Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Let the Healing Begin

Hubby’s last radiation treatment was yesterday. Yay! Now he’s on the road to healing. I sure hope it’s a short trip. He needs some encouragement.

Hubby’s been getting hydrated every day now, so I’m getting more reading done. Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #1

Dates read: April 15-19
Title: “Wolf Tales 10”
Year of publication: 2010
Author: Kate Douglas
Genre: Erotic paranormal romance
Series: Wolf Tales #10
# of Pages: 277
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: The Chanku are gifted with more power—of mind, body, and soul—than the most superior of humans. Yet even these exceptional beings cannot change the laws of nature…or destiny. And when one loses his human life mate to a tragic accident, he is shattered by grief he never imagined possible…
   The only thing worse than losing his love is knowing that her death was caused by the incompetence of a goddess supposedly possessed of timeless wisdom. The justice dealt for the goddess’s horrible mistake is a demotion—from immortal to human—and the charge of filling the missing space in the Montana pack. But while some accept her quickly, not all are so willing…
   It is time for Anton, Stefan, and Adam to test the newcomer to see if she can withstand the heights of ecstasy these Chanku men will show her—and to discover whether, when faced with the ultimate sacrifice, she will make the right choice…
My thoughts: Not my favorite. Don’t know if it’s because it’s so late in the series, or because of the death of a major character, or if my head just isn’t in the right place. I do want to finish the series (there are 12 books and I own them), but I’m thinking maybe I want to wait until June to do that.

Book #2

Dates read: April 20-22
Title: “Compulsion”
Year of publication: 2015
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Series: #2 in the Maxine Revere series
# of Pages: 446
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: Investigative reporter Maxine Revere has a theory: Maybe five New York City murders for which Adam Bachman is being tried are just one part of his master plan? In probing another case, involving a missing couple, Max uncovers striking similarities to Bachman’s MO. It seems likely that Bachman wasn’t working alone…but how can she prove it?
   Max wins a coveted pre-trial interview with Bachman, whose disarming composure is combined with uncomfortable knowledge of Max’s own past. She leaves the room convinced that Bachman is involved in her missing-persons case—but the D.A. refuses to hear it. With no physical evidence, Max must rely on her own wits and investigative prowess to dig deep into Bachman’s psyche and past. But as she gets closer to the truth, she doesn’t realize that she’s walking down a road that has been paved just for her. And at the end, the killer is waiting…
My thoughts: Well, the title was appropriate. Every time I put the book down, I was compelled to pick it back up!! J This is turning out to be a really great series.

Book #3

Dates read: April 23-24
Title: “Raging Heat”
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Richard Castle
Genre: Crime Drama/Mystery
Series: #6 in the Nikki Heat series
# of Pages: 290
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased (for my daughter)
Blurb from Goodreads: An illegal immigrant falls from the sky and NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat's investigation into his death quickly captures the imagination of her boyfriend, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jameson Rook. When he decides to work the case with Heat as his next big story, Nikki is at first happy to have him ride-along. Yes, she must endure Rook's usual wild conspiracy speculations and adolescent wisecracks, but after reuniting following his recent assignment abroad, she's glad for the entertainment, the chance to bounce ideas, and just to be close to him again and feel the old spark rekindle. But when Rook's inquiry concludes that Detective Heat has arrested the wrong man for the murder, everything changes.
   Balancing her high stakes job with a complicated romance has been a challenge ever since Nikki fell for the famous reporter. Now, her relationship lurches from mere complexity into sharp conflict over the most high-risk case of her career. Set against the raging force of Hurricane Sandy as it pounds New York, Heat battles an ambitious power broker, fights a platoon of urban mercenaries, and clashes with the man she loves. Detective Heat knows her job is to solve murders. She just worries that solving this one will be the death of her relationship.
My thoughts: This is still a fun series to read (or has turned back into a fun series—not sure I cared for the last one as much). Love the inside jokes and Rook has some really funny lines (but then, he usually does).

Tomorrow the Penguins start Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Capitals. I’ll be at RT (book convention) during two of the games in this round. And trust me, if I’m not doing anything, I’ll find someplace to watch the game. Which means… I better pack me some Penguins shirts!

So… How’s your reading coming along? Ahead, behind, or right on schedule? I’m ahead for once. Yay!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Playoff Hockey is STRESSFUL

Aaargh! I was really hoping the Penguins could have swept the Blue Jackets. But it was not to be. They play again tomorrow (in Pittsburgh) and I’ll probably miss a lot of the game. Boo!

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #1

Dates read: April 11-14
Title: “Wicked Edge”
Year of publication: 2015
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: The Realm Enforcers #2
# of Pages: 249
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: Daire Dunne is more than ready to take a quick break from his duties as a Coven Nine Enforcer. When he spots a sexy blonde across a Titan’s of Fire party, it’s not long before she’s on the back of his Harley on the fast track to his apartment. Unfortunately, one overheated kiss in, the woman drugs Daire and steals valuable files that can’t fall into enemy hands. The second he comes to, the hunt is on…
   Now that CeeCee has the information to take down an enemy that destroyed her family, she can implement her perfect plan for revenge. Nothing will stop her, not even a shockingly sexy enforcer barging into her life. Not even the spectacular, fire-branding sex engulfing them. But if Daire ever figures out who her family really is, all bets are off…
My thoughts: Wickedly entertaining. I really loved CeeCee. Oh yeah, and Daire wasn’t so bad, either (snicker, snicker). And despite the cover, this really isn't a motorcycle club book. In fact, I believe the covers to this series are getting an update to remove those motorcycles. Truth be told, they turned me off (not a fan of that genre). It wasn't until I found out they were paranormal stories that I picked them up to read. So glad, too. Great series!

Only one book read this week. Might say something about the book I’m currently reading. Or I just got busy with other things. Or a little of both.

Hubby update: Rough day yesterday. Only 5 more treatments. They can’t end soon enough.

So… Should I say the heck with our data plan and stream the game while Hubby is teaching? I could… I could… Oh wait, I think the school has wi-fi. Hmmm…

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, April 17, 2017

Holey Moley, What a Game!




Whoo hoo! That overtime period last night was quite an adrenaline rush. Or would that be a heart-stopper? Good thing I’d eaten hours before. I’d have had heartburn for sure!

But hey, the Penguins are up 3-0 against the Blue Jackets now. Love it, love it, love  it!!!

And I sure do love Fleury!!

Let’s go Pens!!!

So… How’s your team doing? Think I used enough !!!! in this post? Maybe not. Here’s some more. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!

Stacy

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hockey, Concerts, and Easter

Tonight is game 2 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets in round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. My daughter has tickets to the game (lucky duck), but I have to settle for watching it on TV. Unfortunately, the game is being telecast on the NHL Network, which, of course, I don’t have. Figures! So it looks like Hubby and I will put on our jerseys (yep, I’ll make him wear his) and head out to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the game. Oh, and have dinner, too.

I hope the Penguins score early and numerous times. I don’t need a stress-fest. Or heartburn.

I’m sure they’ll give me both, though. It’s what they do!!

Yesterday I bought our first concert tickets of the season. I was beginning to wonder if the Rose Music Center was going to have any concerts I wanted to see and could actually attend. When I got the e-mail about Air Supply performing on August 12, I first checked to see if that date was free (it was!). Then I asked Hubby if he liked them. I was so happy he said yes! I love presales. Got good seats.

I’m glad the Rose Music Center goes through Ticketmaster to sell their tickets. I had wanted to see Boz Scaggs at the Fraze Pavilion, but they sell their tickets through Epic, which charges $11/ticket fee. Ticketmaster isn’t quite that bad (and I have vouchers to use, which helps reduce those fees). Besides, the Rose is closer to home and the parking is way easier to get in and out. Bonus!

On Sunday we will be driving to Columbus to spend Easter with our friends. I don’t know how much Hubby will eat, but he is eating more now (thank goodness). He discovered taking oxycodone before dinner kills the pain in his throat and he can swallow (he had some leftover from his surgery and the doctors said it was better for him to take this instead of a fever-reducer pain med). Of course, it also makes him drowsy and I have to wake him to eat. You should have seen us at O’Charley’s the other night. I kept waiting for him to fall into his meal!

But I know he’s feeling better. Besides pouting up a storm when I told him he couldn’t drive to dinner (I really hope he was yanking my chain on that one), he was able to insult me in front of the nurse during one of his many appointments. Made me smile. After I smacked him in the arm. J

I’m looking forward to spending some time with friends this Sunday and eating lots of good food. Then hopefully we’ll be able to play Uno or some other game after dinner. Provided Hubby doesn’t fall asleep.

Oh heck. We’ll just play around him. J

So… Are you watching the playoffs? Got plans for the holiday? Seeing any concerts this year? Please share!

Happy Easter!

Stacy

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednesday Reads (and reads and reads and reads)

Before you kill me, I’ll warn you up front: this is a long post. Apparently I was a reading machine! 4 books. Didn’t hurt that I had a lot of time to kill. A lot.

Hubby got his second batch of chemo last Wednesday. While that alone takes 7-8 hours, he also gets hydrated on the two days following, and that takes 2 hours each. See? Lots of time. Unfortunately, the chemo this time really kicked in. Started out with the usual “everything tastes bad” routine, but then the nausea kicked in on Saturday and he couldn’t keep anything down. Not even his nausea pills.

So on Monday he was able to get more hydration with an added “shot” of nausea medication (which thankfully worked). He was able to eat some soup after (although stuff still tastes bad and he hasn’t eaten much since).

I hate times like that. I just feel so useless. And I hate seeing him suffer. I’ll be glad when it’s all over with!

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #1

Dates read: April 3-5
Title: “Thrown by a Curve”
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Jaci Burton
Genre: Erotic romance
Series: Book 5 in the Play-by-Play series
# of Pages: 327
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Free at Romantic Times (RT) Booklovers Convention
Blurb from Book: For Alicia Riley, her job as a sports therapist for the St. Louis Rivers baseball team is a home run—until she becomes the primary therapist for star pitcher Garrett Scott. Out of the lineup with an injury, he’s short-tempered, hard to handle, and every solid inch a man.
   Right now, the only demand he’s making on Alicia is that she get him ready to pitch in time for opening day. Except the sexual chemistry between them is so charged, Alicia’s tempted to oblige Garrett just about anything. But their careers are at stake—one bad move and it’s game over for both of them.
   Garrett also feels the hot sparks between them, and the way he figures it, what better therapy is there than sex? Now all he has to do is convince the woman with the power to make the call.
My thoughts: I had read Books #2 & #3 in this series and when I saw this one at RT, I had to pick it up. Why it’s taken me so long to read it, I don’t know. It’s not like you have to read these books in order and it’s just as hot and steamy as the other two. I like these sport stories, but then I like sports.

Book #2

Dates read: April 5-7
Title: “Immortal Unchained”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Lynsay Sands
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Book 25 in the Argeneau Vampire series
# of Pages: 369
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: Ever since Domitian Argenis recognized Sarita as his life mate, he’s been waiting for the perfect moment to claim her. Those fantasies did not include him being chained to a table in a secret lab or both of them being held hostage by a mad scientist. Somehow, they have to escape…
   Sarita has seen some crazy things as a cop, but nothing to rival Domitian. A vampire? Seriously? But his healing ability, incredible powers, and their mind-blowing physical connection—none of it should be possible, yet her body knows differently. Now, not only do they have to save each other, but other innocent lives are at stake. Failure is not an option, for Sarita intends that Domitian show her exactly what an eternity of pleasure feels like…
My thoughts: At first I was a little confused, because I don’t remember ever reading about Domitian before (not that I remember ALL the relatives, but they tend to get mentioned every now and then). Turns out I probably didn’t. Ha! I loved where the storyline went (à la Island of Dr. Moreau) and wonder if it will continue on with some of the characters introduced (like, maybe, Thorne??). This series is my most favorite. As soon as the next book comes out, I buy it and place it in my stack to be read NEXT; over all the other series books I’ve gotten. And it will continue to stay that way for the next installment. Can’t wait!!

Book #3

Dates read: April 7-8
Title: “Make Them Pay”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Suspense
Series: Book 12 in the Lucy Kincaid series
# of Pages: 390
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: Lucy Kincaid and Sean Rogan are finally tying the knot. Two weeks before their wedding, a surprise visitor shows up at their door: Eden, Sean’s estranged sister from Europe. She claims she’s in town for the wedding and wants to mend fences. Lucy invites Eden to stay with them—after all, family is family—but her boss, SSA Noah Armstrong knows far more about Eden’s sketchy past than he’s let on.
   While Lucy is focused on her investigation tracking down dozens of children sold through illegal adoptions, Noah begins a quiet investigation of Eden and her elusive twin, Liam. He’s certain that, since they’re both thieves, they’re here for a job or a heist. But they are up to something far more sinister than even Noah can imagine.
   Liam has a score to settle with his family, and Sean has something he wants. The twins will do anything to get it—including putting Lucy’s life in danger. It’ll take everyone—Kincaids and Rogans alike—to stop Liam before someone dies. Unfortunately, Liam’s treachery has unforeseen consequences for Sean and Lucy, as a longtime enemy of the Rogan family hellbent on revenge sees an opportunity to make them all pay…
My thoughts: Man, I certainly tore through this book in a hurry. So glad I finally had a free Saturday where I could do nothing but read. And I’m glad I was reading this book because I would have had trouble putting it down otherwise. I’m addicted to this series, no doubt about it. I love Lucy and Sean!

Book #4

Dates read: April 9-10
Title: “Trial Junkies”
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Robert Gregory Browne
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Series: Trial Junkies #1
# of Pages: 369
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: Ethan “Hutch” Hutchinson hasn’t seen his old college pals for nearly a decade. Now fate has brought them together again as one of the gang is put on trial for a brutal, senseless murder.
   The Chicago police and prosecutor think they have their perp, but Hutch isn’t about to sit silently in a courtroom as someone he cares about is wrongfully convicted.
   When Hutch and his friends join forces to search for the real killer, what they find shatters every notion they have about friendship, loss, and redemption…and may very well cost Hutch—and the woman he loves—their lives.
My thoughts: Wow. Did not see that one coming. Also didn’t expect to read it that fast (and not just because I had the time). Shows you how captivated I was, huh? If you like whodunnits where you don’t know (or even have a hint of) whodunnit until the end, then you’ll enjoy this one.

So... Have you ever started reading a book just to see how it begins only to find yourself several chapters in before you realize it? That's what happened with that last book I read. Sucked me right in.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wednesday Reads

I found another way to scale back. I’ve changed some of the Yahoo groups I’m in so that I will now get the e-mails in batches instead of individually. It was do that or unsubscribe, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go that far…yet. Just that little bit has really reduced some of the stress I was feeling. Who knew e-mails could do that to a person?

Here’s what I read the past week (another 2-book week!):

Book #1

Dates read: March 24-29
Title: “How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Genre: Fantasy romance
Series: Book 1 in The Embraced series
# of Pages: 394
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: As one of the Embraced—one born with magical powers—the beautiful, innocent Luciana escaped certain death after her father hid her away on the Isle of Moon. Now, nineteen years later, her father has returned with a frightening request. He will be executed unless Luciana returns to the mainland and marries a man feared throughout the land: a terrifying brute known as the Beast..
   Luciana accepts her fate and agrees to wed the Beast—Lord Leo—in order to save her father. Soon she learns that her betrothed is also one of the Embraced. With the ability to wield lightning, Leo’s immense power strikes fear into the hearts of men…and his mere touch can put an end to a woman’s life. But Luciana cannot deny the passion that burns between them. How can she resist the man who scorches her soul and makes her feel intoxicated with desire—even if surrendering to him could destroy them both?
My thoughts: Set in a world without technology or any kind of power (except for the magical kind), this book read like an historical. I enjoyed it very much, though (lots of danger and suspense), and will continue to read this series.

Book #2

Dates read: March 30-31
Title: “The Education of Dixie Dupree”
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Donna Everhart
Genre: Fiction
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 299
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: In 1969, Dixie Dupree is eleven years old and already an expert liar. Sometimes the lies are for her mama, Evie’s sake—to explain away a bruise brought on by her quick-as-lightning temper. And sometimes the lies are to spite Evie, who longs to leave her unhappy marriage in Perry County, Alabama, and return to her beloved New Hampshire. But for Dixie and her brother, Alabama is home, a place of pine-scented breezes and hot, languid afternoons.
   Though Dixie is learning that the family she once believed was happy has deep fractures, even her vivid imagination couldn’t concoct the events about to unfold. Dixie records everything in her diary—her parents’ fights, her father’s drinking and his unexplained departure, and the arrival of uncle Ray. Only when Dixie desperately needs help and is met with disbelief does she realize how much damage her past lies have done. But she has courage and a spirit that may yet prevail, forcing secrets into the open and allowing her to forgive and become whole again.
My thoughts: For fear of saying too much about this book, I’m finding maybe I shouldn’t say anything at all. A lot of disturbing things happen (in detail) and could be triggers for some people (it wasn’t for me, but then I’m used to reading horror). So if you want to know what, e-mail me and ask. I’ll tell you. Otherwise, I’ll just say… While this is not the type of book I normally read, it intrigued me (especially since some people compared it to To Kill a Mockingbird—which this is not like, let me say that now) and once I started reading…well, I couldn’t put it down (as you can see, I read it in two days). Dixie is an interesting young girl, but this is a very dark book and I’m not so sure the blurb portrays that.

Since mentioning my Facebook Group in my newsletter (which went out last Friday), membership has picked up. Yay! If you’d like to join, just click HERE!

So… What are you reading now? Anything good?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, April 3, 2017

Scaling Back and Dayton Baseball

Hey, I’m back! Did you miss me?

When it seems like your life is a series of drives to and from West Chester, Ohio, there isn’t much to talk (write) about, ya know? So I’ll probably scale back and only post on Wednesdays (because I’m fairly certain I’ll have at least ONE book to report each week) until Hubby’s radiation and chemo is finished at the end of this month.

I say probably because who knows what might happen? I might find out my next book will be published. I might get the link to that short story I started. I might get a bug up my butt and feel like blogging about nothing in particular. Or I get news I don’t want to wait until Wednesday to tell you. Just don’t be surprised if you only see me blogging on Wednesdays. Also, don’t be surprised if my Wednesday blogs are longer. J

On Saturday, Hubby and I watched the Cincinnati Reds play the Future Reds players right here in Dayton. It was fun seeing former Dragons players (esp. Joey Votto and Billy Hamilton) return and play. The game was sold out and the seats were actually filled. I’m amazed at that because the high temp didn’t even reach 50. Yep, it was quite chilly out.

At least it wasn’t windy. I don’t think I would have wanted Hubby out in that if it was.

One thing I wasn’t impressed with, though... The Dragons’ owners put netting all around the ballpark now (which you can see in my picture of Joey Votto). Well, the portion along the base sides (instead of just behind home plate). No more tossing the ball into the stands (unless you’re sitting on the grass behind the outfield). No more autographs from the sidelines. The atmosphere just wasn’t the same and I didn’t really like looking through that net (it’s like watching an analog show on a high-def TV). If I had wanted to look through the net, I’d have seats behind home plate! We’ll see if my opinion changes at the end of the season. If it doesn’t, I’m not so sure I want to renew our season tickets.

Oh, by the way, the Reds won, 5-1.

So… Did you play any April Fool’s pranks on anyone? Or did someone get you good? Please share. I love a good prank.

Stacy

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Writing Projects

Seems I had TWO writing projects pertaining to my upcoming appearance at Rust City Book Con. One is the short story (I’m still working on) about hidden treasures that I mentioned here last week. The other is a flash fiction, round robin kind of thing. One author starts the story and it gets handed down for the next author to continue until it gets to the last one who has to wrap things up. And you only have a few days to get it written, too! I got lucky. I got to start it. Not so lucky, I was given the assignment on Friday. Aaack!! Wonder of all wonders, I actually wrote something and submitted it. Whew! I’ll let you know when it posts (because apparently it will post soon).

Here’s what I read the past week:

Dates read: March 20-23
Title: “Wolf Tales 9”
Year of publication: 2010
Author: Kate Douglas
Genre: Erotic paranormal romance
Series: Wolf Tales #9
# of Pages: 246
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: In the dead of a Montana night, all the Chanku packs have gathered, not for a hunt, but for a vigil. As Tia and Luc prepare for the arrival of their twins, Chanku from across the country wait—and share their stories of becoming…
   For each, embracing the truth of who and what they are has been a life-altering experience. From Anton and Oliver’s journey of discovery to Jacob Trent’s dark night of the soul; from the intensely powerful relations Mik and AJ shared even before they knew about Chanku to Stefan’s torturous feral years, the stories are woven together by common threads: loneliness, brutality, tenderness—and the ultimate satisfaction of finding one’s place in the pack.
   The revelations of primal desire and human need made this night will bring the Chanku closer than even they dreamed possible. But will the bond be strong enough when the united packs are called upon to save the most vulnerable among them…?
My thoughts: If you’re looking for hot sex scenes, this book has it for you. If you’re looking for another story within the Wolf Tales, well… It’s a bit thin. Kind of reminds me of those television series who do recaps/back flashes after being on the air for so many years. Nice memories, but no real story.

Hubby update: Two weeks of radiation and he’s still able to swallow. Hope that lasts. He hasn’t lost his appetite and his taste buds are sort of returning. We’ll see how that goes when he gets his second round of chemo next week. These next few weeks just aren’t going fast enough.

So… Do you work better with fast deadlines or long deadlines? I’m beginning to think the faster ones work better for me. Probably because I finished the short one and I’m still working on the long one. J

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, March 27, 2017

Walking, Movies, and Books

It’s been awhile since I last did any kind of exercise. I’m hoping to get some walking in this week. Hubby’s appointments are all at 11:15 this week, meaning we don’t need to leave the house until 10:15. If I get up at 7:00 and walk for an hour, I’ll still have plenty of time to eat and clean up.

Of course, that’s provided I get up at 7:00. And then feel like walking.

See… it’s really hard to get back into a routine once you’ve fallen out of it. But if the weather is nice in the morning, I will go out walking.

I will, I tell you! J

I saw a movie preview for My Cousin Rachel, which is due out June 9th. Wow, that looks interesting. And it’s based on a book? But I want to read the book first (it’s by Daphne du Maurier). When it becomes available at the library, I might just do that. Or break down and buy a copy. It’s not like I don’t have a stack of books to read as it is!

Then I noticed she wrote The Birds, too. That’s one of my favorite movies, but I’ve never read the book (or rather, short story/novella). Someday I’ll rectify that.

So… Have you read any books by Daphne du Maurier? Think you'll go see this movie? I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to actually take notice of her books! They all look so interesting.

Happy Monday!
 
Stacy

Friday, March 24, 2017

How Short? Oh Crap!

Remember that short story I told you about (if you forgot or didn’t read about it, it was on Wednesday). I started in on it and about 400 words later realized that maybe I started in the wrong spot.

The story is supposed to only be 500-1000 words long. What I had started was going to be waaaaay longer than that. Crap. I really didn’t want to scrap what I wrote, because I kind of liked what I had.

Then Hubby suggested I write the short story for my newsletter instead.

While that would work, I still needed something for the guest blog. Then realized I could still share the hidden treasure part on the Literary Escapism blog, but I’d just have stuff before and after that I could share with my newsletter subscribers first. And… (I love it when I think all evil like this), I could invite the readers of the blog to subscribe to my newsletter if they want to read the whole thing.

Score! Problem solved.

Now I can make it as long as I want (well, to a point). Hmmm… except I still have to figure out exactly what kind of hidden treasure Bridget and Rob find in that basement. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll come to me.

Hey, did you notice that the Penguins have secured a playoff spot? I’m happy dancing here! I love playoff hockey when my team is playing!

Hubby is doing so much better when he does a little work during the day. It also keeps him awake more so that he can sleep at night (which he couldn’t do when he napped all day). So my job is to keep him active. Looks like the weather will cooperate for the next couple of days. Time to go walking!

So… If you were reading a short story from one of your favorite authors, featuring characters from a previous book, would you care if it ran long? I’m thinking not, because I certainly wouldn’t care. I kind of eat that stuff up!

Happy Friday!
 
Stacy

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Reads and a Short Story Idea

When I registered for Rust City Book Con (to be held in Troy, MI, August 4-6), I was asked if I wanted to participate in a short story event the Literary Escapism blog plans to put on just before the con. The theme is Hidden Treasures. I just have to feature characters from one of my books discovering a new bit of treasure. I thought it would be fun, so I said I’d do it.

Of course this was before we learned Hubby’s cancer had returned. Writing fiction since his surgery has been pretty much non-existent, and I had forgotten about this assignment. Until yesterday, when I came across my reminder note.

Seeing that note jolted something inside me. Maybe it’s my muse, who knows. But suddenly writing a short story seemed…doable. So I thought about which characters I wanted to use. Then it hit me (I love it when ideas do that!). I have this block of time between Ghostly Liaison and Ghostly Interlude (which isn’t published yet). I have Rob, who hasn’t been able to go through his parents’ stuff since they died, and Bridget, just moving into his house and wondering what’s in the basement. Voila! Hidden Treasures.

I’m getting excited about writing now. Yay!

Here’s what I read the past week:

Dates read: March 12-19
Title: “No One Left To Tell”
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Karen Rose
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Romantic Suspense #13, Baltimore #2
# of Pages: 518
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: A minivan crashes in front of rookie PI Paige Holden’s home. And suddenly she finds one of her pro bono clients dying in her arms—from a gunshot wound. With her last breath, the woman whispers cryptic words into Paige’s ear and hands her a blood-smeared flash drive.
   Five years earlier, State’s Attorney Grayson Smith put a murderer behind bars. But when Paige shares the flash drive with him, its contents cast doubts on the conviction—and lead Paige and him into a world of blackmail, dark secrets, and a decades-long string of murders. An investigation they’ll survive only by trusting each other—and the truth.
My thoughts: Lots of twists and turns. Lots of characters. And a story taking place within a span of 5 days! You’d think it’d drive me nuts, but it didn’t. I started reading this series with book #12 (then skipped to #16 because that’s what I had at the time) and while you don’t HAVE to read these in order, I’m finding I want to now. Because Paige was introduced in another book (Minneapolis #2), so I’m guessing other characters might be moving around, too. I won’t know that unless I read all the books. Which I’m sure I will. Someday. Which means…time to go stick them in my wish list!
   See… All this from reading a freebie first (I got it at a convention). It’s a trap, I tell you. A trap. Authors can be just as bad as drug dealers. I know, I just lumped myself into that statement! At least what we sell isn’t illegal, or life-threatening. J

One week down, five to go. Hubby is already struggling with the chemo and radiation, but promises me he’ll continue to force himself to eat. Most food tastes awful to him and he’s afraid to eat his favorites (for fear of ruining them). It’s been trial and error (mostly error), but he’s found a few things that don’t “gross him out.” He also thinks he sleeps too much (although it was kind of expected), but I told him not to worry about that. I can’t imagine sleep being bad for him.

So… Has anything piqued your interest lately? Maybe writing short stories is exactly the kind of thing I need to do right now. Not a lot of time and dedication is needed for those, and I can write while Hubby naps! J 

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Dark Tower? No, Thank You

Over on Facebook I saw the poster for the upcoming movie, The Dark Tower. The poster was cool, and I loved (loved, LOVED) the books, but I don’t think I can watch the movie. Why? Here are some reasons:

  • Most King movie adaptations suck. Heck, I can say that about most movie adaptations.
  • I have nothing against the actor, but he’s not Roland. I find it strange (well, maybe not, he was probably paid well) that King didn’t think Roland was any race. So why did he write him white? I mean, there’s a big conflict between Roland and Susannah because he’s white and she’s black. Don’t see how that can happen if Roland is also black.
  • Matthew McWhatchamacallit. Need I say more? Ugh.
  • This movie is some sort of sequel, and not really about the books. So why call it The Dark Tower? Talk about confusing.
Heck, it’s not like I get to the theatre all that often anyway. But I’d much rather see The Dark Tower turn into a television series (but not like Under the Dome—TV ruined that book, too!).

The movie I hope to see next is Beauty and the Beast. Tuesday is bargain day at the theatre. I’ll have to see if Hubby is up to going.

So… Are you a fan of movie adaptations? Which King film is your favorite?

Happy Monday!
 
Stacy

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d go with a GREEN theme! That way you can’t pinch my blog. Hahahahaha!

My last name is Irish (now), but would you believe I’m more Irish than my husband? My paternal grandmother was born there as was my maternal great-grandfather. Hubby’s Irish ancestors came over way back in the early 1800s! But my maiden name (Thurber) didn’t reflect my Irish roots.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I AM related to James Thurber. We share a distant relative (I just don’t remember which one).

I like the fact my last name is Irish now (and has been for 37 years). Now I just have to remember to wear something green today (because that’s the only Irish thing I do). I tend to forget that stuff when the Penguins are playing—I just grab a Penguins t-shirt.

Yesterday I finally got time to complete my city income tax. I really hate their site. The instructions are in docx files (I can’t open those and don’t necessarily want to download another program on my laptop so I can). Why would they do that? What’s wrong with PDFs? Ugh.

Then their fill-in form doesn’t even calculate correctly. After printing it, I crossed off the wrong number and filled in the correct one. I plan on taking the form to the office and will pay in person (yeah, we owe a little bit), just in case they have issues with my return.

I liked it so much better when they used to mail me the forms. I get nothing from them now. Not even a reminder.

After a pretty busy week, it would be nice to have a quiet weekend, but that won’t be the case. My RWA chapter is having a mini event (two speakers) which will last all day (8:30-5:30 + 2 hrs of total driving). I may be lucky to get out of bed on Sunday.

So… Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Drink green beer? Eat corned beef and cabbage? Go to Chicago to see the river turn green? Or are you like me: stay at home, eat normal food, and watch TV?

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Lack of Writing

Here’s what I read the past week:

Dates read: March 2 - 9
Title: “Bite Me”
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: The Pride Series #9
# of Pages: 375
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Free
Blurb from Book: Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life’s irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad’s untimely and unexplained demise.
   That’s where Vic Barinov comes in—or his house does. Vic can’t step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he’ll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge…
My thoughts: I got this book quite by accident. I had ordered copies of my book, Bite Me, I’m Yours, through Kensington. When the package arrived, I anxiously opened the box to discover copies of this book instead. Kensington fixed the mistake and told me I could just dispose of the wrong ones. Well… I couldn’t just throw them out, so I gave some away, but kept one to read. Eventually. Well, eventually finally came.
   This is the 9th book in the series. I hadn’t read the first 8, but didn’t let that stop me. I was slightly confused with the plethora of characters (plethora – I’ll blame Stephan Pastis for that word http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2017/03/09 ), which I’m sure wouldn’t have been a problem if I had started reading the series at book #1, so if you’re confused with numerous characters and this book interests you, you might want to start with book #1.
   This was a crazy-funny story (didn’t realize this when I started reading, not that I minded). The romance was just a tiny bit on the thin side, and I actually wondered what the book was ABOUT until I got about half-way through, but it didn’t stop me from turning the pages.

Two books this week. Whoo hoo!

Dates read: March 10-12
Title: “Hunt the Dawn”
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Abbie Roads
Genre: Romantic suspense (with some paranormal woo-woo)
Series: Fatal Dreams #2
# of Pages: 329
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: You can’t hide your secrets from Lathan Montgomery—he can read your darkest memories. And while his special abilities are invaluable in the FBI’s hunt for a serial killer, he has no way to avoid the pain they bring him. Until he is drawn to courageous, down-on-her-luck Evanee Brown and finds himself able to offer her something he’s never offered another human being: himself.
   Nightmares are nothing new to Evanee Brown. But once she meets Lathan, they plummet into the realm of the macabre. Murder victims are reaching from beyond the grave to give Evanee evidence that could help Lathan bring a terrifying killer to justice. Together, they could forge an indomitable partnership to thwart violence, abuse, and death—if they survive the forces that seek to tear them apart.
My thoughts: You know you’re reading a good book when you read it fast. The book is labeled romantic suspense, but it could easily be called romantic horror. Lots of dark and spooky stuff happens (and I LOVE spooky stuff) with two people you just want to be together. You don’t have to have read the first book to understand this one. Some characters overlap, but not in a way that will confuse anyone.

As you can tell from all my reading, I’m not writing as much. I do hope that changes soon, but right now I just can’t seem to deal with my writing with all the other crap that’s going on. You’d think I could use it as a distraction, and I could, but in a way I don’t want to be distracted. I want to be available for my husband. And if that means putting writing on the back burner for several weeks, then so be it.

So… Anyone playing in the March Madness Brackets? I’ve got three going (Buffalo Wild Wings, CBS Sports, and Nathan Bransford's), same bracket, though. Kind of makes it more fun to watch. At least for me. Oh, and don't you LOVE where I found the word plethora? Amazing what you can learn from comics, huh? Haha!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Nice Surprise

I spent a portion of my time Sunday cleaning out my e-mail box. I was trying to find an e-mail I opened and before I could save it, the computer crashed (because of course it did). I tend to keep older e-mails NEW until I no longer need the information from them, and I usually (USUALLY) save them in another folder, for just this case.

Did I do it for this one? Of course I didn’t!

Problem is, AOL (at least my software) is acting wonky. All e-mail software acts wonky in one form or another. I really hate them all, but I hate AOL the least, so that’s why I stick with it. Anyway, I clicked on Incoming/Saved e-mail and was told it had over 90,000 e-mails and would take a while to sort.

Apparently it only wants to sort 50% of the e-mails. What’s up with that?

See—wonky!

So I set out to delete e-mails I don’t need, hoping to finally get to 2017 and find the e-mail I DO need. But then I got distracted.

Don’t we all?

I found a set of e-mails from 2010 from an e-mail address that looked vaguely familiar, and it had to do with critiquing her work. I opened one, but it didn’t display her name. But a character’s name (Isleen) jumped at me. Hmmm… I recently read a book with that character name. Coincidence? I wasn’t sure. So I kept clicking on the e-mails and then I found her name: Abbie.

No, it couldn’t be. But then I saw another character’s name (Xander). They were both from that book. And now her e-mail address looked MORE familiar, so I went to my COFW membership roster (because I’m the treasurer and keep track of that sort of thing) and found the name I know her by now and there, listed beside it, was her other name. Her real name. The name on the e-mail address.

And the funny thing is, I was reading her second book.

I had actually critiqued Abbie Roads’ first book. Well, at least 10 pages of it.

Gosh, I hope I said good things!

Oh, and I still haven’t found that e-mail I wanted. After all that, I wanted to finish reading her book. And I did!

Hubby is getting his port inserted (installed?) today. Don’t know when I’ll get back to my computer. I’ll most likely have to drive him to class tonight (not sure I want him to drive after having anesthesia). Fun, fun, fun!

So… Do you save your e-mails? How far back do yours go? Am I stupid to keep mine? I know a lot of people delete e-mails after reading them. Mine automatically get saved to that Incoming/Saved folder anyway and I just can’t seem to get myself to hit delete on all of it.

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Change in Plans and Forever Thirty-two

Well… Hubby was supposed to start chemo and radiation on Wednesday. However, when the nurse tried to put in the IV, she met with some resistance. And Hubby met with some pain. Not good. Therefore, Hubby needs a port inserted to make life easier for the nurses and him. That’ll occur on Monday (minor surgery) so chemo and radiation have been moved to next Wednesday.

It’s frustrating, because we just want to get this started and over with as soon as possible. Didn’t exactly want to wait another week, but it is what it is.

We did get to see what the place is like, though. A lot of people get crammed into this small room. I had hoped to bring my laptop and work, but with the tiny chair I’m given, I’m thinking I won’t be able to do that. Not comfortably, anyway.

Would you believe Hubby said I didn’t have to go with him? Like anything would keep me from going.

The guy is nuts, I tell you. NUTS!

^^^^

Last year (or maybe the year before) I finally got around to putting my short story, Forever Thirty-two, up on Amazon and making it free. Recently I noticed it’d been for sale for 99 cents (which is the default). I gave Amazon a link to B&N to show it was free there, but that didn’t seem to help. Not wanting to go through another e-mail discussion where they tell me I’m breaking my terms of service, I decided to just take the short story down from Amazon. If anyone wants it, they can get it free on my website (and various other places).

I can see why Amazon wouldn’t want to sell anything for free. I mean, what’s in it for them, right? I guess if a lot of people had been downloading the short story on Amazon, it would have been a harder decision to remove it, but I give away more copies on Smashwords, iBooks, and Nook than I do on Amazon. Then again, it stays FREE on those sites.

^^^^

I finally, FINALLY, received the Schedule K-1 I’ve been waiting for and guess what? I don’t need to report anything. Figures. Guess that means I can finish my taxes now. Oh joy! I can’t complain too much, though. We are getting money back.

So… Doing anything fun this weekend? The weather is supposed to turn back to cold (grrr), but our friends are coming over from Columbus and will cook dinner. Yay! Which means… I’ve got to clean the house! Aaack!

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday Reads

Here’s what I read the past week:

Dates read: February 21 – March 1
Title: “Huntress Moon”
Year of publication: 2012 (digital)/2014 (print)
Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
Genre: Thriller
Series: The Huntress/FBI Thrillers Book 1
# of Pages: 364
Paper or plastic: Paper
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is closing in on a bust of a major criminal organization in San Francisco when he witnesses an undercover member of his team killed in front of him on a busy street, an accident Roarke can’t believe is coincidental. His suspicions put him on the trail of a mysterious young  woman who appears to have been present at each scene of a years-long string of “accidents” and murders, and who may well be that most rare of killers: a female serial.
   Roarke’s hunt for her takes him across three states…while in a small coastal town, a young father and his five-year old son, both wounded from a recent divorce, encounter a lost and compelling young woman on the beach and strike up an unlikely friendship without realizing how deadly she may be.
  As Roarke uncovers the shocking truth of her background, he realizes she is on a mission of her own, and must race to capture her before more blood is shed.
My thoughts: Interesting story. Only issues I had with it were the present tense whenever in the villain’s point of view (everyone else was in past tense) and the fact it didn’t really end. No cliffhanger (thank goodness), but lots of questions were left unanswered. There are four books (so far) in this series and I haven’t decided whether or not I want to read more. Not because the book wasn’t good, but only because I fear the others won’t really end, either. But if you’re looking for a thriller series, you might want to check this one out.

So… Of series that contains the same characters, does it bother you if the main issue is unresolved, like in The Fugitive (each book/episode with the same villain)? As I ask this question, I realize I read lots of paranormal romance series like that. Sort of. I guess it’s a fine line between what is acceptable to be unresolved and what is unacceptable. In romances, as long as the couple reaches their happy ever after or happy for now ending, the rest is okay. But for other genres… I’m just not as forgiving. Unless they’re one of my favorite authors. Then I can forgive almost anything. Almost. J

Appreciate any good thoughts you can send our way as Hubby starts his chemo & radiation therapy today.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, March 6, 2017

What a Weekend

I got so busy this weekend, I didn’t have time to write a blog post. But there’s no rule that says I have to post by 6am, is there? Nah! It’s my blog, I can post whenever. So I choose now to post.

I’d say I have pictures to share, but then I’d be lying. I took a couple of pictures, but they’re still on my phone and pretty lame, anyway. Nothing with ME in them. Sometimes I think I need an assistant just to take the pictures. Haha!

The Angels and Sirens book signing went better than I expected, but a lot different than I expected, too. Apparently I also had to pay extra for the dinner and mixer after (I thought it was part of the author price—it was not). Oh well, so I didn’t stay for those. But a lot of people did stop by my table during the signing (some even bought a book!). I had a giveaway basket I had hoped would generate more interest, but that didn’t work out like I thought. Live and learn. Live and learn.

My next reader convention is RT (Romantic Times Booklovers convention). That’s a massive event, but it’s fun, too. I’ll be part of Kensington’s party (they’re giving away copies of Ghostly Liaison for me to sign), which is a nice bonus for me. I’ll also be part of another party – Beach Blanket Bingo. I’ll be sharing my table with writer friend, TeriAnne Stanley. Should be lots of fun!

Anyway, back to my weekend.

I was so wiped out on Saturday (having gotten up at 4am and then driving 3 hours to Washington, PA), I was asleep by 9:30pm. Of course, I was the first to wake up in the morning! But we still took our time getting up and ready. Didn’t have to be in Pittsburgh until 3:45 (when the charity bag sale commenced—Daughter bought one), so we had lunch at a restaurant I had never been to before. A place that’s pretty famous in Pittsburgh: Primanti Brothers.

Now, I didn’t go and get the sandwich that has slaw and French fries in it (yep, IN it). I opted for the meatball sub. Man, was that sub AWESOME. So glad there’s a restaurant in Beavercreek (about 10 miles away from me). I don’t have to wait so long to return, because, yeah, I’ll go back for that sandwich!

After lunch, we drove into Pittsburgh and found a place to park. Unfortunately, we left the car in auxiliary mode for a bit until we were ready to leave for the stadium and drained my car battery (it is getting old—nearly 7 years). Ooops. We crossed our fingers that when we came back to the car after the game, that there would be enough juice to start up. There wasn’t.

Someone was still in the parking lot when we returned who had jumper cables and gave us a start. Man, were we lucky or what? Guess I’ll be buying a new battery this week. Probably today, if I ever get my butt out of the house!

The Penguins game was awesome, too! Of course, I wasn’t feeling so great after the first period, since we were losing 3-0. Coach actually replaced Murray (the starting goalie) with Fleury. Ah, the love for that man! We were all chanting Fleury’s name during the game, especially after the awesome saves he made. Buffalo never scored again and we ended up winning 4-3 (the last two goals coming within the last 3 minutes of the game!). So it was an exciting game and made the 3-1/2 hour drive home so much more pleasant!

Even though we had to eat in the car after—we were afraid to turn it off so soon after leaving!

It was a great weekend and one I won’t soon forget. Especially now that I know I need a new battery! Haha!

So… Think I was just lucky my 6-1/2 year-old battery started on a jump? This battery is the one that came with the car. I’ve always been impressed with Nissan batteries (my Altima battery lasted long, too). We’ll see if I get as much mileage with the replacement.

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Book Signing Event and a Hockey Game

This weekend finds me in Pittsburgh once again.

On Saturday I have to get up well before the rooster crows and drive three hours to the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, PA. Need to get there between 8-9:00am for the Angels and Sirens Book Signing.

Oh, and if you’re thinking of attending, it costs $10 at the door just to get into the book signing, so this isn’t a freebie thing for readers.

I’m not exactly sure what to expect (or how many people are attending). Book sales/signing is from 11-4 (starts at 10 for early-bird attendees). Dinner (extra $) is at 5pm and a Mix & Mingle party (extra $) starts at 7pm.

I’m pretty sure my author fee includes all of that (but I can’t remember—aren’t I pathetic?). In any case, I’m prepared for a long day (doesn’t help that these events kind of drain me, too) and will do my best to go with the flow and have a good time.

It probably would have been smarter to leave tonight, but I’m cheap, what can I say?

Hubby and Daughter are accompanying me on this trip, but won’t be going to the event. They’ll be on their own Saturday, but Sunday is PENGUINS HOCKEY!

Yay! We’ll drive up to Pittsburgh (only about 30 minutes away) for a 5:00pm game against Buffalo. This game will be indoors, where it will be considerably warmer than last Saturday’s outdoor game. Then after the game we’ll drive home (hopefully as happy fans!).

So, that’s two weekends in a row in Pittsburgh. Two weekends of Penguins hockey. I’m ready.

So… Got any plans this weekend?

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

No Wednesday Reads, But a Happy Feeling

I didn’t finish reading any books this week. Maybe if I read more in the car while my daughter drove to Pittsburgh and back I’d have a book to report, but I didn’t feel like reading going there and had a headache coming back.

I hate headaches. This roller coaster weather isn’t helping any, either.

Today, though, I hope to get rid of a different kind of headache. It’s on my list of things to do, but I forgot Hubby has a couple of doctor appointments today, so now I’m thinking it might not happen until tomorrow. In any case, I will be writing our last mortgage check. The house will be ours, free and clear.

Twenty years. That’s how long we’ve lived here. We managed to cut ten years off the loan when we last financed the house, and when I make that last payment, we will be officially debt free. What a happy feeling.

And man, we could use a little happy right now.

So… Does paying off a huge loan give you a happy feeling, too? If not, what would?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, February 27, 2017

I Froze, But I Had Fun!

On Friday, the high reached 76 in Dayton. Woke up Saturday to 30 degree temps (and a bit of snow). Drove to Pittsburgh and arrived around 1pm. Temps were better, in the 50s, but windy. Really windy.

And as the day went on, the clouds increased and the temps fell. Fell so much that the clouds started spitting snow.

So here I was afraid of getting rained on during the Stadium Series hockey game. Didn’t even think I might get snowed on! It was a brutal night, but I had a fun time because I got to spend the day with my daughter. Bonus: the Penguins won!

Here are some pictures of our day:

Here is Daughter and I at the Stanley Cup.
Yep, I touched it!

A trailer was on site containing items from the Hockey Hall of  Fame.
We got our picture taken in this "locker room."
 
This picture was taken from our seats. Right above that (out of the
picture) was a TV screen, so we were able to watch the
game when the puck was down on the other end.

Daughter and I cuddling against the cold.
Overall I had a great time. But would I do it again? Nope. I think once was enough. Frankly, I thought the stadium was just too big for the ice rink. It was very hard to watch the game. But I did love the energy in the stadium. Especially when the Penguins scored (plus we got to chant the Flyers sucked--hee hee).
 
So… Have you done anything you wanted to do but swear you’ll never do again?

Happy Monday!

Stacy