Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I Read Last Week

I think my eyes have read too much. Everything is blurry! I wouldn't have finished the third book if the stupid cable box was working right. I would have watched the Penguins play instead. But noooo. By the time I realized what I needed to do, it was too late – I would have lost the night's recordings and that wouldn't do. So, I read instead. Not that reading is a chore, but I was angry and in a pissy mood (Penguins losing didn't help matters). Good thing my husband was out teaching. I was able to calm down by the time he got home. Anyway, this is what I read in the past week (sorry it's so long):

Jan 24: "Hold on Tight" by Stephanie Tyler. This is the finale of a romantic suspense trilogy. If you were to read this series, I would definitely read them in order. Blurb on back: Chris Waldron, an elite U.S. Navy SEAL, is used to getting out of tight spots. But all his years of training can't prepare him for the crisis he now faces. When a mission to rescue a kidnapped ambassador and his wife goes tragically awry, an FBI hostage negotiator is killed and Chris finds himself at the center of the ensuing investigation. Leading the charge is Jamie Michaels, a blistering-hot special agent – and Chris's onetime lover. Despite their reignited mutual attraction, Jamie is determined to keep things professional with Christ this time. But seeing him bruised and battered in that hospital bed has rekindled all those feelings she thought she'd left behind during their brief, passionate encounter in Africa. Now Jamie must keep at bay her craving for danger as she spearheads a search for the truth that just may blow Chris's career to bits – and put them both in the crosshairs of an unseen enemy. This is definitely a page-turner. The romance was good, the suspense was good, and it entertained me easily. Still, there were way too many characters (with more noticeable head-hopping) and some unbelievable coincidences for me to say it was great. But hey, that's me. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Jan 28: "White Lies" by Jayne Ann Krentz. If I've read any of her other books, I don't remember, and this one is the second in the Arcane Society series, which I guess can be considered paranormal romance. Blurb on inside cover: Relationships are challenging enough for most single over-thirty women. For level-ten parasensitive Clare Lancaster, they're a minefield. The elite few who know her secret call her a human lie detector, and any falsehood, no matter how subtle or well hidden, sets her blood racing. Over the years, Clare has come to accept that someone with her extraordinary talents is unlikely to find a suitable mate. And she's even resigned herself to the fact that everyone, to one degree or another, hides behind a fa├žade. Including her recently deceased brother-in-law. When Clare finds the body of Brad McAllister, the golden child of Stone Canyon, Arizona, the posh residents turn a suspicious eye in her direction. As Archer Glazebrook's daughter, Clare is shielded from the law, but not the gossip. It seems that meeting the half sister and family whom she did not know until seven months ago was a mistake. Now her father summons her from California to play a role in his business empire, and Clare doesn't intend on making the same mistake twice. But after meeting Jake Salter, Archer's "business consultant," she is convinced that things aren't what they seem. Salter's careful conversation walks a delicate line between truth and deception, revealing and resisting. Something sparks and sizzles between them – something more than the usual electricity between a man and a woman. Caught in a dizzying storm of secrets, lies, and half-truths, Jake and Clare will plunge into an investigation that demands every bit of their special gifts. Together, they must overcome their mutual distrust in order to unravel a web of conspiracy and murder. Whew! Lengthy blurb, huh? I liked this book, although the ending dragged on a bit (some set up for the next in the series, I assume). The romance was great and I really liked the couple, but I doubt I rush out to get the rest in this series, because the Arcane Society portion didn't really pull me in. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Jan 29: "Wolf Tales V" by Kate Douglas. Paranormal romance on the erotic side (meaning, frequent, hot sex), this is the fifth book in the Wolf Tales series. There are 12 altogether and I'll eventually get them all read (since I own them). Blurb on back: Life hasn't always been easy for strong-willed Millie West, but it's been a hell of a lot simpler without romantic entanglements. Millie finds her pleasure when and where she wants it, although what she's gotten from regular guys has never been quite enough. When she meets Ulrich Mason, she finally learns why. Imbued with the sexual prowess of the Chanku pack, Ulrich is the perfect partner to help Millie embrace the birthright that has been denied her for too long. But will the very ritual that binds them in ultimate pleasure reveal secrets that could destroy them both…? Like his pack brother, Baylor Quinn is on a mission to bring a Chanku female into the fold – but his quarry is far wilder than any he has yet encountered. Caught in a feral limbo between woman and wolf, Manda is scarred by the cruelty of a world that has never understood her. It will take patience, compassion, and the healing hand of a master lover to help Manda embrace her own sensual powers – and the mate who loves her beyond measure… I really like the stories in this series, but sometimes the sex can be too much (did I actually say that?), so I don't read them back to back to back. Sort of like needing a breather, you know? But for erotic romance, it's the best, so I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.





Monday, January 28, 2013

My Postal Dollars at Work

I'm not into all the ins and outs when it comes to the operations of the USPS in Dayton, Ohio, but I did know that if I mailed a letter from my house to downtown Dayton, they'd get it the next day. Two, at the latest. Not so anymore.

Apparently the Dayton processing plant has closed down. Mail now gets shipped to Cincinnati for initial mail sorting, which makes sure the mail is all upright with the stamp in the upper right hand corner for cancelling. Then it is shipped back to Dayton for the automation machines, which sorts the mail for the appropriate post office.

This added a day to the delivery (at least).

But wait. That's not all.

On June 23rd, the automation process is being transferred to Columbus. So instead of Cincinnati sending the mail back to Dayton, they'll now send it to Columbus. Once the mail has been sorted, then it will be shipped to Dayton for delivery.

This means, when I mail a letter from my house to downtown Dayton, I shouldn't expect it to get there in less than four days. Four days to travel nine miles.

I can only assume the volume of mail has reduced so much to cause this "consolidation." Seems like when I have to pay more for postage (of which I believe has increased by a penny today), I should at least get the same or better service, not worse. But hey, maybe that's just me!

Okay, end of rant.

On Saturday I had a wonderful time with the Central Ohio Fiction Writers group as they put on a workshop featuring Donald Maass. That guy is funny! And I learned so much. I'm so glad I was able to attend and I've been able to put some of his processes to work. I love workshops that make me crave writing and this one did just that.

I found out my guest post with the Romancing the Genres Blog will occur on Saturday, February 16th. That is also the day I am to be on a romance writers panel at the Wilmington Stroop branch of the Dayton Metro Library in Kettering, Ohio. And it's my dad's birthday. Popular day, huh? Let's hope I don't go into media overload!

Hope your Monday starts the week off with a blast! I'll be spending some of my time at Time Warner Cable, swapping out our failing DVR and checking into getting a whole house system. Should be fun. Not!




Friday, January 25, 2013

Do You Like Swag?

I ask if you like swag, when maybe I should ask if you know what swag is. I looked up the word and this is what is listed on
1) a suspended wreath, garland, drapery, or the like, fastened up at or near each end and hanging down in the middle; festoon. 2) a wreath, spray, or cluster of foliage, flowers, or fruit. 3) a festoon, especially one very heavy toward the center. 4) a swale. 5) a swaying or lurching movement.
That kind of surprised me, because not one of those mentions JUNK. Yeah, that's what I think swag is.

But swag is (are?) those items authors give away. You know, book marks, magnets, pens, trading cards, post cards, etc., etc., etc.

As a reader, swag never did anything for me. I keep the pens (of course I have way more than I know what to do with), I eat the candy (but couldn't tell you who I got them from), and use the note pads (those get used the most, actually), but mostly the stuff I get from conventions ends up in the trash.

So color me surprised when my daughter's friend gushed over all the "free" stuff that was being given away at Dragon*Con. I looked over all that "free" stuff and wasn't too impressed (not a pen or magnet in the bunch!). I can only imagine how she would react at a readers' convention. Still junk (to me), but way better for sure!

Anyway, what do you think of swag? What's your favorite kind? Do you like to collect it? Do buy books based on them? I never have, but then again, I'm strange and I know it.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I Read Last Week

I've gotten into the swing of reading while walking on the treadmill, adding an extra hour to my reading time. Heck, I squeeze in reading time whenever I can! Here's what I finished reading since last Wednesday:

Jan 19: "Odd Apocalypse" by Dean Koontz. This is the fifth book in the Odd Thomas series and is considered horror. These books are written in first person and I've come to enjoy getting to know Odd and all the adventures he gets involved in. Odd sees ghosts (and other weirdly stuff). Blurb: Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogus during the Roaring '20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, for the moment, it's also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria. In the wake of Odd's most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor's comforts should be welcome. But there's far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven. A harrowing taste of Roseland's terrors convinces Odd that it's time to hit the road again. Still, the prescient Annamaria insists that they've been led there for a reason. Just how deep and dreadful are the mysteries Roseland and her masters have kept for nearly a century? And what consequences await whoever is brave, or made, enough to confront the most profound breed of evil? Odd only knows. Like his acclaimed creator, the irresistible Odd Thomas is in top-notch form – as he takes on what may well be the most terrifying challenge yet in his curious career. I do find that I read some books faster than others. This one wasn't necessarily a long book, but it did take me longer to read, because there's more action than dialogue. Not that that's bad, but it takes me longer to picture action than to read dialogue! I do love the fact Odd doesn't care for vulgar language and the way he conveys that in his dialogue is quite humorous. There is a sixth book due out eventually, but I buy (or am given as presents) all of Dean Koontz's books anyways, so I'll be reading it eventually (whenever it comes out). I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Jan 21. "Too Hot to Hold" by Stephanie Tyler. This is the second book in a romantic suspense series, which I believe is only three books long. It had been awhile since I read the first book, but it didn't seem to matter reading this one. I won't wait as long to read the third, though (it's up next). Blurb on back: Nick Devane's life is one big classified secret. Until Kaylee Smith busts his covert world wide open, threatening to blow his cover. Digging around where she doesn't belong could get them both killed – especially when the beautiful journalist uncovers top-secret information that could set off a global disaster if it falls into the wrong hands. Nick can't let that happen, even if he has to battle deadly mercenaries and an irresistible attraction that is all-consuming. Kaylee didn't expect her search for her missing ex-husband to lead to this sexy and dangerous warrior. Now she's teamed up with Nick on a mission that takes them into deepest Africa – and into the middle of a massive government cover-up. With rogue agents hot on their trail, Kaylee's going to unearth all Nick's secrets. Before they both vanish without a trace. Before the passion burning between them sets off an explosion no one may survive… I got a nice stretch of time to read, and took full advantage. While there might have been a few too many characters to keep track of, and a bit of head-hopping (which I'm not fond of), it still kept me on edge and turning the pages. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

I sometimes wonder if I were writing instead of editing, would I be able to get so much reading done, because writing doesn't always require a lot of thought. Yeah, surprised me, too. Editing, though, is ALL thought. Are the sentences in the right order? Did I use the correct word here? Have the characters reacted? And because of all that thinking, by the time five o'clock rolls around, my brain is pretty much fried! Reading really helps he rewind and recharge. And I learn a lot from it, too.

Hey, if you haven't picked up a book in awhile, get to it! It's the best form of entertainment and can happen anywhere. I even read while waiting in line at the post office yesterday! Make every minute count.


Monday, January 21, 2013

To Smart Phone or Not To Smart Phone

Sometimes I just don't understand my husband. Okay, so maybe it's most of the time, but still. He seems to think I should own a smart phone.

Now, if it would save us money, I probably wouldn't have an issue with it. Well, I would have an issue with it because those touch screens do not like me (apparently my fingers are too cold most of the time – which is a problem I also have with my Nook). He gets mad at me when he wants me to do something on his phone, yet it's his stupid phone that won't work with me. Do I want that kind of frustration all the time? I don't think so.

Besides, I'm home all day, on my laptop with my e-mail account open. Tell me why I should go the extra expense.

He's thinking it's not an extra expense, though. That's because he was able to get his company to pay for his phone (they wanted access to him and that was his price). I kind of like the fact we're saving money on the phone and see no reason to upgrade.

However, I told him I would probably get one (but not an iPhone; probably one of those smart phones that has a real keyboard) if I ever got another job and needed access to my e-mails. Frankly, I hope it never comes to that.

And no, this is not just a phone issue. He was like this before I got my laptop, too.

He kept saying I needed one. I hadn't discovered my love of writing at the time, and rarely used the computer, so I saw no sense in getting one. Then the writing bug hit and I decided that maybe I could write if I had my own laptop. Man, he was all over that. You'd think he won the lottery!

But don't you think it's strange he WANTS to spend money? I know, you think it's strange I DON'T!! J


Now on to sports!

Football – I'm finished! Every team I rooted for lost. I refuse to watch a Super Bowl game with the two teams I despise the MOST! Not even for the commercials. I'm sure it'll be on our TV, though. My husband probably can't NOT watch it!

Hockey – Yay! It's back! And the Penguins have won their first two games. They won't be playing in Columbus this year (they were before the lockout), and I can't really afford to go there to see them play, but hopefully I'll see them on TV a lot. If not, there's always! Don't you just love the Internet? I do!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Another Rant on Technology

Well, I've been bad! Last night I forgot to write today's blog. Guess I got so caught up in watching the rest of Season 4 of Torchwood (which was good, by the way) and editing (while I'm getting closer to the end, I'm also at the point where more work is needed since the ending is changing), and then talking to my hubby (he had to go to KY on business – without me this time), that it completely slipped my mind!

Not that what I have today is all that interesting. Just a rant. And is it any surprise it has to do with technology? Probably not!

I hate those self-check lines at the store. No, I mean really HATE. So much so, I will purposely wait in a line of 10 people for a regular register than wait in a line of 2 for one of those self-checkouts. I avoid them like the plague.

But then there comes a time where I don't have any choice. Like at Kroger at 6:30 in the morning, when they don't have any regular registers open. Yes, I should be thankful the store is open that early (although if it wasn't I could have easily waited). Instead, I inwardly groaned.

I didn't have much (thank goodness), but it still took longer than it should have. I started with the easy stuff first. An apple pie and a box of cookies (my husband wanted these to take down to KY as gifts – yes he likes to wait until the last minute to tell me these things). Then I got to the items I knew would cause me problems. Why? Because they don't weigh anything.

And that's the problem with those stupid self-check lines.

Don't you think the computer should know that a gift card doesn't weigh anything and if you stick it in the bag, as it says, there's no way in HELL it will register? Yet, the computer will keep telling you to put the item in the bag and won't let you scan the next one until you do. I had four of these suckers!

And it's not just gift cards. I've had the same thing happen when I've bought tweezers, or chapstick, or anything that is small and lightweight. Anything that won't hit the bottom of that plastic bag. And what if I didn't want to use their bag? What if I brought my own?

I know, I'm probably the only one around here who complains about technology. And for the most part, I guess I do like things simple, but not at the expense of making me feel miserable. And that's what those self-check lines do to me. Every. Time.

So, what kind of technology stuff sets you off?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I've Read

This past week I read my first novel on a Nook. I am still not a convert. Sometimes I like to go back and confirm something I read earlier. I can usually spot it with how deep into the book I found it. Can't do that on a reader. I also can't thumb to the end to see how many pages are not part of the story. Heck, I just can't "thumb" through the pages!!

But it does have it's good points. Like eating and reading. Or not paying as much for a book on an author you're not sure about (or a book you're not sure about). I haven't done that yet, but I could easily see me doing it. Other than that, I'll stick with the paper books (and will probably pay more for them, too). Heck, it's not like I don't have a whole case (or two) filled with books waiting to be read (and another case or three of those books I have read and could re-read). Anyway, here are the books I finished reading since last Wednesday:

Jan 9: "Rapture" by J.R. Ward. This is the fourth book in the Fallen Angels series, a paranormal romance. I had no problem spending the money to get the hardback, even though the first three books ONLY came in paperback (now that's frustrating if you want all the books in the series to look the same and you don't want to wait for the paperback version to come out). Blurb: Mels Carmichael, reporter for the Caldwell Courier Journal, gets the shock of her life when a man stumbles in front of her car outside the local cemetery. After the accident, his amnesia is just the kind of mystery she likes to solve, but she soon discovers they're in over their heads with his past. Over their heads with passion too… As shadows walk the line between reality and another realm, and her lover's memory begins to come back, the two of them learn that nothing is truly dead and buried. Especially when you're trapped in a no-holds-barred war between angels and demons. With a soul on the line, and Mel's heart at risk, what in Heaven – or in Hell – will it take to save them both? So, apparently the blurb doesn't tell you who the "hero" is, so I guess I won't either. But he's not unfamiliar to those who have read the previous books. I was sucked in immediately and had NO problem walking on the treadmill for an hour reading this thing! I love her books and this series is getting better with each one (at least I think so). I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.

Jan 14: "Blood Vine" by Amber Belldene. This is a paranormal romance (with vampires) and apparently the first in a series. This is the first novel I've read on Nook, so here's the blurb from Goodreads (since I don't have a back cover to copy from – another issue I have with e-books): In Blood Vine, bites are an inconvenient bliss, exiled vampires are wasting away, and the fate of their kind depends on the perfect PR campaign. When public relations pro Zoey Porter arrives at an enchanting California winery, she discovers her sexy new client is the almost one-night stand she can’t forget. After her husband’s suicide, Zoey has vowed never to risk her heart again. But can she walk away from the intriguing winemaker a second time? Driven from Croatia by his ancient foes, vampire Andre Maras has finally made a blood-like wine to cure his fellow refugees. Now he needs Zoey’s PR expertise to reach them. After his wife’s death, Andre has a vow of his own—never to risk another painful blood bond. And one taste of the tempting Zoey would bind him to her eternally. His secrets stall her PR plans. Her jealousy is stoked by the blissed-out beauties leaving his bedroom. At every turn, he utterly fails to resist her. When she discovers he is a vampire, will she be lost to the golden-eyed Hunters, or lose herself to the emptiness in her heart, before she can help him save his kind? Sexy vampires and an intriguing story. The romance was great, too. This is Amber's first book, and I kind of, sort of, know her (never met her personally, but she helped critique my short story and I consider her a friend). I did purchase this book, though, and I look forward to the next one in the series. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

 So, yes, I have issues with e-books. Who doesn't? Really, I'm asking.
Happy reading!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Double Feature Sunday

Disgusted with the teams remaining in the NFL playoffs, I'm switching over to hockey (Yay! It's back!). First game is on NBC this Saturday and it's the Penguins! Oh yeah, they're playing the Flyers. So happy!!!

On Sunday I went and saw two movies. One, I mentioned here before. "Silver Linings Playbook" is finally playing around here and my daughter and I were able to attend. Pat's reaction when he finished reading Ernest Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" was the best reaction I've ever seen! My daughter calls this movie "A Keeper" and I might have to agree with her. I laughed; I teared up. I really enjoyed it.

After that movie, I came home, picked up the husband, went to dinner, then headed to another theater to go see the movie HE wanted to watch: "Django." I have to say, I wasn't exactly interested in seeing this movie. The trailers just didn't do anything for me. But he heard good things about the movie and wanted to go, so I went. Wow, was I pleasantly surprised. Yeah, it's a bit (a lot) on the violent side (and that last scene was way over the top), but the movie was really entertaining. Never would have expected that with Quentin Tarantino!

Had a lovely time at our friend's house on Saturday, making up for the New Year's Eve party we couldn't make (due to the icy weather). Had a great meal and played Phase 10. I really like that game (even if I do lose all the time!). If you've never played it, you're missing a good time.

So, with all that activity over the weekend, my writing kind of suffered. Ah, but that's okay. That's what I have the week to do, right? I'd like to say I'll get my editing/revising done this week, but I won't. Say, that is. I realized I cannot rush through this project (no matter how much I want to finish). So I'm not. It'll be done when it's done (apparently). But man, I am itching to get back to Book 5. Hopefully, that one won't take as long to edit/revise. It'd be nice if I could work on two projects at once, but I'm discovering that just isn't in me (at least, not yet). I envy those who can.

Here's to a good week (in whatever it is you do)!


Friday, January 11, 2013

How 1 Hour Turned into 6

Interesting day I had yesterday. I went in for an 8:30 a.m. doctor appointment, thinking it would last thirty minutes, tops, and I'd come home with a mammogram appointment. Instead, I don't make it home until 2:00 p.m. and I come home with two appointments (neither one for a mammogram).

So what took so long? My mammogram. When I was making that appointment, I was told it was a light day and asked if I wanted to wait an hour.

Sure, I thought. What's an hour? It would give me a chance to use my Nook (see, I'm always prepared and have some kind of book in my purse). And boy, did I ever!

Seems, one mammogram turned into another, which turned into an ultrasound. At noon, I could wait around for the technicians to come back from lunch, or go somewhere and eat (which, by the way, I never did have breakfast, thinking I would just have it late) and come back at 1:00 p.m.

So I went to lunch (yeah, I know, no-brainer!). I found the dining hall in the basement and only paid $3.95 for lunch (pork chop, mashed potatoes, soup, and a Diet Coke). Ain't the military great? Some other place I might have paid that much for the soda alone (okay, maybe the soup).

While I still have to go back and get my cholesterol checked, and some other ultrasound (checkup from last year's surgery), at least yesterday's tests came back okay. Yeah, I have cysts (in fact, one doctor called me "Cyst City"), but nothing malignant (thank God!!).

I go through this on a regular basis, unfortunately (have been since 1975). And while I'd love to think it will always be the case, it just might not, so I always go to the doctor when I find a new lump.

I certainly hope if you ever find one, you do the same. Peace of mind beats wondering all the time!

And did you know they no longer use film for those x-rays? I did not know that. Too bad the machines didn't change, though. OUCH!!! The ultrasound was soooo much nicer!

Here's to a good weekend. We'll be spending part of it with our friend, since we postponed our New Year's Eve party (due to bad weather). Might not be ringing in the New Year, but we'll be eating well and having fun!
Oh – and how did my Nook reading go? Not too bad, actually. It was easier to read while eating, I'll give it that!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What I Read Since Last Wednesday

I was asked to write a blog on Dragon*Con (for another blog, of course). That's never happened to me before. I was asked to be on a panel talking about romance books at the library. That's never happened to me before, either. I'm getting a lot of firsts as a writer (and I'll be sure to let you know more info as I get it). Now, if I can only get that agent! Ha ha! I'm still working on that (and getting nicer rejects, too – and yeah, there is such a thing).

Anyway, as my life is changing (won't say for the better, but won't say for the worst, either), I'm still reading and this is what I finished reading in the past week. Almost had a third one to add, but didn't quite make it (JR Ward's book is hard to put down, though!).

Jan 4: "Crystalfire" by Kate Douglas. This paranormal romance is the fourth in the Demonslayers series. I think this one ends it, too. At least it appears to. Yay! I like series, but I like the ones that have an ending best! Blurb: The Demon King still lives, stronger than ever, devouring souls in search of immortality. Against him stands the scholar Taron, a newly-minted warrior of Lemuria, and Willow, a woman of unearthly loveliness, born of mist… Taron must pass through the waterfall of molten gold that shields the secret portal to his beloved land. His brilliant mind and the speaking sward called CrystalFire are his weapons against evil. But nothing can protect him from the power of love. Willow, whom he once knew as a sprite who could dance in his hand, has been changed by a master stroke of magic into the form of a beautiful, highly sensual woman., desiring a thousand pleasures that she insists he alone can give her. Innocent and eager, Willow arouses his deepest needs and sexual hunger-and his love. He will risk all to save her, even if it means a battle to the death with the ultimate foe… I liked this series from the beginning (I believe I got the first book free at a convention) and every couple from each book stay in the next (can get a bit confusing with the sheer number of characters and sword names), but it's nice to see them all, though! I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Jan 6: "What Chris Wants" by Lori Foster. This novella is part of the "Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor" series. It helps to have read the others, which isn't a chore, let me tell you. I loved this series. Blurb: When the going gets tough, the tough turn to Chris Chapey. As the right-hand man to a group of take-no-prisoners mercenaries, Chris can organize a top-secret rescue mission with his eyes closed. But when it comes to his personal life, Chris is the one who needs a little help. His problem: Matt Houser. Chris can't deny his attraction to Matt, but Matt has no idea what Chris's job really entails and how much it means to him. Matt challenges Chris to change his life – and make a place for him in it. Can Chris risk telling him the truth? A nice little story, which I enjoyed (even having read it on my Nook). It was nice to revisit these characters again (and almost make me want to re-read the series!). I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads (mainly for the shortness of it!!).
Got Season 3 of Torchwood watched last night. Man, no one's safe on that show, are they? My daughter will be bringing over Season 4 next. And tonight we watch some more Supernatural (I forget which season we're on). Looking forward to that.
Have a good day!!


Monday, January 7, 2013

A Mini Rant

I got a Nook Simple Touch with Glow Light for Christmas. I was all set to rant about this device, but decided to try and be less ranty. Yeah, I'm not completely satisfied with it, but it has nothing to do with being a Nook and everything to do with e-readers in general. So, I'll wait until I've gotten used to it before I go off the deep end. That's if I ever get used to it. Let's just say that right now e-reading is a last resort for me.

This past weekend was a productive one. I attended my local RWA chapter meeting and while there were only eight of us there, came away with motivation to finish two short stories I had started awhile back. I like when that happens.

Hopefully, I'll get lots of writing and editing done this week. The husband starts teaching (four nights a week), so I'll not only have the days to myself, but most of the nights, too. Of course, I'll be spending some of that time watching Season 3 of Torchwood (but apparently there are only 5 episodes) and I'll also be reading JR Ward's "Rapture" (which, by the way, I have the hardback copy). If it's like her other books, I may have difficulty putting the thing down.

Have you got any plans for the week?



Friday, January 4, 2013

Five Star Reads of 2012

I went through Goodreads and found those books I rated 5 stars in 2012. These are listed in the order I read them (the number designates which book it was during the year):

1. "The Black Dagger Brotherhood, An Insider's Guide" by J.R. Ward*
2. "11/22/63" by Stephen King
5. "Envy" by J.R. Ward
17. "Wanted: Undead or Alive" by Kerrelyn Sparks
20. "Under a Vampire Moon" by Lynsay Sands
21. "One for the Money" by Janet Evanovich@
22. "Two for the Dough" by Janet Evanovich
24. "When You Dare" by Lori Foster^@
25. "Trace of Fever" by Lori Foster ^
28. "A Perfect Storm" by Lori Foster
31. "Vampire Academy" by Richelle Mead*@
32. "Lover Reborn" by J.R. Ward*
33. "Frostbite" by Richelle Mead*
37. "Ransom River" by Meg Gardiner
38. "Hit List" by Laurell K. Hamilton
43. "Shadow Kiss" by Richelle Mead*
44. "The Lady is a Vamp" by Lynsay Sands
45. "Blood Promise" by Richelle Mead*
46. "Spirit Bound" by Richelle Mead*
47. "Last Sacrifice" by Richelle Mead*
49. "Long Hard Ride" by Lorelei James^@
53. "Behind the Red Door" by Jackie Barbosa^@
59. "Last to Die" by Tess Gerritsen
60. "Second Grave on the Left" by Darynda Jones
61. "Third Grave Dead Ahead" by Darynda Jones
62. "Perfect Chemistry" by Simone Elkeles^@
64. "Redemption" by Susannah Sandlin@
66. "Sex and the Single Therapist" by Marcia James@
67. "Charmed and Dangerous" by Toni McGee Causey
68. "Girls Just Wanna Have Guns" by Toni McGee Causey
69. "When a Man Loves a Weapon" by Toni McGee Cauey
70. "Seducing the Vampire" by Michele Hauf^
78. "Ghost Walk" by Heather Graham^
80. "Deliver Me From Darkness" by Tes Hilaire^@
82. "Wild About You" by Kerrelyn Sparks*
86. "Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet" by Darynda Jones

@=first book I read by this author

So…36 books out of 86 were 5 star reads for me. Out of these 36, nine were borrowed from my daughter and eight were given to me at a conference.

There are nine new authors in this list, too: five from the conference freebies, one from my daughter, the rest purchased.

At first I was kind of surprised how many 5 stars I gave out, but then when I really looked at the list, it became clear. I follow most of these authors now. I also follow a lot of authors I give 4 stars to, but those books tend to be read later. I read my 5 star authors as soon as I can get my hands on their book!

So, did I read any of your favorites?


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What I Finished Reading Since Last Wednesday

A new year with new reading goals. But the books listed here helped with last year's goals. On Friday, I will be posting those books I gave 5 stars on Goodreads in 2012. Hope you come back for that. Anyway, here are the books I finished reading since last Wednesday:

Dec 27: "Carnal Sin" by Allison Brennan. I do like her books, regardless of the genre. This book is the second in a series of supernatural thrillers. I read the first one back in Jan 2011 and liked it. Took me awhile to get to the second book, though. Now I can't find any others, so I wonder if the series will be finished or not. I hope it does. Blurb: Santa Louisa is still reeling from the lethal rampage of the demon Envy, one of the Seven Deadly Sins released from Hell by black magic. The fiendish entity was finally trapped, but when more bodies bearing satanic marks surface in Los Angeles, demon hunter Moira O'Donnell fears that the terror has only just begun. Racing to L.A., Moira discovers that the City of Angels is fast becoming the demon Lust's decadent playground. She suspects that another coven is at work, aided indirectly by her diabolical mother, the powerful witch Fiona. But when Moira's unwanted psychic powers intensify, she fears her connection to the underworld is putting everyone she cares about in grave danger. As supernatural war erupts, Moira and smoldering, seductive Rafe Cooper are caught in the crossfire. Cornered by mortal and unearthly enemies, they must master all their own powers to survive – and to understand if the intensely passionate feelings that bind them are Lust's demon magic or true desire. Lots of action made it hard to put the book down. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I hope I haven't seen the end of Moira and Rafe.

Dec 31: "Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet" by DaryndaJones. This book is the fourth in a series and is probably considered urban fantasy vs. paranormal romance (since it is written in first person and doesn't necessarily have HEA at the end of each book). And like the others, I loved it! Charley Davidson is a hoot. Blurb: Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley's last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above…or at least get dressed, it becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she's insane. But the more they refute the woman's story, the more Charley believes it. In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satin, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley's life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley s thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans in this hilarious fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling series. Got the book for Christmas (requested) and read it as soon as possible (quickly, too). This is one great series. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

I reached 86 books read for the year, 6 over my goal. Well, actually 31 over my original goal of 55, but since I lost my job in June, I reached that goal by September, so I adjusted it. For 2013, I made my goal 90. That's over 7 books a month. I think it's doable. We'll see!
Oh, and I got a Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight for Christmas. Still have to get used to reading on that thing, but it works for those novellas that only come as an e-book, so maybe I'll wean myself onto it. I still prefer paper, though.