Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Reading Update, Walking, and Dr. Appts.

My back has finally shut up and I’m back to walking. The weather has been cooperating, too. I still won’t go far (not my usual 2-3 miles), at least not until it’s been four weeks since surgery (which is the time frame I’ve been given to not lift anything heavier than 15 lbs).

I finally got an appointment to the endocrinologist (for my thyroid nodule). September 16th!! Man, I sure hope I don’t have anything serious. That seems crazy. But I was told there are only 3 endocrinologists in the Dayton area, so it is what it is. I do see my primary care physician next week, so if she’s not worried about it, I won’t be. And if she is worried about it, then I’ll leave it up to her to hurry things along.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #33

Dates read: June 9-14, 2021
Title: Far from Home
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Kate L. Mary
Genre: Horror
Series: Far Series Book 1
# of Pages: 307
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Free from author
Blurb from book: As the only child in an upper-middle class family, Rowan has had it easy. Doted on by a mother who never wanted anything but a child to love, she’s never wanted for anything. Kiaya’s life, however, has been anything but easy. Parents who didn’t want her, followed by being torn away from her only sibling by the foster care system, she knows what it means to have to work hard for the things she wants.
    When a deadly virus sweeps the country, Rowan and Kiaya are away at college and far from everything they love. Desperate to make it home, they team up, but as the world around them dies, an unexpected detour leaves them stranded in Vega, Texas where they make a shocking discovery. The virus isn’t just killing people. It’s turning them into zombies.
    When former cop, Devon, sweeps in to save the day, it looks like their luck has shifted. With hundreds of miles left to cross and the dead taking over, the trio is determined to do whatever it takes to get home. Traveling historic Route 66, Rowan, Kiaya, and Devon fight for survival as they struggle to come to terms with the changing world.
My thoughts: As I started into this book, I could see it being like The Stand, but then the zombies came into play and I realized it’s not. And since this is the beginning of a series, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. Because of that, I won’t bother reading the next book. I’m not really into zombies anyway (I didn’t watch The Walking Dead, but if you liked that series, you’ll probably like these books). I did enjoy the story. I just wish it…ended.

Are you doing anything special this July 4th? Hubby suggested we go somewhere, but I can’t think of any place to go for the weekend that we haven’t already visited. Then I suggested we just stay home and visit things in the area that we haven’t seen. So we might do that. And Cincinnati has some interesting tours that we could possibly take. That might be fun. Do you have trouble figuring out what to do when you want to get away? I’d really love to just go to the beach and walk along the shore, but, unfortunately, they’re a little far from here.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Friday, June 11, 2021

Surgery Results

So... the results of my surgery came back. It was kidney cancer. While that sounds like a bad thing, it isn't in my case. Bad would have been metastatic breast cancer, and it wasn't that, so that's GOOD!

At my appointment, my urologist said that my oncologist (do I SEE enough doctors???) wanted to do a biopsy of the fatty tissue on my left adrenal gland (my tumor was on my right kidney). She was attending the tumor board that afternoon and would let me know what to expect next.

By the way, I also have this nodule on my thyroid that my primary care physician wants biopsied. My urologist thought that I might be able to have both biopsies at the same time.

Well, my urologist called me later that day and said she was able to talk with the radiologist who actually read my CT scan and he suggested that I have an MRI instead of a biopsy, because he was fairly certain it was just fatty tissue (a fibro abnoma kind of thing). My MRI is scheduled for July 7.

I will still need to get the thyroid looked at, so I'm in the process of scheduling that. I need to see an endocrinologist off base, so it's taking longer than usual. But... the bloodwork on my thyroid doesn't indicate anything unusual, so it's most likely NOT cancer (but hey, with me, you can't be too sure anymore). 

Have I ever told you how much I hate dealing with insurance? Granted, we have an awesome plan (Humana Military/Tricare), but they aren't the easiest to deal with. That's why I prefer to keep everything on base (and a big reason we moved close to one) -- NO PAPERWORK!

My back is still being a pain (literally), but not so bad that I can't move around (I just move slowly at times). I'm trying not to live on motrin and I have been walking in the morning (about a mile each day). No pain while doing that, so that's good. I've decided to just stick with going around the block and not stretching it out further. Not until my back stops hurting. And maybe after the glue comes off my incisions. 

So... that's the news for now. Thought I'd share it now instead of wait until Wednesday. Have a great weekend!

Stacy


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Reading Update and I Hurt

I’m hurting where I least expected it…my back. I’ve had back issues since I was 18 (doctor discovered I had a slight case of scoliosis). When I was 32 I was in agony for a whole month. I’m not that bad off now, but it’s not pleasant either. Motrin hasn’t worked all that well so far.

I’ve been super careful not to over exert myself since surgery. I was walking, going a little further each time, but the last time was only 1.37 miles (at a rather slow pace). I didn’t hurt during the walk, but later that night my back started stiffening and it’s not gotten any better.

Figures…  And if the pain wasn’t bad enough, the glue holding my incisions together is itching! I can’t seem to win any breaks here.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #32

Dates read: June 1-8, 2021
Title: Frost and Flame
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Gods of War #2
# of Pages: 411
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Bane of Adwaewith is the most feared immortal warrior in All War history. Possessed by a bloodthirsty beast, he will stop at nothing to win. Then he meets irresistible Nola Lee. He hates the power she wields over him, but she alone can rain vengeance upon his wife’s killer.
    Unaware of her destiny to rule as queen of beasts, Nola battles illness, addiction and vulnerability. With Bane, however, she experiences pleasure for the first time, and only wants more. But being with him comes with a terrible price.
    With enemies lurking around every corner, Bane and Nola must fight to survive. But time is running out, and neither can resist the sizzling attraction blazing between them. Will their romance save the beast and his beauty, or destroy everything they’ve come to love?
My thoughts: This story runs parallel to Book 1 in the series (Shadow and Ice). It threw me for a bit, and I had to hunt down the first book to make sure I wasn’t remembering stuff incorrectly (I wasn’t). The “All War” isn’t over with yet (although there isn’t a cliffhanger in this book or the first, just your typical series story unresolved), and I’d get book 3 to read, except… there isn’t one. That makes me sad. I’d like to know how the “All War” will end. Maybe she’ll get around to writing it someday. I’ll keep my eye out for it.

I see my urologist this afternoon and will hopefully find out what kind of cancer I had (I’ll say “had” because I don’t still want it in me!) and what my next steps are. I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Reading Update and Kindle Unlimited

I put my Bitten by Love series into Kindle Unlimited because I was under the impression that paranormal romances do well there and that Amazon favors those books (somehow).

Plus, you get to put your book on sale during a Kindle countdown. So I did that with My Sunny Vampire (reduced the price to 99 cents). The only advertising I did was the same advertising I did on Amazon (although I did mention the sale here and on Facebook), because I was also under the impression that my book would be featured on Amazon as a countdown deal.

I never saw the feature. And that countdown only generated 2 sales.

TWO. SALES.

I think if I make my books EXCLUSIVE to Amazon, they should do more. Else, why stay exclusive?

Which means in July I will take the Bitten by Love out of KU and make the series wide again. Heck, the KU reads I’m getting really aren’t all that significant, either. Being exclusive isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #31

Dates read: May 25-June 1, 2021
Title: The Reluctant Amazon
Year of publication: 2012/2021
Author: Sandy James
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Alliance of the Amazons Book 1
# of Pages: 274
Paper or plastic: Nook book
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: The last thing Rebecca Massee expects on her wedding day is to go from jilted kindergarten teacher to Amazonian Earth warrior. But when she causes an earthquake after her groom says I don't, she discovers that not only does she possess incredible powers, she is one of four lost chosen sisters who must fight to keep humanity safe from rogue gods and demons. Luckily she has help: ruggedly handsome Scottish warrior Artair MacKay, her protector and teacher.
    An immortal, Artair has trained countless warriors for more than four hundred years. He understands Rebecca's confusion at the new world she's been thrust into and worries she is too emotionally vulnerable, but that doesn't stop his growing feelings for the beautiful and fearless woman.
    When an evil force threatens to destroy the Amazons, Rebecca must claim her full powers--but they come at a cost. Can she sacrifice the man she loves if it means saving the world?

My thoughts: I had trouble getting into this book, which I kind of blame on my surgery. But if I were reading a book from one of my favorite authors would that have made a difference? See… I’m not sure. There is only a minor cliff-hanger, which I expected since it’s a series, but otherwise, it has a satisfied ending. If I really liked the Amazons, I might pick up the next one, but none of them piqued my interest. Doesn’t mean they won’t pique yours. If you’re looking for a different kind of paranormal romance, it won’t hurt to give this one a try.

So… I’m doing fairly well after surgery. I’m able to control what little pain I have with Tylenol or Ibuprofen (I haven’t touched the narcotics the doctor gave me). Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait a little longer to find out what kind of cancer I had, since the doctor won’t get the results until 7-10 days after surgery. Bugger.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Reading Update and Today’s the Big Day

Today is my surgery day. Since I’m posting this the night before, I can’t tell you how well it went. Only that I have to report to surgery at 6:30am.

I won’t have my computer, so unless I’m able to comment via my phone (and last time I tried to do that I ran into issues—which always seems to happen with my phone), don’t expect to hear from me until after I get home (which I hope will be Thursday, but could very well be Friday).

Well, unless you follow me on Facebook. I will have access to that.

Of course, who knows how “with it” I’ll be after a 2-4 hour surgery. I’m sure I’ll want to do a lot of sleeping. Although… the Pens play at 6:30pm. If the hospital gets NBC Sports Network, I’ll have it on to watch the game. And I’ll definitely try to stay awake!

Go Pens!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #29

Dates read: May 17-21, 2021
Title: The Slaughtered Lamb
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Seana Kelly
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Sam Quinn, Book 1
# of Pages: 272
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Gift from friend
Blurb from book: Welcome to The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar. I’m Sam Quinn, the werewolf book nerd in charge. I run my business by one simple rule: Everyone needs a good book and a stiff drink, be they vampire, wicche, demon, or fae. No wolves, though. Ever. I have my reasons.
    I serve the supernatural community of San Francisco. We’ve been having some problems lately. Okay, I’m the one with the problems. The broken body of a female werewolf washed up on my doorstep. What makes sweat pool at the base of my spine, though, is realizing the scars she bears are identical to the ones I conceal. After hiding for years, I’ve been found.
    A protection I’ve been relying on is gone. While my wolf traits are strengthening steadily, the loss is leaving my mind vulnerable to attack. Someone is ensnaring me in horrifying visions intended to kill. Clive, the sexy vampire Master of the City, discovers how to pull me out and designates himself my personal bodyguard. He’s grumpy about it, but that kiss is telling a different story. A change is taking place. It has to. The bookish bartender must become the fledgling badass.
    I’m a survivor. I’ll fight fang and claw to protect myself and the ones I love. And let’s face it, they have it coming.
My thoughts: Some might call this a paranormal romance, but I don’t label first person stories in that genre. For a romance, I need the details from both points of view. So I’m calling this an urban fantasy with romantic elements. And for that, it was a very good story. I enjoyed it.

Book #30

Dates read: May 22-24, 2021
Title: The Dead Don’t Drink at Lafitte’s
Year of publication: 2021
Author: Seana Kelly
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Sam Quinn, Book 2
# of Pages: 326
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Gift from friend
Blurb from book: I’m Sam Quinn, the werewolf book nerd owner of the Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar. Things have been busy lately. While the near-constant attempts on my life have ceased, I now have a vampire gentleman caller. I’ve been living with Clive and the rest of his vampires for a few weeks while the Slaughtered Lamb is being rebuilt. It’s going about as well as you’d expect.
    My mother was a wicche and long dormant abilities are starting to make themselves known. If I’d had a choice, necromancy wouldn’t have been my top pick, but it’s coming in handy. A ghost warns me someone is coming to kill Clive. When I rush back to the nocturne, I find vamps from New Orleans readying an attack. One of the benefits of vampires looking down on werewolves is no one expects much of me. They don’t expect it right up until I take their heads.
    Now, Clive and I are setting out for New Orleans to take the fight back to the source. Vampires are masters of the long game. Revenge plots are often decades, if not centuries, in the making. We came expecting one enemy, but quickly learn we have darker forces scheming against us. Good thing I’m the secret weapon they never see coming.
My thoughts: Lots of action in this book. Very entertaining.

I always seem to have lots of news on those posts that have more than one book read. Today is no different.

My Sunny Vampire is on sale at Amazon for the Kindle for $.99 until June 1st. If you have a friend who likes paranormal romances and reads on a Kindle (or Kindle app), let them know about this deal. I call it the Memorial Day/Surgery Day sale. Here’s the link:

https://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Vampire-Bitten-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B0769MBPWQ/

Happy Reading!

Stacy