Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Reading Update and Happy New Year!

Is there anyone that ISN’T looking forward to 2020 ending? 2021 won’t be beginning any better, but at least I have hope things will improve immensely. Hope that I’ll be able to get the vaccine soon. Like, February soon. I can live with that.

This is the last of the books read in 2020. 51 books! And I didn’t have to push myself, either. I think I’ll make the same goal for 2021. Why add stress to something that is being done in fun. Right?

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #51

Dates read:
December 17-25
Title: Cold as Ice
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Suspense
Series: Lucy Kincaid #17
# of Pages: 464
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Two years ago, FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid put psychopath Elise Hunt in juvenile detention for her role in an organized crime syndicate. Now eighteen, Elise has been released with a clean slate, and plans to take her revenge by making Lucy’s life hell. The plot begins with Lucy’s husband Sean Rogan, who has been arrested for a murder he most certainly did not commit.
    Lucy is determined to prove Sean’s innocence, but is warned off the case by her boss. As she calls in reinforcements, she learns that Sean’s brother Kane is missing in Mexico, her partner Nate Dunning has been arrested for possession of cocaine, and her friend Brad Donnelly has been kidnapped outside DEA headquarters. Lucy realizes that Elise doesn’t have the resources or patience to execute such a devious plan. Did Elise’s father orchestrate everything from prison? Or is there someone even more calculating seeking revenge on Lucy by hurting the people she loves?
    One thing is certain: if Lucy doesn’t find the answer fast, Sean will die.
My thoughts: What a good story! I love this series. The characters. The family. This is the kind of book I could just sit and read all day, except I don’t have all day and I’m not sure my eyes can handle that anymore.

I still haven’t accomplished my monthly writing goal of revising 100 pages, but I’m close. I can still reach it. The only yearly goals I made were finishing the first draft of Ghostly Protector (which I did) and reading 50 books (which I also did). Why I didn’t set a goal of actually FINISHING Ghostly Protector I don’t know. It’s like I knew this year was going to be crap, huh? I can only hope 2021 will be better. I’ve got my writing mojo back, so that’s a good sign!

Did you set any goals for 2020? How’d that go?  

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas!

I haven’t finished reading a book this past week, so nothing to report there, but thought I’d post and wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Our Christmas Tree
It doesn’t feel like Christmas will be here on Friday. That’s because we already celebrated with the family on the 19th. But the tree is still up and we do have one gift to open (came in the mail with instructions to wait until Christmas to open it). And I still plan on making cinnamon rolls. I mean… why not?

Tomorrow we’ll probably watch some of our favorite Christmas movies. “Love, Actually” and “While You Were Sleeping” are standards for us. So is “Die Hard.” Hubby likes watching “Donovan’s Reef,” but we may watch that tonight instead (since our daughter isn’t interested in John Wayne movies). And yes, “Donovan’s Reef” is a Christmas movie. It’s just set in an island in the South Seas (actually, it looks like Hawaii).

Frankly, I wouldn’t mind celebrating Christmas somewhere warm. It’s supposed to get really cold here on Friday (wind chills in the single digits). Don’t know if we’ll get snow. A storm is coming through on Thursday and there’s a medium chance it will turn to snow.

Medium chance.

I think the meteorologists are just trying to get people’s hopes up. Me? It doesn’t matter so much this year. It’s not like we’re going anywhere!

So… Would you like a white Christmas where you live? Or would you prefer to celebrate in the South Seas? Warm weather and the beach sure sounds great to me!

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Reading Update and I Reached My Goal!

Back in January, I set a reading goal of 50 books. Today I am posting my 50th read! So nice to have accomplished at least ONE goal this year.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #50

Dates read:
December 9-15
Title: A Warm Heart in Winter
Year of publication: 2020
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #18.5
# of Pages: 479
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Blay and Qhuinn always intended to do a proper mating ceremony, but life has a way of getting in the way. With a pair of young, responsibilities to the King, and a grueling fighting schedule, the two are exhausted and overwhelmed. Plus, Lassiter has declared himself head of the Party Planning Committee in the household.
    When a nor-easter landlocks Caldwell in a fierce blizzard, things in the mansion go from lighthearted to deadly dangerous. Battling nature and responding to the emergency, Blay and Qhuinn go out into the storm—and a tragedy occurs that changes everything. In the aftermath the future is unclear for them, for everyone.
    A startling discovery offers a way forward, however, if only Qhuinn will allow his heart to be warmed and his mate’s love to light the darkness the consumes him… but will it be enough?
My thoughts: I think I teared up at least three times during this read. It was soooooo good!

I do have a writing goal this month: edit/revise 100 pages of Ghostly Protector. I’m a little short of that goal right now, but I have hope that I will get my act together and reach it. That’s because I finally fixed the beginning, which was my biggest stumbling block. I also hate not reaching a goal, so there’s that motivation, too.

So… Have you completed any goals this year? Are you close to completing? Did you set any? I guess I should have asked that first!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Reading Update and Christmas Stuff

I finally got the Christmas tree up on Sunday. Finished decorating it on Monday. And I wrapped the presents on Tuesday. I’m ready… Well, except for the few presents I’m still waiting to be delivered. And they should arrive before the 19th. That’s the day we’re celebrating Christmas with my son’s family. They won’t be staying long—basically exchanging gifts and eating cinnamon rolls. And we’ll all be wearing masks (except when eating—duh). It will only be six of us total, so I’m hoping all will be well.

I look forward to the day we can actually visit people again. With hugs! I miss hugs. Which means yes, as soon as I’m able, I’m getting the vaccine. Heck, we got cruises to go on and I don’t want to have to worry about getting COVID.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #49

Dates read:
November 29-December 8
Title: A Talent for Trouble
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Landra Graf
Genre: Sci-fi romance
Series: Bad Boys of Space #1
# of Pages: 282
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Bought from author
Blurb from book: Drug runner Emilio Morales is one deal away from being the sole runner from Earth to the upper planets—until his partner attempts a double cross. Now, Emilio’s stuck in a disabled spaceship with an unpredictable, attractive female who’s willing to help him out if he’ll assist her in retrieving her ship from an impound facility.
    Antonia “Toni” Smith is sick and tired of being beholden to men. The only way to guarantee freedom is to get back her bootlegging ship to run her own business again. When Emilio kills her ticket out, she’s forced to rely on him for assistance. Emilio, the most wanted and annoying man in the solar system, is a sexy-as-hell means to an end.
    But every plan the duo makes falls apart and each day they spend in each other’s company increases the tension between them. When Emilio’s drug deal collapses, the boss in charge demands retribution and the pair finds themselves facing something neither of them wants including dealing with their emotions for each other.   
    With the death toll and their defenses low, can Emilio and Toni get the happy ending they want, without falling for each other in the process? 
My thoughts: I enjoyed this. It’s the kind of sci-fi I can read, since it’s not very techy.  Quite a bit of action and suspense and, oh yeah, sexy scenes.

So… Are you ready for the holidays? Will you be playing it solo or visiting a few friends/family? We’re trying to play it as safe as we can and STILL be able to exchange gifts with my son’s family.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Reading Update and an Online Class

Central Ohio Fiction Writers (COFW) is offering an on-line class this January (all month, via e-mail) to anyone interested (you don’t need to be a member of COFW or RWA to register). Here are the details:

Worthy character? Check. Story Question? Um, maybe. GMC? Inciting Incident? Final Scene? If this is the point where you tear at your hair or reach for the gin bottle, then this intensive course, offered by award-winning authors Stacey Kade and Linnea Sinclair, is just what you need to get your writing groove on. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the planning stages of a story or have a finished first-draft manuscript. This checklist course will give you the template you need to organize your story, clean up the confusion, and get it polished to perfection.

About the Instructors: Winner of the prestigious national book award, the RITA®, science fiction romance author Linnea Sinclair has become a name synonymous for high-action, emotionally intense, character- driven novels.
A former award-winning corporate copywriter, Stacey Kade has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps. But she prefers to make things up instead and creates best-selling fiction in the young adult, romance, and paranormal genres for Disney-Hyperion, Simon & Schuster, and Tor.

Cost: $25 COFW, $30 RWA, $35 non-RWA. Register on the website: http://cofwevents.org/classes

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #47

Dates read:
November 16-25
Title: Better Homes and Hauntings
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Molly Harper
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 318
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: When Nina Linden is hired to bring the once-lush gardens of the secluded Crane’s Nest estate back to life, she welcomes the chance to revive her withering landscape architecture business, too. She never expects that her handsome new client, tech mogul Deacon Whitney, will see her as more than just a talented gardener. Deacon has convinced Nina and a select group of renovators to live on the desolate island off the Rhode Island coast while he restores his family’s dilapidated mansion. He had to—the unexplained supernatural sightings at the notoriously haunted mansion are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”
    Despite experiencing some unnerving phenomena, Nina finds herself falling for the quirky billionaire. And as the team works to restore the house’s faded glory, Deacon senses that he’s finally found a woman more interested in his brain than his fortune. But something on the island wants to protect the family secrets and prevent any potential Whitney happily-ever-afters. If Nina and Deacon can’t put these angry spirits to rest, their love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance. 
My thoughts: It’s labeled a paranormal romance, but reads more like a horror story with romantic elements. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story, but was expecting something… different. A little more head-hopping/omniscient than I expect in a romance.

Book #48

Dates read:
November 26-28
Title: Hunter’s Blood
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Marianne Morea
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Cursed by Blood #1
# of Pages: 151
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback (advance reader copy)
How obtained: Free at convention
Blurb from book: Revenge. It’s a way of life for psychic, Lily Saburi. Haunted since the brutal murder of her best friend and partner, she’s obsessed with one thing—Retribution. She’s a vigilante bend on striking a blow for humanity against the shadowed world of the supernatural. Prey turned predator she aims to even the score—one bullet at a time; starting with the beast that changed her life forever.
    Prepared for Armageddon she’s in for the fight of her life. But when mortally wounded by a diseased and insane Were, Lily is rescued by a most unlikely savior—Were-hunter, Sean Leighton. Sexy and powerful, Leighton is charged with destroying anything infected with the deadly pathogen threatening the survival of his pack, and that includes Lily. But their immediate attraction leaves them both breathless and confused. As Lily grapples with truth about herself, Leighton is faced with the looming reality that he will most likely have to kill the woman he’s falling in love with. Only time will tell if they are destined to be together or if they’ll fall victim to the Hunter’s Blood.
My thoughts: The sticker on my copy of this book states it is an UNEDITED Advance Reader Copy, so I can’t really knock it for the mistakes I found. And I only hope they were caught during the editing. The story is interesting (it has a ghost!!), and I enjoyed it. Just didn’t care for the head-hopping and the little cliff-hanger at the end. Yep, this is the beginning of a series. And it appears the next book is a continuation of this one. However, subsequent books seem to feature different couples, if that makes a difference. It does to me, so I may give this series a try.

So… Do you take online classes? I take a lot of them. I find them very helpful. They tend to kick my brain into gear.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Reading Update and Fixing the Beginning of my WIP

I’ve written the next Ghostly Encounters book. Finished the first draft back in April. By now I SHOULD have finished the revisions, but COVID hit and really disrupted my routines. Or maybe that’s the excuse I just like to use. Because in reality, I know my book is a hot mess and I just couldn’t figure out how to fix it. Then I realized that maybe I started it in the wrong place. Or maybe started with the wrong point of view (POV). Or had I? Really, I couldn’t figure it out. I was too close to the story and kept second-guessing myself. So I called a friend to bounce off my ideas. Boy, am I glad I did.

I have a better idea of how to start it now (and with the correct character’s POV) and look forward to getting back to work on my WIP (which I haven’t felt like in ages). I’m hoping once I get going on Ghostly Protector, I’ll come up with an idea for the next book.

Because, yeah, I seemed to have misplaced my ideas somewhere.

It should be part of the Ghost series, since that one is selling the best, but for the life of me I can’t think of another story that hasn’t been told already (in my series). I need something new that will encompass the world I already have, but man, nothing is coming to me. Looks like I’m going to need another brain storming session with someone (preferably with someone who has read all my ghost books).

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #46

Dates read:
November 11-15
Title: Fashion Faux Paw
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Judi McCoy
Genre: Mystery
Series: Dog Walker Mystery #6
# of Pages: 311
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Professional dog walker Ellie Engleman is more used to dog runs than catwalks, but when she gets involved in a fashion show, she learns a designer’s life can be murder…
    When Ellie is hired for a Fashion Week event—caring for the dogs who will model outfits that match human models’—she’s more than ready to escape her world of pet-a-porter for the glitz and glamour of the fashion world. But the glitter rubs right off when a designer drops dead of anaphylactic shock, her EpiPen useless after someone tampers with it.
    The victim’s peanut allergy was as well-known as her dress designs. With a little psychic help from the designer’s miniature Schnauzer, Ellie and her canine sidekicks are determined to sort through a coterie of backstabbing rivals and bitter enemies to find out who wanted the designer out of the competition—permanently…
My thoughts: This was the last of the series before the author passed away (and I do miss her, she taught me a lot about writing), so some questions will never be answered. Don’t know if I would have read this as a standalone, mainly because I don’t understand (or care) about the fashion industry, but since it was the end of this particular series, I read it and yes, liked it. The whole series was enjoyable and anyone who likes cozy mysteries with a little bit of strange will enjoy this series, too.

So…  Do you have friends you can bounce ideas off of? Have you ever felt like you ran out of ideas? I really envy those people who can write 20 books in a series. I’m having problems not duplicating stories and I’m only 3 books into the series!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Reading Update and Happy Veterans Day

If you’re a veteran, thank you for your service. If you’re a family member of a veteran, thank you for your support!

Me in 1978 at Ft Greely, AK
I’m a veteran (Army 76-81), married a fellow serviceman (who retired from the Army) and only got out when I became pregnant with our firstborn (we didn’t want to risk both of us being sent overseas and leaving our children behind with relatives). Being in the service back then was a whole different life than it is now, I’m sure. While hubby joined during the Vietnam War (he wasn’t sent over there) and retired during Desert Storm (again, wasn’t sent over), we were basically serving during a peaceful time. Very fortunate for both of us. We made the decision for him to stay in 20 years when he reached 10. I’m very glad we made that decision. It’s been a money-saver many times over (health insurance-wise).

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #45

Dates read:
November 3-10
Title: Till Death Do Us Bark
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Judi McCoy
Genre: Mystery
Series: Dog Walker Mystery #5
# of Pages: 318
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Professional dog walker Ellie Engleman comes unleashed when she takes a vacation—but it’s not long before murder sinks its teeth into her summer fun…
    A Hamptons wedding gives Ellie an excuse to take a break for the first time in ten years, so she and her best friend pack up their dogs—yorkipoo Rudy and terrier Twink—and head to the beach for a week.
    Since humans and canines have been invited to the festivities, Ellie hopes she doesn’t get roped into dealing with the wet-nosed wedding guests. But soon she’s chasing her tail over trouble of the two-legged variety. Before the bride can say, “I do,” someone is murdered, and Ellie and Rudy must put their noses to the ground to sniff out the killer before the entire ceremony goes to the dogs.
My thoughts: Ellie is still keeping her secret (about her ability to communicate with dogs) from her friend and boyfriend (although Sam is barely in this story). Still an enjoyable series.

So… Did you serve or have family members who served? Which branch?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Reading Update

I’m late again. Days are just kind of blurring together. Didn’t help that I spent last night watching “Dave” and “The American President” in honor of Election Day. Of course, if I had it together (brain-wise), I would have posted this before starting that marathon. Oh well…

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #44

Dates read:
October 28-November 2
Title: Begging for Trouble
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Judi McCoy
Genre: Mystery
Series: Dog Walker Mystery #4
# of Pages: 316
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased from author
Blurb from book: Rob Chesney has been one of Ellie’s favorite clients for some time, but she only recently discovered how he makes his living: as a famous drag queen. When she gets free tickets to his latest show, she can’t resist the opportunity to drag along her tough-guy NYPD boyfriend, Sam, to watch Rob strut his stuff and embarrass her man.
    The screams aren’t all for the killer dance numbers, though. Backstage, Rob is discovered, weapon in hand, kneeling over a dead body. Sam is obliged to cuff him then and there, but Ellie knows Rob is innocent, and intends to get the truth out of the one who saw it all: a Poodle-Chihuahua mix named Bitsy.
    From the streets of Manhattan to the den of a pet psychic, Ellie and Bitsy will go wherever it takes to bone up on the night’s troubling events.
My thoughts: I keep waiting for Ellie to tell Sam (or even her best friend) that she can talk to dogs, but so far…nothing. Maybe in the next book? Hmmm… Still enjoying this series, though. It’s a fun one if you like cozy-type mysteries.

So… reading anything good? How are your reading goals (if you had any)? I’m ahead, which hasn’t happened in a looooonnnnng time.  

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Reading and Stepping Update

I’ve been exercising with my stepper for almost four weeks now! And that's 5 times a week, too.

When I started, I could barely finish the first exercise (I think I conked out at 13 minutes). Now I’m able to step without stopping on a 45-minute exercise. And I think I lost 3 pounds. Not a lot, but I’ll take it!

But I realized that I want more than a beginner class (I already know the steps, I don’t need to be told how to do them over, and over, and over), so I ordered another DVD (one that just has routines). I need something fun and that will keep my interest, too. Getting bored is a sure-fire way to kill an exercise routine!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #43

Dates read:
October 20-27
Title: Death in Show
Year of publication: 2010
Author: Judi McCoy
Genre: Mystery
Series: Dog Walker Mystery #3
# of Pages: 317
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Glitz and glamour are de rigueur at this year’s dog show, and Ellie’s soaking it all in as the guest of a client. But before the dogs and handlers can take their bows—and wows—one handler dies. So Ellie is asked to fill in and lead Lulu, one of her dog-walking charges, to victory.
    When the death starts to look like foul play, Ellie’s sometime boyfriend, Detective Sam Ryder, gets assigned to the case. As she’s getting the hang of handling, Ellie tries to help find out who hated Lulu’s former handler. But now the killer might have it out for Ellie, and she and Sam will have to dig up the truth faster than a speeding bulldog.
My thoughts: Another fun book in this series. I had a few issues with some of the elements of the story, but it is a series, so if they’re addressed later on, I’m good. And if they aren’t, well… the author is no longer with us, so I will only assume she just never got to it.

Trick or Treat is happening in our neighborhood on Saturday. I bought candy to hand out and the weather looks to be better than the last two years (rain in one, snow in another) with the high in the mid 50s. Just my luck, there’ll be more kids out this time around (even with COVID, or would that be especially because of COVID), but I’m not getting extra candy. When I run out, I run out. And trust me, I’ll be happy to run out. I don’t need it in the house!!

So… Are you handing out candy this year? If so, do you buy candy you like to eat (in case you have leftovers)? Sometimes I do, but I really shouldn’t. That’s the BEST way to guarantee not eating any and I’d feel less guilty throwing it out!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Reading Update

Well, Wednesday apparently just flew on by. Or rather Tuesday, since that’s the day I usually post. How’d it get to be Thursday already? I don’t know where my head has been! I guess Thursday is better than no day, huh? Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #42

Dates read: October 15-20
Title: Heir of the Dog
Year of publication: 2009
Author: Judi McCoy
Genre: Mystery
Series: Dog Walker Mystery #2
# of Pages: 319
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Professional dog walker Ellie Engleman is more than just a pal to her pooches—she can also read their minds. So when a fellow dog lover turns up dead, Ellie makes no bones about using her talents to track down her friend’s killer.
    Strolling through Central Park with Rudy, her terrier mix, Ellis is shocked to find the corpse of a troubled but harmless park dweller she often met while walking Rudy. When the police arrive and question Ellie, she stumbles over her story—and finds herself the prime suspect. Fortunately she has onetime fling Detective Sam Ryder in her corner.
    But the police investigation is the least of Ellie’s worries. Because it turns out that Ellie’s pup, Rudy, is the victim’s sole beneficiary—and he has inherited a key to a safety-deposit box whose contents just might point to both the motive and the murderer. Together, Ellie, Rudy, and Sam must sniff out the killer, or they won’t have a dog’s chance of surviving.
My thoughts: It’s been a long time since I read book 1, but I finally decided to just read the rest of the series now, since I own them all. Ms. McCoy passed away some time ago, but I liked her a lot (and she taught me a lot about writing). I was able to jump into her story without any problems and eagerly read each page. This is a fun series.

Since the Dodgers are in the in the World Series, I’m watching this year. I was almost afraid I wouldn’t be able to watch. I stopped watching the NLCS because when I did, they lost! So glad I was able to see them win on Tuesday, or I might have had to stop myself from watching. Don’t want to jinx them, you know? I sure hope they win it this year.

So… are the days just all a big blur to you, too? And I have a white board to help me (and yes, I update it every day). Sheesh!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Reading Update

I have a feeling I won’t have any problems reaching my reading goal of 50 books this year. I’m just glad that I’ve found the joy of reading again. There was a time where I thought I’d lost it.

So if I can find the joy in reading again, I’m sure I’ll find the joy of writing again. I just need to take that first step. Why is it so scary?

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #40

Dates read:
October 4-7
Title: Immortal Angel
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Lynsay Sands
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Argeneau Series #31
# of Pages: 352
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: For almost a century, Ildaria Garcia has been on the run, a trouble magnet with a knack for taking down bad guys. Lately, her vigilante tendencies have drawn unwelcome attention to her fellow Immortals. Forced to relocate, Ildaria is supposed to lay low in a new town. Instead, she quickly entangles herself with six and a half feet of muscular, tattooed trouble.
     Joshua James Simpson Guiscard, aka G.G., knows a lot about Immortals—enough to make him wary. Yet from the moment Ildaria walks into his club, he feels desire stronger than anything he’s known. Accepting the fact that they might be life mates is disconcerting. But when her past catches up to them, G.G. faces a choice—confront his demons at last, or lose a passion that’s hot as hell.
My thoughts: Even at #31, this series does not disappoint me. It’s always something a little different. And of course, lots of hot sex.

Book #41

Dates read:
October 8-13
Title: Good Omens
Year of publication: 1990
Author: Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 491
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist
My thoughts: I’ve seen the series twice and have wanted to read the book since. I won some B&N money (from judging a contest) and decided to use it to buy this book. Finally. And I wasted no time to read it, either. Wow. It’s kind of nice that the series is sooooo similar to the book (asides from the ending, which I kind of like the television series better). A really fun read! Highly recommend.

Looks like autumn has arrived. I’m lucky if I leave the house once a week, so when I went out this past weekend, I was surprised at how MUCH the leaves have changed. It’s pretty, but I still prefer green.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Reading Update and I’m Stepping

I got my exercise step this past weekend and have actually started to use it! On Sunday I tried the first exercise on one of the DVDs I purchased. Had to stop half-way through the first exercise (about 13 minutes).

Man, I don’t remember stepping to be so hard, but then I was going to the fitness center on a regular basis back when I took those classes.

But I wasn’t going to let that discourage me. On Monday I was back at it. And finished that first exercise! Yeah, it was only 26 minutes long, and included a lot of marching in place (rest stops), but I felt good. Good enough to try exercise 2 on Tuesday.

Apparently I need those rest stops. Exercise 2 was pretty much the same as exercise 1, but without the rests. I had to stop and rest a couple of times. I’m not quite ready to step non-stop for 22 minutes.

But I’m still not discouraged. I worked up a sweat (and got my heart rate up there, too). I have a feeling this will be a MUCH better workout than just walking. At least I hope so!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #39


Dates read:
September 27- October 3
Title: The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Genre: Fantasy romance
Series: The Embraced #5/Embraced by Magic #2
# of Pages: 359
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Raised on the magic-seeped Isle of Moon, Maeve is used to unusual powers—and the way they fuel the politics of her world. But when she discovers an ability to shape-shift at will, she knows who she wants to share it with first. Brody, the enigmatic, infuriating shifter-spy has always made time for Maeve. But it’s been almost two months since she’s seen him. And though no one else believes Brody is in danger, Maeve is more than ready to rescue him herself.
    The rumors Brody’s investigating are terrifying: a secret army of magic-users, in the service of the cruel Circle of Five. But when he uncovers the identity of one of the Five, the mission becomes personal. Cursed as a boy by the Sea Witch, Brody can spend only two hours a day in his human form, a restriction that limits his future and muzzles his heart. Plus Maeve teases him for being such a pretty doggy instead of appreciating his manly charms. To win his freedom, he must take on a terrible disguise. And when Maeve finds out, she’ll unleash a tempest like no other…
My thoughts: I liked this series very much. This was supposed to be the end of it (5 sisters, 5 stories), but it appears Kerrelyn got the go-ahead to write more. Yay! I look forward to seeing what else can happen in this world (and who will fall in love…).

So… Are you reading more now during the pandemic than you did before COVID hit us? At first I had slowed down, but reading is starting to interest me again (or maybe I’m just reading the right books). It’s encouraging in any case. I almost thought I’d lost interest for good! Which means I’ll most likely get back to writing soon. The only one stopping me is me.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Reading Update and I’m Motivated…to Exercise

I wish I were more motivated to write, but it is what it is. I am motivated to get into better shape, though. I love walking (once I get started outside, that is), but the colder weather coming scares me that I’ll end up stopping, and I don’t want to do that. Then I remembered what I LOVED doing at the fitness center when I used to go there all the time: step aerobics.

So I bought myself a step (the same kind used at the gym) and some DVDs. I’m excited. Scared, too. It’s been years since I last stepped, so I’m sure it will NOT be easy. Just have to start slow (like I did with my walking). But I’m motivated. And I’m sure my cardiologist will be super pleased if I actually keep with it. Winter doesn’t look too scary anymore!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #37


Dates read: September 18-25
Title: Ghost Moon
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Kathryn Knight
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 227
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: When Lark Cavanaugh’s life in New York City falls apart, she’s left reeling from a staggering betrayal. She escapes to Cape Cod, where a distant relative has left her an old house with a tragic past. Rumors of a haunting presence plague the abandoned home, but Lark doesn’t believe in ghosts…until she has no choice.
    After completing his military duty, veterinarian Jesse Holt returns to his small hometown to take over his father’s practice. He soon finds himself drawn to the alluring redhead now living next door. But she has made her intentions clear—she’s moving back to the city as soon as possible. When frightening events threaten her safety, though, he can’t deny his protective instincts.
    Unable to fight their feelings, they give in to desire…but another battle looms. Lark’s arrival has awakened a decades-old mystery, and the truth of what happened at Holloway House will only be revealed when it claims yet another life.
My thoughts: Kind of hoping I would enjoy this more than I did. It’s an okay story, and it has some scenes on the horror-side, but nothing spine-tingling (then again, I could be immune). I thought the pace was a little on the slow side, but if that’s your cup of tea, give it a try. Lots of sexy scenes, if that matters.

 

Book #38


Dates read: September 26
Title: When No One is Watching
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Alyssa Cole
Genre: Thriller
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 352
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting up like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold on to her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour, and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.
    But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.
    When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out, before they, too, disappear?
My thoughts: Holy shit! I read this in ONE DAY. I could NOT put it down. This was some scary stuff (can almost consider this horror). Book sucked me in almost immediately and I just found myself reading all dang day! And that’s what I call an outstanding read.

So… how do you keep active during the winter months (for those of you who live in the snow zone)? I’m really hoping stepping works for me. There are also videos on YouTube that I could step to, but they have commercials (annoying). Not sure how much it would cost to avoid those, though.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Reading Update and Having Some Fun

On Monday, Hubby and I (along with our friends) went to the Columbus Zoo. I got my 10K steps in, but man, I think my feet were about to declare a mutiny. I walk 2-4 miles a day (or try to), but can’t stand on my feet for 4+ hours! But all in all, it was a beautiful day at the zoo and I did enjoy myself (just my feet didn’t).

On Tuesday, Hubby and I (along with the same friends) went to The Wilds (www.thewilds.org). This time my feet were okay because we toured the area in an open-air bus. Again, a beautiful day for such a tour, too. We really picked two great days weather-wise. And Hubby feels like he did SOMETHING during his vacation.

He’s still vacationing this week, but we have to figure out what we want to do on Thursday and Friday. Or rather, HE needs to figure it out. It’s his vacation!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #36


Dates read:
September 12-17
Title: The Jackal
Year of publication: 2020
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #5/Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp #1
# of Pages: 351
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Won from Goodreads Giveaway
Blurb from book: The location of the glymera’s notorious prison camp was lost after the raids. When a freak accident provides Nyx clues to where her sister may still be doing time, she becomes determined to find the secret subterranean labyrinth. Embarking on a journey under the earth, she learns a terrible truth—and meets a male who changes everything, forever.
    The Jackal has been in the camp for so long he cannot recall anything of the freedom he once knew. Trapped by circumstances out of his control, he helps Nyx because he cannot help himself. After she discovers what happened to her sister, getting her back out becomes a deadly mission for them both.
    United by a passion they can’t deny, they work together on an escape plan for Nyx—even though their destiny is to be forever apart. And as the Black Dagger Brotherhood is called upon for help, and Rhage discovers he has a half brother who’s falsely imprisoned, a devious warden plots the deaths of them all…even the Brothers. 
My thoughts: I didn’t read the blurb before reading the book and I’m glad. I was surprised about one little tidbit mentioned at the end of the blurb. This book captivated me just like all the others in this series. I just love this world.

Funny story when I learned I won this book from Goodreads. It was release day and I checked B&N to see if it was on sale (they usually are on release day). Nope. And I didn’t have a coupon, either, so I e-mailed my daughter (or so I thought) to get a copy at Walmart (figuring it would be cheaper there). THEN I saw the e-mail that I had won a copy. Whoo hoo! So I went to e-mail my daughter back “Nevermind” and realized I had sent the e-mail to someone else whose e-mail address is similar (I hit enter when it highlighted and hadn’t paid attention—apparently). So I still had to send the “Nevermind” e-mail, just for a different reason!

So…Do you have vacation yet to use this year? What are your plans?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Reading Update and Meeting with Writer Friends

On Monday I was able to attend an in-person plot group meeting with some writer friends. What joy! We met at a Panera Bread that has outdoor seating (gotta be safe!). Only four of us showed, but it was wonderful. I really missed talking books with people and they helped me a lot with my own (which is a mess). Plus, they’re my friends and it had been so long since I’d seen them. It was the boost I needed to get back to work, especially since I now have some ideas of what needs fixing.

Here’s what I read since my last update:


Book #35

Dates read: September 4-10
Title: My Bonny Heart
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Synclair Stafford
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Pirate’s Progeny, Book #1
# of Pages: 277
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: A treacherous past haunts ex-pirate Anne Bonny’s attempt at a fresh start. Rescued from a Port Royal jail, she’s forced to marry a prominent landowner to retain custody of her children. She vows no other man will ever dictate her life again. But the lord she is to wed is more tempting and infuriating than the devil himself.
    Addison Blackhurst agreed to wed a fellow merchant’s daughter, solidifying the expansion of his rice plantation and trading business. Not mentioned in the contract? A temperamental, out-of-control widow who is unlike any woman of his acquaintance, complete with not one, but three children. But from the beginning, he’s drawn to her wild spirit and seductive charms.
    Through Anne’s husband-repelling schemes—and Addison’s equal endeavors to ignore them—they find an exasperating, yet most fascinating attraction. When Anne’s past threatens her future, and Addision believes he’s lost her for good, only a pirate’s resolve can determine if love will prevail. 
My thoughts: This was a fun read. If you like historical romances NOT set in England, this will be a treat for you. I hadn’t realized until after reading it that Anne Bonny was a real person, and that no one knows what happened to her after giving birth in jail. This story COULD be a possibility.

In sports… The Rams and Steelers won their first games of the season. Yay! But the Vegas Golden Knights season has come to an end with their loss Monday night. My hockey watching days are now on hold until the next season starts, whenever that will be. I’m thinking there won’t be much of a break after the finals.

So… what has brought you joy lately?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Reading Update, Hockey, and Football

I’m still watching hockey. I like the Vegas Golden Knights because Marc Andre Fleury is on the team (he used to be the goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins—my favorite team). He’s not always playing goalie, but by this point I’ve just become a fan. So as long as they’re in the playoffs, I’m watching.

I think football starts up tomorrow. Hubby is looking forward to that. I may be, too. My Rams play on Sunday night. Steelers play on Monday night. So at least we’re able to watch those games at home. Not sure I want to go to a restaurant to watch games this year.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #34

Dates read: August 28 – September 3
Title: Break the Day
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Lara Adrian
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Midnight Breed #16
# of Pages: 260
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: After a shocking betrayal nearly killed him and the people he cares about the most, what Breed warrior Rafe wants more than anything is revenge against the insidious brotherhood called Opus Nostrum. But to achieve that goal, he must turn his back on the Order and infiltrate a dangerous gang with ties to Opus. Risking everything to redeem himself and carry out his deep-cover mission, Rafe will let nothing stand in his way—least of all his desire for one of the loyalists he should despise, a mysterious, dark-haired beauty named Devony Winters.
    But Devony has secrets of her own to protect, as well as a personal duty she will do anything to fulfill. And as a daywalker passing herself off as human to the gang she’s been embedded with for months, the last thing she needs is a dangerous former member of the Order unraveling all her hard work. Her plans depend on keeping Rafe at arm’s length, but if she surrenders to the dark need he stirs within her, it will be her heart that pays the ultimate price. 

My thoughts: Been awhile since I read the last book in this series and had no problems getting caught up in the characters (or even remembering who is who!). Great romance.

So… Are you watching sports on TV this year? Do you miss going to the games? High school football has started up, but only family members are allowed to attend (and I’m not so sure I’d go anyway). They used to broadcast the games on the radio, which is what we used when we were out of town, but the announcers aren’t allowed in the booth, so no radio, either. I can pay to watch via a streaming thing, but I don’t miss it THAT much.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Reading Update and August Walking Stats

August was a great month for walking. I walked 26 of the 31 days for a total of 73.71 miles. That averages out to 2.835 miles/day!

Although, I try really hard to walk at least 3 miles a day now. That’s the best way I can make my 10K steps a day. I’m really hoping I can continue as the weather cools, too. I need to keep this habit regardless of the temps. About the only thing that stops me is rain (or a morning appointment).

I prefer to walk in the morning before the sun gets too hot. But once the daily temps are lower than 80 (or the mornings are lower than 50), I might need to change my walks to the afternoon. Good thing I don’t have a job to worry about. I just need to get my body on board. And maybe my mind, too.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #33

Dates read: August 17-28
Title: Broken
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Deep Ops #3
# of Pages: 366
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Former Navy SEAL Clarence Wolfe’s unit was taken out with a land mine. Injured and devastated, he hasn’t been quite right since. Worse, the tragedy was no accident. All Wolfe wants now is to take down the man responsible. In the meantime, he’s good with being the muscle for the Deep Ops team—and leading a steamy no-strings-attached personal life. Until one intriguing woman changes everything…
    Reporter Dana Mulberry is on a mission to avenge the death of a fellow journalist. She’s finally hot on a trail—right to a sex club—where she runs into…Wolfe? It seems both their leads have led to the same spot. To keep from blowing their covers, they’ll have to at least pretend to have a little fun. Trouble is, they genuinely like each other. And that’s way too risky for Wolfe, especially when, to his surprise, Dana agrees…
    Drawn to each other in ways they can’t understand, Wolfe and Dana keep it professional—until they’re shot at one night. And when their adventures land them both at the heart of corruption in D.C.—and at odds in their missions—they’ll have to dig deeper than ever to succeed in their quests—and with each other… 
My thoughts: These characters are also in the first two books of this series and I knew they’d get their own book…eventually. Lots of action and suspense in this romance and I loved it.

Seems like a lot of changes are going on and I’m not enjoying them. Facebook is changing (hate the new format) and Blogger has changed. Or is in the process of changing again? I’m not sure. I switched over months ago (because I wanted people to be able to read my blog on a mobile device) and wasn’t having any problems, but now they did something to the posts. I used to be able to just copy and paste from Word and only have to tweak minor stuff. Now? I’m fixing major stuff. And adding tags to a post is a PAIN IN THE BUTT. I don’t like it. Then again, I’m not a fan of change so much. Especially when the old ways were working (and seem more efficient).

So… has anything irritated you lately?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Reading Update and No Jury Duty…for now!

I was soooooo happy to see that the trial I was assigned to was cancelled and I don’t have to report to jury duty. Whew. That’s good. Well… except I’m still on call, but they will contact ME if I’m needed this month. I don’t have to do anything else, like call them every three days for status. That’s nice, because I tend to forget to call!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #32

Dates read: August 10-16
Title: Midnight Sun
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Twilight #5
# of Pages: 658
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.
    This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger? 
My thoughts: I’m a huge Twilight fan (it’s what got me interested in writing my own books), so of course I bought this. I had read the beginning of this story when Meyer posted the leaked portion on her blog (way back in 2008) and was instantly hooked. So glad she finished it and I was able to read the rest. Now, will she do the same to the rest of the series? I don’t know, but I’d read them.

I’m officially off of quarantine now. Celebrated in a way—my daughter came over (I sure did miss her). But it’s also nice to know I’m in the clear and I didn’t get sick from the convention (no one did—yay!). So… see? It is possible to have fun and not get sick if you wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, and keep your distance whenever possible.

Now I just have to wait and see if our December cruises are a go (we have two scheduled back-to-back, sailing out of Mobile, AL). I’d feel less worried if there was a viable treatment or vaccine, but frankly, I’d be surprised if any of the ports will be open if there isn’t a vaccine by then. Heck, would any island/country want USA visitors if we don’t have this disease under control? I highly doubt it.

So… Are you getting more or less read during this pandemic? I think I’m reading about the same, but then my life hasn’t changed all that much! I just don’t go out to eat anymore.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Reading Update and Updating a Computer

We’ve had a tower unit as our “home” computer what seems like…forever. It included a separate 750g drive AND a 750g backup drive. All were getting old. And bulky. We were looking to streamline and we needed to do it before the tower unit failed for good. Problem is, when you get a new computer (in this case, a laptop to replace that tower unit), it’s like starting all over getting software and files transferred over.

The worst? iTunes. I had music files all over the place, but when I opened the software, it only showed those songs purchased from iTunes. Nothing from the CDs I had uploaded over the years. Took me awhile to figure out where the music files should be stored, move the music over there, and how to get iTunes to recognize them. And then the OCD/Organized person in me took over. I wanted everything to be just right. To get all the compilation albums recognized as one album (instead of by the individual artist). To have all the covers showing (a lot of the albums didn’t show one). It took me a few weeks (and a lot of copying of album covers from Amazon or Google) and now it’s nice and pretty. I even managed to upload some new CDs I’ve been wanting to upload for awhile now (but not on the old tower unit). I was happy to see everything working.

Well… except I had lost all my playlists. What a bummer. I’m almost afraid to link my iPhone up to update my playlist. Will it delete/replace what I have on my phone or add the new one? I only have one playlist on my phone. Will it recognize more than one? Guess I’ll find out soon enough.

I do know that I can no longer link my iPod Classic to iTunes (iTunes doesn’t recognize the device anymore), which is a bummer. I like my iPod Classic. It still works. I just can’t add new music to it. Doesn’t seem right. What’s wrong with making sure the new software can work with the old devices?

As for the computer, I’m still getting files off the two separate drives (like pictures I thought had been lost!). After I’m done, Hubby will go over the drives and then he plans on reformatting them. We’ll probably use them as backup drives (provided they’re still good).

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #31

Dates read: August 3-6
Title: No Way Out
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Lucy Kincaid #16.5 (novella)
# of Pages: 123
Paper or plastic: e-book for Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. Nine years ago, mercenary Kane Rogan and photojournalist Siobhan Walsh risked their lives to rescue Hestia Juarez, a thirteen-year-old girl being forced to marry a much older man to expand her father’s crime family. Her enraged father has never forgotten.
    Now, Kane and Siobhan are finally getting married. They only invited a few people—including FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid and her husband Sean Rogan—to celebrate. When Sean and Kane go missing the day before the wedding, Lucy must put her fear aside and work the case. Because someone believes that Siobhan knows where Hestia is … and will do anything or kill anyone to make her tell the truth. 
My thoughts: Lots of suspense packed into this novella. Whew!

So… When was the last time you had to update a computer? Was it an easy process or were you ready to pull your hair after you finished?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Reading Update and I’m Self-Quarantining

Last Tuesday, Hubby and I drove to Savannah. We came home Sunday. Now we’re doing the self-quarantining thing. If all goes well, I’ll be able to go out again right around the time I’m supposed to have jury duty (provided the trial is a go). Perfect timing, huh?

But you’re probably wondering what I went to Savannah for. Well, I went to the Literary Love Book convention. There were about 100 of us, masks were required for EVERYTHING, and we did our best to keep our distance from one another. Of course, that wasn’t possible all the time, but that’s why we wore masks.

I had a good time. It was nice to interact with people (authors and readers) again. I’m hoping all the safety measures that we took were enough. I’d hate to think they weren’t. I may never go to another convention if that’s the case.

Frankly, I’m more afraid of attending jury duty than I was attending the convention. I just can’t see how I’ll be able to social distance in a court room, and I can’t imagine the room is all that big, either. So I’m crossing my fingers that the trial is cancelled or postponed.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #29

Dates read: July 20-31
Title: Fallen
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Deep Ops #3
# of Pages: 347
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. A talented hacker who got caught, Brigid Banaghan is now forced to work with a secret Deep Ops unit. But she won’t reveal any more to these renegade Feds than she has to. Especially not to Raider Tanaka, her control freak of a bodyguard and handler. It’s enough that his body is tensed for action and his heated gaze is always on her…
    Raider knows there’s more to his new assignment than he’s been told. Why send a deadly agent of his experience to guard a computer genius—even a gorgeous, unpredictable, undisciplined one? But when Brigid’s estranged father is named in an investigation into Boston’s organized crime, Raider’s mind switches onto high alert, just like his senses…
    To clear her father’s name, Brigid needs Raider’s help. The Unit’s idea that she bring a straight-laced Fed in as her “fiancĂ©” won’t fly, though—not unless Raider can release his inner bad boy and become the rebel Brigid can’t resist…
My thoughts: I liked this book—the suspense, the romance—but I can see which couples will be featured in future books. I don’t know if I like that part or not. Raider did tend to be a bit more of an alpha man than I like, but he wasn’t mean, so that helped. For me.

Book #30

Dates read: August 1-2
Title: Storm Warning
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Lucy Kincaid #14.5 (novella)
# of Pages: 108
Paper or plastic: e-book for Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid and her colleague Nate are racing a hurricane, but the storm is the least of their worries...
    Lucy and Nate head to rural Texas in order to take an FBI Most Wanted armed robber into custody. When they reach the jail hours from San Antonio, the local cops ask them to transport another prisoner, too, since the transfer location is on their way. With the hurricane keeping everyone busy, Lucy and Nate don’t have much of a choice but to help out.
    When the two prisoners stage an escape and take a child hostage on their way, Lucy and Nate must try to rescue the boy and survive the storm, without letting these violent criminals get away
My thoughts: Nice, quick read with characters I enjoy reading about. Nice little suspense, too.

So… have you had to self-quarantine during this pandemic? I really hope neither of us get this dreaded disease. My daughter is apt to kill us if we do! Okay, not kill. But she’ll definitely scorn us or something evil like that.

And if we manage to not get COVID, I’ll be a lot less nervous going to a restaurant. They really are doing their best to keep everything sanitized. Their business depends on it.

Happy Reading!

Stacy


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Reading Update and Publishing Decisions


What do you do when a series isn’t selling? I have six books in my vampire series. The latest was released on April 1 to lackluster sales. I started advertising on Amazon (took a class in April that showed me how to create low bid ads). Sales have increased on book 1 (yay!), but unfortunately I’m spending more than I’m bringing in. It’s not a huge loss ($20-30/month), but not exactly the profit I had hoped for.

I was told that my series is probably perfect for Kindle Unlimited (vampire romance does well there, I guess). But I would make less per book based on what they pay for pages read vs the royalties I get on the selling price. Of course, I have to SELL the books, right?

I’m really wondering whether I should even bother writing more books in this series. If I decide to stop, then it might not matter if they’re sold wide. Right? Luckily, this isn’t a decision I need to make anytime soon. And I may wait at least until the last book has been out a year. If my advertising loss becomes too pricy, I can always stop the ads. Right now I’m still acting on hope. Hope that the series takes off. Thing is, it takes time to get recognized. And I have to advertise to get recognized.

This publishing business sure can be frustrating.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #28
Dates read: July 12-19
Title: Cut and Run
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Suspense
Series: Lucy Kincaid #16
# of Pages: 432
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid is dead-set on solving a cold case—even if the original investigators stonewall her every step of the way. A violent storm has uncovered the remains of a family that authorities assumed fled the country years ago to avoid prosecution. But the boy of the youngest Albright son never turned up. If the child is dead, why wasn’t his body found with his parents? If he’s alive, where has he been…and what does he know? Now Lucy and her partner Nate must reconstruct an old crime to find a missing child in the present day.
    Meanwhile, investigative reporter Maxine Revere is called to San Antonio. A confessed killer of a young woman named Victoria has recanted his statement, which opens the door to a whole new world of secrets and betrayal. Max hires Sean Rogan, Lucy’s husband and seasoned PI, to help. The discovery that Victoria might be connected to the Albright family leads Max, Sean, and Lucy to the darkest corridors of corporate crime. But how can they untangle their complex web to find justice for the victims…and the killer in their midst?
My thoughts: This series is beyond being romantic suspense (but it is how Lucy and Sean started). Doesn’t matter much to me, though. I enjoy these characters so much.

It’s probably a good thing I stalled on writing the 7th book in the vampire series. But I really need to work on something new (besides revising the next ghost book). Yesterday I might have gotten an idea for another ghost book. But I really need to get book 3 in the ghost series done and published. Apparently my ghost series is selling better than my vampire series. See? There’s still hope I’ll make a profit at this gig!

So... What are you reading? Anything good?

Happy Reading!
Stacy