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!


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.


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!


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!


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!