Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Reading Update and Do You Subscribe to My Blog?

Way back after my first book became published, I added a little widget on the sidebar of this blog for you to enter your e-mail address to follow my blog. It appears that service will end in July.

I never knew I had access to subscribers e-mails addresses before, but it seems I do! And it tells me I have 8 subscribers . Wow! Thanks for signing up. I just wish I knew how to use those e-mails so you can keep getting my blog into your inbox, because it doesn’t appear that Blogger has a replacement. Figures.

I send out my author newsletter via Mail Chimp, but since I use the freebie service, I can’t even set up a second e-mail list. Yes, I could opt to get a paid version (that most likely can send out an e-mail when I update the blog), but my sales (and lack of subscribers) don’t warrant that kind of expense. Not yet, anyway. And I’m not even sure it’s possible. If anyone knows better, please inform me!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #26

Dates read: April 28 – May 4, 2021
Title: Fall of Night
Year of publication: 2021
Author: Lara Adrian
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Midnight Breed #17
# of Pages: 238
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: Breed warrior Micah is one of the Order’s best, his reputation for cold justice and lethal skill rivaled only by that of his formidable father, Tegan. So, when a mission Micah’s leading in an off-limits area called the Deadlands goes terribly wrong, leaving him the sole survivor of an apparent Atlantean attack, he won’t rest until he has answers…and vengeance for his fallen team.
    Phaedra thought it was only a dream, a hideous nightmare. Yet somehow, she had been transported from her life in Rome to a stretch of barren forest when it suddenly lit up with unearthly fire, obliterating everything in its path—including the fiercely handsome Breed warrior she’d encountered in the dream. Or so she believed, until their paths cross again and Phaedra finds herself, and her Atlantean people, at the center of Micah’s wrath.
    With tensions between the Breed and the Atlanteans already edging toward war, and another powerful nemesis growing bolder by the day, uncovering the stunning truth about what happened in the Deadlands will force Micah and Phaedra to work together in an alliance forged by fate and an undeniable desire neither of them can resist.
My thoughts: So… this is the second to last book in the series. I love this series, and I liked this story, but I had some issues between the end of Chapter 21 and the beginning of Chapter 22. Seemed a lot was missing—stuff I would have liked to read about. I just felt a little disappointed/cheated since the missing stuff involved the romantic couple in this book, especially that late in the story. I’ll have to wait until this Fall to see how the series ends, though.

So… I had my CT scan on Monday and I see the urologist on Thursday. Guess I’ll find out what’s what then, regarding that tumor on my kidney. Hoping for good news, but preparing for the worst.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Reading and Health Update

On Monday I saw the urologist. That spot on my kidney? Turns out to be a tumor, and it’s most likely cancer (mainly due to its size: 7.9cm).

I get another CT scan on May 3 (moved up from the 7th—yay!) and can expect surgery sometime after that. Either to remove the tumor or the whole kidney. And if it’s cancer, I can expect chemo.

It’s all so unreal right now. I mean, I went in hoping to get my leaky valve fixed and they discover a tumor in the process. I’m glad it was caught, just wish I didn’t have it.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #24

Dates read: April 18-23, 2021
Title: Unlocking the Ex-Army Doc’s Heart
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Juliette Hyland
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Harlequin LP Medical Book 1104
# of Pages: 149
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from Goodreads: The Arctic Circle's remote tranquility made it the perfect place for ex-army doc and former child star Annie Masters to open her clinic. But her cherished anonymity is ruined when celebrity surgeon Rafe Bradstone arrives in town! Seeing that she uses her work as a safe haven, dynamic Rafe seems determined to show her what she's missing out on. And it's working... She's beginning to imagine a future--with him!
My thoughts: A fun, although short, read. Then again, it is a Harlequin book. They aren’t known for lengthy (most of the time). If you love contemporary romance, give this book a chance. You might find a new author to read!

Book #25

Dates read: April 24-27, 2021
Title: Midnight Unleashed
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Lara Adrian
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Midnight Breed #15.5
# of Pages: 110
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from Goodreads: For Breed vampire Trygg, a menacing former assassin and the ultimate loner, duty is everything...until his solo mission to destroy a powerful enemy earns him an unwanted partner in the form of Tamisia, a beautiful, ice-hot immortal who ignites a flame in his cold heart, and his blood.
    Banished from her Atlantean colony, disgraced immortal Tamisia longs for a chance to redeem herself and return home where she belongs. Her work at a Rome women's shelter has given Sia purpose, but when a break-in results in a brutal killing, her quest for answers puts her in the middle of the hunt for a dangerous enemy of the Order--and brings her up against one of the deadliest of their Breed warrior members, the Gen One vampire, Trygg.
    A former Hunter enslaved to the commands of a madman, Trygg has devoted his life to the Order. Duty is his only master now, until an interfering beauty inserts herself into his investigation. The last thing Trygg wants is a partner in his mission, but Sia will not be denied--nor will the fierce desire she stokes in him. Soon the warrior who needs no one is craving the only woman he should not desire, unleashing a powerful hunger in his cold heart, and in his blood.

My thoughts: I enjoyed this. Got me back into the storyline, especially since I have #17 ready to read! I already read #16, but these novellas tend to stand on their own, which is a good thing.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Good News/Bad News. Why do they come together?

Wednesday’s CT scan revealed more than I wanted.

I got a call from my cardiac surgeon yesterday. My mitral valve is calcified (which I knew back in 2015 when I was first considering surgery), which means it’s not an easy fix. I figured he was going to tell me that I would have to have the traditional open heart surgery and have the valve replaced, but no.

Instead, he said they might be able to fix my leaky valve with a clip, which would be inserted via the groin. No open heart surgery. This was the first I’d heard of a clip. But before he would go any further with how that would occur, he had some bad news for me.

The CT scan also revealed a spot on my kidney. Now, this spot could be nothing. My cardiac surgeon said he’s not an expert with kidneys, so he called my cardiologist and she’s going to get with my primary care physician and have the tests looked at by someone who is an expert with kidneys. I am to expect a call from someone to let me know what my next steps are.

In the meantime, my surgery has been cancelled. Might have been cancelled even without the kidney issue because of the calcified valve. But man, I tell you, this news just depressed the heck out of me.

I want my heart fixed and I don’t want to have to worry about another health issue. I hate feeling in limbo like this.

Anyway, that’s the news and I thought it best to just share it now instead of waiting until next Wednesday. In the meantime, I don’t have to prepare for surgery. Granted, I wasn’t looking forward to it, only looking forward to the results. Now I’m just nervous.

I do want to thank everyone for the good mojo sent my way. Because if there is something bad going on with my kidney, at least it’s being looked at now. And hopefully early enough it can be treated. Gotta keep thinking positively to get out of this funk I’m in.

Stacy

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Reading Update and Bitten by Love Series is in Kindle Unlimited

Looks like I goofed again. This is what happens when snow (yes, it snowed here--2 inches!) and doctor appointments (in preparation for my surgery) are on my mind—I forget about the blog! As for next week, unless I finish the book I’m currently reading before Tuesday, I won’t be posting until I get home (I’m not so sure I need my computer at the hospital).

So I finally broke down and did it. I pulled the books in the Bitten by Love series from other vendors and enrolled them into KDP Select (exclusive with Amazon), which in turns makes it available to Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscribers. The majority of my sales have been from Amazon, so it probably should have been a no-brainer, but I still don’t care about the “being exclusive” part of the bargain. So far I haven’t seen any activity in KU, but I realize I need to be patient.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #23

Dates read:
April 13-18, 2021
Title: No Return
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: Suspense
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 370
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: An F-18 Navy fighter careens out of the blue sky above the Mojave desert. A TV cameraman who grew up in the small town just miles away can see what is going to happen next. Frantically, Wes Stewart races to the downed jet and tries to save the pilot’s life. When the plane explodes, Wes escapes without harm—and plunges into a murderous conspiracy.
    It’s been fifteen years since Wes has been back to the desolate land of his childhood. Now he finds himself up against the U.S. military, the local police, and someone who is tracking his every move. In the moments he spent with the dying pilot, Wes discovered something that could get him killed. But while he tries to untangle a web of lies and secrets surrounding the crash, another danger is stalking him. And this one he will never see coming
My thoughts: As you can see, I’m still on a Brett Battles kick. This is the end of it…for now. If you’re looking for a suspenseful standalone book, this is a very good story.  

So… Did you get any snow? Luckily, most of it melted by lunch time. But what a pain. I had to clean my car off because I had doctor appointments. Figures it snows for that!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Reading Update and I Need Some Good Mojo

I had a lot of tests/procedures done to evaluate my leaky heart valve since I’ve been having some difficulties breathing when it came to my exercise. And the results were not that great: the regurgitation has moved into the severe category. Ugh. That means surgery.

I knew this day would eventually come. I was warned back in 2015. Heck, I would have had surgery back then if the repair could have been done easily. But the surgeon I saw up in Cleveland wasn’t sure he could repair it and since I wasn’t experiencing any symptoms at the time, I decided to wait and hope for better technology.

And better technology is here! The surgeon I saw in Cincinnati this time around has fixed thousands of leaky mitral valves via robotics (meaning they can repair the valve without breaking my chest wide open). This was GREAT news. Sure, I could still end up getting my chest cracked open, or the valve might need to be replaced, but he won’t know those things until he starts the surgery (but will be prepared for all scenarios). I’m good with that. My surgery is scheduled for April 27.

So if you have any good mojo to send my way to help keep this surgery to the least invasive way, I would surely appreciate it!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #21

Dates read:
April 4-7, 2021
Title: Night Man
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: Suspense
Series: The Night Man Chronicles #1
# of Pages: 306
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: THIS ONE. Nate doesn’t want to listen. He’s between missions and just wants to relax, not to travel hundreds of miles and hunt for the driver of the car that hit someone he doesn’t even know.
    But ignoring the call is not an option.
    What Nate had hoped would be a simple mission, turns into something much more sinister, when he discovers a wide-reaching evil, festering in a small, Northern California town.
    To confront it, he will need all the skills he’s learned working in the shadow world.
My thoughts: So… Nate is a character in the Jonathan Quinn series. But you don’t have to have read that series to enjoy this one. Just be prepared to get sucked into the story. Happens to me with every one of Brett Battle’s books.

Book #22

Dates read:
April 8-13, 2021
Title: Insidious
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: Suspense
Series: The Night Man Chronicles #2
# of Pages: 328
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: THAT WAY. It’s such a simple request that Nate doesn’t think twice about turning down the path Liz suggests. But when he finds the body, he realizes he should have known better. Liz has the habit of pointing him toward those who need his help, even if they are no longer living.
    His deceased girlfriend isn’t the only one pushing him to solve the dead woman’s murder. After his best friend Jar discovers the woman’s true identity, she insists they need to investigate. Nate is not as sure. The police are on the case, after all, and if he and Jar intervene, they would only get in the way.
    But when more dead bodies begin stacking up, it becomes clear Nate and Jar are the only ones who can unravel the devious plot behind the young woman’s murder, and the trail of death meant to cover it up.
My thoughts: Again, I became addicted to this book as soon as I started it. I’m enjoying reading about Nate’s “hobby” from his other job (which is shown in the Jonathan Quinn series). I also like how he and Jar help each other.   

I’m still walking as often as I can. Still trying to keep my heart strong. Plus, I like walking. I got up to 4 miles one day while I was exploring the new construction near us (our “neighborhood” is still growing and I like seeing all the new homes). My stride might not be as fast as it used to, but at least my feet hurt less after I walk, so I’ll take that gain. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to walk faster (and do the step aerobics) without breathing so hard! That’s my goal.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Reading Update and No More Duck Nest

April Fool’s Day wasn’t a fun day for us. We found the duck nest empty! Most likely a raccoon snatched the eggs (even though I haven’t seen raccoons in our neighborhood since we moved here in 2018). We were so bummed because we were looking forward to seeing some baby ducks. Guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #20

Dates read:
March 25-April 3, 2021
Title: In Like a Lion
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Karin Shah
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: The Chimera Chronicles #1
# of Pages: 311
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: Research scientist Dr. Anjali Mehta lost her beloved family in an earthquake. Only her work cuts through the paralyzing grief, but when she finds her new research subject, reputed mass murderer Jake Finn, maddeningly uncooperative and inexplicably sexy she’s tempted to run away. How can she burn to touch a man behind bars—a killer?
    What she doesn’t know is that Jake is a chimera, a shapeshifter who can change into a lion or a dragon with all the strengths of both even in human form, who believes his ability to shape shift is nothing but terrifying hallucination and his overpowering attraction to his new doctor proof positive he’s finally gone over the edge.
    And the employer she trusts has an agenda all his own. If she can’t believe the impossible, neither she nor Jake may make it out alive home and it has diabolical plans for both of them.
My thoughts: This was a good story. Nice romance, some suspense, and NO CLIFFHANGERS! Yay!

The weather has been awesome here the last few days. I’ve been able to go out and walk and it’s been wonderful! I really missed walking and so glad I could easily get back into it. I’ll save the step aerobics for those rainy or cold days now. But I will try and get back into weight exercises at least twice a week. I actually managed to uncover my bench and put it in a spot I can easily reach (and not re-cover). I had a heart catheterization last week, so I had to put off on the weights until my wrist healed. It’s still all bruised!

So… Have you been enjoying the nice weather? Have you had nice weather (guess I should have asked that first!)? I know this stretch of non-humid warmish weather won’t last long, so I’m taking it all in. It’ll be summer-like before I know it. I swear, it seems we go from cold to hot with barely anything temperate in between.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Reading Update and a Duck Update

Our duck friend laid at least six eggs. If she laid a seventh, she covered up the nest before we could check it out. Guess we wait about 30 days to see how many of her eggs actually hatch. Kind of exciting. Never had anything like this happen this close to home before.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #19

Dates read: March 22-25, 2021
Title: Later
Year of publication: 2021
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Series: Hard Case Crime
# of Pages: 248
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine—as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike form beyond the grave.
My thoughts: I enjoyed the book. Then again, I enjoy almost everything Stephen King writes. Did I find similarities to other stories? Yep. Did I care? Nope.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Reading Update and a Duck’s Nest

So on Tuesday I decided to go walking in the morning instead of doing step aerobics since it was 50 degrees outside (and not raining). It was a great walk. 3.71 miles! But upon my return, I scared a duck from my front porch (literally scared the poop out of her). Heck, she scared me, too (but without the messy pants)! As I mentioned this to Hubby, he wondered if she was looking for a place to nest. Turns out she wasn’t looking. She already started one!

There was one egg under the bush I scared her from. And another one appeared later in the day. Looks like we won’t be using the front door for about a month now. Hubby hopes there will be lots of eggs (female ducks can lay 3-12 of them, one a day). He LOVES baby ducks!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #17

Dates read: March 16-19, 2021
Title: Fall of Night
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #14
# of Pages: 443
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback (British version)
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate course at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying goodbye to her friends, especially her boyfriend Shane, is bittersweet, and her new life at MIT is both scary and exciting. Enrolled in a special advanced study programme with Professor Irene Anderson, former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on VLAD, her machine designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires.
    But Morganville and its inhabitants are never really far from Claire’s mind. When she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire begins to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make…
My thoughts: Cliffhanger. Grrr… Guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Book #18

Dates read: March 20-22, 2021
Title: Daylighters
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #15
# of Pages: 446
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback (British version)
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire Danvers and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they’ve ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated—vampires from humans—they realize that the changes definitely aren’t for the better.
    It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation as offered the population of Morganville something they’ve never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation—even for the vampires themselves—the truth is far more sinister and deadly.
    Now, Claire, Shane and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody, before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end…
My thoughts: My only issue was with the timeline from book 14 to book 15. Too much happened in Morganville while Eve and Michael were gone for just a couple of weeks. But besides that, it was a fitting end to this series. And worth the read. As long as you just read all fifteen books back-to-back-to-back, if you know what I mean.

So… Do birds nest around your house? I’m used to seeing nests up on the tree or roof. We’ve even had one on top of our wind chimes (at the old house). But not ground level, on my front porch. This will be really interesting.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Reading Update and Happy St. Patrick’s Day


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My last name is definitely Irish, but turns out I’m more Irish than Hubby. My paternal grandmother and maternal great-grandfather were born there, whereas Hubby’s Irish ancestors are way more farther out than that. I just didn’t grow up with an Irish name (I believe Thurber is a Welsh name, but I could be wrong).

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #15

Dates read:
March 8-11, 2021
Title: Black Dawn
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #12
# of Pages: 507
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback (British version)
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: Chaos has taken over the quiet college town of Morganville as the threat of the draug rapidly spreads with the help of the city’s water system. Whilst most of the locals have already fled, student Claire Danvers and her friends Shane, Eve, and Michael choose to stay and fight.
    Things take a turn for the worse when vampire Amelie, the town’s founder, is infected by the master draug’s bite. Unless Claire and her friends can find an antidote to save Amelie and overcome the draug, Morganville’s future looks bleak…
My thoughts: Another gripping story. Breezing right through them now. I find it funny that even the blurb has that British…tang.

Book #16

Dates read:
March 11-16, 2021
Title: Bitter Blood
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #13
# of Pages: 538
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback (British version)
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville have managed to coexist in peace. But thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have now been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. College student Claire Danvers, with ties to both humans and vampires, isn’t about to take sides.
    To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville searching for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news…or worse.
My thoughts: As you can see… the books are getting longer. Which is better than having stupid cliffhangers. I could almost see this as being the last book in the series. Almost. Two more to go, though.

So… Do you have any Irish relatives? Do you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? I had to search my closet for a green shirt since I’m actually going out today. Couldn’t believe I didn’t have more than the one. I must remedy this. One day.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Reading Update and Get My Book for FREE

Smashwords is having a sale this week (Mar 7-13, 2021). They’re calling it “Read an Ebook Week.” So in honor of that, you can get My Sunny Vampire for FREE! Just click HERE! But hurry, this deal ends March 13, 2021.


Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #14

Dates read:
March 3-8, 2021
Title: Last Breath
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #11
# of Pages: 447
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback (British version)
How obtained: Purchased new
Blurb from book: Claire Danvers is concerned when three vampires vanish from Morganville without a trace. The last person seen with them is someone new to town—a mysterious individual named Magnus. Claire is convinced creepy Magnus isn’t human…but is he a vampire, or something else entirely?
    Claire’s hunt for answers leads her to solving another mystery that’s long been puzzling her: why do vampires live so far out in a sunny desert when they’re sensitive to sunlight? The answer has nothing to do with sunlight, but with water—and an ancient enemy who has finally found a way to invade the vampires’ landlocked community. Vampires aren’t the top predator on earth. There’s something worse that preys on them…something much worse. Which means if Claire, and Morganville, want to live, they will have to fight on to the last breath…
My thoughts: Knocked a star off on Goodreads because...cliffhanger. Ugh. Otherwise, the story was gripping. Good thing I don't have to WAIT for the next one. I already own it!

So… Have you ever read a book and come across the word “kerb” for “curb” and wonder what the editor was thinking? Turns out the book was printed in England and that’s the British spelling. They also use the single quotation marks for dialogue instead of double. Good thing these variations don’t bother me any, but I do find it funny that the last 5 books I have of the Morganville Vampire series were printed in England, yet they were CHEAPER than the American version! Go figure.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Reading Update

Looks like I’m slacking again. I’ll blame the Penguins game. Watched it last night and was super happy they won. And then forgot all about it being Tuesday and that I should have posted this. And I wouldn’t have even remembered if I hadn’t just finished the next book I’m reading. So guess I’m posting two books today.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #12

Dates read:
February 23-28
Title: Ghost Town
Year of publication: 2010
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #9
# of Pages: 335
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased used
Blurb from book: Despite their obvious differences, the human and vampire residents of Morganville have learned to coexist, but that doesn’t stop genius student Claire Danvers from keeping up her guard. While developing a new system to maintain the town’s defenses, Claire discovers a way to use the vampires’ powers to help keep outsiders from spreading news of Morganville’s “unique” situation once they’ve crossed the city limits.
    But the new system has an unexpected and possibly deadly consequence: People inside the town start forgetting who and what they are—even the vampires. And when Claire’s boyfriend, Shane, and her best friend, Eve, start treating her like a perfect stranger, Claire realizes she has to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment—before she forgets how to save herself…and Morganville.
My thoughts: So glad those nasty cliffhangers are gone. Oh, it has unresolved story lines (this is a series), but nothing making me scream “What!!!” I’m glad I have all the books so I can finish reading this series to see how it will all end.

Book #13

Dates read:
February 28-March 3
Title: Bite Club
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #10
# of Pages: 337
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased used
Blurb from book: After discovering that vampires populate Morganville—and surviving a number of adventures with her new night-dwelling friends—college student Claire Danvers has come to realize that for the most part, the undead just want to live their lives.
    But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.
    There’s a new extreme sport being broadcast over the Internet: bare-knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against one another—or, worse, against humans. Tracking the out-of-town signal leads Claire—accompanied by a loyal group of friends and frenemies—to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville. And if they want to survive, they’ll have to do a lot more than fight…
My thoughts: Quite the page turner. And no pesky cliffhanger! Yay!

So… I finally got around and bought a pair of shoes for my step aerobics. Boy, what a difference they make. I also bought a second pair for my everyday wear, since both sets of old sneakers were pretty worn down. I really hate buying shoes, but I found a local, independent store that actually measured my foot last time and kept a record. It was so easy to buy these shoes this time around. Sometimes buying local/independent is soooo much nicer. Don’t you agree?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Reading Update and Other Stuff

I got my first shot. It was a Pfizer shot. My arm hurt and I got a headache, but that was about it. I’m sure it’ll be worse after my second shot, though. Which is scheduled for March 13th! Hubby gets his second shot on the 6th, which means by the end of March, we’ll both be protected. Yay!!

This also means that if the May cruises are allowed to go, we’ll be cruising again. Man, I really miss those.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #11

Dates read: February 15-23
Title: Effacement
Year of publication: 2021
Author: Hieronymus Hawkes
Genre: Sci-Fi Futuristic
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 392
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Free from author
Blurb from book: When recording every aspect of your life has become the law, what happens when your connection to the world is severed?
    With the advent of BioNarratus’s Vitasync neurochip, serious crime has all but disappeared. Without a lifelog, you can’t get a bank account, medical insurance, or a job. But a government agency is bent on using the neurolink tools Cole Westbay helped develop to target and kill potential enemies. After uncovering a clue to their plans, he wakes the next day with his neurochip destroyed and his recent memory wiped.
    A renegade exec and an enigmatic attorney become Cole’s new allies in a race against the clock. Targeted by a single-minded government agent, Cole must discover the plot and prevent more innocents from being murdered before they shut him up permanently.
My thoughts: Interesting story. Yes, I received this book free from the author. I had read an earlier version of this story back when I was the author’s critique partner (way back before I was published), and he mentions me in the acknowledgements (awwww!). If you like futuristic stories (set on planet Earth), give this one a try.

I saw some of our grass yesterday! A spot around the downspout. Weather is finally getting warmer (supposed to get up into the 50s this weekend) and I’ll be sooooo happy to see the snow go. It’s still covering most of our yard now, but it shouldn’t be too much longer. I hope…

So… reading anything good? I’m back at the Morganville Vampire books. I found a good deal and bought them. Probably wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t know that the last book is the actual ending to the series. Since I know it has an ending, I’m okay with finishing them. Because I really do enjoy the stories.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Reading Update and I’m Losing Motivation

I’m still exercising 4-5 times a week, but I’m losing motivation to continue. Then I kind of realized part of my problem: I’ve been sleeping in too late. Each day this winter I’ve been getting up later and later. In the summer I would get up at 6:30 to go walking. Now I’m lucky to climb out of bed by 8:00. So, I’m going to start setting my alarm (starting Thursday, since I don’t work out on Wednesday and Sundays). Hopefully that will get my motivation back. And free up my morning to actually WRITE! We’ll see…

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #10

Dates read:
February 10-15
Title: The Vanished
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Series: Jonathan Quinn #15
# of Pages: 414
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: A missing physicist. Two botched jobs. And a world gone mad. Will this be Jonathan Quinn’s last job ever?
    It’s been nine years since Quinn last worked with Mariko. That fateful job left him with a permanent sense of guilt, and her with a life forever changed.
    Now, their paths have crossed again. Not in a way Quinn would have hoped for, but at least in one that might allow him to make partial amends.
    But a cleaner’s got to do what a cleaner’s got to do.
My thoughts: Man, I forget how sucked into these books I get. This is a really good series. Even got my husband hooked on these books.

Last Friday I got lucky and nabbed an appointment for my first COVID vaccine (state opened it up to people with certain diseases and such and my leaky heart valve got it for me—about time it did SOMETHING good). My appointment is for this Saturday. I hope it goes. The snow has delayed some shipments and anything is possible. Keeping my fingers crossed I actually get the shot.

So… It’s snowy and cold here. Got 7” of snow on Monday/Tuesday. And more is forecasted for Thursday. But first, a deep freeze (temps in the single digits with wind chills below zero). I’m so over winter!!! How about you?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Reading Update and I’m Sick of Snow

There has been snow on the ground since… forever. Okay, not forever. Probably just last week, but still… There’s too much. It snowed on top of snow. Multiple times. I miss seeing the grass. Even between snow storms. And we’re not finished with the storms, either. More is forecasted tonight. I really hate this season.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #8

Dates read:
February 2-6
Title: Fade Out (Morganville Vampires Vol. 4)
Year of publication: 2009
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #7
# of Pages: 215
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: Without Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, life has changed—dramatically. The resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends  are almost starting to feel comfortable again, but when a filmmaker goes missing after starting work on a short documentary about vampires, Claire and her friends are feeling anything but safe.
My thoughts: Another story with an ending. I’m shocked. If this keeps up, I may have to go buy the rest of the series. Or at least look for them in the library or used book stores. :D. Myrnin is becoming my favorite character in this series and I can totally see David Tenant playing him. He’s one crazy vampire!

Book #9

Dates read:
February 7-9
Title: Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires Vol. 4)
Year of publication: 2010
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #8
# of Pages: 213
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: Vampire Michael Glass just received the call he’s been waiting for all his life. His music has attracted the attention of a heavily connected music producer who wants him to cut a demo and play some dates—which means Michael and his friends will have to enter the human world. But between a pack of hateful humans and a savage party of traveling vampires, Michael, Claire, Shane, and Eve may not make it to the show on time…or ever.
My thoughts: Very suspenseful! Now that these stories are actually ending (yes, this one had a satisfying ending), I want to read the rest of the series. Yes, I know. I’m strange.

Hubby has an appointment to get his COVID vaccine tomorrow. Unfortunately, I’m too young to get mine. Too young by two years. So I wait… At least Hubby is getting his. One less thing to worry about.

So… How’s the weather where you are? Is the ground white, green, or brown? Haha!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Reading Update and Advertising

Update from last post: I got my four replacement cakes of yarn from Herrschners. One was defective. Figures! I’ll just have to do with what I have (which is hopefully enough). And I got my $5 from Kroger! Apparently it works better if you CALL them than e-mail them. I will remember that the next time.

So… I’m experimenting with advertising. I’ve been advertising on Amazon since April and I’m finally making money. Not a lot, but then I wasn’t making much of anything before. My Amazon royalties in 2020 was over $700 compared to about $300 in 2019. Wish I could say my profit from advertising was $300, but it wasn’t. I have better hope for this year, since I updated my blurb/description and the back matter to each ebook (with links to the next in the series). It’s because of those changes that my advertising started to earn money instead of just spend it.

Since I was doing better on Amazon, I decided to venture out to other venues. Like BookBub (advertising, not book deal). I heard it was fairly easy. And it was…sort of. But I think it’ll be awhile before I go back there. They just eat my money (pretty much like Facebook does). I might try again when I release my next book.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #6

Dates read:
January 25-28
Title: Lord of Misrule (Morganville Vampires Vol. 3)
Year of publication: 2009
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #5
# of Pages: 220
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: In  Morganville, violent black clouds promise  a storm of devastating proportions. As student Clair Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against the elements—both natural and unnatural—the unexpected happens: Morganville’s vampires begin to vanish one by one. Discovering why leads Clair to one last choice: Swear allegiance to Bishop—or die…
My thoughts: I really hated the “ending” to this one. I don’t think there was even a book story in it that was resolved. I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t started reading this series. But I have the next three, so I will continue.

Book #7

Dates read:
January 29-February 1
Title: Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires Vol. 3)
Year of publication: 2009
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #6
# of Pages: 217
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: An underground resistance is brewing in Morganville. In order to contain it, Bishop vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants—the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules after having such a taste of power?
My thoughts: Wow! An actual ending! I’m shocked. And a little afraid to read the next book in the series (since I only have access to up to #8 and there are 15 books in this series). But read it, I will, because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. Don’t get me wrong, the stories are fun to read. It’s just the endings I’ve hated. Except for this one. This one I liked.

So… Were you surprised by the groundhog yesterday? I wasn’t. I woke up to lots of snow on the ground and a bright, shining sun. Super cold out, too. But I celebrated the day by watching “Groundhog Day.” I love that movie. Do you?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Reading Update and Having Issues with Stores

You ever feel like stuff happens in bunches? In my case, two, but still, it makes me wonder what’s gonna happen next.

First: Kroger. I “clipped” an on-line coupon for a 5X event (which means you can use the coupon 5 times), $1 off each item. I even got five of the item shown in the picture. Did the coupon take? No, of course not. Unfortunately, my daughter was doing the shopping for me (on my account) so she didn’t know to go to customer service while she was there. So I contacted customer service on the app instead and complained.

First they told me that I would receive $1 credit on my account. I promptly thanked them, but said I had purchased five of the items and should get $5. Then I got another e-mail saying that the coupon was for one item and that I had purchased something other than what the coupon said. I had captured a photo of the coupon (just in case), where it states clear as anything “5X Event” with a picture of the item I had purchased and sent it to them. I’m still waiting to hear back.

I know it’s only $5, but it’s the principle of the matter. And this isn’t the first time they’ve done this to me, either.

Second: Herrschners. I buy my yarn from them since there isn’t a yarn store around here that has their kind of selection (even if I were brave enough to go to one). I had decided to make an afghan for someone (for their birthday) and found the perfect yarn (the kind that changes colors after a few rows instead of after a few stitches). Unfortunately, I had miscalculated how much I would need and bought 5 cakes (which is what they are called now instead of skeins—I have no idea why). Turns out I needed 13 (yep, I really miscalculated!). They had a sale for free shipping, so I ordered the other 8 cakes which arrived rather promptly.

As I was reaching the end of one of the cakes, I started searching for another one that was closest to the color I had ended (since not all the cakes start and end on the same color). I then noticed that four of the cakes only had four colors and all the others had five.

Boy, was I steamed. This would be totally noticeable on an afghan. I contacted them. They are sending me four at no charge but they said the manufacturer said the color “varies.” Their version of varies and mine are apparently totally different. I can understand each individual color varying a bit in shade, but to lose an entire color, when they advertise FIVE COLORS? That’s not varied. That’s sloppy.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #4

Dates read:
January 17-21
Title: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires Vol. 2)
Year of publication: 2007
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #3
# of Pages: 230
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: Claire Danvers has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. But being under Amelie’s protection doesn’t offer much comfort when people start turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire’s past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons at his secluded home in Midnight Alley. To what end, Clair will soon discover—and it will give a terrifying new meaning to night school.
My thoughts: If you plan on reading this series (and they are enjoyable stories with suspense and a bit of romance—all teenager-safe), you might want to plan on reading them back-to-back like I am. The cliffhangers are really annoying!

Book #5

Dates read:
January 21-24
Title: Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires Vol. 2)
Year of publication: 2008
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #4
# of Pages: 209
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: In Morganville, vampires and humans have learned to live in relative peace, but the tenuous good-neighbor policy is abruptly turned on its head with the arrival of Mr. Bishop. The ancient old-school vampire is bad to the bone, and what he wants from the town’s living and dead is unthinkably sinister. It’s only at a formal ball attended by vampires and their human dates that Clair realizes Bishop’s plan—and the elaborately evil trap he’s set for the warm-blooded souls of Morganville.
My thoughts: It’s the never-ending story! Oh yeah, I’m enjoying it, but man, can any of these books actually end for once? I’m beginning to think they won’t. I have up to Book #8 on hand. Don’t know if I’ll bother buying the next ones if it just keeps going on like this, though. And there are a LOT of books in this series.

So… Do you do most of your shopping on line nowadays? I really miss having a yarn store in town. Michael’s doesn’t have a large selection, and neither does WalMart. And frankly, shopping for yarn on line leaves a lot to be desired. I like to feel the yarn. I miss Super Yarn Mart. There was one in Santa Barbara that I frequented a lot (when I lived there). That place was huge! Sadly, it’s been long gone.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Reading Update and Working Out Harder

I’ve been doing step aerobics 4-5 days a week (30-40 min/day) since October 4th. All without a riser, meaning the platform is only about 4” high. Last week I added one riser, bringing the platform to 6”. You’d think I had added 6”! Was I ready for this?

Maybe not, but how else was I going to get better? Get stronger? So I’m keeping the riser and just exercising on the floor when I really run out of breath (and I tend to do that a lot right now).

I have noticed that I can walk down the stairs so much faster now (without fear my knees will give out). That tells me I am getting stronger. I just wish I wasn’t so out of breath when I exercise. I think my heart might be a little bit to blame for that. Carrying all this extra weight isn’t helping, either, but I am working on it.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #3

Dates read:
January 12-16
Title: The Dead Girls’ Dance (Morganville Vampires Vol. 1)
Year of publication: 2007
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #2
# of Pages: 223
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: Claire Danvers has her share of challenges—like living among creatures of the night. On the upside, she has a great roommate (who tends to disappear at sunup) and a new boyfriend. Now a fraternity is throwing its annual Dead Girls’ Dance and –surprise—Clair and her equally outcast friend have been invited. When they find out why, all hell breaks loose, because this time both the living and the dead are ready to tear up the night.
My thoughts: The title and the blurb are really not what this story is about. Oh, the dance happens, but there’s a totally different reason they attend and it’s certainly not the key plotline. But, when you’re hooked on a series, do you really read the blurb? I hadn’t…until now. This was an entertaining book and quite suspenseful, too. I look forward to seeing what comes next. And I wouldn’t have needed the cliffhanger to do that. At least it was a minor cliffhanger this go round.

Are you watching the NFL playoffs? The Steelers and Rams are out of it now (boo hoo), but I’m still watching. I like Green Bay (even though they beat my Rams) over Tampa Bay, but torn between Kansas City and Buffalo. And then there’s hockey now, too! So far we’ve been able to watch ALL of the Penguins’ games on TV! Whoo hoo! I hope that continues. And I hope they play better.

I just realized as I was getting ready to post this, that today is the 45th anniversary of the day I joined the Army. Man, am I getting old or what?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Reading Update and Writing News

I had a light bulb go off in my head regarding Evie in my current project, Ghostly Protector. In the first draft (which is finished) she doesn’t do much. And since she’s the heroine, she needed to do… something. She needed to be more involved in Adam’s life. More involved in solving Spencer’s murder (Spencer is the ghost in my story, and was her friend and roommate). So glad I figured out what those somethings should be. It sure created a lot of cutting and pasting, but that’s better than rewriting the whole story. I just replaced another character who was involved in Adam’s problems with Evie. And moved the timelines around. I still have to write some new scenes (so that it shows Evie’s involvement), but at least I have it all figured out. So far. I hope.

Ain’t writing fun? I’ll eventually get Ghostly Protector finished. Again.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #2

Dates read:
January 5-11
Title: Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires Vol. 1)
Year of publication: 2006
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Morganville Vampires #1
# of Pages: 222
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: Morganville is a small college town in the heart of Texas that has its share of quirky characters—and some evil ones, too. When student Claire Danvers moves off campus into one of Morganville’s oldest houses, she finds that her roommates don’t show many signs of life. But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.
My thoughts: After I read about Rachel Caine’s passing, I realized I’d never read these books. And lucky me, my daughter has the first four volumes (first 8 books, actually) of this series. I was instantly hooked. Didn’t care for the cliffhanger at the end of this one, but hey, I’m ready to read the next.

So… don’t you love it when you figure out a problem that’s been hounding you? It really was a relief for me.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Reading Update and Finding a... Present!

I’m usually pretty good at making sure all the Christmas presents have been unwrapped. But then 2020 wasn’t a usual year, now was it?

I was sliding the stockings on the buffet case so I could get to my cookbooks (I really need to put the decorations away, but that’s another story) when one of the stockings fell. I didn’t hear the hanger hit the floor so I checked inside the stockings around them figuring it had fallen inside one of them. I put my hand in one and found… a gift card! And it was in my stocking! Hubby had given me a $50 B&N gift card. It was stuck on the bottom, which is why I didn’t notice it. But you’d think Hubby would have realized I hadn’t found it. And I suppose I would have found it next year, but still…

I found a lost Christmas present!

Oh, I also found the hanger. In another stocking.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #1

Dates read:
December 26-January 5
Title: Big Chance Cowboy
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Teri Anne Stanley
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Big Chance Dog Rescue #1
# of Pages: 364
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: After a disastrous mistake disbanded his army unit, Adam Collins has returned home to Big Chance, Texas. He just wants to sell the family ranch, set up his sister and grandfather with the funds, and then ride off into the sunset.
    Lizzie Vanhook has landed back in her hometown, heartbroken and jobless. Adding to her troubles is the unruly stray who’s claimed her as his own. Lizzie knows she’s in over her head. Enter Adam—not only does he know dogs he’s also tall, dark, handsome, and the one who got away…
    Adam wants nothing to do with other people, much less dogs. But when his old flame asks him to help her train her scruffy dog, he can’t say no. As his reluctant heart opens up, the impossible seems possible: a second chance with the woman he’s always loved in a place where he, his friends, and the other strays who show up can heal and call home…
My thoughts: There aren’t many contemporary romances I’ll read. But if it’s written by Teri Anne Stanley, I’ll give it a go. She’s a friend and I really do enjoy her books. She always throws in some humor and a little bit of danger. This one also has dogs! So if you’re into those kinds of books, you’ll really enjoy this one.

So… Have you ever found a “lost” gift? Maybe one you MEANT to put under the tree but forgot you bought it? Unfortunately, I’ve done that a lot. It’s what happens when I shop early, I suppose. Which is why I have a box to keep such presents in now. So I don’t lose them.

Happy Reading!

Stacy