Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I'm Pissed

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #15

Dates read: March 13-17
Title: Big Easy Evil
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Heather Graham
Genre: Paranormal mystery
Series:  Cafferty & Quinn #3.7
# of Pages: 127
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Halloween in the Big Easy… Does evil really exist? Michael Quinn and Danni Cafferty are far too familiar with the question. At the death of her father, Danni inherited his  house and shop on Royal Street in New Orleans—and much more than she ever anticipated, including a book kept by her family for generations on how to combat the most unusual forces.
    As Halloween approaches, Quinn is already nervous—he knows what the season can bring. Even as Danni tries to convince him that very good things can happen as well, a man arrives in their kitchen, seeking their very special assistance. Sam DeMille is a lover of decoration and costume—and all things Halloween—until the body of a murdered man shows up in the midst of his backyard ‘cemetery.’ With an axe in his head.
    Could the infamous Axe-man of New Orleans have found his way back after nearly a century? Or is just the insidious at work, a spirit of demon filtering into an object or a person and creating the mayhem all over again? With the help of their odd team, Danni and Quinn must find the truth behind the strange happenings haunting the city—lest they fall prey to that very strange evil themselves.
My thoughts: Should have been a quicker read, but I was busy with revisions. Short and sweet, it was entertaining and brought me back to a series I enjoy. I’d be getting the next book in the series if I could, because I like these characters.

I buy my books from Barnes & Noble (if I don’t buy them from the author directly or see something at Books & Co.). I get free shipping and I own a Nook. I won’t get a Kindle, so I won’t buy books from Amazon. Not even the paperbacks, unless I’m already placing an order big enough to get free shipping (I do not belong to Prime, and I don’t want to, either). I bought the above series at B&N. But the next book out is only sold at Amazon (Kindle AND paperback). This is a big-named author (at least in Romancelandia) and all her other books are wide. I don’t understand.

Not everyone buys their books from Amazon!

Gee, can you tell I’m a little pissed?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, March 18, 2019

Today I Shall Breathe Easier

Today I will finish up the edits on Biting the Curse and will send it off to my editor. Once I hit that send button, I shall breathe easier. That’ll be one job done and out of the way!

And boy, was that book taking up my time or what? My reading has suffered. My TV watching has suffered. I’ve suffered! I’ll be happy to get back to Dr. Who (if I can remember where I left off).

Of course, none of that will happen until after I’ve written 500+ words on the new project. But I do that when I get up. I really do get my best writing done then. At least, I’m most productive then. Whether it’s my best, well, who knows. It’s words. On the page. That’s what matters.

I mentioned last week that we got our new couch delivered. Well, here’s a picture of our great room.
The couch on the right is the new one. The one on the left we got back in August. When the store had another sale, I just took my paperwork and said I wanted another one of those. Easy sale for the store, huh?

We really like this couch, though. The sides recline (electronically!). Very comfortable. And now we have room for everyone!

So… What was the last piece of furniture you bought? Anything good?

Happy Monday.

Stacy

Friday, March 15, 2019

Literary Love: Authors Rock Savannah

Today I’m using my blog to tell you about a reader/author convention happening this summer (July 25-28) in Savannah, Georgia, that I will be attending. It’s called Literary Love: Authors Rock Savannah. There are panels, parties, meals with authors, an awesome Faerie Ball, and two book signings. It’s a great opportunity to get to know so many authors. Over 80 authors are attending featuring multiple genres.

Get your Ticket HERE.

Once you register for the event, the portal for the deal on the hotel (which is on the riverfront!) will be sent to you.

Then head on over to Facebook and join the Attendee Group HERE.  Don’t miss out on all the fun!

The FULL EVENT ticket includes:

• 4 meals: First Date Breakfast on Friday, Paranormal Lunch on Friday, First in a Series Brunch on Saturday, Faerie Ball On Saturday evening.
• Access to 2 signings and the Welcome Open bar
• Welcome Bag with a tower of Freebie books
• Access to ALL parties and panels (starting Thursday, Most parties and events are over by 5pm on Friday, with the Dance party later that night, and the Erotic Trivia as well)
• Access to the Blind Date Book Room
• Ability to reserve tattoo time
• Ability to make a Corset fitting reservation
• Access to the Charity Gift baskets room

If you’ve ever wanted to spend some time with authors, this is the place to do it.

So… Have you ever been to a book convention? They can be overwhelming at times (to this introvert), but they are so much fun. I’m really looking forward to going to this one.

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wednesday Reads

I almost didn’t have something to post. The book I was reading wasn’t doing it for me, so I found something else that did. Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #14

Dates read: March 10-12
Title: Prisoner of Night
Year of publication: 2019
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  Black Dagger Brotherhood #16.5
# of Pages: 201
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: When Ahmare’s brother is abducted, there is nothing she won’t do to get him back safely. She is unprepared, however, for the lengths she will have to go to save his life. Paired with a dangerous but enticing prisoner, she embarks on an odyssey into another world.
    Duran, betrayed by his father, imprisoned in a dungeon for decades, has survived only because of his thirst for vengeance. He has been biding his time to escape and is shocked to find an unlikely and temporary freedom in the form of a determined young female.
    Battling against deadly forces and facing unforeseen peril, the pair are in a race to save Ahmare’s brother. As time runs out, and the unthinkable looms, even true love may not be enough to carry them through.
My thoughts: This is not a Black Dagger Brotherhood story. It is set in the world, which most of her novellas (although this was more like a novel) in this series are. The characters are unknown to her dedicated readers. Did that bother me? Not in the least. It was a fix I really needed after some difficult readings, and I breezed through it. It was good writing, good story-telling, and I’m content.

I’m hoping this break will help me get back into the other book I was reading. I do want to finish it, if just to see how it ends.

So… Have you had to take a break during a read? Did you go back to it? How’d that turn out?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, March 11, 2019

Emerging from the Editing Cave

I feel like I’ve been in a cave since February 1st. Amazing how consuming revising and editing can be when you set a deadline. Or rather, a short deadline. Not something I want to do again, let me tell you.

But I’m starting to emerge. I’m starting to breathe easier. I’ve gone through the whole manuscript and fixed it up (even the ending, which ended up not needing THAT much changed (yay!!)). Added almost 13,000 words net to that puppy (which it needed since I tend to write dialogue-heavy). Next, I plan to print it out (maybe with a different font?) and read it that way. Sometimes the errors pop out better on paper. Don’t know why, but it does for me.

I’m really hoping I don’t find a lot that needs to be changed. I’m really hoping I fixed everything that needs to be fixed. Yeah, I really hope a lot because the truth is, I’m sure I’ll find stuff that needs to be changed and I probably didn’t fix everything. This writer can dream, though, can’t she?

So… Saturday’s hockey game in Columbus didn’t go so well. I hate that stupid cannon!! Yeah, the Penguins won 3 of the 4 games they met this season, but I was really hoping for that sweep. And I was really hoping to not hear that cannon.

See? Hoping.

But!!! They won last night against Boston (sorry, not sorry, Jeff!). Now, if they can only play well CONSISTENTLY!

Today we get our new couch delivered. I’ll have to take a picture of our great room once it’s in so you all can see it. Next furniture purchase: two bookcases. The two in my sunroom will go into the front bedroom/television room, where two matching bookcases reside. I just have to figure out what kind of bookcases I want in the sunroom. Or rather, I have to go bookcase shopping. Where would one go for bookcases, though? Besides an expensive furniture store? I’m not looking for works of art. Just something to hold books!

Happy Monday.

Stacy

Friday, March 8, 2019

I'm a Penguins Fan

Tomorrow I’ll be going to Columbus to watch the Penguins take on the Blue Jackets. Penguins beat them last night in Pittsburgh. They also beat them back on February 26, when they were in Columbus last. I attended that game, too.

See? Here’s a picture of me!


I sure hope I don’t have to hear that cannon tomorrow.

Happy Friday. And Let's go Pens!!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I’m Sick of Snow!

Snow, snow, snow. All it seems to do is snow anymore. Especially, ESPECIALLY when I have plans. Why is that, do you suppose? And our new house is drafty. I thought something was wrong with the furnace, but now we’re suspecting the windows. I put in a warranty request right away (since the house is still under warranty). The windows should NOT be leaking. Brrrrr…

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #13

Dates read: February 23-March 3
Title: Skinwalker
Year of publication: 2009
Author: Faith Hunter
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series:  Jane Yellowrock #1
# of Pages: 320
Paper or plastic: Paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind—a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires—and hunts the undead for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fonteneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps.
    Amidst a bordello full of real “ladies of the night,” and a hot Cajun biker with a panther tattoo who stirs her carnal desire, Jane must stay focused and complete her mission…or else the next skin she’ll need to save may be her own.
My thoughts: I have finally decided to start reading books by authors that I have seen at Dragon Con year after year after year. And I started with this one. It’s heavy on the descriptions and a bit more dense (meaning, hardly any white space on the page) than I like, but it was enjoyable and I can see me reading more of this series. If you enjoy Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series but don’t like all the sex, then this book is for you. Don’t know if the other books in this series have sex, but this one does not. Just a lot of death and gore. You know… fun stuff.

Are you sick of winter, too? Warm weather cannot get here soon enough. Of course, then the bugs come. Ugh. Why can’t we have warm weather without the critters! I know, I gotta complain about everything. I’m blaming it on the SNOW!!!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wednesday Reads is Back!

I’m getting behind in my reading, but it can’t be helped. At least I read a book!! Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #12

Dates read: February 9-22 
Title: Never Let Me Fall
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Abbie Roads
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series:  Fatal Dreams #3
# of Pages: 281
Paper or plastic: Paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Thomas Brown can’t see color, but he can see people’s true souls. His abilities allow him to work with criminal investigators and deliver justice to families of the wronged. And he’s starting to accept that his life will forever be in black and white…
    Then he encounters Helena Grayse, and everything changes. She brings vibrant color to his world, and he brings acceptance and belief to hers. But Helena’s past is quickly catching up with her, and Thomas is in the crosshairs.
    As an enemy hidden in plain sight threatens their every move, they’ll have to rely on their love to beat the darkness.
My thoughts: It appears I struggled to read this book, and in a way I did, but I just picked a bad time to read, period. Getting sick, getting behind in my editing, and the first thing to go is the reading. But when I was able to pick it up and read it, I enjoyed every bit. I like the darkness, I like the unexplained events (paranormal in a way), and I really liked the romance.  

Last night I went to see the Penguins play the Blue Jackets. Since I’m posting this before the game, I don’t know what kind of time I had. I hope it was a good one. And I hope the Blue Jackets don’t score a lot (I really hate their cannon!!). The Pens need to win badly (and often) if they hope to make the playoffs!! Let’s go Pens!!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, February 25, 2019

I'm Trying

I’m trying sooooo hard. I’m trying to get my revisions done by Thursday (my goal for the month), but it’s not looking like it’ll happen. **weep, weep**

That’s because I didn’t take into account the appointments I have going on this week, the major changes that needed to occur, and, of course, feeling like crap (haha, pun intended) earlier in the month. But I’ve certainly worked hard on those days I could. So far this month I’ve worked on it 17 days, gone over the first 186 pages (so a little over 60% done), and added 6745 words (I’ve deleted some, too—man, that was hard!—so that’s the net change).

And because of my little hiccups, my new writing project has suffered (I stopped writing it) and my reading has suffered (thus, no book to report last Wednesday).

My exercise has suffered, too, but we won’t mention that. Shhhh.

Heck, I’m writing this during the Oscars, so I’m doing double duty!

I so much want to finish by Thursday, but I’m not going to rush this project. I want it to be a GOOD book, not one out quickly. And if my “slowness” causes me to not have it released in July, so be it. I won’t put out a book just to put it out there. I take pride in my work and I’d like to think my readers appreciate that.

I still love the revising process. I just forgot how hard it is!!

So… Did you watch the Oscars last night? I didn’t recognize a lot of films that were nominated. Is it because they weren’t shown around here? Or maybe I just never saw an ad for them (guess I’d have to go to the movies more often to see the ads, huh?).

Happy Monday.

Stacy

Monday, February 18, 2019

My Body Hates Me

That’s right. My body hates me. At least, it sure feels that way.

I walk to get stronger so what does my body do? Hurts my feet, hurts my knee, makes it difficult to walk.

I do sit ups to work my core body (and these are not difficult ones) and what does my body do? Cramp up so much I thought I had appendicitis. It took me several minutes before I could stand straight again (and I’m really afraid to do sit ups now).

I eat food my body likes and what does it do? Keep it! I tell you, I’ve been in agony for a week. And my writing and editing have suffered for it. So has my exercise.

See? It hates me, right? But I taught it a lesson. I fed it food it doesn’t like. Now it’s getting rid of it. But it sure is taking it’s time.

I sure hope I haven’t messed up my editing goal. I still want to finish by the end of the month. I just hope my body behaves from now on.

But you know how they can be: Evil!

Happy Monday.

Stacy

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wednesday Reads and It Sold!!

What sold, you ask? Our house. Our old house. We closed on it yesterday. You don’t know how happy we are to no longer have to worry about it!

We were supposed to close on Feb 1st, but on Jan 30th, the title company discovered that the original contract loan never removed the lien from the house (and of course the original bank had been sold…twice). This is a house that had been refinanced a couple of times! You’d think they would have caught that. So because of that little SNAFU, we couldn’t close on the 1st and waited until it got fixed (which took a week). We didn’t want to say anything to anyone until the deal was done, afraid it might jinx it or something.

But it’s done now and we now just own ONE house, which we hope to refinance at a cheaper rate with a big down payment. So glad that’s over with.

I’m also glad my judging is over with, too. Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #10

Dates read: February 4-6
Title: ?
Year of publication: 2018
Author: ?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series:  ?
# of Pages: 219
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased (couldn’t read PDF)
Blurb from book: ?
My thoughts: Not as bad as I thought it would be. Would recommend to fans of the genre.

Book #11

Dates read: February 6-8
Title: Summoned to Thirteenth Grave
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Darynda Jones
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series:  Charley Davidson #13
# of Pages: 292
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Charlie Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plane for eternity—which is exactly the amount of time it takes to make a person stark, raving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer.
    She’s missed her daughter. She’s missed Reyes. She’s missed Cookie and Garrett and Uncle Bob. Now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest the burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine for a broken heart? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.
My thoughts: A fitting end to the series, but I’m sad it’s over. This is a great series. And if you love humor, some sexy scenes, and a bunch of supernatural stuff, you have to read these books!

I also got wonderful news from my cardiologist yesterday (yesterday turned out to be a GREAT day!!). My last echocardiogram showed no difference from the one before! Yay! So, since my diagnosis in 2015, there has been no change in my mitral valve regurgitation. Then, I was told to expect surgery in five years. Now, I’m still told to expect surgery in five years, but I’m thinking it might be longer than that. And maybe by the time I need surgery they’ll know how to fix it without cracking open my chest!!

So… Do you have any good news to share? I’m thinking this is a great week!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I'm Crazy

Last Thursday I actually finished the first draft of Biting the Curse. Yay! Just like I wanted. Double yay! And I even took Friday off to celebrate. Triple yay! But on Monday?

I not only started the revisions on BTC, I started a new book!

Oh my gosh! Am I crazy or what?

Mornings are still the best for writing first drafts and I don’t want to mess with that routine (or would that be muscle). It’s working tooooo well. But I can revise/edit anytime (I hope…we’ll see). And since I gave myself a deadline to finish revisions by Feb 28th, I’m determined. I only need to work on 13 pages a day. It sure helps to break it down into chunks, let me tell you.

And while I’m doing all the writing and revising, I’m still judging books, thus the lack of information I can give you on these books right now. Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #7

Dates read: January 27-29
Title: ?
Year of publication: 2018
Author: ?
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series:  ?
# of Pages: 124
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Free (to judge)
Blurb from book: ?
My thoughts: Wasn’t fond of it. Bummer.

Book #8

Dates read: January 30-February 2
Title: ?
Year of publication: 2018
Author: ?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series:  ?
# of Pages: 191
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Free (to judge)
Blurb from book: ?
My thoughts: Not a bad book. I’d recommend it to fans of the genre.

Book #9

Dates read: February 2-4
Title: ?
Year of publication: 2018
Author: ?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series:  ?
# of Pages: 283
Paper or plastic: Paperback
How obtained: Free (to judge)
Blurb from book: ?
My thoughts: So far, the best of the bunch. I’d recommend it to fans of the genre.

I only have one more judged book to read. Yay! Except it’s in first person, present tense. Boo! I guess I can’t complain too much. I am reading romances, so it’s not all bad. But man, I’ll be glad to get back to my own stack of books.

So… If you find a routine is working, are you afraid to mess with it?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I'm Almost There!

I think I have two scenes left in my WIP. TWO. SCENES. I can’t believe I’m almost there, almost at the end of this book. I have a goal to finish it by Thursday and I believe I’ll make it. I’ve been working on it for toooooo long.

And here’s hoping the next one doesn’t take as long. **fingers crossed**

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #5

Dates read: January 21-23
Title: Heat Storm
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Richard Castle
Genre: Crime Drama
Series:  Nikki Heat #9
# of Pages: 312
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter (but bought it for her as a gift)
Blurb from book: If New York Police captain Nikki Heat is acting like she’s seen a ghost, it’s for good reason. Her mother, who has been presumed dead for seventeen years, has resurfaced—even though it seems Cynthia Heat’s only reason for doing so is to issue vague warnings that the threat that first made her go into hiding is still as grave as ever.
    This time the peril doesn’t pertain to just Cynthia. As Nikki gets closer to the truth, a shadowy figure who goes by the name The Serpent is menacing her in ever more violent ways.
    What
was Cynthia involved in that got her into so much trouble? What could make a loving mother feel like she had no choice but to fake her own death and disappear from her daughter’s life? The answers may lie seventeen years in the past and halfway across the world…
    …where secret CIA superspy Derrick Storm has just tripped over a long-ago recording of one of Cynthia’s phone calls. Storm is on the trail of a nefarious group of Chinese businessmen known as the Shanghai Seven, who have been hiding their illicit activities behind a thin mask of legitimacy.
    Now it seems Cynthia Heat’s past and the Shanghai Seven’s present have merged. And so have the fortunes of two dogged investigators.
    Nikki Heat and Derrick Storm, the characters who helped Richard Castle become one of America’s favorite authors, unite for the first time—and they’ll need all their considerable skills to stop a villain who has the resources and ruthlessness to kill them both.
My thoughts: No cliffhanger this time. Yay! In fact, this book was a lot of fun to read (aside from the part all the men appear to be “ruggedly” handsome). I really enjoyed Derrick’s part of the book because of his father, Carl. Will I go out and read the Derrick Storm novels? Probably not. But you might enjoy them if you like spy thrillers.  

Book #6

Dates read: January 24-27
Title: ?
Year of publication: 2018
Author: ?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series:  ?
# of Pages: 172
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Free (to judge)
Blurb from book: ?
My thoughts: I’m judging this book, so I can’t say much (thus the blank information), which is just as well since I wasn’t fond of it. I’m hoping this isn’t a sign of things to come (I always seem to strike out on judging). So why am I bothering with this? Because I want it shown I’m reading something! Haha!

So… What do you think I should do to celebrate writing THE END on my WIP? Yes, it’s only the first draft and I still have tons of work ahead of me to get it in shape, but the story will be written. The ending KNOWN! Gotta celebrate that!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

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?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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