Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wednesday Reads and I’m Still on Vacation!!

The cruise was AWESOME. I’d go to Alaska again in a heartbeat. It was so beautiful and we really lucked out weather-wise. Warm for the residents, perfect for us. I’ll post pictures once I’m home and have a faster Internet. The ship’s Internet was a joke and hotel’s aren’t that much better. It’ll probably take me forever to post this.

I read more than I wrote on the cruise. Reading was easier, that’s for sure. But unfortunately, I got stuck on my WIP (gotta find out where I went wrong). Also, it was kind of cold to sit outside while the ship was moving, and I always did my best writing on a covered deck with a nice WARM breeze. Yeah, I’ll use the cold ocean as an excuse. Sounds better, doesn’t it? Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #25

Dates read: July 14-18
Title: Sex, Lies, and Online Dating
Year of publication: 2006
Author: Rachel Gibson
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Writer Friends #1
# of Pages: 352
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Someone gave it to me (possibly someone named Cyndi since Ms. Gibson signed it to her).
Blurb from book: What is it about men anyway? Bad cars, bad jobs, even bad teeth—nothing convinces them that they can’t snare a Size Two Babe with a D-cup chest. And after way too may internet dates with men named “luvstick” and “bigdaddy182,” Lucy Rothschild should know.
    But sitting across from her now is “hardluvman,” and he seems different—sensitive, honest, and hot! He says he’s a plumber, while Lucy claims she’s a nurse! She’s really a mystery writer, dating online while researching her next book. Hey, everyone lies a little, don’t they?
    But Quinn’s really an undercover cop hunting down a serial killer, and he sees Lucy as his top suspect. And while he could really go for this smart, sexy woman with the killer bod—if that’s the only thing “killer” about her—he knows he needs to wine and dine her and discover the truth. Hey, he realizes the dating scene can be deadly—but this is ridiculous!
My thoughts: Why does 2006 not seem that long ago? But it’s really 12 freakin’ years ago and I can see that show through in this book (only because businesses are mentioned that are no longer around). I had read another book by Ms. Gibson back in 2011 and it was funny and cute (got it free at RWA Nationals back in 2011), but for some reason never got around to reading this one…until now. Yes, it’s funny and cute, too, but it’s a little more. A little more dangerous. And that danger made this book more enjoyable than a straight contemporary romance. Yes, it also made me laugh (and not just from the dated references). I’m glad I took this one with me on our cruise.

Book #26

Dates read: July 19-23
Title: Her Darkest Nightmare
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Brenda Novak
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles #1
# of Pages: 407
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: I don’t remember!!
Blurb from book: Evelyn Talbot knows that a psychopath can look perfectly normal. She was only sixteen when her own boyfriend Jasper imprisoned and tortured her—and left her for dead. Now an eminent psychiatrist who specializes in the criminal mind, Evelyn is the force behind Hanover House, a maximum-security facility located in a small Alaskan town. Her job puts her at odds with Sergeant Amarok, who is convinced that Hanover is a threat to his community…even as his attraction to beautiful Evelyn contradicts everything he believes.
    Then, just as the bitter Alaskan winter cuts both town and prison off from the outside world, the body of a local woman turns up. For Amarok, this is the final proof he needs: Hanover has to go. Evelyn, though, has reason to fear that the crime is a personal message to her—the first sign that the killer who haunts her dreams has found her again…and that the life she has so carefully rebuilt will never be the same…
My thoughts: I really can’t remember if I bought this or got it free. I just remember wanting to read a Brenda Novak novel. I enjoyed this one even though certain little things bugged me. And apparently it’s the first of a series featuring Evelyn and Amarok, although this one does end with a happy for now. Will I read the next one? I don’t know. I love romantic suspense, but have found other authors I like better and they have tons of books I haven’t read yet. Okay, maybe not tons…

Last night we stopped in Spokane on our trek home. Thought we might spend more time in Seattle, but pretty much saw what we wanted before the cruise, so we arrived in Spokane earlier than anticipated and took the opportunity to visit the Spokane Falls. Very impressive. I look forward to seeing states I haven’t been in yet, though. After this trip we can both say we’ve been in all 50 states. I have Montana and North Dakota (and maybe Minnesota) left. Hubby has Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota left. Onward ho!!

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday Reads and Happy Birthday to Me!!

Today I am on the Carnival Ship Legend and it’s my BIRTHDAY!!! (So I basically cheated and posted this the day before while I still had an easy-to-post Internet)

The trip out to Seattle wasn’t so bad. Hot, but not so bad. Was able to visit the Great Salt Lake (Hubby had never seen it—I swam in it when I was 13). Got to Seattle early enough the day before and was able to make it up the Space Needle (I’ve been to it several times but never went up) and walk around town.

But now the driving’s done for and I can just relax on the cruise. Yay!

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #24

Dates read: July 7 -11
Title: Perish the Day
Year of publication: 2017
Author: John Farrow
Genre: Mystery
Series: The Storm Murders Trilogy #3
# of Pages: 295
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Won it
Blurb from Goodreads: A co-ed is found murdered on campus, her body scarcely touched. The killer paid meticulous attention to the aesthetics of his crime. Coincidentally (or not), a college custodian is also found dead.
    While an epic rainstorm assails the Holyoake, New Hampshire campus, overflowing rivers and taking down power lines, a third crime scene is revealed: a professor, formerly a spy, has been shot dead in his home. A mysterious note is found that warned him to run.
    Each victim is connected to the Dowbiggin School of International Relations, yet none seems connected to the other. The dead student was a close friend of Sergeant-Detective Emile Cinq-Mars's niece, so he puts his nose in; when internecine battles between police departments create a rift, he covertly slips into the crevice so he can be involved in the investigation.
    Coming up against campus secrets, Emile Cinq-Mars must uncover the links between disparate groups quickly before the next victim is selected for an elaborate initiation into murder.
My thoughts: Inside cover of the book indicates it’s a thriller. It is not. Just a mystery. An interesting mystery, but there were some things that bugged me. It’s written in present tense. I’m not a fan, especially when I notice it and I noticed it right off. Lots of head-hopping. Granted, I’m glad the book wasn’t written in first person (I wouldn’t have bothered reading it then), and I can understand having more than one point of view, but within a paragraph? A little confusing and not something I expected in a mystery. This is the third book in a trilogy, but that didn’t seem to matter with the story. I had no problems in that regard. Will I read the other two? No. Plain old mysteries are just not my “cup of tea.” But this was an enjoyable read, so if you like mysteries, you'll probably like this one just fine (and maybe start with the first book in the trilogy).

No question today because I probably won’t be back on the web until we return to Seattle (on Tuesday). Hopefully I’ll have lots of books to report. Or maybe not. I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done, too. Because yeah, writing on a cruise is fun, too! But today’s my birthday. I hope to celebrate today with maybe a drink or two. J

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday Reads and Bunches of Stuff

I’m writing again! Okay, I wrote for two days in a row (hopefully three if I continue this morning), but hey, that’s better than NOT writing. I’m so relieved.

The old house is almost empty and then the second wave of work begins. Gotta get a new roof (of course!), so that should happen soon. Inside the house needs a thorough cleaning, which can happen while we’re gone. Because…

Friday we leave on our vacation! Sixteen blissful days of driving and cruising (to Alaska!). I am so looking forward to this trip. I’ll be on the ship for my birthday, too! I hope we get a bigger dining table this time. Last time the cruise line sat us at a table for two. What fun is that? We’re always together. We want a big table or booth so we can meet more people. Yes, those words came from my fingers. Me, meet people? Yep. As long as I’m with Hubby, that is. J

When we get back, we’ll continue with working on the inside of the old house. It will need to be painted and new carpet & tile will have to be installed (realtor said it would be easier to sell to someone who gets a FHA or VA loan). Then it can go on the market!!

But also, after we get home, we have to concentrate on getting the new house in order. We’re having a house warming party on August 11th! At least we now have a driveway and grass (yay!).

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #22

Dates read: May 29 – June 18 (took awhile for it to show up on Goodreads)
Title: Tokyo Stars
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Gage Lively
Genre: Contemporary (m/m) romance
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 200
Paper or plastic: Word document
How obtained: Proofread
Blurb from Goodreads: Rocked by the sudden loss of his parents in a car accident, Seiichi Seigo is hanging by a thread, racing between jobs and his first year in college at a Tokyo University. He’s barely got time to sleep or eat. When he slams into a stunning, (and rude) green-eyed, half-European man on campus, it’s just one more straw in the pile ready to break Seiichi. Arriving home to find an eviction notice on his door doesn’t help either.
    Luckily, his best friend, Yukio, has a solution: Seiichi can take over the job Yukio was going to do. Be the personal, live-in assistant to Yukio’s older half-brother, prodigy movie director, Kei Karasawa.
    But Seiichi’s troubles aren’t over. He can’t seem to shake the memory of his meeting with the green-eyed man on campus. He even had a steamy dream about him.
    When he discovers his new employer and the man in his dream are one and the same, he’s stunned.
    Thrust into close contact with the sexy, powerful Kei, Seiichi finds himself desperately attracted and falling for a man who seems to be dating one of the most beautiful actresses in the world and gives every appearance of hating Seiichi.
    But appearances can be deceiving...
My thoughts: I proofread this book (via’s Hubby’s business) and wasn’t sure what to expect. And then I found out the author is a friend (she’s using a pen name I wasn’t familiar with). You don’t know how relieved I was when I discovered what a good book this is! Hot, too. If you like M/M romances, read this one. You won’t be disappointed (and hopefully you won’t find any typos because I read this story several times!!!).

Book #23

Dates read: June 24 – July 6
Title: Scoring With the Wrong Twin
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Naima Simone
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: WAGS #1 (WAGS stands for Wife and Girlfriend Series)
# of Pages: 179
Paper or plastic: Nook e-book
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: Shy, awkward Sophia Cruz has a hard time telling her vivacious identical twin “no.” But when her sister begs her to swap places for a modeling shoot, she caves… again. Then Zephirin Black walks onto the set. The brooding, aloof, and gorgeous tight end for the Washington Warriors. But she can keep it professional… She has to. Because the adorkable Cruz twin has no luck with guys once they compare her to her sister.
    After a bad break-up, Zeph hasn’t been big on second chances — and even less with trust. But he finds himself giving please-call-me-by-my-middle-name-Sophia both. The woman he’d dismissed as a spoiled cover model is different from the first time he met her. Quirkier. Funnier. Definitely sexier. What started as one night turns into another... and another… and another…
    Still, Sophia can’t go on keeping her secret from him. But telling Zeph the truth will mean losing him for good.
My thoughts: This book is HOT! And emotionally satisfying. If you love contemporary romance, I highly recommend this one. Granted, I’m not always a fan of contemporary, but I do like sports, and the hero is a football player… Just felt I needed a change of scenery (from the paranormal) and I picked the right book for that.

So… Would you believe I haven’t even started packing for our trip? Am I a glutton for punishment or what? How soon do you start packing for a long vacation? And do you pack a lot of clothes or hope to hit the laundry once or twice? In our case, we get free laundry on the cruise, so I don’t have to pack as much. Yay!

Happy Reading!


Friday, July 6, 2018

It's a Lot of Little Things

Last Friday I talked about having to get with it. And then I do nothing. No writing. No reading. No blogging. And if it didn’t hurt so much to lie in bed, I’d probably stay in it a good portion of the day.

I’m beginning to wonder if my medication is starting to affect me. Of course, it could be the hot weather, too. I just don’t feel like doing anything. And I have way to much stuff to do!

I’m hosting Sizzle and Sass this week, which has kind of taken over my life, like it does every time I’m host. Thank goodness I only do this 3-4 times a year. But man, my time seems to come up quicker each time. But that’s a symptom of old age, right?

I’m still cleaning out the old house. Made two trips to Goodwill this week, today will mark a third and hopefully Saturday a fourth (and final) trip. Hubby is determined to finish cleaning out that house this weekend. And with the weather turning cooler (low 80s instead of mid 90s), that might actually happen. We might not feel so exhausted so soon.

I’m still putting stuff away in the new house. Got my white board up (yay!) and bought some new hangers for my sweatshirts and sweaters (I lost my shelves from our old closet, which we may remedy…some day). But there are still boxes to go through (have no idea where to put the stuff!) and then there’s still more stuff from the old house (if it doesn’t end up in the trash—I’m hoping trash). And we have all these pictures that need to go on the wall (instead of leaning up against it). I just have to figure out WHERE I want them to go.

And right now, my brain doesn’t want to cooperate. It’s like it’s going on strike, saying, “Enough!” Heck, even my body says that after a day at the old house.

Every little thing is piling up. That’s why I’m having trouble determining whether it’s just stuff going on or if my medication is making that stuff harder to deal with. Are my joints sore because I’m moving stuff or sore because of the medication? Am I slightly depressed because of the weather making moving more difficult or slightly depressed from the medication?

At least I haven’t wanted to chew anyone’s head off. But I’m not feeling myself and I don’t know why. Hopefully our upcoming vacation will fix what’s wrong. If it doesn’t, then I’ll know it’s the medication. And then I’ll probably cry. Because I really don’t want to try something else. It might be worse!

Fighting cancer sucks, you know?

So does getting old, but for some reason I can deal with that easier.

Hey, if you’re interested, Smashwords is currently having an e-book sale through July 31st. My Sunny Vampire and Ghostly Liaison are FREE there and the Bitten by Love Box Set is 25% off. You can find the buy links on the book tab (or click on the corresponding cover over on the side bar).

So… Did you have a nice 4th of July? We went to the Dragons game (they won!) and watched fireworks after. It was stinkin’ hot out there, though. I was drenched in sweat. But the fireworks were fun (and so was the game), so I guess it was worth it.

Happy Friday!