Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day and Giveaway Ends Tonight

Seems strange to call this leap day. We’re not leaping anything. In fact, we’re adding a step. So wouldn’t we be leaping over the 29th the other three years? We’re strange people, aren’t we?

My Amazon giveaway ends at midnight tonight. If you want a chance to win a copy of Blind Temptation, here’s the link: I doubt all the prizes are given away before the deadline.

Know what I learned from this giveaway? That I suck at advertising.

Then again, I did get a C in that class in college. HATED. IT.

I also learned that just because other people have success with something doesn’t mean I will, too.

So, will I do another giveaway with Amazon? I doubt it. I’ll just stick with giving away stuff to my newsletter subscribers, or bribe people with a giveaway to subscribe to my newsletter (I will be at three conventions this year) and hope their word-of-mouth helps me out.

So… Did you watch the Oscars last night? I did. It’s one of my guilty pleasures, even though I probably didn’t watch any of the movies nominated.

Happy Monday and leap away!

Friday, February 26, 2016

It's a Cold Cold Music Friday

I've tried to post this video before, but for some reason Blogger wouldn't list it. But now it does, and I remembered (shocker!).

I'm becoming a fan of Saint Motel. I just love their sound. So today I bring you "Cold Cold Man." I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

So... Doing anything exciting this weekend? Hubby and son are helping our Columbus friend install her new microwave on Saturday. She promises to feed us in return. Shephard's Pie! Yum! Other than that, it looks to be a nice lazy weekend. Hope yours is just as promising!

Happy Friday!! And stay warm. J


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday Reads and a Giveaway

I’m giving away two copies of Blind Temptation over on Amazon. This would be a paper book, not a digital one. If you’re interested, give it a shot (you’ll know instantly if you win or not). If you know someone who might enjoy my books, give them the link. Here’s the link: It costs nothing to click!

Now, on to what I read this week:

Feb 19: “Ashley Bell” by Dean Koontz, a paranormal thriller at 560 pages. Blurb from book: Bibi Blair is a fierce, funny, dauntless young woman—whose doctor says she has one year to live. She replies, “We’ll see.” Her sudden recovery astonishes medical science. An enigmatic woman convinces Bibi that she escaped death to that she can save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell. But save her from what, from whom? And who is Ashley Bell? Where is she? Bibi’s obsession with finding Ashley sends her on the run from threats both mystical and worldly, including a rich and charismatic cult leader with terrifying ambitions. Here is an eloquent, riveting, brilliantly paced story with an exhilarating heroine and a twisting, ingenious plot filled with staggering surprises. Ashley Bell is a new milestone in literary suspense from the long-acclaimed master. Literary suspense? Hmmm… This is definitely NOT a horror story, but it is paranormal. For a long book, it was a relatively fast read for me. I do have to say, I was a bit confused over the title. I was 130 pages into the book and nothing about Ashley Bell, just Bibi Blair. Now, I don’t normally read the blurbs on authors I regularly buy from (or gifted, as this one was), but this time I had to know why the book was titled Ashley Bell. If I had waited maybe another five to ten pages, I would have gotten to her name. Oh well… Another issue I had with this book was the voice. I’ve read all of the Odd Thomas books and this almost sounded like Odd Thomas was telling the story. I guess that happens when you read an author well, huh? I did love the twist there in the middle and it made me want to know more what the heck was going on. Overall, an enjoyable read.

Note to JeffO: Penguins play the Bruins tonight on NBCSN. Are you going to watch? I am! Go Pens!!

So… Have you had a taste of spring recently? It was a lovely day for a short walk yesterday. I look forward to the days I can take longer walks and not freeze! But I’m guessing it won’t be this week. It’s supposed to snow. Bugger!

Happy Reading!


Monday, February 22, 2016

Taxes Update – Yeah, I’m Not Done Yet

Well, the taxes are moving along slowly. On Friday I was able to get Form 1065 (and accompanying K-1s) filled out with the help of my hubby’s co-worker. It wasn’t near as bad as I thought. Next year I’ll make sure to get the right software!

I hope to finish the federal taxes today. Unless I wait for that K-1 from Cedar Point. We have stock with them, and that’s how they report the dividends since they’re really partnership distributions. It’s not like it’s a lot of money. In fact, I don’t think it affected our refund at all last year. Still, I probably should wait. Right?

I suppose if I needed the refund right away (which I’m glad we’re getting—we’ve had to pay many years in a row), I would file now and hope for the best. But since I don’t (and boy, am I glad we’ve finally reached that part in our lives—never thought I’d see the day!), and since the refund is going into our “pay the house off” fund, then I could probably stand to wait a few more days/weeks.

Of course, I still have the state and city taxes to file. State is a pain (oh wait, they’re all a pain). I usually print out what H&R Block figures out and then file on line on their site to save $20. But I think I might just give in and pay it this year and let H&R Block file it for me. I have to think my time is worth 20 bucks, I guess.

But city? I refuse to file on line for that. I did that last year and then I had to go and mail it all in anyway. What a pain! (Like I said, they’re all a pain.) This year I’ll just fill in their form on line, print it out, and mail it all in. It’s not like I get anything back anyway.

So far Big Red is doing okay. I finally got all my software loaded on Friday night and my files transferred. It’s nice to have it back, but still, I have to get used to the smaller print again. And Windows 10.

Dell did contact me and asked me how I felt they were doing. I told them I thought it was pretty bad how long I had to wait for a problem I had contacted them about twice before. I also asked them if I still had to leave my laptop unplugged overnight (since one of their technicians said me leaving it plugged in when it was off was causing the overload). To my surprise, they replied and apologized. Said they would put my case in archive, but would reopen it if I ran into more problems. They also said the plugging in the laptop had nothing to do with the hard drive. So, I’m leaving it plugged in again and we’ll see what happens.

Hopefully NOTHING!!!!

So… don’t you love it when I talk taxes and computers? That’s what happens when that’s all I’ve done for the past week, I guess (well, I was editing, too, which is definitely boring). Anything interesting happen in your part of the world? Please share!

Happy Monday!


Friday, February 19, 2016

Cover Reveal — A Vampire Wedding

I’m thinking my newsletter bombed. Not many people opened it (only 22.5%), so not many people saw my awesome cover. I really must work on those subject lines. Apparently mine aren’t exciting enough (cause if they were, people would have opened my newsletter, right?). But is it possible to make them exciting without sounding spammy? Hmmm…

Anyway, hopefully I’ll get a better response here (and on Facebook and Google +) regarding my cover reveal. So are you ready? Really? Then scroll down…




A little more…




Here it is!


Isn’t it awesome? When I found the picture I knew right away it was perfect. However, the shape wasn’t right for a cover. J Mick Consulting (a friend of hubby’s) did a wonderful job in making it work.

I’ve received the edits back from my editor (first round, anyway) and I’m currently making the necessary changes. I would really like to have this novella available by June 1st, but I’m afraid to put it out there for pre-sale. What if I screw up? What if it’s not ready? I really don’t think I need to add more pressure on myself. If it goes to my formatter (hubby) before then, then I might reconsider the pre-sale thing. I hear it helps to gain interest. How? I have no idea. I personally don’t pre-order much. Probably because I’m afraid if I pre-ordered it, then I’d go and order it again when it released. Because I’m dumb like that.

Good news! Big Red is home. Dell replaced the hard drive, wireless card, heatsink (whatever the heck that is) and reinstalled the operating system (which means, yeah, I have to add all my software—again!). I sure hope that fixed it. I’ll find out once I can actually start using it again. Hubby has to add Word & Excel (Big Red doesn’t have a CD/DVD and I’m not techy enough to figure out how to install it otherwise).

But it’s back. It’s back! It’s BACK!! I’m really happy. This past week I remembered why I wanted to replace the HP. Ugh.

Here’s a honey funny to end the week. I keep a grocery list by the toaster for anyone to add what they need from the store (when I get around to actually shop, that is). The other day I had opened my last bottle of iron tablets so I wrote the following on the list: Iron, 65 mg. The next day I noticed a new entry: Gold, 1.3 lbs.

Yeah, I laughed.

So… Do you live with a cut up, too? Sometimes I can only shake my head.

Have a great weekend! It’s Hubby’s birthday on Sunday. Columbus friend is coming over on Saturday to cook lasagna. I’m making a cake. Should be fun!!!


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Reads--It's BAAAACK!

I’m sad to say that Blind Temptation did not win either the judges or readers award in Judge a Book By Its Cover (**heavy sigh**). But maybe I’ll get lucky and some of the judges will like what they saw and buy my book! I can hope, right? Anyway, I’m back to reporting books and here’s what I read this week:

Feb 14: “Witchlight” by Sonya Clark. #2 in the Magic Born series, a paranormal romance at 240 pages. Blurb from Goodreads: In 2066, the Magic Born are segregated in urban reservations. The laws do not protect them, or their allies. Councilwoman Elizabeth Marsden is a powerful player in New Corinth politics, but a closely guarded secret could destroy her life—she's a hidden Magic Born. Her family has gone to great lengths to erase all her magic-related records, until a trancehacking outlaw discovers the last remaining one… Vadim Bazarov smuggles Magic Borns through the underground railroad and threatens to reveal Elizabeth's secret unless she helps him access blank ID cards. Elizabeth wants to hate him for having a stranglehold on her life, but can't help being attracted to someone so sure of who and what he is. Vadim initially sees her as a political ice queen, but is intrigued by her suppressed magical abilities. He trains Elizabeth to use her magic, and before long finds himself falling for her. But their newfound love may be shortlived; an anti-magic ordinance forces one of them to make a choice that will change both their lives for good. This one read a little slower for me than the first one did. The pace would pick up and then get bogged down, sort of like a roller coaster. I still enjoyed the story, and the ending was upbeat (this is a romance after all), even though the world projected here is a very sad one. Won't stop me from reading the next one in the series, though.  

I started the taxes yesterday, but didn’t finish. Apparently there’s this other form we have to complete and I’m not at all familiar with it (and of course the software doesn't take care of it, either). Have I mentioned how much I. HATE. TAXES??? I’m tempted to send hubby and his company to an accountant and let them deal with it. Ugh!

So… Have you watched “Lucifer” yet? It kind of reminds me of “Castle,” but with a supernatural bent. I think it’s funny.

Happy Reading!


Monday, February 15, 2016

I’m Singing the Taxes Blues and HB to My Dad

Make that Wailing the Taxes Blues. That’s right. I’m going to do my taxes this week. At least, that’s the plan. I’m sure I’ll be in a wonderful mood once I begin.


I so hate doing them. I’m hoping it will go easier this year, but I doubt it does. It never does.

So fair warning all. If I seem rather grumpy this week, you’ll know why!

Tomorrow is my father’s birthday. He’ll be 91! This is one of my favorite pictures of us together. It was taken in Aug 2004 (so I was 47 and he was 79) at our family reunion. I’m still boggled over that being 12 years ago. Man. It’s like I blink and a decade has passed!

So… Did you get any snow for Valentine’s Day? It snowed while hubby and I were at dinner. Weather didn’t seem to stop a lot of people from going out, either. I’d bet the schools would close this morning, but then again I’m not sure they were to be opened anyway. Do schools still close on President’s Day? Well, even with all this cold and snow early this week, it’s supposed to be up into the sixties by Saturday. Now THAT’S an Ohio winter! J

Have a great Monday!


Friday, February 12, 2016

Bye Bye, Big Red -- For Now

Dell finally contacted me late Tuesday night. Not in the way I thought they would. They sent me a “canned” e-mail which said my “case” was over 7 days old (it was exactly 7 days old), that it was closed and archived, and that I needed to call them. It took them nearly a WEEK to tell me that? Grrr… Anyway, I called them on Wednesday.

After performing diagnostics on the machine and having them all come up okay (of course it did, it never does the bad things when someone is looking, right?), the tech said it would probably be better if I returned the machine, and would that be okay?

I did notice that every time she had to leave or do something, she would ask if that was okay. Like I’m going to say no, don’t do it? Hmmm…

She also said that they might have to delete all the files and if that would be okay. I said if I had to get a new computer, what’s the difference?

Anyway, I should be receiving an empty box from them sometime today or tomorrow so I can ship Big Red back to them. Which means I need to clean him up a bit (you know, log off on those online sites who keep me logged in all the time, delete sensitive files, oh, and do a full backup). What fun.

In the meantime, I’ve turned on TashaYar (my older HP laptop) so Windows could perform any updates that occurred since December (there were quite a few). I haven’t decided whether or not I want to upgrade TashaYar to Windows 10 yet. Hubby said if I liked it, I can do that. Thing is, I’m not so sure I like Windows 10.

I guess if TashaYar had Windows 8, I wouldn’t hesitate (heck, it would have had Windows 10 on it long before now). But I don’t mind Windows 7. Heck, I liked Vista. Yeah, I know. I’m weird.

I sure hope Big Red comes back all fixed. I do like typing on this laptop. I’m just not fond of all the weird stuff that’s happening.

So… Here’s an out of the blue question: Have you ever tried mush? Hubby tried some last weekend because he’d heard it was good (the waitresses at Bob Evans rave about it). I guess it’s something you have to grow up eating. I didn’t like it (neither did Hubby). We thought it tasted kind of bitter (I expected more of a corn flavor). Guess we’ll just stick to our waffles! Mmmmm… Waffles.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday… Hmmm

I finished reading those books I was judging and now I’m reading something I can talk about. But did I finish that book in time for today’s post? Of course not! So I guess Wednesday Reads WILL return next week for sure (because there’s no way I won’t finish reading at least one book by then).

My Goodreads challenge says I’m 4 books behind. But, since I can’t record those 7 books I judged (yet), I’m actually 3 books ahead. So as long as that behind number doesn’t drop below 7, I’m good!

Snow, snow, snow! It was snowing yesterday morning when I woke up which meant I didn’t go to the fitness center. Guess what it’s still doing. Guess where I didn’t go. Ugh. I really hate missing my exercise routine, but I hate snow more.

So… If you could leave on vacation today and money was no object, where would you go? I’m thinking a cruise, in one of those huge suites, to Jamaica. I’ve never been and hear it’s lovely. Plus, I’d love to be in one of those huge suites!

Happy Reading!


Monday, February 8, 2016

What Does a Cover Say to You?

Remember when I told you I entered Blind Temptation in the Judge a Book By Its Cover contest? Well… the reader vote section is up HERE and my cover is in the SF/F/P category. I hope you’ll give it 5 stars. **grin** But only if you like it. Really. I don’t want false ratings. My ego isn’t THAT fragile.

I rated all the covers up for vote. There are some pretty awesome covers listed and some…not so awesome. Do you judge a book’s readability based on how well the cover is designed? Nowadays anyone can publish a book. I think if the cover doesn’t look professional, then maybe the inside isn’t professional, either (meaning, not edited or not edited well). Is that a wrong assumption on my part? Maybe. But my time is valuable and if a cover doesn’t grab me, I’m not wasting my time on the book. Of course that makes me wonder about my own covers.

That’s why in my next newsletter (which I’m sending out TOMORROW), I’ve included surveys on my own book covers. I’m curious to know if people like them, plus I figured out HOW to do a survey on the newsletter. That was cool! I’ll have to come up with more stuff to survey.

The newsletter will also include the cover reveal of A Vampire Wedding. Sometime next week (probably Friday) I’ll post the cover here. So if you can’t wait, if you’re itching to see that cover (and why wouldn’t you? It’s awesome!), subscribe to my newsletter NOW so you don’t miss out. Sign up form is on the side bar.

So… Did you watch the Super Bowl? Which commercial was your favorite? I liked the Doritos one with the baby ultrasound. I just wish I was able to HEAR it. I think next year maybe I’ll stay home to watch the Super Bowl (we went to Buffalo Wild Wings), then I’ll be able to catch all the funny commercials. Plus, I ate WAY too much.

Have a great Monday!


Friday, February 5, 2016


That sentiment isn’t just because I forgot to write something last night to have posted first thing this morning. Although it could have been, because I pretty much uttered that when I returned from the fitness center this morning (walked 3.25 miles!!) and realized I hadn’t posted anything.

What that sentiment is geared toward is my new laptop: Big Red. Or maybe it’s really geared toward Dell. I’m not happy with either right now.

Yesterday, for the third time since I got this thing, my laptop wouldn’t turn on. I waited 30 minutes (because last time it came on after waiting) and I got the message there wasn’t a hard drive. That did NOT make me a happy camper.

I e-mailed the person who had supposedly “fixed” it the other two times. I have yet to hear back.

Luckily for me, I had errands to run and I was gone for a good part of the day. When I returned home and found I still hadn’t received an e-mail from Dell, I pushed the on button again and low and behold… it came on!

My husband thinks maybe I just shouldn’t turn it off. So I didn’t last night and it seems to be working fine. I still want Dell to do something about this, though. If that means they replace it, then fine. I’ll hate having to adjust everything to the way I have it (because I’m sure I won’t get it all right), but I just hate not being able to trust something I only owned a month.

On scarier news… Yesterday (hmmm… maybe I should have just stayed in bed?) I went outside to get the newspaper. It was still dark (around 6:30am) and it was freezing. I heard some rustling between our house and the neighbor's (there are dead leaves on the ground between our houses). The last couple of days I’ve heard a cat meowing, so I figured it was finally showing himself. Nope.

What I saw instead made my heart race and my feet retreat back to the house. It was none other than a skunk. And he was walking toward me. Oh no!

I backed up to the house and waited while he crossed the street. Feeling it was safe, I headed back to the mailbox to get my paper when the sucker turned around and walked toward me again. That was all I needed to tell me the paper could wait.

This was the first (yes, FIRST) time I’ve ever seen a skunk alive. I hope I never see another.

Oh gee, look. That title could have been for that skunk, too!

Taken in 1986. Bet you can guess where. :)
So… Today is my son’s 34th birthday. Here’s a picture of my little boy, my Alaskan souvenir (we were stationed at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska when he was born). I’m thinking today will be a better day than yesterday. It has to be. It's the day I gave birth to a great guy!

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Reading Update and Other Things

I have a feeling Wednesday Reads will return next week. If not, the week after for sure. I’ve only got two books remaining to judge and then I’ll be free to talk about my reading! Yay!


I worked on my newsletter yesterday and plan on sending it out on Feb 9th. So, if you want to see the cover to A Vampire Wedding a week before everyone else and you aren’t a subscriber to my newsletter, better hurry up and subscribe.


Revisions to Ghostly Interlude are going slooooow. Man, when I write thin first drafts, I write REALLY thin first drafts. I guess that’s what I get when I try to write them fast. Still, it’s a good thing it was thin. While I have a lot of work to do to add meat, I find it easier to delete stuff when I know I didn’t spend so much time on it. And yes, I’m deleting stuff. I know my characters’ motivations so much better now. Maybe once I get past all this beginning stuff my speed will pick up. I can only hope!


The weather here was so nice on Monday and Tuesday (until the storms came last night, that is). Mid 50s on both days. I even walked outside a bit on Monday to wake myself up! I tend to crash in the afternoon and I don’t really want to drink coffee (caffeine in the afternoon makes me shaky for some reason). But today will be back to seasonal temps (meaning below freezing, I’m sure), so I doubt I’ll do any walking. Unless I really need a slap in the face!

Ahh… But JeffO was right about Groundhog Day. Groundhog predicted an early spring. How he failed to see his shadow on a clear day is beyond me, though. Sheesh!


So… How goes your reading? How many did you read in January? I read 10. Man, at that rate, I won’t have any trouble reading 93 by December 31st. Only problem is, I doubt I stay at that pace. I do have to write!

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Crochet Project and Novella Updates

I finally finished one of my pot holders (yes, I designed it)! What do you think?

It looks black, but it's actually navy.

And in case you missed my post, I’m making these to give away at RAGT and maybe RomCon. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be lucky to have two completed by June.

Or maybe not. I’m pretty much done setting up QuickBooks for my treasurer duties (it’s going pretty smoothly—and easily), so that will leave my weekends free to crochet. Next Sunday Hubby and I will be at B-dubs (that’s Buffalo Wild Wings for those of you who don’t have one of those restaurants in your area) for the Super Bowl party (we snagged tickets), which means I’ll have lots of time to crochet (we figure we’ll have to get there early to get a comfortable seat). In the past I’ve taken my laptop, but this year I’ll just take my crochet projects. I bet I get lots done, too.

At least, I HOPE so! But just in case, I’m also crocheting a scarf. If it goes faster, I’ll do more of those. But I do love those potholders. They’re so thick, you don’t burn your fingers with those suckers! And I’ve tested them.

No, not that one. I’m not giving away a used potholder.

I’ve got some good news… The cover to A Vampire Wedding is just about finished and it looks sooooo cooooool! If you’d like to see it a week before I show it to everyone (here and Facebook), you’ll need to be a subscriber to my newsletter. I want to give my subscribers first looksee. It’s only fair. They put up with my newsletters! J

So, if you aren’t a subscriber and want to be, there’s a sign up form on the side bar. If you don’t see it (or you’re too lazy to look), here’s a link for you: Don’t say I didn’t make it easy for you!

So… Tomorrow is Ground Hog’s Day. Wow! Already! With the way the temperature was yesterday (in the 50s!!!—I swear it felt like spring out there), I’m thinking that little guy is gonna see his shadow. How does that make you feel? Happy? Sad? Indifferent? It’s certainly been a strange winter, though. At least it has HERE. You see, the snow missed us. Whew!

Have a great Monday!