Friday, March 29, 2013

Yep, I'm Late

This is what happens when you sit down to read a book you've been waiting months for. You read at the expense of everything else. At least, I do!

My daughter handed me "Lover at Last" yesterday morning, on her way to work. I've been reading it ever since. Well, except for this break last night when we went to see the opening of "The Host," which, by the way, is a pretty good flick.

Anyway, I just finished reading. Guess life can now go back to normal, whatever that is.

Hope you have a wonderful Easter!!

Oh, and Go Pens!! 14 in a row. Whoo hoo!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What I Read Since Last Week

Well, it looks like I will NOT be making that trip to Atlanta for RWA after all, since “Ghostly Liaison” did not final in the Golden Heart contest. Have to say, it made for a depressing afternoon, so I spent it reading. Besides I had to finish that last book so I can read “Lover at Last,” that is as soon as my daughter finishes it (and according to her, that should have been sometime last night).

As always, I do not spoil the book in my gushes or rants! Here is what I read last week:

Mar 21: “The Temperate Warrior” by Renee Vincent. This is an historical romance (set in 923 AD Norway). Blurb on back of book (in blue): Gustaf Raeliksen lives by the blade of his sword. After avenging his father’s murder and reuniting with his family, he wants nothing more than to settle down and have sons of his own. Only one woman will do--a fiery redhead he saved from the spoils of war. No longer forced to warm the beds of the men who’ve taken everything from her, Aesa has nothing to offer the noble warrior but her heart. When someone with a deep score to settle seeks revenge upon her, Gustaf’s world is torn asunder. He has but one vow--saving the woman he loves from the ignorant fool who dared to best the temperate warrior. These characters were mentioned in her Emerald Isle Trilogy, but you do not need to have read those to read this (in other words--you won’t be confused). I really enjoyed this story, as I have enjoyed all of her stories (and I’m not a huge historical fan). I just love the way she writes. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

Mar 22: “Absolution” by Susannah Sandlin. This is a paranormal romance, the second book in the Penton Legacy series. Blurb on back (in blue): Mirren Kincaid remembers the vampire he used to be--and he’s not going back. As the Slayer, Mirren served the Vampire Tribunal as its most creative and ruthless executioner. Then he refused a kill order and eventually found himself the protector and second-in-command of the peaceful enclave of Penton, Alabama. As civil war threatens to break out in the vampire world over the scarcity of untainted human blood, the Tribunal wants its slayer back--and has sent a beautiful witch to retrieve him. Descended from a powerful shaman, Glory Cummings is meant to restore Mirren to his bloodthirsty ways as the Tribunal’s assassin. But Glory doesn’t see a killer when she looks at Mirren; she sees a vampire haunted by his past. Though her mission is to turn him into a monster, she hopes her magic touch can heal the man she’s suddenly falling for. But the Tribunal has never looked kindly upon defiance. As you can tell by the dates, I zipped right through this one. Sure, it helped I had a few hours to kill while waiting for my husband to teach his class, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t have mattered. I just didn’t want to put this book down. This is one series I absolutely love and I’m sad to say I don’t have the third in my hands (although it is on order). This author knows how to hook me! I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

Mar 26: “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen. This is labeled simply as fiction. Blurb from Barnes & Noble (in blue): Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell. Jacob was there because his luck had run out—orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive "ship of fools." It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act—in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival. I saw the movie and really liked it. My daughter said she had the book. I told her I wanted to read it. It had been sitting on my shelf ever since, because other books caught my eye first. But I finally got around to reading this and man, did I enjoy it! I especially loved Jacob (and the story is told in his POV--first person). I read the last 150 pages on a day I was kind of depressed, and it was just what I needed. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

Three books - whoo hoo! Next week I'll possibly only list one. I will read “Lover at Last,” but I also have my second round of edits due back on April 15th. So reading will be at a minimum (after I read the Lover book, of course) until I get this round back to my editor (I just love having one of those!).

Are you getting lots of books read? Any of these sound good to you?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow! With Pictures

First off, let me say… Yay! Ohio State reached the Sweet 16! Yay! Florida Gulf Coast helped save my brackets (plus it was just cool to see them win). Yay! Penguins won their 12th in a row!

I decided to wait until the morning to write this (I usually write my post the night - or days - before) since I wasn’t sure what kind of mess I was going to wake up to (it was coming down pretty heavy when I finally went to bed). Well, we certainly didn’t get the 12 inches that was predicted (only about 4½, whew!). Of course, it’s also still snowing, so who knows? I’ll probably continue to take pictures throughout the day, but nothing further than the house. The husband decided to take my 4WD SUV to work and I refuse to go out in the snow in anything but!

Ah, look! It's snowing!
It was supposed to snow all day Sunday, so when it started a little before noon, I got a little nervous. Then it stopped (right around the end of the OSU game) and we got a few hours break.

Inbetween storms - decided to get the trash out before
it got too nasty out there!

Once the sun set, it started sleeting outside, but for only a short while (kind of glad--I hate ice worse than snow). The heavy stuff hit when it was too dark to take any decent pictures. But I managed.

By now the roads are getting covered. I'd have zoomed in
closer, but it was too dark.
As you can see, the flash don't work so good!!
Wonder what all those white dots are? :)
This morning (I think our paper was actually delivered!).
4" of white stuff. More to come. Ugh!

Pictures aren't super-duper great, but I kind of like how I made the trash can and recycle bin reference points. Probably the first time I've ever been smart enough to think of it before it was too late.
Schools are closed today, but I still expect my son to come over tonight since I’m cooking his lasagna for dinner (yum!). The roads will be clear by then anyway. Besides, he loves the snow, so he can drive in it.

Heck, all this snow will probably be gone in a couple of days. At least, I HOPE so. I want some WARM weather!!!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Scam or Good Business Practice?

The husband and I love cruising. It’s almost become addicting (what am I saying -- it IS addicting) and I’m guessing the cruise line knows this. How else can you explain the following?

My husband constantly checks the cruise website to find a good deal. A good deal for us is a cruise that costs less than $50/day, because we have other expenses to GET us to the ship (e.g. travel and hotel).

He was at school (yeah, sometimes he doesn’t have to actually teach, just has to be there) and got onto the website without signing in (because he wasn’t on his personal computer and he forgot what his user name and password were). He found a cruise for $48/day. Cool!

But when he got home and signed onto the site, the price for that same cruise was now $81/day. He checked the box for Returning Customer and got the same price. What gives? We’re returning customers. Shouldn’t WE be getting the deal? So he decided to find out what was going on (and by the way, all the options he chose we are eligible for).

Staying signed in, he cleared the selections and checked the Military (Retired & Active) box. Price = $70/day.

He cleared the selections and checked the Over 55 box. Price = $54/day.

He signed off and went back into the site (no boxes checked) and found that cruise again for $48/day.

Granted, he immediately signed in and could have purchased it for that price, but how many people actually do that? How many people have it so they’re automatically signed in (like my husband) when they open the website? How much you want to bet the cruise line KNOWS this, too? Hmmm??

If anything, this should tell you to experiment/shop around for the best price and then maybe even call the cruise line. Who knows, you might get a better deal. Don’t take it for granted that just because you are a returning customer (or a senior or military) you’re getting the best deal. Apparently, that ain’t the case!

So, do you think it’s a scam? Or just the way businesses operate?

Oh, and as for going on the cruise…? We’re waiting to decide until after the Golden Heart finalists are notified (March 26). You know, just in case… J


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What I Read Last Week

I'm not sure if any of you realize this, but my "reviews" of the books I read do not give ANYTHING away. No spoilers, I promise. I give the blurb off the book (which is in blue in case you don't want to read that) and I pretty much say whether or not I liked the book. So if you don't read my Wednesday blogs because you're afraid I'll give something away, fear not! I may rant about not liking an ending, but will never say what the ending is. I swear, I would never spoil a book for anyone, and just because I don't like it, doesn't mean you won't, too (and vice versa). Anyway, on to what I read this week:

Mar 16: "Frozen Heat" by Richard Castle (except, not really--and if you're a fan of the show, you should check out his site). This is the fourth book in the Nikki Heat series, supposedly written by the character on the television series "Castle." Blurb (from Goodreads): Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook are together again, facing an unsolved murder mystery that has haunted Nikki for ten years. NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat arrives at her latest crime scene to find an unidentified woman stabbed to death and stuffed inside a suitcase left on a Manhattan street. Nikki is in for a big shock when this new homicide connects to the unsolved murder of her own mother. Paired once again with her romantic and investigative partner, top journalist Jameson Rook, Heat works to solve the mystery of the body in the suitcase while she is forced to confront unexplored areas of her mother's background. Facing relentless danger as someone targets her for the next kill, Nikki's search will unearth painful family truths, expose a startling hidden life, and cause Nikki to reexamine her own past. Heat's passionate quest takes her and Rook from the back alleys of Manhattan to the avenues of Paris, trying to catch a ruthless killer. The question is, now that her mother's cold case has unexpectedly thawed, will Nikki Heat finally be able to solve the dark mystery that has been her demon for ten years? These books are getting better as the series goes along, and I get a kick out of the references in them (this one has Detectives Malcolm and Reynolds, and you'd get that if you were/are a "Firefly" fan). I love the banter between Heat and Rook and laughed out loud numerous times. I still don't know who the actual author(s) is(are), but it's not like I'd go run out to read their other work. This series is fun because of the TV tie-in. Don't know how much you would like the book without that. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Watched the Penguins beat the Capitals last night. That’s ten wins in a row! Yippee! Hockey season is great this year. Let’s Go Pens!!


Monday, March 18, 2013

March Madness!

Basketball? Sure, I suppose. But what about the weather? It's crazy.

I think that groundhog lied! Temps will still be in the 30s this week with snow on Tuesday. Where's spring? It was supposed to be right around the corner! Instead all we get is more of the same. Cold, cold, and more cold.

Is anyone here just as sick of it as I am?

Sunday was a day off for me (writing-wise, that is). Watched the Penguins beat the Bruins (yay!), watched Ohio State beat Wisconsin (yay!), and watched Kevin Streelman win his first PGA tournament (okay, I don’t know who he is, but it was fun). I didn't even read. I know, shocker!

Apparently, the two short stories I submitted for my RWA chapter’s anthology have been accepted (well, I wasn’t told they were rejected), but unfortunately, not enough submissions were received by the March 15th deadline, so the deadline has been extended. That’s better than being cancelled! Just wondering if I should attempt to write another. My husband thinks I should. But Alien Desires (Book #5) is begging to be finished (at least ready for someone to critique it), so I will concentrate on that instead. Unless, of course, I wake up with an idea that can be written in a day (not impossible, it’s happened before), then I’ll reconsider. And why do I have time to do all that? That’s because I got my content edits in well before my April 7th deadline. Getting that finished sure lifted a load off my shoulders!

I hope the weather is warmer in your part of the world, just as I wish it were warmer here! This winter has gone on long enough, don’t you think?



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Someone shared this You Tube video on Facebook and I thought it was appropriate for today so I'm sharing with you all. Enjoy!

By the way Whisk, this is my 444th Post!!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Just when you think you have it licked, it draws you back in…

Just when we (that would be me and my husband) are trying to cut DOWN on watching TV, a show catches our attention and the next thing we're doing is watching all the episodes to get caught up for the new season. So which show has done this to us now? The Client List.

I'm not a Jennifer Love Hewitt fan, but I do like Colin Egglesfield (he also has a minor part on Rizzoli & Isles – and I find it very hard to believe this guy is 40!!). Still, the show looked interesting, and it is. We finished the first 10 episodes (Lifetime ran a marathon prior to the new season) and will continue watching, since it's the commercials for the second season that caught our attention.

What's it about? Well, in a way, prostitution. The Client List is about a list of clients (all men, of course, mostly good-looking) who get sexual extras at a massage parlor.

This is the part that really bugs me. Most of these men are EYE CANDY (not that that bugs me, nosireebob – some of them are certainly drool-worthy). The fact these guys don't just pick someone up in a bar seems a little unrealistic. Now if they were all fat and hairy, I could understand paying for some extra messaging. But I digress.

Anyway, the masseuse doesn't HAVE to work on these clients, but the tips are too hard to pass up, especially for the main character (Hewitt) whose husband has left her and she needs money to keep her house. And while that story line is okay, it's the budding romance between her and her ex's brother (Egglesfield), that has drawn me in. Because that guy is just…yummy!

Of course, the writer in me sees all this oncoming conflict, too. Good stuff.


Last night I attended a free class at my local library on Photoshop. They are having a series of these classes and I thought it might be something worthwhile, since there is a chance I could still self-publish. Well, if it did anything, it showed me I don't have the patience to work that kind of software. I'd rather be writing. Money toward a cover artist would be money well spent, because it won't take away from my writing.

I never was much of an artist anyway.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What I Read in the Past Week

Whoo, hoo! Two books read this week.

Mar 6: "Unravel Me" by Tahareh Mafi. This is a YA dystopian fantasy/paranormal/what-have-you and is the second in an apparent series. Blurb: Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her – people with gifts – and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance. She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible. Haunted by her past and terrified of her future, Juliette knows that in her present, she will have to make some life-changing choices. Choices that may involve choosing between her heart – and Adam's life. This is her second book, and it apparently will be an on-going series. I only hope that's the case, because while I loved this story, I hated the ending - it left too much stuff hanging. This story was heart-wrenching and emotional and gripped me from the beginning. I just wish the ending satisfied me. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, but really thought I would have given it 5, until I reached the end. Will I read the next? Most likely. But if it ends (or non-ends) like this one, then I will most likely wait until I see a series finale before I pick up the next one. One of the reasons I despise most series.

Mar 12: "Hangar 18: Legacy" by Jennette MariePowell. This is labeled a sci-fi romance, but it's not the techy kind of sci-fi (yay!). Blurb: In July, 1947, a craft of indeterminate origin crashed near Roswell, New Mexico. The United States Army transported the wreckage and the bodies of several extraterrestrial beings to Wright Field near Dayton, Ohio, where they were examined, placed in storage, and forgotten. But these beings weren't dead. Now one has awoken, and he's angrier than hell… Psychic Air Force officer and researcher Adam Keller is used to sensing the thoughts and emotions of others, so he keeps people at a distance. But when a desperate, telepathic voice demands rescue, dark thoughts of death threaten to overwhelm Adam. Then he meets a woman whose attraction to him – and his to her – quiets, if not silences, the voice. All he has to do is risk his heart and experience the emotions he's long denied himself. Skeptical programmer Lisa Stark wants nothing more than to finish the subliminal messaging software she's worked on for over a year, a project someone wants badly enough to kill for. Then Adam discovers the voice plaguing him is an imprisoned extraterrestrial thought dead for decades. Lisa's software is key to freeing the being and silencing the voice…if she lives to finish it. I enjoyed the story and loved the main characters. I also loved the fact I knew the area this is set in (ha ha!). If it weren't for my editing, I would have finished this book long before now. As it was, I played hooky on Tuesday to finish it! I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.

I was a bad girl on Tuesday. I watched a movie ("Premium Rush," pretty good!) because it was due back to the library, and then I finished reading a book. To top it off, I went to see the musical "American Idiot" with my daughter (I enjoyed it, by the way). Yep, not much writing got done, but I'll make it up today.

Unless I decide to watch "Aliens." I've never seen it and it's sitting there waiting to be watched! We'll see how good I am…

Have a good day!


Monday, March 11, 2013

I Want to See This Movie!!

My daughter showed me this movie preview yesterday. Said I was going to see the movie with her, once it comes out. Okay, I thought. Had no idea what movie she was talking about. Then I watched the trailer (since she practically shoved it in my face):

Oh yeah! I so want to see this movie. I'm not a Shakespeare fan, but I do enjoy Joss Whedon. I'll be watching it with her, for sure!

What movie is on your radar? You think you'll go and see this one?

On Friday's blog I mentioned I could now work on Book 5. Should have known better. It appears that book is on hold again because that afternoon I got my first round of content edits back, so it's back to work on My Sunny Vampire (my edits are due April 7). I'm really having so much fun.

I know, I'm sick.

I had some fun this weekend. I discovered how to set up an author page on Amazon and Goodreads, so now I have one on each. It was free, even!

So what did you do this weekend? Anything fun?


Friday, March 8, 2013

MUSE! Pictures Included

Well, I survived the trip home from the Muse concert on Wednesday. That's not to say the trip was uneventful. Far from it. Besides taking 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot, it then took two hours to drive home, unlike the one hour it took to get there.

But let me tell you, even with all that driving in the snowstorm set to the music of Muse (and their music kind of fit at times), that concert was so worth it!

When they first set up, I told my daughter that it didn't seem like their set was as elaborate as the last time (two years ago). They had quite a set-up then and impressed the heck out of us. Well, I should have known better, I guess. Simplicity doesn't mean boring – not in the electronic age. Anyway, out of the 96 photos I took, here are a few for you to enjoy (eventually, I'll put them all on Facebook, once I figure out HOW):

Set after the first act finished (Dead Sara – which were okay) shows all this smoke. Have no idea where it came from. But as you can see – not much there (if you click on the photos, they will enlarge).


Here's what greeted us when we left the arena. Yikes!

Have a great day. I got all my short stories submitted (yay!) and now can concentrate on Book 5. Until I hear back from my editor, that is.



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What I Read Since Last Week

Hey! My good blogging buddy, The Happy Whisk, is giving away some books to celebrate her 444th post! So hop on over to her post HERE. I'm sure she'll appreciate it. Plus, you might walk away with a new book!

And in case you were wondering (because I was) - this is my 439th post. I'm catching up to her!

Reading's picking up a little, now that I don't have a deadline hanging over me. Still, I only got one book finished since last week (I'll blame it on the taxes – which, by the way are DONE!) and here it is:

Mar 3: "Stalked" by Allison Brennan. Book 5 of the Lucy Kincaid series. Blurb: A new trainee at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Lucy Kincaid has already seen more than her share of murder and mayhem. Still reeling from the sex-crime case that sealed her reputation, she's found a true friend and mentor in Agent Tony Presidio. No matter what goes down at the Bureau, Tony's got her back – until he's called to New York to help investigate the murder of a reporter with ties to Lucy. But the report may not be the first victim of a patient killer with a penchant for revenge, and she's definitely not the last. Connections between closed cases, a missing person, and Tony himself lead Lucy to fear for those she cares for most. When the FBI is rocked by the death of one of their own, Lucy seeks the help of her boyfriend, private investigator Sean Rogan, to help put together the puzzle – and puts her career in jeopardy. But the harder she pushes for answers, the clearer the truth becomes: There's a killer inside Quantico. Watching her every move. Waiting to kill again… Another goodie. Now I have to wait for the next book to be released before I can read it. Oh well, gives me a chance to read other stuff now. Just like the others in this series, I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

No news on the concert I attended last night because I'm writing this early (and haven't left yet). Why? Because #1 – I will not have finished the book I'm reading by tomorrow and #2 – I will most likely crawl into bed as soon as I get home from the concert. I expect my trip to be treacherous since I'll be driving back in the snow. We'll see if we get 4-6" of the stuff. I'm hoping we DON'T! I don't want to drive in any of it. Why does the weather always have to act up on the days I actually venture OUT of the house? Doesn't seem fair!

So glad I got the four-wheel drive!

Keep warm!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Concerts, Conventions, and Cars!

Actually, I'll only be talking about one of each, but the plural title just sounded better!

Tomorrow the daughter and I will be going to Columbus to attend a Muse concert! Oh joy! We saw them a few years back and loved it. So glad they're returning. Can't wait to see them again.

This afternoon registration opens for the Lori FosterReader/Author Get Together. I expect it will fill up quickly, so I'm registering as soon as I can. I enjoy this little convention. It's right down the road, and the price is reasonable, too. 

My husband will be in Kentucky this week. Four whole days! If it weren't for my concert, I would have accompanied him. Instead, I'll just miss him.

However, this trip is turning out like all his others when he leaves his car behind (the convertible – visit this POST to see my rant from last year). Yeah, I know it's too cold to put the top down, and normally I don't want to drive it when the top is up, but I had planned on taking his car to Columbus for the concert (it gets better gas mileage and plus, he has more gas in his car). But alas, it is not to be. Apparently a rock hit his windshield and it started to crack. We didn't notice it until we were at the mall on Saturday. Then on the drive back, noticed it got larger. Okay, so no driving this car until it's fixed. And when will that be? On Thursday, the day my husband RETURNS. I sometimes think he plans it this way!

I got one of my short stories submitted to the anthology and hope to have the second later this week – once I feel comfortable with the story. I'm almost there, too. When will I know it's ready? Probably when I don't wake up in the morning realizing I can fix something. That will be the morning I send it in. Unless it's March 15, then it'll be that day. Ha ha!

Before you go, here's a little bit of Muse to brighten your day! Happy Monday!


Friday, March 1, 2013


Wednesday evening I let out a HUGE sigh of relief. Why? Because I sent my manuscript to my editor. Two days early, even!

I had cut out most of the filler words I could find, some of the repetition I could find, and cleaned up a few paragraphs. All in all I eliminated almost 2500 words and didn't change a darn thing to the story. This little process really opened my eyes. Let's hope it did some good (for future stories, that is).

So now I have two to three weeks free before I get hit with the next round. What to do? What to do??

My short story isn't due until 3/15 (deadline moved), so I sent it to some readers. That left Book 5, so I started on that yesterday. Then I realized maybe I better not.

Why is that? Because once I get neck deep into my stories, I don't usually WANT to do anything else, and right now I HAVE to do something else. Something IMPORTANT.

Granted, it's also something I don't want to do, but hey, Uncle Sam waits for no one, right? So I'm off to do my taxes. So if you don't hear back from me today, don't worry. Besides, you might not WANT to hear from me. Taxes make me grumpy. Heck, they make me more than grumpy. I just hate doing them.

Of course, I hate paying someone to do them MORE!

* * * * *

Do you get the word of the day from Most of the time the words that come through there I'd never EVER use in regular speech, no less a book. But I keep the subscription, because you just never know.

Well, on Wednesday, the word of the day was zakuska. It's Russian (yeah – I thought that was strange, too) for snack. I almost disregarded it then remembered, hey, I have this idea for a Russian vampire and I had been looking for some terms of endearment he could use for his future mate. Well, he's a vampire, she's human, so she'd be like a snack to him.

Aaaannndd….My Little Zakuska* was created.

I almost can't wait to write the book, now!

Have words given you any ideas lately?

Hope your Friday is great! I'm sure mine won't be. Not until I finish those blasted taxes. Argh!!


*I thought about using the whole phrase in Russian, but it's just too much of a mouthful!