Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wednesday Reads and I'm Cruising...Again

Yeah, that’s right.  I’m on another cruise. This one is only (yeah, only) 5 days long. We get back to Tampa on Saturday and will then continue our Orlando vacation with our friends in her timeshare. We’ve got lots of activities planned with her, so we didn’t bother planning anything on the cruise. We do have an excursion booked in Cozumel. But the rest of the cruise? Yep, nothing planned.

Just reading and relaxing, and hopefully getting some writing done. That’s if I’m not sweating up a storm. Man, it’s hot! 90 degrees hot. It is fall, right? Guess no one told the Gulf of Mexico. Or Florida for that matter.

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #36

Dates read: September 17-20
Title: I’m Watching You
Year of publication: 2004
Author: Karen Rose
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Romantic Suspense #3/Chicago #2
# of Pages: 474
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Star prosecutor Kristen Mayhew has a dangerous secret admirer. He seems to know her every thought, her every move. He sends her letters. And he kills the criminals she herself is powerless to stop.
    This avenger even knows Kristen’s deepest secret—the one that has kept her from surrendering her heart to Abe Reagan, the police detective sworn to protect her. Like Kristen, Reagan is haunted by the loss of something precious that can never be regained. But in the shadow of a calculating serial killer, the two turn to each other and dare to rediscover passion…even as the messages and vicious murders continue. Even as the killer’s thirst for retribution makes Kristen a target for murder.
My thoughts: I’ve found the joy in reading again and I credit this series. I haven’t read a book that size that fast in I can’t remember when. Great suspense and I didn’t have an idea of who the perp was until the end. Some people might not like the “insta-love” in this book (and the others), but it doesn’t bother me. I believe in love at first sight.

Book #37

Dates read: September 21-21
Title: The Wedding From Hell Part 1
Year of publication: 2018
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Firefighters #0.5
# of Pages: 57
Paper or plastic: Nook book
How obtained: Purchased for free
Blurb from Goodreads: It’s a classic recipe for disaster: Take one bridesmaid who thinks pink is the root of all evil, mix with a best man who’s hotter than a four-alarm fire, add in their explosive sexual attraction, a nightmare bridezilla, two cat fights, and an emergency call, and you have the wedding from hell.
    Experience the sizzling start of Anne and Danny’s intense relationship. Is this the start of something good...or just an erotic one-night stand that rocks their world, but must never be repeated?
My thoughts: Way too short, but good. I am waiting for the book to come out and will read it shortly after I get it.

Book #38

Dates read: September 21-21
Title: The Wedding From Hell Part 2
Year of publication: 2018
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Firefighters #0.5
# of Pages: 36
Paper or plastic: Nook book
How obtained: Purchased for free
Blurb from Goodreads: As the wedding from hell continues, Anne and Danny find themselves walking the delicate balance between professional distance and explosive attraction. Will the desire they feel last through the night and change their lives? Or are they doomed to part after one night of passion?
My thoughts: This one was even shorter!! I am NOT reading the excerpt in Part 3. I’ll just go crazy wanting to read the book then, and I’m not into self-torture all that much.

Book #39

Dates read: September 22-22
Title: Her Vampire’s Promise
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Jordan K. Rose
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Romance in Central City #1
# of Pages: 81
Paper or plastic: Nook book
How obtained: Purchased, I think (but it might have been free)
Blurb from Goodreads: Reade Hayes knows better than any vampire that nothing good ever comes out of Central City. So he isn’t surprised the beautiful blonde he meets in a dive bar is crazy. What does surprise him is how fast she moves, how hard she hits, and the fact she’s wearing a ring he last saw two decades ago on the hand of his dead friend.
    Is it possible the little girl he swore a blood pact to protect didn’t die in the fire? If the beauty sitting beside him is that pretty little baby, where has she been for twenty years? And why is she so lethal?
    On hindsight Lawrie Tyrone realizes drinking vampire blood might not have been the smartest decision. But scientists experiment and if she is going to prove her father was not a traitor, she has to take risks. So far she’s experienced no alarming side effects, well, none other than being able to recognize vampires walking among humans.
    From the power he exudes to his gorgeous dark eyes everything about the man to her right screams danger. Every logical thought tells her to kill him. But something in his eyes stops her. Is he using his vampire powers to influence her, or is something else making her heart ache for him?
    Can love thrive in the ruins of Central City?
My thoughts: I thought I was getting a book and I barely got a novella. I thought I was getting a romance, but I barely got invested into the characters. I wanted more. Kind of disappointed. This series is currently at book 8. They’re all short. I don’t like those kinds of series, so I won’t bother reading any more.

So… I’m not going to end with a question because I most likely won’t be back on line until Saturday night (if then). But if you have a question for me, go ahead and ask. I’ll answer in my next post.

Happy Reading!


Friday, September 21, 2018

The Day From Hell

You ever have one of those days? Where it seemed like everything went wrong? Well, that was my day yesterday, which really sucked, because I had to get ready for today.

I’m leaving on vacation!!

First, I had to stay home and wait for St. Vincent to pick up our two old recliners (which our couch replaced). Not a problem. I had laundry to do. But I also had to go over to the old house and make sure the flooring people were okay.

Thankfully, St. Vincent arrived at 9:30. Not too bad. I took off to the old house.

Upstairs toilet was clogged (apparently the painters flushed something heavier than toilet paper). I had to go back home and get the plunger. Returned to the old house and discovered the painters did NOT finish painting (after they said they’d get right on it!). At least the toilet unclogged.

After lunch with Hubby, I came home and paid the bills (while still doing the laundry). Had a heck of a time balancing my checkbook. Recognized WHAT I was off, but not WHY. Sometimes your brain just doesn’t want to work and mine decided not to work then. Finally figured out what I did wrong and got that sucker balanced. Off to pay the bills.

Realized I hadn’t gotten a bill for the electric since we moved in. I called them. They’ve been sending the bills to the wrong address (street address was correct, city and zip were not). I have NO IDEA where those bills went (and apparently it’s an issue for almost everyone who lives in this area). I asked what I owed and nearly fainted. Thank goodness they take Visa, so there’s no threat of having the electricity turned off while we’re away.

Still… wouldn’t you think they’d CALL if I hadn’t been making payments, especially since I make payments on time with the other house? Sheesh!

Then I was afraid the bill for the new couch would arrive and be due before we got home. I called them to make sure #1, did they have my correct address, and #2, how much the bill was and where I could mail it.

Turned out the bill arrived yesterday AFTER I mailed the payment. At least I know it’s coming to the correct house.

At 5:30, I was getting ready to fix dinner when the dryer went off. I emptied it and opened the washer to transfer the towels. But it was still full of water.

I played with the knobs, but nothing worked. I looked at the breaker box, but I couldn’t see anything wrong (although there was, I just couldn’t see it). So I found a container to put the wet towels in.

Which was also a struggle! The bins were stuck together and I couldn’t get them apart. By this time I was ready to hit someone.

I finally wedged those suckers apart (with the help of a stick) and proceeded to wring the towels as dry as I could get them. Hauled the bin into the car and drove to the Laundromat.

I got there at 6:30. It closed at 6:00.

Of course it did!

I had no idea where another Laundromat was located so I contacted my daughter to see if I could use the washer in her apartment. I drove over there and waited for her to return (she had to go to the bank). By the time she returned, someone had taken both washers. I waited until almost 8 then decided to use a Laundromat near her apartment (which she told me how to get to).

$3.00 for a small load!!! But at least it was open.

While the towels were washing, I walked over to McDonald’s. Ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce only. Only cost me a buck with the coupon on the app.

But then I got back to my car and discovered they’d given me a crispy chicken sandwich. I would have thrown it away if I weren’t so hungry. Man, that sucker was DRY.

While I was at the Laundromat, Hubby stopped by the house on the way from teaching. Called me and said the wrong carpet was being installed. It looked blue or green.

It’s supposed to be grey.

So after the washer finished, I stopped by the old house (because it would be just our luck that they delivered the wrong carpet). Hubby saw the carpet PAD. Carpet was still rolled up and it’s grey. I’m glad it’s okay. Not so glad I had to make another trip over there.

At least when I got home, Hubby checked the breaker box and showed me how to reset the switch. The washer now works (although it still worries me that it blew the breaker in the first place).

This vacation is almost coming at the wrong time (because of the old house), but man, do I feel like I need one now. I don’t ever want another day like that.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wednesday Reads and Moving to IngramSpark

I used to use CreateSpace for my paperback books. Well, I guess I’m STILL using CreateSpace, but I’m not using them for expanded distribution. Since they are in the process of moving all the books to KDP, I decided to move them to IngramSpark instead. My books may still get moved to KDP, but they won’t be on expanded distribution there.

So… if you were wondering why you haven’t seen my paperbacks at B&N, that would be why. It takes 2-6 weeks before vendors will see the book. Since I haven’t sold any paperbacks, the long lead time really wasn’t an issue for me. And now maybe since I’m with IngramSpark, other bookstores (besides B&N and Books & Co) will take a chance. Never know.

Luckily, it didn’t cost me anything to transfer the books to IngramSpark. Now, for my next book, I’ll have to pay a fee (unless I get lucky at the time and find a coupon to do it for free, and I’ve been told there are always coupons out there). Small price to pay to be seen in other bookstores (and not rely on Amazon).

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #35

Dates read: September 11-16
Title: Have You Seen Her?
Year of publication: 2004
Author: Karen Rose
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Romantic Suspense #2
# of Pages: 499
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: One by one, the girls disappear from their beds at night. Each one is pretty, with long dark hair. And each one is found brutally murdered.
    Special Agent Steven Thatcher has sworn to find the serial killer preying on this small town. As the investigation pulls him one way, his family pulls him in another. A widower haunted by loss, he now worries about his son Brad slipping away. But there’s a bright light in his life: his son’s teacher, Jenna Marshall, has reached out to help. She’s beautiful, kind, and considerate—and slowly, tentatively, she and Steven are starting to fall in love. But both have been hurt before—badly. And as the two try to find the courage to bare their souls, a murderer who has slain many looks for the real treasure he craves. He sets his traps. And waits. For Jenna…
My thoughts: Another page turner! Man, I love her books. I am definitely HOOKED.

So… Don’t you just hate messing with something you thought you’d never have to mess with again? That’s how I felt about transferring my titles to IngramSpark. Would have probably gone to just as much work after the transfer to KDP, because does anything ever go right in a transfer? I’ve found that it DOESN’T.

Happy Reading!


Monday, September 17, 2018

Old House (and Football) Blues

Sometimes I think we’ll never get rid of the old house.

We’re still waiting on the basement guy to fix the leaks. He was supposed to go over to the house on Saturday, but apparently, he ran out of supplies. Whatever. I’m tired of the excuses and just want it done. Heck, I wanted it done before we left on Friday, but now I can see that probably will NOT be the case.

And what’s even worse, it’s expected to rain today (most likely from the remnants of Florence). If the basement gets wet again (and it will if it rains a lot), he has to wait for it to dry to fix.


Guess he’ll also have to wait until we’re back from our vacation to get paid, then.

Just makes me happier and happier that he failed to show on the day I was willing to pay him. Gotta find those silver linings somewhere.

That’s my old house blues. As for the football…

Our high school football team has lost two games in a row. They haven’t done that in… well, longer than I can remember. I have a feeling we won’t need to worry about playing in the playoffs this year, because we don’t expect them to win this Friday, either. People say we can’t expect to win all the time. I say, “Why not?” Their losses won’t stop me from going to the games. My vacation will, but their record won’t.

At least Ohio State has been playing well, but the USC Trojans haven’t (boo hoo). And then there’s the Steelers… Ugh! I thought when they came back to tie it up yesterday that maybe we had a chance. I know, the season is early. I can’t doom them this early. But I sure hope they get their stuff together soon! At least I have the Rams to root for. 2-0. Yay! I liked that the Fox pre-game show last week predicted they’d win the Super Bowl this year. Boy, wouldn’t THAT be nice?

Guess my football blues aren’t all blue, huh? Maybe when we get back from vacation the records will have improved. Well, I can hope!

So far it doesn’t look like any hurricanes will spoil our next cruise, but stranger things have happened. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed that all goes well.

Hope Florence hasn’t harmed any of you or yours. The flooding is the worst, I’m sure. And she’s still out there causing problems. I’m hoping by the time she ends up our way she’s weakened considerably. I don’t want a wet basement.

So… How’d your weekend go?


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wednesday Reads and Other Stuff

I went to bed Monday night when the Rams/Raiders game was at half-time. The Rams were losing 10-13 in a back and forth type of game. Would have stayed up if I didn’t have a doctor appointment the next morning. So happy to wake up Tuesday and saw the Rams WON! 33-13. They shut those Raiders down in the second half. Whoo hoo!

As for that doctor appointment… it was a follow-up from my skin cancer “surgery” back in February. There were some spots I’ve noticed on my face and arm which I brought to their attention. The spots I found were okay (whew), but… Yeah, she saw something else on my face and it’s pre-cancerous. Now I have to put cream on the spot to kill the skin cells. Basically it burns the skin off after 3 weeks (2x a day) of treatment. That won’t be fun. Hubby had to do that to his whole face before and he was miserable! At least I can wait until I get back from vacation to start and then I can moan and groan like he did. Okay, maybe not like he did. I don’t have to put it all over my face. Just on the spot on my cheek. Still… pre-cancerous. Ugh!!!

One of these days I’m going to go to the doctor and leave without a follow up appointment!

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #34

Dates read: September 5-11
Title: Don’t Tell
Year of publication: 2003
Author: Karen Rose
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Romantic Suspense #1/Chicago #1
# of Pages: 482
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: It was a desperate plan. But Mary Grace Winters knew the only way to save herself and her child form her abusive cop husband was to stage their own death. Now all that remains of their former life is at the bottom of a lake…
    Armed with a new identity in a new town, she and her son have found refuge hundreds of miles away. As Caroline Stewart, she has
almost forgotten the night-mare she left behind nine years ago. She is even taking a chance of love with Max Hunter, a man with wounds of his own. But her past is about to collide with the present when her husband uncovers her trail and threatens her hard-won peace. Step by step, he’s closing in on her—and everything and everyone she loves.
My thoughts: Man, what a page turner! I hated putting this one down. I had started reading some of Ms. Rose’s books further on in the series after I had met her at a convention and got her to sign the few books she had on hand (which I bought after someone had said they stayed up all night reading them—when I hear words like that, I gotta check them out). Then after reading those books, realized I wanted (WANTED, not needed) to read them from the beginning. You don’t have to if you don’t want (they can be read as stand alones), but man, if you love romantic suspense, you’ll want to start these from the beginning, too, if only because some of the characters will show up in future books. I have found myself another author where she’ll be an auto buy, but first I gotta get through the series (which is up to #22). I look forward to reading them all.

So… Do you prefer to binge read a series or spread them out? I’ve done both and I think I prefer binge-reading. I remember more when I’m reading them back-to-back.

Happy Reading!


Monday, September 10, 2018

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I know I wanted some rain to water our newly sodded yard, but this is ridiculous! It’s been raining and raining and raining.

Then again, it’s probably a good thing it’s been raining so much. We were just about to pay the basement guy for the work he’s done at the old house when the rain hit and we discovered his fixes did not fix the leaks.

***heavy sigh***

The painters are angry, they were ready to fix the drywall and paint the basement. We were ready to tell the flooring people to come and install the carpet and tile. Now we don’t know how much longer we’re going to have to wait.

And now I’m afraid we STILL won’t have the house on the market by the time we leave for our vacation. We had such high hopes, too.

In other news… I’ve registered for the Literary Love, Authors Rock Savannah convention (held in Savannah, of course, in July 2019). One of the things they do is offer a print anthology book featuring short stories from some of the authors available only at the convention. There will be two books: suit porn and paranormal. I’m thinking suit porn has to do with billionaires or men who wear suits, but I asked about the paranormal one and guess what? I got selected (she was only taking 8 authors).

So now I’m to write a short story (8-12K) featuring the hotel we’re staying at and it has to have paranormal stuff going on. I’m thinking a ghost story would work best, but some of my readers think a mish-mash of vampire and ghost would be fun. We’ll see if I can do that in a short story. Good thing they don’t need it until April.

Still have to get off my duff and write it, though. But I am getting back into my WIP and the writing bug is hitting me. Yay!

Football season has started! High school started a few weeks ago, and college last week, but the pros started this past weekend and what the heck, Steelers? Tied with the Brownies? You don’t know how awful it was to watch that game at B-dubs (since it wasn’t on TV locally) with all the Browns fans. They are a noisy bunch. If they’re not barking, they’re booming or booing (I haven’t quite figured out what they were saying, except they were saying it LOUDLY).

So… Have you been living in soggy territory lately? Hope your house is staying dry. At least our new house is, so there’s that! I love NOT having a basement anymore.

Happy Monday!


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wednesday Reads and Pictures from Dragon Con

I didn’t take many pictures while I was at Dragon Con, but I did get some selfies in the Walk of Fame (where you can also get celebrities’ autographs), just like I wanted.

And technically, two of them weren’t selfies (someone else took the picture). But I got to meet these people (with PROOF!) and that’s what really mattered. At least to me.

Don't you love his Reverse Flash shirt?
First, I stood in line for Tom Cavanaugh. He was supposed to show up at 10am (according to his sign), but didn’t show up until almost 11. And he had an 11:30 panel! I was 15th in line and wasn’t sure I’d get my picture taken before he had to leave. But luckily, I did. However, I was so flustered, I ended up going to the wrong panel after. I wanted to go to his panel (Arrowverse) and ended up at the S.H.I.E.LD panel. Just as well, the Arrowverse panel the next day included John Barrowman. And any panel with John Barrowman is a better panel—haha!

Before that Arrowverse panel, I went back to the Walk of Fame to see if Brandon Routh was going to be there for a selfie. I was told he was on his way, so I got in line. He’s the spitting image of my character, Sam (who is the vampire hero in the book I’m currently writing) and I told him so, too! He was sooooo nice. And tall!

On the last hour of Dragon Con, I went back to the Walk of Fame to see who had stuck around. John Barrowman was still there, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend $40 for a selfie (I did get my picture taken with him last year). But my daughter was there and she asked if I could spend $20? I could do that!

And this is what happens when John Barrowman takes control of your phone camera.

So much fun!!!

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #32

Dates read: August 24-29
Title: Marriage Not Included
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 199
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Won from author (I think)
Blurb from book: Lauren is headed back to school, this time not as a fun-loving coed but to achieve her dream of turning the family farm into Idaho’s first Heritage Seed Center. Selling organic produce at the local farmers market, she meets Miles. After an unexpected act of kindness toward her daughter, Lauren agrees to one date.
    As a VP and heir apparent to HN seeds, the family business, Miles unknowingly holds the future of Lauren’s farm in his hands. Lauren’s looking for anything but a romance. She’s got too much on her plate to risk the distraction.
    But he plays the one card Lauren can’t resist, family. Miles needs Lauren and her daughter to feel at home. And Lauren needs Miles and his large extended family more than she knows. But can she forgive the one betrayal that would ruin all of her plans for the future?
    When an organic farming activist meets the heir apparent for the corporate farm that’s buying up the small famers all around her, she only agrees to one date to thank him for a kindness to her daughter. Will she be able to stand firm when he offers her the world, in exchange for selling the only home they’ve ever had?
My thoughts: Can’t say much for the publisher when the blurb had three spelling errors (I corrected two because they were too glaring). I don’t know how I won this book, but I have met the author and this book is signed by her, so I’m guessing I won it on FB or something (because it’s not something I would normally have stood in line to get). I’m always willing to give contemporary romance another try and this book was short. Yes, it’s romance and it gave me the good feels and all, but I still like more in my books. Oh well… You straight contemporary readers will eat this up, though, I’m sure.

Book #33

Dates read: August 29-September 3
Title: Firewall
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Sonya Clark
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Magic Born #3
# of Pages: 230
Paper or plastic: Nook book
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: Trancehacker Tuyet Caron could have left New Corinth for good, but instead uses her magic and risks her life on a daily basis to help the Magic Born. She's been careful to avoid capture, but a careless glance at a video camera brings her face to face with the Ranger who let her go.
    Captain Dale Hayes let Tuyet walk away once, but he won't make that mistake again. When faced with the ultimate choice, however, he chooses her with barely a thought. But that also means siding with the Magic Born and becoming a fugitive in the eyes of the law.
    Tuyet and Dale plan to flee, but are caught in a deadly riot that kills innocent people. Outraged, the pair vows to bring an end to the Magic Laws, regardless of what that means for their own safety.
My thoughts: Lots of tension and action and romance. This was a really good book and a nice ending for the trilogy. I think if I had realized it was JUST a trilogy, I would have bought and read this book sooner. My bad. Perfect book to read while standing in lines at Dragon Con!

I would have had more books read if I hadn’t developed a splitting headache on the ride back home. Man, those things are a killer for wanting to do anything. Five hours into our trip it finally went away (no thanks to the Tylenol I took, though), but I just wasn’t about to risk it returning by reading. I settled on seeing the scenery instead.

A lot of people litter. Did you know that? It’s sad.

So… It’s a new month. Got any goals you’re shooting for? I’m going to tackle my WIP again and hope I can figure out how to end that thing. Of course, we leave on our vacation (yeah, another one) in 15 days, so let’s see if I can continue writing then. I hope so!

Happy Reading!