Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday Reads and a Week from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

It’s been a bad week of editing. Of course, is it ever good when you’re told the story is moving too slowly? Cut, cut, cut. I hope I’ve cut enough. I don’t think I can take much more. I think I’ll be done tomorrow and then I’ll have to read it to make sure I didn’t screw everything up. I really hate it when I do that!

At least the Penguins won the first round of playoffs. Something good DID happen this week!

Plain old reading has been taking a back seat, that’s for sure. Here’s what I read during the week:

Apr 22: “Bobbie Faye's Sizzling Heart Breaking Can't Stop Collision With Heat (Bobbie Faye 0.5)” by Toni McGee Causey, a short story. This is a Bobbie Faye and Cam prequel, which takes place before book 1 of the series. This was a fun little glimpse into what Bobbie Faye and Cam had before the relationship bombed. I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads.

Apr 22: “Bobbie Faye's Critically Spectacular Insanely Bad Failure to Communicate (Bobbie Faye 1.5)” by Toni McGee Causey, a short-short story. About a hostage situation featuring…who else. Takes place between books 1 and 2 of the series. The story isn’t told linear and, added to my problems with the formatting, made it a little hard to follow. Because of that, I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads. Otherwise, the story is funny, just executed strangely (which others probably don’t have a problem with).

Apr 23: “Bobbie Faye's Whacked Out, No Good, Really Sucky, Hot Mess of a Wedding” by Toni McGee Causey, a short story/novella that wraps up the series. And a fine wrap-up at that. I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads.

I received all three of these as one pdf from the author when I signed up for her newsletter (Goodreads only had a cover for one) and was so happy to get them because I couldn’t find them anywhere else! (These stories show up separately on Goodreads, so I’m taking credit for reading THREE books. That means I’ll aim for reading two books over my goal.) I love this series. I love Bobbie Faye. It was nice being back in her world, even for a short time.

Tonight the hubby and I are going to Columbus to see Cher in concert. I expect to be highly entertained--I kind of need it. I mean, it’s Cher! When is she NOT entertaining?

So… Who performed at the last concert you attended? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

Happy reading!



Monday, April 28, 2014

My First Retreat

First off… Sorry, no pictures. I never even pulled the camera out. Frankly, that’s not a surprise where I’m concerned. I guess if other people took pictures, I might have done it, but they didn’t so I didn’t.

I had fun! Just being around other writers, talking about writing (and publishing), was pretty cool. There were some newbie writers as well as published ones. I’m still amazed I’m part of the published ones. I still don’t feel all that experienced with only 5 years of writing behind me.

I managed to get over 900 words added to Book 7 AND edited 78 pages of Bite Me. Shocked me! I also got some critique comments for Book 7 (told me what I needed to pay attention to) and I critiqued three other first chapters. I also found new authors I want to try out (and support). Overall, pretty productive.

Know what else it was? Exhausting! You’d think not, huh? But the beds weren’t the greatest and when staying up Saturday night until 1:30 talking (I crashed about an hour before the majority), waking up at 7:15, staying for lunch (at a nearby restaurant), then driving home for nearly 2 hours, took its toll. I guess if the bed was more comfortable, I would have slept longer, but it wasn’t, so I didn’t.

The place was pretty and it did warm up a bit on Saturday (after the rain left). I stayed in and worked, though (hard to write on my laptop with the sun blaring on the screen--can’t see anything--and my battery only lasts about an hour anyway). But having only two bathrooms with 15 women (one had to cancel) did make it difficult at times. Not something I would recommend for anything longer than a weekend! Heck, I don’t think I could survive there longer than a weekend. It might look pretty, but it wasn’t always comfortable.

Would I do it again, though? You betcha!

So… The Penguins head to Game 6 tonight. In Columbus. And they’re up 3-2 (best out of 7). I’d like to be there and watch them win the first round (I’m thinking positive, here), but not at their prices. Guess I’ll just have to suffer with watching it on TV. Go Pens!!!

Hope your Monday isn’t a drag!



Friday, April 25, 2014

I'm Going on a Writers' Retreat

This afternoon I leave for my very first writers’ retreat at Crockett’s Run in Logan, Ohio. I have no idea what to expect, except it’s a lodge where 16 of us writers will spend the weekend getting to know one another pretty darn well (there’s only two bathrooms!).

I hope to get some writing on my newest project done, but I’m knee-deep in editing, so we’ll see how it goes (at least I have a May 7 deadline for the editing). We’re also having a critique session and brainstorming session. I may come home with information overload! I plan on taking my camera, but that doesn’t mean I’ll take pictures. If I do, I’ll be sure to post them. At least of the lodge. The weather is supposed to be great. We’ll see.

On Wednesday, I did receive the edits back for Bite Me. On thing that never fails: I read them over and depression sets in. Luckily it doesn’t last. And I make sure NOT to edit anything until after I’ve read ALL the notes and slept on it (I’m less defensive that way!). When I saw it with fresh eyes yesterday morning, I could see where stuff could be better (and then I hit myself for not catching it earlier). I really do enjoy this part (after the depression has diffused, that is) and love making my story better. Can’t wait until this puppy is set free for the world to see!

So… Do you have any plans for the weekend? Rooting for any hockey teams? How about baseball?



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday Reads

Well…my daughter has finally finished reading “The King” (by JR Ward) and it’s sitting in the house tormenting me. Must get my edits done first. And then I’m going to a writers retreat on Friday, so I doubt I’ll want to be in the middle of it for that. Guess I’ll just have to be tormented for a while. Argh!! Anyway, here’s what I read during the week:

Apr 20: “Second Avenue, Second Hand,” an anthology put together by Wendy Tyler Ryan. Blurb from Goodreads: There is a shop on the corner of Second Avenue and Main. It is a shop filled with things. It is a shop filled with this and that, bits and pieces, odds and sods. You know the kind I mean. Ask anyone how long it’s been there and they’ll say, it seems like forever. Yes, the exterior needs some tender loving care and most of the lights in the old sign were burnt out long ago, but still they come. Some come with hopes of finding the perfect treasure to place upon their mantel. Others come to rid themselves of things unwanted. But this is no ordinary shop, and for those who are compelled to cross its threshold, well... I fear they may never be the same. So come. Come if you dare. Open the door, wipe your feet on the mat, and have a look around. The proprietor, Mr. Blank, is looking forward to meeting you. Just ask anyone how long he’s been there and they’ll say, it seems like forever…  This anthology has a mix of genres. Sweet romance to horror to just plain bizarre. Can't tell from the titles which is which, either. But I enjoyed reading them all (even the bizarre--although the romance was my favorite. Duh!). All stories revolve around the same second hand store (and proprietor), so it has that theme going for it. If you're looking for some interesting short stories to read, can't go too wrong here. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Apr 21: “Jingle Bell Rock” by Rie Warren, a sexy, hot, m/m romantic short. Blurb from Goodreads: A bashful bouncer, a Cajun rock boy, and a Christmas Eve kiss that changes everything… Brian “Beef” Carroway thinks he’s gay. No, he knows he is. He’s gruff, buff, and overcompensating for his big size and soft heart. Brian’s the badass bouncer at Mosh rock club where Cajun singer Jack Cotille moonlights for the month of December. With a voice like sin, Jack is walking, talking, sexy temptation in the flesh. He’s also fly-by-night, possibly homeless, and chancing everything on a wing and a prayer. Just about the only thing Brian is sure of is traveling man Jack belts out dirty rock lyrics while promising the kind of pornographic sex he’s only fantasized about. He’s definitely gay for Jack. One Christmas Eve kiss leads to a night of heaven, a morning of hell. The holiday week leaves Brian aching for more than his wanderer singer can give as the New Year’s Eve countdown begins. Wow! I’m not a fan of first person, and definitely not when it’s borderline erotica, but somehow I had no problem with it in this short story/novella. I did have a problem with it being a pdf on my e-reader, but I’ll blame that on my e-reader. Besides the issue with that, I enjoyed the story very much and gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.
I’m currently reading another group of shorts that was given to me on pdfs (which I’m really, really hating). My husband has been kind enough to “format” it to epub, but that didn’t really work all that well. Do you have problems reading pdfs on e-readers? Maybe next time I should just print them out. What do you think?

Happy reading!



Monday, April 21, 2014

I Guest-Posted and E-Reader Dissatisfaction

Hey! I’m a nut! Okay, maybe you already know that, but this time I’m a nut over at Cd Brennan’s blog. Every Sunday she features a different author on her “Sundae With Nuts” and I happen to be the author featured yesterday. So if you’re curious (and you are, aren’t you?), click HERE and check out my answers to her questions. Am I nutty or what?

Yesterday was Easter (duh!). It was supposed to be a fairly relaxing day. I thought I would get some editing done and finish the anthology I was reading before the kids came over for dinner and games. Well I guess I can wish in one hand and get you-know-what in the other.

I pulled out my Nook and noticed the screen had faded. Now, I turn that sucker off after I use it, so I knew it wasn’t the battery. I turned it on and everything seemed fine until a message popped up saying it was reformatting (or something to that affect) and to NOT turn off the Nook. After waiting 10 minutes (the 10 minutes it would have taken me to finish the darn anthology!!!), the reformatting finished but reset EVERYTHING! It was like having a brand new Nook. All my freebie books were gone. All my shelves were gone. All my settings were GONE!

This is why I hate e-readers. I wouldn’t have had this problem with paper books. Well, I would if a tornado came through the house or an earthquake struck, but the odds of either of those happening are waaaay less than my Nook reformatting.

At least I had my freebie books on my computer, so they weren’t totally gone. But going through my books and figuring out which ones I’d already read….what a pain! I can’t remember that crap. That’s why I created the shelves!! That’s why I have separate shelves for my paper books. Ones that hold books to be read and several that hold the books I have read (and they’re in different rooms, too!).

Okay. Rant over (until the next time, that is--haha!).

Other than that unfortunate incident, my Easter was pretty good. I got a nice message from someone who won a copy of MSV. She’s very excited about reading it. Now I am, too! Amazing what can please me, huh?

Easter dinner was nice. I actually cooked! Shocking, I know.

Gotta work like crazy this week to get my pre-edits finished for Ghostly Liaison, so it’s probably a good thing my daughter hasn’t finished reading J.R. Ward’s book yet. I’m not ready to read it!!

So…did you spend the holiday with family? Do anything fun? We sat around and played board games. I actually won one game. Yay!

Have a great Monday!!



Friday, April 18, 2014

It's Friday...I Think

My days are all skewed. Today is a holiday for my husband, so he also took yesterday off. So yeah, today is Friday, but it feels like Sunday, only tomorrow isn’t Monday… No wonder I have a headache.

And yes, I do have a headache. Haven’t determined whether it’s from hormones, weather, or my sinuses. Maybe all three! Sometimes I really hate my body.

The husband and I went and saw “Draft Day” on Tuesday. If you like all things to do with football, you’ll like this. If you’re a Cleveland Browns fan, you’ll REALLY like this. If you have no idea what football is…don’t waste your money (or time). You will NOT enjoy it. I like football enough and enjoyed the flick. Some movie-goers joked about us walking in wearing our Pittsburgh Steelers jackets, though. Oh well… It’s not the FIRST time!

Pittsburgh Penguins won their first game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. I’m hoping for a sweep. Yeah, they’re playing the Columbus Blue Jackets and if the Jackets were playing ANYONE else, I’d be rooting for them, too. But they’re not, so I’m not.

So…have you seen “Draft Day”? Are you watching the Stanley Cup playoffs? Or is it all baseball for you?

Happy Good Friday (and Happy Easter on Sunday!)



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Reads

It’s a good thing I’m waiting for the next J.R. Ward book. I really don’t have time to read (because of all that editing I’m doing). However, I still have moments when I want to pass the time (like walking on a treadmill or during lunch) and reading will only do. So I’m reading short stories. Anthologies work great when you don’t want to be tied down to a longer story. Glad I have a couple!

Here’s what I read during the week:

Apr 10: “Love’s a Beach,” an anthology by writers of the Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America. Blurb from Goodreads: From heartwarming to mysterious, comical to suspenseful, these romantic tales show that there really is someone for everyone. Featuring stories by Linda Chalk, Ann Gregory, Dakota James, Stacy McKitrick, Sandy Pennington, and Jennette Marie Powell as well as flash fiction and poetry, Love’s a Beach proves there’s something magical about finding love when the warm breezes blow, whether it happens today or a hundred years ago, from the Atlantic shore to the American West coast. Like with all anthologies, there’s a mixture of stories. Nice samples of fine writing. Of course, I’m partial to my two stories! Haha! I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.
So...did you get any snow on Tuesday? I woke up to covered lawns and cars. Not something you want to see in the middle of April! I sure hope that's the end of it.

Happy reading!



Monday, April 14, 2014

Four Questions About My Writing

As you can see, I survived the week. I’m so glad I don’t have another job. I think I would have had to take a vacation to recover, if I didn’t just up and die, that is. I guess there’s a reason we have the saying: When it rains, it pours. And while I’m still in the editing cave, at least it’s quieter. I can stand to have some more quiet.

Now on with my post. I’ve been tagged in a Blog Hop by Jennette Marie Powell. I know her through my Cincinnati RWA Chapter and I’ve read all her books and loved them. If you like aliens or time travel romances, check her out.

I have four questions to answer regarding my writing. Hopefully you’re interested to read further! Let’s see how I do.

1. WHAT AM I WORKING ON? Well…I’ll skip those I’m editing for my publisher and talk about the ones that aren’t sold (yet!). I’ve finished the first draft of my next vampire romance, BLIND TEMPTATION, which I’m in the middle of revising. It’s about a vampire who is forced to attend driver’s ed (or lose her position on the Committee). Her love interest is her teacher, who is blind. Yeah, I know. A blind driver’s ed teacher? Believe it or not, I think I make it work! The vampire was turned at the age of 17 and the teacher is 39. Yep, age difference here (physically--emotionally, she’s centuries older!), and she’s kind of glad he can’t see her (thus, the title). I can’t wait to get back to it so I can then submit this one.

I’m also writing the first draft of my next ghost romance, GHOSTLY INTERLUDE, which is about a woman who is being possessed. Her love interest is the private investigator she hires (who was featured in GHOSTLY LIAISON). She doesn’t know she’s being possessed; she thinks someone is drugging her (this is why she hires the PI). He thinks she might have a split personality. I’ve barely gotten started on it, so I don’t know much more than that, but look forward to getting back to the story (because, you know, everything stops when you’re working for your publisher!). I do have this writers’ retreat coming up soon, so hopefully I’ll be able to add LOTS of words to this one!

2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE? I really hate this question. I mean, how does anyone’s work differ? It’s my work, so it’s different. Anyway…regarding the romance genre, my characters usually start out liking each other. I’m not fond of those stories where they start out disliking (or hating) one another. I’m all about the love. While the characters do have enough emotional conflict of their own, I basically have them work together to fight an outside conflict before they can reach their happy ever after. As for the paranormal part? Well, I strive for realism. Is that different? I don’t know. I haven’t read every paranormal romance book out there. Give me time!

3. WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO? I love paranormal/supernatural stories. Heck, I lived on horror books for years before I wrote. But I always felt they missed something. Turned out to be romance! While I don’t write horror, I get a little gritty with my characters. They certainly get beat up a lot! Who knew I’d have such fun torturing them!

4. HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK? Hmmm… I write. Not enough? Well…for BLIND TEMPATION I came up with the idea of having a blind character (like Auggie on Covert Affairs). Then I came up with a vampire forced to take driver’s ed. I started writing from that. As for GHOSTLY INTERLUDE… I was given a prompt on another blog and came up with a beginning to a story. Didn’t know which story. Vampire or ghost? Well, turned out to be ghost and I already had the perfect man for my damsel in distress. I started writing from that.

And what am I writing when I’m writing? Sometimes it’s just dialogue. I have my characters talk. You’d be surprised at how much I learn just from that. Of course, it makes for a very thin first draft (or a lengthy outline), but once the story is in place, I go back and “beef” it up by adding descriptions and emotional content. So far the process is working. I haven’t NOT finished a book yet. Can I pat myself on the back for that?

This is the part where I’m supposed to tag up to three other authors. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any takers, so this arm of the blog hop will die with me.

So…did you read to the end? Did you find this interesting? Are you anxiously awaiting me to finish these stories so you can go out and buy them? Huh? Huh? You can be honest! J

Have a great Monday!!



Friday, April 11, 2014

Throwback Whatever? Siblings Day? Picture!

I think I'll be glad when this week is over. Oh wait, I'm almost there. Whew!

Apparently Thursdays on Facebook is Throwback day. Which is fine with me, it gave me a purpose to my posting. Anyway, I found a picture of my sister and me taken waaaaay back when. Then I found out it was Sibling Day (really, who comes up with these things??). Man, I was good and didn't even know it! Haha.

Anyway, here's the picture I posted on Facebook yesterday.

Like I said on Facebook, I have no idea why I'm choking my sister. It's Easter, so maybe she stole my Easter eggs! We seem to be having a good time in any case. As for when this photo was taken... Well, if I look like I'm 4 going on 5, then it's 1962. If it looks like I'm 5 going on 6, then it's 1963. We moved from Santa Monica to Wilmington when I was 5 (I just don't remember what month, only that it was in the middle of my kindergarten year) and this picture was taken in Santa Monica (I believe that's our apartment behind us).

And for a bit of trivia fun, my grandfather built and owned that apartment building. Yeah, cheap rent for my folks!

That's all I got for today. Hope your weekend turns out great. The weather here should be wonderful, so I got that going. Hopefully things will be back to normal by Monday. Hopefully!



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday Reads and a Birthday Wish

Got this posted later than normal because I went to see the new Captain America Movie last night (which is good, by the way), and completely forgot what day it was (or should I say, what day TODAY was). It happens, right?

Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday. My youngest. And she’s turning 29! I think I’ll make her 29 for a while, that way I won’t feel so old. J She’s the reason I’m published, because without her encouragement, I’m not so sure I would have attempted it. Also, she’s the one who introduced “Twilight” to me, which basically got me started on wanting to write--and write about vampires.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!!!
Love you bunches!!!

Now, on to what I read during the week:

Apr 3: “Dexter’s Final Cut,” by Jeff Lindsay, a horror novel. Blurb from cover: It all starts with Hollywood. A major new police drama is set to be filmed in Miami--and blood spatter analyst Dexter Morgan is told he will be shadowed by Robert Chase, the brooding heart-throb actor who will star as…a Miami blood spatter analyst. Life may imitate art, but Dexter is none too pleased by having someone scrutinize his job and his life…or be anywhere near his dark hobby. The mood around the production turns suddenly serious when the body of a brutally murdered woman is found in a dumpster in the heart of the city. As police investigate and the Hollywood crew is aflutter with the excitement of a “real” crime, Dexter gets a particularly sinister feeling about this killer, and what the act may signify. Meanwhile, a curious thing happens: Dexter is spending time with his new Hollywood counterparts--observing the ease with which they fake the most basic human emotions--and he realizes he may have finally found His People. He also gets closer to Jackie Forrest, the sexy star who is cast as the tough detective (and who is tailing his sister, Detective Deborah), and soon he’s tempted by the luxury of the five-star life…and possibly by Jackie herself. Dexter is suddenly on a personal journey that leads toward the dark question of who he really is…and, more alarmingly, on a course that will alter his life forever. My husband didn’t care for the book. I found it to be typical Dexter stuff, although I think he’s been getting a little sloppy (or maybe just dumb) in the last few books (which I think was my husband’s complaint). But is this the last book? Hmmm… Just like the television series (but nothing LIKE the television series, if you know what I mean), it doesn’t have to be. Surprising twists and the book held my interest. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

If you didn’t see my post yesterday, here’s the URL for the guest post I’m doing at Suzanne Johnson’s blog: I believe there’s still a chance to win a copy of my book.

Happy reading!



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Guest Post URL!

I'm guest posting at Suzanne Johnson's blog about Vampires and Romance. Here's the URL:

Comment, and you might win a copy of My Sunny Vampire! And then you can come back here and tell me what you REALLY think of my post. I wasn't too lame, was I?


Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Recap and the Week Ahead

Four days, four Dragons games! We had tickets for Thursday through Sunday. I’ve never been to four games in a row, it was quite an experience. Especially sitting in temps that rivaled a football game in November! Ah, but we still stuck it out and the Dragons split the series with West Michigan Whitecaps.

Even with all those games, I managed to get some editing done AND critique a short story for a friend. Am I good or what? Hmmm...maybe the what. Haha! J

I’m hosting the Sizzle and Sass page on Facebook this week. Sometimes I wonder what the hell I’m doing there. I’m mostly just winging it. Can you tell? J Stop by if you get a chance.

Tomorrow I have a guest spot on Susannah Sandlin’s/SuzanneJohnson’s Preternatural Blog. I love her Penton Vampire series and jumped at the chance to do a guest spot when she asked for volunteers (we both belong with the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal on-line chapter of RWA). Man, if I can interest some of her fans in my vampire book that would be awesome!! I’ll be sure to post something tomorrow once I get the URL. One lucky commenter will win a copy of My Sunny Vampire.

So…did you have a nice weekend?



Friday, April 4, 2014

Bogged Down in a Good Way

I have a feeling I won’t be posting much for the next week. My publisher received the signed contracts and now it’s full speed ahead. Yep, I’m back in the world of BITE ME, I’M YOURS and shortly thereafter will be in the world of GHOSTLY LIAISON.

To top that off, I’m hosing the Sizzle and Sass Facebook page starting Sunday. Perfect timing, huh? Yeah, I thought so.

In filling out all the paperwork associated with getting published (cover art forms, blurb & tags, that sort of stuff), I realized I now have an actual series. Well, I guess TWO series.

Anyway, I’ve decided on “Bitten by Love” for my vampire series and “Ghostly Encounters” for my ghost series. What do you think of them?

Anyway, I hope you’ll forgive my short posts. I have a feeling they’ll be that way for a while.

But just so you don’t think it’s all write, write, write, I am going to some Dragons baseball games this weekend. Hopefully I’ll stay dry!

Have a happy Friday!



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday Reads

See…start a project and the reading suffers. That’s okay. I am having fun with my projects. Here’s what I read during the week:

Mar 26: “Crossing the Lines,” by M.Q. Barber, an erotic romance. Blurb from Goodreads: A safeword won’t save her from love. After six months of cavorting in her neighbors’ bed, Alice admits signing the contract to be Henry’s sexual submissive is the best decision she’s ever made. He delivers on his promise to give her sexual satisfaction. But submitting to his dominance alongside his long-term lover shows her the sharp line between sex and love. Henry loves goofy, eager-to-please Jay. Neither man has promised to love her. Hiding her feelings grows harder every night she spends with them. As they struggle with wounds old and new, her emotional turmoil threatens to shred their arrangement. Is it time to bow out before they show her the door? Or can a triangle be the shape of true love? If not for my blurry eyesight (or how my eyesight becomes after I’ve been reading a few hours), or the fact I needed sleep (and food and other things), I would have read this book in one sitting--I loved it THAT much! I’m so glad there will be another installment. I just wish I didn’t have to wait until JUNE! Aarrgh!! This book is gut-wrenching. It made me tear up numerous times and smile even more. The characters were so real and even days later they’re still stuck in my head. No surprise then, that I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, huh?

After I finish reading the last Dexter book (which I’m about 2/3 the way through), I will hold off reading another novel until my daughter hands me “The King” by J.R. Ward (the next saga of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series). She has it in her possession and I told her to read it fast. Yep, that will be my next book. Can’t wait!!!
The hubby and I have tickets for the next several Dragons games. Thur-Sun, actually. It's supposed to rain Thur-Sat. Figures!

So...What book have you been (im)patiently waiting for?

Happy reading!