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!


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!


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!


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!


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:

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!