Thursday, December 26, 2019

Reading Update on Thursday!

I’m home. It took some doing. We were supposed to arrive home on Sunday evening, but ended up missing our connection in Atlanta (due to a late start in San Diego because of mechanical issues) and had to spend the night, so we didn’t get home until 11am on Monday. Really put a kink in my plans, but I managed to get everything wrapped and ready for Christmas and we had a great time. I hope your Christmas was great, too!

Since Wednesday was Christmas and I forgot to post on Tuesday night (because I was busy with family), you get my update today. I didn’t want to put it off too much longer, because it’s kind of lengthy. Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #54

Dates read: December 17-18
Title: Cat Scratch Fever
Year of publication: 2016
Author: LC Alleyne
Genre: Paranormal romantic suspense
Series:  N/A
# of Pages: 94
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. Inspector Rafael Montigue’s ordered life turns chaotic when he detects the unexpected scent of a potential human mate amongst the political delegates he’s guarding. When terrorists attack, the only thing on Rafe’s mind is getting the woman to safety—and screw police protocol.
    Kristin Wallin has information that will bring down Brazilian Minister Teixeira’s drug ring. Working undercover as an executive assistant to the minister, the surprise attack finds Kristin trying to stay alive until a security agent with amazing green eyes drags her to safety. His version of safe is his cabin in the Norwegian forest, and Kristin isn’t complaining.
    Espionage and passion make a potent, dangerous mix. With the terrorists closing in, Rafe throws caution aside and exposes his panther shifter identity to Kristin, afraid that his chance at forever will run away. But Kristin surprises him with a few secrets of her own that make him look like an innocent kitty cat.
My thoughts: I’m trying out new-to-me authors and I’m sure I bought this because it is short (or maybe it was free, I don’t remember). However, this kind of story would have been sooooo much better as a longer novel. Sexual tension was lacking and all the events happened way too quickly for my taste. But it was an enjoyable story and kept my attention (even though I clamored for more). If you enjoy shorter stories like this, then give it a try. Yes, it has a sexy scene in it, too. Will I try this author again? I checked out her other books. All her stories are short like this, so … no. I like to be more involved in romance books and short ones just don’t do it for me.

I know, I should talk about short romantic stories, huh? I have a few out there. But I wrote them for other people, not me! Does that make sense?

Book #55

Dates read: December 19-20
Title: Angel Bait
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Tricia Skinner
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series:  Angel Assassin #1
# of Pages: 208
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. He’s not that kind of angel. Jarrid is a “Bound One”: half angel, half human, trained from childhood to enforce Heaven’s laws on earth. An assassin with no remorse. And no choice. When he discovers an ancient ritual called Ascension, which might give him a shot at freedom, he can’t resist his lifelong dream. He only needs to find one last Renegade angel and take him down…using a certain woman to flush the angel out of hiding.
    She’s not what he’s expecting. News reporter Ionie Gifford has no clue an outlaw angel wants her dead, much less why, but she does know one thing: the enigmatic Jarrid, with his penetrating silver eyes and his worship-worthy body, is her ticket to the city’s supernatural underworld, where she might finally be able to locate her mother’s killer. For that kind of information, she’s willing to risk everything...
    They can’t be together – but can’t keep apart… Blindsided by Ionie’s beauty and tenacity, Jarrid finds the millennia-old glacier around his heart melting. But when he’s faced with a choice, will he sacrifice Ionie for freedom from his brutal servitude—or agree to be bound for eternity to protect the life of the woman he’s falling in love with?
My thoughts: Another new-to-me author and I struck gold! This story was great. Love the romance, the tension, and the suspense! I will definitely be checking out the other books in this series.

Book #56

Dates read: December 21
Title: Hunger Revealed
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Dee Carney
Genre: Paranormal
Series:  Vampire Hunger #1.5
# of Pages: 92
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Free
Blurb from Goodreads:. ~A between the books short~ It’s no wonder Corin Gerulatis is cautious about his wife’s safety… One year ago, she became a vampire. One year ago, she’d been tortured by someone who thought she was a new breed of vampire. Fortunately for them both, one year ago, Jasmine met and fell in love with Corin, a vampire executioner. Jasmine is overwhelmingly stifled by her husband’s overprotective nature. But she’s sure the danger has passed and they can now enjoy a simple life together. When a routine shopping trip ends with Jasmine’s abduction however, they face not only trying to get her out, but also putting an end to the demons haunting Corin. They’ll get back to that simple life…if they survive.
My thoughts: When you have books on your reader and are looking for something to read, it would be nice if the blurb was included in the book. Or even the series #. I wouldn’t have bothered reading this little … nothing. Because that’s what it is without having read Book 1. It’s nothing important to me. Meant nothing. And I’m not so sure I care to read Book 1 now, since I basically KNOW what going to happen. Not so sure this freebie was meant for someone who hasn’t read the series. But this “book” has been on my reader for a long time, so I thought I would finally read it. Oh well, it passed the time and it’s no longer on my list to read. But a warning: don’t read this if you haven’t read Book 1 yet.

Book #57

Dates read: December 21-22
Title: Taken
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  Deep Ops #1.5
# of Pages: 106
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. Hunter Holt might be the most stubborn ex-soldier ever born, but when he’s called on to help find a lost foster kid, he jumps into action. Even if it means working with the woman who broke his heart five years ago—the woman who still haunts his dreams . . .
    Faye Smith has spent five long years trying to get her life back on track. She knows she should’ve turned toward Hunter and not away from him. But they both had too many demons to destroy. Maybe now they’ll get another chance—and save someone else’s life too . . .
    But first they’ll have to stop arguing long enough to trust the Deep Ops team. Hunter was a lost boy himself once. In fact, he ran away from the exact same man, their monster of a father. Now he and Faye will have to unite to find the brother he never knew—and maybe each other...
My thoughts: This was a good read, and you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy this one. I did like how there were some Easter Egg characters in this from her other paranormal series, though (and this series is not paranormal in any way shape or form). That was fun. I really like this series and look forward to reading the next book in line.

I really enjoyed the time I had on this cruise to read. And I’m so glad I enjoyed reading again (even those books that weren’t all that great). I almost thought maybe something was wrong with me. I gotta remember to always put some reading time into my day. Life can’t always be writing and social media. Oh, and watching TV (I’m currently watching Season 4 of The X Files).

So … How was your Christmas? I was so happy to spend the entire day with my family. My daughter, son, and daughter-in-law were able to spend the whole day. We watched Die Hard and Die Hard 2. If I wasn’t busy cooking dinner, I might have suggested playing a game, but cooking doesn’t always put me in a great mood. Thankfully, it was mostly prepared (I just had to reheat everything), and there were instructions that worked, too! Shocker! And now we have tons of leftovers, so we’ll be eating in for the next few days, I’m sure.

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Reading Update and WiFi Frustration

I paid for an internet plan on this cruise because I had some work I had to do (expected to get my edits back on Finding the Perfect Mate, which I did), plus, I guess you could say I’m a public figure now (haha), so I figured I would just charge it as a business expense. Sometimes I think I should have saved my money. Just trying to get an internet connection on my laptop has been a challenge. My phone hasn’t been that bad, but I can’t do everything on my phone (not that I’d want to).

Nighttime is the worst, when everyone is up and using the ship’s wifi (or so it seems). In the past I’ve been able to get online in the morning. But on Tuesday morning, I couldn’t get anything to open. So if you’re reading this on Wednesday morning (when I normally post), consider it a miracle!!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #52

Dates read: December 11-13
Title: Every Last Breath
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Juno Rushdan
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series:  Final Hour #1
# of Pages: 309
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. Maddox Kinkade is an expert at managing the impossible. Tasked with neutralizing a lethal bioweapon, she turns to the one person capable of helping her stop the threat of pandemic in time: the love of her life, back from the dead and mad as hell at her supposed betrayal. Recruiting Cole to save millions of lives may be harder than resisting the attraction still burning between them, but Maddox will do whatever it takes...even if it destroys her.
    When Maddox crashes back into Cole Matthews' life, he wants to fight back. He wants to hate her. But the crisis is too strong to ignore, and soon the two former lovers find themselves working side-by-side in a breakneck race to stop a world-class killer with a secret that could end everything.
My thoughts: This was a suspenseful book. Not so sure I cared for the ending (sort of cliffhanger-ish), but it’s not bad enough for me not to read the next book in this series.  

Book #53

Dates read: December 14-17
Title: The Haunting of Hill House
Year of publication: 1959 (introduction 2006)
Author: Shirley Jackson
Genre: Horror
Series:  N/A
# of Pages: 155
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. It’s the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting,” Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
My thoughts: I’m trying to read more ghost story books and had never read this one before. It was interesting, that’s for sure. The ending left me a little unsettled, but I guess that’s what horror stories are supposed to do. The edition I read has a 24-page introduction by another author that I smartly ignored before reading the book. Lots of spoilers! Including how it ended!! What kind of introduction is that? It really should have been placed at the end of the book. So fair warning, if you happen to want to read this book for the first time and it has an introduction—don’t read it first!

FYI: the cruise so far has been great. Well, I should say, visiting Hawaii has been great. The ocean on the trip getting there was kind of rough (and it’s not feeling all that much better going back). Good thing I don’t get sea sick. Although, after awhile, I suppose most people get used to the rocking. Sure makes going to sleep easy for me, though. All I want to do is nap!!

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Reading Update

I’m currently on a cruise to Hawaii and my days (and time--I'm on Hawaiian time) are all screwed up. Ah, but what does it matter when I post, right?

I reached my (adjusted) reading goal! Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #50

Dates read: November 27-December 9
Title: The Burned Spy
Year of publication: 2018
Author: K.A. Krantz
Genre: Fantasy
Series:  The Immortal Spy Book 1
# of Pages: 275
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. Gods. Always ready to screw you.
    When Bix the Gatekeeper is summoned from exile a hundred and seventy years early by the goddess of the Norse Under World, the former Dark Ops agent knows there’s a catch. On the surface, the terms of the deal are simple. Someone attacked the pantheon’s ambassador to the Mid Worlds and left the ambassador in a coma. In exchange for early parole, Bix must identify the perpetrator and drag their soul to Hel.
    It’d be a sweet contract, if not for the details. The ambassador is Bix’s ex-girlfriend, the lead suspect is the key witness from Bix’s trial, and the organization leading the official investigation is the same intelligence guild that disavowed Bix when a covert op went pear-shaped. Undeterred, Bix returns to her old stomping grounds where clues in the smoldering woods of Centralia, Pennsylvania, lead to the waterfront of Washington, DC, and Worlds beyond.
    Once valued for her skills creating passageways as small as a capillary or as large as a continent, Bix’s success now depends on the relationships she was forced to abandon. As she squares off against friends who betrayed her and enemies keen to destroy her, Bix follows a trail of secrets, torture, and treason that leads to the very superpowers who banished her. With her freedom on the line and revenge within reach, this highly-trained operative will take on Fates, dragons, angels, and gods to get exactly what she wants.
    Hel hath no fury like a burned spy.
My thoughts: I’m not a big fantasy reader, but I know the author and I was really curious to read what she wrote. Scared, too. My curiosity doesn’t always bode well for me (or the author) when I read outside my favorite genre. In this case, I’m glad I caved. This was enjoyable. And yes, I will definitely read the next in the series. I liked Bix.

Book #51

Dates read: December 10-11
Title: Debriefing the Dead
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Kerry Blaisdell
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series:  The Dead Series Book 1
# of Pages: 250
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. The only thing Hyacinth wants is her life back. Literally. She and her sister were murdered by Demons, leaving her young nephew, Geordi, to his father’s family in the brutal Sicilian Mob. Then Archangel Michael offers her a deal: recapture a powerful rock the Demons stole, and she can live long enough to find Geordi a safe home. Refuse, and she’ll continue up (or down) to the Afterlife.
    So, slightly more alive than dead, she heads for Turkey and the Demons, taking Geordi, her mysterious neighbor Jason, and a sexy dead guy only she can see with her. But the hardest part won’t be battling Demons, meeting Satan, or dodging Middle Eastern customs—it will be later, when Geordi is settled, and Michael rips her away again. How can she abandon her nephew? Or can she outwit the Angel of Death himself, and stay with Geordi forever?

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. Hooked me at the beginning and didn’t let go. And it’s in first person, which I’m surprised I bought this (which I can’t remember why, but so glad I had), seeing as I thought this was a romance (don’t ask me why, because I don’t know—certainly isn’t by the blurb) and I usually don’t like romances in first person. However, it’s not a romance (although there are some romantic elements), but full of mystery and suspense (which I love). And it’s a series, so there are some things left un-resolved, but the main storyline is contained in this book, so all is good. I will most definitely get the next one.  

The weather’s been kind of chilly during the first few days of our cruise, but I expect it to warm up tomorrow. On Friday we will reach Honolulu and the first of four Hawaiian stops before we return to San Diego. Oh yeah, there’s a stop in Ensenada, Mexico (gotta have that foreign port), but I doubt we do anything there.

At least I’m getting some reading done. And they’ve been really good books! I’m getting some writing done, too, so I’m not a total slacker. I’ll be glad when I can sit outside and write, though, but it’s just been too chilly (and occasionally rainy) to sit out there long. Soon, though. Soon!

Happy Reading!


Friday, December 6, 2019

Instagram Class (Online)

The last time my local RWA chapter held an online class, I didn’t mention it here and regretted that later. So, this time I’m listing all the classes as they occur (free advertising for my chapter!). You don’t have to be a member of my RWA Chapter or even RWA to register, either. Our January class looks to be super good, too (I already signed up).

Intro to Instagram by Alana Albertson, January 1-31, 2020

Four-week course with TWENTY classes! In this course, we will focus on how authors can use Instagram to grow their fan bases and sell more books.

  • Week 1: How to set up your Instagram to attract your ideal reader.
  • Week 2: How to gain followers and turn them into fans.
  • Week 3: Instagram Stories and IGTV
  • Week 4: Working with bookstagrammers and Instagram Ads.

There will be 20 lessons with instructor feedback and worksheets.

Alana Albertson is a Latina bestselling romance author (#3 in entire Amazon store) with over half a million views on her Se7en Deadly SEALs serial on Radish. She's the former President of Romance Writers of America's Contemporary Romance, Young Adult, and Chick Lit chapters. Alana Albertson holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. A recovering professional ballroom dancer, she lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two young sons, and six rescue dogs. When she's not spending her time saving dogs from high kill shelters through Pugs N Roses™, the rescue she founded, she can be found watching episodes of Cobra Kai, Vida, Younger or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. Visit her website at

Cost: $25 COFW, $30 RWA, $35 non-RWA


This is an online course and classes will be sent via e-mails. After you register and as we get closer to the start date of the class you will be sent an invite to the group.

So … Do you use Instagram? I have an account, but always forget to post my pictures there. Not that I take that many pictures to begin with. Seems like whenever I see something that would make a great picture, my phone is being used for something else or the opportunity went by too fast. My life story. J

Happy Friday!