrower tree. Or even a smaller tree. I’ve got a monster now. At least the lights work. And it was easier to put together. Sort of. It’s a lot taller than the other tree, too. I can’t reach the top portion without standing on a chair. I’ll post a picture once I get the ornaments on it.

I really enjoyed hearing Tess Gerritsen speak at the Centerville Library on Friday (and I remembered the picture!!). Thank goodness I already owned her latest book and brought it for her to sign. She was at another event the night before and sold out of her books. Good for her. Not so good for the people at the library hoping to buy a book.

I hope one of these days I can experience selling out of books! Haha! J

Saturday’s football game was a thriller. Unfortunately we didn’t come out of it victorious. I really hate the private schools. They should have their own division. Public schools RARELY win because it’s hard to compete against schools that can recruit (where as public schools can’t). Still, we came sooooooo close. After being down by 17 points in the 4th quarter, we came back and were up by 4 points with 3 minutes left in the game. If we could only have held them (they ended up winning 45-35). Wasn’t meant to be, though. L

Finally, I need to shout out HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister, Karen! She's now only one year younger than me instead of two. J
 
So… Have you ever bought something that didn’t seem that big until you got it home?

Have a great Monday!

Stacy

Friday, December 4, 2015

Cooking, a Library Event, and a Christmas Tree

I cooked last night! Okay, I sort of cooked last night. I only heated the ham in the microwave, but the boxed cheesy scalloped potatoes had to be prepared and put in the oven. That’s cooking, right? Hee hee J

We also cut into our last Kringle (which do freeze well, by the way). I’ll be sorry to see it go. Those suckers are GOOD!

Today the hubby and I are going down to the Centerville library to see Tess Gerritsen. I gotta remember to take her book. And hopefully I remember to get my picture taken with her.

I forgot to do that when I had dinner with Meg Gardiner in Austin. D’oh!!

I’ve decided to shop for a new Christmas tree. Maybe I’ll do it today, after the library event. Our current pre-lit tree only half-lights and trying to find the culprits for the dead strings is pretty fruitless—maybe if just one light went out instead of the whole string… But nooooo!

I see that Lowe’s has a slim 7-1/2’ tall tree. With 800 lights! I’m thinking that’s the one I want. It’ll just barely clear the ceiling. Not sure if I’ll be able to put a topper on it, but if it’s narrow, then I don’t care. I just want something narrow. And pre-lit. Can’t forget that important feature!
 
Saturday is the big football game. I'll be at the OSU Horseshoe rooting for our Wayne Warriors to win. I really feel like this is their year. Can't wait for the game. It's supposed to be sunny. No rain!! Yay!

So… Have you put up your tree yet? How big is it? If it weren’t for all the dated ornaments, I’d get a really small tree, but I’ve been collecting dated ornaments since we got married (meaning #37 is going up this year) and I’m not quitting!
 
Have a great weekend and Go Wayne!!! J

Stacy

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

No Wednesday Reads?

That’s right. I was a slow reader this past week. Blame it on Thanksgiving and Black Friday and Cyber Monday and…whatever.

All of those kept me from writing, too. I’m good at making excuses, huh? I should get a medal.

Yesterday I was supposed to see the physician’s assistant (PA) about my knee, but he had some kind of medical emergency and my appointment was rescheduled for Dec 10th. At least my knee isn’t bothering me so much now. I walked for 40 minutes on Monday and Tuesday and so far I’ve only got a twinge of pain. I’ll blame that on the fact I haven’t exercised in awhile. Starting over really sucks.

Ahhh… But at least I’m starting! Now I have to keep my fingers crossed I don’t injure myself again. Or get sick again. Or just get lazy again. Any of those could possibly happen. Good thing snow isn’t forecasted, or that lazy thing might kick in. J

Maybe my new Fitbit will keep me motivated. I got it in the mail yesterday. Haven’t had a chance to really use it yet, but I’ll put it to work today. I’m really hoping all that crawling walking is getting my heart rate up (and the Fitbit will tell me that). And if it’s not up? Then I’ll have to wait until I see the PA. I will NOT injure my knee again.

At least I hope I don’t.

One thing about walking for 40 minutes on the treadmill: I get to read for 40 minutes. Hopefully I’ll have two books to report next week!

So… What is something that you seem to continuously make up have excuses to keep you from doing? You know, like: I’d go on a diet, except I have to eat. J

I’m so bad today, aren’t I?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, November 30, 2015

And the Results of Saturday’s Football Game…

We’re going to State! We’re going to State! We’re going to STATE!!

That’s right. The Wayne Warriors beat Colerain Saturday night in the Division I Region 2 Final. They will meet the Division I Region 1 champion (Lake St. Edward) on Saturday, December 5th to determine the Division I State Champion.

Wayne played against this team last year for the championship and lost. This year I say it’s our turn to win! And I believe we have the team to do it.

But let me tell you about Saturday’s game. It wasn’t cold-cold. Probably in the 40s. But it was raining. All. Game. Long. The front of my coat was soaked (I wore a plastic blanket around my shoulders, which kept the rest of my coat relatively dry—thank goodness). While my boots kept my feet dry and my rain pants kept my pants dry, my gloves were soaked before the game even started, so I ended up taking them off and using my pockets, which were wet, but at least warmer than the gloves. Still, my hands pretty much turned into prunes. But you know what? I’d do it all over again to see them win.

But man, I sure hope the next game is warmer and drier, or at least just DRIER. We play at 3pm and so far the forecast calls for sunny and temps in the 50s. I can only hope it’s accurate. **fingers crossed**

“Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” was a very good movie. I think the whole movie series covered the books pretty well. Of course, it’s been awhile since I read them, and I did only read them once, so maybe I’m not remembering correctly. I do remember not having the same response to the ending that most people did. I thought it ended okay—it was an ending. Was it happy? I guess it just depends on how you go about looking at it.

So… did you do any Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping? I did some Black Friday shopping on line. I’m hoping to finish up the big shopping today. Hopefully the prices didn’t go up. If they do, then I know not to wait until Monday next year!

Happy Monday (and happy shopping, if applicable)!

Stacy

Friday, November 27, 2015

Movie Day and a Hockey Game

For our family, the day after Thanksgiving is Movie Day. We’ve been doing this since the 80s. This year we’re going to see “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” and we’ll have two more joining us (my son’s girlfriend and her daughter). I like this family event/tradition.

It’s been awhile since I’ve gone to the theatre. Used to go all the time, but since Rave/Cinemark changed our theatre to lounge seats and assigned seating, it’s not fun going at the last minute. Usually can’t find a seat I want because they’re mostly sold in advance.

But since I knew six of us were going this Friday, I kept waiting for the schedule to post on line so I could buy the tickets ahead of time. On Wednesday the schedule finally posted (why it took so long, I have no idea). I was all set to order them (nearly choking at the $7.90 price—this is a matinee!) when they listed a $7.50 service charge.

What the…??? This wasn’t Fandango or Movietickets.com. This was Cinemark’s website.

No way was I paying that fee. It didn’t cost me $7.50 to drive over to the theatre and buy the tickets. Of which an actual individual took care of my order. I swear, companies are bilking people with fees for stuff that can’t be all that hard to process! I’m sure I would have had to use my own printer to print out the tickets, so what the heck am I getting for my $7.50? Convenience? I wouldn’t need to buy my tickets ahead of time if I wasn’t forced to pick a seat!

It’s stuff like this that is really turning me off on going to Rave/Cinemark. I’m not all that crazy about the lounge seats, either. Hmmm… Maybe I should have just said we’d see the movie at Regal Cinemas (13 miles away). Might do that next year.

After the movie, my hubby, daughter, and I are then headed to Columbus to see the Penguins play the Blue Jackets. I love going to hockey games, they’re so much fun! And when the Penguins are playing in Columbus, there are sooooo many Pens fans, it sometimes feels like I’m in Pittsburgh. I love it! I’ll be wearing my black & gold Crosby jersey (or sweater if you’re one of those fans, even though it’s not a sweater at all). Can’t wait!

So… What are you doing this Black Friday? While I hated my experience in purchasing the movie tickets, I am excited about seeing the Hunger Games movie. I loved the books and the movies have done a pretty good job at sticking to the storyline. And going to the movies is a whole lot more fun than fighting the shoppers on Black Friday. At least, it used to be. I’ll let you know how it went. J

Have a great weekend!

Stacy

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Reads, Happy Thanksgiving, and It’s My Blogiversary!

I don’t blog on Thursdays anymore, but I did on Thanksgiving 2009. Yep, it’s my sixth blogiversary (and post #852). I had one book under my belt and had just joined RWA (that would be the Romance Writers of America), so I thought the next suitable step would be to write a blog. Had no idea what I was getting myself into. Certainly didn’t think I’d have any followers. Think I’ve gotten the hang of it yet? Yeah, I don't either. Guess I'll have to keep working on it.

Here's what I read this week (#84 & #85 of my goal of 90!!):

Nov 21: “Life and Death (Twilight Reimagined)” by Stephenie Meyer, a young adult paranormal romance at 387 pages. Blurb from book: When Beaufort Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edythe Cullen, his life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With her porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edythe is both irresistible and enigmatic. What Beau doesn’t realize is the closer he gets to her, the more he is putting himself and those around him at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back… I liked the story. Not as much as Twilight, though. Probably because I’d read Twilight four times and saw the movie more than that, that it was hard for me (at times) to remember that Beau was a GUY. At least the names of the characters had the same first initial as their counterparts, so I could relate to who was who (which wouldn’t have been an issue if I’d never read Twilight). Still, it was fun to read and the ending actually surprised me.

Nov 24: “Playing With Fire” by Tess Gerritsen, a suspense/thriller at 250 pages. Blurb from book: In a shadowy antiques shop in Rome, violinist Julia Ansdell happens upon a curious piece of music—the Incendio waltz—and is immediately entranced by its unusual composition. Full of passion, torment, and chilling beauty, and seemingly unknown to the world, the waltz, its mournful minor key, its feverish arpeggios, appear to dance with a strange life of their own. Julia is determined to master the complex work and make its melody heard. Back home in Boston, from the moment Julia’s bow moves across the strings, drawing the waltz’s fiery notes into the air, something strange is stirred—and Julia’s world comes under threat. The music has a terrifying and inexplicable effect on her young daughter, who seems violently transformed. Convinced that the hypnotic strains of Incendio are weaving a malevolent spell, Julia sets out to discover the man and the meaning behind the score. Her quest beckons Julia to the ancient city of Venice, where she uncovers a dark, decades-old secret involving a dangerously powerful family that will stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light. I love Tess Gerritsen’s books, especially her Rizzoli & Isles series. This isn’t one of those, though. As I started reading, I thought maybe it was the makings of a paranormal or horror story (because, hey, that’s where my mind automatically goes when strange things happen), but it’s nothing like that (so now I feel comfortable giving it to my hubby to read). It’s more like a mystery, but not a who-done-it kind. More of a what-is-it kind. What the blurb doesn’t mention, is that part of the book tells how Incendio came to be written. I became hooked on both Julia’s and Lorenzo’s stories and easily read this in two days. It certainly made walking on the treadmill enjoyable.

Oh, and I found out yesterday that Tess Gerritsen will be at the Centerville library on Dec 4th. Whoo hoo! I made sure to register for the free event (so did hubby). Perfect timing, huh?

So… What are your plans for Thanksgiving? We’ll be going to our friend’s house in Columbus. I’m so happy she’s home this year. Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without Mary! Now, if I can just get rid of this blasted cough!

Happy Reading and Happy Thanksgiving!

Stacy

Monday, November 23, 2015

Saturday Night Freeze, Christmas Letter Time, and Miscellaneous Stuff

On Saturday night I froze my butt off. Well, actually I didn’t freeze my butt for part of the night. I sat on this thing called a Lava Seat. Claimed to stay warm for 6 hours. I don’t know what planet’s six hours it was, but not Earth’s. It barely worked for 2 hours. At least my butt was toasty warm during that small time, but sure would have liked it to be warm for the whole length of the football game. But back to Saturday night…

The temps hovered in the mid thirties. Wind chill (and boy, was it windy) brought it down to feeling like the mid twenties. Snow was forecasted (and I was prepared—I went out and bought me some snow boots!), but we were spared that (except at 2am—I noticed a dusting when I woke up coughing). Still… even sitting outside in the cold, wearing layers, covered in a blanket, and huddling in my coat was worth seeing the Wayne Warriors win!!

Yep! Next game is Saturday against Colerain for the Division I Region 2 Final. Winner of that game goes to the State Finals. I want it to be US!!! I want to win it all!!! And I want it to be warmer!!!!!

Greedy, aren’t I?

And if you haven’t noticed with that little hint above, I still have my cold. My husband got this cold and was sick for only three days. THREE DAYS! It’s not fair, I tell you. NOT. FAIR.

Even so, I’m thinking I’m good enough to go to the fitness center today. And my knee feels great. It didn’t even react to the cold weather Saturday night. Doesn’t mean I can go overboard. I’m still afraid I’ll do something wrong. But I have my doctor appointment next week, so hopefully I’ll find out what my limits are.

Yesterday I realized I needed to write my annual Christmas letter. I thought it might be hard (because it’s always hard), but for some reason it came easier this year. I started it with the story about Boris the spider (see this blog post HERE). Figured if I started it with a funny story, maybe my annual letter wouldn’t feel so wooden (or braggy). We’ll see. I didn’t get much feedback on the Christmas short story I included in last year’s letter, except a couple of people said they’d rather hear what was going on in my life, so since that was the ONLY feedback I got, I figured I’d go back to that. Who knew my life was interesting? I certainly didn’t.

I turned on my old laptop last night thinking I could update it to Windows 10 (and be able to check it out without ruining my current laptop), but I found out later that I can’t get a free update to Windows 10 from Vista. That figures. Now I feel like I went through all these updates for nothing. The last time I had turned on that laptop was back in January, so yeah, lots of updates. Plus, I forgot how slow that laptop is. I may not like my new laptop, but at least it’s faster than the old one.

Of course, it doesn’t seem like it’s THAT much faster at times. Buying this laptop was a mistake, but I’m stuck with it for now. If I find out I hate Windows 10 and Word 2003 doesn’t work on it, I may consider getting an Apple laptop. I’m getting kind of sick of Microsoft. But I’ll definitely try one out at the Apple store first. No more impulse buys for me!

Well, lookee there. I thought I wouldn’t have anything to post today and I managed to write stuff. Don’t you love these mish-mash Mondays?

So… How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

Have a great Monday.

Stacy

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Fun With a Music Video

I've got nothing to write about. Too busy with the novella and this blasted cold. So I hunted for this song, "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart" by Chris Cornell. It's been playing on the radio a lot lately and I like it. The video, though... Yeah, it's strange. Have no idea what it has to do with the song.

Anyway, enjoy the song, have a great Friday and a great weekend. I'm sure I'll be out freezing my tookus on Saturday during the football game (high is forecasted to be in the 40s, which means the night will be a lot colder!).



Stacy

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Reads and I’m Still Sick (Ugh)

***Hmmm... I thought I set this up to post at 6am, but somehow it ended up as a draft. Here it is now.***

I know colds last about 7 days and it hasn’t been 7 days, but I still want this thing over with. Now. But does it listen to me? Nope. Stupid cold.

Here’s what I read this week:

Nov 15: “The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide” by Stephenie Meyer, a companion book to the Twilight series at 543 pages. Blurb from book: In 2005, Twilight introduced readers to Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, and a worldwide phenomenon was born. Since then, millions of readers have followed the breathtaking vampire love saga as it continued in New Moon and Eclipse and culminated in Breaking Dawn. Now, for the first time, Stephenie Meyer reveals secrets of the series as well as additional exclusive material taken directly from her personal notes, including character profiles, genealogical charts, maps, extensive cross-references, an in-depth conversation with author Shannon Hale, and much more. With nearly 100 gorgeous full-color illustrations and photographs throughout, this official guide allows readers to experience the Twilight Saga as never before, from Bella’s first day in Forks to the riveting final pages of Breaking Dawn. I was obsessed with the Twilight series. Read the series four times (yes, FOUR TIMES). I just couldn’t get enough of these books. Why? Because the characters just seemed real to me. Because I felt like I was Bella when I read them. I don’t recall ever being so obsessed about anything before (heck, it was this series that got me started in writing my own vampire romances). My daughter gave me this companion book well after my obsession with all things Twilight waned, though. I wasn’t sure if I would ever read it. Then Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined came out. My daughter got a copy (from the library) and said she’d give it to me to read next. So, what better time to read this companion book! While I found it repetitive in places and some of it I might have read from Stephenie Meyer’s website, it brought back some fond memories of when I was obsessed with the series. I also finished reading this the same day my daughter finished the book. Perfect timing!

FYI: The Illustrated Guide was one heavy book. The pages were made of thick stock so that the illustrations would show better. So it was like picking up a 1000 page (or more) book (and it was almost 2” thick). You could get a good workout just lifting the thing!

So… Have you ever been obsessed with anything? Did you get over it or are you still obsessed? I really didn’t think I would ever get over all things Twilight. I’m curious how I’ll react with the reimagined book. Guess I’ll find out soon.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, November 16, 2015

Colds are Such a Nuisance

In case you haven’t noticed, I changed my About Me photo. Thought I would have fun with it, because if I can’t have fun here, then what’s the point. Right? I might change it occasionally, especially if I find a better picture.

Last week I made it to the fitness center for six days! Yeah, even Saturday. Talk about dedication, huh? So far the weight machines aren’t hurting my knee (I was able to use the blasted butt blaster without any pain), so I’ll take that as a positive.

And even though I went Saturday morning, it might have been a mistake to exercise, and not because of the work out. I wasn’t feeling 100% that morning and by the evening, I was achy. Now my head (nose?) is all congested, but at least I’m no longer achy. As of this writing (Sunday), I doubt I make it to the fitness center this morning. Wouldn’t be prudent of me to go sick. Not only because working out when I’m sick isn’t all that smart (makes your body work harder than it needs to, when it’s concentrating on making you well), but why spread my germs. Of course, it’s not like I didn’t do that Saturday. At a lot of places. Ooops…

Saturday I also attended my local RWA chapter (the one in Columbus). Again, I probably shouldn’t have gone – hope I didn’t give this bug to anyone – but I really wasn’t feeling all that bad when I left and I wanted to hear the speakers. And while I did my best to stay away from anyone (just in case), I managed to give people a reason to hug me. Why? The chapter needed a Treasurer to keep on going and I volunteered. Figured I could put my degree back to work and I didn’t want to see the chapter fold.

By the time I made it home from the meeting, I was feeling pretty achy (but not congested). Didn’t stop me from going to the football game, though, and it was COLD out there (40 degree weather). Yeah, not a smart move, but I just wanted to watch Wayne play. And they won! Whoo hoo! Next week they play in the Regional semi-final against Hilliard-Davidson.

I also learned something Saturday night. My knee does NOT like cold weather. Oh joy! I can only imagine how it’ll feel this winter.

This cold is frustrating me, though, and not just because I’m sick and hate being sick (I mean, who likes being sick?). It’s just another THING that is keeping me away from exercising the way I want. Plus, history has shown that once I miss a few days at the gym because of injury or illness, those few days turn into months. I need to change history!

So… what do you think of my new About Me photo (below)? Think it could get any better? Hee hee. J



Have a great Monday. I’m sure it’ll be better than mine. **cough, cough**

Stacy

Friday, November 13, 2015

Is it Time to Change my “About Me” Photo?



Recognize this photo? Did you know it was a picture of me? Maybe not. It’s a lot bigger here than it is over there on the side bar.

I’ve been at this blogging thing for almost 6 years (first post was back on Thanksgiving 2009) and commenting a little bit longer. When I set up my account to comment on blogs, I chose a picture that was me, but so small you couldn’t recognize me (somehow I thought I would be stalked or something!). Plus it was a picture with my sweetie (taken when we were driving out to Virginia in Aug 2008—I believe that’s the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance). Now that I’m published, I’m wondering if it’s time to change my About Me photo on Blogger.

I know some people change their photo to match the holidays (hello, Ivy!). On Facebook, profile photos get changed all the time. I don’t do that. What you see is what’s been there since I created the account.

These are the photos I have with my other social media sites:

FACEBOOK
(taken 4/3/10 in Pittsburgh at the old Igloo -- that's my daughter next to me)

 
 
WORDPRESS/GRAVATAR
(taken 9/1/08 in Jamestown, VA).
Actually, only my head shows up there. Gravatar only lets you use a portion of the picture.

 
 
GOOGLE+
(taken 3/14/14 in Solvang, CA)


 
GOODREADS/AMAZON/KENSINGTON/ANY TIME SOMEONE ASKS FOR MY PHOTO
(taken 12/13/09 at a Christmas dinner)


I’m using the cover to Blind Temptation as my profile photo on my Facebook author page, and I recently set up an Instagram account, but haven’t decided on anything yet.

So… Give me your opinion. Should I find a more recent picture? Use one from my other social media sites? Have a professional photo taken? Or just leave my Blogger photo alone?

Have a fun Friday the 13th and a great weekend. I plan on it. I’ve got a football game to go to tomorrow!

Stacy

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Reads and an Exercise Update

Two days of exercise down this week, three to go. So far it looks like I’ll be doing those three, too.

On Monday I rode the bike for 19 minutes and worked the weights on my upper body. Hated the bike, but my knee didn’t object later in the day. So I decided to try to walk on the treadmill on Tuesday. And I did. 20 minutes at 2mph. I might have walked for a longer time except my arms hurt from holding the book I was reading (that thing is heavy, and I ain’t kidding!). Leg felt fine during the walk and it still felt fine later in the evening. I call that a win!

Only one exercise machine bothered my knee—that horrible butt blaster. Is it a good thing that the one machine I loathe is the one I can’t use? My knee was definitely feeling it (no matter what weight I used) and I quit right away. I’ll try again on Thursday, though. Mustn’t give up, right?

I don’t really like breaking up my exercise routine (upper body on one day, legs on the next). It just doesn’t feel like I’m working out all that much. Maybe once I can get more cardio in it will. So I guess I’ll just call it maintaining for now. Better than quitting, in any case, huh?

Here’s what I read this week:

Nov 5: “Jukebox Hero” by Teri Anne Stanley, a contemporary romance novella at 52 pages. Blurb from Goodreads: It’s the fall of 1959, and young widow Peggy Anderson’s sole focus is keeping her little restaurant open for another day. Unfortunately the Jukebox Malt Shop is barely holding its own on a good day. To make matters worse, the neighboring car dealer wants to shut her down and take over the property. The last thing she needs is a very bad boy from her past, rolling in to town to stir up trouble. Ray White has been kept away from Tucker by the good warden of the Eddyville Correctional Institute, but now he’s back, and ready to take care of problems that cropped up in his absence. When his desire for redemption send him to Peggy’s diner, he can’t ignore the feelings that he’s harbored all of these years—but will the secrets between them be too much for love to conquer? Interesting little story, although I felt like maybe it was a little too short. If you’re looking for an entertaining quick read, give this one a try. Unfortunately you can only get this on Amazon for your Kindle. I was lucky and got a copy from the author (yes, she’s a friend) because I like to whine about things that are only sold on Amazon and she wanted me to have a copy (sent me a pdf, which I had hubby format for my Nook). See? Sometimes whining works.

So… Do you do your book shopping ONLY from Amazon? I don’t buy my books from there (unless it’s the only place I can get a paper copy) and I have no plans on buying a Kindle. Ever. I buy regularly from B&N (Nook and paper) and occasionally from Books & Company (paper). I just don’t get why people only sell from one place. I want my books available everywhere!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, November 9, 2015

Let Me Try This Exercise-Thing Again

Keep your fingers crossed. I’m going to the fitness center this morning.

I won’t try to work on the cardio, though. I may be stupid, but I’m not THAT stupid. I’ll ride the bike to warm up, but that’s about it. In the past, working the weights did NOT affect my knee, so I assume that will still be the case. Sure hope so, anyway. The knee’s not perfect, but at least I’m walking somewhat normal now.

As for increasing my cardio, I have an appointment with my doctor on Dec 1st and hope to get on some kind of physical therapy session, where I’ll let them tell me what I can and can’t do. It sucks I can’t walk fast, though. It was the one exercise I didn’t mind and I didn’t have to go to the fitness center to do it.

Wayne High School football team won on Saturday. 56-14. Hope they keep it up all the way to the state final (which is Dec 5, by the way)!!!

So… I’m thinking about getting a Fitbit. Anyone here own one, or something similar? If so, do you use it and does it help you keep track of your heart rate?

Now, cheer up. It’s only Monday. It doesn’t bite. Have a great day!

Stacy

Friday, November 6, 2015

I Need Advice

I plan to enter the contest, Judge a Book by Its Cover. It’s run by the Houston Bay Area Chapter of RWA.

This is the cover I’m entering:

 

I can only enter it in one category and I’m torn between two: Science fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal or Sexiest Cover. Which one do you think it would have a better chance of winning?

I’ve entered this contest the past two years (My Sunny Vampire and Bite Me, I’m Yours) without much luck. Maybe this year will be my year?

I could enter Ghostly Liaison, too (since it was also released this year), and maybe I will. It only costs $15 and I could use the exposure. If I did enter Ghostly Liaison, which category do you think it has a chance in? Same two categories apply.

 

By the way, I also entered Blind Temptation in the RITA contest (RWA’s big published book contest). Don’t know what kind of chance I have, but figure that’s FIVE more people who will read my book. And this book needs more readers!

It could use some more reviews, too, but that’s an issue the RITA won’t fix. Unless I final, I suppose. Wouldn’t THAT be something?

I could have also entered Ghostly Liaison, but decided against it. Besides the $50 entry fee, I have to mail 5 books (5 more if the book finals). Copies of Blind Temptation are a lot cheaper for me to buy than copies of Ghostly Liaison. Maybe that’s not a very good reason, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Knee update: Hubby has been calling me Hop-a-long. My knee is still sore. But, it’s getting better. It hurts the worst when I get up after sitting awhile (and awhile can be a little as a couple of minutes). My knee objects to straightening (and bending and walking). At least it doesn’t hurt when I’m sitting. That’s because I’m not moving it! Hahahahaha! J

Hey, if I can’t laugh over this, I might as well throw in the towel, you know?

So… Please give me your honest opinion (as if you’d do anything else). Do my covers stand a chance? Or should I just forget about the whole thing?

Have a great weekend!

Stacy

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wednesday Reads and I'm an Idiot!

Well, I went and did it. Really messed up my knee. I could kick myself (if I was able to bend my knee, that is!). Whatever made me think I could walk fast? I should have known better, but my knee was feeling great. No pain. Well, no pain until after I passed the 1 mile mark. Shortly after, my knee pretty much gave out.

I quickly turned around and headed home, limping. About half-way there, my knee was feeling a little better (I wasn’t limping as much), so I walked over to the polls and voted. Figured I was already out and it wasn’t really all that much out of the way. Probably a good thing I did, too. Once I got home and sat down? Yeah, there was no getting up. Not easily, anyway.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

I only hope I didn’t sabotage the rest of my exercise routine. But if my knee isn’t feeling better by the end of the week, I guess I’ll go back to the doctor and see about that cortisone shot. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

Here’s what I read this week:

Oct 31: “Let the Dead Sleep” by Heather Graham, first book in the Cafferty and Quinn series, a supernatural thriller/romantic suspense at 331 pages. Blurb from book: It was stolen from a New Orleans grave—the centuries-old bust of an evil man, a demonic man. It’s an object desired by collectors—and by those with wickedness in their hearts. One day, its current owner shows up at Danni Cafferty’s antiques shop on Royal Street, the shop she inherited from her father. But before Danni can buy the statue, it disappears, the owner is found dead…and Danni discovers that she’s inherited much more than she realized. In the store is a book filled with secret writing: instructions for defeating evil entities. She’d dismissed it as a curiosity…until the arrival of this statue, with its long history of evil and even longer trail of death. Michael Quinn, former cop and now private investigator, is a man with an unusual past. He believes that doing the right thing isn’t a job—it’s a way of life. And the right thing to do is find and destroy this object weighted with malevolent powers. He and Danni are drawn together in their search for the missing statue, following it through sultry New Orleans nights to hidden places in the French Quarter and secret ceremonies on abandoned plantations. Cafferty and Quinn already know that trust in others can be misplaced, that love can be temporary. And yet their connection is primal. Mesmerizing. They also know that their story won’t end when this case is closed and the dead rest in peace once again. Well, I guess getting this book as a freebie at RT worked. I liked it and I’m interested in reading more (there are two more in the series now, no idea how many to expect). It’s got a bit of a supernatural bent, but mostly some kind of thriller/suspense thing (and I’m a sucker for those!). There is some romance going on, but it’s not really a “romance” (no happily ever after or happy for now ending—where it concerns the couple, at least). Still, I like the characters a lot and I want to read more, so I guess I have another series on my radar now. J

Nov 3: “Bared to You” by Sylvia Day, first book in the Crossfire series, an erotica romance at 319 pages. Blurb from book: He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily… Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart… I got this book free at RT. I don’t read a lot of the freebies I get, but I’ve been curious to read something by Sylvia Day and I now had a book. But as I was in Goodreads to mark it as my current read, I saw a friend mention it had a cliffhanger (and we know how much I loathe those). Then I noticed it was in first person (ugh!). I seriously wondered if I should read it. Well, I’m glad I did. I enjoyed it a lot. In fact, I had a hard time putting it down. And that cliffhanger? Well, there really wasn’t one (thank goodness). I still wasn’t crazy about the first person (doesn’t make it a real romance for me anyway, I like to know what the guy is thinking/feeling), but it’s not that off-putting to keep me from the next book. If you like steamy books with two damaged characters, this book is for you. Hot stuff!

So… Have you ever picked up a book and almost let the reviews keep you from reading it, but read it anyway then found out it was pretty darn good? I think this was a first for me.

Happy Reading!

Stacy