Monday, December 31, 2012

The End of a Year and a Resolution for the New One

Ah, my last post of 2012. The 156th of the year, making it the best year yet. Sticking to a M-W-F posting seems to be working fairly well. Hopefully, I'll continue with it in 2013.

As for New Year's Resolutions, I didn't really have any last year, but I had a vague goal: start and finish Book #5. Well, I did that, so that's good, right?

This year I am making a New Year's Resolution. I felt I HAD to, because if I didn't, I'd probably chicken out and not go through with it. This way I'm kind of forcing my hand or else face embarrassment with my reading public (which isn't that large, I know, but large enough!).

My resolution? By Dec 31, 2013, I will have published (or contracted to publish) my vampire romance series. That would be Books #1, #2, and #3.

Now, I know I have no control over publication dates if I happen to sign with a publisher, which is my ultimate choice – not that I have one (ha ha). So if I can sign by then, GREAT. But if that doesn't happen, I will self-publish, and that I can control. I refuse to let my stories wallow away on my computer. Maybe they aren't unique enough for an agent or a publisher, but you know, I don't think all readers care about unique. I don't, and I know my daughter doesn't. They're good stories and fun to read. Well, #1 and #3 are. I'm still working out #2, but I'm being optimistic here!

So that's my resolution. Short and sweet. I find those are the best kinds to keep anyway. What are you resolving to do in the new year?


And in other news…I got my synopsis written and I submitted GHOSTLY LIAISON for the Golden Heart Contest. I also started querying!

I'm trying to make 2013 a very good year.



Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow - What a Pain!

Yeah, we were hit with snow. Actually, a blizzard (three hours of sustained winds blowing snow is all that is needed for that designation). This latest storm hit us with more snow than we received all last winter (it was hard for me to tell, since a lot of it blew away, but we probably got around 5-6"). That might sound impressive, but last winter was rather warm.

Wednesday we did venture out, but only to restaurants (this is when my Xterra really came in handy!). These shots were taken while we were out for dinner. Not the greatest shots, but hey – it was windy and cold out there!

Yesterday we made it to the movies and saw "Jack Reacher." I liked the movie and didn't realize it was set in Pittsburgh. Sometimes I feel like I'm from that city (I'm not), but know it so well (walking around the city will do that to a person, I guess). Anyway, now I'm curious about the books. So is my husband. We'll see if I get around to reading one, though. I'm always afraid to start a new series – afraid I'll like it and be hooked. Now, isn't that just a sick reason NOT to read?

I've gotten about half of my synopsis written. Don't know if I'll get that sucker done and polished by January second. If I do, great. If I don't, no biggie. I will start querying as soon as the synopsis is written anyway (well, after I finish writing the query, that is!).

Out of all my writing related tasks, I hate writing the synopsis the most. Summarizing is hard, especially when you're trying to cram 346 pages of words into 4 pages. Hopefully, I'll get it finished today and polished by Sunday. That's my plan, anyway.

Well, if you got snow and you love it, enjoy. If you got snow and hate it, sorry! And if you didn't get snow - you lucky dog, you! My back is still aching from the shoveling.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What I Finished Reading Since Last Wednesday

Another Christmas has come and gone – can you believe it? – and snow is on its way again (figures). Well, I do need an excuse to stay indoors!

We got some good holiday movies watched. Not only did we see "Die Hard" on Christmas Eve, we watched "Lethal Weapon" on Christmas morning! Can't get enough of those shoot-em-up Christmas movies (because we even noticed "The Bourne Identity" is also set at Christmastime).

Lots of writing projects going on right now kind of put a halt on some of my reading. Doubt this week will be any better. I so much want to get Ghostly Liaison cleaned up for the Golden Heart contest (last day to enter is Jan 2), but I also have to write the synopsis – ugh! Anyway, here's what I finished reading this week:

Dec 24: "Naughty Bits 2" by Jenesi Ash, Portia DaCosta, Charlotte Featherstone, Lillian Feisty, Cathryn Fox, Megan Hart, Lisa Renee Jones, Elliot Mabeuse, Alison Paige, and Saskia Walker. This is an anthology of nine erotic short stories. Sometimes when it comes to erotic stories, shorter is better, and some of these delivered. Others were just strange. Then again, I'm discovering I'm not such a fan of the short story (or novella). I like more meat to my stories. Maybe that's why it's so hard for me to write them! Anyway, I got this book free at RT (don't remember which one, though). The shorts I liked the most in this offering were "Medusa's Folly" by Alison Paige, "This is What I Want" by Megan Hart, and "Caught in the Act" by Saskia Walker. I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy reading to you!


Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Christmas Eve!

The snow has pretty much melted, but all the presents are bought and wrapped and "Die Hard" is scheduled for today. We're ready for the big day. How about you?

It's a nice feeling knowing I have nothing to do but wait. And because of all my "free" time, this past weekend the husband and I have been hitting our "To Be Watched" DVD stack. Saturday we watched "Australia" and "The African Queen." I had never seen the first and really liked it. Seen the second numerous times (it's one of our favorites), but never owned a good copy.

On Sunday, after watching our Steelers LOSE, we decided on a Bourne marathon with the first three movies (although, the fourth one doesn't really count as a Bourne movie, now does it? Plus my son said it sucked, so we won't bother getting it). We really enjoy this series and it was nice seeing them back to back to back. I didn't even mind staying up until 1 am!

In between two of the movies, I even got my brownies baked. Nothing like multi-tasking!

Sometime before tomorrow we need to get "While You Were Sleeping" watched. Can't celebrate the holiday without it (I really love that movie).

Hope you and yours have a splendid Christmas however you spend it!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry End of World?

I found this little box sign (and it is little – 2"x3") at a Barnes and Noble and couldn't resist buying it. I want a huge one for my front yard. It would be perfect because there are no decorations out front, and there won't be either.

It's not like I don't like the season. I do. I just don't like to decorate.

So, is the end of the world? Are you planning anything fun or interesting? Well, let me warn you. Do not watch the following movies. My husband and I did last night, and let me just say – what a waste of time!

"Hanna." My son asked for this movie last Christmas. My husband wanted to watch it, so we borrowed it. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchett, it's one bizarre movie. Blurb: Raised by her father (Bana), an ex-CIA agent, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna's (Ronan) upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one. Sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe, eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative (Blanchett) with secrets of her own. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence. Now, based on this blurb, it sounds kind of interesting. It is not.

So, after we cheered the ending of this movie (the fact it was over, that is), I decided I wanted something more fun to watch. Well, I thought it would be fun.

"Love Happens." The cover on my copy stated it was a "Rare Hollywood Romance." That should have been my first hint to stay away. I bought this in the $5 bin at Wal*Mart. That should have been my second. Blurb: Jennifer Anniston and Aaron Eckhart star in the romantic drama "Love Happens." When self-help author Dr. Burke Ryan (Eckhart) arrives to Seattle to teach a sold-out seminar, he unexpectedly meets florist Eloise Chandler (Anniston), the one person who might be able to help him help himself. But will two people who may have met the right person at exactly the wrong time be able to give love a chance? If they can, they'll find that sometimes, when you least expect it, love happens. This should have been titled "Death Happens." It was one depressing movie. At the end, when the husband and I were in tears, I started laughing. "We really know how to pick 'em," I said. He cracked up with me (with tears in his eyes, no less). He said he wanted to watch a western next. At least then he knew what to expect!

I sure hope this isn't the end of the world. I'd like to go out smiling. These movies didn't do that! Well, except for the cracking up at the end part. Ooh boy!



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What I Finished Reading Since Last Wednesday

I figured I should revise the title of my Wednesday blogs, since I may eventually add some anthologies, which took more than a week to read (like, maybe a month??). So I finished three books since last Wednesday - I even impressed myself!

Dec 12: "Abandon the Night" by Joss Ware. This is the third book in a paranormal romance series (I received it free at a convention) in which I did not read the first two. Probably my fault for reading this out of order, but by the time I realized my mistake, I'd already started it. I liked the couple, but I'm guessing they were introduced in an earlier book, so I felt a little cheated. Blurb: Quentin Fielding had everything. Money. Power. Women. But now that civilization is all but annihilated, Quent wants only one thing: revenge. Harnessing a strange new "gift," he embarks on a deadly mission to find the man responsible for the chaos and destruction, the man he should have killed years ago: his father. Only one thing stands in his way – a mysterious, arrow-wielding beauty… Zoe Kapoor is on her own quest for vengeance, searching for the monstrous fiends who murdered her family. Soon she and Quent join together, journeying through the ruins of the world they once knew as a desperate desire builds between them. Drawing closer to an enemy they never imagined, Zoe and Quent must abandon all fear, abandon all regret, abandon the night… I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads. I enjoyed the romance and I liked the couple, but I really didn't care for the world and do not wish to revisit it. It was just too depressing to me.

Dec 14: "Wild About You" by Kerrelyn Sparks. This is one of my most favorite paranormal romance series and this book did not disappoint. I'm amazed how the author can keep the series fresh and wildly entertaining, and it was such joy to actually read a fun book (especially lately). Blurb: It's not every day that Elsa Bjornberg feels delicate, not when she hosts a home renovation show where she can effortlessly demolish a kitchen. But from the moment she meets Howard Barr, this bear of a man makes her feel like a woman. And the way he looks at her, as if she were a pot of honey he'd like to lick… Howard is not like most men. For one thing, he's a shapeshifter. And he always thought his celebrity crush would never amount to anything more than drooling at Elsa on TV. When his meddling vampire employer gets involved, the star is suddenly within his grasp – and within a hair of her life. For an ancient curse forbids their newfound love, and Howard is suddenly torn between his desire for her and his desire to keep her alive. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads and I recommend the series to anyone who likes humorous, paranormal romances! Because like all her others, this one was a hoot. Loved, loved, loved it!

Dec 18: "Stalking Susan" by Julie Kramer. This is a mystery I received for free at the 2010 Romantic Times Convention and the author signed it for me, too. Since it was RT, I thought maybe the book would have some romance in it. It does not. I did actually groan when I started reading it, because it's in first person (not my favorite), but it did catch my attention rather quickly. Blurb: Inside the desperate world of TV news, a reporter discovers a serial killer is targeting women named Susan. Riley Spartz is recovering from a heartbreaking, headline-making catastrophe of her own when a Minneapolis police source drops two homicide files in her lap. Both cold cases involve women named Susan strangled on the same day, one year apart. Riley sees a pattern between those murders and others pulled from old death records. As the deadly anniversary approaches, she stages a bold on-air stunt to draw the killer out and uncover a motive that will leave readers breathless. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. Yes, it's the beginning of a series, but ended (yay!) in a way I don't feel the need to go out and buy the next. However, I may eventually do just that, because I did like the character. Just wish it weren't in first person. Oh well…'s your reading coming along?


Monday, December 17, 2012

Going to the Movies?

Going to the movies on Christmas has almost become a family tradition for us (us includes me, hubby, and the kids). I don't know if we'll be able to go this year (we'll be spending the day with our friend), but if we do, "Les Miserables" is at the top of our list. Heck, maybe we can talk her into going with us. We'll have to play that by ear.

My husband will be taking vacation between Christmas and New Year's (use it or lose it), so I thought it would be fun to spend some of that time at the movies (since we won't be going anywhere). "Jack Reacher" is on our list to watch. Tom Cruise isn't my favorite actor, but I do enjoy his films. I know it's based on books (which my husband now wants to read – it makes me happy to see him reading more!).

We're also interested in "This is 40." Yeah, I'm waaay past 40, but I like funny movies and this one looks cute. It might even be better than "Knocked Up" (which I also enjoyed).

I want to see "Silver Linings Playbook," but it's not playing around here – yet. Husband probably won't want to see it, though, so I might have to watch that one with the daughter. That's if it ever shows up around here before coming out on DVD.

Any movies coming out this holiday season you're itching to see?


Friday, December 14, 2012

Traveling Can Be Funny

Yep, the husband took another business trip to Kentucky (along with a co-worker, who used to be my co-worker and is our friend), and I again followed him down here. When a different friend pointed out I was actually SAVING money (by not using my own electricity and water), well, how could I NOT go?

Granted, I had some things to accomplish before I would take the trip. Namely – finish decorating the Christmas tree, sending out the Christmas cards, and get my parents' presents mailed (since they live in California and I'm not visiting during the holidays). Well, I accomplished that and more – got ALL my Christmas shopping done. Yay!

(**pats self on back**)

Okay, so how is that all funny? Well, it's not. But this is:

We had to stop for gas on the way down, so the husband did that and filled up. When we headed back to the freeway, something was clunking against the car. My husband looked in all the mirrors (basically wondering if he ran over someone – he said, later, he pictured the guy holding on for dear life). I told him the gas cap was hitting the side of the car (no I didn't see it; the cap was on his side). He groaned. Our friend and I laughed (and laughed and laughed).

He hates it when I'm right. So now I'm wondering if he'd rather he ran over someone. Hmmm…

Ah, but it doesn't stop there. Last week our friend complained about her room. Said the crack in the door was so wide, you could see through it (in this, my husband jokingly said anyone peeking in would probably get sick), so she got another room, where she never did get any hot water (in this, she jokingly blamed my husband for stealing it all). When it came time to make reservations for this trip, my husband told her he thought long and hard, but was getting a room at the same place (pretty much saying – tough toenails).

She got him back, though, when they were getting ready to leave for the manufacturing plant and the car was all covered in frost (yeah, it was that cold down here). My husband said it wasn't a problem, his friend went out there and cleaned the windows. She told him she thought long and hard, but decided to stay indoors (they crack me up).

Still, there's more. When checking in, she made sure to get a room on a different floor (no more unseated doors or cold water), but when she went to blow dry her hair, it only spit out a little bit of air. I asked her was it set on LOW. She said she didn't realize it had settings until after using it for 40 minutes when she accidentally hit the switch and the air came out faster. Yeah, I cracked up. She did, too. Good thing, or I wouldn't be sharing this with you all.

Yep, you can have fun on business trips, even when you aren't there for the business!

As for my writing project, got lots accomplished. I'm taking this awesome, free class through the RWA University, and it's given me some great pointers, which I've already put to good use. I can't wait until I'm finished and give this story back to my daughter to read. I hope she notices all the improvements (I certainly am anyway!).

Oh, I do have a mini-poll, if you don't mind answering. Book 1 is originally titled "The Uncommon One." I'm thinking of changing the title to "Bite Me, I'm Yours." If you want to know what the story is about, you can always read the query (on the tab, above). Anyway, do you think that title sounds better? That maybe it's more sellable? It's really starting to grow on me, but I'd hate to get attached and find out it sucks.

Thanks so much. I'll be checking back later tonight (I won't have internet until I get home). Have a super-duper Friday!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What I Read Last Week

I just realized the date - so Happy 12/12/12! That's pretty cool!

I only finished one book last week, mainly because the book I'm currently reading was a mistake from the get-go, but I'm too stubborn to stop reading it (Note – if you've never read a book from the author and you are handed a free copy of the third book in a series, do not read it. I'll have more to say next week, I'm sure.). Anywhooo, here's what I read last week:

Dec 6: "Deliver Me From Darkness" by Tes Hilaire. Yay! A freebee book paid off. I found another author to follow (like I needed one, but who cares!). Blurb: He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep. She is light and bright and everything beautiful – despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can't deny his heart. This was one of those books where I HAD to put it down or I'd never get any writing done. I loved it that much! I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.
I had upped my goal on Goodreads back in September (from 55 to 80 books), and this book reached that goal. Don't know how many more I'll get read in the few weeks left of the year, so I'm not going to adjust it again. Do you read more or less during the holidays? Or does it stay pretty constant year-round?

I'm headed for Kentucky again today for another nice trip with the husband and hoping to get a lot of editing done. At least I got my Christmas shopping finished, so it's less guilt I'll be free of anyway!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Television Rant - Not the shows, but the sets

As I sit in Buffalo Wild Wings watching the Steelers play (of which I can't understand why the local CBS station didn't show the game since the Bengals were on FOX – I think there are more Steelers fans than Browns fans down here), I realize I really hate wide screen televisions.

Not the size, or the fact the picture is sharper. I love all that. What I hate is the set-ups available.

The regular old televisions only came one way in the past – 4:3. The new ones have zoom, stretch, or whatever to make the picture look all wonky.

Why can't the newfangled televisions only come one way? Is it all that important for the whole screen to be filled? Just leave the set alone!

If a show airs in 4:3, you get the black bars on the side. If a show airs in super wide screen, you get the black bars on the top and bottom. When you mess with the set-up, everything looks weird. And I notice.

Out of all the television sets in B-dubs, the Steelers were shown on the ONE set where the screen was stretched all weird-like. It's a HD show. It shouldn't need any stretching. So instead, the people are tall and skinny and the lines on the field bend outward (especially when the picture is scanned – ugh!). Plus, the picture is blurry. Well, it would be sharp for one of those old-fashioned 4:3 sets, but not for an HD one.

Technology can be great, but it's also one big pain in the butt. Especially for this OCD person.

Please tell me I'm not the ONLY one who notices these things. My husband thinks I'm crazy! Heck, I probably am – I AM a writer!

By the way, the Steelers lost (we didn't even bother to stay for the whole game), but my Rams won (with 48 seconds left in the game, too). They haven't been at .500 in I don't know HOW long!! Yay!



Friday, December 7, 2012

My Current Project

My husband had to travel to Kentucky for work and asked if I wanted to tag along. I thought, why not? It's not really costing us more than if I had stayed at home (just my meal, if I don't share his, that is). Also, when I'm at home, I feel the need to clean or decorate (you know, for that big holiday that's coming up), not just sit and edit.

Hotel rooms aren't all that great, but now I can work without all that guilt. I could do this more often!

So, what am I editing? My vampire series.

The first book in the series – book 3, MY SUNNY VAMPIRE – is out on submission. I realized that when I sell it (or self-publish), it would help to have the other books in the series all cleaned up. Only problem, the third book in the series – book 2, SARAH'S TURN – is a syrupy piece of crap.

That is the sequel to the second book in the series – book 1, THE UNCOMMON ONE – and it just didn't work. So, I decided to rewrite it for another couple. This created a problem, though. If I was making it someone else's book, then I had to end book 1 with the ending from book 2.

Confused? Yeah, me, too!

Anyway, my current project is cleaning up book 1 (it needs it, but it's nice to know I still love the story, if not the title) and getting immersed once again so I can end it differently. Once I finish that, then I'll completely revise book 2, which I guess when you look at it, will really be book 6, right? Or not? What do you think? Even though I'm using some bits already written, the couple is being written from scratch.

In the end, my series will be as follows: MY SUNNY VAMPIRE (book 3 with Jack and Sunny), MY RELUCTANT VAMPIRE (book 1 with John and Sarah), and MY VAMPIRE HERO (book2/6 with Sam and Janie). I'm perfectly fine with the first title (in fact, I love it), but I'm still playing with the other two. If I get lucky with a small press, hopefully they can come up with better titles. If I'm self-publishing, then I'll have to work on them some more.

I really love working in the hotel room, though. No interruptions. No guilt. No getting up and snacking. Of course, I'm not getting any decorating or shopping done (I'm not about to walk to the store – it's freakin' cold outside), but if my husband doesn't care, then I don't either. He's taking another trip next week. We'll see if he invites me again.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What I Read the Last 2 Weeks

Oh my gosh! This is my 400th posting! How crazy is that? Three years ago on Thanksgiving I started doing this thing. Time sure flies, doesn't it?

Last week I was on a ship enjoying a cruise and didn't post anything, so basically the following is what I read in the past two weeks. Most of them read on that cruise, by the way.
Nov 24: "Blood Deep" by Sharon Page. This book is a historical paranormal romance, toward the erotic side. Blurb on back: Going to her lover, Miranda Bond speeds through the night, headless of danger. Then her carriage is captured by two daring and mysterious highwaymen – two devastatingly handsome men determined to share her in fantastic games of erotic titillation… Miranda's captors are deadly and dangerous vampires, who have escaped from a hellish prison to seek revenge. She cannot resist as Zayan and Lukos take her to the precipice of surrender – for it may be her innocence that brings them all release… I read the first book of this series and liked it well enough so when I saw the author at a convention, I wanted to buy the next and get her autograph. But she had the third book. I asked her if I needed to read the second to understand the third. She said no. I think she was wrong. I felt confused at times (especially in the beginning) and never really connected with the characters. I enjoyed the first book a whole bunch better and not so sure I want to go back and read the second. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.
Nov 26: "666 Park Avenue" by Gabriella Pierce. This book is a paranormal, but not a romance. Might even be considered horror (but not in the Stephen King or Dean Koontz kind of way - is there such a thing as light horror?). Blurb on back: Ever since fabulously wealthy Malcolm Doran walked into her life and swept her off her feet, fledgling architect Jane Boyle has been living a fairy tale. When he proposes with a stunning diamond to seal the deal, Jane can't believe her incredible luck and decides to leave her Paris-based job to make a new start with Malcolm in New York. But when Malcolm introduces Jane to the esteemed Doran clan, one of Manhattan's most feared and revered families, Jane's fairy tale takes a darker turn. Soon everything she thought she knew about the world – and herself – is upended. Now Jane must struggle with newfound magical abilities and the threat of those who will stop at nothing to get them. I got this book for free at RT this year. The cover and blurb intrigued me. Wasn't sure what to expect, but it kept my attention. I just wish the ending was a little better, but apparently it's the beginning of a series (one I might look into some more). I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.
Nov 28: "Ghost Walk" by Heather Graham. This book is a paranormal romance. Believe it or not, I've never read any of her books before. I got this one at the 2010 RT for free and finally found a time to read it. Technically, I read it in a day (less than 24 hours), even though I started it on the 27 and finished it at 1 a.m. on the 28. Blurb on back: Nikki DuMonde's newest employee is standing at the end of her bed at four o'clock in the morning begging for help. It's a joke, right? Besides, as manager of a successful New Orleans haunted-tour company, Nikki doesn't scare easily. But in the light of day, harsh reality sets in as a police officer informs her that Andy was brutally murdered – at the exact time Nikki swears the distraught woman was in her room. No one believes her except Brent Blackhawk, a paranormal investigator desperately trying to forget his tragic past. Half Irish, half Lakota – and able to communicate with the dead – Brent is used to living in two worlds. Bur when he realizes the ghost of a slain government agent is also trying to reach out to Nikki, he knows that she, too, must listen to the dead…if she wants to keep living. I really liked the book (which told some New Orleans stories) and connected with the characters very easy. Loved the romance! I'll definitely check out more of her work. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.
Dec 1: "Virtually His" by Gennita Low. This book is marked as a romantic suspense. It should say "This book will PISS YOU OFF!" Blurb: Chosen to be the ultimate secret operative, Helen Roston has become the most dangerous woman in the world. Two years of training and she's now ready for the final phase – a risky combination of virtual reality and a mind-altering serum. When her mysterious and faceless "trainer" syncs his mind to hers using the program, she's amazed at her sizzling response to his virtual touch. But Helen likes to be in control. She's not going to beg for more. Helen's final test is a challenge mission, picked by the other government agencies whose candidates lost out to her. To succeed, she has to put herself completely in the hands of her trainer, a man she's not sure she can trust. But all of COS Command are counting on her. She cannot fail. I struggled with this book from the beginning, but stuck with it hoping for a payoff I never received. I had no idea this was the first book of a series (no where on the cover does it state anything like that). Even so, it should have had some kind of ending. It did not. Next – If a book is marked as a ROMANTIC anything, it should better have some romance in it. This one had sex – soooo not the same thing. Finally – I had no idea who the trainer was (even in his POV), and it was only assumed at the end. Hated that! I will NOT read the next book, since I no longer trust this author. I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads.
So, two hits and two misses. I need to read more hits. I find I read them faster, too. If I can put a book down because I don't want to read it (as opposed to putting it down so I'm not wasting all my time reading instead of writing, like I should be), then I should seriously consider whether or not I should finish the darn thing. Doubt I'll do it, though. I'm stubborn that way, I guess (or would that be hopeful??).
Hope you're reading something good!

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Vacation - Yes, There's Pictures!

Driving down to New Orleans was a lot less tiring than driving back. Probably because we took two days to get down there and only one day to return. That, and the fact my husband was trying to see if he could read a book in one day (he'd never done it before), so my four hour driving stint turned into six and a half (I drove from Tuscaloosa to 30 miles out of Cincinnati). He proudly finished the book at 11:00 pm and drove the rest of the way home (which took all of 90 minutes – Thanks, Tess Gerritsen!).
Besides all that driving, the cruise was wonderful. Weather was sunny and warm at both Progreso and Cozumel. Thoroughly enjoyed that!

We had scheduled excursions for both stops, but our kayaking trip in Progreso got cancelled at the last minute (not enough signed up for it), so my husband and I took a $3.00 double-decker bus tour through the little town.
Then we walked down to the beach. Our friend wasn't feeling well, so she stayed on ship (so it was probably a good thing the excursion got cancelled or she would have been out some money!). Progreso is a nice, quiet place. The place the Mexicans come to vacation (or so we were told by two Canadians who now call Progreso their home).
During the summer, the place gets packed with 150,000 people. As you can tell from the pictures, not so many visit during the off-season. Although, why it's off-season, I have no idea. The weather was TERRIFIC!

We were hit numerous times to purchase massages and the Mayan cell phones (large conk shells!). I cracked up at that.

We'd been in Cozumel before (back in 2007) and didn't sign up for anything then, because nothing really appealed to us. This time we took the XRail excursion. The guide called it the Mexican Lamborghini.
This was one rough event (and muddy, too), but a whole lotta fun! I didn't take my camera along – wasn't risking it getting ruined – but the tour guides took lots of pictures. Yeah, they came with a price (and some T-shirts), but it was worth it.
This was our second best excursion ever (River Tubing in Belize is still #1) and if we ever go back to Cozumel, we will definitely do it again (of course, next time I will NOT drink anything at the half-way point unless it's hot out and I'm sweating – riding in those things with a full bladder isn't so great).

On our assigned dinner table, my husband had the privilege to be the only man amongst nine women – Mary #1 (our friend), Mary #2, Karen, Passion, Rachel, Danielle, Diane, Ruth, and ME! Sometimes you wonder what kind of dinner mates you'll end up with. So far, we've been lucky. Dinner was enjoyable, although I think the table behind me was having a bit more fun than we were – or maybe they just drank more!

Overall, we had a great time. I don't know when our next cruise will be (since I'm currently not bringing in a paycheck), so I'm glad I have this one as my last to remember for awhile. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Here are some more (and as always, click on the photo and you'll get a better/larger view):
Port hole was a bit on the wet side, but I just
loved the sunrise!
I was looking at taking a picture similar to the Corona
commercial, but I don't think I quite got it!
Not sure what they were building in Progreso, but the
birds appeared to enjoy it!