Friday, February 27, 2015

There Was This Time, At Band Camp…

I mentioned in a comment on Maria Zannini’s blog this week (HERE) that I had kept journals growing up, but had no idea where they were. She suggested I look for them, and implied I might learn something. Well, I found them. And well… they really stink.

I was really, REALLY in love with someone and he’s pretty much all I wrote about. Still, I thought it would be interesting to find something when I was in the band (because I really wanted to use that title, even thought I did NOT attend band camp—we just practiced at school during the summer).

Anyway, here’s a snippet from August 12, 1974 @ 10:34 pm (yes, I time dated every entry) and I haven’t corrected a thing:

Tonight Mom & I went to see “For Pete’s Sake” and “Sleeper.” “Sleeper” was weird, but okay. “For Pete’s Sake” was funny & better.

Saturday (the 10th) I got my Senior yearbook picture taken. I hope they turn out all right. I’ll know when I get them in the mail. Whenever THAT may be. I’m still waiting for my paycheck from the job I had in JUNE!!!!! Talk about SLOW! I wish they’d hurry up! Daddy said he could call the Labor Board, but I doubt if that would do any good. You know how school’s are!! (Joke??)

August 28th is the day I go to the school to practice in band. Which reminds me. I better get to the PRACTICING!

Do you think my voice has changed at all since I was 17? I can see that I was a procrastinator then as I still am (practicing was never my thing anyway and I doubt I practiced after I wrote that bit, either. FYI: I played the clarinet). I loved how I capitalized and underlined for emphasis (I still do the caps thing).
Those movies I saw with my mom? I remember Sleeper a whole bunch more than For Pete’s Sake. And yes, we saw them back-to-back. That was when you got to see TWO movies for one price. Hard to believe, huh?

Oh, and that paycheck I was waiting for? Well, it was waiting for ME at the school. I thought they were supposed to mail it. Turned out I was supposed to pick it up. Apparently my hearing wasn't any better then, either. Haha!

It was kind of neat going through the journals. I didn’t write every day (the next entry after this was dated September 4th), which is why I preferred using spiral notebooks instead of actual diaries. Writing everyday was hard! (Hmmm… just like posting everyday is hard—see some things DON’T change).

So… Do you think I should post a snippet each Friday? Would that be fun to read? Because I do struggle with my Friday postings (and I’m willing to make fun of myself).

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Reads and I'm a Guest Poster!

I’m being featured on Gemma Brocato’s blog today. If you would like to see a snippet of my current WIP, please stop on by and say hi. J When I get the direct link to the post, I’ll add it HERE

So nice to get writing and reading accomplished (well, except for yesterday--see below). Here’s what I read this week:

shadowed by rebecca zanetti
Feb 23: “Shadowed” by Rebecca Zanetti, #6 of the Dark Protector Series, a paranormal romance at 270 pages long. Blurb from book: Danger signs rise off Jase Kayrs like steam—the scars, the secrets, the strength. He’s got a mission, and he’s not interested in much outside of it. Except Brenna Dunne. Brenna was an ass-kicking, name-taking witch—before the poison that’s killing her sapped her powers too. She knows there’s more to Jase than a handsome face and an ugly history. But there’s no time to find out what. Taking him as her mate might save her life. But once she unleashes the force of his desire, there will be no turning back… I am enjoying this series, and looking forward to seeing how it all ends.

tamed by rebecca zanetti
Feb 24: “Tamed” by Rebecca Zanetti, a novella in the Dark Protector Series (#6.5), a paranormal romance at 100 pages long. Blurb from Goodreads: Caleb Donovan was never meant to be a prophet. At heart he's a conqueror, his appetites far more carnal than spiritual. He's not inclined to repress his passions and surrender to fate. After all, that's what cost him Lily—three centuries ago. She married another, because it was ordained. Now that he's in the same benighted calling—and forced into proximity with her—all the old desires are roaring back to life. . . After widowhood and centuries of celibacy, Lily is eager to explore the wild side of life, except now she's vulnerable to another forced relationship, with an enemy. But this time she's determined to choose her own path. And if hot, furious Caleb comes charging to the rescue, it might just change both their destinies. . . Love is about to start conquering. . .  Sometimes novellas between series books are fluff, but this one isn’t. Granted, nothing happened to move the overall story forward, but it was a good setup for the finale. And I’ll be reading that one next.

While I have been getting a bit of writing done, yesterday was the pits. My whole schedule was off (due to a doctor appointment and a trip to the commissary), that I didn’t get anything written. Plus this cold is really bugging me. I’m hoping I’m over the heavy-duty stuff, though. Keeping my fingers crossed!!!

So… Have any of you watched the new Odd Couple? What did you think? I’m thinking television executives can’t think of anything new to create. Still, it had its funny moments and I expect I’ll see a few more episodes before I make a final yay or nay.

Happy reading!


Monday, February 23, 2015

Snow, Books, Sick, and the Oscars

Snow can really ruin plans, ya know? We received 5” of the stuff Saturday—3-1/2” of it had fallen overnight, the rest continued through most of the day. We were supposed to go to our friend’s place to celebrate my sweetie’s birthday, but she lives in Columbus—70 miles away—and the snow was headed her way.

Now, I don’t mind driving in the snow. I just don’t like driving in the snow when there are other drivers on the road. And I remembered one Christmas when it had snowed and we drove out to her place, there were accidents all over the place. I didn’t want to risk it, so I cancelled (broke my heart to do it, though—it’s been hard hooking up with her lately).

So, with our plans out into the snow (so to speak), we had to figure out what we were going to do for dinner. I suggested ordering out for pizza (we hadn’t done that in ages). The kids still came over and we played games for a few hours. Ended up having a great time.

Take that, snow!

When my daughter arrived, though, she came bearing gifts—for me! She handed me a stack of six books: Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series. I had refused to read the books as they came out, because she ended each book in the Vampire Academy series in a cliffhanger (according to my daughter, she did with this series, too), and I think you all know how much I hate those, so when I heard there would only be six books in the series, I told my daughter not to give them to me until she’d read them all (she apparently loves to be tortured). She finished the last one this past weekend. Now I have six books added to my pile to read and wonder when I’ll ever get to them.

Sounds like I need another vacation or cruise or something. J

Seems I’m not immune to getting a cold this year after all (I had really hoped, though). Getting sick is the pitts. The pitts, I tell you!

So… Did you watch the Oscars last night? I’m such a sucker for those award shows, but sometimes I discover movies I’d never heard of before. Like “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” I’m thinking I want to go see that one now.

Have a good day!


Friday, February 20, 2015

Cold Weather Rant

I’m pretty sure I mentioned being one of 10 sponsors for a Kindle we're giving away. If I haven’t, bad me! Anyway, check it out. The winner is drawn on the 22nd, so you still have time to enter. It’s on Facebook and you can enter HERE.

The weather has been a bit on the chilly side here, lately. Woke up to negative temps yesterday which caused a lot of schools to close. I get why city schools close, but colleges? It’s not like the students are walking to school or outside waiting for a bus. Plus, I consider college students ADULTS. Hello! You won’t be excused from work for negative temps. Oh, unless you’re a teacher at the college. Then I guess you do.

Sometimes I think the people around here are wimps. It’s Ohio. It’s gonna get cold in the winter. Gripe all you want, but deal with it.

Okay, rant over. Whew. Hadn’t had one of those in awhile.

Tomorrow is my sweetie’s birthday. We’re going to our friend’s house to celebrate. Then on Sunday we’ll use the coupon he received for a free dinner at BD’s Mongolian Grill (he loves that place).

So… What are your plans for the weekend? Anything good?

Have a Happy Friday!!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday Reads

It’s amazing what a little reading motivation can do for my writing. I tell myself I’m only allowed to read after I’ve written 1000 words. And guess what? It’s working! So, so happy. Because now I don’t feel so guilty reading. Especially when I’m reading a really GOOD book.

And I actually finished one this week (barely):

affliction by laurell k hamilton
Feb 17: “Affliction” by Laurell K. Hamilton, the 22nd book in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, an urban fantasy, 603 pages long. Blurb from book:  Micah’s estranged father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.” Anita Blake makes her living off of zombies, but these aren’t the kind she knows so well. These creatures hunt in daylight, and are as fast and strong as vampires. If they bite you, you become just like them. And round and round it goes… Where will it stop? Even Anita Blake doesn’t know. You’d think by the 22nd book in a series that it would get boring. Be the same old, same old. But not this one. Man, I had a hard time putting it down. Yeah, the book has graphic sex, BUT those scenes came well after page 248 (a shocker!) and not near as much as in past books. This one was all about fighting zombies and the action was nearly non-stop. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’m going to be on a vampire-reading binge for awhile. Gonna finish up one series and get caught up some others. It’s nice I have them planned out ahead of time. I don’t have to ask, “What shall I read next?” I already know!

So… Who here is using winter as an excuse to stay indoors? **raises hand** I know I don’t have it as bad as Boston (thank GOD), but I wouldn’t mind a little bit of Santa Barbara weather right about now.

Happy reading!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Some Fun Swag

Short post, mainly because I can’t think of anything worthy to blog about.

I’m going to have some buttons made up to give away at conventions. This is the design I came up with (thanks to J. Mick Consulting for adding the fang holes and Maria Zannini for getting the writing/layout the way I wanted). By the way, the picture of the moon is mine (meaning I took it).

So… what do you think? The buttons will be 1-3/4” wide. I know it won’t reflect my ghost book, but I’ve got Blind Temptation coming out soon, so that’s what I’m focusing on.

If anyone has any ideas of how to go about making a fun (cheap) button for my ghost series, I’m all ears (eyes?).

Have a great Monday!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday the 13th or Valentine’s Day?

Are you one of those people who will celebrate this day by spending the evening watching horror movies or slasher flicks? Or are you one of those people who won’t even venture outside until all is clear until, say, Valentine’s Day? Or are you more afraid of Valentine’s Day than Friday the 13th? Or…are both days a cause to celebrate and you’re just bubbling with joy because the party can last for two days? Or are they just two normal days for you?

My daughter loves Friday the 13th (you’d have to ask her why). And I’m guessing (okay, maybe I know) she’s super happy that it happens two months in a row this year.

The number 13 has never freaked me out. I still think it’s funny that a lot of (at least the ones I’ve been in) skyscrapers don’t have a 13th floor. Hate to break it to all you occupants on the 14th floor, but the lack of NAMING the floor 13 doesn’t mean it’s not the 13th floor.

Silly, silly, silly.

And while I love a good horror movie (not slasher-flicks, though—gross is not scary, it’s just gross), I won’t be watching them because my husband can’t stand them. Heck, he thinks The Abyss is a scary movie.

As for Valentine’s Day… I never really celebrated it. Besides being a semi-depressing day to those people who don’t have anyone, my father’s birthday falls on the 16th, so that was the holiday in our house. Then I married a man who celebrates his birthday this month and I gave birth to our son in this month, too, so Valentine’s Day is kind of brushed aside for all these birthdays we celebrate.

Which is just as well. Birthdays are so much more…FUN. Don’t you think?

As you can probably tell, it’s “two normal days.” for me. But I have to keep in mind that Saturday will probably be a big date night (hmmm… did I say PROBABLY? Haha!), which means the hubby and I will have to hit the restaurant early (or be prepared to wait).

So… You got plans this weekend? Please share. I’ve got nothing planned. Except, maybe get caught up in some TV watching. We’re a bit behind in Gotham (like 15 episodes behind). Now, THAT might make for some good Friday the 13th viewing. Hmmm…

Have a good one!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wednesday Reads and Writing What You Know

I had fun at the library event on Monday night. Even got to read a little passage from Ghostly Liaison (and got laughs in all the right places, too, and if you’re interested in what I read, it’s posted below my “signature”). Why did I get to read? Because someone wanted an example of “writing what we know.” The snippet I read was a scene where my character had to face a snake, and he doesn’t like them.

Guess what? I don’t like them either. Thus…write what you know.

I thought it was a good example. And even though I wrote it on the humorous side (because I know how hilarious I look to my husband when I’m freaked out about such things), fear was still shown (because I know all about the fear—of snakes, spiders and bugs).

I think some writers get hung up on “Write what you know.” We all have life experiences. We all feel emotion (okay, most of us). That’s what you know. The other stuff? That’s where research comes in and you learn what you WANT to know.

Did my stint result in any sales? Well…only six people attended the event, so it’ll be hard to determine. It would be nice if someone liked what I read enough to go out and buy it. Still, it was an interesting discussion and the audience had some good questions.

As for my reading for the week, here’s what I read:

Feb 4: A contemporary romance at 240 pages long.

Feb 10: A contemporary romance at 318 pages long.

My judging assignment is now complete. Yay! Not that it was a hardship. I did enjoy everything I read. I just wish I could have shared them with you. Next Wednesday I can start sharing again. That’s if I finish the book by then. It’s a long one. J

In disappointing news... Bite Me, I'm Yours did not win (or come in 2nd or 3rd) in the Judge a Book By Its Cover contest (in the readers portion or the actual judging). Darn! I really thought that cover had a chance. If you want to see the winners, go HERE.

So… All that judged reading has put me three books ahead of schedule (for a 90-book year). How’s your reading going this year?

Happy Reading!



Here’s that snippet from Ghostly Liaison I read:


Bridget’s scream came from behind. As Rob rushed toward her voice, she slammed into him. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” He grabbed her upper arms. “Didn’t you hear me calling you?”

“Snake! There’s a snake in the yard!”

“What?” Did she say snake?

She hopped from one foot to the next and bounced out of his grasp, becoming nothing more than a blur of arms and legs. The sliding door slammed shut.

Crap! Did she expect him to kill the stupid thing? If there was one thing he avoided, it was those slithery monsters. Ah, but he could save the day if he slayed the little biter. Of course, that meant actually slaying the little biter. Shit.

Barnaby ran off to the corner, doing his strange routine once again—jumping up on the fence, licking the air. The dog was seriously going crazy.

Rob searched the yard. By the side of the house his ax proudly stood embedded in the pile of wood. After wrenching the potential weapon free, he tiptoed over to the pool, making sure he wouldn’t inadvertently step on the creature.

His arms trembled as he gripped the wooden handle and held the blade above his shoulder. Thank goodness she wasn’t witnessing what a wuss he’d become. That would certainly deduct some points in his favor. “Okay, buddy. Show yourself and be prepared to meet your death.”

The weeds reached above his ankles. He hadn’t been back in this part of the yard since Charlie’s death. With the amount of rain that had fallen this spring, he’d never gotten around to clearing the area like he should. Then again, his last tenants should have taken care of the yard as part of the lease agreement.

A pile of branches and weeds lay off to the side and the dirt had been turned over beside the pool. Is that what she’d been doing back here, clearing the weeds? Then why hadn’t she answered him? Or had she been hiding? He straightened and lowered the ax. There wasn’t any snake. She’d said that to avoid him. But why? Was she still upset about the other night? Dammit. He should have called sooner.

Something landed on his shoes. A dark ropelike item with a yellow stripe down its back lay across his foot.

He yelled and kicked out. The creature went flying and bounced off the fence. With his heart ready to pound out of his chest, he charged the snake, roaring like a mad man on a mission.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Goodreads, Newsletters, and Last Day to Vote

Due to a promotion I’m involved in, I’ve gotten lots of new followers on Goodreads (which I link this blog to), so hopefully if any you new followers are reading this and would like to sign up for my newsletter, click HERE. Next newsletter out will have news of my next release, Blind Temptation. I’ll even share a snippet (since I don’t do that on this blog).

And if anyone here would like to follow me on Goodreads, you can do that HERE. Or you can just friend me. I accept those, too!

By the way, do you like snippets? I try not to bombard you with that, but if it is something you’re interested in (or curious), let me know in the comments. I certainly don’t mind sharing! And if you think I should keep them to my newsletter, let me know that, too. I will NOT feel insulted. Honest.

Today’s the last day for readers to vote for the Judge a Book by Its Cover contest, where Bite Me, I’m Yours is included in the paranormal category. If you haven’t voted and want to, click HERE. I appreciate those of you who have already voted for my cover. Keeping my fingers crossed it finals in either the readers voting or the judges voting (except when I’m typing, because, well, then I couldn’t type!). Bite Me, I’m Yours hasn’t really found its audience yet and I’d like to think if it won, the audience will find it! Plus, I really, REALLY love that cover. It is perfect for that book. That is John and Sarah! J

Last week I set a goal to write 5000 words. I actually made it a day early. I think pushing myself to do that has really helped get my story to gel in my head. At least I’m getting the words on the page. I have no idea where it’s all going, but I’m starting to enjoy the ride. I remember how much Ghostly Liaison really kicked my butt when I was writing the first draft (and it turned out pretty good), so I guess it’s no surprise GHOSTLY INTERLUDE would do the same. Here’s hoping for the same outcome!

Tonight I'll be at the Wilmington-Stroop Branch of the Dayton Metro Library for "Romance and Chocolate." Several authors and will I discuss romance books (and eat chocolate, of course!). This will be the third year I've been involved in this. It's starting to be fun, too. Wow. Never thought I'd think that. But if you happen to be in the area, come say hi!

So… Have you noticed it’s staying lighter later? It’s not much, but at least it’s heading in the right direction—Spring! Now, if it would only stop snowing! J

Happy Monday!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Foreign Countries vs. Alien Worlds

I’m reading this Australian book, that has Australian terms, and I’m like, “What the hell does that mean?” Thank goodness I have my daughter (she lived there for 9 months). She was able to tell me an esky is a cooler (actually, an Eskimo cooler). I never would have figured that out.

In any case, it’s kind of interesting seeing how life there is just a little bit different than it is here and makes me think of alien worlds. Why wouldn’t alien worlds be just a little bit different like Australia is different than USA? Or Africa? It’s possible, right?

Anyway, that’s all I got today. But I’m willing to discuss!

Happy Friday J


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday Reads and Some Contests

First off, I’m one of the sponsors for a giveaway that’s taking place on Facebook HERE. If you’re interested in winning a Kindle, then head on over and enter.

Second, I entered the cover to Bite Me, I’m Yours in the Judge a Book by Its Cover contest (paranormal category). Readers (that would be YOU) can vote in a separate judging. If you want to check out all the covers, click HERE. And sure, I’d love it if you voted for mine, but I won’t go so far to ask, especially if you find a cover you like better (that’s the risk I take for sending you to that site, right?).
And finally, we’re down to what I read in the last week. I’m playing it safe and not even posting WHAT book I read (thus my previous Wednesday Reads was edited), so I’m only mentioning the type (and length). I will say that I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read so far (which is a relief). Here’s what I read:

Jan 28: A historical romance at 361 pages long.

Jan 29: A historical romance novella at 130 pages long.

Jan 30: A romantic comedy novella at 205 pages long (print was large)

Jan 31: An erotic (M/M) romance novella at 164 pages long.

Feb 2: An erotic (ménage) romance at 243 pages long.

Five books in a week. Not too shabby, huh? Two more books and then I’m done.

I have to say, I’ve ordered a couple of books since I’ve received this shipment to judge and I can’t wait to get into them. Of course, I’ve owned a lot of books before I purchased those, too. I tell you, deciding what to read NEXT is always the hardest. Well, except when you judge. Then the decision is taken away. So glad I’m enjoying the books, though. That is a plus.

So… how do you decide which book to read next? In order of purchase or whatever strikes your fancy? I’ve been known to do both.

Happy Reading!


Monday, February 2, 2015

You Never Know...

You never know how dark it really gets until you lose power.

It was close to 8pm on Friday when our lights went out. It had only lasted a moment or two when they came back on. It was enough to wake my husband, who was napping in the chair beside me. He wanted to know what happened.

Really? He could hear the lights come back on? Or maybe it was the beeps from the battery backups we have (we have a LOT of those).

Anyway, I told him the lights had gone out. He didn’t believe me. Now why would I lie about a thing like that? When they went out again, he stood up to investigate and they came back on.

But that only lasted a moment. They went out again and stayed out.

Seemed there was some power station-transformer-thingie that blew up or something. Over 9000 people lost power. Not the houses behind us, though. Of course not!

The last time the lights went out like that, I had candles in the house. And a lighter. Well, I still have candles—somewhere—but nothing to light them with.

Man, it was dark. No light from our neon Steelers sign. No light from the numerous electronic doodads we have that feature the time of day. The three-quarter moon lit up the snow pretty nicely outside, but did nothing for the inside of the house.

Another thing I realized. You lose power during the winter, the house starts to get…COLD.

Now, we got lucky. We only lost power for about an hour. Back during the power outage from the remnants of Hurricane Ike, it was considerably warmer out, so losing power for nearly two days wasn’t uncomfortable. Losing the food in the fridge and freezer was, though. I’m sure if the power was still out by the time we had to go to bed on Friday, I could have pulled everything out and left it outside, where it would have been kept frozen. Maybe. Temperatures have been wonky lately and sometimes it’s been warmer during the night than it had been during the day. When the sun was out! Hmmm…

At least my laptop still worked (my new laptop’s battery lasts way longer than my old one). Got a little bit of writing done (at least the scene I was working on), until trying to find the delete and arrow keys got on my nerves (still trying to get used to where those suckers are!). So I found a flashlight and used it to read until the power came back on.

That’s when I looked at the laptop and the book and chose the book. Bad me, I know.

Hey, did you watch the Puppy Bowl last night? While at Buffalo Wild Wings, attending the VIP Super Bowl party (free food!), one of the televisions broadcasted Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. Now, THAT should have been the half time show. Hahahaha! J

And boo to the Patriots. You didn’t win that game. Seattle flubbed it with a bone-headed play. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Hmmm… Maybe Pete Carroll will lose his job. I can only hope.

So… did you get any snow last night? We were FIRST forecasted to get 5-8”. Now it’s under an inch. It just rained yesterday. Of course, we’re supposed to get frigid temps today. We’ll see. I’m not believing the forecasters too much lately. They’ve really been OFF.

Enjoy your Monday (if you can). J