Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Reading Update and Other News

Quick health update: I’m having an MRI on July 7 to check the mass on my left adrenal gland and I’m having a biopsy on one or two nodules on my thyroid on July 9. So glad I don’t have to wait until September to get these suspicious masses check out! The endocrinologist also ran a lot of blood work on me to double check the adrenal gland. I probably had a dozen vials taken! FYI: 34 vials = a pint. At least that’s what the lab technician told me.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #35

Dates read: June 21-25, 2021
Title: Forever Werewolf
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Michele Hauf
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Beautiful Creatures
# of Pages: 274
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased.
Blurb from book: Alexis Conner, princess of the Alpine pack and pureblood werewolf, hides a painful secret—she has never shifted. If she can’t shift, she can’t mate, and so Lexi resigned herself to a lifetime of loneliness. But then a stranger arrives, and Lexi senses that her world will never be the same…
    A massive avalanche might be to blame for Trystan Hawkes getting stuck at Castle Wulfsiege, but after one look at Lexi, Trystan is not about to leave. Lexi is strong, smart and incredibly sexy. Not that it matters. Tryst is an omega—the fabled lone wolf. Even more damning is his mixed vampire heritage.
    Lexi knows that the vampire blood running through Tryst’s veins makes him off-limits, but what if he’s the one man who can rouse her inner wolf?
My thoughts: Just focusing on the couple and the romance, I liked this book very much. And thank goodness there are some vampires in it, too. I realized why I’m not a fan of werewolf (shifter) books: the leaders of the pack are assholes, the betas blindly follow their leader, and the women are treated as property (I really felt sorry for Lexi’s sister, even at the end).

It’s been nasty hot here. Not as bad as the northwest, but 90+ temps with high humidity is pretty darn close. If I don’t get my walk started before 8am, I don’t bother. It’s just too miserable out there. But I am walking up to 2 miles now. I’d probably go farther if not for the heat!

So… Watching any sports? I gave up on hockey when Vegas lost. I’m into baseball now. Reds are fun to watch this year (about time!).

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Reading Update, Doctors, and Weather

Saw my primary care physician yesterday. She thinks September is too long to wait for my “suspicious” thyroid nodule to be looked at/biopsied and will look into getting me seen on base sooner (especially since one of their endocrinologists has just returned from deployment). Fingers crossed!

EDITED TO ADD: I'm seeing the endocrinologist on base tomorrow (Thursday)!!!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #34

Dates read: June 14-19, 2021
Title: The Vampire’s Protector
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Michele Hauf
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Beautiful Creatures
# of Pages: 296
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Unsure. It’s signed by the author, though. So I either purchased it from her or got it free at a convention.
Blurb from book: For over a century, musician Nicolo Paganini had rested in peace. Until Summer Santiago’s innocent touch raised him from the grave. Awakening in a world suddenly so foreign, he needed Summer’s help. Yet his protector was a vampire…with a deep desire for Nicolo’s blood.
    Despite the raving attraction between them, the pair had something more dangerous than bloodlust to contend with. The devil had a plan for Nicolo’s eternal life. Should Nicolo play the cursed black violin, his fate would be sealed. But if he resisted Satan’s call, he would lose the woman who had made his life worth living.
My thoughts: I enjoyed this story very much. There were just a couple of loose threads I would have like answered (and have nothing to do with the series), but it didn’t distract from my enjoyment. This was a great romance with lots of paranormal characters.

Monday I got up early to walk because it was already warm and muggy by 7:30am (temps in the 70s). Tuesday I had to wait until after 9:00am for it to warm up to the high 50s. What is up with this weather? Granted, I’d prefer not to have any more humid days. I don’t like sweating that much while walking.

So… Happy belated Father’s Day to all you daddies out there. I hope you had a good time. Hubby seemed to enjoy his day. And he appreciated the new headphones I got him. I knew they’d be perfect. He’d sent me the link! Haha!

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Reading Update, Walking, and Dr. Appts.

My back has finally shut up and I’m back to walking. The weather has been cooperating, too. I still won’t go far (not my usual 2-3 miles), at least not until it’s been four weeks since surgery (which is the time frame I’ve been given to not lift anything heavier than 15 lbs).

I finally got an appointment to the endocrinologist (for my thyroid nodule). September 16th!! Man, I sure hope I don’t have anything serious. That seems crazy. But I was told there are only 3 endocrinologists in the Dayton area, so it is what it is. I do see my primary care physician next week, so if she’s not worried about it, I won’t be. And if she is worried about it, then I’ll leave it up to her to hurry things along.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #33

Dates read: June 9-14, 2021
Title: Far from Home
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Kate L. Mary
Genre: Horror
Series: Far Series Book 1
# of Pages: 307
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Free from author
Blurb from book: As the only child in an upper-middle class family, Rowan has had it easy. Doted on by a mother who never wanted anything but a child to love, she’s never wanted for anything. Kiaya’s life, however, has been anything but easy. Parents who didn’t want her, followed by being torn away from her only sibling by the foster care system, she knows what it means to have to work hard for the things she wants.
    When a deadly virus sweeps the country, Rowan and Kiaya are away at college and far from everything they love. Desperate to make it home, they team up, but as the world around them dies, an unexpected detour leaves them stranded in Vega, Texas where they make a shocking discovery. The virus isn’t just killing people. It’s turning them into zombies.
    When former cop, Devon, sweeps in to save the day, it looks like their luck has shifted. With hundreds of miles left to cross and the dead taking over, the trio is determined to do whatever it takes to get home. Traveling historic Route 66, Rowan, Kiaya, and Devon fight for survival as they struggle to come to terms with the changing world.
My thoughts: As I started into this book, I could see it being like The Stand, but then the zombies came into play and I realized it’s not. And since this is the beginning of a series, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. Because of that, I won’t bother reading the next book. I’m not really into zombies anyway (I didn’t watch The Walking Dead, but if you liked that series, you’ll probably like these books). I did enjoy the story. I just wish it…ended.

Are you doing anything special this July 4th? Hubby suggested we go somewhere, but I can’t think of any place to go for the weekend that we haven’t already visited. Then I suggested we just stay home and visit things in the area that we haven’t seen. So we might do that. And Cincinnati has some interesting tours that we could possibly take. That might be fun. Do you have trouble figuring out what to do when you want to get away? I’d really love to just go to the beach and walk along the shore, but, unfortunately, they’re a little far from here.

Happy Reading!


Friday, June 11, 2021

Surgery Results

So... the results of my surgery came back. It was kidney cancer. While that sounds like a bad thing, it isn't in my case. Bad would have been metastatic breast cancer, and it wasn't that, so that's GOOD!

At my appointment, my urologist said that my oncologist (do I SEE enough doctors???) wanted to do a biopsy of the fatty tissue on my left adrenal gland (my tumor was on my right kidney). She was attending the tumor board that afternoon and would let me know what to expect next.

By the way, I also have this nodule on my thyroid that my primary care physician wants biopsied. My urologist thought that I might be able to have both biopsies at the same time.

Well, my urologist called me later that day and said she was able to talk with the radiologist who actually read my CT scan and he suggested that I have an MRI instead of a biopsy, because he was fairly certain it was just fatty tissue (a fibro abnoma kind of thing). My MRI is scheduled for July 7.

I will still need to get the thyroid looked at, so I'm in the process of scheduling that. I need to see an endocrinologist off base, so it's taking longer than usual. But... the bloodwork on my thyroid doesn't indicate anything unusual, so it's most likely NOT cancer (but hey, with me, you can't be too sure anymore). 

Have I ever told you how much I hate dealing with insurance? Granted, we have an awesome plan (Humana Military/Tricare), but they aren't the easiest to deal with. That's why I prefer to keep everything on base (and a big reason we moved close to one) -- NO PAPERWORK!

My back is still being a pain (literally), but not so bad that I can't move around (I just move slowly at times). I'm trying not to live on motrin and I have been walking in the morning (about a mile each day). No pain while doing that, so that's good. I've decided to just stick with going around the block and not stretching it out further. Not until my back stops hurting. And maybe after the glue comes off my incisions. 

So... that's the news for now. Thought I'd share it now instead of wait until Wednesday. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Reading Update and I Hurt

I’m hurting where I least expected it…my back. I’ve had back issues since I was 18 (doctor discovered I had a slight case of scoliosis). When I was 32 I was in agony for a whole month. I’m not that bad off now, but it’s not pleasant either. Motrin hasn’t worked all that well so far.

I’ve been super careful not to over exert myself since surgery. I was walking, going a little further each time, but the last time was only 1.37 miles (at a rather slow pace). I didn’t hurt during the walk, but later that night my back started stiffening and it’s not gotten any better.

Figures…  And if the pain wasn’t bad enough, the glue holding my incisions together is itching! I can’t seem to win any breaks here.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #32

Dates read: June 1-8, 2021
Title: Frost and Flame
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Gods of War #2
# of Pages: 411
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Bane of Adwaewith is the most feared immortal warrior in All War history. Possessed by a bloodthirsty beast, he will stop at nothing to win. Then he meets irresistible Nola Lee. He hates the power she wields over him, but she alone can rain vengeance upon his wife’s killer.
    Unaware of her destiny to rule as queen of beasts, Nola battles illness, addiction and vulnerability. With Bane, however, she experiences pleasure for the first time, and only wants more. But being with him comes with a terrible price.
    With enemies lurking around every corner, Bane and Nola must fight to survive. But time is running out, and neither can resist the sizzling attraction blazing between them. Will their romance save the beast and his beauty, or destroy everything they’ve come to love?
My thoughts: This story runs parallel to Book 1 in the series (Shadow and Ice). It threw me for a bit, and I had to hunt down the first book to make sure I wasn’t remembering stuff incorrectly (I wasn’t). The “All War” isn’t over with yet (although there isn’t a cliffhanger in this book or the first, just your typical series story unresolved), and I’d get book 3 to read, except… there isn’t one. That makes me sad. I’d like to know how the “All War” will end. Maybe she’ll get around to writing it someday. I’ll keep my eye out for it.

I see my urologist this afternoon and will hopefully find out what kind of cancer I had (I’ll say “had” because I don’t still want it in me!) and what my next steps are. I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Reading Update and Kindle Unlimited

I put my Bitten by Love series into Kindle Unlimited because I was under the impression that paranormal romances do well there and that Amazon favors those books (somehow).

Plus, you get to put your book on sale during a Kindle countdown. So I did that with My Sunny Vampire (reduced the price to 99 cents). The only advertising I did was the same advertising I did on Amazon (although I did mention the sale here and on Facebook), because I was also under the impression that my book would be featured on Amazon as a countdown deal.

I never saw the feature. And that countdown only generated 2 sales.


I think if I make my books EXCLUSIVE to Amazon, they should do more. Else, why stay exclusive?

Which means in July I will take the Bitten by Love out of KU and make the series wide again. Heck, the KU reads I’m getting really aren’t all that significant, either. Being exclusive isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #31

Dates read: May 25-June 1, 2021
Title: The Reluctant Amazon
Year of publication: 2012/2021
Author: Sandy James
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Alliance of the Amazons Book 1
# of Pages: 274
Paper or plastic: Nook book
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: The last thing Rebecca Massee expects on her wedding day is to go from jilted kindergarten teacher to Amazonian Earth warrior. But when she causes an earthquake after her groom says I don't, she discovers that not only does she possess incredible powers, she is one of four lost chosen sisters who must fight to keep humanity safe from rogue gods and demons. Luckily she has help: ruggedly handsome Scottish warrior Artair MacKay, her protector and teacher.
    An immortal, Artair has trained countless warriors for more than four hundred years. He understands Rebecca's confusion at the new world she's been thrust into and worries she is too emotionally vulnerable, but that doesn't stop his growing feelings for the beautiful and fearless woman.
    When an evil force threatens to destroy the Amazons, Rebecca must claim her full powers--but they come at a cost. Can she sacrifice the man she loves if it means saving the world?

My thoughts: I had trouble getting into this book, which I kind of blame on my surgery. But if I were reading a book from one of my favorite authors would that have made a difference? See… I’m not sure. There is only a minor cliff-hanger, which I expected since it’s a series, but otherwise, it has a satisfied ending. If I really liked the Amazons, I might pick up the next one, but none of them piqued my interest. Doesn’t mean they won’t pique yours. If you’re looking for a different kind of paranormal romance, it won’t hurt to give this one a try.

So… I’m doing fairly well after surgery. I’m able to control what little pain I have with Tylenol or Ibuprofen (I haven’t touched the narcotics the doctor gave me). Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait a little longer to find out what kind of cancer I had, since the doctor won’t get the results until 7-10 days after surgery. Bugger.

Happy Reading!