Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Reading Update and I Started the Next Project

On Monday I finally came up with a decent title and on Tuesday, I started writing it. Yay! Book 7 of the Bitten by Love series (and my 11th book!) will be titled Embracing Her Vampire. I think coming up with the title helped make me figure out what my story will be about. Kind of important, don’t you think?

Yeah, I still have to revise Ghostly Protector, but I’m not ready for that, yet. I’m still learning about police officers/detectives (my hero character is one) and need to get that all sorted out before I start making changes. And then I still have to decide whether or not my heroine character is biracial. I pictured her that way, but I still have to figure out why I did and if it matters. I always seem to create myself problems (or rather, deep-thinking) when it comes to the ghostly books. So glad I don’t have those issues with the vampire ones.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #18

Dates read: April 24-25
Title: Amazon Decoded: A Marketing Guide to the Kindle Store
Year of publication: 2018
Author: David Gaughran
Genre: Non-fiction
Series: NA
# of Pages: 52
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Free for signing up for newsletter
Blurb from Goodreads:. The author of Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible is back to reveal the inner machinations of the biggest bookstore in the world. By reading Amazon Decoded: A Marketing Guide To The Kindle Store, you will:
    *Learn what “visibility marketing” is and how factoring Amazon’s bookselling philosophy into your promotions can boost your sales;
    *Discover what goes into Sales Rank and dispel some remarkably common myths in the process;
    *Understand the critical differences between the Best Seller list and the Popularity list, and why that is important for marketing strategy.
    And you will get practical, actionable advice, turning all this new knowledge into marketing plans you can implement right away.

My thoughts:
I learned a little from this book. I’m trying to understand Amazon ads and this was a good overview of the Kindle store and how it works.

Book #19

Dates read: April 21-28
Title: A Bad Day for Sunshine
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Darynda Jones
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Sunshine Vicram #1
# of Pages: 390
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. Del Sol, New Mexico, is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, strong cups of coffee—and now, a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff—thanks to her adorably meddlesome parents who nominated her—and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of this is reminding Sunshine why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that the trouble at her daughter’s new school, plus a kidnapped prize-winning rooster named Puff Daddy, and, well, the forecast looks anything but sunny.
    But even clouds have their silver linings. This one’s got Levi, Sunshine’s sexy, almost-old flame, and a fiery-hot U.S. Marshal. With temperatures rising everywhere she turns, Del Sol’s normally cool-minded sheriff is finding herself knee-deep in drama and danger. Can Sunshine face the call of duty—and find the kidnapper who’s terrorizing her beloved hometown—without falling head-over-high-heels in love…or worse?
My thoughts: While Darynda Jones is better known for her urban fantasy books, this one doesn’t have any paranormal/supernatural stuff going on. And I was okay with that. I enjoyed reading this (still has her wonderful humor). Just wish it hadn’t ended on a semi-cliffhanger. I understand it’s a series, but I still don’t like cliffhangers. Makes me feel like I didn’t get the whole book, ya know?

So… if you’re a writer, do you need a title before you can start writing? How about an outline? Thankfully, I don’t need one of those. I might try to come up with a blurb (or copy ad). That helps sometimes, too. But not an outline. I like the discovery of issues/conflicts as I write the story. That’s what makes writing fun for me. And if you’re not a writer, ever think about being one?

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Reading Update and Changing Routines

Amazing what moving one little thing can do.

I’m supposed to take extra calcium while I’m on this pill for my cancer. I can’t swallow those huge pills, though, so the doctor recommended I get the chews. They don’t taste the best (although the caramel is better than the chocolate ones), but they work and I don’t feel like I’m choking on a pill.

I have been putting the container of my chews with my other pills (which are really tiny, thank God!!). Thing is, I take my pills at night and lately I’ve been forgetting to take my chews in the morning (what with everyone here, messing up my old routine—yeah, I’ll blame them!). So last week I moved the container of chews next to the coffee pot.

It worked! I now remember to take them in the morning and at lunch now because I SEE them. Yay, me!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #16

Dates read: March 9 - April 17
Title: So You Want to Talk About Race
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Ijeoma Oluo
Genre: Non-fiction
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 238
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy—from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans—has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it’s a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate his jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair, and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?
So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American Life.
My thoughts: I read this with my RWA chapter as a book club read. Very informative. At times I just wanted to hug the author. It’s not fair how people of color are treated in this country (or anywhere, for that matter) and I’m trying to do my best to not make them feel less than they are by educating myself better. It’s something we should all strive to do.

Book #17

Dates read: April 11-19
Title: How to Love Your Elf
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Genre: Fantasy romance
Series: The Embraced #4/Embraced by Magic #1
# of Pages: 312
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. Sorcha knew the mission was dangerous. Leaving the safe grounds of her brother’s kingdom and parlaying with the elves across their border…well, treachery seemed at least as likely as true peace. But to support her sister, Sorcha would brave far more than the underhanded ways of the elves. Or so she thought, before she was taken hostage.
    Of course, her captors didn’t count on her particular abilities—or on the help of the Woodsman, the mysterious thief who made his home in the forest. He saw the battle from the trees, saw the soldier attacking against incredible odds to save a comrade—and then saw the valiant fighter revealed as Princess Sorcha of Norveshka. He can’t tell if he wants to kidnap her or kiss her. But despite Sorcha’s stubbornness, his inconvenient honor, and a rebellion on the cusp of full war, something burns between them that neither can let go…
My thoughts: Enjoyable read. Wasn’t sure I would like fantasy romance, but I do enjoy this series and look forward to the next book. But if you’re looking to read this series, you’ll see the different series names. It seems the series moved to a different publisher, thus this is book 1 in the new series and book 4 in the other.

I may have found a solution to my calcium chew intake, but apparently I haven’t found one for posting this blog on Tuesday night. At least I remembered this morning!

Maybe I should just post a reading update after I’ve finished a book. What do you think? Do you only come here on Wednesdays or do you check occasionally to see if I’ve posted anything?

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Reading Update and Vote for Biting the Curse

Biting the Curse is up for a RONE award. The first step is to get enough votes to make it to the second step. That’s where you come in. You can vote for my book!

Here is the link:

First, though, you have to register on InD’tale before you can vote. Registration is free and you also get subscribed to their free magazine. You can cancel it at anytime.

I realize not everyone likes to register for stuff they don’t want, and if that’s you, I understand. But if you are already registered, or don’t mine registering, I would really appreciate your vote. The top 5 vote getters go on to the next round, which means someone (or many someones) will READ my book and judge it accordingly. I’d really like to get in that round. So please vote!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #15

Dates read: April 5-10
Title: The Third to Die
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Crime/Suspense
Series: Mobile Response Team #1
# of Pages: 458
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. An edgy female police detective… An ambitious FBI special agent… Together they are at the heart of the ticking-clock investigation for a psychopathic serial killer. The bond they forge in this crucible sets the stage for high-stakes suspense.
    Detective Kara Quinn, on leave from the LAPD, is on an early morning jog in her hometown of Liberty Lake when she comes upon the body of a young nurse. The manner of death shows a pattern of highly controlled rage.
    Meanwhile in DC, FBI special agent Mathias Costa is staffing his newly minted Mobile Response Team. Word reaches Matt that the Liberty Lake murder fits the profile of the compulsive Triple Killer. It will be the first case for the MRT. This time they have a chance to stop this zealous if elusive killer before he strikes again But only if they can figure out who he is and where he is hiding before he disappears for another three years. The stakes are higher than ever before because if they fail, one of their own will be next…
My thoughts: It was a little more procedural than I like in my crime/suspense. This might be a series where I wait until it’s out in paperback before I read the next one.

I have more good news, too. I finished the first draft of Ghostly Protector! How sweet is that? I’m taking a mini writing break now, especially since I’m signed up for a couple of classes this month. It’s nice to be able to just concentrate on those, although it also feels weird not writing, too.

My next book might be in the Bitten by Love series. A friend asked for a certain couple. Now, this was a couple I hadn’t thought about writing, but once she put that thought in my head, the characters started talking to me. Now I have to write it. Right? Because I’m sure it’ll be difficult to shut them up!

Happy Reading!


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Reading Update and I'm Bummed

As I scheduled to post this, I discovered it was Wednesday night and not Tuesday night, thus this is posted a day later than I planned. My bad!

To think I actually write the stupid day on the white board, too!! Sheesh!

Remember that 16-day cruise to Iceland, Greenland, Scotland, Ireland, and London I was going to take in June? Followed up with a 14-day European land tour?

Cancelled. All cancelled.

Thanks, COVID-19!

We spent a LOT of money for that trip. We got full credit for the cruise, which we’ll just transfer to one of the other cruises we already have booked. We also got credit for the land tour, which is fine, except we’d have to pay extra to use this credit, as we’d have to get to the tour somehow. I have no idea what’s going to happen to our flights. We had a flight to NYC via American Airlines for the cruise and a flight home from Paris via Aer Lingus. I expect we’ll get another credit for the AA flight. Aer Lingus, I’m not so sure. Our travel agent suggests we wait until it’s closer to the flight. If they cancel, then we may get more (or something!) than if we cancel. But I don’t know what a credit will do us unless we want to go to Ireland.

So yeah, I’m totally bummed!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #14

Dates read: March 28-April 4
Title: The Sinner
Year of publication: 2020
Author: J. R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #18
# of Pages: 498
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. Syn has kept his side hustle as a mercenary a secret from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. When he takes another hit job, he crosses the path not only of the vampire race’s new enemy but also of a half-breed in danger of dying during her transition. Jo Early has no idea what her true nature is, and when a mysterious man appears out of the darkness, she is torn between their erotic connection and the sense that something is very wrong.
    Fate anointed Butch O’Neal as the Dhestroyer, the fulfiller of the prophecy that foresees the end of the Omega. As the war with the Lessening Society comes to a head, Butch gets an unexpected ally in Syn. But can he trust the male—or is the warrior with the bad past a deadly complication?
    With time running out, Jo gets swept up in the fighting and must join with Syn and the Brotherhood against the ultimate evil. In the end, will true love prevail … or was the prophecy wrong all along?
My thoughts: Another awesome book in this series. I like how a character from the Fallen Angels series has popped up into this one and I look forward to seeing what kind of havoc she will bring in later books!

Weather has been really nice the last few days. I got to go walking (finally!) and Hubby and I actually drove in the fun car with the top down yesterday! The nights have been stormy, though. Scary stormy. Tuesday night/Wednesday morning brought lightning and hail. Luckily, the hail didn’t damage the cars. I was sure it had. It was so loud (woke me up at 3:30am).

So… have some of your plans been cancelled because of COVID-19? Have you been enjoying the nice weather (provided you’ve gotten nice weather)? Are your days all screwed up? Tell me what you’ve been doing!

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Reading Update and Release Day!

It’s no April Fool. It’s finally here: release day! Finding the Perfect Mate is out in the world, waiting for you to read.

Since there was a delay getting the book to Google Play, I’ve decided the pre-order price of $2.99 for the e-book will remain until April 30th. That way everyone has a chance at the sale price.

You can get your copy at one of these vendors:

Barnes & Noble 
Google Play 

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #13

Dates read: March 20-27
Title: The Dark Corners of the Night
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Meg Gardiner
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Series: UNSUB Series #3
# of Pages: 337
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. He appears in the darkness like a ghost, made of shadows and fear—the Midnight Man. He comes for the parents but leaves the children alive, tiny witnesses to unspeakable horror. The bedroom communities of Los Angeles are gripped with dread, and the attacks are escalating.
    Still reeling from her best friend’s close call in a bombing six months ago, FBI behavioral analyst Caitlin Hendrix has come to Los Angeles to assist in the Midnight Man investigation and do what she does best—hunt a serial killer. Her work is what keeps her going, but something about this UNSUB—unknown subject—doesn’t sit right. She soon realizes that this case will test not only her skills but also her dedication, for within the heart of a killer lives a secret that mirrors Caitlin’s own past. Hesitancy is not an option, but will she be able to do what must be done if the time comes?
My thoughts: You don’t need to have read the other books in this series to enjoy this one, but hey, you might as well read them first. Especially if you love edge-of-your-seat suspense. Definitely recommend.

So… What exciting thing are you doing today?

Happy Reading and Happy Release Day to Me!