Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Reading Update and Working Out Harder

I’ve been doing step aerobics 4-5 days a week (30-40 min/day) since October 4th. All without a riser, meaning the platform is only about 4” high. Last week I added one riser, bringing the platform to 6”. You’d think I had added 6”! Was I ready for this?

Maybe not, but how else was I going to get better? Get stronger? So I’m keeping the riser and just exercising on the floor when I really run out of breath (and I tend to do that a lot right now).

I have noticed that I can walk down the stairs so much faster now (without fear my knees will give out). That tells me I am getting stronger. I just wish I wasn’t so out of breath when I exercise. I think my heart might be a little bit to blame for that. Carrying all this extra weight isn’t helping, either, but I am working on it.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #3

Dates read:
January 12-16
Title: The Dead Girls’ Dance (Morganville Vampires Vol. 1)
Year of publication: 2007
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #2
# of Pages: 223
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: Claire Danvers has her share of challenges—like living among creatures of the night. On the upside, she has a great roommate (who tends to disappear at sunup) and a new boyfriend. Now a fraternity is throwing its annual Dead Girls’ Dance and –surprise—Clair and her equally outcast friend have been invited. When they find out why, all hell breaks loose, because this time both the living and the dead are ready to tear up the night.
My thoughts: The title and the blurb are really not what this story is about. Oh, the dance happens, but there’s a totally different reason they attend and it’s certainly not the key plotline. But, when you’re hooked on a series, do you really read the blurb? I hadn’t…until now. This was an entertaining book and quite suspenseful, too. I look forward to seeing what comes next. And I wouldn’t have needed the cliffhanger to do that. At least it was a minor cliffhanger this go round.

Are you watching the NFL playoffs? The Steelers and Rams are out of it now (boo hoo), but I’m still watching. I like Green Bay (even though they beat my Rams) over Tampa Bay, but torn between Kansas City and Buffalo. And then there’s hockey now, too! So far we’ve been able to watch ALL of the Penguins’ games on TV! Whoo hoo! I hope that continues. And I hope they play better.

I just realized as I was getting ready to post this, that today is the 45th anniversary of the day I joined the Army. Man, am I getting old or what?

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Reading Update and Writing News

I had a light bulb go off in my head regarding Evie in my current project, Ghostly Protector. In the first draft (which is finished) she doesn’t do much. And since she’s the heroine, she needed to do… something. She needed to be more involved in Adam’s life. More involved in solving Spencer’s murder (Spencer is the ghost in my story, and was her friend and roommate). So glad I figured out what those somethings should be. It sure created a lot of cutting and pasting, but that’s better than rewriting the whole story. I just replaced another character who was involved in Adam’s problems with Evie. And moved the timelines around. I still have to write some new scenes (so that it shows Evie’s involvement), but at least I have it all figured out. So far. I hope.

Ain’t writing fun? I’ll eventually get Ghostly Protector finished. Again.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #2

Dates read:
January 5-11
Title: Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires Vol. 1)
Year of publication: 2006
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #1
# of Pages: 222
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: Morganville is a small college town in the heart of Texas that has its share of quirky characters—and some evil ones, too. When student Claire Danvers moves off campus into one of Morganville’s oldest houses, she finds that her roommates don’t show many signs of life. But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.
My thoughts: After I read about Rachel Caine’s passing, I realized I’d never read these books. And lucky me, my daughter has the first four volumes (first 8 books, actually) of this series. I was instantly hooked. Didn’t care for the cliffhanger at the end of this one, but hey, I’m ready to read the next.

So… don’t you love it when you figure out a problem that’s been hounding you? It really was a relief for me.

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Reading Update and Finding a... Present!

I’m usually pretty good at making sure all the Christmas presents have been unwrapped. But then 2020 wasn’t a usual year, now was it?

I was sliding the stockings on the buffet case so I could get to my cookbooks (I really need to put the decorations away, but that’s another story) when one of the stockings fell. I didn’t hear the hanger hit the floor so I checked inside the stockings around them figuring it had fallen inside one of them. I put my hand in one and found… a gift card! And it was in my stocking! Hubby had given me a $50 B&N gift card. It was stuck on the bottom, which is why I didn’t notice it. But you’d think Hubby would have realized I hadn’t found it. And I suppose I would have found it next year, but still…

I found a lost Christmas present!

Oh, I also found the hanger. In another stocking.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #1

Dates read:
December 26-January 5
Title: Big Chance Cowboy
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Teri Anne Stanley
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Big Chance Dog Rescue #1
# of Pages: 364
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: After a disastrous mistake disbanded his army unit, Adam Collins has returned home to Big Chance, Texas. He just wants to sell the family ranch, set up his sister and grandfather with the funds, and then ride off into the sunset.
    Lizzie Vanhook has landed back in her hometown, heartbroken and jobless. Adding to her troubles is the unruly stray who’s claimed her as his own. Lizzie knows she’s in over her head. Enter Adam—not only does he know dogs he’s also tall, dark, handsome, and the one who got away…
    Adam wants nothing to do with other people, much less dogs. But when his old flame asks him to help her train her scruffy dog, he can’t say no. As his reluctant heart opens up, the impossible seems possible: a second chance with the woman he’s always loved in a place where he, his friends, and the other strays who show up can heal and call home…
My thoughts: There aren’t many contemporary romances I’ll read. But if it’s written by Teri Anne Stanley, I’ll give it a go. She’s a friend and I really do enjoy her books. She always throws in some humor and a little bit of danger. This one also has dogs! So if you’re into those kinds of books, you’ll really enjoy this one.

So… Have you ever found a “lost” gift? Maybe one you MEANT to put under the tree but forgot you bought it? Unfortunately, I’ve done that a lot. It’s what happens when I shop early, I suppose. Which is why I have a box to keep such presents in now. So I don’t lose them.

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Reading Update and Happy New Year!

Is there anyone that ISN’T looking forward to 2020 ending? 2021 won’t be beginning any better, but at least I have hope things will improve immensely. Hope that I’ll be able to get the vaccine soon. Like, February soon. I can live with that.

This is the last of the books read in 2020. 51 books! And I didn’t have to push myself, either. I think I’ll make the same goal for 2021. Why add stress to something that is being done in fun. Right?

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #51

Dates read:
December 17-25
Title: Cold as Ice
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Suspense
Series: Lucy Kincaid #17
# of Pages: 464
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Two years ago, FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid put psychopath Elise Hunt in juvenile detention for her role in an organized crime syndicate. Now eighteen, Elise has been released with a clean slate, and plans to take her revenge by making Lucy’s life hell. The plot begins with Lucy’s husband Sean Rogan, who has been arrested for a murder he most certainly did not commit.
    Lucy is determined to prove Sean’s innocence, but is warned off the case by her boss. As she calls in reinforcements, she learns that Sean’s brother Kane is missing in Mexico, her partner Nate Dunning has been arrested for possession of cocaine, and her friend Brad Donnelly has been kidnapped outside DEA headquarters. Lucy realizes that Elise doesn’t have the resources or patience to execute such a devious plan. Did Elise’s father orchestrate everything from prison? Or is there someone even more calculating seeking revenge on Lucy by hurting the people she loves?
    One thing is certain: if Lucy doesn’t find the answer fast, Sean will die.
My thoughts: What a good story! I love this series. The characters. The family. This is the kind of book I could just sit and read all day, except I don’t have all day and I’m not sure my eyes can handle that anymore.

I still haven’t accomplished my monthly writing goal of revising 100 pages, but I’m close. I can still reach it. The only yearly goals I made were finishing the first draft of Ghostly Protector (which I did) and reading 50 books (which I also did). Why I didn’t set a goal of actually FINISHING Ghostly Protector I don’t know. It’s like I knew this year was going to be crap, huh? I can only hope 2021 will be better. I’ve got my writing mojo back, so that’s a good sign!

Did you set any goals for 2020? How’d that go?  

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas!

I haven’t finished reading a book this past week, so nothing to report there, but thought I’d post and wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Our Christmas Tree
It doesn’t feel like Christmas will be here on Friday. That’s because we already celebrated with the family on the 19th. But the tree is still up and we do have one gift to open (came in the mail with instructions to wait until Christmas to open it). And I still plan on making cinnamon rolls. I mean… why not?

Tomorrow we’ll probably watch some of our favorite Christmas movies. “Love, Actually” and “While You Were Sleeping” are standards for us. So is “Die Hard.” Hubby likes watching “Donovan’s Reef,” but we may watch that tonight instead (since our daughter isn’t interested in John Wayne movies). And yes, “Donovan’s Reef” is a Christmas movie. It’s just set in an island in the South Seas (actually, it looks like Hawaii).

Frankly, I wouldn’t mind celebrating Christmas somewhere warm. It’s supposed to get really cold here on Friday (wind chills in the single digits). Don’t know if we’ll get snow. A storm is coming through on Thursday and there’s a medium chance it will turn to snow.

Medium chance.

I think the meteorologists are just trying to get people’s hopes up. Me? It doesn’t matter so much this year. It’s not like we’re going anywhere!

So… Would you like a white Christmas where you live? Or would you prefer to celebrate in the South Seas? Warm weather and the beach sure sounds great to me!

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!