Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Wednesday Reads and the Ducks are Back!

Took a weekend trip to Chicago and actually got a lot of reading done during the drive (the portion I wasn’t driving, of course). Helped that I was reading a good book, too.

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #29

Dates read: June 18-24
Title: Mark of the Demon
Year of publication: 2009
Author: Diana Rowland
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series:  Kara Gillian #1
# of Pages: 370
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Why me? Why now? That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives—and souls—of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he too, is well versed in demonic lore.
    Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head….
My thoughts: I followed a funny story about the author on Facebook during the Christmas season. She put up some Christmas dragons in her yard that one neighbor took offense, saying they weren’t very Christmas-y. Did she take them down? Heck, no. She added halos to them and put up more! She sounded like a fun person to me, and I bought her book. Boy, am I glad I did, too. This was so good. I’ll be getting the rest of this series now!

And if you’re interested in reading the article, you can find it here:

Good news! The bird feeders are popular once again and the ducks are back. In fact, Momma brought her ELEVEN babies (which are probably more like teenagers—they’re big!) with her. The neighbors haven’t said anything … yet. But I did notice a few birds perching on their patio. Oh well. J

So … What’s the strangest reason you bought a book? Did you read it? And if so, did you like it?

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wednesday Reads and Helping a Friend

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #28

Dates read: June 12-18
Title: Deseré
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Maria McKenzie
Genre: Historical romance
Series:  N/A
# of Pages: 295
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Deseré, a skilled seamstress and slave, lives on a South Carolina cotton plantation. Fair-skinned and astonishingly beautiful, she is owned by a kindly master and given his permission to marry the man she loves, a carpenter enslaved on a neighboring plantation. Yet when her master dies before her wedding and his nephew inherits the plantation and its slaves, Deseré’s marriage is indefinitely postponed, pending consent from her new owner.
    Lawyer Anthony Sinclair arrives from Ohio on the mend from a broken heart, leaving behind a career derailed by scandal. Owning a plantation presents a vibrant opportunity. Yet torn by inklings of abolitionist beliefs, Anthony struggles with the damning prospect of owning human beings.
    Upon first seeing the alluring Deseré, Anthony is immediately dazzled by her golden skin, shimmering blond hair and ocean blue eyes. Yet Deseré perceives the tall, dark-haired and handsome “Masta” Anthony as rather stupid. He knows nothing about running a plantation, nor being a planter. But as long as he allows Deseré to marry the man she loves, she will be happy.
    Anthony, however, desires Deseré for himself. To what lengths will he go to win the forbidden love of a slave? Will owning Deseré be the only way Anthony can ever posses her while her heart belongs to another man?
My thoughts: Historical books tend to have a lot more detail than contemporary, which is probably why I don’t always pick up historical books. But Maria is a writer friend. We both belonged to the now defunct Cincinnati chapter of RWA and I’ve sat next to her at a book signing. I never bought her books before, though. Now her home and others are being threatened by a landslide. They are trying to raise $300,000 to fix it (since the city isn’t stepping in) and I donated what I could. But I thought, why not buy one of her books, too? So I picked the one with the pretty cover (and it is pretty, isn’t it?). There are portions in this book that did drag on for me (because…historical), but it sure picked up speed toward the end. I enjoyed reading this and if you like reading historical romance, I highly recommend this one. And if you’re interested in helping the author and her neighbors save their homes, you can find out more about the fundraiser here:

So… Hubby moved the birdfeeder on Saturday. The birds are back and happy (haven’t seen the ducks return, though). We’ll see if the neighbor still complains. And if they do, should we care?

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wednesday Reads and Going Slower

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #27

Dates read: May 31-June 11
Title: Lovely, Dark, and Deep
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Susannah Sandlin
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  The Collectors #1
# of Pages: 306
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased from Author
Blurb from book: When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion. Within days, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of C7 a secretive international group of power brokers with a dangerous game: competing to find the world’s most elusive treasures, no matter the cost, in money or in lives. To save her family, Gillian teams up with Shane Burke, a former elite diver who’s lost his way, navigating the brutal “death coast” of the North Atlantic to find what the collector seeks: the legendary Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar, stolen by Gillian’s ancestor and lost at sea four hundred years ago.
My thoughts: It was an entertaining read, and definitely a romance, but not near as suspenseful as I’d hoped. But if you like books with divers and lost treasure, this is a good one to read.

I’m taking this class (on-line) on how to write effective, pithy blurbs for books (to sell or pitch to an agent). 55-68 words long. That’s it. You really learn how to just look at one distinct part of your book so you can sell it. Well, at least I hope I learn it. I’m still struggling with the word count. Writing books are much easier!

But hey, maybe I’ll share some of my “outtakes” later on. That should be fun.

So… Do you find you read slower this time of year? I am. Or maybe I’m just too busy with writing, editing (yep, Biting the Curse is back in my hands), and taking classes to get busy reading. I’m so behind in my goal, it’s pathetic. I need a vacation now so I can get caught up. Which is silly because I’m technically semi-retired—I should read at home!

Happy Reading!


Monday, June 10, 2019

Bird Feeders and Time

Only 10 ducks here. One waddled off
to the pond by the time I got my camera.
We put up a bird feeder last month. Went through the bag of bird seed in about two weeks. Maybe less.

Bought more bird seed. Big bags of the stuff.

Seems ducks like what’s being dropped to the ground. Found 11 of them munching away the other morning. All males, though. What’s up with that?

But then our neighbor, two doors down, stopped us one morning and politely asked if we can either not fill the bird feeder or relocate it. Seems the little brown birds (sparrows? Not sure) like to perch on their patio furniture and have been leaving a mess.

And here I thought the birds were perching on our roof waiting their turn at the feeder.

I don’t know if this issue is because of our feeder or because of the pond behind us. These are new neighbors (just moved in a few months ago) and I don’t think the former neighbors were living there (there had been a for sale sign up on that house before we moved into ours). Oh, and there are bushes in their back yard (where there aren’t any in ours, just the feeder).

What would you do? Hubby said he would stop filling the feeders and see if that helps.

So now the bird feeder is hanging empty. I think the birds are sad. I’m not too happy, either.

By the way, we’ve officially lived in our new house a year now. Sheesh! Is time flying fast or what?

I know that has to do with age (which I don’t understand at all) and it makes me wonder how quickly time must pass for my vampires. I mean, they’re all centuries old! Would something that happened ten years ago feel like it was a year to them? Hell, it feels like that to me sometimes NOW. I still can’t believe this is the 20th year I’ve had to write 20 instead of 19 for the year. Twenty years! Celebrating 2000 doesn’t seem like THAT long ago!

So… Do you have birdfeeders in your yard? Do your neighbors complain? And how fast is time moving for you? Do you wish it would slow down just a tiny bit?

Happy Monday!


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Wednesday Reads

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #26

Dates read: May 24-30
Title: Nothing to Fear
Year of publication: 2005
Author: Karen Rose
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  Romantic Suspense #4/Chicago #3
# of Pages: 507
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: As director of an inner-city women’s shelter, Dana Dupinsky safeguards many secrets. Some are new identities; some are new addresses; and some are even hidden truths about herself. Passionately dedicated to Hanover House and the women she protects, Dana has always been reluctant to look for love. But now, just as a case puts her and a child in mortal danger, it seems that love has come looking for her.
  Security expert Ethan Buchanan learned to stalk men in the Afghan desert. Now he vows to track down the ruthless woman who kidnapped his godson—and falling for Dana is not in the plan. Yet her very presence seems to chase away the ghosts that haunt him, and her skillful evasion of personal questions raises his hunting instincts. For there’s a deadly new secret at Hanover House. A brutal killer is weaving a web of revenge with a stolen boy at its center. And Dana is the next victim on the list…
My thoughts: Finally, a book I looked forward to picking up! Lots of sexy romance. Mmmm… just what this reader/writer needed. Oh yeah, lots of suspense, too. This was a joy to read.  

I ended a 77-day writing streak on Monday. That's because we spent the day at the Columbus Zoo. Couldn't have asked for better weather, either. High 60s to low 70s. Sunny. And no humidity! The animals didn't all seem dead to the world. It was a lovely day.

So... When was the last time you went to the zoo? And which one was it?

Happy Reading!