Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wednesday Reads

See what happens when I concentrate on writing? I forget to post my blog (and it was already written)! Oh well, better late than never. Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #4

Dates read: January 16-20
Title: High Heat
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Richard Castle
Genre: Crime Drama
Series:  Nikki Heat #8
# of Pages: 296
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter (but bought it for her as a gift)
Blurb from book: For Captain Nikki Heat, this horrific murder becomes more than just another case when the terrorists announce their next victim: her husband, world-famous magazine writer Jameson Rook.
    Desperate to ensure his safety, Heat tries to contact Rook, who is supposed to be off writing a First Press profile about independent presidential candidate Legs Kline, a sudden favorite for the White House. Except Rook is suddenly nowhere to be found.
    Heat realizes the only way to stop the terrorists from harming Rook is to get to them first. And they’ve left behind at least one strange clue: a colorful scarf, which doesn’t belong in any jihadist’s hideout.
    But as if that one deeply personal case is not enough to plunge Nikki Heat’s world into turmoil, there suddenly comes another. It begins when she catches a glimpse of a street person who she swears is her mother—a woman who has been dead for nearly twenty years.
My thoughts: This one didn’t appear to have the head-hopping thing going on. At least I didn’t notice it, so that’s a good thing. More typos than there should be, though. But it was still a page-turner and better than the last segment. Except… this one left me hanging a bit. Ugh.  

So... Can you get so involved in a project that you forget to do your other stuff? Heck, I even forgot to write "post blog" on my list of things to do (which would have certainly helped me to REMEMBER!!).

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Rams are Going to the Super Bowl!!

Yes, I wish the win wasn’t tainted with a bad call, but this isn’t the first time (and probably not the last) that a bad call affected a game.

But I’m still happy the Rams are going to the Super Bowl!

The one thing I really hate about the NFL, though: Overtime. Especially in the playoffs. Make it like the NHL (hockey) in the playoffs: play the entire 15 minutes and if it’s still tied, play another 15. Or do it like college. Heck, if the Saints had scored a touchdown (instead of throwing an interception) on the first drive of OT, the Rams wouldn’t have even had a chance to touch the ball. I just don’t think that is fair. Why does the NFL’s OT have to be so different?

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Saturday we were under a winter storm warning. Supposed to get a lot of snow dumped on us (something like 9”). The forecast was so frightening, my local RWA chapter decided not to have their meeting (which I was okay with, since it’s 60 miles away for me). But what does it do instead? Rain.

Rain, rain, and rain.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I was happy for that rain. Until it started freezing. That happened around the time the sun set. Then around 6pm, we lost power, too. Actually, our whole neighborhood/development did (since our power lines are buried). Seems the transformer that fed our area blew.

And of course, I was in the bathroom when THAT happened. Man, that room got dark in a hurry! And it has a window!!

Luckily, the power was restored at 8:45pm (and our house didn’t really get all that cold—yay!). I almost thought I might have to store the contents of my refrigerator and freezer outside, though. It certainly wouldn’t have spoiled out there.

The snow did eventually arrive, but the winds were so bad, it just blew it around into drifts (I couldn’t tell how much we got, but certainly not 9” worth, more like 2”). And then the temps dropped to single digits.

On Sunday, wind chills were below zero. Both cars were covered in ice. We didn’t even leave the house. Yep, I actually had to cook! Good thing I was smart enough to have bought some food in advance.

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Writing update! I think I figured out the ending of my WIP. Of course, I thought I had it figured out until I started writing the scene before and then another idea came to mind. I can’t wait to get back to it this week. I have a feeling I might actually finish this first draft this month after all! Whoo hoo!!

So… Did you watch the football games? How do you feel about OT rules? Are you going to watch the Super Bowl? And did you get caught in this storm?

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wednesday Reads and Fixing My Routines

I started exercising first thing in the morning back in December. Is it a coincidence I haven’t gotten much writing done since then? Nope. None at all.

I took this class on marketing (which didn’t help me in marketing, strangely enough) that suggested we have only so many hours of creative time in a day and that we shouldn’t waste it on non-creative stuff. That got me thinking (which can be a scary thing at times).

Last May, while at my mother’s, I got up early and wrote before everyone got up. It worked really well, and I had been continuing doing that…for the most part. But now I was exercising first thing in the morning and not writing. Hmmm…

So on Monday I switched things around. Got up and wrote first (and ignored the e-mails—that was hard!!) THEN exercised. Two days in a row. Wow! What a difference. I actually felt…PRODUCTIVE!! Now to see if I can keep it up until I get my WIP finished.

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #3

Dates read: January 8-15
Title: Driving Heat
Year of publication: 2015
Author: Richard Castle
Genre: Crime Drama
Series:  Nikki Heat #7
# of Pages: 329
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter (but bought it for her as a gift)
Blurb from book: On the morning of her first day as the new captain of the Twentieth Precinct, Nikki Heat is rocked when her NYPD shrink washes up dead on the banks of the Hudson River. But the jarring murder of the man who knew her most intimate secrets is only the first of a series of blows to batter New York City’s top homicide detective. She is soon blindsided by the discovery that her fiancĂ©, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jameson Rook, had been secretly meeting her psychologist as part of an explosive investigative article he is writing for a magazine.
    Nikki’s sense of betrayal deepens when Rook refuses on ethical grounds to share confidential information he has learned about the victim. His headstrong stance and continued meddling in Heat’s case strain their engagement to the breaking point as their professional lives drive straight for a collision.
    In this riveting new novel from his blockbuster series,
New York Times bestselling mystery author Richard Castle steers Nikki Heat full throttle through the heart-pounding obstacle course of her most daunting and dangerous case yet. Her stakes have never been higher or more emotional as she races to stop an ingenious repeat killer with a chilling MO and a long list of targets. In her quest for justice, Heat confronts a narcissistic dot-com tycoon, deals with a headline-hungry auto-safety whistle-blower, weathers a hacking attack that cripples all of New York City’s police technology, and faces unrelenting danger to herself and the man she may yet marry—if they both survive this deadly ride.
My thoughts: These aren’t always the best books to read if you’re looking for a straight crime mystery (the person whodunit was a surprise for me—yay!). Not really told omniscient, but does some head hopping (although for the most part it is in Nikki Heat’s POV), which kind of pulled me out a time or two. But if you enjoyed the television series “Castle,” then you’ll enjoy these books (especially Jameson Rook). And that’s why I read them.

So… Have you been having trouble being creative? Try mixing up your routine. Maybe that’s the kick you need.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Wednesday Reads and Computer Woes

This has not been a good week. On Saturday, Big Red (my laptop) was running so slow, I couldn’t get anything to work right. Hubby looked at it and said my disc was full. Except it wasn’t. Something was using up all the disc space, but we couldn’t see WHAT!

On Sunday, I was able to back up my files (thank GOD!!). It took several hours, but I got it done. Hubby took Big Red to work for them to look at (pays to work in the IT dept, huh?).

The bad news: my hard drive was bad. The worse news: he couldn’t copy anything over to the new (solid state) drive we bought, which meant I had to start all over again as if I had a new computer.

It was not easy being without a computer for so long. Hubby gave me another laptop to use, but I basically used it to read e-mails, which I got super far behind in reading (heck, I’m still trying to get caught up). Didn’t help any that I had signed up for two classes that started this week, either. It’s been a mess.

But I have Big Red back now (which should work faster with the solid state drive) and just in time for this week’s post!

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #1

Dates read: December 28 – January 2
Title: Day Shift
Year of publication: 2015
Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series:  Midnight, Texas #2
# of Pages: 362
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Midnight, Texas: a tiny little town with one stoplight and a lot to hide. And those who live there will do whatever it takes to keep their secrets…
My thoughts: I really enjoyed the short-lived television series "Midnight, Texas," but it’s NOTHING like the books, besides the character NAMES. Not even the descriptions are all that similar. But I’m enjoying the books and since it appears there are only three in the series and I have them all… J This book is written sort of in the omniscient view. In fact, very similar to the Dean Koontz books I’ve been reading. So it’s no first person urban fantasy here, and I’m okay with that.

Book #2

Dates read: January 3-7
Title: Night Shift
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series:  Midnight, Texas #3
# of Pages: 385
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Midnight, Texas, is a sleepy Southern town whose strange and secretive residents must unite to prevent all hell from breaking loose…
My thoughts: Okay, now I found some resemblance of the books to the television series. The events in books 1 and 3 were in season 1. I’m sorry this series has ended, though. I could have read some more about this town and the characters in it.

So… When was the last time you had to start a computer from scratch? You think you know how you had everything set up, but you don’t. You really don’t. I’ll probably be fixing things for the next month or so.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Wednesday Reads and Happy New Year

I hope you had a fun celebration, even if it was sleeping! I rang the New Year with friends where we ate and played cards. Fun, fun! I even opened my bottle of Bailey’s (finally) to go in my coffee. Mmmm… I must remember that trick the next time I need help sleeping, but I should probably buy some decaf coffee, too. Or forego the coffee and just have a shot of Bailey’s over ice. What do you think?

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #57

Dates read: December 24-27
Title: The Dead Play On
Year of publication: 2015
Author: Heather Graham
Genre: Paranormal mystery romance
Series:  Cafferty & Quinn #3
# of Pages: 363
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Musicians are being murdered in New Orleans, but Arnie Watson apparently died by his own hand. When Tyler Anderson plays the saxophone he inherited from Arnie, he believes he sees visions of his friend’s life—and death. He becomes convinced Arnie was murdered and that the instrument had something to do with it, and with whatever’s happening all over the city…
    Tyler knows his theory sounds crazy, so he approaches Danni Cafferty, hoping she and Michael Quinn will find out what the cops couldn’t. Or wouldn’t. After all, Cafferty and Quinn have become famous for solving unusual crimes.
    They’re partners in their personal lives, too. Quinn’s a private investigator and Danni works with him. When they look into the case, they discover a secret lover of Arnie’s and a history of jealousies and old hatreds that leads them back to the band Arnie once played with—and Tyler plays with now.
    And they discover that, sometimes, the line between passion and obsession is hard to draw…
My thoughts: Nice mystery with some suspense, although I kind of figured out who the bad guy was early on. I like Danni and Quinn but the next book (which just came out in Nov) isn’t at B&N yet, so I wait…

I didn’t do so bad reading-wise this year. Easily surpassed my goal of 50 books. And now that I’m actually reading more (thank you, treadmill), I upped my goal for 2019. To a whopping 90 books! I shouldn’t have any problem reaching this goal if I just remember that reading is also part of my job (as is watching TV). I do learn a lot that way (of what to do or what NOT to do), so I need to stop feeling GUILTY when I read or watch TV.

And that would be a nice resolution: to stop feeling guilty. I mean, why do I feel guilty to begin with? It’s silly. So here’s to reading more and watching the X Files and Doctor Who in 2019 (yes, I have the DVDs of both series). I look forward to seeing what they can teach me.

So… Were you partying or sleeping when 2018 turned into 2019? Have you come up with any resolutions or goals for 2019? Please share! I have goals, too, but it’s more short-term than long. My goal is to finish my WIP by the end of this month. I’m so close to being done, there’s no excuse not to get it done. Besides, I have this convention I’m going to in July and I really REALLY want it available to sell then.

Happy Reading!

Stacy