Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Favorite Books of 2013

I couldn’t let the year end with the same number of posts I made in 2012, so here’s one more for 2013 (and posted later than usual at that).

I’ve seen people post about their top ten lists of favorite books, but I couldn’t reduce my list of 92 read books (yes, 92!!) to only the best ten, especially when I ranked 39 of those books with 5 stars. So, here is the list of books I gave the highest rank to. The number associated with it is the number of book I read this year (so #3 would be the third book I read in 2013).

3. "Rapture" by J.R. Ward
9. "Wolf Tales V" by Kate Douglas
10. "Love Me To Death" by Allison Brennan
12. "Love is Murder" by Allison Brennan
13. "Kiss Me, Kill Me" by Allison Brennan
14. "If I Should Die" by Allison Brennan
18. "Silenced" by Allison Brennan
19. "Stalked" by Allison Brennan
21. "Hangar 18: Legacy" by Jennette Marie Powell
23. "The Temperate Warrior" by Renee Vincent
24. "Absolution" by Susannah Sandlin
25. "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen
26. "Three Wishes" by Paula Millhouse
27. "Reckless" by Allison Brennan
28. "Lover at Last" by J.R. Ward
36. "Immortal Ever After" by Lynsay Sands
37. "Omega" by Susannah Sandlin
42. "Deliver Me From Temptation" by Tes Hilaire
45. "The Destroyed" by Brett Battles
46. "How Hard Can it Be?" by Robyn Peterman
47. "Pirate Dave & His Randy Adventures" by Robyn Peterman
48. "Dragonstone-A Kingdom of Chalvaren Romance" by Paula Millhouse
49. "The Shadow Tracer" by Meg Gardiner
50. "Consumed" by Rebecca Zanetti
54. "Becoming Quinn" by Brett Battles
56. "Stolen" by Allison Brennan
58. "The Collected" by Brett Battles
62. "Mistress of the Stone" by Maria Zannini
63. "Fifth Grave Past the Light" by Darynda Jones.
64. "Blood Entangled" by Amber Belldene
65. "The Enraged" by Brett Battles
70. "The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo" by Kerrelyn Sparks
74. "One Lucky Vampire" by Lynsay Sands
75. "Wishing for a Highlander" by Jessi Gage
79. "Animal Attraction" by Lori Foster, Maisey Yates, Heidi Betts, and Jules Bennett
80. "Possession" by J.R. Ward
84. "Dracula" by Bram Stoker
87. "Cold Snap" by Allison Brennan
88. "Provoked" by Rebecca Zanetti

Overall, it was a good reading year. Were any of your favorites on this list?

I’m debating on whether to make my goal in 2014 the same as I made for 2013, bump it up to what I actually read in 2013, or lower it (in the hopes my life becomes busier with my writing). I hate to put undue pressure on me for something I clearly LOVE to do, but writing will come first. It must if I hope to be successful at it!

Are you making any reading goals for 2014?




Monday, December 30, 2013

So Close!

Well, my lucky shirt ran its course and fell--splat! But then, maybe I expected too much.

The Rams weren’t playing for a playoff position, but I still wanted them to win, even though the odds were pretty slim--they were playing the Seahawks. That 8-8 season I had hoped for turned into 7-9 instead. My shirt wasn’t much help, I guess. Still, they played better than they had last year, so it wasn’t all bad.

Now, the Steelers still had a shot at making the playoffs. They not only had to win, but THREE other teams had to lose: Ravens, Dolphins, and Chargers. The experts (?) said it was a 3% chance for that to occur.

We had tickets to see the Penguins play the Blue Jackets (Hockey) in Columbus at 6pm. The Steelers played at 1pm. Since they were not on local TV, we went to B-dubs to watch the game. By the time we had to leave for Columbus, the Steelers were winning rather well (made leaving easier, that’s for sure!). Not only that, the Ravens were getting their butts kicked by the Bengals and the Dolphins/Jets game was pretty close. Chargers weren’t playing until 4:15.

On the drive to Columbus, we discover both the Ravens and the Dolphins lost. Dang! That meant we only needed the Chiefs to beat the Chargers to make it into the playoffs. Of course, we didn’t have our hopes up too high, since the Chiefs weren’t playing their key players (they are already in the playoffs and winning wouldn’t get them anything extra).

We arrived at Nationwide Arena and you’d think we were going to a Penguins game, that’s how many Penguins fans were around. Not only that, most of them were also Steelers fans. I think we all had our eyes on the Chargers/Chiefs game.

With EIGHT seconds left in the game, the Chiefs only had to make a 20 yd field goal to break the tie and win the game. It missed. They went into Overtime. Argh!

One of the TVs behind our section changed the channel to that game (yeah, we were sitting in the nose-bleed section). Almost everyone turned around to watch it! Sure, the hockey game was currently in intermission, but I honestly don’t think it would have made a difference.

Unfortunately, the Chargers held on and won. So close! I thought for sure my shirt was working overtime. Of course, it was covered in TWO jerseys. I wore the Steelers jersey at B-dubs and then put the Penguins jersey on over that for the hockey game.

But on the good side, the Penguins beat the Blue Jackets 5-3, so maybe my shirt still had a little juice left. J

Tomorrow night we’ll be spending New Year’s Eve with our friend in Columbus. We’ll play games until midnight and then head on back home. No drinking for us, but then drinking tends to make me sleepy anyway!

Do you stay up for the New Year or go to bed early?

Happy New Year!!



Friday, December 27, 2013

Belated Wednesday Reads -- I Reached My Goal!

I reached my goal! I reached my goal! Here’s what I read:

Dec 22: “Wolf Tales VI” by Kate Douglas. This is a paranormal erotic romance, the sixth in the series. Blurb on back: Pride. Power. Passion. They are the hallmarks of the shapeshifting Chanku--although not every member can immediately accept these gifts. Some, like Eve, must learn to love themselves before they can fully embrace their heritage. Eve’s journey takes her far from Montana and her mate, Adam. What she finds in Florida’s steamy climes is another of her kind. Beautiful, mysterious, and extraordinarily sensuous, Mei Chen is also desperate and alone--for she harbors a terrifying secret that will destroy her, unless she can open herself to the power of the pack… Oliver knows the loneliness of total isolation, of being unable to share ecstasy with another living soul, so when he accompanies Adam to Florida to reunite with Eve, he is immediately drawn to her vulnerable companion. Mei clearly needs Adam’s healing touch, yet Oliver, so long in the shadows, also recognizes Mei as the mate for whom he has been searching. Only when Mei is free to lay herself completely bare, can her Chanku destiny be fulfilled. And when she is ready, no matter what the risk, Oliver will be there to indulge her every desire… Yes, this is a sexually explicit book and if that’s what you’re looking for, then you won’t be disappointed. I really like the series (even though it’s becoming more sex than story), but I can’t read them back to back (or another erotica after, for that matter). I never thought I could experience sexual overload, but there you go! I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Dec 24: “Beneath the Skin” by Amy Lee Burgess. This is an urban fantasy (with romantic elements), the first in a series. Blurb: If you could shift into a wolf, what would you change about yourself? Two years after the deaths of her bond mates, wolf shape shifter, Constance Newcastle, is ready to start over. The problem? The rest of the Great Pack is not so sure she deserves the chance. Although the Great Council ruled the car crash an accident, even Constance blames herself. She was driving, after all. Bonded under desperate circumstances with Liam Murphy, a former Alpha pack leader with a past as tragic and troubled as her own, the two, under the guidance of the handsome Councilor Jason Allerton, begin a journey of exploration of both the mysteries within the Great Pack and each other. This book started out slow. If not for the fact that Amy is a Lyrical Press “sister” and Sizzle and Sass “sister,” and I didn’t have such a wonderful time writing that little story with her back in October, I don’t know if I would have bought the book based on the first chapter. Not buying it would have been a mistake, too. I really enjoyed the story (once it got going) and I like Constance and Liam. I look forward to reading the next one (once I purchase it, of course!). I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads.

I hear a lot of complaints (from authors) on Goodreads about the giveaways there. How authors giveaway books and don’t get reviews. Then I hear a lot about authors complaining about getting BAD reviews (or one star) and that maybe the person shouldn’t have done a review at all. Hmmm… Think there’s a correlation? That maybe those people who won the giveaway books maybe didn’t LIKE the book, thus didn’t leave a review? Something to ponder. All I know is in MY giveaway, I already garnered a new follower! Now, that’s better than a review in my book! What do you think?

I got 8 books for Christmas (Doctor Sleep and the Beautiful Creatures series, among them)! And, of course, there are more I want to purchase (the $25 B&N gift card I received will go toward those). The hardest part will be in deciding what gets read FIRST! Oh, the agony of deciding. J Did you get any books for Christmas?

Happy reading!



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wonderful Christmas Time!

Merry Christmas!!

I think this is my FAVORITE Christmas song. Enjoy!

I discovered this after this posted, so I'm adding it now. If you want a laugh, check this one out!


Monday, December 23, 2013

AOL 9.7: Oh How I Hated Thee

I finally got fed up enough with AOL 9.7 to risk losing all my saved e-mails by restoring AOL to 9.6. While I merely disliked the updated internet browser (Google Chrome), the thing that really irked me about 9.7 was the fact I could click on the NEXT button to open the next e-mail, but it never worked consistently. When it did advance, none of the links would work unless I closed the e-mail and then re-opened it. Talk about frustrating, especially when you have more than 50 e-mails to go through.

Problem was: I had to uninstall not only the 9.7 version, but the 9.6 version, too (when I had upgraded to 9.7, the 9.6 version stayed on my computer, but AOL said I had to get rid of it). The uninstallation (did I make up a word?) had removed all versions of AOL, so I couldn’t UPGRADE to 9.6; I had to install as new. I was able to save my files and folders of the 9.7 version, but how could I get the new 9.6 to recognize them? Aaarrrgh!

Thank GOD for my husband! I think I would have thrown my computer against the wall (or maybe just cried - I wouldn’t have damaged my computer or else I’ll be stuck with a new one-- and Windows 8--and THAT ain’t gonna happen!). After about two hours he finally figured out how to get my new 9.6 to recognize my saved files and folders from 9.7. Yeah, he got frustrated using my computer (it’s slow and he’s used to Windows 7), but he came through and I’m so thankful. I’m now back to the version I like and it works like it should. Yay! I will not upgrade AOL again (at least not unless I’m forced to upgrade from Vista). It’s not worth the hassle (plus I really don’t like Google Chrome). At least I now KNOW where those pesky files are kept and I can now back them up accordingly. You know, in case my wonderful (albeit slow) computer finally decides to depart this world (heaven forbid!!).

Hey! Did you see? The Steelers and the Rams both won again yesterday (apparently my other Rams shirt is working). They could both end the season 8-8! I’m keeping my fingers crossed (and will wear my shirt again next week!).

Tomorrow is movie day for the family. We plan on seeing “Saving Mr. Banks.” I’m looking forward to that. And depending on what time we see it (which depends on whether or not my daughter is working) means I have to make sure dinner is easy. Yep, I’m actually cooking! Lasagna!! Yum, yum! Got cheesecake for dessert, too (thanks to the gift my parents sent us), which we’ll have later during the watching of “Gremlins.” Fun times are ahead!!

Since Wednesday is Christmas (you knew that, right?), I’m moving my Wednesday Reads to Friday (because I will have at least one book to report--yay! I reached my goal!).

So…are you getting a white Christmas? Hoping for one? Our snow was washed away from all that rain we got over the weekend. Flurries are expected on Tuesday, but I don’t think they’ll cover the ground. White Christmases might look pretty, but it’s not so fun when you’re driving to your friend’s house. Yep, Mary’s cooking a big Christmas dinner and we’ll be there to eat it! Mmmmm!

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!!



Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Movies

’Tis the season to watch movies!

We own lots of movies. So many, I doubt we’ll ever watch them all again (hmmm… sort of like my books, I think!). But some we watch yearly or more often. Like around Christmas. Why? Because they’re either about Christmas or set during the season. How many of you consider these “Christmas” movies?

  • Bridget Jones’s Diary
  • Die Hard
  • Die Hard 2
  • Donovan’s Reef
  • The Family Man
  • Gremlins
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Love, Actually
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • While You Were Sleeping
  • White Christmas
  • You’ve Got Mail
My favorites are While You Were Sleeping and Love, Actually (and they tend to get watched every time this year). This Christmas Eve it appears we’ll watch Gremlins (it’s been requested by my son), because it’s been way too long since we’ve seen that one. And I might sneak in The Family Man on Monday, when my hubby is at work (he’s not fond of that one for some reason).

Do you have a favorite movie you like to watch every Christmas? I know a lot of people who love The Christmas Story and can’t go a Christmas without watching it. Frankly, I hate that movie! I just don’t see what’s so gosh-darn special about it.

Have a good weekend! Take in a movie!



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Reads and a Hard Decision

I almost didn’t finish the book in time, but it finally got interesting and I found time to read and finish it. So here you go…

Dec 17: “Born in Chains” by Caris Roane. This is a paranormal romance; Book 1 of the Men in Chains Series. Blurb on back: Adrien is an Ancestral vampire, one of the strongest of his kind ever to exist. Scarred, tormented and extraordinarily powerful, he’s been imprisoned high in the Himalayan mountains…until a beautiful woman releases him from his chains and demands his help. Two years ago, Lily’s home was invaded by vampires who killed her family and kidnapped her son. Now she had one mission--to get him back. And the only man who can help her is a vampire whose strength has made him legendary. But can she ally herself with a creature who frightens her…and ignites her darkest needs? As Adrien ushers Lily into his hidden vampire world, he must show her that his kind can be trusted. But when saving her son requires her to unleash a weapon that will destroy his entire race, can he say the same for her? Their relationship started with animosity toward one another (she hates vampires, he despises humans) and it took awhile into the book before they started liking one another (I guess the sex helped - haha). Once they got their sh*t together, I started to root for the couple. While the story for this couple ended, you can tell more is to come. I gave this 3 stars on Goodreads.

My next book needs to be something I can breeze through so I can reach my goal by Dec 31. That means I won’t read the last Dexter book until after the next one I choose. It’s not like I don’t have a LOT to choose from, though. Decisions, decisions…

Speaking of decisions… I’ve been struggling with a decision ever since I heard my local (non-RWA) writers group is not only enforcing I pay monthly (regardless if I attend meetings, which is how it has been in the past), but increased it another dollar/month (last year it went up from $2 to $5).

I can’t say it’s just the fee increase, but it’s certainly helping to push me out the door.

When I joined this group 4 years ago, I only had one book under my belt and was looking for feedback. I’ve gotten it, too (taking in mind the majority of the members don’t care for romance), but we’re only allowed to bring in no more than 1000 words for critique. Meeting once a month makes it hard to get a whole novel critiqued (unless you want to spend years at it), so I only brought in the beginnings of my stories (those were always the hardest anyway) and did mostly critiquing.

I voiced my concerns about the cost of staying with the group, wanting to know where my money was going (there is no board that I know of; there certainly isn’t any voting if there is). I figured they would convince me to stay (you know, tell me all the benefits I would receive). Instead, I was basically told if it’s not working out for me then don’t come back.

Okay, then.

I didn’t want to be THAT person who quit going to meetings once they became published, and the timing of all of this makes it look like that’s what I’m doing. I wanted to stay. I had prepared to stay. But at $72 a year, I don’t see the benefit to me. Is that so wrong?

Maybe I’m better off just sticking with my semi-local RWA chapters. They might not do group critiques, but at least they “get” me (and account for where the money goes!).

So, did you play Mega Millions last night?

Happy reading!



Monday, December 16, 2013

A Realization and Pictures!

It finally (FINALLY) dawned on me the type of romance books I’m not all that fond of. It has nothing to do with genre (e.g. historical or sci-fi), either. It has to do with the COUPLE.

I know it’s one of the “staples” of many a romance book, but when the hero and heroine have animosity toward one another I just can’t get into it. At least, not that quickly.

So, what made me realize this? You’d think I’d have known since I don’t write those kinds of couples. But no, it came to me as I tried to think why I was having problems getting into the current book I’m reading. It’s a paranormal. With vampires! I figured that’s all I needed. Apparently not. What I need to really enjoy a book is to have the couple at least LIKE each other before they have sex.

Now, I’m reading this book because it was recommended and I will finish it. I just hope the hero and heroine start liking each other soon, or I might not reach my reading goal (gasp!!).

My book signing went well Friday. The surprising part? Well, besides selling 7 (yes, 7!) books? I wasn’t all that nervous. I think Mary was more nervous than I was!

Anyway, here are some pictures of the event:

My friend Mary in her element!

Goodies galore! I sampled waaay too much!

Me and my books.

The clubhouse was nice and homey, don't you think?

"Now, who do I make it out to?"

I also had a good time at the Madrigal Dinner and managed to get a few shots that didn’t turn out all blurry!

Me, my daughter, my son, and my hubby!

My daughter got lucky to dance with the fool!

The Chamber Singers. Way back in 2001-2004, my son
was one of them!

My son is bringing in the "plum pudding" and the fool
is looking to roast his marshmallows!

The fool did a pretty good job of roasting the marshmallows
(or my son did a pretty good job at lighting the
fake dessert!)

I think I’ll have to spend today wrapping my husband’s gifts. He’ll be taking vacation later this week so it would be best if I got it all finished before that. No way could he peek at what I’m wrapping then. Of course, I still have one more thing I want to get him. Guess I better go shopping first. Yeah, I said I was finished. I think I also said “I think.” I always manage to find something else as the big day gets closer. Don’t you?

So, what should sex in a book mean to you? Or are you of the type that don’t want to see ANY sex in a book? Gosh, I hope not. Means you wouldn’t like MINE! J



Friday, December 13, 2013

My Book Signing and a Giveaway

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!!

Tonight is my very first book signing, which I first told you about HERE. And of course, it’s supposed to snow this evening. Hopefully AFTER we’ve driven home from the event. I think I’m already sick of winter and it hasn’t even officially started!

Anyway, if you’re in the Columbus area and want to stop by, you’re more than welcome to (there will be DESSERT!). I’ll be at Grand Reserve at Albany Crossing, 6039 Poplar Ridge Dr., Westerville, OH 43081 from 7-9 pm. I should have some pictures to post on Monday. I said SHOULD, so please don’t hold me to it - hahaha!


I got my hands on some copies of my book (SQUEE!) so I put My Sunny Vampire up on a Goodreads Giveaway! If you want to win an autographed copy (and live in the US or Canada), then go and enter. I figured out how to get the widget to show up in my post even! Am I smart or what? Or am I slow? Because I’ve been blogging for how long now and just now realized I could do that? Gee whiz!!!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Sunny Vampire by Stacy McKitrick

My Sunny Vampire

by Stacy McKitrick

Giveaway ends January 15, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


Got a busy weekend planned. Okay, maybe just Saturday. I’m going to my RWA chapter’s Christmas party in the afternoon. Then later that night I’ll be attending the Madrigal Dinner, held at Wright State University (Link: http://www.wright.edu/events/madrigal/).

My children are both involved in the festivities (as dancers, no less - if you click on the link and check out the video, you’ll see them briefly!). My son got us interested in it years ago when he was a student majoring on the trumpet, then later when he changed his major to voice and was involved with the choir. Now he’s morphed into being involved as a non-student (got his sister interested) and we continue to attend. It’s a fun night of food, songs, and laughs.

Oh yeah, and it’s supposed to be snowing Saturday. Give me a break!!!

Let’s see…It’s 12 days to Christmas. Are you ready? Really? Aw, heck. Are we ever really ready for the holiday? I don’t think so.

Happy Friday!



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Reads - Getting Close to my Goal

At the beginning of the year I set a goal to read 90 books. Today is number 88. Only two more to go!! And let me tell you, I WILL reach this goal, even if I have to stay up late into the night to get it done (I know, what a sacrifice, huh?). Anyway, here’s what I read since last Wednesday:

Dec 10: “Provoked” by Rebecca Zanetti. This is the fifth book in the Dark Protectors series, a paranormal romance. Blurb on back: A casualty of the war between the demons and the vampires, Jase Kayrs has been missing for six long years. His older brothers want answers--but they’re going to have to get them from an unlikely source. For when Kane Kayrs tracks down Amber Freebird, what he finds is a blonde, vegan pacifist who has no intention of using her skills in his war… Amber enjoys her life of chaotic freedom and has no intention of falling in line just because a sexy-as-sin vampire insists on order. Unfortunately, he discovers she may be the only hope they have of finding his brother, and there’s no way he’s going to let her go--even if it means mating her to gain her cooperation. The two are as different as can be, yet when the dominant Kane and the untamed Amber finally unite to rescue Jase, they just may find that opposites really do attract… Kane is the first vampire brother I’ve liked from the start. But then I was introduced to him five books ago, so that may have something to do with it. I really liked this book and look forward to seeing how the series ends, because I’m sure there will be one, just not in the next book - there’s still another brother and I don’t believe his book will be the last. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

Yesterday my actual book count was off from my Goodreads account because one book wasn’t showing up. I checked for it again and there it was. Well, surprise, surprise! So I added it to my reading list.Now it won’t look like I didn’t make my goal if Goodreads only showed 89, but I had actually read 90! That’s if I only read two more books this month. I might read more. Guess it depends on my writing (which is going well, by the way).

So, how many books have you read this year?

Happy reading!



Monday, December 9, 2013

Today I am Shopping

I will finish my Christmas shopping today. That is my goal. That is my vow. Wish me luck!

This past weekend was CRAPPY for my sports teams. Ohio State loses the one game they NEEDED to win and the Steelers and Rams were basically embarrassing. So much for my magic shirt. It’s done for, apparently.

I got some good news on Saturday. My editor likes Bite Me! That’s one step in the right direction. Next step will be the contract. Hope to see it soon (then I can really squeal). But my editor likes it!!! She said my resolution in removing a character was clever. I LIKE being clever! I’ll keep you posted as soon as I hear more.

I won’t be on line all that much today. And I’ll be lucky if I get any writing done. Mondays are the pits for writing anyway. But I will get my shopping done. I will!

What will you do today?



Friday, December 6, 2013

How My First Book Signing Came About

I mentioned we went to my friend’s place for Thanksgiving. What I didn’t mention was what occurred. Probably because I was in shock. Heck, I still am!

Mary’s been our friend for over 30 years and is more like family to us (our kids call her Aunt Mary). She loves to do things for us (and loves to entertain). When we arrived on that Thanksgiving Day she got all fanatical-like, handed me my book and asked me to sign it. It made for a good laugh.

Now, she didn’t have to buy the book. I had sent her a digital copy, which she’d already read (heck, she was one of my beta readers). But she wanted to give me a sale (and maybe show off the book to her friends). So, I should have realized her mind was going bonkers when my husband suggested she have a book signing for me. He assumed she would invite a couple of friends for dinner (because Mary LOVES to cook). But Mary never does things small. Oh no.

Case in point: Many years ago, my husband "complained" that Mary didn't have any mustard for his ham. He didn't care there wasn't any mustard. He just likes to play with her; get her all riled up. Well, the next time she served ham, she gave him a choice of something like 5 mustards! I swear, I didn’t even think they came in that many varieties!

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I received the following e-mail from Mary (sent the day after Thanksgiving, no less!):

Read this invitation and tell me that the date/times is good. Since you are a wonderful writer, feel free to edit. Yes - I will make this happen!

Hey - want a great, inexpensive, personalized gift for someone who likes to read? Need something different for a gift swap? Want something special for yourself?
My friend Stacy McKitrick is now a published author. She will be having a book signing on Dec 13 at the Grand Reserve at Albany Crossing clubhouse from 5:00-8:00. Stacy will talk about her writing, inspiration, current and future books at 7:00. Coffee, tea and dessert will be available.

This is Stacy's first published book. Wouldn't you love to have a signed copy of Steven King's first book? Or John Grisham's? Think of this like that, as I see great things for Stacy as her second book is already getting ready to be published!

I will have a limited number of books for sale (at Amazon's cost, no shipping costs, no profit for me), but you can get this book with free shipping with a total $35 purchase at Amazon.com (put URL here). Can't make the signing, but want a copy? Let me know on the RSVP or an e-mail and we'll get one personalized for you.

Please RSVP early with a note if you will need to purchase a book (or books) at the clubhouse so that I will have enough copies. Cash or check only for (enter price here) made out to Mary (redacted).

directions and address here.

Let's DO THIS!

I couldn’t believe my eyes! I showed it to my husband. He laughed, but said I was doing it. Well, I knew I was doing it (how could I not?).

So, now I'm having my first book signing on Friday, December 13 from 7-9pm at the Grand Reserve at Albany Crossing, 6039 Poplar Ridge Dr., Westerville OH 43081  (Hmmm… should I be worried it’s on Friday the 13th?).

The location is the club house in her condo residence (the place is free for her to use - thank goodness). If you happen to find yourself in the Columbus area that day, you are invited to attend (she’s serving DESSERT!). For Mary's sake, I hope people come out. I'd hate to see her go through all this work for nothing!

Don’t I, like, have the BESTEST friend ever? I think so. J



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday Reads

See, you can tell I’m back home. My reading has declined. In fact, I stayed up late last night to finish this book (my only one during the past week):

Dec 3: “Cold Snap” by Allison Brennan. This is the seventh book in the Lucy Kincaid series, a romantic suspense. Blurb on back: On his way home to San Diego, P.I. Patrick Kincaid takes a detour through San Francisco to check on the well-being of a family friend who’s mysteriously been unreachable. What he doesn’t expect is to be shot at before he can find out why attorney Elle Santana won’t ask the police for help in finding a missing girl. Soon, he’s on the run from both good guys and bad as he and Elle race to find the witness and take down a sweatshop run by a corrupt businessman with a penchant for violence. Newly sworn FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid can’t remember the last time she spent the holidays with her whole family, but getting home by December 25 th is proving to be a bit of a problem. A blizzard shut down the airports and she and her boyfriend Sean Rogan are stuck in a Denver hotel…with a dead body. And if that wasn’t all, back in San Diego Colonel Kincaid ends up in the hospital, where an even greater danger awaits--a man with a vendetta who will kill anyone who gets in his way. This Christmas, the Kincaid family needs nothing less than a miracle to survive. And time is running out. Basically, there are three novellas stuck together to make one book, but it gave readers a glimpse at some of Lucy’s family. I’m still hooked on the series and gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

You’d think I'd read MORE during the holidays, but alas, that wasn’t the case. Too busy doing family stuff (isn’t that the way it SHOULD be?). I foresee the following week to be a bit slower, but not much. At least, not until I’ve finished decorating and shopping and wrapping and whatever! It’s amazing I even get any writing done!

Do you find the holidays to be as overwhelming as I do? I shouldn’t let it get to me, but it always does. One year I had a dream that it was Christmas and I hadn’t done ANYTHING. One of these days, I’m afraid that dream will come true. Do you ever feel that way?  

Happy reading!



Monday, December 2, 2013

I've Been Tagged

Sunday my husband and I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. That’s a lot of years together, isn’t it? I sure hope I have many more to come, because life just wouldn’t be fun without my sweetie!

Thanksgiving also marked another anniversary for me - four years of blogging! Who knew I would stick with it this long? Certainly not me. I wasn't sure I'd have fun doing this, but I am. And as long as I keep getting comments, I'll keep blogging!

JeffO from The Doubting Writer has tagged me on this post HERE. Not sure what that means, but I’ll play along and answer the following questions (because it deals with writing and, plus, I had nothing else to blog about - haha!).

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON?  I am working on the third book in my vampire romance series (currently titled “Blind Temptation”). I’m barely half-way through with the first draft. I should probably come up with a name for this series, but nothing has come to mind yet.

HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM OTHER WORKS IN ITS GENRE?  I have no idea. I’ve not read all vampire romance novels (although I probably should, huh?). This one is a little different (maybe) since the heroine is the vampire (who was turned at the young age of 17, 300+ years ago) and the hero is a blind mortal (and 39). Yes, it’s challenging writing from the POV of a blind person, but I’m having fun with it.

WHY DO YOU WRITE?  This is a trick question, right? I mean, what writer doesn’t LOVE writing? If I didn’t love it, I’d still be working in accounting. That certainly paid better! At least…so far. J

HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?  Yikes! Do I need to have a process? I’m a pantser. I get a rough idea of a story and I write. Next day I edit what I’ve written and then add to that. I follow this process until I reach THE END. I’ve tried to write without editing, but I’m finding that impossible to do (especially as I get to know my characters). Besides, it’s a great way for me to get back into my story. I’ve never started a new book until I’ve finished the current one, but I have stopped to revise/edit previous works (or write short stories). I might not have finished every short story I’ve started, but I have finished every book I’ve ever started, so I have that in my favor, huh? So, is that a process? You tell me!

I’m supposed to tag other people, but I don’t do that. If you want to play, consider yourself tagged!

Is your house all decorated? Have you started your Christmas shopping? How many of you are already finished? I hope to get the tree up today and then maybe get some shopping done. We’ll see how I do.


P.S. It appears my magic shirt lost its mojo. The Rams lost. :(

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pictures From my Cruise!

Still stuffed from Thanksgiving (or maybe the leftovers)? Tired of shopping? Well, sit back and relax. I've got pictures from my cruise! Remember, if you click on the picture, it should enlarge.

Nassau. This is the Atlantis, well, part of it.

Nassau. On the water taxi over to Atlantis, we supposedly
passed the home owned (and now for sale) by Nicolas Cage.

Nassau. This is Atlantis outside the casino. We wanted to
walk the grounds, but you have to buy a day pass to do that.

Nassau. Our ship (The Pride) is the second from the left (or
the smallest of these four). The Splendor is to our left (and
we met them at all our stops - they came from New York,
whereas we left out of Baltimore).

Freeport. Found this little lighthouse.

Freeport. This was a beach - if you can believe it. Kind of
tiny, if you ask me. But then, we were warned that the
beach in Port Lucaya wasn't very good. They were right!

Freeport. There's the Splendor (again). If you didn't want to
take a 20 minute taxi to town, you could do some shopping
right on the port. Or drinking. There's a Senior Frogs located
in that red building.

Last night at dinner. Polaidin (from Indonesia),
Catalin (from Romania), My Hubby, Me, and
Pauline & Chris (our dinner companions from Virginia)
One thing I love about cruising is the dinners. Some people don't attend because they think you have to dress up (and you don't really have to). Those people are missing out. Our head waiter, Catalin, made our meal so much fun. When he first introduced himself to us, he said to call him Bobby. Maybe you can see why. He looks just like Robert DeNiro! And he made sure to act like him, too! They really made an effort to make sure we all had a good time. They even hugged us goodbye after our last dinner.

The next bunch of pictures are the towel creatures our cleaning staff left us each night (when they came in to turn down the bed). I always hated moving them off the bed, afraid I would ruin their work, so I made sure to take the picture BEFORE I moved any!

A cute seal.

A sexy bunny?

Not quite sure WHAT this is!

I think this is a bear. Could be wrong.

I'm guessing monkey.

The next night, the monkey decided to
hang around!

Looking straight on, I couldn't tell what this was.
Then I looked on top. I'm thinking it's a Frog.
Yesterday I had a treat besides a wonderful dinner made by our friend, Mary. She bought my book and asked for my autograph! So...I got to hold a copy of my book for the first time. And autograph it! What a rush! I'll get my own copy eventually (next time we order something from Amazon).

So...did you brave the crowd today and go shopping? Not me. It's our annual family movie day and we're going to see Thor and Chasing Fire. We've been doing this as a family since...1989 (I think). Haven't missed a Black Friday yet! Certainly better than shopping.

Have a good one!!



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday Reads -- Two Weeks' Worth

Just as I had hoped, I got caught up in my reading goal during my vacation. Yes, I got some writing done, too, but it WAS my vacation, so at least I didn’t feel guilty reading more than I wrote. Here’s what I read during the last two weeks (and it’s lengthy--5 books worth):

Nov 15: “Doon” by CareyCorp & Lorie Langdon. This is a YA romantic fantasy (for want of a better description). Blurb on book: Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt--and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation. Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for…or they could end up breaking an enchantment and fid themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare. This story is told in first person, but with two POVs (Veronica’s and Mackenna’s). I might not have had problems with that, except the two voices were almost identical. It took me a bit to get into the story, too (but I think that’s because of me and not the story). By half-way, I was deep into wanting to know what was going to happen next. There is a sequel in the works (from what I’ve learned from the authors - who I do know, by the way) and I’ll most likely read that, too. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Nov 18: “Time to Control” by Marie Pinkerton. This is labeled as erotica. I’d put it more into paranormal (time travel) romance. Blurb from Goodreads is too long to list here, but this is how it starts: "I was married five hundred years ago to the man I met on Thursday. It has made for an interesting start to a relationship." I was expecting erotica, and worried a bit when it was in first person (definitely not my favorite in this genre), but didn’t get anything close to that (which was somewhat of a relief, but only somewhat). For a paranormal romance, it was okay. I liked the time travel portion of the story, just wish there was more of it. And if you think Kerrelyn Sparks, Linsay Sands, Laurell K. Hamilton, or JR Ward write too sexy, you’ll have no problem with this book. I, however, wanted more and thus the 3 stars on Goodreads.

Nov 21: “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. This is a horror (duh!). Blurb from B&N: Acting on behalf of his firm of solicitors, Jonathan Harker travels to the Carpathian Mountains to finalize the sale of England's Carfax Abbey to Transylvanian noble Count Dracula. Little does he realize that, in doing so, he endangers all that he loves. For Dracula is one of the Un-Dead--a centuries-old vampire who sleeps by day and stalks by night, feasting on the blood of his helpless victims. Once on English soil, the count sets his sights on Jonathan's circle of associates, among them his beloved wife Mina. To thwart Dracula's evil designs, Jonathan and his friends will have to accept as truth the most preposterous superstitions concerning vampires, and in the company of legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, embark on an unholy adventure for which even their worst nightmares have not prepared them. Why have I NEVER read this book before? Granted, when I got it for free when I bought my Nook, I took a look at it and thought I might not like the way it was written (the story is told through journals and letters), but man, was I wrong! I really don’t understand me at all. This was a great book and I’m sorry it has taken me this long to finally read it. I understand so much more now. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

Nov 22: “Cooking up Love” by Gemma Brocato. This is a contemporary romance. Blurb from Goodreads: Mix a chef and her contractor, stir in a mystery, and cook up a romance. Jemima George leads a charmed life as a personal chef and assistant to reality television's latest darling. But that changes in a New York minute when her Aunt Caro dies under odd circumstances, bequeathing her a small restaurant. Jem plans to sell the cafe and continue her life in NYC, until a dramatic phone call from her cheating boyfriend convinces her to experiment with the ingredients for happiness and accept her Aunt's legacy. Throwing herself into remodeling the restaurant with the help of the town's delicious contractor, Jem revamps the menu and renews her faith in herself. Jack Kerrigan considered Caro a surrogate mother and hates the idea that the cafe could be sold. He doesn't need the remodeling project, but if it means Caro's beautiful, fascinating niece will stay to run the restaurant, he's all in. He wouldn't mind being savory to Jem's sweet. Jack's brassy ex-wife is cooking up a scheme of her own, where Jack tosses Jem like a salad and comes back to her. Fold in a creepy attorney hiding secrets of environmental mayhem, add Jem's claustrophobia, half-pint niece and nephew twins, one mysterious lockbox, and bring to a boil-a recipe for romance. This was a light and breezy book and thoroughly entertaining. I’m not always fond of contemporaries, but I’m trying to read books by my Lyrical sisters. I really liked this one and I’ll read more by Ms. Brocato. I liked the couple very much right from the start. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. 

Nov 24: “First Frost” an Anthology by Lyrical Press Authors. Contemporary, paranormal, and erotica romances make up these nine short stories, and they’re all centered around the beginning of winter (cold weather). Like all anthologies I’ve read, I liked some stories better than others. The two paranormal ones were probably my favorite (gee, I wonder why??) and the erotica ones were quite steamy. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

So, are you hosting or visiting this Thanksgiving? We’re visiting. I only have to provide the pies, which I’m attempting to bake today. Hopefully I won’t have to shop at Kroger tonight! Haha!

Happy reading & Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm Back from my Cruise

I’d never been to Baltimore before. I don’t think I’ve even driven through the city, either. Without a map, I was completely lost as to what was in what direction, though (and I kind of hate that - I like to know what my bearings are for some strange reason). After a long drive, we didn’t feel like doing much, and besides, we weren’t there to sight-see! I did, however, find a Hard Rock (no Bubba Gump - darn!). Got my magnet!

Finding the restaurant wasn’t too hard. Finding a place to pull over or park (for free) was. But I got lucky. In my effort to turn around, I found a circular drive that my hubby could wait with the car (and drive in the circle if he had to) while I walked over to the store. Hubby said he wouldn’t mind spending a weekend in Baltimore and visit. We’ll see. Certainly NOT on a weekend the Ravens play. I can only imagine what the traffic would be like then. We were lucky to be there on a Sunday (coming and going), and even then the traffic was bad.

First two days of cruise was spent on the sea and it wasn’t warm yet. In fact, it was windy for most of the trip and made for a wild ride at times. Thankfully, I only got queasy the first night and a nap seemed to cure me. I got a lot of reading and writing done. All was good.

Our first stop was at Port Canaveral. I always wondered what was there, now I know: Nothing. If we wanted to spend $$, we could have gone to Orlando (Disney, Universal, or Sea World) or Cocoa Beach. But I assume Cocoa Beach isn’t all that different from Panama City Beach--shopping-wise anyway--and we've been to the parks. So we just walked around the port. At least it was warm (temps in the 80s), although it did rain (we had made it back to the ship before that happened).

Our second stop was Nassau. It was our third trip to this island, but first time we ventured over to Atlantis. We spent the money to take a water taxi over. They sure love to cram as many people on that boat as they can. I thought I was going to hug the captain of the ship! Instead, I got to sit on the step. Lost money at the casino and walked around. But it was sure nice and warm!

Our final stop was Freeport. It was our second trip to this island. This time we spent the money for a taxi into town. Their idea of a 15-minute ride is actually closer to 30, and once there, we realized we wouldn’t be back. I got “suckered” into spending all my money (which wasn’t THAT much, thank goodness) to the first woman who nabbed me (pulled me by my hand--I can’t say no!). Granted, I was looking for a present for my sister. Sure hope she likes it! J

The leisurely trip from Baltimore wasn’t so leisurely back up. And then we all got shocked with cold temps when we left the ship (30 degree weather, really??). We saw a bit of snow on the drive home, too. Not exactly the way I wanted to remember my WARM trip. Heavy sigh!

No pictures today. Maybe Friday--provided I download my camera by then.
Hey, did any of you notice the Steelers AND Rams won their games yesterday? You know why, too, don't you? Yep, wore my LUCKY shirt. It ain't lost its mojo yet!!
I have yet to go through my mail (snail and e). I think I hate that the worst of returning home. What do you hate the most when you return home from vacation?



Friday, November 15, 2013

My Book is in Print!

What a nice surprise to discover that “My Sunny Vampire” is available at Amazon as a paperback. The digital version isn’t due to be released until Jan 6, but if you can’t wait… Haha!

I knew it was going to be offered in print. I just assumed it would be for sale in January.

Now, if I was the type to brag (and I probably should be if I want to sell any books, huh?), I can proudly tell anyone on my upcoming cruise that it’s now available to purchase.

I can’t wait to get my own copy!

This will be my last post until I return from my trip, and then it will only be a few days before Thanksgiving! Gee whiz, when did THAT sneak up? Too quickly, that’s for sure. Maybe I’ll get lucky and get all my Christmas shopping done in the Bahamas. People like T-shirts, right? J

Now it’s off to pack. Oh…after I finish the laundry. Yep, save everything to the last minute. Are you that way, or are you one of those early packers?

Happy Friday!!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Tuesday morning I woke up to some snow on the yard. It was so cold out, it didn’t even all melt during the day. The maple tree in my yard still has green leaves on it (apparently, it doesn’t realize its leaves should have turned color or dropped off by now). I'm not ready for winter!!

All this cold weather is really making me appreciate the hubby’s and my upcoming cruise. Warm weather, here I come! And I’ve gotten my Nook stocked with books to read. That thing better not fail me, or it will be the last time I count on it.

Next week there will be no reading list (as well as no blogging, period, since I’ll be without internet) and this week’s is light. Here’s what I read during the last week:

Nov 7: “Double Dexter” by Jeff Lindsay. This is the sixth book of the Dexter Series, a horror. Blurb on book: A witness. Such a simple concept--and yet for Dexter Morgan, the perfectly well-disguised monster, the possibility of a witness is unthinkable. But when Dexter is on a very private, very satisfying excursion one evening with a wretchedly deserving playmate, the unthinkable happens: someone sees him. Dexter is not at all pleased. As an upstanding blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, he has always managed to keep the darker side of his life out of the spotlight…the fun part, where he finds truly bad people--murderers who have escaped the reach of the justice system--and quietly gives them his very special attentions. But now that he’s been seen and identified by his witness, Dexter must launch himself into a different kind of hunt. Making matters worse, a brutal cop killer is targeting Miami’s police detectives, leaving behind bodies that are battered beyond recognition…and completely bloodless. As the department grows more fearful of the psychotic killer in their midst, Dexter must handle his own crisis and come to terms with the fact that his witness is not only circling him but determined to expose him. Dexter is being followed, manipulated, and mimicked…leading him to realize that no one likes to have a double, especially when his double’s goal is to kill him. In this book, Dexter is a little dense. He’s a smart guy (he has to be to get away with murder, right?); he should have come to some conclusions a lot earlier than he did. But it was still an entertaining read and had me guessing how it would all end. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and will finish up the series AFTER my cruise.

In other news: I finally figured out how to “fix” BITE ME so I could get rid of a character my editor thought was “too much.” I spent the last week revising the story and now it’s with my daughter to read. She’ll let me know if my solution works. The surprising part is, I kind of like the new version better (and I was so sure I NEEDED that character). Who knew? Anyway, I’m crossing my fingers all goes well and I can get the ms to my editor before I leave on our cruise. Then I won’t be ABLE to check my e-mail every ten minutes, since I won’t have internet.

Are you crossing your fingers for anything? Like, maybe, winning NaNo? Do tell!

Happy reading!



Monday, November 11, 2013

Me, Superstitious? You Betcha!

Have any of you seen those commercials (probably for beer, not really sure - that’s kind of sad, isn’t it?), shown during football games featuring fans of said games (in all their superstitious paranoia) and ends with this saying: “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”?

Well, I now believe that statement.

While driving to Branson last month, we stopped in St. Louis and I bought a couple of Rams t-shirts. The next day I wore one and that was the Sunday the Rams not only won, but the Steelers won their first game! I called it my lucky shirt. I should have believed my own words, because, stupid me, I never wore that particular shirt on another Sunday.

Well, until yesterday.

Yesterday my husband and I had to go to Buffalo Wild Wings to see the Steelers game. The Rams game was on at the same time. So…I wore that t-shirt UNDER my Steelers jersey, because I wanted both teams to win. Yep, they both won. I attribute it to the shirt. I will never forget to wear that shirt on game day again!!

Who knew I could be so superstitious?

How about you - are you superstitious? If so, what “works” for you?


Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Drive By

I've got nothing today, but this romance writer REALLY loves this song, so I'm making it a music day. Enjoy!

Happy Friday!