Monday, July 31, 2017

Getting Ready for Another Convention

I leave for the Rust City Book Con on Thursday. And you’d think I’d be ready, wouldn’t you? But I’m not.

Not even close.

I want to donate a series of books I own (for the raffle), but I have to finish reading the last one before I can do that. And then figure out how I want to give them away. Wrap them up in cellophane? Put them in a box (which would require finding a box that would fit AND display them)? Or maybe stick them in one of the numerous bags I’ve gotten from other conventions? Decisions, decisions.

I’m on a couple of panels and one of them might require some work ahead of time (still trying to get that confirmed). And if I do have to do some work, well, then, I’m gonna have to figure out what to work on.

I plan on giving away some frame-style key chains I bought from Oriental Trading. They’re really cool. I thought they’d look awesome with my covers. All I have to do is print out copies of my covers and insert them. Easy peasy, right? Only thing is, I needed a paper cutter, photo paper, labels (to stick on the back of the photo with my website), and ink for the printer. At least I bought all those on Friday. I had planned to print the covers, cut them out, and insert them yesterday, but did I? Nope. I decided to read the book instead (which I still haven’t finished).

Why or why do I wait until the last minute to do everything? I think my characters are toying with me, too. They know I’m busy, but now they’re talking. No fair!!!

So… Do you tend to “plan” for stuff, but then wait until the last minute to do it? At least I planned, though. Right? That’s gotta be better than flying blind. J

Happy Monday!



Friday, July 28, 2017

Baby Steps

I actually reached 5000 words on my current project this week. It had been sitting at around 4600 for months (since March if you really want to know). So yeah, 400 words aren’t all that much, but for someone who has been struggling to write this book, it’s AWESOME. I finally got past that scene that has stymied me and am into the next chapter.

I expect this book will be like my others and eventually take over my life. It’ll just take baby steps. And I took 400 of those baby steps this week. That’s progress, and I’ll take it!

Tomorrow my dearest friend is getting married (she’s the one who loves to cook!). I’m so glad she found someone who makes her happy. She deserves it.

And to have some “bridal” fun, I found this on Youtube. Anyone remember “Here Come the Brides”? I was a HUGE Bobby Sherman fan. J

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Awesome Weather

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #45

Dates read: July 18-25
Title: “The Aggrieved”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: Suspense/thriller
Series: Jonathan Quinn #11
# of Pages: 323
Paper or plastic: Trade Paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: The unthinkable has happened. A life has been extinguished—one belonging to someone Jonathan Quinn and his partner Nate care about more than almost anyone else in the world.
    Those responsible will pay.
    No matter how long it takes, no matter how far and wide the search, Quinn, Nate, and their colleagues will stop at nothing to exact the appropriate justice
    Because if there is one thing those in the shadow world should know, you do not mess with Quinn’s people.
My thoughts: I probably cried at the end of #10 in this series. Had a few tears at the beginning of this one. If you like fast-paced thrillers, then by all means, read this series. I even got Hubby hooked on them.

The weather has been super-duper these past few days (feels more like spring than summer). I’ve enjoyed my walks more, that’s for sure. Now, if I can only get motivated to go back to the fitness center. I’ve been away too long. But I just can’t seem to get motivated to do anything.

So… have you been enjoying cooler weather, or are you in the melting zone?

Happy Reading!


Monday, July 24, 2017

When Your Headache Won’t Go Away…

I think the not wearing glasses bit has finally gotten to me. At least it did yesterday. I don’t know how many times I took Tylenol, but none of the doses seemed to get rid of my nagging headache. I’ll be so glad when I get those glasses back.

Of course, now I wonder how long that prescription will last. Finding out I have a cataract forming on my right eyeball kind of shocked me. And irritated me, since the doctor knew about this back in October (during my scheduled eye exam) and didn’t seem fit to mention it then. Because I’m pretty sure I would have remembered being told that.

Anyway… because of the headache, I don’t have much to say. Hopefully the pain will be gone by the time this post airs and I’ll wake up all rested and ready to walk.

That’s if my knee isn’t acting up. I swear, I’m falling apart. Leaky heart valve. Funky eyesight. And arthritic knees. Aaack!

So… How has your body reacted to getting older? (I refuse to say old age, since I don’t feel old.)

**fingers crossed for a good week**



Friday, July 21, 2017

I'm Gonna See Huey Lewis & The News Tonight

That's right. It's concert night for Hubby and me. I love Huey Lewis and the News. I had hoped to see them back in the mid 90s, after a Columbus Clippers (AAA Baseball) game, but my daughter decided (yes, decided) to have an ear ache that evening and I didn't get to see them. play.

I never let her forget it, either.

So when I saw they were playing in our home town I told Hubby, "I'm going. Are you?" Because yeah, I'd go alone if no one wanted to go with me. Luckily, Hubby DID want to go with me.

In honor of tonight's concert, I'll share one of their music videos with you. It was so hard to pick one. I love all their songs. This one was cute. Enjoy "Stuck With You"!

So... You doing anything fun this weekend? My friend is coming over Saturday to cook my birthday dinner. Steak, potato salad, and corn. Hubby is supposed to get the cake. Sure hope he remembers!

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday Reads and I Got Picked!

I didn’t comprehend that yesterday was Tuesday, because it was my birthday, so days of the week don’t seem to matter; therefore, I didn’t set up this post last night when I should have. Then again, if I had posted it last night, I wouldn’t have been able to share the news I got this morning, which I mention later. Right now, here’s what I read the past week:

Book #44

Dates read: July 10-17
Title: “UNSUB”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Meg Gardiner
Genre: Suspense/thriller
Series: UNSUB #1
# of Pages: 366
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased (heck, I pre-ordered this one!)
Blurb from book: Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.
    The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack’s failure to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh—was the final nail in the coffin for a once-promising career.
    Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the same haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.
    Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the abyss?
My thoughts: Whoo. I had a hard time putting this book down. If not for my stupid eyes (and maybe trying to get back into writing), I would have read this much quicker. I love Meg’s books and this one is no exception.

And now for my news!! This morning I got a message from the Urban Fantasy Track from Dragon Con. I’ve been selected to be a panelist for The Vampire Diaries! I had put my name into the “hat” awhile back (which wasn’t an easy thing for me to do, let me tell you) and really didn’t think I’d get chosen. Even now I could have still backed out, but I was strong and I didn’t. Now I just have to go back over the whole series and see what I forgot. Because I’m sure I forgot a lot.

Happy Reading!


Monday, July 17, 2017

My Brain is Full and I’m Another Year Older Tomorrow

This past weekend I attended two workshops, which encompassed six classes, all taught by Laurie Schnebly Campbell. My brain is full.

So full, I might have figured out the problems with Ghostly Protector. You don’t know what a relief that is, because I was pretty sure that story had died. So maybe I will be writing Ghostly Protector next. It would certainly be nice if I could actually write something.

Well, I guess I am writing. I write blogs. I write short stories. But it’s been awhile since I wrote the first draft of a novel. I just have to focus and plow on through the barriers I’ve apparently set up for myself. Barriers I might have broken through this past weekend. Yay!

Speaking (okay, writing) about short stories, the Literary Escapism blog is supposed to feature the Hidden Treasure part of a short story I wrote about Rob and Bridget (from Ghostly Liaison) today. It’s to help generate some interest for the Rust City Book Con (you know, if people like what they read, maybe they’ll come out and see me??). I’m only sharing the middle portion of the story (which is basically a complete story in itself) in the hopes that people would want to read the rest of it. The thing is, I’m only sharing the story in my August newsletter, so they’d have to sign up to read it. Aren’t I evil that way?

Still, if you’d like to see my Hidden Treasure story, hop on over to Literary Escapism (I’ll edit with the direct link when I get it). Then come back and tell me what you think.
[EDIT: Here's the direct link to the post:]

You could do that for my birthday, couldn’t you?

Yeah, that’s right. Tomorrow’s my birthday. A pretty significant one, too. Doubt I do anything special tomorrow, but my friend is cooking a nice dinner for me on Saturday (and if Hubby remembers, he’ll get me a birthday cake!).

Today I have an appointment with my eye doctor. Decided I should finally find out why my right eye suddenly sees better without my glasses than it does with them. I’ve even gone the last few days not wearing them because they’ve been bugging me so much.

So… What kind of fun things do you think I should do tomorrow? Maybe sit at home and write? Hmmm… Maybe.

Happy Monday!


Friday, July 14, 2017

First and Third Person: Together or Separate?

A writer friend posted on Facebook about a romance she was reading and that she hated how it had switched from first person in the female’s point of view (POV) to third person in the male’s POV. She wanted to know if this was a new thing.

I pointed out that it’s not that much of a new thing in suspense/thrillers (I’ve seen the villain’s POV in first person a lot). Romance? Maybe. But then I haven’t read a lot of first person romances because I’m not fond of them.

I think certain genres kind of lean toward one POV over another. I’m okay with mysteries and urban fantasies in first person (although one POV in third would work for me, too). But I don’t expect to see another POV in those books. And while seeing first person POV for a villain in a thriller is a little jarring, I get it. Sometimes. But for romance? I like it in third for ALL the characters.

A romance in first person doesn’t to it for me. This romance reader WANTS to know what both characters are thinking/doing. That’s the fun part of it for me—the knowing and wondering when the other character will get a clue. But to put one character in first person and the other in third? That just distances me from the other characters. Why do it? Is this a writer thing or a reader thing? Frankly, I think it’s a writer thing (the writer likes writing in first person, but wants the other POV shown and can’t imagine writing a different first person voice for the man).

And don’t even get me started on both characters written in first person with alternating chapters. I enjoyed one book like that. The others were just too darn confusing. I couldn’t remember which “I” I was reading about without going back to the beginning of the chapter! I avoid those books now.

So… Does having both first and third person POV characters in a book bother you? What about alternating first person points of view? Or would the genre make a difference? If so, which ones?

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Avoidance

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #42

Dates read: June 28-July 6
Title: “Wolf Tales 11”
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Kate Douglas
Genre: Paranormal erotic romance
Series: Wolf Tales #11
# of Pages: 298
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: They are Chanku, a race of shapeshifters whose bodies hunger for sexual passion and pleasure. Protective of their own, the Chanku have always relied upon their primal instincts to keep their packs safe…until now. Tala and Lisa have been kidnapped and no one knows where they are. Mik, AJ, and Tinker fear not only for the safety of their mates but for that of their unborn children as well…
    Unwilling to concede to the kidnappers’ demands, the men summon Anton for help. Devising a daring rescue plan of his own, Anton calls upon all the Chanku to lose themselves in an erotic encounter like never before. As they link together and succumb to complete carnal desire, their sexual energy fills him with a superhuman ability to outmatch even their strongest enemy…
My thoughts: Hmmm… Besides the kidnapping part, the pace was too slow for me. It just seemed to drag on forever. Of course, all those forevers were filled with sex. I’m beginning to think that too much is just…too much. I only have one left in this series before I can call it quits. And since I bought them all, I will read them.

Book #43

Dates read: July 6-8
Title: “Avenge Me”
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Maisey Yates
Genre: Contemporary romance (steamy)
Series: #1 in the Fifth Avenue trilogy
# of Pages: 264
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Free (from some convention)
Blurb from book: Austin Treffen was born into a world of privilege, but behind its gilded doors lies a corruption so sordid New York’s elite would never believe it—especially as his infamous philanthropic father is at its core! With everything he believed in shattered, how can Austin take down his father—risking his family name and those he loves—without any proof.
    Until one earth-shattering night with Katy Michaels unlocks not only their deepest, most passionate desires but also the key to bringing Jason Treffen’s reign to an end. But with an intense sexual attraction that combines a heady mix of exquisite pleasure and subline pain, will they satiate their thirst for revenge and each other…or lose themselves forever in the darkness?
My thoughts: The blurb intrigued me, which is why I had kept this book around to read for so long. It’s a good book, and a lot steamier (close to BDSM) than I expected (not that I’m complaining about that). And while the couple’s story has a satisfying ending, the overall story is left hanging. Yeah, that tends to happen with series. Thing is, different authors write the other books and those stories don’t intrigue me like this one did. Probably why I’ve never been a Harlequin fan (which yes, this book is).

Yesterday was a good day to start working on my next novel. So what do I do instead? Clean the kitchen. And I HATE cleaning. Why am I putting it off? It’s baffling me.

So… What would be a surprising thing you’d stoop to doing as an excuse to do something you THOUGHT you loved doing? And are there to many “do”s in that sentence? I’m thinking there is. J

Happy Reading!



Monday, July 10, 2017

I Finally Did It!

Sunday morning I finished reviewing (which I really must call it since I wasn’t doing much revision or editing) Ghostly Interlude and sent it to my editor.


I realized the story was the story and if it needs fixing, someone else is going to have to tell me. I’ve been working on this story for three years.


It was time to let it go.

Now I really feel free to write the next Ghostly book. Hopefully it won’t take me that long. Although to be fair, I suffered my heart issues and Hubby’s cancer issues during the writing and editing of Ghostly Interlude. It’s amazing I finished it at all.

So… What’s the longest it’s taken you to finish a project? Any project. Well... preferably one that shouldn't take as long as it did.

Happy Monday!


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Decisions, Decisions

I’m currently in the process of deciding the cover to Ghostly Interlude. Apparently I can’t decide. Ugh. But hey, I’m getting farther along in my editing. Let’s see if I can get that book to my editor by next week, shall we?

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #41
Dates read: June 24-28
Title: “Deadly Silence”
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Blood Brothers #1
# of Pages: 362
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Under siege. That’s how Ryker Jones feels. The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency he opened up with his blood brothers has lost a client in a brutal way. The past he can’t outrun is resurfacing, threatening to drag him down in the undertow. And the beautiful woman he’s been trying to keep at arm’s length is in danger…and he’ll destroy anything and anyone to keep her safe.
    Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. She’s making risky moves at work by day and indulging in an affair with a darkly dangerous PI by night. There’s a lot Ryker isn’t telling her and the more she uncovers, the less she wants to know. But when all hell breaks loose, Ryker may be the only one to save her. If his past doesn’t catch up to them first…
My thoughts: I didn’t realize until I bought this book that this series is a spin off of her Sin Brothers series, which I loved very, very much. Seems I love this series, too. Lots of suspense! Lots of romance! Lots of sexy scenes!! Unfortunately, I have to wait to read them all, since they’re not all released yet. Now I don’t mind that she writes fast, so maybe I won’t have to wait that long. This series has a little bit of a paranormal bent—genetically engineered people—but not too much (or weird) if paranormal’s not your thing. If romantic suspense is, then you gotta give this book a try. And then if you haven’t read the Sin Brothers series yet, I bet you’ll want to after (or do it now, that 4-book series is out).

So… The CW is remaking Dynasty? Ugh. I couldn’t stand it the first time around. How about you? Does it seem like there are more TV remakes than ever? Or have there always been remakes and I just didn’t notice?

Happy Reading!



Monday, July 3, 2017

The States I’ve Been To

When JeffO asked what I regarded as a successful visit to a state, I thought it would be fun to list them all and state how I came to visit that state. So here you go.

  1. Alabama: Basic training at Ft. McClelland, stationed at Ft. Rucker
  2. Alaska: Stationed at Ft. Greeley & Ft. Wainwright (son born there)
  3. Arizona: Stationed at Ft. Huachuca (met Hubby & got married there)
  4. Arkansas: Vacationed at Hot Springs
  5. California: Born and raised
  6. Colorado: Attended RomCon in Denver
  7. Connecticut: Drove through several times
  8. Delaware: NOT YET!
  9. Florida: Visited in laws when they lived there; Disney World; cruises
  10. Georgia: Dragon Con (Atlanta) every Labor Day since 2010
  11. Hawaii: Vacationed for 25th wedding anniversary
  12. Idaho: Drove through in 1969
  13. Illinois: Vacationed in Chicago numerous times
  14. Indiana: Drove through numerous times; been to Indianapolis Zoo
  15. Iowa: NEXT YEAR!
  16. Kansas: Drove through on way to RomCon
  17. Kentucky: Stayed numerous times (work related) and drive through a lot
  18. Louisiana: Attended RT & FF&P conventions in New Orleans plus cruises
  19. Maine: Stayed in Augusta and drove down the coast
  20. Maryland: Stayed for cruise out of Baltimore
  21. Massachusetts: Visited Boston & Salem (via work)
  22. Michigan: Stayed in Detroit a few times; Rust City Book Con
  23. Minnesota: Drove through in 1969
  24. Mississippi: Drove through numerous times
  25. Missouri: Vacationed in Branson & St. Louis (separate trips)
  26. Montana: NEXT YEAR!
  27. Nebraska: NEXT YEAR!
  28. Nevada: Vacationed in Las Vegas (2009) and stayed in Reno (1969)
  29. New Hampshire: Drove through a few years ago
  30. New Jersey: Stationed at Ft. Monmouth (daughter born there)
  31. New Mexico: Stayed in Albuquerque in 1969
  32. New York: Visited numerous times (Baseball HOF, Albany, NYC, Niagara Falls)
  33. North Carolina: Visited Raleigh, drove through many times
  34. North Dakota: NEXT YEAR!
  35. Ohio: Live here!
  36. Oklahoma: Stayed in Oklahoma City in 1969
  37. Oregon: Vacationed at Crater Lake, stayed in Portland and Salem
  38. Pennsylvania: Visited Pittsburgh many times. Too familiar with the Turnpike.
  39. Rhode Island: Visited Hubby’s family a few times
  40. South Carolina: Stationed at Ft. Jackson for training; stayed in Charleston for cruises
  41. South Dakota: Saw Mt. Rushmore and Badlands in 1969
  42. Tennessee: Drove through numerous times, visited Nashville
  43. Texas: Dallas for RT; Austin & San Antonio for Footy; driven I-10 end-to-end
  44. Utah: Floated in the Great Salt Lake in 1969
  45. Vermont: Visited a couple of times
  46. Virginia: Friend has time share in Massanutten we’ve stayed at a few times
  47. Washington: Stationed at Ft. Lewis
  48. West Virginia: Lived there for a month with in laws; visited many times
  49. Wisconsin: Wisconsin Dells—twice (first time in 1969); Racine for Footy
  50. Wyoming: Yellowstone in 1969
As you can see, not many states are just drive-throughs. Yeah, it surprised me, too!

Those states visited in 1969? My parents bought a camper and we drove from Santa Barbara to Newark, NJ to see my dad’s side of the family (first time for my sister and me, probably my mother, too). Dad was determined for us to see a lot of America. Mom said it was probably the worst vacation she ever had. You see, she still had to cook. J

So… Think you would like to travel across the states in a camper? It was a memorable trip, but not something I would want to do again. I’m spoiled: give me hotels and restaurants.

Happy Monday! And have a great 4th!